Started Watching “Daredevil”

Just made it through the first two episodes. Outstanding. I saw it right after “The Flash” pilot, and the improvement is obvious.

You know what “The Flash” felt like? A superhero origin story. And not only a superhero origin story, but one that was pretty similar to Spider-Man’s (genius kid, dream is to go to a certain lab, idolizes a certain scientist…the Spider-Man specific similarities end there, but too be fair they’re pretty distinctive similarities in a superhero origin story).

It was GOOD, definitely – even very good. Good enough that one day I may go back and continue with the show. But it was nothing special. There was nothing that made me think it was going to be any different from watching a spider-man TV show. It was…you know, good.

“Daredevil” is different.

First, the first episode is not an origin story. We learn how Daredevil got his powers, but that’s a background plot, and it doesn’t explain why he decides to be a masked vigilante. The episode is instead the story of Matt Murdock and his partner Foggy taking on  their first client, a girl who happens to be mixed up (very indirectly) with the same band of human-trafficking criminals that Murdock’s vigilante alter-ego has been taking on. Both plotlines come together in an excellently choreographed and cleverly edited climax, where Matt takes on a would-be assassin and saves his client’s life.

Worth noting: The fight choreography is almost flawless. The only fight choreography I can think of that was this good is from “Captain America 2”. In both episodes, it’s dead on.

It’s hard to explain exactly what I love about it, because so far the answer is “all of it”. Foggy, Matt’s partner, is actually quite funny, and not at all annoying, which is a relief. The style of the show, dark and gritty, is distinctive and memorable – not unique, but also not obnoxious. This is the “good” type of gritty. It’s not “pain around every corner”, just the idea that the world is a dangerous place that needs men like Daredevil to protect it.

(It’s also cool to see the “home base” of these non-movie Marvel heroes. Daredevil, the hero of Hell’s Kitchen, is a refreshing change of pace from a guy literally named Captain America.)

The flashbacks to Matt’s past have all been very interesting as well, almost as much as the “present” plot. Basically, all of it’s been interesting.

Consensus: Gritty but not nihilistic, well-directed, well-choreographed, well-acted, and well-written, “Daredevil” is a can’t miss show going off of the first two episodes. Highly recommended.

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5 Responses to Started Watching “Daredevil”

  1. jeffro says:

    The thing I like about Flash is the straight-faced depiction of silver age awesome: stopping a tornado by running in the opposite direction of its rotation, running up a building to rescue someone, running across water, etc. It’s impressive that they could make something so hokey feel so thrilling. It’s very Gardner Fox-ish that way.

    The thing I don’t like about the Flash series is the depiction of the “friend zone” as being cute or normal or just how things happen. Especially when painfully hot uber-geek science nerd women are strutting around in the same episodes…. The CSI stuff is… well I guess it was there all along. But amping up the Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne type elements is kind of lame.

    Daredevil hooked me with those two episodes, too. As to the rest… well, I won’t spoil it for you… but I’m curious as to what you think once you’ve seen some more!

    • Yeah, I got the idea that “The Flash”‘s corniness was meant to be a throwback, and I appreciated that for sure. Like I said, I enjoyed it and may go back to it (I also really loved that first villain – way cool, man).

      “Daredevil” was really excellent; I’m mightily impressed. I’m looking forward to watching more later today.

      You want to know what I like? It mastered what DC desperately is trying to master: It managed to get dark and gritty while remaining optimistic. Matt gets the ever-loving shit beat out of him in these first two episodes, the subject matter is grim, and even the color palette trends dark, but dammit, Matt wins, both times. That’s worth something, to me at least.

    • Exactly. Arrow compares more straight with Daredevil (though D would probably edge out in the end because of certain advantages) while Flash is a very different flavor. It’s like comparing the best steak ever to the best ice cream ever.

  2. Jakeithus says:

    Interesting. I think The Flash is the best comic book adaptation on TV right now and it’s not particularly close. It hits all the right notes about what you would expect from the comics, and as a fan of the greater DC universe I couldn’t be happier. I never would’ve expected elements like Grodd or the multiverse to be done so well on a low budget TV show. The only negative are a few of the more CW-y elements on the show (by which I mean teen centred drama), which I expected and can overlook.

    Daredevil was good. My biggest issue with it was probably more personal than anything. When discussing Marvel vs DC these days, perhaps the #1 thing I hear is how Marvel is just so fun and light, while DC and Man of Steel in particular are just too dark and gritty. Then along comes Daredevil, which is darker, grittier, and less fun than anything DC has put out and it gets rave reviews. It could’ve used a few things to break up the relentless dark tone, which only continues as the season goes on.

    It also suffered from a few pacing issues. There were a couple midseason episodes where both my wife and I just flat out found boring. It gets my standard Marvel review these days, I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me away (other than the fight choreography which was fantastic).

    • Then along comes Daredevil, which is darker, grittier, and less fun than anything DC has put out and it gets rave reviews. It could’ve used a few things to break up the relentless dark tone, which only continues as the season goes on.

      See, that’s the thing: To me, “Daredevil” hit the balance. It was dark and gritty AND optimistic, so far at least. How great is that? If DC does it half as well, maybe they’ll get those sorts of reviews too.

      It gets my standard Marvel review these days, I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me away (other than the fight choreography which was fantastic).

      Glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. I was genuinely blown away – THAT’S how you write good action scenes on a low budget, with great choreography.

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