Marvel’s female anti-superhero is back and more bitter than ever.
With each episode directed by a different woman, “Jessica Jones” highlights the talents of the mostly female cast and crew for an intensely introspective discussion of gender. The show’s characters highlight how men can be intimidated by powerful women, and it provides a stark contrast to most superhero films that have a mainly male cast. Season one of “Jessica Jones” gave a unique take on the superhero genre with its film noir style and anti-hero sentiments. These details are carried into the new season, with an added focus on the characters’ insecurities and issues.
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) continues her work as a boozy and rash private investigator in the second season, only this time she’s determined to investigate Industrial Garments & Handling, a powerful corporation responsible for mutating hospital patients on the brink of death. As Jones investigates IGH, she struggles to deal with the accident that gave her her own super powers and resulted in her family’s death. Meanwhile, Jones’ best friend and adopted sister, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), fights for the spotlight in every episode with her drug addiction, career-oriented goals and intense jealousy of Jessica’s powers motivating her every move.
Jones, Walker and Jones’ lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) each provide their own distinct female perspective to the superhero world. Jones battles with self-hatred and resentment of her powers, constantly spurred on by gender-based perceptions of strength and definitions of what qualifies as “super.” Despite being an antagonist in the first season, Hogarth’s character arc supplies a special perspective that is central to the storyline in the new season. A recently discovered illness gives Hogarth vulnerability as a character, contrasting her with Jones’ untouchable, all-powerful strength.
The show’s trademark dark ambiance upholds Jessica’s pessimistic outlook on life and the idea of heroism. The darkness that exudes from the screen creates a bleak atmosphere around each of the characters, reflecting the grim aspects of being a hero. One bleak aspect that Jessica confronts, as a hero, is the emotional toll of killing another person, an issue that has been dismissed in many other Marvel productions.
Each director casts simple close-ups on the characters to show blunt portrayals of their emotions. The motives, desires and feelings of each character is plainly shown in these shots as they reveal the soul of the characters and showing the selfishness or selflessness of each character. The intimacy of the show is a different take on the superhero genre as it divulges the spiteful crevices of each person that may be seen as the “hero” of the show.
Although the show has a slow start, the new season of “Jessica Jones” is an invigorating take on the superhero story that demonstrates the hard truth that saving the world brings more bad than good into your life.
Rating: TV – MA
Running Time: 13 episodes
Score: 4/5 stars