Why Jessica Jones, Netflix's Damaged & Deadpan Superhero, Is Taking Viewers by Storm

Marvel's new Netflix series puts a lot on Krysten Ritter's shoulders

By Chris Harnick Nov 20, 2015 3:11 PMTags
Jessica Jones, Krysten RitterNetflix

In the age of peak TV, viewers have many, many, many choices when it comes to TV offerings. There's your standard broadcast networks, the cable networks, your streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, your video game consoles, etc. The list seriously can go on and on. There's close to 2,000 shows out there and more and more they're based on stories and characters you're familiar with from comic books. The latest, Marvel's Jessica Jones, dropped on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 20 and there's something very different about Krysten Ritter's new series and the titular character she plays.

"Jessica Jones is a very different kind of superhero. She is not noble, she's not out trying to save the city and right every wrong, she's really just trying to make her rent, to 'make a goddamn living in this goddamn town,' as Brian Michael Bendis wrote," executive producer Melissa Rosenberg told E! News at the premiere of Jessica Jones. "She's just a very real, very complex, very damaged character...we've never seen a superhero go through what she has gone through."

Based on Bendis and Michael Gaydos' comic series, Jessica Jones follows Ritter as the super-powered Jessica, but she's not flying high in the skies anymore. After tangling with the villain Kilgrave (David Tennant) she's a private eye just trying to live her life. Marvel's Jessica Jones is unlike any superhero show you've seen.

"First of all, I think having a strong female character is always a great idea, but secondly, this is not your typical hero. This is somebody who, in many ways, from the beginning is broken. And watching her put her life back together again really is the journey of the show," Jeph Loeb, executive producer and head of Marvel TV, told us. "Often times what you do is you start with a hero who is already there or you start with a hero who is trying to find out what their place is. This is someone who has been that, it fell apart and now has to sort of figure out how to put it back together again, and that's really the exciting part."


Ritter's Jessica Jones is damaged. She's tough and boy is she snarky. Rosenberg said the character's sense of humor is her favorite part about Jessica, especially "as delivered by Krysten Ritter."

"That woman can deliver a dry line like nobody else…What's so funny is people keep asking me, 'What are the limitations working with Marvel?' and really, the only one I could ever think of was I'm not allowed to drop any f-bombs. Everybody who saw it goes, 'Wait a minute, she didn't?' I was like, 'No.' I realized the reason people think they are hearing that is because Krysten Ritter can say that with her eyes. She could say, 'polar bear' and it'd be an f-bomb. She's got that kind of skill."

With all of the season one episodes out there, attention is now turning to the future. But don't worry, Rosenberg told us she's ready.

"Throughout season one as the writers were breaking story, there's a lot of stuff that kind of came up about season two," she said. "So we have this little pile of stuff ready to dive into…if and when they pull the trigger."

Marvel's Jessica Jones is now streaming on Netflix.