Okay. So that headline shows a little bias maybe but come on, we haven’t had a lot of luck with comic book heroes and TV shows. Sure people loved Smallville, and sure people will tell you that they love The Flash, Arrow or even Agents of Shield. But as a TV viewer, I look at those shows and see a real lack of adaptational skill in their production – they always have all of the panache of a glossy teen drama – ie. not a lot. With cheap visual effects for super powers, I understand that it’s hard for TV to compete with movies – and that’s one of the bigger problems. TV viewers don’t understand or care that thousands of digital artists worked on the Avengers movies for years where TV networks employ a few digital houses to create the effects over a much shorter timeline. So sure, they look bad, but effects don’t bother me much.
What makes Daredevil stand out – and granted it is a character with little need for effects – is the tone. It sets an effective tone and believable characters by taking time to establish their story. The easiest way to state how this stands apart is by comparing it to other gritty dramas. Take this out of a comic book context and you’d still have a great tv drama that would fit in on Cinemax or HBO. The casting is fantastic and ultimately it’s all about Vincent D’Onofrio who steals the show as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin in the comics). He is a fully fleshed out character who is given more back story and attention in the writing than the titular hero – and to great effect. We care about Fisk, we aren’t sure just how evil he is and whether he really believes he can make a better city with his methods.
Daredevil gets right what most if not ALL comic book TV and Movies get wrong – the bad guy. Take even the most successful movies – like Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy – and you still have a fairly dull bad guy. The closest comparison I can make is the successful parts of The Dark Knight – the establishment of Ledger’s Joker as a bad guy in particular. The tone set there is akin to what Daredevil creates on a large scale, and with solid writing, awesome fight choreography that evokes Ong Bak or The Raid, Daredevil is an absolute winner.
Check out the first series on Netflix asap, see the trailer below if I haven’t convinced you yet!