This discussion has started because of the Las Vegas shooting – the deadliest shooting in modern American history, coming just 476 days after the previous deadliest shooting in modern American history – but it’d be one worth having regardless. On average, there’s a mass shooting every nine out of ten days in America; Punisher exists in a cultural context that makes the character, if nothing else, an uncomfortable reflection of a very real and very present problem.
All of that said: What’s the place of a Punisher TV show in 2017? From the optics to the thematic content – how is a lone-wolf vigilante, taking the law into his own hands to murder those he deems guilty, a straightforward protagonist?
An article I wrote a while back about The Punisher, and just what the place of such a programme is in an era of mass shootings. When it came to actually reviewing the show, I think I was a little too kind to it – surprised, mainly, that it wasn’t worse, I mostly let it off easy. But I still think, though, that The Punisher show was misconceived on pretty much every level, and the lack of nuance inherent to its treatment of an increasingly murky premise is little more than an ethical lapse, frankly.