This will be a spoiler free review of the entire first season of Daredevil, but there will be a second review in the coming days that will feature spoilers for people that seen every episode and want to know my favorites episodes.
Daredevil is a very good show. It is closer to a made for TV version of the Dark Knight Batman trilogy than anything Marvel has previously done. After watching all 13 episodes, I feel comfortable saying I did not witness a single bad one. While some episodes were great, even the worst episodes were close to an eight out of ten.
From the first episode “Into the Ring” Daredevil makes it clear is that the fight scenes are going to be very different from any other MCU product and most action movies. Usually when an action hero fights a random henchmen he/she can punch or kick them once killing or knocking them out. This helps make the hero look like a badass and can be entertaining, but has been seen thousands of time and needs the help of having it happen in a burning building, in the middle of a hostage situation, or any other extreme situation. In Daredevil every fight is entertaining, because it takes Murdock more effort than most heroes to down one henchmen and since Daredevil himself takes punishment from any random guy that attacks him, you forget that he is the star and logically will not die in this fight. With the exception of Kickass I have never seen the main super hero get the bloody beating Daredevil receives in episode 9 “Speak of the Devil”.
Speaking of bloody Daredevil uses the lack of restrictions involved with Netflix more than expected. Daredevil is rated TV MA, but it is not the same TV MA you get from HBO or Stars. It is a cable TV MA that is similar to shows on AMC and FX. On Daredevil you will never hear the F word or see a woman topless, but everything else is far game, including storylines involving child trafficking and drugs. While the first two episodes do not feature violence that is very graphic, episode three “Rabbit in a Snow Storm” changes that in a way that makes it surprising this exist in the world as the Avengers.
Daredevil also makes good use of being the same place Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans Captain America without using it as a crutch. Using the events of the first Avengers movie to explain how currently peaceful Hell’s Kitchen returned to the crime ridden place it was when Daredevil was created. It adds a leave of realism to the MCU and shows that the cities that are destroyed in super hero battles do not magically rebuild themselves and could become worse places than they were before the super heroes arrived.
Daredevil features a very strong cast of characters and actors. Daredevil’s secrete identity Matt Murdock is a compelling character with the most realistic looking fighting styles every seen on screen, powers that are slowly shown instead of quickly explained, and a backstory shown in flashbacks that fit the theme in the episodes they are shown. Wilson Flisk is the most unique super villain I have every seen on screen, but that ultimately ends up being a good thing. The supporting cast featuring Karen Page, Foggy Nelson, Ben Urich, and Claire Temple all add to the show and have good storylines. It is especially good that both Claire and Karen are more than just potential love interest for Matt or damsels in distress.
There is only one big negative in Daredevil and that is that it slows down in the last third of the episodes. After the events of episode 9 “Speak of the Devil” the following episodes do not have the kick that the earlier episodes had. While the season finally was good, episodes 10,11, and 12 have far less action in them and are more story episodes where the plot moves slowly.
Daredevil is not only the best comic book TV show, but one of the best shows I have seen in 2015.