Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review: Jessica Jones Season 1

What's it about?

On the Netflix side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe there's a little apartment turned into an office with an often broken window in the door.  This is Alias Investigations and - if you can convince her to help you - Jessica Jones is one great PI.  However, at the moment she's out of the office, trying to track down the man who ruined her life. 


There's a lot of really good things about Jessica Jones.  First and foremost it's a super hero show with women in the forefront - front and center.  Yes, I said women: plural.

The show does an amazing job of showing us a variety of female characters (good and bad) that have been severely lacking for sooooo many years. We have super hero females, best friends, lovers, assholes and innocent victims.  Men are barely present in this series, which is a refreshing change, but they are present in some very integral parts.  The downside is that this really highlights the lack of such care in the Cinematic Universe as a whole and makes me glare at the movies for not offering us more.  (I love Scarlet Witch, I do, but come on, give us more main females then just her and Black Widow!)

The down side is this show also made me realize something else about the Cinematic Universe and I find it super troubling.  There are no female characters in the Marvel Universe who do not come from a place of sexual trauma or abuse.  And if you think they don't, it's because we haven't heard all the details from their backstory yet.  This is a serious problem with female characters and probably deserves a huge rant in and of itself.  However I'm gonna stop myself, cuz this is a review.

Back to the good stuff, one of the things this series does amazingly well is side characters.  Aside from being fully fleshed out with a lot of really diverse bits, they are given an important part that makes the series as a whole work.  While the character of Jessica Jones is trying her best to hunt down Kilgrave and stop him, he's leaving a pile of bodies around her.  Jessica Jones doesn't have time to mourn all these bodies (though she really wants to), so these side characters do it for her and give the audience that much needed release.  There isn't a stack of nameless faces around her like a slasher movie, nope these are actual people and the series goes through episode after episode to show us that and remind us.  It has a very sobering and real effect that I don't think could have been portrayed in a better way.

Kilgrave himself was a really interesting villain and one who kept me guessing.  Aside from being written incredibly well, David Tennant did an amazing job portraying him.  At every turn he was more and more devious and untrustworthy.  This isn't just a man you fear.  He's a man you hate and avoid because you don't dare give him an inch.  There were several times in the story where it seemed like they were trying to give him some motivation for how he was - but then it came to light that he was lying again, manipulating with every fiber of his being power or not.  It's truly scary to see someone who can do nothing but manipulate everyone around him.  And he's really really good at it even without his power.  Seriously, this kind of character and writing gives me nightmares and inspires me to create at the same time - I love it.

Final thoughts?

Overall I'm quite happy with the series even with it's flaws.  I'm looking forward to jumping into the rest of this world and what comes from it.  Hopefully the amazing female characters cross over into the other series, because there's a few I would love to see again, aside from Jessica herself.

Where'd I get it?

Steaming on Netflix of course!

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