Marvel’s Jessica Jones (2015) Season Review

Netflix and Marvel’s latest collaboration brings a dark side to the comic universe. 

Jessica Jones, created by Melissa Rosenberg of Twilight fame, centres around a broody P.I. in New York surviving on bottles of whisky and dealing with the resurfacing of her former abuser and captor,  Kilgrave, a man with the power to control minds. 

Straight out the the comics, Jessica Jones oozes genre through stylistic noir shots and jazzy music. Each episode is almost an hour long but the show feels more like a movie split into chapters, grouping episodes around specific stages in the fight against Kilgrave. 

Scenes straight out of the comics (images from Screen Rant)
Marvel again hits the nail on the head casting Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B In Apartment 23, Breaking Bad) as the dry and desolate Jones, bringing elements of her comedy background and asserting Jessica as a straight up badass.  Her powers are subtle and barely discussed, focusing the plotlines more on her abilities as a P.I. rather than her ability to kill someone with one punch and jump off a New York skyscraper. Unlike what audiences saw in Daredevil, Jessica is more than her powers, creating a more complex and well-rounded superhero.  
Kilgrave, brought to life by David Tennant (Doctor Who), is possibly Marvel’s best villain to date.  His powers of mind control are unthinkably evil and it seems however strong Jessica Jones’s powers are, there is no way to combat him.  His personal vendetta to find and control Jessica tears apart her life and leaves a trail of murders all over the city. His control over everything is suffocating and terrifying, almost to the point where the fight to kill him seems futile.   
However, Kilgrave is a very complex villain, and there are times in the series where it is easy to feel sympathetic towards his origins, a feeling which instantly made me feel like I was being mind controlled. 
It is so hard to fault this series. The introduction of Luke Cage, about to have his own Netflix series, slid perfectly into the narrative as Jessica’s lover with a dark connection to her past under Kilgrave’s control. Trish Walker as Jessica’s one true friend with her own dark past plays a perfect side kick role, while also having a female character unafraid of making herself stronger despite not having powers. It would have been very easy to have Trish rely on Jessica as a damsel in distress, but that sort of easy and cheap writing is not something you will find in this show.

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, David Tennant as Kilgrave, Mike Colter as Luke Cage 
This show stands out as more than just a superhero show, actually it is debatable if it can even be defined as one. If the characters didn’t have the powers they did, the show would be a story about an abusive relationship and female friendship above everything else.  

The show is dark, intense, and deals with issues like rape head on. It presents a female hero without ever needing to mention her femininity, something that is much needed in the Marvel Universe saturated with male superheroes. Jessica is flawed and raw, refreshing in her humanity and resistance to adopt the hero title. The friendship between Jessica and Trish is a much needed tale of female friendship, side plots are strong and confident, and every single character is complex in their motivations and actions. 

Jessica Jones is arguably the best superhero story in the Marvel cinematic universe. 

Rating: 10/10 


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