Jessica Jones (2015) Season 1 Review!!

jessica-jones-netflix-poster

Synopsis – A former superhero decides to reboot her life by becoming a private investigator.

Episodes – S01E01 to S01E13

My Take – I know I am a bit late to talk about this one, but between Daredevil season 2 coming out (more on that soon) and a bunch of other movies, it took me a while to finish this off. Be warned you may find certain SPOILERS ahead. Marvel & Netflix‘s second collaboration returns to Daredevil‘s dark corner of the Marvel Universe, and things only get bleaker. Honestly, I didn’t know much about the character of Jessica Jones aka Jewel in the comics, only happened on this series after watching their excellent “Daredevil” series, pretty much hoping for more of the same gritty, action if anything eschewing super-hero flash-dancing. In a modern twist on film noir, the series is excellent, just as brutal and uncompromising as its predecessor. But by placing its stellar female cast in this murky underworld and letting them shine in a way Marvel has never done before, it stands head and shoulders above the company’s other marquee properties to become one of the best new shows out this year. Daredevil was great by Marvel standards. This is just great. You know there are many superhero shows out there. Like the Flash and Arrow with story lines catering to all group of ages, but this one is strictly for adults only. But the show’s greatest triumph is in exploring how women can be powerful, multi-faceted masters of their fate. Jessica Jones, while nowhere near as bloody as Daredevil, is psychologically brutal, and women largely bear the brunt of that violence.

Marvel's Jessica Jones

The series delves deeply into abuse, sexual assault, and rape from the outset. But no matter what trauma they experience, the women of Jessica Jones are all consistently portrayed as either having control of their lives or working hard to regain it. No Marvel Studios property — not even Agent Carter — has ever done that so effectively, and after months of seeing a character like Black Widow be sidelined by her male counterparts, this is a breath of fresh air. The story follows Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), who ever since her short-lived stint as a Super Hero ended in tragedy, has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic, badass private detective in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing, and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need. especially if they’re willing to cut her a cheque. Until a demon from her past known as Kilgrave aka The Purple Man (David Tennant) seems to be crawling back into her life. The story only dives deeper into sensitive issues such as rape, substance abuse, PTSD, bulimia and the morals of “Right and Wrong”. You could be excused for thinking that this is one of the heaviest and most issue sensitive super hero TV shows, rather; this is the heaviest and most issue sensitive TV shows period. First off, this is not a typical superhero gig. It is much more a detective noir feel with some horror due to the villain. Second, this show is a slow burn build up and not a power versus power show. Third, this show is gender flipped and if you are not willing to deal with that and all it entails, you are going to miss a fantastic take on the genre. After an admittedly slightly stale start, the show quickly began to pick up speed. The catalyst for this was the introduction of Kilgrave, the sociopath adversary to Jessica Jones. His vile, delusional view of the world made him the most interesting antagonist that Marvel Universe has produced so far. We slowly learn that Jones has come out of a period where she was a slave and toy for a villain, Kilgrave. We learn about the guilt and self- loathing felt by Jones. We see that people (including others not just Jones) feel used and guilty despite the fact that they could not stop themselves from doing what Kilgrave told them to do. We learn that despite a world where there is a Hulk and an alien invasion, no one believes the victims that they were powerless. There is the blaming of the victim which is definitely an allegory for this type of male abuse of women. Kilgrave has significant power over people and yet has no aspirations to take over the city or the world. He is just concerned with his own desires and comfort. His neglect of everyone else along with his statements that he hasn’t done anything wrong, the victims have make him the most realistic depiction of a white male abuser under the guise of this superpower. He is all too realistic. All too scary in what he can do.

TennantRitterAKAJJ140415jpg

All too mundane and pathetic. Of course, this was undoubtedly aided by David Tennant‘s stand- out performance. He owned every scene he was in, and was able to capture the anger and sadness of Kilgrave perfectly. Not to mention his regular use of British expressions that make him a very likable enemy. The show is the lead up to and finally the breakthrough/redemption of Jones in dealing with this monster. The show shows the wreckage in humans along the way as Kilgrave is happy to use people as pawns to protect himself or get what he wants. Characters you think are throwaways become actual people that you feel bad about dismissing just as Jones does at first. The story is really sad because unlike other heroes, the people around her keeps on dying, even when she tried her best to save them. A lot of them died because “The Purple Man” want to manipulate or black mail her. He doesn’t use his power on her in the beginning but he threatens to kill people around her in the cruelest way he could possibly think if she doesn’t come back to him. To a lot of people, she seems to be a danger because if it wasn’t for her, innocent people would not have to die. For me, I think she is special, she is a hero, if it wasn’t for her, I think he would have ruled the world by then. No one is perfect, not even people with special power, they are just like normal human, they have feeling, they have family, friends and lives so sometime the criminal will use it as a weak-point. Also let’s just face it, we make mistake all the time, does not matter if it is on purpose or not. We will just have to fix that and not make that mistake again too many times. Another great and mysterious character introduced is Mike Colter as Luke Cage, aka Powerman, aka Iron Fists partner as a hero for hire. The use of him in the show is a very double edged sword. In the comics and show he is clearly more powerful than Jessica Jones, so they make him more of a background character. An occasional hook up and then future love interest for the main star. Their relationship is the main attraction. I felt their courtship (if that’s what we even call it these days) to be very realistic. Living in a big sprawling iconic American City myself, it was nice to see them deftly avoid the romantic comedy cliché’. The will they won’t they. They start having sex, it becomes something more, end of story. Nice, clean, simple. However we really never get to see him be Luke Cage, a man powerful enough to join both the Fantastic Four and Avengers.

jessica-jones-netflix-main

His powers are shown, but never really explored, and while this might be because it’s Jessica’s show, it gives his character a muted feel. In the title role, Krysten Ritter gives a performance of her career. Krysten Rritter is very good in the title part, you believe straight away that she lives like a dosser, wears the same clothes everyday and can barely afford to eat. Her junkie friend Malcolm, played expertly by Eka Darville is another great addition. It is both a credit to his acting and the writers for properly showing drug addiction. Carrie Anne Moss as the gender bent Lawyer of Danny Rand also makes a huge splash. Even though the inclusion of her lesbian divorce drama doesn’t make any impact. Rachael Taylor plays her part well, but her character Trish “Patsy” Walker however is a tad boring. Why couldn’t she have been Hellcat? Or been a former action star who played a movie character called Hellcat? Or even been in a Hellcat costume once?. However, this show does have a few faults. The main part of the show was about Jessica Jones vs. Kilgrave, but there were quite a few distractions that seemed to distract from the main plot. For example, I really didn’t care too much about the Hogarth divorce fiasco, it all seemed to take away the impact of the Jones/Kilgrave relationship. Cutting out the unnecessary parts would have made a shorter, yet better-quality show. After the high expectations set from Netflix‘s previous endeavor – Daredevil – I am pleased to say that Jessica Jones did not disappoint. If anything, Jessica Jones does go even deeper and darker into the Marvel universe than its predecessor, frequently dealing with complex issues such as sexual abuse and murder. Like Daredevil, this show is very drama focused. Most of the characters do use their abilities on the side-line (with the exception to this rule being Kilgrave obviously). This does allow for a very fresh perspective to the superhero genre, especially when compared to the very action- heavy films that Marvel produces. On the whole, ‘Jessica Jones’ is a very dark, enthralling show, and it provides a solid foundation for the build- up to upcoming The Defenders. Watch it!

.4

Creator – Melissa Rosenberg

Starring – Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville

Status – Season 1 (Completed)

Network – Netflix

One response to “Jessica Jones (2015) Season 1 Review!!

  1. I love Jessica Jones and I can’t wait for the Luke Cage series! Both David Tennant and Krysten Ritter were amazing and I am really excited for season 2!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.