For all the hype surrounding Marvel and its properties, the Netflix entries have found their share of overwhelming praise. Some entries like Iron Fist didn’t hit with audiences. However, Daredevil has been one of the most recent Netflix shows that has risen the bar. Upon the conclusion of their individual shows, our favorite Netflix heroes have come together for The Defenders. Much like the film side of Marvel’s entries, we have our Netflix version of The Avengers. For what its worth, The Defenders plays up the most likable aspects of its leads and injects some nice moments from side characters. Yet there is still the pieces of these heroes that aren’t likable that come to the forefront as well.
Nearly every episode of the series has a something really fun to watch. Unlike Iron Fist, the fight sequences never feel overly choreographed. As a whole, The Defenders is exciting, action packed and often it is a blast to watch our heroes interact. Some of the performances are unchanged from their solo shows. Finn Jones is still nearly unwatchable as Danny Rand (Iron Fist). Jones’s performance comes off as whiny. Jessica Jones is also a character that I find to be too over the top. Ritter’s performance could very well be spot on to the characters sensibilities. That being said, Jessica Jones’s character is too obnoxiously punk rock-esque to sympathize with in her overly cynical approach to the events of the show.
One of the best elements of the show is the characters interactions. There is, of course a good versus evil theme. Yet The Defenders isn’t afraid to find flaws in its characters. This shines in some scenes where the fearsome foursome clash with the NYPD on who has jurisdiction. We see both sides, and series creators Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez do an excellent job of balancing the idea of a vigilantes place in society. All the while, we also see the Defenders side of things. The Hand is a dangerous organization, seemingly beyond which the NYPD can conceive.
Much like the Marvel films and the various other Netflix series, the villain isn’t all that formidable or menacing. The show’s bait and switch type villain change is predictable as are most of the other story points. In fact, Sigorney Weaver is terrible in this show. But for all of the shows flaws, its charming approach to its characters and the unification of our heroes results in a very satisfying payoff for fans. The Defenders ends with a bang and ultimately adds to the rich mythology of the four leads that will create more depth as they move forward in their solo stories.
Best Episode: Episode 8, “The Defenders
Worst Episode: Episode 1, “The H Word”
Season Score: 7.5/10
Conclusion: The Defenders is a fast paced, engaging and fun ride that starts slow and finishes with a bang despite some bumps in the road along the way and a still less than engaging turn by Finn Jones as Iron Fist.