‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ season 2 reviews: Krysten Ritter’s ‘fantastic’ performance is the highlight of Netflix series

It took two and a half years for Netflix to finally premiere the second season of its Marvel superhero series “Jessica Jones” — or less, if you count the “Defenders” crossover miniseries that aired last year. “Jones” premiered in November 2015 as part of an interconnected Marvel universe that also includes “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” and also makes occasional references to the big-screen “Avengers.” But “Jessica Jones” also stood out as the most acclaimed entry in the Marvel TV canon, and when it returned for its second season on March 8, International Women’s Day, it also emerged as possibly the most relevant.

“Jessica Jones” debuted two years before the Harvey Weinstein scandal opened the floodgates for sexual harassment and assault allegations against numerous high-powered media men ranging from Kevin Spacey to Matt Lauer to Louis C.K. So in that sense “Jones” can be seen in hindsight as a harbinger of things to come since that first season centered on the abuse suffered by the title character (played by Krysten Ritter) at the hands of a sadistic man (David Tennant) who relished his control over her. The show’s newfound cultural resonance hasn’t been lost on TV critics who viewed the first few episodes of season two before its premiere.

Season two has earned a strong MetaCritic score of 71. That’s a few ticks down from season one, which scored 81 — some critics have noted that season two gets off to a slow start — but it’s nevertheless being praised as a “brilliantly executed comeback” and “the perfect parable for our times.” Though the story occasionally “stumbles” it “sheds light on societal ills while also lighting a way out.” The performance by Ritter has been singled out for some of the strongest praise: she’s “fantastic,” full of “shadowed malice and explosive desire,” and “always grounded and believable.”

Have you already binged season two of “Jessica Jones”? What do you think of these new episodes? Check out some of the reviews below.

Lorraine Ali (Los Angeles Times): “The brilliantly executed comeback of an already smart series is the perfect parable for our times. Guilt, rage and self-doubt can fell the strongest of women, especially if their enemies know how to manipulate those weaknesses.”

Sonia Saraiya (Variety): “Season 2 of ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ does all it needs to — which is to say, it brings Ritter’s fantastic interpretation of Jessica Jones back to TV, with every ounce of shadowed malice and explosive desire on display. Ritter’s Jessica is a gender-bending mishmash of noir character traits — femme fatale and hardboiled detective rolled into one.”

Danette Chavez (The A.V. Club): “Another actor might find these obstacles insurmountable, but like her character, Ritter clears them in a superhuman bound. Even when the story has ground to another halt, you won’t want to take your eyes off the screen … Although it stumbles in the darkness that it goes to great lengths to establish, ‘Jessica Jones’s’ second season sheds light on societal ills while also lighting a way out for its protagonist.”

Liz Shannon Miller (IndieWire): “Season 2’s all-female directing staff, including Minkie Spiro and Deborah Chow, keeps the show’s noir bent in place though doesn’t push too hard into the realm of art — but the clean approach works, as does Ritter’s always grounded and believable performance.”

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