If you have ever listened to our show, you will know that I am a huge comic book fan. One of my most prized possessions is my life size working Ironman Helmet. However, as much as I love the movie world, I have never got into a Superhero TV Series. It is not like I haven’t tried, I was excited when Arrow hit our screens, but I lasted about 6 episodes and the novelty wore off. I was even more excited about Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and trust me, I forced myself to try and enjoy it but I was left with sub-standard plot lines and disappointing character development. I have since steered clear of any superhero based TV Series.
This was until The Aussie and Afghani Dave rated Daredevil so highly. They were both adamant it was a 5/5 and I needed to buck up my ideas and get on to watch it. It was a big opportunity, as if we all give something 5/5 it means it gets The Aussie & The Pom Seal of approval which we have only ever given out once and that was to the man they call The Rock.
I will be honest, my only previous experience to Daredevil was the 2003 abomination starring Ben Affleck, and so it was safe to say this red suited hero was not at the top of my list of beloved heroes. Oh how I was mistaken! As I had come late to the party, I was able to binge watch a few episodes on Netflix, and although it took me a couple of episodes to really get into it, I have to say I LOVED IT! Season 1 was very good, with a strong plot line, excellent introduction to the characters and a more than solid setting to propel the Daredevil franchise near to the top of my favourite superhero universes.
Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock and does a great job to introduce both Matt and his alter-ego Daredevil. Murdock’s close friend and law partner, ‘Foggy’ Nelson, is also portrayed fantastically by Elden Henson. They bounce off each other very well throughout the series and have a natural chemistry which again enhances the story.
When you think about Marvel, you think big action, tons of CGI mixed up with a fair few cheesy lines. Daredevil stands alone with a gritty, edgier and altogether much darker setting. The fight scenes are brutal, and I mean brutal. What sets them apart is as much as Daredevil has extraordinary abilities, he is still just a human, unlike Thor or the Hulk. Therefore he cannot take a punch or a beating in the same way these more orthodox heroes can.
For me the standout star is Vincent D’Onofrio who portrays the genuinely menacing villain, Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. The first season is all about Murdock wrestling through his emotions of what is right and what is wrong. As the two become blurry, he turns to his catholic fate to decide on if he should take down The Kingpin the right way through the courts, or alternatively do it with his fists. D’Onofrio provides an outstanding performance which is so full of authenticity that you are left pondering, is that what he is really like off camera?
As Season 1 finishes and you think it surely cannot get any better, well here comes Season 2. Whilst The Aussie and Dave prefer Season 1, I myself am drawn more toward Season 2 as we see the introduction of Frank Castle, The Punisher, played by Jon Bernthal. If you thought Season 1 was intense, then wait until you get to see Castle in action. You will fully understand why he has been given his own TV Series entitled The Punisher. For me the storyline and the action in the second offering went up a notch and I was more gripped watching this story unravel then I was the first.
You must be thinking, surely we are about to get our second Aussie & The Pom seal of approval, well sorry to disappoint but it isn’t all praise and glory for Daredevil. I was particularly disappointed with Elektra, played by Elodie Yung, who was introduced in the second season. This was not down to how Yung portrayed her at all, it was more down to the writing of the character and how she was asked to play the part. She was not a likeable character and you just don’t understand why Murdock is so drawn to her and she did not add to the storyline in a positive way.
As much as I enjoyed the brutality of it all (if you haven’t seen The Punisher prison corridor scene then get on YouTube now!) I didn’t enjoy the lack of realism. This might sound strange that my gripe with a show about a Superhero was the lack of realism. However the series is done in such a way that it takes a more realistic approach than the big screen Marvel adaptions. As we discussed earlier, Murdock is not Thor or Hulk esque and so can take a beating and the beating he does take would surely leave him in a lot more trouble than he makes out. He will be involved in a fight and get a serious beat down, sure he will have some bruising and throw in the odd limp, but it seems as if he just spends a couple of days in his house and then he is back on his feet again no problem. It may sound small and insignificant to some but I had an issue with it, particularly his first encounter with The Kingpin where he would have received some serious facial disfigurement.
Like I say small and insignificant, but when it is down to giving a full 5/5 rating, I take my role very seriously. With that coupled with my annoyance for Elektra I give the show a very commendable 4.5/5. You do not have to like superheroes to enjoy this gritty, action packed show and so if you haven’t seen it, then ensure it is on your list.