The Defenders season 1: Expectations are high… should they be?

The DefendersThere has been a lot of hype around The Defenders season 1 and while some of it is merited, some of it we are still on the fence about. There are a lot of great characters from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist (yes we actually liked Iron Fist) and we expect this group to have some growing pains while working together – which should make for some great drama! We are especially looking forward to seeing a very naive Danny Rand going up against the angsty Jessica Jones, but while there are aspects of the show we are excited about, there are also some things that have us worried going into The Defenders season 1.

Where we are in this universe…

Seasons 1 of Daredevil and Jessica Jones really set the bar high for the rest of the Marvel superhero franchise (interesting heroes, layered villains), so when Luke Cage came out we were riding high (especially with Mike Colter as the lead). While Colter was everything we hoped he would be, the story and the villains left much to be desired since Luke is an unstoppable force. Then we got to Daredevil season 2 where there was so much going on that it felt like two different shows crammed together with not enough time to flush out any stories (we really didn’t need Punisher AND Elektra). When Iron Fist came out we were worried especially when other critics were pounding this show into the ground for having a Caucasian lead (to be fair, the character of Danny Rand is Caucasian in the comics). After watching the show we were hooked, especially with characters like Colleen Wing and Ward Meachum. Danny Rand wasn’t our favorite character and reminded us of Luke Skywalker during his whiny years, but that’s what he was supposed to be so he did the job well. This started to get our hopes up that The Defenders wouldn’t be a disaster.

Finally, a diverse crew.

We know we are going to get dog piled for saying this since everyone and their cat had a problem with Danny Rand being Caucasian (we’ve already addressed our feelings on that), but the rest of the characters bring us the diversity we want. Going into the Defenders (airing on Friday, August 18th on Netflix), we are excited to have a pretty diverse crew with a African American superhero, a female superhero and a blind superhero (disabilities aren’t often featured in this capacity). We also like how different these characters all are: Jessica is angry and drunk, Matt is constantly conflicted, Luke is smooth and Danny is still growing up. As we said earlier, we think this is going to really help bring the drama when it comes to the growing pains of this group trying to work together. We can see Danny getting on everyone’s nerves and ultimately Matt taking him under his wing to help him grow up a bit.

Bring on the villains!

What we are worried about are the villains. When Netflix does a villain right, it’s so spot on that it doesn’t compare to anything else out there. We’ve seen that with Wilson Fisk, Kilgrave and Gao, but then we’ve have Cottonmouth who was castrated right from the first episode and never really made his mark while Mariah didn’t make much of an impression on us either. We have Sigorney Weaver coming in as the big bad for The Defenders and while we know she can act, we wonder if she is going to really be able to go up against this group. Our hope is that she has some kind of super power since no one has really been able to beat Luke’s super human strength except Kilgrave with his mind control. What we don’t want to see is a villain who also has super strength since we already have three main characters with this ability.

Keep it simple…

The other issue we want to address is the “too many stories” issue that some of these shows have been facing. Daredevil season 2 was a mess in our opinion when it came to too many stories and not enough time and we don’t want to see that happen here. With all of the Defenders baggage and many of their villains and friends still running around the city this cast has the potential to be massive! We are hoping to only get small samplings of some side characters like Foggy, Misty, or Colleen, but after seeing the trailer we think everyone’s going to be involved to some degree. What we want to see is the cast scaled back and just have Claire the night nurse bring our four superheroes together and watch that unfold. The Elektra’s, Karen’s and and Ward’s of this universe should take a back seat for season 1… but it seems that’s not going to happen.

What are you expecting from The Defenders season 1? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts. We will be covering the first season of The Defenders here at CarterMatt so be sure to come back and check out our review of season 1. You can check out all of our news on the show at the link here. (Photo: Netflix)

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