Being a massive fan of the previous 3 Marvel Netflix series, it was a bit of a shock to me when Iron Fist received so much negative attention. While half of it seemed to be circling around the lack of Asian lead and the other half circled around a poor show, either way the show was copping it from every angle. Despite that however I was always going to watch it and judge for myself.
I’ll start by saying this. Iron Fist is the weakest of the Marvel Netflix shows. There is no doubt about that. But is it the worst show ever made? Hell no. I was entertained for most of the 13 episodes and I finished the show pumped for The Defenders later this year. This wasn’t a perfect season but it did enough for me to give it a good mark.
At the centre of most of the controversy was Finn Jones as Danny Rand. As many people have pointed out to countless other people claiming Hollywood Whitewashing, Danny Rand is white. I had no problem with this, I never did and probably never will. I thought Finn Jones was good in what he was give. You could tell what they were trying to do with Danny by building him to be this naive person who has been completely disconnected from 1st world society. I thought Danny portrayed that pretty well for the most part. At times he seemed a little over the top but at that point you do have to question how those scenes were directed.
What seems to be the biggest negative from many reviews is the biggest negative for me and that is the action. While I’ll admit some of it was outstanding, for the most part, the action sequences passed as fine. You could tell what was going on and it was easy to follow but it often looked very slow and basic for someone who has apparently trained 15 year in kung fu. What I think is the silver lining in this however is that this can easily be fixed come Defenders and season 2 of Iron Fist if it indeeds gets one.
Another small negative I did have was the lack of K’un-Lun. Going into this show I had little previous knowledge on who Iron Fist was and his origins, and finishing this show I felt that I had a decent grasp on Iron Fist as a character but I wanted more from K’un-Lun. One of my favourite episodes of Luke Cage was the flash back prison episode where you see how he became Luke Cage. I would of liked a similar thing in this season rather than a little sprinkle of it here and there.
Moving into some positives, this season heavily features some returning characters. The first is of course Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple. I thought Temple had a breakout season in Luke Cage where she went from being a side character to a prominent force in these shows. I thought she did a very similar thing this season and I really liked how they used her.
Another character the reappear in this season is Madame Gao. I always liked the mysteriousness of Gao through Daredevil, however I have always seen her as a background villain and often forgettable. This was not the case in this season though. Coming out of it, Gao was one of my favourite things Iron Fist had. We got to see her be much more prominent in the overall plot and for once I felt as though she was an evil force that needs to be worried about. Both her and The Hand are going to play massive roles in The Defenders and after their impact this season, Iron Fist has made me more excited for their involvement in The Defenders than Daredevil has in it’s 2 season.
Something else I really enjoyed was the Meachum family. While I think Joy got pushed aside a little too much and her actions in the closing of the season are a bit questionable, I still thought the family as a whole was a great addition to the show. I really enjoyed the transformation of Ward. Although he did go missing a bit during the middle section of the season, I really liked how they evolved him from being against Danny to with him. It felt nature which is always a really big positive when it comes to character development. My favourite part of the Meachum family though was the interaction between Harold and Ward. The original Spider-man film is one of my favourites and the relationship and interactions between Harold and Ward reminded me a lot of that of Norman and Harry Osborn. They had a great father/son onscreen chemistry and I think it really paid off in the final part of the season.
Overall, I really enjoyed this season. While some of the action wasn’t where it should have been and some of the writing fell short, I was entertained for most of the time during the 13 episodes. What stood out most to me in this season was it did not feel disconnected from the other Marvel Netflix shows, which is what I needed to get excited for The Defenders. This show has a lot of room for improvement, however I still count it as a solid first season.