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Jessica Jones (2015)
Good entertainment but far from perfect
***The following review is intended for people who have already seen the show as a discussion point, and as such contains spoilers***
I've seen tweets labelling this show such things as 'flawless' (Wil Wheaton), and while I was entertained and generally enjoyed Jessica Jones through to the end, I found it anything but flawless.
On the heels of Daredevil - a strongly cinematic, artistically shot, hyper violent TV show - Jessica Jones is merely a well made network type show with all the usual cheap-feeling camera angles. One shot of Jessica throwing a punch, snap to another shot of some guy flying into a wall - just like The Incredible Hulk show from the 1970s. Fully clothed sex - I don't need nudity in every show, and didn't want it here, but there are better ways than to pretend everyone has sex with their underwear still firmly in place. The lighting is generally bland and mid-afternoon besides a few shots in the night but with no thought to interesting shadows or light patterns. The quiet sleazy saxophone music often accompanying Jessica doing detective work invokes Film Noir, but squanders the chance to mimic other staples of the genre - where were the shadows from the blinds or ceiling fan or the smoke? Just a well lit rent-controlled apartment like in How I Met Your Mother.
Beyond the cinematography several plot points seemed very forced. Unlike Daredevil whose superpower is rather understated and almost believable, we are dealing with a higher-grade of superhero here - but that is no excuse to have super-soldier pills that take effect one second after swallowing them, or 90lb non-super women being even slightly effective in a fight. Malcom, the barely functioning junkie, gets clean and healthy by personal choice in a matter of minutes after Jessica hands him the very drugs he is aching for. Jessica's support group decide that lynching Jessica is obviously the right course of action after a few words from the crazy sister none of them have ever met before.
I'm beating up the show only really because it was represented as some next-generation amazing flawless 'best superhero show ever'. As a general TV show along the lines of Arrow or Agents of Shield, Jessica Jones is certainly a step above. I don't get all the hatred being shown by insecure bigots who can't handle female leads, I quite enjoyed most of the characters. The show benefits from the uncomplicated plot - no tangents or unnecessary side characters, excepting Nuke (Simpson), and he was included fairly well. Kilgrave was a mixed bag to me - on the one hand Tennant gave us a very creepy psychopath, on the other hand what we got half the time was an adult-sized spoilt child who had never been taught right from wrong.
I just wish the show had been on Daredevil's level. Instead we got a decent superhero show, rather than a spectacular one.