Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Netflix released its second original show in conjunction with Marvel. Jessica Jones, as “lesser” property in the Marvel Universe, joins Daredevil in the this-ain’t-your-grandmother’s-Marvel-comics-adaptation department.
Starring Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Carrie-Anne Moss, Rachel Taylor, and David Tennant, Jessica Jones was released as a 13-episode binge-watching opportunity. Yesterday, after the turkey was eaten and food comas were entered, the wife and I finished off the last 8 episodes.
A lot of people said Jessica Jones was dark, and I can see that, but it’s not Daredevil dark. Sure, Daredevil had its lighter moments, but frankly, that show is still the bar–for me, at any rate–for gritty realism in a “comicbook” setting. Jessica Jones, on the other hand, is more of what people are correctly attributing as being heavily influenced by old noir crime drama. Still awesome, but not as heavy-seeming as DD felt.
Most of the “super” stuff was put there seemingly as an introduction to the superhero world outside the Marvel movies. There are lots of folks with lots of powers that aren’t battling alien invasions. They’re heroes, too. Much like in DD, JJ spends a lot of time with the characters talking, walking, getting from point A to B, and waiting.
Robert Downey, Jr., doesn’t wait.
Not your typical superhero stuff.
On that note, here are some thoughts:
I watched JJ in a vacuum, meaning that I didn’t follow the comicbooks at all. That said, I thought Krysten Ritter did a great job portraying Jessica’s life as someone trying to forget the trauma of dealing with what Kilgrave did to her, while still battling her desire to be a hero and help people.
A lot of people might have a problem with David Tennant playing a villain after his much-beloved turn as Doctor Who. He’s great as Kilgrave. You truly believe that he doesn’t understand the difference between right and wrong, that he’s simply a narcissistic little shit, that he’s stuck, emotionally, as the little boy whose parents abandoned him when his powers manifested themselves. His breakdown in the face of his parents at the CDC facility was heartbreaking, and I can’t help but wonder what might have happened if his parents had chosen the other road at that moment.
Or was it all a ruse…?
Jessica must have the best data plan ever on her cell phone. She uses that police scanner incessantly, and I think she does just as much research on it as she does her laptop.
Her phone must have a shitty battery life. How many times did she plug it in as soon as she walked in the door or realize that it was dead?
She is not getting her security deposit back.
JJ is 95% noir crime drama and 5% “super hero” show. A couple of tweaks to the narrative and this is a miniseries on Lifetime about an abused woman seeking vengeance against the guy as he victimized other women (and men). No impenetrable skin, super-strength, compulsion abilities: nothing. I’m sure that aspect will ramp up in season 2.
I’m very glad that Malcolm didn’t get killed off. He’s the social-worker equivalent of Alfred to Jessica’s Bruce Wayne (even though her particular cat is out of the bag, now).
Nice cameo by Rosario Dawson at the end. Can’t wait to see the inevitable DD/JJ crossover. I wonder if they’ll cross paths or cross swords, so to speak?
So, that’s pretty much it on Jessica Jones. I really enjoyed it, and if you don’t think you will, you’re probably wrong.
So long, or now. Enjoy the rest of your holiday season.
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