I am not a huge binge watcher, sitting in front of the TV for days at a time to consume a series in it’s entirety is not something that I particularly enjoy doing. However, exceptions are always made for Netflix/Marvel collaborations. From Daredevil, to Jessica Jones, to Luke Cage, I would stop the world to binge on anything Netflix would put out and never be disappointed…until now.
Tread lightly, there be spoilers here.
Where do I even begin?
Let’s talk about Danny Rand. The immortal weapon, guardian of K’un-Lun, sworn enemy of The Hand, and the worst fighter….ever! Trained for 15 years with mythical monks, chosen as the best fighter amongst all of them, survived all the trials, and yet still proceeded to get his ass kicked throughout the entire series. Even the scenes where Danny was meant to be perceived as the superior fighter were poorly shot, poorly choreographed, and completely not believable. It was clear that actor, Finn Jones, spent next to no time actually training for this role. He is often upstaged by Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing), and blown away by Sacha Dhawan (Davos), who provided the only enjoyable fight scenes in the entire series.
To be fair, there is an implication later in the series that Danny did not finish his training in K’un-Lun, but even then he should still be able to hold his own with lesser trained fighters, and he should be far superior to his buddy who was passed over for the trials, not that Davos is bitter or anything…
It’s not just Danny Rand though, all the characters are pathetically flawed and poorly acted, except for Rosario Dawson …she’s awesome….
The only character I really gave a shit about was Joy, and she spent most of the series swept to the side until someone needed her to move the plot along. Is no one going to talk about how she saved Rand at least three times throughout the course of the series? How she was the only one to figure out who Danny really was? Are we ignoring that she handled the big reveal of her father’s resurrection without developing a drug problem and/or having a nervous breakdown, all while trying to figure out what the fuck was going on with her train wreck brother? Are we not giving her credit for figuring out that The Hand was laundering money from Rand the whole time? No? Nothing?
Joy is an intelligent, motivated, powerful business woman, who handles the hardships in her life with grace, and keeps her cool throughout the series, while everyone around her panics, only to get a “good girl” pat on the head from all the men in her life as she is pushed to the side. Here’s to you Joy Meachum! I hope you find a way to kill Danny in Season 2.
Speaking of under appreciated female characters, let’s talk about Colleen Wing. Colleen is clearly the superior fighter in the series. Every time that her and Danny got into a scuffle, she was the one who made the scene watchable, and yet the dialogue has Danny talking down to her the entire time, while she sings his praises. She can drop him like a stone, and yet she keeps lifting him up as the amazing immortal warrior, gushing over how impressed she is by his skills. The scenes where Danny is attempting to train her on new techniques come across as forced, because we all know who the better fighter is.
Don’t even get me started on the pathetic love story between Danny and Colleen. How she abandons her family and values to support Danny’s insanity. Granted, The Hand is not exactly a wholesome family to belong to, but c’mon Colleen, get your shit together. I really wanted to like Colleen, and for the first part of the series I did, but as soon as she became the predictable love interest and stopped standing on her own as a character, I lost all respect for her. Would it have killed the writers to let her be her own person? To acknowledge that she is a trained warrior, with a skill set equal to or surpassing Danny’s? I mean, how does one go from dropping multiple men in cage fights, to behaving like a pathetic, lovesick teenage girl?
I hope to see a stronger version of Colleen in Season 2, and maybe a spinoff series where she leads her own assault against The Hand.
As I am writing this, I realize that I have more to say than I thought, I think a two part review is in order.
Tune in next time, where I talk about the lack of a real villain in The Iron Fist, and how it is the biggest let down of the Defenders lineup.