Yes. Yes, it is. Thank you for reading my piece, bye!
OK, let me elaborate a bit more on why Iron Fist really is that bad. All the critics are right, alas. Iron Fist was on my 2017 must see list, as the other Netlix Defenders series were really great in my opinion. So when the first reviews came in and were quite bad, I still had to see the show with my own eyes. Maybe they were wrong? Nope, they sure weren’t. So here is a list of things that make Iron Fist the worst of the four Defender shows.
Iron Fist doesn’t handle any real issues
Daredevil is about morality, and about coming up for those who can’t do so themselves. It’s about the little man struggling with the big guys, and also, it’s about friendship. Jessica Jones had even bigger issues to show us, as that amazing show told about abusive relationships, mental health issues and broken people. Luke Cage was about racism, and about Black Lives Matter, the most current themes in all of the shows. Iron Fist… is about a poor little rich boy. It’s a show about Danny Rand, former billionaire, who wants what his daddy build years ago. It’s about an egotistical priviliged white dude. Read more on this white savior trope here.
Iron Fist is boring AF
When a show is about an immortal warrior from a mystic place which has a DRAGON, I expect lots of action. Loads of action. An action packed show. Kind of like Daredevil, but with a dragon. But nope. What we got were some minor action sequences, one or two big fights and a lot of… Danny Rand doing exercises. The ‘incredible’ Iron Fist doing boring as hell moves to focus his Chi. Everybody talking about Chi many, many, many times. As for the dragon, Shou-Lao the Undying, we get to see… it’s eyes.
Besides the non-action and the boring Chi stuff, Iron Fist is more about corporate scheming than about who the Iron Fist is. There are hardly any shots of the mystical city of K’un-Lun, no background information, almost no flashbacks. All of those things could have made this show so much more amazing. Instead, we get to see Danny Rand taking back his place at Rand Enterprises and a lot of boring meetings with boring people in suits. Even Claire Temple, who is great in all other Marvel shows, is very boring in Iron Fist. Such a waste of talent.
Finn Jones’ responses
Lead actor Finn Jones made several responses to the negative feedback. First, there was his response to the controversial whitewashing claims of Iron Fist. He said on Twitter that “representation is important” and “I will go as far to say that it may be one of the most diverse shows out of the three.” Which of the four shows he let out, I’m not sure of. Is Iron Fist in fact whitewashed? Well, in theory, no. The comic book Danny Rand has always been a white, blonde dude. But it would have made the casting guys at Marvel so much more cooler if they went with a bolder choice, certainly as fans made an online petition for them to cast an Asian actor. And why not, as I kindly remind you of a certain mr. Nicholas Fury.
Back to Finn Jones. After the first reviews came in, he said the following:
Well I think there’s multiple factors. What I will say is these shows are not made for critics, they are first and foremost made for the fans.
I also think some of the reviews we saw were seeing the show through a very specific lens, and I think when the fans of the Marvel Netflix world and fans of the comic books view the show through the lens of just wanting to enjoy a superhero show, then they will really enjoy what they see.
This is wrong on two levels. One: this makes it seem that critics couldn’t be fans of Marvel, or comic books in general. Two: that fans should be OK with a bad written, boring show about a boring dude, just because they like the source material or like other superhero shows or movies. So critics can’t be fans and fans can’t be critical.
Is everything on Iron Fist that bad?
Most of it, yes, and I hate to say that. I love Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, but Iron Fist just took about 13 hours from my life I will never get back. Still, there are some highlights. Madame Gao is a good villain who gets too little screentime. I hope she will return to Daredevil or the new Defenders series coming up. The nods to the other Netflix shows are nice, especially when Joy Meachum mentions a certain private investigator she hired. The small part Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) plays is very cool. But for me, the best thing of Iron Fist was Ward Meachum. Actor Tom Pelphrey is the star of the show for me. His Ward makes the most character development in the series and his scenes are the only ones never once boring.
It remains to be seen if Iron Fist will get a second season as it was bashed almost everywhere. Still, Danny Rand might redeem himself on Marvel’s The Defenders, the highly anticipated Netflix show featuring all four superheroes. If that goes well and he’s not as boring anymore, a second season just might come. I might give him another shot, but only if the writers and actors will learn from the many, many things that are wrong with Iron Fist season 1.