Just as a bit of nerdy pedantry, I would say that the Punisher wasn’t the result of those episodes being good, or at least if it was, it wasn’t to do with actual audience or critical response, just internal feeling at Netflix. It was put into development in Jan. 2016, before DD2 even came out (March 2016).
Personally I felt it was really clumsy and like those four episodes were basically just the really obvious pre-amble for a Punisher show, with way too much focus on the Punisher himself, and not nearly enough on DD. Plus they did a really piss-poor job of arguing DD’s “How about we don’t just brutally murder everyone we feel like?” case, which was totally ridiculous given he’s a trained lawyer who has been advocating extremely successfully as a defense lawyer for years, and Punisher is a un-articulate, if very cunning, serial killer.
He should have been shredding Punisher in every discussion, leaving tons of questions that Punisher couldn’t answer and probably got mad about, and forcing Punisher to admit he was basically doing what he was doing “because he felt like it”, not because it was right on any level at all, which was alluded to repeatedly, but only pathetically weakly stated.
Anyway rant over. As much as I thought that was bad (more in execution than conception - the idea of crossing the two characters over and contrasting them is totally sound - but they fucked it up) it was a hell of a lot better than the ninja stuff I must agree. The ninjas are another case of “okay conception, bad execution”, because they were just used excessively, obeyed the laws of reverse ninjitsu really obviously (too on the nose when it’s actual ninjas!), and never quite seemed justified in being so competent and numerous. Plus there was just a lot of silly nonsense.
Bernthal was really well cast though. Indeed the vast majority of people in the Marvel shows have been extremely well-cast, with the very, very glaring exception that is Iron Fist, like what the fuck they were thinking there, I guess we will never know. “He was in Game of Thrones and everyone things he’s hot!” is probably the extent of it, because jesus. They didn’t even make him train for the fight scenes very much, which was bizarre.
Talking of TV which seems a bit confused, I watched S4 of The 100, because it was fairly short, and my friend said S5 was really good, and despite him also saying S4 wasn’t, I was like “Oh I’ll just watch through it!”.
Yeah that was kind of a mistake, not totally but it’s very much a “Let’s set this up for what is effectively a very soft reboot!” season (not entirely uncommon in SF shows). I was amused that they provided an answer to my primary annoyance with the end of the previous season - "Why are a bunch of the Earth’s nuclear reactors only melting down now, of all times, and why is the destruction so big?" (answer: before the nuclear war, most of the world’s power had been consolidated to being produced by 7 “mega-reactors”, which had been designed super-safely - so they’d avoid going critical even completely unattended for 100 years - okay, I guess I can buy that, it works, sorta), only to go butt-wild with ridiculous stuff like suddenly cutting the time-frame from six months to two months (which seemed to serve solely to make things less plausible, particularly travel times!), having radiation that totally doesn’t work like radiation (not completely new for the series but… wtf were those reactors burning that stuff would be livable five years after they went up?), but more like some sort of chemical poison (which begs the question, why not have some sort of chemical poison instead?), and the wonderfully implausible if cool “death wave”.
They also killed off two characters I really liked, but I have to admit, both of them had basically finished their arcs, and one of them it was honestly mind-blowing he was still alive.
But it served its purpose, and soft-rebooted a setting that was potentially getting a little stale, before it actually started to go off (which is good because most shows wait until at least a season after the reset should have happened), and the next season does look pretty fun.