Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mirrored

Now Playing: Sean Callery - Marvel's Jessica Jones Opening Theme

I spent most of last week watching Jessica Jones. Apparently I only believe in exercise when a show or audiobook can distract me from the pain in my legs.

I've resurfaced from this binge with two talking points.


1) Sillier point goes first. I found. . .a lot of weird similarities between it and some of the narrative choices I made in Millennium Girl. Not in a way that would make anyone call plagiarism or anything (I hope???), but in a way that feels deeply personal to me. Especially in certain scenes. In fact, pretty much in anything that involves Jessica and Kilgrave. The details and the set-up and characters are different, but some of the general dynamics get to me. I get weird, uncomfortable, "I wrote something like this once with a tiny girl in a yellow jacket and a tall bronze haired man with blue eyes" vibes from it. Maybe I mindlinked with one of the writers?

Okay. That's too much. It's probably only largely similar to me because I'm mid-revisions. I just get the feeling if someone claimed my hero and villain relationship was inspired by Jessica Jones's hero and villain relationship, you'd be hard pressed to believe me when I said no, I wrote the first draft of MG two years before JJ hit Netflix, I swear, check my back-ups.

It's not paranoia so much as it is mild confusion. It also means I'm more likely to ignore all the flaws of Jessica Jones because now I feel this weird, super personal attachment to it. And it also means it forced me to take a hard look at my own antagonist.

Is he. . .shallow? Am I not doing enough with him and Lilith's--for lack of a better term--relationship?

So I have wondered for the last week and a half.

I knew everyone else in the cast needed work, but I don't think I ever took an objective, cold look at Ansel till I had someone to compare him to.

Thanks for that, Kilgrave. You, uh, inspired me. (I say to the fictional rapist. Cue body shudder).

Actually, it was right at the end of one of the last episodes--ten, if I'm remembering correctly--that I realized what I had to do in my own work. Something had been missing and now I know what.

Right after that realization, I stopped watching the show so I could pause, stare into space, and talk myself out of/into the decision. I scribbled on a journal the whole time and then was like, "ughhh I have to do it, don't I?"

Revisions hurt.

2) I did a double-take when I saw who was the series creator for the show. Melissa Rosenberg. I have that name committed to memory. I don't know why, I just do.

Ms. Rosenberg. Screenwriter for all five Twilight movies.

Imagine. My. Shock.

I realize Rosenberg kinda had her hands tied with the source material of Twilight, but she still agreed to it. Then she spent years developing and plotting out Jessica Jones.

I have trouble comprehending this. She wrote the screenplays to adaptations that depict a romanticization of an abusive relationship, feature a weak, one-dimensional, Mary Sue female lead,  have some of the most nonthreatening villains to ever appear on screen, and have a horrific and downright insulting pro-life message shoved in at the last part (penultimate film/final book) for no reason at all.

Then 

She becomes a series creator for an adaptation involving a very legitimate, proper depiction of an abusive relationship and its aftermath, features a strong, complex, flawed female lead, has a threatening villain, and even handles a side-plot about abortion properly.

Whaaaat.

I mean, I'm really happy for her and thankful for Jessica Jones. But it's just weird.

And it also makes sense?

Storytelling is such a weird thing--stories get away from you and shift so much on their own and they're as much influenced by the audience as they are by the creator that, sometimes, it's difficult to really have them be 100% accurate representations of the primary storytellers. In fact, maybe it's really harmful to pretend a work of fiction is all that reflective of its creator. Maybe I shouldn't judge Melissa Rosenberg on the Twilight movies. But then, why do I think Jessica Jones is inherently more true to her thoughts? Is it because it came later? Because I see what I want to see?

In fact. . .don't we write and draw and make music because we want to express our thoughts, feelings, desires? It feels naive to pretend creators can be wholly detached from their creation.

Seems more complicated now. I'll have to think more about this.
~Becky

P.S: I recognized Luke Cage's actor but it took me forever to remember where I'd seen him before.

Good to see you in the MCU, Spartan Locke.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Kilgrave..? @_@ Why does that sound familiar?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't we name-drop him like five times last night? o_e

      Delete
  2. Anonymous1:45 PM

    Yeah, but... @_@ One of you said something in relation to me and I don't remember what? Or in relation to someone. I have terrible conversational memory.

    ReplyDelete

"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.