TV Crimes and Punish(er)ment: Comic TV with Dan

Here, in 13 episodes, is everything Marvel Netflix did wrong for five years.

Not every flaw of The Punisher season two is something the franchise was consistently bad at. The main problem is that they tried to do two stories, each of which could have been its own season (I mean, Billy Russo’s season would have had to be written considerably better, but still), and never found a way for them to really co-exist, or connect in any real way, even thematically. And other than Daredevil season two, in which the Punisher and Elektra arcs both happened but had minimal impact on each other outside of Matt’s dalliances with Elektra screwing up his attempts to be Frank’s lawyer, that’s not something that happens a lot. In that it’s distinctly different from “Okay, we’re bored of this villain, get rid of them and bring in someone worse.”

Likewise, not every strength of this show can be found everywhere. Most can… Marvel Netflix was great at casting its heroes and villains: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Jon Bernthal, Vincent D’Onfrio, David Tennant, Mahershala Ali, Ben Barnes, Alfre Woodard, Sigourney Weaver, Simone Missick, even Mike Colter when the scripts allowed it… these are all top-notch performances, and with that murderer’s row of talent in the franchise, one can almost… almost… forgive the occasional Finn Jones or Diamondback. Likewise, sharing supporting cast members between shows created a connectivity between shows that almost but not really made up for the leads almost never checking in on each other. Seriously, the Arrowverse gets away with that because a) they film simultaneously, and b) they also air simultaneously so we can see that Green Arrow was clearly too busy to come help Flash, or vice versa. Marvel Netflix had neither of those excuses sorry, sorry, this was supposed to be about strengths…

Punisher had intense and brutal action scenes like no one else, so if that’s your thing, they were here for you… every second or third episode.

Thought I was going to come up with more strengths. Welp. Guess not.

Overall grade: C+

Maybe if they’d committed to what was working instead of doubling down on empty attempts at moral debate, they’d have ended on a higher note. Here’s hoping Jessica Jones can end this franchise in style.

Author: danny_g

Danny G, your humble host and blogger, has been working in community theatre since 1996, travelling the globe on and off since 1980, and caring more about nerd stuff than he should since before he can remember. And now he shares all of that with you.

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