After having some meetings with representatives from Netflix, I had the privilage to watch the first three episodes of ‘Jessica Jones’ weeks before it got released yesterday at their main office in Amsterdam. I was very excited to see the rest of it on Nov. 20. So does Marvel’s Jessica Jones live up to the hype for the rest of the remaining 10 episodes and is it better than Marvel’s Daredevil? Well….
The story of Jessica Jones is, indeed, low-fi; Jones has superpowers that she’s hesitant to use. After a defining trauma earlier in her life, she now fills her days paying marginal attention to her career as a detective and assiduous attention to the bottom of a bottle. But beneath the seen-it-all demeanor and the basting of brown liquor, Jones does care, deeply, about a few things. The series’s plot is set into motion when Jones gets new clients, parents concerned for the fate of their daughter; the fellow who played a part in ruining Jones’s life has returned to torment a promising young female track star. The villain, Kilgrave, has the power to control the minds of anyone around him. It’s an unusually creepy effect as we see him casually gain entry to families’ homes and eat their dinners, but one that takes on a new dimension when we learn just the sort of victims he really prefers.
The performance of Krysten Ritter is good as Jessica Jones, but while Krysten Ritter’s performance is not perfect, she is nonetheless captivating. There’s a vulnerability in her that makes you want to pay attention, but much like Daredevil, the real saga of Jessica Jones is that of the Villain. David Tennant shines as a dark and broken sociopath. His performance is chilling and terrifying and asks dark questions about what we would do with ultimate power over those around us, and about what would become of us. Stepping past Tennant’s breathtaking performance, the rest of the casting is apt and on point. Any fan of the comic books will be hard pressed to fault Jessica Jones or Luke Cage. Their chemistry and dynamic is ink made flesh and the characters that we loved brought to screen. The supporting cast are equally brilliant, especially the trio of Australian actors supporting in the roles of Rachael Taylor as Trish (although she slips with her Australian accent a couple of times), Wil Traval as Will Simpson and Eka Darville as Malcolm.
But the show never really shines after the third episode. The first problem is that Jessica Jones misses smart dialogue or great monologues. Compared against Daredevil the dialogue in this show felt very flat and monotone. The same goes for the plot, through the first three episodes and after the introduction to the villian, the show really promises for a great psychological season, part of what made me excited in the first place, but really quick I’ve learned that after episode 3, the show started mulching over the same thing and it made the plot feel too small for a 13 episode season. All the other subplots were stretched out to the point you wouldn’t even care anymore by the end of it. I honestly think this could have been perfect as a 2 hour superhero movie.
But looking at the positive side, the show is fun to watch especially for the performances of Krysten Ritter and David Tennant. Even though everything feels too stretched out, the performances of these two make the show very entertaining. I just hope they can improve the writing and directing talent in the next season.
Jessica Jones gets a 7.2/10.