Based on the Marvel comic book by Brian Bendis and Michael Gaydos, Jessica Jones is the companion series to the acclaimed series Daredevil and the second of five confirmed series by Netflix-Marvel, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are coming as well so they can come together as The Defenders in a final series. They’re far from the original Defenders but I am hyped for ‘The Defenders’ nonetheless.
Set in Hell’s Kitchen, much akin to Daredevil, not so dark in setting but more about Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) fighting off her own darkness in her mind; from her previous bout with Kilgrave AKA The Purple Man (David Tennant). Jessica Jones is an emotive tale of mental unbalance and psychological abuse that really rips viewers’ hearts apart. If I am honest, Hell’s Kitchen is Marvel’s Gotham. It’s dark, gritty ad brutal and that’s only one district of New York. Just like Daredevil, each episode didn’t only tell one story. It was one cog in a bigger machine. Both series are like watching a thirteen hour movie. The series draws you in, emotionally. You begin to feel tethered to these characters and the pain they feel is your own.
All heroes, and villains are damaged. They are these powered beings who are capable of great good and great evil but Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (Mike Colter) are by far the most damaged powered people in the MCU. The relationship between the two wasn’t purely physically, he’s unbreakable in more ways than one. He has unbreakable skin but also it was if Jessica and Luke’s psyche were one. No matter, their struggles, they always got through it together despite majority of their scenes being of the hanky-panky variety.
The aura of the series wasn’t too dark like Daredevil. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has developed a reputation of being comical and amusing, which it is. Jessica Jones has its moments of humor but not to the point of the movies. The movies are made for the “family audience” where Netflix can do as they please with their shows. Netflix are able to do things that cable networks can’t. The main thing being that they can afford not to care about offending this person and that person due to having no weekly slot for episodes. The beauty of Netflix being that they release all episodes at once. Netflix have pulled some absolute crackers in the past few years which include: Marco Polo and House Of Cards.
The excellent cinematography is a reinforcement to the stellar writing from Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter). She has effortlessly created the best series of the year, in my opinion. It’s witty, intelligent, brutal, emotional and a masterpiece. Netflix tend to cast well with their shows but the casting for Jessica Jones as well as Daredevil is bloody good. Netflix is marathons ahead of any network right now, consistently releasing all episodes at once thus we have the “bingewatch”
Many fans had the notion that Jessica Jones would be another Daredevil, but with a female hero rather than the blind lawyer. She’s a PI and an ex-superhero. This is a gritty crime drama about a character who is constantly in conflict with herself and her own mind. She’s very alike Homeland‘s Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes). This is a show pushed along by great acting, character development and excellent plot arcs. Many found it slow and boring. They began to get annoyed because they couldn’t sit through a piece of dialogue for five minutes. Were people expecting her to be a vigilante jumping off buildings or something? It’s a show that’s more around storytelling and character development than badass fighting scenes like in Daredevil. A show with not as many fight scenes but more suspense is considered dull. I suppose everyone has a preference.
This is a show that does not care about your emotions. It does not give you time to compose yourself, it hits you when you least expect and then you sit there feeling emotionally violated. It slices at your soul, one bit at a time with artistic prowess. Jessica’s actions have foreboding consequences. Not her actions really, more of what Kilgrave told her to do, and she blames herself for succumbing to his powers. He tells people to do things and they do it. Mind control and the powers of persuasion are his forte. At times, I really felt like crying. The experiences of Jessica and Luke combined are unfathomable to the human heart but moreover to the human psyche. They are powered yet their vulnerability is nothing more or nothing to less to hat of the mortal man.
This series along with Daredevil and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D is beginning to tell the tale of humanity’s fear of powered people thus we have Civil War coming to cinemas next April. The Punisher and Kilgrave reeking havoc across Hell’s Kitchen is giving the government a reason to regulate people with abilities. People like the Punisher, Jessica and Daredevil have unorthodox methods. The Punisher even kills the guilty. Well, that’s just not cricket. I also have heard rumors of the addition of Moonknight, Cloak & Dagger and Blade to Netflix. Iron Fist and Luke Cage are getting their own series but also enjoyed Trish Walker/Hell Cat (Rachel Taylor) and Will Simpson/Nuke (Wil Traval) in Jessica Jones. Nuke was more of an anti-hero yet a cocky, likeable idiot and Hell Cat was Jessica’s voice of reason. It was also refreshing to have a cameo from Rosario Dawson, reprising her role of Claire Temple from Daredevil.
Mike Colter was made for Luke Cage. He played the role with such vigor and flawlessness yet with sadness. Plus he held the physique of Power Man supremely. I loved the scene when a gang of guys tried to mess with him in a bar, and he handed their arses to them. Nobody messes with the Unbreakable Luke Cage. He beat them off without even breaking a sweat. Mike Colter is The Cage in the flesh, a true tour de force and a formidable performance. He even rolls his eyes when someone bottles him and he doesn’t bleed or feel pain. It’s more of an inconvenience.
Ritter plays Jones with intense still sadness that has to be commended. Jones is a broken soul. A fighter who’s abused her body with alcohol and is addicted to sex, it seems. It doesn’t help that Kilgrave exploits her weaknesses for his own gain. Her weakness being that he goes after innocence and anyone she cares about. Ritter plays Jessica to perfection; the good, the bad and the outright ugly. She plays her rage, her fears and exposes to us, as an audience that she is just as vulnerable to the things that everyday people are. She is just as mortal as we are. She thinks she’s invincible and she’s not, Kilgrave shows us this. We all have weaknesses and secrets. That’s human nature and Kilgrave uses her humanity against her. For example the scene when he tells all the cops in precinct to put guns to their heads, which is probably one of the most tense moments of the season.
Tennant as Kilgrave is class. It made it harder for diehard Whovians to watch because he played Kilgrave with the same voice as ‘Ten’. He played this mind controlling psychopath with the same voice as the tenth doctor. One of the most savage parts of his character is not his brutal treatment of Jessica but more so at innocents for his own amusement. In one episode he told a bystander in the street to pour a cup of piping hot coffee over himself. Kilgrave is the psychopath to end all psychopaths. He’s sadistic. He loves to see Jessica suffer yet he wants to save her at the same time. He loves concocting mind games and enjoys it when Jessica plays along. In his own twisted way, he think his actions are justified. Why can’t David Tennant be every villain? I suppose Jessica Jones has ruined people’s memories of Ten now. This guy is a psychopath that you love to hate because it’s Tennant and one can’t help but love David Tennant. Right? The man is a legend and this is his career best.
In conclusion, this is the best series of the year with Daredevil in a close second. Great writing, directing, cinematography and acting performances from all the cast. Full of suspense, heart-wrenching emotion and Tennant stealing the whole series as likeable psychopath, Kilgrave. I believe him to be the best villain in the whole MCU. He even beats Loki and we all love Tom Hiddleston as adopted son of Asgard. Netflix keep delivering epic shows, not just based on Marvel comic books but other shows as well. These are shows that I just get addicted to after an episode and then binge through the night. What seemed like two hours is now twelve hours. This is a tall tale of abuse and psychotic mayhem that reeked havoc across Hell’s Kitchen. This Netflix-Marvel coalition is working wonders. Keep it up. I have faith with the remaining Marvel-Netflix line up will be just as epic, if not better.