By Thomas Gillen
All 13 episodes of the Marvel television show “Jessica Jones,” were released on Netflix on Nov. 20. This is only the second Marvel television show to premiere on the streaming service, following “Daredevil” last April. “Jessica Jones” will be followed by “Luke Cage,” premiering in early 2016 and “Iron Fist,” which premieres late 2016.
A mini-series called “The Defenders” will follow the four shows. In “The Defenders”, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will form a team and fight together to defend Hell’s Kitchen. “Jessica Jones” is the second female led TV show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Marvel Cinematic Universe includes every Marvel movie from 2008s “Iron Man” to 2015s “Ant-Man” and every TV show from 2013s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to “Jessica Jones.”
In the show, which is based on the Alias comic book series, Jessica Jones is a former superhero who hung up her cape after a personal tragedy and opened up her own private investigation business in Hell’s Kitchen. In the first episode, “AKA Ladies Night”, Jessica takes on a case involving a missing NYU student, Hope, when her parents come looking for her.
After following up on several leads, Jessica discovers that Hope has been captured by Zebediah Kilgrave aka “The Purple Man” through his power of mind control. Kilgrave is Jessica’s greatest villain who she thought was dead after he was hit by a bus.
Throughout the episode, Jessica also crosses paths with her best friend Trish Walker, a talk show host and Jeri Hogarth, a lawyer with whom Jessica occasionally works. “AKA Ladies Night” also introduces Luke Cage as a bar owner in Hell’s Kitchen. The final quarter of the episode is very intense, ending with a massive cliffhanger, which will leave viewers wanting more.
Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica Jones, whose powers include flight and super strength. She plays the role extremely well and is able to convey all of Jessica’s emotions with ease. She particularly excels at dealing with Jessica’s PTSD issues as a result of her encounters with the Purple Man. The supporting cast is also very strong with David Tennant and Mike Colter as the standouts. David Tennant, who plays Kilgrave,
is probably most known for his role as the Tenth Doctor in “Doctor Who”, but these two roles could not be more different.
Though not seen in the first episode, Tennant’s presence is always felt in Jessica’s mind and comes across as very creepy and menacing whenever Jessica thinks about her time under his control. Mike Colter is also great as Luke Cage, whose superpowers include unbreakable skin and super strength. He not only looks the part, but also has great chemistry with Ritter which is important since Luke and Jessica have a relationship in the comics.
While “Daredevil” predicated itself on great fight scenes and plenty of action, “Jessica Jones” is more of a psychological horror series with the addition of Kilgrave. With his power of mind control, Kilgrave can make anyone do what he wants and uses his powers for purely evil intentions.
Viewers who enjoy any of the Marvel movies, other comic book movies, or the Alias comic book series should tune in. Non-superhero fans may also enjoy “Jessica Jones” since Jessica’s superpowers do not play a big role in the pilot and she mostly relies on her detective skills to solve the case.