|It’s The Punisher and his beard.... and Karen Page.
I mean, it’s not perfect. Nothing’s perfect. They lean HEAVY on the dead family, with constant dream sequences and flashbacks. I mean, yeah,dead family, The Punisher, but still. We get it.
But for every trope the show leans hard into, there’s another it dodges entirely. I was expecting a dramatic beard-shaving scene, but when the beard came off, it was purely pragmatic and not a dramatic “he’s returning to the old life he tried to leave behind” deal.
The acting is really good. Or at least not noticeably strained, which is refreshing after the past year of Iron Fist and Defenders and Inhumans and Flash. The plot is a solid one so far, delving into a Big Conspiracy Mystery from Castle’s time in Afghanistan, as it crosses paths with Frank Castle, an ex-NSA spy going by Micro, and a Some Kind Of Law Enforcement Investigator looking for the truth despite the government not wanting that truth to get out.
And there’s some fun ultraviolence - first, as we see an opening montage of Frank finishing his business with the gangs and cartels who murdered his family, then later, killing a bunch of Italian mobsters because this is The Punisher and you can’t have The Punisher without some Italian mobsters getting killed. Not a lot of humor, but it’s also not oppressively dark. You’d think it would be, just from a description of the content, with lots of veteran support groups and sadness and tragedy, but there’s a deftness to it that keeps it from being obnoxiously po-faced. Looking forward to more, although with the big CW crossover this week, it may be tough to find the time.