Friday, 5 February 2016

Grease Live: Look at Me, I'm Sandra PC

Image source from jessiej.com
Alright, that title is probably a little scathing, but bear with me!!

Whenever I see a post that says something along the lines of "2015/6 is too PC! No one can say anything anymore!" I generally find myself doing an hour long eye roll. To me it sounds like some scrawny white dude sitting alone in his room with a Mountain Dew, complaining that he can't call all women sluts and bitches, and everyone else some racist bullshit without getting called out on it anymore. But, in a twisted turn of events, I found myself saying the very same thing while watching Grease Live!
Image sourced from ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com
I know I'm starting this post on a bad note - and I have positive things to say about it, but honestly I just felt like this needed to be said, so I'm getting it over with.

Before you start wondering, no, my problem was NOT with them removing the line "all couples must be boy-girl only". That line is obviously dated, so I'm glad they removed it, but then again? You know what is also dated? The line in 'Summer Nights' "did she put up a fight". And yet, that line remained. So my eyebrows were raised. But no, my issue will never be with things going PC to accommodate the basic human rights to dance with your desired partner and to not get raped.

What my problem was, was the toning down of the teen sexuality. Most specifically, the changes to the song 'Grease Lightnin'. In particular the line "chick's will cream" was changed to "chicks will scream", and "she's a real pussy wagon" was changed to "she's a real dream wagon". WHAT? WHAT IS THIS SHIT? I get it, I get it. Blah, blah, blah "won't someone think of the kids". But honestly, when I was a kid I had no idea what the lyrics to any song were, and when I did, I had no idea what they meant. By the time I knew what it meant for a chick to "cream" I was damn well old enough to be shown that sort of thing. And anyway, what good was it when you still had the raunchy dancing and teen sex?
Image sourced from bustle.com
It doesn't make me happier to know that it was because, according to Vanity Fair "corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola forced the show to tone down some of the language." To what end anyway? If you want a family-friendly, Sandra Dee only show, maybe you should've picked a live rendition of The Wizard of Oz, or something else. The whole message of Grease is to discuss teenage sex and all that comes with it, there's just no sense in doing away with it - especially when the themes are so inescapable.

But with all this negativity said and done, this wasn't an overall bad experience. For instance, Jan, the character so often picked on for her "overeating" actually finally looks like a girl who eats Twinkies. Not to bag on the actress who played her the original Grease, but for a character who was always told she was fat and needed to diet, until now she had never actually looked like anything but super slim. More than that, but while she did have the odd comment thrown her way about her eating, and she made her own commentary on her weight, she also wasn't thrown as much negativity as the original Jan. Now that's a PC change I can get behind!

Now for the itty-bitty nitty-gritty - the performances. I would have to say, although I am a huge Aaron Tveit fan, there was little chance of him standing up to John Travolta, but I found the only issue I truly had with his performance, was of his lack of John Travolta pizzazz when it came to saying those classic lines. No one shouts/sings the name "SAAAAAANDY" or "why it could be... GREASE LIGHTNINNNN" like Travolta, and while it was disappointing that those pitchy lines were missing, I understand that they're probably difficult, and even harder when performing live. Aaron... I forgive you.

Also while I'm on the subject of pizzazz and flair in performances - what was with having a singing trio instead of a Teen Angel? Those guys killed it, but really, why not just one of them playing the suave and sexy Teen Angel? My disappointment was real.

But here I am back to negativity! I'm sorry! I did like things! In particular Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, and Julianne Hough as Sandy. I felt Julianne played a spot on Sandy, and in fact, was very comparable to Olivia Newton-John. Vanessa's Rizzo, I felt was a little more downplayed to the original, but I liked it, and I liked that this character was so different to the last performance of hers I've seen - Gabriella from HSM.

One last honourable mention and then I'll wrap this up - Jordan Fisher as Doody - I LOVE YOU!!!!

TL;DR: It's PC, but not in the way you'd think, and has otherwise made some positive changes to dialogue and casting to move this story into the 21st Century, but this version will still never stand up to the original. Nevertheless, it was all good fun and worth the watch... Just don't expect to be throwing out your original Grease VHS any time soon.


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Sherlock and the Abominable Bride: The Game is Afoot and the Story's on the Nose

Image sourced from myvue.com
First of all, I wish to clarify that while I was once a very, very big fan of BBC's Sherlock, I no longer am. Not only was I getting rather sick of the racist and sexist undertones, and flat out pissed off at the ableist overtones, narratively speaking the third season was the equivalent of the big, bad, King of the Jungle lion spending his days licking his asshole (which is a fact of nature but still, nonetheless, a disappointment.) Because of this I was not exactly excited for the Sherlock holiday special, but I harboured enough interest in the 19th Century setting that I managed to watch it, in some ways I was impressed, in others I was less than surprised and found myself thinking about the lion analogy.

In saying all this, I might as well start with what I liked about the episode. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of filming techniques, particularly where they placed Holmes' living room into the setting of Lestrade’s story about the bride.
I felt the use of camera movement, as well as the visual aspect of them being physically immersed in Lestrade's story was done really well, and things like this are what BBC Sherlock is really good at doing - when it's doing good. This is the same with the use of text on screen. One of the things BBC Sherlock does unlike any other, is employ text to read out text messages and the like - something not many others can say they've done successfully. As it turns out, this also works with things like telegrams, proof that taking a model made in the 19th Century, twisting it to fit the 21st Century, and then twisting it again back into the 19th Century, is not necessarily an impossible feat, and I have to say I was rather impressed.
Image sourced from everythingforasherlockfan.tumblr.com



I also really liked the rather on-the-nose fourth-wall acknowledgement in the episode. Moffat et al are clearly fully aware of the lack of spotlight for their female characters - or at the very least fully aware of the audiences awareness of this - and this was easy to see in the ways Mrs Hudson and Mary both made commentary on their own characters in the story. I found Mrs Hudson's commentary on her lack of commentary in the narrative refreshing, and Mary's commentary on her lack of involvement/necessity to the storyline much needed. Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived, because although the writers made these characters aware of the flaws in their writing, it soon become apparent that that was all they were going to do. I'm sorry, but simply nodding towards your flaws and acknowledging that you see them, is not quite the same as actually doing something to fix them.

As you can probably tell we've already moved on from the things I liked about the episode...

On the topic of women's roles in the episode, and the greater BBC Sherlock universe, it is clear that Moffat et al are attempting some sort of change in, perhaps the audiences attitude towards sexism in the show? But certainly not the shows attitude towards sexism. I mean, first of all, the entire suffragette storyline was clunky and forced. Even from it's first mention (Mary, seemingly random and out of the blue comment "I'm part of a campaign you know - votes for women.") the whole narrative seemed like it was thrown in after the script had already been written. None of it seemed all that thought through, and it felt a bit like an attempt to appease those damned dirty, liberal hippie SJW's. But even then it fell far short of that. The suffragette's are literally seen in KKK hoods! What on earth was Moffat thinking? What on earth was anyone, on set or off, actually thinking when they let that happen? Insane. Utterly insane. The whole story just came off as a meninist who feels like the angry feminists are ruining his show but also his main demographic.

Another problem, in terms of representation, is something I see in almost every piece of work Moffat gets his hands on. Moffat’s heroes tend to take on certain traits of autism, such as the occasional (or in Sherlock’s case, the not so occasional) misunderstanding of social cues. Instead of using this to perhaps, create storylines for autism spectrum disorder audiences to relate to, or even improve representation, instead Moffat uses this to distance his heroes from the rest of the characters in an attempt to make the hero seem “abnormal”. Occasionally this is to make the hero look even more genius, but other times it is used to isolate the hero and make him dislikable to the audience. Either way, it’s really starting to get on my nerves, and it is a poor substitute for real representation of ASD. It's offensive, it's lazy, and it is unfortunately something that so many of the audience is enjoying.
Image sourced from xen0phile.tumblr.com
This is much the same for Sherlock’s technical alignment with asexuality, but narrative rejection of anything other than heterosexuality. Although it should be obvious to the audience, and definitely to someone categorised as a genius detective, that he is asexual, Moffat and almost every other past and present depiction of Sherlock Holmes continues to force down our throats the idea that he is a heterosexual manly man who only refuses sexual and romantic relationships because they “distract him.”

In saying this, I am no expert on those topics, and if you are truly interested in a proper discussion on them I would have to direct you elsewhere. Instead I'll simply segway back into what I know best (or at least better) - TV and film.

Something I've heard many viewers complain about is the premise for the episode. Why on earth are they back in 19th Century England? And why would a mind palace work in that way? In some ways, I absolutely agree. Initially, I simply found the premise too obvious. I found myself hearing Sherlock mutter “. . .back of the head blown clean off. How could he survive?” and all I could think was "dammit. Of course this is all about Moriarty. Of course we can't just have a fun, cracky episode set in the 19th Century because why not?" I understand it was because the writers needed a way to link this episode back to the main narrative of the last season and the future one, but I felt it was unnecessary. I’m a huge fan of cracky episodes, and in the end I was rather disappointed that this could hardly be categorised as one, and even then, after all that, they managed to not even solve Moriarty’s case. The entire hour and a half was just a teaser, an annoying teaser that need not have strayed towards the main narrative at all to be exciting, different, and captivating.


In the end, had it have been simple a crack holiday special where Watson and Holmes and all the characters found themselves in the 19th Century I would’ve been happy. I understand that because this show doesn’t involve itself with the supernatural or extraterrestrial that it may be hard to wrap your head around, but really, it was such a great idea but once the narrative began to move away from 19th Century England and back into the whole Moriarty conspiracy in the 21st Century I felt the success of the episode fall apart. It was no longer spooky, or different, or special, it was simply another narrative where we spent an hour inside Sherlock’s great, otherworldly, amazing, genius mind, and much like the rest of the characters in his mind, we simply had to sit there and let it all happen around us, with seemingly no reason behind any of it other than for the levels of Sherlock's mind palace to circle jerk. Probably with Moffat.


TL;DR: Moffat is still a sexist, racist, abliest pig, but hey, he's trying not to look like one ok guys? So can you filthy ess-jay-double-yewz stop like, bullying him?? Please?

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Force Awakens: the Good, the Bad, and the Nostalgic.

Image sourced from livetradingnews.com
Get your popcorn ready and settle into your X-Wing, because this is a franchise I will always have a hell of a lot to say about - and this is coming from the girl who talks more than the average person on any given day. Also, I should definitely mention - this post is not in any way, shape, or form, spoiler free. I repeat, this post is NOT (!!!!!) spoiler free, so please keep that in mind if you have yet to see the film.

I know you're probably sick of hearing this from everyone right now - but I really have been a Star Wars fan my whole life. My parents are massive fans, and I simply was brought up with it. One of my strongest childhood memories was the feeling of dejection when leaving the cinema after Revenge of the Sith, I just couldn't deal with the fact that Star Wars was now over. Forever. But huzzah!!! Disney bought the franchise, and one of the perks of the capitalist society we live in is sequels!!!
Image sourced from memegenerator.net
Whoever thought I'd see the day where I would rejoice in Disney buying out Lucasfilm? Probably me to be honest. I trust Disney more than I necessarily should do. Regardless, I was still hesitant about the new film. I may have had blind faith in Disney - but not in J.J Abrams. The most recent Star Trek film had left much to be desired in terms of positive representation for both women and POC, and I felt he would most likely do the same to a franchise which, unlike Star Trek, already has a terrible history of poor representation. Piss poor. But fortunately, I stand corrected. In saying all this, I was hardly surprised by the amount of positive representation in the film. The backlash against the lack of female or black characters in the original trilogy, and even the prequels was so immense, to ignore it now in 2015 would’ve been outrageous, and simply downright offensive. But even if this representation was only born from the backlash from previous episodes, it is nonetheless a thing that they fixed, and I’m overwhelmingly happy no matter the reason. It also shows that women do make great main characters, just like POC do, something which the scifi genre often has trouble realizing, and something it often needs reminding. ALSO on the topic of representation, but also not really, I loved seeing non-Jedi/non-force-strong characters using lightsabers. That shit can be used by anyone, and when in a situation like that, hell, I’d be picking it up too.

The characters themselves were so well-written there is simply no way people can argue against the use of minorities in scifi anymore, that is my firm belief. Poe was most definitely my favourite of the newcomers. I felt he made a great Star Wars character, one with the right amount of good looks and heart to make him a long standing character – a healthy mix between Hans' dirty scoundrel good looks and Lukes' stifling purity and spirituality. But yes, Oscar Isaacs' stunning face was also a massive bonus for me, especially compared to how harsh his face (and character) was in Ex Machina (and just as a sidenote: he's not simply a pretty face, and has a pretty good grasp on how to answer stupid questions about BB-8's gender, although I still haven't determined whether what he said was in jest, as Ex Machina has some fairly confusing things to say about gender, but that's a whole other post on its own and I need to get out of this parenthesis.) Finn as well, I felt, was a fantastic character. Finally we get to see some depth in the stormtroopers, something I had been dying for since the glimpses we got in Clone Wars! He was hilarious, and his jokes stayed true to the light-hearted comedy of the original trilogy - something sorely missed in the sequels - and John Boyega played him almost flawlessly. And again, another newcomer who isn't afraid to speak out on representation and racism. Basically, what I'm trying to say is -
Textpost: scatmancrothers.tumblr.com
Rey and BB-8 were also great newcomers, and I especially fell in love with BB-8. Initially I was afraid of BB becoming a JarJar type experience, but that didn’t happen. It was as if R2 had a child – a child whose body structure helped emphasise emotions wayyyy more. Basically, GIVE ME MORE BB.

The villain.... Well, it's safe to say my emotions are mixed. Ordinarily, in any other film, this character and actor would've given me chills. He acted brilliantly, and his storyline was... Effective enough, but to me, he simply was not a Star Wars villain. Can we just start with his name? Ben? BEN??? I'm praying that is an abbreviation of a name (like Ben Kenobi was in A New Hope) because Ben is NOT a Star Wars name otherwise. And his villain name?? I suppose we'll model him after Darth Vader almost to the T but not give him a Darth name? Kylo Ren is simply not formidable enough in my opinion, and dropping the Darth title wouldn't have been my first choice. And then there was his face. I’m not being a dick, he has a great face for acting, and he’s not by any means ugly, he’s a gorgeous specimen, but all the build up they had of him being behind a mask? I felt there needed to be SOME reason behind the anticipation. I imagined either a well known actor, or someone who had an uncanny resemblance to either Han, Luke, or Anakin. SOMETHING to make hiding his face for so long be worth it. But it wasn’t just his face, it was his storyline. He’s a Skywalker's son, he’s pulled towards the dark and the light, and he needs to kill an old mentor Jedi and a close relative before coming out on top. It’s just a little too familiar, there's too much of Anakin's storyline in him, and with his costume styling, well, it felt lazy. I understand that Vader was what MADE the franchise, but his story is done. I’m not complaining that they created a new series, I mean I’m so far up Star Wars ass at this point I’d pay thousands just to watch Luke pop a pimple, but really, we all know this is just a cash grab on Disney’s part, and it looks lazy if they try to draw more out of the Vader story. They should've taken a leap of faith like they did with Darth Maul, and create an entirely new character.

The plot, I felt, was just the same. Not only do we have an all new Darth Tantrum (as my friend nauticx so aptly put it,) we also have a whole new Death Star (albeit like, 5 million times bigger), a new hero(ine) with a strong connection to the force and an emotional connection to desert wastelands, a cute droid, and basically, characters that come together to form what we in 2015 would call #squadgoals. What I'm getting at is, I just paid $30 to watch A New Hope on the big screen at midnight, mere hours after I had watched it in my living room. Do I resent Disney for it? FUCK NO, I loved every minute of it!!!

The mis-en-scene as well, I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt it stayed true to the original trilogy in subtle, yet effective, ways that the prequels simply didn't. The planets were beautiful, yet understated. The prequels tried too hard to always outdo itself with how stunning the settings were, with Naboo in particular, so much that it failed to understand the simple beauty the originals found in Tattooine, and the Forest Moon of Endor. Those planets (and forest moons) were stunning in ways that CGI need not tamper with, and The Force Awakens returns to that frame of mind. The scene where Rey is gliding down a sand dune is gorgeous in its vastness and its simplicity, and I have nothing but respect for that. The colour palette as well, I felt, was another subtle way The Force Awakens nodded to its original roots. The prequels featured so many bright oranges, red hues, and just an implosion of colours, but the original Star Wars colour palette was far more neutral and natural, with the occasional blue overtone, and The Force Awakens not only recognised that, but replicated it. No outrageous costuming or sunsets here, just a whole lot of black, white, and sand, the only pops of colour being the lightsabers, and the occasional orange jumpsuit.

The CGI however, now I have another bone to pick here, but it wasn't up to par like I thought it would be. There had been so much hullabaloo about how this film was going back to its practical effects roots and ?? to what effect? I felt I saw little enough practical effects, and just in general, fuck all aliens. The film was predominantly humanoid, which, is normal for the main characters, but for minor characters there were very few, and you didn’t get an intro into entire species like you did with, say, the Ewoks. And the aliens we DID get an intro into, such as Maz Kanata (who I didn't realise was played by Lupita Nyong'o, which is cool) and the alien monsters we see in Han and Chewie's ship, just didn’t LOOK like Star Wars aliens. Something about their designs just didn’t stand up. I was saddened to see the lack of puppety aliens that were so frequent in the OT, and really what made them so special. I’m all for new designs, but this is a tried and true franchise and in this case I feel it’s best to stick to what you know - although the presence of Admiral Akbar was overwhelmingly welcome for me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. What I mean with the CGI is that there was too much of it. I understand fully that they need to cater to an audience who is accustomed to high-quality animation these days, and I harbor no illusions about my own partiality to well-done effects, however this franchise made it’s beginnings because of its practical effects, and with the improvements we’ve made today – what with WETA workshops work on countless other successful franchises, as well as personal franchise achievements and additions to museum exhibitions – I feel it would not be petulant of me to expect, not just MORE aliens, but ones that are practical instead of CGI. It’s about a balance between welcoming the new technology of today, and respecting the roots that got you here in the first place. The presence of X-Wing fighters took the load off though. There was so much of the old mixed in with the new, that I’m willing to let a lot of the CGI slide, despite the rambling rant you just read - if you've made it this far that is.

-     I know I’ve complained a lot, and I truly did love it, and I’ve noticed all other reviews on it have been overwhelmingly good, but I just didn’t walk out feeling as gung-ho as everyone else. I’m no Star Wars expert. I’ve loved it my whole life, but I will never claim to be the last word on it, so I’m not saying you need to agree with everything I’ve said, but I’m so used to walking out of films I’ve anticipated for so long feeling overwhelmingly satisfied, no matter how shit everyone else thought it was, and for the first time that didn’t happen. Even if I've written all of this sounding unnecessarily sullen, I promise you, I'm still going to watch it in cinemas at least a dozen more times, and there are a number of things I simply can't fault. The Millenium Falcon reveal was perfect. The C3PO reveal was perfect. The jokes were perfect. The use of music was fantastic - there was enough use of the original scores updated with new music that it felt organic, and perfect for this 2015 updated film.

-     The ending, in particular, I cannot flaw. Seeing Luke there, solitary but always so spiritual, I was screaming from excitement inside. That face is not a face I could easily forget, and certainly not one that will ever cease to create a feeling of excitement in me. His absence in the film was the most interesting part for me, the storyline I enjoyed the most, and honestly, just seeing Luke turn to Rey, as they looked so similar, yet so different, I felt an unwavering sense of (new) hope for the franchise - one that won't hesitate in the future to open casting to people of all walks of life, and perhaps in the future, more aliens too (please, I'm dying for a Twi'lek.)

TL;DR: the practical effects weren't up to my (high) standards, and the plot was simply a New Hope repeat, but overall, I had a great time, and all the amazing new characters made up for anything I could possibly have disliked.

I also realise I haven't mentioned Leia/Carrie Fisher once, and I'm sorry about that, because I love her like I've never loved another, but there really isn't too much to say about her presence in the film other than how much I adored her relationship with Rey.

-     I’m  still going to give it a 10/10 though, because I’m always a slut for Star Wars.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Jessica Jones: AKA The Film Noir Feminist Hero of My Dreams

Image sourced from http://www.filmdispenser.com/jessica-jones-s01ep04-aka-99-friends/
On a dark, foggy street in the middle of a corrupted town stands our hardboiled detective protagonist. Heavy jazz music and moody voice-overs backdrop the damaged past of our whisky-drinking private eye, while villains lurk in the shadows, ready to strike at the next unsuspecting innocent citizen. Sound familiar? It should. Not because film noir's are necessarily so popular these days, but because the genre's conventions are so clich├ęd and well-known that they're almost always employed for comedic effect at this point. Jessica Jones, however, proves that film noir need not be reduced to a parody, all it needed was a little refreshing, and that headstrong detective with a drinking problem and a dark past we're so familiar with can just as easily be the one to flip gender roles and tackle the big issues often untouched by the currently saturated superhero market.

Ok, yes, I might be a little late to the party by a few weeks or so, but just this weekend past I found the time to watch the entirety of Netflix's new Marvel hit - Jessica Jones - with my partner. I was so impressed and overwhelmed that I decided it would be a great show to start my blog with, and hopefully you agree.

I'll admit, I went into this show almost completely blindly. Although I've dabbled in comics, and I've watched all of the recent DC and Marvel film and television releases, I'm not so well-versed in the universes that I had heard of Jessica Jones before now. Despite instantly knowing it was a show I needed to watch - a female-led Marvel show? Sign me the fuck up - I still failed to actually look into it beyond the release date. This actually worked to my advantage as I walked into the whole experience completely oblivious as to who would be playing who - something that delightfully surprised me when Kilgrave revealed himself out of the shadows. More than that, I walked into it with almost no expectations, and walked out thoroughly satisfied.

Just like it's predecessor Daredevil, Jessica Jones started slowly. This is often something that can hold a tv show back, but then again, can we really call Jessica Jones a tv show? Hardly. The Netflix model not only allows it's viewers to binge-watch, but actually encourages it through the way it structures and consequently releases it's self-produced shows, and Jessica Jones creator Melissa Rosenberg knew this full well. The episodic nature of most television shows doesn't necessarily apply to Jessica Jones, as the individual episodes do not fit the model of beginning - middle - end, but are rather treated as different segments to what is essentially a 13 hour movie. Because of this, it's hard to review the show as one normally would, by discussing each episode separately, so instead I will discuss the show as a whole, and my thoughts on how its first season went, and where I think the (as yet unconfirmed) second season will go.

The characters seem like a good place to start when thinking about Jessica Jones, only because the show is so focused on the personal interactions, rather than the bigger picture, that it really is what makes the show what it is. Without the likes of Kilgrave, Trish, Malcolm, Luke, and - I can't believe I'm actually saying this - even Robyn, Jessica's story would fall flat. Although Jessica herself is feisty, determined, sarcastic, with a hell of a lot of self-doubt, what really makes her stand out is, not only Krysten Ritter's outstanding performance, but also the way her character is countered by those around her. Kilgrave is clearly the obvious one here, with the always-phenomenal David Tennant paired with the power of mind-control, Kilgrave was always going to be a hit. I can honestly say I don't think I have ever been anywhere near as terrified by any other villain in a superhero story than I was - and am, if I'm being honest - with Tennant's Kilgrave. The delivery, of course, was spectacular on Tennant's part, but more than that, there was just something so utterly sinister and seemingly unbeatable about a man with the power to control minds without a moral compass. The mixture of an evil Tennant combined with mind control basically equated to sheer unadulterated fear for me, and I loved every second of it. With such a great protagonist and villain, it might be easy to forget the more minor characters, but Jessica Jones allows a spotlight for all of them - even the most infuriatingly annoying, like Robyn. In fact, I would go so far to say that I was far more interested in Jessica's best friend Trish's backstory, than I was with Jessica's. There was something so human, and so real, about what Trish experienced that I found it a lot more captivating than Jessica's superhero origins - something that has almost worn thin for me in terms of superhero television. And Malcolm, don't get me started on him. He was a rollercoaster of emotions and all I wanted to do was to simply hug him and tell him, "just trust in Jessica. Oh, and fucking leave Robyn alone I want to skin her." Overall, I found the characters diverse (in every sense) and well-developed, to the point where they brought shame to so many of the other minor characters in the superhero universe lately *cough* Supergirl *cough*.

The plot, on the other hand, I found emotional, disturbing, heartbreaking, but above all else - powerful. I think it's important to note that Jessica Jones doesn't focus on "saving the world" in the superhero sense. The show isn't about the greater good, but rather the personal interactions between people, and it truly focuses on issues that are often at the forefront of concerns for many women. To me, it's important that a female-led superhero would focus on the victims of rape, domestic violence, or the control and oppression from society, whilst also foregrounding often excluded groups, such as PoC and LGBT characters. Their storylines remained true to the often typical experiences of these groups, without failing to give them storylines beyond the ways society stereotypes and oppresses them. Characters like Malcolm and Jeri were fully fleshed out and given the time and depth often only reserved to straight, white characters, and I found it not only refreshing, but very fitting for the themes of the show. Jessica Jones focused on the experiences of those often silenced, whether they're rape victims, lesbians, or African-American drug addicts, and without providing equal weight to these stories, the message would fall flat. And yes, for the record, the villain is a straight, white male who controls a disproportionate amount of power. They're not being subtle here.

In saying this, however, I wasn't always in complete awe of the show, and I felt there were some aspects that could have been improved on. I felt there could potentially have been more focus on Jessica's private investigating, or perhaps a more thorough explanation of her and Trish's past. Don't get me wrong, I lived for the moments when Kilgrave was on screen, however I felt that really the show was so strongly focused on the Kilgrave issue that it often suffered from tunnel-vision. It's believable that Jessica and her friends would be hyper-obsessed with how to solve the Kilgrave problem, but I still was left wanting more. The more relaxed moments when Jessica was simply in her apartment drinking, or taking a call from a client left me tense. These moments felt like a setup from Kilgrave, who would spring out from the shadows like some brainwashing Nosferatu, only because the moments that weren't somehow related back to him were so few and far between.

Overall, I was left wanting more. Sometimes in a bad sense, as previously mentioned, but also in a good way. Yes, the setup for next season was sort of obvious, and I absolutely am concerned that the show won't work as well now that Kilgrave is out of the way, but when it comes down to it, I'm thoroughly excited to see how Jessica's business and conscience will grow, how Trish will develop a relationship with her mum (if at all), what will happen to all the other characters I grew to love over the past two days. I want to see how (or if at all) they will tie in the Daredevil universe, whether Jessica will interact with more characters from it than just Claire, and, of course, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with the IGH storyline.

TL;DR, Jessica Jones is a film noir 13hr long movie which features more minority characters than possibly all the Marvel films put together, and it tackles the issues at the forefront of feminism, whilst engaging with potentially the most captivating villain in all of superhero history.




So! That's my first blog post. Let me know how I did, I'm not used to this at all yet so criticism is welcomed with open arms. Thanks for reading, and I'm looking forward to putting this arts degree to some sort of use from now on :)