TV series review: Jessica Jones season one, episodes 1-13

Jessica Jones created by Melissa Rosenberg , based on Jessica Jones comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. I watched it because of Heidenkind/Tasha who writes an excellent blog, Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books – thank you my dear for everything!

Starring:

  • Krysten Ritter
  • Mike Colter
  • Rachael Taylor
  • Wil Traval
  • Erin Moriarty
  • Eka Darville
  • Carrie-Anne Moss
  • David Tennant

Series info:

Following a tragic end to her brief superhero career, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with remarkable abilities in New York City. No, it won’t be easy but it will be interesting to watch.

My impressions:

I DON’T like tv series. They are usually too long which means you waste too much precious reading and writing time. Still for some of them I am willing to make an exception, especially if they come recommended by one of my blogging friends. I found out about Jessica Jones from Tasha/Heidenkind and, despite the MARVEL brand name, I decided to give it a chance. I didn’t regret my decision.

Pros:

Jessica is a flawed character and a heroine closer to a real-life woman than any Marvel character I’ve met so far. She’d been a victim of a psychopath, imprisoned, raped, forced to maim, kill and dress like a Barbie doll. She hasn’t got over it yet. She drinks too much , she sleeps around, her lifestyle could hardly be called ‘healthy’ but she struggles to be independent, make a living and make a difference.

One small detail but what a big change: Jessica on tv screen never wears one of those annoying, colourful spandex catsuits MARVEL heroes are famous for. She doesn’t use any ‘nickname’ either.  And she has a sense of humour. What a relief.

I applauded the fact that Jessica was given not only a love interest but also a female friend (Trish Walker) and frenemies too. They rarely talked about guys so the series passed the Bechdel test with flying colours.

Between the lines (and killings) the series explores different shade of casual misogyny – how girls from the early age are told to smile, how they feel that subtle pressure to wear revealing clothes men like, nice makeup and hair-dos. That fact alone is worth an essay of its own.

The series features many POC characters which is a nice change after other ‘mostly white’ Marvel movies.

There were no ‘accidental’ characters in any of the episode – it was clear that each and every one of them was carefully constructed, introduced for a reason and never forgotten.  I approve wholeheartedly.

Cons:

I suppose Marvel and Netflix wanted to find a good compromise between a completely adult series, dealing with serious topics like addiction, abuse, rape, loss, PTSD and such, and cartoon-like fairy tale about ‘special’ people with super-hero abilities. Like with every compromise they sometimes had to sacrifice this and that –  the logic of the plot for example. Accordingly Jessica, having very few clients, sometimes none at all for more than two-three episodes, was completely able to pay her bills, buy booze (the cheapest bourbon but still) and go around New York in taxis. During one scene she catches a cab and visits all the NY morgues; paying her fare never seems to be a problem. I do wonder where her money come from…Or maybe she got that ‘Marvel super-hero’ badge meaning that, as long as she is chasing a baddie, she didn’t have to pay for anything…

She also walked around in clean clothes although you would never catch her loading a washing machine even once; heck, when I think about it I never saw a washing machine in her rather spartan flat. She never cleaned as well but still her rooms looked more or less ok – perhaps her fairy godmother was doing all the chores. And buying her beauty products, alcohol and camisoles. And supplying her with pin money on a daily basis. Who knows. ;p

Following that pet peeve of mine (lack of logical solutions in a series which is supposed to deal with ‘normal’ life and show ‘normal’ people) I really laughed when Malcolm, Jessica’s junkie neighbour and friend, was selling her photos to Kilgrave (the main baddie played by David Tennant). How come a down-at-heels junkie owned a camera? Where came his computer from and a quality printer, not to mention cartridges and that special glossy photo paper sheets? After all he wasn’t paid in money, he was just given a syringe and a dose of his drug of choice…

Likewise many other characters seemed to be completely able to suspend their career and private life as soon as they started chasing Kilgrave but I must stop here, you know I might go on and on forever. Let me just mention several product placements (although I understand the practice, it is another pet peeve of mine – I managed to catch such brand names as Samsung, Wild Turkey, Harley-Davidson and Acer shamelessly exposed for several seconds) and I am done.

Final verdict:

A very ‘noir’ series from Marvel which, despite its flaws, so far has been completely interesting and recommendable. Way to go!

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12 Responses to TV series review: Jessica Jones season one, episodes 1-13

  1. blodeuedd says:

    I watched one ep, eh, it was boring

  2. xaurianx says:

    Great review, thank you! My best friend has recently discovered her love for Dr. Who, and is now totally enamored of David Tennant, so after finishing every Dr. Who episode on the internet, and all things David Tennant on YouTube, she is now watching everything else he has a role in, including this series. I really don’t understand that fascination, but oh well. She wants him for her birthday, so I am buying all kinds of merchandise for her as the real one is happily married with 4 kids …

  3. heidenkind says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I thought you might 🙂

  4. Melfka says:

    I stopped around episode 7 or 8, but then, the same case was for Daredevil which I only finished months later. I guess I’m like you, I’m not cut for the series: unless they’re more of “stand-alone” episodes with some main story weaved in that you can jump into and out (or watch one episode during dinner and then do something else), rather than being one stretched drama-building string.

  5. Carole Rae says:

    Sighs…Idk…I’m over the whole hero thing – I prefer the comics myself.

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