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I was housesitting this weekend for a friend who has Netflix, so I was able to marathon the last six episodes of Daredevil Season 1.

It's a good show!

Before I go into it though, I should say that I have never read the Daredevil comics and don't know that much about the character beyond the basics of "Daredevil is blind, has super senses, and works as a lawyer by day. His enemy is named Kingpin."

[I also watched that Ben Affleck movie back when it came out and thought it sucked (made worse by the fact that I watched a bootleg theatre-recording of it, so half of the fight scenes I couldn't see because it was too damn dark.) Anyway, needless to say, the movie didn't make much of an impression. Was Elektra in it? She was - I just looked it up. Like I said, not much of an impression.]

Anyway, let's talk about the new Daredevil Netflix show:

Things I liked:

- The acting/casting is amazing. Everyone knocked it out of the park.

- I really liked Rosario Dawson's character, Claire, and I was super worried that they were going to fridge her - I'm so glad they didn't.

- That fight scene, the one-take hallway fight scene, was some of the best damn work I've ever seen on both TV and in the movies. Actually, I really don't think I've ever seen anything like it before at all. It was so amazing.

- Someone on tumblr said this, but I'm going to echo it - I like that the men can cry on the show. You never know how unrealistically stoic every other guy in the media is until you see people actually acting normal. Normal people start ugly crying when they're fighting with their best friends.... normal people start weeping when they've gone on a drinking binge because someone they loved died. I just loved it. It made the characters seem real. It made me empathize with them more.

- Someone else said, and I agree - that Daredevil is basically the story of one man's fight against gentrification. I think it's pretty awesome for that reason too.  (I thought it was Aaron Diaz who said it on twitter, but I can't find it now, so who knows.)

- Now, listen, I'm an athiest and I actually kind of distrust/dislike organized religion - but I really enjoyed the fact that Matt's catholicism was part of the framework of the story, and I liked the fact that religion is important to Matt and is a guiding force behind his actions/moral-conflict.

- Similarly, I liked how bringing down the bad guys = bringing them to justice, rather than killing them. I know there's far more satisfaction in killng them, for me anyway, but I guess it's kinda part of the reason that I enjoy Captain America too... sometimes I want my heroes to be better people than I am. (I don't mean to imply that Captain America doesn't kill people, because he obviously does, but he's better than me in other ways.)

- I love that Daredevil as a story is SO LOCALIZED. It's not about New York, it's about a TINY PART of New York. And it actually manages to take the smal scale and make it epic... a lot of superhero stories go big to make it epic. They make the fate of the whole world hang in the balance. Ultron is going to wipe out all of humanity, Loki is going to subjugate all of humanity, Hydra is going to kill millions of people all over the world, etc... Daredevil is just like "Hey, stop kicking people out of their crappy apartments over on 53th St., or I'm going to fuck you up!" It's awesome! I mean, I realize they set up a lot of stuff that might make it bigger later - Stick and his "war" and such, but we'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it.

- Languages... I loved that they had people speaking their native-tongues. I loved that they didn't make everyone speak accented english, like that was the only option. I also loved how they didn't always translate it... basically, they'd only translate it when it was clear that everyone in the scene understood the language and no one needed it translated through another character. If there was another character translating, then they translated for the audience as well, and we didn't get to know what was truly said.

What I didn't like:

- This is more a personal prefence thing.... but I don't care about villains. I recognize that they did a beautiful job setting up the parallels between Matt and Fisk, about how they both claimed to be trying to save Hell's Kitchen - one through preservation and one through gentrification. And it WAS well done and it WAS a cool parallel. I'm not denying that.... I'm just saying that I sat through all of Fisk's storylines with my editing fingers itching to remove them, to give myself only the hero's story - to NOT KNOW MORE THAN THE HERO DID. It's a preference on my part, I figure, for mystery....

I'm reading a series of books right now, written for young adults, called Alpha Force, and they're really great fun books - basically classic Mission Impossible but with teenagers. Anyway, there's always a chapter where everything goes right and then a chapter where everything goes wrong, and then the rest of the chapters are them trying to fix the situation or escape it or what have you. At the end of the chapter where everything goes right though, there's always a sentence along the lines of "If they had known what was to come, they would have made a different decision" - and I hate that f*cking sentence. I don't want to know! I want to be just as shocked as the heroes are when everything goes to shit in the next chapter. I don't want to be anticipating it beyond knowing that things need to go to shit for there to be a story for the rest fo the book.

So, yeah, as much as Vincent D'onofrio is a good actor and did a great job. I didn't care about Wilson Fisk/Kingpin and I didn't want to know about his dating troubles or his backstory. ("cool motive, still murder.")

That being said, if I DID re-edit the show - I would be sad to lose that last Fisk/Wesley scene, because it was pretty gorgeous and heartbreaking.

- The violence was, at times, too brutal for me, especially when Fisk kills the Russian.... I couldn't watch the show for a couple more days after that.

To Sum Up: Good show! But brutal. And, due solely to a personality-quirk of mine, if I were to rewatch it - it would be an edited version.


May. 4th, 2015 07:47 am (UTC)
SO MUCH YES TO THAT ONE SHOT HALLWAY FIGHT SCENE. I mean, I would have loved it for the simple reason that the hallway was too narrow for the door to fall completely flat to the ground, but then it was lit so beautifully and bad guys got up again because they hadn't been knocked out the first time and oh God, it was just wonderful. And also YES to men crying. I also loved that because it was so realistic. And the use of other languages. AND CLAIR OH MY I LOVE CLAIR. (I was never worried about her being fridged actually. I was worried about Ben - and didn't he have a great face? - and (SPOILER) turns out I was right to)

However, unlike you I liked - or maybe thats the wrong word - the humanization of Wilson Fisk, mainly because it is very unsettling to be reminded that the bad guys have motivations and things they love and are scared of losing. Because it makes you acknowledge that they are people too.

And loosely related. Last night I watched the Theory of Everything and Charlie Cox was in it and I found it very strange. :P
May. 4th, 2015 08:04 am (UTC)
Yes! The other thing I loved about the hallway fight was that Matt was just so DONE. I mean, he had already been stabbed earlier that night - and man... so good. I think my favourite bit was when he did the full back roll off the wall in order to get vertical enough to punch a dude.

I was never worried about her being fridged actually. I was worried about Ben - and didn't he have a great face? - and (SPOILER) turns out I was right to

I was actually spoiled for that going in. So, I knew not to get too attached. It was agony watching though, because starting somewhere between the 5th and 8th episodes they started to do a tone of those camera angles where you know that you can't see all of the room/alley/street that he is in and that anyone could be sneaking up behind him, or take him out from a building, or whatever... like, I just spent episodes and episodes anticipating his death, thinking in nearly every scene of his "oh god, is this when it happens?!"

However, unlike you I liked - or maybe thats the wrong word - the humanization of Wilson Fisk, mainly because it is very unsettling to be reminded that the bad guys have motivations and things they love and are scared of losing. Because it makes you acknowledge that they are people too.

I liked it to an extent, I just think there was too much of it, or it could have been done in a different way.

But, yeah, I mean, that last Fisk/Wesley scene, when he kisses him on the forehead just killed me, and I'd certainly not want to lose a scene like that just because I don't like following villain stories. So, I'm not saying through the baby out with the bathwater... I'm just saying, sometimes less is more.

And loosely related. Last night I watched the Theory of Everything and Charlie Cox was in it and I found it very strange. :P

Tumblr reminded me the other day that it was Charlie Cox who played the lead in Stardust, and that was a very strange thing to not have remembered at all, even though I own that movie and quite enjoy it.
May. 4th, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah. There was an accuracy with that kind of thing that I really enjoyed. He couldn't just brush off injury as easily as people sometimes can in TV/film.

Aaah I watched the whole thing over three days. :P I didn't really have time to be spoilered. Plus I'd moved off tumblr to avoid AoU wank so had no way of getting spoilered either. But yeah, those shots you mentioned... I was watching going no no no no no not Ben I love his face. :(

Fisk/Wesley was the one thing that my brain immediately went there will be fanifc about them, because some of their conversations; Jesus. I could picture them in all those really fucked up mobster fics. But on a serious note, yes, that scene was wonderful; because of the genuine affection and remorse. The way they built Fisk up, you get the impression that he's someone with a lot of love to give and no fucking clue how to express it positively. He's lucky to have found a woman who's as weirdly fucked up as he is, really...

Haha yeah, that was the first thing I realised when I saw the casting. I was amused, to say the least. :P
May. 4th, 2015 04:55 pm (UTC)
I should have moved off tumblr, the AoU wank and now the AoU spoilers are kinda driving me crazy - but tumblr is just so much of my computer routine now. Also, I think I've basically come to a point where I don't actually care too much about spoilers anyway. And I only have to wait until Thursday, when I see the film, and then it will just be about ignoring the wank - which I'm fairly good at.
May. 4th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC)
I logged out. It did wonders. And surprisingly I don't miss it all that much. I logged in again yesterday, but only so I could like a bunch of things I had collected over the couple of weeks I was offline. *shrugs* I missed the fanart and some of the dumb shit, but I didn't miss much else.
May. 5th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
Yeah... I should probably log out as well. There are a couple people on there and things that I honestly do enjoy though and aren't a time-suck or annoying... but then, if I unfollow people who aren't 100% quality, then I'll probably end up offending people.

What I should REALLY do is limit my time on it. I like to scroll through tumblr while I'm eating breakfast, and that's fine, but probably I shouldn't stay on there for the hour after breakfast too... and the hour after lunch... and the hours before bed when I really should be sleeping and I just don't want to admit it. :P

It'd probably make my life better if I was a little less nonsense-internet addicted.
May. 5th, 2015 01:25 pm (UTC)
Oh God yeah, that was the other reason I logged out. I was on it so much it was ridiculous. Going cold turkey for a while helps with that. :P