RedEyedGhost

Iron Fist [SPOILERS - after page 3]

123 posts in this topic

55 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

I understand why you don't want to continue this train of thought because you know it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. If you want more representation in movies and tv shows then great, we all want that. But why specifically this show? Why should a character that has always been white, be cast as asian simply because he knows a martial art? Is there something here I'm missing?

Your cultural appropriation argument borders on racism itself, and I think you know it, which is why you don't want to talk about it. 

Anyway, your right the show is too boring to give it any credit for anything it does.

Yes, you're missing something and it is the point.

Consider this: nobody was suggesting Daredevil was guilty of racial appropriation because it has several white characters who have learned and indeed mastered Asian martial arts*. So clearly, the problem can't be simply that people want Danny Rand to be Asian simply because he knows a martial art.

And in fact, there is a difference and Dr P has already explained it to you. Danny's story is not just of learning kung fu, but of going to Asia, winding up in a place in which martial arts aren't just taught but are culturally hugely significant - religious, really - and becoming not just a master but the master, taking on an identity absolutely critical to that culture - the Iron Fist.

Now there are different ways that story can be done in an interesting way, but this series doesn't really cover any of them. You could, as I said in a previous thread, cast an American-Asian and do a story about immigrants and culture, and in fact we know that Netflix and Marvel considered exactly that.

 

Lewis Tan, who I mentioned above plays Zhou Cheng, has spoken about how he tried out for Danny and was under serious consideration until the studio dropped the idea of an Asian-American Danny.

You could also address the issues of cultural appropriation head-on, and although at one point that looked like something they might do, they didn't.

(What worsens the whole thing is that Danny's actual aesthetic honestly comes over as very reminiscent of the cliched rich white kid who does a year in Tibet. Very poor choice.)

 

 

 

*that's not to say that some of the characterisation of Asian characters in DD isn't questionable, but that's a different issue.

Edited by mormont

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19 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Looks like the show was at the center of controversy right from the start.  It's strange Netflix proceeded full steam without making updates to lend a more progressive, or at least respectful vibe.  Reading about Finn Jones' attempt to defend the show's choices is pretty stomach churning, no surprise the dude quit Twitter.  This show is just a complete misstep from a franchise that has, in general, been doing really well at improving on and updating source material.

There's another issue I meant to bring up that bothered me about the episodes I saw and this Refinery article about Danny Rand's white male privilege reminded me of it:  

There were way too many times Colleen said no about something and Danny just kept pushing through.  The show is still playing as I type this and she's again saying "I said no" and Danny is all "I know, but..."  Of course, she acquiesces because what women need is just for a man to keep at it until he finally 'convinces' her amirite. Gross, so so gross.  

Mega missteps with this show.  

Yep, there is a huge cultural sensitivity about the show and its pretty difficult to understand where it's coming from. I know Dr Strange had some controversy about whitening one of its main characters, and there might be some justification in that argument, but at the same time nobody ever campaigned to make Dr Strange Asian, even though he goes east and learns their culture and comes back with it. 

So why is it happening with Iron Fist? I don't know. But none of the articles I've read have been able to come up with a genuinely compelling reason why they should make a fundamental change to the main characters race outside of some low level white guilt and assumed offence that nobody has. That Vox article can't come up with a reason, it just says we should make him Asian basically because we can, because there needs to be more asians on tv. To justify that change it suggests changing the entire purpose of the show and make it about something altogether different. They get themselves into a massive black hole of a mess with that level of thinking. If you want more representation then thats great, but what specifically is there about a character who knows kung that means he should be Asian? There is no answer.

Vox even highlights how racist this idea is. It mentions that if done badly it could be racist to make him Asian. But its not even if done badly, the idea itself is highly dubious, and would be very difficult to pull off.

 

Quote

here were way too many times Colleen said no about something and Danny just kept pushing through.  The show is still playing as I type this and she's again saying "I said no" and Danny is all "I know, but..."  Of course, she acquiesces because what women need is just for a man to keep at it until he finally 'convinces' her amirite. Gross, so so gross. 


I think this is, like many things I've noticed, you looking for offence and patterns and finding them because you wanted to see them. While very badly written there are far too many times in the show where Dany acts naively and doesn't have social manners. This seems to be a purposeful choice by the writers, even its done very badly. You could view it as some sort of underlying sexism, but then you can find anything if you look hard enough.
 

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https://divertingtales.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/here-is-why-iron-fist-isnt-asian-from-a-story-perspective-the-marvel-controversy-explained/

This is quite a good article giving the other side to the argument, as I feel the left wing press has gotten quite a foothold here. Its possible this argument is part of an imagined slight over the Dr Strange controversy and an attempt to stir up a narrative which is good for a bit of clickbaitery.

 

- and from another article a good argument against changing the character:

 

Quote

This brings me to my next point. The same arguments for Iron Fist becoming Asian for the new series could be applied to making him Hispanic, or Indian, or Black. Why go with Asian? The answer is pretty obvious: It’s where his powers originate. This would create the unfortunate implications that all those 70s movies pushed: that all Asians ‘know karate’. It would make people roll their eyes and say, “Well of course the Asian character is the one doing martial arts.” Even the thought of changing Iron Fist could be considered somewhat racist, since the debate hasn’t arisen for any other character in the MCU. At the moment, the only possibilities for an Asian guy in the MCU are Amadeus Cho (a super-genius) or Iron Fist (a martial artist). The change might backfire in public reaction as a sort of Catch-22 situation.

If Marvel chose to change Danny Rand’s background into an Asian-American, that would be the topic the media will focus most on. Such a dramatic change would cause online debates on whether it’s right or wrong, good or bad, or what exactly Marvel is trying to say. People will argue endlessly on the morality of affirmative action getting in the way of artistic history, or American population portrayal vs. sticking with original writers’ wishes. This might not even be Marvel’s intention and would turn the focus from the character’s story into the character’s representation. But most glaring of all: It would turn this new generation of street heroes into a squad of ‘tokens’. Rather than these interesting and unique characters getting their own films, they get something a step below. This makes the Netflix series comprised of the token cripple, token girl, token black, and token Asian. In essence, changing Danny would make The Defenders look more like The Burger King Kids Club.

 

Edited by Channel4s-JonSnow

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54 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

There's another issue I meant to bring up that bothered me about the episodes I saw and this Refinery article about Danny Rand's white male privilege reminded me of it:  

There were way too many times Colleen said no about something and Danny just kept pushing through.  The show is still playing as I type this and she's again saying "I said no" and Danny is all "I know, but..."  Of course, she acquiesces because what women need is just for a man to keep at it until he finally 'convinces' her amirite. Gross, so so gross.  

Mega missteps with this show.  

I agree very much with this, and I feel Danny comes off overall as a bit of an ass. Re Colleen, for example:

The worst offence is when she lets him stay at the dojo but tells him to stay away from the students, and the first thing he does is walk in on a session, tell the students off, blow off the person who Colleen actually left in charge, get into a pissing contest with a teenage kid and proceed to actually hit that kid. Total disrespect. If he was angry about the kids' attitude, the person to take it up with is their sensei, privately. I mean, he has no right to be angry about it, but he doubly doesn't have the right to carry on like that.

I also felt he was an ass to the Meachum kids. I mean,

in the scene where the kids' parents are talking to Joy, and she was explaining that they should be suing the government, not Rand? She was 100% correct. The writers seemed to be trying to make us think this was morally wrong, but it wasn't! But never mind because Danny feels bad about it, so that's enough to make it wrong, apparently.

Which is doubly pointless because

At the end, when Danny and Ward have made up and are now pals despite all the, y'know, trying to kill people and having them committed and so on, Danny just ruefully says he's not much of a businessman and decides to let Ward run the company, shady practices and all. Oh, and they literally erase Joy's contribution by replacing their fathers' pictures with pics of Ward and Danny but not Joy, despite the fact that she appeared to be doing all the actual work.

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

 

I also felt he was an ass to the Meachum kids. I mean,

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in the scene where the kids' parents are talking to Joy, and she was explaining that they should be suing the government, not Rand? She was 100% correct. The writers seemed to be trying to make us think this was morally wrong, but it wasn't! But never mind because Danny feels bad about it, so that's enough to make it wrong, apparently.

 

Which is doubly pointless because

  Hide contents

At the end, when Danny and Ward have made up and are now pals despite all the, y'know, trying to kill people and having them committed and so on, Danny just ruefully says he's not much of a businessman and decides to let Ward run the company, shady practices and all. Oh, and they literally erase Joy's contribution by replacing their fathers' pictures with pics of Ward and Danny but not Joy, despite the fact that she appeared to be doing all the actual work.

 

I really don't agree with the first argument. 

Spoiler

 

Last week there appeared in the newspaper that the Belgian company (used to be) Eternit is probably responsible for the fact 1000 people in India got cancer because of they made asbestos. And the company said "We are follow completely the guidelines" and we stopped the production of asbestos in the end 90s! 

In the next weeks the same company is being sued by some people living in Belgium whose whole family got cancer thanks to their production. 

I am really happy people are suing it because they knew way before it was public asbestos was cancerous but because they saw $$$$$, they didn't stop the production. 

And yeah, the government made a fund to aid the victims but the one most responsible for this thing is still the company and the company should actually be the one paying for reparations. 

So yeah, it was morally wrong. 

But I agree with the Danny and Ward pictures. I also found the teaming up with Davos and Joy pretty weird. 

 

 

Edited by Tijgy

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1 hour ago, Tijgy said:

But I agree with the Danny and Ward pictures. I also found the teaming up with Davos and Joy pretty weird. 

 

Spoiler

That was a real head scratcher, for a few reasons.

Plot wise, it's dubious to claim Ward as the savvy business mind when Harrold was pulling the strings, whereas Joy was clearly more than competent on her own. Then she walks away from the company (or so it seems) despite a few scenes illustrating how hard she worked for it and how she wouldn't give up? I mean, I suppose I understand how she might be salty, Joy'd just gotten her father back but still. Pretty weak.

And Davos, I'm not quite getting why they changed his back story. He wasn't passed over, Davos got his shot at Shou-Lao. And even though he failed, it would've put him on much more of a level with Danny if they'd gone with that and so made him more formidable a future opponent. 

I really don't get some of the choices they made, with the existing material and with the show in general.

 

Edited by JEORDHl

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2 hours ago, Tijgy said:

I really don't agree with the first argument. 

Last week there appeared in the newspaper that the Belgian company (used to be) Eternit is probably responsible for the fact 1000 people in India got cancer because of they made asbestos. And the company said "We are follow completely the guidelines" and we stopped the production of asbestos in the end 90s! 

In the next weeks the same company is being sued by some people living in Belgium whose whole family got cancer thanks to their production. 

I am really happy people are suing it because they knew way before it was public asbestos was cancerous but because they saw $$$$$, they didn't stop the production. 

And yeah, the government made a fund to aid the victims but the one most responsible for this thing is still the company and the company should actually be the one paying for reparations. 

So yeah, it was morally wrong. 

But I agree with the Danny and Ward pictures. I also found the teaming up with Davos and Joy pretty weird. 

I'm not sure the comparison with a real-life situation helps, not least because you've given lots of details there and there aren't any details given at all in the Iron Fist case. It's just

15 people got cancer and there's a Rand chemical plant nearby. That's it. No timescale over which this happened, so we can judge if it's really unusual: no details of what that plant might be producing to cause cancer: no suggested connection other than proximity: no discussion of whether the federal standards (which Rand were meeting) were inadequate or that Rand might have been aware of that. We don't get enough information to judge whether the company was in the right or in the wrong, and Danny doesn't get that information either.



The series seems to have been written by people with only a fuzzy idea of how things like laws and businesses actually work, which isn't unusual and might help explain the lack of detail.

Edited by mormont

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I'm 7 episodes in and it's not great. I sort of prefer it to Luke Cage, which I didn't finish, but it's a lot worse than Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

I agree with everyone else that Finn Jones just isn't very good, he's especially not very good a pretending to be good at martial arts which is a fairly significant problem when he's playing a character who's supposed to be amazing at kung fu. Jessica Henwick is pretty good but she's not great at the action scenes either. For a show which revolves around martial arts the lack of good action sequences doesn't help. Also Danny Rand comes across as a whiny dick so far which is fairly irritating.

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5 minutes ago, mormont said:

I'm not sure the comparison with a real-life situation helps, not least because you've given lots of details there and there aren't any details given at all in the Iron Fist case. It's just

  Reveal hidden contents

15 people got cancer and there's a Rand chemical plant nearby. That's it. No timescale over which this happened, so we can judge if it's really unusual: no details of what that plant might be producing to cause cancer: no suggested connection other than proximity: no discussion of whether the federal standards (which Rand were meeting) were inadequate or that Rand might have been aware of that. We don't get enough information to judge whether the company was in the right or in the wrong, and Danny doesn't get that information either.



The series seems to have been written by people with only a fuzzy idea of how things like laws and businesses actually work, which isn't unusual and might help explain the lack of detail.

Yeah but

Spoiler

1° What would you when someone throws you a photo with a young kid under your nose and says your company did it?

2° Danny only made the decision to shut down the plant until they are sure the plant isn't causing the cancer. 

So there isn't even really made a judgement on the company was in the right or the wrong. The company is just busy with protecting their own image and Danny is actually being careful in order to protect the people. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

Yeah but

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1° What would you when someone throws you a photo with a young kid under your nose and says your company did it?

2° Danny only made the decision to shut down the plant until they are sure the plant isn't causing the cancer. 

So there isn't even really made a judgement on the company was in the right or the wrong. The company is just busy with protecting their own image and Danny is actually being careful in order to protect the people. 

 

No, the company is protecting their *legal position* by not admitting liability until some evidence is produced. Joy actually has a legal duty to do so - ironically, to the shareholders, principally Danny.

I understand why Danny reacts as he does, and the main trait the character is given at that point in the story is hopeless naivete so it makes sense. But there's a distinct sense that the writers think he's in the right and expect the audience to agree. Even that would be fine if they'd written the sub-plot better, but as it is they just seem to have thrown it in almost off-the-cuff.

Anyway, my main point is that Danny comes into the corporation, not having ever done anything himself to contribute to it, and starts throwing his weight around, undermining Joy and Ward despite the fact that they know it better than he does. So it's of a piece with the way he behaves with Colleen.

(Not that Joy and Ward can have done that much either. Joy has a speech at one point about all the work she's put in, but she went to law school, and is supposed to be around 25 at the time of the show. So she can't have been working at Rand for more than, what? Four or five years?

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Five episodes in and as everyone said, it is not THAT bad... But, it is far from great. Like, couple of light years far from great.

The problem is in every aspect of the show. The acting is far from superb and compared to Cox's immaculate performance of blind person or David Tenant's craziness in JJ, or having Alfre Woodard or Mahershala Ali in LC, this one simply lacks in that department. Also, I would have liked if they tried to associate a certain color with Iron Fist. DD got red, JJ purple, LC orange. I was hoping for some yellow/green trailer, but it simply doesn't attract the attention.

Next, the fights. We got the most amazing fight in Season 1 of DD and even all the DD/Elektra's fights with countless ninja had more vibe in them than these. They seem like they need to practice more before the shooting actually starts.

And of course comes the big issue. I would agree with @mormont that it is not the question of Danny being already Caucasian, but the fact that he is supposed to embodies a culture that he obviously doesn't belong to. And I would say that the problem becomes more glaring when we think about the fact that the Asian part of the cast is on the side of evil, and this rich chosen white boy teaches them the morals and values of what is, after all, their culture.

Lastly, the story. So far, it had its moments and then, it either drags or just fails to close any sort of deal. @Werthead perfectly assessed it as having ups and downs within the duration of one episode. And also, it feels as if motivation for some actions seem sketchy at least. 

Perhaps we have reached the saturation point and we are more keen in showing and pointing out the flaws or the controversy regarding Danny's skin color muddied the waters, but those are just parts of the problem. It seems that this show is not working on generally many levels. 

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I watched the first 8 episodes on Saturday and it was painful in some spots. I was ffwd through bits. I had to force myself to finish the series today because I'm a masochist, I suppose. In its defense, it did get better there in the last five episodes. The writing and fight choreography was consistently uneven throughout the series but throughout it all Danny Rand was consistently a major dipshit. Seriously. I'm 100% #TeamDavos on that aspect--but not what Davos was discussing with Joy in that final episode.

Even though Iron Fist S1 was a disappointment, I'm still looking forward to seeing how everything comes together for The Defenders. My guess is Elektra will be the big villain. I'm thinking  the Hand wanted Danny alive to transfer his power to her.

Anyone else notice how that Iron Fist theme was reminiscent of the Dr. Strange theme with those synths? Could that be a clue that the Doc will show up in Defenders? I hope so. I'm way past ready for the Netflix shows and MCU to properly crossover.

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Having finished, the biggest issue for me is we learn almost nothing about his 15 years prior to NYC, which is the most interesting part of his story. That and I absolutely hate where they went in episode 10 in terms of Colleen. Stupid decision that was unnecessary to the story.

Also Davos and Joy at the end? Wtf? That was abrupt and unearned.

Edited by Mexal

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9 minutes ago, Mexal said:

Having finished, the biggest issue for me is we learn almost nothing about his 15 years prior to NYC, which is the most interesting part of his story. That and I absolutely hate where they went in episode 10 in terms of Colleen. Stupid decision that was unnecessary to the story.

Wholly agree on the second point. On the first,

it's clear they couldn't stretch the budget to even a CGI distance shot of K'un L'un (or maybe that was a creative choice?) So all we get of the previous fifteen years are some obvious studio scenes with fake snow and rocks, some internal bits set in nondescript monastery cells, and a short sequence outside the cave, with a bonus brief shot of Shou-Lao's glowing red eyes. Doing more story in that period would have stretched the budget because you surely couldn't keep getting away with that level of cheapness.

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Does anyone have anything on a troubled production with this show? Everything seems so rushed, nobody is up to speed on how to fight. It looks like it was 6 months away from being ready but they shot it anyway. I wondered if there was anything about why this has happened.

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5 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Does anyone have anything on a troubled production with this show? Everything seems so rushed, nobody is up to speed on how to fight. It looks like it was 6 months away from being ready but they shot it anyway. I wondered if there was anything about why this has happened.

I wonder about this, too. There are episodes where Finn Jones seems like he actually knows kung-fu, and others where he looks slow and clumsy, and I'm wondering if they started filming while he was still learning the moves and getting in shape, and depending on how the episodes where filmed, he got better over time. 

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5 hours ago, mormont said:

Wholly agree on the second point. On the first,

  Reveal hidden contents

it's clear they couldn't stretch the budget to even a CGI distance shot of K'un L'un (or maybe that was a creative choice?) So all we get of the previous fifteen years are some obvious studio scenes with fake snow and rocks, some internal bits set in nondescript monastery cells, and a short sequence outside the cave, with a bonus brief shot of Shou-Lao's glowing red eyes. Doing more story in that period would have stretched the budget because you surely couldn't keep getting away with that level of cheapness.

 

I get this. Still sucks. It's the most interesting part of his mythos and it was more or less ignored.

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I agree that it seemed rushed and with Finn Jones being OK in fighting in one scene and terrible in the next.

They had problems in pre-production because they couldn't decide the approach and talked to multiple possible showrunners- the problem almost certainly was to decide how much was going to be set in Kun'Lun and how much Netflix was willing to pay (clearly not enough).

 

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2 hours ago, Mexal said:

I get this. Still sucks. It's the most interesting part of his mythos and it was more or less ignored.

Yeah. They might have been hoping for a bigger budget in season 2?

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42 minutes ago, mormont said:

Yeah. They might have been hoping for a bigger budget in season 2?

Maybe though with the Defenders coming, not sure if they're going to have a season 2, especially after the reaction to season 1.

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