I have always been a nerd when it comes to movies. Alright…just one movie in particular, Star Wars. I don’t mean the terrible renditions that we were subjected to with Episodes 1, 2, and 3. I mean the originals. The masterpieces. The creme de la creme of movies. Okay, I’ll stop. But seriously, Star Wars (actually the entire original trilogy) has always been my favorite movie(s).
Then a bit of a change on the fantasy movie front has happened over the past 15 years. Super hero movies have become extremely popular (not to mention profitable). These movies have ranged from the fun (and fairly safe) X-Men movies to the dark and moral-questioning Batman movies. Movies like Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy seem to appeal to a span of generations while other comic book movies like Sin City tend to have a smaller appeal.
I have loved seeing most super hero movies. I generally have low expectations (I certainly don’t expect to see Oscar-worthy acting and writing). But they are fun and lend to great post-movie convos (like which super powers would be AWESOME to have!) And there is the usual debate between the comic book readers and the movie watchers as to the faithfulness of the big-screen rendition. I LOVE post-movie debates! (Told ya, I’m a nerd.)
On to Daredevil. The title of this post is quite presumptuous, isn’t it? I actually never saw the Ben Affleck version of Daredevil, nor have I read the comic book. To be honest, I had no desire to watch the new Netflix Daredevil series. But then something happened. My mom watched the first two episodes and LOVED them! If my mom liked it, I knew I had to check it out. (Love you mom 🙂
She was right. It is a great show. In my opinion, the best show on television. And, for your reading pleasure, my very sound reasons why are below (for those who haven’t seen it, I’ll try not to spoil anything):
Matt is a blind attorney. By day he is charming, smart and seems like an all-around nice guy. By night he is a cunning, law-bending vigilante. Great acting, and mostly effective writing created one multi-dimensional character. We are always cheering him on, however there are moments when even the audience questions his methods. Especially when some of his torture-like extractions are quite contrary to his profession of choice.
This pivotal character is not introduced until the third episode. Daredevil would not be a show without Wilson Fisk. We know he’s the villain, but sometimes we wonder if his motives truly are pure. While Fisk will do anything to obtain his goals, there are moments when the audience is sympathetic to his past and subsequent life choices. This is quite a feat considering the violence that Fisk is willing, and almost eager, to use.
Great comedic character and best friend to Matt. Foggy is willing to question Daredevil’s methods and even calls him a terrorist. A great conversation between Foggy and Matt leads to deeper revelations and some similarities between Daredevil and Kingpin.
Friend and assistant to Matt and Foggy at their law firm. I was worried she would just be a romantic interest, but her character is more complex than that. She’s interesting, has a mystery past and is motivated to find the truth. She makes mistakes, but isn’t annoying. I like Karen.
One of my favorite aspects of the show is the incorporation of religion. Matt spends a good amount of time analyzing the morality of what he does as Daredevil. He does this in a Catholic church with a forward-thinking and insightful priest. I really love how the series illustrates some major moral differences between Daredevil and Kingpin through these thoughtful moments of moral reflection by Matt.
What seems like the obvious disability of Matt is his blindness. However, the audience quickly discovers that his blindness is less of a disability than it appears. In fact, as Matt explains, his blindness allows him to “see” better than anyone else. He has a heightened sense of smell, hearing, and can even tell when someone is lying by his heart rate.
What I actually find to be a disability is Matt’s desire for vigilantism. He wants to see evil people pay for their crimes and he offers no apology for any violence he commits to ensure this. The show constantly pits his methods as Daredevil against those of his attorney alter-ego. Ethics, morals, religion are always at odds and the audience is often left to decide for themselves which is the better choice.
In conclusion, Daredevil truly is the best show on television. Excellent cast, writing and character development make a show that appeals to just about anyone. Now, go watch it!