Not that anyone really needs a reason to watch anything but if you’re still on the fence about Daredevil, let me discuss 5 reasons why you should’ve already watched the entire first season.
Those who know me, know that I’m a comic nerd and that I’m quite proud of it. Needless to say, I know plenty about Daredevil but his comic series is not one that I follow or collect. There are a few issues sprinkled in my growing mound of comic books but overall his character has never been a key entry in the Marvel lineup that I’ve focused on. When the initial announcement broke about the show, you could tell that I was not that excited. I mean the movie with Affleck flopped so why bother to try again, right? (more on that later) Then images started pouring out and some much-needed rumor/speculation gathered momentum hinting that this might be a huge hit for Netflix. So naturally I started to pay attention and when the first entire season was dumped onto Netflix’s servers – I was riveted within the first 10 minutes of episode 1.
After watching the entire season, I started asking around if others had given it a chance yet. The average reply was that they either didn’t know it was even a show or that they weren’t interested in another comic book adaptation. Well, you know that I couldn’t handle that kind of rejection of something I was so fond of – hence the list that I’m providing below.
#1 – He’s NOT everyone’s favorite
He’s also not the most popular actor either. It’s easy to see how people can get burnt out on the comic book movies and television shows that are supplied to the masses in overwhelming abundance. Look I get it, we’ve had 2 different Spiderman iterations in the past 15 years and we’re about to get a third – and I along with many other internet peeps have had our fill. (that’s hard for me to say since Spiderman is easily my 2nd favorite comic character) (We’ve also seen Wolverine over and over and over again…ok I’ll stop) But if you glance at what properties are doing well or are garnering critical success, more often than not they are the ones with far less popular characters. For example, Arrow, the DC show on the network CW, took one of the lower key players in DC’s Justice League and gave him his own show. While at first it was hard to get into, with the mediocre acting, and the overall narrative not quite sure on where it’s direction was going – the show has continued to build a loyal fan base and has become better and better with each new season. (also gaining more and more praise from critics) I would say that’s largely in part to people tuning in to watch a hero that they truly don’t know much about.
What Netflix has done with Daredevil allows for the audience to grow along with the hero. It provides viewers a chance to learn about the intricate details that make up Matt Murdock and why they should follow along with him on his campaign to save Hell’s Kitchen.
#2 – The Villain is brilliant
His name is Vincent D’Onofrio and the way he portrays Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, is nothing short of brilliant. I’ve said it many times over to countless people already, but the way that Vincent brings a depth to this character in a way I could have never imagined was just astounding to take in. The subtleties in his facial expressions, the fear and anger in his eyes, and just his looming ominous figure over everyone else in the show are all prime examples of how he was so perfectly cast. For those not up to speed, Wilson Fisk is a man who was born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and has plans to see his city turned into what he would like it to be – no matter the cost. I’ll say that one of my favorite scenes, albeit one of the more disturbing ones, is when Mr. Fisk looses his cool and well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. Trust me when I say there’s a reason that no one wants to get on his bad side. That side that he so cleverly hides in what I would consider to be a painful and dark way. At times, the story of the villain is told so well that you start to feel sympathetic for him which is hard to fathom considering everything that is going on. Yet, that’s what makes it all the more compelling and keeps you coming back for more.
#3 – It’s a slow burn
There are plenty of viewers out there that would likely disagree with this point, but having a show develop characters, plots, and sub-plots slowly and efficiently makes for a vastly improved experience. I’m that guy that enjoys going to a 2.5+ hour movie so it’s pretty easy to conclude that I’d enjoy the slow build approach that Daredevil utilizes. I wouldn’t say that it’s a snail’s pace by any means, but it does take it’s time to develop character back stories (for the ones that matter) and allows the audience the chance to understand what’s going on and why. When I brought it up on Netflix for the first time, I thought that I had glimpsed a total of only 10 episodes and was kind of bummed. However, much to my delight, the show went on for 3 more solid hours (aka episodes) and gave me an ending that was well worth the wait. The reason I say that (and this truly doesn’t give anything away either) is because the whole first season we watch Matt take out criminal after criminal known as the “man in black”, the “man in the mask”, the “masked vigilante”, or the “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen” never catching a glimpse of the actual red costume at all. For a time, I feared we might never see it and it would be something that they’d use in season 2.
#4 – The choreography is excellent (aka the fight scenes)
How often do you watch an action movie or a fight scene on television and say to yourself, “been there done that – this is nothing new…”? I know that a lot of people (including myself) have grown tired especially of these scenes in films and tv shows when comic characters are involved. Take the Avengers for example – the first movie had the entire team finally get together towards the end and tackle the horde of baddies that were infesting the city. While some considered it the “ultimate mash-up” all it was in my eyes was a massive eyegasm of explosions and special effects. Granted you know what you’re getting with a movie like this but it seems like these blockbuster type fight scenes are all we’ve come to expect from comic book heroes. (yes, even the Dark Knight trilogy fell prey to this at one point or another) Daredevil shines in a lot of different areas, but the fight scenes and the choreography that go along with them are definitely the key points to me. If you’ve read a Daredevil comic, you’ll quickly notice how he’s not just a typical boxer-esque type fighter. He’s agile, very acrobatic and leans more towards Spiderman’s style of crime fighting than say Captain America, Thor, Batman, and Superman – all while being blind. Where the fight scenes really stand out are in the tight spaces the main character seems to continually find himself trapped in. (a key scene as shown by the picture above – probably one of my favorite from the entire first season) The way Daredevil blends flips and twirls with brawling punches and kicks helps to create a spectacle so awesome to watch that the cast from Cirque du Soleil would marvel at it. (see what I did there … ha)
#5 – The title sequence is mesmerizing
As a creative director – I love love love title sequences. What’s even better is that it seems like all the “good” shows are now taking the time to craft title sequences that you actually want to watch rather than skip through. Daredevil’s title sequence is fantastic at painting a visual image of what you should expect from this series before you ever watch the first episode. From the first shot, the audience watches as lady justice is drenched in a somewhat morbid bloody 3D paint effect – key symbolism there – that instantly grabs your attention. The rest plays out showing key points of Hell’s Kitchen, but the best part is what it teases at the end. The creators were clever to show an image of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen before he ever dons his actual costume.
So that’s it – my 5 reasons why you should be watching Marvel’s Daredevil. I can’t stress enough that is not your typical comic book affair. This is something completely different from anything Marvel has attempted so far and it pays off in a big way. Season 2 has already been green-lit for 2016 and I’m already wishing it was on Netflix so I could binge watch it too!