Monday, November 23, 2015

Jessica Jones: The Review

Not spoilery, but may be triggery. Gonna talk about AKA Jessica Jones on Netflix.

Here is the thing about Jessica Jones. 

There's no artistry or metaphor, no allegory or subtext in it. I mean, there is, but it all points to the text: that toxic masculinity hurts everyone, that consent matters very much to women and almost never to men, that in our culture men are impervious and always believed while women are victimized no matter how "strong" they are, that abusers more often get believed than the abused, that you can't trust the cops, and that people, all kinds of people everywhere, are fucked up and hurt each other and support each other and hopefully we can all live with ourselves and our choices at the end of the day.

It's incredibly noir. Not in the sense of the common understanding of "noir" to be black-and-white, but rather in the classical sense of the movies (and especially the books): that every person lives their lives in the shadows and grey spaces that fill our every waking moment, and that truly "good" choices often don't exist, or are at least extremely rare, and almost always come with a tremendous cost. 

It plays with the tropes of noir, too, often straight up with no twist or softening: the drunken PI with a dark past and a terrible regret, the young dame in need of assistance, the shadowy dark player, the untrustworthy law enforcement, the long-suffering assistant, the shady lawyer with a silver tongue and a copper-washed soul... heck, even the sultry love interest with a tragic story. Now that I think about it, there's even a macguffin! 


It's not perfect. But damned if it isn't extremely well-written and well-cast. It was fantastically difficult to watch, and I loved it, and I'll probably watch it again when I get a chance, and have recovered a bit from my first watching. 

You should probably watch it too. But beware: Jessica Jones is strong, and she doesn't like to pull her punches. 

She's available now on Netflix.