Review: Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015)


Having binge watched my way through both Jessica Jones and Broadchurch in the past couple of days, I can safely say that 1) I’m very impressed by David Tennant in general, 2) I’m obviously into dark shows at the moment and 3) I am very, very braindead.

I’m going to keep this short, for the sake of my poor brain.

So, Jessica Jones. Oh, Jessica. How I loved watching you. Oh how I loved watching your dark, gritty, neo-noir streetlevel mutant battle. Oh no wait, we can’t use the word mutant. It’s ‘gifted’ now. Which I’m fine with, really. I can handle ‘gifted’ in a universe that regularly deals with aliens and out-of-control robots and a billionaire playboy who build a

Jessica Jones is a dark show – don’t go into it expecting the same amount of humour as we got in Daredevil. Compared to JJ, Daredevil is a cute and innocent show. (This is your warning, by the way, if you’re a somewhat more sensitive person who’s not good with heavy topics and gore and blood and mind control and rape. Trigger warnings abound for this show.)

Sure, the first couple of episodes I mostly wondered if we were getting another version of the Daredevil storyline, but not to worry! It might look similar at first, but then JJ veers off into a completely different direction. Storywise, it’s an interesting show. You’re never quite sure where you’re going, and the nature of Kilgrave’s powers ensure that you never really know whether or not you can trust someone – something definitely echoed by Jessica herself.

I absolutely loved David Tennant as Kilgrave. What an amazing job he did there, I’m genuinely impressed. He’s creepy, he’s manipulative, you never know if he’s lying or finally telling the truth or hiding something, you never know what he’s going to think of next, and you never quite expect the level of creativity he has in terms of casually making people punish themselves. I have a whole new level of respect for Tennant as an actor after seeing him in this.

I can’t quite say the same about every aspect of the show though: the acting was definitely off here and there, the pacing in conversations was definitely a bit slow and stunted, and the fight scenes really need more work. You know that single-shot hallway scene in Daredevil? Yeah, Jessica Jones doesn’t even come close to that kind of brilliant showmaking. The cinematography could also use some work. Some shots were definitely too ‘look at us, we’re being awesome and ~artsy~’ and it just didn’t work.

Still, overall, this is a very interesting and intriguing show and it definitely had me hooked. Also? Bonus points for all the women and diversity. This is probably the first time in Marvel (that I can think of) that so many women have so many different and prominent roles, this is probably the first time (that I can think of) that there are LGBTQ characters – and their storyline isn’t centered around queer angst!

This show is very much a show about women. Women kicking ass, women being total bitches, women being good people, women loving women and women loving men and just. Women. Everywhere. Being amazing. There’s a very important message being sent here: all women are important, no matter what you’re like or what you look like or how you behave. Some women are scumbags but think they’re great, some women think they’re scumbags and a total mess but are actually pretty great. Sometimes women cheat on their wife, sometimes women feel very conflicted about a boy.

This show is also very much about rape and its aftermath. With discussions and depictions of PTSD, unwanted pregnancies, alcoholism, you name it, this show is so important. It’s unprecedented, especially within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to have topics like these so blatantly on display and talked about, and they’re doing something very important and they’re absolutely unapologetic about it.

And I couldn’t love it more.

(Now hurry up and go hang out with Matt Murdock, please.)

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