Movie screens have forever been ruled by superheroes, but they have also managed to make a pretty great impact on television. The CW is currently airing The Flash and The Arrow based on DC Comics whereas ABC has two different shows based in the Marvel universe. However, the biggest bet has been made by Netflix in the form of Jessica Jones and Daredevil as part of its effort to bring together four different shows based on Marvel properties together down the road in the form of The Defender. Even though expectations were low for its first season, Daredevil turned out to be quite a bit of a surprise.
Its second season premiered on March 18th on Netflix, but this time around, Daredevil took us on a very hard, but not very enjoyable, ride. The show is based on the story of a blind attorney Matt Murdock who has decided to deal with society’s ills at night on the streets of New York City in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Charlie Cox plays the titular character who possesses such heightened senses that his blindness doesn’t impede his abilities at all. As a matter of fact, he is able to take advantage of his lack of sight in dark and long fistfights by moonlight.
The tone of this series is quite dark. The first season had led to the confrontation with Wilson Fisk, a flamboyant arch villain played by Vincent D’Onofrio. While there was no denying that Daredevil was one of the most violent shows on television, the first season still managed to dole out some occasional delights for the viewers. But, even by its standards, a new character called Punisher goes a bit too far. Played by Jon Bernthal, he is a violent imitator who has been sparked by Daredevil’s vigilantism and has to be subdued. His arrival brings about some interesting ideas about vengeance and right and wrong.
However, the presence of the character is nothing less than, well, punishing. This is because he is simply plopped into the show without any buildup. He is not integrated into the Daredevil world and viewers are simply instructed about his importance. This unsophisticated storytelling does not work in favor of the second season at all. Nonetheless, the action is undoubtedly shot beautifully and the stylish battles silhouette the sickly neon light. Things get a bit heated with the arrival of Elektra, an old flame of Daredevil, who is played by the sinuous Elodie Young.
Matters get a tad bit complicated for our hero during his legal day job and also for his alter ego because of their past steamy relationship. The intrigue lacking in the storyline of the Punisher is brought in by Elektra’s arrival. Regardless, things do improve a bit from there. In the previous season, Daredevil had been introduced early and his story had been filled on slowly and the same approach has been applied to the Punisher. His story progresses with the season as layers are peeled gradually, which provoke sympathy and distaste at the same time.
Sure, you want to watch the events unfold rather than hear about them in a dry conversation, but a couple of episodes later, Daredevil really kicks up things a notch as he clashes with the Punisher. The fight scenes are definitely worth watching if you don’t mind the gore and dark that’s part of Daredevil.