There are going to be some spoilers in this review.
The Defenders is definitely a case of the sum being greater than the parts, which is impressive given how good (most) of it's parts are. And yes, I'm talking about Iron Fist. Danny Rand was most definitely the weak link in the lineup, and like many other fans, I was so looking forward to the rest of the group slamming him. And they did. He's a very self important character, and having Luke and Jessica there to take him down a notch was not just in keeping with their characters, but also satisfying as a viewer.
At only 8 episodes, it was very tight and went quickly. Other reviews I've read complained that the first two episodes dragged a bit. I didn't feel it. I thought that things moved along at a good clip, though definitely picking up speed as it went.
Being a Marvel Netflix show, there was the requisite hallway fight, but I have to admit, it kinda loses something when there are 4 protagonists fighting in the same hallway. I'm also not sure that the way the fight was cut worked in it's favor. The previous hallway fights were very smooth with the camera work. This one felt choppy.
While not a comedy, there were a few laugh out loud moments, one of which I actually had to pause the show to recover from. It happens when Jessica crashes the party in the restaurant.
I was thrilled with the returning characters outside the core group. Stick, Night Nurse, Foggy, Colleen Wing, Seeing them interacting with each other, and with the protagonists they usually don't interact with is great.
Foggy: Most people call me Foggy
Luke Cage: And you let them?
Then there's The Hand! Madam Gao is of course still wonderful. Sigourney Weaver's character Alexandra is great. I thought they handled her, and the rest of the Hand's leadership really well. Seeing their motivations, their familiarity with each other play out was well done. The return of Electra was woven into the story flawlessly, and she had maybe the most interesting character arc of all. And when she killed... well... *grin* Unexpected!
Definitely well worth the watch, especially if you enjoyed any of the previous offerings. Can't wait to see what happens next.