Run Time: 50-55 min
Netflix finally gave Marvel fans what they have been craving for a long time now, a series dedicated to super vigilante, Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Jon Bernthal (you may know him as Shane from the Walking Dead) was first introduced to us as The Punisher in Season 2 Ep. 2 of Daredevil (another Netflix Original Series) and quite frankly he was what that series needed to liven it up. The Punisher also stars Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as David Lieberman, and my girl Deborah Ann Woll reprising her role as Karen Page. This very talented cast was brought together to give us the backstory and official introduction to The Punisher. But was it worth the wait or did it leave us just as disappointed as the 2004 movie adaptation starring Thomas Jane (that was a hot mess)?
So, I am so happy to report that there is a lot of good happening with this series! First and foremost, Jon Bernthal is freaking amazing as Frank Castle. Really this first season is all about Frank Castle and not so much The Punisher. Yes they are the same person, but they’re not the same person and we really get to become familiar with Frank Castle and the things that he experienced that eventually turn him into The Punisher. It was like Jon was born to play this role. I am not familiar with the original comic book, so having an actor that sold the role so well made me curious about the origins of this character.
Please do not sleep on this supporting cast either because these men and women DID THEIR THANG! When I tell you I got attached to these characters, I mean I was yelling at the screen, gasping, and cheering when a character got what they deserved. The character Dinah reminded me a lot of Angela Valdez (she’s from a series on Starz called Power), in the sense that she wanted to get to the truth and while she did some stupid things here and there; her heart was in the right place, oh and she’s not a home-wrecking hoe (sorry I digress). My favorite supporting cast member had to be David Lieberman, hands down! The chemistry he and Jon had was just perfect! This character really brought a side out of Frank Castle that I think we needed to see in order to empathize with what he was going through. The David Lieberman story line was actually intriguing and the second most important subplot of the season, in my opinion.
Another thing I am really liking is how Netflix is creating this secondary Marvel universe that showcases all of these lesser known Marvel characters. The fact that Karen Page is a supporting character in this series as well as Daredevil really ties these two series together for me. Netflix is making some good decisions in regards to the Marvel Characters that receive a series and I am curious to see if/ which other Marvel characters will receive this honor in the future.
Yes, Believe it or not I do have a couple of issues with the series. Now mind you these gripes may be a bit petty but damnit so what! So, my first issue is that the season starts off a bit slow for me. I fell asleep on episode 2 and had to go back and rewatch it. Setting the background and foundation for the characters is important but I mean, it’s a series about the freaking Punisher so I was expecting a lot more bang, bang, shoot em up and less exposition.
Also, it was a tad bit too graphic for me at times. I am not a fan of torture, mutilation, or graphic violence and while I realize that’s what The Punisher was all about I can still be squeamish about it. There was one scene in particular where I did not think the punishment was warranted, until I researched the comic book characters and realized it needed to happen to set up a villain for season 2. There were other scenes where I had to cover my eyes because it was just too much for ya gurl! Don’t judge me, judge yourself.
Lastly, and this is the most petty gripe of them all. I cannot stand how long the opening intro is! This is my issue with EVERY…SINGLE…NETFLIX…SERIES, the opening credits are just too darn long! They are almost a minute long and that is just unnecessary. This does not impact the series at all but it is something that bothers me and it just really needed to be said!
Was The Punisher worth the wait and hype?…. Absolutely! Now, is it a binge-watch worthy season? Episodes 1-6 weren’t really binge worthy just because they were boring honestly. However, 7-13 definitely had me on the edge of my seat and I had to see what was going to happen next. Overall, The Punisher was really good and I am anxious to see Frank Castle lay the smack down on some more fools in Season 2! So listen to this Sista Gurl, check it out, grab your boo thang and get your Netflix and Chill on!