George R.R. Martin has put Game of Thrones in a position for success no matter how the show ends.
By now you’ve likely seen the teaser videos for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. And if you’re one of those sheeple that clamor to click on those annoying articles entitled “New Game of Thrones Photos Released!” (whoop-de-do), then no doubt you’re pumped for the upcoming season. George R.R. Martin took one look at the Westeros Chess Board and decided to nuke it (as he so often does). By now you know that no character is off limits, everyone is fair game and anyone can die (except Jon Snow apparently).
Because anyone can die at any moment, Martin has propped himself up for success. Ned Stark dies and the world loses their minds. The Red Wedding occurs, people are devastated. Ten more people die, and death loses its sting a little. Finally at the end of last season, people were both shocked at the outcome but ultimately were not surprised. “Classic Martin, killing tons of key characters.”
Even now this very question strikes a chord. Amidst the multitude of negative (and accurate reviews) of Netflix’s Iron Fist, one thing we forgot to consider was the affect that the garbage that is Danny Rand will have on The Defenders. That’s right, let’s not forget that scrawny Wonderbread Danny Rand is going to share the screen with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Matt Murdock. It’s a very real possibility that Danny will be the poison pill that ruins what would’ve been a fantastic Netflix series.
First let me take a minute to address those who are in favor of Finn Jones/Danny Rand. You are absolutely in denial. It’s bad…it’s so bad. I made it to Episode 11 and I just called it quits. I found Danny to be infuriating and annoying. He didn’t resemble a hero at all and was a poor reflection of Iron Fist. He was whiny, unfocused and lacked charisma. The stories dragged on and the fight scenes pale in comparison to Daredevil. Lewis Tan should’ve been the Iron Fist. A vocal few are trying to defend this show for reasons unknown. It’s ok to hate a Marvel show, you’re not scaring away investors, and there will be plenty of more Marvel shows to come.
So how will this affect The Defenders?
It’s Day Five of a crippling flu that has me benched from both work and blogging. After a quick visit to the doctor’s office and an IV drip of tea, I finally have mustered the strength to write another, albeit late, blog post. In my sickly state, I was happy to see that Iron Fist has been released on Netflix. I thought to myself, “oh boy, a perfect show that I can binge while I recover.” I burned through Daredevil in one weekend, so this was perfect.
It’s Sunday night, and I managed to watch two episodes. Let that sink in, I had 3 to 4 days of free time, and I chose to watch anime over the latest Marvel-Netflix show. It sucks because a reader pointed out to me that a lot of my posts are negative. I’m honestly not trying to be, I guess it’s just easier to be a nay-sayer.
But I guess I wasn’t the only one. Critics gave the show a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. Interestingly, fans gave it an 87% which is puzzling because the first few episodes were honestly a struggle for me. Perhaps the 87% RT score is just good ole’ classic nerd fandom enthusiasm. Looking online, I’m seeing folks saying it turns around halfway through. This explains the 16% RT score because critics were only able to screen the first six episodes.
This is not how a show should start out. While I commend the loyal fans for sticking it out, you should not have to sift through 6-7 hours of bad TV just to get your superhero fix. Sure some shows have slow starts but half a season? No thank you. I hold Netflix to a higher standard. I say 1 of their 13 episodes is allowed to be a bad. One. Not six. Plus, in the past I’ve written about how slow starts is the enemy of comics writing.
While I commend the loyal fans for sticking it out, you should not have to sift through 6-7 hours of bad TV just to get your superhero fix. "
Let’s take a look at the small sample that I watched. Our story begins with Grade-A moron Danny Rand, who looks homeless, wandering into his corporate building asking to see the fucking CEO. First of all, CEOs don’t just see anybody on a whim, let alone a guy that looks like he starred in Castaway. Sharp-as-a-used-Crayon Danny then attacks security, breaks into the new CEO’s office, and then wonders why no recognizes him. I mean, it’s only been 15 years, come on reasonable businessman! It’s so fucking laughable. I don’t know how the writers thought “yeah we can get away with dumb dumb Danny doing this for several episodes.”
Danny had 15 years to plan his return home. I’m really disappointed the writers didn’t think of a better way to introduce this character other than waltzing him into the building. To make things even more cringe worthy, after being institutionalized, Danny tells the doc that he’s the Iron Fist and from another dimension. Did the monks not teach Danny common sense? The first few episodes were so unbelievably dumb and poorly written. The writers needed a way to fill up space, so they spent two episodes having Danny bang his head against a wall.
It sucks because instead of introducing a cool, powerful character, our first impression is tainted. Instead of seeing Danny as this powerful martial artist, we see a moron. That’s it. Because the writers handled the intro so poorly, I can’t seriously look at Danny and go “wow, so cool.” His intro paired with weak martial art sequences (especially compared to Daredevil) has me giving these episodes a big ole’ zero. Hopefully things turnaround. Also, I hope Danny chills in the background in The Defenders. I can’t handle any more of his idiocy, let the adults handle the bad guys.