Defenders Netflix Impressions (Spoilers)

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Deathstriker

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#1  Edited By Deathstriker

Since it was only 8 episodes and I worked from home today I was able to finish it. I was kinda worried after seeing the sub-par reviews, but I liked it a lot. It's not better than Daredevil or probably Jessica Jones, but it's better than Luke Cage and Iron Fist's solo shows. I did think the first 2 or 3 episodes before they all meet was a little slow, but maybe that's because we've been waiting for this for years. After they meet and talk they did have chemistry and I liked the team dynamics. Matt being such a reluctant hero was a bit strange to see, but I expected Jessica to skeptical, Luke to be the conscious, and Iron Fist to want to lead the charge against the hand. Full spoilers ahead. Hardly any reaction to Stick's death was disappointing to me, since he is my favorite secondary character in all of these shows. Matt mentioned him for like 4 seconds and that was it.

The season finale was a letdown. Blowing up the building was such a random plan - they would've been fine if they just killed the 3 main members of the Hand and Electra since blowing up the building means they're okay killing, which is something they're all against and have never done besides Jessica. Mining for dragon bones being the reason why NYC is going to collapse and be destroyed sounds like a bad Saturday morning cartoon. Electra's motivation was messy too. I enjoyed watching it and I'd like for them to come together again, but they have somethings to work on.

Other thoughts:

  • I didn't know how much I missed Jessica Jones, would like to see her series next.
  • I half expected Punisher to show up when I was watching trailers for this.
  • Colleen was a little annoying.
  • Treating Matt being a superhero almost like a recovering alcohol or drug addiction was weird, especially since Karen was always a Daredevil fan and supporter when she didn't know it was Matt.
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BabyChooChoo

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#2  Edited By BabyChooChoo

Not a ton of thoughts on this one. I actually loved the show up until the end, maybe the last 2-3-ish episodes, where I feel like it started to unravel.

  • My biggest praise is that they actually showed Iron Fist to be a competent fucking fighter which they somehow failed to do in the whole entire run of his own show soooo that was cool.
  • I do feel like they missed a huge opportunity for one of Daredevil's signature "one take" hallway fights because he and Iron Fist made a really good duo whenever they were shown fighting together.
  • I actually really liked how they just offed Alexandra in the middle of an episode. Some might call it anticlimactic, but I found it shocking in a good way.
  • That said, Elecktra's whole motivation/plan/whatever was just...meh. I just didn't care. These shows are starting to form a pattern of killing off interesting villains for weak ones.
  • This whole show just made me want Jessica Jones season 2 more than anything else at the moment.
  • I really fucking hate how everything is given the most generic-ass-generic names. The "Incident," the "substance," etc.
  • Really glad they brought back all the side characters from their respective series.
  • Someone tell Mike Colter it's okay to move his hands. The way he sorta awkwardly stands in so many scenes irks the living shit out of me.
  • Stick's whole shtick of "I totally have an ulterior motive" had long since gotten old. I'm glad he's dead. That said, I totally agree, how they handled his death was...odd.
  • I abso-fucking-lutely cannot stand how inconsistent everyone's abilities are. The Hand can hear you coming from a mile away and sometimes can't hear you when you're in the same room. Sometimes they can't put a dent in Luke Cage, sometimes they send him flying across the room. Sometimes Jessica and Luke fling people across the room with ease, sometimes they can barely fight one or two jobbers. Sometimes Daredevil can sense anything and everything going on around him, sometimes he seems completely oblivious to the most obvious shit. Sometimes Danny can use the Iron Fist at will, sometimes he has to meditate for what seems like a really dumb amount of time and almost makes his powers seem useless. It's a really bad case of making characters noticeably dumber/weaker when it's convenient for the story. It's always been a problem in these Netflix shows, but I feel like this is probably the worst it's ever been.

Not my favorite of the Netflix bunch, but it wasn't terrible. I give it like a solid B-.

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OurSin_360

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#3  Edited By OurSin_360

I liked it a lot, i thought Electra's motivations were fine since going through that resurrection seems to make you a little more homicidal and crazy. I think it felt shorter than the others and that worked in its favor, they didn't bloat it out and it lasted just long as it needed to. I was fine with the whole "destroy the city" thing, i mean it wasn't there real goal it was just a biproduct of what they wanted to do. All around it's my third favorite of the series after Daredevil and Jessica jones, Luke cage was great but i think they kinda messed that one up a bit at the end. I liked iron fist but it felt low budget so it was good to see those characters in a better made series.

I hope this dumb disney thing doesn't ruin future marvel shows on netflix.

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Relkin

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Just finished cannonballin through it. I enjoyed it quite a bit; I have a fair amount to complain about, but just about everything I have to say in that regard has been said already. Most of what's left to say is nitpicking, and considering how much I liked the show I don't see any need to dive into that sort of thing.

Jessica Jones is a fuckin fantastic character and Ritter is absolutely nailing it. Hope her 2nd season is the next to come, but I'm a little worried about them on the villain front. Tennant is going to be hard to top.

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chalkcharmer

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My summary:

Episodes 1-7: Slow (but enjoyable) build to team-up and big reveal...

Episode 8: WAH WAHHHHHHH


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Deathstriker

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Not a ton of thoughts on this one. I actually loved the show up until the end, maybe the last 2-3-ish episodes, where I feel like it started to unravel.

  • My biggest praise is that they actually showed Iron Fist to be a competent fucking fighter which they somehow failed to do in the whole entire run of his own show soooo that was cool.
  • I do feel like they missed a huge opportunity for one of Daredevil's signature "one take" hallway fights because he and Iron Fist made a really good duo whenever they were shown fighting together.
  • I actually really liked how they just offed Alexandra in the middle of an episode. Some might call it anticlimactic, but I found it shocking in a good way.
  • That said, Elecktra's whole motivation/plan/whatever was just...meh. I just didn't care. These shows are starting to form a pattern of killing off interesting villains for weak ones.
  • This whole show just made me want Jessica Jones season 2 more than anything else at the moment.
  • I really fucking hate how everything is given the most generic-ass-generic names. The "Incident," the "substance," etc.
  • Really glad they brought back all the side characters from their respective series.
  • Someone tell Mike Colter it's okay to move his hands. The way he sorta awkwardly stands in so many scenes irks the living shit out of me.
  • Stick's whole shtick of "I totally have an ulterior motive" had long since gotten old. I'm glad he's dead. That said, I totally agree, how they handled his death was...odd.
  • I abso-fucking-lutely cannot stand how inconsistent everyone's abilities are. The Hand can hear you coming from a mile away and sometimes can't hear you when you're in the same room. Sometimes they can't put a dent in Luke Cage, sometimes they send him flying across the room. Sometimes Jessica and Luke fling people across the room with ease, sometimes they can barely fight one or two jobbers. Sometimes Daredevil can sense anything and everything going on around him, sometimes he seems completely oblivious to the most obvious shit. Sometimes Danny can use the Iron Fist at will, sometimes he has to meditate for what seems like a really dumb amount of time and almost makes his powers seem useless. It's a really bad case of making characters noticeably dumber/weaker when it's convenient for the story. It's always been a problem in these Netflix shows, but I feel like this is probably the worst it's ever been.

Not my favorite of the Netflix bunch, but it wasn't terrible. I give it like a solid B-.

As far as Stick, I like a hero or someone who's on the side of good who is willing to do anything. It's a nice break from the boyscout or paragon heroes. I think he wanted to work with them all including Danny until he found out Danny was the key, so it's not like he had an ulterior motive the whole time.

I agree with their abilities being inconsistent, mainly Luke. Seems like they randomly tone him down since he should really be able to destroy everyone. I did like how the African guy was attacking him, but Electra being able to knock him out from a simple punch while he took Danny's chi punch without much problem made no sense. I'm pretty sure he can't be chocked either, which is something Electra did to him too. I'm still not sure how Jessica was following Matt without him knowing. I thought he was letting her see him like that, but that wasn't the case. Danny only being able to power up one hand is a little annoying to me. Maybe it's because he's not fully developed and it's going to happen in season two of his show, but I'm used to seeing the characters with two fists.

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Pezen

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Contrary to what seems most, I never clicked with Daredevil or Jessica Jones. But I really liked Luke Cage. I should give that Iron Fist thing a chance but it doesn't sound promising. I'll give this one a chance, in the offhand chance that it's worth watching.

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aktivity

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#8  Edited By aktivity

Liked the show, but I gotta agree on how inconsistent their abilities are. With Luke Cage I kept wondering the entire time what should and shouldn't affect him. And with Jessica Jones I kept asking myself whether she was constantly using her super-strength or not. None of those nameless foot-soldiers should be able to block their punches without flying across the room. At least Iron Fist gets some decent fights this time around, although Daredevil still remains the highlight when it comes to fights.

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vocalcannibal

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Here's a question: I've only watched Jessica Jones and I really loved it. Should I watch Defenders? Will I be totally lost with all the Daredevil/Luke Cage stuff? (I don't really care about Iron Fist at all.)

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BabyChooChoo

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#10  Edited By BabyChooChoo

@vocalcannibal: The antagonists of this show largely revolve around Daredevil and Iron Fist. Also, there's quite a few references to things that happen in their respective shows. You will probably be lost, but you should be able to piece together what the relationships are and whatnot after a few episodes. Here's a short primer though if you really don't want to watch those shows (I don't blame you, that's like 30+ hours of tv lol), but still want to watch Defenders:

Loading Video...

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Goboard

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Watched it all last night and slept on it before really committing to how I felt about the show. Feelings didn't change much because It all felt kind of rushed and didn't do a great job of bringing into play the best parts of the other shows or the full nuance that they present for each of the Defenders in their own shows. Even the motivations of the 5 fingers of the hand doesn't feel that convincing because we've never seen much from any of them other than Madame Gao, who is by far the most interesting and developed character of The Hand members. I'd have believed Madame Gao was the leader of the Hand over Alexandra just because of how much we've seen of her. This first season might have done better if they had one more season of Luke Cage and Iron Fist before this to allow for more time to introduce Sowande and Bakuto. I don't know where they could have brought in Murakami, but he also had minimal time to build up his importance in The Hand other than being a member of the 5. I was also not sold on the idea that Matt sacrificed himself for New York when the building was already set to explode. Of course revealing at the end that he's alive and presumably so is Elektra further makes any idea of sacrifice superficial. If it's meant as a moment to impress upon Danny what sacrifice for your home actually means they really need to work hard to make that stick because Danny is still the weakest of the 4 main characters. I also feel like the writers didn't know how to handle Luke and Jessica in the series because neither of them had any experience with The Hand prior so their motivations had to be established quickly.

There were a few things I did like about the season though, a lot of it was about the general vulnerability of each main hero. There has always been the theme of danger to the ones they love for their role in opposing The Hand and crime, but even when it comes to their strengths as people with special abilities they show how that can be subverted. Luke being indestructible on the outside, but still vulnerable on the inside, Matt's conflicted sense of justice and love for Elektra causing others to be unnecessarily harmed, Danny's pride in being the Iron Fist and continued inability to use it effectively to the point where his using it at all helps The Hand. I'm also glad they brought in more of the supporting cast members from each show and gave them moments to interact with each other. So far only Claire has been the strong connective tissue between each individual series so hopefully we get more of that with Misty, Tracy, Colleen and Foggy in the new seasons for the other shows. I also liked seeing J. Mallory McCree even though his role was brief. He had a similar role in the most recent season of Homeland and he does a great job of portraying someone caught in an impossible situation but standing for what he knows is true.

I hope now that each of the main heroes have their own show that the writers and marvel spend more time developing what happened here as well as what happened in each of their respective shows so that when they do a second season it feels a lot more cohesive. With The Hand is supposedly finished, I don't know who or what organization will fill the void for a second season, but I hope it does more with the characters that opposed the main heroes within their own series. If Mariah, Fisk, and Joy Meachum formed a similar uneasy alliance for control of the city I think it would be an interesting starting point for a second season of The Defenders. I just don't want to see Elektra be the main point of conflict because so much of her character is wrapped up in Daredevil that it would just make another season of The Defenders mostly about her and Matt.

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Junkerman

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Yeah I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed the first few episodes immensely but found the last two or three to just be off the walls incoherent. Luke Cage and Jessica had absolutely nothing to do with this at all. There powers weren't even that useful and honestly detracted from the fight scenes more then they added. The entirety of the established lore was 100% DD and Ironfist only... and it was just so jarring trying to gauge what Luke and Jessica could and couldnt do with their powers.

I'm not sure what I would like to see in a future season. I dont think I want to see a Defenders season 2 ever again, but would like to see them interact more with eachother in little pieces throughout their own respective seasons. They are great characters and are each fun to spend time with... but that doesnt mean I want to see them fight all together in this big awkward mess. I never want to see Jessica fight anyone ever again. She's a rough smart ass detective who should be hunting things down. Luke should be getting shot and breaking guns and standing up for the little people. Danny and Daredevil fight ninjas and run around doing flips. Maybe its just the budget restrictions, I dont know, I just found myself dreading all the fight scenes. Why is no one using a gun? Why are they all eschewing more efficient forms of combat in favor of just punching?

There was also a bit too much "Grr you lied to me, I'm through with this unless someone can convince me to stay as I walk out this door." I think every character had at least one or two moments of that. Its just really annoying and not fun. No one wants to see their favorite character be whiny. No one. I dont know why writers do that.

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Humanity

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Only watched the first two episodes but I was surprised that despite not having to do origin stories it's still moving at a snails pace.

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OurSin_360

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@pezen: issue is you kinda need to watch them all to understand everything, especially iron fist and second season of daredevil.

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redyoshi

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#15  Edited By redyoshi

I never watched Iron Fist and didn't have much trouble picking things up. He's on a mission to stop The Hand, that's pretty much all I needed to know.

My favorite part of this was Jessica Jones and how she would sigh and roll her eyes everytime some new mystical thing got mentioned. They did a good job communicating how totally out of her element she and Luke were with all this ninja stuff.

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ImGrifter

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Started off strong but was pretty bored through the second half of the show. Daredevil was great as always though. Disappointed that they hyped up Sigourney Weaver being a part of the show and she barely did anything memorable

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Deathstriker

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@vocalcannibal: The antagonists of this show largely revolve around Daredevil and Iron Fist. Also, there's quite a few references to things that happen in their respective shows. You will probably be lost, but you should be able to piece together what the relationships are and whatnot after a few episodes. Here's a short primer though if you really don't want to watch those shows (I don't blame you, that's like 30+ hours of tv lol), but still want to watch Defenders:

Loading Video...

I don't see why anyone would need to watch the other shows or that video. Luke and Danny say their origins when they meet each other. Jessica's is still somewhat mysterious and everyone probably already knows Matt's origin. A lot of this stuff is made up for Defenders like Gao not being the leader and her being equals with Colleen's masters and those other guys. Seems like Gao was meant to be the leader then they randomly added Weaver since she's a big name actress. Stuff like Stick being Matt's mentor or how Electra died is quickly explained. I don't see why someone would HAVE to watch any of the shows given how this show is written.

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BabyChooChoo

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#18  Edited By BabyChooChoo

@deathstriker: Okay, sure, no one has to watch to anything before watching Defenders, but like large chunks of that show completely lose their impact without at least some prior knowledge. Like why the shit would you ever care about Elecktra before Matt reveals their past together? Claire calling Danny after his fight with Luke seems completely out of place, and Colleen and Bakudo's whole weird conflict carries absolutely zero weight without prior knowledge of what happened in Iron Fist. Matt's relationship with Foggy and Karen will mean so much more if you know what happened in Daredevil. Hell, Matt's relationship with Stick and their relationship with Elektra will mean so much more if you know what happened in Daredevil. Why is Luke all buddy-buddy with this random police officer? Who is this random lawyer that shows up to talk to Jessica? And so on and so on.

So yeah, you don't have to watch anything before watching Defenders, but again, large chunks of this show will mean nothing to you in that case. It won't be hard to figure out what's going on, but it'll be pretty hard to give a shit.

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#19  Edited By jaycrockett

I liked it. Danny Rand is still an idiot, but it felt more like a purposeful characterization than just bad acting and writing. Jessica Jones was great and I agree I'm ready for a season two from her. They managed to give the sidekick characters something to do, no mean feat with the sheer number of them to deal with.

The bad guys plan was dumb (mining dragon bones was going to destroy New York?) but that wasn't that important. It was more the fun of seeing what all the characters were up to, sort of a season 1.5 for everyone (or 2.5)

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@deathstriker: Actually, Luke is the only one not to have killed in his series.

The only thing I am sad at is there was no scene between Weaver and Moss.

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Mezmero

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I really really enjoyed it. It's not flawless but none of these Marvel Streetimatic universe shows have been flawless and I've liked most of them. Ultimately I think about this show's contemporaries of big dumb super hero team-up, and I think I like it more than the recent Avengers stuff and more than any of the CW crossovers of DC characters. I can hand wave away a lot of the silliness of the plot purely because other franchises have been doing cornier stuff in cinema and this show had something silly and over the top properly happening on the street level.

Feels like Daredevil is the only show you SHOULD watch before watching Defenders as it sets up most of the vital antagonists of this show. Jessica Jones is absolutely worth watching and Luke Cage has a great sense of style that's worth seeing but it also seems like you could watch those after the fact and get just as much enjoyment. People absolutely should skip Iron Fist. You would be better off reading a short summation of that show's plot and have this be a better depiction of the character as brash and vengeful rather than whiny and ineffectual.

Perhaps it's more as a fair weather fan of the comics that my favorite part was seeing all the various characters of these shows finally interact. My familiarity with the Heroes For Hire for instance made seeing Danny and Luke talking extra enjoyable. I also really appreciated the balance of agency between them in the plot and the ways they were conveniently brought together. The fights weren't super amazing but I liked them more as super-powered group battle scenarios than as well choreographed fights.

Probably my least favorite thing about the entire show production-wise was Stick's fake arm, like holy shit did that look bad in every shot. I'm actually kind of glad he's dead as he was one of the most unreasonably overpowered fighters in all of these shows when he was never that in the comics. Another thing that kind of annoyed me was how OP Elektra seemed to be without giving a satisfactory explanation of the concept of a Black Sky. Yeah she's a living weapon or something but all that seems to mean is that she has all martial and exotic weapon proficiencies imprinted into her mind as well as a deep reserve of ki-imbued strikes. I too thought Luke's powers felt inconsistent in some fights and it's probably because the show doesn't acknowledge the concept of certain hand members using ki-based attacks. Viewers probably wouldn't even think about it without watching Iron Fist though again, they'd be better off skipping it.

Ending was kind of strange. Wish there had been more closure to Matt instead of being a big fake out at the end. I'm just happy that there's plenty they could do with these characters going forward and I hope they do. Really want more Jessica Jones and for an actual Heroes For Hire show.

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#22  Edited By penguindust

I marathoned it yesterday and give it a 7 out of 10. I believe there were some plot-logic problems, and the first two episodes were a bit slow. By episode three things picked up and it was mostly good to the end. The middle four episodes are probably the best of the eight. I know that color and sound are distinct to each of the character's previous Netflix outings, but its use felt a bit heavy handed early on; almost Power Ranger-like. Look at all this red lighting, now were in a Matt scene, listen to that hip-hop music, now we're in a Luke Cage scene, hear that whining, now were in an Iron-Fist scene, etc... Speaking of which, the fight choreography was much improved in this series over Iron-Fist. Danny still got his ass handed to him by Matt and Electra, but the action was far more entertaining to watch this time. As for the other characters, predictably Matt Murdock was excellent and I really enjoyed Luke Cage once again, but it was Jessica Jones who was the most enjoyable since she seemed to realize how ridiculous all of this was even though she herself has superpowers. Speaking of which it was good to see her really flex her muscles. I never finished her solo series but I am far more compelled to now. She's pretty cool when she's not being depressed all of the time.

Next up, I guess; The Punisher.

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Deathstriker

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@deathstriker: Actually, Luke is the only one not to have killed in his series.

The only thing I am sad at is there was no scene between Weaver and Moss.

I don't recall Danny killing anyone, which was annoying since every 20 seconds he says he's a weapon built to destroy the Hand but he had a problem killing Hand members, which made no sense. Matt kinda kills Nobu a couple times, but since Nobu's body disappeared the last time he killed him I think he's still out there.

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Deathstriker

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I marathoned it yesterday and give it a 7 out of 10. I believe there were some plot-logic problems, and the first two episodes were a bit slow. By episode three things picked up and it was mostly good to the end. The middle four episodes are probably the best of the eight. I know that color and sound are distinct to each of the character's previous Netflix outings, but its use felt a bit heavy handed early on; almost Power Ranger-like. Look at all this red lighting, now were in a Matt scene, listen to that hip-hop music, now we're in a Luke Cage scene, hear that whining, now were in an Iron-Fist scene, etc... Speaking of which, the fight choreography was much improved in this series over Iron-Fist. Danny still got his ass handed to him by Matt and Electra, but the action was far more entertaining to watch this time. As for the other characters, predictably Matt Murdock was excellent and I really enjoyed Luke Cage once again, but it was Jessica Jones who was the most enjoyable since she seemed to realize how ridiculous all of this was even though she herself has superpowers. Speaking of which it was good to see her really flex her muscles. I never finished her solo series but I am far more compelled to now. She's pretty cool when she's not being depressed all of the time.

Next up, I guess; The Punisher.

I wouldn't say Matt beat Danny's ass... Danny was doing okay since it was pretty much a 3 vs. 1 fight. It sounded like Iron Fist's production was rushed, hopefully they take their time and get a different creative team for season two. Some people assumed Danny's actor sucked or was miscast, which I never thought and I think this show proves. I thought Luke and Jessica would be skeptical, but I think Jessica carried it on a little too long when you consider Thor, Hulk, alien invasions, Ultron, etc have happened in their world and they know about it.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Direction was a bit shaky but it had a likeable quirkiness - good enough

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Yo this show is bad. It's embarrasing how low the quality of the writing is. Luke Cage managed to mess up Luke Cage, and this managed to mess up practically everyone else, especially Jessica Jones. Somehow it made Danny more tolerable, probably because everyone else was calling him out for being stupid. However, that only made everyone else inexplicably also being stupid that much less tolerable.

There are some nice moments between Cage and Rand, and the novelty of seeing things like Murdock and Jones investigating whatever together is fun, but the show's so goddamn uneventful and chock-full of terrible terrible lines it was reduced to background status in order for me to get through it.

Such a baffling decline in quality for this whole Netflix Marvel thing.