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Jessica Jones

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Literally in the dumps

Jessica Jones is a new Netflix series based on the Marvel comic of the same name. It’s really good. I like it a lot. It doesn’t inspire in me the same kind of reverence it seems to inspire in a corner of the ‘net I’ll call “Jessica Jones twitter,” but I get why people dig it and are affected by it. In particular, I think Jessica Jones is great at doing one thing: Making us experience Jessica’s isolation.

This is the aspect of the show that really resonates with me. It was difficult for me to watch when she was actually rather physically isolated, prowling the streets at night and drinking alone; it was depressing as hell. But as the series progressed Jessica reconnected with her longtime best friend, hooked up with a handsome bartender, helped her neighbor (now friend) detox, and developed a rapport (albeit a tense one) with flawed-but-good cop, Simpson and “I never know what’s going on in her head” high-powered lawyer, Hogarth. So, hey, she can stop all that sulking and cut back on the booze now, right? Wrong. Here’s the show’s strong point: it shows you–in excruciating detail–how a support system will never work if there’s someone  out there who can always circumvent it. It doesn’t matter how many friends or lovers Jessica has. Bad guy Kilgrave (a stalker, murderer and rapist) will always be in her head. Or he’ll be murdering people just outside her motley little circle of pals. Where’s the peace to be found there?

To me, this is the thing Jessica Jones does so adeptly. It shows how terrifying and soul-sucking it is be always be alone, even when you’re not alone.

In other news, here is my latest piece. I think it may be my best piece ever.

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