By Josh Krubner
Believe the hype, it’s better than Daredevil. My only “complaints” with this show are nonexistent in the context of the MCU – and as much as I hate “those people”, it’s because it strayed from the source material… aka the comics (and yes, I am going for THOSE jokes throughout). I’m not gonna go into it much except for a few interactions here and there, I’ll just say that if you enjoyed the show, it’s believe it or not, a completely NEUTERED PG version by comparison. It also doesn’t have the established history and sprawl of the entire 616 aka the “Classic Marvel Universe”. In the context of the MCU, it works fucking gangbusters.
Jessica Jones is a NONTRADITIONAL “super hero” show from the people that brought you both Iron Man 3 and Daredevil. Like Daredevil, this is the “darker, more realistic” Netflix MCU where the people hate the Avengers and fear super-powered beings or my favorite, somehow don’t even believe in them. Unlike …yes, even Daredevil, which followed the “formula”, Jones aka Jessica Jones is actually a modern noir right down to the visuals, tones, and direction. It’s a VERY slow-burn and if a paced-story over a beat-em up Hulk fight isn’t your thing, this might not be the show for you.
Most people aka the internet do not have a fucking clue what being a “feminist” actually means. When I was a kid, hearing about this strange concept, and all the bra burning and the beginnings of hookup culture, it meant an empowered woman capable of making her own decisions for better OR for worse, and call me crazy, but the hard-drinking one-night-stand seeking PI just happens to be a “feminist paragon”. No, she’s not out “shopping” and “looking cute” or “quoting Firefly” or telling a man “she doesn’t need him/can do his job better” because like an ACTUAL feminist, she doesn’t give any semblance of a fuck as she’s literally tossed out of a bar into a pile of trash…where she accepts her true “equality” as a man would be treated no different for his actions.
The other place they miss the point is with the villain. The MASTERFUL fucking David Tennant’s - creepy as fuck on a level not seen since One Hour Photo - Kilgrave. Sadly, I can’t go into “much” of this dynamic in a relatively spoiler free review, but I will say that most of these sites writing about the mean ol man and his poor beat up down trodden rape “victim” (ugh) miss the ENTIRE point of Bendis’s original narrative.
I’ve covered two of my big three gripes but I’d be remiss if I didn’t answer Jim’s. Jessica is by all definitions a complete train wreck, and not in the quirky “little bit of elbow grease” Amy Schumer way. She’s a walking disaster. She’s killed. She’s perpetually drunk, late, rude, angry, destructive. She’s like my ideal woman and 3 of my last 4 exes really. The internet latched onto this disgusting and base “victim” thing to justify her actions, but the truth is she’s a shitty person and was a very fucked up kid. This differs slightly show to comics, but the show does enough of a job hammering this point, much like the good flashbacks from CW shows Flash and Arrow. The short of it is that she got her powers/her parents died in an accident that…might or might not have also created Matt Murdock aka Daredevil…and the Ninja Turtles (no, I’m not joking on that one, look it up).
Jess on the show seems to have a more level head and a willingness to put down a bottle for a whole 3-5 episodes at a time. In the comics, she is perpetually drunk off her ass and keeps getting grief over being kicked out the teen titan Avengers. She is unwillingly set up with Scott Lang aka the Paul Rudd Ant-Man (but he’s not Paul Rudd). This plays beautifully because she is constantly doubting herself and calls him just to have someone to talk to. She doesn’t want to date “an ant-man” and she considers him a loser. Being a PI she did some digging and found out he had served some jail time. Naturally this piques her interest and her curiosity, but she still arrives on a date poorly dressed, in a bad mood and immediately orders a double. Scott stops her order and explains that “the lady wont be drinking tonight”. He delivers a killer monologue about how he could accept his lot as the “loser convict Ant-Man that no one likes” or she can get to know “Scott Lang the man, the father”. As this is going down, she’s trying her hardest not to blow up on him for stopping her access to booze. Being a comic book set in the Marvel Universe, where you can see pretty much anyone of a who's-who at any moment, Spider-Man and some foe swing by the outdoor restaurant. Civilians begin panicking and taking cell-phone pictures while Scott asks Jess is she wants to leap into battle. She realizes that she’d much rather continue the date giving it her all and even reveals how pissed she was he turned away the booze. Sadly, no exchange like this made it into the show with any of the characters, and I think this was the only true defining aspect of who she is and how she views herself as a character and more importantly as a person that they completely dropped the ball on.
“You want to binge watch Jessica Jones.”