I don’t often get the urge to watch immense quantities of television, but I’ve been a little ill and felt a little bleh recently, so I’ve been doing it. I tried to watch Jessica Jones, but it just didn’t appeal. As in, I actually found it difficult to see the appeal. The part that I understood was that the villain was genuinely dangerous and felt genuinely overpowering. I liked the cat and mouse game, and the sense of omnipresent danger. Most media, especially superhero media, fails at the job of making you feel like the heroes are in real danger, and it was nice to see one that didn’t.
But the show felt like it had nothing human in it. The relationships, the motivations, and the character conflicts all felt very artificial. None of them gave me any sense that they had an inner life, and after awhile I realized I was only watching so that I could see the result of the cat-and-mouse game, and while that might be enough to carry me through a movie or a novel, it wasn’t enough to carry me through thirteen hours of television.
So I ended up rewatching the first season of The Good Wife. What a truly excellent television show. It’s intermittently brilliant, but it’s always competent. Every line of dialogue feels like something that a person would say, and every interaction feels at least somewhat real.