Series Review - Luke Cage

Series available on NetFlix

The Show
So I binge watched this one for a majority of the day yesterday. I made it all the way through season one and I enjoyed myself. Don't worry this will be spoiler free for those who are not finished with the season or have yet to watch. Marvel's Luke Cage is the third show in the Marvel series in the lead up to their team up series The Defenders. We first saw Cage in last year's Jessica Jones and this series picks up a few months later uptown in Harlem New York. Luke is working under the table jobs trying to stay out of the spotlight when he is pulled in to the spotlight by protecting the people of Harlem from those trying to hurt it. There is a lot to like about the show the first of which is the acting. It is stellar and a lot of it comes from The Wire (at this point we should call the Marvel Netflix shows The Wire 2.0) as well as some characters from Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I am going to spoil one thing for you in this show, Jessica Jones does not show up at all or is even mentioned by name once in this season. So if you are looking for her to show up and them try and reconcile a little of what happened at the end of Jessica Jones, don't hold your breath. However, they do acknowledge the show by having the Trish Talks radio show play at the beginning of one of the episodes, I thought that was a nice touch. If you are a fan of music I believe that you will enjoy the soundtrack. It has a very blaxploitation/hip hop vibe and sound that I think works very well throughout the season. Also, the live performances that they do and they way they blend in to scenes is amazing in and of itself. A lot has been said about the racial issues that the show would be tackling. I have heard some people make idiotic statements that it sympathizes with Black Lives Matter. I will say this, in my opinion it does not at all. What I got from how they portrayed the situations was show how people let their emotions get the better of them so much so to the point where they can be mislead by media spin and political sidestepping. The series showed the cops point of view, the peoples point of view, and the media's point of view. It is an interesting way of showing what's going on in the US today without painting all the blame on one particular side. It really makes you think and that is a very good thing when a show can make you do that, especially a super hero show. There is one more thing that I loved about it and that was the way that they made the show feel like modern day Blaxploitation. Not in a bad way but with how scenes were shot and some of the dialog has that blaxploitation feel to the series. As much as I enjoyed the season I did find a few issues with the season. One is it kind of gets predictable. If you have seen more than one blaxploitation movie, if you have seen other TV shows like The Wire or Southland then some things you are going to call before it happens. Some stuff you will see coming a mile away. I also did not like the way they wrapped up the season. I was hoping that they would handle that a little bit differently and the ending just had me asking more questions about not only just the future of the Luke Cage but Defenders as well.

For Parents
Once again the Marvel NetFlix series are not for kids. This show has violence, sex, and partial nudity as well as various adult themes. The majority of episodes run in the 48 - 55 minute range with one episode being 65 minutes. Towards the end of the season damn near every episode ends on a cliffhangar that will have you immeadiately going to the next one so don't be surprised if you wind up watching 5 episodes in a row.

The Verdict
This show is tied for my favorite of the Marvel shows. It's tied with Daredevil Season 1 for me. I enjoyed this immensely. I would have liked a Jessica or Danny cameo but I can wait until Defenders for that to happen. There is a small shout out to Iron Fist in the last episode but you have to be paying attention to catch it, I don't think there will be to many people that catch it on first viewing. Overall this is a MUST WATCH show, especially if you are a fan of the previous series. Looking forward to Iron Fist and Defenders.


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