To Watch or Not: Jessica Jones

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Jessica Jones is unlike anything you’ve you’ve seen from Marvel Entertainment thus far. The studio that brought you Daredevil is back in Hell’s Kitchen, only this time there aren’t any heroes involved. This time we’re following Jessica Jones, a private investigator with superpowers who wants nothing to do with the hero scene.

“So it’s a story about how a reluctant hero is taught how great power comes with great responsibility, right?”

Wrong. While there may be a few heroic moments, there’s nothing hero-related in the first season of Jessica Jones. The modern noir style series begins as a simple detective story with a protagonist who just so happens to have superhuman strength, but it quickly evolves into one of the darkest, most mature tales Marvel has told yet on the big or small screen.

Many reviewers and fans of the show will be quick to tell parents to shield their children from Marvel’s newest Netflix series, and rightfully so if your children are on the younger end of the spectrum, but the show tastefully delves into serious topics like rape and PTSD without even flirting with the line of sexually gratuitous content. The most serious offenses discussed aren’t shown, but a discussion on their lasting effects are broached in a way that works wonders for the story and overall progression of the main character.

Like most of their shows thus far, Jessica Jones is character driven. There aren’t a ton of set pieces or showy CGI. It’s all about the characters and their journey, particularly the protagonist’s battle with PTSD and coming to terms with a horrible chapter of her life. The show wouldn’t work if even a few of the cast members didn’t deliver on their performances, and yet again knocks the cast choices out of the park.

Known primarily for her comedic performances, many people were skeptical if Krysten Ritter could pull off such a character as dark as Jessica Jones. By the end of the series you’ll probably be hard pressed to think of anyone who would’ve done it better. She makes Jessica Jones, a superpowered character who’s gone through an unimaginable ordeal, feel real and relatable.

That being said, the standout performance clearly goes to David Tennant. The best villains are the ones whose motives are entirely understandable. You may not agree with their actions, but you can see how they became the way they are. Tennant plays an evil sociopathic, narcissistic murderer who has absolutely no remorse for his actions, and yet you come to understand why to the point where many watchers will ultimately sympathize with him. Kilgrave is easily one of the best villains Marvel has brought to life, rivaling Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and that’s in no small part due to Tennant’s phenomenal portrayal of the character.

Although character motivations for plot devices created by supporting characters are questionable at times, everyone played their roles wonderfully. Mike Colter, who plays Luke Cage, gives audiences a promising introduction to the protagonist of Marvel’s next Netflix series.

To put it bluntly, Jessica Jones is definitely worth watching, and with two of the series having delivered in spectacular fashion, it seems like The Defenders is shaping up to be a terrific one-of-a-kind street-level hero team-up.
 

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