Daredevil gives fans the same rush and excitement that seasons 1 and 2 of Arrow did. There is a man trying to save his city, well done action scenes, great overarching villains and well developed characters that we care for. Season three of Arrow was terrible when it came to plot development, character development, villains and the forced relationship of Oliver and Felicity. Season four of Arrow is trying to make Arrow more “Happy” and lighter in tone, but sadly is stuck in a weird state between the dark tone of seasons 1 and 2 and a weird lighter tone of the Flash. What if the dark and gritty Daredevil became more focused on a love story and made that the core part of the season? What if all the sudden Matt was more concerned with his love life than what Kingpin or some other villain was doing in his neighborhood? What if then the show tried to make Daredevil “happier” and light hearted the season following that? Take a sigh of relief because I doubt we will have to worry about that with Daredevil, but that nightmare is most definitely real for Arrow.
Just so everyone understands before reading this: I am a fan of both DC and Marvel, but I have always been way more invested in DC comic storylines...so as such please do not think I am a hardcore marvel fanboy trying to rip on DC for the fun of it. :)
I am like many of you, I enjoy Marvel and DC comics mythology. They embody characters we can relate to, cheer for, and even hate. The vast amount of emotions we feel for some of these characters is why we keep coming back (not to mention the universe sharing arcs resulting in team ups, and the action packed scenes we hype ourselves for). Arrow started a great trend of superhero shows that showed us that Superheroes on the small screen were possible and that we would not have to rely on side characters of big movie franchises to give us our fix on the small screen.
But sadly Arrow has completely reversed that excitement starting with the abysmal season three and with the somewhat improved but still not as good as season four. No longer did we have a cohesive storyline, a compelling villain, or the action scenes that became the norm in the first two seasons. The empowered female who was both feminine and nerdy became another one of Oliver’s love interests and ended up crying for most of season three...only to become an Oracle substitute in season four. Season three's main focus seemed to be on “Olicity” which was a forced relationship by the writers. It was rushed, and was implemented to please a part of the fanbase. Season four is trying to find a balance between “Olicity” and a lighter hearted superhero show and so far “Olicity” continues to hold it back with the oddly perfect relationship in the beginning of the season to the very predictable midseason finale of Felicity not being in the grave. But thankfully there is a substitute for those who loved the grim undertone of season 1 and 2 of arrow, called Daredevil.
The first two seasons of Arrow had amazingly choreographed fight scenes, great overarching villains in the form of Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson. A dark tone of a vigilante trying to take down the corrupt in his city. Season three and even season four do not come close to the quality of storytelling and drama the first two seasons produced.
Season one gave us the story of a man who was trying to fit back into his world after being stranded on an island for five years. A man who came back to right the wrongs of his father, and to take down the corrupt who had brought Starling City to its knees. Season two expanded on the DC comics inspired universe by introducing Black Canary, and gave us the greatest villain to this date the show has ever produced, Slade Wilson. The tragic fate of Oliver and Slade becoming enemies after sharing a brotherly bond on the island made for some amazing storytelling and some compelling action scenes.
We went from amazing action scenes like this in season 1 on Arrow:
To awful rushed fight scenes like this in Season 3:
Then in 2014 we received Marvel's Daredevil. This show premiered last year to much critical acclaim and love from the superhero loving crowd. We All connected with Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who just wants to make his city a better place. The show has a very dark tone that it embraces and pushes the limits of what we have seen so far on the small screen. The fight scenes and villains are handled extremely well with the episode two fight scene taking the cake as most memorable fight scene from season one. We have great supporting characters in the form of Matt’s best friend Foggy and a very strong female character named Karen Page, who proves that she’s not just some helpless girl who needs Daredevil to save her every single time she is in trouble. The characters work, the story works, the fight scenes work...hell, even the connections to the Marvel big movie franchises worked. Daredevil is exactly what a dark, street fighting superhero show should be like and sadly Arrow would have stayed up there had it continued the cohesive parts of the story from seasons one and two.
Before some of you jump at me and say how Arrow was never perfect, or you love Felicity and Oliver’s relationship hear me out. Imagine that amazing hallway fight scene from Daredevil season one episode two. Now imagine something of that caliber with Arrow in place of Daredevil. Picture Oliver going after corrupt people on his list and venturing into the Glades, and Bludhaven to savagely take down kidnappers, rapists, murders and such.
Oliver Queen in the comics is a left wing social justice advocate who is all about the little guy. Arrow was headed towards the “Green Arrow” mythology in seasons one and two but instead became all about “Olicity” and Arrow becoming Batman by making him fight Ra’s Al Ghul. Sure the show now features Oliver as Green Arrow and sure its great to see team ups between Arrow, Flash and the like, but the damage done to Arrow by season three is painfully apparent. Daredevil on the other hand, seems to be a continuation of the story from season 1.
Listen, I understand that since Daredevil is on Netflix there are less restrictions in terms of what they can show or do. I also understand that The CW is going to want to make Arrow appeal to as many members of the audience as possible. But let's not forget what Arrow was like in its first two seasons and also about how much those first two seasons were loved by the fan base.
For all of you that feel the same burn from Arrow that I do and are saddened by a once great show now nothing but a shadow of itself and for those of you who feel as though watching Arrow once a week, has become boring or kind of like a chore, I urge you all to watch Daredevil season one or if you have watched Daredevil, get excited for season two! Because Marvel is appealing to those of us who loved and miss the tone and direction of the first two seasons of Arrow.