AKA New Girl On The Block

Jessica Jones Review

By James Fitzsimons

Marvel and Netflix have shown once again that they know exactly what they are doing with this latest release of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

The show is the second series created for Netflix that ties into the marvel cinematic universe (you know, that franchise with Robert Downey Jr playing himself in a shiny suit, the franchise that takes seemingly ordinary actors and gives them six packs) following the widely successful series Daredevil that aired earlier this year.

First things first, this is a SPOILER FREE review so I do so solemnly swear to not reveal anything tantalising, titillating or to anything that has a passport from Spoilerania.

So let’s get right to it!

Quickie review, if you are a fan of suspense, Daredevil the Netflix series or a Marvel villain that manages to be compelling, worthy of sympathy and also genuinely frightening at the same time then you should 100% watch this series.

The Cast

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones

When I heard there was going to be a series on this character, I boned up. I went and read Alias, the Marvel comic book written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Michael Gaydos so that I knew what sort of character Jessica jones was. Was she a hero? Getting cats from trees or helping old ladies cross the street? Was she a gritty anti-hero, stalking the streets like a dark avenger looking to right the wrongs of the superstitious and cowardly lot that is the criminal element? Or was she just an easily forgettable character that was destined to gather dust in the Marvel archives?

She was none of these and yet Jessica Jones was so much more. From flashes of her life before the trauma, to the PTSD and accompanying alcoholism, Krysten Ritter gave a solid performance displaying a refreshingly complex MCU character a complexity that translated from comic book to television excellently.

If you have any reservations about her as an actor, throw them out the window because Ritter brilliantly encapsulated Jessica Jones.

David Tennant as Kilgrave

What can I say about David Tennant’s performance? He killed it, as per usual. Tennant was eyed for the role of Kilgrave long before the Marvel-Netflix alliance was forged, back when ABC had intended to make the series. However due to scheduling conflicts he had to decline. Thankfully he was snatched up this time around, because having seen the show I can now think of no one better for the role.

Kilgrave is a depraved psychopath with a list of different disorders, with no sense of right and wrong; he only cares for his wants and needs. During my 13 hour marathon of the show I marvelled (pardon the pun) at how well Tennant could, seemingly at the flip of a switch, go between seemingly friendly and kind (akin to his time as The Doctor in BBC’s Doctor Who) to suddenly exploding and showing us the horrors of which Kilgrave is capable. Kilgrave now holds the title of best villain in the marvel universe.

Mike Colter as Luke Cage

Physically Colter is the perfect manage for this role. He’s his own Cage Match, if you will….I won’t do that again I promise.

While Colter’s performance was fine for the most part, we weren’t given those moments that make Luke Cage a great character, those moments where he stands up for what is right, the moments that make YOU stand up and shout “Hell, Yeah!”

These moments are one’s I expect to see in his own upcoming Netflix series, not wanting to use them in Jessica Jones for fear of overshadowing our titular heroine.

The Plot

The plot is solid. After the first episode had finished I remember myself thinking “I do not know how this is going to play out”. With the exception of a few filler moments that made the whole thing stumble somewhat, I had no problems with how everything fit together. For the most part I was genuinely excited to see the next episode – finding myself saying “just one more episode then I’ll go to sleep” more often than I care to admit – and everything flowed fairly well.

Gripes

The problems I had with Jessica Jones were few and far between but they were there. For one thing, the supporting cast was not nearly as interesting as those we met in Daredevil. I cared about Foggy and Karen and their interactions outside of their shared screen time with the demon of Hell’s Kitchen.

Aside from Ritter, Tennant and Colter (and occasionally Malcolm Ducasse, Jessica’s heroin addict neighbour played by Eka Darville) I had little to no interest in the characters and actively disliked Robyn, one of the twins who lived above Jessica.

Overall

What are you still doing here? Go watch this series! Jessica Jones surpassed my expectations and I look forward to seeing more of her and her Marvel/Netflix allies.

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