Jessica Jones Season 2 — AKA I’m not sure how I feel about it

I managed to finish Jessica Jones Season 2 tonight and as the title might suggest, I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I didn’t watch The Defenders (maybe I’ll get back to it, but it’s not a priority) so I’m not sure how well any of it ties in, or doesn’t, to what happened there. Although I feel like it’s probably pretty stand-alone from it, given that the only real ties I saw/heard in season two related to Jeri.

For a pretty spoiler-free review I can say that I both enjoyed Jessica’s progression in this season and what the focus was for her with Kilgrave out of the picture. I can also say that it’s pretty freaking cool that they employed female-only directors for Season 2, however there was also a long way they could’ve gone to improve some of their diversity issues. Black women specifically got an unfair shake on screen and in ways that absolutely could’ve gone any direction. It’s not enough to cast black actors, there’s no excuse from writers not to be more cognizant of the roles those actors will be playing and what it’ll look like on screen.

What I’m not really happy about (again in a way that’s the most spoiler-free I can make it) is the direction they took Trish in this season. I understand the progression from her interests in the first season that this is one of the directions that could’ve gone. But, I felt it was really predictable in the beginning of season two and by the end, it was tiring and played out. To be a little more specific that’ll only be spoilery once you get a few episodes into the season — I really hate that she gets rewarded for that, even if we don’t see it explicitly by the end of the season, it obvious enough.

One of the other things that’s sort of holding back my complete enthusiasm for the season as a whole is the very cyclical nature of the arguments that start to happen in every episode about half-way in as Jessica makes the biggest discovery of the season. I don’t have to say what it is to say that the way she talks herself in and out, or other people talk her in and out of the same decision in almost every episode gets old fast. And then to have the decision taken out of her hands entirely by the end of the season, undid part of the work of the first season. I get the character choice that was made and what that could set up for a third season, but it didn’t have to go that way. It could’ve ended a dozen other ways and season three wouldn’t suffer for opportunities to rehash the outcome.

I’m not really going to address Jeri’s story line. I feel the same way about the whole season as I feel about her story. I do like Carrie Ann Moss as an actress though and I really feel like she and Robin Wright and she need to have some show where they play high-powered lesbians with great hair and expensive clothes. Or just give me some President Claire Underwood/Supreme Court Justice Jeryn Hogarth fanfic and I’d be good.

Rewatching The Good Place — What we owe to each other

I had some friends in town overnight who had never seen The Good Place. However we started it pretty late in the night so they didn’t make it very many episodes into the first season before everyone crashed. But as someone that doesn’t rewatch very many shows, just getting a few episodes in to season one made me watch to continue. It’s also really entertaining to watch the show with people who haven’t seen it before, knowing exactly what they have to look forward to by the end of the first season. Even my expectations feel different despite knowing what’s coming.

There’s so much about that first season I’d forgotten, especially about those first few episodes the prevalence of Michael’s neurosis even before the reveal. (This won’t be long, and I’m doing my best not to spoil anything specific, or the specifics about the end of Season One.)

There’s something about a show like this one where the end of Season One changes the show fundamentally that makes going back to the beginning feel like a different show. I’ve seen the full impact of Season Two, so this like innocence of beginnings is so different.

That said, in fact despite the anxiety the main characters feel in the first season everything is just inherently cheerful in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with their location. And while the circumstances are different in the second season, the hope is still there. Though anxiety has given way to something deeper so the happiness is something they have to snatch in small moments for themselves.

I want these characters to succeed in a way that feels new, because I’m now seeing where they started all over again and the growth is pretty monumental.

Have you seen The Good Place? Rewatched it now that it’s on hiatus?
I’d be curious to know if the rewatch feels like this for everyone.

Drunk History — Nichelle Nichols Lives Boldly

Drunk History is almost always a good time, but this video of Nichelle Nichols (as played by Raven Simone) time on Star Trek and her work with NASA is short, but awesome.

It also includes the line from drunk narrator, Ashley Nicole Black, speaking as Martin Luther King Jr. (as played by Jaleel White), “No I’m Martin Luther King, I have no chill.” Seriously everything about this is wonderful and funny.

And because it’s Drunk History, this exchange also happens:

Ashley: So you know, they’re filming Star Wars and it’s great.
Derek: Is that true?
Ashley: Oh, my God. Also very good. 
Ashley: So they’re doing Star Trek. It’s great. People love it.

Supergirl — For the Girl Who Has Everything

I know I’m behind on this, but I just finished binging the first season of Supergirl. I’ve been a Superman fan since I was a little kid watching old black and white George Reeves’ Superman reruns with my dad. I grew up with reruns of Helen Slater’s Supergirl. I had a poster for Superman IX on my wall; I pretty much loved everything about Christopher Reeves’ Superman — still do. I loved Lois & Clark, but didn’t like Smallville. Really, I’ve seen all the Superman stuff because I love him as a character so much. Sure, in the comics he was often a dick but he was also kind and friendly and humorous. 

Supergirl, specifically the way Melissa Benoist plays her, reminds me a great deal of the Christopher Reeves movies. Reminds me of why I like Superman so much. They’re not perfect people. They sure aren’t perfect humans. Not perfect heroes.

But they take joy in saving people and not as some god-complexed savior of mankind (although I’ll admit Superman has been written that way more than once), but because they WANT to use the abilities they have on Earth for good. They want to keep people safe, to be useful, and ultimately, to belong. Kara, more than Clark, is a great example of this because of her story. Because she was older when Krypton died, and she was sent with the purpose of watching Kal-El (who was only a baby), she not only remembers home but she remembers her purpose.

Kara left Krypton expecting to be a protector.

She came to Earth to find that Kal-El already was one.

Watching the first few episodes — which are not about her coming into her power as Superman’s stories so often begin, but fully embracing her powers and her purpose.

There’s a joy that comes from finding something you’re good at and leaning into it completely. And I love that about Supergirl.

It also really helps that she, like Clark, find a lot of joy in the ingenuity and earnestness of humans. It’s not condescension, it’s pride.

And I love that.

I’m starting season two, and I’ve seen a lot of what tumblr likes about the second season but I’m looking forward to watching it for myself.