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Monday, March 26, 2018

Shawn Reviews Jessica Jones Season 2

I started watching Jessica Jones Season 2 last week. And six episodes in this show is so grimy I feel like I need a shower after watching each episode.  

Yeah, I get that detective series are supposed to be hard and gritty. But man, Jessica Jones and Patsy Walker as so NASTY I feel like I’m watching hookers on Times Square, not a hard-boiled detective series.  

Jessica Jones Season 2 starts out with stronger writing than the first. And while the premise of Jessica investigating the mysterious origins of how she got her powers is interesting, the execution of the concept just doesn’t work. In order for a mystery like this to work, the audience has to root for the hero.

Unfortunately, that’s hard to do with the way Jessica Jones is written. Jessica is just so unlikeable it’s hard to care about her, the mysterious reasons why she got her powers or if she even solves the mystery behind it. Jessica doesn’t have a single character trait that makes you relate to her struggles or identify with her. The more you get to know Jessica, Trish, or any other woman featured in this show the faster you want to click out of this series. The women in this series are just SLEAZY and SKANKY you can smell the scent of sardines radiating from their crotches.

I get that Jessica Jones comes from a dark and gritty world like Frank Castle does in Netflix’s The Punisher. But while Frank has some semblance of honor and a moral code, Jessica and every woman on this show is completely amoral. And because Jessica, Trish, or even Jessica’s mom has no real moral compass like Frank does, Jessica just can’t stand out as a hero in her own series.

Instead she just appears to fade in the background of a group of extremely sleazy, skanky women most decent people would make every effort to avoid. Maybe the producers thought by making all the women sleazy slutty and GRIMY it’d make for a harder-boiled detective series. But all that does is make me want to click out of the series. Seeing a group of women hard drinking, drugging and sleeping with random men like they do on Jessica Jones is just not something most viewers want to binge watch.

I wish the producers of this series had picked up some issues of Max Alan Collins and Terry Beatty’s Ms. Tree to see how a heroine can show strength of character. While Jessica Jones has super powers, she just doesn’t have any of Michael Tree’s resolve. Like Jessica, Michael Tree is a double tough hard-boiled Private Investigator. However Ms. Tree comics are more focused on showing how Michael Tree is a detective with skills are on the level of Batman and pulp heroes like Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer. And she’s a consummate professional who knows how to carry herself in the tensest of situations. She gets the respect of readers because she can take the same responsibilities of the men she works with, and she carries herself with grace and class, something Jessica Jones just can’t seem to do on her best day.

The big difference between Jessica Jones and Michael Tree is that Ms. Tree is a survivor who wants to honor the memory of her late husband and Jessica Jones is a victim who wants to dwell on her tragedies to maintain co-dependent relationships with the people around her. And the victim narrative that Jessica and her friends like Trish Walker take on this show is something that’s starting to grate on me as a viewer. Instead of giving us a series about a super-powered PI who solves crimes in the superhero community, this show just gives us a depressing series about a miserable alcoholic woman who wants to wallow in self-pity.

That shit is starting to get old. If there’s a character who needs a revamp it’s Jessica Jones. She needs a new story, a new direction, and a fresher perspective on the whole super-powered detective premise. Something less skanky and something a bit more fun and action oriented.

I thought Jessica Jones would find its footing in its second season. While the writing has improved from Season 1 to Season 2, Jessica Jones is still a disjoined series that struggles to figure out if it’s a detective show or a superhero show. When Jessica uses her powers it doesn’t feel organic, and when she does investigations they’re mysteries I just can’t find compelling. If Netflix’s producers don’t revamp Jessica Jones and give it a new premise, it’s going to be a show with one foot on a banana peel and another in the graveyard.

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