TV REVIEW: Daredevil – Season 2

Netflix and Marvel hit it out of the park with another sublime superhero-full season

*SPOILER FREE*

It seems fitting that a TV show focussed on “The Man Without Fear” was approached by many with nothing but pure dread. To many, Daredevil was a character whose potential was ruined by the Ben Affleck fronted 2003 film, tainting its reputation and making any future adaptation seem highly unlikely. However, Marvel’s collaboration with Netflix last year proved all doubters wrong, providing an astounding, solid first season featuring tremendous performances from the likes of Charlie Cox as the titular lawyer by day, hero by night Daredevil.

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Charlie Cox donning the famous red(?) suit as Daredevil
Not only did we have a strong lead but the supporting cast was one of the best many had seen in quite some time, leaving those who fell into the painfully addicting habit of binge-watching with one question: how can they top this? Whatever voodoo magic or praying Marvel did has paid off as Daredevil Season 2 is bigger, ballsier and, dare I say it, better.

It wouldn’t be a sufficient review without addressing the new characters, of which we have two: The Punisher and Elektra. The former, played by The Walking Dead’s Jon Berthnal, has been done many times before but it has never felt as well done as it has here. The clashing morals between him and Daredevil make for some very intense scenes in the earlier episodes where we get high octane action as well as an endearing and heart touching backstory that helps to flesh out the character.

daredevil-season-2-punisher-0Elektra also gets some redemption after her terrible portrayal in the aforementioned Daredevil flick, being played this time around by Elodie Yung who, to me anyway, is the quintessential actor for this role. While we have some very strong female heroes in the MCU, Elektra’s strength, independence and wit is very welcome and helps the character to stand out in what could have been an overcrowded mess of a show.

Thankfully that isn’t the case though as the flow of Season 2, for the most part anyway, is superb, only occasionally getting a bit clunky due to the transition from Punisher to Elektra. The story this time around feels much more grand and allows for characters like Foggy Nelson and Karen Page to flourish. That’s why I’ve always preferred Daredevil to Jessica Jones as the former has a support cast that is as complex, detailed and talented as its titular star whereas the latter seemed to chug along whenever the focus wasn’t on Jones herself.

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The great thing about Season 2 of Daredevil is that, given past MCU efforts, it could have easily done the same setup as Season 1 and whilst I would have been satisfied with that, I’m glad that the showrunners decided against it. Not having a big baddie like with Kingpin until the last few episodes meant that we got drawn in even more to what was happening with each character, making the big reveal hold more significance due to the potential collateral. Not only that but everything I loved about the first season was improved with the action being as brutal and raw as ever, truly deserving that 18 rating.

Unlike last time we met with Matt Murdock and co., plans for the future look a lot clearer with The Defenders soon going to become a reality rather than a dream. With two great shows under Marvel’s belt and another two left to go, it’s clear that now more than ever the MCU shines brightest on the small screen: make sure you don’t get left behind.

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Daredevil Review

NOT the 2003 disaster

It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of AMC’s Breaking Bad. No show has ever had me craving for the next episode more than it did and its extraordinary story writing and character development is still unparalleled to this day . Not even Game Of Thrones, a series that I’ve started recently, has been able to knock Breaking Bad off the pedestal I’ve gave it and when I saw that Netflix were giving life to a new TV show based on Marvel’s Daredevil, my hopes weren’t high.

I was so wrong.

Instead of rambling on and on about why I love the show so much, I’ll bullet-point the 5 main reasons why the show is so great and why it’s the best thing you’ll see all year.

1.Charlie Cox’s performance

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Confession: I had no idea who Charlie Cox was before watching Daredevil. A quick Google search came up with a career that includes such hits as Stardust and….There Be Dragons? Regardless of this, fuck me was I surprised. Every Marvel fan still feels a bit of betrayal for the 2003 Daredevil film but Cox’s portrayal of blind lawyer by day, vigilante by night Matt Murdock was more than enough to make up for it. Murdock’s life is nothing but tragedy after tragedy and it was a relief to see an actor to show this side of the character without just being mopey and miserable for the whole show.

2. A supporting cast just as strong as its protagonist.

Netflix Original Series

A fault that many AAA shows suffer from, I’m looking at you Dexter, is under utilising their supporting characters or making said characters dull and boring. Daredevil managed to defy this though with ease. Ask anyone who’s watched the show who their favourite character was and you’ll get a different answer. Maybe it’ll be faithful friend and lawyer Foggy Nelson, wonderfully played by Elden Henson, whose smart quips and humour perfectly contrast to Matt’s seriousness. Their friendship is one of the best things about this show and, to avoid spoilers, it comes under some extreme stress as the show goes on. If you ask me though, my favourite character had to be Kingpin. After being portrayed as an all brawns, no brain giant in the 2003 film, Vincent D’Onofrio played the character the way he should be: as smart as he is strong. His back story makes for one of the best episodes of the season and makes you as scared of him as it does make you feel sorry.

3. The fight scenes

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Words can’t do this justice, just click and watch this. Absolutely wonderful.

4. Perfect tone

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There’s no doubt that if you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen one of Marvel’s blockbuster films such as The Avengers. Their films have the trademark humour with dips and dabs of seriousness put in but Daredevil? Nuh uh. After a few episodes one thing that will be blatantly clear is how brutal this show is. Bones breaking, blood everywhere, a decapitated Russian, there’s no doubt that Daredevil’s tone is a lot different but it benefits from it. It’s not all doom and gloom though as there is moments of humour but for the most part it’s on the edge of your seat tension that will have you binging this show.

5. A complete story

MARVEL'S DAREDEVIL

The amount of TV shows that have tried to tell grand scale stories only to get cancelled after one or two seasons are in abundance, one of my personal favourite losses being Freaks and Geeks. These abrupt cancellations result in unfinished stories that annoy fans to no end. With Daredevil it’s as if the creators took these shows into consideration when deciding what they should show in the first season. As a big comic book fan and Daredevil being one of my favourite characters, I was anxious about what they would do but I’m 100% satisfied. Developing Kingpin’s grand scheme while also focusing on Matt becoming Hell’s Kitchen saviour was done perfectly as it would be an easy mistake to just leave either story in the background. With so much left to work with (there was sly references to Bullseye and Elektra that were blink and you’ll miss it), the future looks bright for Daredevil.

So what did you think of Daredevil? Love it? Hate it? Let me know and if you haven’t given it a watch then do so now, you won’t regret it.