andraste: Chibi Starscream (Lil' Formers Starscream)
[personal profile] andraste
So, I have finally finished watching the first season of Iron Fist. It was ... not good. And enraging because Marvel and Netflix could have been spending their money and time on something that was not terrible instead.

After seeing the first episode, I debated not bothering with the rest, but I have watched every other MCU thing, and I do want to watch Defenders, and after it was successful despite the awful reviews I didn't feel too bad about giving it another pair of eyeballs. First time ever I have given the Thumbs Down to a Netflix show I watched all of, though. At least I got a lot of Pokemon hatched while it was on?

Previous Netflix/Marvel co-productions have had their issues - some pacing problems, plus the Hand plot in the second half of Daredevil Season Two was weak. (That was probably a bad sign given what Iron Fist is about ...) But they all worked because each of them is about something.

Daredevil is about the difference between justice and what various characters are willing to do to protect the society they live in. Jessica Jones is about rape recovery and personal responsibility. Luke Cage is about what it means to be a bullet-proof black man in contemporary America.

Meanwhile, this show wants to be about legacies and traditions and making your own life after you find out the world is not like your parents told you it was. None of that is a bad ideas for an Iron Fist show. However, none of the parental or quasi-parental relationships in the series have enough weight to make the theme work.



Danny's parents are saintly and dead, and we barely even see his teachers. Coleen's bond with Bakudo is underwritten and has little screen time, so their betrayals of each other feel meaningless. There is no interaction at all between Davos and Lei Kung. The closest we get to exploring any of this properly is the interactions between Harold and his kids, but his relationship with Ward is one-note, and his scenes with Joy are too late in the series for that relationship to develop much. I guess we're supposed to think of Harold as a surrogate parental figure for Danny, but it really doesn't come across at all.

There was a lot of (justified) criticism about the casting of the lead in this show. I have no idea if Iron Fist would have been good television if Danny were played by an Asian or biracial actor, but I do know that it might have forced the show to ACTUALLY BE ABOUT SOMETHING other than boring corporate machinations and boring ninjas, and that could only have been a good thing. There were individual scenes and moments I enjoyed, but if I never have to hear about the Rand Corporation or the Hand again I will be happy. (Yeah, I know there is more Hand coming, but fingers crossed it will be enlivened by the interactions between Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny.)

Still, I have hopes that Danny Rand will work better as a character in an ensemble show. Finn Jones wasn't charismatic enough to make this watchable, but he was far from the worst thing about the show. And unsurprisingly Iron Fist is getting a new showrunner for Series Two, so maybe they can even turn it around if Raven Metzner has an actual story to tell and not just thirteen episodes to kill before Defenders starts.

At least I enjoyed watching Sacha Dewan? And Jessica Henwick. Please, Netflix, give us Daughters of the Dragon and put this unfortunate interlude behind us.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-07 03:17 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Daredevil: masked Man (Masked Man)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
It was basically a bunch of okay ideas done in the most boring way possible! There were lots of bits and pieces that I liked (Colleen trying to be a sensei and telling herself the Hand is not a cult, Madame Gao in general, Ward's disaster of a relationship with his dad, Claire starting to fight, Danny's relationship with Jeri Hogarth) but that's really not a lot over 13 hours of TV! And every time Danny showed up the show just ground to a halt, except the few occasions where Carrie-Anne Moss was there to carry us through. I wish Sacha Dewan had been Danny, though - his role was also pretty blah but he did a lot with it, whereas Finn Jones added nothing. I thought the show was going to be about Danny being emotionally stuck as a 12-year-old and trying to adapt and grow up when everyone else moved on, but then they kept ignoring this perfectly obvious thing to be about and trying to make Danny cool instead.

That said, I don't think the character or the show are unsalvageable, and Danny in an ensemble cast will be a lot more tolerable simply by having less screen-time to himself, and hopefully better writing and plotting will happen too.

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