How 'Luke Cage' Criticism Helped Improve Season 2

Season 2 of Luke Cage has been quite well received, and it turns out some of the best parts came directly from criticisms of season 1.

Director Cheo Hodari Coker was back in the director's chair for Luke Cage season 2, and in an interview with io9 revealed that the team approached the second season differently than they did season 1. He also revealed why they chose to do that, and it was a result of direct feedback from audiences and critics.

"[laughs] Honestly, everything started with feedback from the public," Coker said. "And from critics! The writer Angelica J. Bastién wrote the recaps for Vulture during season one and, man, there were some critiques that were some of the most scathing reviews I’ve ever seen in my life. But, she’s such an incredible writer that as a former journalist, I loved what she wrote and how she wrote it even though it hurt."

Coker didn't just read those reviews, but printed them out and used them as a reference for season 2.

"So, I collected all 13 of her recaps and when we established the new writer’s room, which was essentially the old writer’s room because we had very little turnover, and we decided to approach them one by one," Coker said."

There was one element of criticism that stuck out the most though, and it had to do with the lead character.

"The one that hit me the most was when she said that it was too bad that the writers of Luke Cage didn’t think of Luke Cage as a man, but only as a superhero," Coker said. "So we said 'Ok, how do we approach the show in a way where we’re really dealing with Luke himself at the center of the things—his issues.'"

"If you remove the Judas Bullet as his weakness, what’s left for him to really be afraid of? What is it that can bring him down? What if his anger is his greatest weakness? That’s one of the things we really wanted to unpack in season two and Claire’s the first person to point it out to him. Even though the “super” is what—for lack of a better term—puts asses in sets, it’s the human that keeps them sitting. So, you always want to make sure that you have both," Coker said.

The official synopsis for Luke Cage season 2 can be found below, and even more coverage of the current season can be found right here.

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“After clearing his name, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so well known has only increased the pressure he feels to protect the community. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.”

Luke Cage season 2 is currently available on Netflix.