Thursday, January 14, 2016

So Why Is Jessica Jones Important?

Jessica Jones is action-packed with feminist qualities. Packed with witty comebacks, sarcasm. super strength and confidence, Jessica fights crime and villains without the hyperexualiazation. Jessica is never in spandex, dresses, heels, or excessive makeup. Her loose jeans, t-shirts, leather jacket, and combat boots work just fine as she kicks ass across New York.

The show features incredibly powerful women, interracial relationships, and LGBT representation. Throughout her battle against Killgrave, Jessica receives aid from a local bartender and love interest, Luke Cage, her best friend, Trish Walker, her lawyer/boss/client Jeri Hogarth, and her neighbor, Malcolm Ducasse. Jessica’s relationships to these characters, in addition to Kilgrave, are complex, dynamic, and add a centerpiece to the show that has less to do with killing a villain, and more to do with the mesh of friendship, trauma, consent, and control. These characters and the relationships Jessica has with them are both conformative and resistant to traditional characters in superhero, noir, buddy comedy and action genres. There is no token black character (and those black characters that do exist aren’t killed off), Jessica’s friendship with her friend Trish is stressed more than her romantic relationship with Luke, and the show ends in a Thelma and Louise manner rather than a “Happily Ever After” one. Jeri is a gender-swapped one that differs from the comic series and now features a lesbian relationship and Jessica’s friendship with Malcolm explores the complexities of addiction and race, while not assuming a heterosexual relationship. All of these qualities make Jessica Jones a delightful addition to the Marvel Universe and to popular television in general because it redefines the typical narrative for superhero and film noir genres in a way that challenges the patriarchal foundation that these institutions are grounded in.

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