Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Marvel’s Luke Cage” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Luke Cage and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.
What: “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” created by Cheo Hodari Coker, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the third in a series of shows that will lead up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. Mike Colter stars as Luke Cage, a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who now fights crime.
When: The first season of the series was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on September 30, 2016.
Where: The action is set primarily in the New York City, New York, neighborhood of Harlem, as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases. As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!
How – as in How Was It?
The pilot/premiere rating scale:
***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!
**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.
*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.
** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.
* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.
Marvel’s Luke Cage = 2.6, by average of the podcast panel.
When a sabotaged experiment gives him super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Colter) becomes a fugitive attempting to rebuild his life in Harlem and must soon confront his past and fight a battle for the heart of his city.
How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS
As long-time listeners should know by now, CPU! is chock full of panelists with a proclivity for comic book and superhero TV shows and films, including your Chief CP. Our Marvel’s Defenders Series was born of this proclivity, as we have already covered the two available seasons of Daredevil and the one available season of Jessica Jones. Listen to the links below:
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode One, “Daredevil,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, “Jessica Jones,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Three, “Daredevil,” Season 2
As such, it was only right that we cover the next series in this universe, now the third in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows leading up to a special “Defenders” miniseries, which will feature heroes like Daredevil and Jessica Jones joining together to form a special force of the ilk of the Avengers or of the Justice League in the DC Universe. Thus, we bring you our first ever Luke Cage podcast – and the fourth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders Series – featuring Defenders panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer. While our panel has formed an entertaining bond centered around these Netflix superhero shows, the bond in question betrays a unified front consisting of a general dislike of this latest Defenders’ entry. The common complaint among the panelists was that the pacing of this otherwise visually stunning piece rendered the show slow and mostly boring, though we understand that there is some popular approval of the series. Nevertheless, while the panel’s overall stance may be somewhat controversial, we do have our supporting reasons – to find out what they are, listen via the embedded link below.
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, we will try for “take two” (after more editing time) to rejoin our DCTU (DC Television Universe) panel–or, in other words, the Marvel’s Defenders panel taking off their Marvel hats and putting on their DC chapeaus–in a new but cheeky format, less around the water cooler and more within CPU!’s fractured fairy tale version of The Newlywed Game. In the forthcoming episode, all panelists engage in a brief roundup of the progress of Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, at least through the mid-season cliffhangers/finales for all four shows, for the 2016-2017 season! In this format, each panelist will separately touch base with Chief CP Kylie, providing thoughts and feedback about how the multiverse of DC Comic adaptations is faring on the CW this season. With six panelists, that’s a lot of opinions (some might say hot air) to sift through! Stay tuned for the end result!
Luke Cage is tepidly recommended by our CPU! panel to fans of comic books, particularly from the Marvel universe; fans of the Defenders series who are completion-ists; and fans of the artistic and cultural contribution of Harlem, as the panel agrees that this series was, in many ways, a deft love letter to Harlem and its literal and symbolic position in this, our modern society. By the same token, the panel generally and universally agrees that Luke Cage is by and large well-performed but poorly directed, with some good writing but questionable continuity and slow-to-the-point-of-drudgery pacing. There is also a universal dislike for the character and performance of Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes; even though the actor behind the role, Mahershala Ali, just won an Oscar, we feel that the central focus devoted to this character on the part of the directors (and producers) in the first half of Luke Cage, and Ali’s uneven performance, largely undermines the success of this first season of the series. In fact, all on the panel agree that if not for the podcast, each and every panelist would have bailed on the show within the first six episodes, despite the fact that every panelist agrees that the last three episodes were decidedly the best of the season and markedly better than all of the episodes before them combined. Super-fan Kyle, who is the most familiar with this universe, thinks that the Luke Cage character is performed well but is changed so drastically, along with supporting characters and some story elements, from the source material, it is almost not worth watching this series; he recommends reading the comic books on which the show is based instead.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Luke Cage was renewed for a second season, though an official premiere/release date has not yet been announced. Netflix has confirmed that the four Defenders’ individual character series will be released first, followed by the (first) Defenders miniseries, before Luke Cage’s second season is likely to drop (and CPU! expects that the third season of Daredevil and the second season of Jessica Jones may yet come first, as they did before the release of Luke Cage). CPU! will be following Luke Cage throughout its series run, though, as part of CPU!’s Marvel’s Defenders Series, so we will definitely return to podcast about season two some time after it is released. Until then!