What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #25

Well, this post sure is Netflix heavy, as in … it’s all either Netflix shows or movies. But can you really blame me, most of the content I consume has always come from that particular platform (still always open to get hired and/or sponsored by them!). So, here’s what I’ve been watching!

Home for Christmas

Since Christmas passed already and I wasn’t exactly in the most festive of moods, I didn’t really intend on watching this show anymore. However, then someone posted that it wasn’t as obvious who she would bring as her “boyfriend” to the family dinner and that the ending was quite unexpected, so I changed my mind and binged it.

It’s really not a very long show (6 episodes of roughly 25 minutes), yet you find yourself connecting with Johanne and a series of other characters quite easily. While I will agree that it isn’t obvious who her true love interest is supposed to be, I did not find the ending as revolutionary as some others. Overall a nice story with potential for sequel seasons, where I am just not sure if the title would still fit.

For fans: Norwegian family stories, short episodes, no definite ending

Spinning Out

I am so in love with this show! I have a soft spot for figure skating content and was immediately hooked when I saw the trailer. Having said that, I really want to issue a content warning for this show, because despite it just looking like regular competition and scheming drama, it heavily focuses on a bipolar main character who eventually goes off their meds. I understand how that can be triggering for some and even I felt very stressed and anxious during a majority of the episodes. With all that stress, it was no less addicting though.

Also, I would like to acknowledge that the POC, who are few, on the show were done pretty dirty. I am not sure how heavily some people will be featured in the next season (should there be one), but I definitely want Jenn to get more screen time and not be screwed over all the time. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the Kat and Justin dynamic, with Justin quickly becoming one of my favourite characters (Kat not so much). The true MVP is Mandy in my eyes, that’s how you do step parents right!

So, if you are into figure skating, sizzling romantic involvement between the dancers and a slight (*cough* or pretty obvious *cough*) parallel to Canadian ice dancers Virtue and Moir, this might just be the show for you.

For fans: ice skating, figure skating, Virtue/Moir fanfiction

Messiah

I am not a very religious person. I find it fascinating to a certain degree, but I wouldn’t call myself a faithful person. I don’t know why, it’s just the way it is. So, starting a show about the Messiah returning in our day and age shouldn’t have been very high up on my priority list, yet I watched it pretty quickly after its release.

This is a tense show that will leave your head spinning! I feel for all the characters that have no idea how to feel, because neither does the viewer. You are shown evidence of things being real, then having those same things disputed and it’s tough to keep up. By the end, it really seemed like most characters were screwed over and then they left it on THAT cliffhanger. I am not sure I can recommend this in case there isn’t another season, but it was interesting to watch. I just wish it had less of a focus on the US, because the world just really doesn’t revolve around that one country.

For fans: geo-political and religious discussions

Anne with an E (Season 3)

I adore Anne with an E! When I heard the news that the show was cancelled, I was really sad, because there is obviously still a lot to tell. However, compared to how some of the other seasons ended, I can live with it not continuing after this?

Every season, they take on some really interesting topics and S3 was no exception. They don’t shy away from showing darker parts of (Canadian) history and I admire that. I wish the storyline built around Anne’s friendship with an indigenous girl and how the government took away children from tribes to reeducate them in western ways had been given more screen time. It was so heartbreaking and I know that was reality back then, it wasn’t nice to see. But at some point, I just thought they treated it as more of a removed afterthought from the main storyline and that made me even more sad.

Still, the season had great themes and emotional moments for all characters. I could see this going on for years and am sad this was a casualty due to CBS ending its partnership with Netflix. Maybe some more campaigns for the renewal of the show will change things, but it could have ended on worse terms.

For fans: Anne of Green Gables, wholesome Canadian TV

Alexa and Katie (Season 3A)

This is one of my guilty pleasures that I don’t feel guilty about watching at all. Sometimes you just want light and fluffy friendship antics in the old Disney/Nickelodeon style. The show is coming to an end with Season 3B and I like how they are coming full circle. These characters were a blast to follow along with and have made me cry and laugh (to the point where I chocked on a cookie I was eating) so many times. I can only appreciate them for that.

I don’t want to give anything away, so feel free to skip this last sentence if you don’t want to know anything about the finale episode of 3A, but I really felt it when Katie had that panic attack. It looked and felt so very real!

For fans: light but still emotional friendship stories

6 Underground

I don’t even really know why I watched it, but … Ben Hardy might have been an argument. And Adria Arjona. And … you get the gist. I like the cast, but if you can argue about a movie needing a theatre release and not just one on a streaming platform, you might do so for a Michael Bay movie. Just me? I don’t know, but the action extravaganza seems more suited for a large screen than my laptop.

Anyway, I watched it and I did not expect it to be so funny? Humour in action movies is not a bad thing, but when it’s to the point that I don’t actually believe anyone will die because they are still making fun of things, I am not sure it’s the best thing either. It was a decent movie, but nothing out of this world. I like ensemble cast and heist-esque movies, so this was fun for a little bit, but I doubt it will stay very memorable. However, it was definitely set up to be a series, so I wonder if enough people watched it to continue with it.

For fans: heist/ensemble movies, action with a good dose of humour


That’s it! Have you watched some of these things as well? Do you want to talk about it? Let’s chat!

#CurrentlyWatching: Anne with an E

This week’s theme is “literary adaptations not just for kids” (I know, I am so fabulous at coming up with something new all the time) and I am very excited to talk about this particular show. I was pretty late to the bandwagon, but Anne with an E definitely needs to be talked about at one point or another.

This, by far, isn’t the first adaption of the Anne of Green Gables book series, however, Netflix really managed to give it a fresh take with a fantastic young cast and extraordinary detail concerning the set and costumes. So far there is one season, but production for the second one has already started in November 2017. Again, I have not read the book (BUT I have ordered it – progress! But seriously, Anne of Green Gables just wasn’t really a thing in my country, so you can’t blame me for not knowing it.), but I have heard that there were some changes made to the original narrative as well as tone, probably to fit into the darker and more drama-filled TV landscape of today.

Anne with an E chronicles the adventures of a young orphan girl as she finds a new home, love and friendship on Prince Edward Island during the 19th century.

Okay, I have to admit that I started watching this because I missed Canada. I am not sure how much sense that makes, considering the time this is set in and that Canada is huge and I wasn’t actually in that part of the country, but I still got the vibes that I wanted. Anne with an E is such an easy show to fall in love with. The visuals are simply stunning and no one on this planet can tell me that this isn’t the most stylish adaptation of the source material yet. But it really shines because of how emotional and gripping it is. Thinking back, I don’t believe there was a single episode where I didn’t need tissues.

As I mentioned above, there were some changes made to the story and that resulted in the show getting edgier than the books. In my opinion, this added greatly to the realism and the exploration of Anne’s past. Having said that, I don’t want you to think this is a super dark show, because it definitely is not. Anne with an E is a beautiful visual treat with a slow pace to accompany the gorgeous cinematography. You will laugh and cry, both out of joy and sadness.

I also really want to applaud all the actors and actresses involved in this series. Netflix always manages to pull amazing young talent out of seemingly nowhere (at least it feels that way for me), but the adults really hit home with me as well. The performances (aside from a very theatrical Anne at times) were so quietly convincing. It’s all a big part of what makes Anne with an E so charming.

Overall, I just really enjoyed the themes that were explored on the show. It is about all kinds of things, each of them relatably portrayed even with the very different setting from our world today. It is about growing up and finding that place called home. The adoption process and Anne’s background were an emotional roller coaster for me and her continued fight to be heard and accepted was so very inspiring. It’s about poverty and friendship. It’s about first love, loss and grief. Also, there’s a real feminist element to everything Anne does and I love her all the more for it.

Lastly, the show has an amazing theme song “Ahead by a Century” by the Tragically Hip, which doesn’t just fit the vibe of the show, but is another celebration of Canadian culture.

I could talk about Anne for days. She’s quirky, charming, smart, wonderful, has the biggest capacity for imagination I have seen on screen and probably knows more complicated words than me. She can also be overly dramatic and a real scene stealer, but I guess that is what makes Anne so very Anne. Even when I will admit that it can border on the point of being a tad annoying behaviour, Amybeth McNulty really made that role her own and I cannot imagine that being easy at such a young age. However, I feel like this part of the post is not just here to feature the main character and that is why I want to talk about Gilbert Blythe.

Gilbert is the guy everyone loves, except Anne. Even though the poor boy immediately takes a liking to her, Anne feels like he is just making her life harder and that’s true even if he never intended for that to happen. He is kind, smart, confident, incredibly cute (except when he pulls girls’ pigtails) and most importantly he doesn’t judge people by where they are from but rather who they are.

He is an overall good guy and doesn’t give up on Anne so easily, but rather uses her aversion towards him to start an academical rivalry he knew she wouldn’t be able to resist. I hope you can see where I am going with this, but it’s the perfect set up for enemies to lovers/the hate-to-love-trope. I adored seeing how Anne slowly changed her view of Gilbert and through that her feelings for him. I am really looking forward to where this is going in the future (although everyone who has read the books already knows, but the journey still counts!).

So, in the end, I don’t know how this show will fare with people who absolutely adore the books. I went into it pretty unknowing and that might have been the best way to watch the show. After all, there are changes! And they aren’t just minor ones either, but I still think that this show is like a piece of art that should be appreciated anyway.

Did you watch Anne with an E? Did you read the books? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat! (Bonus question: can you guess which show I will talk about on Friday?)