Details about the upcoming second season of Netflix's Iron Fist are slowly starting to trickle out ahead of the show's Sept. 7 release. This week, it was announced that the new season would shift from the typical Netflix model of 13 episodes to 10, something the show's Twitter account hinted at over the course of last week.
This isn't the first show in Netflix's roster to reduce the number of episodes in a given season. Dreamworks' Voltron: Legendary Defender shifted its episode count starting with the third season, alternating between six and seven episodes per season with shorter gaps between (the show's final two seasons, one of which begins in August, will both return to being 13-episode affairs).
Additionally, all four Netflix Marvel series -- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil -- were locked into 13-episode seasons because that was the popular model when they were collectively picked up back in 2013. The proceeding seasons of each show stuck with that order despite the criticisms they faced, namely that none of them contained stories that were sustainable over a dozen hours. At some point, each seasons' story stalled, whether that be because a new player entered the game in the third act or a story beat was drawn out overlong and to disappointing effect.
Iron Fist's debut season suffered from these phenomena the most. In addition to its myriad of problems, its story just wasn't interesting enough to maintain momentum or form a cohesive whole. First, it was a story about Danny Rand's return to America, but then it turned into a yarn about his traumas and stumbling into a war with the Hand. Meandering subplots about the Meachum family and addiction were interwoven throughout, and so on. By the end of everything, there wasn't really a story so much as things just... happening. The result is that the climax, the revelation about K'un-Lun's fate, fell flat.