Geoffrey Wiseman

Daredevil on Netflix

I have been enjoying Marvel's Daredevil TV show on Netflix. I had heard good things, and they're right.

If you haven't seen it, I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. Daredevil is a comic-book character, and certainly some elements of the show are larger than life. Matt Murdock is a lawyer, but it's not a law show. There's a lot of crime and police-work but not really a police procedural. It's a mix of a interpersonal drama, crime and comic-books, but a pleasant mix.

The cast and acting are good. Charlie Cox's Matt is earnest and angry as well as handsome. I honestly didn't recognize him from Boardwalk Empire, where I also liked him. Deborah Ann Woll's Karen is determined and plucky, and although her character isn't played up as sexy in the way that her Jessica in True Blood was, she's still a very pretty woman and a good actres -- one of the best performances in the show. Elden's Foggy Nelson is endearing, funny and sympathetic. He adds a lot of heart. I've seen him in a few things beore, but it looks like this is his biggest role yet. Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk (The Kingpin, although I haven't heard them refer to him that way yet) is probably my favorite performance, a beliveable villain with goals that help to make him a little sympathetic while still having enough anger issues and a limited moral compass to keep him clearly in the camp of evil. I liked him on Criminal Intent, although his look for Wilson Fisk is so different that it took an IMDB search for me to determine why he was so familiar.

The cinematography is also good, and I enjoyed this analysis of a fight scene early in the series:

That analysis points out another thing I enjoy about the show. Daredevil's powers are almost entirely sensory, so his acrobatics and fighting skills (whose origins are somewhat explained, but I'm mostly suspending my disbelief there) are not super-human, and that means he's constantly exhausted, badly injured and having to deal with that. Comic book shows can wander off so far into the comic book elements that they don't stay grounded, but Daredevil's humanity is pervasive.

Anyway, if you have Netflix, I'd recommend you give it a look. Otherwise, when it comes out on DVD, you can go ahead and buy it. Either way, it's worth watching.