Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #12

No, it’s not time for the monthly wrap-up just yet. I still have some shows and movies I need to talk to you about first. Here’s what I’ve been watching this past week!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Bridgerton (Season 2)

The show released at 8AM my time and I binged it all the way through without a pause, before I had a late shift at work – that’s how eager I was for this new season to finally come out! It wasn’t the same as Season 1 and neither should it be, but the bright standouts were definitely Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley as Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma. I’m so in love with the both of them and their dynamic on and off screen. They are beautiful and exhilarating to watch, even though I felt we didn’t get enough of them as a couple. Granted, this might be because they will be an active part of future seasons, unlike Simon and Daphne, who all but disappeared (Regé-Jean Page having confirmed to not return), but still … I just want more of my beloved Kanthony.

As for the rest of the Bridgertons and the ton, I felt like we got a bit too much of the Featheringtons. I understand that Penelope is a lead (and by no means did I agree with all her choices, but I get why she has screen time), but the family drama and schemes were a bit boring for me. I’d much rather see what Benedict or the others were up to. Even more so, I would have preferred to learn more about Mary Sharma and her late husband.

Anyway, as one of my friends pointed out, this season was really a lot about widows and loss in general and how different that experience can be for everyone. In the end, I think it was quite different from the book, not all good and not all bad changes, but a satisfying season no less. I wish we didn’t have to wait forever until Season 3. I’m very curious about which sibling will be the lead next!

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Abbott Elementary (Season 1)

Poor Jacob always being made fun of, but I loved that we got to meet his boyfriend. They’re so cute.

Promised Land (Season 1)

I think that was the season finale? If it was, it was a great one! The storytelling structure held my attention, the relationships were realigned. It was beautiful!

Bel-Air (Season 1)

Man, that show is just so good and the performances are all amazing. I cannot say it often enough, but I’m a huge fan.

Sanditon (Season 2)

I’m so, so happy this show is back. Mr. Colbourne and Captain Fraser have grown on me so much in a short amount of time. I love how we’re borrowing from the Wickham/Darcy dynamic, Jane Eyre, Cyrano and much more.

Superman & Lois (Season 2)

This may be harsh, but I’m over Sarah as a character. She made some really hurtful mistakes, but somehow Jordan isn’t putting her first enough? Please … but now we have to wait until April 26 to see the bizzaro world and that annoys me more. I’m very impatient.

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 3)

Never realized how many people Owen punched. I did, however, know who the real culprit was.

9-1-1 (Season 5)

This one was a tough one. The entire episode just being about Chimney and Maddie – wow! Powerful indeed, and so very necessary too. I hope they’ll rejoin the others eventually.

Good Trouble (Season 4)

I called it. I knew Isabella and Dennis would get closer and that the show would make it out to be something other than just a platonic relationship and I don’t like it. I want zero romantic tension between them. ZERO. There’s enough people lusting after each other in that loft.

MOVIES

As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

I was never massively into the Ghostbusters franchise, so the stakes weren’t super high for me going into this. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to really get into the movie. More than half of it dragged incredibly and just felt boring, but the last third was excellent. It felt nostalgic and emotional. I cared for characters that I had no previous attachment to, so, that part was done well.


Did you watch any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk about that!

Moon Knight: Episode 1 “The Goldfish Problem” Review

Yes, that’s right! Marvel Wednesdays are back, at least for the release window of its latest show Moon Knight! I will strive to release my reviews/recaps on the release day of the episode each week, but won’t always be able to do so right away. As you can see today, it might take me a bit longer from time to time. Anyway, let’s get started – Spoilers ahead for “The Goldfish Problem”!

Oscar Isaac in Moon Knight
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Steven Grant works in a gift shop and doesn’t sleep so well, but that’s just the beginning of a world of problems heading his way.

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Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #11

Look at me, posting something in between this and the trailer post from last week. Who am I? Well, I haven’t gotten my blogging mojo back entirely yet, but we’re here to talk about what I’ve been watching. Let’s see!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Is It Cake? (Season 1)

Okay, the concept of this baking competition is explained fairly easily – bakers bake cakes that aren’t supposed to look like cakes and then people look at their art in wonder as they cannot believe that it is actually cake.

As easy as it sounds, this is just good, nice and clean reality TV to binge on the side. The contestants seemed nice. I liked that you could win money each round and not just if you won the finale and as a perk, for viewers, it’s easier to identify the fake cake from home than it is in the studio. We do get the better angle, but it’s still fun to guess.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Abbott Elementary (Season 1)

We’re back and Gregory did what now!? I’m acting like Janine is free and available and he fumbled the bag, but I just want my ship to sail (which probably won’t happen for several more seasons).

Promised Land (Season 1)

Joe is so screwed and I’m kind of living for it.

Bel-Air (Season 1)

They’re doing my man Geoffrey real dirty, but I keep loving the family dynamic, the drama, the realness. I’m really happy this show keeps delivering.

Sanditon (Season 2)

IT’S BACK! Without Theo James or Leo Suter, which hurts my heart deeply, but they’ve brought in another Divergent alumni to mix up things and I’m really excited to see where it goes. I do love me some regency era love stories.

Superman & Lois (Season 2)

Okay, I’m sorry, but I’m just annoyed with Jonathan at this point. We never really saw him interact with his girlfriend, she was just *there* at the beginning of this season and now he’s risking everything for her and tells her he loves her? Just … ugh. It was done so badly, I just do not care for her and the show gave me zero reason to either.

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 3)

Grace and Carlos are the duo we never knew we needed, aren’t they?

9-1-1 (Season 5)

So, let me get this straight – because the network didn’t like that everyone fawned over the idea of Buck and Eddie as a ship, they’ve now destroyed the entire development of Buck, had him act completely out of character just to recreate “iconic” Buddie moments with a female character? I call bullshit and I’m displeased. They didn’t even have to make Buddie a thing, but this is just disrespectful.

Good Trouble (Season 4)

I’m here for the mystery of the new guy. I really want to know what happened to his sister and why he suspects the Cotarie members to have something to do with it. But also, Davia, my girl – you’re going through a rough patch!

MOVIES

As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

Cheaper by the Dozen

This movie has literally been done so many times and in so many constellations. I really don’t mind this particular version. I get the way they tried to modernize it and make it more relevant, but in the end it just fell a little flat. This is a cute movie, but they tried to talk about racial issues, especially within patchwork families, which is commendable, but was done in a way too shallow manner. You can’t just scratch the surface when it comes to something like that and call it a day.

But again, this was a sweet movie and I always love the race at the end, where the whole family shows up to make it clear to one of the kids that they love them. Tugs right at your heartstrings.


Did you watch any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk about that!

Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’ve read The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake when it was still a self-published book sometime last year. I immediately fell in love with the characters and the world and was craving more. I “only” had a digital copy of the book, so, when it was traditionally published this year, I went to the shop and grabbed a copy to do something I usually never do – reread, annotate and highlight the entire thing! To my utter surprise, I loved it even more the second time around, but I also know that opinions on the book vary quite a bit.

With this post, I intend to highlight some aspects of the book (don’t worry, no spoilers!) to help you determine whether The Atlas Six is the right read for YOU or not. It’s not a traditional review by any means, so if that’s something you’re more interested in, I recommend you visit my post from last year here. While there were some slight edits made for the newly published version, the majority of what I said still rings true and is an accurate depiction of my feelings towards the story.

Now, let’s get started on me rambling on for way too long!

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Blurb according to the publisher:
The world’s best young magicians accept the opportunity of a lifetime.
Six are chosen. Only five will walk away.

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few . . .
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

REASONS YOU MIGHT LOVE/HATE THE ATLAS SIX

The Writing

First things first, this is the opening volume to a  dark academia/fantasy trilogy. I want to point this out, because sometimes I wonder if people think it’s a self-contained story, when it’s very much not. In other words, it is to be expected that The Atlas Six does not give you answers to all your questions, might even leave you confused on some subjects and definitely has a grueling cliffhanger.

Other than that, the story is told in third person and from multiple POVs. There’s quite a big cast of characters, but more on that later on. Something that’s very much notable in Olivie Blake’s writing is that everything sounds flowery, yet incredibly sophisticated, but even more so, she heavily focuses on dialogue. This can be both, actual conversations between certain people, or inner turmoil. There will be entire pages of discussions on matters of philosophy and science, which to me felt invigorating, while I can see others struggling to the see the point or importance of it. But that’s the thing, while I read it, I felt like there was a purpose to everything and we learned many things along with the characters. Also, it’s balanced well with humor!

“We study the realm of consciousness because we understand that to decide something, to weigh a cost and accept its consequences, is to forcibly alter the world in some tangible way. That is a magic as true and as real as any other.”

What I struggled with a bit reading it for the first time, but not so much on my reread, was figuring out how much time had passed between certain scenes. This book covers a lot of ground and not always linearly, so that’s something to keep in mind.

It’s definitely written in a witty and clever way with lots of turns and twists. Something I will admit though, is that it felt frustrating to me that the characters didn’t realize one of the biggest (in my opinion *obvious*) turn of events for the majority of the book. Ultimately, in this volume, w get eased into a world. We are meant to hopefully fall in love with who the story is about and to care deeply about what happens next. Because there will be a definite shift in The Atlas Paradox.

The Characters

Did you ever want a cast of characters where every. single. one of them is morally grey and (probably) also not straight? I present to you: Libby Rhodes, Nico de Varona, Reina Mori, Tristan Caine, Parisa Kamali and Callum Nova

“No one here is good. Knowledge is carnage. You can’t have it without sacrifice.”

There’s actually more characters in the book that aren’t exactly unimportant, but these six, they really are the backbone of the story! You won’t like all of them, I sure didn’t, but you will appreciate every single one of them for what they bring to the table. There are almost limitless possibilities for shipping, there’s even a threesome somewhere in there, but the bonds are so complex that it goes beyond just romantic attachment.

I think a lot of whether the reader enjoys The Atlas Six hinges on how many characters fascinate them. I personally loved three characters with my entire being, was intrigued by one more, felt disappointed at the lack of page time for a certain someone and just despised the last. That one’s a literal psycho and I cannot. (I was just referring to the above mentioned six leads here.)
It’s easy to sense a certain kind of favoritism the author has, in my opinion, as some characters either got just more chapters in general or the more interesting (to me) plotlines. I don’t know if that will be consistent throughout the entire series, or whether there’s more “to do” for certain characters in the later books. Either way, that favoritism might also make the reader lean more towards those figures.

Something that can definitely go one of two ways were the ample illustrations of the characters between parts of the book. I, for one, adored them! They were done by Little Chmura in the indie version as well as the traditional one, although they are different (yet both gorgeous). I know that certain people prefer to imagine the appearance themselves and not get a certain look “forced” on them. Here’s a taste of what the portraits approximately look like, although I’ll forever be salty we don’t have colored versions in the printed books:

The World-Building

This is probably the point I heard the most criticism about since the traditional release. If you are looking for a book with a very strict and structural magical system, this might not be it for you! Honestly, I love when magic is just woven into the fabric of every day life, when there’s hints of otherness around every corner and you can see that there lies a certain power within some and not others, but it is never explicitly mentioned why that is. In a way, magic is common in this world and if you have it and can monetize it, you’re on top of the food chain. Power is everything and knowledge is power, which is why the Alexandrian Society is so secretive and competitive.

Those who can practice magic as more than just a spell or charm are called “medeians” and they usually have a specialty or tendency in which their power develops. Those powers can present phyiscally (being able to set fire to things, grow plants, etc.) or in a non-physical way (empathy, telepathy, illusions, …), giving each person a completely unique and individual experience with their magical gift.

Aside from people who can do magic, there also exist “creatures” in this world. That’s a point that could have definitely been expanded on and it’s something that regularly took me out of the story a little bit, as there’s only one POV that deals with the matter. “Creatures” (think satyrs, mermaids, etc.) are looked down upon in the magical society and if don’t fit into a pre-classified system, you are forgotten about altogether. I can imagine this being dealt with more in the future, but it was a bit of a lackluster point.

To sum it up, I adore books that just live off of vibes, never-ending philosophical and moral dilemmas with a little science thrown in. To me, that is heaven, but I understand that some people need more. They need certain charms or spells that only work when done just so, which The Atlas Six also has, but definitely doesn’t focus on. This is more of a trial and error way of using magic.

“The problem with knowledge, is its inexhaustible craving. the more of it you have, the less you feel you know.”


Have you made up your mind and did this help you? Did you already read the book? What are your thoughts? Let’s talk!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #10

I’m sorry for the lack of posts, but my brain has just kind of been empty in terms of blogging ideas. Instead, I watched plenty of shows and movies. Oh, and I worked, of course. That has also played into things. AND I’m rereading and annotating my new copy of The Atlas Six. But back to the topic at hand, what have I watched?

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

How I Met Your Father (Season 1)

Watching this show has been a blast for me. I didn’t mind the predictable storylines, but I did mind only having 10 episodes in total. Having said that, I’m so happy to announce that Season 2 will have a total of 20 episodes, which is super rare for a streaming service. YAY me!

Now, where to start? A lot of people’s complaints from the start were about how the characters were over the top with their personality and I would just like to remind everyone that HIMYM had Barney Stinson. He was like the most over the top character ever. I think a lot of criticism came from people just not wanting a reboot, but I see it as its own show, even though the references to the OG series were ramped up towards the finale.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where this goes, although I hope the showrunners will rethink what they said in interviews again. Apparently, there is still a chance that we haven’t even met the father yet and I cannot handle this disaster all over again. We’ve better met the man!

The Cleaning Lady (Season 1)

This show was SO good! Following an illegal immigrant, who works as a cleaning lady to get her son medical treatment in the US and eventually gets tangled up with crime lords and the FBI, it just keeps reeling you in. The show managed to ramp up the stakes with each episode, making you root for the most unlikely of characters. I was at the point of condoning cheating, just because the chemistry between certain characters was absolute fire. It did end on a cliffhanger though and I have not heard of an official renewal yet. Fingers crossed!

The Cuphead Show (Season 1)

This show is based on a game, which I’ve never played, so I went in completely blind. I loved the animation style, the short episodes and how all of this was very reminiscent of comics and cartoons from my childhood. However, I’d be lying if I said I remembered much about the stories. They were very forgettable. I can maybe recall two episodes or something …

Byron Baes (Season 1)

I binged this in a day and I wanted to hate it, but now I really want to have more content.

To be fair, this in no way represents actual Byron, where property and rent prices have exploded and the entire community protested the Netflix show. In fact, several businesses forbade Netflix to film at their establishment, which is why a lot of it takes place at the houses/offices of the influencers or very non-descript places. I completely understand the concern of the locals, but I had so much fun watching this.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s very white and very mean girls, but somehow I couldn’t look away. Sarah and Cai were probably my favorite people on the show. I just get invested and want to know more. All of that because I missed hearing Aussie accents …

Upload (Season 2)

The show finally came back and I binged it all in a day. I wasn’t sure I was going to be as invested as last season, but it was very easy to get back into things and they definitely knew how to further the conflict. Towards the last episodes, I felt like things were aligning a bit too well, but I’m very intrigued by the set up for a potential next season. Which I hope we’re getting?

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Promised Land (Season 1)

No one I know is talking about this show. I wonder if it will even get renewed …

Bel-Air (Season 1)

Bel-Air is such a good family drama. Each week, I’m just in awe of the episodes, but I wish we’d dug even deeper. Like Geoffrey? That man has charisma coming out his ears, but I know next to nothing about him. I’d love for him to be involved in more storylines.

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 3)

Glad Marjan and Paul made up.

Good Trouble (Season 4)

It was emotional to see Maia/Callie leave, but her storyline was never my favorite and I feel like she got a great end with Beau/Jamie. I’m far more invested in whatever’s going on in Davia and Gael’s lives.

MOVIES

As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

The Adam Project

THIS MOVIE! I loved it so much. It was funny, it made me cry, it was action-packed. That team really knows what they’re doing, because it gave me as much joy as Free Guy did and I loved Free Guy! I don’t even want to say too much, but The Adam Project will make you want to hug your parent, kiss your partner and be kinder and more gracious towards yourself. This is for all the geeks and nerds!

Also, as a side note, this was the kid’s first acting job and he did such an amazing job as a tiny Reynolds version. The snark was real!

Turning Red

That one dude, who said that the movie is super niche and he couldn’t relate, clearly had no idea what he was talking about. Yes, it might be a big metaphor for getting your period. Yes, there’s some cringe (but good cringe) moments in there, but it was such a beautiful movie! I have no idea why parents are up in arms about some of the content and how that’s not appropriate for kids. Do none of them remember how wild their hormones got around 13!? Because I do and I also thought I was grown at that age, which I surely wasn’t, and challenged my world view in trying to find out who I was. The movie definitely has my endorsement.


Did you watch any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk about that!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (March 7-13/2022)

I said I wanted to post at least three times a week and I failed at that for the first time this year. Oh well, it happens, but I just feel really creatively drained and have no clue what to post. Especially since I haven’t read anything yet this month. I have drawn three watercolor portraits this weekend though (which you can check out here), maybe that will get me some motivation back. Either way, today is about trailers. Let’s get started!

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Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #9

As you may have been able to tell from the lack of posts on here, I haven’t been much in the mood to blog. I did watch quite a lot though, so let’s dive into that right away!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Vikings: Valhalla (Season 1)

I used to be a huge fan of the original Vikings show, but kind of dropped it when it started to drag and I lost more and more of the characters I loved. I’m well aware the show was based on actual historical figures/legends, but still … it just became a bit too much. Just imagine how happy I was to find that this sequel was a breath of fresh air!

Set 100 years after the original Vikings show, it has plenty of references to Ragnar, Lagertha, Rollo, etc., but is perfectly suitable for people not familiar with the material as well. It mainly follows our three new lead characters – Harald, Leif and Freydis. There’s plenty more, but the focus is definitely on them and you’ll quickly know why, because their chemistry is off the charts. I was especially here for the bromance between Leif and Harald, because I just couldn’t get enough of them and definitely fell in love with them.

Another intriguing factor was that the season heavily focused on faith. Vikings believing in the old gods, many having converted to Christianity and the flaws and blessings of both religions were masterfully portrayed. There’s crazy zealots everywhere, but in the end, it has to be a personal decision. There were some really great conflicts that resulted from this.

The best part is, they already shot Season 2 and will start filming Season 3 this Spring. There’s plenty more content ahead for us.

The Afterparty (Season 1)

I’ve talked about it on a weekly basis, but I adored this show! It was so fun to have them portray each episode like a different genre and to have you guessing who the murderer might be. Usually, I feel like I’m fairly spot on with my guesses (and I did have a hunch here as well), but it was so satisfying to see it come to fruition.

Something the showrunner has also done is put very subtle visual cues in every single episode that tell you who is NOT the murderer! Sometimes it’s morse code, other times it’s a cipher, real fun stuff! There’s a lot you might miss upon just watching it one time, but what’s better than a show you want and can rewatch a lot and still discover new things?

An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts (Season 2)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as invested this season. For one, I don’t looove cheating plotlines, but secondly, I felt like the conflict was so unnecessary? Once it was all explained (meaning Davide’s kiss at the end of last season), I just felt like that was such a non-issue, which I was proven right about in episode 5 or something. I don’t know … the drama was just a bit drawn out for nothing.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

How I Met Your Father (Season 1)

The cliffhanger was really mean this last episode and I wish next week wasn’t already the finale. The show has been such a joyous part in my life and I’m going to miss it until the next season comes around. Sitcoms should not be allowed to only have 10 episodes.

The Cleaning Lady (Season 1)

The drama is real with this show and I can barely handle that it just keeps getting worse for Thony each episode. Still, Arman has got it bad for her, so there’s that.

Promised Land (Season 1)

Carmen being bi is something I can definitely roll with. As for the rest? I don’t think I’m as fully invested in the show as I should be.

Bel-Air (Season 1)

The episode about the party in honor of Lisa’s mother was so good! The show really gets me in my feels while just being so entertaining. I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Superman & Lois (Season 2)

I love Tal-Rho! I never would have thought it, but he was such a great addition to the show. Also, that scene between Clark and Jonathan at the end? That one really hit hard, because Jonathan is so much like his father, but as a parent, it obviously just feels like he did the most disappointing and infuriating things. Not condoning his use of X-K obviously, but he just wants to protect the people he cares about, you know?

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 3)

The storyline with the parrot was just mean and I hate to see Paul in pain.

MOVIES

As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

After Yang

It starts out really slow, but by the middle, I was in love with this movie! I already knew from the cast that I was going to adore them, but they packed so much into it! Partially, it’s about interracial adoption, identity, privacy, death and life itself. Somehow it takes the most ordinary moments and reduces you to a puddle of tears, because they carry so much emotion. A really, really beautiful film!

If we ever get real techno sapiens or AI, I’m going to be so freaking kind to them.

Fresh

DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED!!! THIS MOVIE IS BEST ENJOYED WITHOUT KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!

If I never start dating, this movie might be to blame for it.

As I said above, I was told that this movie is best experienced by knowing as little as possible. I had an inkling of an idea that it was a dating and revenge story, but that was it. Well, the first 30 minutes were absolutely lovely. Would I watch an awkward romcom with Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan? 100%, but that’s obviously not what fresh was. Nope, this movie is about cannibalism.

And let me tell you, it’s a really well executed horror. I just felt SO SICK watching this movie, my stomach was in knots and I couldn’t eat for hours, which was unfortunate, cause I watched it around noon.

So, not a bad movie at all, but not for everyone!


Did you watch any of the things I mentioned? Do you intend to? Let’s talk about it!