With Jessica Jones S3 coming out last month, Marvel’s shows with Netflix came to end. And now a lot of the actors are signed on to new projects, so even if Marvel wanted to/legally could revive the shows on Disney+, it’d take a lot to make it happen, so I think it’s highly unlikely. Anyway, since we’re essentially done done, I thought it’d be fun to rank the shows by season (6 shows, 13 seasons). I was going to just tweet this, but then I figured I’d explain my choices and get a blog post out of it. Yay content!
I usually have trouble ranking things because I can never settle on how I feel and don’t want to commit to an order. My top 10 favourite musicals is really like a top 3 and then 8 others in no particular order (and yes, I am aware 8+3≠10). But I think I’ve managed to actually decide on how to rank these Marvel shows, so here they are, from least favourite to favourite.
(Note, I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but there may be some, so be aware!)
13. Jessica Jones Season 2
This season was the pits. Trish was way out of character, the villain was lousy, Jessica’s new boyfriend was boring, and it just did not have the same edge as the enjoyable S1. This was the first Marvel show I watched at double speed, and I have zero regrets.
12. The Punisher Season 2
This season was just really weird for me. I didn’t love Amy or how much she derailed Frank’s doings with her random issues, I didn’t like Billy’s story with the not-Maggie therapist, and I never really liked Agent Madani all that much so I didn’t care for her all that much. Frank is cool and I do like him, but it seemed that everyone else just dragged him and the story down. Plus, the whole season was just unnecessary. Continuing on the S1 plot that had closed nicely this way was just not needed and it bored me.
11. Luke Cage Season 2
Luke is just not leading man material for me. He’s too boring and uninvolved. He doesn’t say much and because he’s near invincible, I find the fight scenes dry. I honestly do not remember the plot of this season, so that’s all you need to know about how interesting it was. I do like some of the characters though. I love Misty, and Shades is a creepy dude, but even that wasn’t enough to save the season, because he and Mariah weren’t really the Big Bads. Overall, not impressed.
10. Daredevil Season 2
Yeah, another second season here at the bottom. My biggest issue with this season was Elektra. She was the worst. Her arrival was unneeded, all she did was take Matt away from his friends and work, and their relationship was just bad. If it weren’t for the introduction of Frank and the contrast between him and Matt, I think this season would be at the very bottom. It was such a let down for me.
9. The Defenders
The shorter season worked for and against this show. It forced away filler and got right to the plot, but for such a big team up and such a big villain, the pacing was off. I mean, the Defenders didn’t even get together until four episodes in. I wish we saw them work together more and get to know each other more. But otherwise, I thought it was cool to see the little crossovers and see them all face the Hand, who most of them had dealt with in their solo stories. It was worth waiting for, but it could have been done a lot better.
8. Luke Cage Season 1
As I already said, Luke doesn’t thrill me. He’s a good guy and I root for him, but I just didn’t connect to him. As for the show, I didn’t love how the villain shifted halfway through from Harlem gangsters to his random brother. This season wasn’t totally bad and I enjoyed watching it and getting to know Luke and his area, but compared to other seasons of Marvel Netflix shows, it was lacking for me.
7. Iron Fist Season 1
Listen, I didn’t hate Iron Fist. I did not find it racist and I did not find Danny entitled. It wasn’t the most thrilling of shows, but it wasn’t awful for me. I think it was just such a huge shift for Marvel and it didn’t perfectly flow. I mean, we go from enhanced abilities due to science to ‘I punched a dragon’s heart and now I have these (underwhelming) powers!’ And we never even got to see the dragon! The villain wasn’t great either. But despite this, it was interesting enough to see Danny try to navigate his old friends along with his new friend, and understand his power.
6. Jessica Jones Season 3
Season 3 surprised me. It wasn’t half bad! It wasn’t superb, but it worked with what it had and put the focus on the right things. Trish’s behavior, though still a bit out of character from what we were introduced to in S1, came full circle, and I came to appreciate the story and what it did for Jessica’s character. I liked the new guy with the feelings and thought he worked in well without stealing focus. I wish this season wasn’t the very end of Jessica’s story or Marvel’s Netflix shows, but I think it was a strong note to end on, and one that very accurately represents the grittiness of this Marvel chapter.
5. Iron Fist Season 2
I too am surprised that this was so enjoyable when all the other second seasons disappointed me. I thought it was fun and had a good plot and everyone was in character. Giving Colleen the power of the fist was a wild move and I wish we had gotten a S3 and been able to see what happened next, especially because the little flash forward at the end was so cool too, but I’m glad we got what we got.
4. The Punisher Season 1
Overall, this was good, though the second half was way better than the first. It was enjoyable, it was harsh enough to work with Frank, and it felt different enough to stand alone, but still feel connected to Daredevil and the rest of the MCU. As in DD2, seeing the softer side of Frank when he’s with Karen (or his family) is really fun compared to his tough army side. I think the Billy twist and fight was good, and I liked his partnership with David (though I haaaaaated David’s wife).
3. Daredevil Season 3
I was so glad that this show had a great comeback after a bad S2. It went back to its roots of Fisk being evil, Matt protecting Foggy and Karen, and the struggle of being a masked fighter and a good church boy. Plus I think Dex was very cool and made for several great fight scenes. Every episode was entertaining and the season didn’t feel too long because I was so into it. A solid season that really showcased how good the show was.
2. Jessica Jones Season 1
This was a very great show. The single season introduced a lot and wrapped it all up well. Jessica was very different from the first hero Matt, but that’s because her villain and her struggle were also very different and it made for a very different kind of dark and edgy. And it was cool to see her get a team and work with them begrudgingly whereas Matt went totally solo for the most part. Kilgrave was an amazing villain. He was creepy and monsterous in a real world way that made it watchable yet disturbing. I still think about the way he said her name. Chills.
1. Daredevil Season 1
I did not totally appreciate this show until I had seen all the others and realized just how strong we started. I mean, Matt from the start was so interesting and likable, and then we see his wonderful friendship with Foggy, and Karen slid in so well, and Fisk was a great and disturbing villain, and that one hallway scene…we had it good and I respect that. There was darkness and there was humor and there were great characters and I enjoyed it a lot. It was Marvel’s first foray into a darker side and I think they did great.
Overall, I think Marvel did well. They created a mini MCU within the MCU and it worked on Netflix for the darker, rougher content. Matt, Jessica, Luke, and Danny were very different and it was fun to see their stories alone but also with each other through The Defenders and the little crossovers. I especially loved Claire Temple and wish she stuck around to be in all the seasons as the one amazing connector. Though there were a lot of disappointments, there were a lot of really, really cool parts to these shows, and I’m going to do my best to remember those more. And who knows, maybe we’ll see them again in the MCU.
What was your favourite season from these shows? How would you rank them?