Guest Review: Daredevil Netflix series

Priest asked me to put a couple of my “other-media” reviews up here as separate threads, so here’s the first:

Daredevil the series: Marvel/Netflix – Normally, I’d just wait for this to hit DVD, because I dislike watching streaming video for more than a few minutes at a time if I can avoid it.  But a friend sent me copies which I burned to DVD and watched on my TV anyway.  (I’ll still be buying the pro copies when they come out.)  Unlike what seems to be almost everyone else, I didn’t binge-watch it, so I’ve only gotten about halfway through the series so far.
What I’ve seen, I like.  The series is clearly set in the MCU, but has plausible reasons for not involving the fantastic (and expensive to film) stuff.  They even downplay the radar sense, primarily indicating it via sound effects and just leaving it as a given that Daredevil can somehow “see” without trying to get inside his POV like the Affleck movie did.  A good choice, really.  Avoiding looking cheap when translating something like that to live action is VERY hard, so they save it for rare occasions.
This season (S2 has already been greenlit) is basically an 11 hour (episodes usually around 50 minutes not counting credits) origin story for Daredevil and several of his supporting cast and villains.  This lets them avoid the kind of bare-bones shorthand seen in 90-120 minute big screen movies, develop some emotional content here and there, and still get in enough action and arc plot to satisfy.  There’s a few places where it feels like they didn’t QUITE have enough content to fill the 11 hours, and maybe the story could have been told just as well in 8-10 episodes, but it’s definitely better than they’re likely to have gotten with a 2 hour movie.

Recommended, currently on Netflix, but will eventually be on DVD.


Since posting that, I’ve watched a couple more episodes, including the very good Kingpin focus ep, which does a very good job of dealing with the “inevitable couple” problem that so many superhero shows founder on (i.e. spending a season or more pretending that Barry and Iris or Ollie and Laurel or Jim and Barbara won’t end up together), while still providing drama and uncertainty.


  1. Priest Priest says:

    Maybe this is a viable alternative to going to the movies 🙂 I’m concerned about superhero over-exposure: there’s so much out, now, and so much soon to come, that I have an honest concern that, rather than become a stable and enduring genre, such as Westerns or Sci-Fi, the general audience will get burned out on super-hero flicks/shows and the whole deal just kind of dies out.

    Wondering if we’ll eventually see the red suit. presume yes, but they have the luxury of time and, perhaps, the less this looks like superheroes (the DD logo notwithstanding), possibly the greater acceptance the series will find, presuming it’s actually a good series and not just a good superhero series.

    Personally, I’m tired of all the violence, and DD (from all reports) is a VERY violent series. I’m actually a little impressed that they keep coming up with original ways to maim and kill people. I’m a guy who enjoys dramas much more than “action” flick, “action” being a euphemism for “violence.” When I see a movie poster with the characters brandishing weapons, I just shake my head at the stupidity of it all, and how impressionable youth and gullible adults tend to internalize all of this nonsense.

    In the real world, people don’t usually hold other people at gunpoint and have a dramatic conversation. In the real world, you usually don’t even know the guy has a gun until it’s going off in your face.

    I hate to be a dishrag about it, but the distortion and glamorization of violence is precisely what has morons falling for terrorist propaganda and suiting up over a YouTube video. Everybody wants to be Schwarzenegger with a 50-cal, missing the point that these macho fantasies are not real. Taking a human life is not easy, simple, or funny, and real gun owners (not talking about the crazies, but regular Joes, hunters, hobbyists) are usually nothing at all like these caricatures in film and on TV. But more and more people are buying into the caricature, which is why we’re seeing tragedy on so large a scale.

    But Hollywood keeps on pumping this stuff out.

    Among the precious few realistic depictions of a gun-carrying guy was Dennis Franz’s definitive NY Detective Sipowicz, who declined to carry a Glock (older cops were allowed to keep their snubbys) because the reality is much less some epic shoot-out than 7 seconds of pure terror at close range. In 13 seasons on-air, Franz drew his weapon barely a handful of times and only fired it on maybe four occasions out of hundreds of episodes.

    Most of the folks I know who are carrying concealed wouldn’t even get their weapon out of its holster (or, worse, their purse) in 7 seconds. These people should not be carrying weapons. When the time comes, they won’t pull fast enough, aim straight enough, and none of the people I know who carry concealed can handle themselves on the street hand-to-hand.

    They’re just people scared of their own shadow and are likely to shoot innocent looky-loos or, worse, get their butt kicked and have their piece taken from them. They want to do what they see on TV: brandish their weapon and give a speech. *shakes head*

    The world is a very dangerous place: from the bad guys and the wannabe heroes who watch too much TV. Shows like DD likely add to this sad phenomena.

    BTW: this, to me, is why “Breaking Bad” worked so well; it dealt with the reality of a man trying to live this gangster fantasy and dealt with the realities and consequences of violence in a satirical way. BB is actually the antithesis of the violent film genre (and possibly DD, which I have not seen).

    • Dave Van Domelen says:

      Well, I’m up to episode 10 now, in which Matt Murdock spent the entire time on a couch, slowly recovering from injuries while talking to one of the supporting cast who now knows he’s Daredevil (it’s not the ENTIRE episode, there’s stuff going on meanwhile).

      The violence is pretty extreme, but it’s got consequences.

      Oh, and the red suit is coming. This is an extended origin story, after all, gotta have something for the payoff.

    • Oscar Jimenez says:

      Well, I hate to be ‘that guy’, but, as a recent victim -okay, so to speak- of street violence in my very european hometown, I have to say that seeing the guy reach for his pocket and have a 99, 9999999% certainty that what he’s going to produce is something I can handle instead of a 38 or a nine mil means a world -the size of Jupiter, but, you know, with a breathable atmosphere, to be deemed a world… whatever!- of diference.

      Guns don’t kill. People with guns, knives, stones, sticks, scissors, window panels or coffe tables kill. But, and it’s a big but, out of all these armed individuals, the ones with guns have it a lot easier than the others. And if what happened to me had happened in a US town instead of a european one, considering the individual involved and the bussiness he was carrying, there would have been a +50% probability that what came out of his pocket was way, way worse than a fistful of keys or even a pocket knife.

      Fiction is just that, fiction. It’s not to blame for the stupid acts of stupid people. Stupidity and people, now that’s something… but allowing stupid people easy access to guns? Now THAT’S something.

      That said, there’s tons and tons of awfully bad gun porn fiction, I agree. But that’s a different kind of fruit to put in a different basket.

  2. Oscar Jimenez says:

    Just for the record, just read-proofing myself -late, as always-, and suddenly feel the need to clarify that I’m not implying nor saying that there’s more stupid people in the US than here, at all, just that these gentlemen and ladies of fine quality who happen to be there are able to help themselves to absurdly law-indulged, biggest and meanest Assets of Stupid Destruction than their european counterparts -equally fine and all. Thus resulting in proportionally bigger and harmful stupidity fits. Math 101

    • Priest Priest says:

      Dude: there are WAY more stupid people in the U.S. I mean, Ted Cruz is a viable presidential candidate. End of discussion. 🙂

      I’m really sorry to almost hear about what happened to you. Knives are a lot scarier in real life than on-screen, especially in the hands of someone who actually knows how to use one. And, gun or no, the whole game really is about who gets the drop on who first. Packing a piece means nothing if your nose is in your humongous new iPhone 6+ as you’re walking down the street. If you’re not paying attention, the bad guy will draw down on you first and your gun means nothing–message to all the soccer moms here carrying weight in their purse.

      The only times (as an adult) I’ve felt the need to arm myself was when I was traveling alone through No Man’s Land– New Mexico, Arizona, etc., and I’d stop to take a leak at some abandoned-looking “rest” stop. Other than that, I’m just observant and take care not to get boxed in or compromised, and even that’s not perfect. Strapping a Glock to my hip, as I have a right to here in Gun Land, is just ridiculous. I’m 53 years old and grew up in gang-happy NYC. I’ve made it thus far without having to carry a piece around on me. I’m no pacifist, and, full disclosure, I’m an NRA member (though I disagree with their lunatic politics). But I don’t carry. Guns be stupid, stupid people carry guns (unless, you know, you’re a jeweler or something). It’s just that cowboy crap or Fear Of Negroes, and the gun actually makes you stupider because you become overconfident about your odds in a real confrontation.

      One of those TV news magazines ran some simulations with pro-gun folks to see how well they’d do if attacked. all of them froze, none of them got their weapon out in time because none of them was paying attention to the signs. You can forsee mischief if you really pay attention; crooks really aren’t all that smart.

      Rather than carry a gun, I used to carry a badge, which actually was much more effective. Wandering alone down in lower Manhattan, I remember a couple times being shadowed by pairs of nitwits who assumed I didn’t know they were there. So, at some point I’d stop at a streetlamp and idly brush back my jacket to reveal the tin clipped to my belt. Voila, no more nitwits. Now, this can blow back on you so don’t try this unless you’re sure, but basically any piece of tin (even play badges bought off the Internet), at a distance, can ward off mischief before it starts.

      Post-911, carrying any badge that does not explicitly say “replica” or “security guard” or something can get you busted. Pre-911, you could buy cop badge replicas from all over the world. By law, you actuallyh still can, but they are hard to come by legitimately and don’t be surprised if Homeland Security opens a file on you. But the tin *does* ward off evil.

      Now, that was a long time ago, and, if the tin didn’t work, I had martial arts training and a .387 in my bag. Either would work.

      But, the ultimate self-defense is to wake the hell up and pay attention. Don’t get boxed in.

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