Marvel’s The Defenders – TV Review (Episodes 1-4)

If you’ve stopped watching the Marvel Netflix shows due to diminishing quality, it is most definitely time to come back.  Daredevil season one is some of the best television ever made, season two is still amazing but felt like two stories jammed together.  Jessica Jones was amazing in it’s own way but so far removed from being a superhero show that I can completely understand why some viewers my have felt disappointed in it. Then there was Luke Cage which was phenomenal for half a season and then it swapped villains, took a weird turn and suffered greatly for it.  And lastly we got Iron Fist, widely considered to be the worst of the stand alone character shows.  I can’t comment because I have only watched 3 of the 13 episodes of Iron Fist, which I guess, given how much I love comic books and the movies and shows adapted from them, is a commentary on that show in and of itself.  But we’re not talking about those individual shows today.  Today we’re talking about The Defenders, the show that brings all the formerly stand alone characters together in what can be referred to as The Avengers of the small screen. If the diminishing returns for Marvel related shows on Netflix had you cautious about The Defenders, let me put any doubts to rest – it is fucking awesome.

This will be a spoiler free review so if you haven’t had a chance to watch yet or are iffy on giving it a shot, carry on dear reader!

Part of the problem with a show like this, is how do you naturally and organically bring all the disparate characters together.  Luckily for The Defenders so much of the groundwork for this crossover has been laid out and baked in years prior.  The biggest example of this is Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple who has appeared in all four of the individual shows so she serves as a natural conduit for all our heroes to meet up.  There are obviously other characters that have crossed paths with the four main characters or at least come close but I won’t go into those here because spoilers.  However, I will say the way it’s all woven together is fantastic and never feels forced and when our heroes do meet up for the first time….  oh baby it is TV magic.

As for our main characters, none of them have lost a step.  Matthew Murdock/Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand/Iron Fist are all back as we have known and loved them previously.  I would even venture to say the Finn Jones’ Danny Rand has gotten better but again, I’m just basing that off the three episodes of Iron Fist that I’ve watched so far.  I feel like we haven’t lost any time or character development with these characters as we meet them where they are at the beginning of the show,  meeting each of them in turn as they deal with the fall out of their individual stories.  The writers also do a fantastic job of carrying those individual stories into The Defenders.  Each character still bears the scars and damage from what has happened to them previously. With a show like The Defenders, it would be easy to just throw all the characters together and not necessarily ignore, but not focus on what came before but that is not the case at all here.

Seeing these characters interact and figure each other out is so insanely good that I could hardly believe it.  There are so, so many small character moments that just hit so perfectly.  It truley feels like a comic book is jumping off the page and on to the screen. As for the story line, I don’t really want to give away too much so I’ll just say that I’m loving what I’ve seen so far and cannot wait to see how everything wraps up. Also, the first four episodes are a bit light on action but I don’t think that will hold as we get deeper into the show.

Guys and gals, I work a stressful desk job during the week with an hour long commute (one way), I have a three year old daughter that is very much a teenager already and I do these reviews on the side as a hobby, so you can fully understand that I value what little sleep I get.  I say that to give what I’m about to say next context.  Friday morning I woke up an hour and half early to watch the first episode and then I stayed up until 2:15 AM (well past my self-imposed 11:00 PM bedtime) because this show is absolutely worth losing sleep over.

What about you? Have you had a chance to check out any of The Defenders? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments!

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