One doesn’t need a degree in psychology to know that once you get used to something being good, the expectation is that it stays that way. In the world of entertainment, this may be the most accented. A successful TV series normally develops a following, gathers momentum and reaches that crossroad where some fans give up and others stick around.
A good example of it in recent years is The Walking Dead’s last season (not the current running one). Some people felt it did all it could do, and turned to another channel, while others (yours truly included) continue to watch.
An example of a series which seemed to have done the best possible job in story development and stopped exactly when it should have, was Breaking Bad. I believe that the vast majority of viewers stayed for the duration.
There is another kind of series though. An interesting kind.
In 2015, Netflix started with the Marvel series of series when Daredevil was released, and judging by social media response as well as critics, the first installment was a pretty big success. This was followed by the very cool Jessica Jones and empathetic Luke Cage.
This set the stage for what looked like a knock-out sequence of hero series. One that should culminate (and we already saw signs of this) in a converging of storylines with a bunch of sub plots.
None of the Marvel heroes are perfect. In fact, they all seem to be a mixed bag, though they are all in essence good guys/gals. Each one a “bad ass” in his own right.
Until “Iron Fist“.
I’m not quite sure what they were trying to do with this. Maybe the way the story was told, maybe acting, maybe… maybe The Iron Fist is simply not a very compelling hero. One thing I do know and it is that after a sequence of really good series, this one felt like a dud. A really weak hero…
I guess I’m not the only one who impatiently waited for “The Punisher” then. We got a taste for Frank Castle in Daredevil – season 2 and now, when he-who-was-Shane got his own series, he delivers.
In a series that walks the fine line on Gun Control, the role the “intelligence community” plays in the security of the people, and in its own, and of course PTSD, you might expect a lot of “talk” and no action. But “The Punisher” is a very well paced, action packed show.
Jon Bernthal was born to play this role. He has enough dramatic skills to introduce the nuances of an actual person, and the bad-assery to showcase the plethora of ways his character can hurt those who “needs hurting”.
The Punisher is consistent, on point for the 100% of the time (based on the story) and is a sweet redemption, after that really disappointing installment of Marvel heroes that preceded him.
The fact that he’s a Sprinsteen fan (The Punisher that is) is just a way to lock me in for the duration.
Supporting cast is also important and for the most part, They were all up to par. Great villains, good “in between” people (those who may agree with Castle though disapprove of his methods), and a sympathetic “side-kick” who plays very well to Castle’s characteristics.
We’re back on track, with a collection of really good heroes, with a bunch of possible collaboration (and friction?) to work off of.
One batch, Two batch, Penny and dime.