When I first heard about Marvel’s plans to release a bunch of new shows through Netflix, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, I have Netflix, so I knew I’d be able to see it. But would those shows actually turn out any good? Then Daredevil came out and I was so shocked at how good it turned out. It was dark and violent and gritty, but the fight choreography was top notch and Vincent D’Onofrio was brilliant as the Kingpin. My fears were allayed. I mean, I’d never show this to my kids, at least, not for a very long time, but I was a little more on-board with the whole plan.
But what about Jessica Jones? I mean, I had heard of her (sort of; for a while there, I thought she was Spiderwoman). But who was she and what would her show be like? I did a little research into her appearances in the comics, and based on my enjoyment of Daredevil, I was ready to give it a shot.
So what’s the story about? Jessica is a broken young woman. She gained superpowers entirely by accident and she tried a stint at using them to help people. But then she encountered someone who derailed her plans, a mysterious man named Kilgrave (played brilliantly by David Tennant). Jessica eventually got free from Kilgrave’s influence and thought that he was gone. She’s turned into a hard-drinking, crass private investigator with very few friends and fewer people that she actually trusts. She desperately wants to forget what she was like and what she did while under Kilgrave’s influence.
But it turns out that Kilgrave isn’t as dead as she thought. He’s actually returned and very much wants Jessica back in his life. So Jessica has to rally her friends (such as her best friend and professional paranoiac Patsy) and what few allies she has (such as her romantic interest, Luke Cage) to defeat Kilgrave once and for all.
I really enjoyed this show, but I know for a fact that it won’t be for everyone. This is an extremely dark and gritty show. And it’s also very sexual. There are at least half a dozen (maybe more; I didn’t count) sexual situations acted out on screen but no “true nudity” (i.e. no full frontal of anybody). I mean, you definitely know what the characters are doing, but this doesn’t quite reach the level of Game of Thrones, for example. It seemed unnecessary to me. If you’re easily offended by sexual imagery, you probably will want to pass.
I’m not entirely sold on the way some of the storylines worked out. For example, there’s a cop named Simpson who plays a major role toward the end of the story (I won’t drop any spoilers), but there’s a twist to his arc that just came out of left field, so far as I’m concerned. It was a weird development that I think derailed the overall story just a bit. Maybe if they had done a bit more setup, it wouldn’t have been so jarring.
But I liked a lot of the actors who worked on this show. Mike Colter was great as Luke Cage (and I’m ready to see him do his thing in his own show). And Krysten Ritter played Jessica with just the right amount of snark and vulnerability mixed together.
But David Tennant. Oh, David Tennant.
I’m a recently-converted Whovian and the Tenth Doctor is definitely “my Doctor,” so to speak. Tennant’s portrayal of Kilgrave is overwhelmingly awesome. He starts out creepy and positively amoral, but as the show goes on, you start to even feel just a tiny bit sorry for him. At least, I did until…
Whoops. Spoilers. Sorry.
Kilgrave is manipulative and evil. And he’s part of the reason why I think this show works so well, because at its heart is the theme of abusive relationships.
I had this feeling while I was watching the episodes that what I was really watching was about the survivor of domestic abuse. The relationship between Kilgrave and Jessica has distinct overtones of abuser and victim but I couldn’t be sure.
But then I read this article written by an abuse survivor. It was eye-opening and confirmed my suspicions. This really is a show about an abused woman trying to cope with her life after leaving her abuser. It just features superpowered individuals.
Does that mean you should watch it? It depends. Like I said, if you get creeped out by sexual situations, stay away. If you can handle some darker themes, you’ll definitely have your eyes opened to the way things are for victims of abuse. I’m grateful for that little window it opened up. It wasn’t what I expected. But it was an interesting story to experience.Should you watch Jessica Jones? It depends... Click To Tweet