Superheroes don’t usually get much respect at award shows, but Netflix’s “Daredevil” – a new addition to the extended Marvel universe that also includes the “Avengers” films, “Ant-Man” and the ABC series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – contends for three Emmys in Creative Arts categories: Best Main Title Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Supporting Visual Effects. How many of them will the freshman season win?
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Perhaps the show’s best bet is Sound Editing. That’s where another superhero series repeatedly prevailed; “Smallville,” chronicling the early years of Clark Kent before he became Superman, won that award three times (2002, 2006 and 2008).
“Daredevil” is being considered there for the episode “Speak of the Devil,” in which supervillain Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) gains the upper hand against the title hero (Charlie Cox), but it’s up against a slew of past Sound Editing winners: last year’s champ “Black Sails” (episode “XVIII”), two-time victor “Boardwalk Empire” (episode “The Good Listener”), and 2012 winner “Game of Thrones” (episode “Hardhome“). Rounding out the category are “The Walking Dead” (episode “Conquer”) and another comic book-inspired series, “Gotham” (episode “All Happy Families Are Alike”).
“Speak of the Devil” is also its Emmy entry for Best Supporting Visual Effects, a category created in 2013. Luckily for “Daredevil,” last year’s winner in that race, “Black Sails,” has moved this year to the main Best Visual Effects contest. But it still has to face “Boardwalk Empire” (episode “Golden Days for Boys and Girls”), which has won two Emmys for its effects, as well as “American Horror Story Freak Show” (episode “Edward Mordrake, Part 2”), “Gotham” (episode “Lovecraft”) and “The Walking Dead” (episode “Conquer”).
The award for Best Main Title Design has gone to a wide variety of programs in recent years, including comedies (“United States of Tara” in 2009, “Bored to Death” in 2010), dramas (“Mad Men” in 2008, “Game of Thrones” in 2011), movies and miniseries (“Great Expectations” in 2012) and even variety programs (the Oscars telecast in 2006).
Animated title sequences are often popular, and the one for “Daredevil’ features a dripping, blood-red motif that might appeal to the TV academy. It faces “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “Bosch,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Manhattan” and “Olive Kitteridge.”
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Photo: Charlie Cox in “Daredevil.” Credit: Barry Wetcher/Netflix