Marvel has a new TV show, and thank goodness it was not another Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. type show. This one is about Daredevil, the blind lawyer superhero of Hell’s Kitchen, and if you are on the fence about watching it, you should give it a try, because it is nothing like Ben Affleck’s Daredevil.
Marvel and Netflix
It is also the first of 60 episodes that Marvel has signed with Netflix. After Daredevil, there will be a 13-episode Jessica Jones series, a 13-episode Iron Fist, and a 13-episode Luke Cage, and finally a The Defenders mini-series where we can safely assume all four superheroes team up to fight bad guys.
I was still feeling dismissive about Daredevil because of Ben Affleck, until I started watching this new Daredevil. This new show was not released via the usual US TV channels, but was instead released via Netflix on April 10, 2015, and in binge-watching format (like House of Cards)! This means that all 13 episodes were released all at once, and there’s no need to wait a week apart to watch the next episode. Unfortunately, we don’t have Netflix in the Philippines, but we just do like BDO and find ways! If Netflix were available in the Philippines at the same price of $8.99/mo (around P400/mo) and if we truly had unlimited internet for fast streaming, I am sure many people would sign up.
I am really liking this binge-watching format, and I hope that it becomes the norm soon. I haven’t watched TV shows as scheduled on TV in decades. I like being able to watch TV shows at my own time, and not being forced to watch it at 8PM on a Thursday or something. The downside is that I just spent a whole weekend binge-watching Daredevil and didn’t do anything else remotely productive 🙁
But the beauty of binge-watching is that you can finish the series in one, or several, sittings, at your leisure. I like it because I am able to follow the story and not get frustrated by cliffhangers. I think viewers nowadays are getting sophisticated and are starting to despise obvious ploys to get viewers to watch the next episode the following week. The weekly format is becoming archaic. But, like I said, the downside is people go on hermit-mode while binge-watching. I’m definitely guilty of that.
What’s so good about this Daredevil?
So why was this Daredevil so much better than I expected? The obvious answer is: No Ben Affleck There is no smug-looking actor who makes you want to punch them in the face whenever you see them on screen. But seriously, the stunts were very good. There is a lot of flipping around and gymnastics. No camp. The fights are really good! There’s even a ninja! This is a serious superhero show with little comic relief. It also helps that the actor who plays Matt Murdock is handsome – he reminds me a little bit of Robert Downey, Jr. and he kind of looked familiar. After a little googling, I find out that the actor’s name is Charlie Cox and I have actually seen him before. He was the main character in the fantasy classic movie Stardust, with Claire Danes. Then I realize he’s English, and I’m more in awe that he was able to do a very believable American accent and sounded a lot like Robert Downey, Jr.
Marvel’s Daredevil is 13-episodes, and unlike regular 22-episode TV shows, does not have filler. The story is tight and well-paced – everything has a purpose. There is no rambling and confused storytelling (I’m referring to you, Sleepy Hollow!). This is what I like about these shows that are released in one go. They have the entire story worked out because they know exactly how many episodes they are going to make.
The acting, the action sequences, the cinematography – they are on par with an A-movie. There are no big special effects scenes like giant exploding spaceships, of course, because this show is not about that – but everything is done at a really high level. The only problem I seemed to notice was that Vincent D’Onofrio’s (Wilson Fisk) acting was a bit off in the first few episodes – he reminded me a lot of the eunuch, Varys, from Game of Thrones, but he seemed to improve towards the end, or maybe I just got used to his effeminate Kingpin.
So what is this show about?
Matthew Murdock is the son of a boxer in Hell’s Kitchen, New York (this place is like our Tondo). When he was 9 years old, he was blinded in an accident while saving a man’s life. The show covers how Matt became the man he is, how he developed his fighting skills, and how he started to become a vigilante, through narration and flashbacks in relevant places in the story.
Matt discovers that there is a deeper criminal element at work trying to destroy Hell’s Kitchen, which Matt considers his “city”. He eventually gets a few people to help him expose the criminal mastermind.
One thing that I am curious about is the focus on the Wilson Fisk love story. I am sure there is a reason for including the story, which will most likely become very relevant in the future, and I think I have an idea of where this is heading.
The show is a bit darker than the CW’s Arrow.
Recommended? Is it child-friendly?
Definitely try and watch this show. All the talk of “saving my city” reminded me a bit of Arrow, though. But all in all, this show was much better than I expected it to be! If nothing else, you should watch it because it’s a set-up for the other Marvel/Netflix shows.
For people concerned about such things – there are no gratuitous adult scenes like in Game of Thrones or House of Cards. The worst they have are a couple of kissing scenes and a couple waking up from bed, covered in a sheet. There is also one domestic abuse scene, but it’s off camera.
As for violence, it’s mostly fisticuffs and gymnastics. There are a few gunfights and explosions, and some people are killed by throat slicing and bullets to the head. Matt Murdock gets beaten up pretty bad a few times. Things get bloody and a bit graphic, but not at the level of Game of Thrones.
Other than that, there is no weird stuff and nothing extremely shocking where I’d be embarrassed to watch it with relatives. So it’s up to you to decide if you want your kids to watch this – depends on their ages, I guess 🙂
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