What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #67

We shall not speak about the dire state of my reading this month, but I’ve actually managed to watch quite a lot. I’m so happy to get to do these posts more again, even if it’s just a clear sign that I struggle to balance my reading and watching schedules with work. So what? Let’s talk shows and movies!

Midnight Mass (Limited Series)

I finally made it! Not going to lie, this is the Mike Flanagan show that took me by far the longest to get through. It’s not that it was bad – not at all – but it felt heavier and slower than the others, possibly because of the heavy religious focus. Over all, Flanagan did it again and managed to bring impeccable characters to our screens. He really is my exception when it comes to horror content, at least his shows are. I love that he tends to stick to cast members from previous projects and hope that trend will continue with the upcoming shows.

Overall, I was able to predict a lot of the underlying plot, but it had great emotional moments again. (Still like Bly Manor and Hill House more though.)

Pretty Smart (Season 1)

This is the kind of show, you want on a slow day in the background. It doesn’t require a lot of attention, it’s super over the top, so you’ll always get what it’s about and it’s a nice way to pass the time. I binged it in a day, because I didn’t feel like doing much and liked it a lot. It’s silly for sure, but I laughed so much during the pottery episode, I couldn’t remember the last time a show cracked me up like that. So, if you don’t mind ridiculousness, clichés and over the top acting, this is for you. Again, I’d recommend it as a bit of a background show?

YOU (Season 3)

I was so ready for this season and I watched it as quickly as work allowed me to. It’s strange how this story just goes on and on and they don’t get discovered, despite being really bad serial killers. I don’t want to give away too much of the season, but I think we all know the formula by now. There were a couple nice new characters, few surprises, but somehow this series just works. I do not, however, get how people still lust after Joe. I do not trust a man who hasn’t picked up a single book written after the 1950s. Sorry.

On Our Block (Season 4)

I’m glad they got a final season to wrap things up, but I wasn’t super impressed by the finale. I think there’s one character who would have just deserved better and I didn’t feel as emotionally impacted by their fate as I would have suspected, so that felt a bit like a let down. Either way, it tied up the loose ends, especially the confusion that reigned at the end of Season 3. I know they already have a spin-off planned, but I’m undecided on whether I will check it out.

Night Teeth

Do you like aesthetically pleasing, but campy vampire movies? This might just be for you! I think it definitely has some flaws. I will never understand why it was promoted with Megan Fox and Sydney Sweeney, who could not be more inconsequential for the movie if they tried, but lets not riff on it too much. There was some interesting lore there, which I wish they’d have dug deeper into, but they focused a lot on the more cutesy parts. Again, I think there was potential for it to be just a lot MORE, but I can also see them do a sequel … maybe. I’d watch it. It was really pretty and the characters I cared about were cute.

Shows I Watch Weekly

This is the part where I talk about the shows that I watch each week and that are still ongoing. It’s my way of not forgetting them, because I can’t binge them in one go and mostly talk about finished seasons in the above section.

The Big Leap – This is the show I look forward to the most every single week! I can’t tell you how much I adore the characters and all the various dynamics. There’s so many ships, but not even just romantic stuff. I’m so here for it, while the back of my mind screams to not trust FOX.

Stargirl (Season 2) – I have my issues with this season, because the characters feel different. I’m so here for Beth’s emancipation, but they did not utilize this version of Green Lantern well. They just introduced her and then didn’t use her for episodes. There’s great moments in between (that Yolanda episode was everything), but I’m very tired of the big bad of the season. The Shade was an awesome addition though, while it lasted.

Nancy Drew (Season 3) – Still beyond happy to have the crew back, even if I’m always a couple days late to watch the episode.

9-1-1 (Season 5) – There were a couple emotional hooks in there already, but nothing too out there yet. At least for me. I miss Chimney.

Station 19 (Season 5) – Crisis One is such a great topic, not just because it gives my bae Dean Miller more screen time, but also because it is based on a real initiative in Seattle. I wish they’d communicate and promote that more in the credits or something.


What are you watching? Anything on here you’d like to or have watched too? I’m currently in the midst of the new season of Locke & Key, as well as some German RomCom movie marathons. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Horror Comedy (Halloween Edition)

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

The entirety of October is dedicated to a special Halloween Edition, meaning we’ll take a look at themes through the lens of Spooktober! This week is all about Horror Comedies, which is something I can get behind more than just plain scary stuff. To be fair, I’m not sure all the movies really fit the category, but imdb put them under horror and comedy, so I thought that would be alright.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I remember getting the DVD because it was on sale and then watching that movie for the first time alone at home, and I might have been glad no one was there. At that point, I had no idea how iconic it was, but it was fun and it stuck with me.

Ready or Not

I’ve seen this one so many times now? I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I did and while I think the ending is in no way good for Grace, she was amazing and so was the movie. I still wish Daniel didn’t have to die though.

The Babysitter

I thought I’d mind this one way more. It’s super silly, but I actually laughed quite a bit during this one. I do tune out a lot of the violence though, it turns out. I even watched the sequel! Not that it was all that great, but I did watch them both.

Warm Bodies

In general, I wouldn’t consider myself a zombie fan, but I liked this one. It’s not so much a comedy as it is a romance, but still. There’s a certain kind of sweetness to it and I enjoyed that.

Death Becomes Her

Look at me bringing in some classics this week! This movie was made before I was even born, but I’m pretty sure I have watched it as a kid … like I remember the whole in the body and the turned around head? How young was I when I first watched it!? I’m now questioning some stuff …


What did you think of my picks? What are some horror comedies you like? Let’s chat!

Spooky Books That Didn’t Give Me Nightmares!

We all know that I don’t do well with scary stuff, but because I am terribly slow at reading this month and I want to give you some bookish content, I thought it would be best to make a list of spooky books – that didn’t give me nightmares? Which, just to be clear, is what I want in books. Mildly spooky or full of ghosts or whatever, but not something that will leave a mark of terror on me. So, beware that this is a very tame list and obviously a very subjective one.

*If you click on the title, you will get redirected to my full review, which includes trigger warnings!*

The Taking of Jake Livingston

The Taking of Jake Livingston

I’ve seen opinions differ on this one, but I really enjoyed reading it. First of all, it’s a very short book. Some might say that the fast pacing hinders an emotional connection, but I teared up at some of Jake’s revelations, so I really don’t think that was a disadvantage for me. In addition to that, I liked the dual POV, even if bits of it felt disjointed. This is totally something you can read in one sitting!

Spooky elements: ghosts, relived deaths, possessions

My rating: 3.5 stars

Dark and Shallow Lies

Dark and Shallow LiesThe setting and the atmosphere for this one was great. As a supernatural thriller, it did keep me guessing in part, while I figured out a lot (gut feeling is rarely wrong) early on. It especially focuses on grief and how irrational we can become because of it. While I would have wished for some aspects to be explored further, I liked the vibes of this one.

Spooky elements: supernatural predators, swamp legends, potential mysterious serial killers?

My rating: 3.5 stars

Don’t Tell a Soul

Don't Tell a SoulI like books that teeter the line between ghosts and people just imagining things in their terror. This book was alright and definitely handled the creepy atmosphere well, however, there were a lot of characters that could have been explored deeper. Because of the main character being so closed off and us only getting secondhand information on everyone, it wasn’t easy to connect to the different players.

Spooky elements: haunted house, ghost girls

My rating: 3 stars

This Is Not a Ghost Story

This Is Not a Ghost StoryThis book surprised me, to be completely honest. I can see how the voice of the narrator/main character might not be for everyone, but I liked it. The ending is also very controversial, so I’d understand if people disagreed with me, but I had a grand time reading this one. It flowed nicely, gave me little scares, but resolved it in a way that felt very human.

Spooky elements: haunted house, spirits and danger everywhere

My rating: 4.5 stars

Watch Over Me

Watch Over MeI’m a huge Nina LaCour fan and this was not my favorite book, but it’s still fantastic in its own way. I get that she can write beautiful stories that evoke emotions in you, this was no exception, but somehow it felt less polished than the others I have read. As always, it was whimsical and filled with grief and heart. LaCour just knows what she’s doing.

Spooky elements: trauma, ghosts

My rating: 3 stars

Ninth House

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)This book was a lot. I do prefer Leigh Bardugo’s other series, but she still has me hooked on some of the characters here (I so fell for Darlington and Dawes). I like the world she built, I’m also curious how it continues, but it’s very heavy in parts – both in terms of content and descriptions. This is a field day for Yale fans, but I could have done with a little less campus talk.

Spooky elements: ghosts, secret magical society (with loads of sinister occult activities)

My rating: 3.5 stars

Burn Our Bodies Down

Burn Our Bodies DownI went into this book with completely wrong expectations. I thought it was going to be a mere family drama, but oh no – it is creepy! I didn’t end up enjoying this one very much, but I know others loved it, so it seemed fitting on this list.

Spooky elements: buried secrets (literally) – anything more would be spoilers

My rating: 2 stars


What are some mild but still spooky reads you enjoyed? Have you read anything I mentioned? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks: Folk or Urban Legend (Halloween Edition)

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

The entirety of October is dedicated to a special Halloween Edition, meaning we’ll take a look at themes through the lens of Spooktober! Today’s topic is all about Folk and Urban Legends. Me being me, I have always had a knack for Folk Legends more than the Urban ones, I suppose. To me folk legends just means fairy tales, because that’s where fairy tales originated from. I do realize that folk tales are usually without an accredited author and passed on orally, but hey, I don’t do spooky well, so that’s the drift you’ll be getting from this post. Hope you enjoy!

Red Riding Hood

This is what you get when you try to make a fairy tale for teens during the heydays of Twilight. It’s full of angst and love triangles, but teen me ate it up. I know it’s a silly movie, but the werewolf premise did intrigue me and I would have been lying if I had said, I didn’t want a sequel to it. I might have also been slightly in love with Max Irons … maybe … possibly.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

I watched this movie in 3D in cinemas and I had a blast. I know it’s silly and all, but sometimes that’s just what you need? Also, this is one of the few roles I like seeing Jeremy Renner in. Gemma Arterton is just always amazing, so there’s no debating here.

Snow White & the Huntsman

I thought this movie was beautifully shot. It’s not actually all that spooky, but oh well, I still picked it. I listened to that soundtrack up and down and even bought the book, cause the movie never even mentioned the Huntsman’s name. Rude.

Pan’s Labyrinth

This is probably the only movie that actually fits the prompt, but what can you do? I told you all that I would be struggling to come up with picks for this month, but I still tried. This is not the first time I’ve used Pan’s Labyrinth for my TMP posts, so I won’t go into detail. I just like it a lot.


What are some of your favorite movies about folk and urban legends? I’m assuming we will see a lot of Candyman suggestions this week, but I’m way too much of a wuzz to watch that.

Ranking all the “What If…?” Episodes!

I said Wednesdays are Marvel days, but I doubt I can keep this up until the release of Eternals/Hawkeye in November. Still, I did say I was going to do a ranking of all the “What If…?” episodes, so, here we are! You can get my full review/recap of each episode, by clicking on the titles. This ranking is completely subjective, but I hope you still enjoy it!

9 – … Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

I always liked Killmonger as a character. He has purpose, an interesting history, is just generally charismatic, but … this episode didn’t add anything new for me? His path was still very similar to the one in “our” reality, just a tinge more ruthless. Also, it probably didn’t help a lot that I was quite tired of seeing Tony Stark perish at that point in the series …

8 – … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

I’m going to raise a similar point as the one above, but I just really don’t need to see the Avengers die in various ways over and over. I don’t find it particularly interesting nor creative and I even guessed the big reveal. I can’t say I found much that stayed with me after this one.

7 – … Thor Were An Only Child?

The purpose of this episode was to be fun and it did that. We got Darcy marrying Howard the Duck, Jane and Thor getting matching magic/science tattoos, the Ice Bros … all entertaining for sure. The story felt silly and had some logical faults (especially when it came to traveling via the Bifrost), but it wasn’t terrible.

6 – … Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

When I watched the episode, I wasn’t very impressed. In a lot of ways, it was a shot for shot recreation of Captain America: The First Avenger, but with Peggy getting the serum. While that was a nice callback visually, there were few surprises, since we all know the story. However, the longer I watched the series, the more I liked it. It was a really good introduction to what the show would be like and included unexpected moments, like Steve wearing the first Iron Man suit or Bucky and Howard being besties.

5 – … Ultron Won?

What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios

I was always a huge Age of Ultron fan, so this was an interesting take. I liked the recreation of Nat sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone, but with the role reversal of Clint being the one to let go. Most of all, though, I liked that the Watcher was really involved in the episode and started an epic fight through the multiverse with an unhinged Ultron. It was a really good action sequence.

4 – … The Watcher Broke His Oath?

As far as season finales go, this wasn’t bad. It felt cohesive, put most of the puzzle pieces together and made the season a whole instead of an anthology. There could have been more interaction with the Watcher, but the team constellation was fun. If I had to criticize something, it’s the wasted chance of bringing Black Widow back into the live-action MCU, which would have been an easy choice. And, secondly, I think it’s a shame that they robbed Shuri and Pepper of the chance to dethrone Killmonger in their world.

3 – … Zombies!?

It’s Zombies – need I say more? I’m not even that huge of a zombie fan, but I think they worked that particular sub-genre well into the world of Marvel. It was one of the more gruesome episodes, but I enjoyed myself, except for the last scene. It kind of ruined the vibe.

2 – … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Even though I never watch all episodes of Black Mirror, I like the concept and quite a handful of stories from it. This episode felt like it was made with Black Mirror in mind and I loved that. It was twisted, had a dark ending, but also taught you a lesson of sorts. It was *so* close to being my favorite, and I’m not just saying that because I have a soft spot for Doctor Strange, the egomaniac.

1 – … T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?

This episode just made me happy! It works well on its own, without leaving you bumbed or too questioning about what comes next. It gave me an entirely unexpected pairing, which has now become one of my favorite ships – Nebula and Cha Cha – like, I’m seriously so grateful they were introduced to us. But most of all, it was a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who I’m sure, many of us consider to have been just as much of a bright light and force of good as T’Challa was in this universe.


What would your ranking of the “What If…?” episodes look like? What did you think of mine? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #66

Let me tell you, I’ve watched way more than you might think from the lack of posts on here. But, the problem is that I started a lot of things, but I finished embarrassingly few things. Still, I didn’t want to wait any longer, so we are going to talk about some shows and movies!

Ted Lasso (Season 2)

This show will never not have my whole heart. As many of my friends can confirm, I can write entire essays on the character work that has been done here, but I will refrain from making this too long. I just want to say that they managed an amazing sophomore season. It’s not easy to continue with a show, the vast majority of the world considers a feel-good-series and still give it meaningful and complex plotlines, but they managed it.

My heart was warmed and crushed alike. It definitely didn’t feel as light as last season, but it shed a beautiful light on various characters and gave more flesh to those usually on the sidelines. Everyone felt important, which was the reason that a lot of the betrayals felt so hard-hitting. The growth from most of the characters though – chef’s kiss.

This season heavily focused on mental health in athletics and in general, as well as themes of loss and abandonment. It’s definitely not all happy, but the balance was achieved in my eyes.

Sex Education (Season 3)

I liked the season, a lot. I wasn’t sure I would still be so invested, but I really was. I binged it pretty much in one go and also read Ace of Spades simultaneously, so the racism of certain characters/institutions really jumped out at times. Still, thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I now prefer Ruby and Otis to Maeve and Otis, which I was never really invested in anyway (let’s go Maeve and Amy!), but the storyline was continued quite beautifully.

There were a couple subplots I wasn’t 100% happy with. I expected more from Viv and Jackson’s friendship, but through the introduction of Cal, they added an amazing character that I wouldn’t want to miss from the season at all. Usually, I also really don’t like the whole “closeted gay/bi guy bullies gay kid, who later becomes his love interest and he gets a redemption arc”-thing, but they wrote Adam so well! Eric still remains one of my favorite characters and I love that he got more story of his own, while his friendship with Otis still shone through.

Towards the end, I got really emotional and I’m looking forward to more! 

Free Guy

This movie is just so much fun! I thought of it like a lighthearted mix of Tron and the Truman Show for some reason, but maybe that’s just me.

Where the movie could have easily drifted off into some existential crisis, Free Guy just remains entertaining with a heart. The cast was chosen so well and whereas a lot of the plot was predictable in the end, I don’t hold it against them. This movie was exactly the booster of goodness I needed. I can only recommend it!

No Time to Die

I am so very proud of all the people who managed to not spoil the whole world, despite having seen the movie. I, too, won’t go into detail, but just say that Phoebe Waller-Bridge did not disappoint and gave us a magnificent send off for Daniel Craig. It had callbacks to my favorites, such as Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre, while still remaining its own story.

This might have been one of the most emotionally gripping Bond movies so far, however, I do feel like the balance between action and deeper storyline was a bit off. Either it needed more action for the length it was, or they should have tightened it by about 30 minutes in terms of dialogue and exhibition. This is a minor complaint, because we still flew through the hours. Without saying too much, one of my favorite parts about the whole thing, next to the emotional main plot, was Ana de Armas. She was such a bright light and really fun addition.

Shows I Watch Weekly

This is the part where I talk about the shows that I watch each week and that are still ongoing. It’s my way of not forgetting them, because I can’t binge them in one go and mostly talk about finished seasons in the above section.

The Big Leap – I’m obsessed with this show! I just love Gabby’s storyline, which is the one I am most invested in, but I really want to see where it can go. I have a strong feeling that they’ll cancel it, but it’s FOX. I lost faith in them a long time ago.

Stargirl (Season 2) – I love the horror vibes this season brings. It’s really gloomy and doomy right now, but I’m back to wanting to give it my full attention. It sure has me hooked.

Star Trek: Lower Decks (Season 2) – It’s such a silly show, but I love it. I don’t really get the weekly release for a show like this one, but I’m sticking with it.

Roswell, New Mexico (Season 3) – Does not have enough Maria in it, even if I did get a steamy make out with her and the love interest of my choice.

Nancy Drew (Season 3) – I have Drew’s Crew back, but most of all Ace. Let me tell you, people, he is my number 1 comfort character.

9-1-1 (Season 5) – I can see them struggling with trying to one up themselves with the tragedies and disasters each season, but it’s been a good couple of episodes so far. Even though the scenarios aren’t what I want to see necessarily, they do have emotional impact.

Station 19 (Season 5) – We all know I have a thing for firehouse shows, right?


What have you been watching? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks: School (Halloween Edition)

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

The entirety of October is dedicated to a special Halloween Edition, meaning we’ll take a look at themes through the lens of Spooktober! Today, though, is all about School! I’m not the best at scary movie stuff, which is intrinsically linked to Halloween for me, but I’ll try my very best! I’m not even sure if slightly scary movies will be enough, or if it should actually be set during Halloween. We shall see what I can come up with …

The Covenant

People say this movie is really bad. I know a couple of actors, who don’t exactly love to talk about it, but I was obsessed with it back in the day. Maybe, I just liked looking at those boys, but it was mildly scary and the most I could do without being terrified. I hope you’ll grant me this pick.

Carrie

I know people didn’t love this version of Carrie, but I didn’t hate it? I loved the marketing for it though, that was AMAZING. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll post the video below as well.

Halloweentown High

Halloweentown movies were my jam as a kid. There’s technically also one set in college, but we don’t talk about that one, because they replaced the main actress? I’ll never truly understand.

Freaky

I haven’t seen this one YET. I really, really want to though, because it seems like such a fun take on the Freaky Friday concept and the cast is super fun as well.


I would have picked Jennifer’s Body, but I just used the movie last week. I have a feeling that this month won’t be easy for me … what did you think of my picks? Let’s chat!