Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92% (Critics) / 90% (Audience)
Developed By: Melissa Rosenberg
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Mike Colter and David Tennant
Synopsis:Ever since her short-lived stint as a Super Hero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic private detective in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing, and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need… especially if they’re willing to cut her a check. (Source)
Krysten Ritter was perfect as Jessica Jones and I was totally surprised by this because, as much as I am a fan of Ritter’s, I did not think she was the right pick for this role. but she proved me wrong in every way. She was tough, vulnerable, sarcastic, funny…just all around great. It also helped that pretty much all of the casting for this show was spot on and all of the actors had really great chemistry. The Jessica/Trish friendship rang true, and Jessica’s interactions with her budding Guy Friday, Malcolm showed her soft side while her caustic relationship with shady lawyer Jeri Hogarth showed acerbic humor. And I was pleasantly surprised by just how well the romantic chemistry between Jessica and Luke Cage played out. Marvel is not known for it’s well done romances at all but this one was really great thanks in no small part to the instant ease that Ritter and Mike Colter had with one another. Also was really psyched at the inclusion of Trish Walker, better known in the comics as Patsy Walker who would eventually become the costumed hero Hellcat. Rachael Taylor was good in the role and has me crossing my fingers at possibly seeing a solo Hellcat show in the future or at least have her show up in the DEFENDERS show Netflix is doing.
The acting MVP of this show has to be David Tennant. The one time DOCTOR WHO star played the mind controlling Killgrave with just the right balance of charm and menace while also sprinkling in this underlying combination of damaged child neediness that you would find yourself at times almost feeling sorry for the rotten bastard. He made Killgrave into my absolute favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe villain.
I also was impressed by the way the show dealt with the effects of PTSD on people who had been controlled by Killgrave. Showing that no matter how small Killgrave’s violation was (one of the “survivors” only was compelled to hand over an expensive coat) it was still a violation and dealing with that feeling of helplessness was not something that people got over easily.
The way JESSICA JONES tread into more adult situations with its violence and sex scenes was also an improvement over what we got from DAREDEVIL and more in line with what I was hoping for from Marvel’s deal with Netflix.
There was a bit of a an issue by the middle of the season where things seems to hit a patch where the wheels were spinning but nothing of real consequence was happening and since there were still episodes left to go we had to have silly contrivances that would allow for Killgrave to escape capture. It also coincided with the increase in the focus on the Will Simpson character. Both the character and the actor were not favorites of mine and I really do think that Simpson could have been completely removed from this show and there would have been no ill effects felt.
Also there was waaay too much screen time given to Colby Minifie’s annoying kooky neighbor character, Robin. She’s another one that could have been edited completely out of the show and I would not have been bothered at all.
The fight choreography was pretty schizophrenic too. At times it was well done (like the Luke/Jessica brawl) while other times it looked like something you would see on an old episode of CHARMED.
What exactly does Marvel have against awesome middle-aged black character actors? DAREDEVIL bumped off Vondie Curtis Hall midway through and then JESSICA JONES does the same thing to the always super cool Clarke Peters (Det. Lester Freamon on THE WIRE) and in both cases those deaths were very unnecessary.
Final Verdict: JESSICA JONES is what I was hoping for from the Marvel/Netflix union and felt I really didn’t get from DAREDEVIL. An amazing cast, some really cool performances and an emotionally compelling over-arching storyline makes this show the standard bearer for all of Marvel’s TV programming going forward. Definitely worth the binge watch.