Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #1

As I’ve mentioned in my “All My 2022 Goals“-posts, there’s going to be some slight changes to regular features on this blog. Sundays with trailers are a fixture already, but I want to switch it up for Thursdays. Basically, this series will be the replacement for my binge-watching posts! This is a space where I’ll talk about everything I’ve watched in the course of  a week and where we can discuss most recent releases and even single episodes, if you like.

Today, however, will include some stuff I’ve watched during the past month or so, just to get caught up. Wouldn’t want you all to miss out on my random ramblings on all things TV and movies. Therefore, this isn’t a super accurate depiction of how lengthy and detailed future posts are going to be.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

The Wheel of Time (Season 1)

This show reignited my love for High Fantasy TV shows and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that fact. The characters were so easy to get attached to and the world-building was so fascinating, I’m going to read the books soon. Because yes, I have not read the books before and I know there were a lot of changes, but I still feel like I need to know more about the lore.

Generally, I feel like they did a great job with casting; everyone is bringing something special to the table. However, you have to admit that the women were either written better or are just doing a better job, because they carried the first season. Especially towards the last episodes, things became more and more rushed and I wish they had granted the showrunner the additional episodes he had asked for. I know a lot of it is due to Barney Harris’ (the actor who played Mat) sudden departure from the show and the way they had to rewrite everything from the end of episode 6 onward. No one knows what happened there and I doubt my curiosity will be satisfied anytime soon, but it disrupted things for sure and I know I will miss Harris’ portrayal of the character. I’m sure his replacement, Dónal Finn, is a fine actor, but he has huge shoes to fill.

The world of the Wheel of Time is vast and complex in part and I don’t think they were able to portray everything in a way that made sense to both, new viewers and book fans. Still, it was a huge success for Amazon and I hope they’re going to consider lengthier seasons for the future.

A Discovery of Witches (Season 3/Final Season)

In case you didn’t know, I love this show. It can get corny and tropey at times, but there’s something about witches, vampires and demons set in modern day while still honoring history that just … works for me. Some may remember that I compared the first season and the first book (you can check that out here, if you’ve missed it) and I didn’t continue reading the series afterwards, because I enjoyed the TV portrayal more. The aesthetics and the acting were divine.

I understand why they went with a three-season-format, sticking to the plot of each book, but I could have easily seen this show expand beyond that and am a little sad it didn’t. I heard rumors of a spin-off for my favorite character, Gallowglass, which I would absolutely be here for, but I cannot tell if that announcement was a joke or not. Either way, they definitely managed to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the main plot, but I would have loved to follow the characters for a time longer. I know there’s only so much material from the books, but you can go off page. It has happened before.

As you can tell, I’m going to miss it!

Dickinson (Season 3/Final Season)

I don’t know how to put this, but I was a little underwhelmed by the final season? I liked the freedom they took with Emily’s actual history and the bits they stuck with for the most part. I always knew it was a weird show, but some aspects just didn’t work as well for me this time around. It’s a me-thing for sure, because I know for a fact that most of the audience loved the conclusion to the series.

Emily in Paris (Season 2)

Emily is just not a very good person. Stereotypes were enforced even more this season. And yet … Emily in Paris got renewed for TWO more seasons. I’m definitely part of the problem, because while I don’t like what they depict in that show, I binge it in a single day every time a new season releases. That probably says more about me than I’m comfortable facing.

Anyway, I’m neither on Emily, Gabe or Camille’s side on this one. They made a whole mess for themselves, but dang, Lucien Laviscount came into that show and really brought the charm. Emily is so gonna mess this up with him. She messed it up with Mathieu too and I really liked him.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

The Cleaning Lady (Season 1)

I’m not a crime and thriller kind of girl, but this show has me hooked. Tropes and themes I usually don’t like, such as organized crime, infidelity, heavy sickness of a child; all make this show even more compelling. There is an urgency and sense of peril at all times. Thony just wants to survive and take care of her kid and you gotta admire a mother who goes beyond what her morality tells her to do. Also, the two male leads are nice to look at. I had to say it.

Call Me Kat (Season 2)

I’m glad Call Me Kat is back! It’s one of those brief escapes from reality filled with cats, awkwardness and humor. It’s just nice and fun! I’m glad they resolved the love triangle cliffhanger from the last season finale fairly quickly and I’m looking forward for what the seaosn holds.

Superman and Lois (Season 2)

I feel like a lot of people aren’t giving this show a real chance, but I love it. It’s one of the best portrayals of Clark and Lois in a long time. They’ve brought original ideas to the show, especially concerning the twins and parenthood, while still honoring a lot of characters from the comic books. While the second half of Season 1 wasn’t my favorite, Season 2 opened strong and has me very excited for what they’ve got planned for us.

Nancy Drew (Season 3)

I’m not vibing with this season as much as previous ones. I don’t know if it’s the constant breaks or the slow destruction of my enjoyment of the Nace ship, but it’s something. I still like the characters a lot, but if they drag certain storylines on for much longer, I’m not sure they still have my interest.

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

Everyone’s in danger. Nothing and no one is where they’re supposed to be. They only aired two episodes and are already on break and I cannot stand it. They’re really out there playing with my heart.

MOVIES

The Four of Us

Couldn’t find an English trailer, but it might be on Netflix internationally as well? Either way, couldn’t resist mentioning a German production (again).

The movie didn’t get the best of reviews and I’m not saying it’s brilliant, but it’s also not terrible. The thing is, this is one of those movies that would have worked equally as well as a theater production. There was no discernible advantage to this being a movie, so I can understand how it’s just not for everyone. I thought it was enjoyable though and a great take on modern relationships.

Encanto

I LOVE THIS MOVIE! I’ve watched it so many times at this point and I know I keep saying that, but it keeps being true. Not a day goes by where I don’t sing “Surface Pressure” or “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” to myself, they’ve just captured my heart. I kind of wish Disney would make this into a whole series, so we could continue to see what the Madrigals are up to. I’m so curious about each of their rooms and would have loved more time with Luisa, Dolores, Camillo and Antonio. Or, you know, just EVERYONE!


Do you like this new format? What are some tweaks and changes you’d like to see in this feature moving forward? Did you watch any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk!

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley/Austin Siegemund-Broka (ARC Review)

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 336
Release Date: January 25, 2022

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: mention of depression, anxiety, sexual content

Even though I know that Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka wrote several YA contemporaries together before, The Roughest Draft was my first experience with their writing and it was their first foray into the adult romance genre. Right from the bat, I have to say that it felt smart, quick-witted and consisted of some really beautiful prose.

Going in, I knew very little about the author duo. However, having read the acknowledgments section as well as being informed by my friend Marie (who has reviewed the book as well, which you can check out here) that they’re married in real life made this whole book feel very meta. The characters, Katrina and Nathan, put so much of themselves in their writing and you cannot help but wonder if the authors did the same. How much of it mirrored their feelings for each other? How much is just pure fiction? I love the intrigue and layers these questions create in your mind as you get drawn more and more into their world.

While this novel was medium to fast paced, I found myself a little bit frustrated with our characters at times, which made me stop every now and then. Their fall out was built up as this huge thing and you could really see the grudge in the first chapters. After all, they hadn’t spoken in four years and hadn’t just cut each other out of their lives, but other people as well. Sometimes, the break up felt a bit too big for what actually transpired though and how easily they found their way back to each other. The hurt and miscommunication between Katrina and Nathan I could eventually understand, also why they were holding each other back, but the ghosting of other characters felt petty.

Ultimately, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka managed to create a beautiful relationship though. It is flawed and it is perfect, it is real and pure fairy tale fiction at the same time. The kind of stuff you wish your romance was made of. The intimacy between Katrina and Nathan is truly one of a kind, but combines all the best parts of “second chance romance”-tropes as well as “best friends to lovers”-themes.
It also gave an interesting peek into the world of writing collaboratively, which interests me now more than ever, and the publishing world as a whole. As a bookworm and someone who would very much like to write and release a book eventually, this setting was one of my favorite parts of the whole novel.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Beautiful prose for a really meta love story.


Do you plan on reading The Roughest Draft? Have you read other books by the author duo? Let’s chat!

All My 2022 Goals! (New ideas, plans and needing YOUR input!)

It has happened, I’ve given in! I’ve made resolutions for the year 2022, which are neither quantifiable nor necessarily something one can track, but I’ve still made them. I’m someone who very much decides things on a whim, so setting goals for an entire year is super off-brand for me. Nonetheless, there’s a couple things I’d at least like to work towards in 2022 and seeing all my friends and fellow bloggers post their amazing resolutions and goals, I figured I should join in as well. Seen as I don’t like to put undue pressure on myself though, I’m going to try and see this more as a list of intentions than things I *have* to accomplish.

READING

I’ve set my reading goal for 2022 to 45 books on Goodreads as well as Storygraph. I know that the latter offers a lot of different challenges to participate in, but I don’t want to make this too hard for myself. The goal I chose is lower than the number of books I read in 2021, but still something I consider challenging with my work and life schedule otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to spruce it up a little.

Read more diversely! 

This is genuinely always a goal of mine, but with the reading experiments and the restraints that came with that in the second half of 2021, I have to admit that everything was a bit … white. In the books I’ve chosen for myself, I’ve noticed more authors of color, but I still want to up that number (only 12 out of the 50 books I read were written by non-white people).

It’s not just that though! I’d also like to have a wider variety of characters in terms of sexuality, body image, mental health, disability, etc. in my future books. I’ve never shied away from reading LGBT+ content, but last year seemed a bit bland in that department as well.

Read more books in German!

German, for those of you who don’t know, is my primary language. I don’t particularly enjoy reading in that language, but I feel like I may be prejudiced from my time at school? I want to give this a try and chose nothing too overwhelming. I’m aiming to read 1-3 books max. 

BLOGGING

As I’ve mentioned in my “Year in Review” post (which you can check out here), I have a very solid and consistent blogging schedule. I usually have about 3-5 posts up per week, but I can see that changing a little bit in 2022. No worries, the Sunday Trailer posts will keep coming. They’ve been a staple for years now, but there’s likely going to be a shift otherwise.

Which regular features will change?

Well, I won’t be doing Thursday Movie Picks anymore, because while I enjoyed myself this past year, I’m just not that much of a movie person. I feel way more at home with my TV shows, but even in that department, I’ve watched a lot less in 2021 and have no idea where I’m going. I just don’t think I have the appropriate amount of movies in my personal watchlist that would justify continuing with it. There was a point where I just constantly reused films.

Also, I am a little unclear on the whole Marvel Wednesday posts. Granted, they took a break on several occasions anyway, but while I’m aware of the planned Marvel releases for 2022, I don’t know if Disney+ will stick to Wednesdays for their shows (I did prefer Fridays, if I’m being honest) or when exactly they’ll air anyway. And there’s just not enough new movies or content to talk about weekly. So, let me know in the comments if you’d like me to continue with my episode and movie recaps! I’m sure I can fit it in, it’s just a matter of interest, which has waned considerably with each release since WandaVision.

What’s planned? What is new?

Seen as the reader compatibility series/the celeb book club is so well received, I already have two more posts planned. However, I also want to broaden and develop that feature, because I feel it fits the “Life and Other Disasters” brand so well. Initially, I wanted to read the favorite book of each actor from a show or something like that, but logistically, that didn’t pan out. I just don’t have the pull to get the information from the cast directly and the internet only provides so much. I do hope to grow the feature regardless and have some more ideas. If there’s an actor/actress/musician/youtuber/celeb you’d like to compare reading tastes with, let me know and I’ll see if I can add them to my list!

I also need another weekly or at least monthly feature I can participate in, but I haven’t found the right fit for me yet. I might go with something TV and movie related again, but I was actually thinking of maybe looking for a writerly link up! Back in the day, I used to participate in some tags for writers and even created my own. The thing is, potentially, I might have to create something for myself. This is still open as of now, but would any of you writers be interested in a monthly tag to help explore your WIP and characters? If there’s something like that out there, feel free to point me in the right direction ,but otherwise I’m really considering creating one of my own.

WRITING

Writing, as in doing anything for my works in progress, my personal novel-projects, in 2021 was … uhm … how can I put this? Non-existent?
I actually outlined something for NaNoWriMo, but then didn’t follow through and hated every word I ever wrote. I do miss the rush of creating my own characters, dialogue and worlds and I really, really, really want to make a conscious effort to just write in 2022. It doesn’t have to be anything quantifiable as in a certain number of words, it doesn’t have to be writing every day, just something. Anything. A chapter maybe!

There’s one story in particular that’s haunting me and that I’d really like to get on the page, but I have to start from scratch, because I’m not happy with the way the first chapters are now. It’s annoying how hindering it can be when you have written several thousand words and you can’t bring yourself to toss them, even though you know it’s necessary, ultimately putting you in a stalemate with yourself. I did create some nice aesthetics though …

    


Do you have some goals or intentions for 2022? What did you think of mine? I DO NEED YOUR INPUT! Let’s chat!

December 2021 Wrap-Up / The Year in Review

I finished the final month of 2021 strong by reading 6 books. This may not seem like a lot to some people, but if I take back a look at the past year, that was a really solid month for me in terms of books. I’m really happy with that and it made me finish my Goodreads challenge with a neat 50 books in total. Let’s take a look!

One Hundred Years of Solitude Daisy Jones & The Six Saga, Vol. 1 Where the Crawdads Sing Taste: My Life through Food Weather Girl

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m trying to find my footing as well. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As is tradition, I’ll share parts of my reading year. As I’m still struggling with the desktop interface of Storygraph a little bit (I hear the app works better), I have to forego their stats for now, even though they’re magnificent. They even show you what kinds of moods and pacing you were most drawn to, but I’ll just stick to the simpler one curated by Goodreads for now (you can find the full post here).

I originally set the goal to read 35 books (yes, I aim for achievable), but managed to read a total of 50 books (as mentioned above already), which in this particular case translated to 17,255 pages. My reading experiments really motivated me, but I also started a new job that involved a lengthy commute for the first couple of months, which allowed for way more reading time. My shortest book was actually a novella called Galatea by the ever magnificent Madeline Miller. I’m not surprised to find that the longest one was Anna Karenina. It did feel like forever.

The average book I read was about 345 pages long. Honestly, that tracks with previous years, because around 300 pages is the length I feel most comfortable with. I do plan to try and read some lengthier books in 2022 though … we shall see if I actually manage to go through with it. As for my average rating, it’s exactly the same as last year with 3.7 stars! I have gotten more critical over the years and hardly ever give 5 star ratings, if I don’t absolutely adore and love the book, but at the same time, I do know what I like and tend to find books that fit into what I enjoy.

2021 was … something.

I remember clearly, the hope I harbored for 2021 to be better than 2020 and in some regards it really was. I found a great place to work at with colleagues I absolutely love to be around, I found an apartment for myself and finally moved out from my parent’s place. I should not complain and yet … 2021 was hard! Maybe one of the hardest years I had to face ever with a lot of personal dreams getting crushed (goodbye, my beloved Canada) and devastating events that drained my spirits. I don’t want to get into it, but for a time there, it was just one blow after the other. The fact that we’re now going into the third year of the panini isn’t helping either … BUT, and this is just my sunny disposition coming through, I refuse to let that drag me down in 2022. I’ll dust myself off and just get right back to it. I’d like to think that things happen for a reason, that you’re always right where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be. And when it doesn’t feel like it, just fake it until it does *shrug*.

So, on to more pleasant things! I was really consistent with my blogging in 2021. With a few exceptions, I always managed to post at least 3-4 times a week, which would have been unimaginable in some of the past years. I’m still not back to the crazy posting schedule from 2016, where I double and triple posted some days, but I have found my groove and would like to continue that into the new year. I want to thank each and every one who has visited my corner of the internet and especially those that stuck around! My gratitude for your support knows no bounds!
Here are some updated blog stats for you:

  • The blog currently has 2,871 WordPress followers and a couple people via mail as well. I’ve made the decision to wait until the 3K mark for another giveaway on the blog. Money is tight, but I definitely want to celebrate that milestone once we hit it!
  • There have been 20% more views in 2021 than in the previous year, which I know is vague, but has me thrilled!
  • While I’ve written about 1,490 posts for this blog, I don’t want you to go digging too far into the past. I’ve started to tidy up a little and removed some of the older postings. Sometimes I just changed my opinion on them, other times I don’t feel like it fits the content on here anymore. Either way, I’m hoping to not have too many dead links, but I’m working on it.
  • Once again, I’d also like to give a huge thanks and shout-out to my top commenters! The fact that people keep showing up makes my heart sing and my day better. Please feel free to show them some love in return: Brittani, Caro, Marie, Rami and The Orang-Utan Librarian.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2021

I’m going to start with the posts that I wrote in 2021 and that were most popular and list some of the most viewed archive posts below! If you want to know more about a post, simply click on the title!

Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)? – Genuinely ALL my reading experiments (I’ve also done this with Sebastian Stan, Chris Evans and Pedro Pascal so far) were so well received. I did time this one particularly well with the release of the Loki series, so I get why it had the absolute most clicks, but you guys were here for the celeb book club and I love that! I don’t have too many original features on here, so I’m happy that my one original idea took off so well.

8 Years of Blogging – Reintroducing Myself! – Yes, I have been doing this for a very long time and since my readership is constantly changing, I thought it was time to reintroduce myself. The feedback and support was absolutley lovely.

WandaVision: Episode 1 & 2 Review – So many people were here for this show, but also really, really confused. I hope my reviews and recaps shed some light and didn’t just confuse people further. I did stray into theories like so many others from time to time.

credit: Marvel Studios

Book to Screen Adaptations 2021 – This post was SO much work and a lot of the release dates got changed up again, but it was too on brand for the blog not to do it. Since it was so well received, would you be interested in me having another go at this for 2022? 

MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:

MY 2021 RANKINGS

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve waited to publish this post until I had all my yearly rankings up! There’s a lot on there, but the chances that I forgot something are still pretty high. Anyway, this should be an accurate representation of my favorite movies, TV shows and books from the last year.

MY OTHER DECEMBER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

TRAILER POSTS


Now, I hope you’ve already had a brilliant start into the year 2022 and that it will be kind to you! Please let me know which content you liked on the blog last year, so I can work and plan for everything that comes next! THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE LIFE AND OTHER DISASTERS COMMUNITY!!!

 

My Top 10 New TV Shows of 2021

My endless lists and rankings are coming to a close for 2021 with the topic I usually leave for the final day – new TV shows! Other than with the books and movies, the show actually has to be released in 2021 for the first time to qualify. I didn’t struggle with my picks as much as I thought I would though? Usually, I have a hard time narrowing it down to 20, but here we are … let’s check out my picks!

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My Top 10 Books of 2021

If you’ve visited my blog these past days, you will have noticed me having started my year in review posts, chronicling my top movies and shows to an extent. Today is all about my top reads of 2021. Once again, I need to clarify that I only read these books in 2021, not all of them were published that year!

I managed to read 50 books in total last year, which was a mix of comics, poetry collections, fiction and non-fiction. Thanks to my reading experiments, I often stepped out of my comfort zone and glad I got the chance to do so. However, I want this list/ranking to focus on fiction. I will, however, include some poetry books, etc. in my honorable mentions at the end of the post!

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Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Dec 27/2021-Jan 2/2022)

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve already put up a post today (click here to read part I of my favorite TV shows of 2021), but if I don’t double-post, I will never get done with these rankings. Especially since it feels like everybody else already did them last year, but I was reading and watching things up until the final day, what if something really good came my way then? Either way, more of those rankings are coming, but now, let’s check out some trailers! (Fair warning, there wasn’t much released between Christmas and the new year … like barely anything at all …)

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My Top 10 (ongoing) TV Shows of 2021

Yesterday was about movies (click here, if you’ve missed the post), but today is all about my favorite shows of the year 2021 (or at least part 1). I thought that I’d have more trouble picking the shows or limiting it to only ten, but apparently I wasn’t as passionate about the things I’ve watched as I’ve been in previous years.

I feel like I need to clarify that I know the word “ongoing” is misleading. By that, I’ll be referring to shows that were released before 2021 and had a new or in some cases a final season airing/streaming last year. So, ongoing, in this particular case, doesn’t mean they’re still airing. I never quite know how to phrase it, but this is what I’ve established a while ago to call the ranking, so I’ll stick to it now. If you are interested in my favorite brand new 2021 shows, stick around for more posts in the upcoming days!

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