Marvel's The Defenders
Internet TV

Review: Marvel’s The Defenders (season 1) (Netflix)

Marvel’s The Avengers was one of the highest grossing movies of all times. Small surprise therefore that Marvel should attempt to reproduce its unique superhero formula on the small (laptop) screen with its Netflix series, giving us four individual superheroes in their own shows before finally bringing them together in a fifth show – The Defenders.

And here we are at last. Two seasons of Daredevil (one excellent, one poor), one season of Jessica Jones (excellent), one season of Luke Cage (weak) and a season of Iron Fist (I’ve watched it three times now, so screw you, haters) has allowed some of the supporting cast to move around a bit, but here we finally are, getting all four superheroes interacting with each other, teaming up and even sometimes twatting each other with sticks.

The show picks up a few months after the other shows. Daredevil (Charlie Cox) is ostracised from his former legal partner Foggy (Elden Henson) and would-be girlfriend Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), and a bit mopey after his ex-lover Elektra (Elodie Yung) was killed by some immortal ninja called The Hand. He’s hung up his costume and is now trying to lead a normal life as a lawyer, mostly doing legal work pro bono for the downtrodden. But Foggy is looking out for his former friend and his new boss Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) might have some legal work for him, too – looking after a certain private investigator friend of hers called Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), who’s bound to get into trouble sometime soon…

Not yet, though, since she’s still buried in a bottle, following her murder of mind-controlling rapist David Tennant. Thankfully, she’s managed to brush off both the legal charges and infamy that came with that, but she’s not ready to take on any new clients yet. That is, until a woman comes to her door asking her to track down her missing architect husband and she starts to get threatening phone calls.

Meanwhile, Jones’ former boyfriend Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is just getting out of prison, thanks to some nimble legal work by Foggy, and has to work out what he can do to look after the people of Harlem, particularly the young black men who are succumbing to the allure of crime in his neighbourhood – particularly that instituted by a white clad man known only as ‘the African’ (Babs Olusanmokun).

Could it all have something to do with the errant billionaire Danny Rand (Finn Jones), currently off hunting down the Hand in the Far East with girlfriend and former Hand-member Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), following the Hand’s apparent destruction of the seventh city of Heaven, K’un-Lun, which Rand was charged to protect, being the immortal weapon known as The Iron Fist?

You betcha. And you can bet that somehow it’s all going to involve their various storylines intersecting at some point to fight a common enemy – Sigourney Weaver, as well as some ‘Big Bads’ from previous seasons.

Of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t the only time that a whole bunch of superheroes with independent lives ended up uniting to defeat a baddie: the once much-adored Heroes did the same thing on the small screen. I say once because as soon as everyone got together, the whole show went to pants.

So the question is: is Marvel’s The Defenders more Avengers or more Heroes? Answer coming up after the jump. Spoilers ahoy and liable to smack you in the face.

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Chania Harbour

TMINE takes its August break – see you in September (or maybe sooner)

It’s that time again. August is upon us, a month of little TV news, few new TV shows – and my annual pilgrimage to Greece.

The normal schedule will resume on September 4th, with daily TV news, Weekly Wonder Woman and reviews of all the best and worst TV shows from around the world. But I might drop in from time to time to post the occasional review of TV I might have watched – after all, at the very least I’ve got Marvel’s The Defenders to watch when I get back and Amazon’s just dropped the whole of The Last Tycoon on us.

On top of that, TMINE now has a Facebook page, so I could well be posting the occasional news item, amusing thing I’ve seen or even TV thought there, so feel free to drop by and Like it. Or keep chatting here with one another, reviewing shows you’ve seen yourselves. Just be an excellent to one another.

If you’re going on vacation yourself, I hope you have a great time. See you all refreshed and ready for more TV in the autumn!

False Flag
Israeli TV

Preview: כפולים (False Flag) 1×1 (Israel: Channel 2; UK: Fox UK)

In Israel: Aired on Channel 2 in October 2015
In the UK: Mondays, 9pm, Fox. Starts Monday July 31st

If Israeli TV has a preferred genre, it’s spy shows. Think of Hatufilm (Prisoners of War), פאודה (Fauda) and even the more comedic likes of Mossad 101. No surprise then that with all that practice, it produces some of the world’s best spy shows.

It’s too early for me to say whether Fox’s כפולים (False Flag) is one of the world’s finest spy dramas, but judging by the first episode, it’s certainly up there. Made by Keshet (Prisoners of War) for Israel’s Channel 2 back in 2015 and featuring many faces familiar from its previous shows, the show sees five seemingly ordinary Israeli TV citizens turn on their TVs one morning to see their passports plastered all over the news. Unfortunately for them, the Russian government has fingered them as Mossad agents responsible for the abduction of Iran’s minister of defence.

The show’s big questions are:

  1. Did they do it?
  2. Will people, including their loved ones, believe them when they say they didn’t do it?
  3. How does it affect them?

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Spike TV's The Mist

When’s that show you mentioned starting again, TMINE? Including The Mist

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know the latest announcements about when new imported TV shows will finally be arriving on UK screens

No new acquisitions this week, but we do have one new premiere date: all 10 episodes of Spike TV (US)’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist are going to be on Netflix from August 25th. Actually, that might be a new acquisition, because I didn’t know that Netflix had acquired it, but at the very least, that’s very definitely the premiere date. As for whether it’s worth watching, I reviewed the first episode but wasn’t impressed.