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Here is why I’m stoked about Netflix’s latest endeavor into the Marvel universe, Jessica Jones:

  • a unique take on the ever-popular crime drama, filled with slinky, jazzy nods to classic film noir styling of the 30’s and 40’s (think Humphrey Bogart with an extra shot of sass and snark),

and

  • an absolutely relevant theme that tackles one of the thornier social problems we face today.

Pretty freaking neat, if you ask me! For heaven’s sake, why not make thought-provoking and inspiring discourse look and feel cool?

The latter was something that really struck me from the very first episode on (throughout my ravenous binge-watch, lets be honest). The plot, centered around one sleuthing, snarky, super-strong heroine, pits her against a man with mind-control abilities who targets and emotionally tortures young women.

In Jessica‘s world, this man uses an uncanny knack for the power of suggestion to force people to perform different acts, often violent and sometimes fatal. One victim, a young woman, becomes the prime suspect in a murder and is thoroughly condemned by a furious public, who accuse her of spinning this crazy story to cover her own actions.

This whole concept, comic book-y as it appears, really speaks to contemporary culture, where it has now become popular to blame victims of rape for inciting their attackers with behavior or clothing. While there is a far cry between reality and the world of brain-control powers, it definitely gives me pause…

While many are content to blame a victim, what of the victims themselves? And, more significantly in the show, when do victims stop being victims, and start being heroes?

 

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