Back in May I finished watching the first Netflix Marvel series, Daredevil. I had and still have nothing but positive things to say about that series, you can read my full thoughts on it here. It was potentially the strongest Marvel outing yet and it certainly boasted one of the best villains we’d seen in the MCU, Vincent D’Onofrio’s, Wilson Fisk! So with such a strong predecessor to live up to could Jessica Jones carry on this strong and more dark direction for Marvel?
It’s my pleasure to inform you that Jessica Jones is fantastic and brilliantly picks up the mantle from Daredevil. I’ll admit that I wasn’t immediately grasped by the series like many others were. I found some of the opening episodes a bit slow moving and the tease of the villain, Kilgrave (David Tennant) was irritating more than effective. For me it was around episode 5 that things really got good and I’d say that I became completely engrossed in the series. Overall I’d say that the series peaks in episodes 8 through to 10. After these fantastic episodes the next two before the finale suffer slightly and bring the pace back down again but the finale makes up for this with has everything I loved about the series packed into one episode! The series is certainly the most adult of any of Marvel’s productions, with plenty of violence and sexual scenes Jessica Jones raises Daredevil on anything it had laid down in its opening series. I liked the level of violence as I thought it added to the suspense and the horror of situations. However, I felt that some sex scenes were included just for the sake of it, it felt like Marvel were trying to be out there and more edgy when then really didn’t need to. This is only a small criticism though and as the series progresses it doesn’t feel the need to compensate as the drama only gets better!
Jessica Jones boasts the strongest cast and collection of characters in the MCU bar the Avengers films. The title character played by Krysten Ritter is great, she doesn’t want to save the world, her battles are much more personal. She has the perfect villain to match this mentality too in the form of Kilgrave played by the brilliant David Tennant. Best know for portraying the 10th Doctor in sci-fi show Doctor Who he gets to try his hand at a far more sinister role here and he excels at it. Like Jessica, Kilgrave’s motives are much more personal, you won’t find him trying to take over the world. The more intimate feel to the drama was something Marvel haven’t really explored before but it made for great entertainment. The beauty of a TV series as well is that the characters have time to develop and motives can be understood properly. As a result I’d have to say that Tennant’s Kilgrave is the best villain the MCU has ever seen with Wilson Fisk coming in a close second. The supporting characters are so great too though which is also rather refreshing. Trish (Rachael Taylor), Simpson (Will Travel), Malcolm (Eka Darville) and Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) are all likeable in their own ways and each of them contribute so wonderfully to the overall story. Each of these characters is strong in their own right and they don’t have to rely on Jessica or Kilgrave to be interesting which is a massive plus for the series. Jessica Jones also sees the introduction of Luke Cage to the MCU, I never found him as interesting as the other characters but he is introduced well and contributes nicely to some episodes, especially the finale of episode 12.
Some other things I liked about the series were its awesome opening titles, like Daredevils, they start subtly but then grow into something epic. The team behind these opening credits should take a bow. I also really enjoyed the references to the MCU and especially the more obvious Daredevil mention later in the series. I’ve mentioned the violence already but the cause of much of this is the fantastic action that the series features, the combat sequences are choreographed really well and always come off as being fresh and enjoyable.
The success of Jessica Jones is very simple though – a series that features brilliantly written characters brought to life by a great cast set amongst a cleverly and entertainingly written plot. With lots of added extras along the way this series will be a favourite among fans and will rank highly amongst the MCU efforts to date. With adequate closure in the finale but some unanswered questions lingering Jessica Jones ended well with plenty of potential for more great Marvel action!