The question I get asked the most is for series recommendations, and I struggle with it a lot, especially since I feel as I don’t watch enough to give anyone recommendations and my taste itself is so weird and varied, and of course, subjective that I might be waaaay off-base.
But because series is my forte, and it is something I enjoy writing about, I thought I would start a new blog post series, with the television shows I recommend. You might not agree with me, actually you probably won’t. This is just a space for me to gush about what I’m currently obsessed with.
What it’s about?
The Defenders picks up after the four respective Marvel/Netflix shows, with Matt Murdock having hung up his Daredevil suit after the death of Elektra, Jessica Jones has been laying low since the Kilgrave incident, Luke Cage was released from prison, and Iron Fist was being Iron Fist. The show brings together the four unlikely heroes in order to take down The Hand once and for all.
So why should you watch it?
The interactions between the four characters: The writing wasn’t the best but what they did well was make the flavour of each of the shows stand out individually while still making it feel part of the collective. This worked especially well for characters such as Finn Jones’ Danny Rand who was exasperating in his individual show. The Defenders didn’t exactly make him likeable but they poked fun at how serious he takes himself, and allowed us to laugh at the character on their terms. Jessica and Matt had good repertoire between them and have such a good friendship blooming that’s adorable, even Luke and Danny seem to be getting along. I still ship Jessica and Luke though, and hope Netflix will give us more on that.
Seeing the side characters interact: This is just my personal fave, it’s like seeing your friends from school chatting to your friends from home, like two worlds colliding. Having Karen Page and Trish Walker chatting, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight bonding (maybe maybe setting the scene for a Daughters of the Dragon spinoff) made the show even more worth it. It made the show seem like a community, like we are really glancing at the lives of superheroes in New York City.
The Villains – The Marvel/Netflix series have had some great villains – especially Wilson Fisk/Kingpin from Daredevil season one, and Kilgrave from Jessica Jones. With The Hand, they had the advantage of it already being partially introduced in Daredevil and Iron Fist, they just needed to fill in some gaps and put a new badass leader in charge – played by Sigourney Weaver. Weaver always plays her roles with a certain amount of elegance and seriousness which was exactly the tone this role needed and she did a good job.
The show isn’t perfect, the writing could have been better, the sloppy introduction bits could have been minimised and more time could have been given to setting the pace of the villains. But dammit if you loved these superheroes individually (or even only most of them) this is the show for you. The Defenders brings together all the best of each of the shows and the best qualities of their respective characters into one place. It’s fun seeing them interact with other, annoy each other, laugh at each other, in a way that made the first Avengers film enjoyable. The Hand is a formidable opponent mainly because they were setting them up for this moment since the first season of Daredevil, they feel like a threat, a threat that could destroy our heroes.
So to answer the big question: Should you watch it? Well, if you enjoyed the individual shows it’s a must. If you like superhero, action series, you should give it a try. Or if you didn’t watch the individual shows but still want to watch The Defenders, check out this handy guide by Frontier Communication.
Marvel’s The Defenders is currently streaming on Netflix
Check out my interview with The Defenders’ makeup designer here