I’m starting to miss when the first episode name for new shows was always “Pilot” and if the show wasn’t good then I wouldn’t have to sit through 12 more episodes to review it.
Anyway, Iron Fist or, The Adventures of Danny Bland as we will soon find out as we trek through the latest offering from Marvel/Netflix.
I wasn’t overly familiar with the character growing up so there won’t be any comic nerd bias, so to speak. I did do some minor Google-Fu as I went through the series to get some contrast and will probably drop some comparisons along the way, but this being a new medium for the character(s) I believe the show should speak for itself and will be judged as such.
Episode 1: Slow Gives Way
Danny Rand returns to New York after being presumed dead for 15 years, bringing with him a first generation iPod and Justin Timberlake’s NSYNC hair. Seemingly surprised that nobody recognizes him now that he is not a 10-year-old boy he proceeds to water dance his way passed 5 security guards, 4 of which seem to fall over because he probably smells like he looks: a barefoot, homeless hipster wearing a ratty poncho (or as I call them, torso diapers.)
Yes, billionaire, see Danny is the heir to 51% of a super-company that does…stuff I guess, I gather that Rand Enterprises is an avatar for a GE or similar conglomerate.
So, he makes his way to the executive offices to find his childhood friends incredulous to his claims and their father, Harold Meachum (Danny’s father’s BFF), is dead from cancer 12 years prior. The childhood friends, a brother-sister duo named Ward and Joy Meachum, are presented as typical corporate scumbags but with Joy being a little more sensitive. Regardless, he gets tossed like my salad after a craigslist meetup. Meanwhile a migraine flashback reveals that Danny and his parents (Heather and Wendell, not that it matters) were in a plane crash 15 years ago. Get used to these flahsbacks people.
He breaks into his old house, now Joy’s, sniffs her panties and has another flashback to reaffirm that Ward was always a giant dicksore.
SMASHCUT! EXT. Nighttime. Danny meets a homeless man in a park whose name is Big Al. Al is short for exposition and the scene is not only painfully obvious what it is there todo, it is also redundant.
Daytime now! Oh, back at Joy’s house…see how that seen above is completely pointless?
Anyway she isn’t pleased to seem him and starts bitching at him until he jumps over a taxi to escape her shrill voice so he can do some Tai Chi in the park. There is a cut of a CGI hawk that seems to represent something but that is never really clear.
In the park we are introduced to Colleen Wing, a super hot dojo owner who he instantly insults by speaking Mandarin to her even though she is putting up Karate posters and has no accent. Her background isn’t really clear but that’s akin to asking a girl if she’s pregnant without knowing. He asks her for a job but she shrugs him off while I slo-mo her walking away.
Meanwhile back at Rand, Joy and Ward have a boring chat about obvious stuff.
Later that night Danny tries to chat up Ward by commandeering his vehicle and driving recklessly in a parkade like a numbskull. Ward once again explains that Danny and his family died in a plane crash 15 years ago in case we missed it the first 6 times. Danny has another in a long line of seizure/freakout fits followed by apologizing after doing something retarded. He almost crashes the car but luckily he has stunt training even though he has never really driven before…ever.
Nighttime. More Exposition Al who seems to have been reading some Jared Diamond and brings Danny some food then leaves. Al seems to be the most likeable character so far, can’t wait to see how he develops further into the plot.
Danny shows up at Colleen’s Dojo, Chikara, and challenges her to battle for a job and she talks words back in a nice white tank top and sports bra, I didn’t really catch what she said. It is revealed that Danny trained at a place called K’un Lun and isn’t really fleshed out more than that yet. Colleen gives Danny some shoes and shoos. Outside he is attacked by the security guards from Rand Ent. but beats them up and escapes into a conveniently happening lightsaber bubble parade.
The next day Ward is not happy when he hears that his goons have failed to muderify Danny so he makes a mysterious phone call to plan a meeting. He arrives later that night at a mysterious building and takes a mysterious elevator to a mysterious penthouse with biometrics that take mysteriously long to read his soft hands. Inside, holy shit, we find out that Ward’s dad, Faramir…I mean Harold, is still alive and living in seclusion in his penthouse as a kind of Wizard of Oz figure, pulling the strings from behind the curtain. Harold also employs a pin dick, ditch bitch assistant Kyle who seems to be one of the few to know that Harold isn’t dead. Kyle’s character serves the purpose of showing us what a stunning asshole Harold Meachum is.
Ward and Haramir have a boring chat about what was already discussed earlier and hatch a devious plot.
Back in the park, the storyline seems to have been repeated enough so Big Al is found dead and OMG he has a hawk tattoo! Get it?! Not really, if he was some sort of spirit guide or whatever I’m pretty sure they don’t usually die of a fucking heroin overdose. The only reason to think this means anything is that the next episode is named Shadow Hawk Takes Flight. 2deep4me.
At Rand the next day, Danny confronts Joy and convinces her to listen to his story. But uh-oh, that fiery little minx has drugged his tea and team Meachum has Danny committed to a psychiatric institution.
He wakes up strapped to a bed like dildo to a submissive’s chin.
We’ve still got about 90 seconds left so we are treated to the same flashback he’s been having about the plane crash one last time except in this one we actually get to see the mother sucked out of the fuselage so it’s not all bad. The plane heads straight towards a mountain and somehow doesn’t explode and we end the episode with his iPod lying in the snow playing Outkast.
I can only hope he is found by a Hungry Uruguayan Rugby team before next episode.
This episode had zero iron and very little fisting.