JESSICA JONES - First Seven Episodes

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

To the uninitiated, Jessica Jones is somewhat of an unknown quantity. A relatively new character in the Marvel Universe - Jones first appeared in comic form in 2001 - she is an ex-superhero turned private investigator with her own firm, Alias Investigations.

The new television series, of which we have managed to secure a sneak preview of the first seven episodes - part of an impressive line-up of original Marvel shows from Netflix that already includes Daredevil - starts off with Jones (Ritter - probably best known for her role in Breaking Bad) already withdrawn from the super side of her life and running her P.I. company from her own apartment. If you thought the offices of Nelson and Murdock were shabby, you’ve seen nothing yet; it’s so ramshackle that the front door is literally hanging off of its hinges. Quite why she has decided to leave her powered past behind her is a mystery and we are drip fed info in the form of flashbacks as to why she is the person she is when we meet her.

First of all, let us tell you that this is unlike any other Marvel property thus far. There is a lot of sex, violence and profanity on show here and, as a result, as you’re viewing you can easily forget that you’re watching a Marvel product. Even the opening titles are reminiscent of old ‘70s gumshoe shows.

Jones is not your archetypal superheroine either. Snarky, haunted and beleaguered by past events, Ritter brings a real earthiness to a character that you want to see succeed. Luckily, the series doesn’t start with most fan’s biggest bugbear: the origin story. Instead, we’re just going to have to piece it all together as we go.

There is no spandex on show here, either; although there is a nice blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment where a costume used by Jones in the comics as superheroine Jewel is seen, and if you thought that Daredevil was gritty, you ain’t seen nothing yet. We are again thrust into the dark underbelly of Hell’s Kitchen, New York where the residents are aware of superpowers but they are not clearly on show. In fact, powers are deliberately kept in the shadows. Jones has a very small group of friends. One to be precise, who, when Jones was adopted as a child, is her sister Taylor) who is now a successful radio talk show host. There is her drug addicted neighbour and the upstairs neighbour who is overprotective of her brother. As we discover more about Jones and the life that she is now leading we realise that it’s probably best that she keeps people at arm’s length.

Additionally, there is a lawyer (Moss) who uses Jones’ skills as an investigator who certainly muddies up the water on occasion.

Knowing that this, along with the other Marvel Netflix shows, is leading towards The Defenders - where Jones will team up with Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist - it’s interesting to see that Cage appears quite regularly here instead of just waiting for his own show next year. The reasons for his appearance so early are pretty shocking and, in addition to the episodic investigations Jones is hired to undertake, the overarching bad guy of the series is Kilgrave (Tennant).

This definitely not the Tennant we know from Doctor Who. In line with Daredevil’s Kingpin, Kilgrave is a nasty piece of work who just happens to have his own superpower which he uses for evil, although not in the diabolical sense of the word. He is not over the top, the guy is just a real piece of work and, as he knows who Jones is, uses this to his advantage.

As we said, we only got to see the first seven episodes, so we have been left on a cliffhanger and can’t wait until November 20th to see how it all ends.

This is very different to what has come before and not at all child friendly, but is a superhero show for grown-ups.

Get ready for your next show to binge watch!



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