Marvel’s next Netflix show is now available on the streaming site and it is a must watch.
“Jessica Jones” is deliciously dark, mature, and unapologetic.
If you’re expecting a cape, a smile, and long flowing locks, look elsewhere. From the moment you’re introduced to Jessica’s damaged shell of her former self, you know this is unlike any superhero series you’ve seen before.
Jessica is a former superhero who can stop a car or throw you across a room with her bare hands, but she prefers to make a living as a private investigator, only busting out her powers when she absolutely must.
Hardened and cold, she has no problem rolling out of bed in yesterday’s clothes. She wears black boots and has a bit of a drinking problem. She doesn’t care what you think of her.
Nobody’s messing with her.
This isn’t just a “tough girl” act. Because of violent events from her superhero days, Jessica suffers from PTSD. Viewers enter the picture as she picks up the pieces and really starts to become whole again.
Lead actress Krysten Ritter specialises in playing not-that-likable characters, whether in “Breaking Bad” as Jesse’s drug-addict girlfriend or as the “B—- in Apartment 23” on ABC. Jessica Jones is similarly cold and distant, but thanks to a rich backstory that unfolds over the course of the season, she’s more relatable. I found myself rooting for Ritter’s character in a way that I hadn’t for previous performances of hers.
And that backstory, pulled from the “Alias” comic series, hinges on a mysterious man from Ritter’s past — the only person who can truly ruffle the cool and collected Jessica.
David Tennant’s portrayal of the series’ villain, Kilgrave, is just as good as Ritter’s performance as Jessica — maybe better.
The “Doctor Who” actor unnerves the audience through a series of dastardly deeds as a mind controller seeking Jessica. “Doctor Who” fans, prepare yourselves for chills every time he’s hinted at on screen.
When Kilgrave returns and kidnaps a young girl, Jessica doesn’t want to be a hero, but she finds herself thrown into being one anyway. And you can’t help but root for her.
There’s one moment involving Kilgrave and Jessica in the first episode I can’t wait to see GIF’d. In fact, I’m sure Tumblr is going to explode with Kilgrave stills and gifs over the weekend.
In the comic series “Alias,” Kilgrave is known as the purple man. As the nickname suggests, he is literally a man who is purple. The show doesn’t run with that. Instead, it cleverly teases and foreshadows his character throughout the series with shrouds of warm purples announcing his presence.
You can see it everywhere in the marketing of the series.
By the time you get to the end of the first episode, you’ll probably jump back at least once from an unexpected turn of events the show takes. You’ll quickly find this series isn’t full of happy endings.
However, pay close attention and you’ll see it’s full of dark humour. Upon a second viewing of the premiere, you’re more keen to little knocks she’ll make about herself. Jokes that, to the person unaware of her abilities and life, will go over one’s head head. In one scene a man tells Jessica it looks like she stripped the screws on her door. She responds that it wouldn’t be the first time. Later in the episode she threatens a boy telling him she’ll pull his underwear through his eye if he turns on a camera. It sounds like an empty threat, but fans know she really could if she wanted.
Unlike other Marvel fare, though, “Jessica Jones” probably isn’t kid-friendly. There are a lot of brutal deaths and strong language, as well as a sex scene in the first episode. That scene was longer when the show premiered at New York Comic Con, and it had some uncomfortable parents squirming in their seats alongside children. “The Avengers,” this is not.
Then you have Tennant’s villain, who uses mind control to achieve his every disgusting desire. In the first episode alone it feels as if mind control is a metaphor for rape. I won’t say anything more to avoid spoilers. But again, it’s not suitable for children.
It’s surprising a series with so much violence and sex is under the Disney corporate umbrella. “Jessica Jones” doesn’t hold back when tackling real-world violence against women.
It may even be better than the streaming service’s first Marvel series, “Daredevil.” That’s saying something because that show is better than some of Marvel’s films, in my opinion.
Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg has been trying to get this series on air since 2010. Passed over by ABC, it would have been heavily censored on network television. Five years later, it was well worth the wait. We finally have a female superhero leading a Marvel series, but in a way which relates to real-world violence without the camp so often seen in female heroes.
Jessica Jones is the female superhero we’ve been waiting for.
All 13 hour-long episodes are currently available to stream on Netflix.
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