Tag: krysten ritter

ACF Critic Series #29: Breaking Bad


Here’s my new podcast with Paul Cantor, on the Macbeth of Meth! We talk about The Dark Side Of The American Dream — go buy the book, folks. It’s about tragedy in pop culture, from Huck Finn to The Walking Dead (which we’ll get to next week). We talk about the American Dream — especially the middle-class suburban dream of the post-war era–and what happens when it doesn’t work out. Especially during troubled times, like nowadays, people turn to darker stories and are more interested in the tragic side of life. So all of a sudden mere villains ascend by the path of the anti-hero to the full status of tragic hero, trying to out-American America, so to speak.

AKA: A Review


Jessica_Jones_NetflixThe Marvel Cinematic Universe represents perhaps the greatest money-making movie franchise in the history of cinema, pumping out one high-budget, high-grossing action spectacular after another, all set in a single cinematic universe replete with crossovers, cameos, and team-ups. It came to the small screen with Marvel’s Agents of Shield and Marvel’s Agent Carter, and the debut of Daredevil on Netflix earlier this year saw them break through into Internet-only entraining. The concept of an interconnected cinematic and TV universe offers viewers an analog of the traditional comic book experience. Everyone can have their favorite characters and follow them in their various appearances, appreciate the work of various artist each offering their own interpretation of the iconic characters in discrete stories that, together, help create an overarching fictional history filled with action and delightful melodrama.

A few weeks ago Netflix released the second of its four superhero shows: Jessica Jones (while under development, the show was titled “AKA Jessica Jones and the episodes all begin with the “Also Known As” abbreviation). Who is Jessica Jones you may be wondering? Well, until I saw the show I didn’t really know much about her. She isn’t one of the famous Marvel characters, not even one of the famous B-list characters like Luke Cage or Iron Fist (who will each get their own Netflix show in the coming years). But, her obscurity works for the show brilliantly. Knowing who Daredevil was, who his villains were, and what to expect plot-wise, I watched his series with anticipation for a fidelity to the comics. Jessica Jones was a blank slate to me, so there was nothing to anticipate, only a story to experience. And what a story.

Netflix’s Daredevil clearly establishes a gritty, almost Noir-like felling for the world of Hell’s Kitchen following the events of the first Avengers movie. That tone that is carried on — and expanded in — Jessica Jones, who like all good Noir characters, is a private investigator. Her jobs mostly consist of following cheating men around and getting pictures of them in the act. She lives in her office, and seems to subsist on a diet of booze and cigarettes.