What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #23

Hello again, I’ve been watching some great stuff! I even considered doing a more thorough #CurrentlyWatching post for some of them, but then just didn’t have it in me. I hope these briefer accounts work for you as well and that you’ll maybe check some of them out!

Reprisal

Whatever you think this show is, you are not prepared! It released last Friday and I sat there and binged all 10 hours of it, because I was so transfixed, and even then I just wanted more. Reprisial is brilliant, noir, funny, smartly edited (in both visual and sound-mixing ways), aesthetically pleasing and despite an a tale as old as time revolving around revenge, utterly and completely unique. You have to understand, this isn’t our world, our earth. This is an entirely new universe. It’s as if someone mixed all the eras we knew and made something completely of their own by having rock-a-billy style clothing, burlesque, beautiful old cars and cellphones exist on the same plane.

If I had to pick a favourite performance, I really couldn’t (although I will forever hold a soft spot for the three River Phoenixes). Someone meticulously casted this and made sure that even side characters would remain memorable. The occasional 4th-wall-breaks just add to the ambiance. I generally like gang-settings (if they aren’t too tied with boring drug business) and this was no exception. When you watch those characters, you will get chills because they are so sweet and dark at the same time. All I want is another season now … like, literally, right NOW.

For fans of: stylized noir Sons of Anarchy, complex characters with shifting loyalties

Virgin River

Sooo … Netflix recommended this to me (cause my profile is curated very well and recs are usually on point), but doesn’t promote this in any way whatsoever. That is super apparent when you look at the trailer … For those of you who think “wow, this just seems like Hart of Dixie”, I get it. The comparison alongside with one for Saving Hope was one of the first that came to mind for me as well. However, the books this show is based on (and believe me it’s a long series of books) were released way before Hart of Dixie … so, I don’t know who took inspiration from who. The casting is a little funny considering the resemblance of the content though.

Anyway, I really liked this! It has drama, but not the unnecessary kind, just the personal one that everyone who has lived a life with some baggage brings along. It has a lot of heart and now one of my favourite “boring” ships, as I like to call them. There’s obviously heartbreak, but the development of the relationship has a certain pureness to it. Something that builds from friendship and genuine care for one another into something more. I love those!

For fans of: small town love stories with medical aspects

Merry Happy Whatever

This was okay? I am not going to go around and praise something to the heavens that I didn’t absolutely love, but it was alright. I find it tricky to really make this into a continued series, since it would mean you only ever get to see the family around holidays or special events with large breaks inbetween. I am someone who doesn’t love that, because then they always pretend like nothing whatsoever happened in those 10-months or whatever and only the 5-day holiday is where all the drama stems from.

Anyway, it’s still a nice, family-oriented show. I loved the coming-out storyline for one of the characters (not going to say who, because spoilers?), but other than that, it was a lot of standard stuff.

For fans of: former Disney kids

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 3)

I love this show so, so very much! It breaks my heart whenever a season ends and this time was no different. Maybe it was even more heartbreaking that last time and I didn’t think that was possible, because Zachary Levi is a darling and basically played the perfect man on the show and I am rambling … Anyway, I consider Miriam “Midge” Maisel to be one of the smartest and most funny people, but boy, she messed up … I saw this coming a mile away and it still hurt like hell.

None the less, this season was another treat! I don’t know how they keep the brilliance coming, but they just do. My favourite episode was maybe episode 5, because Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce is just pure magic. His sadness is killing me and the way he looks at Midge – seriously, get yourself a partner that looks at you the way Lenny looks at her. I am just always so terrified, thinking about what happened to him in real life and I just don’t want to see that on screen. He shows up like once or twice a season and still is one of my favourite characters in the entire series. (And Benjamin. I do love Benjamin.)

For fans of: Midge Maisel, Lenny Bruce looking at her like she hung the moon

Did you watch any of the shows mentioned above? Would you like to? I am always here if you want any more information, let’s chat in the comments!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #16

I meant to post something more this week and also answer my anniversary Q&A but there was just a lot going on. HOWEVER, I have a week off work as my parents come to visit and we will see if I can make some time for this lovely blog as well. Here’s what I’ve been watching lately:

Alias Grace

Nobody said I only ever have to watch things that were recently released. I guess I did a sort of Margaret Atwood binge, but also … I just typed in Zachary Levi on Netflix and clicked on the first thing that came up (Lois might understand best why I searched for him specifically, because of what I told her this week). It’s a really intriguing show that deals with so much more than I thought it would. To me, it was extremely fascinating how you never truly knew what was going on, who was telling the truth and who was spinning tales just for the audience. I liked it a lot, as short lived as it was and despite the fact that no one looked their supposed age whatsoever.

For fans of: Margaret Atwood, historical exploration of mental health, based on true story but dramatised fiction now kind of shows, not knowing the truth at the end, science vs. beliefs

The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 3)

I watched the European premiere of Season 3 of the Handmaid’s Tale as part of the free screenings one could go to during the Berlin TV Series Festival. I didn’t see the entire season (although I am up to date with the now released episodes I think), but it was still amazing to get to experience this on a huge screen (we watched it in a movie theatre). Aesthetically, I always found this show incredibly pleasing. It’s not for everyone and I think you really have to give yourself to it and I understand if some people can’t or don’t want to do that. I get the direction they are taking with this new season and don’t think they have done anything majorly shocking thus far. It’s hard to tell which side Serena is on, which annoys me, but June is such a fighter. I wish this show would end on a happy note, but I am not sure it can?

For fans of: the previous seasons? Please don’t just start watching this season out of the blue …

Good Omens

I know, I know, you’ve all been waiting for my verdict on Good Omens (another show I saw at the Berlin TV Series Festival) and *drum roll* I LOVED IT! The angel-demon-dynamic was everything and I would just watch Aziraphale and Crowley going through the centuries together for ages. I must say that the show wasn’t perfect. A couple side-storylines such as the witch and the witchfinder weren’t really my cup of tea (and I say this with the utmost love for Adria Ajorna – my one true Dorothy – and Jack Whitehall), but it just felt a tiny bit misplaced or rushed. Maybe I just personally didn’t connect with them as much as I did with other characters. Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I enjoy that this is a mini-series. You could obviously always continue with more, but this was a really neat package, a glimpse at a certain moment in time, and I am good with that.

For fans of: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett storytelling, anyone from this fabulous cast, biblical-esque stories, Lucifer

Yellowstone

Yellowstone is one of those hidden TV gems for me. Being a sort of love child of Dynasty and the Sopranos, it’s everything my drama-yearning-heart wants plus horses. Set in Montana, Yellowstone is all about the Dutton family and their quest of owning all the land and not yielding to anyone. They basically rule that town up there. This is a rather serious show, so when I say that the characters despise each other, I truly mean that they could possibly kill one another and feel no remorse. It’s intense that way! Even after an entire season, I don’t fully understand the hatred and resentment between a couple characters, but I am still intrigued. It does go over the top with the drama, but in a violent way instead of a ridiculous one. Things keep escalating and you feel like no one will ever be able to catch their breath again, I like those sorts of stakes.

For fans of: cowboys, family dynasties, beautiful landscape, scheming to no end, slow narration

Euphoria

There’s only one episode out, so this is not real judgement on the entirety of the show at all, but I am not sure this is for me. Visually, I quite enjoyed what they did, but in terms of narration, it just rubs me the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with portraying teenagers in a crude and harsh drug-filled but empty existence where everyone struggles. That is life and from what I heard on some other platforms, the depiction on the show is not exaggerated in terms of what actual teens these days are going through, but still, it’s just not for me. I felt uncomfortable watching this one single episode alone and again, I know that’s often what shows are striving for, but it doesn’t mean that I have to want to subject myself to it.

For fans of: philosophical narration, sex and drug-crazed teens in HBO quality


So, this is it! How up to date are you on your watchlist? Did anything catch your eye?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #13

Since I can’t seem to come up with a more creative title, I am really curious to see to what number I will get with that feature. Anyway, I am sorry for the not very varied content on the blog at the moment. It’s been … a couple of very particular months for me. I just hope you still enjoy the little bit I have to offer and let’s dive into what I’ve watched.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 1-2)

This is one of my absolute favourite shows now! I know, I know … I am late to the party and all that jazz, but I have found Midge Maisel and I am happy I did. She’s an icon and even if she wasn’t a real person and only partially inspired by actual living people, her fictional persona is priceless. To think how little women were allowed to do just 50-60 odd years ago, how far we have come and how far we can still go. All of that is packaged in a such fun way with this show! It doesn’t preach or tell you exactly what is the right or wrong way to see things, it just shows you the life of Midge and her family. They make mistakes, fight and make up again and all of that with so much freaking humour. There isn’t a single character that isn’t multi-layered and worthy to root for, even the ones that only occasionally pop up (looking at you Lenny Bruce – I am a sucker for Luke Kirby playing roles not set in the current year).

I’d also like to add that the show was renewed for a 3rd season before the 2nd one even aired and I am here for it!

For fans of: 50s era, behind the scenes of the comedian lifestyle, feminism … I feel like this is very in line with Good Girls Revolt, just focused on a single person and with added humour (still bitter Good Girls Revolt got cancelled by the way …). Also, Season 2 has a definite Dirty Dancing vibe for at least half of the episodes.

The Rain (Season 1-2)

You know that I like myself some international Netflix productions. They are usually very well done, introduce you to some great talent from abroad and include a little language lesson as well (your girl only watches these shows in original sound with English subtitles after all). I originally wanted to start watching the Rain when the first season came out, however, I am glad I waited until the second one was there to binge it all.

It didn’t take long for me to get hooked on the simple premise of the show. From the get go, you as the viewer, can pretty much guess who the key players are and why they are so important, even if it takes them annoyingly long to figure it out themselves. Each episode makes sure to give you background information on everyone bit by bit, so that you’ll understand why they behave the way they do. I got attached to a couple characters really quickly and even found a ship to root for. I loved how single-mindedly Simone was about saving her brother Rasmus, who, by the way, is a huge pain in the ass in my eyes. I understand that he grew up in a bunker with no one but his sister, that he is basically still a child now, but his emotional control is laughable. And while Simone risks everything to keep him safe, he does very little to return the favour even though he pledged to take care of her as well.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it in terms of points of complaint. Rasmus. Other than that, I enjoyed everything so far. Obviously it has flaws and the second season got way more whacky than expected, but I would be curious to see how they resolve this story.

For fans of: apocalyptic scenarios, international productions and subtitles (since the dubbing is terrible) and shows like The 100. I also hope you won’t get too attached to the characters … you never know when you’re gonna loose one of them.

Lucifer (Season 4)

Fun fact for everyone living outside the German territory – the show is actually not on Netflix here! It remains to be available only on Amazon Prime and they obviously don’t show the Netflix logo in the beginning even though it’s their official production now … territorial rights are a pain …

But back to the topic of Season 4. I liked it. I think I watched it all in a matter of one to two days, so that’s always a good sign. I adored the addition of Inbar Lavi as Eve, was somewhat confused about a certain make out scene, but overall thought the season progressed really well. I am glad we are finally getting someplace, that Chloe knows the truth and learns to deal with it. Three seasons of tiptoeing around the subject was making me a little tired of the show, but now we have new challenges to overcome and I am ready to see what happens next!

***SPOILER***

The one thing I was really confused about was the fact that they never had an angel-human-baby before in the entire history of that universe. I watched way too much celestial content before to not be influenced by nephilim and whatnot and I believe they even mentioned them at some point. I know that’s a weird thing to be hung up on, but … that’s me. I don’t have to like it.

***END OF SPOILER***

For fans of: the previous 3 seasons? Inbar Lavi? (That woman is a queen in my eyes. I will never get over the fact that Imposters was cancelled, but at least she got a new cool role) Angels and humans and demons?

Aladdin

I am going to keep this brief. I am so over all the live action remakes of my childhood classics. I don’t care how much nostalgia they want to evoke. I was bored during the new Beauty and the Beast, they made like three new Jungle Books (none of which I liked the animation of), a dark Tarzan, a weird Dumbo (didn’t watch that to be frank) and even Aladdin has its issues, I can’t deny it. HOWEVER, I really enjoyed the movie. Will Smith is a highlight for sure, but overall I just had a good time. Admittedly, I sat between two guys and they laughed SO much during the entire movie, it was contagious. Maybe it was a better experience because of them, but I FELT the songs, I laughed out loud at the jokes and it was nice for the escapism that movies are supposed to be. Was it the best Disney movie ever? No, definitely not. But I had a better time during this one than the other live action ones …


Have you watched any of those shows? Or Aladdin the movie? Do you want to? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #8

The binge-watch-energy wasn’t as strong with me lately as it has been before, but I still have a little nice compilation ready for you. There’s not as much out there that I want to watch at the moment, maybe that played into it, but I know there’s quite a lot coming up.

**I don’t recommend any of today’s shows if you don’t like excessive swearing, nudity and/or gore in your TV shows**

Immortals

I don’t understand how NO ONE got the idea to recommend a Turkish vampire revenge drama to me? I had to discover this beaut all on my own and what a ride it was. As a little heads up, the dialogue is terrible in this and I don’t know if it has to do with dodgy translations or actual bad writing but it doesn’t even make sense sometimes. Regardless, this was weirdly addicting.

Based on the scenery, clothes, etc., I wasn’t always entirely sure when exactly events took place, but in the end it didn’t matter all that much. Immortals is about revenge, hunger, betrayal, desire and, at the core of it all, love (but in the least cheesiest way you can imagine thinking about other vampire stories and such). I can’t say that my allegiances switched very often, as some characters were just complete dicks 24/7, but it had some really neat twists and layered motives when it came to how it all ended.

This isn’t Netflix’ first Turkish show, so I don’t know what the chances are of them renewing it, but I had fun. It definitely has flaws in terms of storytelling, but I’d be curious to see where it goes.

Fleabag

I finally jumped on the bandwagon and started watched Fleabag just as season 2 started, which is what I am currently watching and now up to date with. I do understand why people like it so much, although I’d be lying if I said that I loved it.

The show has an amazing cast and Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a brilliant woman who can barely do any wrong, but it took me quite some time until I really connected with her character (who doesn’t have a name?). Since the episodes are quite short, I felt like the deeper moments got lost sometimes in some other nonsense of the episode. I am still really enjoying it and especially like the fact that Moriarty is playing a priest in season 2 now.

American Gods (Season 2)

American Gods is a strange show. Visually, it is a feast, but in terms of storytelling, things are a little more complicated. I think that, just like the gods this whole thing is about, the show needs your unwavering faith to work its magic. If you want answers fast and don’t like random detours, you will be very unhappy with what is presented to you. However, if you can enjoy the ride and just let it take you wherever it goes without thinking about it too much, this can be very interesting.

It would be a lie to say that I binged season 2, since there are only two episodes out so far, but I have watched those and am liking the pace and story elements a lot more so far. The parts don’t feel as disconnected as they sometimes did in season 1 and the whole Dead Wife and Mad Sweeney dynamic is still all I live for. (A Prayer for Mad Sweeney remains my favourite episodes and they’re going to have to do something magnificent for that to change)


Are you watching any of those shows? Do you like them? Do you plan on watching them? Let’s talk about it!