On Netflix

The Defenders is Decent, but Mildly Disappointing

I’m not really a comic-book geek or anything, and yet I admit that I was fairly excited for the Netflix original “The Defenders” series to premier. Mostly I think I was just hoping for some more of the material I loved in the “Daredevil” series, and hoping for none of the cheesiness that I very much didn’t love in the “Iron Fist” series.

As for the two other characters featured in “The Defenders,” we never watched “Jessica Jones” after hearing that there was a scenario in it that totally condoned abortion and would have really pissed me off; and “Luke Cage” we tried but didn’t get through a whole episode before deciding that it just wasn’t appealing enough to go back to.

So, as excited as I was for “The Defenders,” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

A Mixed Bag

Basically, if you’ve seen “Daredevil” and loved it, you’ll love brief parts and aspects of this show. If you’ve seen “Iron Fist” and been annoyed at its many super-annoying aspects, you’ll find plenty to be annoyed at here.

Here’s the premise:

The Hand is back at it again, trying to destroy the city and do some other confusing mystical stuff that will help all its members to live forever. The four “Defenders” all independently get drawn into stopping The Hand, each along with their sidekicks and friends. And the four of them reluctantly decide to work together.

The Good Stuff

So we do get a bit of what I loved in “Daredevil.” We see Matt Murdock going to Confession, him being a good guy, some references to his Faith, and some fun interactions between him and his friend Foggy.

Luckily the stories of the other characters were not that hard to pick up on, either. Having never seen “Jessica Jones” or “Luke Cage,” it was still not that hard to figure out what was going on in their story-lines.

There are a few kind of nail-biting fight scenes, as you’d expect. And also, if you’re hoping for some superhero camaraderie and it really excites you to see these guys team up, the show definitely included lots of that. Almost too much, which brings me to…

The Bad Stuff

It felt a bit like they were trying too hard to give us the, “Wouldn’t it be so cool to see these super-guys working together?” feeling. Just a few too many moments of them all four like standing together in fight poses, waiting a beat too long to advance on the bad guys together, as if to make sure we got the picture. Can you say cheesy?

But worse was the Iron Fist cheese. After a while, every time Iron Fist or another character said the phrase “K’un-Lun” or mentioned his parents being killed, my husband and I would groan, or mock. “Gee, what about your parents, Danny? Are they still dead? How about you tell us about them again?”

There’s also a certain aspect of Daredevil’s plot that’s kind of unsatisfying for those of us rooting for him and Karen to work out – not to say that the two of them together is out of the picture in the future, but that’s definitely not the direction his plot takes in this series.

Morally speaking…

So, the heavy brutal violence that was occasionally an issue in “Daredevil” (and a little less so in “Iron Fist”) is not super frequent here but does pop up a couple times, in less prolonged instances. There’s a bit of language, and obviously some frequent lesser violence.

As for sexuality, there is one heavy scene of it in the first episode that we fast-forwarded (and missed nothing essential by doing so), and then nothing else whatsoever the entire time.

Over All

Well I had to watch it. Especially since there’s supposedly going to be a season 3 of “Daredevil.” If you do want to watch “Daredevil” season 3, you’ll probably be pretty lost without watching this first, because some pretty significant things happen to him at the end of “The Defenders.”

And, this show does have its entertaining and enthralling moments. There’s just also a fair amount of cheese and silliness thrown into the mix.


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