Netflix’s debut of the last Defender was, let’s face it, a dud. Like getting socks on Christmas. But not even nice socks: socks that your grandpa wore in WWII that (hopefully) have more sentimental value than actual remaining fabric. Iron Fist was a story about an annoying main character played by a subpar actor who, along with the writers, was apparently unaware of his purpose. Point is, there are some things Iron Fist taught us that hopefully the writers and Netflix showrunners noted, too.
As previously alluded, bad acting and/or casting bear some burden of blame for Iron Fist’s underwhelming reception, but much (if not most) of this show’s failures stem from the poor writing and execution. The Marvel crew over at Netflix is on a slippery slope because this show leads directly into the first team-up series, The Defenders. If they don’t regain their traction, they’ll risk losing the trust of a once loyal and avid fanbase—it would be a shame to squander such a heretofore successful franchise.
And, as it appears that Danny Rand may very well be the central figure of The Defenders, Netflix better figure this thing out quick. So let’s dive into the lessons we learned from Iron Fist and hope that they’re listening. Ahem... got that, Netflix? Quit screwing around!
- 515 VOTES
Lead Characters Need Consistent ValuesPhoto: Netflix
We get it, he’s conflicted. But how conflicted, exactly? Because at times it seems he’s quite certain what he wants to be. Other times, not so much. He wants to run the company. But he wants to be the Iron Fist. Sure, it’s reasonable that he’s conflicted, but that conflict needs to be consistent. He can’t be an all-in businessman on one day and the vanquisher of the Hand the next. And he’s supposed to be this Buddhist saint who has no need for material things, but it appears that he drives a $215,000 Aston Martin DB11, which they explain away with the fact that he liked to race donkey carts back in K’un-Lun. There is just too much inconsistency with the character of Danny Rand that falls on the heads of the writers, not just the actor.Agree or disagree?
- 615 VOTES
Relationships Should Be Given Time To Grow OrganicallyPhoto: Netflix
Initially, Colleen is very wary of the barefoot and seemingly crazy Danny Rand who shows up at her dojo repeatedly asking her for a job, and she kicks him out. She, in fact, shows little more than contempt for Danny in episode 4, and then episode 5 starts with their first interaction being that of a googly-eyed Colleen making cutesy conversation with Danny. What the hell? When did that happen? She turns around in an instant, and there’s no justification for it. It’s like the writers were unaware that she was supposed to be his love interest before that point and they frantically stuffed it into the plot. It probably looked very similar to the virgin Danny frantically stuffing—actually, nevermind. Love is complicated and it does not blossom in an instant. Do the work of showing their relationship grow.Agree or disagree?
- 718 VOTES
Just Because A Character Is Out Of Place Doesn't Mean They Have To Be Stupid, TooPhoto: Netflix
Is it established in the source material that Danny Rand is kind of an idiot? No. Then why is he straight-up dumb in this show? His decision-making skills are laughable: he tries to reach the executive level of a high-powered company while bare-footed, and then fights the security guards, as if that will make them more willing to trust him; he tells his psychiatrist that he’s an immortal living weapon when he’s trying to convince him that he’s not crazy; he breaks into Joy Meachum’s house and frickin’ tells her about it! Ahhhh! What is happening?! If the writers were trying to convince us that he just doesn’t understand the social norms of America (despite being 13 when he left), then he shouldn’t have understood anything, including his inexplicable driving capabilities. There’s a difference between cultural unfamiliarity and plain stupidity—the latter was on full display with Danny.Agree or disagree?
- 836 VOTES
Your Lead Character Probably Shouldn't Be Your Worst ActorPhoto: Netflix
Finn Jones only knows how to frown, apparently. He held one face for the entire season—it’s probably one he made too much as a kid and it got stuck that way. His mom warned him. Not her fault.
Jones had no authority; this was very evident in the scene where he takes over a class in Colleen’s dojo to teach the students discipline and just looks like a caricature in so doing. At times it was hard to tell if Danny lacked focus and discipline or if Finn Jones just couldn’t properly convey those attributes. It’s too bad because there were some really great performances. Colleen, Joy, and Ward were all intriguing characters portrayed with something called “skill” by Jessica Henwick, Jessica Stroup, and Jess— Tom Pelphrey, respectively. Hopefully, with Jones not being the focal point in The Defenders (although there's some speculation that he sort of is) they can avoid this same issue.Agree or disagree?