I don’t generally review TV shows but Jessica Jones was worthy of a post. (This review may contain spoilers).
I have to stand up and give Marvel and Netflix a round of applause for this gem of a TV show: Jessica Jones. I was online, as I always was, streaming an episode of Friends, when I stumbled upon Jessica Jones. The summary was interesting enough: a fallen superhero uses her talents to be a PI, while trying to find the man that ruined her life. The show has been based off of the Marvel comic, Alias. I watched the first episode and was instantly hooked; I finished the 13-episode season in a matter of six days. The show is dark, and there were two or three sex scenes that I skipped, but it’s merits make up for that.
Krysten Ritter does an amazing job playing the title character, Jessica Jones. She’s a bad-ass, “hard-drinking, short-fused, mess of a woman” but she kicks ass when she wants to. She’s got super strength, and this ability to jump really high. Over the course of the season we find out more about her tortured and damaged childhood, and why she is the way she is. She’s a strong female character who’s suffered from sexual abuse, manipulation and PTSD. She was in a manipulative, abusive, torturous relationship that’s ruined her life and it’s up to her to get revenge. Jones redefines what it is to be a superhero; rather than donning a spandex suit and a mask, she dons jeans and a leather jacket, and traverses through New York trying to find the man who ruined her life, and a dozen others, to get to her.
One of the biggest plus points of the character is her realness. She suffers from real problems, and has normal feelings including lust and helplessness. That’s one of the reasons I kept going back to the show. And while she has superhuman abilities, it doesn’t become her identifier. Jessica Jones has got to be one of the best characters in the MCU, and Ritter does her justice.
Kilgrave is one of my favorite villians, after Le Chiffre and The Joker. David Tennant plays this charming, handsome and dapper yet manipulative and abusive villian, known as Kilgrave (aka Purple Man in the comics). He has the ability to control minds, and in his search for Jessica Jones, he takes over more than a few minds. Minus the mind control, he represents every abusive ex-boyfriend out there, and based off of what I’ve read and seen in movies and TV shows, Kilgrave fits the bill. He rapes, manipulates and abuses Jessica, and blames her for her actions even though it was all him. He doesn’t perceive himself to be the bad guy; in his eyes, all he’s doing is trying to be with his one true love, Jessica Jones.
And like any other villian, he feels no remorse for everything that he’s done. He was an experiment, and tries to blame others for the way he is rather than taking responsibility. He and Jones even team up for a bit with good intentions just so she can give him a taste of what it’s like to use his powers for good.
I never watched Doctor Who, but I saw David Tennant in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Barty Crouch Jr., so when I found out he was the bad guy I was super excited. He’s always in a suit, and with that British accent, it’s a little hard to resist Tennant. While Kilgrave may have creeped me out and scarred me, I will miss him on the show. He was a really interesting character (and hot in his suits), albeit scary.
I have only talked about the titular character and the bad guy, but the other characters were also really well developed, and I liked most of them, barring Robyn and White Male Cop (aka Nuke in the comics, a failed attempt at creating another Captain America).
The show was fast-paced, dark, witty and clever. It also deals with important issues like sexual abuse, manipulative relationships and PTSD. Jessica, post her ‘relationship’ with Kilgrave represents someone who lives with trauma and how she deals with her emotions. Rather than blaming the wrong people, she uses her experiences to get revenge. Kilgrave can’t control her anymore and can’t get her to want him like he does her, which shows that she has more control than she thought.
This is a show about being an unconventional hero, but still has some semblance of the cliche superhero story. It’s a show that deals with real problems but doesn’t belittle it. It’s a show about a woman who’s strong, doesn’t take no for an answer, and is trying to turn her life around. Despite her heavy drinking and almost-lack of emotional capability, Jessica Jones is kind of a kick-ass role model for women everywhere to take matters into their own hands, and that they don’t need a man to save them.
I recommend this show to everyone, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Final verdict: 5/5 stars (I’d give it a 6 if I could).
Update – 28/11/15: It’s been two days since I finished JJ and I’m still in two minds about Kilgrave. I’ve never had such conflicted feelings about a character before.