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 #39

I meant to do this earlier, but I then forgot … so, now this post is getting a little long. But I hope you’re looking forward to hearing my thoughts on some shows anyway!

Outer Banks (Season 1)

I think this show released in May and I heard the buzz, but I just wasn’t ready to really dive into it. I, then, watched it all in the span of two days and kept thinking “I’m not sure why this show got so hyped”, but … we are now two weeks later and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. I keep watching cast videos, have the episodes ready for editing, the script of the pilot and am seriously considering doing my next art series with the characters in mind. So yeah, guess I DO get it after all …

Basically, this show has a treasure hunt, OC-like rich and poor kids in a beach setting, a kind of thriller element with bad guys with guns and a bunch of possible ships. I already mentioned this in my monthly wrap-up, but basically everyone ships these two characters that are like the only ones that haven’t hooked up yet. Their chemistry was on fire! But it’s not just romantic tensions everywhere, the friendships on that show are golden and I don’t mind them actually taking the time to evolve things naturally to another level, if that’s something they want to do. I had a lot of fun and am super curious about the next season (which is confirmed)!

For fans of: the Goonies, the OC, found family

The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)

I didn’t read the comics and I don’t know if they followed them anyway, but I had no idea what this season would look like. There was never really any doubt, but I really enjoyed it again. The characters are just so much fun and unique, it’s great to watch them try to prevent stuff they caused themselves. I have to say that sometimes a couple episodes felt a bit repetitive or slow, but the music choices were killer again and the end always makes up for the slower parts.

If there’s one thing I would criticize, it’s that almost everyone had a love interest (either from the previous season or a new one) and it felt a bit like too much romance sometimes? That could totally just be me, but I noticed it. Also, them not really reflecting on the people they lost in the last season made me sad. Sometimes the characters seem like they just live in this bubble of now, when we darn well know that their past affects them greatly.

I’m obviously not going to spoil anything, but – THE END!!! I wish the next season was already done as well.

For fans of: comic book adaptations, unconventional superheroes, character driven stories

Get Even (Season 1)

Netflix kept recommending this to me over and over again, so I caved and just watched it. It’s not a very long show and I think it was already released on BBC a while ago? Could be wrong about that, but they definitely co-produced it.

The show is about a group of girls who, instead of getting mad, get even. I understand a need for revenge and sneakily wanting to get back at bullies, but I am torn about the message. On the one hand, I don’t want abusers and bad people to get away with what they did, but on the other hand, I don’t think revenge is THE answer.

It was a decent show that definitely set up a future season with a couple relationships not being as explored but rather hinted at so far. Overall it didn’t overwhelm me though, it just whelmed ….

For fans of: don’t get mad – get even, rich kids, outsiders, revenge plots getting out of hand, possible lesbian ship

Control Z (Season 1)

Control Z is Mexican Netflix content and I’d say this show is a mix of Elite, Gossip Girl and You. If that doesn’t make it clear for you, it more or less means that the themes involve hackers that publish secrets, rich vs. poor kids conflicts and also some stalking material.

I binged the entire show in one afternoon/evening, because it was a pretty easy watch. Sometimes those teens felt way over the top and unnecessarily so. Especially in the romance department, there was a lot of instant attraction that I had no idea where it came from? But overall also decent and with a massive cliffhanger in the end – be warned!

For fans of: Elite, Gossip Girl, You, hackers, blackmail, dramatic teens

Banana Split

I wanted to watch this because I thought this was finally a less toxic female friendship that shows how two people who just get each other can be friends despite complicated histories with a guy. Well, it wasn’t exactly that. Still, it’s one of the smarter teen romcoms in terms of emotional complexity, while still having super crude and offensive language? Could be your thing or not, but I liked the way the movie was directed and how it prioritized friendships in the end.

For fans of: smart teen romcoms, friendship > romance

School Life

Sometimes I just randomly watch French content to gauge if I can still understand the language. That’s not to say that I don’t need subtitles, but I generally like French stuff I find on Netflix. I checked out this one in particular, because the main actress was also the lead in Plan Coeur and that’s my favourite French show on Netflix. Anyway, for a school drama about how the system makes it hard for certain kids and how not every teacher cares, there were some amazing shots in there! Transitions and just some scenes as a whole were really cool to watch and I liked it overall a lot.

For fans of: hardships in the French school system in fictional drama form

The Willoughbys

This was a strange movie and the kids wanted to purposely make sure their parents died so that they could be orphans. Granted, their parents were really, really terrible. They abused and neglected their children, but this was (despite the bubbly look) quite dark. I am not sure what age I would really recommend this for?

The final message of finding your family in the people you choose is beautiful though, so there’s always that!

For fans of: animated (dark) family films, “what is family?”-questions


That’s it from me! Have you watched any of those things? Do you want to talk about something? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #38

As you can see, I haven’t really had the time to read lately, because drawing and writing every day takes up a lot of time. However, it’s super easy to just have a show or movie play in the background while I work, so here’s another post on what I’ve been watching!

Little Voice (Season 1 ongoing)

Ever since I saw the trailer, I knew I wanted to check out the show! The music is absolutely the kind I like and I prefer shows where people don’t just start singing randomly, but rather have a reason to do so. If I had to complain about one thing so far, it’d be that Apple didn’t release all episodes at once, which I would have much preferred. One episode isn’t very long, so by the time I really am vibing with it and feeling like I’m in that world, it already ends again. But that’s just my spoiled mindset with all other streaming services out there dropping their content all at once.

I find the characters all super likable and relatable. They feel real and I especially appreciate Bess’ (the main character) relationship with her autistic brother Louis. Those two are so precious together and their shared love of music and musicals is everything. I am a little more torn on the romance front, just because I don’t like the idea of cheating? Obviously Sean’s character Ethan is a dreamboat and there’s a connection there with Bess, but so is with Samuel and he’d definitely be the better choice in terms of availability.

Lastly, there is also a lesbian storyline for a character with a traditional Indian family background and I’m super curious to see how they will explore that in future episodes.

For fans of: Brittany O’Grady singing, JJ Abrams going back too his Felicity-esque roots, Sara Bareilles songs, music seamlessly incorporated in TV without making it a musical

Blood & Water (Season 1)

I had meant to watch this for the longest time! This is one of the first productions on Netflix that came from South Africa and I know that a lot of people had been waiting for it. There’s definitely a bit of buzz around the show and I was so relieved that the wallpaper with the season two production announcement came right after I finished this season.

The plot has a whole is super interesting. Adoption scandals, child kidnappings, rich people vs. poor people – all of that had me hooked pretty easily and I was invested in finding out what actually happened. Sometimes I was a bit annoyed with the secrecy and the lack of trust vs. blind faith some of the characters portrayed, but I just tried to remind myself that those are all teenagers and I was dramatic af as a teen myself (I still am sometimes).

For fans of: international Netflix productions, majority Black cast

Cursed (Season 1)

I have not read the book this is based on and neither do I intend to, so, I can’t really talk about any similarities or differences in that matter. However, I can tell you that this definitely isn’t a traditional retelling of what you’d consider an Arthurian legend.

I’m not going to lie to you, it was off to a rough start for me. I hated the transitions (until the very end) and thought that things just looked a bit off. Everything had such a bright (which sometimes looks fake?) look, but then also was just extremely violent with chopped off body parts multiple times per episode. That didn’t exactly fit together in my head? But ultimately it didn’t deter me and the show grew on me with every episode I kept watching.

There’s not yet been an announcement on whether they’ll continue with the show, but I’d definitely watch it if it got released, just for the sake of finding out how this will end up with Arthur on the throne and all the key players in their “traditional” places. Cause at the moment, I cannot see that happening at all yet. But I guess I also wouldn’t be sad for days if it didn’t get renewed.

And yes, on a final note, I totally kept watching because I liked the weeping monk. Sue me! (Other favourite characters included Squirrel, Morgana, Pym, Merlin, Gawain and when he wasn’t a fool in love, Arthur.)

For fans of: twists (and not very accurate) Arthurian legend inspired material

Absentia (Season 1)

I 100% started watching this show because of Neil Jackson. This is NOT my genre at all and I couldn’t look at some of the bleeding eye/drowning stuff. The storyline was interesting to me, because while I often care very little about the crime element, I am fascinated by family dynamics in unusual situations. I definitely didn’t understand all of the choices made by the characters, but I’m also no FBI agent … who knows? Maybe they actually knew what they were doing constantly going off on their own.

I already started to watch Season 2, but I actually need to pay attention, so, I can’t just play it in the background like some other stuff.

For fans of: Stana Katic, dark psychological thrillers, shows that aren’t afraid to get gross

The Kissing Booth 2

Look, I get it. A bunch of people watched the first one, they made another one and set up a third. Views don’t lie? But that doesn’t mean I don’t think this movie series is still utter trash. Granted, the sequel was actually less annoying than the first Kissing Booth movie, but doesn’t make it a good movie all of a sudden.

The relationships these kids have are not healthy. They lie and cheat and clearly have boundary issues, but they rarely look for the fault in themselves. I don’t understand why everyone is so enchanted by Elle as if she’s a really great person, when she’s just as flawed as the others?

Anyway, this is no way needed to be 2+ hours long. Just no.

For fans of: the wattpad novel? the cast??


This is what I’ve been watching! Have you seen any of those things? I’d love to chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #37

While I am doing all my art stuff, I am having a really hard time being in a quiet room. Mostly, I turn to music, but a lot of the time, I just let movies or TV shows run in the background. Which is partially the reason why I went on a bit of a movie marathon lately. I haven’t watched that many films in a long time …

Palm Springs

This might just be one of my new favourite movies. I know, I have included the trailer and it gives quite a few things away, but this is totally a movie that is super fun (and unpredictable) if you don’t know anything about it beforehand.

While I mostly enjoy Andy Samberg, sometimes his movies can be a bit too borderline weird. Somehow, that didn’t deter me here at all. He has amazing chemistry with Cristin Milioti and even though the story has some ridiculously bonkers moments, they still felt like very grounded and real characters. It had such human moments about connection and fear of loneliness. I enjoyed those underlying themes a lot. The fact that it worked brilliantly as a whole was just the cherry on top!

For fans of: bonkers plot, quantum physics for fun, time loops, the cast

The Old Guard

I came to see Charlize Theron kick ass again, but I stayed for literally everything else. I know people who love it and people who were incredibly bored and in a way, I can get both of those things, but I fell in love with that story.

Based on a comic book series, The Old Guard is about immortal soldiers, who try to do good in the world. They have lived here for so long, with the world just getting worse, that sometimes everything seems pointless. But then, right when they are on the brink of being exposed, a new member shows up.

The storytelling is pretty slow and sometimes you would maybe prefer learning more about the background of everyone and how they became to be the people they are, rather than watch them rain bullets on faceless dudes again. BUT this is clearly a set up for a whole franchise and I found myself caring for the characters deeply already, so I would adore to watch more of them!

For fans of: Charlize Theron with an axe, immortal people, action packed movie where you care about the character development, female director of color, strong black female lead, gay ship that lasts a millennia

Table 19

I just clicked on a random Netflix suggestion that didn’t seem too far out of what I would normally watch and Table 19 it was. I would not call this movie groundbreaking in any way. It’s just a bunch of misfits, each with their own problems, being placed at the worst table at a wedding together.

I find it easy to root for the underdog, but I was actually quite surprised by the love story in this movie. I definitely didn’t expect that based on the premise or trailer, but found it to be something really sweet in the end. This isn’t a perfect movie, but I also don’t regret checking it out at all.

For fans of: Anna Kendrick, wedding setting but not super cheesy

Desperados

Please, I wanted to like this movie, because Ali and Winston from New Girl seemed like a good combo (I realise they have actual names, but let me think of them as their characters), but it was utter trash. I am usually not that harsh, you know me. I like lifting movies up that I enjoy, rather than tear things down, but this was not good!

We need to stop normalising/romanticizing/quirkifying obsessive and stalking behavior. It’s just not cool. Neither is making pedophilia into a joke. There was also a part about getting raped by a dolphin and getting hit with a dolphin’s dick. I don’t even know what more to say.

For fans of: Ali and Winston from New Girl?

Feel the Beat

This was surprisingly wholesome. Sofia Carson plays a bitter dancer who is mean to everyone as a way of coping with her trauma of getting left behind by her mother. One of her means of getting by is biting into a full block of cheese, and I just feel that on a deep, deep level.

Anyway, the kids are adorable, the love interest nice enough looking, the families so supportive and cute. This isn’t a movie that’s going to stay with you forever. It’s not even the best dance movie in recent years (like really not), but it’s not terrible either. Depends on whether you like Hallmark-esque Netflix movies or not!

For fans of: Sofia Carson, small town charm, dance movies, light entertainment


Aside from all of the things I talked about today, I am still living for Stargirl and I have also started Little Voice on Apple TV and am liking it so far. I would like to talk about those once I am done with the entire season though! Have you watched any of the things I mentioned?

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 #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 #33

I still stand by the fact that I’ve watched far less since lockdown started, compared to my regular viewing. Regardless, it is time to talk about what’s been happening on my screen lately! So, here we go!

Sweet Magnolias

I started watching this show, because I needed to calm down. I had just watched some episodes with a lot of racial injustice and I was boiling and angry and I needed something to soothe me. The name, Sweet Magnolias, alone suggested to me that this was going to be lovely and it was? Following the lives of these three women was nice, their children had some decent plotlines too. It’s not the most exciting show out there, but I love these kind of soft and sweet stories that border on the line of cheesiness. It just feels so much cuter and less stressful than other shows, even if some plot points have quite a lot of depth if you think about it. So, does it give you Lifetime-vibes? Probably. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not really.

HOWEVER, I am furious, because the show ended on a massive cliffhanger!

So my plan to distract myself from being mad did not pan out in the end … I just hope they get another season, and if only to resolve that end. I cannot deal with it right now!

For fans of: small town American settings, a certain quality of wholesomeness, book-to-screen adaptations

Upload

I can’t help but think about this show giving me “The Good Place” vibes and that’s something brilliant, because I miss the show SO much. I think the actual series is better than the trailer suggests. Sure, it has some rather silly elements (but let’s be real, so did The Good Place) but it also a very intriguing mystery plotline that I did not necessarily expect. I don’t feel like Upload made me as happy as watching The Good Place did, but it asks the same or at least similar questions about morality, mortality and can we improve after we have died. The fact that we are more and more asking ourselves these questions is really interesting to me.

Especially for a first season, I thought there was remarkable character development, although I wasn’t super happy with the end. I think it already got picked up for another season, so that’s helpful in easing my mind, because they need to resolve some stuff for me that I won’t get into because of spoilers.

For fans of: moral questions about the afterlife, quirky and fun takes on future technology

All American (both seasons)

So, I am still not over the brilliance that was Friday Night Lights and maybe I never will be. Yet, seen as I am still working on my American Football writing project, I needed another show to keep me in the right headspace. While there is a lot of content on college Football, there’s actually not as much focused on High School, so I figured I’d just go with the most recent example I could think of, which was All American.

Obviously, since this is based in LA, it hits VERY different to FNL. I didn’t get the same feeling of just being with those characters for ages, but eventually, I really felt with them regardless. I only have three episodes left, before finishing the second season and I want to savor those. Like so much at the CW, it already got renewed, which is great. I think the show has some really great moments, although I think they need to find more balance with some storylines as they feel just dropped into the narrative and as if they ask people to accept certain relationships and feelings despite us not having seen the development of it on screen.

I am rooting for them to get to tell more impacting stories on the CW! My heart is not over some of the episodes from the second season, such as 2×07, 2×10 and 2×11 – I cried and raged and felt numb.

For fans of: “based on a true story”-stories, American Football, racial issues in the US, community, found family trope

The Lovebirds

I decided to do a mini Issa Rae movie marathon today, so I started it out with The Lovebirds, since it recently dropped on Netflix. There’s no denying it, I love Issa Rae and I love Kumail Nanjiani and I love them together. They know how to keep up with each other’s energy and quick wit and it shows. While this movie threw them into some utterly ridiculous situations (think stuff like Date Night), I laughed a lot and I wasn’t sure I would really find it that funny.

I don’t think this is the best movie ever, but I was so entertained and that’s pretty much point of The Lovebirds. Suspend your disbelief, folks, and it will be a fun ride!

For fans of: funny couples in ridiculous crime-related situations

The Photograph

This was my second choice after The Lovebirds and NO REGRETS! Uhm, I think we’ve established how much I appreciate and adore Issa, so I just want to say that I would watch every single movie with LaKeith Stanfield as the male lead in a romance. I get that he is very versatile and can do all sorts of stories. As an actor, he would probably get bored just doing one thing, but I’ve just fallen more and more in love with him every single time he played the love interest in a movie. That is a fact!

I really enjoyed how calmly The Photograph told its story and it was so much more than just a love story. It told us that our parents had their own lives and past that we likely don’t know about, but that we cannot judge them for. They are, after all, just human. And it was about having a passion for work that overshadows the other elements in your life that might need attention and love too. It is so hard to give yourself to people, not just romantically, but some are worth taking the risk/fall.

So much in this film was told simply through looks and body language and I lived for it. The music and landscapes added to the atmosphere in exactly the way they were supposed to. Truly adored it all!

For fans of: parents who have their own stories/lives, that certain kind of unforgettable love-feeling


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #30

Is the fact that this is the 30th post in this series a sign that I watch too much? Let’s hope not, because I really have no intention of slowing down in this climate. Here are some shows I have distracted myself with lately (which are in actuality fewer than I thought they’d be):

Vampires

I AM SORRY! I only found the French trailer, but the show is available with subtitles, cause that’s how I watched it!!!

I really thought I was over vampires at this point, but … I just can’t seem to stay away from them for good. After I finished this show, I thought to myself “huh, there were some interesting aspects, but this surely isn’t essential viewing for everyone”, yet here I am. THREE days later and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

What intrigued me the most was that this really wasn’t your usual vampire society (although they still have an inherent stalker gene it seems). In this world, vampirism is a matriarchy and vampires are created the same way humans are and not through a bite (at least that’s the story so far?). Doina, daughter of a vampire and human, turns out to be a hybrid of the two species, turning her world upside down.

This show features interesting character dynamics, although I will not hold it against you if you don’t like very many of them. To my utter shame, I also have to say that I was mainly watching for a toxic ship. I am trash that way, but at least I acknowledge it.

For fans of: international Netflix shows, different take on vampires, diverse French setting

On My Block (Season 3)

Was this the last season? It felt like the last season, but the end had me in absolute shock!? From the beginning of this show, it had always had its ups and downs. I could never take the danger as seriously as I should for some reason, because it just felt too light-hearted and silly in other moments. So, when those last frames showed up on my screen, I was like “this is a joke? Surely it must be!!” (Except for the Oscar part, I am here for that!)

This wasn’t my favourite season and I honestly don’t know what to say. I think it’s fun entertainment or a little bit, but parts of it I just could not relate to or, as mentioned above, take seriously. I think it might have been the acting, but I am really not here to bash them. I still had a great time watching all seasons after all.

For fans of: teen squad stories that get a bit out of hand and don’t look as realistic anymore

Elite (Season 3)

Okay, so, not my favourite season BUT I really like how they brought it all around. It basically mirrored season 1, but this time everyone stuck together and ended the cycle of misery. I was disappointed, because some character relationships were completely ignored, even though they had so much potential. For example, I was really hoping for a Valerio and Nadia reconciliation and that they’d be the messy friends I love to see, but instead they had Valerio be interested in being in a certain throuple (which I am cool with as a concept, I just didn’t like the other characters and used to love Valerio …). My favourite part was the Nadia-Lu-duo. Those girls really were the light for me this season!

Now, I am confused about Season 4. First, why do we need it? Why does it say no one from the OG cast will be in it? We explicitly saw a certain number of characters who had to repeat the year or were at school for some other reason … so why include that when they aren’t going to be featured anymore? I have questions!

For fans of: murder mystery and character dynamics, moral questions

Greenhouse Academy (Season 4)

Why am I even still watching this show? They completely botched the “who’s behind the door?”-mystery from a couple seasons back and they just haven’t been the same ever since. I was already massively dissatisfied with season 3, because they changed actors for characters and just had some people disappear completely. To me, that threw off the dynamic massively already and they handled it poorly. I even forgot that there was a massive cliffhanger at the end of that season, that’s how little I cared. Similarly, I feel pretty dispassionate about the twist at the end of Season 4.

I just can’t get over the fact that they reopened the whole love triangle thing with Leo, Hayley and Daniel … because someone on that list got screwed over a lot. Also … it was about a virus, so that was just poor timing for sure.

I can’t believe I used to really like Greenhouse Academy at this point, but here is the proof that I did.

For fans of: House of Anubis style over the top mysteries for teens?


Have you watched any of the shows above? Let’s talk about that!

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 #26

I have watched so many things that this post is probably going to get a little longer than I initially planned, but there’s just so much to talk about! Let’s get started to not add to the word count by some rambling in the intro!

Another Life

I had this saved to my Netflix list for months now, but never quite felt in the right mood to watch it. However, I generally like alien and outer space stories, so I am honestly not surprised I ended up enjoying this one as well. Even though I found some visuals to be very obvious aftereffects, the show has a cool and believable feel to it, making you wonder how far it is in the future and thinking it’s not quite all that much. Maybe, as if we were only one scientific breakthrough away from getting to that point as well.

Anyway, do not watch this show for Tyler Hoechlin, you’d be disappointed! Definitely watch it for the AI William though!!! He was the kindest soul and my absolute favourite from episode 1 onwards. I’d love to talk some more about the aliens and whether they are a threat or not and if humanity is being a dick once again, but then it would take out all the fun of you watching it. If you ever do want to talk about that stuff though, just hit me up in the comments!

For fans of: people crammed together on small living spaces, precarious situations that escalate past what you think possible, aliens, outer space, human challenges

Ares

I only found this trailer to make it accessible to all of you, but this is originally a Dutch show and I highly recommend you watch it in Dutch with subtitles. As you all know by now, I quite enjoy my international (especially European) Netflix shows and just upon hearing the title of this one, I was intrigued.

It’s another quite short format, but it is VERY dark. I mean that and want to warn you that someone stabs their own eyes and slits their throat within the first three minutes and many more brutal suicides will follow throughout the course of the show. I understand that it is not for everyone and want you to be prepared for the violence. Having said that, the show had amazing layers to its story, showing how karma can build up through generations and metaphorically portraying the consequences to actions in a very interesting way. You never quite know what’s behind it all and what’s going on, but it was very interesting nonetheless. The end, while making sense in a way, was super abrupt though and that irritated me a little. 

For fans of: metaphors, lore, karma, ambition, how far would you go-scenarios

October Faction

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Netflix is on fire with their comic book/graphic novel adaptations! While I haven’t read this personally and therefore can’t compare the content to its origin, I had the best time watching it. I will admit that it’s not the best comic book series on the platform, but it has its own charm for sure. While the premise seems pretty straight forward, I promise there are twists and turns to the story and characters that will make it ten times as intriguing as the trailer alone might suggest.

I don’t have all too much to say, other than that it was a quick and interesting watch that leaves you wanting more easily. There is a sort of cliffhanger and it definitely feels like not all loose ends are tied up just yet. I assume they made this with several seasons in mind and I can only hope that they’ll be able to get to do far more.

For fans of: comic book adaptations, humans vs. monsters, who is the real monster though?

Sex Education (Season 2)

Pretty sure it’s no secret that I liked the first season of Sex Education quite a bit and I liked this one too. There are still brilliantly shot scenes, good acting, confusing fashion choices that never quite make sense in terms of which decade we are in and lovable characters all around. I think I cried a whole lot more this time around than I did with the first season, but it also felt a little less focused? I don’t really have anything bad to say though (except maybe not loving the definition of pansexuality they used), because I don’t know … the show is pretty awesome.

The storylines that especially touched me were Aimee’s, Adam’s and Jackson’s, but Maeve also had some tearjerkers. But not just the main characters, but also some one episode sidestories were pretty great, with the “asexuality” scene probably being one that I can see helping many people out there. I know a lot of people weren’t too happy with some of the new additions *cough* Isaac *cough*, but just keep in mind that there would barely be any conflict without some new drama. They need material for hopefully a couple more seasons after all!

For fans of: messy teens, all kinds of love

Titans (Season 2)

I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to include this one here as well, because I am not even sure I ever talked about the first season, but here we are! The thing that is on my mind the most is that … I just don’t really love this show but also keep watching it? I just find it very hard to root for some characters, because you never quite get as close to anyone as you would need to be fully invested. The story is all over the place, there’s far too many flashback episodes (which are just a personal nuisance to me) and they keep adding characters.

An ensemble cast isn’t something bad, but if you see a character for a minute per episode or not at all, can you really still call them part of the main team? I don’t know. It’s such a slow build here, but as I said, I still keep watching it. There must be something to it! (Definitely didn’t mind the addition of Superboy and Krypto but will forever be sad about Aqualad’s part in all of this, especially cause I loved the casting)

For fans of: DC comics, origin stories, Titans

Knives Out

I wasn’t exactly impressed with the Oscar nominations, but that’s a whole other topic. Still, I try to catch at least some of the nominations every year and I really, really, really wanted to watch Knives Out. It released in cinemas here pretty late, so there’s still 5 screenings per day now and I finally caught one. I now get what all the fuss is about!

Murder mysteries not being my favourite genre, this was actually A LOT of fun to watch, as in, I laughed out loud several times. I don’t think we even have to talk about how brilliant of a cast they managed to get, but I was really impressed by all of them. Ana carried the movie perfectly and it was great getting to see Chris Evans in something other than America’s golden boy. I even thought I had been spoiled about the ending, but I wasn’t entirely and still loved all the twists and turns. Many people have mentioned it to me before I went and watched it, but the final shot of the movie is perfection!

For fans of: murder mysteries a la Agatha Christie, any and all of the amazing cast members, Rian Johnson as director


Have you watched any of these things? Do you want to? Let’s chat!