Opinion: Jessica Jones Should Be Applauded for Showing Why it’s ‘Okay Not to Be Okay’

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!

JJ2One 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.

JJ3The 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.

Marvel's Jessica JonesIt’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.

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8 of the Best Things About Stranger Things 2

It came, we saw and it conquered. Stranger Things 2 has left audiences suitably thrilled with its follow-up series to the critically-acclaimed first season and, though the dust is still settling on another Netflix triumph, it will be a while before it isn’t on everyone’s minds.

Stranger Things 2 was full of intrigue, humour, heartbreak and genuinely scary moments – so much so that it may be difficult to process all the best stuff about it if you binge watched it in one or two sittings.

Fear not, fellow AV Club members, for it’s time for a comprehensive list on some of the best moments from a show that has charmed us all. Here’s eight of the most memorable bits from Stranger Things 2:

Note: Spoilers may follow from this point onwards. Don’t scoll past this hilariously cute gif of Eleven and Hopper if you don’t want the show spoiled before you finish it!

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Dustin & Steve’s Bromance

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There are a few new unlikely partnerships that help to make Stranger Things 2 another hit for Netflix, but few are as endearing and enjoyable as Dustin and Steve banding together.

The pair are thrown together in unusual circumstances at the Wheeler household, and their blossoming bromance goes from strength to strength as they combat both the Upside Down’s demodog horde and girl troubles.

Steve Harrington’s character development throughout season two is a delight, while Gaten Matarazzo’s charm and likeability help Dustin step to the fore from Mike’s shadow.


Bob the Brain’s Bravery

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Viewers of a certain age are treated to a huge 80s throwback with the introduction of Sean Astin as Joyce Byers’ love interest Bob ‘the Brain’ Newby.

Starting out as something of a cringeworthy-esque character, Bob grows into a man of action as the series hurtles towards its finale and his brave actions help save those who make up the main cast.

His knowledge of breaker systems and computers and bravery help some of the gang escape Hawkins Lab after it gets over run – a factor that makes his death at the last moment all the more heartwrenching and sob-inducing.


Noel Schnapp’s Performance as Will Byers

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As the ‘Boy Who Got Lost in the Woods’ during the first season, Noel Schnapp was criminally underused last time around if this is the measure of acting performance he can give.

Terrified and terrifying in equal parts, Schnapp goes through every conceivable emotion to truly make the struggle within Will a huge part in Stranger Things 2.

It’s extremely easy to forget that the show’s kids are, well, still kids. Based on Schnapp’s superb acting skills and ability to conjure up different feelings in the same scene, it’s hard not to look past him as this series’ break-out character.


Eleven’s Coming of Age Arc

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Eleven has come a long way from being discovered by the AV Club boys, and her ‘coming of age’ storyline throughout season two fleshes out her character in greater detail.

From her reapperance in the real world to tracking down ‘Momma’, to rocking out with Kali’s gang in Chicago and returning to Hawkins to save the day, Eleven is no longer the terrified girl with superhuman abilities that she was a year ago.

Her new “bitchin'” look with slicked back hair and eyeliner also gives a new emphasis to her maturing personality, and it’s one that will hopefully continue to grow in the seasons ahead.


Expanding the Stranger Things Universe…

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Episode seven drew criticism from some circles for its filler material in a bid to pad out season two, but realistically it helped to expand the Stranger Things universe.

The show needed a slight departure from Hawkins and, by taking us off the Chicago, switched the formula up and showed that people with powers aren’t solely confined the small rural town.

Spending any longer in Chicago would certainly have made the season drawn out, so the brief stop off broke the season up and, more importantly, gave Eleven reason to return to her true home.


…And Loving the New Characters That it Gave Us

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TV shows have a tendency to become stale and sluggish without the introduction of new players – key or supporting – to help move story arcs along, and Stranger Things 2 gives us a small glut of new characters to love and hate in equal measure.

We’ve already become accustomed with Astin’s Bob Newby but, in step-brother and step-sister pair Billy Hargrove and ‘Mad’ Max Mayfield, the returning cast have new additions to play off to great effect.

Max’s time in Hawkins, whilst badass in the end, drives a wedge between Dustin and Lucas at the midway point of the season, and between that duo and Mike in the opening episodes.

Billy’s arrival, meanwhile, provides a human antagonist for viewers to rail against, particularly with Steve, and allow the latter’s character development to truly flourish.

Add in the likes of Dr Owens – he’s a decent guy after all! – Kali/Number Eight and her motley crew, conspiracy theorist Murray and Lucas’ sassy younger sister Erica and whole new dynamics are played out in splendid fashion.


Hopper & Eleven’s Burgeoning Father-Daughter Relationship

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What of two of the best characters in the Stranger Things universe though? And just how perfect are their interactions whether funny, heartfelt or volatile?

David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown’s energy and chemistry in scenes together will certainly have audiences gripped, and their bond is all the sweeter for their respective losses up to this point.

One of the most touching moments comes when Hopper is handed adoption papers by Dr Owens that allows him to officially be Eleven’s guardian from here on out, so don’t bet against more triple-chocolate layered eggo stacks before too long.


Jim Hopper’s Dance Number

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And, speaking of Hopper, who could forget the dance moves that inspired a meme in the aftermath of Stranger Things 2?

Whether it’s Eleven’s puzzled look once Hopper gets down with his jams or the actual dance moves themselves, there can’t have been a viewer who didn’t laugh out loud as this scene played out.

Let’s hope for more Hopper moves in the next few seasons!