Tuesday, April 5, 2016

TV Review: DAREDEVIL SEASON 2


I don't normally review television here, but the new season of Netflix's Daredevil was so amazing that I just couldn't help myself.  It's 13-episodes of pure cinematic beauty that you can watch from the comfort of your own home.  The sophomore season of this hit series shows that characters like this deserve to have their stories told and by putting them on Netflix, it removes a lot of the restrictions that would exist on a network station.

I absolutely loved the first season.  I thought they did a fantastic job with this character, one who desperately needed a do-over after the 2003 film starring Ben Affleck and, his now-ex-wife, Jennifer Garner.  Netflix took the character of Matt Murdock/Daredevil and presented him in such a way that it felt like he was taken straight out of the comics.  And what they did with Wilson Fisk was magical.  D'Onofrio was perfect for the role.

This is why I was excited for the prospect of a second season.  I mean, if they could blow me away like that with the first season, what sort of amazing things would they bring to the next?  And then my question was answered...The Punisher and Elektra.  When the announcement came out that season 2 would include The Punisher, I was floored.  This was the first attempt to use this character since Marvel got the rights back, and boy, was it a great way to use him.  

Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) was definitely not my first choice to play this iconic role, but I have to say, he was one of the absolute best parts of this season.  He was dark and compelling, brutal yet I could sympathize with him.  Bernthal's performance throughout the season was simply amazing, and definitely worthy of an Emmy nomination.  I was worried that they wouldn't utilize his character much, if at all, after the fourth episode, because that arc had wrapped and they had just brought in Elektra, but I was gladly mistaken, as the episodes to follow really drove home how great this character can be when put in the right hands.

That brings us to Elektra, played by the beautiful and exotic √Člodie Yung (Gods of Egypt).  Elektra enters the fray, looking for help from her ex-lover, Matt Murdock.  Her fighting skill was great, on par even with Daredevil's, but I felt that she became a bit overshadowed after just seeing the awesomeness of Bernthal's Punisher.  It wasn't until the two of them began fighting the infamous group of ninja assassins, The Hand, that I really began to love this character.  Yung fit the role in a way Garner never could, making me believe that she could actually kick some ass.  Like Punisher, she was dark and brutal, ready to do whatever it took to get the job done.

These two characters probably wouldn't have been as successful had it not been for the amazing performance of Charlie Cox as the titular character.  He completely embodies the character of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, bring him back into the good graces of fans everywhere.  In this season, he was able to give us more of the Daredevil fans know and love, from the gorgeous and iconic suit, to his escrima sticks bouncing off walls.

We also saw some great development from other characters, such as Foggy and Karen.  We see the budding relationship between Matt and Karen, which started in season one, build and crumble as the events of this season unfold.  We also see a similar fate between our resident Avocados at Law, Nelson and Murdock, who, by the end, are no longer working together.  How will this all impact the next season?  And how is Karen going to handle knowing Matt's secret now?

This has definitely been my favorite of the three Netflix/Marvel seasons to air, which includes season one of Jessica Jones.  Other than The Punisher, which was my favorite part of the season, the fight scenes this time around were epic.  Two in particular really held my attention.  The first was the Daredevil stairwell scene.  This was one of the most impressive scenes from the whole season.  The cinematography was some of the best I've ever seen in TV or film.  It was just insane.  And the fight choreography was flawless.  If future season continue to be as good or better with the action, then we are in for a treat.

The other fight scene that I loved was the Punisher cell block scene, in which he single-handedly dispatched a mob of armed prisoners after being ambushed.  This scene is very similar to aforementioned stairwell scene, in which both take place in a very confined space while one man takes on a large group or armed assailants with little to no problem.  It's the differences between these scenes that are key, though.  In the stairwell fight, Daredevil aims to incapacitate the men he's fighting, but not The Punisher.  He's out for blood and has no problem putting these guys down with intense brutality.  And by the end, Castle is literally covered in blood, surrounded by dead bodies.

These two scene perfectly show the difference between these two characters, and what they will do to win.  It's scenes like these and many others that have made this series one of my favorites, and has gotten me very excited for more in this world.  It's already been announced that we'll be seeing more from Jessica Jones in a second season of he series, along with a Luke Cage series and an Iron Fist series.  They will all culminate in a Defenders miniseries, and after that, who knows...but I feel confident in saying that that won't be the end of the Netflix/Marvel universe.

So, if you haven't done so, check out seasons 1 & 2 of Daredevil and season 1 of Jessica Jones.  Let me know what you thought of this season in the comments.  Who would you like to see in season 3?  What would you have done differently?  Let me know!

The Merc's Score:  9.5/10


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