I am in the minority that found that the Netflix-original series Daredevil was dull, repetitive, and overrated. Therefore, I was somewhat leery to delve into Jessica Jones, another comic-book adaptation that exists in the same universe as Daredevil.
This one is one worth watching.
The titular character is a Private Eye with some unique powers, including super strength and the ability to jump/almost fly. One thing right off the bat that I liked about this TV series is that the superpowers aspect isn’t really thrown in your face too much, and it plays a subtle part of the story line.
The central conflict of the series is that Jessica is forced to deal with her past, and a powerful nemesis who has the ability to control minds. Kilgrave is a very cool villain, and he is definitely evil. His controlling of minds knows few bounds, and he isn’t cursed with something like a conscience to slow him down. His elaborate scheme is to do what it takes so that he can reunite with Jessica, the one that got away, as he once had her under his control. It makes for a compelling battle, between the two of them, and provides a full seasons worth of entertainment. His abilities play with the conscience and morality of Jessica, and he is always able to fight off her attempts to eliminate him by putting “failsafes” in place, just to be sure she doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want her to. Jessica Jones provides us with a fresh look at how mind-control can be used for the powers of evil, while at the same time making him a very difficult villain to best.
Another strength of the show are the side plots. Oftentimes, the secondary story lines are dull or uninteresting, simply there to provide viewers with moments they wish they could fast forward until they got back to the good stuff. In Jessica Jones, all the stories are pretty interesting, including the love story with Luke, the sister relationship with former child star Trish, and the divorce story of Hogarth, the tough lawyer that Jessica works for on occasion. All of them blend together nicely, not making them frivolous side stories that get lost in the shuffle.
There is some cool fighting in the show, and thanks to the powers of Kilgrave, there are some pretty interesting deaths and ways that people are controlled, essentially torturing themselves, such as not blinking for hours because they have been told to do so.
Any show is defined by its acting, and Jessica Jones does a pretty good job of it. From all of the strong secondary characters, including a very good performance by Rachael Taylor as Trish, right up to the central protagonist and antagonist, the acting is pretty good and believable. There are a few slips here and there, and some clunky dialogue at points, but as the show gets rolling, it seems as though the writers really found their stride, and were able to provide something that we, as the audience, could buy into.
Jessica Jones is definitely worth watching. For the many people who were fans of Daredevil, it is a cool continuation of that universe, where the two actually exist together. There is even a little bit of a cross-over later in the season, for those who are really into it. It is a dark, entertaining show, about troubled people just trying to be somewhat decent, and it is fun to watch.