TV News

What Kind of Show Is Marvel’s Jessica Jones Going To Be?

You know how the BBC used to (probably still does) wait forever before actually and often quite randomly confirming a start date for the next season of modern day Doctor Who?  They don’t operate the same way an American network because they are not as behold to rigid schedules and advertisers.  They can do what they want.

Well, hello Netflix.  The streaming giant just announced the start date for its upcoming Marvel series Jessica Jones, the second of the four distinct Marvel shows which will culminate in the The Defenders team-up mini-series.  The first show in the deal was obviously Daredevil, which for the longest time was simply that thing which would arrive sometime in 2015 before Netflix finally told us to circle April 10th as the release date.  When asked when Jessica Jones might follow, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said, “You should think of it about as roughly a year. Some will roll in as early as eight months and others in 15 months apart, and basically what it is is we’re not trying to meet a fall programming schedule or trying to hit a grid number, so really we want to give the shows enough time. Jessica Jones hasn’t started production yet, so a lot happens from the first day on the set to the last day of production. So we want to give them enough room and enough time to make a great show, so I don’t want to set up a rigid timetable and deliver a show every eight months or every twelve months, but you should expect them about a year apart.”

Krysten Ritter, whose The B in Apartment 23 sitcom was hilarious

Apparently, the production went well because Jessica Jones is arriving less than a year after Daredevil, with a premiere date of November 20, 2015 (fyi, also the date Amazon drops its Philip K. Dick adaptation The Man in the High Castle).   Of course Netflix would announce Jessica Jones‘ start date after Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide and all the other mags have already published their big “Fall TV Preview” issues.  Why be lumped into a listing with 38 other shows when you can have headlines all to yourself on a slow news day?

Here’s the teaser:

What does any of it mean?  Throwing it to you THR, “The impressionistic teaser offers clues for what viewers can expect from the series: A camera shutter, identifying her current career; a spilled glass of booze, doing the same for her current state of sobriety. More tellingly for fans of the original comic book are glimpses of a door reading “Alias Investigations” (the original comic book series was titled Alias after Jones’ detective agency) and a sky that turns purple — an allusion to David Tennant’s character Kilgrave, better known as the Purple Man, the villain responsible for ending Jones’ superhero career.”

Here’s what I expect from Jessica Jones: a film noir superhero show, kind of like the first season of Angel.  This marks Jessica’s first foray into the mainstream after having been a comic book-only character for over a decade, although a Jessica Jones TV show from Melissa Rosenberg had been in development at ABC since 2010. Her comic book origin story involves gaining superpowers like super-strength and flight via radioactive chemical exposure during a car crash, but having to deal with survivor’s guilt since that same crash claimed the lives of her family members. At that time, she was still a teenager attending the same highschool as Peter “Spider-Man” Parker. Inspired by Spider-Man, she sets out on a superhero career of her own. Then things got dark fast as she was psychologically tortured and mind-controlled by a Darededevil villain named Kilgrave, clearly being played by Tennant in the show. From that point forward, her story involves brief stays as a private investigator and then as a journalist alongside Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle. The TV show has been thought from the very beginning to focus on the former-superhero-turned-private-investigator portion of her career.

Here’s the official Jessica Jones plot synopsis from an Amazon listing for a book about the making of the show (as per ScreenRant):

Ever since her short-lived stint as a Super Hero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic, badass private detective in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing, and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need… especially if they’re willing to cut her a check.

Done.  I’m all in. It’s from Marvel, and it has Krysten Ritter and David Tennant!  That last part about “especially if they’re willing to cut her a check” sealed it for me, pleasantly recalling memories of Charisma Carpenter’s money-conscious gal Friday to David Boreanaz’ private investigator on Angel.

What about you? Are you not quite as enthusiastic about a private investigator/superhero show as I am?  Or are you, but you don’t get my comparison to the first season of Angel because you’ve never seen that show?  Gasp!  For shame!  You must rectify that mistake immediately, although, honestly, that first season is a bit uneven.  Perhaps you can binge the best parts of it sometime before Jessica Jones drop in November.


  1. I am very excited about this show. However, I still haven’t been able to nail down the tone of this. I get that she’s going to have issues. Even this teaser felt me feeling very vague. Yes, it hinted at material that may be covered of which we can infer a tone, but really without any footage the tone is so unclear. It feels different than Daredevil which immediately felt like it had this gritty tone. I wish I got a sense from Jessica Jones. Still excited though.

    I have to admit the main reason I’m excited for her is simply due to her relationship with Luke Cage who is one of my favorite Marvel characters. And that obviously leads to the potentially addition of Squirrel Girl who is delightful.

    1. I’m all in on this because of Krysten Ritter and David Tennant and my general fondness for the premise. However, I’m with you on not totally knowing what to expect as far as tone. I got a bit of a film noir vibe off of the teaser, but that might just be because I know the premise of her as a private investigator. Plus, not many film noir films/shows have moments where the sky turns purple. So I shouldn’t read too much into the teaser, not that there’s really a whole lot to read into anyway.

      I’ve actually rarely encountered Luke Cage in the comics. I think he had a sizable supporting role in the early issues of the Age of Ultron arc, which I read through Marvel Unlimited when the movie came out (knowing that the arc has nothing to do with the movie other than sharing the same name). That’s it. Other than that, I know Luke Cage from the Spider-Man animated series in which he was just a teenager. So, Luke will be mostly new to me, and I look forward to it. Also, it does seem like a not-insignificant portion of online fandom would explode if Squirrel Girl ever made to live action. I have oddly seen slightly more of her than Luke Cage, and she’s remarkably endearing, even if I keep seeing her pop up as the butt of jokes in other characters’ stories.

      1. Squirrel Girl is an interesting aspect being what one would seem as weak, but is actually quite capable. She’s a goof. Honestly, as much as I laugh with her, I laugh at her. When I first encountered her it was a huge WTF moment.

        As for Luke Cage, if you like reading the comics, definitely check him out. He has an interesting story and has played some interesting roles in the series. He’s been an Avenger and even part of the Fantastic Four. However, it’s his team up with Iron Fist for Heroes for Hire that I really love. The animated show shows a bit of that relationship, but I just love the pair of them together. I’m really hoping Iron Fist doesn’t get scrapped in favor of this second season of Daredevil (we haven’t really heard anything so I’m worried).

        And Krysten Ritter is fantastic. I’m a big fan of her for her comedic roles I’ve seen her in like Gilmore Girls and Don’t Trust the B. She’s actually the main reason I was sold on this series as it is the one I care to see the least of the four announced.

      2. The first time I saw Squirrel Girl was in an episode of Disney’s animated Spider-Man series, and it was played as a joke, with Spider-Man at that point in the show inspiring others to become heroes, including Squirrel Girl, whose mere existence he finds deeply confusing. It was pretty funny, and it was only later that I realized this was an actual character from the comics, not something the show made up and threw in for a joke.

        I do remember Luke Cage also being on the other Avengers animated series which predated Disney’s purchase of Marvel, and on that one he was usually paired with Iron Fist. I actually know much about Luke Cage’s history since I’ve researched it for articles for this site as well as trivia items about him, such as (if I remember correctly) the fact that Nicholas Cage was born Nicholas Coppola but chose Cage his stage name out of Luke Cage fandom. It’s odd, though, because I have not actually read any Luke Cage comics. Heck, I’ve got the Marvel Unlimited membership. I bet Heroes for Hire is on there. I’ll have to look into that.

        I’m with you on Krysten Ritter. She doesn’t quite physically match the versions of Jessica Jones I’ve seen in the comics (or, more accurately, individual panels from the comics), but I loved her so much as a virtual cartoon character in Don’t Trust the B that I’m now willing to check her out in anything.

        About Iron Fist and Daredevil – For whatever reason, the one thing that never occurred to me back when the Marvel/Netflix deal was announced was what would happen if one of the shows turned into a hit? Would they really not do a second season of Daredevil just because they had a rigid plan to go from it to Jessica to Luke to Iron Fist? I just took their announced plan at face value, and sure enough once Daredevil got here everyone wanted a second season. The latest scuttlebutt I’ve heard is that this has possibly moved everything back a little more, but I haven’t heard anything about it leading to them cancelling Iron Fist. They apparently have not quite figured out what angle to take on Iron Fist yet, inviting in people to pitch them their takes on the material, not making much progress while Jessica Jones, Daredevil season 2 and Luke Cage take precedent. However, they’ll obviously need to figure it out soon enough.

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