It’s that time of the week again where we here at The Arcade try to help you make an informed decision on what your next Netflix weekend binge should be. This week we’re covering one Netflix original and one MTV original – one that’s incredibly clever while at times being intensely disturbing and shocking, and one show that falls on the exact opposite end of that spectrum. Can you guess which one is which before looking down below?
Yesflix – Jessica Jones
Marvel’s Jessica Jones is the second offering from a Marvel/Netflix partnership that first brought us Daredevil last year. As such, and despite it being a very different show to Daredevil, I can’t help but try to compare the two at times. The titular Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter is an enhanced human who presently makes a living running Alias Investigations out of her dingy apartment.
When not working, and occasionally while on the clock, she often downs half a bottle of scotch in a vain attempt to deal with trauma suffered prior to the series pilot. The source of this trauma is the series’ villain, Kilgrave, played by David Tennant. Kilgrave is another enhanced human, whose power allows him to command people to do exactly as he says. Using these powers, he took advantage of Jessica’s own super strength to his own ends, forcing her to commit acts that she was fully aware of, but powerless to prevent. Conveying this trauma is where Jessica Jones shines and it goes so far to do this job that it is frequently very uncomfortable to watch. I could say I didn’t enjoy certain aspects of the show as much as Daredevil, but the two are very different, so I really shouldn’t compare the two.
Suffice to say that the side characters in Jessica Jones don’t feel nearly as compelling as those in Daredevil and many are left feeling very underdeveloped at the end. This is likely because of the show’s dedication to the discord between Jones and Kilgrave. It’s very interesting to watch it play out; Jessica is abrasive, unkempt, and generally a bit of an asshole to those closest to her, with every reason to be, as I’ve explained above. Meanwhile, Kilgrave is basically a demon, but is endlessly charismatic. Add to that the fact that he’s portrayed by the equally charismatic David Tennant, a man as likeable as Kilgrave is despicable, and it makes for an odd relationship to watch unfold. As I mentioned, Jessica Jones is frequently uncomfortable to watch. So much so that I know more than a few people who couldn’t make it to the end (think the emotional equivalent of the ending of Daredevil‘s ‘Into The Blood’), but you’ll be well rewarded for sticking through the tough parts.
Fans of Marvel’s Daredevil will LOVE this!
Noflix – Scream: The TV Series
Ugh, Scream, were do I start with you? I’ll be frank; I’m not in any shape or form a massive fan of horror, bar a few classics, and the bottom of that barrel for me personally is the ‘jump scare’ genre. Sure, I enjoyed the original Scream when it first came out back in 1996 (well, it was probably closer to 2003 when I first saw it) and it was a fairly fresh take on 80s teen horrors, but the genre wore thin pretty quickly.
Flash forward 20 years from the original release and I find myself checking out MTV’s Scream: The TV Series. I pretty much knew what to expect from any successor to Scream and the opening minutes didn’t exactly disappoint. There’s a girl, a pool, a murder, exactly what you’d expect from anything calling itself a tribute to Scream. So far, so good. This is followed by a very meta classroom discussion about how it’s impossible to turn slasher films into a coherent TV series. That scene genuinely made me smile.
Unfortunately, it’s all very generic from there on out. Some of it was so predictable that I honestly thought I might’ve seen it before after watching certain scenes. The dialogue is so janky in places that it feels ripped directly from 80s horror B-movies, but hey, maybe that was the point. If this new imagining of Scream is meant to be satire then it might be very well done, I just don’t see it, so if it is and I missed the point feel free to call me a moron on that one. As I’ve said, I’m not a fan of the genre, so there wasn’t much chance that this was going to convert me, but even at that, it all just seems so generic and cheesy that I can’t see it pleasing many natural horror fans either… Still, there’s a cute dog in the first episode, so that’s something it has going for it.