Can the latest Netflix show, Luke Cage, live up to the standard set by Daredevil and Jessica Jones? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Also yes, but just let me explain why.
Plot: The show is the continuation of the stories of the ‘normal’ heroes in the Marvel Universe, taking out mob bosses and drug dealers as opposed to the Avengers who are all preoccupied with punching aliens into space and whatnot. Having focused in the past on Daredevil and Jessica Jones, we now turn to Luke Cage, an innocent convict who has super strength and bulletproof skin. The story follows his clashes with various villains in Harlem, from councilwoman Mariah Stokes, to her cousin and gun runner/club owner Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, Hernan “Shades” Alvarez and the man he works for, mysterious crime boss “Diamondback.”
Writing: It’s a Marvel Netflix show, so those who have seen the others will know what to expect. For viewers that haven’t, here’s the rundown. The Netflix shows always have a degree of brutality and realism not present in the Marvel movies with the likes of Iron Man and Captain America. It’s R-rated, from the language, to the violence, and even to the subject matters. Luke Cage is, however, the most optimistic and uplifting of all of the Marvel shows.The show deals with some of the current struggles of African Americans, like police brutality in a well done, coherent way. The image of Luke Cage as a bulletproof black man in a hoodie is a powerful one, but the problem is how absolutely aware of it the show is. At a certain point, hearing about it over and over again does tend to get a bit tiring, regardless of how fantastic the image is. The plot lags after the seventh episode and never really recovers from it, after the loss of one of the better villains.
Characters: The cast is excellent. All of the heroes are well-written and very solid, as are most of the villains, save for one. Diamondback. Diamondback is a cartoon character. You can tell that the actor’s having fun, but it’s impossible to take him seriously. Even dramatic moments are ruined because he’s just so over the top. There’s supposed to be a tension-filled moment where a character is about to be thrown off of a ledge by him and he screams “BYE FELICIA” as he does it in one of the most unintentionally funny moments I’ve ever seen on film. But, Mike Colter’s portrayal as Luke Cage is superb. He’s charismatic, heroic, if a bit jaded, which for a Netflix series is actually fairly refreshing.
Bingeworthiness: Absolutely. It is made to be binged. I would go on, but it’s unnecessary. These Netflix-only shows are designed for exactly this. Why are you still reading this article? Go watch it and neglect your responsibilities.
Overall, 4 Unusual Euphemisms / 4 Cups of Coffee
Hi there. I’m Tom Pahl. If you enjoyed this, feel free to follow me on twitter @BCCBingeworthy for the latest in tv show reviews.