Marvel’s risky decision to take Daredevil, their joint project with Netflix, to a darker and more violent place has clearly not bothered most viewers. According to Business Insider, the dramatic live-action superhero series has dethroned Netflix favorites House of Cards, Breaking Bad, and Sherlock to become the top-rated show available to watch instantly. With 4.6 out of 5 stars, it edged out its competition by a tenth of a point.
That the show has taken off with critics and viewers alike isn’t a surprise now, what with its 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 9.2 rating on IMDB, at the time of publication. In fact, the show was already renewed for its second season within two weeks of its April 2015 premiere. However, what was surprising was Marvel’s decision to eschew its typical “all-ages” appeal for a decidedly less family-friendly and brutal tone.
Starring Charlie Cox, Daredevil follows the adventures of Matt Murdock, a man who was blinded in a childhood accident, resulting in his other senses developing to the point of becoming superhuman. He makes his living as an attorney, fighting bad guys in a courtroom, but he also moonlights as a masked vigilante, literally taking criminals off the streets of his neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen. As a highly trained martial artist, his fights are vicious, and he’s not immune to injuries. Both he and his opponents take their share of abuse. It’s gritty, graphic, and even gruesome at times.
With Daredevil, Marvel has shown it doesn’t need to be family-friendly to have a hit. As violent as it is, what really stands out about the series is the show’s impressive production, skilled acting, and captivating storyline. Seeing what they’ve done with Daredevil, we’re excited to continue to follow The Defenders saga, which will add a 13-episode season of A.K.A. Jessica Jones to Netflix later this year.