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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:54 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Having just finished the season finale of season 1, I'm... still somewhat at a loss for words.

Rather than attempting to sit here and rewrite trite nonsense for the next hour, I'll just say that it got a 5 star rating from me on Netflix. To blatantly steal Havoc's rating system, I'd easily give it a 9.5/10.

It's often said in writing (and elsewhere) "show, don't tell." This show holds better to that maxim than any other series I've seen*. If I write about anything I really liked, I'd risk spoilers by giving it context - so, I'll just say watch the first two episodes, if you haven't already. If it's not your thing by that point, that's cool. However, by that point, I will admit to surprise if you're not utterly hooked by then.




*Disclaimer: Obviously, I don't claim to have seen anywhere near as much TV or movies as others have. Even so, though.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:18 am 
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I had to sell my TV, and I can't afford Netflix. :(

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:15 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Just for a bit more context here, and I'll still avoid spoilers as best I can.

The plot setup of a person who tried the superhero schtick for a minute, and not only had it go bad, but had it go utterly sideways is a scenario that always seemed possible, but I didn't think I'd see. My main context for superhero-ish things has been television and movies, not really comic books - so while I'm sure such things have been covered before in comics, this is the first real example I've personally seen.

Which leads me into the thing I like most about this series - its connection with humanity, and its fragility. All the characters shown are well-written, and well-acted - it's very easy to imagine each and every one, including the ones only ever seen on-screen for a few moments, going about their lives before and after they're on screen.

Some of the best characterization in context that I've seen before this was in the movie Aliens - the show Jessica Jones uses similar techniques to help you to see what the world is like through each character's eyes, and how they each react and respond to life throwing them razor-laden curveballs.

Kingpin's portrayal in Daredevil was nuanced and very well done. It showed him as still being human, despite the despicable things he did - or, sometimes because of them. Both he and Daredevil want Hell's Kitchen to be a better place than the ones they knew as children, but their methods for accomplishing that reveal their natures as people, and therefore their conflict. That dynamic of the show I truly liked.

In Jessica Jones however, the dynamic between hero and villain is very different. Kilgrave is a sociopath - a charming, well-dressed and charismatic man who takes what he likes, and throws the rest over his shoulder to be forgotten. People and things have the same weight to him, which is to say "only while he finds them amusing or useful."

However horrifying this can be to watch, this is balanced by seeing most of the people you meet in this show try to heal their wounds, take a deep breath, and stand up. Each character does so differently, through different means, and for different reasons - but the quiet theme of learning to heal and become stronger than the experience that shattered them is plain.

Too often, one sees the non-powered folk in superhero tales as mainly bystanders, people to get hurt to inspire heroes, but otherwise appearing to be weaker, smaller, and less important than the hero of the tale being told. In a few ways this is understandable, but sometimes, the callousness toward the innocent by both hero and villain can get wearing. This is why I was impressed with seeing Captain America's stubborn "every civilian gets saved, period" attitude.

In Jessica Jones, this dynamic is shown in a very different way. Jessica not only lives alongside and amongst the people in Hell's Kitchen, her portrayal as an actual person with some real issues to work through (and, who just happens to have "powers") goes a long way toward helping to not only truly humanize her, but make all the struggles of the non-powered folk around her much more real, and just as meaningful.

This series reminds me very strongly of old private investigator shows, where the gumshoe drinks whiskey, deals with drama and trouble, and narrates with a cynical air. That this private investigator is a woman, has a cell phone (which, trust me, she uses to clever effect), and has some abilities just adds some interesting spin on the genre, instead of trying to make it into something else. Having the private investigator angle as a central foundation for both the character and the show works very, very well - just as well as Matt Murdock's law firm does for him.

Though this show can get very, very dark in places, and even horrifying, it's never grimdark. Beyond everything else, this is a character drama done very well. Differently than Daredevil, yes, but just as well done, if not better.

I have to say, with Daredevil and now Jessica Jones as Marvel's "lower-leveled heroes", I'm impressed so far. They do not live on high in towers or rub shoulders with the elite, but instead live with and amongst the poor and downtrodden, the people who all too often get swept into the gutters by those who desire power. And so far, both shows (and hopefully the ones to follow) work very well, since none of the heroes think of themselves as "protecting those innocent out there," or anything so abstract. They fight, and they get hurt to protect the people they live amongst - because they are those people too, no matter what gifts they might have.

And as an amusing (but not unimportant) aside, this show passes the Bechdel Test easily.

Score: 9.5 / 10

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Josh wrote:
What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


Last edited by rhoenix on Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:26 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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LadyTevar wrote:
I had to sell my TV, and I can't afford Netflix. :(


I'm sorry to hear that, Tev. For what it's worth, I hope you get a NetFlix subscription again soon, and I hope things get better.

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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:47 am 
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Show had some issues, but I liked it a bit better than Daredevil and thought both of them were perfectly entertaining uses of time. Tennant freaking knocked it out of the park as Kilgrave, and while you couldn't forgive him for being such an evil asshole you could definitely see how his environment would birth a monster.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:31 pm 
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"Smile."

Oh. This series... I don't think I can praise it enough.

And Tennant was just.... Kilgrave is the scariest mother fucker the MCU has had so far.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Kilgrave and his looming presence over everything that happens is what really sells Jessica Jones and makes the show work. After watching the first episode i told my Boyfriend that if the villain were anyone else, anything else, i probably would have lost interest. Fortunately the show did an excellent job of showcasing Kilgrave's noxious influence long before actually presenting the man himself, so i knew it was going to be something worth watching. The mental equivalent of body horror is the only kind of horror i really like, and Jessica Jones provides it in spades.

Unfortunately this does mean that i'm not particularly optimistic about the second season of Jessica Jones. With the Kilgrave story over we're left with Jessica herself, and she is the worst hero. Like, i get that she's a very damaged person and her priorities are all messed up, but she seriously keeps making the worst fucking decisions over and over again.

Spoiler: show
At least a dozen people die because of her incompetence and continued refusal to just execute Kilgrave. Even after Hope is finally freed and Jessica confronts Kilgrave at the restaurant she fucks up a perfectly opportunity to kill him. Goddamit woman, it takes several minutes to die from slow hanging, just charge down the aisle and punch the bastard's head off! But no, Jessica is utterly incapable of cold analysis, so instead Hope dies, rich guy's boyfriend dies, and old man scientist dies. Good job Jessica, i'm sure that's worth a smile.


Way my Boyfriend puts it, Jessica Jones is the worst thing about Jessica Jones, and while i don't quite agree with such harsh judgement, it will take something special to get me to keep watching.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:15 pm 
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Yeah, there definitely has to be some character growth for this to have legs. You can forgive the utterly fucked up decision-making when you have Kilgrave lurking over her shoulder, but moving past that she needs to get her shit together for the story to stay interesting.
Spoiler: show
Also what in the fucking fuck what a waste of a beautiful ploy having Patsy roll up with the Beats at the end just so she can be spotted rolling around upstairs? It's like getting one move away from checkmate and then randomly throwing your queen in the path of your opponent's rook for shits and giggles.

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"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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