Farewell Jessica Jones & Marvel Netflix

There is no sugar coating that Jessica Jones season 3 is not good. I stuck with it but to get through I took to skipping through multiple conversations between characters. The version I ended up watching improved as a result but even with impromptu editing, the pacing was weak and dialogue was often unconvincing. There was a decent story in there and some interesting themes as each of the core characters (including the Machiavellian Jerry Hogarth and the photography obsessed serial killer) explored the idea of people seeking to punish the wicked (as they see them) for reasons other than righteousness.

I already thought that the Netflix Marvel shows had run out of steam. The novelty had worn through and the consistent flaw of poor pacing and overlong seasons was only getting worse. Bookended between the first Avengers movie and the final one (in its current form), the form of these shows either had to change radically or conclude. I just wish they could have brought them to a stronger end.

Jessica Jones season 3 was emblematic of this arc. Still running on good will from the brilliant first season, the show hoped that we were still sufficiently invested in the main characters to follow a plot that mainly dealt with how unhappy they are with their lives. The effect was a script that felt like it was trying to find a way to fill 13 episodes with a 5 episode story. Two whole episodes were re-telling events we had already seen (and understood) from the perspective of Trish Walker rather than Jessica. There was a logic to that in terms of the character’s arc but neither episode brought any new insights.

Strong cast and an interesting premise but so, so ponderous. When the idea is that you are an intelligent show, there should be some trust that the audience has already got the point you are trying to make and can already see where a character is heading.

Of the remaining shows, Daredevil had a proper ending, The Punisher was already at a stage of diminishing returns, Luke Cage looked like it was heading somewhere interesting and ironically Iron Fist looked promising. A final season of The Defenders would have been a nice way to bring the whole thing to an end, so long as they kept it short :). I’ve suggested elsewhere that a gutsy move from Marvel would have been to have them all evaporate into dust Infinity War style mid-story.

One thought on “Farewell Jessica Jones & Marvel Netflix

  1. I think nowadays, in these days of serialized storylines, anything beyond ten episodes is really pushing it. For example, I just watched the fourth season of Lucifer on Netflix (not quite Hugo quality, but I enjoyed it). It was ten episodes, and that felt just right. Good Omens is perfect at six episodes. But then you get into all the complaints about Game of Thrones’ last six-episode season….it all depends on what the writers do with the episodes they have, I guess.

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