By Sibylle Sehl
Released in November 2015, ‘Jessica Jones’ is one of Marvel’s latest TV adaptations. Created by Melissa Rosenberg, the first season is available on Netflix, with a second season to follow in March 2016. The Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%, instantly demonstrates that ‘Jessica Jones’ has appealed to critics. Likewise, it was received well by the wider public due to its dark atmosphere and brilliant main characters, following in the footsteps of previous Netflix titles such as Daredevil.
Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter, has supernatural strength and is working as a private investigator in New York, trying to escape her troubled past and live an inconspicuous life. We do not learn a lot about Jessica’s background in the beginning other than that she is terrified of crossing paths again with a man called Kilgrave, portrayed magnificently by David Tennant. Kilgrave has a unique power that allows him to control people’s minds and force them to act against their will. David Tennant, probably better known as Doctor Who to many of us, embodies Kilgrave’s personality perfectly and viewers are continuously torn between hating him and feeling some sort of pity for him.
As many films or TV shows from the Marvel Universe, ‘Jessica Jones’ is full of amazing fight scenes including people with supernatural abilities. The show itself starts off relatively slow, describing Jessica and her surroundings and her relationship to her best friend Trish (Rachael Taylor) and lover Luke Cage (Mike Colter). The further we get in the show, the more details emerge on how Jessica has received her powers, her upbringing and her untroubled life before Kilgrave, described through a number of flashbacks. But as one can imagine, Kilgrave can only stay away so long before he learns about Jessica’s whereabouts, which is when the show takes an impressive turn and the action accelerates. It is the latter episodes especially that explore the human psyche, desperation and constant fear of the characters and make the viewer clench their fists.
Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ has been praised for its ability to deal problematic issues such as rape, addiction and stalking. However, the show never tries to uphold morale and doesn’t need to show explicitly what can be shown through the power of behaviour and words. It is surprisingly fresh in its approach and grabs immediate attention, glueing you to the screen. 13 episodes later, you’ll wonder where the time has gone.