Daredevil

May. 1st, 2015 09:56 pm
prettyarbitrary: (Fuzzy Cthulhu)
[personal profile] prettyarbitrary
I'm here, I'M HERE. I swear it's like I can't keep track of two websites at once these days.

So. Netflix's Daredevil. Who's watched it? LET US DISCUSS.

Date: 2015-05-02 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airynothing.livejournal.com
OMG yes! I watched 2 eps so far. ...I wish they could tone down the violence a bit, but OMG squishy angsty hero saving kids and getting beat up aaaah!

Date: 2015-05-02 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's on the higher end for violence. Though somebody pointed out that it's interesting that it's the most violent of the Marvel properties so far, and yet Matt is the first superhero to express a resistance to killing.

GOD, he gets beat up so much and he's so fierce and vulnerable and just. *gnaws on him*

AND HIS FRIENDS. <3

Date: 2015-05-02 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ariss-tenoh.livejournal.com
I watched it all over 3 days. I was surprised by how it exceeded my expectations^_^

Date: 2015-05-02 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Me too! I was expecting it to be a good time, but wow.

My favorite might be how dark and neon-saturated it is when he's Daredevil. It's not just visually striking; something about it really feels like New York at night. There's so much neon and things that the city gets colored that way.

Date: 2015-05-04 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ariss-tenoh.livejournal.com
The visuals were stunning but what I loved was how human Matt turned out to be. His life, angst, and the moral questions he asks himself seem very real and make him more approachable for the viewer. Kudos to the actor for portraying both his strength and weaknesses.

Date: 2015-05-04 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yes!

I pick on Matt a bit about the manpain, because he totally has the Batman thing going on (of course, since Daredevil was basically Marvel's answer to Batman). but while in itself, that can be pretty stereotypical, what makes it work is that he's not alone. He and his friends are all in the same fight, and we see them all handle it in very different ways, together and alone, and in that context Matt's less the Martyriffic Lone Hope For the City and more...a guy trying to get a handle on what this situation is doing to him, while trying to make it better in the best way he knows how.

One of the things I liked was how wrong he was. He's right that the law can't always help--the law is for bringing people to justice after, not preventing bad things from happening in the first place--but his motivations for most of the series are so poisoned. He's angry at all the hurt in the world that he can hear, and fighting against despair, and until near the end, punching people in the face is as much about taking that out on somebody as it is about protecting people.

In the meantime you have Karen, who in some ways is fighting the same battle--confronting her fear and anger for herself and the people around her--and in other ways a very different one, and Foggy, who has his stuff together and is mostly just torn apart by what his friends are going through, and Ben, who is such an old hand at facing the exact same demons that he's got a system for it. (I'm still mad about Ben, BTW; I feel it was unnecessary.)

Date: 2015-05-02 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] obscuriglobus.livejournal.com
Your tumblr posts about it are so tempting, but time. Life needs to get a little less busy so I can catch up on all this TV and reading ;)

Date: 2015-05-02 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Time is so cruel. People are still in the process of discovering it, though! The lovely thing about Netflix shows. ^_^

Date: 2015-05-02 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] call-me-ishmael.livejournal.com
I feel like I'm one of the few not digging it. It does some good stuff but it does enough things I have problems with that I'm not sure I'll bother watching it again. I have no desire to participate in the fandom.
Some of this is general frustration with the MCU and MCU fandom and not Daredevil alone, but as it is I care WAY more about Jessica/Luke/Danny than I do about Matt.

Date: 2015-05-02 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Well, nothing's 100% with everybody! Daredevil certainly has its drawbacks (let alone the MCU and its fandom as a whole). What ones are standing out to you?

I'm betting Jessica's series is going to be absolutely amazeballs after seeing this.

Date: 2015-05-02 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] call-me-ishmael.livejournal.com
Ok this will be disjointed as fuck as I marathoned all the episodes in a weekend and haven't rewatched them since.

So some of it's me being grumpily annoyed how too many heroes are the exact same square-jawed stubbly white dudes I can't tell apart and Matt and Bucky might as well have the same actor for all I can tell them apart. Daredevil is one offender among many.
Diversity-wise, it needs work. Background diversity? Yeah, it's got some solid things going with using native languages and shit. But the ones who do anything major are all dropped (in 2 cases permanently) once they've served their plot purpose. I'll give that the end body count was really high but in general shit bugged me.
Women lack agency, especially in the early series. For a long time Gao was the only woman who did and she spoke in fortune cookie stereotypes (also, is evil). I get that if she's attached to the Kun Lun being ridiculous is part of the gig but still the first five or so eps were all WOMEN IN PERIL! ALSO KIDS! and that was grating. I mean Karen and Vanessa have some great things going and if s2 isn't all about Vanessa being fucking TERRIFYING in her own vastly different way than Fisk they've wasted a golden opportunity. Claire bugged me because she was calling Matt on his bullshit and he's all "MANPAIN MANPAIN HEROING IS SO LONELY" etc and then she gets dropped almost entirely because she won't join in. The shit about not telling Karen is stupid and I'm SO TIRED of that "must lie to people to protect them" bullshit.
Hilariously I'm so used to martial arts movies the violence didn't register much with me, though some of the meh fight choreography did.
I keep thinking "Marvel, you can do better" and that's what a lot of my frustration boils down to. They're doing some amazing inclusive things in the comics when it comes to characters AND creators and their TV/movie properties aren't despite the asstons of money they're making. Like if they don't cast an Asian actor for Danny I'll be so disappointed because that'd be an amazing opportunity to make the character less Orientalist and do some cool shit with immigrant identity but I'm sure I'm going to be disappointed because they love wallowing in sameyville instead of changing things up.
Hot damn this got long. Uh, sorry about that. I've not tried to make coherent thoughts about it before and my current displeasure with Age of Ultron is seeping in.

Date: 2015-05-02 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Bah, LJ comments aren't long until you start wondering if you're going to have to split them in two. :D (Or is that just me? >.>)

Anyway, you make perfect sense to me, and I'm on board with most of this. The thing with Danny is the one issue that makes me really wary of the Iron Fist series--because if you don't cast an Asian actor there or else change stuff so dramatically he's no longer really the same character, then you end up with the kind of Fu Manchu legacy magic-Asian/white-savior racism that even racists won't meet your eyes over these days.

It's been really (disappointingly) striking to me recently, how vastly the MCU and comics are diverging over inclusion. The movies are looking exactly like Marvel did 5 years ago, before they finally got on board the train. I suppose that's because it's harder to shift the movie industry and multinational companies than a comics publisher. Marvel's big in comics, but compared to the mega media companies, it's small potatoes.

But god, I wish somebody in the movie production pipeline would sit up and take notice. I'm hoping the diversity we see here is just the first step in a better direction--but like you, I'm not holding my breath.

I was pretty happy with the women, though. I felt less like I was seeing the damsel in distress thing and more like, when somebody tried it on them, they stomped that and stomped it hard. In fact, in many ways I really feel like this was primarily Karen's story, more than Matt's.

Matt is such a self-absorbed person, really. I mean he's empathetic, but fundamentally for him it really is all about his manpain.


But right out of the gate, Karen is full-bore "I'm taking all our lives back and I'm not leaving anybody behind." She's the one who enacts positive change. She's the one who makes connections, builds allies, pushes boundaries in a way that actually makes a difference--as opposed to Matt, who mostly just makes a mess and starts gang wars, and who falls down about 2/3 through and wouldn't have gotten back up again by himself.

I was worried about Vanessa there for a while, but I liked the way that turned out, too. And I totally agree about season 2.

(I also liked how even though Matt is all about his manpain, nobody else is. Claire walks away. Ben's done with it before he even knows what it is. And Foggy doesn't just nearly walk away; he also turns out to be on point regarding everything he calls out Matt about. So I felt pretty good about the overall devaluation of manpain in this one. :D)
Edited Date: 2015-05-02 11:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-02 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] recentlyfolded.livejournal.com
I'm on the fence about Daredevil, currently 3 eps in. I like the thinky stuff but the violence is almost too much. I watch while on the treadmill, so I rely on the shows I'm watching to keep me engaged; disengaging, as I do with violence (often to just admire the choreography or effects), takes me out of the show too much of the time and then I start getting bored with the whole treadmill thing and my brain starts whinging...it all gets terribly counterproductive. So it may not be the show for my purposes, I suppose. I've had it sitting in a sticky note where I track eps and decide what the day's watching will be, and in about 10 days I've not felt urged to watch another ep. We'll see how it goes: it's not deleted from the list quite yet, either.

Date: 2015-05-02 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
It is very violent. I'm fairly inured to violence in TV and movies, so sometimes I lose track of that, but you're certainly not the only person I know who's wary of that.

One interesting thing this show does is that--much like sex in some of the best fanfic--as it goes on, you realize that the violence itself is actually quite thinky. The fight scenes turn out to be a sort of dialogue, between Matt and...well, a lot of things he's got in his head. (And, later, the same goes for Fisk and his own inner demons.)

That said, in terms of violence by ep 3 you haven't seen the worst the show has to offer. Mostly it's more of the same 'brutal beating' stuff, but there's a flashback to domestic abuse, and at least one instance of interrogation/torture (comparatively mild as those things go, but I figure that if even I find it uncomfortable, it's worth warning people about).

Date: 2015-05-03 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanorganaas.livejournal.com
UGH DAREDEVIL IS AMAZING I LOVE THE CAST AND CHARLIE COX X333

Date: 2015-05-04 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Right?! I keep bouncing from one of them to the next as my favorite like a hyperactive bumblebee. <3

But Charlie Cox's beat-up sad puppy face, I can't.

Date: 2015-05-03 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrsscience.livejournal.com
We just started it! 2 Eps in and loving it. It certainly is violent, but you know what I noticed about it right away? It's more realistic violence. Daredevil gets tired. He takes a minute to get up from the floor. The bad guys don't go down with a single punch - they keep getting up and he has to go after them again and again. It struck me as so different from other shows where the fights are so movie-ready, and I really liked that.

Also Charlie Cox. Yum. I miss his Irish accent from Boardwalk Empire though! (gah)

Date: 2015-05-04 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yes, exactly! I think that is what actually makes the violence disturb some people more. I've noticed that there's something about realistic violence that makes you feel it more and identify with it and the victims more. But I like that. It's a good reminder that violence isn't the sanitized Hollywood stuff.

The fact that the bad guys don't usually go down with one hit--I actually pointed that out to my sister because I was so impressed. Now and then Matt will land a haymaker that'll take somebody down in one shot, but it's unusual.

I'm really thrilled with the way martial arts traditions are woven into the story, both boxing and taijutsu. I think boxing fans would be particularly pleased with the way having that in his history doesn't just shape Matt's punches (although it does; if you know the fighting styles you can see the way he combines boxing and the styles Stick taught him), but also how he sees the world. Because it's one of those sports, like baseball or horse racing, that gets into your blood early and becomes part of you. It's also deeply, deeply burnt into the fabric of lower class NYC--which Hell's Kitchen was very much a part of, before the gentrification of the last 20 years, and which Daredevil the comic was very much rooted in.

And I love the way he blends them (I can't identify everything, but the showy kicks are almost certainly from tae kwon do, the joint locks and throwing people around are probably judo and/or aikido, the good old-fashioned punches and kicks are found in most styles but are rooted in karate, and I saw a bit of capoeira in there too--but there's something about the way he throws a punch that is 100% boxing). It's very Bruce Lee--I mean REALLY Bruce Lee, in the sense that he came up out of that back alley prize-fighting world himself, half a world away, and everything he ever studied about martial arts put a focus on the function of it. Most of what you learn in western studios is demonstration martial arts. It's pretty, but you've got a lot of work to do if you want to take it into the MMA circuit. Bruce Lee always had a special appreciation for boxing, because it's one of the few martial arts that never lost that element. It's meant to hurt, and even if you practice it as a sport rather than life or death, you pay your dues in blood in practicing it.

(I...have a love/hate relationship with boxing and MMA. I have such a deep respect for these arts and the dedication and skill of their practitioners, and you can't help but see the beauty and power of the human body in them. But on the other hand I'm really not a fan of blood sports.)

Date: 2015-05-04 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrsscience.livejournal.com
That's fascinating stuff! I'm going to be paying fare more attention to his tactics, now. I have noticed all the cool jumping kicks, the use of walls and surfaces as leverage, etc. But hearing how many different forms of martial arts is represented is really cool. Wonder how much of that is Charlie and how much is a double?

Date: 2015-05-04 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Not sure, but apparently Charlie's doing more of it than I had expected. He said that for the hallway scene, he and his double would swap off each time one of them ducked out of sight into a room.

Date: 2015-05-04 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Once I finished the series and thought back on it, I also realized... Okay, so you know how a really good sex scene is often more than just a sex scene? It can be a kind of emotional dialogue. A conversation that happens in a language beyond words. Things the characters can't find words to express can be brought up, turned over and, sometimes, laid to rest.

Matt's fights are like that.

They're not dialogues with the people he's fighting, usually. (Except in one or two notable cases.) They're mostly dialogues with himself--spectres of his past, the different sides of his personality, the demons that haunt him. As you get to know him better and learn more about his backstory, you begin to recognize how he's negotiating with his anger, how he's exploring his childhood traumas through these battles.

And I mean, if that sounds supremely fucked up then yeah, it is. That comes up too, a little bit.

Date: 2015-05-06 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mugenmine.livejournal.com
I binged watched the series in about a week. I tried to slow down as I knew that I only had a limited amount but well that didn't work. I loved that series. I'm not sure who I loved more, Matt or Wilson. I just loved Wilson! I loved that the series took the time to develop both sides of the coin so deeply that in many ways I was rooting for Matt and Wilson at many points, and was sad when Wilson experienced loss as well... I wanted them both to win in a way and I wanted Wilson and Vanessa to run off to some remote part of the world and find happiness. (okay yes Wilson definitely needed to be stopped, but wow, I was so thrilled that they didn't make the "Villain" without any shade, they gave him all the shades!) My current complaint about one of my other fave shows at the moment, Outlander. The baddie in that show is SO BAD that it's kind of cartoony, but in a terrifying way.)

Not that I didn't love Matt, mind you! Wow, I could go on about him :-) My only low point in the series was Foggy. I just couldn't really get into him. He did grow on my by the end, and I hope next season that will continue but for some reason he didn't click.

I've reccd this show to everyone! It's made me excited for the rest of the Netflix Marvel series :-D

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