Netflix’s Daredevil returns with its second season in just a few weeks, and they felt the need to give us two two-minute long trailers instead of one longish one to get the hype train moving. Am I onboard? I… guess so.
I wanted to link both of the trailers here, as their different-ness illuminates my first concern with this season: namely, where is the focus? If I just watched the first trailer, I’d assume this season was going to be Season 1 Take 2, with the Punisher and his particular brand of stilted morality replacing Wilson Fisk‘s. And I… don’t really care about that. I am much less invested in who Matt Murdock is punching these days than I am in the interpersonal drama surrounding his relationships and his secret identity. I don’t know if I’d watch this season based on Trailer 1 alone, let alone binge it the day it premieres.
Thankfully there’s Trailer 2, which introduces us to the MCU’s Elektra and provides us with a totally different plotline: Elektra and Daredevil vs. the yakuza. This is intriguing in a way the “two white guys punching each other” trailer was not. Elektra is mysterious and cool; she has a sensible hero-ing costume that isn’t revealing or irrational. She adds another woman to a cast where the sum total of recurring females is Claire and Karen. She clearly also has a history with Matt, so there’s some juicy backstory hiding there for me to sink my teeth into.
And like, look: I’m not saying that a season of a show can’t introduce two new characters. I’m not saying that a season of a show can’t have two disparate plotlines that mostly run parallel but occasionally intersect. I’m saying that these two trailers look like they’re for different seasons or even different shows. Is this a choose-your-own-adventure season of Daredevil? Because I’m choosing the one that’s notably lacking in gun-toting mangrit.
On the flip side, however, I’m getting some romance vibes from Matt with both Karen and Elektra from these trailers, and that’s a little too much interpersonal drama for me. Especially because, if I recall correctly, he had some tension with Claire last season too. Don’t get me wrong, Matt is cute, and all that parkouring into dumpsters has got to have made him awfully fit… but like, having a modicum of romantic tension with the protag shouldn’t be a prerequisite for being a youngish female character on the show.
I’m also concerned about the show continuing to use the yakuza as villains in this season because they made some pretty classically racist errors in Season 1 with its Asian characters. From the villainous drug-trafficking dragon lady who spent most of the season speaking Chinese in scenes where everyone else was speaking English, to the fight where Daredevil was better at being a ninja than a real ninja was, I spent a lot of time wondering exactly who approved these things happening. Hell, after he kills the Japanese guy, he spends the rest of the episode worrying about taking Wilson Fisk’s life because he’s never killed before—apparently the ninja didn’t count. I hope that the writers take a more nuanced and less objectively terrible tack in this season, or at least make an effort to clean up their missteps from last season this time around. I’m not holding my breath, however; the brief shots of robot-esque men tying off their pinkies and troupes of ninjas climbing buildings doesn’t give me much hope.
I guess time will tell which trailer is more representative of Season 2. And who knows—maybe a happy medium between the two does exist. We only have to wait a few weeks to find out.