Pointless Nonsense

Posted in tv by Bill on April 11, 2015

ddDaredevil is Netflix’s new series about Matt Murdock, blind lawyer/superhero, who is, behind Batman, my favorite superhero, which had me pretty hyped for this. It premiered at 3:01am ET, so I seriously considered staying up really late and watching a bunch before sleeping, but that sounded like a bad idea, so I just woke up early on Friday to watch a bunch before work. There was a definite chance I was too excited about this and it couldn’t live up to my expectations.

I like it. Quite a bit. The most important part to getting Daredevil right is getting Foggy right. It’s easy to reduce him to the chubby guy who’s comic relief, but he’s a lot more than that, and this adaptation understands that. They really nail him. They do a great job with a lot of the other supporting characters too, and have a really interesting take on the Kingpin.

If there’s one weakness, it’s white guys awkwardly trying to speak Asian languages. It sounds goofy to me, but I’m sure it’s even worse if you’re fluent in those languages. In most cases, they’re talking to people who also speak English, so I don’t get why the two parties don’t just both speak their own languages. Or have both sides speak English, just for the audiences sake.

Frank Miller’s The Man Without Fear seems to be the primary influence. Which is reflected in the black costume, very dark tone, brutal violence, the presence of Stick, etc. There are a lot of nods to the comics: a strategically placed ace of spades, the ridiculous alias Mike Murdock, Josie’s Bar, Randolph Cherryh, gratuitous shots of water towers. Missed opportunity: the fake newspaper is named the New York Bulletin and not the Daily Globe (they couldn’t use the Bugle because they hadn’t made nice with Sony about Spider-Man rights until after this was in the can). They do have a lot of references to the happenings in Marvel movies that are mostly surprisingly subtle. It works perfectly fine on its own, but they are definitely inhabiting a New York were The Avengers happened.

Charlie Cox plays Matt Murdock, Deborah Ann Woll is Karen Page, this guy I only really remember from Idle Hands is Foggy Nelson, and Vincent D’Onofrio is the Kingpin. Battlin’ Jack Murdock is played by an unfamiliar actor. Scott Glenn, Bob Gunton, Rosario Dawson, and several other people are in comics-familiar roles who I didn’t identify right away, so leaving their names out to avoid spoilers.

But a bunch of spoiler things come to mind (I’ve already finished, this includes a couple mild spoilers for things towards the end):

Is Rosario Dawson going to play Claire/The Night Nurse in the other Netflix series then? Because Claire is a Luke Cage character, and I know the Night Nurse worked on Iron Fist too. She could totally be in all of them, and that would be awesome.

I really wish Stick was an Asian dude instead of Scott Glenn. The show, like Frank Miller’s Daredevil and a lot of the comics since, is heavily into Japanese martial arts, and having both the main character and the guy who taught him both be white seems messed up. Meanwhile, tons of Asian bad guys.

They change the Owl a ton, he’s just a mob accountant. And yet there are a few moments where the actual familiar character of the Owl shines through. Where he’s like a whiny selfish little piece of shit, and it’s hilarious.

Gladiator was such a pleasant surprise! I love that guy. And they handled him perfectly.

Vincent D’Onofrio is terrifying when he wants to be. He can still switch on the Pyle crazy eyes. They telegraphed one person he killed way in advance, so I knew it was coming, but still, holy shit, when it actually happened… scary.

Fucking Stilt-Man’s legs are in the background of Potter’s workshop! I have an irrational love for Stilt-Man.

The eventual real costume he wears isn’t the worst, but… meh. Solid red > original yellow > everything else.

I’m very concerned about the hints of Karen’s past. I don’t at all want them to do the porn star aspect of Born Again. I wouldn’t mind a drug history, but we can really do without the porn part.

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