Originally posted to Facebook on 7/27/17
Let’s talk Jessica Jones (spoiler free).
Right off the bat, JJ had some pretty big shoes to fill. As I talked about in my last big post, Daredevil was very high quality through and through, so expectations were set pretty high. That said, I think Jessica Jones rises to the challenge.
One episode into my rewatch and the show has already done a lot of great things. Right from the opening voiceover, JJ makes it’s tone very clear. Pulling from classic noir tropes but keeping modern sensibilities. Daredevil was a pretty dark show (both literally and figuratively), but next to Jessica Jones, ol’ Matt Murdoch is practically a Saturday morning cartoon.
Jessica Jones (the character, played by Krysten Ritter) is broken. Most character debuts would let us see someone in a state of contentment first, and then let the conflict of the story bring the character down and then, depending on the story, rise back up from the turmoil or tragically fail. But JJ starts us post-trauma. And I mean that literally. Jessica Jones starts the series with PTSD. The filmmakers use quite a number of classic cinema camera work in order to really show what sort of mindset she is in at the start. My favorite of which is unlike anything that I can think of seeing before (I’m sure it’s been done, but I just can’t remember an example). A static shot of Jessica where suddenly there is a shift in lighting and Kilgrave (played by David Tennant) enters and exits the frame. Very quick, but never actually cutting away or using loads of visual effects. It’s such a theatrical way of getting the point across that Kilgrave is still lingering in her head.
I’m sure I will go on at length about Kilgrave in a future post, but it’s amazing how much his presence is felt in this first episode without more than a couple quick lines and never actually showing his face. An ominous threat that hangs over Jessica at all times. Knowing what happens in the rest of the series, I gotta say, Kilgrave, while not as deep a character as someone like Wilson Fisk, is perhaps the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most terrifying villain. What he can do and what he chooses to do are some of the most downright evil things put on screen. And for a show that’s all about power and abuse, he couldn’t be a more perfect adversary.
Looking forward to getting back into this series. I will check back in after a few more episodes!
Feel free to leave your opinions or thoughts or questions!