Rebecca Vineyard
November 18, 2015 11:54 am

Marvel fans, assemble (or, erm, converge upon your TV-viewing devices): Jessica Jones begins streaming on Netflix this Friday! Obviously, we binged Daredevil, the first Marvel-Netflix series; soon, we’ll have another to enjoy— and this one has a solitary female lead! (It’s only the second show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be fronted by a solo woman, after ABC’s Agent Carter.)

Needless to say, we were already excited for Jessica Jones even before star Krysten Ritter, and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, spilled oodles of specific details about the show.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jessica Jones is a former superhero turned private eye—of course, this we already knew. We also figured, based on the gritty nature of Daredevil, that Jessica Jones would follow suit with some dark themes. However, Ritter and Rosenberg are frank about the fact that the antagonism Jones faces from within rivals the actual bad guys she encounters. In fact, the 13-episode series deals heavily with the fact that Jones has been sexually abused and is reckoning with the long-term psychological consequences of that trauma.    

Says Rosenberg of rape as a plot device, “We’ve seen plenty of it on television, used as titillation, and I didn’t have any need to see it again. But I wanted to experience the damage that it does. I wanted the audience to really viscerally feel the scars that it leaves.”

Sexual abuse is far too often used simply (and thoughtlessly) as a plot device in TV and film, and the aftermath for the victim is rarely even mentioned, much less reckoned with in a detailed and poignant way. Needless to say, a show that portrays the victim’s struggle to survive and heal in a realistic manner is long overdue.

Jessica Jones will also subvert the tired trope of the female P.I. relying heavily on her powers of seduction. Says Ritter, “You’ll never see me putting on a short skirt and heels to use my ‘sexuality’ to get what I want.” Round of applause, please.

However, sexuality is an important aspect of the character: Rosenberg reveals that the character is “unapologetic” about her sexuality as well as her powers and her drinking. “I have zero interest in portraying female sexuality as anything other than empowering and as a very natural part of our makeup,” she adds.

In addition to all this, Jones must also combat the mysterious Kilgrave, who once controlled her. Played by David Tenant and described as “highly manipulative” the character has massive power over others and can influence their actions with a look.

We’re more anxious to watch Jessica Jones than ever; luckily, there’s this weekend (and the Thanksgiving holiday) to give us plenty of time for binging once it arrives!  

(Image via Netflix)

Advertisement