Punisher -What’s with the negative reactions?

Netflix’s newest Marvel show has been released and while it’s not the best, it’s certainly in my top faves.  I’ll be breaking down specifics of the show, plot points and my opinions. So obviously there are spoilers ahead.

So first of all is the overall show. It has its ups and downs and some episodes feel like they missed the mark a little bit but ultimately the show is solid.  Some people are saying that because it is the second lowest rated of all the Netflix Marvel shows (only scoring better than Iron Fist) it must be bad.  But the reality is it’s currently sitting in the high 60s or lower 70s, which is not a “bad” show just not a “great” show.  While I personally may not place it ahead of Daredevil I feel like it’s better than Luke Cage and The Defenders.  

That being said it really wasn’t as violent and full of gunplay as I expected it to be, though it definitely has its moments. People who are familiar with the character (like me) probably expected more violence and action. People familiar with the character only from Daredevil season 2 probably expected more violence and action. People who have no idea what the show is about but watch the opening scenes and the credits (which is literally all guns) probably expected more violence and action.  Honestly after they laid the groundwork for his origin in Daredevil I expected this show to be 10 to 13 episodes of him on a murder spree.

But its not a 10 hour homicidal rage, and they do a really good job of bringing the characters to life and making most of their motivations clear, relatable and understandable. The relationship between Frank and Micro is probably one of my favorite pairings.  Once or twice during the season I thought Frank and Karen were going to get together and I just kept praying “please don’t do that, that is so not a Punisher move”.  Luckily, they didn’t do that. And even though Russo is ultimately the villain at the end of the season I couldn’t help but cheer at the demise of Agent Orange, a character I grew to despise immensely.  

The idea of making Russo a former friend and Marine is a nice idea as it makes him a more formidable opponent. I don’t think that the damage to his face would make him quite as disfigured as Jigsaw is typically portrayed in the comics.  Although when Frank drags his face down the broken mirror it was some pretty cringy material right there.  Maybe if after all the damage from Frank in the final fight he would have gotten away and then maybe stitched himself up I can see him having a more disfigured face.  But ultimately maybe Netflix is not going for the crazy disfigured but just scarred.

Many times over the season they touch on the ideas of PTSD and soldiers not being able to leave the war behind which I thought was a really nice addition to the story.  And then the idea that Lewis Wilson (the bomber) and Frank aren’t that much different in certain respects was interesting for his character development. 

So overall even though it’s not the best Marvel show and there’s a little inconsistency between some episodes it’s still a fun ride and maybe a nice jumping on point for your friend or spouse who doesn’t want to watch “superhero shows” with you.

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