God damn, Netflix’ “Jessica Jones” (2015) looks like a great show. I finally got around to watching the complete pilot episode, due to my interest in the upcoming “The Defenders,” which features the character. And “Jessica Jones” was frikkin’ terrific. I’d rate the first episode a 9 out of 10.
At first, there were aspects of the pilot that annoyed me. We’re told virtually nothing about the origin of the title character’s superpowers, and not much about the powers themselves. They’re also a fairly generic power set, as far as I can tell. She has enhanced strength and agility and … that’s it? So she’s a low-grade Superman or Spider-Man, more or less? We also learn somewhat little about what looks to be the series, antagonist, Kilgrave, played by David Tennant. We see Kilgrave only briefly, in flashbacks that seem reminiscent of post-traumatic stress disorder. (These are sometimes weirdly delivered, for a show that is otherwise well directed.) He has mind-control abilities that resemble the “push” ability seen in Stephen King’s “Firestarter,” as well as my favorite short story of all time, “Everything’s Eventual.”
But … hell, this was just an extremely good show. For starters, Krysten Ritter is perfect as the wisecracking anti-heroine. She’s funny; she’s got great, dry line delivery; and she’s a decent actress. (I know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s more powerful heroes rarely visit Hell’s Kitchen, but I’d love to see her trade quips one day with Tony Stark. She couldn’t beat him, but she’d come closer than anyone else.)
The script is good enough to make her a likable character, and the story itself is scary and compelling. Considering the plot-driving capability of the show’s villain this … looks like it could become a King-style horror thriller. Between this show and “Daredevil’s” bloody second season (2016), I’m starting to understand that Hell’s Kitchen might be the MCU’s stage for more horror-type stories. And I’m fine with that.