Have you seen the trailer that came out today?
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I think the slow pacing is definitely a result of that-- they don't try as hard to hook from the get go knowing even casual viewers will give it at least 2 or 3 episodes. But the bloating issue-- that's not a result of the format, that's just not having enough story. And it's a really odd thing considering all these characters have decades worth of comics to mine from, and yet they all have the exact same problem-- they all take a long time to make certain points, they all feel done at their mid-season but shift direction and keep going, and they all have more villains than they need.
I'm half-way through, and I'm not as interested as I have been with the other Marvel Netflix shows. I thoroughly enjoyed DD seasons 1 and 2, JJ, and LC. I didn't watch IF because I just wasn't hearing anything good about it, and I've gathered enough info about it to follow the story in The Defenders. But at this point I thought I'd be more eager to finish it. It seemed to take too long for the heroes to meet, and then they've been arguing more than anything. And not even arguing about interesting stuff, just arguing to argue. It's almost boring.