I’ve watched both seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and now Luke Cage. All of them are rather highly rated, and I can see why that is. That said, all 3 series are filled with dumbness. Let me explain.
All 3 are superheroes with marginal powers. By that, I mean that they are strong and have some toughness to them (DD is a bit more complicated). That makes them more human than say, Spiderman or Thor. Them being human means that we can relate to them more, and they are supposed to have flaws to support that theory.
DD has some form of OCD. JJ is an alchoholic. LC suffers from anxiety. The issue here is that none of them ever seem to address those issues. They start flawed, go through the story, and remain flawed.
Let’s start with DD. He begins innocently enough, then it just escalates to a personal vendetta to save the city. And it never stops, no matter the sacrifice. There is no epiphany here. He loses the girl (s), his best friend, and the bad guys win by the end of the last season. The reason that the Punisher stands out so much is because he actually has a character arc. Hell, everyone has a character arc but the hero.
JJ is 5 episodes too long of moping. The best progression is on her sidekick. Killgrave is neat when you learn the backstory but after the 60th person that he mindcontrols to kill themselves, I get it. He’s a douche. I still don’t get the ending.
LC is JJ time two. The entire series is about him being committed, then backing out of helping his community. I dunno, but if I was 100% immune to bad guys, I would just walk in, take everything they had, burn down the house, and never look back. The one where he takes the cash and then let’s the bad guys come back worse is just dumb. The cops are dumb. Cottonmouth and Shades are well-written. Claire (Rosario Dawson) is well written. Zip is not. He tried to shoot Luke Cage in a half dozen episodes. Like, at what point do you realize that he’s immune?
In all three series the hero makes decisions that go against all logical judgment. They make a choice, then go back on that choice for “reasons” that make no sense. To be honest, this reminds me a lot of the final two Matrix films. At the end of the first, Neo understands his power and his responsibility. He has a mission. Then the 2nd one starts and he doubts everything. What? I get that bad things happen, I do. Even with the best laid plans, things can and will go wrong. But when the errors happen because of the heroes, repeatedly, that’s where it gets annoying. Let the bad guy outsmart you. Let the ally betray you. Let the assumptions be proven false.
And I think the main issue with this is padding – stretching of material. The movies have 2.5 hours to tell the story and a single bad guy plot. The Netflix series have 13 hours to fill, but only a single story and only a single bad guy plot. I can understand that the movies have really crappy bad guys. Netflix addresses that by dedicating a whole hour to their backstories and motivations. Fisk is extremely well done. Cottonmouth is a solid one too. Diamondback makes little sense. Killgrave has some sense of pity. Electra is solid.
Ok. That leaves 12 hours to go. In each series you could cut it in half and it would be better for it.
The really sad thing about it all, is that it’s still miles better than anything DC/Snyder has released.