What can I say? I am terribly disappointed in the way the Marvel Universe on Netflix was handled. The shows had pacing issues, the acting and casting was oftentimes subpar. David Tennant scared the sh*t out of me, and really should have been a recurring character in the film universe, rather than Purple Man, but beggars can’t be choosers.
I’m not going to sit here and wax poetic and dissect which of the shows were actually worth your time, and what parts of it were terrible because I’m not looking to argue with the internet. Suffice it to say that while I was thrilled to see a bunch of things happen with these series, the fact of the matter is that these shows clearly lacked the finesse and overall direction of the MCU.
I’m mad that Marvel killed all of the Netflix shows. Unless they have plans to bring these characters to Disney+ then I think it was a waste of time. These shows are going to end up like the Fox films, or those non-existent Fantastic 4 movies that everyone keeps telling me were a real thing that I actually paid money to see in the cinema, but that can’t possibly be true. That is to say, forgotten and cast aside because they don’t exist in the MCU outside of making off-hand comments about “the incident” which is of course, the Chitauri invasion at the end of the first Avengers film. The lack of vision (not to be confused with the robot, he didn’t need to be in these shows, that would’ve been complicated) and direction and the utter divorce from the MCU itself led these shows to be half of what they could have been.
The general lack of crossover before the Defenders outside of Luke and Jessica, meant that Danny and Matt were left doing their own thing, despite both fighting the Hand. There was no bigger story at play, each of the characters was so wrapped up in their own story that when they finally had to come together to save their collective neighbourhoods, it was lacklustre, sloppy and boring. The tension between them was forced and trite, and slowed down the Defenders series for no reason. It was just the first Avengers movie all over again, but diluted.
And that’s just it. I love the idea of these heroes having TV shows, rather than having films. I am all in for serialized storytelling in a television format. I really do believe that there are some superheroes who function better in a monster-of-the-week style of story. Spider-Man and the X-Men for starters. Daredevil could have worked in that context, too. But the care and long-term planning wasn’t in these shows. Everything they did were diluted movie plots. Luke Cage would have been an amazing 2-hour film, but as a show, it was dragged out and the pacing was ruined and the character never lived up to his full potential. Especially with Shang-Chi getting a film, PowerMan and Iron Fist could have – and hell, SHOULD have – been a showstopping film with the tie-ins to these new Phase 4 risks.
I will not rant about Daredevil here because… that’s a whole other article and I promised I’d keep this to the point.
The biggest failure on the part of the Netflix shows, is the inability to give Daredevil, Fisk and Spider-Man a crossover. Forcing these Marvel branded heroes to exist outside of the continuity did a major disservice to the shows. Divorcing them from the rest of the mythology raised so many questions – who of the Defenders got dusted in the Snap? Did Frank Castle get dusted? You KNOW he’d have been after Clint in Endgame. It created an imbalance in the storytelling, and a schism in the universe as it were.
It’s a shame these shows are dead, and it’s a shame that they were never really given the same fighting chance as the films because what they could have had would have been something incredibly special.