Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jessica Jones: Anti-Heroic Antics

I got too caught up in all the movie watching to post about Jessica Jones earlier. If you're one of the few people who have yet to binge watch this series on Netflix, I suggest you go about it posthaste. While you may be sick of Marvel, there's a reason they are dominating movies and television right now: they know exactly how to make quality television that draws you in and leaves you wanting more.

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) follows in the recent grand tradition of anti-heroes. She is a a sarcastic private investigator with a drinking problem, who takes any case she can to pay the bills and doesn't seem particularly concerned with helping anyone or doing anything good unless she can make some money out of it. Her super power is strength - she can jump really high, toss cars aside, and punch people's lights out - but what she relies on most is her intelligence and a deeply dark sense of humor. It's slow going at first, but once you start to unravel the components of Jessica's past that led her to where she is today, things get horrifyingly interesting. This is not a feel-good superhero show; instead it has a dark film noir style and doesn't shy away from traumatic topics that give you a true insight into Jessica and her past.

Her best friend, Patsy (Rachael Taylor), is a celebrity radio show host and a former child star. Blonde, friendly, and competent, it takes a long while to figure out how on earth these two ever became friends. They have a remarkable back story and their partnership as they finally suss out each other's secrets and decide to trust each other is an example of the kind of kick-ass female friendship we could always stand to see more of on television. And of course, where there's a hero (no matter how reluctant), there must be a villain, and that's where we get to Kilgrave, played by the gloriously creepy David Tennant. With the ability to control people's minds, Kilgrave is a deadly opponent, able to turn your friends against you or simply turn yourself against you. He held Jessica in thrall before she finally broke free, and now he is executing a relentless vendetta to get her back into his life. Because of course, the man fancies himself in love, and we all knows what happens when a villain can't have the thing that he wants.

Marvel's Jessica Jones is a slick and stylish piece of television, thirteen episodes of constantly escalating tension and action with brilliant starring performances from Ritter and Tennant. The supporting cast are all equally wonderful (including Mike Colter as Luke Cage, who is due to get his own spin-off series) and before long, you will completely buy into the mythology of the show. It's deliberately murky at the beginning and requires some patience, but you will be rooting for Jessica all the way and watching in horror as Kilgrave thwarts her every move. Mind control makes for a nail-biting game of cat-and-mouse and while this show will definitely get under your skin, you won't be able to stop watching till you get to the pulse-pounding finale. I would say that I can't wait for season 2, but I think I need some time to recover first.

1 comment:

  1. 365 movies - Most negative reviews about vulgarity etc. are most likely coming from the interracial coupling on the show, however, my grievance is one of acting, set design, dialogue and pacing of the script - nothing works. Strong female characters can be believable, if done right such as Beatrice Kiddo in Kill Bill. Krysten Ritter is simply not a good enough actor to carry the show. Her delivery seems like she JUST read the lines from a script and has something more interesting scheduled in her personal life, after the shoot. Also, dialogue such as the gem "Our marriage is over, we don't even do oral" makes you think how far removed the writers are from real life. This is no Daredevil and does not deserve its placement in the same universe. I just watched a few episodes and couldn't force myself anymore. A missed opportunity.
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