He’s the reserved to my extroverted. The simple to my complicated. And the disciplined to my complete recklessness.
That’s my dad (who will remain nameless because did I mention he’s reserved? He hates attention, which is why I will never tell him about this piece).
Aside from DNA and being each other’s favourite people on this planet (I’m 99.9 percent sure he loves me more than my sibling), we have very little in common.
We’re like Homer and Lisa, except I’d be the Homer because he’s fit and talented.
So unsurprisingly, although we both enjoy a bit of television, he does not share the same enthusiasm for comic shows/movies as I. And trust me, I’ve tried.
I sat him down to watch Daredevil, thinking he’d be into the action and Matt Murdoch’s Italian heritage, but he walked away after 10 minutes (sorry Matt M).
Tried to get him to watch Civil War, my efforts were met with kind refusal “isn’t there anything else to watch”. And we made it half way through Ant-Man, but even Scott’s witt wasn’t enough to keep my dad entertained.
When I realised Marvel wasn’t working, I crossed over to DC.
“Let’s watch Arrow?” I asked once and was surprised to hear he’d already watched the first season, but unfortunately he wasn’t particularly keen on continuing.
I’m certain he fiend interest in The Dark Knight just to make me happy (he’s amazing like that), and I ruled out ever asking him to give Batman v Superman a go, because well, let’s be honest, even some of the biggest DC fans were disappointed by that one (not me though, liked it and purchased it).
The point is… I’ve tried to bring him over to the comic side and had no success.
So when this weekend rolled around and Netflix released Luke Cage, I was entirely expecting to binge watch the show solo.
I’d set myself up in the living room with enough chocolate and water to last me at least 10 hours. Made myself comfortable on the lounge and was about to hit play when my dad walked in.
“What are you watching?”
“Oh, I was about to watch Luke Cage.”
I had a choice, be honest and tell him how excited I was for a new superhero series, or lessen my enthusiasm and brush it off as “just a show about a guy and there’s politics (touching on his love of foreign affairs and government) and gangs”.
I clearly chose the latter.
“Oh okay,” he said as he parked himself next to me on the couch.
I was a little surprised at first, but quickly hit play as he started shaking his head at my pile of sugary snacks.
During the opening credits, I wondered if I was being completely selfish concealing the truth, but I really wanted to watch the show and I didn’t want him to leave. “Besides he might like it,” I thought shrugging off the guilt.
Ten minutes into the first episode, I waited for my dad to quietly peel himself off the couch and leave me with my packet of Maltesers. But he didn’t.
A few minutes later and it was me ready to leave the room because Marvel/Netflix just had to throw in a sex scene (and it felt like it was never going to end)… thanks for that one guys.
It was around halfway through the episode, when I heard a chuckle from my right, that I was really able to sit back and enjoy the show. Shout out to ‘thug in Chinese restaurant’ (don’t know his official extra name) for hilariously cutting loose and running after witnessing Luke’s abilities.
As the first episode ended and the closing credits rolled, I looked over at my dad who looked a little shocked.
“That’s it?” he asked. I realised that he thought it was a movie.
“No, it’s a TV show, that was the first episode.”
“Oh, do we have to wait until next week for the next one?”
“No, it’s a Netflix show, so the whole series is up. Want to watch episode two?”
No more needed to be said. I was so over the moon, I let Netflix automatically play the second episode and we kept watching.
Of course he didn’t have the same ‘must finish in one day’ commitment as I, so he left the room when the second episode finished.
But I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe my dad was actually into a comic show, and during my five minute ‘stretch legs and keep circulation flowing’ break between the third and fourth episodes, I realised he wasn’t into a comic hero show. He was into a series that highlights political corruption and the experiences of people today.
More importantly, aside from Luke Cage’s super-strength and healing abilities, the story line and setting is completely realistic (sad to say when men are thrown off buildings without a second thought).
It’s probably the most realistic show/movie developed by Marvel to-date because Harlem feels like an actual city, the people are relatable (dare I say, even Cottonmouth) and their struggles are very real.
The show is also incredible easy to get into, even for those like my dad who haven’t watched Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Aside from the little references to Fisk and Hell’s Kitchen, Marvel’s Luke Cage is written as a standalone series and doesn’t require any previous comic knowledge.
Can’t wait to re-watch the episodes I’ve just finished watching with me dad when he’s ready 🙂
Thanks Netflix and Marvel.