Netflix scores a round-two win in their comic-book venture with a solid show to pair with the widely popular “Daredevil” from last spring.
“JESSICA JONES” follows the story of a woman who is tormented by her past and decides to revitalize her life by starting her own private investigation firm in an attempt to utilize the gifted powers that she struggles to embrace.
With comic-book properties venturing to the small-screen, Netflix stepped into the fray with last springs widely successful “Daredevil” series, and in my opinion it was clearly the best of all the comic based television shows. In thirteen episodes it was able to weave a compelling story and a complete adventure to rival their big-screen partners much like this show did at times.
Netflix’ “Jessica Jones” continues to build on the outskirts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and on its own tells a very interesting and detailed origins story to a superhero that is not so widely known. Given her creation at the turn of the century she is also considered a relative newbie among the cast of Marvel characters so I went in knowing nothing of her backstory. The show was very good and while it may not have intrigued me as much as “Daredevil” it was still extremely well written, well acted, and as a whole did an excellent job of introducing the world to a new character.
Krysten Ritter was also as unknown to me as the character before her role in this series, and after watching her performance, it would be hard to imagine anyone else capturing the anti-hero that Jones was better than she did. Ritter captured with excellence, the torment of her characters past, the struggles of her current life, and the conflicts of having powers beyond the normal human being, ans the not so positive results that can come from such. Ritter gave the character a gritty, tough as nails exterior and perfectly added the small crack of vulnerability in Jones’ otherwise gruff exterior.
Like Vincent D’Onofrio was able to do with the character of Kingpin, David Tennant as Kilgrave resulted in an excellent antagonist. Without the gusto and massive screen presence of the larger screen villains, Tennant as Kilgrave still felt the part of a formidable villain and a complete psychopath. The detail in his character was excellent and with Tennant’s performance, the character of Kilgrave is truly a vile, nasty man that you love to hate, yet at times are entertained by his eccentric personality and choice of words.
Mike Colter as Luke Cage was also very good and I loved the introduction to his character being mildly implemented into this show. He was built into the story-line enough to get a good feel for who he was and expose some of his ethics, and at the same time he was left out enough to enable his character to get a complete origins story as well when his show hits Netflix sometime in 2016.
The rest of the cast also delivered strong performances and they all made the most out of already well written material. The story-line was smooth and never felt like it lingered as each episode did a great job of keeping the side-stories flowing while revealing details of the past at the right time. The characters were well developed and you can really connect with them and see their motives regardless of whether or not you agree. It keeps you compelled to see where the story will go and makes the entertainment value much higher.
Like “Daredevil” you can easily forget this is a comic-book show, and even more so this one as it plays out like an intricate crime-drama. There were a good amount of parallel stories playing out at the same time but the writing was organized and put everything together with a seamless feel. The story developed the characters with a great pace and the result was a high level of intrigue as you want to learn more.
The focus being on the story-telling turned out to be a wise choice as I honestly felt much of the action was surprisingly cheesy compared to the action of “Daredevil”. Now I understand this is not a sequel, not made by the filmmakers, or writers, but it does tie into the level of quality that its partner show(s) have and will put out. The fight-choreography was extremely simplistic, not very well shot and some of the moments come across with more than a tinge of cheesiness.
The directors are changed out with each episode but the common theme among the action-sequences was that of camerawork trying to mask a lack of creativity and detail in the choreography. In a show that delivered such a tightly woven story-line with a smooth flow, the action came across as very clunky. Luckily it was sparse as the focus throughout was on the drama and not the comic-book sequences you come to expect.
In the end “Jessica Jones” was highly enjoyable and extremely compelling. Each episode leaves you wanting more and the creation of the characters along with the performances make you glad the theme was that of story-telling and character development and not adrenaline filled action. Netflix in my opinion, with their last two Marvel projects have used the smaller named heroes to deliver some of the best villains in the MCU and it only makes me anticipate their next season release that much more.
– Starring –
Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, David Tennant, Carrie-Anne Moss, Wil Traval, Eka Darville, Mike Colter, Erin Moriarty, Robin Weigert, Susie Abromeit, Rebecca De Mornay
– Created By –
Episode Count: 13
MPAA Rating: TV-MA or R (For bloody violence, strong and graphic sexual content and references, strong alcohol, drugs and smoking and language)