12:31pm PT by Daniel Fienberg
'Jessica Jones' Team Tackles Sex, David Tennant and Approaching Issues Through Story
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the first season of Marvel's Jessica Jones.]
The most important thing to know about the second season of Netflix's Marvel's Jessica Jones is that there's absolutely nothing new to know about the second season of Marvel's Jessica Jones.
"We learned about the pickup when you guys learned about it," insisted Marvel Television chief Jeph Loeb at Sunday's Television Critics Association press tour day for Netflix.
One thing the season won't involve is David Tennant's Kilgrave as a Big Bad, though everybody associated with the show lamented the Doctor Who veteran's absence.
"When you have David Tennant, you want him around forever," Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg said, though she noted that the show isn't called Kilgrave.
"The show is called 'Jessica Jones,' so the story is about Jessica's arc and how it plays out in its best shape and form," Rosenberg said, with Loeb agreeing, "Your protagonist is often defined by how strong your antagonist is."
In lieu of any details at all about the second season, including clarifications regarding whether Loeb really and truly only learned that his wildly well-reviewed and allegedly successful — one never knows with Netflix — show would be back that morning, the panel concentrated mostly on elements from the first season including, enthusiastically, the sex scenes between Krysten Ritter's Jessica and Mike Colter's Luke Cage.
"You're gonna have to do a scene like that, it's not terrible to do it with Mike," Ritter said. "He's alright looking, but he's also just a nice guy and always has your back. I always felt really safe and protected. It's so choreographed. There's really nothing sexy about it. We kinda pick on each other more like brother and sister, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been."
Colter added, "The awkward point is the people that are in the room besides us. It's not us. We're OK. It's just the 20 or 30 people that are around who are all of a sudden on set, who probably wouldn't be on set. That's always interesting. I really thought that it turned out as good as it could turn out."
For Loeb, one of the caretakers of the Marvel Cinematic/Televisual Universe, the sex scenes weren't just more graphic than most of what the studio has done in the past.
"It was important that we establish that this is an adult drama and in an adult drama, there is an element of sexuality that was important and it was really important to also establish because of what was happening in Jessica's life and in order to be able to show people that what had happened with Kilgrave was not OK, but there are other situations where that kind of activity is OK," Loeb said.
Critics hailed Jessica Jones for its careful depiction of gender roles, sexuality, violence and consent, and while the team was proud of the dialogue the show started and grateful for the commentary, there was an insistence that it was all about serving the story.
"[W]hat's so special about how Melissa tackled some of the issues that all of you amazingly picked up on is that you're never didactic and moralizing with it," co-star Rachael Taylor told her showrunner. "There's so much conversation about some of the issues that it [tackles] for women and all of those issues are really, really important, but they were threaded so intricately into your writing that it didn't become about that in a moralizing way. It was just about making the characters truthful."
Rosenberg agreed, "There's been a lot of really smart think pieces and writing that y'all have been doing on the issues that we've been tackling in this show. What's funny is that we never walked into the writing room going, 'We are going to take on rape and abuse and feminism.' We were telling a story for this character and by being true to her character it was true to the issues."
Marvel's Jessica Jones will return... at some point.