Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
+++ Warning may include mild spoilers +++
+++If it does include spoilers Kilgrave made me do it
I am not the poster child for binge TV watching. Sure I like every other user of Netflixs do it on occasion. But I am not like that couple in Portlandia who gave up there life to binge watch Battle Star Galatica. I obviously need to improve if I want to give up my life to a serries. So here are some of my Binging stats, Season Two Porlandia: 6 Days, Dusk to Dawn: The Series, 48 hours, Garfunkel and Oats season one, 5 days, Dark Matter season 1, 5 days. Dare Devil season one, 4 days. I recently finished the Marvel series Jessica Jones, in two days, two hours and forty minutes.
And for most part I am very pleased with the series. It is not a word for ward copy of Michael Scott Bendis’ Alias, but it is highly inspired by Bendis’ run. We see the things in the first episode that are iconic JJ. Like the disgruntled client thrown through the Alias Investigations’ window or Jessica in a police interrogation room. Also keeping with the comic books, we find very little about Jessica’s past till towards the end. This is the exact opposite of pre-guardians of the galaxy superhero TV and movies. It is basically an anti-origin story.
The swearing is there but it seems more organic than in Dare Devil, where the curse words seem to stunt and slow of the dialog. Alias (the comic) opens with the F-word, I am not sure if they dropped an F-bomb in the series or not. Twice there was a single word that was uttered, and sound seemed to fade, so I am not sure what was said. And well honestly I am not compulsive enough to play those parts over again to try to hear what was being said 9or that big a fan of swearing).
The Drinking is there. It is keeping with the whole gender flipped hard drinking two fisted noir PI. It is also a way to show how damaged Jess is, and how she tries to deal with the events happening around her. One vice that is dropped is her smoking. I get this, I mean media has been pushing Tabaco for so long, and such disastrous consequences, I can’t fault the screen writers for dropping that sin form Jessica’s repertoire.
They do keep the sex scenes. In fact they even keep that infamous anal scene where Jessica desperately tries to feel anything. But it is so quick and never commented on after the fact, those who don’t know the story line might think it is just another TV sex scene. I will say this about JJ the series, it is a show where people wear a lot clothing when having sex. This is probably a compromise for the intensity of the scenes, to cover more of the bodies. Though they are intense they are rather quick affairs, which is good because often the act slows or derails a shows plot.
I have heard one reviewer say that Jessica Jones lets you see inside and close up world of a super powered human. And it is true, sometimes the view is so close up it is claustrophobic. In the Avengers, Iron Man and even to some extent Agents of Shield, you get the idea that you are watching the heroes as an outsider. One of the reasons that JJ brings you so close is the humanity of Rachel Taylor’s Trish “Patsy” Walker.
Trish is Jessica adopted sister only friend. She is the only one that Jones lets into her life. This is how the audience is let into Jessica’s most private moments. Walker has some of the most unusual DNA of any Marvel chachters. She started out in the 1940’s as the star of her on title a female Archie Comics clone. It was a romance comic that was aimed at young women. In the 70’s she was brought back into the Marvel stable as the heroine Hellcat. Eventually it is ret-coned, that Hellcat is in fact the originally Patsy Walker’s daughter. In Alias Jessica’s BBF is carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), but it was changed to Hellcat (and the name Hellcat ever comes up in the show) because there is going to be a Captain Marvel movie and in the Cinematic Marvel-U, super heroics are still on the ground floor.
In the TV version Trish is a top radio talk show host (Like her Ultimate U, version) who was as a child star of a TV show called Patsy (that is why some people still refer to her as Patsy) And her mother has been changed to a brutal sage mother.
David Tenant of course rocked the part of psychopath mind controller Kilgrave. His back story was changed from that of a Cold war Bulgarian spy to a child who was experimented on by his scientists parents. I was wondering how the TV show would prevent Tenant form stealing the show, as the charismatic villain. Their simple approach was to limit his scene time. Like the shark in Jaws, or the xenomorph in Alien, the less we see him center stage, the scarier he is when he does strike. The opening credit s have this scene where a silhouette obviously Tenants runs by hand in hand with a laughing girl. Since I knew how evil his charterer is it sent shutters down my spine, knowing he was taking her to her doom.
In way the opening credits remind of the Bond Movie there are a lot of subtle hints to twist that later appear in the show. (I kick myself for missing the Janus connection in the open credits of Golden Eye) It took me up to episode 4, to figure out that muted pale pillar was an out focus Jessica’s back and the dark thing moving up and down it was Luke cage’s arm. The most intriguing part of the credits are the silhouettes in the windows.
One thing I love about Jessica Jones (the show) is that Jessica Jones (the character) is a broken bird, but she doesn’t set around to be saved. Sure she and Luke Cage save each other but they take turns doing so. She does not wallow in self-pity but she is not the paradigm of hopefulness, say Cap America is. She is a flawed hero but not so flawed she isn’t a still a hero.
Netflix knows their audience too. In ways Jessica Jones is more a 585 minute movie than a 13 episode series. It is taken up almost entirely by the Kilgrave plot. By my count Jessica only has three other cases that are not directly related to Kilgrave in the whole season. It is ideal for binge watching.
If I have any problem with the show it was that I wanted to see more interaction with the rest of the MCU. Sure we see a kid in the park dressed as Captain America, and references to the alien invasion in the Avengers and people talking about The Big Green Guy and The Flag Waiver. But I am supposing that this is taking place consecutively as Agents of Shield, and was disappointed that besides the increased fear of people with powers that there was no reference to the very public national search for ‘the alien’ Lincoln Campbell. There is a surprisingly satisfying tie in with Netflix’s part of the Marvel U (which makes sense since it is in the Hell’s Kitchen district) on episode 13. So I can’t complain too loud.
Well Jessica Jones has come and gone from my life. Quicker than her lost weekends with Luke cage. So here I set alone in my room, till Netflix picks up Season 2 of Dare Devil or The Killjoys.