A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jessica Jones centers on a deeply flawed heroine with subtle superpowers who's fighting against dark forces from her past. You'll see intense action scenes that yield death and bloody injuries, along with simulated sex that, though it largely avoids showing sensitive parts (aside from bare buttocks), leaves little to the imagination. You'll also hear unbleeped cursing in the form of "s--t," "asshole," and the like and see the main character struggle with alcoholism, PTSD, and remnants of rape and emotional abuse.
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What's the story?
Haunted by memories of her time with the controlling Killgrave (David Tennant), JESSICA JONES (Krysten Ritter) is a hard-drinking private detective who makes her living tracking wayward spouses through the shadows of Hell's Kitchen. But she's also an ex-superhero with extraordinary abilities that she's trying to keep under wraps. While she sifts through the wreckage of her shattered personal life, she gains strength from her best friend (Rachael Taylor), a powerful employer (Carrie-Anne Moss), and an intriguing bartender (Mike Colter) with secrets of his own.
Is it any good?
As a role model, she's dark and dicey. But if you like your heroines strong with a side of snark, there's no denying that Jessica Jones makes for great and ultimately addicting TV. And you don't have to be a "comic book person" either. Even those coming to this Marvel drama with zero backstory will find plenty to like, from the cinematic story lines and compelling cliffhangers engineered to keep binge-watchers sated to the main character's refreshing twist on modern feminism. It's all a little weird, but it works.
Whether you want your kids watching or not is your call. Though the series' fascinating study of an abused woman coming to grips with her past may resonate with some teens, the show's overall themes are dark and difficult. Most scenes involving Killgrove are also deeply disturbing. And though the show steers clear of "graphic" sex in terms of nudity, what you do see is definitely ... explicit.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about how Jessica Jones measures up as a role model. What are her virtues? What are her vices? Why do we root for her in spite of her flaws?
Does Jessica Jones make any major changes to the Marvel comic that inspired it? What are the pros and cons of staying faithful to a show's source material versus adapting it to suit a different medium?
Does the fact that Jessica Jones airs exclusively on Netflix affect the way it's written and constructed? What would the show be like in terms of language, violence, sexual content, and structure if it aired as a non-streaming series?
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