Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #26



latestI finished the second season of Daredevil last week after having spent most of last spring pacing myself by watching one episode a week since the series launch — that is until Memorial Day weekend where I blew through the last three episodes in quick succession. The first season of Daredevil mostly dealt with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) slowly becoming the bad guy fighting, anti-yakuza and Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) battlin’ Daredevil we know and love. And the second season featured a more confident Daredevil taking on the mysterious Hand ninja clan who will stop at nothing to achieve their own ends with only Daredevil standing in their way.

Which is one point about the second season of Daredevil that I didn’t care too much for; the Hand might be too mysterious for the story going on here. I’m not totally sure exactly what the Hand was after all this time — other than what they get in the very last episode — or why they were willing to sacrifice so much in order to get it?

That being said I really enjoyed the second season of Daredevil. It was much better than the first season which was pretty good to begin with and had one of the best supporting cast on TV.

There’s Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll playing Foggy Nelson and Karen Page respectively. In lesser hands these characters would have been pushed to the background, in the series only to move the Murdock/Daredevil story along. But here they feel like real people with their own needs, wants and desires that sometimes are with, and sometimes go against the main Daredevil story.

There’s also Elodie Yung who plays Elektra Natchios, a spoiled rich girl from Murdock’s past who has much more depth as a character, and is much more dangerous, than anyone expected. I was surprised as to just how good Yung is playing the character of Elektra here — one minute soft and demur and the next scary and strong. I’d only ever seen her before as Jinx in G.I. Joe: Retaliation but she’s absolutely wonderful here.

A special nod goes out to Jon Bernthal who plays Frank Castle/The Punisher. There’s been at least three different actors to play the Punisher on-screen all the way back to Dolph Lundgren in the late 1980s. But it’s Bernthal who seems to have finally cracked and perfected him. He’s always on edge, always in the shadows who operates within his own moral code. It’s also an interesting version of the Punisher that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in any form — brain damaged from the attack that killed his family and never sure if what he remembers from his past is real or if it’s just a figment of the fragment of the bullet he took to the head?

Here, the Punisher is the anthesis of Daredevil — both want to stop crime yet it’s the Punisher who’s willing to kill to do so. And it’s where these to characters bump up against each other; both trying to do the same thing but are somewhat enemies because of their different ethos, that makes the Punisher/Daredevil relationship so interesting.

And apparently Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle was so well received that a Netflix Punisher series is now in the works. Which does beg the question — can a third season of Daredevil without Punisher be as good as the second with? And too, can the character of the Punisher carry his own show when, as shown here, he works best operating in the shadows of some other super-heroes’ storyline?

I was also surprised as to just how gory the series is. Compared to other Marvel series like Agents of SHIELD and films like Captain America: Civil War where a lot of blood means a tiny tricky out of the side of a characters nose, Daredevil is positively The Evil Dead in blood in comparison. In the series people are cut and they bleed, and it sometimes takes stitches to close up the wounds.

Though this gore is more comic book in nature than realistic — people are cut and bleed but somehow things never get that bloody — it’s still adds to the realism of the show.

Regardless of what the future holds, right now I’d say that to me so far in 2016 Daredevil ranks as one of the very best shows of the season so far.

Grade: A

The Carmichael Show

lead_960The second season of The Carmichael Show wrapped up last week on NBC. It’s a different kind of sitcom in that it’s actually about something.

The Carmichael Show follows the Carmichael family with son and lead of the show Jerrod (Jerrod Carmichael), girlfriend Maxine (Amber Stevens West) and Jerrod’s mom and dad played by David Alan Grier and Loretta Devine with Jerrod’s brother (LilRel Howery)and his brother’s ex-wife (Tiffany Haddish) too. So far, episodes of The Carmichael Show have dealt with things like racism, gentrification, pornography and the current political climate. Jerrod’s girlfriend is going to “Feel the Bern” next November while his father’s voting for Trump since he’s, “Going to bring the jobs back…”

It’s not the typical show and I think that might be part of the reason The Carmichael Show hasn’t been doing well in the ratings — though it was recently picked up for a third season. Most sitcoms find a formula, and if it works, pound it into the ground for years and years and years. But The Carmichael Show isn’t like that. Since each episode deals with different topics and themes, each one feels different that the one before.

While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with shows being about “nothing” ala Seinfeld, it’s nice that there are still shows out there that are about something. Be it series like Community, Arrested Development or, though not yet in those two show’s league, The Carmichael Show.

BTW — it’s nice to see David Alan Grier in a TV series again. To my generation Grier was one of the cornerstones of the In Living Color TV series. And while Grier’s worked consistently the last two decades, it’s nice to see him back on a weekly TV series.

Grade: B+

Angie Tribeca

960The second season of the TBS series Angie Tribeca begins this Monday at 9(EDT). The first season that aired in a “bingeathon” last winter was pretty funny. The show takes its cue from the irreverent humor of series like Police Squad and movies like The Naked Gun and Airplane. It’s goofy, silly fun.

In the spirit of Police Squad, Angie Tribeca follows the title detective (Rashida Jones) and her partner Jay (Hayes MacArthur) as they investigate all sorts of weird crimes from a ventriloquist dummy lead crime ring, illegal pet ferrets being smuggled into California as well as every single cop show cliche from the last 20 years from forensic scientists who seemingly know everything to gruff, but lovable bosses and everything in between.

That being said, Angie Tribeca does feel more like an Adult Swim style show than a TBS one. In fact, it sure seems like Angie Tribeca took a lot of the core elements from its show from other series like NTSF:SD:SUV that seems to share a lot of the same character types and themes too.

Grade: B

The Reading List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1982: E.T.:The Extra-Terrestrial premiers in theaters
  • 1984: Gremlins opens in theaters
  • 1989: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier opens in theaters
  • 1993: Jurassic Park opens in theaters