Wow. I don't know where to begin. A gem of an idea turned into at best, a mid-level shoot them up. Because so much outside of kicking ass goes wrong in this series. But there's still some greatness under all the bruises. Netflix really half-assed on this one.
Overall to me The Punisher had great potential but turned into a half intriguing show, half muddled mess. The first three episodes (more precisely two and a half episodes, the last half of three heats up pretty good) are pretty painful to get through. A few episodes are absolute gems though and even the lesser episodes have epic moments in the latter half. Characters like Micro, Curtis and Bobby seem the best out of the bunch to me once not focused on Frank. Each has their role to play and do it perfectly. Karen also drops in and has her moments. Frank's still haunted by the loss of his family and the overwhelming need to make those who caused their deaths pay. Those on the side of the law play their part and the bad guys go from good to great, to over the top. Except Lewis who was an absolute dumpster fire. This arc should have been left on the cutting room floor. No, thrown in the furnace.
On a whole I think the enjoyment with this show will depend on how you feel about the set up. Personally the whole series could have been done in six episodes cutting out all the boring subplots and poor writing and pacing. If like me the poor pacing grates your nerves and the thirteen episode slog was unnecessary, it will be hard to love. If you don't care and love The Punisher no matter what, then you will enjoy it. My Recommendation is 'Buyer be Ware'. The Punisher is not unwatchable but you might want to go in prepared. Daredevil Season Two did such a great job introducing us to The Punisher. Hopefully future showings of him will be better than what we get here.
Rating: C (but a few episodes are better on their own, none are worse than first three)
P.S.: My birthday on Wednesday (November 29) was a fun time. More next week.