Speculative Fiction Saturday: Jessica Jones

Jessica-Jones-1-1200x674Okay, I probably should have written about these Marvel/Netflix shows earlier, but I have to admit that I do a lot of writing about them on The Gospel Herald with my most recent article here. Even as I write about the first season of Jessica Jones, I am watching the second season of Daredevil.

In case you don’t know about these shows, Marvel made some deal with Netflix for four shows that are based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the same universe that the Avengers reside in, and these Netflix shows, which include Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, all have a grittier feel as they are based in darker comic book source material.

When I grew up on the eighties, I was very familiar with Daredevil and somewhat familiar with Luke Cage and Iron Fist. I stopped reading them at the end of the nineties, and Jessica Jones was not created until 2001, so I had never heard of her when I watched her show. I have no idea how well the show matches the source material, but it generally does not exactly for this transition. Therefore, I’m not going to judge it based on the translation from comic to screen.

Jessica Jones is a show that doesn’t waste any time talking about that whole “origin story thing” from the first episode. It is established that she has some kind of superhuman strength, and has started a job as a private investigator. It is also established that she has a best friend name Trish who used to be a teenage TV star for a show called Patsy, but now has a radio show called “Trish Talks”. Jessica also has a lawyer friend known as Jeri Hogarth who often is a source for Jessica to find work. These characters are as flushed out and developed as Jessica herself, and that is saying something.

The issue with Jessica Jones is that she has as much weaknesses as strengths. She is an alcoholic, and she is suffering from PTSD. Why is she suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? It is because of an evil man named Kilgrave, who she thought was dead, is alive.

Kilgrave is played by David Tennant, who used to be Doctor Who. He easily one of the best and worst villains on screen. The reasons why he is the best and the worst is the same, because his power is legitimately scary. Kilgrave has a power to take control of your mind verbally, so if Kilgrave tells you to kill someone or yourself, you have to do it, even if it hurts yourself. It makes me glad the metahuman powers only exist in the world of make-believe.

At one point in time, it is revealed via flashback that Kilgrave once had Jessica Jones under his control. If you think that the show didn’t “go there” in showing what Kilgrave does to his female victims, think again. For all intents and purposes, Kilgrave made Jessica his forced sex slave. The worst part about this is that Jessica Jones shows Kilgrave from a certain point of view that makes him sympathetic. Yeah, I said it, and you should watch it so you can see why I agree with this.

You can imagine that Jessica has a lot of anger and fear when it comes to Kilgrave, and what is interesting is how she attempts to stop him. The two characters switch places playing cat and mouse with each other, and Jessica Jones becomes a psychological study more than a speculative fiction story.

This is one of those times where I don’t want to reveal anything more about this show, because it really needs to be seen. Unfortunately, it might not get its second season until 2017, but it is established that it will have a second season.

As I mentioned before Jessica Jones is one of four shows that take place in this Marvel/Netflix universe, and the next new show to premiere in this share world is Luke Cage. This character was introduced on Jessica Jones as a love interest and superhuman partner, and I look forward to watching his show.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *