A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Daredevil is a show adapted from the classic comic-book series. Its protagonist, Matt Murdock, is an honest young defense attorney who's also blind -- and who spends his nights fighting crime as the super sensory superhero Daredevil. The violence is extreme and in your face (you can hear each punch, kick, and crushed bone in excruciating detail.) Viewers will see copious blood, hand-to-hand-combat, dead bodies, stabbings, and stranglings as Daredevil works to take down the local crime syndicate. Illegal drugs are shown being prepared, and a young woman is drugged in a bar. Young kids looking for a family-friendly superhero series will not find one in Daredevil, but mature teens and grown-ups will be thrilled by this dark but still very enjoyable interpretation. Parents may want to take special note of the show's second season, which features Murdock caught up in a relationship that might compromise his principles -- ultimately, those principles triumph, but the hero makes mistakes along the way, which can be used as teachable moments.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
Newly minted laywer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his partner, Foggy Nelson (Eldon Henson), are just starting their law practice, and there's a problem: no clients. Somewhat unscrupulous Foggy is not above ambulance-chasing, which is how they discover Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), framed for murder and in danger. Meanwhile, the altruistic Murdock, who happens to be a person who's blind, has a side job: fighting crime as his alter ego, DAREDEVIL, by using his incredible hand-to-hand combat skills and ultraheightened senses. There's a crime syndicate that runs deep through the city's underbelly; its orders come from the mysterious, ruthless kingpin Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio). As Murdock discovers the nefarious ties between city crime and local construction company Union Allied -- and later, between an ancient evil and the fellow heroes and villains who pop up in the city -- he uncovers even more mysteries that require all his skills as an empathetic lawyer and as the justice-seeking Daredevil.
Is it any good?
Daredevil's origin story is told in limited flashbacks, but it's all that's necessary to understand how the son of a struggling boxer became the honest but brutal lawyer/superhero he is today. Viewers will warm to the quiet, charming Murdock immediately, and Cox does a lovely job of reconciling his two personas; when he unleashes his pent-up rage on various criminals, it feels warranted. That said, the show is incredibly violent; it doesn't shy away from showing stranglings, eye gougings, and bloody stabbings, and its intense nature is probably way too much for many younger viewers.
Stylistically, Daredevil is perfection. Shot in yellows, greens, and blues, the shadowy world Murdock inhabits also is filled with light, streaming in through apartment windows and alleys. As a comic book crossover, it's not too cartoonish or over the top, and Henson as Foggy brings just the right amount of comic relief to lighten what could become a dour tone. The show's few flaws come when it adheres too tightly to old-school comic tropes, including a damsel in distress and the presence of stereotypical Russian and Asian gangsters. But overall, Daredevil is a wonderfully executed, very welcome addition to the Marvel television universe.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about disabilities. How does Murdock deal with being blind? How does it affect his work as a lawyer (and his experience as a crime fighter)?
Families also can talk about violence on television. Do you think the show would be as effective if it were less violent? Why, or why not?
For kids who love superhero action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.