Netflix is bringing back Iron Fist in September, promises Danny will try to suck a little less

Out of the four core Marvel Netflix shows—Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist—the latter is usually held up as the weakest, offering what many saw as a familiar story, a blandly crappy protagonist, and only the occasional flashy martial arts duel to liven things up. Given that these ground-level…

The 22 best minor characters on TV right now

To the protagonists go the TV spoils: The spotlight scenes, the attention of award-giving bodies, the premium paychecks. And while a well-realized main character might hook you in to a TV show, that show isn’t worth sticking with unless its world is also populated by equally well-realized characters who support,…

Earth’s mightiest studio can’t accept its own vulnerabilities

I can’t tell you anything about the premiere episode of Marvel’s Inhumans. The 40 minutes or so of the show that I and other members of the TV press have seen is a work in progress, with incomplete video and sound elements. It’d be a dereliction of our duties and responsibilities to render our opinions into reviews at…

Iron Fist’s finale doesn’t enter the dragon, it trips over the finish line

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: In the climatic final battle of a superhero story, a vigilante with parent issues has to decide whether or not to kill his nemesis. I’m going to venture most people reading this have seen a superhero story like that before because I could spend this whole review listing the…

Iron Fist gets better once it admits Danny Rand is the worst

It turns out the biggest problem with Iron Fist wasn’t its so-so action, its lack of a central villain, or even its weak leading performance; it’s the order in which it chose to tell its story. We’re just now, 10 episodes into the series, starting to understand Danny’s relationship to his Iron Fist powers. And while…

Iron Fist raises the question, is Danny Rand the Donald Trump of superheroes?

We’re only three months into Donald Trump’s presidency and it’s already cliché to frame TV and film criticism within the framework of “Trump’s America.” Yet there’s one scene in this episode during which I couldn’t help but think of The Donald. As Joy gets Danny to open up about his time in K’un-Lun, he describes his…

Iron Fist flies over the cuckoo’s nest in a lackluster second episode

There’s a meta moment in “Shadow Hawk Takes Flight” where Harold Meachum sits in front of footage of Danny Rand being interviewed by a psychiatrist. Frustrated, he speaks to the TV: “Ask him where he’s been the past 15 years. Ask him why he’s suddenly come back now.” Harold, I know exactly how you feel. Though Iron…

Iron Fist’s premiere doesn’t make a convincing case for its own existence

“Why does this story need to be told?” That’s the question all writers and directors need to (or at least should) ask themselves before they put pen to paper or shoot a single frame of film. Iron Fist is fighting an uphill battle in that regard, solely because there have been so many similar stories explored in…