With our love of the previous Marvel-created Netflix shows, we were definitely excited for this series to debut and dove right in when it was released. And while Tiffany and I aren’t the binge-watching types, we finished all 13 episodes in about a week and a half. I won’t spoil any of the story beats here, but will say that you need to watch this series (if you haven’t already)!
Once again, Netflix has demonstrated that (from a storytelling perspective) this is the way to do a TV series. Unbound by the traditional network formula of 43 minutes of content for every hour-long TV show with cliffhanger breaks every 10-ish minutes, Luke Cage (like it’s other Netflix-created bretheren) is free to just tell it’s story (a dichotomy of TV show models that was made all the more apparent as we were also diving into the Supergirl TV show at the same time). I only wish that all the TV shows that I watch could be made in such a way (imagine if they moved Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over to Netflix)!
I also can’t talk about Luke Cage without mentioning its music. Between the phenomenal score and guest artists that graced the stage of Harlem’s Paradise (Daptone folks especially), I heard the perfect mix of music that was able to bridge the character’s 70s roots with today’s modern world: music that transcends being a mere changer of mood and tone to become an essential element of the show’s identity.
Lastly, I just wanted to touch on the casting of this show. I found it heartening to see that this cast was overwhelmingly one of color: reflective of not only the source material, but of the reality of it’s Harlem setting. As a person of Chinese descent, I can’t truly say if this show speaks to the African-American experience, but I can say that seeing a person of color (from any descent) being portrayed as a real person (with or without super powers) who is a positive force in a leading role is one that needs to be seen much more often.
Bottom line… Luke Cage is a must-watch for anyone: comic fan or not.