What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #51

I didn’t come up with a better way to title these posts, so I stuck with the numbering. I wonder how high we will get with those eventually! Today I am going to talk about a couple shows and I will have designated spoiler sections for a couple of them. Please, beware and avoid them if you do not wish to know that much about the show/movie!

The Letter for the King (Season 1)

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the show at first. There are a couple really amazing misdirects and I think it is cool that it has characters that actually look their young age instead of being a decade older than what they are supposed to play, but then … they just had to go and ruin it. Without going into detail, they fall pray to the whole “bury your gays” thing, by killing a gay character shortly after having them start a relationship of sorts. It was completely unnecessary as the person in question could have just as easily been wounded and survived everything. It still has me so mad to think about it now.

For fans of: knights, magic, destiny

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 4)

Okay, so, I’ve already voiced some of my thoughts on the final season of CAOS in my post here, but did not go into detail, because it didn’t seem the right time. Overall, if you don’t want to be spoiled, I just want to say that I was not happy with this ending. I found it disrespectful to many characters, despite actually enjoying this season as a whole. But to elaborate a little bit:

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

  • Sabrina being constantly jealous of her friends and family, because she was single for a longer period of time for the first time since the show started was majorly annoying. We really need to stop acting like it’s the end of the world when people aren’t in a relationship.
  • The eldritch terrors were interesting to me, although I am not familiar with them to a point where I could judge them based on previous iterations. I liked the foe of the week theme, as it moved the season along nicely and kept it more compact than with previous villains.
  • I think there’s a couple plotholes, e.g. Sabrina doesn’t stop being married to the Uninvited just because she locked him in a room outside of time and space and let the Void swallow it … don’t think that’s how marriage works.
  • Why do people keep hating on Cabrina as a ship? I think Morningstar and Caliban were really it and Caliban still scheming to rule hell was just very in character.
  • I am unsure how I feel about Sabrina dying. I think if the show continued, they’d have found a way to resurrect her, even the actress said so herself, so, to have Nick kill himself to be with her in the afterlife was a cruel thing to do. They acted like it was the most casual thing in the world, but I found it really disrespectful to the character. He had gained so many friends over the past seasons and to end his arc like that … not cool.
  • My favourite part of the season were the new and old Weird Sisters. Truly the best!
  • I know that they didn’t really expect to get cancelled for real, but even though you saw Sabrina in the afterlife, you have no idea how any of the other characters are doing and I think that’s a shame. The show wasn’t just about her and a funeral isn’t a series finale for me.

A Discovery of Witches (Season 2)

I binged the entire season in one day and only regretted it slightly, because I love this show. I know it’s not perfect, but it truly enchanted me in Season 1. In comparison, I think Season 2 couldn’t hold up as well in terms of aesthetics and pacing. The split timeline was a tricky thing to pull off, especially since the book solely focuses on Diana’s POV and the show on everyone. I don’t think they managed the balance very well and I would honestly have been frustrated watching it on a weekly basis if I wanted a certain storyline to continue just to get an entire episode set in a different time. It just gave the whole thing a bit of a choppy edge.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I haven’t read the second book, so, I can’t say how faithful it was. Somewhere it said that Gallowglass was in love with Diana and I did not get that vibe this season, but they might explore that in the next one. I sometimes wished that some storylines went a little deeper, for example the adoption of Jack or the love story between Phoebe and Marcus, but it also had some great moments again. Finally getting to meet Philippe was a real treat! Also, I enjoyed Diana being fiercer and coming into her powers, although Matthew went in the opposite direction and became more chliché-vampire territorial/feral.

Life Itself

TW: graphic suicide and death

Life Itself has one of my most favourite trailers of all time. I had put off watching the movie for years though, because the reviews weren’t exactly glowing and now that I’ve finally seen it, I get it. The overall premise of life being an unreliable narrator and everyone possibly being the hero and villain in someone’s story is a good one. It’s even an excellent one, but the execution did not hold up at all. It felt like very disjointed storytelling and the emotions sometimes felt like they were overshadowed by certain scenes that seemed added for shock value. Unfortunately the film did not hold up to the trailer at all.

For fans of: stories within stories


Have you watched any of these? Do you want to talk about them? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #38

As you can see, I haven’t really had the time to read lately, because drawing and writing every day takes up a lot of time. However, it’s super easy to just have a show or movie play in the background while I work, so here’s another post on what I’ve been watching!

Little Voice (Season 1 ongoing)

Ever since I saw the trailer, I knew I wanted to check out the show! The music is absolutely the kind I like and I prefer shows where people don’t just start singing randomly, but rather have a reason to do so. If I had to complain about one thing so far, it’d be that Apple didn’t release all episodes at once, which I would have much preferred. One episode isn’t very long, so by the time I really am vibing with it and feeling like I’m in that world, it already ends again. But that’s just my spoiled mindset with all other streaming services out there dropping their content all at once.

I find the characters all super likable and relatable. They feel real and I especially appreciate Bess’ (the main character) relationship with her autistic brother Louis. Those two are so precious together and their shared love of music and musicals is everything. I am a little more torn on the romance front, just because I don’t like the idea of cheating? Obviously Sean’s character Ethan is a dreamboat and there’s a connection there with Bess, but so is with Samuel and he’d definitely be the better choice in terms of availability.

Lastly, there is also a lesbian storyline for a character with a traditional Indian family background and I’m super curious to see how they will explore that in future episodes.

For fans of: Brittany O’Grady singing, JJ Abrams going back too his Felicity-esque roots, Sara Bareilles songs, music seamlessly incorporated in TV without making it a musical

Blood & Water (Season 1)

I had meant to watch this for the longest time! This is one of the first productions on Netflix that came from South Africa and I know that a lot of people had been waiting for it. There’s definitely a bit of buzz around the show and I was so relieved that the wallpaper with the season two production announcement came right after I finished this season.

The plot has a whole is super interesting. Adoption scandals, child kidnappings, rich people vs. poor people – all of that had me hooked pretty easily and I was invested in finding out what actually happened. Sometimes I was a bit annoyed with the secrecy and the lack of trust vs. blind faith some of the characters portrayed, but I just tried to remind myself that those are all teenagers and I was dramatic af as a teen myself (I still am sometimes).

For fans of: international Netflix productions, majority Black cast

Cursed (Season 1)

I have not read the book this is based on and neither do I intend to, so, I can’t really talk about any similarities or differences in that matter. However, I can tell you that this definitely isn’t a traditional retelling of what you’d consider an Arthurian legend.

I’m not going to lie to you, it was off to a rough start for me. I hated the transitions (until the very end) and thought that things just looked a bit off. Everything had such a bright (which sometimes looks fake?) look, but then also was just extremely violent with chopped off body parts multiple times per episode. That didn’t exactly fit together in my head? But ultimately it didn’t deter me and the show grew on me with every episode I kept watching.

There’s not yet been an announcement on whether they’ll continue with the show, but I’d definitely watch it if it got released, just for the sake of finding out how this will end up with Arthur on the throne and all the key players in their “traditional” places. Cause at the moment, I cannot see that happening at all yet. But I guess I also wouldn’t be sad for days if it didn’t get renewed.

And yes, on a final note, I totally kept watching because I liked the weeping monk. Sue me! (Other favourite characters included Squirrel, Morgana, Pym, Merlin, Gawain and when he wasn’t a fool in love, Arthur.)

For fans of: twists (and not very accurate) Arthurian legend inspired material

Absentia (Season 1)

I 100% started watching this show because of Neil Jackson. This is NOT my genre at all and I couldn’t look at some of the bleeding eye/drowning stuff. The storyline was interesting to me, because while I often care very little about the crime element, I am fascinated by family dynamics in unusual situations. I definitely didn’t understand all of the choices made by the characters, but I’m also no FBI agent … who knows? Maybe they actually knew what they were doing constantly going off on their own.

I already started to watch Season 2, but I actually need to pay attention, so, I can’t just play it in the background like some other stuff.

For fans of: Stana Katic, dark psychological thrillers, shows that aren’t afraid to get gross

The Kissing Booth 2

Look, I get it. A bunch of people watched the first one, they made another one and set up a third. Views don’t lie? But that doesn’t mean I don’t think this movie series is still utter trash. Granted, the sequel was actually less annoying than the first Kissing Booth movie, but doesn’t make it a good movie all of a sudden.

The relationships these kids have are not healthy. They lie and cheat and clearly have boundary issues, but they rarely look for the fault in themselves. I don’t understand why everyone is so enchanted by Elle as if she’s a really great person, when she’s just as flawed as the others?

Anyway, this is no way needed to be 2+ hours long. Just no.

For fans of: the wattpad novel? the cast??


This is what I’ve been watching! Have you seen any of those things? I’d love to chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #33

I still stand by the fact that I’ve watched far less since lockdown started, compared to my regular viewing. Regardless, it is time to talk about what’s been happening on my screen lately! So, here we go!

Sweet Magnolias

I started watching this show, because I needed to calm down. I had just watched some episodes with a lot of racial injustice and I was boiling and angry and I needed something to soothe me. The name, Sweet Magnolias, alone suggested to me that this was going to be lovely and it was? Following the lives of these three women was nice, their children had some decent plotlines too. It’s not the most exciting show out there, but I love these kind of soft and sweet stories that border on the line of cheesiness. It just feels so much cuter and less stressful than other shows, even if some plot points have quite a lot of depth if you think about it. So, does it give you Lifetime-vibes? Probably. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not really.

HOWEVER, I am furious, because the show ended on a massive cliffhanger!

So my plan to distract myself from being mad did not pan out in the end … I just hope they get another season, and if only to resolve that end. I cannot deal with it right now!

For fans of: small town American settings, a certain quality of wholesomeness, book-to-screen adaptations

Upload

I can’t help but think about this show giving me “The Good Place” vibes and that’s something brilliant, because I miss the show SO much. I think the actual series is better than the trailer suggests. Sure, it has some rather silly elements (but let’s be real, so did The Good Place) but it also a very intriguing mystery plotline that I did not necessarily expect. I don’t feel like Upload made me as happy as watching The Good Place did, but it asks the same or at least similar questions about morality, mortality and can we improve after we have died. The fact that we are more and more asking ourselves these questions is really interesting to me.

Especially for a first season, I thought there was remarkable character development, although I wasn’t super happy with the end. I think it already got picked up for another season, so that’s helpful in easing my mind, because they need to resolve some stuff for me that I won’t get into because of spoilers.

For fans of: moral questions about the afterlife, quirky and fun takes on future technology

All American (both seasons)

So, I am still not over the brilliance that was Friday Night Lights and maybe I never will be. Yet, seen as I am still working on my American Football writing project, I needed another show to keep me in the right headspace. While there is a lot of content on college Football, there’s actually not as much focused on High School, so I figured I’d just go with the most recent example I could think of, which was All American.

Obviously, since this is based in LA, it hits VERY different to FNL. I didn’t get the same feeling of just being with those characters for ages, but eventually, I really felt with them regardless. I only have three episodes left, before finishing the second season and I want to savor those. Like so much at the CW, it already got renewed, which is great. I think the show has some really great moments, although I think they need to find more balance with some storylines as they feel just dropped into the narrative and as if they ask people to accept certain relationships and feelings despite us not having seen the development of it on screen.

I am rooting for them to get to tell more impacting stories on the CW! My heart is not over some of the episodes from the second season, such as 2×07, 2×10 and 2×11 – I cried and raged and felt numb.

For fans of: “based on a true story”-stories, American Football, racial issues in the US, community, found family trope

The Lovebirds

I decided to do a mini Issa Rae movie marathon today, so I started it out with The Lovebirds, since it recently dropped on Netflix. There’s no denying it, I love Issa Rae and I love Kumail Nanjiani and I love them together. They know how to keep up with each other’s energy and quick wit and it shows. While this movie threw them into some utterly ridiculous situations (think stuff like Date Night), I laughed a lot and I wasn’t sure I would really find it that funny.

I don’t think this is the best movie ever, but I was so entertained and that’s pretty much point of The Lovebirds. Suspend your disbelief, folks, and it will be a fun ride!

For fans of: funny couples in ridiculous crime-related situations

The Photograph

This was my second choice after The Lovebirds and NO REGRETS! Uhm, I think we’ve established how much I appreciate and adore Issa, so I just want to say that I would watch every single movie with LaKeith Stanfield as the male lead in a romance. I get that he is very versatile and can do all sorts of stories. As an actor, he would probably get bored just doing one thing, but I’ve just fallen more and more in love with him every single time he played the love interest in a movie. That is a fact!

I really enjoyed how calmly The Photograph told its story and it was so much more than just a love story. It told us that our parents had their own lives and past that we likely don’t know about, but that we cannot judge them for. They are, after all, just human. And it was about having a passion for work that overshadows the other elements in your life that might need attention and love too. It is so hard to give yourself to people, not just romantically, but some are worth taking the risk/fall.

So much in this film was told simply through looks and body language and I lived for it. The music and landscapes added to the atmosphere in exactly the way they were supposed to. Truly adored it all!

For fans of: parents who have their own stories/lives, that certain kind of unforgettable love-feeling


Did you watch any of those things? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!