Daredevil on TV – season 1 [spoilers]

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A year too late with this, but I watched season 1 of Daredevil and these thoughts came into my head either while watching or afterwards when I probably should’ve been thinking about other things like Cantonese and Dracula 2…

As with most things that can be discussed, the thoughts are mostly problems, but I did like the show overall and respected the writers’ decision to have two hour long scenes of uninterrupted dialogue every episode, even if the dialogue wasn’t always good enough to warrant it.

Rosario Dawson really did take a long time to exit his apartment in

episode 10, didn’t she?

Of all the gangs, the Russians were the first to go

If you’ve ever met a Russian, you’ll know this was ludicrous. They would’ve been hanging on with their fingertips, even if they’d had their hands chopped off.

Russians will do things that no other gangster will, except maybe Mexicans, and can take punishment like no other can

except a scripted TV hero or

John McClane.

I know, I might just be basing this on Eastern Promises and Red Heat and

Russian porn and Running Scared and The Equalizer and…

Actually the only Russians I’ve ever met were a prostitute in HK and an angry dinner lady in Moscow airport and

no, I did not fuck the prostitute

[or the dinner lady]

she was just sitting in a park at three in the morning and

didn’t mind talking about her life

which she was pretty subdued about

but even if movies do not equal real life, Russian people still seem cold and intimidating [in movies, ha], and the idea that the Russian gangsters would be so easily defeated is not a logical one

especially the one-take corridor scene where an injured Daredevil beats up about eight of them all by himself though

I did like the way the Russians kept getting back up.

2] Fisk Vs Mandarin

I don’t know any Mandarin, but as I was watching the scene with Fisk and Gao in [on?] the roof garden, my wife, who does know Mandarin, turned to me and said, can they make him stop, please?

‘Is it that bad?’ I asked.

‘It’s hard to understand what he’s saying.’

‘I guess he’s not supposed to be an expert.’

‘He’s barely upper beginner.’

I made that last line up, but it’s always weird when TV/movie characters speak another language [that the actor/actress clearly doesn’t know in real life]. Remember Keanu Reeves and his mighty Cantonese? Tom Cruise and his Japanese without any textbooks? Jamie Foxx and his gibberish Spanish?

Why don’t they just let Fisk make mistakes in the language? I mean, intentional mistakes. This is the reality for a lot of people learning a second or third or fourth language…it’d make it much more interesting.

Also, I think it’d suit his character better, as I don’t think he’s got the patience to learn Mandarin and Japanese; he’d probably be content with intermediate as it would give him enough to know generally what the others are saying.

To be fair, there’s about 40 years of his life we never hear about

and he is quite respectful to Asian people so

maybe he really did go to China and Japan and take classes or language exchanges with people who only spoke that language, no English, and struggled through the worst of it, though I can’t imagine him sitting in a classroom or coffee shop, saying ‘yesterday I went to the beach’ or ‘I like art, but I don’t like art that isn’t a white square.’

Uneven Fisk

His first scene is excellent, in the art gallery, he just says one line, ‘it [the painting] makes me feel alone,’ and the following episodes make him even weirder as he struggles to spit words out and can’t look people in the eye, just like a shy little kid.

Reminded me of Matt Dillon as Bukowski in Factotum, the kind of person that doesn’t want to say anything and when he does, it feels like such a huge effort

but by the end of the season it was starting to grate

maybe in part because of the long scenes of dialogue

in most episodes, which were great when they worked, as in the case of Fisk and Ben Urich in Ben’s apartment

which was tense and shifting in tone but

when they used it in the police van in the last episode

Fisk going on and on about the Good Samaritan tale

it didn’t make any sense

why would he bother telling these two guards this story

they were nothing to him

The only reason I can think of is that Fisk had been so secretive and quiet for forty years of his life that his recent outing in front of the media had opened him up and it was now all spilling out, as if someone had uncorked him and said, say whatever comes into your head, Wilson, everyone wants to hear it, even these two guards.

Having said that, he’s probably the best villain Marvel has done yet

as he’s so human, so flawed

so unhappy-looking even when supposedly happy, like when Vanessa said she loved him and wasn’t going anywhere

and there were quite a few times in season 1 where you think

he’s not that bad

he does have a vision, a pretty vague vision admittedly, but then he goes and pays a random junkie to kill off some elderly Guatemalan immigrant and you realise

he’s as hateable as any other fat skinhead villain.

Foggy is an average actor

He was okay for most of the episodes, but the one where he discovers Matt is the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is not a good one.

I can’t say why, but as the scenes of dialogue ran on and on, I could start to predict what his actions would be and when he would pause and

I don’t know why but the way he said his dialogue just seemed quite weak to me, almost the same way I would’ve said it if I were him and I’m no actor, except for my turn as the fourth wise man in primary school, but I never had to do much, just walk onto the stage and say, where are they, where’s baby Jesus, which was pretty much impossible to fuck up.

Also, despite playing the comic relief, Foggy wasn’t that funny, except for one line in the office where he surprises Karen and says,

‘Relax, it’s me, the dick.’

That was a good one.

Japanese are samurai, Chinese are sneaky and philosophical

It’s good to see Japanese and Chinese characters on American TV shows but neither Nobu-san or Gao came across as human beings

maybe they weren’t

I’ve never read the comics but it seemed like Nobu-san was part of some secret clan or spy network and Gao said she was going further than China, which either meant she was going to Taiwan or she’s from outer space [Thanos’ Mandarin teacher?]

I didn’t not like their characters, but they were both very one dimensional and Gao secretly knowing English was not as interesting as they thought it was.

Actually, would hiding her language skills and scheming to poison people make her two dimensional or still only one?

It still has the same purpose, so I think it’s one dimension

but I’m not great at definitions of character.

and sometimes one dimensional is okay if it stops the writers

giving her a happy home life or some tedious domestic matter to fret over

better to just be full out evil if that’s the alternative.

Daredevil and Karen and Ben

Too much negative stuff above so I’ll try some of the things I did like

specifically

Daredevil and his fighting style and

the one-take fight scene in the corridor with the Russians and

the way he got beaten up quite a lot throughout the season

it really added to the tension even though you knew he’d get by in the end.

Ben was a bit cold at times, but he was one of the few characters

who felt like a real, lived-in person

as did Karen who was in turn petrified and resilient and best of all got to shoot the guy who looked like an accountant

in the chest, four or five times

I hope she doesn’t continue to feel too bad about that in season 2, the guy was a prick and someone should’ve beaten him up long ago

especially the Russians.

Season 2

I’ve looked online and there is one coming, along with a series about Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, who are similar type heroes also living in a sleazy part of NYC.

Actually, the Jessica Jones series has already aired

along with the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

and Deep Space Nine

Man

I hope they don’t kill off Sisko.

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