BINGE TV: Daredevil Season 2 Review

Tv & Film

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Along with thousands of other fans, I lost three days of my life this weekend (It's important to note that I started episode 1, at exactly 12:01 AM, basically the minute it was available on Netflix) binging the second season of Netflix and Marvels, surprisingly good, Daredevil. For those that are unfamiliar with the show. Daredevil shocked critics and fans alike, as Marvel/Netflix rolled out they're jaw breaking, rated R-esque super hero show last year. To back it up, Daredevil was created in the 60's by Stan Lee and Bill Everett. Supposedly, Daredevil was created in hopes of being Marvel's Batman but it wasn't until  Frank Miller came on in the 80's that cemented the character in the Marvel Universe. Prior to the Marvel/Disney properties that are dominating the box office now, Marvel sold off the film rights to 20th Century Fox in 1997, resulting in an ill fated attempt at a film in 2003. In this iteration, Ben Affleck (this was Jlo era Affleck) played the blind lawyer from Hells Kitchen waging a war against Kingpin, played by the now deceased Michael Clarke Duncan, and an oddly large shaped head Bullseye, another example of why Colin Farrell should fire his agent. farreldare The movie was a critical flop despite it's large budget, and relatively large box office take. When Marvel fever came back around, Fox still owned the rights to X-men, probably the biggest Marvel property, The Hulk and Daredevil. Eventually Fox let the option rights expire for both Hulk and Daredevil, deciding to concentrate on the X-men franchise. Despite speculation that Daredevil would be re-booted within the new Marvel pantheon, Marvel decided to take a different root and team up with Netflixfor for a 13 episode show format. I included season 1 on my top 20 for 2015, largely in part to the fact that they figured out how to give the viewer something different then what you were seeing in the Avengers while still sticking to the continuity of a singular universe (something DC does not do with they're TV properties). While you could tell that the budget was decidedly lower, the show took advantage of the 13 hours and properly developed a storyline and grounded the character in realism... or as much as that's possible. The show was bloody and violent, bones getting broken, blood being spit. It was cool and seemed like the necessary route for the property. My main knocks on season 1, and this sometimes happens with shows that get binged, episodes seemed to blend into other episodes and I couldn't really tell you what happens between episode 8-11, pacing problems were definitely an issue, and some aesthetic mis steps with the final Daredevil costume (he doesn't get his full suit until the last episode and the helmet looked terrible). As much as i enjoy the binge format it does feel a little anti climatic in the way the story is told. Now to season 2. Last year Netflix announced that they would be including The Punisher in season 2 much to the excitement of fans. The Punisher has an interesting history both within the comics and fans. The basic premise is Frank Castle, an ex special ops soldier returns from the military and his family is tragically gunned down by mobsters, setting  Castle on a path of revenge. He was kind of the original Anti-Hero and Punisher has remained a fan favorite since his inception in the 70's. One of the few superheroes that actually kills his enemies, in some cases torturing, bombing, mass shooting... basically terrorist tactics. This being 2016, post 9/11, you can imagine the problems Marvel has been having  trying to figure out on how to roll out this iteration (there has been three other attempts at a Punisher films, all of them are laughable), considering we live in a tragic time where mass shootings exist, and unfortunately not the ones where the bad guys get shot. When Marvel announced Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle it blew my mind as a fan of the source material. Bernthal is a great actor, and physically looks like Frank Castle. On top of The Punisher They would also be including the character Elektra, a major player in the Daredevil universe some might remember the Jennifer Garner vehicle, a spinoff from the Affleck movie, whether that holds weight or not, bringing the pain with the addition of two fairly heavy hitters from the comics seemed like an interesting overloaded decision, blowing your load if you will. I was wrong, this season thrives is where the first comes short, it doesn't rely on the single story narrative instead it consistently switches back and forth between Daredevil/Punisher and Daredevil/Elektra, not really giving this season a chance to slow down. It's a good thing, a really good thing. They also conveniently wrote in some costume tweaks, fixing the helmet. Bernthal comes as advertised, he brings a smoldering juggernaut, straddling the line between what is right and wrong, to the screen so perfectly that I couldn't help but wonder if it was wasted? Yes, tv is rivaling film in bunches now, but a movie is still a movie, it's bigger no question, and what Bernthal does as Frank Castle, as the Punisher is awesome! He doesn't get fully outfitted until the end, but if you have ever read the comics, when he finally shows up in his trench coat with the spray painted outline of a skull on his chest it's insane! You can't help but wonder how cool it would be to see Bernthal's Punisher on the big screen. daredevil-season-2-punisher-elektra So yes, after another lost weekend, sacrificed to the gods of streaming services, i'm still in. Almost in a sickening way, I'm recovered and ready...whats next?
Words by Michael Cherrito Photo Credit Marvel.com, 20thcenturyfox.com, inverse.com
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