An Apology to Critics – or, Netflix’ Iron Fist was Terrible… 

​[** Warning: Potential, Minor Spoilers **] Oof – Netflix presents Marvel’s Iron Fist. Yeah, that was a rough watch, folks – critics, I owe you a huge apology…

I’m a bit late on this one, but I promised myself that I would own up to my previous post regarding the “premature hate” that the series was shown just prior to it being released to the masses on Netflix. It… it was something. I love the general idea around the character (and this, mind you, is coming from someone that doesn’t know much of him outside of recollection of reading a few of my big brother’s comics as a kid, and of course from his teen presence on the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series of recent); but his presentation on Netflix was pretty awful. The plotline was all over the place, the action was few and far between, the fight scenes were slow and uninteresting, and the character interaction was often times boring and almost two-dimensional. I mean, how can you take a story about a master of Kung-Fu and reduce it to a 10% action/90% dialogue presentation, with filler about “Qi”, two factions of the same evil organization, and constant flashbacks to the title character’s parents’ death? And how can said master have a girlfriend that kicks more butt than he does? Honestly, the title of the show should’ve been “Colleen Wing and Associates”. (Btw, thanks Jessica Henwick for giving us some decent martial arts to watch…*sigh*) So disappointing.

With regards to the actors, I thought they all did a pretty awesome job for what they were given – i.e., they’re all great actors (especially Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum); but wow were they given some seriously schizophrenic content to have to power through. Danny Rand (Finn Jones) has to go from being removed from life outside of the modern, distracted world to confident, focused “master of kung-fu” (*sigh*); but in the portrayal he comes off as persistently whiny, emotionally unstable, exhaustingly naive, and pretty raw as a “master”. Harold Meachum (David Wenham) goes from being a deceptive and manipulative businessman, with his hands in everything Rand Industries, to Solomon Grundy, then back again. (o_0 … what?!) Ward moves from cutthroat businessman still desperately and continuously trying to win his father’s approval, and one-half of the Ward/Joy Meachum awesome team of awesome, to complete drug addict, enemy of his best business partner and sister, and finally partner with Danny. I mean, kudos to all the actors b/c it had to be like lifting weights getting through such random overall plots; but it was absolutely painful to sit through, all the while falsely hoping to be rewarded for the loyalty. Thank heavens for the consistency in the female characters in the story; otherwise, I would have had to look on IMDB to find out which show I was watching next as I moved through each episode.

Let’s face it, people – relative to the other Defenders’ series, this show was a hot mess to be true. At this point, I don’t even want to see or hear the number 2 in the same sentence as “Iron Fist”; there shouldn’t be a second season IMO. I don’t know if the problem was an unavailable budget, the producer(s)/director(s) resting on the laurels of the other series, or the writer’s having come down with the flu halfway into the season; but whatever happened, I.F needs to just be a one-and-done – obviously the writers aren’t sure yet what needs to be done with the Danny Rand/Iron Fist character. Devote the time and energy to making a kickass 3rd season of Daredevil, 2nd season of Luke Cage, or 1st season of the Punisher. Based on what we’ve seen thus far, young Danny and his storytellers ain’t ready for primetime… not quite yet.


    1. I dunno if I agree – I’ve been pretty pleased with some of the superhero offerings. I thought the other three Defender series were pretty good – well balanced with action and story or, if not, with a really compelling story. Iron Fist couldn’t pull me in enough to not need the action you’d expect from a show centered around a Kung-Fu practitioner though; so it definitely supports your comment.


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