Over the last few days I’ve started watching Marvel’s Daredevil. As you may be aware, this is a Netflix-based show where all the episodes are available to stream online, and since I didn’t have anything currently on the go having finished the first series of The 100, I decided to check it out.
People liked the list format of my last post, so I thought I’d use that again, kind of.
Things I like about Daredevil:
1. The characters.
The main character, Matt Murdock, is a guy who was blinded as a child and relies on his other senses, which are enhanced to some extent (although it’s unclear exactly how much). He’s a lawyer by day and something of a vigilante by night. His partner in the law firm is Foggy, who is funny but also slightly awkward in an endearing way, and also working for them they have Karen, who turned out much more interesting than I feared she might be. Other cool characters include Claire, a nurse who helps Matt whenever he inevitably injures himself by falling off a roof or getting punched.
What I like about the characters is that they all have their own agendas, hopes, and fears. Even the villains have something human about them — I won’t spoil anything by going into detail, but they’re very much not portrayed as inhuman monsters, instead focusing on them as people who do terrible things. And Matt may not kill people, but he does punch them pretty hard; he’s not perfect.
2. The cinematography.
Quite a lot of this show is very dark, in a purely visual sense — it reminds me a bit of Hannibal. But this is also important because of Matt’s blindness, I guess. It uses silhouettes, outlines, and above all sounds to create the setting. Matt understands people by the sounds associated with them (a ticking watch, for example), and so the show will focus on these non-visual details in a way that very few shows do.
I like this mostly because I’m rubbish at faces. I can never match them to names. I forget people as soon as I’ve seen them, and if anyone ever asks me what someone looks like when I haven’t known them very long, I’ll be stumped. I’m much more likely to recognise them by their voice — I guess it’s partly because my years of music training developed sensitive hearing whereas anxiety means I’m not great at looking people in the face and don’t tend to take in so many details. But it means that I actually find it easier to keep track of who’s who when the cues aren’t visual.
Otherwise I spend the whole show going, “Wait, is that the guy from earlier? Or is this someone else? Who was that?”
3. The humour.
The show has a lot of brutality and violence and stuff (more on that in a second) so it’s a relief to have Foggy and Karen, incredibly drunk, knocking on the door to Matt’s apartment when they’re stupidly drunk and yelling, “I THINK I DRANK THE EEL,” oblivious to the fact he’s not actually inside. There’s other more subtle humour, and I also like the way that Matt sometimes makes little jokes to stop people from feeling awkward when they make a comment about his blindness or whatever.
“You can take a hell of a lot of punishment without complaining.” “That last part’s Catholicism.” For some reason, this line just amused me way more than it should.
(The way the show deals with his disability is also cool. While he has these other super senses, they don’t negate his blindness. He’s still blind, and he still has to deal with that: navigating the everyday world, reading in Braille, relying on associates to read crucial messages from antagonists when he finds their phones, that sort of thing.)
4. No sex scenes (so far).
This show hasn’t had any sex scenes so far which is a positive thing for me because I don’t particularly like them, but it also shows that the female characters aren’t just there to get naked and stuff — they’re real people who have their own development and storylines, and aren’t over-sexualised. There’s been a kiss so far, but that’s pretty much it, so that’s quite refreshing.
5. How it links to MCU canon.
Daredevil isn’t exactly a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in that we haven’t had Iron Man swooping in from the sky or a guest appearance from Thor. However, it takes place in the wake of the destruction of New York during Avengers Assemble, and focuses on the rebuilding operation. There are passing references to the Avengers, such as, “If he had an iron suit or a magic hammer…” It’s very much its own thing, separate from those stories, but at the same time it exists within the same universe and one gets the idea that around any corner could be a familiar face.
Things I’m not so keen on in Daredevil:
1. The violence.
This show is very violent, frequently in a very gory manner. A lot of people get beaten up and some get killed, and those deaths are rarely a simple bullet. They’re often bloody and unpleasant, and I find myself closing my eyes until the screaming stops. There are quite a few instances of people being tormented for information as well, which mostly seems to involve breaking their arms.
I can cope to a certain extent with gore, but with violence as brutal as this, I do find it a bit overwhelming at times. I find it hard even to kill a spider, though I absolutely hate them, so I’m pretty squeamish. I don’t mind the sight of blood or anything, but I mind what was done to create the blood, if that makes sense.
2. Is there anything else?
Nope, I think that’s probably just about it. No more negatives.
So, five positive things and one negative one — that’s probably enough to convince you it might be worth giving it a shot if you’re into that kind of thing. Let me know what you think of the show if you’ve already watched it, or whether I’ve convinced you to start. :)