Some Jessica Jones spoilers will follow.
So I’ve been watching Netflix’s Jessica Jones. I didn’t know anything of the comic before watching. I was just curious because I have enjoyed most of the Marvel properties on the screen so far. I was meh about Daredevil, which is maybe something I will talk about soon. But, I definitely wanted to give Jessica Jones a try.
I’m only seven episodes in, but so far this show is perhaps one of the darkest and most bizarre shows I’ve ever watched. It seems like nearly the entire point of the story thus far is to torture the main character Jessica Jones. Let’s look at a few examples. Under Kilgrave’s mind control, she was (I’m pretty sure it was implied) raped, physically abused, and then forced to kill a lady. We presume this lady was innocent, but we aren’t sure at this time. Then, she is forced to watch the same thing happen to another young woman as a way for Kilgrave to announce that he is back. She meets Luke Cage the husband of the woman she killed. She starts to develop feelings for him only for the story to force her not to tell Luke about how his wife died until he finds out in a way that causes him to hate her. One of her neighbors gets addicted to drugs through Kilgrave in order to follow her around. And, then another gets killed by Kilgrave and left dead in Jessica’s bed for entirely innocent reasons, though not from Kilgrave’s perspective. Finally, Kilgrave essentially forces her, but not through his mind control, to come live with him.
I haven’t read much of the critical reaction to the show for fear of spoilers. It is hard to tell what people will write with these binge shows. I assume people might be talking a little about the idea of this show being focused on complex women. There has been a lot of discussion in the critical sphere about increasing roles and presence for women in media.
Barring dramatic changes to the course of the story, I would be curious to hear people’s reaction to this story. Sure, there are several women as major characters on the show. But nearly all of them are being treated terribly by the story. Trish got attacked and nearly killed. She is going through a lot of the emotional and psychological trauma with Jessica. Hogarth is going through a nasty divorce, which is mainly her own fault (but still). Hope was emotionally and sexually traumatized by Kilgrave, and then she shot her parents under his influence. Now, she is in prison where she paid other inmates to beat her up and went through a terrible ordeal to (so far) abort having Kilgrave’s baby.
And then there is Jessica. She is the heroine of the story, but she has experienced nearly nothing but abuse. She drinks to dull the pain. She started a relationship with a man whose wife she killed. She lives in a near constant state of terror knowing her abuser could at nearly any moment hurt her or her friends, or innocent people.
She has been…slightly heroic in a few fight scenes. And, her overall goal of freeing Hope is admirable. She has had a few moments of levity. The flashback of her and Trish dealing with the bar bros was hilarious. Can we have that show instead? Also, I would watch 12-13 hours of her walking around breaking locks. Cheers to whomever made that a recurring situation.
All the actors are doing a tremendous job. The show seems well made. I love the dramatic kick in the opening credits music that has been used several times now within the show. It just seems odd that in an assumed attempt to make a show with a complex lady character that approaches some of the classic difficult men, the show is just absolutely abusing her.
Maybe she walked into the wrong room.