Krysten Ritter stars as the titular hero in the latest installment of the Netflix Marvel show’s. The series covers Jessica Jones, a failed superhero turned private detective, who is trying to make a living while also grappling PTSD from a man who tortured her for over a year.
When Marvel’s “Daredevil” premiered earlier this year to critical acclaim, many wondered if it’s successor would also reach the same heights. Critics and fans alike were hopeful that “Jessica Jones” would retain the realism and quality elements of it’s predecessor, but also make itself different in it’s way.
“Jessica Jones” sets itself apart by not telling the origin story of Jessica, but by showing the effects of it. She’s a moody alcoholic, who has no friends and does rather unethical things for her job. This is already drastically different from the Avengers or the X-Men who all live comfortable lives.
Spiderman is usually considered the average one who people can relate to, but Jessica Jones is far more relatable. She lives pay check to pay check in a run-down apartment, she has difficulty making friends, and she has a hard time dealing with her past.
The series follows Jones as her old enemy Kilgrave appears again, intent on getting Jessica to be his again. Kilgrave, who uses mind-control, previously had Jessica Jones under his control for almost a year, where he raped her and made her do his bidding, including killing.
While the series goes on the lighter side of detailing the things that happened to Jones, it doesn’t go light on the effects of it. Her alcoholism and isolation can be directly linked to her time with Kilgrave. She also has problems sleeping and sees him in her mind.
While Netflix could’ve gone a more safe and audience friendly route, it’s good they didn’t. Netflix instead made a great decision by not only showing the effects, but showing them realistically and seeing her overcome them.
Jones becomes obsessed with Kilgrave, so much so that the entire first season revolves around her hunt to find him. Jones and various other people who become intertwined in her hunt for him.
The realism that made “Daredevil” reach epic heights, carries on here in the way of problems that anyone could face. These problems, such as rape and trauma, are problems that are rarely shown on television, much less realistically.
This depiction sets the show apart from not only other Marvel shows, but from most other shows around. It’s decision to not only show the effects of rape, but to do not water it down is important, because it shows that rape can be more than just a casual thing that happens to women.
“Jessica Jones” may have some faults, but when it does things right, it does them wonderfully right.