Sunday Morning: The Return of The Punisher

The Punisher was one of those shows that I found absolutely fun to watch while, at the same time, I thought “oh, this is the sort of show that will lead to the downfall of society… maybe my parents were right about everything… oh, just one more before bed…”

The show did a great job of showing, rather than telling, how *BAD* the people that The Punisher were up against. They didn’t just say stuff and leave you, the viewer, with any room for doubt about what was going on. The people he was fighting *WERE* murderous criminals. They came out and showed you the killing of people. The authorities *WERE* corrupt. They came out and *SHOWED* you that they were the watchmen that weren’t being watched. There was even one episode where they had a politician come out and say “here’s what happened” and then they showed that that politician was out-and-out lying and he was one of the people who was part of the problem. We weren’t even in “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing” territory. We were in “mediocre men getting in the dang way of the good people trying to do something.”

So when we see Frank Castle hit someone, or cut someone, or blow up someone, or throw someone from a great height, we’re not in any doubt whatsoever over whether, hey, maybe that person was just an innocent bystander who got caught up in something?

Nope. We had evidence that they were bad. We *SAW* it.

And so we could enjoy justice, er, I mean, “punishment” being dispensed 100% guilt-free.

Anyway, Season 2 is up on January 18th. I imagine that it’s going to be twice as violent, twice as gory, and twice as manipulative. I can’t wait twice as much.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?

(Featured image is “puzzle-pieces-macro.jpg” by r. nial bradshaw. Used under a creative commons license.)


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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13 thoughts on “Sunday Morning: The Return of The Punisher

  1. I’ve been binge-reading Barbara Hambly’s James Asher series. Former British spy now involved in trying to keep various governments from somehow signing up vampires to participate in all the spying and small scale wars leading up to WWI. The first two books in the series won prizes for horror novels when they came out. Hambly is originally a historian and the books are full of detail about living in European cities at the time. The lives of the poor are particularly depressing.

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    • That sounds really interesting, and damn you, I’m going to have to put in on my list. Speaking of depressing, I just started Zola’s The Belly of Paris and as a naturalist work, it’s bound to be depressing. I’m also reading David Quammen’s The Tangled Tree which is about how we’ve evolved and our evolution has been effected by bacterial DNA (I think I’m getting the synopsis right). He’s a great writer: Spillover is another good one of his, but the potential of viral dangers it discusses will scare you.

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      • Personal opinions… The first two Asher novels deserve the awards they won. The timing for #3 on smacks of “Years ago I had a winning novel and a sequel, and I need the money.” One of the things I was impressed with in the first two was the prose matched the period: writing convincingly in the linguistic style of the late Victorian and Edwardian era is hard. In the new bunch, much more contemporary sentence structure, and anachronistic phrases start sneaking in. Also, it’s clear that certain characters are not going to get killed off, because series, which detracts from the horror aspect. Those are observations, not real criticisms, because making a long-term living as a novelist is damned tough. Reading some of the things at Charlie Stross’s blog is discouraging: a bunch of writers who think we’re headed towards a future where most novelists are either retired with a pension, or supported by a spouse, because it’s no longer a business where more than a handful can make a living at it.

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  2. I just read Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction (If you like to be surprised by where a book goes, don’t read the whole title.) It does exactly what’s on the cover: explore Golden Age SF, in particular the parts of it that appeared in Astounding/Analog, through the lives of those four men. I was already fairly well read in that area, but still learned a lot, in particular about why Campbell went off the deep end into pseudoscientific nonsense in the 50s and 60s.

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  3. For Christmas, the wife got me the last few John McPhee books, so I am working through those. My god is he good.

    As for movies, I have been catching up, kinda. Watched Guardians of the Galaxy, not bad if you don’t think about it. Rewatched Raising Arizona, which holds up very well. Tried watching a bunch of Older TV, man a lot of it is bad. Taxi, Newhart, classics I loved as a kid. Just bad. WKRP was surprisingly good, as is Frasier.

    Also watched The Death of Stalin. One of the better films I have seen. More to come later on that.

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  4. Wasn’t one of Frank Castle’s killings specifically of an innocent person who didn’t “deserve it” as is being described above? Wasn’t that the point Castle lost his faith that what he was doing, or at least who he was doing it for, was right? (I watched the season once, awhile ago, so if I’m wrong here, my apologies.)

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