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Marvel Cinematic Universe TV Thread

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I thought that since Iron Fist came out and we have Defenders and Punisher on the way this year, not to mention other shows like Runaways and Cloak And Dagger in the pipeline, it might be nice to just have a thread devoted to discussing all this goodness, especially since all the shows are connected. Hence this thread, which can be used for anything related to the MCU on the small screen.

I also finished Iron Fist yesterday, and now that I've had a chance to sit with the material, I thought I might take time out to share my thoughts. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum at first, but eventually I'll outline my complete thoughts under a spoiler tab.

First, just my overall thoughts. I believe Iron Fist is a good show, and worth watching. It is not a perfect show, and I will concede there are some scenes that could have been done better, and some missed opportunities here and there, but I haven't found anything in the show that's irritated me like the annoying neighbors in Jessica Jones or the Black Sky nonsense in Daredevil Season 2, which I forgave of those shows because everything else was so good. I will concede this may be the weakest of the Netflix shows so far, but that's not the same as saying it's not good. I strongly advise anyone going into it to try to give as many episodes a chance as possible as a lot of newer reviewers have admitted that the show progressively gets better and while people criticized Daredevil Season 2 and Luke Cage of being top heavy, Iron Fist may have the opposite issue. If anyone watching the first episode likes it right off the bat, then I think you'll be satisfied by the end.

Second, and I don't think it's really spoilers to say this, but unfortunately we do not see the mythical city of K'un-Lun or Shao Lao The Undying in the show beyond a few scant snowy mountain scenes and some brief hints of the latter. This means a lot of the time the show has to tell rather than show, and I know that's a bummer, but I fully believe that has more to do with budget limitations than anything else, and the show does what it can with what it has. I don't think it hurts the show in the long run, and I'd rather they not show those things if doing so would have to be done awkwardly.

With that out of the way, now to divulge my specific thoughts, which I will put behind a spoiler wall because spoilers galore.

Spoiler

On Iron Fist

I don't want to make this about the critics, but the most common complaint I hear about Finn Jones as Iron Fist is that he's bland. I don't agree. I think that Finn Jones portrays Danny as someone who is flawed and has complexities that may come off as subtle, but are there. When we're introduced to Danny, he's a naive and innocent man-boy who has spent his whole life from ten onward living among monks and growing up with their culture, rules, and lifestyle. It's no wonder that when he returns to New York, he's socially awkward to the point of being invasive without recognizing how over the line he goes. I feel like part of Danny's journey in the show is to reintegrate himself into the real world.

I know another main criticism I've heard is that Finn Jones cannot believably fight. Not being knowledgeable enough in this area to comment, all I can say is that I felt the fights in Iron Fist were satisfactory. They didn't have the same grit as Daredevil, where you can see the pain being inflicted, but I will point to Episode 6 and Episode 11 in particular as examples of where fights were construed interestingly and entertainingly. Also of note is Danny's fight against the drunken master, Zhou Cheng.

I will also say that I feel Finn does a good job of drawing out Danny's compassionate nature, which is a big part of his character, and even though he is just as conflicted as the other Defenders, I do think Finn portrays Danny as being the lightest of the four, relatively good-natured. Less serious than Matt, way less cynical than Jessica, and less reluctant than Luke. That being said, there are also obvious signs as the show progresses that Rand is harboring some deep rage issues and uses bravado to mask his own insecurities and doubts about being the Iron Fist, and I think Finn does a good job expressing that. There are some lines that come off a little ham-fisted, but I'm also taking into account that Rand is supposed to be a man-child. He's as much the ten year old boy as anything else, and that shows in the way he handles his emotions.

On Colleen Wing

Jessica Henwick as Colleen is one of the few things critics agree to liking in Iron Fist, and I agree that she is a vital part of the show and I'm glad the show focuses almost equally on her and her saga as it does Danny, especially once we learn that she's part of the Hand. Her conflict as she tries to explain to Danny all the good that she's doing with Bakuto and his Hand faction is palpable, and all the more when she discovers that Danny was right to begin with and she decides to attempt suicide by Fist. Her shock and her struggle felt real.

I also love her fighting scenes and she comes off as strong, capable, and deadly. Because she uses swords instead of fists, it's nice to get a bit of variety in the action and her duel with Bakuto in Episode 11 was amazingly well done. Equally good were the scenes early on in the season in the fighting cages, because they felt brutal. I feel like as a fighter she's a good counterpart to Danny and Henwick pulls it off well.

Some critics have pointed out that the romance between Danny and Colleen doesn't feel believeable. I didn't find an issue with it and honestly I felt that's where they were going from the start, especially when Danny showed up with "takeout" and it turned into a "not-date". I feel like the characters compliment each other and support each other and so when push came to shove, I didn't think the romance felt forced or non-sensible. And I'm willing to accept romance as moving fast in these adaptations. Also, the scene in Episode 11 where they recharged their chi together was adorable.

On Claire Temple

One of the best things Iron Fist gives us is a Claire that is finally ready to kick some ass. I loved that Claire finally stopped just being the "Night Nurse" and took her burgeoning fighting skills to help Danny and Colleen and gained a signature weapon in the process. I'm kind of wondering now if those claws mean in anything in terms of what Claire might become. Will she become an iteration of a different Marvel hero? Who knows?

I also just love her exasperation at running into another superpowered hero. The minute Danny mentions the Hand, her reaction is priceless, as is her realization that she has more experience fighting the Hand than Danny. I also like that this time she doesn't shy away from mentioning Luke Cage or Daredevil when necessary, and we get some hints that she's still in contact with Luke. Just nice connective glue.

On Ward and Joy Meachum

If you told me after the first episode that Ward would become one of my favorite characters, I would not have believed it, but here we are. I will say that Tom Pelphrey can sometimes come off as unemotional, especially in the early episodes, and that plays a lot into him just simply being the corporate counterpart to Danny's much looser approach to business. But around the time he developed his drug addiction and killed Harold for the first time, he started becoming a much more three-dimensional character. Suddenly we're now seeing him for what he really is: placed under immense strain to live up to a man that by all rights should be dead, and not being able to express his frustration to anyone, not even his closest confidant. It's fascinating the growth Ward goes through by the end of the season. He starts as the most antagonistic Meachum to Danny, and ends as the closest Meachum Danny will get to a friend, even willing to continue to share Rand Enterprises with him. It's a significant change, and I think Pelphrey pulls it off believably.

Equally interesting is the journey Joy goes on during the series. I feel like Joy starts off as being the most warm and open to Danny, but as the show progresses I feel like Joy gets more and more conflicted about her role in everything, and it's not really surprising, as everything she ends up doing in the show is ultimately not to serve herself, but to serve Ward, or Danny, or Harold. I don't think she gets the chance to really blossom. She gets moments, sure, but it's typically moments that pay off for other people. She bounces off Ward's depression and Danny's insanity and by the time she finds out her father's alive, she's now simply Ward's replacement as a lackey. It's unfortunate because she's never privy to Danny's fight against the Hand and she never witnesses the depths of Harold's ruthlessness, so by the end of the season all she knows is that her father she just got back is dead again at the hands of one man who'll she'll probably never trust again and another man who she is partially responsible for allowing back into their lives. 

I do think it's still a little bit of a leap that Joy ends the season discussing killing Danny with Davos considering the last time we saw her she was storming out of Harold's office because she realized Harold framed Danny, but I'm willing to give the events the benefit of the doubt for two reasons. One is because of the aforementioned uncertainty she has about what just happened. Her father is dead and people tend to want to find blame for tragedy, sometimes irrationally. It's not so farfetched that Joy might be misplacing her own guilt in Danny (and presumably Ward too). The other reason is because all she said is "I'm listening", which could mean anything come next season. Either way, I am intrigued to see what Joy ends up becoming as a character, especially if she becomes a villain.

On the villains

I kind of like the fakeouts that Iron Fist as a show makes with the villain ball. Unlike Daredevil or Jessica Jones that very clearly had a single endboss or Luke Cage where the presumed endboss got replaced midway through, Iron Fist juggles the villains of the show in a way that makes you wonder just who is really the ultimate endgame, and I think that fits the tone of the series as well, because a lot of the show seems to be about trust and loyalty and the complexities that can arise when they are put to the test. Who is lying to who? Who is a friend? Who is an enemy? Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Or is the enemy of my enemy my enemy? And of course, the circle goes around, eventually taking us back to where we thought we were going from the start in nice bit of completeness to the arc.

David Wenhem plays Harold Meachum as a real devious, manipulative, and sick son of a bitch. It's funny because when he first appears in the show and lectures Ward on how to build loyalty, you start wondering if Harold's really as bad as you're supposed to think he is. Sure, he treats Ward like shit, but that only makes him a bad father. And the fact that he's the first to really embrace Danny back into Rand Enterprises, you start wondering, especially if you know the comics, if Harold's really just a victim of circumstance that's tied him to the Hand. Later you start wondering if his resurrection is simply to blame for his manic outbursts midway through the season (and his romp through the streets post-resurrection was both hilarious and unsettling to watch, as he slowly regains mental faculties). And then in the last two episodes, he not only backstabs Danny, but as soon as Ward confronts Harold about lying to Danny since his return, Harold says "Oh, I've been messing with him much longer than that." and you realize how deep the rabbit hole goes. I will say that Ward shooting Harold off the roof at the end was extremely satisfying.

I will say I'm intrigued with what they've done with Madame Gao in this show, now tying her to the Hand where Daredevil seemed to keep Gao separate, at least from Nobu and his clan. But that's easily explained within the confines of the show as we learn the Hand has many factions. All it means is Gao wasn't part of Nobu's faction. It's a believeable enough way to tie the villains closer together that I'm willing to accept it, even though I was sure Gao was going to be tied to Steel Serpent and I feel that might have been a missed opportunity. I'll also say that Wai Ching Ho played Gao at her most craftiest and diabolical. In Daredevil we didn't really get to see Gao interact with the heroes much, but the little we had was delightful. Here, we see Gao really get to sink her teeth into the minds of everyone and Ho plays Gao as a master manipulator, much wiser than everyone else around her with a smugness that is pleasantly irritating. It's also interesting her dichotomy with Bakuto in that Gao openly admits she's a terror and believes that makes her better because she's honest, while Bakuto puts on a facade that is quite frankly, more horrifying. I will also say it's interesting that Gao seems to show either signs of telepathy or signs of extreme monitoring since she knows about Claire's relation to both Daredevil and Luke Cage, the latter especially alarming since Gao has never met Luke Cage before. I'm not sure what's more disturbing. I'm interested to see what side Madame Gao ends up on in the future, especially since she knows about Davos and Joy's discussion about killing Danny.

Ramon Rodriguez plays Bakuto as just zen enough to feel sincere but just unsettling enough to instill doubt, and I think that's what makes him effective as once we're made aware that he's a Hand leader, we're now uncertain if he's really as dangerous or evil as Danny is assuming or if maybe Colleen is right and there really are good factions of the Hand. It's an interesting possibility and the dichotomy between Danny and Davos in their approach to dealing with the Hand doesn't make the distinction any easier. It's partially a shame that Bakuto didn't end up being sincere in the end as it would have been interesting to further explore the possibility of good Hand members, but I think the payoff in Colleen's emotional realizations and the end battle between Colleen and Bakuto made the road they took worthwhile. Also intriguing is that once Bakuto showed his true colors and marked Colleen for death, that they took her to a chamber that looks very much like they planned to drain her blood like the Hand did to those children in Daredevil Season 2. Still waiting for some explanation on what's up with that...

Sacha Dhawan as Davos, who in the comics is the Steel Serpent, plays him as an interesting counterpoint to Finn's Rand. Davos is very obviously much more of a zealot than Danny and has no compunctions about killing Hand members. It's unfortunate that we don't spend enough time with him to really get a sense of his friendship to Danny; we get some stories but I feel like having the two tell the stories together would go a longer way toward helping the eventual buildup to Danny and Davos' falling out at the end of Episode 11. I will say that I think Sacha portrayed Davos' growing frustration with Danny fairly accurately and naturally, and the way he calls Danny out on some his bullshit is justified. It's not hard to see why he's chosen at the end of Episode 12 to deaden himself to Danny, as a combination of his jealousy and his righteous anger at Danny for not only stealing his birthright, but then taking it from K'un-Lun and leaving K'un-Lun undefended for Danny's own personal and selfish needs.

On what comes next

I feel certain that the scene at the very end of the series where Danny and Colleen learn K'un-Lun has vanished will play a big role in what The Defenders will be about. The fact that Elektra will be in the show makes it clear that the Hand will be involved somewhat and we have too many questions regarding the Hand that I feel can't wait for Daredevil Season 3 or Iron Fist Season 2. Like what' s up with that giant hole from Daredevil? What's up with the resurrection chamber for Elektra? What's up with the Black Sky? And the blood? And where the hell does a city just vanish to? And who is the man Bakuto mentioned who wanted to meet Danny?

That said, I realize Iron Fist Season 2 is not a sure thing although I feel reasonably certain based on the audience reaction to the show that it has as much a chance of being renewed as anything else. If Iron Fist Season 2 does happen, I fully expect Davos to continue his transformation into the Steel Serpent from the comics and I'm interested to see if Joy starts taking after her father and if it leads to some kind of redemptive arc or if she just devolves into villainy. I'd also like to see how Ward and Danny work together at running the company and maybe demonstrate a bit of Ward's promise to run as a team like their fathers should have. 

As for anything else to adapt, I'm not really well versed in Iron Fist lore, but Master Khan seems like an interesting enough second tier villain to introduce, especially if we get to see more K'un-Lun in Season 2. It's my hope that as the Netflix shows continue that they'll be able to get a larger budget, and maybe we'll finally have the opportunity to see more of K'un-Lun rather than being told about it. I don't know that we'll ever get to see Shou-Lao The Undying, but I'll take what we can get.

 

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August 18th. The moment we've all been waiting for.

Daredevil. Jessica Jones. Luke Cage. Iron Fist.

The Defenders. It's on.

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Oooooh shit!

I love the vibe they're going for here. It seems very character focused with only minimal hints of what these two are supposed to be. I'm very interested to see how this plays out, especially with the ties to Roxxon.

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Also news regarding New Warriors, also on Freeform. Will be 10 episodes of 30 minutes each, will be a straight-up comedy and focus on the following characters: Squirrel Girl, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Microbe, Mister Immortal, and Debrii.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/04/19/marvels-new-warriors-tv-series-character-lineup-revealed?abthid=58f7f226ffc5f10a2100001a

Sounds like a mix of classic New Warriors characters and some obscure ones. Very interested to see how Marvel pulls this off.

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And here's the Inhumans.

It feels like a lot of people are rooting for this to fail either out of a hate for showrunner Scott Buck, a disinterest in the source material, and just overall concerns about it being on network television and the early cast photos.

I'm personally not still quite sold on Medusa and this trailer seems to lean very heavily on Rheon's Maximus, but overall I like what they're going for. I am curious if this will connect with Agents Of SHIELD in terms of why Maximus feels it's a good idea to go to Earth, seeing as how there's already a large Inhuman quotient on the planet. That will I guess determine if it's still "all connected" or not. Lockjaw looks adorbs.

Anyway, thoughts? I notice no one has even commented on the earlier stuff I've posted here. There's a lot of Marvel TV coming this year and next. I can't be the only one with an opinion on all this.

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To be honest, part of the reason I've avoided this thread is because it bugs me that it has "Marvel Cinematic Universe" in the title and I just don't consider it part of the MCU seeing as how the movies have never and will never reference any of these shows. Saying these shows are part of the MCU is like saying Legion is part of the MCU.

Also, I haven't seen the two most recent Netflix shows and didn't like the two previous Netflix seasons before those so I don't have anything to say about those shows at this time. I'll check in when I get around to trying Luke Cage and Iron Fist but they're very low on my list of stuff to watch. And I've been getting a hankering to watching Breaking Bad again so if I decide to watch that it'll be even longer before I get to those two shows and eventually The Defenders.

I didn't think the Inhumans trailer looked good and I won't be watching it. While I almost exclusively watch cable/streaming/premium nowadays, I'll keep an open mind and give a network show a chance if it looks good. Black Lightning looks decent and The Gifted looks pretty decent. I'll probably give those superhero shows a chance.

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52 minutes ago, RainbowDragon said:

I still dont know if Black Lightning is part of the Arrowverse. I see no reason why it shouldnt be.

Get out of here with that DC crap.

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1 hour ago, RainbowDragon said:

I still dont know if Black Lightning is part of the Arrowverse. I see no reason why it shouldnt be.

I guess they said it won't be part of it. Doesn't make much sense to me cause it's on the same channel. But if it was part of that universe, I wouldn't even be watching so I'm happy at least for now that it isn't part of the Arrowverse.

I miss when Arrow was a good show before it was forced to jumpstart a shared TV universe and add out-of-place super-powered people to it. 

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New Inhumans trailer. Looks better than previous trailers, even Medusa looks better and I'm okay with the look of her hair powers. Anticipation building. 

Also, it's confirmed the show will acknowledge Inhumans on Earth and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Fuck yes. I am so amped for this show.

Also, today at Comic-Con they announced Iron Fist Season 2 is a go. I imagine we won't see it until 2019 at the earliest though since next year is tied up by new seasons of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage.

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It has been announced that Daredevil season 3 and Iron Fist season 2 will be 23 total episodes. That likely means that one of them will be 13 episodes and the other one will be 10. I think this is a good thing. Even though 13 episodes isn't a lot, Jessica Jones dragged a ton and Daredevil season 2 dragged a little as well. Shorter seasons are a good thing. In a perfect world, they'd map out the story of each season ahead of time and whatever the episode total ended up being they'd go with.

I think when I get done with Breaking Bad I'll probably get on the ball with these superhero shows. Luke Cage first, followed by Iron Fist.

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- Luke Cage: One thing I liked about this show was that it was the first Marvel Netflix show to really feel like it took place in New York. The other shows felt more like a Hollywood version of New York that could've been filmed anywhere. I also really liked Mahershala Ali's villain from what I saw in the first episode. But overall, I was bored with the show and stopped after episode 1. The main thing I didn't like was that I'm looking for a superhero show when I watch this stuff and there was really none of that here. Sure Luke has superpowers but similar to Jessica Jones, it felt like he was just given powers because he's a superhero and needs to have them. Daredevil has the costume and Jessica Jones has the sci-fi villain but Luke Cage was sorta just a crime show which wasn't what I was looking for. And I just found out Mahershala Ali was only on the show for a few episodes so that makes me feel better about stopping. I'm guessing Juice from SoA took over as the main villain.

- Iron Fist: Yeah this sucked and I was done after episode 1. While he's definitely the least memorable of the four Defenders, I didn't find Danny Rand annoying and I read that a lot of people hate the guy. The only thing I regret not seeing was him training with the monks and doing other stuff in that snowy area where they mentioned. But I'm guessing any potential stuff there is only for two episodes at the most. The stuff in New York with his company and those people didn't interest me at all. Do you really see him punch a dragon like they mentioned in The Defenders?

- The Defenders: I knew going in that the four heroes don't meet in episode 1 so I was always planning on giving at least the first two episodes a chance. The first episode and the first 3/4 of the second episode were pretty boring but necessary because you needed to see what these characters have been up to since their shows ended and what led them to each other. But right when you see Luke and Danny meet in episode 2 it got very good and was pretty awesome most of the way to the finish. Episodes 3-6 were all great, 7 was okay and episode 8 has ridiculous nonsense and dragged it down a little but overall I was very happy with The Defenders. Sigourney Weaver was a fantastic villain and it's a shame they killed her in order to give us more of awful Elektra. One thing I did like was that she was a full-on villain this time and they didn't unsuccessfully try to make her likable like they did on Daredevil season 2. I never really liked Jessica Jones and the first time you see her in this is when a bartender asks her to leave so he can close the bar and she smashes her glass. At that moment I thought I was in for another season of unlikable Jessica Jones but she became more bearable as the show went on and now I don't mind her as much. The action on this was awesome. I loved the big fight in the last episode when the camera kept going around in one shot and they're all disposing of the bad guys and teaming up at points. It was really cool. These Marvel shows seem to have weaker supporting casts and being dragged out for 13 episodes is a problem, but with a solid cast of the people you care about and only eight episodes to get through it all with no filler, it made The Defenders a very enjoyable show.

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A few complaints from The Defenders I need to get off my chest...

- The thought of a blind guy being a superhero is ludicrous but I'm okay with it. It's just a fun superhero show. One thing I can't forgive is when Stick knocked out Luke and was walking towards Danny to kill him and Matt is a ways away and senses something is wrong and him and Jessica start running towards that place they were hiding out at. What a bunch of nonsense. What was Matt even detecting to know that something was wrong? It was foolish.

- The last episode was pure nonsense. Why introduce the police on the show in the first place? Law enforcement is the biggest plot hole in superhero stuff and this show focused on that. The heroes are the only people up to the task so the useless police do nothing. The heroes should be in jail for being involved in all of this stuff and not being helpful to the police at all. It makes no sense. And blowing up a building with zero innocent people dying? Lol. I knew they were going to do something foolish like the whole building conveniently falling into the hole.

- I'm happy Matt is alive to be in Daredevil season 3 but why have the ending that they did with him and Elektra? It made sense that he'd go down there to try to save her or die with her and if he died right there it would've been a good ending for his story. But of course there's $$$ to be made so he magically survives a building falling on him with is silly. The old lady didn't die either which is unfortunate cause the stuff with The Hand has run its course now. I'm guessing she saved Matt for some reason we don't know yet. I'm hoping Elektra is dead for good but we didn't see her die so I'm sure she'll be back yet again. The Black Sky stuff was too over-the-top and silly and the questions raised in Daredevil 2 weren't answered perfectly or at all in The Defenders.

- Stick chops his own hand off and doesn't make a sound. They made it seem like he was slicing off handcuffs and not his own fucking hand. And then when he gets killed his silent with no noise at all before he dies. Kinda weird.

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