What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #36

I still owe you a couple mini-reviews to the stuff I have watched lately. I actually got around to way more than I thought I did, although at least two of those shows were streamed while I barely looked at them drawing all the time, but still … I say they count.

Dark (Season 3/Final Season)

I cannot tell you how happy I was with this final season!

I hope you all know how much I adored this show, but I, unlike my much wiser friends, did not 100% believe that the producers planned every minute detail and had a solid plan. I was legit terrified they would ruin it in the end, but it completely made sense. Of course, there wasn’t going to be a super happy ever after or anything like that, but I found the finale we got very fitting.

There were only two or three decisions that I didn’t 100% understand or back the way they did them. But once again, super impressive casting choices and smart storytelling. I was really wistful when it came to the end and think it is one of the best German (and international) shows to ever come out of Netflix. Pro tip: watch it with subtitles and not dubbed! The cadence of the voices is far better that way.

If you want to talk about it in more detail with me, feel free to do so in the comment section. I just don’t want to spoil anyone who has yet to watch it.

For fans of: complex shows, time travel, different realities, international Netflix content

The Baby-Sitters Club (Season 1)

Unlike a lot of people on Twitter, I have never read or watched anything regarding the Baby-Sitters Club before. Maybe, and even that is a huge stretch, I have seen some film stills, but I would not have known what it is or where it’s from. I just think it’s more of an American thing? I could be totally off-base with that, but I can assure you that it’s nothing anyone would know in my country.

However, having said all that, I get why people like it. The kids, despite their young age, are super relatable and have complex and not just comedy-based interests and relationships. It talks about serious topics, but also has a light-hearted feel to it. While I don’t think this show will be a huge priority for me moving forward, I am still glad I watched it.

I’ve read everything from “It’s better than the books” to “the best adaptation yet”, so I feel pretty good about this being my first real contact with the matter. I can really recommend it, not just to parents who want to talk about more serious topics with their kids in a productive way, but also just for people who enjoy the nostalgia and cuteness of it all.

For fans of: kids being relatable, children with actual fully developed personalities, the books and the previous movies (?)

Warrior Nun (Season 1)

I kind of like shows that mess with angels and demons and I could not tell you why that is the case, it just is!

Warrior Nun is based on a comic series from the 90s, but Netflix definitely made it more angsty. The dialogue and the voice over from the main character can be … cringey to say the least. I think it has a lot to do with the actors and actresses being from a lot of different countries and sometimes they sound a bit off in their non-native tongue … like the intonation is just the tiniest bit different? If you can overlook that though, I think it’s a decent enough show.

I have to admit that I mostly wanted to check it out because Emilio Sakraya is in it and that would mean that non-German people would discover him and I had to know how he did! But, I kind of liked it overall, with Emilio being the lesser interesting part. However, beware of a cliffhanger at the end, with a lot of potential for another season.

Overall, this is a show that needs to grow on you and definitely needs a couple episodes to either win you over or not … and then it’s best to skip it.

For fans of: religion as undercurrent of story, action sequences, the og material?

The High Note

You all know how much I loved Late Night and this is basically the same just in music instead of comedy. I’m not even joking, the movies have the same director and both are about women lifting up women in a very competitive field. Like, it’s such a simple premise, but I am here for it!

First of all, the soundtrack for the movie is really beautiful and I would have gladly listened to the songs on repeat afterwards. I liked the lore they built around the characters and while I found the plot predictable, I still enjoyed the journey.

Lastly, this is not a movie that will stay with you forever (even though, if it does, all the more power to you), but it is a nice way to pass time. I am pretty sure you will come out of this movie with a fuzzy feeling inside of you and a smile on your face and sometimes that’s all I want/need from a film.

For fans of: Late Night (the movie), sweet but kind of forgettable stories, music industry setting

That’s it from me today! What do you all think? Do you have any interest in watching these shows as well? Have you already watched them? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #35

I told you that there was a lot to be watched, which is why this post has come so soon after the other one. The thing is, there’s even more ahead in the upcoming days and weeks. I’ve never felt this blessed with summer content as this year, even if I burn through shows in a matter of days. Here’s what I’ve been watching.

Love, Victor (Season 1)

I liked Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I liked the movie they made out of it. When they announced a spin off show, I thought it would be about Leah or any of the other people that Becky Albertalli had written books about, which are actually set in that universe. However, having now watched Love, Victor, I think they made the right choice to establish a storyline with a new cast. 

Coming out is always a unique experience and Victor doesn’t need long to realise that his won’t be anything like Simon’s story (I mean, I’d hope so. Getting outed against your will should never ever happen). His circumstances are different, he’s from a far more conservative latinx family, but we also see him questioning his sexual identity more than we did Simon’s. It was a great mix of nostalgia for the movie with cameos and definite callbacks to it (watch the gay character compliment Victor’s shoes in his first scene, just like Simon tried to compliment leaf blower dude’s boots) and entirely new elements.

Having this be formatted as a show, there was more room to explore the stories surrounding Victor rather than rushing through them like they sometimes had to in the movie. There really wasn’t any character that I didn’t like and I have a deep appreciation for the nuances to all of them. Mistakes are made, that’s just the way life goes. The episodes ended up only being 25 minutes and while I really enjoyed the final shot (it was brilliant!), I would have liked 13 or 15 episodes better than the 10 we got. I breezed through the entire thing in one afternoon and we will have to wait quite a while for more content (hoping there is more), so I just wanted that tiny bit more. I know, I am greedy.

For fans of: Love, Simon, coming out stories

The Order (Season 2)

Season 1 of the Order was a bit of a surprise to me. While I could see that the budget wasn’t always on par with what they were trying to accomplish, the show managed to completely reel me in. I had missed my wolves dearly, because let’s face it, the Knight of St. Christopher and Randall in particular were a prime reason for me to watch. Now I am done with the season and miss these idiots already again. You’d think I’d learn to pace myself, but no.

Anyway, the entire season was comprised of two-parters for episodes. That was strange, but worked pretty well, because it didn’t seem like it was too out of context but still with an overall arc that bound it together. I tend to get very angry at the choices the characters make, because a lot of them are inherently dumb, but I still like watching the show. Here are my main thoughts on this season:

  • Lilith deserved better and got the only romantic storyline I didn’t mind.
  • WHO asked for those new ships? NO ONE. I don’t like them. I don’t want them. The only romance Hamish has is with liquor and Randall is just too himbo for the person they paired him up with.
  • I actually liked Jack’s bleached hair. Make it come back.
  • Alyssa remains a big ???
  • Actually found the threats more credible this time around.

For fans of: magic, werewolves, secret societies, demons, haywire shenanigans

The Politician (Season 2)

The main reason I love this show is the impeccable cast. I’ve become more involved with politics as I got older, but it’s usually not a topic I seek out in particular, but The Politician is still something I enjoy very much. Maybe it’s because this show is so much more about ethics and morals (and their difference) rather than actual politics. There’s plenty of talking points the show goes through, touching on issues that concern us right now in real life, while mostly using them the way actual politicians do – as topics that could get you votes but that won’t necessarily be followed up on. Instead, the show keeps focusing on Payton and whether you need to be a good person to do good things for society.

While I do think that there’s a lot less bite to this season, there is something that just keeps me so very interested in what comes next. We’ve spanned about 7 years time in just two seasons and all I want to know is what Payton will do next. Will he be president one day? Will he actually do good things with the power he has?

Don’t expect anything realistic in this show, I hope that was obvious in the first season already. This is a satire and over the top! Messages are there, but they might not always be in your face, masked by louder topics instead. I firmly believe that you can take away a lot from this show, but most of all, it’s cast is just a joy to watch.

For fans of: satire, politics and scheming, the formidable cast, Ben Platt singing because Ben Platt

Doom Patrol (Season 1)

I am just trying to catch up on DC content, especially with the new season around the corner. I have sort of distanced myself from most of the CW content, not because I have anything against them in particular, but a lot of them just get worse as they go on. I’ve completely lost track of what’s happening, but also just found that I liked the darker aesthetic of the non-CW shows better.

Doom Patrol is incredibly random. I have no other way of describing it. More than once, you think that the episode couldn’t get more ridiculous, be it in visual effects or storyline, but it just seems laughable. Yet, at the same time, it deals with so many far more serious topics. I think they don’t always manage to keep the right balance, but they sure know how to keep it interesting. I’m excited for more.

The only thing I can’t stop thinking about is whether Matt Bomer and Brendan Fraser are always in their costumes or if they have stand-ins and do ADR (voice recording) later on. Don’t know why I can’t shake that thought.

For fans of: random chaos, antiheroes, misfits turned family


This is it! Did you watch any of those things? Could I persuade you to check them out? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #34

There’s a lot of content I’m excited about releasing this and next week, so I wanted to make sure I update you on the stuff I’ve watched lately before I dive into those new and shiny things. Let’s go!

Love Life

Romance isn’t everything. I was in a really weird mood when I started this show and them telling me about the average number of relationships a person goes through and so on just knocked me down even more. I don’t have any relationship stats to share. I don’t have an epic (or even lame or otherwise) love story to tell and sometimes watching those shows that hyper-focus on the way to finding “your person” hit me in the feels especially hard.

Having said all that, it wasn’t a bad show after all. I really liked the ending, although I struggled with some episodes in the middle. I found Darby and her behaviour quite cringey from time to time and struggled with massive secondhand embarrassment from time to time. But you know what? I like that she wasn’t the perfect person. She had flaws, she needed to grow and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them or planned them to. I can appreciate a show that doesn’t portray it all through rose-tinted glasses.

For fans of: introspective love stories, realistic portrayal of not everything being happy all the time, complicated family structures

Siempre Bruja/Always a Witch (Season 2)

I had meant to watch this for the longest time, but didn’t feel like reading and concentrating on subtitles. My Spanish is not good enough to go without them and I’d really recommend this show without dubbing (although it exists). Anyway, finally watched it!

I have to say, I didn’t enjoy this season as much as the first one. The villain was less defined and therefore made everything feel a bit all over the place. One of the biggest parts/problems of the season completely went over my head and I now feel stupid. It’s like everyone had to give up on something to help Carmen, just for them to get all of it anyway and yeah … did not get it.

However, I was here for the various romance storylines. Kobo and Alicia in particular are star-crossed over the centuries and I love that. And while I wasn’t to happy about Esteban being sidelined, Carmen’s new love interest has my attention.

For fans of: international Netflix content, witches, time travel

Alexa and Katie (Part 4)

Katie is one of my favourite fictional characters and that’s just that. I wish for everyone to have a Katie in their lives and I want to be someone’s Katie. This show has given me so much joy and even though it seems super bubbly and bright and like something that would run on the Disney channel or Nickelodeon, but it has talked about some great and frankly deep topics over the seasons. I cannot speak to the realism of the cancer portrayal, but the way they handled panic attacks meant everything to me.

I loved the ending to the show! It was wholesome and sweet and heart-warming. Without wanting to spoil anything in particular, I just want to say that I am going to ship Aidan and Katie forever. That’s just a fact now (and he better find an art college to attend in NYC). If they decided to do a special on them in college or after college, I’d tune in to it, but I also get ending it where they did. I am really happy with it all.

For fans of: bestest of friends, looks like a superficial Disney show but has amazing in depth topics

Gifted

It was Chris Evans birthday and for some reason I hadn’t watched Gifted yet, so I remedied that. I don’t actually have very much to say about it? It’s a good movie, because I enjoy complex family dynamics. I like when it’s not obvious what the right thing is for a child (although I felt it was fairly clear here) and the main party struggling to make all the right choices. Obviously, Chris Evans is always a joy to watch, so, go for it?

For fans of: Chris Evans, genius kiddos


Did you watch any of those things as well? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #32

Ever since lockdown started, I feel like I have been watching less and … it doesn’t make any sense? But I really haven’t been very motivated and since the wifi isn’t the best either, I think something about it just has me really turned off screens for a while. Also, I’ve been super busy with other things, but I still wonder whenever I am behind on so many shows (I haven’t even started Hollywood or Outer Banks yet … who am I?)

Our Girl (Season 4 Part 2)

I have talked about Our Girl plenty of times on this blog. (If you want a detailed post on, click here) I never quite know what to call their seasons? I was so sure this was season 5, but it looks like it was the second part of season 4? Either way, this was the final season of Michelle Keegan as Georgie Lane. I still remember how invested I was in Molly’s life and then Georgie came along and I was not impressed at all. Now, quite a couple tours later, I think I love Georgie more than I ever loved Molly and that says a lot.

Not all seasons were perfect (I am looking at you Season 4 part 1!), but this one really hit home. As one of the most emotional seasons yet, we lost some dear members of the platoon (every death on this show is impossible to get over) and finally saw Georgie deal with the aftermath of [Spoiler]’s assassination. I thought that was lacking on the last tour.

I personally didn’t mind that Captain James was very much absent on this second Afghanistan tour and enjoyed a lot of the new characters. Nico Mirallegro as Prof immediately has found his way into my heart. I will say, that it’s kind of ridiculous that there are AT LEAST two guys pining for Georgie every season, but the romance plots do help with the more heavy stuff on the show.

All in all, I thought this was a brilliant farewell. Georgie got the closure she deserved, found a way to move forward and I think any more on her life might ruin the picture we have of her now. I am going to miss her terribly, but I am sure that Tony Grounds will find another brilliant actress to continue the legacy of Our Girl, if he wishes to do so. There’s always stories to tell!

For fans of: female characters in the military, having no fear of getting too attached to people who might die

Never Have I Ever

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Mindy Kaling content. I know she’s not for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoy her stuff. Now, I’ve heard some people be really happy with the representation on this show and others not at all. I don’t think it’s my lane to comment on that, so I’m just not going to?

Just like other Mindy Kaling projects, I think this show is not for everyone either, but I had so much fun. It was over the top, but it was also incredibly touching. The show dealt with grief (how everyone processes it differently), identity and yes, sexuality. I laughed, I cried, I grieved with them. The way I see it, you just have to give it a try.

(also … #TeamBen … can’t get over the fact that he got an episode narrated by Andy Samberg)

For fans of: Mindy Kaling produced content, bold characters, grief plotlines

The Half of It

I was SO excited for this movie! I relish any content that doesn’t just focus on romance storylines (although nothing wrong with that, love a good romantic love story too), but also on familial and platonic and “whatever else lies in between”-love. I was also super excited that it would portray a queer Asian main character and that it was directed by a queer Asian woman (Alice Wu) – that kind of rep is rare to find. Still, I was not ready to love the movie as much as I did.

The Half of It is a quiet story. It’s not flashy and loud and full of way too big gestures, it’s calm and sweet and makes you think. Some of the shots were beyond gorgeous, the quotes between parts of the story were chosen perfectly and the motives in general incredibly beautiful. It’s about loving someone so much, you never want them to change and simultaneously having to accept that change. I know some people have quarrels with the end, but I don’t. It was one of my most favourite parts, because it was reminiscent of Ellie’s dad watching the scene in a movie where it said “this is the start of a beautiful friendship” and so it was.

For fans of: not all love stories have to be romances! (Yakult sponsored teen movies)

After Life (Season 2)

I never quite know what to say about this show. It’s not one I am immediately drawn to when it pops up in my Netflix queue, but it’s one I am always glad to have watched. It’s a very simple but effective premise that manages to reel you in easily. I WANT those people to be happy and get all the things they like, even if a lot of them are some real weirdos. I just want them to take care of each other. It was like that in season 1, it was like that in season 2 and it will likely be the same in season 3 (which Netflix has just asked Ricky Gervais to do!).

For fans of: British comedians in semi-serious roles, grief storylines

Friday Night Lights (all of it)

I just wanted to mention this show again, because I love it so very much. Last time I adored a sports related series like this, it was cancelled after a season (R.I.P. Pitch – forever missed, but now available on hulu, so please binge! I am serious, the show’s creator said we might get to do more if it performs well on the platform) and then I got to witness FIVE glorious seasons of Friday Night Lights. Please feel free to check out my full and detailed post here if you haven’t yet.

For fans of: sports dramas, Football, characters that are easy to root for, small town drama


That’s it! What have you been watching? I am really enjoying Council of Dads so far, but there’s literally only three episodes out yet. And each and every one of them will make you cry.

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #28

For the first time since I have started this feature, I believe we have more movies than TV shows to talk about. I did a real binge the other day and just wanted to share all of that with you. Let’s see!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3)

I have said it before and I will say it again, but I am not actually a fan of this show. I never will be! There are certain characters that I appreciate a whole lot *cough* Prudence and Ambrose *cough* and some characters I used to love before they were treated badly *cough* Nicholas Scratch *cough* and I make the dire mistake of always falling for the bad boy that gets tossed away in the end *cough* Caliban, Prince of Hell *cough*. Wow, I should really take some cough drops or something …

My issue with this show is that Sabrina is the biggest hypocrite out there, yet she never goes full on dark. I actually wouldn’t mind that, I was even looking forward to a dark Sabrina at the end of the first part, but she always remains so self-righteous. She criticizes everyone, yet has no honor or quarrels of betraying anyone or acting selfishly or plain not sharing vital information herself.

In short: I think Nick was done dirty (I blame the writers), I can’t believe they introduced freaking time travel (but we had cannibalism before, so is it really surprising?), I have no patience for anyone at this point, just let Hilda and Dr. Cee be happy

For fans of: Sabrina the teenage witch in her new form

Locke & Key

I can’t say this all too often, but I actually have read the first volume of the graphic novel and therefore I did get to compare the two – I liked the show better! I feel like I am among a very small group of people who felt that way, but … the comics were violent. Like really, really gory. And I in no way missed that on the show. I was happy they went for a softer approach, while, in my humble opinion, still staying very much true to the story.

Sure, some extremely dumb choices were made along the way, but we are talking about kids and teens who discover magic is real and get way too much liberty/responsibility as a result from that. (There’s a reason the adults aren’t really helpful either) And I, for one, enjoyed the villain a lot. The acting was smart and once you get over the initial resemblance to Yennefer from The Witcher, she really becomes a beast of her own. Some revelations weren’t revelations at all for me because of the hints that were dropped and the smart acting, so I was totally cool with that. 

All in all, I found it very enjoyable and hope they get to continue, since it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger-y note. There’s definitely still loads to explore!

For fans of: the comic book (?), Netflix’ other comic book adaptations, creepy but not too scary stuff

Charlie’s Angels

I honestly don’t know why people had a problem with this film. I had a lot of fun watching it and liked the characters quite a bit. They explain why the agency is so much bigger now and don’t even shy away from tying it in with previous movies. To me, that all made sense, the fight scenes seemed realistic, but I also watched a ton of interviews with Elizabeth Banks beforehand where she detailed how they came up with the fight choreography.

I know this bombed hard at the box office, so I am not likely to actually get more installments, but I honestly wouldn’t mind. A lot of the film was shot in Hamburg and Berlin, so I just went around recognising actors and places at all times, which is just always a blast. They really expanded on that “universe” if you can call it that and I think it’s a shame they likely won’t get to do more.

For fans of: badass spy women, female directors, the cast involved, a more European take on it all

Giant Little Ones

I have wanted to watch this movie for the longest time! Sometimes, I see a trailer and I just know that, despite the movie probably being in the festival circuit a bit and getting some indie recognition, it’s going to be tough to get an international release. Still, I wait and wait and wait and maybe it won’t be in theaters, but at some point, I’ll get to watch it and there’s nothing more satisfying than the movie holding up to your expectations.

Giant Little Ones is messy. It does not gloss over how cruel life can be and how unexpected some connections might turn out. I enjoyed how open it was in all regards. It’s not that it has no clear path, but it doesn’t give you an answer exactly, because sometimes that’s just not possible and that’s not what your life would give you either. It’s a process and a lot of it has to do with accepting who you are. Big thumbs up from me!

For fans of: LGBT+ content, young talent, complex relationships, coming-of-age stories

Miss Americana

I wouldn’t call myself a Taylor Swift fan, I think. I really have NOTHING against her, I just, at the same time, also don’t massively care for her either. I like some songs, but definitely not the majority of them. You see, it’s a very … neutral area for me. Having said that, I thought this was a really decent documentary about her. I felt it was personal, without going too much into her private life. It didn’t feel anyone was exploiting her lifestyle and choices, but just wanted to show a bit of what got her to where she is now.

It’s not a movie about her career or her love life or her family, it’s really just about Taylor as a person. What drives her? What are her desires? What is she willing to stand up for? And I really liked seeing that! It made her so much more of a real person, rather than this far away image you might have of her persona as a singer.

For fans of: Taylor Swift, celeb documentaries

To All the Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You

We’ve all been waiting for this one for such a long time, but does it hold up to the hype/the first movie? In my opinion: no.

I am not trying to say that it wasn’t fun to watch or that I didn’t have a good time with it, but it was nonetheless a bit lackluster in some departments. I get that they changed a lot and I am okay with this. I was among the people who thought it was odd to cast Jordan Fisher, even though they had previously shown John Ambrose and he looked nothing like him, but he did great in the role! That’s not it … but they really didn’t make it any easier for themselves by already including the whirlpool storyline in the first movie and having it only as an afterthought here.

In general, the “fights” between Peter K and Lara Jean didn’t build up as much over time and didn’t seem as complex and stemming from some deeper wounds as much as they did in the book. So, you are just watching the story trickle along without much conflict for pretty much an hour and then everything obviously has to escalate quickly, but it doesn’t feel natural to progress that way and the resolution comes far too quick also. Overall, the end felt a bit abrupt. 

I wish they had included the assassin game from the book in the movie, just because it added so much to the feeling of trust being broken and just how frail some relationships were. I know that they already filmed Always and Forever Lara Jean, the last movie, but I have no clue where exactly they’ll continue with the story. I am obviously still going to watch it and don’t want to bash the franchise at all, but it wasn’t as great of a movie as I had hoped. Yay for the addition of Ross Butler though!

For fans of: Jenny Han, any and all of the actors, the first movie?


Have you watched some of these shows and movies? Do you want to? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #27

Sometimes I really underestimate just how much I watch in a short amount of time, but I hope you don’t mind if this post gets a little longer. I think most of you are pretty on board with this feature in general, so let’s go!

Ragnarok

Most of you already know that I quite like the Norwegian Netflix productions. One of them (The Innocents) even got me to start learning the language on duolingo and I am loving it. So, when I saw the first teaser and then even more trailers for Ragnarok, I WAS IN!

Basically it’s a modern take on Norse mythology, but it includes capitalism, environmental issues and gives you just the sweetest taste of just how broad the story could turn out to be. With only 6 episodes, Ragnarok very much feels like the beginning of something and I sincerely hope that we will get more seasons because it was fantastic. The show is incredibly atmospheric and has compelling characters. Some you will love to hate and others you will want to protect with everything you’ve got. I already have a couple theories, some definite favourites and enjoy the mystery that some characters are still shrouded in.

Fair warning though, there is a lot of animal gore (hearts getting ripped out, mouths getting torn open, …) and I do not recommend it if that is something you do not like to see.

For fans of: Norse mythology set in the now, giants and gods, European Netflix productions, M83 music

Dare Me

With the hype around Cheer (which I have actually also watched and never talked about, but boyo, did I cry during that last episode when they went to Daytona), this is the perfect counterpart in terms of fictional cheerleading content. You still get bone-grinding drills but the drama is more off mat than on it. I think there’s a lot more to the characters than you see at first and I am definitely loving the queer vibes off of basically all the ladies. I have absolutely no clue how I feel about half the relationships, because some of them feel so utterly inappropriate but none the less compelling.

It’s based on a book, that I haven’t read, and as far as I know, the author was very involved in the production and gave the actors a lot of freedom to expand and change the story wherever necessary. Everyone felt really comfortable with her on set, which is always good in my opinion.

I would like to offer a trigger warning for sexual assault as this is one of the themes explored throughout the series.

For fans of: cheerleading drama, all the girls giving off major bi vibes

BoJack Horseman (Series Finale)

I like BoJack Horseman as a show. It’s really depressing sometimes, but it also feels incredibly real despite it being animated. The voice acting is obviously phenomenal with a great cast for even tiny roles, but I did not feel the same emotional impact for all seasons equally. This last season especially, having been cut into two parts, didn’t hit has hard as some previous ones.

To this day, I think my favourite season was the 4th one, but that’s just my own preference. I liked when we dug deep into the messed up past of BoJack’s family. In comparison to that, some of the solutions and problems this season just felt superficial. I did get briefly emotional during the penultimate episode and the beginning of the last one, but ultimately the final minutes didn’t have as much of an impact on me as I had hoped. Still, if BoJack was a person, I’d wish him the best.

For fans of: animated shows for adults with meaningful themes but also dark, dark humour

The Good Place (Series Finale)

I sobbed, I cried snot and tears, I was SO freaking emotional during the last episode. The Good Place is one of those very rare shows that is perfect from beginning to end. I will never forget the impeccable twist of the first season that was a real game changer for how the rest of the show would turn out. I love, love, love that they got to finish it on their own terms and that they didn’t drag it out.

The way this show ended made sense. It was beautiful and meaningful. To come up with such an out of the box idea for a show and to get to carry it through all the way, that’s a real feast and I am so very glad I got to witness it all. The Good Place is one of those cases where it’s best not to talk about what happens too much, to just let people experience it themselves, but I want to say that it was a great study in character development and I will cherish these characters forever.

For fans of: moral dilemma and afterlife hijinks

Next in Fashion

Usually, I just do fictional content, but I binged this show and really liked it, so I am going to include it here real quick as well.

I am a fan of shows like Project Runway (although I haven’t watched the latest seasons) and this is pretty much just Netflix’ take on it. I liked that people were paired into teams at the beginning and how reluctant some of them were to get separated later on. I realise that it creates extra drama when people who do not work well together have to create one garment or a cohesive look for several episodes and I felt truly and honestly so sad for some of the people who had to leave where it was definitely due to the partner.

But the judges were refreshing and opinionated and experts in their fields. I loved seeing one of my favourites soar to the finale (even if they didn’t win). I just like fashion shows, despite not being a fashionable person at all.

For fans of: Project Runway, but make it Netflix

Little Women

I love this movie so much, there aren’t enough words to describe just how much exactly. Considering how many people were so adamant that there was no way anyone could top the 1994 adaptation, I think this surpassed all the Little Women content I have consumed so far. It felt fresh, I liked how the narrative was presented and we don’t even have to talk about the amazing acting and chemistry between all characters.

Genuinely, I had the best of times watching this movie (and no, I am not late to the party, because I watched it on release day here in Austria. It’s not my fault we get movies super late!). The theater wasn’t entirely full (original language versions rarely are) but there were so many young women and men and they laughed, giggled, cried, sobbed and gasped in unison, it just made the experience all the richer. I know the story pretty well and yet I never felt bored, all I felt was pure joy at watching what was happening on the screen. I loved how the parallels played out, how Jo’s life mirrored Louise May Alcott’s and that Florence portrayed Amy in a way that made it easier to connect. I liked how much effort Greta Gerwig put into the distinguishable looks of past and present and the choreography of big ensemble scenes.

To me, Meg and Beth felt a bit blander than Jo and Amy, but you still felt with them. I just want to watch the movie a million times more.

For fans of: the novel, Greta Gerwig, period dramas, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, anyone from the cast really …

Code 8

If anyone asks me about my favourite characters in comics, it’s mostly mutants. So, this movie being about how 4% of the global population have superpowers and get discriminated because of them immediately had me intrigued.

I know that the Amell boys fought for this movie to get produced for a long time and I am happy for them that they got a deal on a spin-off series already. It makes sense, because it’s a vast world where you can explore so many more aspects of it. However, we are here to talk about the movie and that was … okay? I know that “okay” doesn’t sound like the biggest endorsement, but while watching the movie, I didn’t connect to the aesthetic as much as I had hoped. The struggle is very relatable and mirrors daily racism in a cohesive way, but it felt like a prequel or something that should have been a show to begin with! I felt like there was information on the characters that I was missing that would have been great to explore, but maybe that’s what they intend to do with the show. It just seemed like viewers were supposed to accept certain background stories without ever having been told what they were.

For fans of: The Amell family, superpowered humans, mutants (?)


That’s it for post #27! I am also halfway through the latest part of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but I am not particularly enjoying it, so it will take some time to finish. Let’s chat!

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!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #24

This will likely be one of the last “normal” posts of the year! Tomorrow there’s the usual trailer post and then come Monday I am going to go WILD with multiple ranking posts almost every day of the week. It’s going to be interesting to see if I can really follow through on it, but I did tweet about it already and am saying it here as well, just to hold myself accountable. Anyway, I watched a lot of stuff and it was as follows:

Marvel’s Runaways (Season 3)

I am really sad this was the last season of the Runaways, but they really did try to give it their all. In some ways that worked better than in others, but I am glad they tried to fit the content of about three seasons into those final ten episodes. Maybe some more time would have helped with certain storylines, but I particularly lived for the cameo of Cloak & Dagger! I love Tandy and Tyrone and they fit in with the other kiddos so well, I basically just wanted them to stay.

While I understand Marvel’s need to start fresh and cancel everything that they didn’t start themselves as canon-part of the greater MCU, I am disappointed they weren’t willing to work with anything pre-existing at all. I understand that there are complex character-specific contracts and that they couldn’t just continue with the Netflix shows (as there are clauses about waiting periods until they can use characters again), but Runaways was produced by hulu which is owned by Disney as well, so I don’t see the issue here …

Lastly, something happened at the end of ep. 9 of the season and I would have never in a million years forgiven them, if they had ended it on that note. They remedied it though, so for that alone, I am already so very grateful. At least I got that!

For fans of: evil parents, teen superheroes, messy relationships, found family, cool cameos

Soundtrack (Season 1)

This show was a bit of a surprise hit for me. Usually, I am not too fond of musical content, but none of the people actually sing on the show, they just use music and lip-syncing to dramatise scenes. Well, that’s not entirely true, since some of the characters are in the music industry, but overall it isn’t really a musical, but rather the OG song of Imagine Dragons starts playing and someone just mouths to it.

While the show looks more on the light side, it had surprising depth to it. As much as I could see this as a standalone season, over the course of the episodes, you really connect with the characters and want to know more about them. Without giving anything away, I love that it has a “This Is Us”-kind of approach to the timeline and really neatly works with those different layers.

For fans of: music, fresh faces, family-centered struggles

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I feel like, in order to properly review this movie, I would have to go in depth and therefore spoil some of the things that happen in the movie, but I don’t want to do that. So, I am going to try and be very vague. IF you still haven’t watched this and want to go in completely blind, then by all means, feel free to skip everything about this movie and just continue reading about the next show. Overall, I can tell you that I was disappointed with the movie. While I did chuckle and felt entertained during the run time of the film, the movie just didn’t make sense within the universe and was a huge disservice to so many characters. Here it goes:

  • Redemption through death is one of the laziest tropes ever. It’s rarely ever satisfying, it’s an easy cop-out to not do the work and let the character actually show that they are better and I am still mad it was used in this movie.
  • Rose, as a character, was completely sidelined, which made it feel like the writers gave in to the hate and cowardice of the fanboys who harassed Kelly Marie Tran, to the point where she had to leave social media. She had 73 seconds of screentime. Let that sink in.
  • They initially made it seem like this trilogy was about how ANYONE could use the force, not necessarily people of a specific heritage. Also, they negated the statement that everyone has a certain light and darkness in them, by basically saying that a specific character only had “dark” thoughts due to their heritage. Another easy out if you ask me to blame her doubts on her DNA.
  • Finn and Poe had great chemistry, we all saw that! But, to say it in the kind words that Oscar Isaac used, the Disney overlords were too cowardly to do anything with it. Instead they insert a new female character, who’s face you literally never see, just to make sure no one is getting ideas about Poe being anything but straight.
  • Speaking of Finn, his character was also done dirty. I am glad he is force sensitive, but the boy didn’t even get to say whatever he wanted to tell Rey in a precarious situation. Guess we’ll never find out now.
  • They did things with the force that were never done or mentioned before. They weren’t just inconsistent with it in terms of other movies, but within the movie itself it didn’t always work the same way. It’s almost as if it just does whatever they want it to for the convenience of their writing.

Seriously, my highlight of the movie was a little droid who had some unknown past trauma and respectfully rolled away saying “no, thank you” whenever someone tried to touch him. Even more so enjoyed how the good guys all respected that and didn’t force themselves on it. That was my favourite part.

The Witcher (Season 1)

I have neither read the books nor played the games that this show is based on, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. I want to warn anyone who isn’t sure about watching it that it heavily features nudity (especially of women) and violence, to the point where I sometimes skipped scenes, but it doesn’t deter me from still recommending it as a watch.

It’s definitely a show where you have to pay attention and I would recommend watching it within a short period of time, just because the timelines and story is more complex than it might seem and it took most people (me included) until at least episode 4 for all pieces to really fall into place. I like the world-building a lot though and am glad it already got renewed for another season which will air in 2021. It has a couple minor flaws (some *romantic* relationships were too intense too fast for me, like dude, no way could you fall in love with someone that quickly), but the performances all around were magnificent. The fight choreographies were beautiful, the characters layered and three dimensional and even the animals (shout out to Roach) were cool. I especially liked the dynamic between Geralt and Jaskier, because I love a good we-are-friends-but-I-will-never-admit-that-out-loud-relationship. Also, Henry Cavill gave so much depth to a single “fuck”, I am in awe!

For fans of: Fantasy settings, magical creatures, complex timelines and world-building, Henry Cavill in a weave

Lost in Space (Season 2)

I really liked the last season of Lost in Space (you can read more about it here) and I was really happy to have enjoyed this one as well. First of all, JJ Feild was a great addition to the cast. It’s really never a mistake to have that man on board, please, cast him in more stuff. Second, Don is still one of my most favourite characters. I think the writers picked up on the fact that people didn’t love the underlying romantic tones they gave him with Judy (since she is what? 19?), so there was a lot less of that happening. However, I loved his scenes with Penny. Legit some of the favourite of the season for me. And third, the Robinsons remain a beautiful complex mess of a family and I am here for it.

The season felt different than the last one and I would have preferred some more intimate conversations between a couple characters, but I really liked where we went overall again. Just like last season, it ended on a huge cliffhanger though, so I am just praying we get more episodes. 

For fans of: space adventures, hero-villain-friendships, family dynamics

YOU (Season 2)

I know this show is crazy. I honestly don’t understand how people are swooning over Joe as a character, because it’s a big NO from me. If we are talking about Penn’s performance as Joe though, that’s a whole other story. He very openly advocates for people to look at Joe critically and to not see the show as a “how far are we willing to go for love?”-thing, but rather as a “how far are we willing to go to forgive an evil white man?”, which I applaud him for. And those are legit his words, I did not phrase it like that myself in case some people feel attacked in their white male privileged ego.

I wasn’t sure if a second season with more or less a similar premise would work, but I was positively surprised by how smoothly they made that transition without getting repetitive at all. I would LOVE to talk about so many things but so many of them are spoilers. Let’s just say that I liked how they managed for the viewers to root for Joe to take down another bad guy (like, if someone has to do the dirty work, might as well let it be the “villain”), but I was a bit disappointed with the pay-off from some scenarios. It felt like really good writing that didn’t end up where you sometimes wanted it to. Definitely could see another season in the future and would 100% watch it.

Finally, I did love how ambiguous the whole “did he finally find his match?” tagline for the season was and how I guessed it right though.

For fans of: creepy white man inner monologues, “is that still love?”-questions


Did you watch some of the things as well? Are we on the same wavelength concerning opinions? Let’s 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 #22

I feel like the numbering system is getting a bit out of hand for these posts, but what can you do? I don’t feel like adding the TV show and movie titles into the title of the post would be very practical, so with the numbering we’re rolling.

The End of the F***ing World (Season 2)

I love the show with all my heart. It’s weird and quirky and never gets boring. It shows good storytelling and … I just really, really adore it. Whenever that is the case with a show, I don’t really find the right words to say how I feel about it, other than senseless gushing. Although I did write a full post on it when it first came out (check that out here).

When the first season of this aired, I was hesitant. It looked odd and not in a way I usually appreciate, but wow, did it blow me away. It ended on a massive cliffhanger though and I was yearning to find out what happens next. I am not sure how much they follow the book because I had rumours that make me think they deviated quite a bit, but as I said, I don’t actually know it.

All in all, season 2 still held nice surprises and nods to things past (*cough* Bonnie and Clive anyone *cough*). What always works with the show is the incredible humour paired with far deeper insights into the characters than you might expect. I especially appreciated all the fresh faces, among them my boy Josh Dylan (who you might know from Mamma Mia 2). Don’t know why, but I adore that boy. He reminds me of a puppy, even though he is a total cat dude.

For fans of: the first season, the book, Josh Dylan (or is that just me?)

You Me Her (Season 2-4)

I am not sure I ever talked about this show on here before, but I really like it. It’s about a poly-monogamous relationship (so basically a throuple) and the challenges of that. I hadn’t watched it for a while, because despite the setting being in Portland, I associate it closely with my time in Vancouver … and I was homesick for that city a lot. But circumstances change, I binged it all and am not completely up to date.

The episodes aren’t terribly long and the seasons aren’t either! I found the one scene I accidentally walked in on once (very last exterior scene in 3×09) and just had a great time watching it. The side characters are super fun and you need them, because sometimes the main throuple will get on your nerves hard.

For fans of: exploration of sexuality and polyamory, Canadian actors, funny content with heart

Bojack Horseman (Season 6, Pt. 1)

I have a hard time with animated shows and I don’t really know why. A lot of the time, I just can’t seem to connect as well as I can with regular people portraying people. However, Bojack Horseman is one of my favourite things in the world. It’s definitely made for adults, which helps I suppose, but yeah, I love it. My favourite season was probably 3 or 4, but it’s a good show and I am sad it’s coming to an end.

When I started watching season 6, it didn’t feel as clear and with direction as some of the other seasons did. All the episodes thus far just looked like the build up to whatever they will release at the end of January with the final episodes. Don’t let that stop you from watching it now, but I’d also understand if you might want to wait until then.

For fans of: dark humour, struggle with sobriety, women who do it all

The King

I got to watch it in a cinema and the most unnerving thing was that the Netflix logo in the beginning didn’t have it’s typical ba-ding sound. Honestly, I am usually not the biggest fan of historical stuff, as I tend to get bored with it at times, and this movie also had its lengths. But, in the end, I really enjoyed it.

I wasn’t fully aware just how much Joel Edgerton was involved in the creation of this film and I am really impressed not just with his acting now. It was beautifully shot and had a great story arc as well. Timothée, who I love, but mostly associate with timid, soft-spoken characters blew me away. I am not going to talk about his accent (or whatever Robert Pattinson did either), but I do want to praise the way he commanded the screen and had a real presence. When he gave a speech to his troops, I felt that!

All in all, great movie! There was one scene that just reminded me so much of the battle of the bastards and I didn’t watch all the fighting closely, because gross, but it was great.

For fans of: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, historical content

Last Christmas

Truth be told, I got to watch this movie mid-October during a surprise premiere in Berlin in attendance of Emilia Clarke and director Paul Feig. Events like that are always super cool, but also packed with people and activities. We literally got presents! (Among them a green Santa hat, an advent calendar and a Christmas card branded with the movie) Therefore, I might not be the most objective party, cause that influences your enjoyment a lot.

This in no way means that I am trying to purposely sugarcoat the movie, but I had a good time! I liked Emilia and Henry beforehand anyway. There were theories all around the internet as soon as the trailer dropped and I was happy that mine was right, but it was also just a nice experience to share with people. I absolutely wanted to download all the George Michael/Wham! songs afterwards and although this isn’t a pure comedy, I left the cinema with a happy feeling. It won’t be an immediate Christmas classic, but I think it has the potential to bring joy to some and to remind us all to be kind to others and yourself.

For fans of: Christmas movies, films that aren’t afraid to be cheesy, any and all of the actors involved, George Michael songs, Last Christmas


Have you watched any of the things mentioned above or do you want to? I am all ears!