What I liked:
- The intro. I loved the drippy, bleeding black and red and awesome all over, and the theme song fit so perfectly and got stuck in my head for days, which was quite the annoyance.
- How dark and gritty this show is. I really didn’t have much hope, and watched this purely because Cara was gushing about it. Getting to it, it is no lighthearted affair, though there is plenty humour sprinkled throughout it. Instead it gives us a dark and brooding character and a great villain for him to stand against. Not only that, there was a sense of realism to things, even where others are just slightly too fantastical, the vast majority of the show (like how the bad guys are, corruption, etc) actually seems viable.
- The casting. I know that my fiancé might want to shoot Charlie Cox due to characters he has played in the past, but I think that he was perfect for this. He truly brought Matt Murdock/Daredevil to life, Elden Henson’s Foggy Nelson needs credit, as well as Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page. The actors all seem to gel nicely with one another, too, which is always a good thing.
- The big bad guys. I am talking here about Toby Leonard Moore’s James Wesley and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk. Both are great characters, and I was a huge fan of Wesley. The guy was so calm and creepy and incredibly well spoken and groomed up the wazoo and loyal to Fisk. Then there is Fisk himself, who was insane. He starts out so calm, cool, collected, and his introduction was delayed and perfectly executed, but then he starts unravelling. And trust me, what’s underneath isn’t really pretty. You go from feeling for him to thinking he’s just gone off the rails, plain and simple.
- The choreography. Really, it was great, and looked way better than what you expect from superhero series.
- The violence. I know this might be what kills it for a few people, but I think it was necessary. It got right down to how screwed up everything is, and how rough things have gotten and who sits where on the pecking order. It also helps a lot with development of certain characters, plot, as well as reveals and such.
- The origin stories. Granted, we actually only got to see the stories of Murdock and Fisk, but just the way the two were handled and sprinkled throughout the season was clever. Not too much, not too little, and consistently, always giving you a little something to chew on, heartbreak and happiness, all laced throughout it. It really gives you more insight into the choices of the two, as well as their thought processes.
- The camera work. It was clean, smooth, followed the action, and was used seamlessly to focus attention where it was needed, when it was needed. It was never jarring.
- The humour. It was dark, and used sparingly, so it has a pretty cool flavour when it finally does come around.
- The character development. Seriously, Matt goes from this attorney digging around some dark things, to this part-time vigilante, to this full-fledged crime fighter, losing friends and putting his life in danger all the time. As for Fisk? He goes from this unnamed terror to someone we see, don’t understand so we step closer, then get zapped with the level of crazy housed in that man. I just cannot wait to find out more about these two!
- The build up to the suit. The suit wasn’t there from the off, which also means we get a Matt Murdock who is becoming Daredevil, becoming a vigilante, not someone in the thick of things and we must all play catch up. Let me tell you, it works. Matt struggling to find a way to fit that into his life, the simple black suit, his intensity? Great. Then we finally get to see the suit, and none of this Smallville pussyfooting around where we watched ten goddamned seasons for a few second payoff in the last damn episode. It was so worth the wait… except the mask (which I will discuss just now).
What I didn’t like:
- To be very honest, I was so excited to see the suit. When it eventually made an appearance, I really liked it but then it got to the mask and… well… it sucks. It doesn’t do the suit any justice and doesn’t fit overall, which is a real pity.
- The way that Wilson Fisk talks sometimes. I thoroughly enjoy the character and D’Onofrio does such a great job, but sometimes the way he talks is disjointed and annoying and doesn’t always gel.
- How quickly things suddenly because “Matt, Foggy and Karen”, like one big happy family with virtually nothing to connect the dots to how we got there. She also just stepped in, from being a client, to thinking she has a say in their friendship, etc. At times that got a bit grating. Also, while we are at it, Karen could be real demanding sometimes, but I do like her.
- How quickly Foggy moved from Karen back to Marci. Left me reeling a little bit because there was no real rise to it, it just wham happened. Alrighty then…
So when I went in for this, I didn’t really have too much hope. Constantine left a sour taste in my mouth (though I still intend on finishing it) and I never made it through the first season of Arrow, among other things, just so you can understand my excitement. Now, all sarcasm aside and all, I was hooked on Daredevil within minutes. Not even joking here. There is just so much right with this, so much that works and amazes and engages you and keeps you coming back for more. Plus two, I love the fact that all these episodes come at once. It means that I can binge without guilt and without having to wait for it to finish before I can get to what has been happening for weeks. There were other, smaller things that I also appreciated, such as the fact that Matt would take a beating and actually look like it the next day (hem hem Banshee), and it wouldn’t disappear overnight, which was also really cool. I absolutely adored the friendship between Matt and Foggy, it was super sweet and came together so well, and also bringing in Father Lantom, nice and slowly, not just there and that is that. Daredevil is certainly dark and not for kids, and it is most likely why I am a fan of it. It is not inundated by silly cheese and lack of drama and a story. Instead, we have interesting characters, plots coming together smoothly, bad guys you can identify with (again, the perfect villain is one you also want to see succeed), good guys you can understand but aren’t so perfect they seem unnatural, and events that get you thinking. Everything is slowly and deliberately built on, too, which is awesome, instead of some rush job. The show takes its time introducing you to people and places and moving things along. I mean Fisk himself didn’t make a physical appearance until much later on, which is why I think it was so successful to spend a few episodes showing how people didn’t really say his name and how terrified they were of him. Nice going guys! Ben was a great character, too, and I really loved to see how he pushed for investigation, honesty, integrity and the truth in a time where nobody seemed to care too much. Ben was a solid character to have around and brought quite a bit to the table. I thoroughly enjoyed DeKnight saying that the Matt Murdock they were going for should be one bad day away from The Punisher (check the article here). I think that they nailed this. Charlie Cox truly was the answer for this role here, I love what he has done with the character, and Elden Henson was just right for the comic relief we needed from time to time. Anyway, obviously I don’t have much to complain about. I would highly recommend checking Daredevil out, whether you are a superhero fan or suffering from superhero fatigue, there is a lot of good stuff going on here that deserves the chance to be checked out. I promise, you won’t regret it!