Why the Purple Man is Not Hot (No Matter How David Tennant He is)

Preeti and Ali are covering Netflix’s Jessica Jones for Panels.net

This November, Netflix is bringing Alias (aka Jessica Jones) straight to our living rooms. Ali and I are very excited. Every picture, every announcement, every rumor has had us squee-ing in anticipation.

Last week, the Jessica Jones twitter team dropped screenshots of several of the characters. Including one of the generally-very-squee-worthy David Tennant.

David Tennant as the Purple Man in Netflix's upcoming "Jessica Jones" series

David Tennant as the Purple Man in Netflix’s upcoming Jessica Jones series

I can say with authority that Ali and I are both massive David Tennant fans. He’s our Doctor, he’s our Scottish fake-boyfriend. That’s for sure.

That being said, David Tennant is playing Dr. Zebediah Killgrave, aka the Purple Man. The Purple Man is not squee-worthy. He is not our Scottish boyfriend. He is a true sociopath. He is an Awful Person, to say the least.

Our fellow Panelteer, Jess Plummer, tweeted on Thursday:

jess plummer jessica jones tweet

There’s a tendency in fandom, and it is often a lovely thing, to find the good in characters, and find something to latch onto in a positive way. It helps when these characters are played by compelling, handsome actors. We did it with Loki (oh hay Hiddles), and we see it with Snape and Draco. But this is not a thing we should do with the Purple Man.

Anti-heroes are fascinating, and redemption stories can be really powerful. When you have an attractive actor in that role, usually it makes you want to make out with their face even more. We get it, trust us. But David Tennant as Purple Man is not that. He is not a misunderstood rake. There is no heart of gold under layers of sadness and feelings and brooding. There is no heart.

If you’re familiar with Alias, you know that the story does not, in any way, try to romanticize the Purple Man. It is very clear that this is an evil, abusive fucker with no redeeming qualities. This isn’t 50 Shades of Gray, where abuse is made to look sexy. Just because David Tennant has great hair and looks gorgeous in a suit, it DOES NOT make this character ha-cha-cha-worthy. If anything, it just makes him more unsettling. He doesn’t look like the monster he actually is.

Unfortunately, we’re already seeing hints of what’s possibly to come with the release of the first official Purple Man picture.

buzzfeed geeky purpleman tweet

So we thought we’d get out of ahead of it and reiterate that this is not a character to fawn over. It doesn’t matter how attractive the Purple Man’s hair is. He’s more of a Bartie Crouch, Jr. and less of a Ten. More of a sociopathic rapist and less of charming and mostly misunderstood bad guy.

I am sorry to say that David Tennant is in a role that we’re not going to fangirl over. And I’m a little nervous about how the show is going to handle his character. It’s hard to write issues of consent in a non-exploitative way. But I’m excited to see Tennant back on the small screen, and to see what he can do with such a vile character.

I’m just definitely not OTP-ing him with anyone. Because no one deserves the Purple Man.