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Jessica Jones – AKA The Sandwich Saved Me (Review)

It could be argued that Jessica Jones is at its strongest when it embraces its status as an anti-superhero story.

The weakest points in the first season come when Jessica Jones embraces its superhero elements too readily, like when AKA Crush Syndrome or AKA It’s Called Whiskey fixated upon the idea of Kilgrave’s “weakness” as if Jessica is going to pull a glowing purple rock out of her pocket that will solve everything or when AKA 99 Friends made a point to tie the show into the events of The Avengers. This is not a show that lends itself to those sorts of superhero conventions.

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Instead, Jessica Jones works best when it ignores many of the more common tropes of the genre. Kilgrave is particularly creepy for the fact that he doesn’t want to rule the world or destroy New York. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are more interesting for the fact that they cannot be reduced to a series of cause-and-effect chain of consequence. These are real and messy lives that just happen to exist in a world full of giant green rage monsters and Norse deities. The juxtaposition is part of the appeal.

In that respect, AKA The Sandwich Saved Me plays as something of a gleefully subversive origin story. It exists primarily as a negative space, a story that rejects enough of the preconceived notions of superhero tales that it fosters a compelling dissonance.

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Netflix and Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Review)

Jessica Jones is a bold and ambitious piece of work.

In many ways, it takes what worked about Daredevil, and improves upon a lot of it. It offers a grounded take on the shared Marvel universe, one even further disconnected from the world of The Avengers. It offers a likable cast of actors playing a bunch of nuanced and well-developed characters, avoiding some of the stock comic relief that bogged down Daredevil at certain points in the series. It is smart and provocative in a way that many of Marvel’s more mainstream offerings are not, taking advantage of the relatively smaller platform to tell a more niche story.

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There are issues, of course. The biggest problem with Jessica Jones is that the series feels about four episodes too long for the format that it has adopted. While each of the episodes work as a distinct unit of story, Jessica Jones is much more of a single story than Daredevil was. The problem is that the story occasionally feels like it goes through narrative loops and down narrative cul de sacs to stretch out to the thirteen-episode order. While the more episodic structure of the first half of Daredevil was not ideal, it allowed for a smoother twelve-hour storytelling experience.

Still, this is a rather small problem. The world and characters of Jessica Jones are interesting enough to sustain interest even when it feels like the plot is stalling. Jessica Jones is clever, exciting and engaging.

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