Netflix’s Luke Cage is garnering rave reviews and fan reaction. Indeed, it is arguably the best show on Netflix-or, rather, on any entertainment outlet right now. What is the appeal to Luke Cage’s story? Any number of elements could be highlighted from the acting, cinematography, and directing to the social relevance, layered story-telling, and interpersonal relationships. Here are 5 reasons why we love Luke Cage:
1. Luke Cage is a reluctant hero. Cage is slow to use his powers. Although he secretly uses his strength for practical purposes (like moving washing machines or shielding people from bullets), he is reluctant to confront the criminal element plaguing the city. After the shooting death of a close friend and mentor, Cage gets involved but in a measured way. Cage is a contradiction to our culture that celebrates youth, bravado, and self-confidence. Cage is someone who could embody the height of all these ideals but demonstrates why humility is more appealing than arrogance.
2. Luke Cage confronts our historical and cultural ignorance. Highlighting civil rights figures like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X would be good but far too typical for a story featuring an African American lead.