I was extremely critical of this series from the moment it started. As a person who actually owns the very first Punisher comic book and all the 1st editions of the subsequent spinoff series, I know my Frank Castle, and at first I was actually quite pleased with the way that Netflix portrayed him despite the fact that I am not a fan of Jon Bernthal because there is just something about him that I don't care for.
The major problem that I had with this series is the same problem that I have with a lot of various Netflix series: They drag it out entirely too long and this just makes it boring. Every episode except the first one has the same format.
- recap of what has already happened
- a middle part where almost nothing happens
- a brief section of excitement at the end
There are also things that occur on a regular basis in the series that are never explained and appear to be entirely too happenstance for me. For one thing, Frank and co. are constantly pursued by the people behind the killing of his family (which is his original motivation for becoming the Punisher in the first place) and these operatives are powerful and posses vast resources to hunt him down. They never seem to fully hone in on where he goes to sleep but for some reason are able to track him down on various missions he goes on - sometimes to very remote locations that he hasn't even told his team-mates about until the last minute. This begs the question of how TF do they know he is going to be there?
At 13 episodes per season, of which around 8 could be completely eliminated and you wouldn't miss any of the story, it is entirely too long. I fail to understand why Netflix feels as though this is something they need to do because it isn't like Lost or some other weekly series in the past where they can torment us with the wait until next week to see what happens. It's not like there are commercial breaks so I also don't understand the fixed running time of each episode.
Both of these seasons could have easily been fit into 5 or maybe 6 episodes and been an action-packed story that everyone would have binged watched. However, due to all of the filler even die-hard fans of the character are left rolling our eyes and shouting "F**king get on with it already!"
The introduction of a quasi-love-story into season 2 just made me groan as well. It seemed completely unnecessary in a tale of revenge. That trailer is very nicely made, but I can assure you, that is a peek into pretty much all the action that existed in the season. Mostly it is just a bunch of sitting around and listening to Jon Bernthal give monologue after monologue with a perpetual scowl on his face.
Netflix has declined to make a 3rd season and I believe they made the right choice. I have no idea how Netflix makes their decisions and they are very secretive about their viewing metrics and how they even make budgetary choices. I have met a few people that like this series but I believe that most people who are fans of the comic books have a similar opinion to my own.
It's just sad to see this happen because I was so stoked to find out it was being done. Some would argue that Marvel are over-extending themselves as they seem to be making everything that has ever been written into a series or movie.