I currently find myself confined to my flat despite the lovely seasonal weather we’ve been having. This is not an unnatural state for a writer to be in: embracing the indoors; the dark and fusty rooms where imagination takes root. This is what we love. This is what we do.
What I do not love, however, is the gross and putrid illness that seems to be “going around” as they say. Allied to this, is a somewhat unfortunate and extremely painful bout of tendonitis in my left achilles. I am literally housebound. Barely able to move, and when I do, I explode into racking fits of coughing, choking and ectoplasmic residue.
Too doped up on over-the-counter meds to concentrate on writing, I decided to devote the past few days of ill health to binge-watching the new Netflix/Marvel production of Daredevil. And boy am I glad I did. What a fantastic show it turned out to be.
A cracking, pulpy noir thriller, punctuated with beautifully choreographed fight scenes, a great slab of Catholic guilt, and some explosive bursts of shocking violence. There is a sequence at the end of episode two, edited to appear as if it was shot in one take, which is so good it evokes both Oldboy and The Raid.
The shows writers have given us a superhero show without any real superheroics. Sure, Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil has got some seriously heightened senses and is pretty damn good in a dust-up. But that is it. Considering how cosmic and extra-dimensional the MCU is going, making a show like this that almost seems grounded in reality was a real surprise.
It is also a problem though, as it unfortunately strays a little too close to Batman Begins at times (both tonally and thematically). There are some pacing issues as well. Each episode is too long. I think the classic network running time of 42 mins per episode would have kept things ticking over nicely.
That being said, there are far more positives than negatives. The way in which the show establishes it’s place in the wider MCU is excellent, believable and provides the context for the whole season. Remember that whole Chitauri invasion that levelled huge sections of New York at the end of The Avengers? Well, Daredevil is set during the rebuild.
The cast is excellent across the ensemble, with particularly great work coming from Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio and Ayelet Zurer. There’s been some fairly sniffy and snarky stuff written about the guy who plays Foggy Nelson. It’s unwarranted.
I’ve rambled on a bit (I blame the drugs), so I’ll wrap by saying, that if you’ve got 13 hours to kill on the couch, check out Daredevil. It’s bloody good.