Hope you have all been keeping well.
Over the past weekend, I had the opportunity to get through all 13 episodes of Marvel & Netflix 2nd co-produced TV series, ‘Jessica Jones’. I really enjoyed their previous offering,’Daredevil’. As a die hard Daredevil fan, it righted many of the wrongs I felt hampered the 2003 movie adaptation. I’m perhaps an even bigger fan of Jessica Jones, having written about here previously here. My expectations going into this series were sky high, the choice of Melissa Rosenberg as the showrunner seemed like a great one, bringing a wealth of TV experience with her. All the cast choices (from those I was familiar with) seemed spot on to me, and given how well received Marvel’s TV offerings have been in general, I was pretty confident we would get a good, solid TV show. What I wasn’t expecting, was just how sensationally good ‘Jessica Jones’ would actually be.
To say ‘Jessica Jones’ is a good show is doing it a disservice, in my opinion it’s absolutely fantastic. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that any adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis’s little known comic miniseries could spawn such a balanced, well crafted, heart-breaking and uplifting experience. ‘Jessica Jones’ takes ‘Alias‘ as it’s inspiration and then develops those ideas and themes to a level where we are treated to fascinating, realistic portrayal of what life would be like for a group of lost, damaged people trying to find their way in a world that none of them can relate to anymore. It’s also a great look at how people try to deal with the consequences of their sometimes awful choices. These themes are all common place in comic books and comic book adaptations, barely do we get to see them handled in such an adult and so
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot and characters just yet, as I will do another post that examines the show in more detail shortly. Rich and I are also going to film a reaction video shortly where we’ll also get into the nitty gritty of the show and the things we liked and didn’t like. So instead i’ll just quickly run through some of the things i’ve observed since watching it;
- This show takes it’s time with it’s characters, if you are the type of person who likes your story to flow at a breakneck pace, you may want to watch the first episode before fully committing to a binge-watch. I personally had no problem with that, it was great to see a comic book based production taking time to flesh out it’s characters, but I can imagine some may find that difficult to watch.
- Whether you liked the show or not, the one thing that seems undeniable to me is the towering performance from Krysten Ritter in the lead role. She manages to cover just about every emotion and feeling throughout the show, and does so with great skill and depth. She’s funny when the script calls for it and displays the rawest emotions at times when other actors may have ‘played it safe’.
- The key relationships in the show are handled superbly well. The dynamic between Jessica Jones and Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) is crucial to the show’s success and both are treated with the respect they deserve by the scripts. I could watch these two characters play off each other for years and never get bored!
- Similarly, Luke Cage is a great watch through out. It was fun that we got to see he and Jessica together on screen and perhaps the beginnings of what may be beautiful relationship. I was a little worried about Mike Colter’s lack of a ‘CV’ before this show, but I really didn’t need to. Like pretty much everyone else, he was fantastic.
- I’m not the biggest David Tennant fan, but I thought his performance was terrifying. He really embodies the character of Killgrave, who is far better served in this script then in any of the comic books I have read him in. His development and backstory make him just as tragic a villain as Daredevil’s Kingpin, and every bit as dangerous, if not more so.
- There are a number of subplots surrounding the main story, all of which I felt were expertly handled. Be prepared to realise that most of the people in this show are highly unlikable in one way or another. Don’t expect the conventional stock characters that you find in some TV shows and be prepared to be shocked and disgusted at some of their actions.
- The action sequences and fight scenes are not necessarily clearly filmed and the editing seems rushed. Initially I thought that this hampered the experience, but thinking about it further, it actually makes a lot of sense for these characters. None of them are Martial Artists, Daredevil received several years worth of training to fight in the way he does in that show. Jessica is a brawler, she’s simply looking to smash your face in, in the fastest way possible, which means whatever is closest to hand becomes a weapon in her hands.
- I have noticed a number of people complaining about the fact that Jessica Jones doesn’t feature enough ‘Cross-Over’ with Daredevil. I think that’s complete and utter BS. There are enough nods and references to that show throughout this one, but this is Jessica’s story, not Matt Murdock’s or anyone elses for that matter. We have a The Defenders TV show coming up for a reason, you’ll get all the crossover you want then.
- Enough complaint that seems to be cropping up online is that some ‘fans’ are shipping’ for Kilgrave and Jessica to become an item. People, if you are watching this show or have watched it to it’s conclusion and have a desire to see these two characters ‘hook-up’, write some fan fiction or something. If your the kind of person that gets a ‘jones’ from seeing a rapist and his victim become an item, well good luck to you, but please keep that view to yourself. To say it’s distasteful is me being EXTREMELY diplomatic.
- And finally…PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE let there be a Season 2!
Ok, well thats your lot for now. Im going to spend the weekend re-watching the series and i’ll be back with a follow up article next week where I’ll go into more detail about the characters and hopefully you would have all had the opportunity to watch it as well and we can discuss it together!