This review will contain spoilers.
Last season’s Jessica Jones wasn’t the greatest thing on television but it damn sure wasn’t the worst. You had a sassy female super-being who was more than she cared to let on. You had a charismatic love interest by way of Mike Colter’s Luke Cage and you had a charismatic villain by way of David Tennant’s Purple Man; who had an interesting and deadly superpower. You also had a lot extraneous character filler, but you could forgive it because these other elements made dealing with them worth it.
Take away the charismatic love interest.
Take away the charismatic villain.
Make the protagonist more irritating than they were last season.
And you have the first five episodes of Jessica Jones season 2. In other words…pure crap.
If you didn’t know from last season that Jessica Jones’ family was killed in a car accident it’s because they didn’t spend a whole lot of time reviewing it, instead, the concern was focused more on her life with “Patsy” afterwards. But this season it seems it’s all Jessica can do not to dwell on the event and the apparent experiment she had undergone from a company called IGH…IG who? Oh, I’m, sorry, IGH is apparently something else she didn’t have time to think about last season. But this season…it is front and center…much to my dismay. Why does this bother me? In the comics, Jessica Jones gets her powers from being splashed with some radioactive goop. The end. How she got her powers is the least interesting thing about Jessica Jones. What’s interesting about Jessica Jones is that she used to be a superhero…who retired. That is an original premise. That is an interesting premise. To shunt that in favor of some lame IGH conspiracy is to miss the point of what made the character cool and interesting and proceed down the rabbit hole of who-gives-a-shit.
This season they migrated from Jessica looking over her shoulder before she displayed her ‘strength’ to her bending, breaking, and smashing everyday objects in public because she now has an inability to control basic emotions. In one scene she has sex in a bathroom doggy-style with some schlub she meets in a bar and bends up the top of the bathroom stall with her hands. Now, it is made clear that she is only ‘moderately’ enjoying the penetration from behind yet she can’t help but destroy public property from sheer ecstasy? No. the writer needed a way to reveal to the guy that she was “different’ so that they can have him call her ‘a freak’. Lazy and lame.
This kind of simple-minded writing permeates these episodes which look as bland as the characters dialogue sounds. Directorial-wise there is nothing to write home about. The most interesting thing to happen visually was watching a character who called himself the “Whizzer” whizz around Jessica’s office. But if you’ve seen HBO’s Trueblood, you’ve seen this a hundred times before. Speaking of Trueblood, Trueblood’s worst episode was better than any of these five…and that’s just sad.
Having to slog through the side character’s nonsense was almost more than I could bear.
There are a few clichés out there when it comes to interjecting drama into your story. The number one is infidelity. Number two is a terminal disease. Hogarth is saddled with the latter and my groan and subsequent eyeroll could probably have been heard from outside my home. Oh good grief was the writing bad in these episodes. It was all I could do not to claw myself from my own skin, so strong was the cringe when she met up with a hooker and proceeded to engage in a lesbian ‘foursome’. I’m trying not to dry heave as I remember it.
It feels like they were racking their brains trying to come up with things for Malcolm to do or ways to make him interesting. I don’t think they succeeded. Ultimately, he comes across as another checkbox in the character inclusivity checklist. Believe it or not there was a time where film and television had moved beyond this nonsense.
Trish Walker is even more useless this season than the last. At least last season her character served a purpose in terms of drawing out the Purple Man. Here she is obsessed with unraveling the ‘mystery’ of Jessica Jones powers. Really, this is what’s keeping her up at and night? Also, her inane #metoo moment with a movie director was agonizing to watch for all the wrong reasons. I mean honestly, the only thing that was interesting about Trish was her mother Dorothy…and that’s because I was fixated on Rebecca De Mornay’s face…what they hell happened there? Did plastic surgery do that? Yikes.
Jessica Jones new apartment super played by J.R. Ramirez is yet another purposeless appendage to the series. Maybe they thought adding someone as annoying as Jessica would create some sort of neutralizing effect. If so, doesn’t work. I was hoping a pile of construction debris would fall on his head. Instead he is served as a prop to remind the world that Spanish lives matter. Or maybe that’s Spanish genitalia matters. whatever.
A Geek Interlude
Invulnerability and Super-strength sort of go hand in hand. It’s pretty much one of those givens when you’re creating a character who has this kind of ability. You see, in order for a character to be able to say…pick up a truck, their physical structure (bones, musculature) must be able to support the weight. It might seem ‘smart’ to try to get away with having a character with such obvious impairments but when it comes down to action time and you casually forget that the character possesses these impairments because it is convenient for the script to forget these impairments you look like an unadulterated hack. You also insult the intelligence of your audience. So double screw you.
Marvel’s Path To Suckage
While watching this a part of me would forget why I was watching it. It was so bad I forgot why I was there in the first place! Then I would remember: “this is a Marvel comic book show it’s supposed to be exciting and fun” and then immediately wonder…it is? Because it felt more like some lifetime drama about middle-aged woman—WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING OVER AT MARVEL???
Who the hell is this made for?! It sure as hell isn’t made for guys like me and I don’t know any woman who likes comic book based material that would like it either. Marvel has lost the plot in more ways than one. These five episodes felt like a complete waste of time.
The best thing about these episodes was Krysten Ritter’s ass…by a long mile and that’s a piss poor state-of-affairs for a television series.
For shame Marvel. For shame.
1 out of 5 stars
These episodes contained a lot of progressive propaganda.