What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #45

Once again, I have watched more movies than TV shows. IT JUST HAPPENED! It feels so unlike me to not plunge into shows as much, but nothing really caught my eyes the way it usually does. Maybe I am just still hung up on the Haunting series … either way, here’s what I’ve watched instead.

The Broken Hearts Gallery

I’ve waited for this movie so long and it did not disappoint one bit!

Remember when I raved on and on about Set It Up after its release? I praised it for lifting the dry spell of really actually good romcoms, well … The Broken Hearts Gallery is that for 2020 for me. First of all, the chemistry between Dacre Montgomery and Geraldine Viswanathan is off the charts and effortless and easy and secondly, it follows what you’d expect a romcom to be while still never feeling stale or boring.

Add to that the fact that the lead is a woman of color who is not a size zero, who has an ex who is also played by a man of color and a best friend who is also a woman of color. I mean, thank heavens for that alone. Something that actually resembles reality and makes the characters feel real and still gives you the warm fuzzies inside.

For fans of: GOOD romcoms (not that cheeseball fest that Hallmark does)

Rebecca

I basically wrote a whole freaking short essay in defense of this movie on my letterboxd account, because all I saw was people trashing this movie.

If you adore the book or Hitchcock’s adaptation of Rebecca, then maybe this just isn’t for you. If you are, however, able to look beyond what has always existed and can appreciate beautiful aesthetic, a different/happier approach to how it all ends as well as how stunning Lily James and Armie Hammer look as a couple, then, by all means, check out the movie!

I, personally, enjoyed it a lot. It has a couple slow bits, but I appreciated that this wasn’t just the same story again and again. It may have lost some of its gothic character, but Kristin Scott Thomas delivers a striking performance as Mrs. Danvers and Lily’s character (nameless as ever) carries the whole movie.

There is some doubt in my mind that this was an unforgettable movie, but I do believe that some specific shots will remain in my mind forever.

For fans of: anyone on the cast, pretty Netflix stuff

Clouds

It is so very difficult to review a movie that is not just based on real people, but where the film maker knew the person in question and involved his entire family and group of friends in the making of the movie. I’m sure there were some creative liberties that were taken, but this was someone’s life, someone’s legacy – namely that of Zach Sobiech.

When you watch Clouds, it won’t take long until you find tears welling up in your eyes. By the end, I was a sobbing mess. Zach gave this world so much and always tried to show up for everyone, even when he barely had any energy left, which is why people kept showing up for him when it mattered. I enjoyed the film, but it’s still heartbreaking that this is a reality.

For fans of: inspiring sadness, strength in music

Holidate

Sometimes Netflix just makes utterly cringey stuff. They really tried to pack so much into this movie, including every single holiday they can imagine, which is a lot to being with anyway, and then add more stuff on top. I’m not a huge Emma Roberts fan to begin with, but it was hard to watch this movie anyway.

They tried to be self-aware and self-depreciating, but it just didn’t work? I don’t know how else to phrase it?

For fans of: I don’t even know? Movies that try to include as many holidays as possible?

Love and Monsters

I’ve missed Dylan O’Brien on my screen and am especially proud of him for doing movies like Love and Monsters, knowing how difficult it is for him to film any stunt scenes after his accident a couple years ago. And yet, this movie was so worth it!

A mix of adventure, love story and just pure fun and monsters is what makes Love and Monsters work. Dylan’s character is all of us, freezing in the most crucial moments, but especially faced by larger than life insects and creatures of all kind. But then he goes on this incredible journey and develops in such a beautiful way, while also still being able to deliver that ounce of humour we all need to lighten things. This movie just has so much heart!

The best moment was when he met Boy though. Boy, being a dog and all, doesn’t have a speaking role, but is still a scene-stealer extraordinaire. The dog trainer said that they had never seen such a close bond off screen either, so, that makes it all the more special too. I just loved that tiny bit of bts information!

In the end, the real star was the dog, but still – very much worth it!

For fans of: Dylan O’Brien, cute and super awesome dogs in movies

The Cellar (Ep 1, Amazing Stories)

This was born out of a need for more Dylan O’Brien and Victoria Pedretti.

So, technically, Amazing Stories is a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s series from the 80s. It’s an anthology Sci-Fi show, where each episode is a different story with different people in it. I am just going to talk about the one episode I watched, which was the Cellar.

Basically, you watch Dylan and Victoria fall in love as one of them is a time traveler and the other one was born a century ago. They have to find their places and it’s super tragic and I can’t believe they fit that into 50 minutes. I would have watched a three hour movie about it and would still 100% watch a sequel (which there will never be).

For fans of: Dylan O’Brien, Victoria Pedretti, time travel, love across time

You Me Her (Season 5)

I’m actually not sure if I have talked about this show before or not … I think I might have mentioned it. Anyway, it’s about a polyamorous relationship and this was the final season. It doesn’t really make sense to watch this or read about it unless you’ve watched the previous seasons?

It’s a Canadian show, I’ve been to set before, I generally like the vibe of it. There’s not a lot of shows that treat polyamory like a real long term relationship option, so that always caught my eye and I didn’t know that this would be the final season, but in the end it made so much sense. In the end, I was glad it was finally over, because if they had broken up one more time, I would have thrown them into the sun. But this? It worked and gave everyone the finish they deserved.

For fans of: exploration of polyamory


Have you watched any of these as well? Let’s talk!

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 #41

I’ve watched so much since the last time I posted this feature, but I don’t think I will include everything I have torn through. Here are some of the things though, but please remember that these really are just mini reviews. I am 100% open to talk more about it in the comments!

Julie and the Phantoms (Season 1)

I would have LOVED this show as a teen. His has cute ghost boys, beautiful music and just wholesome content with pretend high stakes (because you KNOW it’s not going to end in doom and gloom). Very much in the spirit of Disney and Nickelodeon shows, the acting isn’t the best ever, but you get attached to those characters none the less and it’s all really funny. That’s really the prevalent theme for me as I watched this: I had a lot of fun.

Not gonna lie, I am pretty sure that a lot of my like for it also comes from the fact that they say it’s Hollywood, but it’s very recognizably filmed in Vancouver and I just walked those streets a thousand times. I miss my town. Also, there’s gay ghost boys and it’s really cute!

For fans of: cute teen supernatural shows with music

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Season 1)

Every time I start an Apple TV show, I am surprised just how much I love it. No matter what I watch on that platform, I end up adoring it and I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but it just always ends up so good. Mythic Quest is one of those perfect workplace comedies and especially the Quarantine episode had me in actual tears. Episode 5 also has a very special place in my heart, because it reminded me of a less twisted Black Mirror episode for some reason (still don’t know where that association came from).

Some of the realism that gamers might be looking for in this show is lost to gags, but who tunes into a fictional program for realism? There’s some well known faces on Mythic Quest, but I really loved Charlotte Nicdao as Poppy Li – she was a true revelation for me.

For fans of: gaming industry, behind the scenes shows

Freaks – You’re One of Us

You know that I encourage everyone to watch some of the international Netflix content, or specifically some of the German releases. Freaks is one of those movies that I think might get quite lost, but is actually a really interesting story.

Unlike in so many other “superhero” shows and movies, this is focused on a pretty regular, middle class mother, who learns that her powers have been suppressed since childhood. It’s slow-paced, with a great betrayal-storyline and almost like a set-up for a potential franchise. I don’t know what the plans are, but I’d definitely be here for more.

For fans of: international Netflix productions, adults discovering they have superpowers, the adult chosen one

Uncorked

Anytime I see a movie or show with Mamoudou Athie, I just fall in love with him and his acting again (seriously, don’t hesitate to watch him in the likes of Sorry for Your Loss or Unicorn Store). This movie is focused on his character Elijah, who is torn between following in his father’s footsteps and taking over the family BBQ restaurant or following his passion of becoming a sommelier.¬†

Back when I was in school, I took an exam to become a junior sommelier (don’t ask me anything about wine though) and I have also gone to France for a while and I have also had to deal with bad family news (don’t want to go into specifics because … spoilers?) while I was abroad. I did not expect to find so much to connect to in this movie, but I really did and loved it for it.

For fans of: wine, anyone from the cast, family dramas

The Sleepover

I honestly just watched this movie, because it gave me Spy Kids vibes. Those vibes were totally justified and I’d compare it to that, although it was obviously far less whacky and not actually about spies. It’s not a must-see, but it’s an okay and nice enough way to pass time.

For fans of: Spy Kids, Babynator, parents having a secret life

All Together Now

This movie is equally heart-warming and heart-breaking. I knew I was going to cry, and even though it took a bit longer than expected, it sure did happen. All Together Now is about allowing others to help you when you need it and overcoming obstacles at a young age.

It’s very much a humble way to tell this (I believe based on a novel called Sorta Like a Rockstar) story. It’s quiet and slowly paced and unexciting, but it will cozy up to your heart regardless. However, don’t expect this one to be as much about singing as the casting and the premise might suggest. That is not the main focus.

For fans of: heartwarming stories


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #40

Once again, this is going to be sort of long, but I apparently had more time to watch stuff than I thought I did. Let’s hope there’s some shows and movies in there you are interested in!

Home Before Dark (Season 1)

It took me literal months to finish this show and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because Apple TV really isn’t the site to be when you have spotty wifi, but it just took long. That, however, does not reflect on the quality of the show. I’ve really enjoyed all the Apple TV content I have checked out so far and Home Before Dark is no exception.

Based on a real story, Hilde just baffled me as a character. She is eight years old and out there solving intricate decades-old crimes like it’s nothing. It’s not all down to the actors being amazing (and yes, Jim Sturgess as a dad is a BIG draw for me), but the whole case is actually really compelling. I am not a crime person, not even or maybe especially not true crime, but I like this. And I would like to point out that I would not recommend watching this with children, despite the young protagonist.

Home Before Dark has a clean look, the cinematic quality that all Apple-productions bring with them and a great cast of all ages that are (mostly) able to tell this story convincingly.

For fans of: true crime dramatized, Apple content, kid detective stories for adults

Selling Sunset (Season 1-3)

I just one day felt like I should check that out, always enjoying looking at some real estate I will never ever be able to afford, but then I got roped into the drama and … I loved it? Well, that’s not the right way to phrase it. I am actually quite annoyed with some of the drama, because it makes me dislike people (despite knowing that this is scripted to a certain extent), but I never thought I would care for them. I just want to know what happens next at the office, not caring at all whether it’s staged in parts or not. I so know which group of women I’d be friends with if I worked there … But, please, bring back more open houses and showings of the real estate. I just want to judge those residences so bad!

For fans of: LA millionaire houses, docusoaps, women being badass at their job but also fighting each other all the time

Mortel (Season 1)

I’ve had this on my watchlist for a while, but never really felt in the mood for it. With me watching it with subtitles, it’s definitely one of those shows I have to pay attention to (other than French romcoms where I can space out every once in a while). Anyway, while it was a bit darker than I thought it would be (like … I was wondering if I should really watch this in the dead of night), I ended up enjoying it a lot. Most of it is probably due to the romance between the awkward kid and the smart artsy yet cool girl? I was living for that and I am not lying when I am telling you that the hair cutting scene lives in my head rent free!

There was a lot set up for another season and I would definitely be interested to watch it, but I heard different things about it. Some sources say it’s up in the air, others say it’s cancelled, so, I would proceed with caution if you prefer shows with a very clear ending.

For fans of: international Netflix content, dark gods, horror with superhero-elements

The Rain (Season 3)

As happy as I was with the bittersweet end of Dark, I really felt screwed by the finale of the Rain. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that there are a couple character deaths. Most of them I understood, but others I was just plain furious about, because they were for no good reason in my eyes. My favourite ship was destroyed … and for what? I don’t know! In general, the show ends with this glimmer of hope, but still with a pretty darn glum future for everyone and I don’t know how I feel about that. Maybe a little flash-forward would have helped, anything really to give me a better sense of this being concluded.

I understand that not everything needs to be tied up super neatly and that this leaves it up to the viewer to interpret the fate of the group at the end, but I wanted … more? Something else? These complex and layered world-ending stories are hard to wrap-up, but I am not sure this was it for me.

For fans of: Danish dystopian TV

Ted Lasso (ongoing)

I only saw the first three episodes of this show, as it’s still an ongoing release, but it already has my whole heart. I don’t want to say it’s wholesome, because for that, the word “wanker” is used far too often, but it’s precious in a way. It’s infectious with positivity in ridiculous situations, has some real characters and will make you laugh.

There’s such a fun dynamic of stereotypical American meets stereotypical English people, and while I can understand why people think that’s clich√©, if you see it for what it is (entertainment, not to be taken too seriously), it’s hilarious. The characters play off each other perfectly and I am just here rooting for Ted. Him and coach are a duo that I would appreciate in my life, not gonna lie, they’d make everything better.

For fans of: American optimism meets British skepticism/pessimism

Work It

I honestly thought this would be so much worse. I came for Keiynan’s soft pink hair and Jordan Fisher, but stayed because it was an actual fun movie to watch. Definitely not world-class and I am not sure the dancing in the groups was that groundbreaking, but I didn’t hate it. There’s really a part of me that can’t believe that this was produced by the same people who did The Kissing Booth – does not compute in my brain.

Some of the dialogue is cringey and I could not with the shirtless scene in mattress land, but overall, not terrible.

For fans of: teen dance movies, the cast!

Project Power

The plot of this whole movie was very generic and predictable. You think you know what’s going to happen? Yeah, it likely will happen exactly that way. BUT I will give it to them that they had some great characters. The cast alone was a draw for me, but watching it, they were the only highlight.

I love superpowered humans that get messy and those kind of stories, but there was nothing particularly fresh about the approach here. It’s not a bad Netflix movie, but it’s also not them on their A-game.

For fans of: superpowers, the cast, mediocre Netflix movies that will pass the time

Magic Camp

I haven’t turned into the biggest Disney+ fan ever since I subscribed. There’s just not a lot of content on there that interests me, but I was a kid who was totally into magic, so, I figured … why not?

In very Disney-fashion, this definitely delivered as a family movie. You had kids struggle, you had a (found) family element, you had them tugging at your heartstrings, while also attempting to be (more or less successfully) funny. It’s a formula that works, but that doesn’t blow you away. I enjoyed myself, but I also don’t think I would revisit this movie ten more times.

For fans of: family friendly movies, comedians doing movies that are actually more wholesome than you’re used to from them

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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!