Tag Archives: taboo

Jessica Jones Was Good, But It Should Have Been Great

When I saw the trailer for Jessica Jones I immediately decided it was going to be my new favourite show… until I watched it.

A lot of elements in the trailer suggested that it would resemble Netflix’s Daredevil series, which made me really excited. My love for Daredevil was a slow burn. Unlike Evan (who regularly reviews comics, like Ms. Marvel, for the blog), I’m not a comic aficionado. For me to really invest in a comic-based series I have to actually like it as a stand-alone. I’m also not a fan of dark dramas. I get depressed enough from real life, so my first choice for TV is lighthearted comedy. When John (my husband) finally convinced me to watch Daredevil with him it was a really hard sell. I was critical of the lack of diversity, the lack of interesting roles for women (although this got better as the season progressed), and the general lack of lighting in most scenes. What finally won me over was some of the best fight choreography I’ve ever seen on TV, and writing so solid that some monologues actually gave me chills.

When I saw the trailer for Jessica Jones I thought it would only perfect the good thing Netflix had already started with Daredevil. Not only would we have a dark and thoughtful plot, but we would have a much more diverse cast and more nuanced relationships between female characters.

How could anything possibly go wrong?

Apparently several things could, and did, go wrong. I’ve outlined a couple of the most frustrating aspects of the series below.

It had mediocre fight scenes

I get that it’s hard to make things look super realistic when you have a 90 pound woman throwing men around like ragdolls. I also get that choreographing these scenes would have to reflect Jones’ extraordinary strength. But is that really an excuse for scenes to look like something straight out of the 70’s?

Generally speaking, the fight scenes in Jessica Jones felt lazy. There are so many other ways you could demonstrate super strength beyond just throwing people, but for both Jones, and often Luke Cage, throwing seemed to be the primary mode of defence.

I mean, wouldn’t punching them in the face just be easier? Continue reading

Advertisements

“Rape”: Storytelling Device

In 2011 I wrote about rape as a term not to be used casually out of context. In 2012 I wrote about rape as a subject for comedy. In 2013, and in light of a few recent events, I am writing about rape as a storytelling device.

Mark Millar is famous for books such as Superman: Red Son, and Jupiter’s
Legacy
, but probably most well-known to the non-comic-book-reading-public as the man responsible for Kick-Ass and its sequels. He is also a writer who has featured rape in a number of his works. I’m not going to go through the process of listing them all, but instead am going to present a quote he gave regarding his opinion on using rape in writing:

The ultimate [act] that would be the taboo, to show how bad some villain is, was to have somebody being raped, you know? I don’t really think it matters. It’s the same as, like, a decapitation. It’s just a horrible act to show that somebody’s a bad guy.

Now I could begin quoting a number of very smart people who responded to Millar’s words, but this isn’t that kind of post. If a list of that sort is what you’re into, I’d like to direct you to this article on the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex. A better compilation of tweets and quotes about this specific subject would be difficult to find. Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: Hipster Racism

GORDON: Welcome back, ladies, gentlemen, and persons who defy conventional gender roles, to another edifying episode of Evan and Gordon Talk. Our topic for tonight: Hipster Racism.

Evan- if you’ll offer a quick definition.

EVAN: Uh, I’m going to leave you to that, actually. Gordon sent me this link to check out, and the bit about “hipster racism” is actually quite short [appearing at about 00:00]. The speaker, China Miéville, had a lot of amazing things to say, and I lost it in there somewhere. [I’ll probably be writing more about the lecture on Friday]

GORDON: Essentially, “Hipster Racism” or “Ironic Racism” are jokes or comedy with traditionally racist content, funny not because they put people down, but funny because of how utterly atrocious and ignorant they are. Similar to a dead baby joke.

The question we’ll be dealing with tonight is this: Is ironic racism still just racism?

EVAN: This strikes a similar chord with a conversation I had with . . . a friend of mine, where he called Arab people “towelheads.”

GORDON: Yikes. Continue reading