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 #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!