There is a lot to say about Iron Fist, but the first thing I should mention is I only managed to watch two episodes before giving up. I have been told the second half of the show is much better than the first, but there is no way I will recommend sitting through seven hours of tedium to get there when I couldn’t manage two. Iron Fist tells the story of Danny, the billionaire kung-fu master. His plane crashed in the Himalayas and he’s been living in a Buddhist monastery for the last 15 years. Now he’s back in New York and he’s having a really hard time convincing everyone of who he really is. It’s not surprising, because he looks exactly like a scruffy trust fund kid who’s just come back from his “enlightenment” yoga holiday in Goa. Apparently it doesn\'t occur to him how crazy he sounds to other people, so he consoles himself with hip hop on a fifteen year old i-pod (the battery of which inexplicably still works). 15 years is a long time. In 15 years, we’ve already had this plot done by Iron Man and Batman Begins. Hell, Nolan’s Batman had time for two spiritual awakenings in Asia. It’s a Karate Kid fantasy that acts as a teenage primer for those mighty whitey, Avatar type stories, and people find them really boring these days. This one is especially boring. I’m not exaggerating when I say most of the two episodes I watched consists of this same, redundant scene in which people hang around a sterile office, wondering out loud if Danny is who he says he is. The writing in this is utterly terrible too. One that sticks out to me is when Danny tells a psychiatrist his ordeal when the plane crashed in the Himalayas, and how there was a blizzard and snow everywhere. “That must have been cold”, offers the psychiatrist. Yeah. nice work, Doctor. The final insult is that there is scarcely any Kung-fu in the damn show up to this point. When there is an action scene it is over before it begins, no doubt in its eagerness to get things back to another watercooler chat. All the previous Marvel tv shows have pacing issues, but they usually fill the time by exploring some interesting themes or perspectives, whether it’s a struggling lawyer’s Catholic guilt, or a super powered rape survivor, or a black ex-con seeing his neighbourhood combat gentrification. No wonder you hear people complaining about Iron Fist’s white protagonist; dated story telling conventions besides, we are used to Netflix Marvel shows doing much better with their leads, and by contrast, poor Danny feels like someone used all the default settings in the RPG character creation and forgot to write in a personality.
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