Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Daredevil, Marvel TV Done Right

The casting for this show was perfect, especially Charlie Cox in the titular role.

This post is going to devolve into spoilers really quick, because I want to talk about elements of the show I liked, the few I did not, and my thoughts on the future.

For the spoiler free stuff:

The Good: I loved the show. Not a single episode left me feeling unhappy, though there were certainly some notable highlights.

The Bad: I didn't feel that Wilson Fisk was ever, truly, the Kingpin of Crime, as his comic counterpart is hailed. This is partially because the series felt like an origin story for Fisk, almost more so than for Daredevil. Even so, I struggled with the Fisk character for some moments, though the actor is a damn imposing man and there were some definitely stellar moments for the character.

The Ugly: I don't care for Netflix's publishing schedule -- everything available at once. For one, it caused me to really, really want to binge, simply because it was so good. I know this doesn't sound like a bad thing, but I wanted time to do other things, but couldn't with the rest of the amazing first season right there, waiting for me. Also, the all-at-once schedule means that the conversations about the show won't last -- there won't be a week-to-week discussion, as everyone anticipates what's coming next. They can just watch the next episode. And, post binge, we now have a MUCH longer wait for what comes next!

Well, I labeled that ugly because it's hard to deny how awesome the show is, so being able to watch it at my own pace wasn't awful. But there's something to be said for anticipation and the enjoyment of something over a longer period of time. As an American, I can't do that when you put everything on the plate in front of me.

With the announcment of Daredevil getting a season 2 in 2016 (YES!), I'm very excited for the future of Marvel's Netflix enterprises. The format allows them to quickly judge what works well and what doesn't, and promises to give us more of what we love. Out of the listed shows, I was previously only interested in Iron Fist. Now that Daredevil surprisingly wowed me, I'm hopeful for AKA Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

Alright, that's you're spoiler free bit. Go away, those who could control their urges/don't have Netflix/don't realize Daredevil is one of the absolute best things on Netflix right now. You've been warned.

------------SPOILERS, YO---------------

Easter Eggs - Daredevil was full of hints and nods to the greater Marvel universe. Much of this was specific to Daredevil comics, but I LOVED the early nod to Iron Fist, in arguably the most visible "egg," the drug packets feature a nod to Iron Fist (though this will be more of a plot point than an actual egg, but I'm allowing it because not many people seem to have realized and Iron Fist isn't out yet).

Darker Tone - Marvel has been dying for a darker tone. This has been apparent since The Winter Soldier, the darkest-in-tone film to date. Daredevil picks it up a notch and really gives me hope for the future of the Marvel Netflix shows -- they really are willing to do things that they can't do on the big screen (because, in the US of A, and R rating would be a death sentence for them).
Possibly an Iron Fist enemy? And the imposing Kingpin of Crime.

The Kingpin of Crime - Wilson Fisk does not feel like the Kingpin in this season. He was a badass villain, and some of his scenes remain my favorite in the series (that Daredevil beat down in 9! Damn!), but he wasn't the smooth, controlled criminal the comics paint him out to be. It feels almost like part of an origin story, because his relationship with Vanessa (who I thought was perfectly cast) is clearly changing him. And SHE is the more level-headed one. I'm glad Kingpin feels unique in this series, I was honestly expecting a carbon copy from most Kingpin portrayals.

Stick's Agenda - What is Stick trying to get Daredevil ready for? The only Daredevil arc I've ever read was the "Shadowland" event a few years back. Daredevil took control of The Hand (Japanese ninjas -- Nobu was almost definitely a member of The Hand), erected a massive, Japanese-style fortress in Hell's Kitchen, and took the law into his own hands (and, of course, had to be stopped by all the other street-level heroes.). Is the show jumping to as recent a storyline as that? If so, I doubt they'd go the full dark side route, but I'd still like to see something like Shadowland come to fruition.

Nobu, a member of The Hand? The costume fits!

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