Daredevil Season 1 Review
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek | FBChubRockGeek)
The series is a Netflix exclusive and because of that, they are allowed to get away with more than they could on television. Created for television by Drew Goddard and showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, Daredevil joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a very bloody way. Matt Murdock A.K.A. Daredevil, played by Charlie Cox, is blinded by hazardous materials as a child but gains extrasensory powers which aid him to “see” his surroundings. Him and his college buddy, Foggy Nelson, played by Elden Henson, open a law firm in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, a small section of Manhattan, right as all hell’s about to break loose...pun intended.
One of the most clever things about this show were how they integrated Daredevil into the MCU. After the events of Avengers, New York was partially destroyed and the rebuilding efforts must have made some people very rich. Something that later graphic novels I’ve read had addressed was “what happens when the superheroes leave?”. Usually this is addressed in a somewhat passive sense with a regular human seeing it. But what if one of those people becomes a hero himself. How would the rich react to this?
When I was kid, I was big fan of Spider-Man, still am and I say so in my review of Amazing Spider-Man 2. When Spidey would team up with other heroes, it was fun and exhilarating, for a 12 year old at least. One of my favorite team-ups was always Daredevil because there would be more acrobatics as they took down whomever was the villain. So I started reading Daredevil and was completely entranced by the fact he had a huge disability but was a successful lawyer and superhero. The problem was always that Daredevil never seemed to receive the love from other readers. When this series was announced, I was very hopeful that it would show the Daredevil I love.
This show isn’t for kids mind you, it’s very adult and this is due to its graphic nature, I found it refreshing that Marvel allowed this. Broken bones sticking out of limbs, heads being smashed, brains all over a wall, graphic violence was something of the 90’s comics that I'm incredibly happy have made it to the adaptations. The language was also very strong but never made it past pg-13 standings, however they certainly skirted that line very closely. It resembled the Frank Miller “The Man Without Fear” series which I’m the proud owner of the first 5 issues.
When watching this show, one might say that they are trying to emulate Batman’s dark and gritty style but I argue that Daredevil has always been that, or at least tried to. The show makes Hell’s Kitchen look down right gross as times but also very vibrant. The fight scenes are something to be absolutely admired, especially episode 2’s hallway fight scene. According to an interview with IGN, the fight team put it together in “Just a few days”. Normally something like this takes weeks to coordinate.
I must talk about Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin. He does an excellent job of showing a troubled man with a dangerous past. Every scene he’s in completely becomes about him and no one else. His right hand man Wesley, played by Toby Leonard Moore, became a terrifying combo and filled every scene with anxiety. Normally we get very little time with the villain due to the hero taking the spotlight but this show allows us the courtesy to understand our adversary beyond the surface.
Not only do we get to see Wilson Fisk’s past but we also get flash backs for so much more. The show isn’t filmed in a traditional “origin story” format. Throughout the series, we get spontaneous flashbacks that correlate to what's happening in the present. The reason I love this format of storytelling is it allows the audience to become familiar with our hero without having to wait for him to kick ass. I love Ironman, Spiderman, Captain America, Hulk, but if I have to sit through one more origin story where the first 40 minutes are build up, I’m going to lose it.
I’m very excited to see where this series goes, I know that we will be getting A.K.A. Jessica Jones next, then Luke Cage and Iron Fist after that, leading to The Defenders tv show. However I'm interested in seeing more Daredevil. His character arch and development with the supporting cast made for a very fascinating story and I crave more. My gripes are that the show had some strange pacing for a couple of episodes and it was incredibly noticeable, very dramatic where it wasn’t necessary. There were a few very dry lines where it felt like the actor had phoned it in instead of creating the emotion needed for the scene. Luckily these are very few and spread so thin, they do not become a problem.
Overall the show is phenomenal, from storytelling to action scenes. The visceral nature of what is shown and how it’s shown made me incredibly happy. Marvel is starting to understand that telling the story that needs to be told is far more important than pandering to an audience. One more point of adoration, the title sequence was brilliant as it perfectly depicts the ideas featured in the show from Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk’s respective perspectives. I cannot recommend this show enough, if you enjoy Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, please don’t hesitate and watch this show. I give Daredevil Season 1 a 9.5 outta 10.
Did you watch the show on the weekend release? What villains would you like see make an appearance in the coming seasons? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook Fan Page, or tweet us @MissionStartP
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