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Krysten Ritter and Melissa Rosenberg talk Jessica Jones’ season two challenges

Krysten Ritter, Melissa Rosenberg (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

[Here’s our requisite warning that herein lies a spoiler for season one of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We’ll spare you the questions about why you haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.]

Marvel’s Jessica Jones introduced us to a badass, albeit reluctant, new hero when it premiered on Netflix last year. Themes of the “hard-boiled feminist neo-noir” included redemption and agency, but it also tackled issues that aren’t generally covered in TV series, including rape and coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. Krysten Ritter’s lead performance was both commanding and conflicted, as Jessica tried to climb her way back out of the dark. But showrunner Melissa Rosenberg made sure to balance the weightier material with moments of levity because, as she recently noted at Vulture Festival, watching a “purely bleak” show is just, well, bleak.

Rosenberg was joined by Ritter for the “Art Of Collaboration” panel, where they discussed how they influence each other’s work—at one point, Rosenberg said that episode seven, “AKA Top-Shelf Perverts,” was written with Ritter in mind. They also talked about the “philosophy” of the character and how she’ll deal with the fallout from season one’s finale, which saw Jessica forced to kill Kilgrave (David Tennant). Ritter and Rosenberg agreed that despite the finality of the events, Jessica was far from over them. Rosenberg’s statement that “[Jessica] took a life, and that’s so counter to who she is,” was quickly followed by Ritter saying that “I don’t think all that trauma and PTSD goes away now that she kills him.”

Tennant gave a remarkable performance as Kilgrave, but while Rosenberg admitted to feeling some pressure to follow him up with an equally terrifying villain for season two, she isn’t worried about expanding the scope. She intends to focus on “just how personal it is to [Jessica].” A villain’s plans for world domination won’t faze the private investigator, Rosenberg said: “It’s not going to resonate. So whatever we do just has to be intimate or personal in a way. Not necessarily the history or such, but just connected directly.”

No other details on the direction of the new antagonist were shared or about season two in general, but Rosenberg and Ritter did touch on Netflix and Marvel’s long-promised Defenders adaptation. Daredevil showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are helming the limited series, which will see Jessica join forces with Matt Murdock, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage (yes, even after that fight). Rosenberg won’t be involved in the production, and admitted entrusting the character to other showrunners was a bit like leaving your child with a nanny for the first time. But more than anything, she trusts Ritter to look after Jessica’s best interests in the upcoming crossover event.

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