The Defenders is the 2017 TV Show available now on NETFLIX. Based on the MARVEL characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Described as “the street-level Avengers”, the Defenders are literally the Avengers of the TV world, uniting the three already well- established TV superheroes created in their own TV shows; Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (that we all watched and loved), and Iron Fist (the one we promised we would get around too, but no-one watched). All four heroes will have to unite to fight the evil “Hand”, secrets are kept, trust is untested waters and teamwork is needed for these four character to fight “The Hand” and successfully save New York.
The show itself has one massive problem: The Plot. It is paper thin, and because of this, it falls into the same trap I claim the other NETFLIX shows have (Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil Season 2), but this time there is no great baddie to steal the limelight. There is no amazing final episode were you start to wonder how you ever doubting the show would be great (this would be Jessica Jones – the first couple of episodes were weak, but David Tennant completely stole the show). The decrease in the episode count is a clear indication of the weak plot, eight episodes and yet it still seems that at times the creators are stretching for ideas, they took their sweet time, ensuring every single character had a viable reason to want to be involved in this fight, when Claire Temple is the glue that has already held this show together for the last two years. Too perfectly sum up the first few episodes , I kept of thinking: “Either I have missed something or NETFLIX are overestimating how much I remember”.
This show does however eventually turn the corner and the things you have come to expect from these sort off NETFLIX, gritty shows happen, you know the epic, get out of the building fight. The heroes encounters and the relationships they build happen to be the one thing the show hits perfectly on the head. However, it takes four episodes for the heroes to fight on screen together, that is half of the episodes, this just shows the weak and thinly lined plot they had. The characters really thrive off each other and Iron Fist has a really interesting arc which I will explain in my spoiler review. Iron Fist and Luke Cage build their relationship and Jessica Jones and Daredevil build theirs. The characters which the show inherit (in the sense of where they are; Daredevil being retired, Cage just getting out of prison), means that the show has a lot to play around with, and it gives Daredevil more depth as he no longer wants to just run in blindly and save the day, he doesn’t know if he can trust these people and that makes it great
Back to the plot, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting or hoping. Let’s make one thing clear, The Hand’s plan isn’t exactly explained. They want to live forever, so they have to go dig in the dragon to get the solution. But, that doesn’t seem as such a huge threat. Note, how I said The Hand’s plan, it is because Alexandria (and I I will explain in my spoiler review), isn’t exactly the leader. She is just part of the team, she isn’t some big bad, sure she is leading them now but that could all change in a second, I thought Madame Gao – someone introduced as someone to not mess about with would have a larger role to play than lackey. I had hoped and thought that The Defenders would running around New York, saving everyone, similar to what we got in Arrow a couple seasons ago – maybe, (hopefully) Spider-Man pops up and The Punisher would pop up too. So I am disappointed in that sense, there wasn’t any direct connection to the larger MCU world, nor any teasing for what a second season could be about, sure Madame Gao could do something but surely after those events, that can no longer happen. The finale was ultimately disappointing in this show.
Everything I would be saying would be forgotten if something actually happened. By that, I meant there were no real stakes in this show. They wanted to get that thing from those bones and then destroy New York – which a) would have taken more than one night (you see the bones that were there) and b) would never have happened because that would mean that the MCU (the actual movies) would have to address it. And we all know that is not going to happen. There was no way it would fly under the radar after Civil War. I said Arrow earlier, and I will repeat it, the first two seasons of Arrow had actual stakes, the city got blown up. They failed. And I think, the show would have been amazing if this happened, it would have of course messed up the individual series’ being released and the movies but it would have brought so much joy for the fans. I don’t think the villain was good enough, I say villain as a plural because Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandria was not a villain. She is a great actress, and was great in getting the heroes together but she was NOT a villain. The villain here was the team that she lead (but she never really lead) – The Hand, they were built up for so long but yet, didn’t really do much. And we all knew New York weren’t going to get blown up of it did I would be saying something very different right now. Now I know there are no pleasing people, some would love it and others would struggle and it would impact the four individual seasons. Let’s just hope season 2 has more at stake than Elektra and Daredevil’s love issues. Which I oddly liked.
Finally, the characters have to be mentioned. These NETFLIX/MARVEL projects have all hit it out of the park with critics and audiences alike apart from Iron Fist. I for one have not watched Iron Fist – mainly based on what I have been told (it is the first time I have missed a show out in any series I watch), I think Iron Fist wasn’t as bad as everyone said he was or are claiming him to be. He definitely improves when he is in the company of one of the other defenders. And the scene where they are in the restaurant and he is eating, changed my perspective on him – I think everyone is taking him way too seriously. I think, he is meant to be seen as a little brother – he was the one that wanted to team up, he wanted everyone to stay, Elektra told him he is just looking for his family, so to did Alexandria, he just wants to be apart of a family and people just see him as useless I guess. As I have already said, the main characters and their bonds are great, and are strong. I have one small issue left, and that is regarding the recurring/supporting characters. I think, they were underestimated as not much happens with them, but every scene with a supporting character was interesting to me, Foggy, Trish, Malcolm, (I hate Karen). But, not much was given to them but they were amazing with what they were given.
I have to be honest, and say that Marvel’s The Defenders did let me down, I don’t want to rank it to the other NETFLIX shows. Ultimately, The Defenders was a disappointment but it has been two years in the works, the characters do perform, even with the little screen time the show gives the supporting characters, and the fight scenes do make it worth while. The beginning takes too long, but the bulk of the show is great TV. It is just unfortunate that the season finale never had any real stakes to it – even though they tried to tease a certain death.