Admit it. You got through all the episodes of Jessica Jones (perhaps a bit too quickly) and now you’re jonesing (pun intended) for more.
The thing is, we’ll probably have to wait at least another year or so for a second season (if not longer, given that The Defenders is the endgame at the moment). Sure, there’s a chance she’ll pop up on the other Marvel Netflix shows, but it just won’t be the same. And you can re-watch the series, but that will only help so much.
So, in the meantime, you’ll have to get your Jessica Jones/noir/awesome lady fix elsewhere. Luckily for you, we have a few suggestions. No, none of these are exactly like Jessica Jones, but they should be enough to tide you over. At least for a little while.
Finished Jessica Jones but in need of more Jessica attitude? Go back to where it all began, the comic series the Netflix show is based upon. Even if you’ve read it before, there’s no better time to pick up the Alias series. There’s a hefty omnibus that collects all the issues so you don’t miss a single frame. As you may have gathered with the Netflix series, Alias is one of Marvel’s darkest and most adult series, not to mention most masterfully crafted. Darkness, humor, sass, mystery… This series has it all.
Since Jessica Jones is a relatively new character in the Marvel universe (compared to other characters like Luke Cage and Daredevil), she has only starred in two series so far, Alias and The Pulse. This series only ran for 14 issues and centered around Jessica’s post-Alias life. She takes a job at the Daily Bugle as a consultant for “The Pulse,” a weekly section in the newspaper that focuses on superheroes. You’ll see a few familiar faces in this series, such as J. Jonah Jameson (the guy who’s always out to get Spider-Man and the Daily Bugle‘s publisher) and Ben Urich (who you might remember from Netflix’s Daredevil). If you’re wanting to keep up with the Joneses, be sure to check out this series.
Soon after Jessica Jones‘ premiere on Netflix, Marvel tweeted that the show “is like Veronica Mars directed by David Fincher.” We couldn’t agree more. All of the one-liners, dark subject matter, twists, and turns remind us a lot of our favorite teenage private eye. If you’re looking for the next best thing to Jessica Jones, look no further than the genius that is Veronica Mars (both the show and the movie). Like Jessica, Veronica has quite a few traumatic events in her past and doesn’t care what others think of her. She does whatever it takes to get the job done. If you haven’t watched Veronica Mars yet, stop what you’re doing and rectify that. You won’t be sorry.
(Shameless plug: We did a whole cycle of it for our Rewatchable podcast, so be sure to give it a listen as you go along!)
Though it seems like an unlikely and “left field” recommendation, fans of Jessica Jones should really check out iZombie. Though it’s not dark and not nearly as noir as Veronica Mars and Jessica Jones, it has its fair share of sassy one-liners, mystery, voiceover narration, and a kick-ass lady lead. Not to mention that this show is also based off of a comic book and has quite a few comic book elements to it. Plus, it’s on-going, so you won’t have to worry about running out of episodes! If you’re hesitant about the whole zombie thing, know that iZombie is about as zombie-centric as Jessica Jones is superhero-centric. Zombie-ism plays a role, but it takes a backseat to everything else going on.
‘Black Widow: Forever Red’
Elements of mind control? Check.
Dark and checkered past? Check.
Kickass female lead? Double check.
If you haven’t picked up Margaret Stohl’s Black Widow: Forever Red, you really should. Especially if you want to learn more about Natasha Romanoff. The leading ladies in this novel don’t hold back and do what they have to in order to survive. Like Jessica Jones, there isn’t a lot of emphasis on the Avengers or larger issues facing the Marvel Universe. Forever Red focuses on fighting against and overcoming personal demons before they hurt anyone else, just like Jessica Jones. It’s a must-read for Marvel fans.
A misfit fighting like hell to protect the few people she loves from her tormentor(s). Complex female characters helping each other out and forming close relationships. Great snark and one-liners. If you like these aspects of Jessica Jones, Orphan Black is a must-watch. Not only does this show have one of the best TV actresses of all time, it also has a riveting storyline that keeps you on your toes. While it’s not noir, Orphan Black is a mystery series in that these characters keep digging for information about themselves and what they’re a part of. Even if you’ve seen the show before, it’s worth a re-watch. Or three.
When it comes to wronged women getting their revenge and their closure, Kill Bill is the ultimate tough chick flick. (For the purposes of this article, we’re combining Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.) Similar to Jessica, The Bride has suffered at the hands of one man who selfishly wanted her all to himself. While The Bride isn’t as concerned with unnecessary casualties, she’s able to stop a murderer (or five) and move on with her life. Like Jessica Jones, the Kill Bill movies are highly stylized. In fact, the movies have quite a few neo-noir elements. If anything, watch Kill Bill for the kick-ass ladies. They’re worth it.
‘Top of the Lake’
Not many people have heard of Top of the Lake and it’s a shame. Even we hadn’t heard of it until relatively recently. This mini-series follows a female detective, Robin Griffin, as she investigates the attempted suicide and later disappearance of a pregnant young girl in a town where she suffered through a few traumatic events of her own. Similar to Jessica Jones, Top of the Lake also tackles rape culture head on. The series will satisfy your craving for depth and darkness, as well as main character self-actualization.
- Career of Evil — Robert Galbraith’s newest Cormoran Strike novel is lady-centric and deals with very real threats facing women today.
- Agent Carter — This show is wonderful. If you’re looking for a complex female character and female empowerment, you need to watch it.
- Alias — It’s a detective show with a messed-up lead female, lots of torture, and angst. It’s dark but also wonderful, just like Jessica Jones.
- Dollhouse — Questions of agency and abuse are important undertones in this gone-too-soon series from Joss Whedon. (Plus, Eliza Dushku plays the kick-ass lead character, so it’s obviously a can’t-miss.)
- The Blacklist — Though the show centers on James Spader’s character, it prominently features a strong detective female lead trying to make her way through a world where nothing is quite as it seems.