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Decoding the Defenders: Netflix Unveils the Gateway Shows That Lead to a Heroic Binge

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Netflix superpower? Knowing what viewers should watch next, especially if it’s something they’d never expect. Case in point, one in eight Marvel Television viewers were new to comic book based content before discovering their first heroic binge on Netflix1.

Viewers are finding their way to the adventures of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist through shows as diverse as the Defenders crew. And it’s not by chance, it’s by design – more than 80% of all shows are discovered through Netflix recommendations.

“At Netflix we know genres are just wrappers, which is why we work hard to create algorithms that help members break these pre-conceived notions and make it easier for them to find stories they’ll love, even in seemingly unlikely places,” said Todd Yellin, Vice President of Product.

Getting over a genre bias isn’t limited to the Marvel Universe. One in five Stranger Things fans were new to horror before entering the Upside Down2. Similarly, one in seven Black Mirror watchers were new to science fiction before exploring the dark side of technology3.

Looking into the shows those new to the genre watched most4 before its four Marvel series, Netflix uncovered interesting patterns that act as a bingeing gateway to the Marvel Universe .

Anti-heroes and moral ambiguity lead viewers to Marvel’s Daredevil.

Stories that dabble in life’s grey area heighten viewers’ senses for Daredevil, like the political turmoil of House of Cards and the thin lines of family loyalty in Bloodline. As do characters who blur the lines between vigilante and villain, like Walter White’s entrepreneurial antics in Breaking Bad and Dexter Morgan’s homicidal heroics in Dexter.

Sharp humor, strong females and dark crime draw watchers to Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

It’s Jessica Jones’ sharp wit that makes her bingeworthy. Series with smart humor, like Master of None, Friends and John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, draw viewers to Jones as do stories with strong female leads, like Orange is the New Black. A nod to her detective roots, series immersed in dark criminal worlds also do the trick, like the psychological thrill of Making A Murderer.

Dangerous worlds and complex consequences direct viewers to Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Shows that expose the dark side of society draw viewers to Luke Cage, like the question of guilt in Amanda Knox and the examination of technology in Black Mirror. Similarly, series immersed in dangerous realms, like a cartel-ridden Medellin in Narcos and a zombie-filled Atlanta in The Walking Dead, lead watchers to Cage’s world.

Edgy coming-of-age tales steer watchers to Marvel’s Iron Fist.

Grit isn’t the only path to a comic binge. Edgy coming-of-age series, like Love, Shameless and 13 Reasons Why, bring viewers to Danny Rand and his transitional tale from orphan to crime fighter. The passage from warrior to winner also struck a chord with viewers courtesy of Ultimate Beastmaster.

Methodology

1 Members who had never watched content tagged “superhero” on Netflix prior to watching one of the Marvel series.

2 Members who had never watched content tagged “horror” on Netflix prior to watching Stranger Things.

3 Members who had never watched content tagged “science fiction” on Netflix prior to watching Black Mirror.

4 Netflix analyzed viewing of members who had never watched content tagged “superhero” prior to watching one of its Marvel series to identify the top ten most watched global titles prior to each series for those new to the genre. The analysis was conducted across 40+ countries between 2015 and 2017.

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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