TV Review - Luke Cage: Season 2
One shouldn't be surprised that an obvious connection to Black Panther wasn't made. This series as well as the other TV series in the MCU, specifically the ones on Netflix haven't been great with connecting to the bigger movies whether it be through narrative or thematically. While one would have hoped that some direct reference to Black Panther, which was four months ago, would happen here, the hope for some reference to Avengers: Infinity War, which was only two months ago, seemed next to nil.
The reasons for such are twofold. One is budget. Referencing the blockbusters is practically pointless, if the series couldn't deliver with visuals or actors from those blockbusters. However, there are ways around it but these series don't even bother to acknowledge the events in the movies in ways that feel proportional. The Avengers revealed not only the existence of super-heroes but also alien life. Yet, these shows never treat that with the proportional reactions that people would have. Most people go on as if it never happened. How would black churches explain or talk about alien life?
The other reason the TV series don't reference the bigger films is because the overshadowing that might occur. Some might argue that there is no point to a character like Luke Cage when characters like Iron Man, Dr. Strange or Spider-Man exist in New York City. Those characters are so much more powerful and skillful than Luke Cage, all he has to do is call on them and his problems would be solved. In that regard, it makes sense that this series should reference Avengers: Infinity War because that movie literally removes that issue.
Mike Colter reprises his role as Luke Cage, the bullet-proof black man with super-strength. He's become Harlem's hero, a social media celebrity who everyone adores. Everyone he meets on the street always wants to take a selfie with him. He's done a lot to clean up the streets and get rid of drug dealers and other bad guys.
However, there's a point where one character looks at Luke and says, "There's nothing fun about you," and that quote in Episode 10 can be applied to this entire series, which continues to be overlong. There shouldn't be as many as 10 episodes with this much lack of fun. The reason it isn't fun is because the problem persists from the previous season of a lack of a good enough villain.
This show needs super-powered villains to match Luke Cage's invincibility and strength. The show tries to give us that this season with Bushmaster, played by Mustafa Shakir. Bushmaster is interesting, but he gets lost in the pacing of this season along side all the stuff with Mariah that I ended up not caring about him or being that enthralled, even though he's probably the sole reason to watch this season.
Running Time: 1 hr. / 13 eps.
Available on Netflix.