Posted in blog post, brilliance, dinosaurs, fan, film, Jurassic Park, review

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Spoiler Free Review

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Jurassic Park has been a landmark film franchise for the last 28 years, ever since the first one burst onto our screens in 1990. It pushed the boundaries of CGI and animatronics, scared the living daylights out of small children, and delighted adults for three films.

Then, Jurassic World came along three years ago, and some fans were left disappointed. Others, like myself, were wowed by the new material.

But, does it’s sequel, Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, do any better? Or does it suffer from second-film-fatigue?

In short, Fallen Kingdom leaves the first Jurassic World in the dust.

This time, the dinosaurs are off the island, saved from their second extinction, only to be sold off to the highest bidder. Owen (Christ Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) set out to stop it, with the help of two new interns and a little girl – the granddaughter of Hammond’s business partner, who holds the key to a new storyline for the franchise.

They’re off-island, back in the ‘real world’, and the danger is only just getting started.

Filled with edge-of-your-seat-tension, terrifying dinosaurs (including a new breed Dr Wu has come up with), and a surprising amount of humour, Jurassic World is a thrill ride I cannot forget.

I’d even go as far to say that this is the best film in the franchise after the original one, it’s that good.

Yes, the storyline is a little far-fetched in places. Yes, the plot is skin-thin. Yes, it’s more of people getting eaten, apart from our heroes.

But, it’s fun. This film encapsulates everything that is fun about Jurassic Park as a franchise. It’s all about the scary dinosaurs, eating people and scaring the living daylights out of you. That’s what Jurassic World has always been about.

For some, the formula may be getting tiring, but, for a lot of the audience, including myself, this was incredible amounts of fun.

I loved every second, my mum, a dedicated fan of the franchise ever since it came out, was in awe, my best friend, a huge dinosaur fan, was unbelievably into it.

And I truly believe that sceptics of the first Jurassic World should give this one a chance. This one has learnt what the essense of this series is, and has filled itself with references to the original films. Any die-hard fan will spot the references to beloved scenes from the original three, and will love to see the return of Malcolm, even though his part is small.

All in all, I loved Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It’s classic Jurassic Park, with added references, a bit more humour, and slightly more layered plot. The dinsoaurs are fantastic, the humans being eaten scenes are fantastic, and the tension had my heart pounding with exhilaration.

I cannot recommend Fallen Kingdom enough, to die-hards, sceptics, and general fans of dinosaurs alike. The franchise feels invigorated, and is now about to go down a new path, and an incredibly interesting one at that.

I, for one, cannot wait for the sequel. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 3 years for it!

 

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Posted in blog post, books, brilliance, fan, McFly, review, words

Eve Of Man By Tom and Giovanna Fletcher Spoiler Free Review

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What happens if no girls are born in 50 years? What if the human race has lost hope, resigned to the fact that they’re going to go extinct? What if, then, miraculously, a girl is born?

And what if, this girl, Eve, has been lied to her entire life?

That is the story of Eve Of Man, the first in a YA trilogy, written by chart-toppers Tom and Giovanna Fletcher.

The book follows the story of Eve, the first girl born in 50 years, said to be the savior of humanity, and what happens when she falls in love with Bram and discovers that everything she has ever been told is a lie.

Now, before I go into opinions, I want to preface this by saying that I am a bit bias towards this book. I’m a massive McFly fan, and I mean massive McFly fan. I’ve followed them for 10 years this August, Tom, specifically, is my favourite. I’ve loved his previous books, I love his channel, and just generally am a massive fangirl for Tom and his band.

And, the last time I reviewed one of Tom’s books, this happened:

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So, yeah, I’m a little bit bias towards this book.

But, saying that, I was a bit wary going in. I’m not the biggest fan of love stories in books. Particularly, YA love stories. I’ve been burned a lot in the past with books giving me the most interesting storyline, for it to be derailed entirely because the main character falls for the guy, or two guys, and can’t decide which one she wants to start a relationship with. So, when I found out that this was an ‘unconventional love story’ I was a tiny bit wary.

I needn’t have worried at all.

Eve Of Man was a very fun read, and the love story did not entirely take over the storyline. While it was a big plot point, our main characters are focused entirely on unraveling the lies/setting about freeing Eve. It was fantastic to see and so refreshing to read as well.

The story kept us focused on escaping, on finding out the lies weaved through Eve’s life, on what exactly has actually been going on for the last 50 years. In short, it was riveting, I didn’t want to put it down.

Favourite things about the book:

The technology. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about RealiTV’s, holograms, Protectants, and everything inside this dystopian world. It all felt real to me as I read, not too fantastical at all, given the setting.

The flashes of Handmaid’s Tale throughout. In Eve’s POV, I definitely had a sense of Handmaid’s Tale during some moments. Not like it was a direct copy of the book/TV show, but maybe slightly inspired by Margret Atwood. It fit perfectly in this world and worked a treat in keeping the medical science element creepy.

The effect the human race had had on the world. Because the human race had lost hope, the basically gave up trying to save the planet. Global warming has gotten so bad that most of the world is now underwater, with it’s remaining people living is tall skyscrapers, built to withstand the water levels. I’ve never seen a dystopian which deals with humanities effect on the planet, so it was really interesting to see that touched on in this book.

Small niggles I had:

I would have liked a bit more detail on the Mothers, and each of their personalities. Only two really stood out to me as characters, the rest sort of melded into one. A bit more personality and detail on each would have been perfect.

Bram being more proactive than Eve. Bram seemed to do all the work in this, while Eve ended up getting swept up in it all. She had a few moments of defiance and badassery, but I would have liked to see a few more. That could be explained by her situation though, so I’ll withhold judgement on that until the trilogy is out in its entirety.

The men were said to be so untrustworthy that they weren’t allowed to even look at Eve when they were in the same room as her, as they may not be able to control their urges. I would have liked to have seen a bit more explanation into this, maybe an account of this happening in the past with other women. Or, if this was made up by the people controlling Eve, for that to have been made clear. Again, this could happen in a later trilogy, so I’m withholding judgement.

Apart from those few little problems, I really, really enjoyed this book, and have high hopes for the next two.

Tom and Giovanna have set up a very interesting world and story,  with two great characters to follow. I cannot wait to read the sequel!

4/5 stars.

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Posted in blog post, brilliance, Deadpool, fan, film, funny, gore, humour, Marvel, review, short post, X-Men, Xmen

Deadpool 2 Spoiler Free Review

Deadpool 2 Spoiler Free Review

Warning: This review contains swearing, but it’s a Deadpool review, so you probably won’t care if you’re here.

Deadpool has been a legend among Marvel comic characters ever since his creation. He defies superhero rules, swears, breaks the fourth wall and is generally the biggest fucking antihero to ever antihero.

So, naturally, his debut film starring Ryan Reynolds as the infamous Wade Wilson became the highest selling R rated movie of all time in 2016. This year his sequel came out, and the question is, does it live up to the hype of the original?

You can bet your ass it does!

Deadpool 2 is an explosive (literally) fireball of a sequel, keeping all the things fans love from the first film while keeping the storyline fresh and original.

Without giving away spoilers, Deadpool 2 is about family, responsibility and standing up for those who need a hero. It’s also about grief and the lengths people will go to to try to make things right again. It gets deep, real deep, deeper than anyone thought Deadpool could get without the help of bullets and katanas.

And yet, it’s still funny. In between the serious, heartbreaking moments where we really see who Wade Wilson is at his core, is the usual cracktastic Deadpool we all love. He breaks the 4th wall, he makes jokes that are very, very close to the mark, he still kills people in the most violent way possible.

He’s still Deadpool, but there’s so much heart in this film, I wasn’t expecting it at all.
At first, it’ll have you saying some variation of ‘what in the ass is going on here?!’ But what follows is truly one of the best films I’ve seen this year. In places it’s beautiful, in others it’s hilarious, in others you cringe in pain for characters after particularly bloody fights. Deadpool 2 was more than I could have ever imagined it would be. I loved every mad second of it.

With cameos, you never expected to see, introductions to new fan favorites, and a fantastic storyline, Deadpool 2 has proven that it is a juggernaut of a franchise that can and will break every convention the superhero genre has picked up over the years, all while being ridiculously entertaining.

If you loved Deadpool 1, you will adore Deadpool 2. It truly is a masterpiece from Fox. Something I never thought I would say (with the exception of Logan last year, which I’m still not over).

Just a word of advice -stick around after the credits roll, the end credit scene is the best thing I’ve ever seen, that had the audience screaming with laughter. It, like the rest of the film, is not to be missed.

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Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, blog post, brilliance, Chris Pratt, emotional, fan, film, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel, review, writing

Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War Spoiler Free Review

 

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This time last night, I was sitting in the cinema, preparing myself for the film event of the year. A film that has been 10 years, and 18 films, in the making.

Three different sets of superheroes – Avengers, Guardians and Masters Of The Mystic Arts, all coming together to create this one film. Infinity War.

Finally, the Avengers, the Guardians Of The Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spiderman, Black Panther, and every superhero ever introduced all teaming up to defeat one person – Thanos.

It was a risk, a huge risk. What if the audience didn’t like a certain team? What if a key superhero failed to create the buzz needed? What if Thanos wasn’t a scary enough villain?

But let me tell you, it pays off. 

This film is everything every Marvel fan has ever wanted and more.

It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s absolutely devasting.

The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, characters actually die in this one, and they are not coming back (much to my absolute horror), and the ending is such a cliffhanger I am still in shock, 24 hours later.

To sound cliche to the maximum, which does not suit the sheer magnitude of this film, I laughed, I cried (twice), I cheered when heroes teamed up with other heroes. I gasped, I hyperventilated for the entire film, I nearly crushed my mum’s hand I was squeezing it was so hard.

Infinity War is everything I wanted and more. My predictions for the film were 90% wrong, I didn’t see anything that happened coming. I was utterly captivated and left crying through the titles at the end.

I cannot praise Marvel enough for this film. I cannot praise the actors and the writers and the CGI people and the directors and everyone for this film. This film paid off in every single way possible. I loved every single second, even when I was crying my eyes out, even as I sit here now, in total and utter denial, I loved every single second.

This is the biggest film event of a lifetime, and the experience cannot be topped. If it is topped, it’ll be by Avengers 4 next year.

To say the least, though, Avengers 4 has a lot to answer, and a lot to live up to.

For now, though, Infinity War is a brilliant, fantastic, out of this world thrill ride of an emotional rollercoaster. A must see for every superhero fan. There will never be an event like this again, and it has to be seen to be believed.

 

Posted in blog post, books, brilliance, fan, funny

A Guide To Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

A Guide To Terry Pratchett's Discworld

Three years and two days ago, Terry Pratchett left us, but, he left behind a legacy. A legacy known as The Discworld – a series of books, beloved the world over for their quirky characters, bonkers world, and fantastical adventures.

The thing is, is that The Discworld as a whole is 41 books long (not including mini stories and spin-offs), and that’s a bit daunting, even to the most avid of readers. There’s talk of adaptions of The Watchman, already adaptions of three other books, none of which connect to each other. So where does one even start with a series that big? Is it the same characters the whole way through? And just what the hell is The Discworld all about exactly?

Well, this guide is going to help you with all that and more! I’ll start at the beginning.

What is The Discworld?

Simply put, The Discworld is a literal disc world, which floats through space. Not like a giant frisbee, of course not, that would be stupid.

It sits on top of the Great A’Tuin, a giant turtle, with four elephants on top of its shell. The Discworld sits directly on top of the elephants.

Yes, you read that right. A giant turtle flying through space, with four elephants on its back, with the Discworld on top of that. It sounds mad, but that may be one of the sanest parts of this weird and wonderful series.

“The philosopher Didactylos has summed up an alternative hypothesis as “Things just happen. What the hell”.”

Who are the main characters?

That would depend on which book you read. Each Discworld novel revolves around a different set of people – yes, there are some recurring characters, who have their own little ‘mini-series’ inside the entire series, but mainly, most characters turn up for one book and leave again.

But, if you are lucky, you can read about a couple of recurring characters. Characters such as:

Rincewind, a doddery (failed) wizard from the Unseen University who is utterly useless at magic, yet is somehow always dragged into the most ridiculous and dire circumstances. He has been described by scholars as ‘the magical equivalent of the number zero’. He’s also known for turning small, tiny problems into horrendous disasters.

“Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorizing the other occupants and kicking over the furniture.”

Starring in 8 different books, including the first ever, The Colour Of Magic, and making appearances in a few others, he’s a great place to start. Through Rincewind, you’ll meet a few other recurring characters, such as the Unseen University Wizards, Moist Von Lipwig, and my personal favourite, DEATH.

I swear I’m not weird, or that I’m trying to be some sort of edge-lord, DEATH Himself is my favourite character in the entire Discworld series.

DEATH is who you expect – the skeleton in the black cloak and the scythe, who reaps dead souls. But he isn’t a completely flat character, he’s actually quite funny, and has a soft side. A soft side which loves humanity, kittens, and curry. A soft side, which leads him to adopting a human daughter, recreating his ‘world’ in humanities image, taking on a human apprentice, and ending up with a granddaughter with half his powers.

DEATH’s first appearance is also in The Colour Of Magic and continues through five more books. He was my first big Discworld character, as my first hit of Discworld was with the adaption of The Hogfather, which remains to be my favourite book of the series. He’s a lonely character, one desperate for friends and happiness, to understand humanity as a whole. But he’s a fun character to follow, utterly fascinating, brilliantly funny in a deadpan way, but with the obvious dark edge (and scythe) to look out for when the moment calls for it.

“OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death. OTHERWISE, WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR?”

Then, if you want to get out of Ank-Morpork, the most famous city on the Disc, or a book for a younger reader, then look no further than Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men.

Tiffany is a 13-year-old witch at the start of her story, and she befriends the Nac Mac Feegle. They are an army of tiny, blue, drunk, Scottish ne’er-do-wells, and her series follows their adventures as she learns more about being a witch, and the troubles the Feegle can cause along the way.

“Zoology, eh? That’s a big word, isn’t it.”

“No, actually it isn’t,” said Tiffany. “Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short.”

There are a lot of other characters throughout the Discworld, which is to be expected with a series this long, but all are as loveable and brilliant as the previous. There won’t be one you won’t find captivating, I’d recommend any and all of them, even the ones I haven’t read yet. I have such faith in Sir Terry that I know I will love anyone he puts in front of me.

But where do I start with all this? There are so many books!

Wherever you want to, is the simple answer to that. There is no real order in the Discworld, you can read any book at any time, and still know what’s going on, even if you haven’t read that recurring characters back story.

As I said earlier, I started with The Hogfather, and by that, I mean that I watched the adaption Sky One produced about ten years ago. Blasphemous, I know, but I’ve since rectified this situation.

The Hogfather is the 20th Discworld novel, and 4th in DEATH’s series, and yet it made perfect sense as I watched and read the book. DEATH’s granddaughter, Susan, is one of the main characters, and while it would have helped to have read Mort first, her lineage is explained in-book, as is anything else you may be sat there thinking ‘huh?’ at.

The same goes for any other book you want to read in The Discworld, if there are no recurring characters, then you start afresh, if there are, they always mention anything relevant to the plotline so you aren’t left behind. The lore of the Discworld stays the same, so all you ever have to remember is what A’Tuin is, and that the people of the Discworld live similar lives to ours, only their world is filled with magic, and is a little more violent than our own.

So, essentially, you can start anywhere, and go on from there. You could follow Rincewind, or DEATH, or the Ank-Morpork watch, or Tiffany. You could pick and choose whichever book you fancy. Or, you could do the simple thing and read from A Colour Of Magic, all the way through to The Shephard’s Crown in order if you like. It’s up to you.

Personally, I pick and choose, depending on my mood. But that’s just me. There’s no right or wrong way to read Discworld.

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Any recommendations?

The Hogfather, that one I will crow about until the end of time if I’m honest. I adore the book and the adaption – watch the adaption and read the book every Christmas. It’s got a special place in my heart, and always will. If you like unconventional Christmas stories, inappropriate people playing Santa (aka The Hogfather himself), assassins with the most questionable sanity ever, and badass women, definitely go for this book.

Going Postalthis one was another I watched the adaption of first, simply because I only just found the book last month in a shop. But this book follows the aforementioned Moist Von Lipwig, a con artist forced to save the post office. And by save it, I mean having to build it from the ground upwards. Assassins try to kill him, Gollems try to help him, and the post office saves him. All in all, a brilliant story, definitely one to read when you’ve got a bit of time on your hands – the book is a brick. 

Mort, a shorter book, but a fun one to read if your interest in DEATH has been piqued. It follows Mort, a boy apprenticed by DEATH himself, and what happens when the powers go to his head. A wonderful way to get to know DEATH a little better, and while Susan does not appear in this book, it gives a great explanation as to why she is like she is.

Really though, pick whatever you want. There’s a book for every occasion, and an audiobook adaption for every one, all read by the wonderful Tony Robinson, who just adds to the books perfectly.

You mentioned adaptions, which ones can I watch?

The Hogfather, to start with. Starring David Jason as Albert, Michelle Dockery as Susan and Marc Warren as an unforgettable Mr Teatime. It’s almost word perfect from the book, with very few scenes missed out, and runs at 3 hours long. It’s where I started so I cannot recommend it enough. I’d say watch it at Christmas though, it is set during Discworld Christmas after all.

The Colour Of Magic, also starring David Jason, this time as Rincewind. Sean Astin stars beside him as Twoflower, the first tourist of the Discworld, and Tim Curry as Trymon, a power-hungry wizard from the university. This also combines the sequel The Light Fantastic so you won’t be left hanging, and is incredibly enjoyable. It’s not as good as The Hogfather, but still, a great way to spend 3 hours.

Going Postal, no sign of David Jason in this one, but still an all-star cast of Charles Dance, David Suchet and Claire Foye. Again, 3 hours long, but absolutely brilliant to watch. Funny, great comedic timing, and just generally brilliant. I loved watching this one.

The Watch, I can’t speak for these ones yet, as they haven’t actually started filming. This has been in development since 2011, with stops and starts all over the place, but I have faith. From what I can tell, the scripts have been written, overseen by Terry Pratchett himself before his death, and his daughter is apparently going to be overseeing the BBC’s production of it. Who knows though, it’s taken 7 years to get this far, so you’d probably be better reading the books first.

And, because I can, Good Omens. Yeah, I know that this isn’t a Discworld novel and that it’s actually set on Earth during the apocalypse and is co-written by Neil Gaiman, but come on guys, this is one of my favourite books, I had to mention it! BBC and Amazon Prime have joined forces to adapt Good Omens, overseen by Neil Gaiman, on a promise to Sir Terry before he died so I can promise accuracy in this one. And the cast, oh the cast, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. FotoJet (1)

David Tennant as Crowley.

Michael Sheen as Aziraphale.

Sian Brooke as the mother of the Antichrist.

Jack Whitehall as Newton Pulcifer.

And guests such as Mark Gatiss, Reece Sheersmith, Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson and Nick Offerman. Could this be any better? No. No, it cannot! It comes out next year on Amazon Prime and is going to be aired on the BBC later in the year. Filming wrapped just last week, and I am beyond excited to see this adaption come to life!

Anything else to add?

Apart from saying that The Discworld is one of my favourite novel series of all times, that Terry Pratchett is a genius and that you all need to read his books ASAP? Nope, I think that’s it!

Phew, this was a long one, but I guess I’m that passionate about Discworld! If you’ve got any questions you’d like to ask me about the series, leave a comment below and I’ll give my best answer. Or leave a comment if you have a Discworld book you’ve read and loved, I’d love to know where to go next in this world!

Until next time guys, happy reading, and enjoy your trip to The Discworld!

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Posted in blog post, brilliance, fan, Marvel, review

Why Jessica Jones Is One Of The Most Feminist Shows On Netflix

Why Jessica Jones Is One Of The Most Feminist Shows On Netflix

Jessica Jones season 2 arrived yesterday on Netflix, and, once again, it proved just what girl power looks like.

By that, I don’t just mean the fact that Jessica is physically strong because of course, she is very strong, I mean that Jessica Jones is strong as a series because it breaks every stereotype female characters are shoe-horned into. And that is something that is desperately needed right now.

First of all, the show is named after it’s female lead, and there is no fixed lead male. The first season featured David Tennant as the male lead villain, who played a huge part in the storyline, and in Jessica’s origins, but this season, there is no lead male character. There are male side characters who are important to the storyline, but the show focuses on Jessica and her adoptive sister, Trish.

On top of that, every single episode of this season was directed by a woman. To me, that is revolutionary. So many directors are male, they dominate the industry, but Marvel decided to have an entire series directed by women, and as you watch, you can tell.

Want to know how you can tell that Jessica Jones is directed exclusively by women?

There are no gratuitous topless shots of women. Not one. Not a single one. Not in any sex scene (of which there are a couple) or a shower scene, or anything. There is one scene where Jessica is in her underwear, but it was not for her to be seen as ‘sexy,’ or put in for her to be objectified. It’s not shot in a way that says ‘look at the sexy undressed woman,’ it’s shot like any other shot, the actress just happens to be underdressed, and for a reason that makes sense in the story at that point.

And that’s just the tip of the ice burg of equality in this show, there are so many more examples it makes my head spin.

The women in this show are so real, they all have motivations, all have back stories either explored or referenced, all have vices they cannot live without. They are fully fleshed out characters, with no reliance on stereotype. Jessica and Trish are friends, refer to each other as sisters multiple times throughout season 2, even when they argue constantly.

Even their arguments are real. They’re not arguing over a guy or trying to sabotage the other due to jealousy. They’re fighting over things like addiction, about the past Jessica refuses to explore, about family. Even those arguments are from a place of love, it’s never spiteful, or manipulative. You don’t realise how often you see women warring against each other in the media over silly reasons until you watch women fight out of a place of love.

Every episode passes the Bechdel Test, at least twice, if not multiple times. Women talk to each other about illness, about addiction, about solving cases. Yes, they also talk about relationships, but it’s not the only thing they talk about. On top of that, whenever it is revealed that a woman has slept with someone else, there is no ‘slut-shaming,’ or being judged for it. No character is ever shamed for having a relationship.

In fact, no female character is shamed for eating. In any scene involving food, no woman commented on her diet, or their body, or anyone else’s. They ate, and it was a normal thing to do.

Jessica Jones doesn’t just avoid stereotype, it also tackles some hard-hitting topics as well. Topics incredibly relevant for today’s society and today’s current events.

PTSD, rape and abuse are all topics carried over from series one, and will probably continue on into further seasons, as they’re so central to Jessica and Trish’s characters. But what season 2 builds on is rape culture.

From the first episode, Jessica calls out a man when he says that he won’t take no for an answer. This man is never forgiven and is made to be a more minor bad guy for the season. No man is ever allowed to take anything from a woman without retribution in this show, any who try to use, or abuse, any female character is always shown to be in the wrong. While the consequences don’t always fit the crime, the point still stands – no man gets to use a woman without consequences. And the consequences always comes from a woman.

And finally, and most importantly, there is a minor storyline about directors using young girls for sex. It is explicit in its reveal, without showing the actual deed, but it is made very clear that forty-year-old directors coaxing desperate sixteen-year-old actresses into bed was disgusting and deserved to be punished for their actions. Every woman involved in the storyline was in agreement automatically – he was in the wrong, the girl in question was a minor, and was a victim in the situation. There was no discussion between them as to what exactly happened, the victim was immediately believed, the director was not allowed to try and weasel his way out of it.

To say the least, it sends a powerful message to Hollywood and everyone in the film industry. If I’m honest, the entire series, the entire show, is a powerful message to the film industry.

Women are strong, they are powerful, they are diverse, with rich backstories and beautiful friendships. Women can hurt others, but they can also support them and help them through anything. Women can be flawed as people, but they are not to be shamed for their actions.

They are people, and their stories deserve to be written, directed and acted out. People need to see things like this. And they need to take away this message:

Jessica Jones should not be the only TV show out there like this. There should be more holding up these same values. Women are not sex objects or a thing to stereotype. They are real and wonderful, and human. Tell their damn stories, just like you would with any other male character out there.

Marvel'sJessica Jones