December 4, 2015

Dark Times and Hot Sex: Jessica Jones

By G.G. Andrew

If you’re not watching Netflix’s Jessica Jones (and you really should), you’re missing out. Not only does it have fascinating female roles and friendships, an addictive plot, and an intriguing villain, it has some scintillating romance.jessica fire

Madeline recently led a Twitter chat on movies featuring dark and dangerous romance. Though a television show, Jessica Jones would fit perfectly within this subgenre. Much of its sexy thrills live within a dark, gritty world saturated in violence. It’s set in grimy Hells Kitchen, and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a private investigator with superstrength who’s recovering from an abusive past.

One night, after spying on muscled bartender Luke Cage (Mike Colter), she gets drinks at his bar and they end up in bed together.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Luke tells her in bed, not realizing her superpower. “You won’t,” she says. But he quickly responds, an intent look in his dark eyes: “I will.” Because Luke has powers of his own, and so the love they make is the kind that not only shakes the bedposts, but can bust the radiator. And they do.

But there’s a secret Jessica is not telling Luke. It’s connected to her bloody past and it’s something that would tear them apart. So, for Jessica, being with Luke is not only forbidden, it’s dangerous. Like so much of the show, their scenes are filled with a terrible, delicious tension–a fear of something awful happening at any moment: the secret being revealed, the villain Kilgrave rearing his ugly head. This danger makes the romantic scenes all the more exciting, both precious and potentially explosive.

There’s another romance subplot in the show as well, with her friend Trish (Rachael Taylor), and it too comes from an episode of violence. I won’t share the details so as not to be too spoilerific, but it’s a surprising, sexy turn of events I never saw coming.

supergirl-mehcad-brooksI’ve been contrasting these romances with the dynamics of the other big female superhero show this fall, Supergirl. Supergirl is set in a city too, but it’s one that is often cleaner or more filled with light, like the scenes at the sunny office where Kara (Melissa Benoist) works. There’s a love interest here too, the hottest Jimmy Olsen the world of comics has ever encountered played by Mehcad Brooks. (Seriously. I’m not sure why all the cameras don’t malfunction during filming. He’s that hot.) Kara’s big secret is that of course she’s also Supergirl, but this is a secret Jimmy and a few others know; there’s no subterfuge for her when she’s around him, no waiting for a bomb to explode. Everything is lighter, more out in the open.

Romances without a dark backdrop can be addictive too, fun and fascinating in their own way. But the tantalizing way Jessica Jones pairs sexy thrills with chills has me glued to the television–at the same time I’m looking over my shoulder.

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  • Post authoradrianaanders

    Just started watching this with Le Husband last night and we are hooked. And I think you’re right, G.G., a big part of it is that darkness… I love the Lune Cage character, love the underlying sense of doom, the ticking clock. I worry a little that the show doesn’t seem to hold its punches, but I’ll keep my big girl panties

    Reply to adrianaanders
    • Post authorG.G. Andrew

      Glad you’re getting hooked too, Adriana! What do you mean but not holding its punches? Like not following through? We are two episodes from the end and I’m so curious how they’ll finish this season.

      Reply to G.G. Andrew
      • Post authoradrianaanders

        I get pretty squirmy when kids get hurt and it looks like that might happen… Or there’s at least the threat of that happening. I’ll see how that pans out before deciding if I can stick with it or not.

        Reply to adrianaanders
  • Post authoradrianaanders

    On!! I’ll leave the big girl panties on! And face the darkness.
    (Evil premature comment-posting phone!!!)

    Reply to adrianaanders
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I’ve heard so much about this show. Man, Netflix knows how to bring it. I’ve resisted the lure of Netflix thus far (after a one month Gossip Girl binge, my sweetie cut me off) but oh, man….I’m feeling very weak. No one is talking about the villain, but I lurv David Tennant.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorG.G. Andrew

      Madeline, you would so enjoy it, I bet! Yes, I almost brought up David Tennant, but I have such complex, possibly inappropriate feelings about him in this. I love him too, but he’s so evil here (he’s her abuser). He’s an incredible villain, though. I think we are all supposed to be more disgusted with him than a lot of us are, because there’s this big part of my brain at least that’s like, But he’s Dr. Who! And cute and charming! But really in here he’s a sociopath.

      Reply to G.G. Andrew

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