Why I like Netflix’s “Daredevil”
August 5, 2015
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This is a thoroughly enjoyable TV show. I am really glad that whoever owns the rights to T.M.N.T. graciously allowed this to be made– after all, the whole thing is built right on top of the Turtles’ origin story.
I took a gander at the pilot several weeks ago and then got around to picking it back up just a few days ago. I have to say, though… the second episode is completely on point:
- Daredevil starts out in a dumpster hanging by a thread. Even after he’s patched up again it’s like he’s running below zero hit points in GURPS and he just. has. to. keep. making. those. health. rolls. It’s brutal. Is he too much like Batman? Holding that guy over the ledge was a very Batman move. I dunno. I think maybe he’s better than Batman. He doesn’t pull the sad sack rich playboy routine. Daredevil is all about determination, brute force, guts, and above all, getting back up.
- The climatic fight scene is positively epic. It’s just so physical. I love that it’s rooted in boxing rather than goofy “cinematic” action or kung fu. It’s more reminiscent of that famous Spiderman comic Ron Edwards was talking about. People get knocked down. They struggle to get back up. They’re fighting to master themselves in the middle of chaos. Dardevil is straining to get the most out of every last fatigue point he has. It’s awesome.
- The childhood thread is equally good. They really establish “kid” daredevil’s dad as a positive force in his life. Man, I can’t remember seeing something like that on the television. This whole arc of him going from cleaning his dad up after a fight, to explaining braille to him, to seeing him rooting for his dad’s boxing match… oh, it’s just perfect. Yeah, it’s kind of an Uncle Ben thing. But it really works.
- And good golly, Karen Page is great, too. She’s just got the perfect combination of “cute” and “awkward” about her. I mean, it’s not like the super model type that they put glasses on in order to make her look nerdy. There is something pleasantly awkward about this character that’s just really appealing. I don’t know how much of it is full on acting, but I eat it up. It’s sort of like Bailey versus Jennifer Marlowe or Mary Anne versus Ginger. Karen Page is really attractive but they spin it as if she were still reasonably attainable. It’s so much better than all the other super heroes’ mostly forgettable girlfriends….
- And I gotta say, I like the romantic tension that they were setting up in the pilot. It reminded me of… I dunno… maybe some of the old Moonlighting episodes? Oh, I hope this stays in the mix. It’s really hard to hold on to this sort of thing. For instance, I caught an episode of Castle the other day and was really disappointed to see that the chemistry that I loved so much in the first couple of seasons was gone. I don’t know if Daredevil is going to get into some of that, but the potential sure is there. In any case, I’ll watch as much Karen Page as the writers want to throw in.
So when I said the other day that “sense8” was a hot mess, I gotta say… Daredevil is the exact opposite. Every scene has to be there. Everything works together. There are solid arcs going on for each of the main characters that provide a good mix. And as of episode two, it feels like things are going somewhere, too. Everything just sings. This is good stuff. I have no idea if this will hold up. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. totally went of the rails for me half way through the first season, the second season of Heroes was a disaster, and Green Arrow never even really got off the ground.. Daredevil looks to me like it really has potential.