(Almost) everybody loves Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’
Marvel and Netflix have unleashed their latest comic book collaboration, turning the “Alias” comic into a 13-episode TV series “Jessica Jones.” And folks are going mad for the deeply dark noir show. Here’s what the critics are saying.
Krysten Ritter stars as the titular superhero turned private detective, David Tennant plays the villainous Kilgrave, who has the ability to make anyone do whatever he wants. It’s a deadly power of persuasion. The series follows Jones as she makes a living as a private detective, after hanging up her superhero cape.
In the L.A. Times review, Mary McNamara labeled “Jessica Jones” as the first real foray for Marvel into prestige drama: “Jessica is not standing outside mortal experience looking in; she is drowning in it, and fighting her way out.” And McNamara’s not alone in enjoying the new comic book creation.
- Daniel D’Addario from Time said that the new TV character was “Marvel’s most nuanced heroine yet.” And praised Jones further, writing, “The most interesting moment in the first six episodes comes when Jones is asked how many more like her there are out there. “How many more what, private eyes?” she replies. Jones, Marvel’s most interesting character yet, won’t be defined as anything so boring as a superhero.”
- David Sims from the Atlantic praised the “sublime darkness” of the series. Stating that the latest Marvel hero “might be its most flawed, but she’s also its most fascinating, and her show marks an evolutionary leap forward for the brand’s expansive collection of movies and TV shows, deftly exploring themes of trauma, abuse, and prejudice. It’s taken too long to get here, but ‘Jessica Jones’ is exactly what the overwhelmingly male Marvel Universe has been crying out for.”
- Katharine Trendacosta of io9 called it “the superhero epic we’ve been waiting for.”
- Kwame Opam at the Verge pointed to the female characters of “Jessica Jones” as the very best part of the series. “The greatest triumph is in exploring how women can be powerful, multi-faceted masters of their fate. ‘Jessica Jones,’ while nowhere near as bloody as ‘Daredevil,’ is psychologically brutal, and women largely bear the brunt of that violence. The series delves deeply into abuse, sexual assault, and rape from the outset. But no matter what trauma they experience, the women of ‘Jessica Jones’ are all consistently portrayed as either having control of their lives or working hard to regain it.”
Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix was thankful that the series wasn’t trying to out-do former Netflix Marvel series “Daredevil,” but rather find its own way. “The fight scenes aren’t on par with ‘Daredevil,’ but nor are they trying to be: the big hits on ‘Jessica Jones’ come less when we’re seeing her or Cage flexing their muscles than when we’re seeing the emotional toll that men like Kilgrave have taken on them and their loved ones.”
- Film School Rejects’ Neil Miller enjoyed the noir style: “It doesn’t have the grandiose scale of their movies, but it uses its noir roots to wrap you in its dark and dusty world, holding on with a complex and unique story.”
- Maureen Ryan at Variety valued the main theme of “Jessica Jones”: “At the core of its scarred, tenacious heart, ‘Jessica Jones’ is about how hard it is for one woman to trust the world — and herself.”
But there are also those who didn’t lavish the series with praise:
- Josh Bell at Las Vegas Weekly labeled the serialized story as slow, blaming the singular plot of Jones’ pursuit of Kilgrave. “But dragging out a single storyline (which in the comic-book source material took up only a handful of issues) over a 13-episode series doesn’t necessarily make it more detailed and nuanced... in the end everything comes back to the same plodding conflict between Jessica and Kilgrave, and it drags down too much of what surrounds it.”
For more Jessica Jones:
The complete guide to home viewing
Get Screen Gab for weekly recommendations, analysis, interviews and irreverent discussion of the TV and streaming movies everyone’s talking about.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.