Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix)
In 2015, superheroes were everywhere in American media - with both DC and Marvel extending their franchises through epic feature films and long-form tv series. Many of these projects enjoyed commercial success but not critical acclaim, which is one of many reasons why Marvel’s Jessica Jones is a story that matters. Show-runner Melissa Rosenberg took a subplot from the original comics series about Kilgrave, a character who uses his mental abilities to bend others to his will, and turns it into a season-long exploration of how a powerful woman can reclaim her life and stand up against her abuser. David Tennant’s Kilgrave is at once charming and terrifying, a man who does evil things but does not see himself as evil. Krysten Ritter helps us to discover the strengths and vulnerability of Jessica, a hard-boiled private detective who has rejected the role of superhero but must still figure out how to over-come the evil that threatens her, her friends and her community. This genre-bending program (one part superhero saga, one part neo-noir) helps to lay a foundation for other planned ventures by Netflix into this particular corner (Harlem and Hell’s Kitchen) within the larger Marvel universe. For deploying a popular genre to ask unpopular questions about power and consent, for constructing such vivid and compelling characters and putting them through the wringer, Marvel’s Jessica Jones earns a Peabody Award.
Co-Executive Producers: Scott Reynolds, Dana Baratta, Karim Zreik. Producers: S.J. Clarkson, Liz Friedman, Allie Goss, Kris Henigman, Cindy Holland, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Jim Chory, Jeph Loeb, Melissa Rosenberg, Howard Klein. Supervising Producer: Hilly Hicks Jr. Producer: Tim Iacofano. Directors: S.J. Clarkson, David Petrarca, Stephen Surjik, Simon Cellan Jones, John Dahl, Rosemary Rodriguez, Uta Briesewitz, Billy Gierhart, Michael Rymer. Writers: Melissa Rosenberg, Micah Schraft, Liz Friedman, Scott Reynolds, Hilly Hicks Jr., Dana Baratta, Edward Ricourt, Jenna Reback, Jamie King. Cinematographer: Manuel Billeter. Actors: Krysten Ritter, David Tennant, Mike Colter, Carrie-Anne Moss, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, Erin Moriarty, Will Traval.
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