Well, I am back again to finally review something new, and apologies for being rather inconsistent in my article submissions as of late. I have been incredibly busy with college and it seems as though college life has taken a pretty big toll on me. But enough with the nonsense, let’s talk Daredevil. Don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled anything major.
The first season of Daredevil was a major surprise for me. I never knew much about Daredevil as a comic book character, so when I first heard that Netflix was doing a comic book series, I didn’t really expect much due to less than warm receptions of Marvel’s other TV properties such as Agents of Shield ( I hear that show is getting better too!). When I heard the things that I was hearing, I gave it a shot and I loved it. It was everything that I loved about the MCU and it improved on whatever the Marvel movies couldn’t manage to handle well (such as the villains). The performances were phenomenal (Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio in particular), it was well written, the premise was interesting and the execution of the story, while it did stumble a bit during the last few episodes, was well handled. There was a great understanding of the characters, particularly with our protagonist and antagonist and let’s not forget, the action was nothing less than perfect.
So, moving on to the second season. I seemed quite adamant not to compare this to the first, because I didn’t want to. It would seem too unfair and harsh, considering what a lightening in the bottle the first season was. And after watching it, I know I have done the right thing. It’s in people’s nature to compare and contrast, and I can’t blame them. But I am willing to bet, most of the criticisms people have against this season will be with direct comparisons to the first, and that’s not something I want to do.
Daredevil Season 2 was a great season for me. It was remarkably different from the first season in many ways and it never once felt like a rehash. The change of showrunners certainly helped that, and after the torch being passed on from Steven S. DeKnight, I have to say that the new showrunners certainly didn’t half-ass this one.
One thing this season did far better than the last was actually using the 13 episode format. My main issue with the first season of Daredevil and Jessica Jones was that the stories told in those shows could easily have been done in 8 or 10 episodes. But this season of Daredevil certainly had a lot of subplots that simply could not have been done in a fewer number of them. We have The Punisher arc, the Elektra arc, The Trial with The Punisher arc, The Hand and a lot more, and what’s even better is that they managed to make this Matt Murdock’s story.
This season also improved in scope, the action scenes look better, the choreography is just fantastic. You have ninjas, gangs, mobs, Punisher, Elektra, etc. The fight scenes sure are a plenty and my god, do they work. There was just so many things that were bigger than last season that were going on here and I praise the showrunners for not shying away from trying. It gets a lot darker (I mean, you have the Punisher), a lot bloodier and a lot more complex.
The performances are great. The characters are still great. The casting of Jon Bernthal and Elodie Yung are just flawless choices as The Punisher and Elektra. To be honest though, I need to shed some light on Charlie Cox, who seems to be getting almost no recognition for playing Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Each scene he is in is just filled with raw emotion. He adds so much to Matt’s humanity. Every time he wants to believe in the better part of the society, it comes across as genuine, not naïve. When he begs the Punisher not to kill, or convincing Elektra not be crazy or convincing Foggy that he won’t be in danger or he won’t screw up or convincing a jury that Frank Castle is a good man, these are scenes that just add to Matt’s humanity and Charlie Cox delivered on every single note. What a fine performance, one that seriously gets overlooked immensely. The supporting characters too have a lot to offer. I loved Foggy and Karen this season, I don’t get why there is so much hate for these characters but regardless, the writers certainly knew what to do with them this season and Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Hensen were certainly up for the job and Rosario Dawson still manages to be one of my favourite characters of this show as Claire Temple.
Also, I loved that in the conversations between The Punisher and Daredevil, the show never really took sides to come up to a conclusion of what’s right or what’s wrong. It just showcased the ideologies of these characters and left it to us to decide who was right. It also wasn’t afraid to showcase the reaction of the public. Little things like this, make this show truly sensational. Sure, it may come across as gimmicky to some, but I like to believe that the show is a lot smarter than people give it credit for. The relationship between Elekta and Matt was also a highlight, I found myself enjoying them together very much. The chemistry was just…….sexy. Yeah, I am going there. It was a pure delight to see them on screen together, even if I barely knew about these characters beforehand. Another thing that this show did well was it’s ties to season 1, it was smart with certain characters returning at the right moment with the right amount of screen time. They never felt shoehorned in and were still integral to the story and again, the writers did a really good job with that.
Where this season falters unfortunately, is with the arc involving the Hand. While I enjoyed the ninja fights as well as the arc in general. It seems as though the series is trying to dodge the questions about the supernatural and while I like the approach of show, not tell, it doesn’t work always. Don’t get me wrong it is a well done arc, but I think that it ultimately left a few too many questions unanswered. But, the good thing is that the focus was on our characters and that is what is most essential. Another issue that I had this season was that the story with The Punisher right after episode 9, felt like a different show altogether. Again, the story was well told and it’s not bad, in fact it’s great. What I am getting at is that it just didn’t mesh well with the show’s main storyline, at least not as well as it could have.
But again, when I think about the fact that this season has had so many arcs, so many subplots and so many characters. I honestly consider my criticisms nit-picks. You can’t tell so many stories and do all of them right. With that said, I also admire the fact that this season took a lot of risks by doing so many things and for the most part, it worked big time. Season 1 felt a lot like a 13 hour movie that was about a rivalry, but Season 2 felt more like a TV show, where there are multiple threads, all connected to each other and I liked that they took a chance with the format. It allowed the show to go in depth with Matt’s difficulties of being a superhero and I loved it.
So, with all that, do I think it is better than Season 1? I honestly cannot say and I don’t want to. I loved the show then and I love it now. I don’t care what people have to say in this matter. For me personally, I am glad that Daredevil is still as good as it was. That’s all that matters to me. It has everything you loved from Season 1 and it was riveting all the way until the very end, making the binge watching a lot more effortless for me. With all that said, I give this season a solid 9.
Final Rating: 9/10