Greetings and recriminations!
Since all three of my loyal readers failed to ask a question the last Law Blog, I have no law-related substance to post today to tide you through the upcoming Día de los Muertos Turquía. So, instead, I will provide you with the true facts (not all facts guaranteed to be true, or facts, but will likely be somewhat better than a Buzzfeed listicle) regarding the ordinal ranking of the Netflix Marvel series.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this concept, Netflix has taken some of the not-quite-as-popular Marvel Superheroes and turned them into television series, placing them slightly behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ahead of Marvel’s Agents of Shield, and roughly 5 million Zack Snyders ahead of Marvel’s the Inhumans.
So, without further ado, here is the inaguable ranking. You are welcome to disagree with it, to the extent you wish to be wrong. Which, strangely enough, is a common closing argument to a jury.
1. The Punisher. Just released, and to middling reviews, I would say that this is, by the barest possible margin, the best of the various iterations. If you come to this show for the “Pew Pew Pew” you will be disappointed. HA! Who am I kidding? Of course you won’t. There are several excellent setpieces full of good ol’ all-American gun violence. That said, this is the show that at least tries to wrestle with some big issues. How we treat veterans. PTSD. The morality of vigilantism. The justice system. The morality of following orders. Gun violence in America. What it means for forgiveness. Is this show as deep as it wants to be? HA HA! No. Of course not. This is solidly middlebrow. But as the person watching it with me said (a winner by special invitation), “Woah, I can’t believe they’re even bringing this up.” As this has just come out, I don’t want to discuss it fully; moreover, I don’t want to lie to you (more than I normally do) and say this is a great show. But given the premise, and the character, this is most successful, barely edging out ...
2. Jessica Jones. Come for the nuanced, difficult, and amazing performance by Krysten Ritter. Stay so you can say, “Wait, Dr. Who is the baddie?” This was the first series to show that the Netflix/Marvel Cinematic Universe (ahem) would be tackling Serious Issues(tm). And it does. Not just the usual, “What does it mean to be a superhero,” but more ... pertinent ones (again, spoilers). This is not easy viewing at times. Unfortunately, like most of the N/M Series, it suffers from dangling plot threads, and the eventual feeling that it could have been condensed.
3. Luke Cage. This may be the toughest to place. In its favor, Luke Cage has an amazing lead actor, beautiful cinematography, a killer score, and a fully-realized depiction (that we see all-too rarely) of African American experiences within the superhero genre. On the other hand, more than any other series in this list, it suffers from plot stuffing, with many episodes seeming superfluous, and one of the most charismatic characters suffers an early death in the show, leading to a villain vacuum that causes a broken second-half of the season, which is enjoyable, but doesn’t live up to the promise established early on.
4. Daredevil, Season 1. There’s not much to say, here. The original established the franchise. It’s really, really good, and has an incredible performance by the lead villain.
5. The Defenders. It’s fun. A lot of fun. No heavy mental lifting required(tm). It’s enjoyable to see all the main characters play off of each other, but in the end, it’s just an enjoyable trifle.
6. Daredevil, Season 2. A mess. A complete, and total mess. Okay, without getting too spoiler-y, the bit with the Punisher was okay. But then ... ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas. And a lot of, “This character will act this way in service of the plot, which is really in service of some meta-plot no one cares about.”
7. Getting your wisdom teeth extracted. They still give you drugs for that, right?
8. Getting punched in the face repeatedly. It feels good when it stops?
9. Iron Fist. Just ... no. I watched this so you wouldn’t have to. Long story short- arrogant guy learns to use powers(tm) so he could be in The Defenders.