Jessica Jones Season 2 Premiere: First Impressions | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Jessica Jones Season 2 Premiere: First Impressions

TV Critic Jessica Green reviews the debut episode of the second series of Jessica Jones, as the Netflix Defender returns to our screens for another 13 episodes

After an agonising two year break and only the mediocrity that was The Defenders to tide viewers over in between, Marvel’s Jessica Jones finally returned to Netflix on the 8th March last week with its highly anticipated second season. With season one’s phenomenal villain Kilgrave well and truly dead though and our protagonist left without a target to pursue or avenge, where exactly do the writers plan to go from here?

Maybe not much to anyone’s surprise, the first episode sees Jessica right back where she started
Maybe not much to anyone’s surprise, the first episode sees Jessica right back where she started – getting into unnecessary brawls, loitering in dark alleys photographing sleazeballs for her PI cases, and of course downing unholy amounts of whiskey every night at the bar. It’s difficult not to feel deflated here – was the trauma she went through in season one (including snapping the neck of her mind-controlling rapist of an ex-boyfriend in the climatic season finale) all for nothing?

We even begin to fear for Jessica’s adopted sister and best friend Trish Walker as we see her swap out her golden tresses for a cheap red-dye job, don a garish sequinned dress and perform a cringeworthy rendition of the Patsy theme song at a children’s birthday party. As we watch her warble and awkwardly sway on the tacky stage, we are left wondering just how exactly the composed and successful Trish we came to know and love in season one ended up here. However, our favourite blonde could never disappoint; and it soon becomes clear that she is in fact only performing such a demeaning act in exchange for Jessica’s hospitals records from the father of the birthday girl (a hospital security guard who is conveniently willing to risk being sued just so that Patsy can sing at his kid’s party).

Whilst the writers are obviously trying to set up a story arc here, the whole thing seems pretty forced
With Jess’ best interests at heart (and maybe a side-eye on her radio show’s success – stories about her adopted sister’s superpowers have so far meant good things for ratings), Trish tries to convince her to investigate IGH, the organisation that gave Jess her abilities after surviving the car crash that killed both her parents and her brother. Whilst the writers are obviously trying to set up a story arc here that will allow viewers more of an insight into the experiments conducted on Jessica, the whole thing seems pretty forced. Is it realistic to suggest that someone with as many issues as Jess can be magically cured by investigating how a bunch of crazy scientists messed with her biology seventeen years ago? It seems irresponsible to imply that all the solutions to Jessica’s mental health problems and continued grief over the loss of her family lie in a very distant past, when her inner demons are ever-present and not going anywhere… even if she does find out how she acquired her powers.

Such a vague threat can only pale in comparison to the paralysing fear David Tennant could inflict in his portrayal of season one’s Kilgrave
As the premiere episode develops, it only seems to tangle itself up even more in unnecessary subplots that never actually amount to anything. A monster allegedly created by IGH and set on killing other supers is alluded to throughout, but such a vague threat can only pale in comparison to the paralysing fear David Tennant could inflict in his portrayal of season one’s Kilgrave. Pryce Chang, an investigator who wants to eliminate the threat of Jessica’s company by absorbing it into his own, seems to be thrown into the mix purely to enable a cheap fight scene and pose what can only be described as a slight inconvenience to Jessica. Instead of creating a multifaceted antagonist, the writers channel the few villainous qualities they can muster through a series of one-dimensional characters that have very little impact on Jessica herself, and by extension, us as viewers.

Just as Jess accuses Trish of never being able to understand her situation as an orphaned super, the writers of Jessica Jones appear to sacrifice understanding what their own protagonist and show really need in their desperation to come up with a storyline that equals the critically-acclaimed first season. After setting itself such a tough act to follow though, maybe season two was doomed from the very start.

English Lit student and aspiring journalist. (@jesslaurengreen)



Published

14th March 2018 at 9:00 am



Images from

Netflix



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