Monday, March 21, 2016

Daredevil Season 2 Review (No spoilers)

What a weekend!

The 13 episode Daredevil Season 2 released Friday and if you've been on the fence about watching S2 (or even S1), then this review is for you. If you've already seen it, then skip on over to the spoiler discussion (link here).

I'll do my best to speak in the vaguest terms about the events of the season and won't reveal any major plot points.

First, this season did a great job showcasing the two supporting "heroes" of Punisher and Electra. I can say without reservation that these iterations of Punisher and Elektra are the best film versions of the characters ever (not that Elektra really had much competition).

If you're a fan of these characters, you will not be disappointed and if you weren't already a fan, you will be by the end of the season. Both get plenty of screentime and have full arcs with character development/reveals.

You can argue that Daredevil may take a backseat to these characters at times, but the show is so densely packed with material (~53 minute episodes with no commercials and never afraid to get to the next plot) that I think you're probably a whiner if you do argue that. I'd argue that Daredevil developed even more than he did in the first season when he didn't have to share screentime.

The action has been ratcheted up from Season 1 with not one, but TWO great corridor fight scenes along with higher level, more visceral fights throughout.

The acting from nearly all characters returning has improved, with some standouts (Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page most notably). Foggy might still be the weakest when the story turns onto him, but he's more than serviceable and if you think of it in-universe, then his actions, reactions and general personality seems genuine.

Storylines from Season 1 continue or are brought back up in Season 2, some things are resolved, some things are not. The show was borderline R rating in Season 1, but definitely earns the rating in Season 2 from violence alone.

I could not be more pleased with Daredevil Season 2. It's a different beast than Jessica Jones, but if you look at Daredevil as a separate type of show, and enjoyed the first season, you should not be disappointed with the second. In my opinion, it was better in every way.

Action improved and more of it
Acting improved
No hesitation in the plot, but never felt rushed
Perfect casting with Jon Bernthal as the Punisher and Elodie Yung as Elektra
Callbacks to Season 1 felt natural and leave the door open for more
Complete character arcs

No cameos from Marvel Cinematic Universe proper and only one mention.
Limited cameos from Marvel Netflix Universe (Defenders)
Some fights are not as cool as other fights, but are built up to be cool by the characters (so you're let down)
Some convenience in characters showing up at the right time and place
So that's what I thought. What do you think? Have you checked out Daredevil Seasons 1 and 2? I was impressed by the first season and everything was better in the second season so I have no real complaints. I saw some articles suggesting Season 2 is worse than Season 1, but I honestly am not sure what show those people were watching (my only thought is that they went in after binging Jessica Jones and expected another show of that variety instead of a follow-up to Daredevil S1—the two are almost different genres. Daredevil is more of a gritty morality action drama while Jessica Jones is a psychological noir). 

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