I took Marvel characters for granted till now. My 7-year-old stepson is into superheroes and loves spiderman, X-men, Iron man cartoons, and of course pirates. My husband creates graphic novels. Since he was a teenager, he created his own universe of characters and worlds. We both love mythology. I’ve also been studying Joseph Campbell’s Heroic Cycle. It brings universality in all cultures such as: battle against good and evil, similar archetypes, a metamorphosis one goes through. Marvel characters are among today’s mythology.
After casually browsing reviews, I decided to watch the first season of Jessica Jones, and I can’t wait for the second season.
Jessica Jones is clearly an adult show with violence, sexuality, and depicts alcoholism, PTSD, parental conflicts, and grief and loss. It has a dark, new-noir mood; that’s only because it is set in the most well-known urban jungle full of dangers and challenges, New York City.
I’m drawn to intriguing characters, especially females who defy the expected gendered characterization or token female. Jessica appears as a reserved sarcastic who operates her own freelance private investigator in her tiny apartment. She uses her superpowers of superhuman strength and flight.
She’s unlikeable, at least in the beginning. Neither is my heroine of my novel-in-progress. Her sarcasm, apathetic mood, and sometimes a jerk. She tends to push away people. Yet, there is a level of vulnerability when you see that she tries to do the right thing and her past is revealed. As a teenager, I was given the bad writing advice to make the character likable and approachable, so that the reader will be fully behind the protagonist. Having a reader root for the hero is important, but it is not necessary to make her likable. Through Jessica’s tough shell, there is some vulnerability, which makes her a excellent protagonist. Thus, vulnerability allows the reader to empathize with her and see her win.
Teenage Jessica Jones. Yay, they revealed young Jessica Jones as a grunge girl. She had a poster of Nirvana and had quirks. As a girl who grew up with grunge music, I could relate. We all have our quirks. My husband tells me that’s what gives me character and adds to my attractiveness. Quirks with similar interests make people interesting. Blessed are the oddballs.
Tired of Weak, Naive, “Snow White” type of Females. Maybe my cynicism stems from being a product of my generation (those born in the 80s). Or I’ve seen too much shit. And maybe I’ve been immersed in religion that encourages and glorifies female passivity and objectification. Or maybe during the time Christian fiction was popular, the characters were the perfect plastic characters—too perfect that they lived in another world unable the share the common human experience.
It’s the old “women should be seen not heard.” They seem like objects of a neurotic, misogynist male fantasy to me. Fake. Irrelevant. Boring. Don’t get me wrong. It is not necessary to be Ms. Darkness or Ms. Mired-In-the-Mud in order to be relevant. Take Jessica’s sister, Trish who serves as her confidante and foil. Unlike her, she is the cheerful, social, popular talk-show host who first appears as the “typical blonde girl”. Yet, she has her own flaws, past issues, and perspectives. She constantly brings wisdom into a situation.
Alcoholism. That’s what most people turn to when there’s no where to go. She was drinking alone, which is a sign. It was one of her flaws. The way it was portrayed made me hope that she’d get help. At times, it felt unbelievable too. I was surprised that she didn’t already black out when she’s drinking booze like water. There was a scene where she was thrown out of a bar. But, is she going to face a consequence from drinking? Will drinking complicate things? It’s TV and I get that there are creative liberties. But really?
Past revealed through bits and pieces revealed through flashbacks. The circular narrative is my favorite method of revealing the story of an interesting character. It depicts the reality of PTSD. You look back and remember it in disconnected bits and flashbacks. It kept me on the edge and made me want to know what happened. That’s really how I look back at my painful memories.
Superpowers. Oh, how I wish I had her superstrength and flight powers. But the superpower we have in us are ability to overcome that’s given to me by something beyond myself. Only faith helped me overcome. Otherwise, I can’t imagine where I’d be. And don’t we all have talents that can be contributed to the world for good or bad. The question is: what would you choose.
Psychopaths. Only those who have encountered a narcissistic, psychopath can tell you how evil and destructive they are. Psychopaths are skilled manipulators and it’s hard for victims to open up and be believed, even if the psychopath doesn’t literally have supernatural mind-control abilities. It does represent manipulative control and selfishness. Therapy is needed to heal from the wounds inflicted by a narcissistic or psychopath.
Since Jessica Jones is magic realism, Kilgrave wore purple clothing instead of being a literal purple man.
David Tennant’s character of The Purple Man or Kilgrave, scared me! He is such a great actor. I remember when he was announced to be the next Doctor Who. My reaction was, “Huh? You mean that guy who was in BBC’s Casanova. He then turned out to be the best Doctor Who. I liked his goofy character. When he was the evil Kilgrave, I wondered how he’d do. I just couldn’t picture him in that role. But, he just performed so well that it was like he could only play Kilgrave’s role. That’s a talented actor, who can take on varied roles but equally convince you that he is made for each role.
I can’t wait for Season Two.