The Netflix superhero TV show “Daredevil” is returning for a second season following a fairly well-received first series of episodes in 2015.
“Daredevil” stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who also works as a superhero, fighting crime in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. The show co-stars Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, and Jon Bernthal.
The second season will see the introduction of new characters such as the Punisher (Bernthal), another crime-fighter who embraces more violent methods than Daredevil, as well as Elektra (Elodie Yung), an expert fighter who was romantically involved with Daredevil in the past. The new episodes debut March 18.
Since the debut of “Daredevil” in the spring of 2015, Netflix has also brought on another TV show about a Marvel character, “Jessica Jones,” which stars Krysten Ritter. “Jessica” was also well-received.
Netflix’s programs stand out as critical successes in the TV superhero genre in contrast to some of the programs on the major networks. Programs on the CW like “The Flash” have been well-received, but ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Fox’s “Gotham,” for example, have gotten mixed reviews from critics.
“’Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ needs to step things up a bit,” Collider writer Evan Valentine noted after the most recent episode. “I feel like the previous midseason finale was a misstep for a solid season that’s caused something of a tail dive.… As it stands, the series is passable but I wouldn’t give it a recommendation moving forward if things don’t drastically improve.”
As for “Gotham,” IGN writer Matt Fowler called the most recent episode had “a very good scene …. surrounded by the usual ‘Gotham’ absurdity.”
There are of course many other elements that go into making a show good, but how has finding a home on Netflix helped “Daredevil” and “Jessica”?
USA Today writer Kelly Lawler suggested that “Daredevil” is “built for Netflix.”
“’Daredevil’ was made for the binge-watcher,” Ms. Lawler writes. “You can tell from the way the episodes bleed into one another, not really existing on their own.… This isn't the villain-of-the-week formula of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ or even ‘Arrow’ or ‘The Flash.’ This is a long game played by Murdock and [villain Wilson] Fisk, a single movie stretched out over the course of 13 episodes. And watching them all in a row over the course of one weekend just feels right.”
David Sims of The Atlantic agrees that the Netflix form of a TV season is ideal for a comic book story.
“The strong first season of Daredevil, which just dropped on the binge-friendly Netflix as 13 episodes, proves the material might have finally found its perfect medium,” Mr. Sims writes. “A network show like ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on ABC has some obligation to keep things simple enough to follow along with week to week; ‘Daredevil’ is its graphic-novel cousin, meatier and more ambitious, and succeeding on those grounds even though the pace is slower.”