Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Spoiler-free Review of Netflix's Jessica Jones

Beardy and I had recently watched the first season of Jessica Jones. Now, I'm not a big Marvel fan, but I have to admit that I fell in love with the show pretty quickly. Let me state, without spoiling anything (I really want everyone to see it!), the reasons why.

1. Okay, obvious selling point first. Jessica is played by Krysten Ritter, who has been a huge girl crush of mine since the first time I saw her in a film. To be honest though, I hadn't even heard of the show before Beardy started watching the first episode, but once I realised it was her, you bet your butt I sat down and watched the damn show. And even with how much I already like Ritter, I was genuinely impressed by her performance in this role. So different from all of her other sassy sarcastic perky roles. Okay, it's actually still sassy and sarcastic, just not perky. But far from simply taking the perkiness away, it is replaced by a very palpable, believable darkness that makes you really hurt for Jessie, and so you root for her intensely as well.

2. It is so inclusive to LGBT and POC, but without being so heavy-handed that it undermines its own effort. This show is inclusive to non-straight relationships and people of color without wagging it around your face. It just does it, and does it well. It does it believably, respectfully, and so matter-of-factly that I actually didn't notice until I thought about evaluating it.

3. Talking about "Because it's 2015", it's quite gender-equal, especially for a Superhero-themed show. Maybe we can expect it from the showrunner herself being female, but it totally manages to avoid being a sausage party without losing the awesome action and gore elements that are cruicial to the story. Many of the main characters are women who hold their own, and men aren't reduced to two-dimensional characters either. The baddies are called out for inexcusable behaviour instead of insultingly implying that it's natural for men to act like pigs.

4. Kilgrave (Killgrave) is a terrifyingly good villain. Among my own reasons, very few aren't mentioned in this link (beware of spoilers though!). For people who don't want to be spoiled, I'll say this: Kilgrave is so complex, so mysterious, so unexpected, and the way he is revealed little by little in the show gives a sense of horror much akin to Lovecraft's style of omitting detail to terrify. And when everything comes into plain view, it makes an excellent social commentary about control, morals, and perspective. Among many other things.

5. Emotionally riveting character relationships, and character development. The dynamic between the characters are so engaging, and relatable at times. You will not be able to help sympathising with everyone, even with the reaaaaaaaaaaaaally annoying upstairs neighbor. They're not lazy with humanising the characters. They have inner struggles that show up every now and then and make them vulnerable in different ways. The show does not try to blind you with BOOM BOOM POW Michael Bay-levels of conflict and special effects. You feel the wounds, physical and emotional. You feel the characters feel for each other, you feel them hate each other. You feel the fear and discomfort that the abusive relationships stir up in their throats. And when two lonely characters get a moment of mutual understanding, you can't help but feel the love, and what it means to them.

Overall, I really cannot recommend this show enough. I only hope the next season is as amazing as the first, and that this show goes on for many many good seasons.

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