Well, we all knew this day was coming. Let’s dive in.
Daredevil is Great
It is. And fun, tons of fun.
The overall verdict for the show has to be a positive. With a cast of fantastic characters, each with their own struggles and anxieties, the tension is thick enough to cut with a spoon.
The blue ribbon must of course go to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, a villain so subtle in his relatability that one wonders if this isn’t the definitive version of Kingpin.
The action scenes have to be the next best thing. They are more inventive than anything we’ve seen on American television. The commitment to the art has to be respected, especially in a particular fight from an early episode (you know the one I’m talking about: the one in the corridor) where the entire chain of events—every punch and blow—occurs in a single take. I’m tearing up, it’s so beautiful.
A Couple of Gripes
That said, there are a few aspects that didn’t live up to their potential.
This show has great characters, but in many cases that happens in spite of the actors playing them, rather than because of them.
This is nowhere more apparent than in the role of Daredevil himself (as well as his alter-ego, Matt Murdock) who gives a largely convictionless performance to the show. He comes across as a typical TV actor, unable to properly entangle himself in what his character is feeling. Thank goodness that so many interesting things center on him, otherwise, he would completely disappear into the background.
The Flashbacks. Someone please Save Us from the Flashbacks.
I get it: Matt Murdock’s father was a boxer. Great. Terrific.
Did you really have to dedicate half the running time of the first five episodes to that little revelation?
And it only got worse once Elektra came along.
What should have been an explosive adaptation of the lady assassin from the comics turned instead into a hybrid of a Bond girl and a Bratz doll—completely expendable and little more than a distraction for the main character.
Elektra’s flashbacks made me wish I could hear more about how Matt’s father was a boxer. For some reason, the writers of the show decided to make her even more of a pretentious brat in these key scenes than in the rest of the series. By the end of season 2, I felt completely unattached to her and was begging to get back to the Punisher’s storyline.
Because you gotta admit, his storyline was five thousand times better.
It seems like the only top-notch actors in this show are playing the villains. And while not all of the others are bad (Foggy and Karen aren’t always excellent, but they never fail to be decent), there is still a gulf separating the caliber of the performances from person to person.
I’m still waiting for my Stan Lee cameo, by the way.
Watch it. If you haven’t seen it already, I can tell you that it is at least worth a try. Do your best to wade through the muddle of the first six episodes, and then bask in the quality that continues, more or less, from that point on.
I cannot wait for season 3, which was just announced at Comic Con.