Luke Cage is a formidable, but predictable & unoriginal crime drama featuring a superhero.
The first half of the season is great. The show carefully builds up throughout its 1st 6/7 episodes and it does a good job of establishing the characters & story. Even though both the characters and story are riddled with stereotypes & clichés.
However, without spoiling it too much, a big moment happens at the halfway point and the series struggles to maintain its momentum.
The big problems the series has are with its villains. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are multiple villains & only one of them is interesting or likable. Sadly, that one villain isn’t in the show enough. There’s also one villain who’s just a bit silly, poorly acted & over-the-top.
Luke Cage is a superhero like Captain America or Superman. In that he’s pretty much indestructible & incorruptible. This means that the show’s villains have to go to extreme lengths just to be a viable threat to him. You can actually see the show coming up with odd scenarios, simply to prevent Luke Cage easily defeating the villains. It grows old pretty quickly.
In relation to this, the show has too little a story, spread out over 13 episodes. Most of the episodes are far too long with random filler material. For example, there are 2 or 3 drawn out, pointless conversations in each episode. These scenes do little except drag out proceedings & make the episodes unnecessarily longer.
Where the show triumphs is in its use of music. The show’s soundtrack is brilliant. Each episode features a song performed by real musicians and singers etc. They really do a great job of making the show contemporary & relevant & the songs also add to the drama.
Luke Cage is a good show with quite a few problems. As such, it fails to reach the heights of Jessica Jones or Daredevil. The majority of the cast are good, Mike Colter is charismatic as the lead & Rosario Dawson is great too. Sadly, some poor writing, bad dialogue, odd fight editing & a lot of unoriginality prevent the show from being one of Netflix/Marvel’s better outings.