On TV: Marvel’s Luke Cage

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marvels-luke-cage-57a89c372a961Netflix’s Marvel series have been all the rage these days, but for me, they’ve always been touch and go. Will it be good, will it be bad? Marvel fans seem to decide the former before it’s even released. I spoke to a group of Marvel fans and true believers alike that weren’t only willing to stay up until 3 a.m., but they were also willing to marathon the show until they finished it before heading to bed. None of this is hard to believe, of course, when Netflix’s servers shut down the day of the release.

For me, I thought Daredevil was okay. The first season was slow, the villain was okay – though Kingpin wasn’t too bad of an actor. The second season I preferred. I believed the suit design was miles better than the first season, and I also liked the introduction to Elektra and Punisher as well. Most people preferred the first season, while I got through the second season much quicker…so take that as you will.

Jessica Jones is my show. It is the Marvel show on Netflix that I decidedly love. I love Krysten Ritter and David Tennant no question – but their characters make it even better. Jessica Jones is a super sleuth that doesn’t always need her powers, but when she uses them, awesome. When she doesn’t, no biggy, because I liked her character. Kilgrave was the best villain I think I’ve ever seen in Marvel. There’s just no beating him – he poses a threat not only to Jessica Jones but to anyone in the Avengers or Defenders alike.

Now onto Luke Cage. Before I get into this review, let me first point out that I am a human being – a flawed human being with imperfections and biased opinions. I have never liked film noirs, jazz music, gangsters, the mafia, or anything to do with thugs. Furthermore, I find it difficult to enjoy a TV show if I cannot connect with the main character…or any other character at that. Luke Cage has all of that – which is why I considered it boring, and my least favorite of the three shows. I watched others talk about how great it was…how it is better than the other MCU Netflix shows, or even other recent Netflix shows like Stranger Things and for once, I’m out of the loop because I don’t get it. However, with this universe, it is pertinent to watch these shows for potential continuity.

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So I watched the show, and I was ultimately bored with it. There were good episodes, but in general – I found it a lackluster experience from the get go. The best episode was the third, and some others came close as well. However, this show tried to do what Jessica Jones did – as his abilities are practically unstoppable, they introduced an emotional aspect to it that served as his vulnerabilities. The difference between the two comes down to if I can connect with the character – and for Luke Cage, I just couldn’t. As I pointed out before, I also didn’t like the  music choices or even villains – the end fight was trying to be epic in a way, but it was so typical and blah-inducing – I’m having a hard time finding something in this show that can be considered a “wow” factor. I’m just glad I’m caught up and don’t have to worry about it anymore…I just know there’s going to be a second season…sigh.

I had a decision to make – how was I going to rate this…because I didn’t want my own personal objections to get in the way. So here’s what I came up with. Netflix had a specific goal in mind when they made this TV show, and a lot of people really do like it – so I have to say they did what they sought to do. However, I believe there is also an entirely different group of people that didn’t like it – and I feel like this rift between the two is more apparent than any other the other shows Netflix has done with Marvel. I’m not one to explain why that is – but I can tell it exists. So I’ll just say this – Luke Cage is a well-done show that positively achieves what it wanted to achieve – which told a story without worrying what an audience would think of it. If they loved it great, if they didn’t, oh well. However, when you take that kind of risk – you create something that is possibly not entertaining – which is what I experienced when I watched it.

Look. I’m not a genius, but when I’m struggling to get through a season and groaning at the idea of watching another one…I’m pretty sure they did something wrong. That being said, I can’t ignore where it did go right – so that’s how I came up with my score.

RATING: 7/10

 

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5 thoughts on “On TV: Marvel’s Luke Cage

  1. First of all, finally someone who doesn’t think Daredevil is epic!! So thanks so much! And I do love Jessica Jones much much more!
    I’m holding back on watching Luke Cage so I somewhat skimmed through your review of it. I like Luke Cage as a character in Jessica Jones but I’m hesitant on whether his character can hold its own series. According to you, its right on point with how I expect the series to be although I’m choosing to be as objective as possible when I jump into this series. Great review!

    • Absolutely! I tried not to spoil you on anything as far as Luke Cage goes – just basic theme and tone – which happened to be a culmination of things I’m already not the biggest fan of. But to each their own. Let me know when you do watch it what you think of it – seeing how we apparently have more or less the same views on these Netflix Marvel Shows!

      • I saw maybe two or three episodes of Scream Queens. Wasn’t my thing – the mixture of comedy and horror is something very difficult to achieve properly, in my opinion, and what they had was a little too light. The actual murders were okay, but that’s the only good thing I can say about it. 🙂

      • Haha! I’m not in love with the series but I just have the completionist in me that wants to just finish it. It gets better once you get to the ending of the 4th or 5th ep but the tone is all over the place and all the characters are just downright weird or incredibly stupid. Can’t say they achieved a good balance but then it did get a second season so what do I know, right? Haha!

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