One of the interesting divisions that’s existed over the past five years in entertainment was the relationship between Marvel television and the larger MCU. While the MCU continues to gain momentum, hot off a year that included “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” the brand has never been stronger. Despite this, the initial success of the television universe that included “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” sparked thoughts that the MCU could spread to any corner of entertainment. Yet some tougher reviews and long seasons dropped off the viewership. Officially, we’ve seen our first two casualties from the Netflix world, with both “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage” receiving cancellations this weekend.
Deadline reported the news over the weekend that “Luke Cage” would not return for another season. That came on the heels of the “Iron Fist” cancellation. While each of the shows grabbed headlines on their release, neither one was a runaway hit. “Luke Cage” received strong reviews for Mike Coulter, Simone Missick, Alfre Woodard, and Mahershala Ali, but the show struggled to keep momentum. Meanwhile, “Iron Fist” received very poor reviews out the gate, probably dooming the show before its much stronger second season.
Ultimately, neither show could sustain an audience. The very high cost to make the shows, which featured bloated 13 episode seasons, did not help. Both shows needed a visual effects budget, in addition to strong production work. Perhaps the death nail for each of the shows was the disappointing “Defenders” series team up, which never felt essential. In a bloated television landscape, the Netflix shows never sustained the buzz of the CW shows like “Flash,” “Arrow,” or “Supergirl.” The timing was not great, with “Daredevil” debuting its third season this weekend. Time will tell if “Daredevil” might receive a similar fate.