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953

Slumber Here at the Vancouver Fringe Festival

Culture, Events, FRINGE!!, Performance, Why Aren't You Watching This?

September 10, 2017

Do you know what Interactive Theater is? How about the Fringe Festival?

You should. And you will.

Starting in 1985, the Vancouver Fringe Festival is a place for alternative theatrical productions to take center stage and be celebrated. These are professional works of strange content, some of which later spill out into their own projects – it is a locus for emerging talented artists from all along the North American west coast.

It is, therefore, no surprise that Geekenders and the Instant Theater Company would find a presence here, combining their efforts and playing to both their strengths to produce something utterly magical. Geekenders is known for their nerdy burlesque and parodies, while the Instant Theater Company provides some of the best improv and training for actors you could hope to find in this city.

The two groups have put together a rendition of the play within a play from the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the one where players are brought in to perform during a wedding and faeries get involved. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works and has seen hundreds of iterations over the years, but nothing like this.

Slumber Here is an interactive play that relies on the audience for its narrative and even it’s ending. Multiple outcomes are possible depending upon the choices made and the quests completed, as an audience will come to see one play before finding Pucks that will take them off on one of six different paths. Every path comes with quests and adventure. In the forty or so minutes that it takes to go through the adventure, there are more than six hours of content, encouraging multiple viewing to complete every possible outcome and ending.

The process encourages audience participation and interaction with the actors of the play, but also the wandering faeries that hold court and go about their trickery all along a transformed Ron Basford Park. You can visit the wrathful King Oberon or the enchanted Queen Titiana, among others. There are many choices, many outcomes, many dreams to be had and found and claimed. We sent two people who had very different experiences: 

Aaron’s Experience: 

My experience started with the players beginning their performance when a mischevious voice whispered in my ear: “Would you like to meet the king?” I turned to find a glimmering grinning Puck, teeth gleaming, and how can one say no to such an offer? Two other audience members followed him up a Faerie Mound to meet a fuming Oberon, he lashing out at his entertainment and failing to cow us into silence.

We had to help his poor entertainment, who was banished for our aid and her insolence. She sought solace from the Queen and invited us along with her, where we learned of a fury-borne curse meant to bring a loyal and noble soul low. How could we do other than trying to break the curse, regardless of the cost? We were not knaves, not we; we stood and made our offerings, found the means to break the curse and teach a King his worth should he come to lack a kingdom.

It was an adventure, a slippery gate into a different world where magic is real and faeries still dance and duels are waged with pillows instead of rapiers. It is very much a thing to experience, a show to be had and won and claimed.

Anne’s Experience: 

I am guided by a person in white in a group full of friends and strangers explaining to me that I am a mortal and I shall be entering the fairy world. We are led to place where the Mechanicals are getting ready for their play and surrounding you are people in green who are making direct eye contact and interacting with you on an intimate level but not in a way that makes you feel like you are the same as them, it is obvious they are different than the mortals in front of you. When the Mechanicals are done you are engaged by “The Puck” the people in green who explain to you that you are part of their fairy world now and you are quested to help them with the story that is unfurling. 

I, however, was not going to do that, because I got whisked away by twin fairies Primrose and Abalone to have a fairy makeover and to talk about my secrets and to find my one true love. After the intimate and sweet makeover, I was led to “Look into the eye of an ass” which was my cue to go see Titania proclaim her love for mini-donkey love that was a trick that Oberon had played on Titania.  I gave them my ID because they needed something old (over 30 years). I petted a mini donkey and has beautiful soulful eyes. Because I was Un-Pucked in this, I was able to run around with free will and free reign and experience this as I would most things.

Primrose and Abalone found my one true love for me, we got married eventually. 

I had a sweet and kind hearted encounter with Caliban who played me Greensleeves and I gifted them with a flower as a thank you and I got a hug. 

I was asked to be part of the Mechanical’s play in which I was a Romulan (from Star Trek) but couldn’t get through the script for a full minute of giggling happened because they kept heckling me when I was trying to say my profession. I gave up and said I was a professional human.

After it was over, I wanted to do it again and again and again, because, I only did a very small fraction of what was available to me. I could see this sort of thing is absolutely my type of  “gaming”. I would be the international champion of interactive role playing adventures if I could.  And you should absolutely go to this. It is such a beautiful expression of community and much like an ongoing public ritual that initiates you in the rites of fantasy. 

Slumber Here starts at Granville Island’s Sculpture Garden, which is viewable from the boardwalk behind the tennis courts. Tickets are $14 and include food, though if you have a nut allergy let the faeries know. Tickets can be purchased online, or at the show 45 minutes in advance. Be aware that Slumber Here always start exactly on time and that latecomers are never admitted. The venue is wheelchair-accessible and you can determine the degree with which the Fae interact with you.

Performances are as follows:

Sunday, Sept 10: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Monday, Sept 11: 7pm, 8pm, 9pm

Tuesday, Sept 12: 7pm, 8pm, 9pm

Friday, Sept 15: 7pm, 8pm, 9pm

Saturday, Sept 16: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Sunday, Sept 17: 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm

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373

Culture, Interviews, Lifestyle, Opinion, Podcast, Tech, Why Aren't You Watching This?

September 6, 2017

Welcome to the third episode of Living Myth Magazine Podcast.

We are glad you are spending some time with us.

Your hosts Anne Honeycutt and Aaron Golden really appreciate you.

This episode features two interviews, a talk between Anne and Aaron about the current creative Zeitgeist and a piece of music created by wonderful creatives.

September is not only Fringe month but it is also a great time to reconnect with people and community and also celebrate the technology we use to do that.

So, this episode is all about how technology creatives help us learn about and build up our communities!

http://livingmythmedia.libsyn.com/living-myth-magazine-podcast-episode-3-september-2017

Interview 1:

NEARTUIT – HOW INTERACTIVE MAPS HELP CREATIVES CURATE AND EXPLORE ART with Judy Hamilton

Judy Hamilton of TerraTap and her Chief Technological Officer created Neartuit which is an interactive map system that automatically tells you cool things about a cool thing when you get close to the cool thing. They have been helping creatives and curators around the Greater Vancouver Area create interactive smart phone friendly content that allows the consumer to be informed and delighted.

Here are links to download the apps onto your tiny hand sized computers!

http://www.neartuit.com/app/

You can also see their work on display at The City Of New Westminster Museum & Archives  and at The New Media Gallery

Interview 2:

PLAYPALS THE FIRST APP YOU CAN USE TO TABLETOP GAME WITH EVERYONE with Arik Sternbeg

Jalyn Euteneier of our 0D20 property interviews Arik Stenberg about PlayPals and the importance of building community through gaming. When this interview was recorded in July the app was a few weeks old, but now it is September and it is doing AMAZING!

Here are links to download the apps onto your tiny hand sized computers

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.play_pals

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/playpals-discover-local-tabletop-game-events/id1207049719?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Then…

Anne and Aaron talk about Sarahah and how Anne and Avens O’Brien have used it to become better people and/or interact with fans.

As promised we have set up one for the magazine and podcast network. https://livingmythmag.sarahah.com/

The end music for this month was suggested to us by the Vancouver Chipmusic Society and it is called Half Steppin’ and it is by virt, Freaky DNA and Norrin Radd

 

And there we have it, thanks so much for spending time with us!

Do you like what you heard? Do you want us to celebrate your creativity creatively? Drop us a line at podcasts@livingmythmedia.com and Anne will totally get back to you 😀

 

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331

Fringe Interview – Scientist Turned Comedian, Tim Lee

Comedy, Culture, Events, FRINGE!!, Interviews, Performance, Showcase, Tech, Why Aren't You Watching This?

September 6, 2017

As part of our Vancouver Fringe Festival coverage we would like to introduce you to Tim Lee – Scientist Turned Comedian. We sat down with Tim and asked him questions! Here is the results! With pictures and diagrams.

“You know how Larry the Cable Guy’s act pretty much consists of him yelling “Git ‘er done!” every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee’s material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin”
– The Boston Phoenix”

LM: Can you give a brief but interesting history of Scientist Turned Comedian?

TL: When I was in grad school I used to throw gag slides into my talks. I find that a little humor relaxes the mind. When I started comedy I was performing regularly at a bar in Palo Alto that had a PowerPoint setup so I brought back some of those gag slides and put them into my standup act. The audience loved it!

LM: Why did you choose to perform in Vancouver?
TL: I’ve heard Vancouver has a wonderful performing arts scene. I want to experience it myself.

LM: Do you have a favourite scientist?
TL: I named my children after Edison and Faraday. The reason I like them so much, besides their influential body of work, is that they are both self educated. Edison was a child laborer who was beaten so hard at his job that he lost his hearing. He only went to school for three months. Faraday also had little formal education. It was their curiosity that drove them to greatness. I’m inspired because they were both were driven by the joy of discovery. It drives me to keep discovering and I hope it will inspire my kids as well.

LM: Do you have a favourite science fiction character?
TL: I hate to say it but it’s probably James T Kirk. I find him both humorous and oddly inspiring. Only someone as clueless as William Shatner could have taken writing that went right over his head and turned it into a classic role.

LM: What are your top 4 road trip songs?

TL:

Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads
Take it Easy – Eagles
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones

LM: If you were early to get to your plane and you had 20$ what would you spend it on?
TL: Iced tea and smokehouse almonds.

The show is from September 7th – 17th, 2017 and you can buy tickets here!  The show will be at the False Creek community Centre on Granville Island.

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401

Meditations For People Who Hate People – Episode 3 – Just Say No

Comedy, Culture, Podcast, Why Aren't You Watching This?

August 30, 2017

Join your guide Callyn for the small amount of time that you have for your self in your shit show of a day and learn how to harness your power… or not, she isn’t your parole officer.

We hope this is a relaxing and cathartic experience for you.

*Background track is Healing by Kevin MacLeod – Royalty Free

Meditations For People Who Hate People – Episode 3 – Just Say No

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316

Meditations For People Who Hate People – Episode 2 – Your Face

Comedy, Culture, Podcast, Why Aren't You Watching This?

August 23, 2017

Join your guide Callyn as she calmly helps you release tension and find power in your face.

We hope this is a relaxing and cathartic experience for you.

*Background track is Healing by Kevin MacLeod – Royalty Free

Meditations For People Who Hate People – Episode 2 – Your Face

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354

Review – Story Story Lie All-Star Season Closer

Comedy, Culture, Events, Performance, Podcast, Reviews, Showcase, Why Aren't You Watching This?

August 18, 2017

It has been a hell of a year for Story Story Lie! Starting off at Cafe Deux Soleils and ending at The Fox Cabaret, and with that having one of the best endings to a season one could have.  The closer was a who’s who of storytellers from the area all vying to trick the audience, but really just amazing us and sometimes embarrassing themselves.

Jo Dworschak and her “Vanna” Matt Loeb hosted a great show and their chemistry and comedic timing made the night super amazing. The Storytellers for the night were Zain Meghji, Nic Enright-Morin, Burcu, Mark Hughes,  Suzy Rawsome.

The first story of the night was from Nic Enright-Morin who told us a story about how she was an ESL teacher in England and agreed to cat sit for a co-worker who lived on a houseboat for two weeks. The cat ended up thinking she was the best and one night when she decided to drunkenly bring a former student home to get lucky only to have cat attack him while they were doing the deed. She ended up dislocating her knee and he ended up needing medical treatment, they both ended up having to go to the hospital. The co-worker came back to almost everything in the boat being covered in blood…Or did she?

The second story of the night was from Suzy Rawsome who regaled us with the story of being a trashy teenager in Surrey who was a late bloomer but ended up getting drunk at a park with some friends and hooking up with a guy behind some trees in which she decided to get fully naked. Their friends figured out that they were boning and stole her clothing. They managed to put her underwear up on the backstop of a baseball diamond. She had to pay a friend 10$ to retrieve it a week later…Or did she?

The third story was from Mark Hughes who lived a rough life and he and a friend decided to rob a convenience store to buy drugs while drunk. They ended up stealing a car and then crashing it. They had a gun with them and Mark hid it under the seat of the car after crashed. Before being taken to the hospital he decided to pretend to be unconscious, the hospital staff treated him really nicely until they found out that he had stolen a car. The nurse once she found out what was going on, shoved the catheter into his penis with extra force… he had to continue to play unconscious while that was happening. He ended up going to jail and sobering up. Later on, he found out that the gun he had, was a replica and therefore wouldn’t have been able to fire…Or did he?

The fourth story was from Burcu who had a client who was a prominent politician who was also a cross-dresser. He came to her for years privately to have her help him buy clothes for him to wear privately and they became good friends. One day he came to her with all of his clothes and said he wanted to stop cross-dressing because he felt like it was hurting his family. After talking it through she agreed and bought back all of the clothing they had picked out. A few hours later a woman came into the store and bought almost all of the clothing that he had turned in. And a few hours after that, the politician called to say that all of his cross-dressing clothes were back in his closet and wanted to know what was going on!? Apparently, the woman who bought the clothes was his wife…Or did she?

And the last story was from Zain Meghji who went on a trip to Columbia but started having bad stomach pains and was vomiting. They told him it was altitude sickness. When he came back to Vancouver he went to a hot yoga class and started having the same sickness. He went to the doctor who said that he had the flu. Then he went on a hike with an activity group and continued to have the same symptoms. He kept Googling the symptoms and every time he would it would tell him that he had an appendicitis. However, every time he went to the doctor they would tell him he didn’t. Eventually, he went to a yoga retreat and was so sick that when he came back he went to the ER and that is when they told him that he had a ruptured appendix but that they were going to wait until October 27, 2017, to see if it is worth operating on. He may or may not be dead by then, but who knows… or does he?

After each story was done, the audience got to ask pointed questions and the storytellers had to answer them. There was also an expert on “Lying” as a guest who would give an analysis of who was and wasn’t truthful based on body language. Then we were told to text Jo our guess as to who was the liar. They tallied up each vote and at the end of the night, Nic and Suzy were tied.

So, who was the liar? Who wasn’t? Well… you are going to have to listen to the podcast when it comes out. 

Story Story Lie is a gem, and it is going to become even better when it moves to The Rio on September 21st. 

For more information and a picture of a cute bunny read our interview with Jo.

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1078

Bye, Marvel.

Books & Writing, Culture, Events, Fail, Opinion, Why Aren't You Watching This?

August 14, 2017

I have an awesome geeky friend who happens to be a girl (like about eighty-ninety percent of the writers on this site). She knows more about Star Wars and Star Trek and Doctor Who than I do and she’s flirting with comics. She liked Captain America as a kid and we keep getting DC Superhero Girls stuff for her niece (who loves Batgirl). She likes Spider-Gwen and Monstress, mostly, but she also really digs the movies that’ve come out, especially Captain America. She bought a Cap shirt and wore it a lot for years, but these days it’s gathering dust in a closet.

“Can’t wear it anymore,” says she, when asked. “Movie Cap is still cool and that’s the one I like, but comics Cap? I get weird looks from people when I walk into a comic shop with it. One time, a guy got really excited and started talking to me about racial purity and, well, yeah. Comic Cap is a Nazi now.”

Another guy I know was raised in a casually racist household. His parents and his family believed that anyone with a skin tone darker than theirs was genetically inferior. The thing that got him thinking and changed his mind? Marvel Comics. Specifically, Black Panther. Marvel Comics opened his mind, changed his world. He was digging the comics but hated when it crossed over with Secret Empire.

“Sure, the racists are the bad guys, but didn’t Sam Wilson apologize to a bunch of racists for being black?” says he. “Like, the good guys are telling racists it’s okay to be racists. Also, Captain America is a Nazi? Fuck you.”

I grew up Jewish. There’s a lot of fear that comes with being a Jew in any era. We get blamed for a lot of troubles that we have no power over and nothing to do with because it was politically expedient to do so and political and historical inertia is a thing.

“Jews control the banks and Hollywood!” racists like to say. A lot of us work in the financial sector and entertainment because those were the only two industries we were legally allowed to work in at the dawn of the twentieth century. We get blamed for playing by the rules that other people forced on us, but that ties into a popular Jewish saying: This, too, shall pass.

Still, it’s always inspiring to see the impact we’ve had on the cultural landscape. We invented and refined comic books. The characters in them? The heroes? We largely created them. Captain America and Superman were both Jewish inventions built around concepts of decency, of sticking up for the underdog. Both of them were politically motivated and both of them helped defeat racists in the real world: Captain America helped shame America into getting involved with World War II and Superman did a lot to take down the KKK.

DC Comics has had a lot of problems over the past decade, but they seem to be picking themselves up. Their comics are full of self-contained stories and they’ve seen a gradual increase in sales to go along with it as they expand and create minority and legacy heroes. Marvel, on the other hand, has been focusing on interconnected crossovers where you need to buy more than one title to figure out what’s going on and famously blamed diversity for their flagging sales.

Their latest big dumb crossover event infected more than a dozen of their titles and also turned Captain America into a Nazi – he sided with his enemies at Hydra, killed a bunch of people, turned fascist and tried to conquer the world and install genetic purity and all the other hallmarks of Nazi idiocy.

And now, it’s over.

Marvel’s latest big stupid event crossover thing where they want you to buy all their comics to have some inkling of understanding what’s going on? The idiot thing that interrupts the stories you actually care about and replaces it with one that marginalizes those stories and characters? The one that turned the conscience of Marvel Comics into a Nazi to hit a sales bump and saw ever-decreasing returns to all their titles? The one proposed by the Trump supporter in charge of Marvel, who had a failed Republican politician that thought the school-to-prison pipeline made good business sense turn the creation of two Jews into a Nazi? It just ended. They’re already planning to retcon it out of existence, but it ended.

It’s over.

And so is my time with Marvel Comics. It’s been a while since we touched anything Marvel related with the whole God of Comics; the last one hinted at this stance but I just want to be clear about where we stand as actual Nazis in real life hold rallies and start murdering people again – we will not review, promote, or have anything to do with Marvel until Nick Spencer and Ike Perlmutter no longer work at that company.

We’ll talk about the movies, the Netflix series, all the things that have nothing to do with either of those people – and we want to stress that we do believe that they are people because they are people, a simple observation that neither would give us given that pretty much everyone here is a minority of some type.

I’d like to say that it’s a loss. I’ll miss Spider-Gwen and Hawkeye and Black Panther. I’d say about a third of my collection is Marvel Comics and I’ll be holding onto them because I can happily remember what was. And I’m sure that we’ll get comics worth reading from Marvel again, because this, too, shall pass.

But I cannot, in good conscience, support a company that thinks turning their moral center into a Nazi is good business sense. And I cannot support a writer or an executive that do not see me as a person and would rather inspire those that would see me and my family and the people I care about dead.

Good-bye for now, Marvel. It’s been fun.

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919

The D-Cast Episode 54 – The Force Awakens

Culture, film, Opinion, Reviews, Why Aren't You Watching This?

December 21, 2015

Andy and Dale return to the D-Cast to talk a little movie that really came out of nowhere to dominate everything forever. You may have heard of it… Star Wars, the Force Awakens? You can and should check out the movie in theaters now, and then check out the spoiler-laden latest episode of their podcast right here, right now. The video version is sure to follow.

podcastcover1

The D-Cast can be found by clicking their name, and you can chat with them on twitter, too.

And you can check them out on itunes. Awesome.

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1132

D-Cast Reviews: Creed

Reviews, Videos, Why Aren't You Watching This?

December 2, 2015

You know Dale Wentland from those times he and Aaron do the Kessel Rundown, but he is not alone in his D-Cast greatness. His erstwhile partner, Andy, went out and saw the seventh movie in the Rocky Series: Creed.

The D-Cast can be found by clicking their name, and you can chat with them on twitter, too.

And you can check them out on itunes. Awesome.

 

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1397

Review: Jessica Jones

Culture, Reviews, Why Aren't You Watching This?

November 30, 2015

Jessica Jones, the second of the original series being produced by Marvel and Netflix, has been out for a little more than two weeks. We’re about to dig deep and talk about the guts of the thing, why it works and what makes it excellent. So, spoilers they are ahead, obvs, but we’ll try and keep them to a minimum.

There was some concern about how Jessica Jones was going to be translated from comic to screen. It’s a dark story, about a hero who get co-opted her first time out, and is physically, mentally, and spiritually destroyed by one of the scariest villains Marvel has ever produced over an eight month period. There’s a real sense of darkness throughout the tale, grounded by who and what the villain is, and his taint touches everything that happens. Would Netflix be willing to host something this disturbing.

Well, yes. They’ve done it before, even if they did caper off with a whimper at the end.

But it’s still different. This is not your standard Marvel fare; it’s not your standard anything fare. It’s radically different from pretty much everything else you’re going to see, and it hits every point it wants to make while staring you in the face and daring you to blink.

You won’t, by the way. You won’t blink. You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the screen. This is just as good as Daredevil was, and has an even greater impact than that masterpiece did.

Right from the start, Jessica Jones establishes that the main character is female, that the characters that are going to have development in this tale are all female. The male characters are mostly static, eye candy, or obstacles to be overcome. Their agency is tied to Jessica’s story, and any catharsis they experience is only through the advent of her presence and tied to her growth.

What’s remarkable about this is that the inverse is often true: female caricatures on traditional television have served subservient roles to male characters, helping them to grow, providing obstacles, or being prizes to be won. Instead of looking to be lauded for strong female characters, Jessica Jones opts to give us strong characters that just happen to be female.

JJ 003

“We’re pretty great, you know?”

And not all of these characters are good, or strong. Jessica Hogarth, a lawyer that contracts Jessica for various jobs, is shown to be callous, selfish, and generally horrible. Pam Walker, Jessica’s adopted mother, is a self-involved woman who abused her daughter and adopted Jessica for publicity’s sake. Jessica herself suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder the likes of which you will see nowhere else.

Which is another thing that Jessica Jones does exceptionally well: portray what it is like to live with PTSD. The paradigm under which our society lives is based on materialist-nihilist principles, meaning that our culture accepts physical reality as the sole truth. In this case, that means that society typically sees mental illness as either a moral weakness or something that simply isn’t real, despite any evidence to the contrary.

Recently, we’ve been re-examining our cultural beliefs, and mental illness has been getting a lot of attention and is now being equated to physical illness. Depression, anxiety, and other ailments are being given the same consideration as their physical counterparts, and being seen as sicknesses rather than failings. Jessica Jones gives us a variety of characters that are suffering from PTSD and doing the best they can, from the villainous Kilgrave to Trish Walker to Jessica Jones herself.

Jessica spends much of her time trying not to let her world overwhelm her, having to take moments to separate and ground herself as life goes on around her. She’s dealing with an eight month period where her agency was taken from her, where she was raped in every possible way with no end in sight, and where her escape from that situation came about because of happenstance rather than rescue.

The truth is that mental illness is real; it is a struggle to live with depression or anxiety or anything of the other illnesses that can afflict a mind. Some people are born with these illnesses, and others – like PTSD – happen because of experiences in life. Like physical scars, they never go away, but they can be lived with. Trish overcame her trauma to become a celebrity. Jessica is still coming to terms with things, but she’s getting there.

And if Jessica Jones treats mental illness with respect, it stares unblinking at the horrors of rape. Compare this to Supernatural or Agents of SHIELD or any of a dozen other narratives where someone is mind controlled and raped and the situation is played for laughs. A woman was raped in Supernatural and her life was destroyed by it and her trauma is used as a punchline. Agent Ward is raped by an Asgardian in Agents of SHIELD and the other characters mock him for it.

Willing to wreck anyone that thinks stealing agency is a punchline.

Willing to wreck anyone that thinks stealing agency is a punchline.

Jessica is destroyed by what was done to her. The character of Hope and her whole family are entirely undone by what was done to her. Jessica has to remind Hope that nothing that happened to her was her fault, while society is ready to condemn her and blame the victim. We see this happen in our own world, where people are raped and then blamed for it; what were you wearing, why didn’t you fight, you knew him so it couldn’t have been rape

There’s a male character that lost his jacket to Kilgrave, and equates his pain to that of everyone else. He had no choice in what was done to him and can’t get over it, and no one makes fun of him for his inability to do so – a narrative choice that acknowledges that any loss of agency is horrible, regardless of the scale.

By that same token, however, rape, mental illness, and trauma are never used as an excuse for poor choices. Everyone is culpable for the things they do and the choices they make, and serious weight is given to every action in Jessica Jones in a way that very few other narratives manage, regardless of medium.

Kilgrave himself is a monster, yes, and we’re shown that he has a tragic backstory that explains what he is without excusing it. He is evil on a level that we haven’t seen in Marvel before, and is treated as the terror he is without exception. No one sympathizes with him specifically because of what he does: his actions and continued monstrousness make it okay to pity him without forgiving him.

An apology only has weight if there’s no excuse behind it and the offending party intends to be better, two qualities that Kilgrave lacks utterly. He is a charming, pretty monster, a predator that no one believes in and who leaves a trail of broken lives in his wake, and is all the more terrifying for how everyone around him accepts him.

Kilgrave would like to remind you that everything he does to you is your fault.

Kilgrave would like to remind you that everything he does to you is your fault.

The slow reveal of Kilgrave – and Jessica herself – help to ground this tale in the real world. Jessica Jones, at its heart, is a detective story. She has to uncover the truth of things methodically, discovering new facets of the crime she’s investigating while taking us along for the ride. Taken purely on that front, this is brilliantly done and executed, but it’s everything that happens around the story that makes the story so much more than it might otherwise be while also laying the groundwork for both a sequel and the next of the Marvel/Netflix collaborations.

And the next collaboration? Luke Cage.

If the character of Jessica Jones is a study of a cultural failing, the character of Luke Cage is one of the most important power fantasies imaginable: he is a black man whose power is to be bulletproof. Given the terror that African-Americans live in of being shot by police officers or crazy white fundamentalist terrorists and the way the media portrays these incidents, it’s not hard to imagine why so many people might dream of having that super power.

All evidence points to this series being breathtaking.

All evidence points to this series being breathtaking.

Jessica Jones gave us fully fleshed characters, firmly grounding in reality, who happened to be female. Given this, we fully expect Luke Cage to give us grounded main characters who just happen to be black. It’s hard to imagine a more timely or necessary narrative.

The acting of everyone involved is brilliant. Krysten Ritter’s turn as the title character is based around a tough fragility – someone who looks strong but might break at any moment, and everything she does, from walk to silence, reflects Jessica’s pain. Rachael Taylor and Mike Colter both bring their a-game, inhabiting their characters with a vulnerable depth that Jessica can rely upon. David Tennant’s performance perfectly captures the solipsistic horror that Kilgrave is.

A special shoutout needs to be given to Eka Darville, however, as it’s the character of Malcolm Ducasse that truly ties everyone else together. The revelation of who he is and what’s been done to him is the purest motivation anyone could give Jessica outside of her own experiences, and he handles his role with a pure sense of hope and tragedy in equal measure.

There’s some subtle and not-so-subtle ties to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, too, mentions of Thor and Captain America, kids playing at being the Avengers, and Rosario Dawson resuming the role of Claire Temple from Daredevil. All this gives the series an increased sense of depth without requiring anything more than what’s present and without taking away from this specific narrative.

In short, Jessica Jones is just about perfect, and you should watch it.

And season two. We need a season two.

And season two. We need a season two.

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