Every time a new superhero show comes out, my two closest friends will message me, asking me if I have seen the pilot episode yet. For weeks they’ll talk about it; raving over the “insane” fight scenes and plot twisting endings. One even told me once, “Dude, I cried. It was so sad just watch it.” And every time, I reply with a “Yeah, I’ll watch it over the next break.” Which always turns out to a lie.
However, this time, when these same friends asked me about the new series, “Daredevil,” I decided to give it a shot. For some reason – could have been my second semester senior status – I found myself finishing the entire 13 part season within just two weeks. But to much of my surprise, the franchise did not go as I expected. Tainted with corny jokes, predictable plot lines, and shoddy supporting characters, “Daredevil” was not only a huge disappointment, but also probably the most overrated Marvel series produced to date.
On April 10, 2015, the first Daredevil episode was aired on Netflix under the Marvel Comics franchise. In Daredevil, much like many other superhero movies (Batman, Flash, Green Arrow) our main character has a life-altering event that happens to him as a child. From that point on, Matt Murdock (Daredevil) is permanently blind. As an adult he becomes a working lawyer with his college buddy, Foggy Nelson. Together, they created their own firm: Nelson and Murdock.
As the show progresses, we learn that Murdock’s blindness actually works to his advantage, for he can “see” much more than the average person. From a young age, Murdock learned to take advantage of being blind by using his other sensory facilities. What I do enjoy most about the show is that Murdock is nothing extraordinary in comparison to superheros like the Hulk or Superman. Murdock trains himself to be the fighter he wants to be and he takes bigs hits every fight. He isn’t invincible by any stretch of the imagination. This humanizes him and his enemies (no, we don’t see alien armies storming from a tornado from the sky).
In fact, in most of his fights, we see our main character get shot, stabbed, kicked, and tortured continuously. He’s an underdog who just wants a peaceful city. Quiet and reserved, Murdock is also highly fearless and intimidating. He exudes this mysterious outlook, making his normal civilian life much more interesting to watch.
Now on to what I do not like about the show. Our main character’s buddy, Foggy Nelson? I find him to be the least productive supporting actor in any TV series I’ve seen. We’ve got True Detective where Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart work magically together. We’ve got multiple supporting actors in Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards; all of these supporting actors prove to be a vital part of the plot line.
Foggy Nelson is on the other side of that spectrum for Daredevil. Besides being Matt’s friend, Foggy is that typical character who is obsessed with getting with woman. Unfortunately, due to this fact, we have to hear him and his pickup lines/jokes for quite some time. In fact, most of the scenes Foggy is in are comprised of him talking to a girl, Karen, at a bar while they get drunk every other weekend. We find out really nothing about his true character or history throughout all 13 episodes. In addition, his jokes are nothing shy of being cringe-worthy. Some of his bests include, “Well, she sounds like a Mexican appetizer” or “ I gotta go bribe a cop…Kidding, NSA, if you’re listening!”
We also spend an entire episode listening to Foggy being upset with Matt because he finds out that Matt is the Daredevil. Foggy becomes outrageously upset with Matt and refuses to be his friend again by breaking up the relationship. He even goes so far to throw away the “Nelson and Murdock” company sign into the trash bin (dramatic, I know). His acting is completely irrational and it only proves to be a waste of time, because we all know (through learning how every romantic chick flick ends) that Foggy will forgive him in the end. How predictable.
But it’s also more than just flaws within the characters; Daredevil also includes a few plot failures as well. Essentially there are two plot lines going and the directors of the show seem to have a hard time cooperating these two plot lines together. One consists of Matt Murdock tracing crime in Hell’s Kitchen. The second relates to Foggy and Karen trying to find corruption inside a company called Union Allied. The redundancy comes in when Union Allied is linked to crime within Hell’s Kitchen. And when Matt Murdock (as well as the audience) makes that connection, the show wastes its time by still having Foggy and Karen looking for clues. We essentially solve the puzzle halfway through the series, but these two character don’t which makes me wonder why they were being shown at all after that.
We all know every superhero comes with a bad guy, and so when talking about Daredevil, it’s hard not to mention our main baddie, Wilson Fisk. He’s a big, intimidating and powerful man in Hell’s Kitchen. Unfortunately, I had a hard time connecting or understanding his motives. One, they weren’t clear, and two, it didn’t make much sense. Without ruining the show, the basic premise of Fisk’s plan was to turn New York City into a better place. But he did so by hiring drug dealers, paying off cops, and working with human traffickers. He was also linked to 100% of all crimes seen in the show, including the deaths of many innocent police officers. The whole idea just didn’t seem practical to me.
All in all, Daredevil has its highlights and it has its flaws, much like every other show. Unfortunately, for me, the flaws stuck out. I feel like if they clean up these messy bits for the future seasons, then Daredevil will persuade a few reluctant viewers like me to give it another try.