Well, I just recently finished watching all 13 episodes of the brand new Marvel project Daredevil, on Netflix, and in short, I loved the first season. There was so much that can be loved from this series and a great contrast to the rest of Marvel's properties. But I won't be giving a review in the strictest sense. Truthfully, there are plenty of voices in the blog world that have already done that (like my good friend who just wrote on it last night here). What struck me more about the show was some of the overarching themes that it chose to hit and the human story it chose to tell. Now, don't get me wrong, I found the show very entertaining and loved the ride, but what truly kept me going back for more and I am still thinking about, are the deeper things it chose to wrestle with.
Daredevil is definitely not your family friendly TV show and being on Netflix, it was able to take some greater risks in seeing the darker side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike the bright colours and big stage fight scenes of the Avenger movies, this movie is much darker and smaller in scale. Not only does it tell the story of the little guy and the struggle of the everyday person trying to get by, it does so by not trying to sugar-coat anything. All through the first season, you see the best and the worst in humanity, as people struggle through the trials of everyday life and the fear of the neighbourhood they live in (Hell's Kitchen). You could really relate to each character and could imagine yourself being right there, struggling beside them. As my friend put it so well: "The show did an amazing job of making you feel that everyone had something to lose".
Also, what this show did so well, was blur the line of who the real good guy was and who the real bad guy was. As a narrative, it is clear who we should be rooting for from the beginning: our hero Matt Murdock (Daredevil), and by the end of the season this is still firmly clear. But what is done so well, is when we are introduced to our main villain, the struggle for Hell's Kitchen and their individual visions for their city collide; the line of who we should cheer for and who is truly good and evil is somewhat blurred. Both our hero and our villain get such good story telling and character development that we get to see a depth of their humanity that we rarely get to see in television.
With our villain, we not only see him as the villain, but the victim as well. They bring his insecurities to the forefront and even highlight his good intentions and honest want to do good, even though the manner in which he does so and his moral compass are off. Through this, there are moments you actually feel sorry for him, relate to him, see his struggle and even sometimes feel that you want to root for him. The same is true for our hero. We see his imperfections and struggles, his drive to free his city, his valour and righteousness, but we are also pushed with him to the line of what he will do to stop this evil and free his city. The questions of morality in his life and decisions are brought into question and he is pushed so far to the edge that we wonder if he will cross a line that he will never be able to return from. In many ways, we get two characters who represent two sides of the same coin and the lines of where one begins and the other ends is sometimes unclear.
What we get, is not a sterile version of humanity, but a very real and messy one. The blurred lines of good and evil are not isolated to the Ying and Yang of our main villain and hero either, but spill over to almost every character presented. The human condition and all its complexities are explored in depth and the question of good and evil delved into in so many ways. There is even a great scene with the Catholic Minister when our hero asks him if he believes in the devil, and his answer is spectacular, both for the narrative and the human condition.
This show really shines a mirror onto the human race and the human condition. It shows that we all have a great capacity to do good and evil and explores how people will choose to act when pushed to our limits in a well scripted narrative form. Season One of Daredevil was a great origin story to a great complicated character and if you can handle a darker and more violent view of humanity, I would recommend this show for sure.
TO READ THE REVIEW OF SEASON 2: THE HERO IN US ALL -- CLICK HERE
Drake De Long-Farmer
Husband, Father, Pastor, Speaker
I am a passionate Frenchman who loves to see people thrive and come alive--to BELONG, wrestle with what they BELIEVEand BECOME the masterpiece God has destined them to be. I am a life learner and love being challenged to grow further. One of my favourite things to do is spend a good amount of time at a good café or coffee shop with a good book or challenging conversation. To be able to share in someone else's journey and experience the story that journey tells is always a pleasure and an honour. I currently serve as the Editor-In-Chief of boldcupofcoffee.com and as the Executive Pastor at Gateway Alliance Church, building & leading our various teams, speaking in various capacities.
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