I’m not usually a big fan of science fiction; especially the superhero type based on comic book characters. In fact, the only movies of this genre I can remember liking are the original Spiderman and the original Ironman. But my taste in movies and everything else has always been all over the board, so I’m always on the look out for something new.

So the other day, when I saw that Netflix had just released a series (Netflix calls it a “web television” series) called Daredevil, I watched it. I liked it because it seemed to be so much more than just routine, beat’em up action within a plot developed by 3rd graders who had all been set back a year.

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Daredevil is different. First, the main character is blind, but still dedicated to going out and eradicating evil like any other crime fighter. If you are wondering how a character who is blind can take the villains head on, well so does every viewer. But instead of just coming out and telling you how he does it, this series lets you wonder about it for several episode before it gradually tells you how he is capable of stalking, fighting, and even navigating the dark streets without being able to see. And that’s the way the entire show is—it lets you think about things for a while and then slowly fills in the blanks. The show is filled with flashbacks and this format makes for a lot of great surprises.

And then there are the really fantastic fight scenes. In fact, this show has some of the best knock-down-drag-outs I’ve ever seen. There’s a perfectly choreographed bit of action in the second episode (some reviewers have called it the “best TV fight scene ever”). By the time it was over, I was so worn out, I had to go take a nap.

The unique thing about Daredevil skirmishes is that they all start with the hero getting punched, slammed, or thrown so hard you think, the fight is over as soon as it starts. His technique is to let the bad guys wear themselves out beating on him and then go for the kill (kind of like Muhammad Ali). The Daredevil always seems just a second or two from being completely dismantled (with several deep knife wounds, cracked ribs, a severe concussion, and a body covered in bruises). Then, almost by accident, he throws a punch that stops the villain in his tracks. One cute little superhero characteristic he has is when his adversary is totally subdued, he hits him again, and then again, and then once more for good measure. Seems that the Daredevil is a tad mean and has a lot of pent up anger.

After each fight, the Daredevil limps away to get stitched and bandaged by his nurse friend. I only mention this so I can talk about how the show specializes in making bloody wounds look more real than anything I have ever seen. It’s almost worth watching the show just to see the bloody, gory wounds the Daredevil endures.

Overall, I found this show to be enjoyable because the characters are interesting, there’s aways something new to contemplate. The whole approach to being a superhero is different and intriguing. The first season closes with the main bad guy still alive, still obnoxious, and still unrepentive as ever. This particular villain is still there if the writers need him for another season. Word is Netflix has plans to do more episodes.

At this point, it would be nice if everyone involved in making this show would take a good look at what worked and what didn’t. My suggestions:

• The evil characters could be even eviler (is that a word?).
• The contrast between the Daredevil’s gentle everyday, good-guy side and his out-of-control, physco side should be exaggerated even more.
• Don’t allow boring, fill-in fodder between important scenes slow the film down. The 13 hours of film that made up the first set of episodes should have been 11 hours with 2 more hours given over to more nastiness.
• Give the Daredevil a big, mean, salivating service dog named “Darewolf”, who, just like the Daredevil, likes to take that extra chunk out the bad guy’s ass.

Daredevil is not a show you need to spend much time thinking about, but the plot’s quirks and twists make it fun viewing.

Television Review: Daredevil

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