Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #52

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

I’m spending so much of my free time trying to either read or watch things, I should probably go out more instead and get some fresh air. But at least, this way, I have some stuff to talk to you about with.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Extraordinary (Season 1)

I remember seeing a trailer for this show and then it popped up in my feed on release day and I started watching it and binged it all the way through until 2AM. That should tell you all you need to know, right? Maybe it’s the British humor, maybe it’s the interesting world-building with people having really random powers or just the quirky characters in general, but I had the best of times. These people were messy and sometimes selfish and that made them feel relatable. The dynamics were super interesting, I just wanted to take care of the cat … MORE PLEASE!

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

So, I’ve already announced this before, but Gossip Girl was cancelled – which means this wasn’t just a season finale but also a series finale. While I do believe that the show found its stride a bit more in season 2, they still weren’t utilizing Luna and Monet to their full potential. There were hints of interesting storylines there, especially since I could tell what they were trying to set up, had they been renewed for a season 3, but it was a decent enough ending for the time they were given. I think most people will be sad about the incomplete polyamory storyline, because the showrunners definitely meant to reunite them and not make the messaging be like “polyamory never works out”. 

I liked that they sort of roasted themselves in the final act about the Gossip Girl reveal. People truly did not care about those teachers.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

The Last of Us (Season 1)

The cold opens are SO GOOD each time. They make everything a 100 times more creepy and realistic and I just know that people hated what the Stalker did at the end of the episode. Poor Tess, that was really gross.

Mayfair Witches (Season 1)

I’ve seen episode 4 already and things are happening. I can’t quite put my finger on why I still feel like the show is missing something.

Will Trent (Season 1)

Will Trent, as a show, is a lot darker than promos might have led you to believe, but I’m relishing that we get to know these characters better each week. 

National Treasure (Season 1)

They were so extra in this episode. I mean the slow motion run through the courtyard. Really?

Walker: Independence (Season 1)

So … it happened and I’m not mad at it. We all know I have a soft spot for Tom, which is terrible, because he literally has a torture shed, but oh well, I saw this coming and, again, I’m not mad.

Wolf Pack (Season 1)

Funny how this show released more or less at the same time as the Teen Wolf movie, isn’t it? I will never watch that TW movie, just because they are going to retcon so much, they didn’t bother bringing certain actors back or to pay them accordingly. I will, however, enjoy having Sarah Michelle Gellar with supernatural beings on my screen again. I liked the intro to this world!

How I Met Your Father (Season 2)

I know many of you weren’t convinced with season 1, but I liked it and I really enjoyed the start to the new season was well. 

The Legend of Vox Machina (Season 2)

Thank the gods that this show releases episodes in batches of three. As much as I adore all of it and the way we get to see all the really cool action unfold, I sometimes miss the quieter and slower moments between characters. It’s not just that I have to live off of crumbs in regards to Vex and Percy at the moment, but I just want more backstories, more bonding, more scenes at the fireplace. I know they’re there, they were in the campaign after all. But this is truly complaining on a high level, because the show is FANTASTIC!

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 4)

You know me and my firehouse shows are a done deal, so I was obviously going to tune in, but I don’t want that FBI storyline. Is this some weird backdoor pilot for a new show? So sorry, but I don’t want even more Owen. Last season already was about him so much.

MOVIES

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

Of Hearts and Castles

Of Hearts and Castles isn’t a full length movie, but a short film starring Philemon Chambers (Walker: Independence) and Luis Carazo (ExU: Calamity). With that cast, I just couldn’t resist! I mean, those boys are fantastic and I didn’t expect a collab, but I’m here for it. Hugging has truly never felt more intimate on screen and I love that. 

If you want to check out the full short film, you can do so in the video below:

Now I’m back to binging Lockwood & Co! Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #51

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

Do you ever have these weeks, where you wonder what you did all week long? Because time has evidently passed, but I couldn’t tell you what I did aside from working. Anyway, here’s a few things I watched.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

That ’90s Show (Season 1)

I love That ’70s Show when I was younger, even if a lot of the jokes went over my head, but if you are a fan as well, That ’90s Show is a fairly decent reboot. Not going to lie, there are a couple really cringey things and the teen aspect won’t work for everyone anymore, but that’s why it’s so great that Kitty and Red are still among the main cast. We get cameos from almost everyone from the OG show and still have the original sets. It’s super nostalgic and works in that sometimes over the top sitcom kind of way. I’d genuinely like to watch more seasons and not just because I want to see where Nate and Leia could potentially go.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

The Last of Us (Season 1)

FANTASTIC! Legit just SO GOOD! I didn’t expect it to be so accurate to the game in certain scenes, but wow. This is what I call a good game adaptation.

Mayfair Witches (Season 1)

So, I have watched episode 3 already, which means there’s early access to episodes online now. I don’t have all that much to say though, I feel like not enough is happening for some reason.

Will Trent (Season 1)

I’m genuinely enjoying this show so much, I really didn’t expect that. If you haven’t started it yet, PLEASE WATCH!

National Treasure (Season 1)

Yes, a lot of stuff just works out super conveniently for our crew, but I like the show. It’s really just a tween version of the movies.

Walker: Independence (Season 1)

Y’all, I need my weekly fill of cowboys on my screen, so I’m super glad the show is back. And I’m also glad I can now like Tom’s character with a bit less of a guilty conscience it seems.

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

The show got cancelled, so that tells you how the season is going …

Abbott Elementary (Season 2)

Just about everyone knows that Gregory likes Janine now and I’m living for it.

The Legend of Vox Machina (Season 2)

MY BABIES ARE BACK! They released the first three episodes of the season and they were all fantastic. The Sunken Tomb destroyed me despite me fully well knowing how this is going to end, which is another sign of excellence.

MOVIES

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

Apparently, I didn’t watch any movies this past week.

I may have forgotten something again, my brain feels foggy! Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #50

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

We skipped a week, because I had to do all my wrap-ups and rankings (check out a summary HERE), so you’d think there was loads to talk about, but my brain is mostly blanking right now. I also restarted Yellowstone, so I’m unwell, thank you very much.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Ginny & Georgia (Season 2)

Ginny & Georgia caught a lot of flack when it first premiered. From people ridiculing the teen drama to the Swifties and BTS armies coming for the show for disrespecting their faves. All in all, it had a fair share of cringey moments, but I still enjoyed watching said first season and I was looking forward to more. Boy, did they deliver! SEASON 2 IS SO MUCH BETTER!

I’m not even joking a little bit. There’s still annoying characters and subplots I’m not fully invested in, but they seemed to really have listened to the audience and stepped up their game tenfold. The performances were award-worthy and I can say that, because they literally made me cry in the first episode of the season. There was a heavy focus on mental health and they handled that topic well in my opinion. I can’t speak to all experiences and their representation on the show, but I found some aspects I’m definitely familiar with. I genuinely hope that they can get another season even without a mountain of controversy getting people to hate-watch. They’d deserve it, but I don’t trust Netflix one bit.

Mythic Quest (Season 3)

I’m sad to say that this was my least favorite season of the show so far. I can’t put my finger on the “why?” of it all exactly, but they switched up the character dynamics and paired people differently, which I guess I didn’t fully vibe with? This is the worst and most vague review ever, but it’s really just a gut feeling. I very much liked the last couple of episodes though, because Mythic Quest does the 1.) the standalone episodes and 2.) the episodes with a serious undertone SO WELL. They’re even getting a spin-off show focusing on those standalone stories. I can’t wait for that!

Anyway, I’m glad there’s more, but this was a lengthy filler in a way. I’m also just maybe possibly only here for Poppy and Ian to have a complicated but wonderful relationship and whatever it is that Danny Pudi is doing.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Mayfair Witches (Season 1)

I’m glad I haven’t read the books, because I enjoyed myself very much in that first episode. I only saw that changes were made, characters combined and readers were not happy. I’m hopeful that this show will deliver with full force as the season progresses. I mean, Mayfair Witches is a tale that takes some time to get set up properly.

Will Trent (Season 1)

Another literary adaptation and the promos were so lying! This is not a show with a comedic undertone at all and it’s all the more brilliant for it. I’m very much invested. But also, Betty is the real scene-stealer.

National Treasure (Season 1)

I’m having a great time with the show. Every time that I get frustrated with a character, they prove me wrong and I love that.

1923 (Season 1)

I’m in shambles. The fact that they finally revealed the “twist” with the time difference – brilliant – but to leave us on that note – cruel!

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

At this point, I don’t even know if I still have characters I root for? Aki? Maybe??

Abbott Elementary (Season 2)

Please, this is the only sitcom I love to watch and it’s so good! The outro from last week with the podcast still has me in stitches.

Call Me Kat (Season 3)

The tribute episode for Leslie Jordan was heartbreaking, I don’t know how the cast went through that.

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 People We Hate at the Wedding

There’s a lot of book adaptations in today’s post and I’m exposing myself in that I have read none of them. I was excited to watch The People We Hate at the Wedding, because usually romantic/family comedies with Kristen Bell have worked well for me in the past (think You Again or When in Rome), but I was a bit underwhelmed by this one. It’s not a terrible movie, but sometimes you get the intricacies of certain relationships across the screen and sometimes you don’t. I don’t know if it was just the fact that too many characters were involved or if it was similar in the source material, but my gut tells me that it was better explored in a longer format.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

I’ve wanted the book for this one for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it. Since I didn’t know when I’d be able to read it (or just get the book in general), I just figured I’d watch the “movie” instead. It was so precious and cute, but it didn’t really have a full fledged-story narrative. It was more like little scenes of wisdom and vulnerable moments smushed together in a certain sequence. If you want to get in your feels, this seems like the right thing, but it’s not going to blow you away with it’s story.

I may have forgotten something, but, oh well! Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

The Year in Review – 2022

The year in review

So, with all my ranking concluded, there’s nothing more to do than look at the entirety of 2022 in review. There’s actually a lot to talk about and dissect, because 2022 was the first year I made some resolutions (which you can check out HERE, if you missed them). We’ll compare goals, check out the most popular features on the blog and talk about life in general. Let’s get started!

READING

I have a Goodreads and a StoryGraph account, although I’m really more of a fan of the statistics from the latter. They’re just so much more extensive, even if the page count is sometimes a little off. It’s tradition for me to share some of the stats, so let’s dive right in.

I finished 45 books with roughly 11,700 pages total. In comparison to last year, that is a lot less, but I also had a lot less time. I reached the reading goal I set in terms of the total amount of books on the final day of December 2022, but I unfortunately didn’t make it to the 15,000 pages I had set my eyes on.

A graph showing the books and amount of pages I read throughout the year 2022.

What I enjoy about the stats from the StoryGraph is that they show you so much more than just pages or minutes or number of books. They really focus on the mood of the stories, the pacing, the language and so much more. I would have never guessed that I mostly read books that involve romance for example, but I now have a detailed graphs showing me my most read genres.

I read 13 books from the romance genre, 10 contemporaries, 8 books from the Fantasy and Poetry genre each and 6 were general literature.

I ended up mostly reading medium-paced books (58%) and books with less than 300 pages (also 58%). I’m not surprised at that revelation at all, since it was the year of novellas for me. Something I’m really proud of is the fact that 29% of my reads were non-fiction. I wouldn’t say that I previously scoffed at non-fiction books, but I always found them harder to enjoy or connect to, but now I’m actively seeking them out. I can see that trend continue in 2023.

Ultimately my average rating is very similar to previous years. I once again ended up at 3.7 star-rating on average, which is the third year in a row.

Did I stick to my reading resolutions for 2022?

I didn’t have that many resolutions aside from the traditional Goodreads/StoryGraph reading goals, but I wanted to read more books in German and read more diversely. So, how did I do with that?

My plan was to read 1-3 books in German and I DID THAT! It was only one book, but I did read Stella by Takis Würger and even reviewed it on the blog (check out the post HERE). The book surprised me in that I basically flew through it and found reading it fairly easy, but it was still disappointing content … you can’t win them all.

The “read more diversely”-goal is harder to quantify and I can definitely still do better. 12 out of the 39 authors I’ve read books from in 2022 were non-white. That’s only a very slight improvement from the previous year and I know that this is going to remain a goal for future years. I can definitely tell that it helps when I don’t do reading experiments though …


For a complete list of my favorite books of 2022, click HERE!


WATCHING

There’s not really a good way to track all my media consumption, although I adore Letterboxd for movies. Since we all know that I watch more TV shows than movies though, their stats are welcome, but not nearly enough.

Either way, just for fun, I will share some Letterboxd stats as well! Apparently I watched 74 films, although I must admit that I maybe didn’t log all my rewatches … anyway, if we’re going by that number, these movies amounted to 132 hours of uninterrupted screen time. Since that only amounts to roughly 5.5 days, it actually doesn’t feel like all that much.

What came as a bit of surprise to me were my most watched actor and director. Dave Bautista starred in Glass Onion, Thor: Love and Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Dune. We could surely debate about the legitimacy of these stats, because is the cameo in Love and Thunder noteworthy? Does the Guardians Holiday special count as a real movie? Either way, I like how invested Bautista is in just honing his craft. I’m very excited for Knock at the Cabin. Denis Villeneuve made it onto my list, because I watched Dune and rewatched Arrival. I guess that is fair.

Dave Bautista was my most watched actor and Denis Villeneuve my most watched director in 2022


You can find all my favorite movies of 2022 HERE and all my top TV shows HERE!


WRITING

I failed so hard at all the writing goals I set for myself. I plotted a whole Fantasy novel. I dug up all the material I had from that one finished Romantic Comedy draft, so I could finally edit it. I made aesthetics and playlists, but … I just didn’t write. Doing things in my head is easy, I love to fantasize about all that stuff. But as soon as I sit down to write? My mind goes blank, I have zero motivation and just literally want to do anything else. It makes me sad, because I used to love to write, now I can’t make it work. AND I TRIED! I even set up a dedicated time to write, just 30 minutes a day (and more if things were going well), but nothing came of it. So, I dropped it …

Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail" wildly gesturing with his hands, because he got nothing to reply

BLOGGING

Life and Other Disasters has been such a huge part of my life for so long, it was strange to see it thrive in numbers, but for engagement to keep dwindling in 2022. I’ve heard similar from old and new blogging buddies alike, with a lot of discussion about “the death of blogging” swirling around the internet. Today, I don’t want to focus on the sad aspects though and rather celebrate the community we DO have.

First things first, I was really consistent again and don’t want to break with tradition. Here are some updated blog stats:

  • We’re less than 50 WordPress subscribers away from 3,000! I can’t believe that many people care about my ramblings.
  • I’ve written less posts (159 total) but had another 20% increase in views. I think I’m getting better at SEO, but I’m really just winging it. So, this is an unexpected delight.
  • I want to thank every single person who reads my posts, leaves a like or even takes the time to comment! You cannot imagine how much these interactions, however small, mean to me, because it’s my favorite part about blogging. It makes me feel less like screaming into a void, but rather sharing my thoughts and ideas with friends all over the world. A special shout out to my top-commentors CaroMarieRami, Sophie, Deanna and Bruce.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2022

These are all posts that I wrote in 2022 and that were popular with the internet. The archive posts (so everything I published prior to 2022) will be listed below without much comment.

Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)/Does The Atlas Paradox suffer from Second Book Syndrome? – This was the year of Olivie Blake and I’ve personally read three of her books as well as the YA book she published under a different name. I get why the internet is so enamored with her writing, I like it too, but sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the hype and to manage expectations. I hope I helped with my posts!

Should You Read the Atlas Six?

Along for the Ride: Book vs. Movie – I think the only reason this comparison was successful was due to the fact that I posted it on the release day of the Netflix movie. Sometimes I just work ridiculously fast!

Movie poster of Along for the Ride with the text "book vs. movie"

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (Book Review) – How cool is it that book reviews are doing so well? I remember times when reviews could not compete with tags and challenges or even simple TBR posts, but this year has proven me wrong. Reviews are still very much relevant!

Ranking All the Morgan Matson Books! – As I’ve slowly moved away from YA, I couldn’t help but highlight one of my favorite YA authors – Morgan Matson. I might grow out of that age range, but her books are cherished regardless.

Ranking All the Morgan Matson Books

Are Harry Styles and I compatible (readers)? – I don’t know if it’s because of the celebs I picked or the feature just not being that interesting anymore, but the celeb book club posts have not been doing particularly well this past year, which was part of the reason that I stopped doing them. I mean, it’s hard to never get to pick what you want to read and just have to rely on other people’s taste anyway, but I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to give it another go in 2023.

MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:

LIFE

I’m scared to wish for better for the new year, because life seems to take it as a challenge to make it worse somehow. Every year, I feel like I shouldn’t complain, because I know that a lot of people have it a lot worse than me. I have a steady job (even if I sometimes wish it would pay more), I have colleagues I adore and that make work fun, I have a loving family and friends all around the world I can turn to. And yet, life is hard and keeps throwing particularly difficult challenges my way.
There were a lot of health scares in my family in 2022 and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was terrified for months and months. I found less joy in things I used to love to do – such as binging TV, drawing my portraits or doing other creative work. Instead, I turned to long walks by myself and working out. (Eeew, teen me would not recognize herself.) I guess health (mental and physical) has become much more important to me as I’ve gotten older and that’s something I’m going to continue to work on in the years to come.

I have no idea where 2023 will take me, but I’m trying to go in with an open mind, a positive attitude but low expectations. Life is gonna do whatever it wants, you can’t plan for it. You can put things out into the universe and set things in motion, but in the end, it feels like what’s going to happen is going to happen. I just hope to see us all come out happy on the other side.

So, from me to all of you – THANK YOU for another fabulous year here on Life and Other Disasters! I literally couldn’t do this without you and am forever grateful for the relationships forged and the bonds made.

My Top Movies of 2022

Top Movies of the Year

As announced in the December 2022 wrap-up, I’m now starting with my rankings and review of the year 2022. As always, I will have separate posts for movies, TV shows and books. However, after a brief Twitter poll, I’m really trying to contain myself and not make everything uber-lengthy.

Today we’re starting with my top movies of 2022. Most of you know that I’m more of a TV person rather than someone who watches a ton of movies, but these films deserve to be talked about. I think for the first time in … ever, all the movies mentioned were released in 2022 (what is happening!?). I might add some releases from previous years into the honorable mentions list though. If you want to keep up to date with my movie viewing schedule, don’t hesitate to add me on Letterboxd! I’m very diligent with movies I’ve watched for the first time, not so much with my many rewatches though.

Read More »

December 2022 Wrap-Up

While I usually do a monthly and yearly wrap-up at the beginning of January, I’ve decided to change things up this year. We’ll have the regular wrap-up for December now, then the rest of the week will be dedicated to various rankings and looking at 2022 in review as well as what’s ahead on the blog. Seen as I’m heading towards my 10th blogging anniversary fast, there are some things I’m starting to consider for the future of Life and Other Disasters.

First things first though, I’m happy to report that I somehow managed to achieve my reading goal for 2022 and finished 45 books! It’s five less than I managed to read in the previous year, but I was far busier, so I’m happy with the result. Here are the reads that accompanied me in the final month of the year:

  • Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake (3.5 stars)
  • Stella by Takis Würger (2 stars)
  • Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume I by Matthew Mercer/Matthew Colville/Olivia Samson/Chris Northrop (5 stars)
    Massive shout out to my mate, Lois, who gifted this comic book to me for Christmas, because she knows my love for Critical Role knows no bounds. This was such a well-paced volume and a great backstory on top of things. I was beyond happy!
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (5 stars)
    According to StoryGraph, I started this book 233 days ago, but I couldn’t have read it sooner. It was hitting way too close to home, but I did it. I finished it before the end of the year and I’m proud of that.

Alone With You in the Ether Stella Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume I Crying in H Mart

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 have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

In Other News

As I’ve mentioned in many posts, I’ve been sick for quite a large chunk of December. On top of that, Christmas with my family had to be cancelled due to other health issues. This was the first Christmas ever that I didn’t spend with my family, despite my many years of traveling and living abroad. It was kind of sad, but then I had to work anyway, so at least I had something to do …

Binging TV is my coping mechanism

Whenever I feel down or just plain don’t have the energy for anything, I start getting REALLY into a show. This is mostly the time when I pick a show that has several seasons or spin-off shows already, so that I can just fixate on it like there’s no tomorrow. Momentarily, that is the Yellowstone universe for me. Yellowstone, 1883, 1923 and the upcoming 6666 show have my brain thoroughly occupied. These shows are brutal and definitely don’t just show history’s pretty side. As much as I appreciate that Taylor Sheridan doesn’t sweettalk what was done to indigenous people, he is still just a white man? So, what these shows have really done is whet my appetite to check out content (movies, shows, books) by actual indigenous creators in 2023.

I will continue to watch these shows though. They have me in their grasp now …

My Weightloss Journey

Again, feel free to skip this portion of the wrap-up. I know it’s a difficult topic for many and I get it, put yourself first!

I always use this portion of the post for accountability, but my journey has come to a halt and I’ve even taken a couple steps back. With me getting sick and the holidays, I’ve not been able to work out at all and have gained back some of the weight that I had already lost. As frustrating a setback as this is, I also know that my body needed that time. I was not well and there was no point in going on a diet while sick just because I couldn’t do my regular workouts. Things like this happen and I try not to be too hard on myself, instead I want to get back into things as soon as I get rid of this persistent cough. (No, it’s not the ‘rona.)

Still, I couldn’t deprive you of another fun dance workout. It’s just one song, but oh so timely considering last month’s release of Wednesday.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF DECEMBER 2022

This list is literally identical, except that the first and last spot have swapped. Wild!

  1. Does The Atlas Paradox Suffer From Second Book Syndrome?
    (originally posted November 2022)
    Love that this post is gaining traction. I put a lot of thought into the review.
  2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    This is the staple review post of my blog by now.
  3. Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan (Book Review)
    (originally posted November 2020)
    I still attribute the popularity of this post to the holidays.
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    Curious that this game is still sparking new interest almost daily.
  5. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    Well, if they read about the sequel, they probably also want to read about the first book.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a brilliant start into the new year! I wish you nothing but health, luck, love and happiness for the months to come!