December 2017 was lacking in the Christmas movies department on my Netflix watchlist, but there were still some good TV shows on, especially for Star Wars and to a certain degree Marvel fans.
I didn’t have the time to watch movies (although I did in the physical DVD/BD world), but there were a few TV shows I was looking forward to. Having started with the first episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it became obvious that the lack of continuity and therefore emotional attachment to characters remained the biggest issues. This was a shame, because there was non-stop action in the first season with great lightsaber duels, on-ground shoot-outs and space battles that came very close to the original Star Wars movies fun. Of course Jar Jar Binks humor was a constant reminder that this was the new George Lucas vision, but fortunately there weren’t so many episodes with this annoying character. The later seasons became more focused on diplomacy, war crimes, and political intrigues, while the darker side of Anakin Skywalker and the hidden plans of Senator Palpatine all showed that this wasn’t a kid’s show. Even the return of the presumably dead Darth Maul from Episode I: The Phantom Menace was a pleasant surprise, but the constant change of places, characters, and storylines made it difficult to get into the show.
Other TV shows I watched were Netflix Originals and focused on Marvel comic characters. The Defenders was the finale of what the second season of Daredevil and the first one of Iron Fist built up, also including characters Luke Cage and Jessica Jones (see Netflix watchlist: June 2017). It obviously didn’t make much sense to watch it without getting to know what happened before. While it wasn’t the most exciting mini-series, it at least didn’t take too long for all the characters meeting up and finally beating up all the bad guys. Unlike the first Avengers movie that was an absolute drag to watch before the finale, there was enough action and some pretty funny scenes to watch, mostly because of Jessica Jones’ one-liners.
Unfortunately one series I was excited about turned out to be the most disappointing one: The Punisher. The first appearance of Frank Castle who single-handedly fought his way through a prison with all sorts of bloody knife attacks and later gunning through even more baddies in the second season of Daredevil was awesome. Sadly his own series made him a talkative person that the original comic version didn’t intend him to be. With too many characters and their problems introduced, the series’ writers made the mistake so many other shows fall victim to: too many storylines that didn’t help to keep up suspense and just too much talk instead of action, even if the latter was pretty bloody at times. Dealing with war trauma was nicely done in some emotional scenes, but the Punisher has never been a one-man drama show, so hopefully the next season will have a much more over-the-top antagonist, more shoot-outs, and knife fights to do the name justice.
The Defenders (Season 1) [7/10]
The Punisher (Season 1) [5/10]
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Season 1, Episodes 6-22 + Seasons 2+3+4) [7/10, 7/10, 7/10, 7/10]
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