By Barbara Young —
Due to another dull week in the box office, I will instead be reviewing Netflix’s newest series, “Daredevil.”
“Daredevil” takes place on the heels of the “Avengers” movie in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan. A blind lawyer, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) have nothing but ideals as they open their own law office. But unbeknownst to Foggy, Murdock is taking the law into his own hands as a masked crime fighter. Throughout the series, a thick web of criminal activity ensnares Hell’s Kitchen, headed by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), the criminal mastermind, and Murdock must tread carefully or be caught.
I’m a superhero nerd. Not just Batman and Superman and all the classics, but the whole gang, Marvel and DC (no I’m not going to tell you which side I’m on). Despite being super into superheroes, I have yet to finish a TV series about superhero characters.
I have begun the series “Arrow,” based on one of my top five favorite heroes, Green Arrow, and I just can’t get through the first season. I’m a stickler for good acting, and the lead in that show is not good enough for me to stick around.
“Daredevil,” however, will keep me hanging on. I’ve not yet finished the series, but so far it delivers in the way most superhero shows do not: graphicness, characters/actors and production value.
First, graphicness. This show is on Netflix, which means it doesn’t have to be squeamish about what it shows during fight scenes. You will see broken bones jutting out from some poor man’s ripped arm, and you will get the gush of blood and brains when a man’s head is smashed with a car door. It is graphic and gory, and while I am squeamish, I appreciate that Netflix has the ability to show these details. It makes for a grittier series.
Second, characters/acting. For the most part, this cast is full of actors I have rarely seen before. There is a wide range in acting abilities though. I am impressed and have thoroughly enjoyed Cox’s portrayal of Murdcok, but I find myself often annoyed with Henson’s Foggy. He seems fake at the worst of times and awkward at the best. That is not to say, however, that I dislike the characters. Every character in the show is written expertly. I could go on about each one, but I’d like to especially call out Fisk played by a much balder and larger D’Onofrio than I remember from his “Law & Order” days. Fisk is a complex character who shows his terrifying side early on, but his awkward and nervous habits come out quickly as well. He makes for a refreshing change from the classic confident villain.
Finally, the production value of this show is top notch. It probably helps that they don’t have to animate the hero running 100 MPH, but none the less, I am impressed. The stunts are stunning, and the sets match with the plot cues. It’s not a glammed up world of a millionaire. Murdock is a poor lawyer and it shows in the sets, a rare trend in TV.
Overall, the show is a great superhero series I am thrilled to watch to the finish. Each episode is about an hour, which means that even though there are only 13 episodes, there is still lots to enjoy.