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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Marvel's Iron Fist is the story of Danny Rand (aka Iron Fist), who has super martial arts powers. Raised in the billionaire lifestyle, Danny (Finn Jones) is orphaned at age 10 when his family's private jet crashes in the Himalayas (Danny's flashback scenes of the plane breaking up in midair and crashing are quite intense and graphic). Danny returns to New York 15 years post-crash after learning a lot of kung fu, but his dad's former corporate partner is not happy to see him. That's when the fight scenes begin. There's a lot of hand-to-hand combat and martial arts fighting that can get gory, and violence ramps up in later episodes. Danny fights when he needs to, but he usually tries to disarm or limit his opponent's fighting abilities.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
When he returns to New York 15 years after an airplane crash -- barefoot, bearded, and dirty -- Danny Rand (aka IRON FIST) finds that the corporation his dad left behind is being run by an evil partner, Harold Meachum, and his children (who were Danny's pals when they were children). At first, the corporate trio won't believe it's Danny; they think he's some kind of spy set on corporate sabotage, and they try to have him killed. Danny uses his superpower martial arts skills to defend himself. Harold Meachum (who supposedly died of cancer years ago) runs the plan from his secret hideout, while his kids try to undo Danny. Martial arts studio owner Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) is a strong, no-nonsense woman who comes to Danny's aid.
Is it any good?
This is most definitely a different kind of superhero series. Marvel's Iron Fist isn't full of action, colorful characters, laughs, or über-muscled bodies. But there's a depth to the orphaned character Danny Rand/Iron Fist that's engaging on a different level, and it's intriguing to watch how he handles each conflict with a balance of philosophy and fight. The flashback scenes to his childhood (and especially the plane crash) give the viewer insight into his current tortured yet good-at-heart personality. Another doesn't-fit-the-mold character in Iron Fist is Danny's friend and martial arts studio owner Colleen Wing. She's a strong female character who (refreshingly, for a superhero series) doesn't dress in push-up bras or high heels. Rand's nemeses, the evil Meachum father-son duo, have a seriously dysfunctional relationship. Will the disgruntled son eventually turn on the supposedly dead but actually in-hiding dad?
The slower pace and lower flash of this show may turn many superhero fans away, but it may also make some superhero fans out of people who normally don't like the typical pace, glam, and one-liners. Either way, Iron Fist's take on a superhero's journey to discover his place in the world is undeniably different.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Danny's complicated character in Iron Fist. What do you think those 15 years between the plane crash that happened when Danny was 10 years old and him returning to New York were like for him? How did they affect his personality?
Talk about the relationship between corporate owner Harold Meachum and his son Ward. Why do you think Ward was so mean to Danny as a child (shown in the flashbacks), and what does he and his father's relationship have to do with it?
Talk about Danny's use of strength through martial arts. In what ways did he and other martial artists use these specialized fighting powers in peaceful ways?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.