I finally got around to watching Luke Cage! And man, this needs to be talked about! Netflix is on one hell of a roll with these Marvel shows.
Spoiler alert, though – I’m not holding back on spoilers. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, and don’t want to know any specifics, this is where you should get off. But who am I to tell you what to do?
Without further blabla:
The writing is great. The characters are well-rounded and feel real and tangible, which is always good, especially with superheroes. The main characters are a lot of fun to watch, and the not-main characters don’t just feel like minor characters, but also support the story.
The Black to White ratio is unbalanced as sh*t – and I loved it. I’m glad they didn’t white-wash this show like they have a tendency to do on TV or in cinema. And the different (negative) reactions from (white) people just make you realize how unbalanced the ratio usually is, but the other way around. I’m glad there’s a popular show that has more black actors than whites. It’s a nice change. A much needed change, too, and I’m saying this as a white person…
It addresses many issues, too. There’s a whole important part about Luke Cage being a bulletproof black man, and how that gives the other people in this show hope. It’s a great symbol; one much needed in times like these. Even if it’s “just” a show.
The fighting sequences are great as well. Not as bloody as the ones in Daredevil, for example, which is probably mostly due to the fact that Luke’s skin is unbreakable; but that’s just my humble opinion.
There’s humor, too. Not so much as to make it feel less serious, but enough for you to get a laughing break when you need one.
And there’s other emotions. This show makes you feel stuff.
I also liked that Luke never pretends to be anything but who he is when it comes to his powers. There’s no mask, no persona behind whom he hides. He just goes right ahead and tells the media his name and allows himself to be filmed doing what he’s doing – that’s a big change from what we’ve come to known in superhero media. It’s a nice change, because he doesn’t lead a double life, and there’s a lot less secrets that he has to hide. It’s quite refreshing.
This show has some good villains, too, with good backgrounds. Mariah’s and Cottonmouth’ stories are tragic, showing us how they became who they are, without trying to excuse what they do. That’s a difficult balance to find, and the show does a fantastic job.
The acting is fantastic. Everyone is doing a great job with their characters, which is always nice to watch.
There’s a lighter feel despite the darkness and tragedy than Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I can’t really put my finger on why; maybe it’s the lighter humor, or maybe it’s the combination of characters, or maybe it’s because it’s less bloody and rape-y. Don’t get me wrong, Luke’s story is quite tragic, but he’s not a tragic hero. He doesn’t try to go back to being Carl Lucas, because he likes being Luke Cage.
Sometimes the pacing was a bit off. Not enough to put you out of the show, but there’s a few times where it cuts from one scene to another, and it’s a little confusing.
Some of the flashbacks are pushed in at weird times, and it ends up feeling less natural than it would have had they been put at other times.
I’m also not a huge fan of the growing romantic relationship between Claire Temple and Luke Cage. I love both characters – Claire is a badass – but I just enjoyed them more as friends. The chemistry between them feels more like friendship; but that’s just my personal opinion. They deserve each other, though, so I can roll with where they’re going. As long as it doesn’t end or turn into drama.
Rating: Outstanding. It dares to be different without actually breaking the pattern of previous shows, and Luke Cage is a really cool character much needed in these times. I can’t wait for season 2! And I can’t wait for The Defenders, cause that’s one team-up I’m looking forward to seeing.