After watching Daredevil which is currently available on Netflix I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that it is the best comic based TV show ever made. Is this a bold claim? Certainly, but it’s one that I’m very confident in.
What surprised me most about Daredevil was not that it was as good as it was, but that it was even good at all. I’m probably going to become infamous for saying that I really do not like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from their dumbed down, poorly thought out plots to the constant executive meddling that has caused great writers like Edgar Wright to walk while simultaneously allowing writers like James Gunn (a man who’s only claim to fame is making very bad movies) to stick around purely because he would be easier to control.
Daredevil has none of this, and being aired through Netflix has also allowed for it to be as gritty and gory as it needs to be and through it being a Netflix original I can only assume that Marvel just didn’t think it was worth the bother to interfere. This means that under the eye of fantastic screenwriter and director Drew Goddard (who wrote for Cabin in the Woods, Buffy/Angel as well as penning the fantastic Cloverfield) has given us a dark, gritty visceral noir thriller that we should come to expect from Daredevil.
It’s clear that unlike most of the MCU this show has been made by people that truly care about the source material, adapting elements from “The Man Without Fear” by Frank Miller in a first series that chooses to show Daredevil on the job taking on the mob in his early days fighting crime and opting to show flashbacks involving his blinding, his father and his training under Master Stick. We learn a lot about the story and characters without ever feeling that we’re getting bogged down with information.
The show happily dedicates entire episodes to fleshing out the characters including one solely for Matt Murdock and his best friend Foggy Nelson and two masterpieces involving the Kingpin played by Vince D’Onofrio whose performance is simultaneously very faithful, yet also very original.
If I have any real complaints it is this. While Daredevil does an incredible job at balancing Matt Murdock the Lawyer with Daredevil the vigilante (an essential element for Daredevil) we don’t get to see him dealing with petty crimes. We only see him fighting the mob and while this is by no means essential as it is not core to the plot, we hear about him stopping muggers and rapists but we never actually see him do it. It would be nice for a future series to fix that.
Thankfully Daredevil is being commissioned for a second series. So now the question will be what stories they will explore? I have my own picks which I’m going to talk about soon. Keep reading.