THIS EPISODE OF CPU! WAS SPONSORED BY: HERITAGE THEATRE GROUP
Opening Tomorrow: “The Cherry Orchard”
For more information, visit Heritage Theatre’s website!
Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” is a superhero/action/psychological thriller drama based upon the Marvel Comics character Jessica Jones and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.
What: “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” created by Melissa Rosenberg, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the second in a series of shows that ultimately led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries, which was released in 2017. Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica Jones, a former superhero who opens her own detective agency after an end to her superhero career.
Following a tragic end to her brief superhero career, Jessica Jones (Ritter) tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with remarkable abilities in New York City. Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, and Carrie-Anne Moss also star.
When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on March 8, 2018.
Where: The action is set primarily in the New York City, New York, neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, as depicted in the MCU.
Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the Season One link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases. As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!
How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS
As long-time listeners should know by now, CPU! is chock full of panelists with a proclivity for comic book and superhero TV shows and films, including your Chief CP. Our Marvel’s Defenders Series was born of this proclivity, as we have already covered the two available seasons of Daredevil; the first season of Jessica Jones; the first season of Luke Cage; the one available season of Iron Fist; the one available season of the crossover event miniseries, The Defenders; and the one available season of the first spin-off series, The Punisher. Listen to the links below:
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode One, “Daredevil,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, “Jessica Jones,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Three, “Daredevil,” Season 2
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Six, “The Defenders,” Season 1
Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Seven, “The Punisher,” Season 1
In this, the eighth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders series, we revisit the second in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows leading up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Jessica Jones, featuring Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer. Our panel, with the notable exception of panelist Kristen, struggled to power through this second season, feeling the absence, but for the one somewhat forced and anticlimactic episode, of panel favorite David Tennant (David Tennant, David Tennant, David Tennant!). Common reactions to this season can best be summed up via the following terms: disjointed, clunky, flat, and generally and ultimately far worse than the first season. Only Kristen describes this season as “solid,” though she acknowledges that the second season does not measure up to the first season in terms of writing quality. In fact, the panel finds that said quality and story presentation drastically deteriorated between the two seasons and generally alienated our panelists (except Kristen), to the point that we mostly worry for the future of the series, given its third season renewal and though some members of the panel have nearly lost all interest in continuing with this particular program but for our podcast series. Unless, of course, the show is able to convincingly resurrect the Kilgrave character because the panel agrees: Jessica Jones, without David Tennant and Kilgrave, is simply not the same show. To hear us hash out these opinions further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.
This podcast was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Jessica Jones. Do you agree or disagree? Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, we launch a new panel “Around the Water Cooler,” as some of our most frequent panelists, along with one occasional panelist, find themselves up Schitt’s Creek without a paddle while they catch up on the first two seasons of the Canadian cable comedy in the first part of a two-part miniseries produced for just that purpose. Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations
1) Will Daredevil appear on Jessica Jones? We would like him to do so, please, and apart from the Defenders miniseries because these two characters exist in the same universe and in the same city (and same borough of the city!).
ANSWER: He has not yet.
2) David Tennant was announced to be returning for Season Two, even though Jessica snapped Kilgrave’s neck in the Season One finale. How will he return?
ANSWER: Kilgrave, as portrayed by Mr. Tennant, appears as a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-induced hallucination, a figment of Jessica’s imagination, as she grapples with the morality of supporting her recently-discovered-to-be-alive mother, who is prone to homicidal tendencies in the name of love for her daughter and for the mad scientist who experimented on her and Jessica. The plot itself is convoluted, but David Tennant’s appearance this season amounted to one episode, which the panelists generally regarded as one of only a few highlights this season. Listen to the podcast episode for details.
3) Will Trish (Taylor) evolve into the Marvel hero Hellcat in Season Two, as several panelists estimated she might at some point?
ANSWER: Through a plot thread that pitted Trish against Jessica due to Trish’s naked ambition, reckless addiction, obtuse selfishness, and complicated envy of Jessica’s special abilities, Trish insinuates herself into a position in which she willingly participates in some of the same experimentation to which, ultimately, Jessica and her mother were subjected following the Jones family’s car accident. Via a brief display of quick reflexes and potentially enhanced strength in the season finale, it can be estimated that Trish is well on her way to evolving into the Marvel hero Hellcat, though she did so in a highly alienating and unsympathetic manner. Listen to the podcast episodes for details.
4) Will there be a new villain? Who will it be? Will Kingpin/Wilson Fisk appear in Jessica Jones?
ANSWER: Kingpin was not featured in this season of Jessica Jones. Arguably, the most villainous character on the season is Trish, with her seemingly self-serving motivations, further complicated by a relapse in drug use and the enabling of her helicopter stage mom, though Nurse Inez Green (Leah Gibson) additionally gives Jeri Hogarth (Moss) a run for her money. Literally. The writers also, apparently, attempted to position Alisa Jones (Janet McTeer), Jessica’s very-much-alive mother, as a potential villain, but she clearly is affected by chemicals and conditioning that strips her of complete non-psychotic control over her own faculties. In fact, the panel felt that the lack of a true villain proved to be one of the seasons’s most glaring and deleterious flaws.
1) So, really, will Kilgrave ever return – alive and charismatic and creepy – in a real way? Or, is that too much fantasy for a comic book adaptation series? Was the hallucination, at minimum, a clue to the idea that Kilgrave might still be out there, waiting to reemerge as the Purple Man? At least half of this panel believes that Jessica Jones will not sustain without him, evidenced by the struggles and cringe-inducing flaws of this second season, most of which was presented without him; in fact, the writers and producers may never be able to compensate if Mr. Tennant cannot return. The panel’s opinion further validates Chief CP Kylie’s earliest hypothesis – that David Tennant is what made the first season what it was, despite the fact that the other returning members of the ensemble are good, even great at times. None of them, however, are as riveting or as competent a scene partner when paired with Ritter’s Jessica as David Tennant’s Kilgrave. The proof is in the proverbial pudding known as Season Two.
2) Is Detective Will Simpson (Wil Traval), who is supposed to be the villain Nuke, according to panelist Kyle and basic research into Marvel comics, truly and permanently dead? The panel felt that one of the greatest character disservices committed this season was the early and criminally understated, yet apparently permanent, death of the Simpson character.
3) Malcolm (Darville) is now working for Jeri Hogarth and, in turn, Jessica’s private investigator (PI) rival, Pryce Cheng (Terry Chen). Other than the fact that Malcolm has officially sobered up and is committed to making something of his life, why should we care about this character development?
4) Will Luke Cage, who is supposed to eventually marry Jessica, according to Kyle and basic research into Marvel comics, return to the series in Season Three (this question is posed without having viewed Season Two of Luke’s solo series, mind you)?
5) Will Oscar (J.R. Ramirez) return in Season Three? Though a love triangle might be cheesy, can we see Oscar and Luke fight over the cynical and sarcastic Jessica? There might be potential for some comedy in that scenario, which the show sorely needs, at least in terms of comic relief.
6) What will Trish’s evolution into full-on Hellcat look like? As of the end of Season Two, Jessica and Trish are estranged, as Trish pulled the trigger to ice Alisa after Jess’ mom quasi-kidnapped her daughter while on the lam, leaving Jessica officially angry at her adopted sister for making this rash decision, even if Trish did so to save Jessica. Will Trish and Jessica reunite in the field of superhero-ness? Will they find their way back to each other in more of an “everyday” way?
All of our panelists, with the exception of panelist Kristen, struggled to find any sort of love for the second season of Jessica Jones, pinning the season’s considerable disappointments on poor writing choices related to character development and/or story direction and the nearly total lack of David Tennant’s Kilgrave. The panelists generally welcomed his one episode appearance, though some panelists, the Chief CP included, also found it anticlimactic and lacking the punch and pomp that underscored the Kilgrave character in the first season. All of the panelists also struggled with the Trish character at various points, the Alisa character at various points, and many of the other new characters in general, and the overarching feeling around the season was that it was disjointed, slow, and ultimately alienating in its story presentation. Only panelist Kristen, with her love for the Jessica Jones character, described the season as “solid,” pointing to the overall tone and “noir” feel of the visual presentation to support her position. By the same token, the panel generally and universally agrees that Jessica Jones is largely well-performed and competently directed, though some slow-to-the-point-of-drudgery pacing hampers the second season. In addition, by attributing Jessica’s anger management issues to something fundamentally changed in her biology due to the experiments conducted on her, the writers and show-runner effectively undermined the strong themes surrounding assault survival, PTSD, and recovery that elevated the poignancy of Season One, to which some of the panelists took exception. In fact, most on the panel agree that if not for the podcast, Season Three would not necessarily be an automatic watch, despite the series renewal and unless the writers and Mr. Tennant’s schedule allow him to return.
Jessica Jones was renewed for a third season, though an official premiere/release date has not yet been announced. CPU! will be following Jessica Jones throughout its series run, as part of CPU!’s Marvel’s Defenders Series, so we will definitely return to podcast about Season Three some time after it is released. Until then – stay tuned!