Netflix has earned a lot of my trust. Peaky Blinders, The Fall, Marco Polo, House of Cards, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt have made me excited each time I see “Netflix Original Series” stamped across the icon in my recommendations. Marvel’s Daredevil seemed like a shoe-in for me – an avid comic reader who watches each new superhero movie. Maybe I should’ve readied myself, though; after all, I’ve always been a DC girl (Gotham notwithstanding).
The first episode was underwhelming but hey – it’s a pilot. It needs to set itself up, so a lot of boring backstory needs to get out of the way first. And I appreciate the way they Arrow-ed it a little bit: break up the backstory into montages within the larger narrative. Nice.
But as time went on, I felt less and less drawn to the characters – even as my friends became more and more invested. If I’m honest with myself, Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple is the only character I like. I mean, obvious Wilson Fisk was a stroke of genius casting and is well written, but I don’t feel a pull or connection to him that makes me personally invested in his outcome – not to mention, he’s the villain. Obviously he’ll be defeated somehow.
The characters that should be likeable – primarily Karen and Foggy – are… underwhelming. Karen affirms to Foggy that they are on a date. She then spends that date inquiring about Matt. Then she panics when she realizes that Foggy has feelings for her, even though she just let him validate those feelings by saying they were on a date. Her stupid decisions annoy me constantly (she works for lawyers, but won’t take a contract from her evil ex-employer to them for them to peruse?) and despite being quite pretty and emotive, she has this almost soapy trill in her voice that makes me incapable of taking anything she says seriously.
Foggy’s persona is amiable, sure, and he’s painted as a surprisingly competent lawyer. But he’s never really given much to do. He follows Karen around, gets drunk, whines about money/what they left behind at their soul-crushing corporate jobs/Matt being blind but bagging hot chicks, etc. etc. I get that every kick-butt hero needs a goofy best friend. But if I like this character, make me care about his life more, please.
And Matt. Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt. Well casted, I suppose. I don’t know. His backstory doesn’t resonate with me. His father intentionally defied the mob, knowing that they might kill him and that his son’s mother isn’t even around to take care of him? And without seeking out a legal guardian? Thus dooming him to an orphanage? Because what? Because he wanted his son to hear him cheered for, instead of being alive to cheer for his son? And then Matt thinks, “Yeah, good plan.” I mean, ok, he was heroic before his father died (pushing the old guy out of the way of the toxic chemical truck) but just- just. No.
On top of all that, he talks about how he doesn’t kill people. But he’s taken several actions that might kill people (throwing an injured man off a roof, for starters) – he’s just lucky that no one has died yet.
The show itself is more gruesome than I care for; I don’t need to see bones popped out of joints and heads crushed to slimy bits – but it’s on Netflix rather than network, so why would they worry about that?
And while yes, I do feel like this is the show Arrow would like to be but for network restrictions, at least I genuinely like Felicity and Diggle and yeah, even Roy and Sarah. At least I like watching them and I feel motivated to follow them a little bit. Although Arrow is generally too self-serious for me to be a true fan of that, either.
I think the general consensus is that superhero shows are hitting their stride. And maybe that’s true; maybe Arrow unlocked a lot of doors for this genre on the small screen. Truth be told, I still haven’t watched Flash – which I suspect would be my favorite of the bunch. But right now, I’m still waiting. And as much loyalty as Netflix has given me to their original shows, Daredevil is making me nervous about what Legend of Zelda might hold.
In other news, an update was posted on our Kickstarter page regarding Legend of Lotus – we’re making strides!