Okay, let’s get the raw details out of the way:
The fictional character of Jessica Jones is a former super-heroine-turned-detective-turned-journalist (a lot of turns there, sorry). Jones made her debut in an adult oriented series called Alias, followed by another series titled The Pulse. Brian Bendis, a longtime comic writer, created Jones back in 2001.
Even though Jones’s role within the Marvel comic universe has grown, she remains relatively unknown to the general public. So, why bother investing tens of millions of dollars and build a TV series around her?
There are two possible answers:
First, Jessica Jones is like Peggy Carter, a strong-willed female protagonist with a lot of character depth to build a great story around.
Second, just like Agent Carter, Jones’s story is one that doesn’t require lavish SFX and epic intergalactic showdowns. It’s all about being down-to-earth and facing more human villains.
Marvel and Netflix have lined up credible talent behind the TV series. Joseph “Jeph” Loeb, whose prior credits include Smallville and Lost, and Melissa Rosenberg, whose credits include Step Up and Twilight are producing the show. Krysten Ritter is taking on the title role with David Tennant and Carrie-Anne Moss assuming supporting roles in what looks to be an adaptation of Alias.
With such an impressive roster of actors and actresses, the show is definitely not lacking in talent and, more importantly, potential. Unfortunately, A.K.A. Jessica Jones is a huge risk no matter how one looks at it: an entire TV series based around someone most folks have never heard of, with no high-concept in sight and set to air on a web-only platform. Sure, it’s cheaper than a prime-time network TV show, but there’s still millions to be lost if this show doesn’t captivate audiences.
Then again, the standards are different. How many people would consider Marco Polo a great show? Congrats to a vocal few, but the big-budget show is no Game of Thrones. Even so, Season 2 is on its way in.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a long string of winners over the past seven years, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers. Although Agents of SHIELD arrived with high expectations and low return during its first season, it has gone on to achieve a modicum of stability in its second season. Moreover, Disney and Marvel have achieved crossover continuity through it all, something DC can only dream of.
Here’s to hoping for another Agent Carter and not another Birds of Prey.
A.K.A. Jessica Jones: Just who is Marvel’s next TV superhero?