Well, that was a disappointment. And a relief. But probably not for the reasons you were thinking.
So, Netflix’s various Marvel superhero shows have been in something of a funk of a late. When they were first announced, everyone was sceptical. With all the best Marvel superheroes in the cinema, what was Netflix going to do with a bunch of also-rans like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist?
But under the auspices of Steven DeKnight and Drew Goddard, the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil blew everyone away. This was quality TV. Okay, the costume was a let-down but at least that was only five minutes at the end of the last episode and we could just about excuse the magic ninja, the extreme sadism and Daredevil’s ability to heal crippling injuries in a couple of days using only the power of meditation before that.
Then Marvel’s Jessica Jones came along and that was the end of that – it looked like Netflix was doing for superhero shows what it had done for Internet TV with House of Cards. Phew. We were in safe hands. Roll on the other two shows.
Since then, those of us following these shows have largely been in a state of perpetual disappointment. Maybe it would have been better if the first two shows hadn’t been quite so good, then we wouldn’t have been quite so disappointed. Marvel’s Luke Cage was okay, but not great. Marvel’s Iron Fist was awesome! Unfortunately, I’m probably the only person who thought that (screw you, haters). The much-anticipated second season of Daredevilwas half-good, half-dreadful. The great big team-up of all four superheroes, Marvel’s The Defenders, was a bit blah thanks to a rushed conclusion and poor characterisation. Season two of Jessica Jones was season one of Jessica Jones again. Yawn. Season two of Luke Cage was a marked improvement over season one, but still not good enough to prevent it getting cancelled. Season two of Iron Fist was not only soporific, it was season two of Luke Cage as well, so it got cancelled, too.
The one bright star in the Marvel firmament was unexpected addition The Punisher.
So it was with low expectations but a certain degree of hope that I went into season three of Marvel’s Daredevil. Would it be as good as season one? Would it even be good?
I crossed my fingers, anyway.
Daredevil to hope
As I said, after 13 episodes, both relief and disappointment were the results. Disappointment, not because it was bad, but because it starts so well. The first six or so episodes are great. It then just turns into absolute rubbish. It’s stupid and almost unwatchable at times. Remember the Hand? Just as bad.
Oh the disappointment.
So why relief? Because thankfully, the final three or four episodes are great again. Woo hoo!
And it’s all by going back to the first season and what was good about the show. And by ditching that stupid costume. Spoilers after the jump.
Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK
Fewer acquisitions this week, but no shortage of premiere dates. Premiere-less newbies are The Name of the Rose (Italy: Rai), which has been picked up the Beeb; When Heroes Fly (Israel: Keshet 12), which Netflix has got its mitts on; and My Brilliant Best Friend (US: HBO), which Sky Atlantic has naturally acquired, it having an exclusivity agreement with HBO.
Staggeringly dull drama in which Sean Penn plays the first person to lead a mission to Mars. At least, I assume he gets there, since the entire first season is about the training and engineering decisions involved in getting him there, once the first attempted mission blows up in the first episode.
As well as reading more like Andy Weir’s research notes for The Martian, The First is mainly an advert for producer Penn, since the show is also about his great topless physique and how he’s better than literally everyone else at literally everything else, particularly Brit CEO Natascha McElhone. Some slight sci-fi ‘futurology’ moderately lifts the show, but it’s a snooze for the most part.
CBS’s king of misanthropic comedy, Chuck Lorre, arrives on Netflix with The Kominsky Method, which follows Sandy Kominsky, an actor who years ago had a brief fling with success and is now a revered Hollywood acting coach. Michael Douglas plays Kominsky, while Alan Arkin plays his agent and best friend. There’s also a decent supporting cast, with Nancy Travis playing a recent divorcee who decides to take acting lessons from Douglas, Sarah Baker playing his daughter and Lisa Edelstein playing Arkin’s estranged daughter. Whether it’s funny is a different matter, though…