There’s a lot to be said about the topics that Marvel’s and Netflix’s Jessica Jones forces the viewer to confront.
The objectification of women, rape, murder, invasion of privacy and addiction were all covered superbly during the TV show’s first season, and built upon during its 13-episode long season two run as well.
As much as the writing, acting and musical score have been lauded, it is the issues above that will have been debated for days and weeks on end – and anything that helps to raise such issues and get them in the public domain is good in whatever form of media it takes.
[SPOILER WARNING]: Spoilers for Jessica Jones Season Two may follow from this point onwards!
One theme that wasn’t truly touched upon – or, rather, was given a much broader and wider scope this time around – was something that has become its own hot topic in the real world with the rise of the #MeToo movement borne out of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Jessica Jones‘ portrayal of strong, confident and badass women has helped to bring feminism and equal rights regarding gender back to the forefront of conversations and, alongside the mass movements and demonstrations that have emerged in the past six months, should be applauded.
But what season two of Jessica Jones also shows is that, regardless of how strong or broad-shouldered or heroic someone appears, internal struggles are never too far away.
The characters in Jessica Jones all display their own insecurities and vulnerable sides throughout the show – male and female it should be noted – and those badges of self-doubt help to shape each individual and flesh out their personalities and ideologies.
Jessica – wonderfully portrayed by Krysten Ritter – fears letting anyone get close to her again after the death of her family. Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), meanwhile, rails against not being a superhero herself and longs to be ‘the good’ that she sees in Jessica, even if the latter doesn’t.
Even lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) sheds her tough exterior as she comes to terms with her amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease – going through the whole five stages of grief as she’s reduced to tears during one particularly emotional moment.
It’s proof that even the hardiest of souls can be beset by negative thoughts and feelings, and shows that anyone, no matter their gender, sexual orientation, creed or race can be afflicted by uncertainty.
What does this tell us overall? That being strong and independent are perfectly sound qualities to possess. But, in equal measure, that it’s okay to take off the mask or break down the walls and allow people to be vulnerable. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of for letting others in and expressing emotion.
Jessica Jones does plenty right through its medium, but it is perhaps its willingness to bring these difficult discussions to the fore that stands it out from the crowd and makes it a must watch for any TV fanatic – no matter what your knowledge of comic book lore is.