Marvel has a lot of potential characters and a lot of potential stories to tell, as evidenced by both their cinematic universe and their television universes. Story lines have begun to intersect and impact each story told, but the Marvel television universe is simply at it’s best when it tells a stand a lone story and especially one with such dark undertones as Jessica Jones
After a stint as superhero goes wrong for Jessica Jones she becomes a small time private investigator who deals mostly with cheaters until one case brings her back to her past and has her dealing with a mysterious man known simply as Kilgrave.
Krysten Ritter stars as the Titular Jessica Jones and she gives her character life by allowing her brooding attitude and anxiety to take center stage. Jessica has no issues using her words to tell someone how things are about to go down and where to go. She struggles after Kilgrave takes over her and manipulates her mind. Her biggest fear is succumbing to his mind control powers for a second time. She will do anything to avoid and is not afraid of death to escape the man who tortured her. David Tennant so nastily plays Kilgrave, a man with zero remorse who users others to get what he needs and what he wants. Kilgrave is obsessed with Jessica and Tennant layers his performance in subtleties and does a brilliant job creating a sense of fear amongst the rest of the characters due to his compulsive nature. Tennant plays these type of characters well because there is a certain way in which he commands the screen because one moment he can be downright evil and the next he can be so downright convincing that his motives are for the good.
Jessica Jones uses themes that are very seldom used on television, especially so openly. It deals with Rape, PTSD and many other mental illnesses as a series of characters are used for Kilgraves motives. It is much deeper on an emotional level than any of the previously adapted material. Much like Daredevil it opts to user darker undertones, the difference being that Daredevil creator Drew Goddard decided to use the actual darkness to help create this allure around Daredevil much akin to the way DC has done with Batman. Jessica Jones however uses the darker themes to create more emotional growth within the core characters of the first season including the minor characters of Trish Walker and Hope Schlottman. It felt like there was more at stake for each of the main characters during the season of Jessica Jones then it did during the slowburing first season of Daredevil. We all knew where Daredevil was heading because of the particular way in which the origin story was told, but with Jessica Jones the motives and eventual outcomes of each character were always questioned because each one of them had so much more to lose.
Marvel has done a fantastic job creating a universe that could intertwine at any moment and that works again here with Jessica Jones, providing obscure references to other Marvel heroes and events of the movies that have come before. Jessica Jones was a dark show with dark subject matter and it really allowed for some classic film noire throw backs. Marvel has probably it’s most daring drama in Jessica Jones and that is what made this show so engaging to watch from start to finish.