While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an unqualified success, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the Marvel Televisual Universe is much more of a mixed bag. While I hear Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gotten much better since a rocky start but I’ll never know because I decided I would never care about any of those characters over a year ago. Agent Carter had me completely captivated for two episodes until it started to feel like Mad Men meets an exceptionally long episode of Scooby-Doo. Daredevil has none of this blandness; it doesn’t feel like anything else in the Marvel stable or anything on TV at all, really. It’s a dark, violent, abrupt show that begs you to binge watch it and then gives you bad dreams as a punishment.
Daredevil feels more like an extended Christopher Nolan Batman film than it does anything else in the Marvel canon. This world of organized crime, corrupt police and brutal fight scenes feels much more like Nolan’s Gotham City than any of the slick worlds we’ve seen in the rest of the Marvel universe. There’s a signature scene at the end of episode two where a long take down of a criminal gang is done in one take and it’s a wonder to behold. It lays down what the aesthetic of the entire show will be in that sequence and it seems to serve to hook the audience or inform them that maybe this show won’t be for them. It’s different than anything I’ve ever seen on a super hero TV show or, honestly, maybe anywhere. It feels like HBO-level action but with considerably less swearing and no nudity. (more…)