What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #43

I’ve watched astonishingly little these past weeks. Maybe it had to do with me finally getting my laptop to work again and falling into a rabbit hole of playing Sims, or I just wasn’t in the mood. Either way, I got a couple movies in, so, let’s talk about all that.

Dickinson (Season 1)

While I always liked the trailer, I never felt very compelled to actually watch it. I knew of Emily Dickinson, but only barely so and just had no connection to her lifestory or anything of that kind. However, once I started, I could not stop watching!

I can see a lot of people not being huge fans of the anachronistic language, music and so on, but that’s what I found so enticing. Whenever popular music from our decade (or even the last year) started playing, I just vibed with the scene even more. I didn’t even mind the twerking in the huge dresses. And the use of language was just hilarious, with several nods to how ridiculous life was back then sometimes.

The cast did not disappoint either, but it’s what I expected with some of the names on the list. All around, I really enjoyed the whole season and am looking forward to Season 2, which will start airing early January 2021. On a side note though, I would have just watched a show where a girl plucked out of history was dating death. Legit love that as a premise, even if it’s not this show.

For fans of: anachronistic historic content

Can You Keep a Secret?

When I was younger (say around 15?), I had a huge Sophie Kinsella phase and Can You Keep a Secret? was my favourite. I’m now more than a decade older and remembered scarely anything from that book, but was still pleasantly surprised to see it being made into a movie with Alexandra Daddario and Tyler Hoechlin as the leads – so here for those two!

To keep it short, the movie is ridiculous! You will cringe and secondhand embarrassment is also no stranger to the viewers, but it was alright and I laughed quite a bit too. Not the best current romcom out there, but definitely a fun little something.

For fans of: Kinsella’s book, ridiculous romance movies

Secret Society of Second Born Royals

I think I am too old for these movies now? When did Skylar Astin become the dad-/mentor-figure … WHEN!? But anyway, aside from that shocking part, I just found the whole movie very predictable. I don’t understand why every Disney production has to have at least one musical number in it and why everything has to look so fake when it comes to the CGI … so, in conclusion, I am just not the target audience of this anymore. Children out there could probably still enjoy this a whole lot.

For fans of: typical Disney-esque movies with Disney-esque faces

Chemical Hearts

First off, I have not read the book, therefore I have no way of comparing the two and will leave that to other people. I don’t think Chemical Hearts is a bad movie, it’s just … not a very engaging movie either? For long stretches of times, nothing happens. Teens are being their dramatic selves (as they should be! Lord knows I was dramatic af when I was a teen) and emotions are running high all the time. But the director also tried to bring a certain aesthetic to the movie, make it look artsier than the subject matter ist.

I know there is a message about grief and friendship and love in there somewhere, but I felt bored.

For fans of: angsty dramatic teens but with artsy vibes

The Babysitter/The Babysitter: Killer Queen

I don’t do horror. I don’t know how often I’ve said that before and then just do a 180 and watch spooky/scary stuff anyway. The more familiar faces in it, the more I can detach this from becoming scary in reality (cause I really do not enjoy being scared) and this cast seemed to offer me a good enough attempt at watching horror again. It wasn’t the worst?

As per usual, I did not care for the violence and the gore, legit skipped those parts, but other than that, it was actually decent fun? It was also dumb in a lot of parts, but I watched both movies back to back at night and didn’t get nightmares, so I am cool. Also, I really, really appreciate that they got the ENTIRE cast from the first movie for the sequel. That’s not always the case.

For fans of: horror comedy with still quite a lot of violence

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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 #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!