First off, Why is no one talking about this show?
While it's true that It only came out on September 30th, and its only October 2nd, with "Stranger Things" it seemed as if the entire world had binged the show in the day it came out. No one on twitter is even talking about this show yet. Nevertheless, as a self-proclaimed TV critic, its my job to finish it first and to get people talking about it. So here goes my review.
There are two ways to think of Marvel's "Luke Cage" as a series, and, depending on which way you look at it, 'how good it is' various rather drastically. Now this is inherently interesting on its own, because simply by changing your perspective of how you view the same content, you will perhaps, like me discover that your opinion of the show can be switched back and forth, almost as if comparing and contrasting the english dub with the original japanese version of an anime. So what are these two ways to look at Luke Cage, and why is this show so special that it gets 2 ways of thinking about it? And why am I asking myself questions? (thats a joke)
So; The reason there are 2 ways to look at Luke Cage is because it is a netflix series where all 13 episodes come out at once, as opposed to a traditional series where each episode is aired once per week. Simply by releasing the series all at once, it creates a 2nd way of looking at the show; to view each episode as part of a larger collective whole, like a movie -- as opposed to seeing them as individual episodes.
Now. If you think of Luke Cage's 13 episodes individually, like a normal series -- the show has a LOT of problems. It starts out very boring, with slow pacing, and little-to-no action. It isn't until episode 5 that things start getting interesting, and it just continues to improve from there. If you think of this in terms of normal TV, its terrible, because after the first 2 boring episodes, you might quit and not want to tune in next week. Which is why, with this series in particular, you really need to think of it as one long-ass 13 hour movie. And you will find that when you do, like magic, suddenly it becomes quite good, quite good indeed.
Think of a movie. Any movie. Even an action movie. EVERY SINGLE MOVIE, the first 20-35 minutes are slow and boring, building up settings, characters, and establishing a plot. Its necessary. Now imagine your movie was 13 hours long. If you do the math and compare 20-35 minutes of a 2 hour movie to a 13 hour movie, those 20-35 minutes become the first 4-5 episodes! And there you have it. 4-5 episodes of character building, stage setting, and plot orchestrating that prepare you for the rest of the movie, which continues to get more and more exciting.
Now, Ideally, in my opinion... a truly "excellent" show would just have action the whole way through. Alas, Luke Cage is a considerably good show, and not an excellent one. No matter which way you look at it, it still has its problems.
The first, and largest problem is the concept of the show. Luke Cage, AKA Power Man, is bullet proof and has super strength. Therefore, logically.... no trigger happy street thug with an AK is going to be able to kill him. And so now you've got this invicible character going around whom you never have to worry about and that leaves a very dull taste in your mouth. So, running with this concept, one needs to introduce elements capable of taking down such a powerful character. In an excellent show, these elements would be intoduced in episode 2 or 3, after showing how dope he is. In Luke Cage, they are introduced around episode 10 out of 13... so you have mostly 80% of the series where he's essentially invincible, and thats pretty dumb, if you ask me.
Some other problems Luke Cage suffers from as a series are, slow pacing, an extremely high number of utterly pointless scenes, of which, if cut out, the show could really be cut down into 7 episodes. Cornyness, and passivity.
But of course, seeing as how I'm giving it 4 stars, Luke Cage has many good elements as well. Those are, unique and fun characters, over-the-top but controlled and exciting action, a powerful voice, strong acting, and more direction than its predecessor, Jessica Jones, in which the protagonist felt secondary to the antagonist for the whole series.
To conclude, approach Luke Cage like a long movie, accept that "most" of the slow boring parts are nessecary to establish a powerful and meaningful conclusion, trust that the series has a direction, and you will find that by episode 7, you wont want to stop watching it until the end, and you should find it quite enjoyable.