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April 10 2015

(SPOILER) Steven DeKnight's first season of Daredevil is now streaming on Netflix. IGN is hosting a review in progress. If you have Netflix you can watch Daredevil here. Let the bingeing (and extremely spoilery timeshifted discussions) begin!

Another landmark worth mentioning for something from Marvel Studios, it is actually a major release that I believe it is available at the same for every country officially and legally where there's Netflix presence.
If you got Netflix in your country, I believe that the secondary link on the entry will transfer you automatically to the Netflix link valid for your country.
I love that opening credit sequence. Great theme and very Hannibalesque visuals.

As for the show itself, it feels like to Angel what Battlestar Galactica was to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It takes everything you loved about Angel/DS9 (complex and compelling characters, delightful moral ambiguity, serialized storytelling and the willingness to take major risks with a beloved fictional world) and adds an even more cinematic sensibility and hard PG-13/soft R rating. And like with DS9/BSG its writing staff is made up of writers from the previous show. And Christos Cage who knocked Angel & Faith: Season 9 out of the park.

I'm only on episode 3, but I'm already in love. I'll admit I was worried when Drew stepped down as showrunner and Steven took his place. I loved Inside Out and Shells, but I preferred Drew's more consistent writing. Thankfully my concerns were unfounded. Steven, if you're reading this, I raise my glass (or bottle of water, as the case may be) to you. Well done, sir!

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2015-04-10 11:53 ]
For those who care about such things 8 out of the 13 episodes were written by Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, Douglas Petrie and/or Christos Gage.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2015-04-10 13:05 ]
It is so good!
Dark, edgy but still funny. The acting is spot on, the colours are beautiful, the little details in the background are informative.
I don't have Netflix so I won't see this until it hits Blu-Ray but looking forward to when it does because this does sound really great.
I actually took advantage of the free month trial so I could watch it tonight.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm loving the omnipresent Wolfram & Hartesque vibe of Kingpin and his cohorts. And Matt, Foggy and Karen fighting back from their little office is bringing back warm memories of Angel, Doyle and Cordelia. By the way Ben is totally this show's Kate.
I've been saving the free month for something. Plan to try watching it tomorrow.
Have to wait for husband - he's my timely TV watching nemesis. I suppose something to look forward too.
I just watched the first episode. Really good! I'm reading reactions to episode 1 before I start episode 2. I have to be careful which sites I go to because some people have already finished the whole thing already(I think?) and are mentioning future plot points.
This show is even more Whedonesque than I thought. Look at the episode writers: Drew Goddard, Steven S. DeKnight, Christos Gage, Douglas Petrie, Jeph Loeb...

[ edited by libradude on 2015-04-10 17:47 ]
Daredevil is to Agents of SHIELD as Angel is to Buffy.

Thats not a slight to either show but if you're a Angel fan you'll love this.
More Mutant Enemy writers than AOS. It's kind of like Angel if it was Dark. It's dark Angel.
Marve has released the really cool title sequence online here.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2015-04-10 17:47 ]
I do have some issues with it. I have problems with every scene being so dark. I know it's an artistic choice, but it's become a cliche.

Also, this seems to be a dicks-only series. It's primarily white men in every scene. It's primarily white male writers and directors. As a result, it is coming off as a kind of one-note series (so far). I'm only on the third episode, but I am considering turning off the TV, and going out for the day. I don't have a short attention span, so something is missing.

The best part of the show, so far, is Deborah Ann Woll, and so far, she hasn't been given much to do. Even Rosario Dawson is a bright light in the show, and I generally don't care for her acting.

Still giving it a chance, but this is sort of like the antithesis of Agent Carter in most respects.
The first episode centers around Karen Page, the second centers around his getting help from Claire...granted the former is playing a fairly damsel in distress role, but that's her character in the comics. I dunno, seems like decent screen time for females so far given the source material. Heck, Rosario Dawson gets to play low budget Moon Knight for a few minutes in there!
And let me just say, broadly, after watching the first two hours, I'm really pleased with what I see. DD and The X-Men were the comic book titles I grew up on, and watching talented people who are clearly fans and devotees of the title getting 13 hours of breathing room to develop and explore the characters and stories is like the universe offering up the most awesome apology for the rushed and overstuffed Affleck version, directly to me.
When you get deeper into the series, you'll see that the first two episodes had the bulk of female representation. None of the characters are well-developed, but the women are essentially glorified extras and love interests (as of episode 6). The whole Mobsters In the City stuff is better than in Gotham, but it's not very interesting. I stopped watching Gotham. It's not the worst show in the world, but I am (so far) not compelled to watch Daredevil again after this.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2015-04-11 00:18 ]
Sorry to hear that. I have managed to stick with Gotham although the rewards are not always forthcoming, let's say.
I absolutely loved the first episode.

I am not a binger, rather I like to savour each episode, read about it and then move on. I will definitely watch another tomorrow though.

One thing struck me - how "Angel" like it was. From the fights in the alleyway in the rain, to the final scene where Karen (Cordelia) offers to work for Matt and Foggy (Angel and Doyle) in the fledgling Law (Detective) Agency, and then the final scene where Daredevil (Angel) looks over New York (LA) to protect his people. I was waiting for him to say "I'm game" :-)

Yeah, I think I am going to like this show!
Gotham is a muddled mess. The plot has meandered in so many nonsensical directions that I would have a hard time even explaining the show to someone at this point.
I guess I'm having trouble figuring out why this show exists at all. Wow! I am seeing a whole scene that isn't dark! Hallelujah!

OK. Back to dark, again.
Wow Nebula, you're free to have your opinion but I found it really jarring.

I thought Claire and Karen(who actually has had alot to do investigating her former employer with Ulrich) are both 2 fabulous characters who albeit aren't a Black Widow or a Peggy Carter as far as protecting themselves but each has gotten a chance to fight back against their attackers so far.(I'm on episode 8).

As for...too many white characters? This issue is becoming more and more common online and I will straight up say that I think it is really short sighted to judge a show or film based on how many minority characters you see on the screen. You should judge a show based on its quality, not based off of some undefined diversity check list.

That being said, Ben Ulrich is a great character who has gotten alot of screen time so far but when you wrote that you were on episode 3 and I'm not sure if he had been introduced yet at that point. I'm not trying to slight your opinions or anything. I want to make that clear. It just stuck out to me is all. Feel free to disagree. I hope you find something interesting or enjoyable about the show before you finish. I personally am loving this series so far.(just finished episode 8)
Four episodes in, my main issue is the over-the-top violence. I get that Marvel wanted to make an 'edgier' property, but still...
@eddy: If we always stay silent on issues of the gender and ethnic makeup of Hollywood productions, how will anyone know that it's far past time to move beyond tokenism? We were talking about these same things when I was a child in the 1960's and 70's.

Episode 8 was the best episode so far. I haven't been able to watch past that, but will probably get 2 more in shortly. So far, the best episodes have been written by Doug Petrie and Steve DeKnight.

I will eat one of my words, or at least a few letters from that word. There appears to be someone named Ruth Fletcher Gage who co-wrote with Christos Gage.

libradude is right about the violence. I tend to use those scenes to do other things (check Facebook, feed the cat, post here) while they're playing.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2015-04-11 04:43 ]
@faith in Angel: Yeah, the last part of the pilot was so reminiscent of the Angel pilot that I have to think it was a direct reference/homage from Drew Goddard.

And I only saw the first 2 episodes, but I really enjoyed them. I was afraid it would be too dark/serious, and while it is pretty dark and violent, it's still fun, and there is humor. It is an almost Mutant Enemy show after all :)
4 episodes in and I'm loving it, the tone is perfect. It is violent but I think it fits the character and the medium, or maybe I don't care about the graphic stuff because I've been watching too much Lars von Trier... Only thing that bothers me a little is the dark photography, I find it hard to follow the action at times. Otherwise I love it. Marvel scores another goal.
I'm now on Ep. 12. The series got better starting with Ep. 7, and starting with Ep. 8, it got really good. Doug Petrie and Steve DeKnight are clearly the best writers of the series. Every episode they've written has been far more character centric, making up for the sketchiness of earlier episodes.
There are Asians and women in power and two of the main characters are black. They even have an elderly Asian lady playing one of the top crime lords. How much more ethnic and sexual diversity do you need?

Would making Dardevil black or the kingpin a woman really make you happier?

The darkness works for this. It is not only setting the mood, but it is showing us the world from his perspective. I don't think him going around turning all the lights on would make sense. Heck, they give you a giant LED ad screen right outside his window as an excuse to bring more light into his apartment.

I do recommend watching on a nice 1080p tv with a good contrast ratio though. I watched the first two at a friends house and her tv made it much harder to see the dark scenes than on mine.
<--- cool on it on the bashing --- Simon>

[ edited by Simon on 2015-04-11 17:14 ]
Cutting out part of what I wrote due to Simon's edit above but some points I still want to add to this discussion, because they need to be said:

Representation matters. A casual observation about the lack of diversity on a series is neither racist, nor sexist. Literally at all.
I will say that I'm only about 4 eps in but the show seems to be better than most so I'm not going to side up saying it's bad on either side of sexual or racial diversity.

You want to know why I'm excited for all four Netflix shows? Each one focuses on a character from a group who lacks representation in media(well, at least if I get my wish and Iron Fist is cast as Asian American which would A)Be worlds better for the character and B)Make infinitely more sense).
Daredevil is disabled, Jessica Jones is a woman, Luke Cage is black and, as I mentioned, hopefully Marvel will cast Danny as Asian.
These things matter. Anyone who hasn't had to search for themselves to be reflected in media will never fully comprehend how powerful it can be to see yourself, and how painful it can be to never be represented.

As to a comment earlier in the thread: Nobody is saying a show is automatically bad if it doesn't hit x, y, or z on diversity. What they're saying is that it's 2015 and diversity shouldn't even be a question. It's JARRING to see a show that is completely white, male, straight, etc. And yes, it's a problem.

And could we maybe just put a moratorium on people saying "SJW" like it's a slur? As if there's nothing worse than campaigning on behalf of the oppressed?

[ edited by trunkstheslayer on 2015-04-11 17:29 ]
What trunkstheslayer said! It's not necessarily bad or evil, but it is jarring to see the lack of representation. As the show unfolded, much of that got better. It just started out appearing to be a white male show. The gender ratio is still really lopsided.

I think the show started to get good at episode 7, when one of the major story elements up to that point had been eliminated. I do understand why it was there, but (IMO) it did tend to drag down the story a bit. I think Steve DeKnight's episodes were fantastic, and Doug Petrie's were a close second.

So I'm going to revise my take on the show. I would watch a second season. I probably will watch the show again, knowing that it does get better. The actors were all excellent. I'll still probably zone out during fight scenes.

As for watching it "on a nice 1080p tv with a good contrast ratio," that would probably help, but my older flat screen and Blu-ray player don't allow me that luxury. The dark images are murky, and I don't have an extra thousand dollars lying around to upgrade for Daredevil! 😃
Only skimmed these comments for fear of spoilers, and enjoying the representation discussion which I think is worth having. But two episodes in, I'm fully on-board. Very, very reminiscent of Angel, albeit not quite with that level of charm and humor from the characters. But closer than I've seen shows get in a long time.
Angel, and his conflicts with the big business of Wolfram and Hart, always reminded me (in a good way) of the classic Daredevil-Kingpin comics. So it is certainly an apt comparison to make. And I was quite delighted that that's the tone they've went for, albeit darker in some respects.

Thought Charlie Cox really nailed it. Stick's episode was spot on too. There were only a couple of things that I felt didn't reflect the books. As there was probably too much of an attempt to make Kingpin seem likable. In the books the only person he's really civil to and certainly the only person he'd ever apologise to is Vanessa. (His wife.) And also the red suit, when it finally appears, isn't as close to the books as the Ben Affleck one was. It's seems overly designed, with black parts breaking it up that make the whole thing look too busy. Would have been much better to stick with just the red. It also shouldn't really obsure his nose so much. So hopefully they can tweak it a little bit for the second season. (The suit, not his nose...LOL!)

But all in all, very impressive. I just hope they don't rush ahead to out his identity to the world in a potential second season. (As 'Out' seems to be the rumoured title, reflecting the Bendis story.) As I REALLY want to see 'Born Again' done in the show. It's not just THE best Daredevil storyline, it's also one of the best comics of all time. I still to this day wish they'd spent the money they had for the Elektra movie spinoff on a Daredevil sequel doing that storyline. As they had pretty much the perfect set up for it.

[ edited by Jas on 2015-04-12 13:29 ]
I might add that I don't get the criticism above of the cast not being diverse enough. That seems like a big overreaction to me. Ben Urich was white in the books, so that's been changed. And I don't remember Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson's character) being a big part of Daredevil storylines. (I think she was more linked with Luke Cage.) I also don't remember the Hand, being run by an elderly woman either. And both Vanessa and Karen seemed like strong characters to me.

The MCU usually tries to show fidelity to the source material, so the fact that they even made those changes, shows that there were attempts there to make it more diverse. So that just seems like looking for criticism there.
I guess we probably shouldn't get derailed into an argument on these things. If that's still what you see in the show, then you're welcome to try something else. But I certainly wasn't seeing it as such.
The first few (3) episodes were the ones where there didn't seem to be a whole lot of diversity. I understand that Urich was white in the comics, etc., which makes the series a step forward, but there were still roles that were not the leads, where the casting could have been a little more thoughtful. The diminution on screen of people who are not white males is something that stands out about a lot of shows, not just this one. I acknowledge that there was some effort. I still think they could have done better.

And I don't remember Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson's character) being a big part of Daredevil storylines.

Claire Temple seems to be a combination of the character who ends up being Luke Cage's love interest, and Night Nurse. I think they introduced her to connect the Daredevil's world with the world of other Marvel characters.
Wow. I'm about 5-6 episodes in and I gotta say hats off to Drew/Steven/Netflix. An absolute homerun. I had planned on binge watching through these, but each episode is so dense and heavy I really want to slow down and soak each episode in. Thoughts:

-MUCH more grisly than I'd imagined going in
-Charlie Cox? Perfect.
-Looking forward to more of the Fisk/Vanessa dynamic
-Watching this & Agent Carter ... AoS needs to step up their game
-Will be interesting how DD integrates with movie MCU eventually
-Yep - the Angel comparisons are spot on
-Rosario Dawson. Yes. Yes. Yes.
About halfway through.
I really like that the bad guy has a love story and a sympathetic side. My husband walked in during one of the early Vanessa scenes and said, "Aww. He's cute." Hahaha.
(He has since started watching & has revised that opinion.)

Also <3 Rosario Dawson. I wish they'd do a "Night Nurse" series.
Here's my (spoiler free) thoughts on the season as a whole. I loved every minute of it. I'm really amazed that it was this good already. Mutant Enemy and semi-Mutant Enemy shows always take a season or two for the showrunners to uncrap what isn't working. Except for Firefly, which emerged as a fully formed thing of beauty. I don't think this was quite as strong as Firefly, but it blew the first seasons of everything else (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Agents of Shield and even Agent Carter) out of the water. Even if you take the Mutant Enemyness out of the equation it always takes a season or two for superhero shows to work out the kinks as well. Even Batman: The Animated Series was pretty rough for the first dozen episodes. Daredevil now stands proudly with The Flash as the only superhero series to start strongly right out of the gate.

Which brings me to my second point. It's this good already and Steven hasn't even gotten to the good stuff yet. Sure The Man Without Fear was a pretty good origin story, but you'd never see it on most lists of the greatest comic arcs of all time. If Steven and his writers can turn "pretty good" into great just imagine how amazing this series will be when they adapt Frank Miller's run featuring Eletkra and Bullseye (which Steven said will probably be Season 2), Miller's Born Again arc, Brian Michael Bendis' run, Ed Brubaker's Devil in Cell Block D arc and possibly even Mark Waid's current run! I've seen a few people online say this is the Breaking Bad of superhero shows. I think it's a little too early to agree with them, but given the quality of the source material and the talent involved with this show it's definitely a distinct possibility.

And finally my last point. My favorite thing about this series? The conversations. One of the many, many reasons why (as much as I love Buffy and Firefly) Angel remains my favorite of the old Fox era Mutant Enemy shows is the conversations that David Greenwalt and Jeffrey Bell would allow the characters to have. They talked on Buffy and Firefly sure, but those discussions were usually pretty quick and laden with jokes (Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you). On Angel, though, (and the Firefly pilot) they would have lengthy conversations both important (Cordelia and Angel spending 10-15 minutes of screen time crying/talking about the loss of baby Connor) and unimportant (Angel, Wesley, Cordy and Gunn discussing the awesomeness of Denzel Washington after a battle).

A minority of critics have said that Steven's Daredevil is "too talky". I disagree. He's beautifully utilizing conversation the same way they did on Angel (especially in Seasons 2-3). And the same way Ira Steven Behr and Ronald D. Moore utilized them on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Battlestar Galactica. These lengthy, deeply personal conversations allowed the characters to feel even more real than they already felt on Buffy, Firefly and Star Trek: The Next Generation. It enabled us to even more easily lose ourselves in their worlds and their lives. And, as an added bonus, all that talking meant fewer stunt sequences and special effects. Which in turn allowed them to take the money saved and use it to make the occasional stunts and special effects even more elaborate and convincing than they would have been if they had occurred more often. Seriously, look at Buffy and The Next Generation. Now look at Angel and Deep Space Nine. There's a reason why the latter two had more consistently impressive stunts and FX despite having lower budgets than the far more popular series they spun off from. A ton of touching, lived in, deeply personal conversations. I wouldn't have it any other way.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2015-04-12 21:54 ]
I'm with Saved.

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