Bradley Burgess | Rawr
In Marvel and Netflix’s newest series, Krysten Ritter plays the titular heroine — a private investigator with superhuman strength who is suffering from PTSD after being held captive by the menacing Kilgrave, played by David Tennant, who can control people’s minds.
Just when Jessica thinks she’s put the past behind her, Kilgrave resurges and kidnaps a college student (Erin Moriarty), forcing Jessica to face her fears and take down Kilgrave once and for all.
Based on the Brian Michael Bendis comic “Alias,” “Jessica Jones” is about as far removed from the Marvel Universe as you can get. Creator Melissa Rosenberg — screenwriter for the “Twilight” saga — deserves serious credit for having the guts to take this show to the absolute extreme, especially at the end of the pilot, which will go down in history as one of the most shocking scenes on television.
There are so many engaging elements to Netflix’s new show — from the mystery and intensity of the plot to the dark tone that runs throughout every episode.
That dark tone is omnipresent in all 13 episodes, from the dread-enhancing cinematography to Tennant’s unnerving performance as the villain. The show puts a more realistic and flat-out disturbing spin on the concept of mind control and it creates a tense atmosphere. Even when Tennant isn’t onscreen, the fear oozes off the screen – though when Tennant does show up, he is nothing short of impressive.
It takes guts for a show to tell a story about a figurative and literal rape survivor, but it takes a great actress to pull it off. Ritter stuns in a part that feels like it was meant for her- a surprise given her comedic background. She balances Jessica’s wit and cynicism with her damaged and troubled psyche, which pays off in an episode where she snaps and crosses the line to take down Kilgrave. Ritter sells every moment and never once betrays the character. Other cast members, such as Rachael Taylor as Jessica’s confidante and Eka Darville as a junkie neighbor, impress as well and create fully-fledged characters.
“Jessica Jones” is a gritty and uncompromising show that is certainly not for everyone. That being said, it’s hard not to get sucked into its world and characters and be begging for more after the season is over. It’s not as revolutionary or compelling as “Daredevil,” but it makes for a great companion series and suddenly rockets Jessica Jones to a household name.