Sunday, April 9, 2017

Iron Fist - Season 1 Review

Network: Netflix

Genre: Action, Superhero

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Danny Rand returns to New York City, after being presumed dead for 15 years, to reclaim his family company from Harold Meachum and his children Ward Meachum and Joy Meachum. When a threat emerges, Rand must choose between his family's legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.

My Thoughts: Iron Fist was a good show, but not great by any means. It was an enjoyable watch and compared to most shows, the quality is still very impressive. Unfortunately, this show has A LOT of problems and I would say this is probably the first miss for Netflix with their line-up of Marvel shows. However, let's start with applauding some of the good things. For the most part, the good ended up being the characters. Joy and Ward Meachum might have been the best characters on the show. They had more character development than anyone else on the show, including the Iron Fist himself. Ward's development, especially, was great to watch. He started as one of the show's more villainous characters and you quickly learn why he acts the way he does. By the end of this first season, I actually started to sympathize for him. The show's other great character is Colleen Wing. Colleen proved to be the only kick-ass martial artist in the show. I looked forward to every time she had a fight scene. Finally, the always amazing and scene stealing, Claire Temple. She is a Netflix staple and one of the few things that actually ties all of these shows together. Claire is always a breath of fresh air. She comes in and provides the background knowledge our superhero needs, as well as reminding the viewers what happened previously on other Netflix Marvel shows.

As for the issues with Iron First... where do I begin? Let's start with the title character, Danny Rand. For someone who spent 15 years being raised in a monastery, he had a serious lack of chi. While his naivety and innocence made sense to me, his rage and ability to throw temper tantrums didn't fit the character description the show was trying to deliver. That brings up a whole other problem the show had. I do not understand the reason the writers had to do this, but the show relied way too much on telling and not enough on showing. We don't see a whole lot of anything from Danny's time in the monastery or how he became the Iron Fist. Instead, the viewers were forced to suffer through endless monologues about how Danny was "the chosen one". My other issues were the shows lack of style and martial arts. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage all had very specific senses of style. Each show had their own color scheme, atmosphere, and sense of humor. Meanwhile, Iron Fist lacked any of those things, instead feeling almost as though it stole elements from all three of the other shows. Also, don't even get me started on the martial arts. Finn Jones, who plays Iron Fist, has zero experience in martial arts and it shows. I think he did well with what he was given, but I do not understand why an experienced martial artist was not hired to play the title role. Colleen was a better fighter than Danny is. Daredevil is a better fighter than Danny is. It was very obviously when Finn was doing the choreography and when the stunt double was. The other actors on the show had more "face time" when doing fight choreography, whereas when Danny was fighting, he was shown more from above or from behind.

With all that being said, Iron Fist was enjoyable to watch. I never found myself cringing away or screaming at the TV. There were some major issues, but I think they all have the potential to be fixed if given the order for a second season. I read so many negative reviews before and during my viewing experience. While I agreed with many aspects of the reviews, I didn't agree with their overall scores. I think it was a fun show, with many great characters and a nice deep dive into the shows villain's (who were previously introduced in Daredevil first). Iron Fist also had many winks and nods to previous Netflix Marvel shows, which we didn't get a whole lot of in the other shows. I would recommend this show to fans of the superhero genre. If you follow the Marvel universe, you should definitely watch this show as well. Just don't go in with the expectations you might have had after watching the quality provided by the other three shows. 

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