Apologies for the absence most of last week! It was busier than I thought it’d be. Okay, so my intention was to make Jessica Jones into another one of my Premiere Particulars, but then I started writing and I couldn’t NOT talk about the series as a whole. Because I may have polished off the whole season in a week. I mean…maybe. Haha. To be fair, it was only 13 episodes, and Netflix makes it too darn easy to watch the whole thing. I probably could’ve finished it in a couple days, but I contained myself. So since I kept watching without pausing to write my impression of the first episode, let’s just talk about the whole kitten caboodle, shall we? We’ll put this and any other superhero shows I manage to review under the category “Caped Crusaders.”
Now forgive me because it’s been a while since I’ve written about a series as a whole. In fact, the last time I did that was close to two years ago when I wrote about Hannibal. Yikes. How time flies, huh? Anyway, I’m gonna try to shake the rust off because Jessica Jones deserves a good write-up. Let’s address the question many of you may be wondering right off the bat: does it measure up to the other Marvel/Netflix collaboration, Daredevil? In this humble reviewer’s opinion, definitely.
Synopsis: “A former super-hero decides to reboot her life by becoming a private investigator.” –www.imdb.com
The Good: Krysten Ritter as superhero turned private investigator, Jessica Jones. She’s tough as nails, and she says and does what she wants, yet she’s remarkably easy to like. I think that’s because despite her tough guy attitude, she clearly cares—and quite a bit, too. Ritter has these big, expressive eyes that reveal how Jessica really feels even when she doesn’t want anyone to know. She’s a fantastic protagonist and easily one of Marvel’s best female characters to date. As for the rest of the cast, I was very surprised by how much I ended up liking Mike Colter as Jessica’s love interest (and future Netflix star in his own Marvel series), Luke Cage. Luke is different from Jessica in a lot of ways. He’s warmer, more open with his feelings, and harboring a pretty big secret. Ritter and Colter have great chemistry, and I enjoyed seeing their characters team up (or butt heads, depending on the circumstances). Then there’s David Tennant as charming, cunning, and thoroughly creepy villain Kilgrave. After seeing and adoring Tennant on Doctor Who, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about seeing him cast as the villain, but he pulls it off with style. Kilgrave’s power is horrifying, and he’s quite possibly Marvel’s scariest villain yet. He’s an excellent match for Jessica in this series. Kudos to Rachael Taylor as Jessica’s best friend Trish as well. The character is clearly a pillar for Jessica, and the bond they have is unshakable. I’m kind of excited to see what’s in store for Trish in future seasons because I think she’s going to play a pretty important role. Aside from the cast, I will say that I thought the progression of the story was very well-executed, and the dark, gritty tone fits in perfectly with world of Hell’s Kitchen that Daredevil created. Also, much like Daredevil, Jessica Jones has a very cool opening credits sequence.
Favorite Moment: The last big showdown between Kilgrave and Jessica. I refuse to ruin anything, but let’s just say I found it to be perfect. Really, the end of the first season in general is pretty perfect.
The Bad: Sometimes, I just didn’t care about the supporting characters. Namely, Malcolm (Eka Darville), Simpson (Wil Traval), and especially crazy Robyn (Colby Minifie). I don’t necessarily dislike Malcolm during the series, but I did get a little impatient sometimes when the show seemed to spend an agonizingly long amount of time on him and not some of the main characters. Simpson…eh. I don’t know. Just didn’t care one way or the other about him, and then I found him to be an unnecessary complication. Robyn was the worst of them. Any time she was on screen, I was on edge. Saying her character is “hard to love” is being extremely kind. Other than that, you may find Jessica a little hard to love at first. She’s pretty rough around the edges. But trust me—stick with her. You’ll warm up to her. Also, if you’re hoping for a big Daredevil tie-in, don’t hold your breath. There is a small tie-in, but it’s nothing earth-shattering. However, it very may well be the window into The Defenders, so we’ll see…
Least Favorite Moment: Seriously, any time the show focuses on Robyn. I mean, kudos to the actress for making her, like, nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying, but man…I just couldn’t with her sometimes.
To Sum It Up: I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica Jones. It’s full of action, drama, and touches of humor with great performances across the board. The supporting characters do weigh it down a little, but certainly not enough to make the series anything less than great. For me, it may just be a little half step below Daredevil if we’re comparing the two, but it’s still a very worthy addition to the Marvel/Netflix lineup. Worth a watch for superhero lovers and for anyone eager to see a female-driven show with a kick-ass lead.
My Grade: A-