The shorter seasons will feature 13 episodes and in addition to viewers not having to watch commercials during the episodes, arguably the most important benefit is for the creators. They will not be tightly restricted by film continuity and on Netflix they can offer more adult-focused programming for characters and stories that may not work as well for the family-friendly ABC demographics. Since the shows will embrace shorter, pre-planned story arcs, they may even have access to higher profile talent than they would otherwise on serialized television on traditional networks. We're thinking (and hoping) for something like House of Cards but with superheroes.
What's most interesting about the chosen characters from Marvel's Hell's Kitchen, is in how connected they are. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones fall in love, have a child and get married in the books. Cage and Iron Fist often team-up, forming the Heroes for Hire together. Cage and Daredevil (real name: Matt Murdock) are good friends and Iron Fist (real name: Danny Rand) has even suited up as Daredevil himself. Jessica Jones serves as Murdock's bodyguard when he's not suited up. Expect all of these shows to interconnect.
As for The Defenders, a team featuring a rotating roster of characters over the last few decades in Marvel Comics, it's possible that Marvel's feature film heroes including the still-to-be-introduced Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, possibly even Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, could work together with characters from the Netflix Marvel shows. It just depends how ambitious and how "big" Marvel wants to take their growing universe. We only know from the official announcement that the miniseries will "reimagine" the heroic "dream team."
Which character(s) are you most excited about?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays @8pm on ABC.
Thor: The Dark World releases November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie & TV news!