You Should Watch Jessica Jones Even If You’re Suffering From Superhero Fatigue.

Jessica Jones, the second Netflix series leading up to The Defenders premiered on Friday, November 20th, starring Krysten Ritter as a super-powered private detective with a penchant for drinking whiskey, swearing, barging in without asking, and wearing the same jeans, boots, and leather jacket throughout the thirteen episodes.

She’s complicated and she’s not alone. She’s rounded out with a slew of side characters with their own complications and what may be Marvel’s most compelling and scariest villain.

That’s right. David Tennant, who might be yours and is my favorite iteration of the Doctor from Doctor Who take Zebediah Killgrave a.k.a. The Purple Man and makes your skin crawl with his mind controlling powers. He’s a killer, a rapist, and under it all he believes he’s the nice guy with impeccable taste.  Like any good villain, he believes he’s doing the ring thing but what makes Tennant’s Killgrave interesting is that he’s clueless to what right and wrong are. He’s been using his powers for so long he’s only figured out now as an adult that getting what you want all the time isn’t as satisfying as earning it. He’s a petulant child in a man’s body who can control minds. This has made him a complete and utter monster.

Luke Cage, on the other hand, I can’t get enough of. When is the Luke Cage series premiering? Not until after Daredevil season two? Jesus, I can’t wait that long. Mike Colter’s Cage complements Jessica Jones’ brash, blunt and snarky attitude with a quiet stoicism. While Jessica says exactly what she wants when she wants to Luke says  so much with his body language that he can be careful with his word choice. I need that Luke Cage series now.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones romance, relationship, fling or whatever you want to call it played well. You want it to happen. You want to find out if you’re in the know about his character if this takes place before Cage gets his powers or after. Then when you find out he does, you want Cage and Jones to get together but it gets complicated. These complications are part of the story without overtaking Jessica’s plot. Their relationship is part of Jessica’s life. That part of her life does not consume the entire story. It remains just a part and the series is better off for it.

Jessica’s line, speaking about her powers, about not hiding them but not advertising them either perfectly sums up the approach to powers in this street level. There’s no complicated retelling of her backstory. We just get bits and pieces of it as the story moves forward which is how exposition should be delivered. Over food, Jessica says she got her powers in an accident and Luke explains he got it in an experiment. Done and done. Killgrave’s origins are used as a motivating factor for his behavior, but he’s not constantly bringing it up.

The cast is filled out by Trish “Patsy” Walker, Jeri Hogarth, Will Simpson, Hope Schlottman, and Malcolm Ducasse all going through their own stories that spread out to introduce minor characters and wind up interconnected with Jessica’s. Not every character makes out of this first season alive. Jessica Jones has a high body and two deaths, in particular, are incredibly troubling, choice wise.

Do you remember Ben Urich in Daredevil’s first season? One of the best non-superhero characters in the Marvel Universe played by the brilliant actor Vondie Curtis-Hall and they killed him off. A waste and one of the biggest missteps of Daredevil’s first season. As a result, it is a bit strange that Jessica Jones has a similarly grizzled old black man, a detective this time, killed off for not a fucking good reason whatsoever. Played by Clarke Peters, whose character Lester Freamon on The Wire was one of the best, should have been a mainstay, just like Ben Urich, but is used as a plot device to further Will Simpson’s subplot involving a different kind of morality in regards to how Killgrave should be handled. Again, what a fucking waste.

Speaking of more waste, why does Marvel kill off all of its villains? Is it trying to tell us in the “real world” the only choice when dealing with these kinds of characters is death? That’s ridiculous. Obadiah Stane, Laufey, Whiplash, Red Skull, Malekith, Baron Von Strucker, Yellowjacket, Ronan the Accuser, Dr. Arnim Zola, Ultron, Alexander Pierce, John Garret, Daniel Whitehall, Jiaying, and now Zebediah Stane have all been killed off. For a company trying to build a cinematic universe that’s going to last for years killing off all your villains isn’t going to work well moving forward.

That being said, I’ll take season one of Daredevil and Jessica Jones over The Avengers: Age of Ultron any day. Jessica Jones is a mish-mash of the superhero genre, detective noir, and horror. It has mental health issues, relationship issues, knock-down drag-out fight scenes, women’s issues, drug issues, alcoholism, superheroes, supervillains, superpowers, sex, love, and most importantly of all complex characters and stories. What are you doing reading this? Go watch it now.

The Stand-Up Specials on Netflix You Should Check Out.

If you like stand-up at all, you’ll have watched all the obvious specials that are on Netflix Instant Watch. Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt.

If you’ve digged a little deeper you’re probably a big fan of all of the Bill Burr specials, you’ve watched Kevin Hart, Jim Norton, Jim Jeffries, and Russell Peters. Some were for you, some weren’t.

Here is what’s left that you should definitely check out no matter what flavor of stand-up comedy you enjoy.

thinkypainMarc Maron’s Thinky Pain. I know a lot of people listen to his podcast, WTF with Marc Maron but I hardly ever hear anyone talk about his stand-up. In the past I’ve tried listening to previous albums by him unable to get into his jokes or find the Maron that I enjoyed on his podcast or his guest appearances on others. Then I watched his latest special and discovered he’s just one of those you have to watch. This special is done in a small venue, mere feet away from the audience and with no plan what-so-ever. His sits on a stool almost entire time during his set and basically tells stories of his life, his mid-life crisis and pain. Pain being a general theme with Maron but I appreciated it a lot more if I could see his facial expressions, his half open eyes and body language.

“I don’t really know if someone loves me if I can’t make them cry. Isn’t that the test for all of us, really? If you’re with someone and you really don’t know if you can make them cry I would go deeper. Can’t trust that bond.” 




Eddie Pepitone’s In Ruins is stand-up comedy brewed with absurdities, rants and topped with an existential crisis. His rants are like a satire on the very serious and political rants of Lewis Black. He manages to take the pain of depression, of the sadness that comes with the absurdities of life and makes them silly with his yelling. There isn’t a lot of comedian who balance silliness with the personal which makes Pepitone’s special rather refreshing.

“Did you ever buy a hat where you like it so much, like, you look in the mirror like holy shit, this hat kind of makes up for a life that wasn’t well lived. Yes, I spent thirty years in a stoned out phrase masturbating to hockey fights but that’s because I didn’t have this fucking hat.”


Moshe Kasher - Live in Oakland

Moshe Kasher reminds of a modern day Greg Proops, if Greg Proops had grown up in Oakland listening to hip-hop. In Live in Oakland, where he grew up with his mother, he pokes fun at his effeminate body language, his jewish background and his upbringing while mixing it up with the “I am intelligent and I am going to use it to make fun of you,” style of jokes. Kasher self-depricates enough to be empathetic but cocky enough to let the viewer know he deserves to be the center of attention. He has the perfect mix for a good stand-up comedian. A bit of a nerd with no filter, a lot of swagger and a not-giving-a-fuck-what-you-think attitude from a childhood balancing his drug-filled delinquent life in Oakland with his  mother and his very strict Hasidic Judaism with his father in New York.

Reading YouTube comments on a clip of his joke: “And finally, fuck you, suck dick, never try to be a comedian again you stupid bitch. I hope you die from cancer so you can find out how foul really is, love Dad. That one hurt quite a bit. My dad’s been dead for ten years so it adds a layer of mystery to the thing. I didn’t even know they had the internet in hell. Turns out they do, it’s dial-up.”

Morgan Murphy - Irish Goodbye


Morgan Murphy has been a name I have heard spoken of a lot on comedy podcasts for several years but never actually seen until her stand-up special, Irish Goodbye, came to Netflix. The bombastic comedian and the storyteller comedian is so common now that it isn’t often you get the soft spoken straight forward joke teller like Todd Barry or Steven Wright. Morgan Murphy uses storytelling not just to tell a humorous situation with little quips that get a laugh but always ends her stories with a good punchline. Mix this all in with her subject matter which can take just enough of a dark turn that I enjoy and you have a new favorite comedian of mine. There isn’t enough dry wit in comedy.

“How weird is it ladies, how weird is it that we put penises in our mouths? That shit’s crazy. Like ladies and gay dudes but I’m not even including gay dudes because you have one so you get it but… we put penises in our mouths!  Look at your wife, your girlfriend, look at her, your bestie, look at her right now. She has put so many penises in her mouth. Just shoved them in there where sandwiches go. That is sandwich space and we just do instinctively like we’re supposed to do it or something. Like if you put in front of me a mint, a chocolate milk and a penis and asked what does these have in common I’d go they go in my mouth, I’m not stupid.”

Myq Kaplan - Small, Dork, and Handsome

Like jokes about books, language, time travel, comic books, using complicated wordplay and lots of puns? Myq Kaplan’s Small, Dork, and Handsome is perfect for you then. It’s perfect for me.

“From childhood we learn, what’s the story? The Ugly Duckling. What’s that about? A duck was ugly but then it grew and found it was actually beautiful but also a different species. Sort of a M. Night Shyamalany twist at the end there that I don’t know how that is supposed to be inspiring to a kid. Hey, stop crying. Maybe you’re not a hairy ugly child. Maybe you’re going to grow up to find you’re a beautiful chimpanzee. You could be the chimpiest chimp, the chimp of the ball.”

These five specials are on Netflix Instant Watch right now, so go check them out.