Where to watch: Disney+
Length: 39 episodes
A week ago, Marvel Studios released a new working title called “Out the Kitchen” for the rebooted Daredevil series.
In light of the recent news, it is appropriate that we go back a few years to the show that made this possible and popularized R-rated superhero content on our screens.
In 2013, a Marvel Studios and Netflix “Daredevil” collaboration promised to be a dark and gritty take on street-level vigilantes. Two years later, the first season dropped, and it exceeded expectations.
Matt Murdock is a talented lawyer by day, and when the justice system fails, he dons the persona of a masked vigilante known as “Daredevil” to bypass legalities and serve justice on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.
What made him stand out from your average superhero was that he had no flashy superpowers. He just had heightened hearing and smell, and was trained in martial arts and to see through echolocation due to being blinded at a young age. However, he didn’t battle world-destroying gods and supervillains; he dealt with Hells Kitchen’s never-ending street crime.
This show would not have been what it was if it wasn’t for the intimidating antagonist Wilson Fisk, masterfully played by Vincent D’Onofrio. The slight facial twitches, violent tantrums and emotional dialogue humanize Fisk as we understand his traumatic background that propels him to destroy Hell’s Kitchen and its institutions so he can rebuild a version of that he thinks will be prosperous and safe.
The second season started off perfectly, and I might even go so far as to say that the third episode contained the best exchange of dialogue on television. It introduced a new character, The Punisher, who wanted the same things that Daredevil wanted — to remove all bad guys — but was ideologically different in his methods: He doesn’t hesitate to kill.
This clashing of mindsets is what led to the famous rooftop scene where Murdock and The Punisher have heartfelt and weighty discussions about the morality of killing, and whether the ends truly justify the means.
Although not directly applicable to most of our lives, these exchanges are thought-provoking and deep, and can be analyzed for hours. For a superhero show, this particular quality makes it rise above the genre and transforms it into really good television.
The latter half of season two drops off in quality as there is not a deep focus on the antagonists, but imperfections are recognized and erased as a flawless season three comes around to tie this show together with a satisfying and well-earned finale.
As one of the best seasons in television history, this season dealt with Murdock’s struggle with his faith in God and his morals as a vigilante while he tried to rebuild relationships and destroy the criminal underworld once and for all.
This season is further elevated with the return of Fisk and some amazing new characters that are provided with sufficient backstory and qualities to make them extremely multi-dimensional.
The standout feature of this show is its fight choreography. It is brutally realistic, and each season has its unique one-take fight scenes that are over 10 minutes long. This dedication to the craft is extremely rare, especially in modern television, and must be applauded for the effort.
The upcoming reboot of the series brings Daredevil to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a show centered around him, after an appearance in “She-Hulk” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” It will be more fun for the targeted PG-13 audience, and judging from the appearance in She-Hulk, it appears to be more comic-relevant.
If you have not watched the show, I recommend you drop everything and do so. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
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