Friday, April 22, 2016

Jessica Jones

Television today is a bewildering array of choices. And to add to all the TV Channels on Sky/Virgin/Supplier of Choice, there's also Netflix to contend with. There also seems to be more genre fare than ever, with a new horror/fantasy/SciFi series debuting every week!  So it's hard to know what to watch and follow.

Thus it was that we stumbled across Jessica Jones. I'm not a comic reader so had never heard of her or the series, but we did a little digging, saw that it starred David Tennant, and so decided to give it a go. And I'm glad that we did.

Jessica Jones is a strange beast. A show which has superheroes in but which doesn't major on that fact. There's no (well, limited) explanations. And the characters are not all likeable. But it works so well, and when it kicks into gear, it really grips with a thrilling narrative quite unlike anything I've seen before.

The basic idea is that Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a private eye, and she's quite good at her job. But she's tortured and beaten inside because of a relationship with a man called Kilgrave (David Tennant) who has the power to make anyone do what he says. Jessica has a power too, she's immensely strong, and can jump or fall long distances without hurting herself, She has a relationship with Luke (Mike Colter) who owns a bar, and he has a power too: he is indestructible and his skin cannot be broken by anything.

As the story progresses, so Jessica tracks Kilgrave down, but the man is so twisted and evil, leaving programmed commands in people to kill themselves and others. To cut out their own hearts, or to murder loved ones. The instructions have to be carried out, the victims cannot help themselves, and so Kilgrave is able to take over houses and apartments, to turn an entire police station or hospital against themselves and others ... he's a demon!

The series progresses over 13 episodes, with Jessica getting closer and closer, trying to shield those she loves against Kilgrave's wiles, but all the time failing and falling.

I won't say how it all ends, as it needs to be watched to appreciate. Krysten Ritter is brilliant as Jessica, managing to keep going, and to keep the 'hidden' levels of angst and pain visible on her face, even as she struggles to catch up with Kilgrave. David Tennant is, as usual, brilliant. He's using his English Doctor Who voice here rather than his natural Scottish, and he comes over as immoral, crazy, yet haunted by Jessica who is his only weakness. It's a great performance.

If you get a chance to catch it, do so. If you love crime drama tinged with the supernatural then you should love it.

No comments: