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 Post subject: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:00 am 
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I'm two episodes in. And I've heard a lot of the criticism.

My take, two episodes in: I'm interested to know why Faramir is trapped (though the Hand seems the obvious culprit). Rand's innocence is occasionally grating, but not too bad. The writing is a bit inconsistent, particularly with rich girl's characterization--is she on Danny's side or not? But none of it is terrible. More or less on a level with Daredevil season 1--which was my least favorite Marvel TV season so far, but fine enough to get me to watch season 2.

But man, media and the Internet are insisting Marvel shit the bed.

The criticisms I'm hearing fall roughly into three categories:

1. The show is badly cast/acted/written/shot. As for the last, it looks like TV. For the others, maybe it gets way worse later in the season, but what I've seen doesn't seem out of the ordinary for TV in general or what Marvel has done on TV so far specifically.

2. They should've cast an Asian guy in the lead. Which is often coupled with the way they cast a white woman in an Asian's man part in Dr. Strange. And that DID seem odd, though Tilda Swinton was fine and I understand part of it was an effort to avoid pissing off the Chinese market. But the Ancient One casting was a departure from the comic, where Rand being white is comic book accurate. And also, probably reflective of the 70s origins of the character. But I think they were in a damned either way situation here. (I've read the actor pissed people off on Twitter defending the choice, too, but not the specifics.)

3. The main character, a rich kid, is too privileged for people to relate to. There, I'd say "Bruce Wayne Tony Stark." I'd also say the character is a guy who spent the first ten years of his life being rich and the next fifteen learning Kung-Fu in a monastery in an alternate dimension. If he's unrelatable, the privilege is probably not the reason.

Basically, I'm saying it's fine if not fantastic and the criticisms are overblown. And also that I might change my mind when I watch the rest. Anybody else have an opinion?


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:32 am 
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Eric wrote:
Basically, I'm saying it's fine if not fantastic and the criticisms are overblown. And also that I might change my mind when I watch the rest. Anybody else have an opinion?

Basically the same opinion as yours.

It's not some astoundingly amazing show -- the first episode in particular has a few scenes of dreadful dialogue -- but by and large I can't wrap my head around what the fuck the critics are talking about. I'm six episodes in and it's been very enjoyable. Slow build, like all the Marvel Netflix shows, decent story with a few layers of plot to follow, good ties to the other shows, solid supporting cast, and just different enough from the others to set it apart.

(Misguided) social politics* aside, I don't know why it's being savaged. It's no better or worse than the others.

Yeah, it has its flaws. The kid playing the lead isn't knocking it out the park, but he's fine. Rest of the cast is solid. Takes a while for there to be some action, but once there is some it's pretty solid (though admittedly not up to DD's lofty levels). The corporate board room stuff is quite different from the other street-level shows, but I see that as a positive. Each show should have its own feel. Daredevil a gritty street brawler, Luke Cage a blaxpoiltation riff, Jessica Jones a psychological thriller, etc.

Solid stuff. If you like the Marvel Netflix shows, you'll like this.

If anything, it has me even more excited for The Defenders than Luke Cage did.



*I say misguided because while there are some White Savior elements here, it ain't a case of whitewashing. Like you said, they were damned either way.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:45 am 
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I haven't watched this yet but I'm ignoring all the critics and haters. Marvel's done alright on Netflix so far. I can't imagine this will be the horrorshow that people are making it out to be. We're in the middle of catching up on some shows so it'll likely be a week or so until I can start getting into this but it's heartening to hear you guys say it's about the same as DD season 1. I liked that well enough and figure I'll like this one too.

Really looking forward to The Defenders.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:55 am 
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My ranking (and keep in mind, I'm two episodes into this--it may move):

Jessica Jones
Luke Cage
Daredevil
Season 2
Iron Fist
Daredevil Season 1

Last two, probably, are about tied. But yeah, I think Defenders will be fun, as they'll be able to bring together these established characters and have them play off each other. Should be less of a slow burn, which is a valid criticism that one could make against all these shows (though an equally valid rebuttal is that they're better that way, with twelve hours or so to stretch out in).


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:01 pm 
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I agree with your ranking completely other than Iron Fist (only because I haven't seen it). Jessica Jones stands out and it's the only one I really kind of want to watch again. Loved Luke Cage although I loved it as much for its music as for its story. That soundtrack was one of the best things I bought last year and that it introduced me to the music of Charles Bradley was a bonus. His album Changes was the second best album I bought last year.

An R&B cover of a Black Sabbath song that works better than the original? Hell, yes!

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:31 pm 
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I probably couldn't do a ranking. They are all very, very close for me.

Loved both seasons of DD, though I'm biased when it comes to that character. First was better as a character piece, second as a comic book piece.

Loved Jessica Jones.

Cage lost me after You Know Who died, it got a bit goofy in the last few episodes, but the style of the whole thing was delightfully awesome.

Liking Iron Fist so far. We'll see how the rest of it pans out.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
Cage lost me after You Know Who died, it got a bit goofy in the last few episodes, but the style of the whole thing was delightfully awesome.


Precisely what I was thinking. Had that series gone in a different direction for the last 4-5 episodes (or, more to the point, had it continued in the same sort of direction it had established), it'd likely be the top spot. Needed not to make the decision to kill off that one character, and it needed a big more superheroing from Cage (it sometimes seemed like they were keeping the budget down by not having him bust through walls and shit).

But yeah, the music was great.


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:01 pm 
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Oops. Went to watch the next episode and realized I'd watched three so far, not two.

On to episode four.


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Eric wrote:
Shoe wrote:
Cage lost me after You Know Who died, it got a bit goofy in the last few episodes, but the style of the whole thing was delightfully awesome.


Precisely what I was thinking. Had that series gone in a different direction for the last 4-5 episodes (or, more to the point, had it continued in the same sort of direction it had established), it'd likely be the top spot. Needed not to make the decision to kill off that one character, and it needed a big more superheroing from Cage (it sometimes seemed like they were keeping the budget down by not having him bust through walls and shit).

But yeah, the music was great.



Agreed on the character being killed off too soon, however there is one thing I like about Cage that the other series haven't really done.

Spoiler: show
I love that it ended on such a down note. He's going back to jail, having to leave the woman he's fallen in love with and he won't be around to continue to keep the peace in Harlem so things will get back out of hand easily. All of the other heroes stayed around and you know they'll continue "superheroing" but Cage is back to being a convict. It was the first completely downer ending of all the Netflix Marvel series so far.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:24 pm 
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I found the JJ ending to be a little bit of a downer, insomuch as the Purple Man ultimately made her a (very slight) monster in the end. The Emperor turning Luke, essentially.

He DESERVED it, to be sure, and in the end she was in a better spot than she began, but it was still a little downbeat seeing her get pushed to that point.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:40 pm 
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Eh. That wasn't his goal, so I think the Emperor/Luke thing is a weak parallel, and given how his power was written, that was the only possible ending. (His death, I mean, though I suppose they could've copped out and had her not do it.)

Perhaps it's a bit more complicated than the others, but I wouldn't call that a downer in the way that the Luke Cage ending was.


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:54 am 
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I watched episode one last night and thought it was fine for what it was. These shows always start slow. I thought the writing was a little weak in regards to Danny not being able to establish his identity. I mean, what rich kid these days is not fingerprinted at an early age?

Whatever. I can get past that though. I thought the fight with the security guards at the beginning looked a little slow and lazy compared to DD, but the fight in the streets of Chinatown looked great. So yeah, I don't think one episode is enough to hate the whole series on. I'm looking forward to Danny kicking a little more ass though.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:36 am 
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Finished.

No great changes in the viewed already expressed. It's a solid show with some flaws but that manages to be enjoyable all the same.

I have no knowledge of the later villain (no spoiler, there's always one in the Netflix series), so didn't think much of them either way, and I could never quite figure out if Daddy Meachum was supposed to be so campy. Spots of mediocre writing, and Finn Jones is never really convincing when he's doing the "calm, mystical, spiritual" side of Danny Rang.

But decent story and characters, good to see another side of the Netflix MCU, awesome fist effect, the fights get better as the show goes on, a few solid twists, and Colleen Wing has a great butt.

All in all, solid stuff. Not as essential as Daredevil, but if you're enjoying these Netflix shows, put it on the list.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:37 am 
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I do find it interesting that despite the fact that Finn Jones shouldn't have entered the argument about white-washing, he did bring up one very good point that seems to have played out somewhat in his favor. When the first reviews were trashing the series, he came out and said, "You haven't even watched it yet."

Now that people are watching it, I'm seeing a lot of backlash to the initial hatred that the series seemed to generate with critics. The majority of people seem to have the same take that you guys have on it.
Even the AVClub is rating individual episodes in the "B" range which doesn't come close to being the "zero percent Rotten Tomatoes Score" that was being reported at one point. One of Slate's TV critics tried to write a piece that reinforced their negative rating but it basically came down to "they should have cast an Asian actor" again.

Sure, it could be better written in places but it really sucks that the show has to come in with all this baggage as well.

EDIT: Current on Rotten Tomatoes it shows an 18% on the Critics Score and and 84% on the Audience Score. I think that says a lot about the bandwagon jumping in the beginning.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:22 pm 
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It's definitely one of the bigger critical divides we've seen recently. Even the much maligned Batman v Superman's big divide was a closer 27% to 63%, indicating VERY mixed views across the board even with the fan forgiveness factor in play.

The general fan consensus on Iron Fist is generally that it's fine, nothing essential or special, but just fine. And I think that's accurate.

I think this was probably an example of a critical bandwagon reaching critical mass, plus the social politics element. It ain't no classic -- it's a 6/10 -- but no one is claiming it is. It's just not the disaster we were led to believe.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:30 pm 
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I liked it...yeah, the weakest Netflix Marvel show to date, but enough cool stuff to keep it interesting. Looking forward to The Defenders this fall.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:57 pm 
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I've finished it. Last two episodes or so were contrived as hell. Just keeping the revelations (both to the main character and audience) and marriages of convenience coming. Sort of cheesy.

So in the end, I'd rank it about even with Daredevil season 1, which puts both at the bottom of my list of Netflix Marvel. And still, I was looking forward to Daredevil season 2. Not that bad.


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:56 am 
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I just finished episode 3 and I'm still into it. I'll probably be able to finish the season a little quicker now that we've finished watching a couple of other series. I agree that the most annoying thing about the show so far is the main character. It's probably a mix of the way he's written and the actor's portrayal.

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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 6:36 pm 
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Enjoyed the show at first but lost all interest towards the end, it's taken me around a month to finish the last 3 episodes and I still have 15 minutes left to watch.


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 Post subject: Re: So... Iron Fist?
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:10 pm 
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I was that way with Luke Cage. I really loved how to started, but felt like it went off the rails in the end and got a bit campy (in a bad way).

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