Posted by: markfender | December 1, 2015

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones’ superpower is that she can open doors.

Jessica-Jones-1-1200x674The latest show from Marvel and Netflix is upon us and it somehow managed to be even more depressing and dark than Daredevil. I know even less about Jessica Jones than I do about Daredevil. I pretty much knew what Netflix told me going in. I didn’t know it was going to be so dreary.

Jessica Jones is your typical hard-boiled private eye, complete with noir theme music and a voiceover that never really worked. She’s busy recovering from the trauma of being under Kilgrave, a supervillain with mind control powers.

Hey, did you know that mind control is kind of evil? And that everyone it touches feels raped? What a fun premise!

So, yeah, this show is about rape, losing control, recovery, and manages to be thoroughly squicky to watch. After several unrelenting episodes of awfulness and personal horror, I thought there might be a shift in tone when the good guys capture the bad guy – only to have them torture him for an hour. So, even the heroes aren’t very heroic.

Krysten Ritter is pretty good as Jessica, but I do think the supporting cast is better. The friendship between Jessica and her friend Trish is one of the more natural friendships you see in these things. And Mike Colter is pretty great as Luke Cage. David Tennant gets his full-on creep on for the villain. The biggest weak point would be the apartment dwellers in Jessica’s apartment. I already saw the quirky flatmates story in Punisher and it hasn’t gotten any more interesting since then.

As a show about a woman, it’s appropriate that they got a female showrunner (I mean, can you imagine the internet flak if they hadn’t?). And since her last show was Dexter, you can sort of imagine the tone of this show. While it suffers from tropes like the Supportive Boyfriend (and I’m pretty sure that Carrie Ann Moss’s character is just a man that was cast female), it’s also pretty tightly plotted. I felt like every episode was driving towards something, even when it did digress into a story about combat drugs. I found Jessica’s journey more affecting than Matt’s in Daredevil. While Daredevil had better action, Jessica Jones had a better story.

Marvel’s been knocking it out of the park with their Netflix shows. Can they keep it up? Can they continue to get great villains?


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