English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: blog post

Gender in Jessica Jones

The gender spread in Jessica Jones is pretty even, but it probably edges towards more women. The main protagonist, Jessica, is a female, and the villain, Kilgrave, is a male. The other main characters on the show are Trish, Jeri, Pam, Malcolm, Will, and Luke Cage with the first three being female and the last three being male. Jessica Jones even features mental disorders such as OCD and a main character, Jeri, who is lesbian. The show definitely focuses more on female characters overall, but that is mainly due to the main protagonists being women. The show focuses on Jessica struggling to overcome and defeat an old enemy, Kilgrave, with the help of  a few friends. We see Jessica struggling in both her private and public life as it is thrown around by Kilgrave. However, the show also takes breaks to show the hardships of other characters such as Malcolm with his heroin addiction, and Luke with losing his wife.

Jessica Jones Characters

From what I’ve watched so far, the main characters making tough decisions are mainly Jessica, Malcolm, Trish, and Luke with most of the other characters just reacting to what happens and following orders. Jessica Jones definitely focuses more on women making the main decisions and driving the show than men, which is a nice switch up for a change.  This is important because most TV shows have men as the driving characters in the show who make all the decisions. It is important to show how women have to make tough choices and decisions on television.

Jessica Jones shows a lot more women in higher classes than men. A lot of women characters are very successful in jobs such as TV star, law firm owner, and doctor. The main male characters don’t have it as nice with them being a struggling heroin addict, small bar owner, and police officer. This show does a very good job of showing career women in television in high up jobs in society.  There is also a very big emphasis on mental illness in Jessica Jones with Jessica, Luke, and Will all having trouble with PTSD, and Jessica’s upstairs neighbor having extreme OCD.

Overall, Jessica Jones features and focuses on slightly more women than men, but does a very good job in representing multiple genders, races, and mental illnesses.

The Non-Serious Theme of Marriage and Serious Relationships in Broad City

In season two, episode seven of Broad City, the show takes on the concept of marriage and romantic relationships. One character on the show, Bevers chickens out of proposing to his girlfriend of three years because Ilana convinces him that he is too young and more so his girlfriend is too young to be constricted by marriage. Shortly after, Ilana herself struggles with the concept of being with someone for a long time. She realizes that she had not slept with Lincoln in four days and had just been hanging out with him. At the realization that that was a sign of a more serious relationship she breaks down for a small period of time, overwhelmed by the idea that she could be soon constrained to her relationship with Lincoln as Bever’s near proposal brings to light.
Marriage and serious relationships are not praised or desired on Broad City as they often are in American media. The show’s female creators and staff have written female characters that can talk about other things and are driven towards a goal of marriage. The episode before episode seven featured a dog wedding where two gay men married their dogs seemingly as a ploy to get more intimately acquainted with one another. The show puts more emphasis on enjoying life than traditional relationships, critiquing America’s romanticising of romance.
The show provides a view of two young women that want to get high, have fun, and engage in sexual actions sometimes outside of relationships, and it is displayed as completely fine. Broad City displays alternate desires that women and people can have and refreshingly so. Ilana and Abbi from episode to episode have different goals and desires that often do not include men: going to a concert, getting out of work, or enjoying a good restaurant.

See the source image

Here is the dog wedding referred too earlier.


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