Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Season 2 of Daredevil is on the way!

And I couldn't be happier! (Check out the last thirty seconds for a teaser)

As I have posted about before, I was a big fan of season 1 and am more than eager to see where they take a second season. You see, Daredevil was not only a boon for superhero shows, but for drama and action shows as well. What did it do well, you might ask? What did it do that most modern drama shows absolutely fail at? Well, that's a good question.

The biggest positive about Daredevil above everything else is that the main character, Matt Murdock, while not a saint, is a legitimate man with morals, and a hero. You might think this would be a strange thing to praise the show for, but let me ask you a question. How many action or drama shows have you watched in the last couple of years not based on a comic book where the protagonist, the man you're supposed to root for and want to follow, when was the last time he was either a moral man or a good man? When was he not either an amoral antihero who doesn't care about anything (no using the "he really has a heart of gold!" cheat, either) or a completely ineffective geek that is overshadowed by everyone else in the cast and is basically comic relief the rest of the time?

Of all the shows I've seen, only Person of Interest comes to mind. That's about it.

I mean, Matt Murdock has a pretty rough past, but he persevered through it all to become a man that wants to do good. And he honest to goodness tries. He doesn't succumb to despair, he doesn't become a clown that nobody takes seriously, he becomes a hero that wants to do the right thing.

On the opposite side is Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. This is one of the best portrayals of villainy I've seen in a long time. They manage this by making Fisk personable and completely understandable at the same time thereby leaving the viewer with wanting to follow him. What the difference is? They never once excuse anything he does as anything less than wrong and evil. He is not a gooey grey mass of boring "no one is really evil" garbage most villains (again, outside of comic book material) are these days. Fisk is a well layered character with emotions, motivations, and a drive to succeed, but you never root for him to succeed. Because he is knowingly evil and a bad guy.

The other major positive is how it is shot. Daredevil succeeds at "gritty" better than most grim-dark wannabe edgy shows do because it hearkens back to a time when Hollywood knew how to do it right. The fight scenes are crisp and clear--you can actually see everything going on in them. The camera never shakes once. Scenes linger, actors act and add ticks to their characters, and the angles and direction show you everything you need to understand a scene. It actually reminds me most of old 80s action movies like Lethal Weapon, The Killer, or Die Hard, where the "grit" comes in the style of film used to shoot the story and not in dark filters or dreary CGI to fill in the rest.

For instance, there is this soon to be legendary fight from the second episode (don't worry, it isn't very bloody):

One shot. Crystal clear. Highly dramatic. It also thematically bookends the episode about the relationship between Matt and his father by showing that he really is his father's son, and the hope for the next generation.

In short, modern shows could learn a lot from Daredevil, and season 2 looks to improve and an already excellent foundation.

I have also heard that this season will feature both more action and a faster pace, which I'm more than happy to hear. I don't want a repeat of season 1, but to see the series expand and grow with its characters. The addition of both Elektra and the Punisher to the cast should certainly add quite a bit to the formula as they will both test Matt and he will test them as the season goes on. After that, who knows? But Daredevil could go on for years like this and I wouldn't be against it.

Although I didn't like Jessica Jones nearly as much as some others (couldn't stand the characters) and I am eager to see future Marvel series, it looks like my heart will be locked on Daredevil for the time being. As far as I'm concerned, this is how you not only do comic book shows, but action and dram as well. I only hope it catches on.

In the meantime, I'll just be sitting here, counting down the hours until season 2 is put up on Netflix. That should be a long wait, but the best things in life are usually worth that wait. Let's hope Daredevil's second season can top the stellar first season, because it has a lot to live up to.

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