Jessica Jones

Written by @EllieDangerous
In one of Marvel’s darkest TV offerings yet, the story begins after the superhero one has already ended. Played with bite by Krysten Ritter, the eponymous Jessica Jones is compelling from the first beat, which is kind of literal: she beats people up a lot. But sometimes that’s just the way she connects with people. She’s a tangled-up character, and very realistically so: her internal disorientation is shown in almost every scene.

Spoiler Alert
Creator Melissa Rosenberg once pointed out that Jessica is “not really trying to save the city. She’s trying to save her apartment.” So she’s a classic antihero in some respects, being grimly uncaring but at the same time oh so coincidentally saving kittens from trees. Not literally, but pretty much.

On the other hand, she’s far from classic. She swings too far to the dark side, being too rude and too violent and too damn chaotic. But while she’s beating people to a slimy pulp, there are times when you can see the reluctant anguish on her face.

Sometimes it seems like she’s just too lazy to find her inner zen. Let’s face it, that’s pretty relatable. But sometimes it seems it’s because there’s not a scrap of love in her life, even though there really is. She’s just too distracted by her pitch-black backstory.

She got Trish, her quasi-sister, and it’s maybe unexpected to see our broken-up hero armed with such a stable and genuine friendship. Seems almost dangerous, right? Hands up if you’re scared for Trish’s life based soley on how connected she is to the hero of the story…

So. Jessica ‘Not a Hero’ Jones. Detached but attached. Uncaring but caring. She’ll save one kitten from a tree but leave the other to rot. Probably because the first kitten (that’ll be the character of Hope, then) reminds her of herself.

Not that Jessica has any bloody clue who she is. She’s a question mark wrapped in a slightly dishevelled contradiction. Like her own investigations, she’s not a clean-cut series of clues that are easily solved. She’s a maze. She's also amaze.

And yes she’s in pain. We can feel it too. But, let's be honest, “you take your God damned pain and you live with it, assholes.“

Would you put day drinking under experience or special abilities?
They say everyone's born a hero. But if you let it, life will push you over the line until you're the villain. Problem is, you don't always know that you've crossed that line.
Ellie Ball is the founder of Good Characters, and someone who enjoys coffee cake a great deal. She is a graduate of the Scriptwriting MA at Goldsmiths, University of London. For fun and respite, check out her TV analysis articles on Bang2Write or tweet coffee cake at her @EllieDangerous.
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Published on 31 March 2016

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