TV review: "DD" starts strong and looks to get better

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Netflix premiered “Daredevil,” its first of four Marvel comic-to-series adaptations, a few weeks ago. If “Daredevil” is any indication, Netflix may have a stable of solid comic book series in line. Having watched the entire 13 episodes, I have some thoughts on “Daredevil” — so there be spoilers ahead.

I was quickly pleased with “Daredevil” — that incredible one-shot fight scene closing the second episode was enough — but as the series progressed, I became very impressed by the approach creator Drew Goddard (“The Cabin in the Woods”) and showrunner Steven DeKnight (Starz’s “Spartacus” series) had taken. “Daredevil” was a slow-burn, as the series constructed a comprehensive world for heroes and villains to exist in.

While the Netflix series took full advantage of its binge-watch capability — giving viewers small doses of Daredevil/Matt Murdock’s (Charlie Cox) backstory and slowly revealing more about the villain Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) — its smartest approach was setting up future storylines. But before we get to that, let’s examine these 13 episodes.

The most compelling aspect of “Daredevil” for me was D'Onofrio’s Fisk. The origin story and love interest — not to mention his unwavering dedication to making Hell’s Kitchen a better place — generated a well-rounded villain, rather than just some bad dude. Now, we saw Fisk was a bad dude too — decapitation via car door is pretty gruesome — but having the villain’s ideals and goals parallel the hero’s, and giving Fisk a humanizing relationship, was fresh and compelling.

If Fisk was utterly captivating — although I would’ve liked to have seen more of the hardline pragmatism Kingpin has in the comics — I was slightly underwhelmed by Cox. He’s a fine actor and does a solid job here, but the hero was actually the third or fourth most interesting component — until …

“Daredevil” broke out the “Stick” episode with the incredible Scott Glenn playing the titular character. The potential paring of Stick and Daredevil — not to mention The Hand! — in Season Two is very exciting. It was the season’s best episode, and shows immense potential for the future (even if Goddard and DeKnight left the series due to other commitments).

"Daredevil"

3 stars

All episodes available on Netflix