9 Reasons to Binge Watch Jessica Jones

Posted by Amber Ho & filed under Superheroes.

Photo from www.huffingtonpost.com
Photo from www.huffingtonpost.com

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Following the success of Daredevil on Netflix, Jessica Jones has proved that Netflix is the perfect venue for Marvel to tell edgier, darker storylines. The show introduces Jessica Jones, a private investigator, who has a history of crime-fighting. Besides being a skilled detective, her abilities are superhuman strength and flight (but she’s out of practice). Now that she has retired from a life of crime-fighting and opened Alias Investigations, she is reluctant to use her abilities.

It was released back in November 2015, so there has been ample time for everyone to watch it. If for whatever reason you haven’t, here are 9 reasons to watch (or re-watch) Jessica Jones:

You’ve already binge-watched Daredevil

If you liked Daredevil, you will like Jessica Jones. I actually found that Jessica Jones had more plot twists and was more suspenseful than Daredevil. It also did a good job of building upon the world that was introduced in Daredevil. It’s a natural progression because Jessica Jones intensifies the audience’s excitement for the upcoming Netflix series, The Defenders, which will feature Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

Netflix makes binge-watching easy, as episodes automatically play after each other. It’s also refreshing to see the Marvel universe depicted on Netflix as it is more realistic and darker than what cable networks are doing with other superhero shows.

Jessica Jones is a badass

Krysten Ritter is brilliant as Jessica Jones.

Jessica Jones - Photo from businessinsider.com

Jessica Jones – Photo from businessinsider.com

The eponymous character may be the most authentic superhero I’ve seen translated to cinema. Jessica is a cynical P.I. who lives in a run-down apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. The audience is introduced to an antihero who drinks whiskey, struggles with PTSD, and swears. She’s sarcastic, has sexual agency, and is unlike any other female protagonists on TV. Even though she’s a comic book superhero, I find her to be incredibly relatable.

She’s a female action hero with a real wardrobe

Unlike many female superheroes, Jessica doesn’t wear a form-fitting outfit. In fact, she even makes fun of the outfit worn in the comic book.

Jessica mocks the costume from the comic book - Photo from pinterest.com

Jessica mocks the costume from the comic book – Photo from pinterest.com

Jessica opts for “civilian” clothes throughout the season, even wearing the same clothes two days in a row (like a real person who doesn’t have her life together, a.k.a. me). I appreciate that she sports a leather jacket and jeans rather than spandex. Her lack of costume is interesting because it blurs the line between her life as a superhero and her life as a private investigator. There isn’t a clear double life dichotomy, so she can use her superhuman strength at any given time.

Carrie-Anne Moss plays Marvel’s first lesbian

In the comic books, Jeryn Hogarth was originally male. However, the high-powered lawyer’s gender was switched for the Netflix series as Jeri became Marvel’s first lesbian. Carrie-Anne Moss is compelling as Jeri, she is one of the many complex and flawed female characters that make this show great. I liked the fact that this show made an effort to depict sexuality and sex as it happens in the real world.

Trish and Jessica give us friendship goals

This show has so many complex female characters, including Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), Jessica’s loyal and ambitious friend. Their friendship lies somewhere between best friends and sisters, which makes for an interesting dynamic.

Jessica and Trish - Photo from http://serieall.fr/

Jessica and Trish – Photo from http://serieall.fr/

The flashbacks of Trish’s upbringing as a child star are also intriguing, as we find out how she was shaped into the person she is now. 

It introduces Luke Cage

The series does a nice job of introducing Luke Cage (Mike Colter), the next Defender to have a show on Netflix. Jessica learns that Luke is the owner of a bar who has impenetrable skin. The show gives us with just enough to get hooked on Luke’s character, and leaves us wanting more. I really liked the dynamic between Jessica and Luke, and there’s a fight scene in Luke’s bar where the two team up that serves as a tiny teaser, hinting at the kind of action we can expect from The Defenders.

Netflix has announced that Luke Cage will be released on Sept. 30 2016.

David Tennant as the villain, Kilgrave

The supporting cast is truly amazing. For fans of Doctor Who, it’s exciting to see David Tennant as the villain of Jessica Jones. Kilgrave has the ability of mind control, which is pretty terrifying if you think about it. He can manipulate innocent people into doing whatever he wants, including murder.

Kilgrave using mind control on a victim - Photo from marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com

Kilgrave using mind control on a victim – Photo from marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com

This complicates his relationships with women since they are compelled to oblige with Kilgrave’s orders, unable to give consent.

It addresses the necessity of consent

The show’s message about consensual sex is clear. If someone is unable to consent, then it’s rape. If someone is forcing someone to have sexual contact they didn’t agree to (via mind control), then it’s rape. It also puts the blame on the attacker, as Kilgrave is the clear villain in the show.

It sends the message, ‘stop telling women to smile’

Jessica Jones has a strong female voice, and I love it. The show addresses the modern-day sexism that women face when they are harassed by people who tell them to smile. Throughout the series, Jessica is repeatedly told by Kilgrave to smile. We already know that this gender-based harassment is unfair and misogynistic, but with the villain of the show continually telling his prey to smile, we see it as something truly sinister.

Jessica Jones - Photo from marysue.com

Jessica Jones – Photo from marysue.com

Out of all the superhero TV shows that exist, Jessica Jones is a must-see series. You can stream the first season of Jessica Jones on Netflix.

About Amber Ho

Amber Ho
Amber is a Vancouver-born Chinese Canadian who aspires to confront issues of identity and ethnicity. She is currently interning at Schema while completing her English degree at the University of British Columbia.

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