Daredevil liveblog

Daredevil liveblog
Hello, I'm Abigail Brady and I have booked off Friday from eating and needing to go to the toilet, so I'm going to be liveblogging Netflix's Marvel's Daredevil, starting at 0800 sharpish (midnight Pacific). Watch this article from then for updates about how I didn't understand a thing because I was too busy writing about it, until either I finish or pass out.

Nearly 12 hours later: Well, that was certainly the best Daredevil film I have seen. It could stand to lose a few hours.

My recommendation: don't marathon it, don't even rush it. Eke it out. There are some big spoilers out there but you should be kinda able to see them coming anyway, and while I wouldn't recommend seeking them out, I don't think your enjoyment will be substantially reduced by it.

The boldest thing about this series is the decision to entirely dump the overall tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that mix of humour, action and emotional truth, that everything from Iron Man to Thor to Agents of SHIELD to Agent Carter has been going for (with varying degrees of success - I'm as fervent in my dislike of SHIELD as James is). This feels very different. There's a combination of tenseness and violence to it quite unlike any of the MCU stuff, with a kind of stylised approach that's also not like any of the grim crime dramas I've been watching lately. It's its own thing. I'm still not sure whether I liked that thing. But it absolutely did what it was trying to do.

0808: Well, this is just about perfect. There is, thankfully, no lengthy "here is a busy city lawyer called Matt Murdoch and let's have an episode of him getting frustrated at the system he's in". We have him already in a certain mood, taking certain actions. Presumably, we'll now go to the legal shit.

The "he pushed me out of the way" - is that a new detail for this? I've not read much Daredevil but I don't remember it before.

0815: And we jump to Matt and Foggy's first case, defending Karen Page. Timing of this isn't entirely clear, but it's after the darkly talked about "incident" of Avengers, which led to massive property damage in Hell's Kitchen.

0828: So, Karen Page is a whistleblower of a company involved with the rebuild (which was a couple of years ago now). Fucking A.

0834: Lie-o-vision! Or, rather, lie-o-sound?

0845: Does Karen know Matt is the guy in the mask? It could go either way.

0851: Such montage.

First episode reaction: a confident, slick, piece of television, which earns its dark tone, leavened by moments of Foggy Nelson.
0852: And on to episode 2. I'm not particuarly digging the theme music, I must admit.

0900: It's not going to turn into the Mark Waid Daredevil any time soon, is it?

0904: "Your outfit kind of sucks, by the way". Oh, Night Nurse.

0912: "Creel? You mean, the Absorbing Man?"

0930: So are Foggy and Karen actually supposed to be the same age? Because Elden Henson was born in 1977 and Deborah Ann Woll was born in 1985, which smells like the usual Hollywood sexism of casting women at their own age and men significantly younger.

0941: It's trying for a really clever long-cut fight scene but the fight choreography just isn't there to make it look like any of the punches are connecting.

Second episode: So, this looks like our first case-of-the-hour episode from the description, but the kidnapped boy is heavily minimised and really it's a character piece looking at Matt, his relationship with his father, introducing Claire Temple (Night Nurse); and then secondarily Foggy and Karen going on a bender.
1008: Even when it's day and they can't keep the backgrounds from being well-lit, they keep the characters as silhouettes. You couldn't have made this show before modern digital television, you couldn't have done that sort of contrast and still have nuance in the face acting.

1010: Ben Urich is working for the "New York Bulletin", which appears to have been introduced in Marvels: Eye of the Camera. Daily Bugle is at Sony, I guess, and I guess this was already in the can when the Spider-Man/Marvel deal was made.

1030: "I've got the worst fucking attorneys." - a new low?
1040: I have the exact same burner!

1043: I keep hoping the Russians will put on tracksuits and start calling everyone "bro".

1054: The "villains" are consistently better lit than the "heroes".

1126: I'm watching this drama about gentrification and the property market in a big busy city on the same day as the Liberal Democrats announce their weaksauce plan to give young people 2K loans to help people move out of their parents. Why is there not more drama about this? Arrow, or at least the first season (I haven't watched the others), had this as a plot, but it was kept at a remove, with a cast full of rich people unaffected by the actual issues.
1129: "Billionaire playboy". Aww, but what I would really like now is for them to mention Thor.

1134: The boldest thing about this series is the decision to entirely dump the overall tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that mix of humour, action and emotional truth, that everything from Iron Man to Thor to Agents of SHIELD to Agent Carter has been going for (with varying degrees of success - I'm as fervent in my dislike of SHIELD as James is). This feels very different. There's a combination of tenseness and violence to it quite unlike any of the MCU stuff, with a kind of stylised approach that's also not like any of the grim crime dramas I've been watching lately. It's its own thing.

1154: Yeah, be rude at her appearance, that's the way to show her, Foggy.

1206: My Spanish is good enough to understand the fragments of unsubtitled Spanish here. I knew there was a reason I took those Spanish classes.

1224: And the game changes. Cliffhanger is Matt being confronted by police. Of all the Marvel superheroes, Daredevil is the one that ought, by his nature, confront the reality of police most, because of his job.
1225: I thought he might go quietly for a moment. Nope. Oh god, I can imagine the manhunt already.

1233: "I don't kill people. Not even scumbags like you who deserve it." You put him in a coma. "But he's still breathing".

1242: An unforgiving portrayal of a corrupt NYPD in league with big property developers, but based on direct corruption and influence rather than just how capitalism is structured. The least anti-authoritarian way to do this would be to have some other arm of NYPD swoop in eventually and clean up the local precinct. It wouldn't fit the tone.

1258: aha, the Daredevil/Kingpin conversation from the trailers, finally. It's taken 5 hours to get to this point, the war that we all knew was coming, and it's all the better for it. The light/dark contrast is still there.
1330: Stick. Scott Glenn is perfect. "Gifted". I wonder if they should be on SHIELD's list. Crossover potential? Haha please no.

1335: This guy needs to remove from his ass, the, um, stick.

1342: Look at them very carefully not saying "The Hand", because Fox have the licence for that, innit. Except, no, Wolverine Origins didn't mention that either, but Elektra did, so it's just they are being coy.

1454: And Stilt-Man turns up. I wasn't expecting him to be so camp.

1400: Foreshadowing that Matt Murdock is about to become Jack of Hearts rather than Daredevil, as we had all been expecting. Hey, if Jimmy McGill can still not be calling himself "Saul Goodman" by the end of Better Call Saul season 1...

1416: So there is no record of the son of a New York politician, running for the City Council (?), apparently using his given name. Huh. Very different backstory to the comics, I'll note.

1422: Really if Fisk was smart, he'd just call the entire thing off and lay low. He's outmatched and his plans are having to change rapidly.

1427: What you should do, Leland, is dress up as an owl and menace the man in the mask. OBVIOUSLY.

1432: The 70s bits have been grainified and graded for extra 70sness, but quite subtly compared to what is typical for telly.


1443: James just on twitter said that he has seen episode 1 and he was "really worried it would be constant grimdark". Meanwhile, on episode 8, I just saw Kingpin's abusive father's dead body cut up with a saw.

1445: Brief freak-out as I lost sync for all of about 20 seconds.

1454: And Wilson Fisk gives a press conference, making all Matt and Foggy and Karen and Ben's plans obsolete. Good cliffhanger, in that it is a "what now?" rather than jeopardy. Good episode end. Good act end, as well. I discern three acts: 1-4, 5-8, and then presumably these last five episodes.
1457: "What now?" appears to be ninjas. Ninjas and priests.


1512: Foggy's shirt is causing all sorts of moire pattern fuckery that I don't think I've seen on a television for years.

1520: Matt's attempt to shop for art is barely credible, and Wilson is smart. Oh dear. This is the first time they've actually met, but it doesn't feel like they've been stringing it out. I definitely identified the acts correctly.

1523: Matt is yet another hero who says he doesn't kill when it comes to the Big Boss but had no problem dropping minions off roofs, like they aren't really people if they're not billed in the opening credits. I suppose the issue here is the pre-meditation? But generally, fuck that shit.

1527. Bastards.

1529. I thought it was a conceit of television but it turns out American bars really are like that.

1548. Hey imagine if Foggy became a vigilante too, and had to keep it from Matt and Matt was keeping it from him and oh I think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made that film already, didn't they.

1551. Foggy finds out that Matt is the man in the mask by lifting his mask up slightly. HE WEARS DARK GLASSES ALL THE TIME SURELY YOU WOULD RECOGNISE HIS JAW AND BODY.
1554. "Are you even really blind?" You know, I'm not sure I like the first disabled superhero on TV being someone who is more-or-less faking it.


1614. "the Greek girl". Hmm.

1626. ROXXON.

1634. What is the difference between Daredevil and Rorschach, really?
1648. Episode 11 starts with Vanessa poisoned and Foggy mad at Matt. Mad enough to snitch, though?

Ten episodes in and only one person has been killed to provide Matt with motivation.

1656. The mystery about the Kingpin's background is mis-step. I don't give a crap because I've seen it all, and you shouldn't care because it's not going to help you stop him. Unless there's some kind of plot-contrivance in the paperwork of his mother not being dead, which is really unlikely and if there isn't and you assume there is you are fucked.

1708. I hope they get a season 2 of this and Kingpin is running things from prison.

1720. Well, she probably was thinking "you'd look really good in an Owl suit, Leland." You can't deny it. "It's not like I have anything better to do" he complains. Have you not noticed your surname is OWSley?

1726. Melvin Potter aka Gladiator aka Not The One From X-Men aka super-costumer, a character it makes sense to use in a show that has Night Nurse.

1732. "a symbol". Ooh, I think I might know what he's about to order.

1742. And it went very nearly eleven episodes until Karen Page ends up captured by the Kingpin's lot. Is she going to need rescuing or will she be fridged?

1746. Oh. This is rather cleverer than I was expecting. I forgot, Karen Page is the lead of this show.

1748. NICE.
1751. Wash that blood away, Karen. Wash it good.

1808. The medium of comics obscures the fact that people should recognise each other's voices. It becomes really stark here when Daredevil and Ben Urich have a long conversation. "Nobody would look twice at a blind man." He knows.

1814. Ben Urich obviously doesn't have access to the CMS and may even have a subeditor. This is completely unrealistic.

1816. The selective defocus effect for showing Matt's heightened senses works really well. It shows us something is happening, shows it differently, but does not do it in a way as overpowering as the sonar-vision which the 2003 film did.

1819. A parkour display to put Captain America to shame.

1824. Daily Bugle will never pull this sort of shit.

1827. Aha, and now the place we saw in flashforward right in episode 1, the drug factory staffed by blind people. And about to be thoroughly turned over by one, I guess.

1847. Oh. Fuck.

Snape kills Dumbledore.
1848. Final episode!

Well, that makes me much less enthusiastic about Jessica Jones and Spider-Man. Ben Urich is a serious, named, character, from the comics, and there are all these stories we'll never see in the MCU. It's a bit like a death.

1853. If you go round the corner I believe you can see where Amy and Rory Pond are buried.

1918. With Detective Wotsisface snitching on Fisk, the cops... go and arrest everyone who did bad things? Including the bad cops??? Well, that's obviously doomed.

1922. Fisk arrested. Is that it? No big final confrontation between Daredevil in his new suit (which has yet to debut, actually) and Fisk? He's gonna break outta that van, right? Staging of the conversation in the van seems to be mirroring the Joker's big escape sequence in The Dark Knight.

1925. Yeah, that's about right.

1928. FINALLY.

1931. Although it doesn't look any better in action than it did in the stills. The lighting and colour-grading more or less wash out the red entirely.

The new costume deliberately riffs on the "devil of Hell's Kitchen" nickname that he had briefly in the 2nd act. We have yet to have a "hey, that's the name of the show" moment.

1938. Hey, that's the name of the show!

1941. Fisk/Slattery prison team-up?

1942. I was all accusing him of posing, but actually, Daredevil has a much more legitimate reason to stand on rooftops like that than Batman does, given he can actually hear shit.

1943. THE END. I can have a shower and get dressed and go to the pub now.