I really, really don’t like Daredevil Season 2

Generally speaking I’m a fan of the superhero genre. I’m old enough to remember sitting enthralled at green body-painted Lou Ferrigno growling as the Hulk. I can remember Super Friends, Adam West and Burt Ward (aka, Batman and Robin), and the original Spiderman (Spiderman, friendly neighborhood, Spiderman) cartoon.

I was never a huge fan of Daredevil in the comics. My money was on Hulk, Fantastic Four and a couple of others. When Netflix released Daredevil last year I gave it a try and was mostly pleased.

Season 2? Not a fan, even though I wanted to be.

Here’s why:

There is only so much suspended disbelief I can take. I’m game to go into the director’s universe and enjoy myself. When watching The Avengers I couldn’t care less whether Hulk can actually generate enough energy to accomplish his feats, or why Bruce Banner’s pants always fit after a Hulk-break. I don’t care if Captain America’s shield is a vibranium steel alloy or made from recycled Pepsi cans. I don’t expect scientific accuracy.

Daredevil, however, is a different kind of superhero. He’s blind with super attuned senses, and acquired athletic and martial arts prowess learned from a crusty old “get off my lawn type” named Stick who’s also blind with super attuned senses and martial arts prowess.

Unfortunately, Daredevil doesn’t die from injuries that would put the Hulk in a coma. In this season Elektra doesn’t die with sliced open with a poisoned katana blade, because Stick cures her with a witch’s brew of Jack Daniel’s and baking soda just as the toxin is set to enter her brain. The semi-hero of this season, the Punisher, had he been an actual person would have been taken into custody by the Pentagon and cloned into an indestructible army. He survives the most gruesome and graphic beat-downs, gunshot, blows to the head, chest, abdomen, back.

This would all be well and good if this were the Avengers. You can’t kill those guys; some of them aren’t even from this world. But Daredevil is set in normal, everyday life. (Excepting possibly that it’s dark in New York 20 hours a day.) He’s a LAWYER for crying out loud, an indestructible, sight-impaired Perry Mason.

The physically strongest guy in the series is uber-criminal-overlord-crime-syndicate-boss and art collector, Wilson Fisk. Played by “Law and Order” vet Vincent D’Onofrio, his every line comes across like Fisk about to regurgitate a 5-pound chicken carcass. In a conference room setting, Fisk surprises Matt Murdock (the lawyer side of Daredevil) and smashes his head into a table. Daredevil aside, even Murdock doesn’t go unconscious. He does wobble out of the room under his own power.

Punisher, Daredevil, Elektra Daredevil Season 2

Image: Marvel / Netflix

The series isn’t geographically realistic. Hell’s Kitchen is a 538-acre residential area in New York City. It goes by two other names, one of which is Clinton, probably because of the non-encrypted email servers in the basements. There’s a giant hole that either Bane or that monster from Super-8 should inhabit.

The amount of carnage in Daredevil this season makes Scarface look like Breakin’ 2, Electric Bugaboo. There are shootouts in the park, sniper assaults, cafe massacres, multiple emergency room visits, and at least one car crash. All of this in a place less than 1-square mile in size.

Where’s the national guard? The state police? Where’s Lenny? The police force of Hell’s Kitchen seems to be made up of one detective and some street cops. There seem to be as many officers guarding the Punisher in the courtroom as are guarding Hell’s Kitchen on the streets.

But it’s fiction, you say? Of course. But there are enough gangs and criminal elements in Daredevil Season 2 to be fighting over control of the eastern seaboard, not a few apartments near Central Park.

Daredevil’s face is a hard as carbon alloy. I surely must have missed the story arc in which Matt Murdock’s entire skull was replaced with that stuff in Wolverine’s claws. Daredevil gets hit in the mouth and nose with enough force to remove George Washington from Mount Rushmore. Not just once, but over and over and over. The Punisher has his turn. Elektra has her turn. An entire motorcycle gang has their turn. Ninjas (yes, ninjas) have their turn.

Think about this: Daredevil gets shot in his superhero helmet from point blank range and it knocks him out for a while. He gets hit in the face enough to have a CTE diagnoses by episode 6 and rarely if ever has a facial bruise. No missing teeth. Hockey players should have it so easy.

Too much blood. Not in the storyline. I’m okay with blood in the storyline if it services the narrative well.

I’m talking about the people have too much blood. These people have gallons of blood. Like kegs of blood finely aged in oak barrels. Have these special effects people no idea of human physiology?

It isn’t merely that people bleed a lot. People spill blood onto the floor with huge splashes like Granny pouring clabbered buttermilk into the sink.

The human body isn’t a 55-gallon drum of plasma.

Talk, fight, talk, fight, talk, fight. Daredevil Season 2 has two basic plot devices: fights (approximately 280 of them), and extended whining talking sessions. And the dialogue isn’t good; it is not memorable. It feels like the same basic conversation over, and over, and over.

And the fight scenes. Good grief. On sequence lasted so long Thor would have needed an oxygen tent to finish.

They lost the plot. Or rather, plots.

Just what is the plot? There are between 3 and 5 warring gangs, an eternal gang (like in Batman Begins), ninjas (like in Batman Begins), an American sniper (Castle), an office girl who likes Murdock or Foggy or Castle or the hospital orderly.

Or is it Stick and Elektra? Or Stick and the Blacksmith? Or Hoss Cartwright and the blacksmith? Or Punisher and his memories? Or Wilson Fisk and his rage issues? Or someone else who’ll be introduced in the last 15 minutes of episode 13?

As a friend of mine noted they never return to that giant cavern in the floor of Hell’s Kitchen.

I’m still a fan of the superhero genre. Daredevil 2 just is not a good addition to it.

Thanks for reading. Help keep Kingdom in the Midst going strong. Join others who’ve given $2, 5 or 10. Use the PayPal button in the right sidebar. No PayPal account necessary.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Patrick

    It’s stated that Daredevil takes place in the MCU. Season one clearly shows newspapers and conversations referring to the “Battle of New York” that happened in the first Avengers film, so it does not exist in “normal everyday life.” In addition, Daredevil’s exposure to the chemical stuff in season one gave him the supernatural senses; he’s not some random lawyer, and Daredevil from the comics deals with magic all the time. Half-way decent article, just do your research next time.

    • martyduren

      Yeah, I’m never going back to find all the Easter egg minutia like a newspaper in Season 1. Sorry. ;^)

      But, I do appreciate the comment!

  • Kyle Johnson

    I love that you wrote this. I actually enjoyed season 2. You could have added to the “suspended disbelief” section that dude is blind, but was walking around like nothing happened. Even as Murdock. I did get tired of Foggy, and at one point was hoping Fisk would get out of jail and take care of him. Good stuff. Thanks for your review! Now for your take on Batman v. Superman.

    • martyduren

      I bought into the blind super attuned senses in season one until nearly the last episode when DD chased a care while running across the uneven rooftops of a dozen city blocks. That’s when the producers don’t even care about their own universe: all the outside noise, smells, etc, would have worked against him (all the while trying to follow a specific car by sound while several stories in the air).

      Man of Steel burned me on Batman v. Superman. Saving those dollars. I loved TDK though, every installment.

  • Celebhol

    Suspension of disbelief got horrible, especially towards the end. Fight careographies were very bad and they didn’t feel even remotely real after a while. Even in 1st season, DD jumping unnecessarily to land a flip kick to downed guys was an issue, but 1st season was done very well overall, so it didn’t bother me that much. On the other hand, this season you have ninjas surrounding DD or Elektra but they only attack one at a time? Or they wave their hands around for no reason before getting kicked? Really, that’s the production value? Not to mention kicks or punches that don’t land, or they don’t clearly have enough power to have an impact. Fights got unbearable towards the end.

    Especially the last fight was horrible. DD says there are more guys than he can count, and we see dozens of people running. But they got around 8-10 people fighting. Really? Suddenly writers lose their memory? It’s such an obvious oversight that it’s painful. Even worse, they are said to be armed but there isn’t a single gun on them.

    A lot of dialogue were boring and consisted of overused comic stereotypes. “Hurr I can’t kill because everyone’s a special snowflake.” “No you must you ignorant fool.” Basically every conversation between Stick, Elektra, and DD was this. There are a lot of moral and practical points surrounding the topic of killing, but writers just went over the same stuff again and again. Had I been a 12 year old, it could be new to me, but this is just shallow and boring.

    Going back on the disbelief, Hand is supposedly a world class threat. Yet they can’t do jack even in a few blocks area, and against one guy. At best, they have few dozen ninjas. What’s so special about that? Are we to really believe, in Marvel universe, they are a threat? They are a joke.

    Also what’s so special about Elektra? You don’t have to show but at least give us a hint, because right now, she’s just someone good at fighting who was bested by Matt.

    Lack of plot was also mentioned, and I totally agree on that. Even if late, this is my two cents on the topic. Season 2 was such a let down, even though it started spectacular with Punisher focus. They should’ve just run with that particular plot, instead of trying to overachieve with multiple plots and horribly done, crowded fights.