Jessica Jones continues to slay, both in front and behind the camera. Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg announced at Transform Hollywood that all 13 episodes of season 2 will have female directors.
The first season of Jessica Jones received critical and commercial praise for its complex female protagonist, strong portrayal of female friendship, and how it approached the topic of sexual assault and abuse. That was thanks in no small part to the women behind the scenes of the Netflix series. Jessica Jones has a female showrunner, and there were quite a few female writers and directors. More so than normal, but still far less than there should be.
Women made up about one-third of directors for Jessica Jones‘ first season. That might not sound like a lot, but that’s almost twice the average. Last year, less than 18% of television episodes had female directors– with Jessica Jones being one of the more female-represented shows. Men (especially white men) still make up an overwhelming percentage of television show directors, with shows like Fargo, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Stranger Things not having any women or people of colour behind the camera. And it’s not getting much better. For example, the next season of Game of Thrones doesn’t have any female directors, despite its focus on female rulers.
Jessica Jones is actually the second show this year to confirm it will only have female directors for a season. Ava DuVernay announced last month that her OWN show, Queen Sugar, only hired female directors- including a few who had never done episodic television before. She said she was creating the opportunity for women to dive into television, because so few shows do so.
As unbalanced as things are, we are seeing more female directors for comic book properties. Patty Jenkins directed the much-hyped Wonder Woman solo flick, and Marvel is reportedly seeking a female director for its upcoming Captain Marvel film starring Brie Larson. Jessica Jones is rumoured to start filming in November, shooting concurrently with the first season of The Defenders, and will likely arrive in 2018 at the earliest.