Let’s not beat around the bush and tip toe around the truth and my feelings on Daredevil. The first season of Daredevil was absolutely amazing. It delivered everything that I needed at the moment. It was the dark and gritty comic book show that made me feel like we were seeing a different side of comic shows. Not only that but it gave us a completely different look on the superhero landscape than we’d seen previously.
First I’ll talk about how Daredevil is completely different than all the other Marvel properties that we’ve seen to date. When you think about it the only property that is similar has been Agent Carter. Yes, there have been non-powered heroes in the universe. Even Agents of SHIELD circled around a team working with a number of people on the index and with one of the team now on the index herself things have become increasingly different. Daredevil, however, takes it down to a grassroots movement. Daredevil is fighting for Hell’s Kitchen with his bare hands and a little bit of training. He doesn’t have a suit, or super powers, or even a lifetime of expert training in some ability.
One of the most interesting things about Daredevil was the spectacular interpersonal relationships that the show highlighted. From the very beginning it was clear that the show was going to hinge on the the relationships that Matt formed because there was no way that he could do it alone. The strife between Foggy and Matt were something that stood out as one of the most difficult things to watch. You could see the divide growing between the two. Thus when the fallout happened it felt legit. And it was a great fallout to watch because it felt real. This was a huge secret that Matt was keeping from Foggy. Not just keeping mum on a secret, but constantly lying. His omissions made it feel like he wasn’t the person he portrayed himself to be. In that moment while I understood Matt’s motivation, I more than understood how Foggy was feeling and was glad he didn’t just kindly accept that his best friend was lying to him and putting his life in danger.
I’ve got to take a moment to address the lovely Karen Page. She has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. She isn’t just a secretary. She isn’t just a friend. Karen is this person that people really need to be wary of. As much as Matt did a lot of heavy lifting in taking Wilson Fisk down, if it wasn’t for Karen’s pulling of the various threads, he never would have stumbled at all. Fisk was untouchable, but Karen was this unknown thorn in his side. It was really interesting to see how unrelenting she was when it came to stopping him. Not only that but she also wasn’t going to take crap from anyone. Every time people tried to dish it out to her, she fought back. When she fought for her life and won you really saw she was not one to be messed with when pushed.
The portrayal of Wilson Fisk was phenomenal. He commanded the screen when he was on, drawing your attention to solely him. I really enjoyed that he was portrayed as a silent, intelligent man. His warring internal dichotomy played out wonderfully on screen. You could see that he did truly want good for most of the series, he just didn’t know how to do that the right way. Rather than helping the people and raising them up with him, he stomped over them for the greater good. He was called on his dual sided nature, making it clear that by the end of the series he would need to accept one of those. As viewers we saw which way he’d go. He did nothing but condemn the people he wanted to save. He was the thing he wanted to fight against, but couldn’t see it. Him coming to the slow realization of what he really was ended up being really satisfying.
The one aspect of the show that really irked me was Vanessa. She was an art dealer. She was Fisk’s love interest. Yet, I couldn’t understand her motivation. I just didn’t get her. She was too stoic and unfeeling. Her actions didn’t make much sense. Ultimately, I didn’t buy her side of the relationship with Fisk. This all starts with her reluctance to spending time with Fisk in the first place. She initially found him interesting but off putting. She saw him as dangerous and wanted to distance herself from that. Then suddenly as Fisk became more dangerous and suddenly she didn’t seem to care. I just didn’t get it. I never saw that spark as to why she suddenly fell for Fisk (I did however believe how much he cared for her). It just didn’t feel right and irked me to no end.
Daredevil is a dark show. It’s not the kind of show you sit down and watch like you would with kids. Most of the other Marvel properties are mostly kid friendly, favoring slipping in oblique jokes and occasional darker moments. Agents of SHIELD second season is about as close to the dark levels that Daredevil reached (they’re in the same dark chasm, but SHIELD is still clinging to the light that’s streaming in from the edge. Whereas Matt could care less about the pitch black. Get it? Because he’s blind.) IT has been really appealing as you feel like you are getting to a more real life setting. These aren’t people that are heroes in super heroic situations. These aren’t spies and agents that lead lives the average citizen couldn’t imagine. These are people that are about as real as they are going to get out there trying to make the world a better place. It was a refreshing take and I enjoyed reveling in how crappy and real things could get. Nothing felt more realistic than seeing Matt broken and battered after pretty much every fight he had.
If Daredevil is an accurate representation of the Marvel shows we’ll be receiving on Netflix, I really can not wait to see Jessica Jones.
What did you think of Daredevil season 1?