Monday, November 23, 2015

TV: Netflix scores another hit in Jessica Jones

Why does Netflix do it?


We kept wondering that while watching the latest TV series JESSICA JONES.

In the briefest overview possible, Jessica is a former superhero who still has great strength and can leap tremendous distances but now operates her own seedy, one-woman detective agency in New York City.

Well, not just in NYC, in post-MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS New York City.  And super powers aren't seen as so great by everyone -- including those who weren't thrilled by the big 2012 battle in the city.

Jessica takes walk-ins but also depends on wealthy and corrupt attorney Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) as she tries to put the trauma of being controlled by Kilgrave (David Tennant) behind her.

She has her friends Trish (Rachael Taylor) and Malcolm (Eka Darville) and her hump-buddy Luke Cage (Mike Colter) but mainly she's got her own baggage as a result of the deaths of her parents and brother as well as being mind controlled by Kilgrove.

Jessica is played by Krysten Ritter who survived 'TIL DEATH and excelled in DON'T TRUST THE B---- IN APARTMENT 23, but still hadn't done anything to prepare audiences for how great she is in this role.

Everything about JESSICA JONES is impressive.

Rachael Taylor, for example, has floundered in the CHARLIE'S ANGELS TV reboot, PARK 666 and CRISIS.  Trish may be a supporting role but it offers her far more opportunities than lead roles in the last three did.  Or what about Trish's abusive mother?  In what could have been a one-note role, Rebecca De Mornay is given a chance to shine. Mike Colter's turn as Luke Cage (also known as Power Man) is so exciting you can't wait for next year when Luke gets his own Netflix series.

Jessica is a complex character and the show is as well with it's own unique point of view and a strong and individual look to it which stands in stark contrast to CBS' SUPERGIRL -- another live action attempt where all the surrounding characters are more interesting than the dull, vanilla superhero.

SUPERGIRL has no point of view, has no unique look and a lead character that's an embarrassing weakling.  It's not just that Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman and Diana Prince were more advanced in the 70s hit WONDER WOMAN, it's that even Phyllis Coates and Noel Neill alternating as Lois Lane in THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN had more purpose and strength back in the 50s.

On the heels of last spring's success with DAREDEVIL, Netflix launches another first class superhero show.  If only CBS and the other broadcast networks could do the same . . .

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