Jessica Jones Brings Three Seasons of Character Development to a Close

It’s the end of the third and final season of Jessica Jones, a gritty show following a superpowered PI.

And wow, does it go places.

The climax of season three is the culmination of the character work from the past three seasons. The first half of the season only hints at what’s building, but by the time it comes into fruition, it feels like both a logical progression and something too extreme to have predicted. I don’t think the execution is always as good as the idea it’s trying to convey–a few of the details open themselves up to nitpicking and criticism–but the broad strokes are clear and powerful.

Every Season is Deeply Personal

Looking back on the entire show, what strikes me is how much every season centered around personal stakes for Jessica. This is not your normal day-in-the-life detective or superhero show. Each season centers around one plot, and that plot is always massively entwined with Jess’ life. And while each decision is harder than the last, somehow that progression coincides with Jess putting herself a little more together after the mess she starts out as. Continue reading “Jessica Jones Brings Three Seasons of Character Development to a Close”

The Umbrella Academy: Deep Character Work Mixed with Over-the-Top Action

what in the world did I just watch?

Gritty and Outlandish

It’s like this show has a switch. It’ll be this serious drama about a messed-up family with superpowers, then boom, suddenly it’s this over-the-top action/time travel/spy thriller that combines festive music with its shootouts. It all works really well together, and I’m still not sure how.

The comic book-based movies/TV shows that I’ve seen have either been gritty and realistic(ish), or feel-good and outlandish. The Umbrella Academy distinguishes itself by being gritty and outlandish.

Six Superpowered Siblings, and One on the Outside Looking In

The show follows seven siblings that were born on the same day, and adopted by a man who expected them to have powers. He raised six of them to be superheroes, while the seventh one was ordinary. One died (though he still shows up sometimes). One tried to use his powers to time travel, and was never heard from again. And all of them left and fell out of touch as they grew up.

But now, number 5 (the time traveler) is back from the future, with the information that the world is about to end in the next week. And he has no idea how or why. Continue reading “The Umbrella Academy: Deep Character Work Mixed with Over-the-Top Action”

Jessica Jones: Messed-up Characters Pushed to the Limit

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: Jessica Jones is a superstrong PI who just wants to be left alone to take pictures of cheating spouses and drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol. Her past recently came back to haunt her, in the form of the mind-controlling creep who’d kept her subjugated until she escaped him, and she killed him. But the past isn’t done with her yet.  Continue reading “Jessica Jones: Messed-up Characters Pushed to the Limit”

Sense8 2: Psychic Espionage, Fighting Back, and Finding Acceptance

Genre: Sci-fi

Synopsis: Eight people all born on the same day are able to communicate across great distances and access each others’ skills–they are a cluster of sensates, sharing a psychic link. A powerful organization hunts them, using their own kind to do so. And they must cooperate to stay free and alive, even while navigating their own personal challenges. Continue reading “Sense8 2: Psychic Espionage, Fighting Back, and Finding Acceptance”

We’ve Seen Friends Team Up. We’ve Seen Rivals Team Up. But Now We Finally Get a Superhero Team-Up of…Reluctant Acquaintances? (The Defenders)

Four people standing in front of the New York City skyline.
Image: Netflix via ComicBook

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: New York vigilantes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all team up–quite reluctantly–to combat an old organization of immortals who will destroy the city to get what they want. (Reluctantly, except for Iron Fist. He just wants friends.) Continue reading “We’ve Seen Friends Team Up. We’ve Seen Rivals Team Up. But Now We Finally Get a Superhero Team-Up of…Reluctant Acquaintances? (The Defenders)”

Science in Media: Handling Medicines Without the Proper Understanding of Dosage

Haven’t done one of these in a while. But there’s this scene, in Stranger Things 2, that struck me enough that I had to talk about it.

Basically, you have a character with no medical or pharmacological experience whatsoever, filling up a syringe with an unspecified drug (to put patients to sleep) and injecting a child with it. (At least twice in about a day, actually.) My immediate thought upon seeing that was, “well, if it were real life, she’s probably just killed this kid.” Continue reading “Science in Media: Handling Medicines Without the Proper Understanding of Dosage”

A Series of Unfortunate Events has a Charismatic Charm

Genre: Adventure/comedy

Synopsis: Three siblings, the Baudelaires, suddenly find themselves orphans. They’re sent to live with a nearby relative, Count Olaf–who, it turns out, only wants their money. He puts them in poor living conditions, uses them as servants, and abuses them verbally (and once physically). The siblings are left to survive their dreary situation, foil his schemes, and fight for a happier future. Continue reading “A Series of Unfortunate Events has a Charismatic Charm”

Luke Cage, and Its Dedicated Focus on Characterization

marvel-luke-cage-poster
Image: Netflix via Screenrant

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: Luke Cage is an escaped convict who was falsely accused, lying low and hiding his superpowers. But the man who’s giving him a job is deeply concerned with the inhabitants of Harlem, and when he runs afoul of a local gangster, Luke is pulled into the spotlight. This forces him to make a decision–run away to a place where no one knows his name, or stand and fight for his place in the community. Continue reading “Luke Cage, and Its Dedicated Focus on Characterization”

Stranger Things: A Pervasive Sense of Mystery, and the Desperation Behind Not Knowing What Went Wrong

stranger-things-title-card
Image: Netflix via Screenrant

Genre: Mystery/Supernatural

Synopsis: A boy goes missing in a small town, leaving behind few clues as to what happened to him. As his family shoulders the weight his inexplicable disappearance, strange things start happening. His mother come across hints of something unbelievable. A runaway girl with a hidden power appears in town. Slowly, things come together, answering the show’s most pressing questions: Is the boy still alive? Can he be brought home? And what happened to him in the first place? Continue reading “Stranger Things: A Pervasive Sense of Mystery, and the Desperation Behind Not Knowing What Went Wrong”

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Messed Up Characters in Messed Up Situations

jessica-jones-netflix-poster
Borrowed from screenrant.com

Synopsis: Jessica Jones had wanted to be a hero once. That was before Kilgrave, a man with the power to control minds, found her. Now that she thinks he’s dead, she’s trying to put her life together while dealing with her PTSD and trying to make a living as a PI. A cynical, trash talking, overly-violent PI who isolates herself from the people around her, but one who gets the job done. Until she finds out Kilgrave isn’t dead, and he’s coming for her, hurting other people along the way. And Jessica finds that battered part of her that had once wanted to help people, in order to find the courage to face him. Continue reading “Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Messed Up Characters in Messed Up Situations”