Two admissions: 1. I am bad at names and did not bother to find out the names of the actors. Apologies. 2. I started watching this on Netflix, and, about halfway through the season, I began to fast forward. I looked at the beginning of the first episode of the second season, but I decided it was just a waste of time.
Ok. Where to start? I like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones - we're not talking about Friday Night Lights or Mr. Robot or The Wire - but they're fun. So I thought I'd try Iron Fist. It's a kind of a mixture of Lost Horizon and The Arrow. The Rand family - parents and son Danny - fly over the Himalayas to get from NYC to China. Their plane crashes, and only little Danny (about 8 or 9) survives. He is found by the monks of Kun-Lun - a venue from another dimension that intersects with ours from time to time. For the next decade or two, Danny is trained (they beat him a lot) in fighting - martial arts. Finally, through sheer determination, he wins (by competition) the role of the Iron Fist - when he focuses his "chi", his right hand lights up and he can punch through anything. His duty is to defend Kun-Lun from "the Hand", an evil organization dedicated to running large corporations and selling super-heroin. What this has to do with Kun-Lun is not explained, any more than is its purpose. Having become, at last, the Iron Fist, Danny, of course, returns to NYC. No one recognizes him - no one thinks of DNA. He makes friends with the lovely woman who runs a dojo. His family corporation - Rand Co. - a multi-billion operation, is being run by the two children of his late father's dead (not really) children Ward and Joy, who used to be his best friends. Their father turns out to be alive, living in the Rand Tower Penthouse (no one knows this) following the orders of The Hand who have (has?) brought him back to life. His son, Ward, is the only person who knows this and follows his father's orders no matter what they may be - at one point he has to dismember a guy his father killed and sink the body parts in a swamp. The middle floors of the Rand Tower are run by and occupied by The Hand under the rule of the centuries-old Madame Gao in as stereotyped a role as you are likely to see. (Still, she's kind of fun.) No one seems to notice that whole parts of Rand Tower are missing. Danny is finally given his due due to the brilliance of a very well played lesbian lawyer. He owns 51% of the shares so what he says goes. He closes a factory that seems to be giving people cancer. The Rand Board of Directors is outraged and fires Ward and Joy (and presumably Danny), though how they have the right to do so makes little sense. Ward goes through addiction to pills and then some of the heroin that The Hand is pushing. The actor gives a good performance. Anyway, every episode has a plethora of martial arts fights, many of them so much in the dark that it is impossible to tell what exactly is happening. Bunches of guys with automatic weapons are taken down in seconds without a shot being fired. (The Hand must have the most incompetent thugs in history.) Ward finally stabs his father to death and dumps him in the swamp, but weeks later the father crawls back out, apparently brought back to life one more again to serve The Hand. There are betrayals and re-betrayals. Danny and the sensei (who have become lovers) follow Madame Gao to China and then decide to go back to Kun-Lun. After they climb the Himalayas, they find some dead Hand thugs and Kun-Lun has disappeared! Danny says, "It's all my fault." Here we have the crux of the program's problem; Danny is too much of an indecisive doofus to be the Iron Hand or the Iron anything. He is just annoying. The second season opens with Joy (who was one of the few positive characters) plotting Danny's death. I bailed. I always want to find out what happens next in anything I start, but I just didn't care any more. Even though there is an excess of plotline, nothing happens next - things just more or less stay the same.