Okay, so after doing a marathon of Marvel’s Jessica Jones about a month ago, and recommending it on our most recent podcast I felt it was time for a review. Or rather, a list of the things I found quite memorable about the Netflix show about a superhero turned private investigator running from a haunted past. Here are 7 things we love about Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
**We’re going to assume that you’ve watched the entire season so there are some minor spoilers to follow**
1. Dark Tone
I’ve mentioned that Jessica Jones has a very dark and noir feel to it, and is very reminiscent of films such as Sin City and its fellow Marvel Netflix series Daredevil, although the latter is no accident. Marvel’s Netflix series are not bound by the constructs of TV networks and as a result can be a little more daring, darker and shock you.
I’ve also said that Jessica Jones is like Veronica Mars on steroids – incidentally lead actress Krysten Ritter is on both shows. Much like Veronica Mars, Jessica Jones is about a very strong minded and opinionated private investigator. The major difference being Jessica Jones has incredible strength and used to be a superhero. With her strength comes an incredible amount of violence, of the gratuitous nature.
2. Opening title sequence
Setting the tone straight from the off is the opening title sequence which uses the colour purple which is synonymous with both Kilgrave and Jessica Jones from the comics. It also has very mysterious graphics and music which reinforce the noir feel this series immerses itself in.
Here is the opening sequence for your enjoyment:
3. David Tennant
The standout performer in this first season is undoubtedly David Tennant who plays the super complex and ultra-evil Kilgrave. Kilgrave can compel anyone to do anything just by saying it, removing their own free will and becoming pawns for his own desires and/or amusement.
This is one of the most evil things I can imagine. And I should hate Kilgrave. But what Tennant brings to the character is a certain amount of charm and likability that I really enjoyed about the character.
Similar to The Joker (yes I know, DC vs Marvel. Call for comic police), Kilgrave is very much a fan favourite despite being a really terrible human being. Much of this has to do with Tennant’s portrayal of the Purple Man.
4. Humanising the super villain
Another thing that was done really well in this series is how they humanised Kilgrave by showing us his tortured past. Of course, Marvel is no stranger to this as they did the same thing with Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) in Marvel’s Daredevil.
Usually the villain is the big bad and cannot be redeemed in any way. But in Jessica Jones we see Kilgrave being experimented on by his parents, and are subsequently the reason for him acquiring his abilities and for him being the dick that he is. I think this is why he is even more evil than other villains. You begin to sympathise with him.
5. Damaging the super heroine
Jessica Jones is slightly paranoid and mostly cynical loner who had her world destroyed by Kilgrave and had several relationships die in the process. Jessica Jones is a former super heroine for a reason. And that reason is Kilgrave and the amount of terrible things she did as a result of his compulsion.
We also discover the horrible circumstances of her acquiring her powers and how she came to live with her best friend and her mother. Jessica Jones is nothing if not damaged, but it makes her character stronger and her story that much more compelling.
6. Chemistry between everyone
Jessica and Luke Cage, her love interest in the series and in the comic books as well have undeniable chemistry. This is evident from their very first scene together in Luke’s bar, culminating in them having gratuitous sex – the likes of which was not seen in Marvel’s Daredevil.
There is also an insane amount of chemistry between a victim of Kilgrave, police officer Will Simpson and Jessica’s childhood friend, Trish Walker aka Patsy, with a romance blossoming between the two as the series progresses.
But the most intriguing bit of on screen chemistry belongs to that of Kilgrave and Jessica, which, exists only to add fuel to the dysfunction fire that is their “relationship” if one can call it that. Despite Jessica’s obvious annoyance and disgust at Kilgrave, the scenes between the two of them and the dialogue exchanged is definitely a key element of the series and many of my favourite scenes in the entire series feature the two of them.
7. Easter Eggs
What’s a Marvel comic inspired series or movie without references to other Marvel properties? Ever since Daredevil mentioned the “Battle of New York” we were led to believe that all of Marvel’s Netflix series take place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this continued in Jessica Jones, with references to The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, the infamous “incident” i.e. Battle of New York and many more.
Perhaps the biggest references are that of the Jessica Jones character herself from the comic book, who goes by the superhero name Jewel and wears an outfit that even appears in a flashback episode as well.
Another obvious tie-in is the introduction of Claire Temple, a nurse who aided Daredevil with his many injuries. She appears in the final episode, looking after the unconscious Luke Cage. She also makes reference to Daredevil in conversation with Jessica, showing a continuity between the shows.
Also, there is the STANdard cameo from the Marvel man himself, Stan Lee.
There are loads more Easter eggs which you can find here.
In summary, Marvel’s Jessica Jones is an interesting and mysterious series that will appeal to comic book enthusiasts as well as those who enjoy dark subject matter. The acting is superb, each episode has moments that make your jaw drop and the style and tone of the show is enough to make you fall in love with Hell’s Kitchen.
For a more detailed review of Marvel’s Jessica Jones season 1, check out what our friend Caryn over at Fangirlish wrote about it and why you should watch it.
What did you think about Marvel’s Jessica Jones? Did it live up to it’s promise? Are you excited for the forthcoming Marvel Netflix shows? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this piece if you enjoyed it.