The Pun Also Rises: 'Only In Netflixland'
Stranger Things may be the most newly popular show on Netflix, a sort of sci-fi horror drama. In the Stranger Things world, there is a dimension called the Upside Down, which is like a darker less furnished version of our world. Also, a child with psychic powers does battle with a hideous monster from another dimension. So far, so normal. But in this bizarro world, children are allowed to wear hats in school, and go bike around all weekend by themselves without helmets or supervision. That part is harder to imagine in today's world.
Daredevil was the first big Marvel series on Netflix, about lawyer Matthew Murdock. In spite of being blind, Murdock manages to leap around like an acrobat and fight against hordes of ninja who attack New York. All of which is perfectly believeable, since most blind people carry a cane, which means they've got a weapon at the ready, which is at least half of what you need to deal with ninja attacks.
What stretches credulity is reporter Ben Urich attempting to write about a world of underground criminal activity, and having his editor tell him that secretive crime rings don't sell papers, because readers want to hear about potential expansion of the subway system.
Jessica Jones exists in the same fictional universe -- and same city -- as Daredevil. And while her superhuman strength allowing her to battle a villain capable of mind-control is plausible, are viewers really supposed to accept that a PI in New York just happens to be able to find parking spots next to whatever she is investigating?
Luke Cage is the third member of the Defenders quartet, and while a black man with bulletproof skin may not be entirely realistic, it sure would be handy these days.
Iron Fist is the last of the four big Marvel heroes on Netflix. And the idea that a spoiled millionaire would go spend years training in kung fu with Shaolin monks, and then return to New York not only maintaining the entitled arrogance that results in his being incredibly rude to everyone helping him (even homeless people), but also not terribly good at martial arts, incapable of not losing his temper, and finding strength in his rage and money... well, I guess that's all realistic, so score one for Netflix.
Bojack Horseman is an animated character who is human-esque but with the head of the horse, and is often depressed in spite of his fame. Again, this is completely believeable because if centaurs exist, Bojack is basically just an inverse centaur. Those other halves had to show up eventually. And if you were an inverse centuar, you'd be depressed too.
What's harder to swallow than a feedbag of rocks, however, is an episode in the most recent season titled "Thoughts and Prayers". In that episode, whenever a mass shooting happens, everyone ineffectually says "thoughts and prayers". But where it departs from reality is that after yet another terrible tragic event, legislators finally come together to pass sensible gun legislation to curtail the epidemic of mass shootings.
And finally, Netflix is apparently ending their award-winning series House of Cards, after allegations surfaced about the star of the series. Kevin Spacey, who plays President Frank Underwood, was accused of sexual abuse. This led Netflix to say that they "will not be involved in any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey," because anyone who leaves a trail of victims accusing sexual harassment and abuse clearly has no business playing president. Now that is a clear and moral statement.
Only in Netflixland.
Seth Brown is an award-winning humor columnist, the author of "From God To Verse", and yes, Netflix, he is still watching. His website is RisingPun.com.
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