Okay, I finally finished season 3 of Daredevil. I have to say, I was impressed with this show. If it is cancelled (which is probably likely, just because of the Disney situation), I will be disappointed. The show is so well written, produced, acted and even scored. It's the best of the superhero shows on TV, and the best of the Marvel universe as a whole.
While watching the show, I couldn't help but compare it to the Arrowverse in my head. The way Daredevil handled situations throughout the situation showed that they put story above politics. They cared about characters more than they cared about the writers. I hate selfish writing, and Daredevil avoided that, while Arrow seems to hit every rock on their way down the hill. (I don't think that metaphor worked as well in writing as it did in my head)
This season dealt with storylines that featured FBI corruption, media manipulation/fake news, political campaigns and even their normal religious themes. Throughout the season, they put their story above trying to comment on real world issues. In doing so, they could explore real world issues without the "uncanny valley" effect that so many shows struggle with today, because they're so concerned with making real-world points.
Yes, I hijacked the uncanny valley thing and used it wrong. I don't care. The point is still valid.
By *not* trying to comment on our real world issues withing their fantastical superhero universe, they were actually able to produce a story that felt more true and real, and explored themes in a way that didn't alienate the audience.
In the episode which flashed back to Karen's past, we saw Karen when she was a deeply troubled, scarred, broken young woman. They didn't do this by changing the color of her hair or making her goth (Felicity). They did this through... character. That's it. And while the story could have easily been about three men in her life who were trying to control her and make decisions for her, they didn't choose that path. They chose a path where yeah, those guys wanted different things for her, but she was also messed up and she was also responsible for her own mistakes. By not trying to make her a feminist icon, they made her a stronger character. She holds her own on the show, without it being about wokeness points.
With Arrow, look at how they handled Felicity's flashback, or her time in witness protection. It's about the hair and clothes. It's a very shallow way to build that story or sell that character. Why was Felicity's hair pink? It wasn't a disguise, but it also doesn't look to be a fashion choice, because she abandoned it ASAP. So really, it was just about the writer (or whoever) sitting there, trying to think of what Felicity would be wearing or how her hair would look, and they didn't really try to sell the situation or the character.
Karen was different in the past, but she wasn't just different for the sake of being different. She was a point along the way for *our* Karen.
Some of Daredevil's quality can be chalked up to more money. More extras. Better scoring. More locations. All of that is true, but even the scenes where two characters were talking on a regular set, the whole thing just felt more grounded and "real", even with the crazy superhero stuff happening.
It just makes so much difference when the people making a show actually care about the story. On Arrow, I feel like the writers are writing a superhero show in spite of what they actually want to be writing about. On Daredevil, I feel like the writers are exploring humanity through this comic book lens.
Anyway... I liked it.