Couple things here.
- If you haven’t seen the show yet, please note, it’s violent and potentially disturbing. Trigger warnings include: blood/scars, beatings, death, child abuse, domestic violence, kidnapping, torture
- Major spoilers ahead.
On that happy note, this show is so so good. In a nut shell, it’s beautifully shot, the actors are all wonderful (Charlie Cox is English, guys!!) and it’s a real breath of fresh air. In my mini bio, I mentioned that if any comic character had a cartoon prior to 2000-ish, I watched it. So origin stories (AKA season 1 or the first 45 min of the movie) are not exciting for me cuz I know them all.
The million spider-man reboots are so dead to me it’s excruciating. So whenever a new hero comes to town, I jump right in.
First off, the bit everyone and their mom is talking about: the “one shot” hallway fight scene. This vid points out the nod to famous films that have used this same approach. Cinematically, it’s very captivating. They really play up our senses throughout the whole show (extreme close ups, noir like shadows/lighting, and if you watch the show with headphones, sounds/voices) and none better than in this scene.
The fight comes at the very end of the second episode called “Cut Man”. Matt’s been through the grinder and he’s had zero time to heal up. He’s set on rescuing this little boy who’s been kidnapped and is willing to fight through a gang of Russians to get to him. The tension is built up as Matt walks slowly towards the door where there are a couple of them watching TV before charging in. Right away, the camera is left in the door way as the door slowly closes behind the mayhem and we’re left in the dark with only the sound of grunts and blows being landed. The camera slowly, agonizingly, moves back so we have a view of the hallway again. The door is busted down, as more guys join the fray. The fight continues in the hallway, and it’s slow and painful. Matt groans, falls down, braces himself against the walls, but he keeps going. The Russian guys aren’t that great either but they’ve got a major advantage on Matt who’s apparently got a least 3 broken ribs, a stab wound, and probable concussion to say the least. The visual of the door at the end of the hallway where the boy is being kept is a constant reminder of the stakes. The hallway is also dark, with neon green light making it look sickly and almost sewer like. It’s incredible to watch and I cheer for him every time as he walks off, a hero, the boy in his arms.
I think my favorite bit about this whole show is Matt’s vulnerability/mortality. The show is brutal and harsh, kinda like, “Yeah, if you were to really do this (as this show is implying in a universe where Thor, The Hulk and Rocket are real) as a normal human being, you would get beaten up pretty badly”. I love the fact that after every fight, he’s gasping for breath or on the ground gasping for breath. He falls through a couple floors of a building and lands on the ground, knocked out. An explosion goes off, he’s knocked back and knocked out. Even though his senses have been enhanced (and he’s not really 100% blind**), he’s still a flesh and blood, normal guy with some fight training who gets his ass handed to him in nearly every episode. It’s real in a fantastical universe.
Sadly this show still follows some annoyingly common tropes: The “villains” are Japanese, Chinese, Russian
half waiting for the Italian mob boss to show up (main Japanese baddy is beaten by white male lead), recurring female POC is killed, recurring male POC is killed, several women are kidnapped/drugged/beaten and need rescuing by white male lead. But I do love that the fanbase is not letting this all go unsaid. And these things being said, the show still manages to entertain and tells a very great story.
SOME MORE LOVELY THINGS
- Karen Page is beat up in every way possible, but she moves the plot forward more than basically anyone. She’s scared shitless more than once but she STILL goes out at night and she never gives up on her goal.
- The very real issue of gentrification is brought up which is very refreshing as this is something I see happening in my own town and it’s super unsettling. It’s not just MENTIONED either, it’s one of the cases they work on and we see and hear the negative affect this has on people, as well as how it’s seen as something that’s actually good for the community.
- Good black cop who doesn’t die. Yay!
- No sad, brooding, miserable disabled guy here. Matt has a job, he has relationships, he’s functional on his own, he’s friendly, he’s not defined by his disability. In fact, Foggy used to play tricks on him apparently when they were in college!
- Rosario Dawson as Claire. I love that she takes care of herself first even though she agrees to help Matt medically when he needs it. I’m reminded very much of Martha Jones.
- Foggy finding out Matt is the “man in the black mask” and being upset for all the right reasons. Watch “Nelson v. Murdock” it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
- Matt cries like… 10 times. So does Foggy, and so does Fisk.
- Wilson Fisk. is terrifying. Vincent D’Onofrio gave such a great performance.
- And hey! DD renewed for a second season! but not until 2016 ugh.
I’m not crazy about the red suit. Gonna miss the ninja/iron fist look
I really loved this tumblr users review which sums up my feelings on the show very well. Here’s a lovely list of spoiler free reasons to watch DD if you’re still on the fence (even though by this point, I’ve spoiled quiet a bit). Wanna start reading Daredevil?? Heres a good tumblr post with recommendations.
I could honestly talk a lot more about this but I think I’ll leave it for now. Maybe I’ll make a second post about cinematography… or Charlie Cox’s adorable booty.
**EDIT: This lovely person explained Matt’s exact condition. He IS blind, my bad XD