Luke Cage series Review, finally.

I know its been ages since the rest of the world saw and talked about Luke Cage. But its hard to see all the shows and movies I’d like to see. Between watching our current anime and Nick Jr for my son, there’s so much I miss. I actually started it a while ago, but stopped right at the last episode of the season, finally I finished it. I will do it in the form of a layered compliment sandwich; starting and ending with positive aspects, with some negatives in between. So here are my 2 cents, even if it is ridiculously late.

1. African American Representation

As an African American, thirsting for fantasy and sci-fi characters to identify with, it was a breath of fresh air. I know there was outrage over the “lack of diversity”, meaning lack of white people, but this is the same way people of color feel watching TV and other media outlets most of the time. This was not something that was created out of the blue “just for black people”. The comic was created like this. It was created to reflect the blaxploitation films that were popular during the 70s, like Foxy Brown and Shaft. This version is a modern day interpretation of that. There some variations from the original comic, like characters and settings, but that is pretty much to be expected. It especially liked the idea of the bulletproof black man wearing a black hoodie. It was a direct homage to Travon Martina and the other countless, murders at the hands of police. There were major white people in the show, most of them just happened to be the bad guys. This show and the comic is set in Harlem, where there are mostly Blacks and Latinos, so once again it all makes sense.

2. Bad Acting

Some of the acting is just bad. Particularly from the leading man, Mike Colter. Its just too corny and unauthentic sometimes. Maybe the corniness stemmed from his use of the phrase “Sweet Christmas”. I know his character had a lot of integrity and didn’t like cursing or use of “the n-word”, but I think it could have been accomplished without being as corny as it was.  The scenes that were particularly painful to watch were to romantic moments between Cage and Claire.

3. The Love Triangle

It was however spicy, to see the somewhat of a love triangle between Misty Knight, and Claire as the former and Cage’s relationship started to bloom. The scenes with Misty and Clair together in the restaurant basement gave some comedic relief to the drama that was going on around them. Their continuous use of the analogy of coffee was a bit overdone throughout the series though.

4. Mariah

She starts as kind of a victim; a politician who can’t let go and stop helping her crooked cousin. We later see that it is much more than that. She is the real manipulator, blinded by her lust for power. It saddened me so, to learn that Mariah was referenced to being in my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The “oo-whoop” (spelled this way on Netflix’s subtitles) which is actually typically spelled “oo-oop” (maybe they changed it on purpose), is a greeting for fellow sorors. Misty kept referring to a “skee-wee” which is the call of our rival sorority, I was hoping she was “one of them”, but she was corrected by her superior Priscilla. You’re probably confused if you are unfamiliar with Pan Hellenic council Fraternities and Sororities, but that’s neither here, nor there.  I can’t decide who’s running who in the Mariah-Shades relationship. What made me really cringe was seeing Mariah kiss Shades at the end of the last episode. Dear God, I hope that doesn’t become a thing.

5. Character Backstories

I’m a sucker for back story, so seeing the story of his relationship with Diamondback was good, but it still seems unrealistic that everybody knew he was he brother but him. I almost can’t stand it when villains just get obsessed with something like this. Ok, you were an illegitimate child, it happens. But it wasn’t Cages fault. At least be mad at the right person. But I guess if that happened there would be no villains. I also enjoyed the story of Luke Cages time at Seagate, it gave some real insight to his character and the thing he has gone through to make him who he is. This dang Super-Soldier serum keeps messing peoples lives up in Marvel. The flashbacks to Mariah and Cottonmouth’s youth were also good. Seeing how Mother Mabel influenced and molded them into who they turned out to be was interesting.  Cottonmouth was the classic villian, that could’ve been a hero, or at least a law abiding citizen, had he been given a chance. The real villain in this is Mariah, who ended up getting away, for now.

6. Lackluster Action Scenes

I understand that he doesn’t have Incredible Hulk strength, and that this wasn’t one of the blockbuster Avengers movies, but I think the audience deserved a little bit more than what we got. In one of the first action scenes, we see Cage punch and completely crush one of Cottonmouth’s men’s fist. They set it up so good, but almost nothing else lived up to this action. The story of each episode also, dragged a bit. I’m used to dealing with things being dragged on and on with anime, but not with a regular action television series.

8. Misty Knight

My favorite character of the series, was of course the smart, beautiful, and natural haired, Misty Knight. She had more of an emotional roller coaster in this series than anybody else.  She went from being the super confident cop, with all the right answers, to a confused woman trying to figure out who or what to trust. The ending of the series brought it all together for me seeing her in the quintessential big afto, hoops, and strapped red garb. I hope she’s found herself, and becomes the Misty Knight of the comics.

Even with the downfalls, Luke Cage was a win for me overall. I have to catch up on January Jones and Daredevil now, so I can prepare for the upcoming Defenders in the future. I hope any future seasons are able to rectify some of the issues, so it can be as great a show as it has the potential to be. What did you all thinkabout Luke Cage? Was it a hit for you? Or did it fall flat?

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Now I’m off to get some coffee….(I had throw it in there somehow)

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12 thoughts on “Luke Cage series Review, finally.

  1. I loved this series! It’s nice to know someone else found some of the acting a bit cringe as well😑
    But I confess loved his corny catchphrase, and the swear jar!

    I also agree the whole diamondback arc was a bit frustrating, Luke can’t help it.

    I have a huge crush on Misty Night! It’s so great to see such a powerful female character central to a superhero franchise. And she’s so different to Jessica Jones, it’s refreshing (it’s so annoying when the same old ‘generic tough girl’ trope is used for every female character is a franchise isn’t it?).
    I can’t wait for the next series!!

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  2. Yes! I agree with all your points! I’m afraid it all made the series a bit meh, to me. I really need for there to be some levels in the lead’s acting, if he’s going to carry the whole show. Misty Knight definitely had the energy. And the end fight was nowhere near enough for me–it was a tepid fisticuffs with a random flashback thrown in for good measure. I did get a kick out of Diamondback, only because he was unpredictable and raised the stakes for the hero in the end.

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    • Yea you never knew what diamondback was going to do next, without him there really wouldn’t have been any decent conflict. I hope they can make improvements because I really like the premise and idea of the show. I think that’s what kept it alive. But if they deliver in the future with better acting and action I think it will flop.

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  3. I liked the show overall. I think Cottonmouth, though, should have stayed as a villain to the end and have been made a little bit stronger. I think we could have waited for Diamondback. Misty Knight was a major plus for the show too.

    Some more action would have been good and I think Cage’s background in the military could have been reflected a little more too. Overall, I appreciated the show.

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  4. Man so sad to hear about this show not living up to it’s image. I really wanted it to be good. Great writeup though, do you feature your writing with any other sites at all?

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  5. I actually loved every bit of Luke Cage. I felt like he was just a good example of a man and was a realized adult character in his complexity. Power Man and Iron Fist was one of my first favorite comics when I was a little kid along with Amazing Spider-Man. Really looking forward to Iron Fist and the relationship between Luke and Danny. Plus I think we could all use a little cheese in our heroic fiction sometimes. Haha

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    • It was more some of the acting than the cheesiness since that was a part of Luke Cage’s character in the comic. Almost nothing is perfect and I can’t help but be the “Devils Advocate” at times.I enjoyed it overall and loom forward to what will come next.

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  6. Big fan of th original PM & IF comic series – yet to catch th TV series (wary of seeing how comic book characters translate to th screen – hope this 1 is ok)
    Big fan of th X-Men as well and wld just like to say – if I may b so bold – calling your son Xavier Charles is SO COOL! Wanted to call our son Nightcrawler, but strangely, me wife baulked at such an idea
    Thanks for Following – hope u find some real cool Posts to enjoy!
    Cheers!

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  7. I have to agree about Diamondback. I wish that Cottonmouth was the main protagonist for the entire show, I mean that guy is a great actor, to begin with, and he really was a fantastic villain. I also loved seeing Mariah slip into darkness and the dynamic between Shades and Mariah! I’m all on board for #ShadyMariah! ❤ I think that Misty did overshadow Claire a lot in the show but I'm not happy with the mess that Matt left her with. I really don't like how she ultimately left Matt and is kind of with Luke but technically she can't be and she'll get tossed to the side again when he rekindles his romance with Jessica if they try to loosely follow the comics.

    Finally, I did find Mike's acting to be a little cheesy at times but not enough to distract me from the show. I'm left wondering about the "lack of diversity" in the show…it takes place in Harlem…………..and there is more diversity in that show that any other show made for mainstream they pull from a wealth of different ethnic groups. I know at the whole there are a lot of black people but again it takes place in Harlem and there was at least for me a good mix of a lot of different races in the show. Maybe not in prominent roles besides Misty's partner but how else are they suppose to depict a demographic like Harlem? 😛

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