“Daredevil” is the first series from Marvel Entertainment and their venture with Netflix. This is the first series in “The Defenders” line which is basically the Marvel Knights on the small screen. “Daredevil” follows the exploits of blind lawyer by day, Matt Murdock and vigilante at night, not quite Daredevil, at night. This series also takes a unique spin as the main antagonist of the season, and possibly the series, Wilson Fisk (aka The Kingpin), more or less serves as a deteutaragonist.
The series follows both men as they attempt to clean up their city, Hell’s Kitchen. Both men have strong cases in what they are attempting to do and you can see both the good and the bad that they do to accomplish their goals. It makes for a unique study as some episodes you want to cheer for both despite knowing that Fisk really is a bad guy and there’s no ways around it.
The series is dark but not overly so. There is sense that besides a few and far between fantastical elements, this is a world of consequences. People die. Bones are broken. Blood is lost…a lot. However there are many moments of levity to make it not depressing.
The action in the series is superb. The type of action that is presented is something that I have yet to see on the small screen. You can hardly expect to see such work done like this in a big screen effort nowadays. A certain standout is in the second episode “Cut Man”. It is certainly a highlight of the first season.
The acting is aces all across the board. Charlie Cox really delivers as the torn Matt Murdock. The man who wants to do good without violence but knows that there is a certain side of him that wants to physically lash out. Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Rosario Dawson, Bob Gunton, Toby Leonard Moore, Ayelet Zurer all deliver top notch performances. Also special mention to the recurring and guest stars. However, a special mention should be made of Vincent D’onofio as Wilson Fisk. He delivers one of the best performances and makes Wilson Fisk the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speaking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this series is firmly planted within the continuity. It takes place two years after the events of “The Avengers” as the attack is used to explain why Hell’s Kitchen is not the gentrified area that it is in reality. Most of the nods are subtle. There is no mention of Stark at all within the series besides flippant comments about billionaire playboy and a iron suit. The most connected that the show is to the MCU is setting up other Marvel-Netflix series, check out the many references to Iron Fist.
Overall, “Daredevil” is a triumph. On the Marvel Cinematic Universe side, this is the finest product to come from the television side. On the grand whole, I would have to rate it as my second favorite after “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. This is a fine series that you can see much love and hard work poured over and everyone needs to watch it.