I have managed to pry myself from the crevices of my couch once again to educate and inform my valued readers of all the content that one might find out in the ether. The past Friday Netflix released their latest series, Jessica Jones starring Kristen Ritter. Life did not permit me to even crack open the premier episode of that series, but it reminded me of their first foray with Marvel, Daredevil. While they are no doubt few and far between, I’m betting there are a few would-be bingers out there who haven’t even started that series. If you’ve been waiting for a little coaxing, read on.
What to know about Marvel’s Daredevil.
# of Episodes: 13 ( Picked up for season 2, early to mid 2016)
Time/Episode: ~ 54 minutes
Total Series Runtime: 707 minutes (11 hours, 47 minutes)
Things to Know: If you haven’t seen the 2003 Daredevil starring Ben Affleck, yay for you. You have the benefit of starting this series with a clean cinematic slate. It’s a must for Stan’s True Believers and for fans of the comics. Anyone who’s into gritty drama need also apply. Also, any person like myself who simply love Vincent D’Onofrio!
Required Prerequisite: None. Lots of history as with many comic characters, but the series stands on its own.
Blinded at a young age, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is now a lawyer setting up a new practice in Hell’s Kitchen with his best friend and partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). The chemicals which blinded Matt also extraordinarily enhanced his remaining senses. At night, Matt dresses in black and uses those heightened sense to clean up the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Matt’s dedication to aiding those in need kicks in when he and Foggy meet Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), a young woman accused of murder. Her case introduces Matt and Foggy to the seedy underbelly of Hell’s Kitchen and puts Matt on the scent of its orchestrator Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).
Daredevil is helmed by showrunners Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight who are behind the series Alias, Buffy, Lost, and Spartacus to name a few. What that brings to the table is compelling writing coupled with outstanding action sequences. The series isn’t afraid to beat Matt within inches of death. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking, driven by his sense of justice. His nocturnal activities do bleed (no pun intended) into his day job where it becomes increasingly hard to fabricate stories to tell Foggy and their new assistant Karen.
The series doesn’t solely focus on Matt’s escapades and how he is evolving into a force for hope in Hell’s Kitchen. Viewers get to see the man who would be Kingpin, Wilson Fisk. D’Onofrio’s Fisk doesn’t even appear until a few episodes into Daredevil, but once their you crave more and more. Maybe I’m saying that because I’m a fan of D’Onofrio’s work, but like Matt, Fisk is striving to better himself for the sake of Hell’s Kitchen’s future. Similar goals, but the evolution of their plans couldn’t be more different. D’Onofrio’s Fisk is an emotional powerhouse, stoically composed until his temper gets the better of him.
Daredevil includes brief appearances from Rosario Dawson, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Scott Glenn. The thirteen episode arc has a few one-off storylines, but almost everything leads viewers onward to witness the birth of our hero and the rise of the villain who will oppose him. In the few stray moments, plot points establishing future arcs are hinted, but do not distract too much from the series core purpose. It does make its new-found fanbase excited at what future seasons will hold for us.
As to Daredevil‘s “bingability,” I found it easy to burn through a couple or even three episodes in a row. However, I wound up taking a break and back-tracking to take a second glance at the second and third episodes I’d watched. This is a series I recommend allowing time between the episodes. I ultimately did not more than two a day for a little over a week. I found it helps to let the story details, and the actors’ great performances, resonate more strongly. Binging too many in succession dulls the senses and in a show where perception is key, it’s best you take a breath and soak in every detail.