Stars: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal, Royce Johnson, Elodie Yung, Rosario Dawson
So I have an opinion on this season that most people don’t. I’m a little nervous to share it, but it’s my true opinion and I don’t want people to think that I love everything. In all honesty, I only finished this show to make a review. No part of me wanted to continue after episode 5.
I will admit that the first few episodes are strong with episode 3 being the strongest. Unfortunately it takes a nose dive, similarly to season 1. I hope that’s not a trend but it seems strong in the Netflix Originals.
As much as it doesn’t want to be, this show can’t escape the trademark Netflix logo. It haunts the show and problems in other Netflix shows appear in this. The first thing is the shaky camera. I understand in Good Will Hunting that the camera operator is laughing and shaking the camera as Robin Williams ad-libs his entire parts, but Daredevil shouldn’t suffer from this problem. There are moments where the camera shakes uncontrollably as characters are motionless and then it is obviously dubbed over because something was obviously going on. There were times in the show where time played a factor as characters teleport across the screen. The sound mixing is dreadful at times and it makes you wonder if this project was even complete before releasing. Characters all sound dubbed and no matter where they are on screen, they all sound the same. It’s like an animation movie where all the actors are very obviously talking into microphones after the fact. The gimicky sound bites also do nothing for me as I was bored and yawning during some fight scenes where either the music or punching sounds completely took me out of it. This isn’t just a problem with Daredevil, it was apparent in Love, Jessica Jones, and Master of None. The shots in Daredevil are also conservative minus one shot in episode 3 with a stairwell. It’s disappointing to see a show lose all potential because the directors don’t want to film characters communicating with different shots or use similar shots from season 1.
My biggest problem with this season is that it tries to be original and different but fails in most ways. I know that most people haven’t sat through Arrow, but this season is basically Arrow season 3. Secrets are kept that ruin relationships, one character who’s not super knows more than the people that they hang out with, the superhero loses a relationship for keeping secrets, bad guys come back to life multiple times with little explanation. It’s all derivative and I’ve seen it before.
“We are being hunted by a nameless, faceless organization” -Oliver Queen
It’s almost hilarious when the action completely stops along with the background music so two characters can have a serious conversation. Like in one of the later episodes, men stop charging the doors so the characters can try to explain what will happen to them when it’s over. There’s also a “bait and switch” that’s more heavy handed than the Catholic Church metaphors. Another part that was glaringly obvious was the show’s ability to get gruesome when the story falls apart. This leaves the show with odd pacing and not direction at times. It was super apparent when Stick and Punisher were captured throughout the show. They needed to wait for Daredevil to show up so they just savagely defiled them until he got there. The overt connecting between shows was a little too much foreshadowing as well. I would have rather seen Luke Cage and Jessica Jones show up than Hogarth. It’s over the top and ridiculous in my eyes.
By far, the worst performance is Hensen who honestly looks like he was dying laughing before his shots and the director didn’t have time to re-shoot. His arc is almost identical to the first season. Woll has a slightly better arc, but I was wondering why I should care for most of her screen time. I don’t think she had a bad performance, but I would’ve rather seen something else than her digging through case files and talking to a reporter that I forgot existed multiple times. Johnson’s arc as a cop felt all too familiar as well. It was straight out of an old buddy cop movie.
Where this show shines is with Jon Bernthal who carried this show. Charlie Cox and Elodie Yung were fine but I stopped caring for them after Bernthal was a more interesting character. We see both the light and darkness in him and want him to reach his point where he felt he was finished. I enjoyed his character and wanted to see more. His fighting style was interesting and he was a full character unlike some that were there just to be attacked like Woll or Rosario Dawson. His connection with Vincent D’Onofario was interesting and precise like all of his kills. It was an interesting relationship that I wish had lasted longer.
Overall, I think this show needs no praise for being original. It was predictable, conservative, and lacking pace. It’s sad to see a show being praised with huge mistakes like sound mixing and editing problems. I didn’t hate watching it, I just expected a lot but the show has lost its luster after the beginning of season 1.