Jessica Jones

7.7 / 10
52 min
Action, Drama
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" gives "Jessica Jones - season 2" a 7.5."
Written by on 26 June 2018.
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Jessica Jones - season 2

Let's be honest. During the past two years the Marvel/Netflix shows didn't really work out. The Defenders and Iron Fist were disappointing. Luke Cage and The Punisher were decent, but even those two shows had their flaws. If you look at it, only the first seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones were actually successful. Will Marvel and Netflix do better in 2018? Their first project was the second season of Jessica Jones. Can the phenomenal first season of JJ be matched? That is not the case, but nonetheless the second season of JJ is still very good.

When a show has a great first season, there is always a certain amount of pressure to make the second season just as good. One of the largest advantages the first season had was its antagonist: Kilgrave. This character was portrayed perfectly by David Tennant (Doctor Who). With Kilgrave out of the picture, the show has to fill the gap he left behind. The writers have chosen to give the antagonist (Janet McTeer, Battle Creek) of season 2 a more sympathetic role. She isn't really a full-fledged bad guy. At first this is a bit disapointing. The presence of a true villain provides structure to the storyline, which is missing now.

Despite strong acting work by Janet McTeer, her role as villain is unclear, resulting in loss of structure and focus

On the other hand, this does show that Jessica Jones isn't just another superhero show. The first season already displayed that this show tells a whole lot more about the bad guys and how their personality works. Kilgrave went through the same process, but there it was immediately clear that he was a bad person. With McTeer's character this isn't always clear, which shifts the focus to her characteristics and relationship with Jessica (Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad). Both actresses do their job well and they really manage to put some depth into their characters, which in turn helps to keep the show at a high level.

The secondary characters are also portrayed well. For instance, Jessica's friend Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor, 666 Avenue), her neighbour/colleague Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville, The Originals) and lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss, Vegas) are a lot more involved in the major storylines. There are also some newcomers, such as Jessica's landlord Victor (J.R. Ramirez, Power) and the rival private detective Pryce Cheng (Terry Chen, Continuum). All of these characters are great additions to the cast, but especially the new characters could be fleshed out a bit more.

Current-day events proof why shows, such as Jessica Jones, are needed.

The movie world had a big scoop with the first superhero movie where the main hero was a woman (Wonder Woman). TV was several years ahead, with shows such as Jessica Jones, which came out in 2015. At this point in time it is clear (more clear than in 2015) that we still have some work to do in this area regarding equality and equivalence between men and women. In the first season JJ already tried to prove that point, but now the show feels more current than before. Now I do have to say, that the tricks used by the writers to talk about this topic are quite easy, but nonetheless still effective. Shows like Jessica Jones are needed to display this inequality.

Just like the previous season, production value is once again really good. The jazz-like music and purple fog that appears to flow over Hell's Kitchen provide a certain classy style to the show, while at the same being somewhat depressing. It really sets the mood just right. It fits perfectly with the storyline and the themes of this show.

Unfortunately, the second season of JJ has the same issue as pretty much all the other Marvel/Netflix shows. It's runtime. There just isn't enough story to fill 13 episodes of 50 minutes each. This is especially noticeable during the first couple of episodes. There isn't a lot happening and the build-up is really slow. Luckily, the second half of the season compensates for this slow start. Nonetheless, if I were the head of Marvel/Netflix, I would take a good look and maybe consider shorter seasons. The story of this season could've been shortened to 10 episodes easily and I think the same could be applied to The Punisher, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

The absence of the marvellous villain Kilgrave is something that cannot be forgotten and other story elements could've been executed in a better manner. Still, the second season of JJ is quite good. The actors manage to make the most out of their characters, there's a good general vibe and the displayed social criticism is factual and effective. The show has been renewed for a third season on the 12th of April.
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