Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #18

You won’t believe it, but I’ve watched stuff again! I know, big shocker! Well, before I draw this out any longer, let’s get started.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Conversations with Friends (limited series)

I’ve been feverishly waiting for this show to release. After the massive success of Normal People and the complicated feelings I have towards it, I knew that this was going to be either hit or miss with me. While I think the show has some serious pacing issues, it managed to capture the Sally Rooney vibes perfectly again. Check out my full thoughts on the book and the show here.

Star Trek: Discovery (Season 1-2)

I fell into a bit of a Star Trek hole after checking out Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and not getting some of the backstory, so I just binged two seasons of Discovery. Honestly, I really liked it. I understand the people who would have preferred a more episodic approach instead of these complicated seasonal arcs, but I still loved the characters. Sure, Michael basically being the chose one got a tinsy bit repetitive after a while, but she is a beautiful and complex character and I understand and support the focus being on her. Meanwhile, I don’t understand the criticism of this “not being Star Trek”, because if I got the chance to adapt something anew, I’d also like to put my own spin on things. I don’t feel like it betrayed anything crucial, although I’ve never been a serious Trekkie.

I can’t say that I will continue with the remaining seasons, at least not for now. I think I’d prefer to stick to the crew of the Enterprise for the time being.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Season 1)

This show is my everything right now. Seriously the highlight of my week, I just love having my Captain Pike around. (And the rest of the crew as well .. obviously.)

Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise smirking into the camera and saying "Hit it" before the starship jumps into warp.

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

The season finale was really solid, although I thought that the season as a whole focused a bit too much on Owen as a character. I just don’t think he’s actually that interesting, even though the incident from his childhood was masterfully done. Really got me emotional.

9-1-1 (Season 5)

I don’t really know what Lucy added as a character other than to have Buck’s character development be ruined a little bit? This season had some ups and downs, but I still love it and am looking forward to more.

MOVIES

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

Senior Year

I know that Rebel Wilson’s humor isn’t for everyone, but I enjoyed the movie. I get the common comparison to Never Been Kissed, although the creepy element is taken out in that everyone is very much aware that she is an adult woman and not a teenager. Generally, I wouldn’t say that there is too big of a focus on romance though. It was actually just cute and wholesome for the most part, despite some cringey jokes.


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

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #17

I didn’t forget about the post again! I was just really busy, so it took me a while to get the recap done, but here we are. Let’s dive right in.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Outer Range (Season 1)

This was one of the strangest shows I have watched in quite some time. It’s almost like Dark meets Yellowstone, because time-travelling cowboys is truly what I would describe this as! For the most part, I found myself very confused with what was going on, because I struggle to see the big picture, but I did guess some developments and twists throughout the show, so there’s that.

The storytelling is quite slow and sometimes I found myself getting a bit bored, unfortunately. I’m not sure it’s a must-see, but it has an excellent cast with amazing performances considering the strange material. I think I’m curious enough to tune in for another season, but wouldn’t be super miffed if it didn’t get more episodes.

The Wilds (Season 2)

I’ve waited so long for this new season and it was a bit of a case of “the wait between seasons made me loose a little bit of interest”, but by the time the final episode rolled around, I was fully invested again!

The thing is, we had the girls and they were amazing and intriguing and now they had to split the time with the boys, who were more or less their counterparts in many ways, and do the whole getting to know spiel again. I ended up totally loving most of the boys, even some of the douchier guys, but the show always ends when it gets most interesting. I NEED another season. Desperately.

As a side note, I love how Charles Alexander weaves into most interviews that Alex Fitzalan is his best friend. It makes me so soft for them.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

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

Didn’t I just say that Nancy and Matteo would be cool? I totally did. But Judd in danger again is not what I like to see.

9-1-1 (Season 5)

Well … is Taylor breaking her promise worse than Buck cheating on her? That’s what we have to deal with next week.

Legacies (Season 4)

How can you call a super powerful god … Ken?

MOVIES

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

Along for the Ride

I’m going to keep this short, because it was a really lovely movie. I had a great time watching it, although I don’t think it’s something that will stick with you for the longest time. If you want to hear my full thoughts, you should check out my book to movie comparison here.

The Lost City

I’m so glad I finally got to watch this movie!!! Interviews with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum have been absolutely hilarious and I’ve been craving the cinematic return of romcoms and The Lost City fully delivered. The comedic timing was excellent and I actually felt the chemistry nicely. Why can’t we have more movies like this? I genuinely want to know, because they are fun and a crowd-pleaser. We do need the good stuff too and not just Hallmark-esque films.


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

Along for the Ride: Book vs. Movie

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

What is better – the book or the movie? It’s an age old question that we bookworms ask ourselves and I’m happy to share my perspective on the novel Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen as well as its Netflix adaptation. It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, but I hope you’ll love diving into this as much as I did reading, watching and now writing the post for it.

General Plot

Ever since her parents started fighting and eventually divorced, Auden hasn’t had a full night of sleep. She did, however, do everything that was expected of her. Got good grades, excelled in academics, attended her mother’s soirees rather than hang out with people her own age … forgetting to be a kid/teen in the process. Now, it’s the summer before college and Auden decides to spend it with her father and stepmother in a quaint beach town. What promises to be a carefree summer proves to have more challenges in store for her, especially after meeting fellow insomniac Eli.

Book

Some of you already know this, but Along for the Ride was my first foray into the writing of Sarah Dessen. My expectations were pretty high, just because so many of my friends and fellow bloggers have gotten lost in and fallen in love with her stories. I can confidently say that I devoured and enjoyed the book, but that I was also painfully aware that this was written more than a decade ago.

The way “girly” things were constantly put down and judged, even after some growth on several characters parts, just really nagged me. A lot of Auden’s POV was very much along the lines of “I’m not like other girls” and that was honestly quite frustrating. I’m not saying that this doesn’t happen in books today at all, but I think we’re more aware of that kind of internalized misogyny and try to avoid it.

Auden was hard to love at first, but it made sense in the context of the story and how she was raised. I loved seeing her warm to the people in her life and while her love story with Eli was cute, I preferred her interactions with her stepmother, Heidi (I did not and probably never will like her biological parents in the book). I also appreciated that Auden’s friendship played a huge role in the book. In general, the teen romance came second to the parental struggles for me. I don’t know if that has something to do with my age or because I thought that these conflicts were better developed, but those were definitely the emotionally hard-hitting scenes. Complex family structures will forever be my jam.

Still, Eli is a big part of the picture and something about their late night adventures just really appealed to me. I wasn’t a very adventurous kid myself, even though I’m sure a couple people would like to disagree on that, but something about the way their relationship came to be satisfied a yearning within me. Nonetheless, I kept wishing to know more about Eli. To maybe follow his perspective every once in a while to truly understand his pain.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars! True to the story, I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish reading it.

Page count: 383
Publisher: Viking Books

*For more information on the book, head over to Goodreads or Storygraph!*

Movie

When the movie started, for the first ten minutes or so, I was certain this was going to be a super faithful adaptation and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I liked the book alright, but I knew that it wouldn’t hurt to update a lot of the material. The longer I watched though, the more changes I noted and … I think most of them are for the better?

The main story still stays completely the same, barely anything major differs from the source material, but a movie only gives you a limited amount of time to tell a story and Along for the Ride is on the longer side of YA fiction. There had to be some decisions made and I’m on board with most of them. Here are the most notable ones:

  • In the book, Auden has an older brother, which is not the case in the movie. He is the kind of boy, who can seemingly do no wrong and does all the carefree and irresponsible activities Auden never dared to. While I think he was an interesting counterpart in the book, I think it would have diluted what they were trying to tell here. He also tended to jetset around the globe and it would have just been too complicated to incorporate for not a very big payoff.
  • When Auden first arrives, she goes to The Tip, a place where all the youth comes to party. She ends up making out with this guy, Jake, which sparks a lot of drama. That does happen in both stories, but felt way less annoying in the movie because of one big change – Jake is never mentioned to be Eli’s brother. I’m not saying this never happens in real life, but it did make things unnecessarily uncomfortable, when there was plenty of Jake-drama to be had without that little detail.
  • The entire third act conflict – which is one of my most dreaded elements of romantic storylines – was handled so much better. By cutting some characters and instead using already established ones, they tightened up the relationships and even made some people more likable to me. It also wasn’t dragged out over weeks, but rather quickly resolved through some internal reflection. I was here for that!

I really loved this movie. It made me miss being by the ocean, which is a general state of being for me, but was amplified here. It made me want to go on adventures with strangers in the night and made me reminisce when I did some stupid stuff when I was younger.  Due to the time constraints, there wasn’t as much depth and exploration of the family troubles, but I think that Eli got a better third act instead, which was maybe also necessary.

I still would have liked to dig deeper on some parts. I don’t want to say that relationships were rushed, but I definitely felt like I was connected more to the characters because of my knowledge from the books rather than what I learned through the movie. Maggie, for example, is beautiful and warm in the movie, but I think that I knew her even better in the books. She’s a key figure, but we definitely don’t harp on her story as much. I’d still watch it again in a heartbeat though!

As a last note, I just have to say that this was some really perfect casting! Everyone was exactly how I envisioned them to be, down to little mannerisms. Kudos to the casting director!

Conclusion

For me, the movie is a winner. I missed some of the deeper emotional bits from the book, but much of the things that annoyed me were changed for the better and I have to give credit for that. Sofia Alvarez (who adapted the book for the screenplay and directed the movie, but was also involved with TATBILB) knows how to transform books into lovely movies.

Dance party in the movie Along for the Ride
credit: Netflix

Previous book to adaptation comparisons:


Do you agree with my assessment? Have you read and/or watched Along for the Ride? Let’s talk about that!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #16

I know, I know … I skipped last week, but I’m back now. Sometimes I just need a little longer to watch things and I’m still contemplating moving this feature to Friday. Just saying.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Our Flag Means Death (Season 1)

I am SO in love with this show and I don’t even know how to express those feelings. I’ve always liked Taika Waititi and the projects he undertakes, but this one was extra fun. I don’t know if it’s because I have a soft spot for pirate stories or because the romantic chemistry between Taika and Rhys was off the charts, but I so hope that there’s more.

They took real life pirates, but made this story completely their own. After so many of my friends tweeted about wanting another season, I gave in and watched it and have to fully agree! We need more of these kind of shows on our screens, where not everything is dark and gritty. Where things can be different and vulnerable, but still fun. MORE PLEASE!

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Outer Range (Season 1)

I really don’t get what’s happening. I don’t even know who’s side I’m supposed to be on?

Superman & Lois (Season 2)

This show is so fantastic and the bizarro episodes in general were amazing, but I don’t understand why there’s another break. This is why network television is so freaking annoying.

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

What a huge episode on fathers and I was here for it. Owen’s character is really getting some depth to him, which is great, but I also like to see other characters shine.

9-1-1 (Season 5)

I CALLED THE THING WITH JONAH. I know it was fairly predictable, but I’m still proud of myself.

Good Trouble (Season 4)

Davia and Dennis – they really need to get a move on. I hope Luca sticks around, but this was already the spring finale. I hate the wait.

Legacies (Season 4)

Alright, I took a break from the show, but I’m all caught up now. I’m so over the whole Landon/Hope stuff, I just don’t care. I’m here for the gods and especially Ben and Jed. Zane Phillips is a sight for sore eyes.

MOVIES

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

Crush

Crush was a really sweet and fun sapphic movie. The chemistry between the leads was great, the adults supportive and the friends amazing – everyone deserves friends like that! However, sometimes the movie was just too loud and over the top. It robbed the story of some of its authenticity. Still, cute and definitely alright for a nice movie night.

Uncharted

I have zero investment in this franchise and just watched this on a whim. The beginning totally reminded me of some frames that could have been taken from a video game, so that’s nice? Other than that, it was alright for a treasure hunting movie? I liked the chemistry and banter between most characters, although the women were done dirty for the most part. I’m outing myself here, but I mostly watched for Rudy since I love him on Outer Banks and he’s genuinely not a good reason to watch the film.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

This is going to be short and spoiler-free. I might do a whole spoiler-filled review in a week? Unsure – sound off in the comments if you would be interested in something like that!

I left the movie with a deep sadness inside of me. Phase 4 of the MCU is just the era of pain and I’m not sure I’m 100% here for it. Having said that, they promised more horror and delivered. I fell for every. single. jump scare. It gave me a lot of food for thought. We shall see where it leads, but I hope everyone gets to enjoy this with as little prior knowledge as possible.


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

April 2022 Wrap-Up

April, true to its name, was a wild month for me. I really surprised myself with the amount of books I read, even though I’m still a couple books behind what I wanted to achieve. I’ve been working hard on getting ready for the next installment in the reading experiment series and I think hope you will all love it! Let’s take a look at some books I devoured:

  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (1 star)
    Utter nonesense.
  • For Every One by Jason Reynolds (5 stars)
    So beautiful and timely for me, I broke out into tears.
  • Notes on Camp by Susan Sontag (3 stars)
    Not entirely applicable today anymore, but still interesting enough.
  • You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski (2 stars)
    A reread that didn’t work any better the second time around.
  • Essays in Love by Alain de Botton (2 stars)
    As much as I like de Botton’s style of writing, I do not vibe with his statements.
  • Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield (4 stars)
    A really beautiful tribute to a loved one.
  • My Policeman by Bethan Roberts (2.5 stars)
    Pretty iffy for the most part.

One True Loves In Watermelon Sugar For Every One Notes on Camp You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense Essays In Love Love Is a Mix Tape: Life, Loss, and What I Listened To My Policeman

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 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 terms of stats, I’m really on top of my reading goals and even have some leeway. However, and this is my predicament, I’m quite on a time crunch with three more books, which I sort of have to finish by May 15. I don’t know if I took on too much, but I’m going to try my best to get it done. Maybe the above list partly gives away who the reading experiment will be about, but I just cannot wait to actually share it with you!

Reading stats taken from The Storygraph App for my progress on my yearly reading goals

 

I’ve complained a lot these past months and you know what? I just don’t wanna do that anymore. April was full of surprises – some good, some bad – and that’s just how life goes sometimes. It wasn’t my most creative month in terms of blogging, writing or drawing, but I can feel that hunger coming back. That need to write down a story or capture an image in my own style. I’d say that’s a good sign and maybe if things calm down a little over the summer, I’ll get a chance to do more again.

Speaking of summer – I’ve made quite the plans for myself. I want to teach myself how to rollerskate! I know how to iceskate … in theory. I haven’t done it in a really long time, but I need to get back into finding activities to do outside. And while I really enjoy my regular trips to the zoo, as soon as the weather gets better it’s just packed and I have no desire to be among the masses. So … now I just need to find a shop that sells rollerskates here (harder than you might think), because I don’t want to order them online and gamble on the size fitting.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF APRIL 2022

I hope you won’t mind that I’m continuing to share the top posts of the month, but I just want to thank everyone for hyping up archive posts and giving my content some longevity.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    I’d really love to know what makes this such an evergreen review, but I’m alright with it either way.
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    It brings me so much joy that this post helps people decide whether The Atlas Six is a good fit for them!
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    I’m assuming this is still an aftereffect of all the press for Pam & Tommy and Fresh?
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    We’re all just patiently waiting for the release of the final chapter
  5. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    I think every time an actor has a new project out (taking a wild guess at it being “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent“), it brings more people to these kind of posts.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

This VERY clearly has to go to Heartstopper! I cannot remember the last time I was so enarmored with a show and felt so happy watching it. At first, I was a bit worried that I might be too old for it and that it might hinder me from really getting into it, but I ended up just falling head over heels for the entire thing.

The main cast of the show Heartstopper
credit: Netflix

A lot of the time these days, queer representation in media is either super traumatic, dark and gritty or glorifies the coming out experience that is rare for most people in real life. With Hearstopper, it really felt like they balanced genuine struggles with wholesome and positive vibes. You knew not everything was going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time, but simultaneously, it had a precious and uplifting message. I’m glad kids growing up now get to see content like it. Also, I have officially adopted Nick Nelson as my fictional son. I’m sure his brother August Flynn will be happy to welcome him in the family.

Nick Nelson portrayed by Kit Connor
credit: Netflix, he’s just my fave!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Please also visit some fellow bloggers and share the love! Here are some posts I enjoyed in the past month:

MY OTHER POSTS

MOON KNIGHT REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all a lovely and not too wild April! Here’s to a brilliant May ahead of us!