"Jessica Jones" is the best show on television about female friendship, and as a bonus it also includes superheroes
Toward the very end of the second season of Jessica Jones, our titular hero Jessica finds herself in a hospital room, pleading with the Big Bad of the season to not hurt Trish Walker. Trish has already been badly injured, and the Big Bad is threatening to end the child-star-turned-radio host right here and now. As Jessica cradles Trish on the floor, the Big Bad yells out, “You stole my family.” Jessica cries back, “Please don’t take mine.”
Jessica and Trish are not related whatsoever. After Jessica’s family dies in a tragic car accident, and she’s the sole survivor, the Walker family takes her in — even though the Walker family isn’t at all happy about it. Trish and her mother Dorothy frequently berate Jessica, and honestly make her life even more of a living hell than it already is. But then somewhere between the insults and Jessica throwing small tantrums (remember when she ripped the Walker’s sink out of the wall during Season 1?) something amazing happens between Jessica and Trish: They do actually become a family.
Even though they’re not related and couldn’t be more polar opposite at times, they’re sisters through and through. They call each other sisters. Other people refer to them as sisters. They love each other like sisters, and support each other like sisters, and they sure as hell fight as sisters. And this is what makes Jessica and Trish’s relationship the best depiction of female friendship on television, even though it is technically a Marvel show about superheroes.
During an age (that yes, is slowly shifting) where female characters only really seem to talk to other female characters about the men in their lives, Jessica and Trish spend maybe about 10 seconds on that topic over the course of 13 episodes. The rest of the time they spend talking about their lives — both past and present — and how to save their corner of Hell’s Kitchen from the forces of evil. Jessica risks her life for Trish. Trish risks her life for Jessica. Jessica also calls Trish out on her bullshit, and Trish returns the favor. If that’s not the markings of a great female friendship, let alone the sheer basis of a sisterhood, I’m not sure what is.
It basically boils down to this: All Jessica and Trish are trying to do is protect the other, no matter what sort of peril befalls them in the process. And it’s so refreshing to see two strong, powerful women just care about each other deeply, as if they’re the only two people in the world.
Jessica and Trish certainly have their ups and downs, but even when they’re fighting, they’re still doing whatever they can to protect each other. That’s honestly what it means to be a family, and the best example that shows why they’re sisters. When Trish ends up in the hospital, she’s actually in the middle of a huge fight with Jessica (you know, about how Trish has taken matters into her own hands and undergoes the same surgery that Jessica had to acquire ~powers~, it’s a long story). However, an argument isn’t going to stop Jessica from rushing to her side. So many of their phone conversations open with, “Are you okay?” It’s perfect, and exactly true-to-life interactions between best friends. It’s true-to-life between sisters.
So while yes, it’s cool to see Jessica (and also Trish) beat up and take down the bad guys, it’s even better to watch them weather the struggles together. The sisters who take down an underground medical ring together, stay together.