Thursday 16 April 2015

TV Review: Daredevil

A very dark & gritty tone for Marvel's best TV series to date...

          Despite this being a Marvel superhero character, this show was never aimed at younger audiences, having a rating of TV-MA (i.e. Mature). It has strong, bloody violence that I could never expect from Marvel, or even DC for that matter. Believe me, some scenes are almost Game of Thrones-esque brutal. The dark & gritty tone is one thing, but the brutality & blood is another thing entirely. There's not a lot of it, but they are violent.

          With that said, the grittiness & realism is a fresh take for a Marvel character. It gives a different feel than the superheroes we see in the MCU. It suits this series well because, aside the fact that these characters have no to little superpowers, the events that play out are on a smaller scale & the setting is on the streets of one New York neighbourhood of Hell's Kitchen, which makes the whole series very grounded, indeed. Despite some easter eggs connecting it to the bigger universe, I certainly never feel like it is in the same one. But it's also because this series is already so good on its own.

          The other thing that really came out well in this series are the characters. The alter ego of Daredevil, Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox) is portrayed perfectly, and is the Matt Murdock I have always wanted to see. With such a charisma as a blind lawyer, along with how he deals with his struggles in his endeavour, makes him such a likeable and relatable character at the same time. Some other characters are well presented as well, especially Foggy Nelson & Wilson Fisk. It's so easy to relate to these characters, perhaps because their backgrounds are explored well enough, too.

          There are some excellently choreographed fight sequences, although the show was never meant to glorify action sequences. But they are there - and some of them are brilliant. There's great humour, occasionally. The drama isn't exactly very powerful, but the dialogues are crafted so brilliantly to make certain scenes fun, dramatic, and impactful. Despite some distractions, the series never felt episodic because there is always something moving forward. And the pace is not too fast yet not too slow, giving enough time for some significant characters to be explored.


          It never really felt like Marvel - more of a standalone show instead. And if you are comfortable with brutal & bloody violence, the show is a fresh take of the typical vigilante act, by giving it another side to the story, with Matt Murdock's life struggles unlike that of any other comic book vigilante. Recommended to watch!

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