Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Major Netflix and minor AMC binge

Well the weekend plans went South quickly with the Netflix release of Jessica Jones. What  started as a quick three episode viewing late Friday nite turned into a 10 hour binge Saturday.

What is Jessica Jones? Well it is an adaptation of a Marvel comic from back in the early 2000’s. The comic was Alias and it was penned by Brian Michael Bendis (A fantastic writer you should really pick up his stuff from back then if you haven’t read it!). It follows a defunct super heroine one Jessica Jones. She walked away from superhero work and became a private investigator. A lot of good stuff in this series run. Plus it was part of the Marvel MAX line, which was all about more adult and basically R-rated stories.  Now this character has jumped to Netflix to get a new treatment.

After two episodes I was hooked and liked where this was going. Then you throw in David Tennant as mind controlling Zebediah Kilgrave (or Purple Man without the comic book purple skin) as the villain. Add a bit of Luke Cage as a bad ass and tall glass of chocolate milk. Then mix together with: a bit of gumshoe, tainted love, stalking, murder death kills, a surprising and head scratching rehash of a D list comic character, a tie-in to Daredevil, some super hero type stuff, revenge, rampant alcoholism, some cop drama, redemption and some other events that are not listed as not spoil. This gives you one hell of a show! Even my special lady who poo-poo’ed the series was hooked by episode four. Another good job on Netflix bringing a darker Marvel title to the world.

Krysten Ritter in the role of the ex-heroine and hard drinking private eye worked really well. Gone is the super lady sex appeal everyone is used to seeing. This is less super hero and more high functioning apathetic alcoholic with a smattering of abilities. Here is a person with powers who is broken on many levels and yet still manages to the right thing in a round-about sort of way.

Kilgrave is a fantastic charismatic and disgustingly creep-o villain. David Tennant plays the role of uber bad guy and twisted stalker fantastically! Sure he doesn’t have purple skin, but honestly that would look silly. It always did in the comics. Plus they tweaked his origin and that wasn’t all bad either. They turned a low grade villain into a descent and outstandingly creepy threat.

Luke Cage needs more leg work! He is great in this show…wait he looks to be getting that next year. Mike Colter is excellent in the role and thankfully there is no headband or chain belt in sight.

Like the Daredevil series this is more a character study of the hero and villain. There isn’t a lot of action and that makes for a much different comic book show. If that is what you are after then sorry. Move along. It feels a lot like the comic to a point and then is different at the same time. I thought it was a descent adaptation and am hoping to see a second season. Now if only they could tie the Netflix shows to the cinema universe a bit more…..

Then I punched through two episodes of Into the Badlands on AMC. Where Jessica Jones pulled me in the Badlands show had me just shaking my head.


Here is a world post some event where there is a Hunger Games like society of areas that produce goods. Gone is the yearly child fight for supplies though. These areas are controlled by Barons and their ilk. They have a brokered peace that will probably not last as this looks to have a power struggle or family rivalry or both brewing. It reeks of Baron of (insert goods) vs. Baron of (insert goods) event on the horizon.

This world also a has no guns or even complex projectile weapons. Everyone carries bladed weapons and the occasional throwing knife, star, blade etc. Plus it seems many are trained in the punching and kicking arts as well. I guess the first faction to develop bows will eventually win the day? Whatever.

We follow Baron opium producer and his lead Clipper (the name for the personal army of this Baron) Sonny/Sunny/Sunni as they interact with this world’s people and places.

The evil Amish opium baron

Hell with it!

This shows is a jumbled mess! There is a mix of love stories. A post apoc wasteland/promised land. There are roving gangs of killers. There are personal bodyguards/bands of killers. There are functional cars and motorcycles, but everyone rides horses too. This is old west, meets dystopian future, meets kung-fu sword play? There is some daddy issue in a not Mormon, but multi-wife family too. Then there is a chosen one scenario is in play with a kid with mystical fighting blood. This is a damn mess of I just don’t care!

However……when the fighting occurs it is pretty coco-la-bonza! There is an ample amount of bloody mixed with crazy karate moves and sharp weapon action. It is really silly, but damn fun at the same time. It is the only, if barley, redemming quality of the show. Sadly it isn’t enough to make me want to keep watching this mess. I will delve no farther into these said Badlands for that wat only lies bad story  and messy plot!

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