Iron Fist, if early reviews are to be believed, stands poised to be the Marvel Netflix creations first major stumble since they began. With critical and fan praise heaped on shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Iron Fist comes out Friday for the world to see.
However, the show has not been without controversy. Despite the shows often happily making changes to pretty much any and every other aspect of the show, changing the race of Iron Fist's hero Danny Rand was deemed a step too far and they would keep the white-man-with-superior-Asian-martial-arts-skills trope from the comics. Played by Game of Thrones star Finn Jones, Jones has previously attempted to tackle these concerns, by mainly saying how staying 'faithful' to the source material (Jeryn Hogarth, by the way, is not a lesbian woman in the comics. Just to throw that out there).
Moreover, some critics had been given access to the first six episodes of the show, and many have come back with negative comment after negative comment, describing the show as 'generic'. 'plodding' and 'a step backward on every level', and of Jones' portrayal as a 'cypher' and essentially unreadable.
Well, Jones has come out to tackle these bad reviews now, using a common answer that stars in bad genre shows always tend to trot out – that the show isn't made for the critics.
"these shows are not made for critics, they are first and foremost made for the fans."
Jones tell UK free newspaper, The Metro, further elaborating,
"I also think some of the reviews we saw were seeing the show through a very specific lens, and I think when the fans of the Marvel Netflix world and fans of the comic books view the show through the lens of just wanting to enjoy a superhero show, then they will really enjoy what they see. I think it's a fantastic show which is really fun and I think it stands up there with the other 'Defenders' shows without a doubt."
Here's the thing: nothing is made 'for' the critics. Obviously it isn't. And obviously critics will view the show 'through a very specific lens' – a critical one, it's their job. That is not to say that that means, because a critic is doing their job, that a show isn't bad.
Similarly, just because a show is, critically speaking, bad, doesn't mean that people won't enjoy it. We all have guilty pleasures after all. And some fans of the character and of Marvel's shows in general will likely enjoy this no matter what.
Also, there's an inherent flaw in Jones' logic here: that the critics reviewing those first six episodes are not fans, either of Iron Fist, the Marvel Netflix shows, or even just the superhero genre. So because someone is a critic doesn't mean they are not a fan too.
But hey, saying that the show simply isn't made for critics doesn't really help or solve anything…and if anything, it's a little worrying if that 's the only thing the lead actor can come back with to stand up to negative criticism.
Iron Fist comes to Netflix this Friday, March 17.