Lately, several of my friends have been watching Daredevil off of Netflix. From them, I have been hearing that this show is, apparently, Quite Awesome And Worth Watching. I didn’t give this hype a whole lot of attention, because I try to not be swayed a huge amount by fads and the culture current in general. Also, I don’t really watch many TV shows; pretty much the only ones that I watch are Doctor Who and random anime series.
BUT, I kept hearing amazing things about this show. And then I heard that it portrays Catholicism in a non-heretical way. And it’s about a superhero. Who happens to be blind. Also, I had a “free month-long trial” from Netflix dangling in my e-mail inbox.
SO, a few weekends ago, my husband and I took the plunge, acquired the Netflix trial, and began watching Daredevil. Last Thursday night, he declared that I was on a “Netflix/Daredevil ban,” because I needed to study for finals. But on Monday evening, I finally saw the last episode of Season One.
This show blows my mind with its epicness and beauty, and I can’t stand the thought of waiting an entire year for Season Two! But, God just likes to teach me patience, so I guess I’ll have to (I mean, get to) joyfully deal with it J Today, I would like some time to help educate those people who, like me, had never heard of Daredevil, and maybe are not aware of why they would benefit from this show.
For all of those individuals who have not made the time to see the show—well, I’d like to give you a few non-spoilery reasons of why you should.
- There’s a cool Catholic priest. And he’s always ready to offer the Sacrament of Confession. The main character of the show, Matt Murdock, is a cradle Catholic. And every now and then, he finds himself at St. Agnes’, the local Catholic church. Without fail, the priest will pop by, encouraging him to do the right thing, and offering the sacraments. “You know, the Seal of Confession still applies over lattes.” He’s so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Initially, Matt Murdock appears to be a combination of Batman and Westley, the Man in Black. Just take a look at the outfit. And the fact that Matt doesn’t really use guns. Take two extremely excellent movies and give me a superhero who bears resemblance to both? YES!
- Strong characterization for everybody! The villains have depth, the attorneys have depth, the supporting characters have depth, the victims have depth…there are so many incredibly strong characters in this show, it’s quite wonderful. At the beginning of the show, I was actually excited that there wasn’t a “dumb blonde” character. There was a blond-haired woman named Karen, but she’s awesome. BUT, the “dumb blonde” showed up eventually (groan! Why does she have to be blonde??) You know what? She didn’t stay superficially awful; she actually developed and acquired greater depth and meaning as a character!
- Even the villain has a heart. I love the movie The Dark Knight, but it’s hard to sympathize with The Joker. He’s unbelievably crazy and maniacal in that movie, and there really aren’t redeeming qualities about him. In Daredevil, the main villain will give you plenty to sympathize with. Yes, he does absolutely insane things that can make you question the existence of his heart and soul and humanity in general. But, as you get to know his character, you see how he is a misguided man who needs healing, and that he actually cares about something important—he just goes about everything in completely, hideously, evil, immoral ways.
- There’s an honest look at the battle of good and evil. Yes, there’s violence. Plenty of R-rated violence, so be prepared. But there’s also a strong sense of the daily spiritual warfare that we undergo. The battle to do what’s right in the face of extreme pressure to submit to deceptions. The battle to fight for Truth when society is readily settling for a charismatic speaker who has built his foundation on lies, violence, and immorality. The fight for the dignity of every human person, no matter what his or her social class is. Nelson & Murdock, Attorneys At Law, don’t always make the right choices; in fact, I question the morality of a few of their decisions, particularly towards the beginning of the show. Yet, they continue trying to do the right thing and fight for Truth and Justice.
- Hope is ever-present. Even when the warfare for Truth seems to be going downhill (or nowhere), there is still hope. Even when characters die (Woops, SPOILER! People actually die in this show!), the remaining people know that the deaths are not in vain—for hope will prevail, and Truth will ultimately triumph.
- There are awesome themes, which, as a Catholic, I greatly appreciate. Particularly the theme of the necessity of community, and the division that sin causes. Throughout the season, the reality that the Devil tries to push people apart is extremely real; but the realization that people can fight for goodness in community is just as prevalent.
- There’s a fabulous, healthy relationship between two strong male characters. In the past few months, some of my friends and I have been discussing how so many times in the current media, there aren’t good male-male relationships. Many times, it seems that writers make characters of the same sex act on same-sex attraction—and this is presented as a given; a case of Well, of course if two men are really good friends, they must be homosexual. But I believe that men can have perfectly amazing, close, non-sexually intimate relationships with each other. And this show gives us a wonderful example in the friendship of Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson. Watching their banter, both in the flashbacks to college and in the present day, is a wonderful element of the show.
- It’s incredibly realistic and relatable, and it calls us on. I love superhero movies, and I am definitely okay with not “relating” to them completely. I would be a bit concerned if I COULD relate to them completely—a real life Spiderman, anyone? But, this show is very real and raw. It hits on issues that are extremely relevant to our world and society. The violence is very realistic for the most part. The struggles that each character has are also authentic struggles that we have. The cool thing is: we don’t watch this show to wallow in our misery and struggles; we see how people have a choice: they can let their struggles and choices destroy them and the people they love, OR they can sacrifice and fight to do the right thing, and end up experiencing the glory and fulfillment of being witnesses of the Truth.
I could probably go on and rave about this show for a while, but I’m trying REALLY HARD to make this a spoiler-free territory, because I want your experience watching this show to be fully awesome. Also, I have rocky road candy hardening in the kitchen, and I want to go see if it’s ready to eat.
Now that you hopefully see why you should watch this show, I’ll give you a couple of practical reasons why you should—and can—do it:
- There are only thirteen episodes. And each is about 50-60 minutes long. So you can easily watch one a day, and finish the entire series in less than two weeks. But, just as a forewarning: you probably won’t be able to watch only one at a time, unless you have amazing self-control. Because this show is amazing.
- It’s typically fairly simple to acquire a free Netflix trial. I’m a poor college student (well, okay, I actually just turned in my final undergrad work—YES!!—But I haven’t graduated quite yet and gotten my diploma. So I’m still a “poor college student” for a few more days). I like to save money, or better yet, not spend money. So get that free trial and watch away!
So there you have it: 11 Reasons Why You Should Consider Watching Daredevil. I hope that you watch it, and if you’ve already seen it, I really hope that you enjoyed it thoroughly! Now, it’s time to buckle down and wait for Season Two! Until then, I guess I’ll just have to watch the plethora of superhero movies that Hollywood is popping out like Catholic Rabbits :P (cough cough Avengers 2 cough cough)
As a side note of caution: I already mentioned it, but I want to reiterate: There is TONS of violence and gore in this show, and I will not judge you at all if you look away at times. I love the movie Braveheart, which is filled with gore and violence—and I thought I could easily handle the violence of the show. Welp, I definitely looked away at times, if that makes you feel better at all. Also, there is quite a bit of bad language in the show. Just as a heads up!