[TV Review] ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 1 is off to a good start

Krysten Ritter is Jessica Jones on "Jessica Jones." (Forbes)
Krysten Ritter is Jessica Jones on "Jessica Jones." (Forbes)
 Should you watch/Wiki/skip this? Watch it.
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (Mike Colter) after some fun in "Jessica Jones." (Vulture)
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (Mike Colter) after some fun in “Jessica Jones.” (Vulture)

“Jessica Jones” is a Netflix live action superhero drama about the titular Jessica Jones, who has super strength and some flying ability. After a traumatic incident, she retires from being a super heroine to open a private investigation agency, not knowing that her past is coming back to haunt her. It stars Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Rachael Taylor (“Trish” Patricia Walker), Wil Traval (Will Simpson), Erin Moriarty (Hope Shlottman), Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), and David Tennant (Kilgrave).

Unlike most superhero dramas, Season 1 begins after Jessica Jones’ tenure as a super hero, and sees her adopting a more quiet lifestyle. Of course, it does show snippets of her origin story as the series progresses, so you understand how it all happened. It also introduces two other super-powered characters, the villainous Kilgrave and love interest Luke Cage.

Jessica Jones is wary on a subway in "Jessica Jones." (Forbes)
Jessica Jones is wary on a subway in “Jessica Jones.” (Forbes)

It’s an interesting approach to start in media res, in a way, and let us slowly get to know Jessica Jones as a person rather than as a person with super powers. However, it shows us Jessica Jones as an adult, rather than a coming-of-age story the way “Smallville” and “Merlin” did it. I’ve only known Jessica Jones through the New Avengers, and even so I remember her most for getting Squirrel Girl to be her nanny and for Luke Cage trying to badger into taking on the “Power Woman” moniker. Anyway, she has a pretty simple power set, although her power levels seem inconsistent at times.

Reflecting on their actions in "Jessica Jones." (Tor.com)
Reflecting on their actions in “Jessica Jones.” (Tor.com)


Strong female characters

The series revolves around three powerful, independent women (and yes, the other two are normal humans) – Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Trish (Rachael Taylor), and Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss). The men are generally forgettable in the series, except for, obviously, the two other super powered individuals. It’s the female characters that drive the action and further the plot in this series, being the pro-active ones that chase down the cases and villains where necessary. Even the romance seems more of an afterthought, and I’m a big fan of romantic relationships in television series. While the female characters take precedence, it’s not insufferable and weepy the way most female dramas are written. It’s innovative and entertaining, and that’s what made me finish the series so quickly.

Witty repartee

I appreciate the snide comments and barbed jokes that are traded, as well as the sarcastic observations that the characters frequently make. It builds character and delivers exposition in a fun way, while still contributing to the style of the show. Kudos to the writers! I’d like to meet them some day and learn from them.

Highly stylised

I’m not all that familiar with noir since I’m not that big a fan of it, but I liked the noir treatment of the series. There will be an inevitable comparison with “Daredevil,” of course, and “Jessica Jones” is much more colourful and fun, since there are characters with actual super powers here. Still, it manages to have its own visual character without resorting to pretentious techniques, and that makes it all the more likeable as a series.


And this is where I feel “Jessica Jones” is superior to “Daredevil” – the characters are just fun to watch. There’s angst, yes, but they don’t dwell on it for more than is necessary for the plot to function. It might be literally grounded, compared to the film portions of the MCU, but that doesn’t make it any less super heroic or entertaining to watch. The references to both past and future Netflix Marvel series also make it more entertaining. Good vibes here!

A tired Jessica Jones in "Jessica Jones." (Hypable)
A tired Jessica Jones in “Jessica Jones.” (Hypable)


Confusing villain

Kilgrave (David Tennant) is, well, kind of bewildering. David Tennant’s performance is fantastic, creating a perverted creature that sometimes has us rooting for him, even though you know he should be drawn and quartered for his crimes. But the actual character, Kilgrave, rather than being steeped in mystery, comes across more as a strange psychopath that doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Everything seems to just happen on the fly with him, and it’s just awkward.


Jessica Jones’ flight power is rubbish

Did I miss some critical scenes with her flight powers? Yeah I know it’s more like super leaping instead, but even so when we see that, it’s pretty lame. Why even claim she has flight powers in the first place? How about just calling it super jumping or something or even just not mentioning it. I’m all for super powers and all, but come on, call a spade a spade.

Krysten Ritter is Jessica Jones on "Jessica Jones." (Forbes)
Krysten Ritter is Jessica Jones on “Jessica Jones.” (Forbes)

“Jessica Jones” Season 1 is off to an excellent start, and has me keen on watching another season of it (rather than, well, “Daredevil” or “Luke Cage”). How about creating a team of female superheroes with Jessica Jones at the centre?

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