I feel like I say this a lot, but I am not a comic book person. Being a teenager in rural Oklahoma in the mid 80’s, I did not have access to comic books without driving an hour to Oklahoma City. So, I turned to novels and other things to start my road toward nerd.
Hell, the first time I actually bough a comic book was last week when I bought a handful of the new Star Wars comics that they have done recently. I have bought stuff in graphic novel form, but not actual comic books. My nerd is evolving!
So, I know almost nothing about Daredevil at all, other than what I learned in the previous movie that EVERYONE hates.
So, my expectations were not high going in, even though they started to raise a bit when I saw how much IGN loved the show. This will be as spoiler free as I can make it, but there are minor potential spoilers, so beware.
First of all the setting. I have a pet peeve about how things that are supposed to take place in NYC, rarely feels like the city. Whether it is spiderman movies, or even just sitcoms. It feels like the people that created said thing has never even been to the city before they started filming. I have spent a bit of time in Hell’s Kitchen and the show felt like NYC to me. But setting was just dark, which really worked for this kind of show, especially with it being on Netflix and not having to worry as much about reigning it in.
Superhero shows can be really over the top. Cuz of the fact that some of them have such outlandish powers. That isn’t a bad thing, but realism is always a good thing as well. Yes, Murdock has heightened senses, but it isn’t like he can fly, or has super strength. I am not saying that to diminish what he can do, but to explain how grounded it felt. The show is about his struggle to take down Wilson Fisk (aka the Kingpin). How far across the line is he willing to go before losing himself in the process? Morality is not exactly a new thing in super hero stories, but this one was handled really well. Especially later in the season when shit really starts to go down.
The other thing I like is that people die. Characters in the show. You never really feel like anyone is safe (other than maybe daredevil, but it is HIS show). Saying that, he gets his ass kicked. I love that. He isn’t just some vigilante that beats people up and never suffers. The show was really smart in showing that no matter how badass he was, there was someone that could hurt him. The fight scenes were also a highlight of the show. Very well done.
What made the show great were the characters. Karen was a lot of fun to watch her grow. The show could have easily thrown her in and made a very typical tripe and make her the damsel or just a love interest, but it did not do that. She added something to the show and her own sense of right and wrong pushed others as well. Foggy was there for comedic relief as Murdock’s business partner, but he shined too as someone that wanted justice. He got much stronger as the show went along.
The other thing that made it great was Fisk. They spent a lot of time with him and you got to understand that he truly felt like he could make the city better once he had his way. He was not a typical villain in the sense of how kind of shy and awkward he was and it made him look vulnerable. Also, things did not always go smoothly and the sheer rage he would unleash was kind of terrifying. But his arc was done so well and there were times you actually felt for him. I think that is a damn hard thing to do to get you to sympathize with the villain, but they made that work. Also, how often do you get to have a villain that has his own sort of love story? Bizarre, but awesome.
Overall, this show was amazing. The stories were done very well and it was just written so masterfully. Murdock’s need to take out Fisk was challenged by his faith and trying not to become the darkness he was fighting. I love that shit. Also, you eventually got to the suit which was both ridiculous and awesome at the same time.
Is this the best show I have ever watched? Maybe not. But it was amazing enough and they had my jaw drop the floor on numerous occasions, and that makes for it at least being in the conversation.