Prior to November 17, Marvel wasn't having the best of years on the small screen. While they'd unleashed three big movies that were all at least pretty good, it was shaping up to be one of their weakest years yet on TV. Iron Fist and The Defenders both flopped on Netflix, Inhumans were critically mauled, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., while good, required Disney's interference to prevent ABC from cancelling it.
Enter The Punisher.
The show belatedly arrived on the same day as Battlefront II and Justice League, but wins out in that particular battle with a great take on the titular character. The show does admittedly have some pacing issues (familiar to anyone who has watched any other Marvel Netflix show), but works brilliantly as a slow-burn deep-dive into the psyche of Frank Castle.
The supporting cast is well-stacked, but it's star Jon Bernthal who shines brightest with a portrayal of Frank that is by turns violently intimidating and a surprisingly vulnerable human. It goes to darker places than any Netflix Marvel show before, has huge amounts of violence and gore (but always with a purpose), a brooding atmosphere, and its final third especially rachets up the pace and action to become something really great.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.