The Defenders: The H Word
August 18, 2017 5:49 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Danny Rand investigate criminals and fight injustice, unaware their paths are about to cross.
posted by oh yeah! (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I never bothered to watch Iron First, just read the reviews and the Fanfare threads for a vicarious hate-watch. So I was amused by the opening fight scene being barely visible - seemed fitting somehow.

Overall, I was happy to see the characters again, and looking forward to the team-up. I didn't find the visuals in this episode to be particularly compelling/stylish. I'm especially concerned to see if the lighting will be any good when the foursome is united, or if it's going to suffer from the usual issue of the scene being lit for white skin default leaving Colter as a silhouette. (And, what was up with the framing during the Karen/Matt diner scene? Were they trying to showcase Matt's spidey-sense blindness or something? It just made me think of the way a big empty frame in a horror movies is just a precursor to the villain or a jump-scare cat decoy popping up.)

Not looking forward to all the The Hand nonsense to come, but at least we get Sigourney Weaver. Though I was getting Ghostbuster flashbacks seeing her on an NYC rooftop.

Well, anyway, hope it's ok if I do another binge-watch-posting spree for this season. I'll do bullet point recaps for the next episodes since the AV Club recaps won't all be up until Tuesday, imagine I'll get through them all by Saturday.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:12 PM on August 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

A bit too bit of this H, bit of that H (don't use the Hword, copyrighted by NBC & Tim Kring :-) but a bit too stretched out on the set up, fast forward to the first crisis near the end. Can't they just call Superman?
posted by sammyo at 6:12 PM on August 18, 2017


posted by joyceanmachine at 6:47 PM on August 18, 2017 [31 favorites]

The opening fight scene lost me. I didn't understand who was fighting who and what was happening. Unfortunately the same was true of the rest of the series. I did enjoy the characters. Well most of the characters. Maybe someone coud recut the series without Iron Fist? I loved Sigourney Weaver. I loved Weaver's clothes.
posted by rdr at 12:27 AM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I liked the use of each character's colour palette for their scenes. It's a very dull start to a team-up series so here's hoping that it gains steam fast. (And Luke Cage will hopefully not put up w/Danny's whiny rich white boy ass.)
posted by Kitteh at 2:40 AM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Sigourney Weaver is a blessing.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:28 AM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hey, rdr - maybe you (or anyone else) who has finished their binge-watch already should start a complete-season thread? I'm going to try to get one or two more episodes posted this morning, but then I have to go out and do a bunch of errands, so I don't expect to get through to the finale until late tonight.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:02 AM on August 19, 2017

The series is only eight episodes long because they spent all their budget on lighting gels.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:26 AM on August 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm on the forth episode and I keep getting distracted by the glamorous clothes Sigourney Weaver is wearing. I'm not happy that you have to work so hard to find things to love. These are good actors, they shouldn't have such wooden lines.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:30 PM on August 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Iron Fist... meh. I caught the first episode and never felt compelled to follow through, not even the 3ep benefit of the doubt.

Sigourney Weaver! She really reminds me of her role in The Assignment, which I have lots of (very complicated and conflicting) feels about.

The costume department giving her her outfits *really* pegs the character as a "certain sort" of Manhattanite international/overpriced*-city socialite. Excellent visual shorthand.

Nice to see Madam Gao. Loved her in Daredevil. Having her paying respect to Alexandra Reid makes Weaver's acting job a lot easier and gives Reid instant cred as a top baddie.

Really (continuing to) appreciating Krysten Ritter/Jessica Jones. If you haven't seen Vamps (2012), it's an under-rated light-hearted teen-vampire thing with Alicia Silverstone. Clueless with fangs.

*overpriced == dangerous economic disparity
posted by porpoise at 7:53 PM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed this episode. I've watched all the individual series & I thought having each character be in their own show (soundtrack, lighting, mood) for their first couple appearances worked for me. It was like they're a deck of cards & being shuffled together. Also it made be realize how much I missed Jessica Jones, who was back to her door abusing ways. She's not going to get her security deposit back on that apartment, is she?
posted by Jugwine at 5:50 AM on August 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

It was great to see Jessica Jones again and all my favorite supporting characters like Trish Walker, Night Nurse, Misty Night, Foggy and Colleen Wing (can they just retcon her into being the Iron Fist?) I continue to have no interest in Karen Page.

Sigiourney Weaver's costumes are a stand out (as were Carrie Ann Moss's costumes on Jessica Jones) and to seeing her order Madame Gao about clearly established her character as the main antagonist of the season.

Looking forward to the season despite Iron Fist.
posted by Julnyes at 11:22 AM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Loved the cuts of each show together - Jessica's dark tones, Cage's sepia, etc. As an aficionado of the MCU, though, I have to say I find it incredibly distracting when they place established romantic pairs in the same series when they've already made different romantic choices for those pairs.

But none of this compares to putting the best family in the MCU together and then having them paired with different people. Jessica Jones/Luke Cage forever.
posted by corb at 1:12 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Jessica Jones/Luke Cage forever.

A show that's centered on Cage & Jones (imo the strongest characters with the side stories I'm most invested in) where other Marvel characters just pop in for 2-3 episode arcs would be just about my perfect MCU Netflix show. I don't need to see Matt Murdock in a confession booth ever again but I'd still like him around. And I guess Iron Fist could swing by every now and then but Colleen would be a series regular. The Netflix MCU shows just desperately need some brevity to keep the characters interesting, so put the strongest ones front and center and rotate the others in and out to keep them fresh. And it would prevent the sophomore slump I'm dreading for Luke and Jessica's solo shows, I really feel like they're going to pull a Daredevil and just drag them out.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:18 PM on August 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

I think that Marvel/Netflix simply needs to cut their losses and ditch Finn Jones as Iron Fist, which is not the same as ditching Iron Fist. The character has been and can be other people. Too bad so sad about jettisoning Danny Rand's backstory, but it's just not working here.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:32 AM on August 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

The thing is, I'm not sure they can cut him as the Iron Fist if K'un L'un is destroyed. If it turns out to be fine, then sure, they've probably got some trainees-in-waiting that can plunge their fist into the heart of a dragon if he dies nobly.
posted by corb at 4:41 AM on August 24, 2017

Not to get too inside-baseball-based-on-the-comics, but it may not be necessary for there to be a K'un L'un for him to pass on the power. (Especially with a bunch of other people around who seem to have some chi magic of their own to different degrees.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:08 PM on August 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

As long as we are talking about fantasy recasting, my suggestion would be to replace Danny with someone playing Shang Chi. That would seem to solve a whole lot of problems, and as long as they stay far away from the Fu Manchu stuff, it should work out fine.
posted by Burgoo at 4:39 AM on August 27, 2017

So, the first episode literally opened with a punchup in what was basically a hallway. I'm done.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2017

From Reddit: "The average color of every frame of Netflix's Defenders Episode 1, compressed into a single image, shows the unique color grading used for each main character" [imgur]

I think I'm done ep 3 and I think it's getting better, but I wish the Bad Guys and their plotting was more palpably interesting. Weaver is carrying everything here. I liked Madam Gou way back when, but the more her character doesn't develop the more it starts to feel like a weird stereotype.
posted by sylvanshine at 6:37 PM on August 27, 2017

Oh, Jessica. Turn down a case, then the second someone tells you not to take it, there you go. I love her.

Luke and Claire....I thought if Claire dated any Defender it'd be Matt, so this is a surprise. I'd be happy about it except I am a Luke/Jessica fan, so it's a bit of a wah there one way or another.

Danny is such a schmuck, but I did enjoy his line about how everyone thinks New York is the best city.

Luke: still awesome.
Matt: kinda acting like he's in recovery and not enjoying it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:27 AM on August 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

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