How violent can a TV series get?
The Punisher shows that it can get very violent indeed. Every episode is chock full of violent incidents, yet it never outshines the characters nor their story. The violence is part of the Punishers world and this Netflix show does not hold back in demonstrating it, it is chock full of bullets, blood and brutality.
The previous Netflix Marvel shows have also been violent and harsh. Netflix Marvel characters live in a dark and violent world. happiness for most is just a dream. But Frank Castle, haunted by the loss of his family takes it into even more darker depths.
If you don’t like extreme violence, then this is not the show for you. The brutality of the Punishers world is the main thing you take away from this show and not much else.
Yet surprisingly for the Punisher, the story does allow hope in and more people survive than you might expect.
Oh yes, the story. Now, the one thing that lets it down for me slightly is the fact that the story is very much a cliched one, with all the standard tropes that this type of story trots out. Essentially Frank and his sort of ally Micro have been betrayed by their government, or at least forces within the government and are in hiding. Well Micro is, The Punisher is out there punishing people natch! The whole story revolves around betrayal, backstabbing and Government conspiracy, and it plays out as much as you would expect. To be fair it is easy to follow because of this, with bucket loads of blood thrown in, but am I asking too much for a more original story? It is only the style of the show and the characters that drag you through the heavier cliches at times….oh wow he’s betrayed him…so unexpected…not!
One area that is interesting is the focus on how the USA treats its veterans and how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder makes many of their lives after serving so difficult. Some are shown to be coping in their own ways and helping others, though some others are shown to be complete psychos. Unfortunately, but understandably in the style of this show, a psycho takes centre stage for a while, and no, I don’t mean Frank castle.
Another area to quibble is the amount of times Frank gets beaten, tortured, stabbed and shot. Pretty much every episode. The amount of blood this guy loses is incredible, he must have a specialist blood bank standing by to refuel him. Yet in just a couple of days he is up charging into danger and getting shot yet again. In fact this show is more about punishing the Punisher, with personal demons and violent attacks upon his person.
Despite minor quibbles, this show is pretty damn good fun. Best show since Daredevil for me, but failing to eclipse that show due in part to the fairly ordinary main plot. Both Daredevil and Jessica Jones showed better plots, with Jessica Jones and its more psychological style just missing out to the Punisher for me, due to the crazy over the top violence that just kept me coming back to see how it all ended and if Frank would finally run out of blood!
So if you like a lot of good old fashioned brutal violence with a load of despair and darkness thrown in, this could be just the tonic.
It is out now on Netflix, so give it a binge if you dare! No box-set is available to purchase yet though, for those who like to hold shiny discs in their hands.
Already a fan? You can grab TV Punisher merchandise online right now including the fun stuff below: