Season 1 Review
Unlike the other Marvel shows on Netflix (Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones) I went into the Iron Fist without knowing much of the story beyond what you read in the opening blurb. Young millionaire Danny Rand’s plane crashes while over the Himalayas killing his Mother and Father. He is rescued and raised in a monastery where he is trained by warrior monks and becomes the Iron Fist. 15 years after his accident he returns to New York in an attempt to reclaim the life that he once had.
That’s it, never read the comics, never interacted massively in the ones that I did read and never piqued my interest enough to delve into when I was younger. All that being said I could not wait until the show came out. I was excited to have a new show to binge and was expecting it to be a gripping and well done as the other Marvel shows Netflix has put out so far. Having just binged watched the first season of Into the Badlands on AMC (cannot recommend the show highly enough if you love Kung Fu movies of old but definitely not suitable for the younger children) I was in the perfect mood to let another show make me envious of the awesome skills and abilities portrayed within.
While the show is not bad it feels overall….rushed. The effects start out a bit underwhelming; the fight sequences feel slow and overly rehearsed. While both of these improve as the show continues it sets a tone that is hard to get past. Let me state for the record that I watched all 13 episodes in a manner of 2 days (having the flu has some advantages I suppose) and it may cloud my judgement somewhat. With some time in-between episodes it is quite possible that initial feel will not be as prevalent throughout as what I experienced.
The acting on a whole was not what I would have liked coming from the lead (Finn Jones would not have been my first casting choice as Loras Tyrell from GoT is a hard role to overcome, especially when going from White Knight to Kung Fu Master) although he does a reasonable job. The supporting cast does a much better job drawing you into the characters, as much as can be with the rough backgrounds that are provided for them. Motivation transitions for our cast also feels like an afterthought, no long pondering or dramatic events change character arcs as they do in the other Marvel shows, seeming as if the show was forcing multiple seasons worth of content into only one.
Which brings me to my final bit of criticism, the finale. The primary antagonist in the series (you may remember The Hand from Daredevil) feels less powerful then it should. The surprise reveal is over in a matter of the same episode with little struggle to overcome it and the finale happens in the next episode with a final villain that gives our hero’s more of a challenge then it has any right to, especially with how easy the other main conflict seems to be resolved.
I have told everyone I know that has watched the other Marvel shows to definitely watch this. While it has its flaws (and there are many) it is not a bad show, especially if you go into it with the proper expectations.
Do not watch this as I did and hold it to the standard of Daredevil and Into the Badlands (really you guys go watch that, season 2 just started up!).
Do not watch this show expecting the same deep character development and growth as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Do watch this show with the expectation that it may not be the best show and look past the slow fight scenes. Watch this show to learn the basic story of Danny Rand and his supporting cast. Watch this show to get a feel for what The Iron Fist COULD be. Most importantly, watch this show with the realization that it probably WAS rushed and condensed as a way to get the characters introduced before The Defenders comes out in September, which will star the entire Marvel hero cast from Netflix working together. Expect Danny Rand to have his story properly handled this Fall and to have a better showing come season 2
I give this show a 7 out of 10 on my imaginary scale, better than most but definite room for improvement.
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