The Punisher (2017-?)
Amber Rose Revah
Jaime Ray Newman
Deborah Ann Woll
After the murder of his family, Marine veteran Frank Castle became a vigilante known as “The Punisher” with only one goal in mind, to avenge them.
The Punisher is an antihero that chooses to kill anyone he perceives as a bad guy. He starts off by going after the people that killed his family and it goes from there. He’s a ‘hero’ that when I was young I thought was super cool. Just bypass the system and take them out, but now that I’m older I just can’t get behind that method of justice, if the laws are broken then we need to fix them not just go around killing people. I guess I’m more Superman/Batman brand of justice and for whatever reason I can’t put that aside when I watch a Punisher that’s purposefully placed in a realistic environment.
I wasn’t planning on watching this series, after Iron Fist and Defenders I’ve almost given up on Marvel. Pair that with the fact that I just did not want to watch a show that tried to make me sympathize with a man like Frank Castle, Jon Bernthal, I had planned to sit it out. Next thing I know several friends are telling me I have to watch it, that it doesn’t try to make my empathize, that it does a great job of showing a different side of things, that it’s just the best thing ever and I broke.
One of the main complaints for the Marvel shows on Netflix is that thirteen episodes is too long. I personally didn’t feel that way with the first season of Daredevil or Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, because I really liked the characters and what was going on. I felt every minute of some of these episodes of The Punisher, though, and not in a good way. There was lots of dragging, lots of inactivity, and too much effort put into making The Punisher sympathetic.
The side story that followed Lewis Walcott, Daniel Webber, as he dealt with reintegrating into society was more interesting than The Punisher side for a while. I can see what they were trying to do, show a parallel between The Punisher and Lewis and how they reacted to trauma and coming home. However, they decided to push Lewis over the edge and then kept calling him a coward and trying to say that The Punisher was better. In the process they made Karen, Deborah Ann Woll, sound like an idiot because she refused to acknowledge the similarities.
David ‘Microchip’ Lieberman, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, was also another heavy handed parallel to The Punisher. He faked his own death and left his wife and two children alone to think he was dead. Naturally he spied on them with multiple cameras all over his old house. He was very willing to use The Punisher for a means to an end but acted like he was better than him. My main problem with Microchip, which has nothing to do with the story, is when he’s finally reunited with his wife, Jaime Ray Newman. After some time when she’s been understandably angry with him, they hook up in the bathroom. He finishes superfast, they laugh, he says he’s sorry, she says it’s okay, end scene. Why couldn’t they take two seconds to just show him slipping his hand down her panties? Why did he get to finish, but not her? Why couldn’t they have him saying he’d take care of her? Something? We’d already watched the whole awkward scene why did the wife get nothing?
Which brings me to my main complaint with the series, and something I already knew would be the case going in, but I was convinced it wouldn’t be this way by others. The Punisher is just male fantasy erotica, female fans of the Punisher get almost nothing from this series. Karen is made to be stupid. Dinah Madani, Amber Rose Revah, sleeps with a man she basically only originally talked to because he had connections to Castle and the criminal investigation she’s obsessed with, then of course develops some feelings for him, and is nearly killed by him. Microchip’s wife relies on her daughter for common household issues, then the Punisher as he comes along, and is just a damsel in distress. She at least protects her children as much as she can, but she allows her son to just walk all over her and kisses Castle because he’s of course the only man she’s come in close contact with since her husband has passed.
Tons of bullets flying, bad guys getting beat up, sex with hot women. I like action movies, but this was basically all my least favorite parts rolled up into one.
Side Note: I wasn’t able to pay 100% attention to this show, I just couldn’t, it would annoy me and I’d distract myself with something else while it played in the background.