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I had the chance to watch the first two episodes of Jessica Jones, the new Netflix series based on the Marvel characters and I liked it a bit more than Kyle thus far. It’s a grimy, worn down detective tale with added super strength. Krysten Ritter fills the role of the driven, PTSD suffering private eye wonderfully and I’m liking Mike Colter as Luke Cage. As some have noted, on screen Jessica Jones comes off as more of a hot mess than the comics version, whose world-weariness had an older edge to it. But will I watch the next 11 episodes? You bet, especially since it’s cold out and staying home and watching TV is the main activity at Stately Beat Manor until spring training.

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Part of the fun in the show is spotting the real life NYC locations. In Daredevil within the opening 10 minutes there was a scene set a block from SBM; in Jessica Jones, Luke Cage turns out to own Vazac’s, the venerable bar on 7th and B where we all spent the early 90s. Of course, it isn’t exactly Hell’s Kitchen, which in Daredevil was mostly Greenpoint, across the river in Brooklyn. Ben McCool has a comparison of the screen and real life Hell’s Kitchen mostly through the ever popular NYC vehicle of rents. Far from being seedy, today’s Clinton is pricey as heck, or the rest of NYC:

According to realtor.com, the area’s average monthly rent is a wallet-walloping $4,491. Only need one bedroom? You’ll still spend in the region of $3,506 p/m, while those requiring an extra bedchamber must line a landlord’s pocket with approximately $6,243. Ouch! But it wasn’t always this way…oh no. Living in the ‘hood around the time of Daredevil’s debut offered a VERY different experience to what current inhabitants shell out $LOL for. Clinton was once among NYC’s most dangerous spots—its more menacing moniker first appeared in print via an 1880’s New York Times reporter, who referred to an infamous tenement at 39th Street and 10th Avenue as “Hell’s Kitchen,” describing the entire section as “probably the lowest and filthiest in the city.”


For those who have seen the whole thing or don’t mind spoilers, Vulture has a couple of good pieces on the show, including 20 Marvel ‘Firsts’ in Jessica Jones—some of them are very first indeed—and a look at how the show treats sex, and who they shoot those energetic and frequent sex scenes:

“People go, ‘Wow, this must be fun.’ Well, they don’t realize you do it all day. It takes, like, half a day to film it,” said Mike Colter, who plays Jessica’s love interest, a fellow superstrong loner named Luke Cage. Most of the show’s sex scenes are between him and Krysten Ritter’s Jessica, and they’re pronouncedly athletic. The first one begins with the two of them in missionary position and ends with Jessica playing power bottom by getting Luke to take her from behind. Even for the eye-poppingly muscular Colter, the scene was physically draining.


I was happy to see that the opening credits of Jessica Jones use the esthetic of the David Mack covers and Michael Gaydos interiors. 



https://youtu.be/kmUQAZ7K3co


SlashFilm has bit more on the credits, which were animated by Eric Demeusy.




Finally, Gaydos recently had an art show at Gallery Artludik in Paris, and you can see a lot of his art and read his comments…if you speak French. Here’s more on the gallery. 




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5 COMMENTS

  1. Watched the first two episodes last night. I was surprised at how good it was. Daredevil felt a little flat to me. Perhaps because I compared it to other movies/comics that I’ve seen a million times. Great tension and mystery around Jessica Jones. My wife doesn’t read any comics and isn’t really into superhero stuff, but she was hooked too.

  2. I had a cold over the weekend, which gave me the perfect excuse to sit on the couch and marathon it (and unlike Kyle, I found neither this nor Daredevil very difficult to marathon). Personally, I enjoyed it more than Daredevil, if only because the finale didn’t feel quite as clunky and cobbled together last minute as Daredevil’s felt.

    On the other hand, episode seven of Jessica Jones was pretty flimsy, but made up for it with episode eight, which I think was the strongest episode of the series, reaching Breaking Bad levels of “I never expected this to happen.”

    I also really enjoyed the mix of female supporting characters. The higher than usual ratio (for a dramatic crime thriller) allowed the writers room to introduce female characters who have character flaws as interesting as a series with a large male cast, which was nice.

    There are also a number of interesting subversions of the hardboiled genre. Luke Cage might be the closest thing yet to a proper Homme Fatale.

  3. We’re one episode away from finishing, but now that Hannah and I are past the penultimate chapter, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the writers forgot that they needed to fill in 13 episodes of story. You could shave off Episode 11 completely and not miss a beat. Major structural issues notwithstanding, the Simpson + Trish subplot is a total non-starter.

  4. “My wife doesn’t read any comics and isn’t really into superhero stuff, but she was hooked too.”

    If Marvel wants to appeal to people who aren’t hardcore fanboys, a show like this might do it.

    Too bad shows like this have all but killed the standalone episode. What Bendis started 15 years ago with “Ultimate Spider-Man” has now spread to television:

    http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/why-your-tv-show-doesnt-have-to-be-a-novel-in-defense-of-the-episode

  5. I feel Jessica Jones stands head and soldiers above Daredevil. DD started as one of the best superhero adaptations I’ve seen, but once the showrunner changed it crashed hard. Compare the single-shot action scenes where DD takes down large groups of enemies in a spectacular fashion, compared to the short bog standard tv fights of the last few eps – DD became less as it went on. (And you don’t just have to do it with the action – acting, scripting, direction, set dressing – every aspect became less the longer it went on).
    Jessica Jones didn’t start as strong as DD, but it did start strong, and unlike DD it keeps it up it’s level of quality throughout. I also thought it’s storyline is very relevant for the conversations taking place in society regarding the harassment of women from abusive males.

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