Have you ever puked so hard you had to sit and study your vomit to try to figure out what just happened? All of the discourse about "Jessica Jones" is no better than a community huddled around a toilet bowl hoping to make sense of yesterday's poor choices.
Let me clarify.
The writing and production value of "Jessica Jones" is vomitous. It is horrible. I cleared my schedule for this show because I was told it was better than "House of Cards" and better than "Daredevil." That should've been my first clue. If someone puts "House of Cards" and "Daredevil" in the same sentence they would probably mistakenly ask Gus Van Sant for a Justien Bieber autograph. Different worlds, people, different worlds.
Now, Daredevil and Jessica Jones are a match made in a dark alley between an orphanage and a Planned Parenthood clinic. They work. They go together in a very screwed up way (and the one exciting thing about Jessica Jones is that a character from Daredevil shows up, and they just quietly whisper about it).
The acting seems staged, which is really hard to do when you're as deadpan and monotone as Jessica Jones. I mean--that takes talent to sound like a bad actor at that decibel. But she pulls it off and I keep expecting a curtain call or at least a shepherd's hook to pull her off stage. But no, we are forced to watch. We just can't help ourselves. I wanted to stop, but I couldn't.
Oh the irony.
I really wanted to put my hand in a blender about a quarter of the way through the season.
I was heart-broken. So many people had recommended this show, and I just couldn't comprehend what they saw. Maybe they had never taken any film classes, maybe they grew up eating only Macaroni and Cheese, maybe they had never grown up and were still eating only Macaroni and Cheese. Over and over again, every line, every episode, every nauseating roll of the opening and closing credits and STILL nothing is happening. Is this as good as it gets for a show with a female lead? Is this the kind of female character that society wants to see? Well, shit, let me put down my success and pick up my bourbon so I can be cool.
Heart-broken. Seriously. When I watch shows with my husband I LOVE being able to find cute comparisons between the lead and the sexy man sitting next to me. From "Longmire" to "Lie to Me" to "House of Cards" to "Hell on Wheels" there is at least one line, one gesture, one decisive move in every episode that makes me turn to my husband and admire, "Oh honey! That's just like you!" These moments are magical and something that I wanted to experience, too!
I thought maybe Jessica Jones would be the one.
We could not find one matching moment. I mean, except that sometimes I forget to do laundry for a WHOLE SEASON. What?! Give this woman another pair of jeans, please!
Jessica Jones acted more like an angsty mid-20s male--which explains the demographic that can't get enough of the show. Doesn't communicate, runs off half-cocked, makes plans that are absolutely terrible, forgets to shower, drinks constantly, is rude during meals, etc..
I think the reason this show pops up in feminist circles is that WHAT'S HIS NAME is a complete FK UP. There was no reason to give this guy a lead role in this show. If the genders were reversed, a female stalker who was THAT desperate would have lasted an episode. The male lead would not have any fear toward her, only annoyance. With some better acting he had potential, but the writing didn't even give him a chance.
Jessica Jones is built on plot lines that would not make it off the writers' brainstorming whiteboard in any other show. My guess is that the writer's room was plastered in post-it notes proclaiming, "No ideas are bad ideas." Newsflash: MOST IDEAS SUCK.
And still I'm studying the contents of the toilet, trying to find some redeeming value to the evenings lost.
Ok, maybe the show is about rape. Really? We need a whole show to reinforce the idea that women are weak and needy, and that desperate, crazy guys stand a chance? Really? Oh but she destroys him in the end! No. A rapist doesn't deserve that much attention. We, as a society don't help a "cause" by rubbernecking.
So, please, this show has to be about something deeper.
I'm a Course in Miracles fan, so I'm always looking for shows that parallel a holographic universe (Lucy, The Matrix, Inception). What if Kilgrave is simply "the ego" and Jessica Jones represents a human who overcomes the dream? Ok, now *this* show I can swallow. The misery Jessica Jones goes through doesn't matter once she realizes the ego has no power over her. The ego is telling everybody to do crazy things--and they don't have to do it--but they do. They are compelled. The voice in their heads seems SO REAL. Oh my God, I have to! I must! I'm stuck in this human body!!!
And now it's ok that Jessica Jones doesn't have her shit together, because she doesn't represent women--she represents humanity. We can live horrible lives, full of pain, and even experience something extreme (crucifixion, perhaps?) and not have the strength to get through it, but have the MIND to recognize that there is nothing to get through. It is an illusion.
I don't hate Jessica Jones when I look at the show from that perspective. Instead I admire her path and feel like meditating.
And Kilgrave. Oh he's such a cute little villain! He is exactly like the ego! Desperate, maniacal, controlling, hungry, needy, and completely undeserving of our attention. Don't you just love him!?
And rape? Yes, we take it day in and day out. We accept what's forced upon us as real, as scary, as impossible, as the end of the world. We try to hide. We try to cope. We try to recover. And still it haunts us. For some of us the reality is too much (Hope Shlottman). For others we use our brain, our confidence, and our talents to ease the pain of reality (Trish Walker). But it's still there. Ultimately--we're stuck in a trance that Jessica Jones breaks out of. She demonstrates that a life of enlightenment isn't all roses, but fk does it feel good to grab the ego by the neck and put it in its place.
Bring me that blender! We're having smoothies tonight!!!
Angela's Musings about Public Education, Web Design, Business.