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Daredevil (season 01)

Josh Reviews Netflix’s Daredevil: Season One!

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Let’s cut right to the chase: Netflix’s thirteen-episode first season of Daredevil is a triumph, a gloriously dark, gritty, adult depiction of The Man Without Fear.  Netflix’s Daredevil is the finest super-hero television show I have ever seen.  Am I exaggerating?  I don’t think so.  I am hard-pressed to think of anything that even comes close.  Only a few episodes in, my wife asked me: how is this show so good and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so bad?  Good question!

When Netflix first announced that they would be producing four Marvel TV shows that would eventually connect together, I was excited.  But as the release of Daredevil approached, I must admit that my expectations had dimmed.  I was troubled by the departure, mid-production, of original show-runner Drew Goddard, a terrific talent (responsible for The Cabin in the Woods with Joss Whedon).  Surely his leaving the show spelled trouble?  The early images and trailers for the show also didn’t inspire confidence.  What we saw of Daredevil — not in costume, but instead in a rather ordinary-looking black outfit — made me fear that this show was embarrassed by its super-hero content and/or didn’t have the production value to depict super-heroes well.  The show looked small and it looked silly.

But holy cow was I wrong.  Daredevil is an exceptional piece of work, a confident, bold piece of story-telling.  First of all, I was very impressed by how adult the show is.  There’s some tough language and a lot of truly brutal violence.  This isn’t a kiddy, all-ages show like Marvel’s ABC shows (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter).  This is a tough show, one far more inspired by the intensity and adult-content of a show like Game of Thrones.  (Though of course Daredevil doesn’t go quite that far — there’s no nudity or sex in this show, and not the same level of gore — but I am complimenting Daredevil by putting it in the same league as GoT.)  The adult nature of the show isn’t only the violence and language.  The whole approach to the world and the story-telling is very adult.  Daredevil is a super-hero show, so there are clear heroes and clear villains, but at the same time the show is nimble at presenting us with a complex world filled with moral grays and difficult decisions for our characters.  This is not a show in which the heroes always win by the end of each hour.  Our heroes take some tough, tough lumps as the show goes on (both physically and emotionally), and throughout I was impressed by this adult, compelling approach to presenting a super-hero story.

I love the concise, finite format of Netflix’s thirteen-episode … [continued]