English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Category: Review Topic 5 Page 1 of 5

Piper Chapman: The Multifaceted Female Protagonist That TV Needs

If you have been following along with my blogs, you are probably very familiar with Piper Chapman, the protagonist of Orange is the New Black who is spending time in prison for carrying drug money nearly a decade prior. Unlike many female characters shown in television Piper is portrayed as caring, yet surprisingly cruel at times. Although she appears to be very innocent upon first entering Litchfield Penitentiary, she almost immediately shuts down romantic advances from Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” without much thought to how this would make her fellow prisoner feel.

While Piper ended up in prison due to an unfortunate twist of fate, similar to many other inmates, she comes from a vastly different background than her contemporaries. Piper’s wealthier upbringing and previous life sometimes make her stuck-up and disrespectful, it also gives her a different point of view to act as an advocate for the other prisoners. An early example demonstrating that prison life is a far cry from what she is used to is when Piper unintentionally insults Red’s food. However, Piper tries incessantly to make this up to Red, showing that she cares about what the other prisoners think of her and doesn’t just want to be served food again.

A mugshot of Piper

Many female characters are expected to have a monogamous relationship with a man, which Piper initially has at the beginning of the series. Before long, her past relationship with Alex reveals Piper is not more complicated than she appears on the surface. Despite Alex having turned her in to the authorities, Piper forgives her and cheats on Larry with her. While this choice may partially be due to the loneliness she experiences in prison life, it is still a low blow to her faithful fiance.

In conclusion Piper’s relentless self-advocacy, decision making role in her relationships, and morally questionable actions potentially stemming from her transition to a much more difficult life make her the realistic, intriguing character that benefits her show and television as a whole.

If you would like to read more about Piper’s development over the subsequent seasons of Orange is The New Black, check out this article from Vulture: https://www.vulture.com/2015/06/piper-chapman-actually-the-worst.html

The Importance of “Kadena” in The Bold Type

The Bold Type heavily focuses on the lives of three women, Kat, Sutton, and Jane. Therefore it’s no surprise that the majority of the show’s screen time is dedicated to women. However, the time and agency given to two of its minority actresses, Aisha Dee “Kat” and Nikohl Boosheri  “Adena”, make a significant contribution to the overall minority representation on screen today.

Some might question the importance of seeing people similar to them on television, however, representation is crucial for both younger generations and older generations. The Bold Type has contributed to a vastly empty representation sphere, young Muslim women specifically lesbian hijabis. While my life/personality is quite different from Adena my heart leaped when I saw her on screen, tears may or may not have been shed. I found it surprisingly satisfying to relate to Adena and realize how much I had been craving young Muslim representation on tv. It is important to note that The Bold Type was certainly unique with their characterization of Adena and did not make a cookie cutter stereotypically character, rather the show added multiple layers of individuality and complexity to Adena even though at first she was only a guest actor. The actor Nikohl Boosheri during an interview with Glamour stated that

“ If we were going to use pansexually and Islam and merge them together, it needed to feel real…with a character like this you are going to offend some people…I can only do my best to tell this one story.” – Nikohl Boosheri

Representation has a much greater impact when one person’s story is focused on rather than attempt to squeeze multiple stereotypes into one character’s story arc.

Kat’s story arc is also especially notable. The show spends a significant time developing Kat’s relationship with Adena and showing Kat’s path to understanding her sexuality. The show, in my opinion, did a great job representing coming out as an encouraging experience as opposed to a dark and upsetting process that is often emphasized in media. However, as one of the lead roles and a person of color, it was upsetting that The Bold Type, a show known to address relevant topics such immigration, seemly dismissed Kat’s race by never addressing it in season one. However, the show attempted to redeem itself in season two. The episode Rose Colored Glasses, allowed Kat to come to terms with her background while also creating a discussion about being biracial. The Bold Type is just one show in millions however they are helping to contribute to the hopefully expanding representation of women and minorities on screen.

adena and kat

Work Cited

https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/nikohl-boosheri-the-bold-type-interview

Gender Portrayal in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The gender spread in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is fairly uneven. Although there are significant male characters in the show, only a few of them are recurring. Out of these few male characters, many of them are clearly depicted as antagonists and are pit directly against the show’s protagonist, Kimmy Schmidt. They are portrayed as obstacles for her to overcome as she adapts to New York City life. Agency in the show is almost always granted to Kimmy or sometimes to Mrs. Voorhees. Kimmy and Mrs. Voorhees are usually making significant choices that change the course of the plot and male characters are simply seen as reacting to these choices. A few exceptions are made. One example is when Mrs. Voorhees’s husband canceled his visit home for the party she was setting up and Kimmy’s work went to waste as a result.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt focuses on Kimmy’s adaptation to city life in the modern world after being separated from it her whole adult life. However, it is not merely adaptation to modern living that the show focuses on. Kimmy being a female in the show is essential to the commentary that the writers wish to provide. As a female, Kimmy is portrayed as more vulnerable and easy to take advantage of, which often happens throughout the first season. The show tries to make a statement that a strong, independent woman has a lot to offer and can make the most of her situation given the right mindset. This is the mindset that the show instills in Kimmy and is a large part of the reason that the show is female-centered. The most prominent male character in the show is Kimmy’s roommate who happens to be gay.  Class-wise, the show puts two of the most prominent characters on opposite ends of the wealth spectrum and lets one mentor the other on how she made it. However, Kimmy doesn’t feel the same urge as Mrs. Voorhees did to marry a rich, older man to attain success, rather she carves her own path to success throughout the courses of the show.

Given the show’s feminist lens, the gender spread among the show’s recurring characters is unsurprising

8 People of One Mind

In Episode 5 of Sense8, what I believe will be the show’s main theme is made explicit by one of the 8. As Kala takes her wedding vows with a man she does not love, she says, “We shall share love, share the same tastes… share our strengths. We shall be of one mind.”

This quote ties up many of the experiences which the Sensates (which I have learned is the proper term for them) have been having as their mental bonds strengthen. Not only do they share tastes, such as when Kala takes a bite of shahi dukta, and Nomi’s coffee suddenly tastes “like a sugary dessert,” but they also share other sensations. When Sun gets kicked in the stomach, Lito feels the pain.

On multiple occasions in other episodes one of the Sensates has been in potentially lethal trouble and another has lent their strength to the one in need. When Capheus was being beaten up by some thugs Sun’s martial arts training allowed him to defend himself.

In this episode the Sensates draw closer together and begin to see each other more frequently in addition to sharing tastes and strengths.

Sun and Lito see one another for the first time

As this happens their lives also begin to parallel one another. Sun has to decide whether to sacrifice herself to save her father and brother as Capheus signs on with a crime lord to get medicine for his dying mother.

All of this contributes to the idea that the Sensates are literally of one mind, and are experiencing their lives together as one. In a larger sense, the fact that these 8 diverse individuals who often can’t even speak the same language (except when sharing strengths) are able to form a group and each strengthen the other makes an argument in favor of diversity strengthening a society. Additionally, the fact that they are having the same experiences — both as a result of their bond (sharing tastes) and independently of this bond (making parallel life choices) — makes an argument that no matter what a person’s appearance or background everyone is equal and has equally valuable experiences.

Grey’s Anatomy Includes Everyone

This week I watched the 4th episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Every gender was equally represented in the episode and there were about the same number of male characters as there were female. This episode however, seemed to focus a lot on the female gender as a lot of it focused on how Izzie used to be a model. This led to many of her pictures being posted and talk about around the hospital and underlined the way that men and women think about female models with one patient even denying her the opportunity to conduct surgery on him because he fantasized about her before.

The agency of the show is mainly controlled by the character’s job title in the hospital’s job hierarchy. Males seem to take the position of chief and 2 of the head surgeons but a very strict women (Bailey) takes the position of resident which is also quite high. The rest of the main characters take positions of interns, doing very basic and easy tasks for the people in higher power and do the tasks that they’re being told to do. These interns are both male and female with no pattern as to who has more power over the other.

The show is able to connect gender, race, and everything in between very well. Bailey is an African American women while Dr. Burke is an African American man who is one of the head surgeons. Race seems to be varied between the characters and gender as well with both males and females taking positions of power in the hospital. In my opinion, the show does a good job of including all types of people, even if they’re not main characters. For example, the show includes many different types of patients, some with mental illnesses, some with disabilities, and patients of many different classes.

Miranda Bailey is considered the most strict resident of the hospital

Gender??

Fresh off the Boat has an interesting and unique representation of gender. In the family, everyone is scared of the mom, including her husband. She makes all the big decisions and can be very feisty. This is a nice change to having the man always in power. Gender power is definitely represented through age at the same time. The grandma is very quiet and only speaks when spoken too. Her feet are also bound, and she cannot walk. This show does not have much relating to queerness, so far at least. In season one episode five, the main conflict was between the family and their in laws because there has been an ongoing “competition” on who is more successful and financially stable. One aspect of the competition was looks and Eddie’s mom curled her hair because that represent money and Eddie’s cousin’s mom got breast implants. This shows how body appearance is connected to value in this show and community. This is intriguing because in today’s day and age, class and value is trying to separated from looks and appearance. However, the setting of this show is in 1995 when this present wave of equality was not as present. As a result, this show has an accurate depiction of what society was like over twenty years ago. Over the duration of this episode, the two families continued to battle for the prize and the two moms battle to be the favorite of their mom. Eddie’s mom was always the favorite but lost her spot after she “abandoned” her. Overall, this episode was not very related to any gender representations beside the stereotypes of Asian culture. It was ironic to see how Eddie’s cousin’s family was lying the entire time and how happy Eddie’s family was when it was confirmed that the Miata was used.

When your sibling is talking bad words about you indirectly

4th Time’s the Charm: Gender in Fresh off the Boat

The gender representation in Fresh off the Boat suffers from a lack of women in its cast, and the women in the show are usually just side characters (besides the Huang matriarch).

The show has a lack of women in it, but this might be due, in part, to the lack of women in the Huang family. Despite this lack of women, the show will still usually have 1 of the 3 sub-plots dedicated to Jessica. In this episode, she is quite present.

Jessica is usually shown to be the least nonsensical family member, as her husband is a completely goofy character. Despite this, she is depicted as a bit of an eccentric in this episode because of her superstitious beliefs. She is proven right in the end, and the family must change with the help of their grandmother’s strange rituals.

Jessica is a strong mother, she takes an active role in her kids’ lives and plays an active role in the family affairs, usually overpowering her husband. Despite this good representation, this happens to fall into one of the oldest stereotypes of Asian women, the Tiger Mom. On top of this classical stereotype, Jessica is an Asian middle-class penny-pincher. The show does a good job at showing the audience these stereotypes, but also doe not do much in the way of breaking them.

Jessica, in a fight with her husband (that she totally wins)

The show tends to allow Jessica’s character with many victories, she basically controls the family, wins most arguments she gets into, and is extremely gifted at selling houses, all of which are great for a strong female presence, but these little victories can not make up for the classical stereotypes that the show espouses, the Tiger Mom and penny-pincher, both of which are never addressed or talked about outside of the many jokes and gags present.

While Fresh off the Boat may be a funny sitcom about an under represented race in America, it does little to fix the associated stereotypes and deceptions of that very same race’s women.

“AKA Girl Power”: A Look at Gender Representation in Jessica Jones

Episode 4 of the second season of Jessica Jones, titled “AKA God Help the Hobo”, contains several gender representations that provide a strong structural gender background of the whole show itself. From the name of the show and its first episode of the first season itself, it became obvious who the central character is in terms of representation by time, decisions and actions: Jessica Jones. She is already portrayed as unique from the general public due to her superhuman strength, matched only by her close friend Luke Cage’s indestructible skin and her previous enemy, Kilgrave’s, mind-controlling capabilities. In addition to her unique power and being the only female, and human, to possess it, she is also the main protagonist of the show, with the show’s plotline revolving primarily around her, from her dark past (summarized very well by her in the opening scene of the episode mentioned above: “My whole family was killed in a car accident…someone did horrific experiments on me…I was abducted, raped, and forced to kill someone… ”), to her quest to hunt down and kill Kilgrave, which was achieved by the end of Season 1, to now find more clues about the company that gave her the superhuman abilities following the accident that killed her parents.

Image result for jessica jones aka god help the hobo gifs

Jessica at her first anger management therapy…

 

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5 minutes later

“AKA God Help the Hobo” is an episode that re-emphasizes all these previously established gender roles in the show, along with provide some new ones. One of the re-emphasized gender roles is of Malcolm’s, Jessica’s neighbor and partner investigator in his and Jessica’s co-founded detective agency, presence on the outskirts of the company he has half the ownership of. After a failed anger management class, Jessica returns to her agency/apartment and is met by a demanding Malcolm who begs for more opportunities to help her in her investigations, showing Jessica’s independence even though she eventually agrees after reluctance because of wanting to keep him safe. This inverse relationship of a man being on the outskirts and under the decisions of a woman is an important factor within the show that makes it especially worthwhile to watch in the modern day due to its proactive message.

 

The first new gender role it provides is in relation to Jessica’s female lawyer, who was initially shown to be self-employed but gets fired by a male investigator in this episode who is apparently at a higher power, showing a stark change in the pattern of gender representation thus far in the show as women, such as Jessica and her closest friend and step-sister Trish, have usually maintained dominant roles. The show also grounds itself to reality due to the reason the lawyer was fired: her developing ALS, a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function, displaying a common limitation to many in the workforce today, especially women: an unavoidable factor such as disability.

Gender Representation in New Girl

For the fourth Blog Entry, I am focusing on the gender representation within the show. In New Girl, there is a balanced gender spread. Even though there are slightly more male characters than the female characters, the main character is Jess and the show plot is always related to her. Therefore, it balances out the gender representation. However, only two genders, male and female, are represented in this show whereas there are many other genders that could have been represented.

In this show, the two main couples are Jess and Nick, and Cece and Schmidt. In the relationship between Jess and Nick, Jess is dramatic, and Nick hides his feelings. However, this was contrasted in one episode where Nick accidentally says he loves Jess and Jess goes away after giving an awkward reaction. In the relationship with Cece and Schmidt, Cece makes the logical decision and Schmidt follows her decision or runs away from his responsibility. In conclusion, I believe the agency is equally assigned because the characters that makes significant decisions are both males and females.

Jess and Nick

Cece and Schmidt

There are not much of class, disability, and mental illness issues discussed in this show. Since the genre of New Girl is sitcom (situation comedy), the show is mostly in the light mood. Due to this fact, the serious issues in the society are not usually addressed. As I mentioned preciously, there are only two genders represented throughout the show. There is no diversity in sexual orientation. There are only heterosexuals. Lastly, there are characters with different races. However, the race is not really associated with gender in this show, which means that there is no noticeable correlation between gender and race.

In conclusion, although it lacks many different genders, the males and females are balanced in the show New Girl. There are characters which are gender stereotypes but there are also characters which are far opposite of these stereotypes.

Do we have a pattern to follow?

The show “No tomorrow” is well-balanced in relation with gender representation. We have almost the same number of men and women representing different roles through the show, although women represent the majority of the main cast.

The company in which the story happens is lead by a women. Deirdre is the CEO of the company and one of the main characters of the show. Besides that, more women take important roles through the story. Working at the same company in which Deirdre is the CEO, other women represent important roles through the episodes. Besides the important functions that women represent in this company, the TV show revolves around Evie. She was about to get married, but decided to live a crazy adventure with an unknow man. The facts evolving her attitudes and the way that each episode is going to end up are based on her decisions of what to do about her live.

TV shows always try to please their audience. Thinking about it, I was wondering if the roles were switched, what would have happen? If Evie was the crazy guy and the guy was the one that left his wife to live an adventure with an unknow girl. Would society judge the guy the same way as the girl would if the roles were to be switched?The audience would be different, and different comments would come up. Trying to end with the portrayed gender representation, I think that TV shows should start approaching this matter differently. They should show the opposite of our society, they should end with genders portrayed, they should end with defined roles that you have to take. We should be free to represent whatever we want and not be predefined by our society. Looking up to achieve this result, TV shows can be an excellent way to enforce this idea.

The Mothers of Fresh Off The Boat

So I’ve avoided discussing gender in Fresh Off the Boat. I wanted to give the show a chance to defend itself – but I’m low on topics so the time has arrived. Now I have to give a bit of a disclaimer – this show is a satire. It plays off stereotypes for comedy, so it should be expected that some of those are going to seep into gender.

For starters, In terms of screen time, there is only one lead female roll and that is Jessica Huang. The grandma rarely gets screen time and has very few lines. It is only for comedic sake, but it still rings true that females don’t get much time. In this particular episode they got far more time than usual, because it followed the story line of Jessica instead of Eddie.

In this episode in particular the topic focuses on Eddie Huang’s crush on an older girl. All she cared about was dropping out of school to go to beauty school… ok. This is problematic. But they don’t portray all women like this. The only female main roll is the mom, Jessica Huang. She is obsessed with being the best at everything and encourages her kids to be the same. Her determination is so strong that she temporarily quits her efforts to become a realtor because she is worried she will not be the best realtor in the district. So we have a strong female lead. She’s determined to work her hardest and refuses to even be associated with stay at home moms, because she wants to be associated with the image of a powerful working woman. The side characters are stuck in the past. We have the previously mentioned crush. In addition, we have a huge culture of stay at home moms that the show features who are aggressively conservative and look down upon working mothers (bad) but the show frames them in a way that is clear that they are looked down upon for not supporting fellow women (good). In this episode in particular one of the moms tries to encourage Jessica to work hard to accomplish her dreams, while playing the role of a very stereotypical mom.

this is a look into the stereotypical moms on the show

Although the show presents gender through stereotypes, it endorses women being proud of who they are, and supporting other women. In the end that’s the whole message of the show, be who you are.

The Crossroads Between Gender and Race

Throughout the first season of Orange is the New Black, several arguments attached to larger cultural discussions arise. One aspect of the show that aids in its popularity is its representation of gender and race. Now, since the show takes place inside a women’s correctional facility, an overwhelming majority of the characters are female. However, this metric does not discount from the show’s diversity.

A glimpse of the show’s uneven gender distribution

A great example of the show’s ability to display its diversity can be seen through the actions that characters take to alter the course of the show’s plot. In fact, this dynamic appears throughout the entirety of the first season. For instance, in the sixth episode, The Chickening, a few female inmates take it upon themselves to hang a cross, that was made in the prison’s workshop, from the ceiling of the prison’s chapel. In this segment, the women are depicted as assertive, and this portrayal of female characters opposes the manner in which they are presented on shows with male protagonists. In the aforementioned scene, most of the characters were Caucasian, but the show frequently uses segments with other racial groups to steer the direction of the show. During the fifth episode, Imaginary Enemy, a particular focus is placed upon Ms. Claudette, a Haitian inmate. Throughout the episode, several flashbacks of Ms. Claudette are showcased to give further insight into her background. The flashbacks are also used to develop her presence, since she occupies a secondary role, so that she can partake in a larger conflict later in the episode.

Although the show mostly focuses on the female characters, it does highlight the roles of its few male characters. In most of the instances that the men are shown in, many of the decisions they make occur in response to those made by the female characters. This is demonstrated in segments where the guards order the inmates to repair the chapel’s ceiling after breaking it and lock down the prison to recover a tool stolen from the prison’s tool shed. Unlike the female characters in the show, there appears to be no diversity among its male figures. Most of the recurring males on the show are Caucasian, and males of other ethnic groups only appear in flashbacks. The lack of diversity among the men in the show is expected since the number of males that are depicted is fairly small.

The show’s main premise essentially establishes the gender ratio that is maintained throughout the first season and all subsequent ones. Because of the large disparity that exists between the number of male and female characters, the show attributes multiple mannerisms to female characters that would normally be viewed as uncharacteristic in television series with male protagonists. In sum, the combination of race and gender portrayals within the show help foster the central image of Orange is the New Black.

A Friendship Between Two Broads

Broad City is objectively a unique comedy series, especially under the category of female-centered television shows. The uniqueness of the show stems from a variety of characteristics, but the show’s most defined characteristic is its implementation and representation of gender throughout each episode. Yes, Broad City is centered on the lives of two female millennial city-dwellers, Abbi and Ilana, but the show is much more than that.

Generally, the show includes a wide spread of gender throughout each episode, notably through male side characters as well as gender-fluid characters (RuPaul’s cameo in Season 4). Also, the show intersects gender with many other representational axes such as race, class, and sexual orientation. Ilana’s friend with benefits, Lincoln, is black, and her roommate is a gay Hispanic man named Jaime. Also, Ilana herself does engage sexually with both men and women, so the millennial, open-minded, unbiased representation of characters definitely shines through. Despite all these characteristics, the show does place a predominant focus on the women of the show, specifically the two female leads in Abbi and Ilana. The inclusion of the peripheral characters is mainly to bolster Abbi and Ilana’s story-lines, and the intent of the show is to portray a unique and non-stereotypical female experience.

Cast of Broad City, (left to right), Lincoln, Ilana, Jaime, Abbi

With the premiere episode of Season 4, titled “Sliding Doors,” the viewers are exposed to a more direct development of gender representation, particularly in the basis of female friendships. The opening episode is about the crazy story of how Abbi and Ilana met as young adults in New York. Ilana witnessed Abbi struggling to get into the subway, so she helped Abbi by swiping her in. However, they both missed the train, so they were basically stuck together. Although they met by chance, Abbi and Ilana do not take that for granted, and it was ultimately their decision to develop this new friendship. Television shows usually depict women as competitive or opposites of one another, and female friendships tend to be more one-sided. Broad City shatters this stereotype, however, by blossoming the friendship between Abbi and Ilana in a more authentic way in the Season 4 premiere. Abbi and Ilana recognize each other’s quirks upon first meeting, and they are willing to mutually interact and help each other out. For example, they both enjoy lighting one up from time to time, and their sense of humor plays off each other. This embracing of each other’s personality emulates a sense of relatability with the viewers that is otherwise lacking in other TV shows.

When Abbi and Ilana first met (“Sliding Doors”)

Therefore, the basis of female friendships plays into the representation of gender in Broad City because it helps to portray women in a different light. Without the stereotypes of envy and competitiveness being shown, female friendships like Abbi’s and Ilana’s are strong, embracing, and supportive of each other no matter what, making Broad City a much more refreshing show.  

Car Sales(wo)men

One of the greatest strengths of The Middle is its balance in representation/emphasis of characters.  Since the show is derived from the story of a Midwest family, fittingly the main role highlighted is the mother.  The sequence of events is often correlated with Frankie Hess, and the show does not fail to portray her dynamic character qualities.  Although three of the five family members are male, The Middle focuses on the mom’s perspective with the frequent use of commentary.

In regard to occupation, The Middle defies the commonality our group discovered during our gender representation analysis.  Rather than stressing Mike’s job, the show keeps most of the attention centered at the car dealership where Frankie is depicted as working hard for her family.  This contrasts with the many ABC shows our group investigated for our project.  The trend in these shows was to establish the male occupation as the main contributor to the family.  The Middle rarely strays from its documentation of Frankie’s career, and it’s refreshing to be given this rather uncommon outlook.

It’s remarkable Frankie is able to manage all of the things she does for her family.

Outside of the Heck family, many of the characters are male, including Frankie’s workplace (Bob, her boss, etc.).  However, these characters are typically very flat.  In fact, one might conclude that the only truly progressive characters are within the Heck family.  I see Frankie and Sue as more dynamic than the males in the family.  Because of this, I do not see a notable imbalance in gender.  Perhaps more male roles appear, but the divide among the main characters is equitable.

The representation by race in The Middle is atrocious, but one must acknowledge that the show takes place in the Midwest.  From experience, I can attest that the show is accurate…like very accurate.  As much as I support the widening minority roles to improve the accuracy of TV and movies, The Middle is not at fault for its cast.  Also, by design, there seems to be a relatively uniform status across the show.  Most characters appropriately fall into the middle class.  This is essentially the basis for the show, as The Middle defines what is really important in life.

In conclusion, the authenticity within The Middle is translated to gender.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the Heck family events pan out, told by the most influential family figure, the mother!

Jessica Jones’ Unconventional Representation

Jessica Jones episode 7

As the name implies, Jessica Jones is a show focused primarily on a female character. However the show focuses on a pretty evenly distributed spread of female/male characters. With about 11 main characters on the show, there are 6 female characters. With a pretty even distribution, the show tends to focus on the female characters, with Jessica Jones receiving the most screen time. Rarely, Jessica Jones is not shown in a scene, and when there are other characters in a scene, it is often Jessica Jones interacting with Trish Walker, her closest friend in the show.

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Trish talking to Jessica.

Besides screen time, Jessica Jones puts female characters at the center of its focus regarding its plot. Usually, Jessica Jones makes most of the important decisions, and male characters often react to her decisions. Both some male and female characters exist on the outskirts of the show, but unconventionally more female characters drive the plot of the show. This is one of the main reasons I believe Jessica Jones is revolutionary for our time. It puts female characters at the center of its focus while it also uses a good proportion of male characters to add to its plot.

In regards to other representational axis, the show does great on representing other races. In the main cast, there are 2 African-American, 1 Asian-American, and 1 Latino-American characters 2 of which are female characters. However, some of these characters do not have important/impactful roles in the story. With regards to sexual orientation, there is 1 character in the main cast who is portrayed to be lesbian. The show does well with not hiding sexual orientation representation in the show. Although only 1 lesbian character exist, the show does not shy away at showing the character’s relationships with her female partners.

Finally, mental illness is a topic greatly covered by this TV show. With Jessica Jones herself battling through PTSD and depression, the show constantly tackles and deals with issues regarding mental illness. Actually, every episode in the entire season is about Jessica dealing with her past and overcoming her personal struggles.

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