I binged watched Jessica Jones, a series that is being shown on Netflix.
IT is based on a comic book called Alias and is part of the Marvel universe of characters. I have not read the books before and had little information about the story before watching. I was drawn to it because the idea of a female private eye dealing with trauma from the past sounds very reminiscent of Veronica Mars. Veronica Mars is my spirit animal. So I was down with all of it.
This show took you to a very dark place and didn’t really let up. It is a place where if you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you and even those who win will still carry the scars of battle. Krysten Ritter plays the traumatized and barely coping private sleuth. She is an orphan whose parents died in a car accident when she was young. She was adopted by a stage Mom whose daughter was the star of a popular children’s show. Somehow she got magical abilities and is super strong. She gets caught up with a mind controlling man named Killgrave who is obsessed with her. HE used his mind control to keep her captive and have her do his bidding. She is scarred by the things she did and the things she saw. The overall arch is Jessica coming to terms and getting justice for what Killgrave did to her with Killgrave making efforts to get her back.
The show does a great job at recreating the atmosphere of noir that permeated old timey crime dramas. No one is innocent and everyone gets burned a little. Krysten Ritter does a great job playing someone with baggage. For me, it was quite a departure from the Gia Goodman character that she played on Veronica Mars.
There are quite a few overlaps with Veronica Mars. A woman is raped and is coming to terms with it but this is a Veronica without a Keith. There is no father figure and Jessica is much more alone in the world. Her support system appears to be her adopted sister Trish. Jessica drinks and is surly. She knows it is not her fault but she is much more haunted by the events than Veronica. Then again, Veronica is haunted because she doesn’t remember what happened to her while Jessica can’t seem to forget any single second. Jessica manages to drink a shitload of whiskey.
Killgrave is an interesting character in the sense that he has this mind control that is definitely a super villan quality that exists only in fiction. He does, however, seem to be an exaggeration of the emotionally abusive narcissist who manipulates people to get what he wants and who is more interested in possession and control rather than love. That is the creepy. He is so close to someone real that he makes you stop and think. He is well dressed and charming but a complete psychopath. He forces a kid to sit in the closet and pee there because the kid was making too much noise. IN his own mind, he is a victim— just like every husband who has beaten his wife. I’ve heard it before.
The overall arch is about Jessica empowering herself and getting out from underneath from Killgrave’s thumb. She manages to do that. She also manages to prevent him from hurting anybody else but there are casualties in the war. It wouldn’t be noir without it. It’s a show that sits with you in the back of your head while you think about it. It forces you to think about the world you live in as well as the world of the show. For all its dark fantasy, it reminds you of the darkness in your own world. And that is the power behind the show.
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