NYCC15 Review: Jessica Jones Episode One Is Kick Ass, Raunchy, And Absolutely Fantastic
I feel very fortunate that I was accepted as a member of the press to cover New York Comic Con. I then went on to feel extremely lucky that I managed to get a wristband into the Marvel Netflix panel. After the runaway success of Daredevil last year and the premiere of Jessica Jones a little over a month away, this was one of the biggest panels of the entire convention. I got there early and I still only got in because there was a mix up and wristbands were handed out to the spillover line instead of the regular line. That didn’t end well. After a very brief trailer for Daredevil season two (it looks great don’t worry), along with a little Q&A with the cast, they brought out most of the cast of Jessica Jones. After a little talk they put out the big reveal; they were going to screen the entire first episode of Jessica Jones for the audience.
The trailers have done a very good job of giving away very little when it comes to the actual story of Jessica Jones. This review is going to be entirely spoiler free and I’m going to give away as few details as possible. Jessica Jones is private investigator who spends a lot of her time snooping around in super powered circles. Jessica tried to be a superhero at one point but she had to retire after a trauma. The trauma is one of the things that are probably going to take viewers of Jessica Jones by surprise. While Daredevil eventually ended up going to some very dark places Jessica Jones wastes no time showing us an accurate depiction of what someone going through what Jessica went through would actually act and do. She’s incredibly damaged and they don’t skirt around that but they also don’t make her weak because of it.
The violence was the thing that shocked people about Daredevil but for Jessica Jones it’s going to be the sex. Jessica is a private investigator and she, in her words, “hides in dark alleys and takes pictures of people having sex”. It’s not sleazy though and the scenes aren’t filmed in a way to show off any characters body. Despite the fact that a woman is heading this show, it seems to take very little interest in showing off star Krysten Ritter’s body. The closest to the “male gaze” I can think of was when Jessica went to bed in her underwear and a tank top but the camera didn’t linger on her butt or anything like that. This probably has a lot to do with our show runner Melissa Rosenberg. This is why this feels like the most women heavy show in the Marvel universe thus far and it also feels like a woman’s story being told by a woman, which is so important.
There are so many ways I wish I could get into details as to why I loved this first episode. The casting is just across the board fantastic. Much like Matt Murdock was a star making turn for Charlie Cox as will Jessica Jones be for Krysten Ritter. She captures this broken human being so perfectly while making you laugh with her “I’m-so-done-with-you-crap” looks and then tearing your heart out as she struggles. She is the star here but she’s going to have some great backup.
It was revealed that Carrie Anne Moss would be playing lawyer Jeryn Hogarth who was originally a man in the comics. She captures the essence of a lawyer perfectly and they have even kept her interested in ladies. Jessica Jones will feature canonical lesbian relationships for the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Mike Colter is going to have a minor role as Luke Cage but the moments I got to see him in this episode means we can expect great things not only from him but also from the currently filming Luke Cage series. David Tennant was not present in person at the con (to the great disappointment of so many Doctor Who fans) or in the series yet but his presence is felt throughout the episode. I won’t ever look at purple the same and that was just the first episode. I can’t imagine I’ll be able to watch Doctor Who the same way again much like John Lithgow in 3rd Rock From The Sun reruns after his villainous turn in Dexter season four.
There are so many twists and turns and “oh my god” moments in just one episode that I can’t imagine the roller coaster we have in store for us in six weeks. Daredevil set the bar extremely high but if the rest of Jessica Jones is as good as the first episode then the bar might be raised even higher.
Do not miss this show when it comes out, in its entirety, on Netflix on November 20th.