have two words for you if you are having mixed thoughts about watching The Defenders: Sigourney Weaver. If nothing else will encourage you to give this series a go then please trust in Sigourney. She is a phenomenal villain. We meet her at her most vulnerable yet, she manages to exude this air of power and strength while alluding to her extended years through not so subtle references to ancient cities and long dead composers.
This is a slow starter. Although they know you are not going to watch The Defenders without first having seen every other series in the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ half of the MCU, it's as though they felt they still had to do some character exposition and development. Like you were unfamiliar with Daredevil’s stubbornness, Jessica’s tragic yet lovable alcoholism, Luke’s obsession with Sweet Christmas and Danny’s whiney, whingey, irritating face. They did need time to set up circumstances to bring our 'supers' together, and so I'll forgive them the meandering start. Plus, I'm quite impatient. Not their fault.
It also took me some time to get past the choppy and inconsistent directing style in the first few episodes, as the series had seven directors for eight episodes, it was not a surprise that style changed frequently. Sometimes I physically wanted to get up and move the camera, as so much of the screen was obscured by a badly positioned over-the-shoulder shot.
One thing I must say, you need to watch their stories in order. Don’t muddle it up… like I did. Daredevil Season one was immense, with a well-earned Rotton Tomatoes score of 86%. However, Season two made my eyes bleed. It was painful and I gave up half way through only to return last month to make sure I hadn't missed some vital plot line for The Defenders. I had blissful binge watches full of Jessica’s sour quips and Luke’s stern looks. It was good times. Then Danny Rand destroyed all hope. His Rotton score of 17% was maybe not entirely justified, however, certain irritating elements of Iron Fist carried over into The Defenders. Danny is a whiney little, privileged baby who carries on being whiney all the way through. I’m waiting for him to break his conditioning and realise the world does not revolve around him.
But all is not lost. Persevere, friends. Episode three will save us all. The tone changes entirely as soon as the main players are pushed together. Jessica’s quick, dry wit and scathing remarks begin to save it for me, along with the high concentration of very bad-ass punching in corridors. The supporting characters also come into their own and prove, truly, anyone can be a hero.
From then on, we still see a few slow character-developing conversations as we learn more about Stick and what 'The Hand' are planning to do but the pace is much more suited to the content and is a far easier watch. Sigourney convinces me she should be a super-villain more often and we get a stunning reprise of the one-shot pan of a fantastic, multifaceted fight scene much like season one of Daredevil. The end justifies the means. Stick with it people.