TMP – TV Edition: 2020 Freshmen Series

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.

I am sorry if this getting a bit repetitive, but today’s theme is all about 2020 Freshmen Series, which means TV shows that aired for the first time last year. Now, I did a whole post on that already when I ranked my favourite new TV shows of 2020 (which you can check out here if you need a reminder). Seen as I don’t want to do the exact same thing again, I’m going to focus solely on the shows I liked (maybe not my top picks, but still good ones) that I think went unnoticed by the public. A lot of series managed to reach quite a large audience, but others not so much, especially in terms of international content. I’m not just going to showcase foreign shows, but there’s going to be some! Let’s celebrate them!

Little Voice

2020 was surprisingly full of amazing music-centric shows. We had Julie and the Phantoms for a predominately younger audience and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist for everyone else. I adore both those shows and would 100% recommend them to anyone who wanted something emotional and upbeat at the same time. But, I would also recommend Little Voice. With a beautiful cinematography and amazing songs from Sara Bareilles it is sure to capture your hearts! (Yes, once again, I am strongly advocating for Apple TV+ content)

Ragnarok

If you enjoy Norse mythology, but prefer a modern setting, this might just be for you! Tackling subjects such as climate change, Ragnarok feels current, but also captures the intrigue of old myths. It might not be the retelling you’d expect, but the lines on who is the villain and who is the hero aren’t always as clear as they seem. (Season 2 is already filming!)

Vampires

(would recommend watching it in French with subtitles, but could only find a French trailer without subtitles)

Vampire content fluctuates in popularity and doesn’t always manage to grab audiences. Vampires, on Netflix, felt pretty refreshing to me. Yes, I will admit to still shipping something that’s problematic and there must be some gene in vampires that makes them inherent stalkers, but it also felt different like so many other shows and movies I had seen with those creatures before. (Season 2 has yet to be confirmed)

The Mess You Leave Behind

This is (I think) a limited series, so it wraps up nicely. My main draw for the show was Aron Piper, but eventually I just wanted to know what had happened. Moving between present and past, the viewer learns about what happened at a Spanish school in the country and the mess the new teacher inherited. Not going to lie, it’s sometimes tough to root for … well, anyone? But the intrigue was kept nicely, even with a slow pace.

Blood & Water

Being one of South Africa’s first Netflix productions, it centers around the divide between the poor and the rich as well as child kidnapping and corruption – all things that hook you easily. True to being the teenagers they are, they sometimes trust too easily or are so closed off, it seems ridiculous. I wouldn’t hold it against them, but just be aware of the drama that comes with that. (Season 2 is confirmed)


If you are looking for more recommendations on TV shows that don’t have an onslaught of seasons out already, I’d love to redirect you to my 2020 ranking once again (click here). Did you watch any of the shows I mentioned? What were some shows you think deserved more attention in 2020?

Thursday Movie Picks – 2020 Releases

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.

Since this week is all about our favourite 2020 releases, I want to direct you to my Top 10 movies of 2020 post, which you can read here! However, that list was about the movies I had watched that year but not necessarily only ones that released then. So, to not just duplicate it in part anyway, I wanted to highlight one movie from every streaming service I could think of/watched.

Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime Video)

This movie. It was sad but also beautiful and I loved the characters. I think it went kind of under the radar, as did many movies last year, but would deserve a bit more attention.

Palm Springs (Hulu)

Palm Springs is a whacky movie, but in all the best ways. The whole groundhog-day-scenario can get so tiresome, but they managed a fresh take on it that was fun to watch.

The Half of It (Netflix)

I’ve mentioned this movie so often, I don’t even think I still need to explain why it is beautiful, authentic and worth the watch.

Clouds (Disney+)

I always feel weird judging movies that are based on real people, especially ones that are very, very recent. I remember Zach’s song when it first released and it truly wasn’t that long ago. Anyway, due to the personal connection director Justin Baldoni had with Zach, this movie is incredibly moving. There were some creative liberties taken, but I started crying about 20 minutes in and did not stop until the end of it all.

Amazing Stories “The Cellar” (Apple TV+)

Okay, this is actually the first episode in the Amazing Stories series, but it felt like a mini-movie and was really lovely. Considering that it was barely an hour long, it really fit a lot of story and emotion in it. Also, Victoria Pedretti and Dylan O’Brien will always be great arguments for any content. They made a great team together.

I vow to watch one of the Apple TV+ movies soon though! Maybe On The Rocks!


What are some of your favourite 2020 releases? Let’s talk!

My Top 20 New TV Shows of 2020

This is the final post in my rankings and lists of 2020! If you have missed the previous part on ongoing TV shows, click here to check it out. Today will be all about TV shows (both limited series and shows that might still continue) that first released in 2020. There’s been a lot of good content, which was helpful considering how much time most of us spent at home. Let’s dive into my faves!

Read More »

My Top 10 Movies of 2020

Let’s be real, I could probably name more movies than just ten for this list, but with the TV show posts being so extensive, I wanted to make sure you didn’t have to endlessly scroll through all these rankings. Even though I haven’t been to a cinema since January 2019 due to obvious reasons, I still watched a whole lot more films than usually.

Again, to clarify, not all the movies that you will find on this list were released in 2020. That’s just the year I watched them in. You are also very welcome to follow me on letterboxd to stay up to date with what I am watching!

10. Late Night

Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, a whole writer’s room full of dudes who need to be taught that the world doesn’t revolve around them – I love to see it. Literally adored this.

Also adored the director’s other work The High Note, which also deals with women lifting women up in the workplace and that’s just the way it is supposed to be.

9. The Photograph

It’s a simple romance, mostly set by the music and aesthetics. Technically, it’s two stories put together, which sometimes works better and sometimes not so much. LaKeith and Issa have amazing chemistry, but I also loved the discussion of parental love here.

8. Palm Springs

This is a crazy movie filled with quantum theory and shenanigans. I can see it being a bit much for some people, but I had a grand time. It’s just pure weird fun!

7. Knives Out

I’ve legit watched this movie about ten times now and I have no regrets. I still love the casting, I still love the twists, I even came to terms with Marta’s ridiculous condition. It’s a murder mystery to my liking and I am glad they are doing a sort of series for the detective character.

6. Love and Monsters

Dylan O’Brien will forever be an amazing argument for me to watch a movie, but I did not expect just how much fun I would have with it. Yes, the real star is the dog, but that’s okay too.

5. Soul

This movie – it was so beautiful. The animation was gorgeous and the message was inspirational and the scenes were emotional. I teared up for sure! Also – the music! (But again, please stop transforming black characters into blobs or frogs or other animals for the majority of a movie.)

4. The Half of It

I fell for this movie so hard, I don’t even have words. Alice Wu, the director, told a very personal story here and had beautiful symbolism incorporated in her storytelling. Also, loved the friendship love in this one.

3. Uncle Frank

My heart. This movie was sad and complex and funny and well paced. The characters were amazing and once again, it shows that stories that are personal to the people involved can translate just so well to the screen. I wish everyone had a Wally in their lives!

2. The Broken Hearts Gallery

This is now one of my favourite RomComs of all time. It’s that fun and good and sweet. More of this please!!!

1. Little Women

Okay, this was the last movie I had seen in cinemas and I still remember the experience so vividly. For a lot of teen girls in the audience (and believe me when I say the room was packed – what a concept!) this was their first encounter with the material and they laughed and gasped and cried in unison and mirrored all my feelings and this movie has such a place in my heart now.

Honorable Mentions

Okay, this is now a fixture in all my posts anyway, cause I can never contain myself. Not that anyone thought I could to begin with. Here’s some more movies I liked:

  • Happiest Season
  • Banana Split
  • Clouds
  • Enola Holmes
  • Safety
  • Godmothered
  • Uncorked

What did you think of my picks? I feel like this was all very on brand for me. Did they make sense to you? What are movies that were your absolute treasure of 2020?

My Top 20 (ongoing) TV Shows of 2020

Yesterday I gave you my thoughts on the 10 best books I read in 2020, but we all know that the topic I really can’t stop talking about are TV shows. So, not only am I giving you a list of my top 20 shows, I actually split it up in two categories – new and ongoing shows. (The post for the new shows will be up in a couple days, but tomorrow is movie ranking day!) I simply could not contain myself.

I am aware that the phrasing “ongoing shows” might be a bit misleading, which is why I want to clarify what I mean. I included all shows that released before 2020 in this list! That means, they may only have one season that aired previous to that year, but they also might have had their series finale in 2020. Ongoing here doesn’t necessarily mean it is still airing now or that they released follow-up seasons during the last year. Hope that made sense!

Read More »

TMP – TV Edition: Space/Aliens

I just want to preface this by saying that there’s another post about what I’ve been watching coming your way as well today. AND I also wanted to say that all my rankings for 2020 (be it film, TV or books) will be posted in the upcoming days. So, loads of posts ahead – I hope you won’t get tired of me!

As we’ve established by now, I am doing 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 thing is, to keep the lists spicy and interesting, there’s sometimes exceptions to the theme where we get to venture into the land of TV. You all know that it’s more my strong suite than movies, so I am excited to talk about aliens and space today!

Lost in Space

This show will soon go into its third and final season and I have enjoyed following the lives of the Robinson family so much. The visual effects are top notch and the characters will all grow on you so much. I haven’t seen the original, but dang, do I love this version.

Another Life

I am just trying to patiently wait for season 2, because I need to know how my favourite AI is doing. Otherwise, the crew can get a bit annoying … because who picked for those people to be in a tightly confined space together?? But I’d still like to know how it continues.

Roswell, New Mexico

I actually adored the original of this one, but I have come to love this version as well. It has its flaws and season 2 was all over the place (which cannot even be blamed on covid entirely). I just want Maria to be treated better and get all the happy she wants and deserves.

Steven Spielberg presents Taken

Taken is a mini-series from the early 2000s, so, bear that in mind should you want to check it out. I was OBSESSED with it as a kid and I am sure we still have the DVD box set at home somewhere. It’s this multi-generational tale of how people were abducted by aliens and how that affected the course of their lives. The aliens themselves were pretty cliché, but the families – so intriguing how everything came together.

Honorable Mentions

This is actually a “genre” or topic I quite enjoy, so, there’s loads and loads of shows I love to watch. Here are some other examples that I enjoyed but that I didn’t want to go into detail with, because I do have a problem with keeping these posts short.

  • Roswell (the OG version)
  • Dark Matter
  • Killjoys
  • Doctor Who
  • Torchwood
  • Firefly
  • Steven Universe

What did you think of my picks this week? What are some of your favourite space/alien-themed shows? Let’s chat!

Thursday Movie Picks – Holiday Action Movies

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! I don’t know if you celebrate, but where I live, we celebrate Christmas on the 24th, which means I totally thought ahead and scheduled this post! Yay me!

As we’ve established by now, I am doing 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.

Today’s theme is Holiday Action movies, which is not my forte at all. But I shall try my best!

Die Hard

I could not not mention it. It’s like THE classic action Christmas movie, because it’s set during Christmas AND has loads of action. Do I really need to say more?

Shazam!

Is a superhero movie automatically an action movie? I don’t know, but I am counting it towards that goal. There’s a winter carnival and everything, helping get some general themes across.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

I loved this movie so much when I was younger. I completely forgot it was set during Christmas time, even though there’s several holiday parties and a toy store robbery and Michelle Monaghan in a sexy Mrs Santa outfit, but a little research brought back the memory.


Obviously there weren’t as many picks as I usually am able to present. Do you have some notable holiday action movies? I don’t think we were limited to Christmas, although that’s mostly what I went for.

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies by Female Directors

As we’ve established by now, I am doing 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.

Today’s theme is movies directed by female directors! In general, I adore that as an idea, because why not celebrate the women who make amazing content? I was just struggling to decide whether to give in to the idea that women make great romance movies (cause they do) or to focus on other genres as well. I hope I made a decent mix of things, but also … I like certain genres more and watch more along the lines of romance, comedy or family drama. And, I really focused on recent releases, because I like new things.

The Broken Hearts Gallery – Natalie Krinsky

There’s so many bad romantic comedies every year that I cherish the good ones like nothing else. This may have replaced Set It Up as my favourite RomCom and that means a lot!

The Half of It – Alice Wu

This movie was so good! The cinematography is top notch and the meaning behind the imagery and its symbolism is worthy of an entire thesis if you ask me.

Late Night/The High Note – Nisha Ganatra

You get a two for one here! Both of these movies focus on strong women in their respective fields of work. It’s about lifting up a future generation and has sweet romance notes without being the focus at all. I enjoyed them both a lot.

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

I just love this movie. I will always love this movie. I know I only mentioned it a couple posts ago, but I could probably find a way to mention Little Women in every single post if I tried.

The Party’s Just Beginning – Karen Gillan

This was Karen Gillan’s first feature length directing effort and a very personal story set in Scotland. It’s definitely to be watched with caution, because it leaves you in a very sad state of mind. Trigger warnings for suicide and depression are necessary, but it was still an amazing movie.

The Old Guard – Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gine Prince-Bythewood is not new to the scene, having directed gems such as Love & Basketball or Beyond the Lights (which I can also 100% recommend). But it’s still more on the rare side that women get to direct action movies, so, I wanted to mention The Old Guard. While I will agree that it’s a character-driven movie on the slow-paced side, which also feels a bit like a prequel set-up for a franchise, I really, really enjoyed it.


Yeah … I couldn’t hold back today. I hope you won’t mind that there are a couple more film picks this week! What are some of your favourite movies directed by women?

The End of the Year Book Tag – 2020

Can you believe we are at the stage of the year where tags like this make sense? I saw the End of the Year Book Tag over at Sofii’s A Book. A Thought. blog and she was happy to let me steal it. I know I am nowhere near my reading numbers from a couple years ago, but I am actually pretty content with what I managed to get to in 2020. Let’s see what the questions hold!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Beartown (Beartown, #1)     This Is How You Lose the Time War

I am currently reading Beartown (which I started in October but got busy and wanted to give more attention to) and This Is How You Lose the Time War (which is utterly confusing). Realistically, I think I can finish both of them, I just have to be willing to make the time now.

Do you have an autumnal (Spring) book to transition into the end of the year?

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2)

I have to say that I don’t really plan ahead my reading like that, or go for certain seasonal themes. I could see how people would like something more colourful for winter or so on, but I can’t say I’ve been looking into that. However, I still have Take a Hint, Dani Brown ready on my kindle, which is sure to warm my heart!

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Admission

First of all, I am not super aware of when books release these days. Secondly, I think most of the books I was curious about already released. For example Admission by Julie Buxbaum. I quite enjoyed that one and it got published at the beginning of the month!

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

This Is Not a Ghost Story Soulswift Normal People: The Scripts

Aside from the ones I mentioned above, I am not sure how much I will actually be able to manage. I mean … there’s like two weeks left of the year and I don’t think I have it in me to read five books in total. However, IF I miraculously make it, the ones mentioned above are on my priority list.
This is Not a Ghost Story was recommended to people who enjoyed the Haunting of Bly Manor and I don’t know in what aspect it will be like the show, but I was too curious not to check it out. Also, it has a stunning cover, isn’t too long and ties into me wanting to get out of my reading comfort zone more.
Soulswift is along the lines of theological-esque fantasy and I am very much into that.
Normal People: The Scripts is like the Fleabag scripts aka it is a hardcover copy of all the scripts from the show. I love-hated the regular book in a weird way, but I am still 100% obsessed with it, so, I figured it would be a great addition to my library.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite of the year?

There’s obviously no way to know for sure, but Beartown ticks all the boxes to become a favourite! It’s sports-related, has a tight-knit small town community, drama, beautiful beautiful quotes. I swear I have put so many sticky notes into that book already.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Ace of Spades

I don’t really make reading plans as much. I do intend to up my Goodreads Challenge from 30 (which I managed well this year) to 35 books. But I also saw the tweet below and the illustration and comparison to Dair and I am really into the idea of reading Ace of Spades next year!


I hope you enjoyed this! I have found myself liking tags that aren’t too long as of late, so I hope you liked reading it too. Let me know some of your thoughts on the tag or feel free to steal it yourself!

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies for Seniors/The Elderly

As I have announced last week, I am now going to take part in 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.

Today I am going to present to you some movies for seniors/the elderly! What exactly does that mean? I think it’s pretty much up to you. It does not mean that the actors/actresses in the movies have to be old … because what is old? It can just be about a decade elderly people might want to reminisce about. There’s a lot of ways to interpret this theme and I hope you enjoy the movie picks I have chosen for you!

It’s Complicated

This is one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time and I would never say that any of the cast members are old, because look at their vitality and screen presence, but you also have to admit that they are older than the average main character in that genre. I am in favour of finding love at all stages of life though!

Water for Elephants

Maybe I am still transfixed by the book, but I adored the changing POV between the present and past. I am also sure that the 30s weren’t always easy to live through, but something about that aesthetic just makes my heart sing.

Rebecca

I tried to throw in a classic, but I wanted it to be a new interpretation. I am sure many seniors know the Hitchcock version, but I would love to hear their take on this new one. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking in any shape or form, but my rose colored heart was not opposed to the more happily ever after ending they included here. Also … the cinematography is beautiful.

Kodachrome

When I think of films that might appeal to the elderly, I think of generational dramas that involve old media. Kodachrome has all that.

The Photograph

I know that there is a revival of photography on actual film rather than digitally, but similarly to the previous movie, I enjoyed the generational discourse as well as the medium a lot here. I don’t know if it’s too modern, but I also refuse to believe that the elderly will only watch movies that were made in the 50s.


What did you think of the movies I chose for this feature? Would you watch any of them with your grandparents or an elderly friend? Let’s talk!