Action, a dark tone and side boob: Netflix makes the broadcast TV turf smaller with ‘Daredevil’

Action, A Dark Tone And Side Boob: Netflix Makes The Broadcast TV Turf Smaller With ‘Daredevil’

Jerry Seinfeld,  who made hundreds of millions of dollars starring in and co-creating the most successful situation comedy of the 1990s, has declared television “over.”

Seinfeld was speaking to potential advertisers for his current employer, the web site Crackle, which runs his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

This is what Billboard reported Seinfeld as saying:

There’s nothing different about what we’re doing than what anyone else is doing on any media anywhere. TV networks are worried that you’ll figure out TV is over and there’s nothing special about it.  (Via TubeFilter).

I’ve watched just the first few episodes of “Daredevil” and this show may be another nail in the coffin for broadcast television.

Three episodes are not a fair evaluation of the series, which is part of the Marvel kingdom. It focuses on a blind super hero posing as an attorney who wants to represent only the truly innocent. And he opens a can of whoop ass on bad guys on the side, including his own client. I had mixed feelings about the one I’ve seen. It seems a bit maudlin at times. Plots are unbelievable. Like police would allow two strangers claiming to be attorneys see a defendant handcuffed to a table in an interrogation room.

But there’s also much to laud. It’s not full of computer-generated images, but the production values are high. They’ve done a good job of giving the show a dark undertone. Overall, the martial arts action is well-shot and compellling, although you have wonder how much of an ass whooping an armed man will take before he pulls out a gun. Seems to me the first time you get knocked down the Beretta is coming out. There’s a teensy bit of nudity as we see side boob when a character undresses in front of Daredevil. And I like the way they are handling the conspiratorial nature of the bad guys. They are doing a good job of setting up an arc that will take at least several episodes to pay off.

Rosario Dawson (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
Rosario Dawson (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)

I don’t know the economics of television. Even though this show doesn’t have stars – the biggest names I recognized were Vincent D’Onofrio and Rosario Dawson – it still has to set them back a pretty dime. With a show like “Daredevil,” Netflix might attract some viewers who don’t already subscribe and they may keep some ready to drop the service. And with movies and TV shows becoming more expensive for Netflix and Amazon Prime to show to subscribers, there’s incentive to make their own product. Still, it seems this is going to be a money loser. This kind of production, especially if it is successful, can be a kick in the gonads of broadcast TV and maybe even cable networks. It gives more people incentive to cut the cables and ditch the antennas. So maybe Netflix is thinking strategically instead of tactically.

Ben Affleck did a mediocre “Daredevil” movie more than a decade ago. For a big budget Hollywood production they didn’t seem to be able to get their stuff together. But it appears the producers of the Netflix series have done it. This isn’t a huge jump over the quality of other shows offered on Netflix and Amazon, but by staking their claim in the action/superhero genre, the turf just got that much smaller for established networks.

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