All that booze – Daredevil season one revisited, part 3

Hey gang! Sorry for leaving you hanging, but I had quite a bit of traveling for work this week. And, in case I you think I forgot (which I did, actually), I should be able to get a review of of last week’s Daredevil in the next few days. With the second season of the Netflix show coming in less then two weeks, it’s easy to forget that the character does have a monthly comic as well.

For this brief look back at the last season, I must admit that I only needed to watch the show once before coming to the conclusion that there is a whole lot of drinking going on. This is hardly news to anyone, and I’m not the first one to point it out. (For one of the funnier spins on this, see the excellent video at the bottom of the post, which I’m sure most of you are familiar with.)

What I find interesting about the creators’ decision to steep virtually everyone in beer and hard liquor is that it’s not perfectly compatible with the comic book version of Matt Murdock, though Foggy and Karen may be a different matter. The Karen we got to know in Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Born Again is hooked on considerably heavier substances than alcohol, and even Foggy has been known to turn to alcohol during difficult periods. Matt, on the other hand, has never been much of a drinker. Yes, he does take a beer with the “devil” in Nocenti’s run, and I would never suggest he’s a teetotaler, but I think there’s always been this sense among Daredevil fans that drinking too much, maybe even just a little bit, takes Matt’s “edge” off. Even in the Netflix show, Matt suggests as much to Foggy in the college flashback scene where he almost lets his secret slip. Not only does he get the “spins” as much as a sighted guy would, his remaining senses are more “delicate.”

I really have no moral objections to the amount of drinking that happens in Daredevil, despite the large amounts of it, but it does surprise me a little bit that Matt would drink just before going out as Daredevil, as he does in episode nine when Nobu ends up almost killing him. I will be interested to see if this trend continues in season two. By all indications, things are not about to be any easier than last season for any of our key players, and perhaps this is the time when Karen’s past catches up with her and drags up references to a former addiction.

What are your thoughts?


Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

8 comments

  1. Karen, “I too have drunk the eel…”
    Foggy, “And we’re filled with mighty eel strength!”

    They did drink a lot, but not as much as in Jessica Jones, which I definitely considered her crutch. Foggy and Karen did drink to drown their sorrows at least once each, which gave me a twinge of worry, but most of the rest of it was social. I don’t drink at all, so it is hard for me to judge how much is too much, but the social drinking didn’t bother me as much. And the eel line made me laugh.

    While you’re right that alcohol would affect Matt’s senses (can you imagine dancing across rooftops while tipsy?), I have to admit that the drunk in college scene was my favorite from the whole season. It was great seeing them interact in a relaxed silly way. Matt’s slip about his powers made it even better.

    They hinted about the drug addict version of Karen when Foggy told her to stay away from the hard stuff. That made me wonder whether they will use that for her questionable past or save it for future angst.

  2. I agree that comics Daredevil drank less (in fact, before Typhoid Mary, I don’t think he drank at all). Frank Miller had him deliberately drinking milk at Jose’s Bar, iirc. In the comics, this makes some sense – I can see someone who had a father who drank too much preferring not to drink at all. On the other hand, having gone through Law School, there’s a saying that Law School teaches you how to drink. Most lawyers drink (and a sad many of them drink too much). Netflix Jack Murdock is arguably a better father than Frank Miller’s Jack Murdock.

    So the use of alcohol in the show felt very natural to me. Plus, in a show that could be far too dark, scenes with alcohol had the most levity and camaraderie – particularly with Foggy and Karen.

  3. I think Matt was drinking just before going out in 9 because he was trying to deal with his decision to kill Fisk, which he thought he was about to go do.

  4. Maybe the makers are just overcompensating on the Netflix shows since Marvel can’t have their star hero Tony Stark knocking back booze the way he should. The few times he is shown drinking it is definitely with the emphasis of “drinking = bad”, whereas with Matt and company its shown to be a normal part of life.

    As far as Matt going out as Daredevil after drinking. Between his rage, adrenaline, and being able to at least somewhat focus and manipulate his body’s metabolism, I doubt whatever buzz he had lasted very long after leaving Karen and Foggy.

  5. Consider that Season One DD is an early version of the character… I don’t know about the rest of you, but I drank more in my college years and just after than any other time of my life, and Matt and Foggy just passed the bar. As time goes on Matt might decide to drink less both as a common pattern for many of us, and because as a fighter/super-hero it’s important not to lose his edge, be mentally altered, or tipsy while parkouring across rooftops.

    I do like that in the trailers it comes up that Foggy is scared one day he’s going to find Matt dead in his apartment – it harkens back to Series One when Foggy found out Matt’s Secret and I’m hoping it’s one of the recurring threads. Foggy cares deeply about Matt, spent years being somewhat protective of his blind roommate/friend, and like any normal person he’s going to be stressed and worried about someone who is a sort of family to him getting beats/shot/stabbed/etc. That sort of chronic worry could lead to Foggy drinking more rather than less.

  6. @kerys

    I like that explanation. It makes sense.

  7. I think netflix has some paid alcohol product placement going on. There is a huge amount of drinking in several netflix shows, and bottles of alcohol in the spotlight. In Narcos, it’s the same with smoking, everyone is smoking all the time, good guys and bad guys alike. So I suggest there is paid tobacco product placement in some netflix shows also.

  8. I can’t imagine why Matt wouldn’t drink heavily precisely to dull his super senses. It makes sense that that is what he would do if he turned away from the compulsion to fight the bad guys. Even as a distraction from how unbearable his compulsion is. And the alcoholic Catholic guilt is just too obvious and classic.

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