Netflix’s Jessica Jones Pilot TV Review from NYCC 2015. Jessica Jones, Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot was aired to fans as a surprise to everyone at the panel and paid off nicely with a very enthusiastic reaction. Jessica Jones had a strong premiere episode that makes this the most mature series to come out of Marvel. Daredevil managed to go really dark and gritty but Jessica Jones manages to do the same and so much more. The show introduced audiences to a woman who is trying to make a life for herself and overcoming her dangerous past by drinking, sex, and going through therapy.
The pilot episode ‘AKA Girls Night’ lays out the groundwork to introduce Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), a former superhero who now moonlights as a private investigator helping law firms, searching for missing persons, and anyone else in need of her services as a private eye. The episode also peels layers of Jessica’s dark past that has caused her to have psychological episodes from PTSD. The show doesn’t hold back when it comes to the images that we see once audiences get inside Jessica’s head. The first episode builds up slowly until the fire burns more brightly towards the end. It also strikes a balance between the neo-noir and the psychological horror genre.
Krysten Ritter does a great job playing an admirably rough and sarcastic character, which is exactly how she’s depicted in the Alias comics. She’s someone who has baggage, but still carries a lot of strength in her, both physically and mentally. Krysten manages to fully flesh out the titular heroine by delivering some heavy hitters and difficult one-liners.
The supporting cast makes a good impression, especially Carrie-Anne Moss as Jones’ ally and attorney Jeri Jogarth. Moss has a similar personality like Jones, is sharp and witty in her line of work. She is bound to be a strong character for the LGBT community and has enough mystery to keep us invested in her. Rachel Taylor adds to the list of supporting characters as talk show hostess Trish Walker. Her character acts as more of a concerned friend to Jessica and represents everything that Jessica is not if she had more control of her life.
The show also introduces another hero in the making, Luke Cage played by Mike Coulter. We already know he has his own series to follow up after this one, but it’s great to see his character is already about to be established in this world. The two seem to hit things off, similar to their relationship depicted in the comics. We don’t know where this relationship is heading by the end of the episode, but we should know more in the next batch of episodes.
The only restrictions we see in the episode is that we don’t see Jessica drop any F-bombs, which Jessica actually does a lot in the comic books. There’s also not much nudity either, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t sex scenes, which Jessica ends up doing with her new fling Luke Cage. The physical scenes though can be funny at times once we see Jessica and Luke try going all the way.
Another character who was noticeable despite not appearing much in the episode was Zebediah Kilgrave (David Tennant). He made a huge impression in a scary way because of what he does to people, including Jessica Jones. His name is what creeps Jessica Jones at night, causing her difficulty to sleep or even head outside when his name gets mentioned. His powers are a force to reckon with, especially how he uses it on others for his own gain. Marvel has done superbly in making Tennant the villain of this story, similar to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk on Daredevil. Expect to see Kilgrave have a lasting power in the series just as much as Jessica Jones.
On the whole, the story has many twists and turns that audiences won’t see coming. Jessica’s struggle with her PTSD will be one of the major plots in the series. It may feel a little uncomfortable watching Jones go through her mind trips, but it works with the camera angles and lighting effects that truly show what she is going through in her mind. The series seems to have taken liberty in keeping the spirit of the comics. Marvel has done well exploring a world, which has never been explored before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Netflix may have another winner on their hands in their slate of Marvel shows after the success of Daredevil.
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