I’m dipping into the first episodes of Netflix’s new Marvel series “Iron Fist”, and cautiously skimming reviews to get an overall impression of its reception so far. A quick browse of headlines suggests the reviews are mixed. And that’s being charitable! While I’ll reserve judgement and avoid reading deeply until I’ve seen more of the series, I did find one review that I thought was useful. Descriptive, but not too revealing, and not as negative as the title suggests.
My current favorite Netflix-Marvel product is “Jessica Jones.” “Daredevil” is a close second. We’re lucky to have a dedicated Marvelologist, better qualified to review the Netflix’s latest addition to it’s superhero lineup, I’m sure he’ll have some comments, too. In the meantime, Forbes contributor Mark Hughes has this:
Mark Hughes writes: Marvel-Netflix’s latest season of superheroism brings another new character to the small screen, hot on the heels of the tremendous artistic and critical success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Daredevil Season 2, and Luke Cage. With Iron Fist, we get the final setup for the television team-up event series The Defenders, which could become the biggest hit yet of the MCU’s tele-verse. But Iron Fist suffered highly negative early reviews, the first Marvel series to face such backlash from the press and a segment of fandom. Can the show overcome that bad buzz? Is the negativity deserved? Read on and find out…
Let’s get a few things out of the way right off the bat, before delving into the details. First of all, Iron Fist is easily the weakest entry in the television corner of the MCU, and isn’t up to the same genre-defining standards of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage. It’s also behind shows like The Flash, Supergirl, and Legion overall in the genre. Second of all, it’s not the trainwreck the negative reviews insist it is, and much of that feels like piling on after the first wave of bad reviews, which were based primarily on only the first few episodes that were made available to press. It’s a flawed show but not so flawed that the entire season is bad, and it’s better than shows like Gotham or Legends of Tomorrow (or some of the several season when Arrow got off track).
So overall, Iron Fist has a few bad episodes, a few mixed episodes, a few good episodes, and a few very good episodes that show the promise the rest of the episodes should’ve lived up to. Out of 13 episodes, five are very good, three are good, two are mixed, and three are bad. Numerically, it manages 8 episodes in the B or A range, two in the C range, and three in the D or F range. Within the bad episodes, there are a few moments that are okay or even work well, and within the best episodes there are a few moments that fall flat.
When I weigh the total number of episodes that were good or very good, subtract the moments where it stumbled within those episodes, then add in the positive elements from the mixed episodes and the occasional okay or good parts from the bad episodes, and then balance all of that against things like acting, technical elements of the series, and so on, the good outweighs the bad enough that I can say I went in with low expectations and was unimpressed for the first few episodes before being increasingly pleasantly surprised until I realized the show is better than its reputation and would’ve been considered a very good superhero TV series in the years prior to Marvel’s other. … (read more)