Daredevil, 1-6, *spoilers*
My plan for this weekend was to binge watch Daredevil, work on the quilt I’m making for a friend, and order a pizza.
There was no pizza, but otherwise, I have thoughts:
1. Daredevil has always been a very handsome show. All the Netflix marvel shows have a kind of peak tv glossiness, but Daredevil goes beyond that. The show is far from subtle in how it reflects Matt Murdock’s Catholicism, but I wonder if in some ways that’s influenced their visual choices. Both in the use of colour – Daredevil is full of rich reds and golds and blues – but also shadow. The use of chiaroscuro, and the emphasis on bodies in space, is very reminiscent of Caravaggio (though I don’t want to give them too much credit, a lot of film-makers are influenced by him), and for a series about a sincerely Catholic man, that makes an awful lot of sense. (As does his low-level Madonna-Whore complex, but I won’t get into that, as I find it irritating). By comparison, I don’t think either Luke Cage or Iron Fist (what little I saw of it) had a distinctive ‘look’ and Jessica Jones’ use of off-angles and jarring colours does bring to mind the queasiness of a hangover, but not necessarily in a pleasant way.
2. The showrunners continue not to grasp that the hallway moment in the first season didn’t stick in people’s minds because of the technical versatility (for all that it was impressive) but the emotional catharsis of Matt saving and caring for a child. Hence we get these ever-longer fight scenes that are incredibly impressive to watch (the eleven-minute oner in episode 4) but don’t really stick in the memory afterwards, because there’s no emotional heft to them.
3. The nun is totally Matt’s mother, right? If we weren’t supposed to guess, casting an actress with Charlie Cox’s Sad!Eyes was not the way to go. (I do find it refreshing that Matt looks so much more like his mother than his father, as hero’s are often treated as though their mothers barely exist).
4. Matt’s new mask is literally made from a nun’s wimple, my GOD, he is the most exhausting person on the planet. The show doesn’t poke nearly as much fun at his penchant for melodrama as it should.
5. Poor Karen. She pays Matt’s rent – for months – never gives up on him for a moment, and he can’t be bothered to come to her, and lets her believe he’s dead, until the specific moment when HE needs something. Like, Charlie Cox has always been intensely likeable in the part, but that whole scene REALLY tested my patience. Give the poor woman a hug, for heaven’s sake, or at least some indication that you are glad to see her, before launching into a demand list.
6. Matt’s ongoing selfishness is probably why the show had Karen tell Foggy about Wesley first, a wise choice in my opinion. It was a really strong scene from both actors.
7. Side note, I love that Foggy’s family still say Sláinte and that they GOT THE PRONUNCIATION RIGHT. Given the absolute dog’s dinner Daredevil has made of Irish accents in the past, that was a pleasant surprise.
8. I love Marci, and I love Foggy’s relationship with her. People being open and supportive and loving with one another, MATT, it can be done.
9. You’d think the crippling impact of healthcare costs so often being used to justify a turn to evil – Breaking Bad obviously, but also in the Dark Knight, and I’m sure there are other examples – would inject some sanity into the discussions around healthcare in the US. That plotpoint simply isn’t possible anywhere else in the developed world.
10. Elektra is dead (she’s totally not dead) and they still haven’t told us what the Black Sky is. I’m choosing to believe she’s on holiday in the Caribbean somewhere.
11. I love the physicality Charlie Cox brings to the role. There are so many small – almost unnoticeable – choices he makes that really underline how Matt’s experience of the world is very different from anyone else’s. (Side note: ever since they made such a big deal of his sense of smell, I’ve had this mild suspicion that Matt is just about the best boss ever for any woman who has bad period pains – because he would KNOW, without ever having to be told).
12. EVERYTHING about Bullseye is creepy, and I thought the character building was extremely affective. Though I can’t help feeling… uncomfortable with the way the show assigned him specific personality disorders. Mental health is so poorly understood – the mind is so poorly understood – that I always have this fear of things being garbled.
13. That said, how is it even remotely possible to throw a pencil so hard that it stabs someone? Like, what are the pyschics of that? How much force was Bullseye putting into it? (I don’t know why I could accept everything else he threw, but the pencil broke my suspension of disbelief, but that’s how I roll I guess).
14. The whining about Karen not having a degree and therefore somehow never being able to be a ‘proper’ journalist REALLY needs to stop. It’s only a generation ago that journalism was an accessible profession for bright working class people, precisely because there are no professional qualifications needed. All of the skills journalists need can be learned on the job (unless one is actually functionally illiterate). Karen was a good writer and capable investigator long before she became a journalist – it really ISN’T a shocking transition.
15. How many times has Karen been present at a massacre now? It’s amazing she hasn’t become a complete hermit at this point. The attack on the Bulletin was CHILLING.
16. I really need them to lighten Matt up, or at least have him be kind to his friends for a whole thirty seconds together. He is hitting Peak!Asshole, that’s for sure.