TV Review: Jessica Jones Season 1

Nearly six months after the release of Daredevil on Netflix comes Jessica Jones. If you didn’t read my review of Daredevil you should know that it was one of my favorite shows of 2015 and is one I’m eagerly anticipating the release of season two in early 2016. I remember watching the trailers for Jessica Jones over the summer and not being sure whether or not it would live up to the high bar set by Daredevil but I’m happy to report the first 13-episode season of Jessica Jones was phenomenal.

Jessica Jones is a Marvel character that six months ago I had never heard of. She is not one of the bigger Marvel heroes but she might have one of the most interesting backstories. Jessica Jones has superhuman strength and yet she doesn’t necessarily know the full range of her power. She also is conflicted as to whether or not she even wants to use her powers. Unlike the first season of Daredevil which was more of an origin story this is a story about a super hero who tried being a super hero and didn’t have much success at it. Now by day Jessica Jones is a private investigator. You get a couple of small cases early on in the first season but that all takes a backseat quickly as Killgrave comes to the show (played by the brilliant David Tennant).

Killgrave’s power is mind control and he uses it in some extremely nefarious ways. Over the thirteen episode first season you see how far his control has gone not only over Jessica Jones but countless others. The show has some interesting social commentaries which I didn’t expect from a Marvel show. Things like rape and abortion are brought up and they are done with a level of tact that didn’t feel out of place or shoehorned in. What I loved most about Jessica Jones was the slow yet terrifying pace the show has. Is it a couple episodes too long? Yes. But what it does with its thirteen episode first season is make a game of cat and mouse that continues to boil until things go out of control and have a really satisfying conclusion in the last couple of episodes.

Jessica Jones is a show that’s not as easy to recommend as Daredevil but that’s not a knock against it. It’s a tough show. It covers some tough topics and it can be downright painful to watch Jessica Jones deal with the torment caused by being under Killgrave’s mind control. But there are also a few nice tender moments that make the journey worth every second. I didn’t love Jessica Jones as much as Daredevil but its still one of the best shows out there and just like Daredevil I can’t wait to see what they do with their second season.