Marvel and Netflix’s Jessica Jones changed the way vigilantes were depicted on TV when it debuted in late 2015. Instead of flashy special effects and colorful costumes, this was a series about the depraved and vicious things that people do to those closest to them. The show was based upon a relatively minor character by acclaimed comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, and featured a super-powered heroine who didn’t wear a cape and endured serious emotional issues. It was brilliant and earned a dedicated fanbase overnight.
A big reason for the show’s success was its focus on character instead of spectacle. Equal emphasis was placed on inner lives as much as external struggles. Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones was a hard-drinking, anti-social, rape survivor who scratched out a living as a bottom-rung private eye. She was surrounded by a tremendous supporting cast, including her super-powered ally and lover Luke Cage, an ass-kicking best friend Trish Walker, and arguably the best TV villain of all-time in mental manipulator Kilgrave. It was so, so different.
Jessica Jones was essentially a hard-R, noir series that told a dark and cynical story about sexual and psychological abuse. Typical of noir, a lot of the show’s characters died in unpleasant and shocking ways. It was absolutely not what anyone ever expected from Marvel. Even though Marvel’s Netflix shows shared the same universe as The Avengers, this was a violent, greasy corner of the sandbox that neither Captain America nor Thor would ever dare set foot.
The amazing thing about this show is that Jones’ super powers were her least interesting attribute. Her razor-sharp wit and rude behavior defined her as a truly unique character, and her approach to crimefighting utilized her brains more than her fists. And even though she was physically indestructible, she was emotionally vulnerable — and that made her incredibly interesting.
Now we’re just a week away from the return of Jessica Jones, which appears to double-down on all the best stuff from Season 1. Netflix just released a behind-the-scenes featurette that digs into what makes these characters tick, and reminds us all why this is one of Netflix and Marvel’s best shows period.
Are you excited for the second season of Jessica Jones? Let us know in the comments down below!
Jessica Jones Season 2 hits Netflix on March 8, 2018.
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