tv series

Here is why the new Netflix show ‘Luke Cage’ is drawing rave reviews

Based on the Marvel superhero with bulletproof skin, the series is a compelling story set in the historically black neighbourhood Harlem.

On 30 September, Netflix unleashed the latest installment of the growing Marvel-Netflix universe, Luke Cage. Like its predecessors, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the 13-episode first season follows the adventures of the titular superhero as he strives to bring some justice to the rough streets of Harlem. Where Daredevil has enhanced senses and Jessica Jones superhuman strength and endurance, Luke Cage has something much more meaningfully tied to his identity as a black man: unbreakable, bulletproof skin.

The series, starring Mike Colter, drops at a time when police violence and atrocities against the African American community have become burning issues that are at the forefront of many political, and civic conversations. One might be forgiven for thinking that the creators had a hard task ahead of them: to ensure the show didn’t seem wildly exploitative of real-world tragedies while still acknowledging the sheer power of a symbol like Cage and the context in which he operates. Indeed, there were rumours that the show would be delayed or its release rescheduled if another tragic shooting were to take place. But show runner Cheo Hodari Coker has lived up to the high standards set by his predecessors in the Marvel-Netflix powerhouse, delivering a season that not only tells a compelling superhero story, but makes sure the focus never wavers from the community in which he operates: the historically black neighbourhood of Harlem in New York City.

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‘Luke Cage’.

Luke Cage became part of the Marvel-Netflix-verse in Jessica Jones, where he functioned as the titular character’s love interest as well as the living, breathing testament to her greatest trauma. The Luke Cage series begins shortly after the events of Jessica Jones have come to an end. Luke is back in Harlem, where he works two jobs: as a janitor at Pop’s barbershop, a “safe space” in the troubled neighbourhood that is watched over by the eponymous Pop, and a dishwasher at a much more upscale location: Harlem’s Paradise, a club owned and operated by the notorious Cornell Cottonmouth Stokes (played by Mahershala Ali from House of Cards). As happens in most superhero movies, the big bad world, in this case, one of gangs, gun fights and political corruption, flings itself at those Luke cares about, and he has no choice but to step in and try to “do the right thing.”

The Harlem that Luke Cage brings to life is a hard world, riddled with violence, fear, and political corruption. It is also a place of aspiration, where dreams continue to rise, refusing to be quashed even by the snapping of bones or the spilling of blood. The heady combination of power and idealism has its dark reflection in the cousins Cornell Stokes and Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), a councilwoman determined to “keep Harlem black” and retain her place on the political circuit, no matter what the price. The liaison of political and criminal power was touched upon in Daredevil, whose second season devoted itself largely to showing how broken the system of governance and law enforcement is, but that theme takes on a particularly human face in Luke Cage. Luke is vulnerable to it in a way that Matt Murdoch simply isn’t – a fact that’s painfully illustrated by the manner in which he gets his powers in the first place.

‘Luke Cage’.
‘Luke Cage’.

Colter shines as Cage, portraying the hero’s struggles with a quiet dignity, providing a centre of calm in the maelstrom of gunfire and violence that surrounds him. He is an aspirational figure, one who keeps his cool and even has the heart for silly, corny lines when the bullets have faded, or when he lies broken on the floor. Rosario Dawson reprises her role as Claire Temple from the preceding Marvel series, and her fans would be happy to learn that, as ever, she owns every scene she’s in, and takes quite the journey herself, from a nurse finding her feet in the world of super humans in Daredevil to a character who is making her own tough choices in Cage.

But the breakout character of this particular run of episodes has to be Simone Missick’s Mercedes Misty Knight, a hardworking, intelligent detective, set on protecting the Harlem she loves, even if it means taking a little professional risk now and again. Missick steals every scene she’s in, and it takes all of five minutes of screen-time for viewers to fall in love with and root for this character, a smart, capable black woman who refuses to take nonsense, no matter how high the person dishing it out happens to be.

Luke Cage runs on a great storyline, full of twists of plot you might never have seen coming. It’s weighted with some amount of pathos and pain, but the sunlight does shine through – in the characters’ humour, in the amazing soundtrack and music that is showcased, in the fact that at the end of the day, no matter how hard things get on the streets, life does go on. “Forward, always forward,” Pop tells Luke at the start of the series. Luke Cage surges forward with power, grace and undeniable style, and takes viewers right along with it.

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Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Also those looking to upgrade their TV to a smart one can get Rs. 20,000 off by exchanging it for the Sony Bravia 108cm Android TV.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch. For those of you just looking for a high quality fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge has Rs. 4500 off on 22nd September.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and the super compact JBL Go Portable Speaker at 56% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.