JESSICA JONES (Netflix Original Series), First Impressions

I will admit that when they first announced the titular role of Jessica Jones was cast and that it was Krysten Ritter, I won’t lie, I was a little apprehensive about it. But after watching the first five episodes of the new original Netflix series, I have zero reservations about it now.

Ritter brings the moody and dark side of Jones that you would expect and it is captured to perfection. If you were expecting to come to this series looking for something like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., then you will be in for a shock here. A big shock. Where Daredevil was dark and violent, Jessica Jones is dark, moody and psychological.

These Netflix series are more grass-roots, so don’t expect to see any spandex suits here, at least not yet (Daredevil took the entire first season before going all superhero suit at the end). These feel more like the Marvel Knights comic books, or Marvel Max, of which the Jessica Jones series is based on the Alias comic series. Characters like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and eventually, Iron Fist, The Punisher and others fit in nicely here.

Early on we learn that Jessica has some dark secrets and these slowly come to the surface over the course of the first few episodes. David Tennant’s character, Kilgrave, is only mentioned and never seen until the second episode, but we feel his presence in each episode as she works to find him and stop him. From here we are introduced the supporting cast of the series.

Jessica’s best friend is Trish (or Patricia, or Patsy) Walker is played by Rachael Taylor. Now the name Patsy Walker is probably recognized by comic fans as the alias to Hellcat. There are plenty of references to her former life as this superhero, including a mention of a fan saying he missed her red hair, which is what the character had in the comics. Taylor does a fine job of portraying the character. I did find Taylor’s Australian accent coming through at times, but I don’t know if this affect the performance at all.

Carrie-Ann Moss’ character was previously identified as Harper, but is now known as Jeryn Hogarth, a cold and calculating lawyer that Jessica does work-for-hire. It is unclear if the name change was either an intentional mislead, or was later changed to have ties to Iron Fist. As the character was a lawyer and businessman in that comic series. Though in the comics the character was a male, so we have a gender change here, but that doesn’t matter, Moss portrays the character very well.

A nice surprise was Mike Colter. My only exposure to him was the Halo: Nightfall series and his short stint on FOX’s The Following. Regardless of that, Colter does a great job as Luke Cage. Seeing him early on with a yellow shirt on was a fantastic nod to his outfit he wears in the comics. Colter has me wanting to see more Luke Cage and can’t wait for his series to premiere on Netflix next year.

Though he is more of a whisper for at least the first half of the series, David Tennant’s character, Kilgrave (a.k.a. The Purple Man), becomes something that you tell children to scare them. But in this case, he becomes something you tell adults to strike fear into them. So far Tennant has done a brilliant job with the character and I’m eager to see where it goes.

Overall, Jessica Jones is a must see if you are a fan of good drama. Being a fan of the comics comes second, but you should still be happy long as you aren’t expecting spandex, well there is a tease of the costume Jessica wears in the comics under the superhero alias of Jewel. This series fits in nicely with Daredevil and I look forward to the rest of The Defenders making their debuts too.

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