(The following is a First Impressions of Iron Fist. This post contains no spoilers from Iron Fist, Daredevil, Jessica Jones or Luke Cage. I will not be watching this series further or providing a review of it, and my post here will explain why. Enjoy.)
First Impressions is a more professional title for the purposes of this post. Another title I was considering was “Why I won’t be watching Iron Fist anymore” or perhaps “Everything wrong with Marvel’s TV project.” Just a little behind the scenes with the making of these blog posts.
Why am I writing this post then? You may be asking. Why write a First Impressions of a series you have no interest in watching further. Well, excellent question voice in my head, it’s great just like you. I suppose I want to write this because its also a look at Marvel’s attempts to bring superheroes onto Netflix in the form of television seasons. So let’s get on with it shall we?
Marvel announced plans to create four superhero drama series around September 2013. They announced their release on Netflix a little later, and on April 10th 2015, the first season of Daredevil was released. Now, I liked Daredevil and its second season, though there were flaws that are present in other Marvel dramas. (I’ll get back to that later)
Next on this list was Jessica Jones, a great series with a lot to say, and it had David Tennant in it, (Which is always great) then Luke Cage which – while it had a slow start – ended up being just as great as the other two series.
So along comes Iron Fist... master martial artist and user of chi based powers, Iron Fist was a series that I was initially looking forward to; having seen Doctor Strange a little while back, I figured that Iron Fist could be an expansion of that. So I waited to hear news on it.
Then came the first moment of uncertainty; their cast announcements. Finn Jones as Iron Fist was a big problem for many viewers of the show. Issues with casting and ethnicity is nothing new with Marvel, and its absolutely a discussion worth having; I remember Doctor Strange’s casting having similar discourse. But another big problem was Finn Jones as Iron Fist, I just don’t see that bringing much new to Marvel’s big project. The other series had their problems but they work very well, I remember Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, what’s there to remember about Danny Rand?
I also didn’t like how underplayed the ‘mystical’ (for lack of a better word) aspects of the character seemed to be underplayed for the sake of a generic dark and gritty plot. Iron Fist would have been a lot more exciting an idea, I felt at the time, if they embraced that ‘mystical’ aspect.
It would be nice to say that Iron Fist was good regardless of these problems…
… but it absolutely wasn’t.
For the first time in a piece of Marvel media, I was bored. The first episode introduced us to Danny Rand, his family company, and some additional characters, but there was nothing I could say was very exciting. Just some Game of Thrones style exposition dialogue (though without the explicitness) and an hour of TV which boiled down to:
“I’m Danny Rand”
“No you’re not”
“Yes I am, I’m actually alive”
“I’m calling security/police”
“Okay, seeyah! Oh wait let me perform some illy defined superhero/acrobatic moves that are not explained properly!”
I…. I didn’t like it. In fact, now that I’ve written that and read it, I think I hate it even more.
The other Marvel series do have their problems but at least they tried to make their first episodes interesting. They had situations which showed us why these characters are important to root for, why we should keep going with this series. With Iron Fist, all I could think by the time the episode came to an end was; “why should I watch this?”
So I stopped after the first episode, I closed the video and put on A Series of Unfortunate Events instead. There’s only so much time I have on this Earth.
Look, I’m not saying I’ll never watch this again, if it ever improves in the future, I’m sure I’ll check it out. But the pilot episode is the best chance for any new TV series is vital to gain interest, and Iron Fist (at least for me) just didn’t deliver. And even if it does, it would take over nine episodes to do so!
This is the problem with Daredevil and the other Marvel series material; the investment of time in their drama’s. Entire plots and subplots within them could be finished within five or six episodes at maximum, but instead are dragged out over around thirteen episodes. We already knew why villains like Kilgrave or Wilson Fisk needed to be stopped, we didn’t need to wait for our protagonists to catch up to this. Unless you have something worth showing (which I think Jessica Jones comes the closest to) then you’re asking your viewers to watch hours and hours of empty space.
You might have your own opinions, and I must stress for the record that I don’t think liking these series as they are doesn’t make you wrong. If you do watch these and enjoy them, I can only wish you the best.
For the most part I can do the same with Marvel’s TV works, but not with Iron Fist, not for the amount of sheer boredom promised by its first episode.
So that’s why I won’t be watching Iron Fist any further. There will be no review of this series as a result, but based on what I’ve seen I’m giving it a provisional score of 1/5 (not as good as Unfortunate Events) When Defenders comes along, I’ll read a summary of what happened here.. I’m certainly more cautious of Defenders now more than ever.
Oh well, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 comes out soon.