Jessica Jones season 2 was released on March 8th. I caught just the first episode the night it premiered and finished last night. Many people gave praise to the first season, especially the villain Kilgrave. How did season 2 hold up?
The description I read for season 2 was how Jessica Jones’ conflict turns inward as opposed to outward. We see how her past events continue to haunt her from her family’s demise to the way Kilgrave resurfaces in the end. One of the main criticisms that I read was how the lack of a primary villain made the show seem unfocused and that is something I wholeheartedly agree with.
For the most part, season 2 seems rambling with the story scattered between Jessica Jones and the supporting cast. It felt as though each person involved were attempting to battle some form of internal demon that have led them to making poor decisions. I suppose that in some ways this idea was a good thing as we saw more character development that attempted to add more depth to the environment.
However, I feel that none of the characters outside of Jessica Jones really resonated with me. Everyone felt incredibly generic with only Jessica Jones having an established voice. Probably, the only character that could have been interesting was that Whizzer guy near the beginning who seemed to be some geeky type that could have made some impact outside of cannon fodder to push the plot forward.
If anything, most of the supporting cast severely annoyed me. The superintendent was nothing more than a sounding wall with Disney trying to keep the Marvel franchise connected to children by making Jessica Jones somewhat of a hero. Malcolm as the recovering addict struggling with temptation is boring and insipid. Her best friend Trish is nothing more than the blonde bombshell while Carrie-Anne Moss continues to disappoint with unsympathetic Jeri Hogarth.
There’s really nothing that makes me gravitate towards anyone in the series outside of Jessica Jones. The story was stretched so thin that they had to bring back the one character that made season 1 interesting: Kilgrave. But that only hints that the writers had so little material to work with and were forced to prolong this season with filler.
If I had one major frustration with this season is that there was little to no connection to The Defenders union. We got Foggy and Turk in very brief appearances with no lasting impact. It’s as if that whole side of the continent was intentionally ignored. Also, there’s no hint if there are any lead ins to another Defenders series.
Let’s be real here: we’re in it to see another Defenders reunion. I think at this point these characters aren’t truly strong enough to exist on their own (maybe Daredevil but only when he’s connected to another major Marvel character). The initial setup to establish each of these characters with their realms were decent (except for Iron Fist-ing) so that a nice backstory could help each actor/actress develop a sense of identity with their character in addition to the audience learning what each character was about.
At this stage though, putting effort into developing supporting characters feels like an utter waste. I like the attempt at a different direction that Jessica Jones season 2 was going towards in terms of the inward struggle. Most movies these days are nothing more than paranoid conspiracies about secret weapons manufacturing for a hidden society. So the fact that the true battle was in Jessica Jones’ mind was refreshing.
What made the series suffer as a whole was it being far too long and giving too much screen time to people who are as fascinating as stale poop. Right now, if you were to exchange Karen Page and Trish, you would not see much of a difference because their tones are almost identical as an example. It felt as though people were just going through the motions of reading off a script.
Another part that which made this season suffer is too much of an attempt to connect things to the #MeToo movement and with the recent Hollywood scandals. Trish essentially is a tool/voice for the #MeToo movement. I found that to be tiresome and typical of Hollywood writers in bringing recent scandals/Hollywood events to their writing. The truth is that Trish isn’t much of a sympathetic character to start and the actress isn’t great to really pull this type of deal off. So this part of the show just never worked for me.
Also, there was that Pryce Cheng guy. AKA the token Asian. Again, if that actor swapped with the guy playing Oscar Arocho or Malcolm, you wouldn’t know the difference. That’s because these actors suck badly. They’re just token characters with no tone thrown on screen to meet a quota. They really don’t do anything with him nor give him any material to work with outside of an initial dialog or two. He’s just there for no good reason beyond filler.
So again, I enjoy Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. I think she’s managed to acquire a voice for the character and her language and actions make her distinct. The rest of the cast are nothing more than stock people with random folks in Hollywood trying to fill in a large void where the writers are obligated to pen 13 hours of film. Because of this situation, it made things meander. The actual season itself probably could’ve been done in 6 episodes tops.
Overall, I’m not feeling the Defenders series. I think the super heroes thing is starting to really grate on my nerves in terms of fresh material. I like how the characters from the Defenders are more grounded than most of the Marvel universe but the super hero genre in general is just running out of steam. FAST.