Series Review: Luke Cage – Season 1 (2016)

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Netflix, Marvel. Marvel, Netflix… the combination of the two is something that has gone over really well with people all over the world. So when a new show by those two comes out… people get excited. So, let’s talk about their newest effort.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to… “Luke Cage”.

After having survived an experiment that went to shit and gave him super powers, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) finds himself hiding out in Harlem, New York City, trying to just lead a peaceful life. However he finds himself getting dragged into trouble with a local crime boss called Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali). And that’s about as much as I’m gonna say because there are a lot of things going on throughout the show, and I don’t wanna ruin it. And I was actually surprised by that. Sure, I am aware by now that the Marvel/Netflix shows tend to be pretty layered, but I for some reason expected this show to be a bit more straight forward. But no, this is a layered show that brings up a lot of relevant social issues and handles them pretty damn well. It also features a good amount of twists and intrigue throughout it’s 13 episode run. I also appreciate that the show wasn’t a straight up origin story, but instead just follows Luke in his life, set after “Jessica Jones” and it’s first season. Yes, we get some flashbacks to how he got his powers, but we don’t spend the entire season on that setup. And that is something I really appreciate. I really liked the plot of it all, it was really good.

The characters in the show have a good amount of layers to them and they all work really well within this show. Mike Colter had already been established in “Jessica Jones” to be great as Luke Cage, but it’s here that he truly gets to shine as the character and really come into his own. He’s charismatic, he’s confident, and he’s just perfect in the role. Simone Missick as Detective Misty Knight was great in her role, because she was tough but she wasn’t flawless, she felt like she could be a real human being. Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes was also great, playing a cunning but troubled crime boss/club owner. Theo Rossi is one actor that I was really excited for in this show, because I loved him in “Sons of Anarchy” and I wanted to see what he’d do with a role after that show. And he was really good in his role as Shades Alvarez. It was easy to tell that he had a lot of fun with this role. We also get a lot of other great supporting characters/performances throughout that are too numerous to mention. But I am telling you that they’re all great.

The music in the show was composed by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad and it has a very hip hop feeling to it. And this really works for the show, perfectly playing into the Harlem environment and the overall vibe of the show. There were also some other licensed hip hop tracks throughout that fit really well. There was also a hip hop songs created in collaboration with musician Method Man for the show… and it’s really good. I’m not always a hip hop fan, but I really liked that song.

This is a very well directed show, featuring some great examples of how you frame and shoot certain scenes. I wasn’t as impressed as I was with some of the scenes from “Daredevil”, but I still thought it was really well done. The slower scenes are very well done and the action scenes are really badass. And I was also kind of surprised at teh amount of tension built throughout the show. I think some people could agree that tension would be difficult to build with a bulletproof main character, but the sons of bitches did it… terrifically. Especially towards the latter half of the season, then shit gets really tense. There were also a decent amount of Marvel easter eggs that I picked up on throughout. I am sure I missed a lot of them, but I snatched up a few and that was pretty fun.

This show so far has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10. Keep in mind that any of these scores can change at any time. I just report on what the sites say at the time of writing this review.

Guys, I’m gonna say it… “Luke Cage” is awesome. It has an engaging and socially relevant plot, great characters and acting, great music, great directing, and great action. Time for my final score. Ahem. My final score for “Luke Cage” is a 9,91/10. That of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Luke Cage” season 1 is now completed.

Sweet Christmas…

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One thought on “Series Review: Luke Cage – Season 1 (2016)

  1. I have fought through two episodes so far, finding it extremely boring. It has a lot of elements that are naturally a nuisance to me: The style of film noir is readily apparent…can’t stand those. Right down to the jazzy music choices. Then there are gangstas/thugs/mafia type villains. Most anything that has those I hate as well (I hated Godfather). Finally, there are no characters that I can connect with.

    It’s rather simple. I like his abilities, but because they are so easy to beat anyone with, they needed to introduce a method to have him not always use those abilities. Therefore, it is OMG boring at this moment

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