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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

open thread: Jessica Jones


Christine requested (by email) an open thread to discuss the Netflix series Jessica Jones, so here ya go. (I’m watching it this week, and if I have anything to say about it once I’ve finished, I’ll update this post with a link.)

Assume that the comments below are full of spoilers.

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posted in:
tv buzz
  • Christine

    I still have one more episode to go, so I’ll refrain from more comments until I finish, but I wanted to say that I enjoyed the choice to make Kilgrave a whiny man-child instead of someone more suavely charming. The male entitlement rhetoric he keeps spouting (Look at how hard my life is, I deserve female attention!) is all too topical…

    With the focus on female characters and feminist themes, this show is reminding me a lot of Orphan Black.

  • Christine

    Finished it! Another thing I liked is how the theme of abuse/control was woven throughout, with almost all the characters being manipulators at some point (not just Kilgrave and not just men). Some are more obvious abusers, like Trish’s mom, and some have smaller moments of using others to get what you want (like Jessica using Malcolm to get the drugs in the hospital).

  • I just started last night. 2 episodes in. Not sure what to think yet. Definitely a little different feel from other Marvel endeavors.

  • David_Conner

    As the show went on, I found myself parsing everybody’s language, not just Kilgrave’s, for “command” words, which is an interesting exercise.

  • 7 episodes in now. This is an odd show. I truly can’t stand Jessica Jones as a character. Completely and utterly self-absorbed, and just an asshole to everyone. Maybe by the end my opinion will adjust to just tortured anti-hero, but we’ll see.
    The show is worth watching for all the other characters, and just to see where it’s going.

  • Elwood72

    It’s funny, a couple weeks ago I was thinking about Supergirl and how much I liked seeing a show where someone enjoys having powers and helping people, rather than all the angst and “darkness” and whining about how terrible it is to be a superhero and how I want to be a regular person blah blah blah. And here comes Jessica Jones, and it’s dark and features a troubled, angsty alcoholic protagonist who doesn’t want to be a hero etc – everything I was recently bemoaning about the current crop of superhero TV and movies – and I love it. I like that Tennant is a whiny man-child because it’s kind of an inevitable extension of his superpower – everything just comes to him and he never has to do any work, so he starts to feel entitled to everything. This works both as character development and on a larger thematic level.

    I think that’s what makes the show work so well for me – it’s about things, but instead of talking about them for the most part it just lets the action play out – rape is a major theme throughout, but the word isn’t uttered until maybe 8 or 9 episodes in. It assumes the audience is not stupid and trusts its actors to show you how they feel with performances and not speeches.

    Also, Krysten Ritter – whom I only knew as Gia from “Veronica Mars” – is a revelation. And the central story is really well-structured. And that’s a miracle considering all the work the studio appears to have made the show do to introduce Luke Cage and Patsy Walker/Hellcat ahead of the “Defenders” show (and not allowing the showrunners to use Captain Marvel who is in the comic book, because she doesn’t exist yet in the MCU). Making it work as a standalone show when it’s forced to do so much world-building and cross-promotion took some real doing. It could have dragged the show down, instead it makes all the other Marvel properties better by fleshing out their world into a place where people actually seem to live.

    And Carrie Ann Moss needs her own show where she plays just a terrible person like Walter White or Dexter or whoever. She plays a love to hate kind of character here and it’s just so much fun. She should play a Bond villain or a corrupt politician or cult leader or something. Hollywood being what it is, those roles are all being written for men still. In fact, Jerry Hogarth was a man in the comic book, and it doesn’t look like they changed anything except the pronouns when they cast Moss.

  • Amai

    This show made me completely go back and review some of the crap I’d accepted in previous things. Because in any other show, Kilgrave would have been redeemed. He and Jessica would have gone about trying to balence off his crimes. And it would have been crap. Because a man who’s still torturing other people while saving a token few is not looking for redemption. As the divorce arch paralleled, you should trust the fact that a person is fundamentally mean, not trust the fact that you are the special exception. Which was made clear in the fact that Kilgrave ‘loved’ Jessica when he thought he might be able to control her again, and when he didn’t, he went straight into killing her to simplify his life. The difference in this show to ones I’ve seen before is that while Kilgrave buys his own shit wholeheartedly (he is the victim, he can’t help it, it wasn’t rape because it was in a hotel not an alley…) Jessica doesn’t buy any of it. Which after having the biggest romance of S.1 GoT be between a woman sold to her rapist and the man who falls in love with her, while still being okay with the raping and killing of other women, all of which is shot, acted and presented as a beautiful love story, this was something I needed to see. Kilgrave is handsome, and charming, but this show is honest about the fact that that doesn’t mean he’s not a murderous, controlling, abusive rapist.

  • Owen1120

    Loved it and thought it was a nice change of pace from many of the MCU films and the first season. Maryann, did you ever finish it?

  • I did. Haven’t found the time to write about it yet.

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