Sometimes a show gets built up so that it fails simply by not living up to the hype. Sometimes a show gets built up and when you watch it you go “Yeah, that was a good show.”
Daredevil s01e01: Into the Ring
Writer: Drew Goddard
Director: Phil Abraham
Quick Review: This is kind of a pull the gang together episode. We get Matt and Foggy working together as new lawyers. Their first client is Karen Page. The threat is a collection of criminals. Plus we get some nice moments of Matt as a kid. Some great dialogue and action sequences scattered throughout the show. There is some great setting of tone in that this first episode shows that there will be some levity, but it is still going to be a darker superhero show. After one episode I can feel the urge to just binge watch my way through all thirteen. Maybe I can limit myself to just two a day? Stupid real life job.
Analysis (and possible spoilers): What a great start. Right there with Jack Murdock trying to get to his injured son. I love that in this episode this is our origin. Stuff got in his eyes. Now he can do stuff. One of the successes of this show might be that, at least in this first episode, we aren’t told about his powers, we are shown them. He has them. We know this because we see him using them. I’m thinking of other superhero movies where we spend a large part of the movie going through origin after origin. This starts off with just a quick slice and says “Here ya go!” I wonder what someone completely unfamiliar with Daredevil thinks about the lack of explanation? I think we are all used to superheroes enough by now for it to work, but I wonder if there is confusion. “Stuff got in his eyes. How come he can hear better?” Hopefully they can just run with it. Looking ahead one of the episodes is called “Stick.” I wonder if that will be where most of the origin/power story is told.
While watching this I kept wondering what Daredevil era this might take place in. And then the answer hit me. Several. The Frank Miller stamp is all over it. It just is. But those fights in the rain. It feels like something out of the Bendis run. I want to though Brubaker in there as well, but probably just Bendis. So far. But then there is that dialogue between Foggy and Matt. Does that feel like pure Waid to anybody else? It just feels happy, which will make it all the more poignant when something awful happens to that relationship. Which I think it will because: Matt Murdock.
We are getting a glimpse of the complexity of Matt. I just hope they don’t shy away from the self-destructive tendencies that have been built into the character over and over again. By the way, Charlie Cox is great. Has that nice guy look with the pathos plus he does a great job with the physicality of just looking like a blind man. I imagine he is doing great with the Daredevil physicality as well but I have no idea what is him and what is a stuntman.
As for the other cast members, they are doing a great job but it will take me a bit to get used to this version of them. Eden Henson as Foggy Nelson is charming but I’m not sure what is going to be done with this character. It is hard to pin down Foggy and this version seems fairly slicked up. But it is better than the slob version from the Man Without Fear Comic (which I talked about in an earlier podcast). Karen Page is played by Deborah Ann Woll. Again, I like how she is doing but I just keep seeing her as a vampire thanks to True Blood. Hopefully this will wear off in another episode or two so I can better appreciate what she is bringing to the role.
I am really looking to more from the collection of criminals. Even if there was a little disappointment that we only heard spoken Chinese, not Japanese. I live in Japan and want to see how that side of Daredevil plays out.
What I hope to see: I’m sure we all have things we want from a Daredevil show. These are some of the things I want. (Also, I’ve tried hard to avoid any spoilers/reviews etc. The only trailer I have seen was the one I reviewed here. So, maybe some of these things are common knowledge, just not to me.
- Ninjas. Red outfits. The Marvel movies have tended to go a little deeper in the comic roots than the their TV shows. DC seems to do just the opposite. Here is your chance Marvel. Probably won’t fade away when beaten, but if they do…!
- Okay, when I was looking up actor names I saw one of the Characters coming up was Melvin Potter. Is buzz saw hands and a yellow shirt too much to ask? Because that is what I want.
- Kingpin training by beating the crap out of a group of guys.
- Ben Urich saying “My name is Ben Urich. I’m a reporter.” In a perfect world he would also give some voice over narration, but I doubt that will happen.
- I also want a few “radar views” where we see how Matt sees. I remember this actually being a good part of the original movie but maybe that means we won’t get it here.
- I feel like asking for an enigmatic and physically strong female character just runs the risk of Elektra comparisons. But there does feel like a need for that in the world of Daredevil.
- Because of the the comics (was it Nocenti?) I admit, I kind of want this season to end with there being a possibility of Karen Page becoming a drug addict and/or possible a pornstar. I feel I shouldn’t want this, but I do. Maybe because one of the first DD comics I had was 294 and Karen explaining why she cut her hair was so powerful to me then. SO I guess it isn’t really her becoming drug addict/pornstar so much as I want to see her journey back from something harrowing.
Those are some of the things I want. I’ll probably do a review of all the episodes. Let me know what you think either on Facebook or in the comments.
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