Series Review: Marvel’s/Netflix’s The Punisher

What can I say about Marvel’s The Punisher Netflix series? It’s actually been quite difficult for me to come up with the right combination of words to say about this show. This is the third review I’ve started writing on it, never getting the words quite right.

Maybe I’ll finish it this time.

The Punisher is a dark, foreboding, hopeless, and grim drama disguised as a Marvel product. Why that works so well, shouldn’t be a mystery to you. You likely know the story of the Punisher. If you don’t, just watch the show. It’ll explain everything.

Marvel went dark and then they went darker for The Punisher. It is the single most brutal show I’ve ever watched. The Punisher makes you feel every ounce of pain and suffering that Frank Castle(The Punisher), played by Jon Bernthal, goes though. They do it because it is gripping to have your characters go through awful events. Suffering makes you care about them and empathize with them. By the end of the show, I wanted him to succeed more than I’ve wanted any superhero in movies or shows lately to succeed.

The supporting characters stories are even more tragic than Frank Castle’s. They become so closely intertwined together, the genius of the writing behind the show quickly becomes apparent. Frank Castle cannot succeed without the other characters, and this creates a wonderful drama to be played out onscreen. The tension is palpable throughout the entire show. That alone makes it great, and worth watching.  That’s only the dark part though.

The darker is the fact that the show dives head first into wartime Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I served in the military and I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t experience real horrors. I’ve met people that have suffered from it. I have friends that suffer from it. I’ve worked with people that are suffering from it. PTSD is no joke. My grandfather served in WW2 and I’ve seen what it does to a family, firsthand. This show nailed that representation. You will not find a more powerful depiction of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on fictional film, anywhere.

I would say that is a great thing for a show to accomplish. I would also say that watching it play out onscreen is depressing, heart wrenching, and unrelenting. This is the biggest reason to watch this show, and the biggest reason to not binge this show. It will undoubtedly put you in a darker place than you were in before you started. I’m not one to normally be affected in a negative way, due something I watched, but this show is something else in that respect. Don’t watch more than two episodes back to back. I give you that warning in advance. I made that mistake, and you shouldn’t make it.

If you want a facetious synopsis of the show, Marvel’s The Punisher does the DC movie universe better than DC does the DC movie universe, all while somehow magically holding onto Marvel’s charm. Yes, the show is dark and gritty, however, throughout the series, the characters numerous flaws included, become lovable. There are good laughs sometimes, and as a viewer you really want them to succeed.

There isn’t much else to say, but as this is the first time I’ve published a review, I’ll end it with a score out of 10.

Huh… I guess I finished the review this time.

9/10

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2 thoughts on “Series Review: Marvel’s/Netflix’s The Punisher

  1. The portrayal of PTSD by Daniel Webber was indeed phenomenal. The rest of the show missed the mark for me.

    Frank does too many un-Punisher things. The car chase showdown with Madani? Pointless. Walking up to his friend’s cabin in the woods hollering like an idiot? Of course he gets shot.

    There are a lot of other logical gaps. The action scenes also made me roll my eyes. These guys are supposed to be superior soldiers, but they go after Frank like he’s a hapless pacifist.

    I still have two episodes to go, but they’re not high on my priority list.

    Like

    1. All valid points. It’s definitely not a perfect show. Me personally, it dragged me in. I tend to try to detach a show from say, a comic series. It boosts enjoyment in the individual creations.

      Liked by 1 person

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