Just finished Netflix & Marvel’s Daredevil today. I was at Megacon when it first came out so I held off a bit and only started watching it maybe the week after or so. My daughter and I were watching together and we’re not big on binge watching a show that long so it took a while.
Spoiler free portion of my review:
From the first episode I knew this was something special.The fight sequences were and remained worth watching. Not a bunch of crazy close-ups where we don’t know what’s going on, this show does a lot of fight choreography. It really adds that special something. And so does the cinematography. The show is gorgeous night or day. I also want to give special shout-out to a feature that I love hearing in media, and that is people using their native languages. One of my fave parts of Godfather is all the use of Italian. It really puts me in the moment. I don’t speak to my Cuban mother in English, I don’t expect two born and raised Russian brothers speak to each other in anything other than Russian. So props to Daredevil for going that extra mile.
If you like Marvel, and you liked The Dark Knight, odds are you will like Daredevil on Netflix. It’s already got the green light for another season, and now I know how fans of Orange is the New Black feel, cause I gotta wait a whole freakin year for season 2.
And now the nitty gritty spoileriffic portion….
I went in to this completely spoiler free so I didn’t know that this show is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I caught the clues early on, and good job at not beating us all over the head with it (Agents of Shield). I like that this show takes the time to show how the devastation of the events of Avengers effected normal, non superhuman or spy organization, people.
I said I liked the show from the first episode, but I’ll go as far as saying from the opening credits. Like I said, I went into this completely spoiler free so I didn’t even know who the main bad guy was (sure, I could guess, but I didn’t know). So when I saw Vincent d’Onofrio’s name come up in the credits I was pretty positive this wasn’t going to suck. I was not disappointed. His Kingpin is a bit different, but this has got to be one of the best villains to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The best villain, maybe? He’s terrifying in a way that the others (Iron Monger, Loki, Red Skull, Thanos, Winter Soldier) aren’t. They did such a good job of making every character multidimensional that you can’t help but believe there are men like him out there. And the thought is terrifying.
Which brings me to what makes this show so fantastic, the characters. Have you ever seen a show with bad guys who are not flat characters? It’s the normal thing to do to have faceless henchmen and maybe give your bad guy some layers. MCU Loki is a mass murderer, but they gave him the weepy backstory to show motive. It is actually a very sad back story, making the fanficiton website AO3 create a special tag for “Odin’s A+ Parenting“. As a writer, what Daredevil did is show me how this is all just more lazy writing.
This show had me saying things to the screen like “Why do I feel sorry for you? You’re a fucking slave trader!” as I tried not to cry over a man losing his brother. How does this happen? This is like Narcissa Malfoy being a part of this genocide army, but there’s never a doubt that she loves her son. The writer’s managed to humanize almost every villain in this show. By the end my daughter said about Kingpin “I know he’s the bad guy, but I just love him” as he throws a bad guy down an elevator shaft. As an audience you wanted him to do it. It’s not that I wanted him to win, but maybe just win a little. I mean, he was trying to kill some really bad guys, it;s just that he’s an equally bad guy.
What a mindfuck.
I should talk about Matt Murdock, right? I mean, he’s good. It works. They should probably do some more for him because what I really want to do now is talk about his relationship with Foggy Nelson.
What starts up as a BFF pseudo sidekick scenario turns into what I feel is the most honest depiction of what revealing your superhero identity would be like. Foggy’s reaction is so painful, I was again fighting back tears. It’s an amazing episode too painful to relive. Did others notice that Foggy is playing the part normally assigned to the girlfriend? He’s hurt, betrayed, and fearful for Matt’s life. That one day this will kill him. It’s the opposite of what I loved in Hawkeye’s wife. But that;s what’s so great is that this time, its the male BFF that’s the one who’s yelling at the hero for being a liar with a death wish. Good job, Eldon Henson for looking like a kicked puppy here.
Anything bad to say? Well, the second half of episode 12 is a bit rushed. The hand-held cam distracted me a few times. Let’s move on to the final battle.
This is a 13 episode (nearly 13 hour) origin story. You don’t actually see Matt in his Daredevil costume until the very end. And when he comes on and starts fighting Kingpin, it is a new kind of satisfying. At the risk of being crude, I can only describe the finale as a long rolling orgasm that’s built up so smooth after not being able to get off for a week. I jumped off the sofa, closed the blinds to see better, and sat on the floor up close and personal. It was very satisfying.