So I blew through Season 1 of Daredevil on Netflix during spring break and by God did it impress me. Despite many of my friends recommending this show to me, I was pushing it off because quite honestly, there are no TV shows that are both well done and not overflowing with vulgarity and nudity. To those of you who did recommend this show to me, thank you and I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you. This is probably the most excited I’ve been about a show since Breaking Bad. I would have to think about this for a while, but this may be my favorite Marvel thing out right now.
If you need reasons to see the show besides what I just said in the above paragraph, then allow me to give you the good stuff about it without spoiling anything. I will also be touching on some of the negatives about this show because the show is not without them, but I’m happy to say that the positives far surpass the negatives in Daredevil. The negatives will get a little spoiler-ish, so I’ll notify you when it does.
Daredevil is exceptionally casted without having too many notable faces, and at the forefront is the guy playing Daredevil himself, Charlie Cox.
Aside from his general performance, what I enjoyed so much about Charlie Cox is that, unlike Ben Affleck in the not-so-good movie a long time ago, he is able to draw so much vulnerability into his character. Matthew Murdoch, the man who is Daredevil, is a burdened man who is trying to juggle a career with his vigilanteism. On top of all of this, he’s blind and has (kind of) super powers. There’s layers to him that shed throughout the season, and it was exceedingly interesting to watch.
What I want to know is what exactly Cox did to prepare for playing a character that is blind. I mean because of his powers he can technically see, but the show makes it clear that his eyes don’t work. It was also a great choice to make Matthew Murdoch’s job force him to do things that normal blind people do because when he goes around kicking around bad guys, it’s almost like he isn’t blind at all. It made for a very fascinating dynamic.
There are also scenes that delve into his childhood, and not only are they interesting as well, but they casted a child actor that does well in the vast majority of his scenes.
But aside from Charlie Cox, every other person, regardless of how prominent their role is in the show, fit their parts exceptionally, and there really isn’t any noticeably bad performances. I for one enjoyed every character they brought in. And because the show is fourteen episodes, instead of focusing on one story plot and forcing itself to be loaded with filler (like the insurmountably overrated “The Walking Dead”), it uses its time wisely and fleshes out every character that needs to be fleshed out.
The main villain is played by Vincent D’Onofrio, mainly known for playing that wonky guy on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. While I don’t really like his character on CI very much, I found his role in Daredevil to be fascinating, intriguing and relatable.
The cinematography in this show is wonderful as well. There’s an action scene in one of the earlier episodes that was either done in one take or cheated to look like it was done in one take. Either way, I was so impressed with the choreography in the scene that I rewound it and watched it two more times.
But the best thing about the cinematography is how well they handle lighting. All of the images I put in this review were to demonstrate that the world they create in Daredevil is dark, grim, and sometimes barely lit. In my opinion, this was not only done because of the dark subject matter, though that is a good reason. If that was the only reason, however, then it would be just like Nolan’s Batman trilogy and a few other super hero movie. But in all of this dim lighting, you get this feeling of being partially blind, like your vision is naturally darkened. This is so brilliant because our main protagonist cannot see either except for what his powers can give him. In an extraordinarily subtle way, we are brought into this world where we can relate to our main character.
This is just one of the many things I could mention that demonstrate Daredevil’s attention to detail, but I honestly think you should just see the show yourself and experience it.
Now this first season is almost treated like an origin story and because of this, it takes a very long time for Murdoch to actually put on the suit that gives him his name. If that sounds disappointing to you, it was slightly disappointing to me too. I’m telling you though, because the show is so great, it’s not that big of a deal.
Now I’m going to get into the negatives, and in order to talk about the negatives, I’m forced to spoil parts of the show, so if you haven’t seen the show yet, then skip this part of the review and go to the last paragraph, and then come back when you’ve actually watched the show.
Now even though the action is done very well for the most part, there is one scene when he’s in the heroin factory, where all of the blind people bum rush him and surround him, and then in the next scene (after they cut to Murdoch’s friends), he somehow escaped the mob, and this bugged the crap out of me because they never explained how he got out. This is just one scene, so it did not ruin that particular episode for me. It was just weird.
I thought his ability to heal wounds faster by meditation was kind of cheap. Like I understand, this is some sort of special kind of meditation, but I couldn’t help but feel like it was a just a fast-and-easy way to explain how he can get the living hell beat out of him and then get back into fighting 2 and sometimes 1 episode later. This isn’t a prominent part of the story, so again, this doesn’t ruin the show for me.
The biggest thing that really irritated me was this odd philosophy that appears in so many of these super hero movies and shows: that apparently it’s immoral to kill anyone ever. Like apparently if you kill vile and reprehensible human beings, then you’re no better than that person. This is bullshit. It kind of bugged me every once in a while when Murdoch talked about how he can’t kill people, but it was even more annoying when his friend gave him the “you’re no better than the evil people you kill if you kill them” lecture. If this show wasn’t so good, I probably would have rolled my eyes.
I can think of overstated worldly examples of people that the world would have benefited if they were murdered, and I can think of reasons why war is sometimes morally justified. But instead, I’ll just give an example in the show. When Karen is kidnapped by Fisk’s right hand man Wesley, and he forces her to promote Fisk as a person, or else he’ll start killing everyone she cares about, I for one think she was justified by shooting Wesley to death (I was also kind of bummed, because I really liked Wesley as a character). If Wesley dished out the same threats to Murdoch, then I guess we wouldn’t have a show because Murdoch can’t kill nobody.
I understand that this happens in plenty of other super hero shows and movies, and obviously Murdoch’s philosophy is characteristic of him because he’s Catholic (in the most secular way possible, might I add), but I feel like this odd philosophy is cliche and false. Of course it’s bad to kill people and of course it’ll be traumatizing, but considering there are some people that if you don’t kill them, they will murder hundreds of people (like Fisk does throughout the show), I think murder is oftentimes a necessary evil.
When the Punisher comes in seasons 2 (which I’m extremely excited for), I can’t wait to root for him because he doesn’t believe in this hogwash. Obviously, the show is going to make it to where he’s in the wrong, and Daredevil is in the right, but hey, a guy can dream.
Well that’s all that I really found wrong about Daredevil, and quite honestly, it’s all pretty minor. Keep in mind that it’s extremely viable to notice flaws or negatives in a show or movie and still really enjoy it. This is a fantastic show and you should see it as soon as possible. Really the only graphic content they have on Daredevil is the violence and the occasional cursing. For those who try to avoid nudity and sexually explicit content, Daredevil has none to avoid. This show has really got me pumped for the next season, and I also really want to check out Jessica Jones as well now. I cannot recommend Daredevil enough, and I’m giving this season a 9 out of 10.