Thursday, October 19, 2017

Marvel TV News

At long last The Punisher release date dropped, November 17th, the revised date due to the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1st. While it has never been officially confirmed, Newsday's (Vernon Gay) rumour of a date change is the ultimate source for the flood of stories after the show pulled out of NYCC, with most believing MCU Exchange's scoop date of October 13th was the original plan. Of interest is that the speculated date of November 10th was never in the cards (since the move could easily have been to that spot), but it's not far off summer speculation of November 14th. Interestingly, this puts the show head-to-head against Justice League, albeit other than both being based on comic books they aren't truly in direct competition. Oddly enough, looking at Netflix's schedule you'd think the 10th would be a better date--Stranger Things drops October 27th, Alias Grace November 3rd, and then nothing until Godless November 22nd (which seems similar enough to The Punisher that I think it will suffer from the proximity).

We learned a couple of weeks ago that Finn Jones would appear in Luke Cage season two, but at the time it was unknown if it was simply a cameo or something more. Mike Colter has revealed it will be more extensive than a cameo, saying:
We are teamed up for a bit. That’s the whole point of bringing that flavor to it. I can see how this works. That’s what good about it. We’re giving people what they want. ... let’s give a little Heroes for Hire somewhere in the season and see what happens
This sounds like an actual story arc--whether for a few episodes or more is hard to say (probably not more than half a season). It'll be interesting to see how Cheo Hodari Coker will write Danny Rand (he's been pretty faithful to source material, so I'd expect a more comic book accurate version), as this will be the first time Scott Buck doesn't have any impute on it. I doubt Danny will get his costume however, as that's likely going to be reserved for Iron Fist season two.

Colter couldn't say when the second season will air, but hoped for the first quarter or first half of next year (which would fit my prediction).

The site that posted the story added the following:
Though Jones’ portrayal of Danny Rand was one of the most criticized aspects of The Defenders, and his own series is the most critically-panned of all Netflix series, it was still a hit among viewers.
I'm not sure the former is true, but the latter has to be hard for sites to admit after months of crapping all over Iron Fist.

It's been reported that viewership for The Defenders was the lowest among the Netflix series'. Interestingly enough, despite that the show is the the most binge-watched of those shows (and the third highest ever). Putting aside what you think of the quality of the team-up, one of the lessons learned here is that eight-episodes is simply too easy--too disposable--and Netflix would be better off making it a longer series (something that would allow for development missing from the first installment).

I've been interested in keeping tabs on the ratings for both the Inhumans and The Gifted (I posted my review of the former's episode three--which Midnight's Edge thought was an improvement, while I think it's the weakest; my episode four review is here). The Fox show's troubles carry over from the premiere (which I discuss here)--the dry as dust mutant-menace stuff along with the poorly developed characters and soap opera-like elements (eg the lazy pregnancy plot)--it still gets good performances from Stephen Moyer (Reed Strucker) and Emma Dumont (Polaris). Ratings (also here and here) make for an interesting comparison:
Inhumans: 3.8 - 2.8 - 2.3 (0.9 - 0.7 - 0.6 key demographic) 39% drop since the premiere (33%)
The Gifted: 4.8 - 3.8 - 3.5 (1.5 -1.2 - 1.1 key demographic) 27% drop since the premiere (26%)

It's worth noting the Inhumans drop was much less between episodes 3 and 4 (17%), but more than The Gifted's drop between two and three (7%). Friday nights (when the latter airs) is well-known to have far less viewership than other nights (30% is the figure I've seen), but factoring that in The Gifted is still ahead (Inhumans latest episode would be at 3.0 with that bump). The DVR numbers are important and show both shows with significant increases (a similar edge is there, 74% vs 61%). Thus far the Fox effort has stopped the freefall, possibly due positive critical buzz. It's worth noting Inhumans is still ahead of an average Agents of SHIELD episode from last season.

This kind of thing--low ratings for superhero shows this fall--has led to some speculation (whether it's serious or clickbait is up to you) that the superhero TV bubble has burst. This is overreaching by far and is due more to the mediocre offerings of the fall. The real test is when The Punisher, Runaways, and the heavy hitters from the CW drop.

I was not impressed by The New Mutants trailer. As a fan of the early run of the comic seeing what looks like a generic horror film was disappointing (an opinion shared by others). That said, it could just be an attempt to cash in on the audience for It, but if so, it doesn't really sell the movie to comic book fans. You could watch the trailer and have no idea it's about people with superpowers. The media is creating a false dichotomy wherein people who disliked the trailer are unwilling to accept anything other than a generic comic book movie (whatever that is). My issue, and I suspect the issue many others had, is that there's nothing distinctive about the trailer--nothing that separates it from any other horror film. This doesn't mean I've lost my interest in the movie, just that I think the trailer does a poor job selling it.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

No comments:

Post a Comment