It was a brave move for Marvel to reboot Daredevil as a TV show rather than a movie, but having just binge watched the second series it is increasingly looking like a good one. A few years ago the idea of a studio relegating one of its major properties to the small screen would have been unthinkable. The newly found status of TV helps but on its own isn’t enough for the gamble to pay off, the content has to be good too. A point proven by the fact that I gave up on Gotham and The Arrow after a few episodes each and haven’t seen any of the other DC, TV shows. The ongoing sagas of comic books do lend themselves to TV but there is something else. Daredevil is a better fit for TV than film. Where The Avengers work on a global scale Daredevil and his alter ego, Matt Murdock are firmly rooted in their Hell’s Kitchen home. This is problem that DC are going to have to contend with as they move Batman out of Gotham and into the world of the Justice League.
With a far darker tone than Agents of Shield and Agent Carter the series exists on the edge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the better for it. The beauty of its execution, there is no need to see any other MCU property to make sense of it, and likewise, you don’t need to see it to complete the story told in the movies. Like the rest of the universe the odds have gone up as time has gone on. Although there hints a bigger story in season one, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) was largely a local villain. Season two moves things onto a whole new level, introducing an outside threat. It is however careful with its introduction of new characters. Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) and Frank Castle aka The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) are the most notable additions.
We know that The Defenders is on its way, a new series where Daredevil will hook-up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the yet to be introduced Iron Fist. To its credit, Daredevil resists the temptation of introducing the new characters. The only overlap being a cameo from Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) from Jessica Jones and Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple who has appeared in both shows. Elektra and The Punisher are better served than in any of their big screen outings with real motivations. The plot is well served giving character arc’s for all the main protagonists, both new and old. The new story both is tied up nicely and left open for future development.
TV will never replace cinema for me and I still expect to see the bigger stories on the big screen but some stories belong on TV, and good TV is better than second rate movies.