I’ve been holding off this review for a while because my mind hasn’t wrapped around the fact that in the same series we have Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, we have this. At least the soundtrack is good, but, just go read The Immortal Iron Fist by Ed Brubaker!
Iron Fist Season 1
Created by Scott Buck.
Written by many people, apparently.
Starting: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, Ramón Rodríguez, Sacha Dhawan, Rosario Dawson, David Wenham.
How they managed to take a character with a similar backstory to the Caped Crusader, trained in a mystical city with martial arts superpowers, with the power of House Tyrell behind him and completely ruin it, I will never know.
We follow Danny Rand, or at least this weak version of him, as he returns to New York after the death of his parents and his disappearance in a plane crash led him to K’un L’un. For some stupid reason, we also follow his old pals, the children of his father’s business partner, and some of the blandest characters I have ever seen.
Here are some of the reasons the show sucks:
Poor writing/directing and lack of character development:
It is hard to compare comics to television, usually because one has more time to develop, is more visual, or widely known. I cannot forget how poorly written this series is, even though it went on for longer than it should’ve, it did not use that to its advantage, leaving us with cringe-worthy dialogue, childish characters, lacking “villains”, and unnecessary cameos. One of the best comics ever written is Ed Brubaker and David Aja’s Immortal Iron Fist, which did fantastic things with comic book art and action scenes, while remaining incredibly well-written, with it being the only book I believe to be published with Danny Rand as the sole main character, as he is often depicted being a “hero for hire” alongside Power Man (Luke Cage). The main difference between the comic and series then, becomes that the comic shows what has happened, is happening, and will happen, while the series tells us.
In the comic version, Danny is a character that values duty, loyalty, and is strong-willed, while going through distress and heartache, his utmost attribute is his ability to balance all of them. This version lacks all of these characteristics, instead we get a child in an adult body, a repugnant child. In the series we are constantly reminded that he grew up in a monastery-like place, and was raised harshly but with a deep sense of doing what is right. None of this is present in any of the scenes, instead he is immature, as if stuck in the mind of a child. I doubt that someone raised in those circumstances, or as in the comics, with such a sense of duty and maturity, came to reclaim what is his with no knowledge of anything, except how to pout and complain. Even worse for us, he is not the only character like this.
The Meachum children in particular are a walking disaster. To have such a distaste for characters, and to want them erased from a series I already don’t like is saying quite a lot. Joy is quite frankly, an idiot. Not only does she finally realize that Danny is Danny via M&Ms, but she drugs him and causes him to be hospitalized, and even then, she makes the stupid decision to join the wrong team, even as they ruin her life. This child has no intelligence or common sense.
Colleen becomes nothing but a simple love interest. I had hopes to see the Sand Snake show off more of her prowess and kick some butt at the fighting pits, but she quickly leaves all of it behind to randomly show up whenever Danny needs her to be his love interest that saves him on occasion.
And then they had to drag poor Claire Temple into this. To be honest, I already think she has given up too freely on following all these superheroes, but her addition to the cast here is unnecessary, and the choices she makes, ridiculous.
At least Jeri Hogarth was there, and she wasn’t bad.
I cannot blame all of this failure on the character writing only, the lines they must say are stupid out of proportion themselves. And to top it all off, most of what is remotely interesting, is said, and most often than not, is filler backstory.
No true villain:
While Jessica Jones had Killgrave, Luke Cage had Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard, and Daredevil had Wilson Fisk and Frank Castle, Iron Fist has recycled side villains, Gao. Now, Gao made perfect sense when she was in Daredevil, where her mysticism and secret past clashed with Matt Murdock’s set reality where there was no occultism. Here, she is merely like the main “hero”, and all that made her interesting banishes. Gao and The Hand have nothing interesting to offer here, even someone like Cat (who at least had similar marital arts ability and even defeated him once) would’ve worked better.
This is only about half of my complaints, but I am sure a quick Google search will give the rest of them away. Just re-watch any of the other ones.
If any of you are interested in my talking about the “whitewashing” controversy as well, I will make a post about it, just let me now.