About a month ago I began watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix. It was a total whim. I’ve heard of it before, but didn’t really know what it was. Both Game of Thrones and Big Bang Theory had ended. I’d already watched all of Good Omens and Stranger Things season three hadn’t been released yet. I needed a new show to binge on.
About 20 minutes into the first episode of Jessica Jones I hopped on social media and demanded an answer: Why did nobody tell me how amazing this show is?!
Jessica Jones is a super-powered P.I. living in New York. She’s strong as hell, angsty as a person can be, and has an intimate relationship with the bottom of the whiskey bottle. Jessica is as flawed and real as they come, which is what drew me to her immediately. The show begins in the aftermath of Jessica’s escape from manipulative super-villain, Kilgrave. Even a year after his death, Jessica is still haunted by her time spent under Kilgrave’s control, in which he was controlling her mind and her actions, forcing her to do unspeakable things.
The cast of characters is exquisite. Patsy Walker, aka Trish, is Jessica’s adopted sister and famous television personality. Upon first meeting her, Trish looks like she’s going to be a boring, stereotypical “friend” type. But, oh, I was so wrong about that. The relationship between the two is a rather complex one and later becomes a huge part of the story line. (Those of you who are familiar with the world of Marvel comics will be delighted to see this crossover of Patsy Walker/Hellcat.)
Luke Cage (who also has his own show on Netflix) shows up in season one as a fleeing friend/romantic interest of Jessica’s. We’re also introduced to neighbor and ex-junkie, Malcom, crooked attorney Hogarth, and Jessica’s adoptive and emotionally abusive mother, Dorothy. Of all the characters we meet though, Kilgrave was by far my favorite.
David Tennant has been a favorite of mine since I was first introduced to him as the 10th Doctor. Even if I had never heard of him before, I would have immediately become a fan after watching his brilliant performance as Kilgrave. In my opinion, he’s possibly one of the most chilling villains in the Marvel universe. He has the ability to take over people’s minds, which, of course, he uses for horribly nefarious and twisted purposes. As if the psychological trauma of what Kilgrave did to her wasn’t bad enough, Jessica learns that it’s possible he’s still alive. Can she really trust anyone else, knowing that they might be under his control? Can she even trust her own judgement?
Seasons two and three were also fantastic (although season one was my favorite), with new superheroes/anti-superheroes and bad guys alike. We learn more of Jessica’s backstory and how she came to possess her powers. There’s incredible character development, not just with Jessica, but across the board. Relationships are explored, strengthened and broken apart. Mistakes are made. Lives are lost. Shit gets real. Through it all, Jessica remains the bad ass that New York can count on again and again, whether she wants it or not.