Review: Daredevil (TV Series)

Let me start off by saying I only have a passing familiarity with the character of Daredevil. I haven’t read many of the comics, I know the basics of his origin, and I have seen the Ben Affleck film. I know of the Kingpin from the Spider-Man comics, but these were few and far between.

I entered into the world of TV Daredevil with a high level of anticipation. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, to which this series belongs, has excelled at all of the films I have seen (and I think I have seen them all). Agents of Shield didn’t grip me and I left the show early in season one. By all reports, this was a mistake, and the show is said to have improved greatly over time. I do intend on catching up on his show (along with Game of Thrones, Lost, Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Clone Wars …).

On April 9 (I think it was), I logged in to Netflix, thinking I would check out the first episode of Daredevil. I was very surprised to see not only the first episode, but the whole season was available for viewing. Not being a seasoned Netflix viewer, I was unaware that this was how they would release it. I assumed incorrectly it would be released week by week, not in one massive drop. Needless to say, the Daredevil season binge had begun.

I’ll try not to spoil anything for those who have not seen, or not finished, the season yet.

Daredevil is outstanding television. Dark, gritty, violent, wonderful story-lines and characterisation. Fast paced. Brilliant casting. Did I mention violent?

One of the things that really resonated with me was that Daredevil wasn’t the stereotypical superhero. An comparison I have seen used elsewhere, but one I think works well, it the elevator scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier, where Cap takes out an elevator full of bad guys in a matter of moments. Don’t expect to see this in Daredevil. Every fight is tough, from the street level thugs, right up to the Kingpin himself. There are no one punch knockouts, bad guys regularly get back up and start fighting again. At the end of the fight, Daredevil is generally breathing hard, showing exactly how hard he has had to work to take out the bad guys. I loved this aspect as it gave the series a realism many other MCU related films/series lack.

Charlie Cox was an excellent casting choice as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. He pulled off both roles with very well. Foggy and Karen were also very well cast, particularly Foggy. Having said that, as I said earlier, I am not particularly familiar with the characters, so others may disagree with me here.

The Daredevil costume, as revealed in the final episode, is excellent. I looks practical, and looks particularly effective on screen. I have some reservations out the way the mask frames Cox’s face. It looks a little off. I think this is due to the mask runs from his nose to his ears. I seems to slope up, and, to me, it looks like it should slope downwards. Don’t know if this would work, but it is something that seems just a little off to me.

The Kingpin was an interesting character. They seemed to attempt to make him a partially sympathetic character, interspersed with periods of intense violence. I also thought he seemed to lack control of his organisation for most of the series, which I thought odd. The Kingpin is supposed to be the ‘Kingpin of Crime’, but I really didn’t feel this in season one. Perhaps this will be expanded upon in later seasons. Vincent D’onofrio was an interesting choice for the character and played him, within the series, very well. Highly intimidating when he wants to be, but also careful and intelligent.

Overally, I thoroughly enjoyed the series and can’t wait to season two drops. If you aren’t familiar with the character, Season One is a great way to jump in. A truly outstanding series well worth watching.

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