Monday Musings: Jessica Jones Season 2 and Annihilation

Last week, I spent a good chunk of Thursday and Friday watching the second season of Jessica Jones. I recently watched Annihilation in theaters, too. These two are worlds apart, but feature strong female characters. Here are some articles on each that I wanted to share.

JESSICA JONES Season Two Review: Moms Are Complicated

Mommy issues aside, season two’s overall narrative of women reclaiming their power made it mostly worthwhile. The mother stuff will leave some viewers gnashing their teeth, and some of the arguments are more exhausting than intriguing, but we finally see Jessica learning how to be a person and not just a drunk punching machine.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the decision to resurrect Jessica’s mom (you can read about that here), but I agree on what we see from Jessica. This season changes her and there’s no reason it shouldn’t. She’s been through more trauma than most. I do disagree with the section on Jeri in this review, but it’s still worth the read.

Flaws And All, ‘Jessica Jones’ Season Two Gets Better As It Goes Along

Jessica’s roller coaster of emotions about her mother (not to be confused with the Ferris wheel on which they spend their final moments together) improves one of season one’s biggest weak spots. Last time out, the trend of “Jessica has finally captured Kilgrave! ZOMG, he got away again!” grew tired very quickly, despite how good Ritter and Tennant were together.

Alan Sepinwall is a must-read when it comes to any of the shows he covers that I happen to watch. Jessica is the biggest reason why this season works. It makes introducing her mom more reasonable. Sepinwall discusses the Trish,  Malcolm, and Jeri storylines, too. They largely act is filler and for the most part, I only enjoyed a handful of things about all of their parts put together.

Annihilation & The Horrors of Change

To say that the language of cancer is written into the DNA of Annihilation is an understatement. Not just with Dr. Ventress, who literally has the disease and pursues a battle / non-battle with it to her own ends. But cancer even comes up right in the first (chronological) scene, where Lena (Natalie Portman) describes the process of cellular division and generation and how the goal of their work is nothing short of curing cancer. This detail is not accident. She is about the path of medication. And we can all understand the medical instinct to cure. To heal. To mend. To make well again and regain our former self. And how so much of that urge comes from the deep understanding of the terrifying possibility that you may not be able to cure it at all.

Just do yourself a favor and go read this FilmCritHulk review. I enjoyed this movie and it was visually stunning.