Simply put: season two of Daredevil is not as good as season one. But it’s still a darn good season of television, even by Netflix’s high standards.
Since then, Punisher has remained a viable character and maintained a consistent publishing presence, though his heyday of carrying multiple books and making routine guest appearances in all corners of the Marvel Universe are long behind him. And, really, that’s for the best: on his own, the Punisher is a compelling character. A shattered soldier, driven to extremes by the death of his family. He’s a Batman who eschews the theatricality of a costume and has no qualms about killing bad guys, and that type of character can be engaging and entertaining. But Punisher works less well as a protagonist in a shared superhero universe. Put him side-by-side next to guys like Daredevil or Captain America, and everyone gets watered down: the Punisher doesn’t kill anyone (because the heroes won’t let him), and the heroes look like idiots for not capturing this guy who willingly operates so far outside their usual “no killing” code.
The relationship between Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and Kilgrave (David Tennant) is at the heart of Jessica Jones’ first season. Her fear of, and desire to get revenge on, Kilgrave make for compelling character motivations, propelling Jessica through her various crises without ever suggesting that he is the only noteworthy aspect of her life.
After the success of shows like Orange is the New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and standup specials from talents like Aziz Ansari and Chelsea Peretti, it was clear that Netflix was on its way to becoming a major player in comedy. Master of None, the new series from Ansari and Alan Yang, will perhaps become the crown jewel of Netflix’s comedy empire.
Although the achievements of director Cary Joji Fukunaga in the first season of True Detective have never been widely disputed, the disastrous second season, produced without Fukunaga at the helm, made his contribution all the more apparent. The astonishing six-minute tracking shot midway through season one was an obvious high point, but Fukunaga embedded visual information throughout the season which brought the setting and characters to life. Beyond the convoluted plot, season two missed these sorts of details, leaving a bland detective show without enough aesthetic idiosyncrasies to make it compelling.
After frantically sprinting from the press to the general admission line and waiting in the queue hall for hours with the help of my Jewel (Jessica Jones’ old superhero identity) cosplaying friend Julia, I had the privilege of attending the Marvel Netflix panel about Daredevil Season 2 and Jessica Jones Season 1, which is set to premiere on November 20. The panel looked back at the first season of Daredevil while showing the first footage of the upcoming second season, and the lucky fans in the audience also had the chance to watch the first episode of Jessica Jones after a discussion with the cast and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter).
When Wet Hot American Summer was released in 2001, it was poorly received by critics and flopped at the box office, but thanks to DVD rentals it garnered a huge cult following in the wake of its failure. The affectionate send-up of ’80s summer camp romps like Meatballs and Porky’s was the brainchild of David Wain, who first cut his teeth on The State, a scattershot mid-90’s sketch show that lasted 26 episodes on MTV. It was Wain’s first film, and it featured an excellent cast of relatively unknown actors at the time, which included Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Poehler, to name a few. Considered by many to be the first “great” American comedy of the 21st century, it’s hard to understand why it wasn’t well received at the time. Wet Hot American Summer may be idiotic and ridiculous, but it’s also completely brilliant in how it deconstructs popular storytelling in Hollywood teen movies while embracing the stereotypical atmosphere and daily routines of sleep-away summer camps.
“Have fun being sad!” Todd yells this at BoJack early on in the second season of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, but it works well describing the series as a whole. This is perhaps the greatest TV show ever about depression and pain, and it’s padded by hilarious gags and talking animals. It’s brilliant, and so sad.
In the second half of the season, the potency of the action choreography hasn’t dissipated, but the structure around it has grown even more complicated, lessening its effect. The idea of law enforcement making sure Nomi gets a lobotomy is hard to believe, but the international conspiracy against the Sensates which explains it is even harder to understand.