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TV REVIEW: The Punisher Cooks Up a Gorier Hells Kitchen in Marvel’s Second Season of DAREDEVIL on Netflix

Daredevil Mask

“Excuse me, do I have something in my teeth? Do I still have my teeth?”

 

As many a fellow Outlaw has learned (against their better judgement), I seem to have an affinity for genetically altered humans who spend most of their day saving lives while prancing around in ultra-form-fitting red ensembles. The blame for my infatuation with males in red tights can be squarely pointed at Marvel for hooking me on Daredevil and Spider-Man comic books back before modern cinema could properly translate their abilities to the big screen, let alone any sized screen these days.

With my season one review of Marvel’s Daredevil series, I confessed my falling in love with Daredevil in comic-book form as a wee lad, only to fall out of love with him with the cinematic Affleck experiment gone awry.  After binging 13 solid hours of my life away – which most would consider productive compared to what I usually do with my time – my love for the Man without Fear him was renewed. Sadly, due to the fact I consumed all 13 episodes faster than Carl Grimes ate nine gallons of chocolate pudding, the wait for season two proved to be more excruciating than most hiatuses within the television medium.

 

Punisher holding Mask 3

“Who in the hell puts their name, address and phone number on their superhero helmet?”

 

Luckily, I survived my severe lack of patience and Marvel delivered the goods on another season of the horny hero. (On a related note, if there really was a hero whose super power was being horny, I would be a shoe in for casting.) This time around, I swore to myself (and the neighbors upstairs who decided it was a prudent cleaning decision to vacuum at 1am in the morning), I would ingest the second helping of the critically acclaimed show at a sloth’s pace versus the two day span it took to view the first 13 installments. You’ll be happy to know I spread the viewings out over seven evenings. A far cry from my one episode per week goal, but baby steps people… baby steps.

While it’s pretty much standard protocol at this point, by law I’m still required to note this mini-review – as with a majority of past reviews – will be virtually spoiler free. That’s right, NO SPOILERS here. So hide the kids and lock up your peanut butter cups; Geek Outlaw is going to give you his unscientific thoughts on season two of Daredevil.

 

PROS – What Not To Fear:

  • Punishment Never Felt So Good:
    According to the couple of random people who communicate on the internets, the arrival of Frank Castle (aka The Punisher) was arguably one of the most anticipated additions to the sophomore season. Let me be the 932nd person to tell you, the expectations did not go unrewarded. Having only read a few Punisher comics over the course of my geeky life and knowing very little about his origin, it’s fair to say I’m no expert on the gun-wielding vigilante. That said, I feel as if Marvel nailed the look and feel of the character by casting Jon Bernthal in the role. He killed it… pun intended.

 

jon-bernthal-gets-one-step-closer-to-going-full-punisher-574831

Separated by ink? Outside of a cop on a power-bender, Punisher may be the role he was born to play.

 

  • That Comic-Book Feel :
    With most of season being a very long origin story for the ‘Man Without Fear’, the series definitely looked and felt more grounded in reality in large part because Matt Murdoch only dons the familiar threads for a few minutes during the final episode. On the flip side, season two wastes little time giving us more of our blind redhead from almost the very beginning of the first episode. Combine that with the addition of familiar hiney-kicking characters such as Punisher and Elektra, and the whole series now has a more superhero vibe to it. Seeing all of these larger-than-life heroes fight with and against each other in some of the best fist-cuffs I’ve seen since my last Jackie Chan marathon, was truly a sight to behold.

 

Punisher Daredevil Elektra

Three people whose birthdays you probably don’t want to make a habit of forgetting.

 

~

CONS – Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid:

  • Paging Karen Page. Is There An Actor In The House?
    I tried to like you Deborah, I really tried. Despite my unflattering rant from my season one review about how I would rather have a dinner date than Beelzebub than your character Karen Page, I now see the issue isn’t necessarily the character at all… it’s the actress playing her. Based on her portrayal of Ms. Page, it has now become apparent to me the only attributes Deborah Ann Woll can bring to the table is whiny, complaining and a constantly furrowed brow of crankiness. In my book, her obnoxiously irritable voice along with the petulantly anger-ridden look frozen on her face in every scene, has made her one of the most annoying and unlikable actresses I’ve watched since the beginning of me watching stuff. Furthermore, Page’s common sense borders that of a Sony Pictures executive and her decision making skills are about as coherent as a Bernie Sanders fiscal policy. How anyone is attracted to her character in the series, let alone can stand spending 10 seconds in her presence, is a mystery which far surpasses even the Roswell crash.

    ~

    Karen-Page-645x370

    Didn’t your mother tell you that if you kept making angst-ridden faces it would get stuck like that?

     

    It also didn’t help matters the creatives behind the cameras decided to make Woll’s role larger this go-round. As my fellow Outlaws are well aware I tend to humorously exaggerate from time to time, but I’m not joking when I say I almost gave up on the entire season about three episodes in. I debated scratching my nails on a chalkboard for an additional 10 hours as an alternative to watching further, nevertheless, cooler heads eventually prevailed. I’m either going to have to mute and fast-forward through her scenes next year, or intoxicate myself to levels of Ghostbusters reboot type proportions in order to make it through without pulling my body hair out one follicle at a time. (If you’ve seen how much body hair I have, you’ll understand what an excruciatingly long and painful process I’d be subjecting myself to.)

 

daredevil-season-2-chains

Trust me, even this beats plucking out your own body hair with a tweezers.

 

Also of worthwhile note, if you thought season one of Daredevil was dark and a bit bloody, you may want to turn on some extra lights and stock up on Pepto. This new further unimproved Hells Kitchen would even send Gordon Ramsey home crying into his saucepan. The showrunner really decided to add a level of gore and violence one wouldn’t quite expect from a Marvel property. Some moments were so graphic; I wouldn’t be surprised if Bernthal didn’t have on set flashbacks to his tour of duty on The Walking Dead.

 

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“If only had these options during the zombie apocalypse.”

 

Outside of one outstanding flaw (*cough* Woll as Page *cough*),  I can wholeheartedly recommend Daredevil’s sequel season on Netflix. And hell, if you can at least put up with Woll’s depiction of the duo’s friend, you’ll enjoy this crop of episodes more so than this Outlaw. If not, like me while watching season two, you may have wished for the diminished sight of Matt Murdoch without the enhanced super-hearing.

 

4 Spurs

 

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