Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pilot Review: Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Premiered November 20

Marvel is taking over the world, slowly but surely, and it’s especially good to see that it doesn’t always mean the same thing. My understanding of this show is that it’s part of the larger Marvel universe and the buildup towards a show involving Daredevil and a few other darker Marvel characters. Since I don’t know anything about the comic book Jessica Jones, all I have to base anything on is this show. The best part, undoubtedly, is the casting of Krysten Ritter as the titular hero. I liked Ritter back when she first guest-starred on “Breaking Bad” and then took the lead in the short-lived “Gravity,” in which she was excellent. Her time on “Don’t Trust the B---- In Apartment 23” might be considered solid experience for this role, but I think that Starz’s black comedy about people who attempted suicide is actually far more relevant. Jessica Jones, or at least what those without any prior knowledge of her can glean from this pilot, is not your typical hero, one who rarely uses her powers but has no problem rolling her eyes and lifting up a car when it serves her needs. She’s surrounded by characters who don’t seem to be living highly social or bright lives, namely Carrie-Anne Moss’ high-powered Geri, who is cheating on her loyal significant other, and Mike Colter’s bartender Luke Cage, who I know will play a larger part in this story based on his name alone. What really caught me off guard was the grim ending of the pilot, which, after showing Jessica nearly fall apart when she realized that the same man who had ruined her life was the culprit her, the rescued girl had one last hypnosis-ordered act: to kill her own parents in the elevator. That was a tough thing to get out of my head, and I’m very intrigued to see what other dark roads this show will travel.

How will it work as a series? I have no idea. I imagine that David Tennant’s Kilgrave will figure in as the major villain of the series, but like “Daredevil,” there will be plenty of vicious threats over the course of the season for Jessica, and presumably Luke, to deal with, and reporter friend Patsy will surely be of help too. The series’ brooding tone is what most appeals, and of course Ritter in the lead.
How long will it last? Netflix has already revealed plans for this and other shows to lead up to another bigger show like Marvel’s movies all headed towards the endgame of “The Avengers.” Given positive word of mouth and the success of its previous show in this oeuvre, I can almost guarantee that this show will be back for a second season and potentially beyond.

Pilot grade: B+

No comments: