Daredevil-My first thoughts and some notes and dialogue on the first five episodes with a one-off review at the end. Please note-I did a second review posted on 20th May 2015-final Review. Minor Spoilers only. A Netflix Original which aired in the UK on Friday, 10th April 2015.

Note to my readers of a new series-Daredevil a Netflix Original.

From the Netflix description:
“Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City”

First aired on Friday 10th April in the UK.
***

My first thoughts on watching Daredevil: 
from: Notes to my readers of a new series-Daredevil posted 13th April 2015 reprinted here:

So I am  just short of the Seventh episode in Daredevil now.  It is very more-ish.  As a drama. Horribly gruesome in terms of gore and violence. So far.  However it is shaping up to be really rather good.

I say just short since I ditched on a third (in a row) episode due to the extreme opening scene of episode seven..Much like why I temporarily ditched around the end of episode three..I have decided to look away from the gore.

However Daredevil is refreshingly unusual, multi-layered and growing exponentially as it goes along: in terms of depth and strength as a drama.

***

Daredevil

Cast List So Far:
Matt Murdock-Lawyer by day-Daredevil by night.
Foggy Nelson-Matt’s old College friend and Law practice partner.
Karen Page-First client of the new Law practice-a victim helped by Daredevil.
Ben Ulrich-Veteran Newspaper Reporter.
Claire-saviour of Daredevil from a dumpster when he is badly beaten up.
Vladimir & Sergei-Russian baddies in early episodes.
Leland-one of the cabal of bad guys/ Baddies.
Nobu-handsome and glowering Japanese baddie
Madame Goa-Chinese drug baron and another baddie.
Wilson Fisk-Kingpin/ Head Baddie.
Vanessa Marianna-beautiful Art Gallery owner-who smirks a lot.

***

Episode One.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

A dreadful and very realistic flashback.
Matty to his Dad:
“I can’t see, Dad, I can’t see!..”

Now.
Matt is in the Confession booth in church.
Matt:
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned.”
“It is…too long since my last confession..”

Matt chats away in the confession box.  This is purely a fictional device favoured in films.
Matt:
“Bla bla…my Dad would trap the other guy in the corner, let the devil out…”
Matt continues:
“I’m not seeking penance Father, or asking forgiveness for what I’m about to do..”
Priest:
“What are you about to do?…”

Matt has put on his sunglasses.  Inside the confessional.
He doesn’t reply.

Boy can the Daredevil fight.  At night.  Not entirely clear how he fights so well blind.  Unless he is like Rutger Hauer in the film Blind Fury.  Doing it all by sense as well as being a martial arts expert fighter.

So Matt listens to a suspect’s heart beat.  She is Karen Page, the first case for Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson’s new Law practice.

Matt: 
“I’ll keep you safe Karen..”

Before that he has already said:
“She can stay with me..”
It’s always OK to stay at a person’s flat with a disability in dramas apparently.  Since obviously none of them could be bad guys, right?!

Did I mention that Matt has the coolest sunglasses yet.  In a drama.  Possibly equal to the wondrous automatic sunglasses worn by the inimitable Jean Luc Baptise in the series The Missing.

The baddies are hilarious.  Baddy chit-chat:
Lelland:
“Yes, Vladimir, it’s perfect kidnapping pre-schoolers for Chechens weather”!
Vladimir:
“We do not deal with lap dogs!”

There is a tiny Chinese lady who is one of the baddies along with Nobu who is Japanese and baddie or not-is looking extremely cool as a character.  Bet he ends up in a fight with the Daredevil. Martial arts style.

So there is always going to be amazing fight scenes.  Although they are pretty harsh.  As in severe. With bones cracking.

Fairly spooky flashback to Matty’s childhood.  With wee John Lennon sunglasses.

Then the fighting continues.  Some of this may require looking away for me anyway.

Luckily the Daredevil really does have enhanced hearing.  Or more correctly more purposely developed senses.

So the ending is sweet.  So far.
We see Matt come to train at Roosevelt’s Gym.

So there is a montage at the end of episode one which is truly horrific in parts.

We see Nobu grin and look at blueprints.

Dreadful things are happening.

***

Episode Two.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

A  pretty heavy prologue.

Love the opening credit sequence. Very unusual.  floating fragments of buildings, a city, a face slowly drip into  formation by means of an on-flowing downpour of pale pink milky paint.

So every time the Daredevil gets knocked out we flashback to another scene in young Matt’s life.

Ugh.  This may not be that fun a scene as Matt stitches his Dad’s cut.  No really.

So then we realise what really happened with Matt’s Dad and that fight.

Claire to Matt:
“So this is what you do, give bad men trouble..”

Karen Page to Matt’s Law Firm Partner- Foggy Nelson
“Is that an eel in the bottom?”
Of the bottle they are drinking from.

Daredevil to Claire:
“I know you’re afraid, you can’t give into fear…”

Flashback to Matt and his father.
Matt:
“We Murdocks get hit, but we always get up, right?”
So this is looking sad.
Matt’s Dad:
“Just once, I want Matty to hear people cheer for his old man, just once”!

OMG.  So Claire gets technical in a precisely anatomical way.  I didn’t look.

Flashback.
Voice:
“And in the red corner, weighing in at a hundred and sixty four pounds, it’s battling Jack Murdock!”
Matt:
“Daddy?  Daddy?  Daddy?!”..

So it ain’t over yet.  Not until the fat lady sings.  As they say.  ‘Cause here comes Daredevil in the pastel green two-tone weathered hallway.
(glass shattering)
(indistinct yelling)

Could one man really overpower that many men?  Armed at that.  As if the drama heard me- several men woke up from being knocked out.

The fights really do go on a long time.  But are excellently choreographed and executed.  If you’ll pardon the pun.

So that was quite a good result all round really.

***

Episode Three.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

More fighting.  Fisticuffs to the extreme.  Sheete.  I ain’t looking.  I just keep hearing bone cracking and shattering.

So Daredevil gets more interesting.  We meet Ben Ulrich, who is a very interesting character.

Matt Murdock can hear a bad guy’s ticking Cartier watch.

Matt as a lawyer in the Courtroom in his closing speech:
“A man is dead..”
“These questions, these questions…”
He is good, really good.
Matt:
“My client must be acquitted..”
“Beyond these walls, he may well face a judgement of his own making, but in these walls…”

So I ditched just before the end of Episode three.  Then I went for episode four.

***

Episode Four.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

Mat to Claire:
“I can hear bones shift, when you’re breathing..”
Claire:
“What do you actually see?”
Matt:
“A world on fire…”

Madame Gao is truly scary once you see her work crew in the Laboratory.

Lelland (one of the baddies) to Wilson Fisk (the head baddie):
“Vladimir isn’t actually a hug it out kind of guy!”

I like the scene where the guy from Madame Goa’s crew sits in the back of the taxi and sings a song in Mandarin with sunglasses on.

Did I mention the fights are truly horrific: truly gruesome in fact.

Vladimir:
“I will honour you my brother, with the blood of war”!

The art Gallery lady to Wilson  Fisk:
“He sidled up to me, I love that word, sidled…”!

So Vincent D’ Onfrio is brilliant as Wilson Fisk.
Wilson Fisk: (to Daredevil)
“The city, it’s not a caterpillar that will turn into a butterfly..”

So there is a proper fairly juicy storyline developing.  I like that the baddies have their own storyline and we see the story of them in tandem with that of the two young lawyers.
Oh no.  Surely not..

So the Daredevil is violent himself.  He isn’t the all round gentlemanly Super Hero.
Nb.  Although this aspect of Daredevil along with the character of Claire may well be a fixed feature from the Daredevil story.  Which I am unfamiliar with.

***

Episode Five.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

To carry on watching Daredevil since I’m really enjoying it otherwise: I’m just gonna look away from the gore.

I am liking the meeting of the Daredevil and Vladimir.

The story of Claire and Matt seemed a little convenient to me.  For the storyline.

At some point earlier Matt does say to Vladimir:
“I don’t kill people!”
And then pointed out that the man he threw off the building was in a coma.  (and can still breathe)

I am liking Ben Ulrich.

Vladimir to the Daredevil:
His name….his name...”

The Daredevil does end up on the floor a lot.
He also sure stands around talking on the phone a lot.  When surrounded by SWAT teams.  For what seems like hours.

C’mon Daredevil and Vladimir!..

***

Review

So I stopped writing here at Episode Five because I decided Daredevil was too much fun to watch rather than write about.  Well apart from the extreme gore and violence. Moments of extreme gore then.  Certainly a couple of moments so far.  Which may be why I ditched on episode seven.. Mind you I had just watched two episodes or was it three in succession.  Daredevil is that good. So far.

Yes there are for me, some stereotypical story-lines with some schmaltz factor.  Such as the miraculous appearance of the Daredevils’ saviour from the dumpster. Then hey presto they are crime fighting buddies.

There’s me thinking that the Daredevil helper is just being careful covering her face with the freaky white ski-mask. Thing.  When next thing you know the masked figure is advising Daredevil on the best place to probe a captive Russian’s brain. With a sharp instrument.  To get an answer.  I think.

That was rather a jump in character from kind Samaritan to torturer.  Yet the cause at the time was a noble one.

This cause seemed to do for the Gallery Director,Vanessa Marianna, too.  The beautiful sort of smirking amour/ amore/ new lady love of the monolithic and menacing. Wilson Fisk.

Yes, Vincent D’ Onfriois having a right royal time of it with the wondrously meaty role of Fisk. Alternately (miraculously) sympathetic sometimes to the viewer, as in his interactions with the Art Gallery lady- the rest of the time Wilson Fisk fairly fizzes with menace and danger.

Wilson Fisk obsessively rubs and wears his father’s black triangular silver cuff-links.  We see Fisk lose it spectacularly and shockingly.
(inventing I guess, a whole new way of killing) In a scene that went on for far too long reflecting in its counted out moments the very dreadful happening on screen.  In a rhythm of its own.  If you could call that sound rhythm.

So Daredevil up to now is dangerous, dark and disturbing as a drama.  In terms of its atmosphere, storyline and attached emotions.  The characters, including the men often express emotion, even verbalise it.  They also battle bravely of course. Heroically so.

There are deep emotions evinced by the character of the Daredevil himself.  His painful but happy past.  With his adored and adoring Dad.

The characters as people have pasts.  Messy lives.  All is not perfect.  Bad things are happening in the city.  From the criminals and the corrupt.  Including the Police.  Not to mention  the shadowy Cabal. That run Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.

***

Footnotes

Karen Page is played by the actress Deborah Ann Woll who was the character Jessica in True Blood.
***
Vincent D’Onfrio played the most excellent, clever and mildly mad Detective Robert Goren in Criminal Intent- a Law and Order series.

***

The Daredevil says things to Claire like:
“I can smell copper in the air” (eg. her blood)
and it sounds romantic.

***

After hearing Matt’s description of what he sees: I think I understand the significance of the opening credits scene.

***

The accompanying story to the Daredevil’s exploits is the setting up of the new Law practice for Matt and his lawyer partner, Foggy Nelson.

This parallel storyline is a sweet and believable counterpoint to the dark doings of the Daredevil. Especially the interplay between Karen Page and Foggy Nelson. However sadly, in spite of Foggy’s obvious feelings for Karen, she is equally obviously falling in love with, guess who..

***

Probably my own favourite storyline in these early episodes and my introduction to Daredevil was the story of Vladimir.  Or rather-Vladimir and Daredevil.

The story of Vladimir and Daredevil was deep, moving, and atmospheric stuff. Unusually emotional along with the de rigeur violence I felt. Men in dramas don’t often get this much back-story and depth to their characters. (especially not the baddies) That includes Daredevil along with Vladimir.

***

“Daredevil Explainer-Everything you Need to Know about Marvel-Netflix’s Man without Fear” by Phillip Kollar.

I  found this: but warning-it has several spoilers inherent in the description of Daredevil and his exploits in the original comics.  See link below.

http://www.polygon.com/2015/4/10/8375155/daredevil-explainer-everything-you-need-to-know-marvel-netflix-man-without-fear

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