If it weren’t for the Marvel name affixed to the title of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, it wouldn’t be immediately apparent that this was a show about superheroics. Terms like “noir,” “thriller,” and “gritty” are getting thrown around in reviews, as they should be. All three help to describe showrunner Melissa Rosenberg’s series, which operates more like a hard-boiled, psychological whodunit than yet-another superhero origin story.
It’s not like Jessica Jones started from scratch. Daredevil accomplished two significant goals for Marvel’s partnership with Netflix. First, it proved the Marvel Cinematic Universe could stretch beyond the reaches of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, both of which are tightly tied to the films. It also demonstrated the studio’s ability to support a microcosm within its interconnected world. Jessica Jones takes these accomplishments one step further. The series ventures into the niches of the larger universe without getting lost. Sure, vague references to “the big green dude” and others pop up, but they’re much less integral to the story than they were in Daredevil. It claims a shadowy corner as its own.
No world is complete with out an inhabitant, however, which is where Jones (Krysten Ritter) comes in. When the Breaking Bad and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 alum was announced as the titular hero of Marvel’s second Netflix outing back in December, the news didn’t make too large of a splash at the time. But don’t think for one second that Ritter isn’t Jessica Jones. Sure, former Doctor Who star David Tennant takes a memorable stab at being a villain. But Ritter? Jessica Jones is all about Ritter.
Ritter’s Jones is lonely and never alone. She seemingly hates everyone and everything around her, yet holds onto enough of a kernel of her former self to give a sh*t. If you were ever caught in the middle of a bar fight, Jones is someone you’d want on your side. When it comes to cleaning up after, however, don’t count on her to stick around.