What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #7

I still haven’t come up with a more creative or organised way to title these posts, so I hope you will stick with me as I might as well number them endlessly. (I just feel like putting the names of the shows in the title would be overkill … and super long.)

Anyway, I’ve been at it again and here’s the things I watched:

Elite

Yeah, yeah, I know. For once I was the one super late to join the bandwagon, but I did in the end and that’s all that matters. The thing is, one, they all look like the Warblers from Glee with their uniforms and two, most of the time I couldn’t care less about any sort of murder mystery (and once again that was the most boring component to me). However, by the end I was really rooting for some characters and I am excited to see where things go.

Elite is a great show for you if you like to see some rich-poor-dichotomy, a ton of gossip and drama, family feuds and whatnot as well as a little who-done-it-mystery. I’ll definitely check out a next season, if only for Ander, Omar, Nadia, Guzmán and Christian. Also maybe a little bit for Lu, because who doesn’t like a mean girl afraid to show her true feelings.

Pure

I honestly don’t think this show is for everyone, but it does portray OCD and mental health issues in a different light than most other series do. It’s very heavy on the sexual content, has you annoyed with some (or most) characters in the beginning but it has a great arc overall. To me, it seemed like Pure dared to go someplace with that show that others would have been way too afraid to do.

My personal favourite thing about the show is the relationship of the main character Marnie with her mate Charlie (played by Joe Cole, whom I adore … as some of you know *cough*Lois*cough*). They have one of those effortless bonds and real good banter, knowing things about one another that they haven’t shared with anyone else. I am swooning hard over here.

Northern Rescue

Netflix kept recommending this show to me upon its release on the platform and dang, am I glad I did watch it. First of all, this show is so Canadian, it fills my heart so that I cannot even. But even more importantly, it’s a really good show about family and grief, with lovely characters but without getting too heavy most of the time. If you want something entertaining to have running while you might do other stuff (not saying you can’t watch this giving it your full attention, but you know, sometimes you just want something running in the background) I would definitely recommend Northern Rescue to you.

Lastly, I can’t help but think of Everwood (a show I adored when I was younger) every time I watch it. It also has a really nice theme song, which not a lot of shows have these days and I think that’s a real shame.

The Order

Okay, so I basically binged this in a day. It’s weird, because the topic is really my thing but the quality of it all just looked so bad, especially for Netflix standards. However, by the end of episode 2, there was no way I wouldn’t have watched this all the way through. Without spoiling anything, I just want to say that I love the Knights far more than anyone at the order and that I am quite annoyed with the main girl, but infatuated with Randall, the RA.

I think my quarrels with it were that it tried to kind of be as edgy and dark as The Magicians, but they just didn’t have the production value and acting to pull that all off. I feel like they wanted to add a bit of horror to it, but it wasn’t scary whatsoever to me. In the end, it was a really good first season though with a great finale that leaves a lot of room for what’s to come next. There’s definitely potential there! 


So, that’s what I’ve been watching? Have you seen any of these shows yourself? Who are your favourite characters? Talk to me, especially if anything caught your eye!

#CurrentlyWatching: Humans

I realise that I haven’t done a #CurrentlyWatching post in quite some time, but I rediscovered the show I want to talk about today for myself after having taken a bit of a break from it. When I turned to Twitter to rave about it, I realised that very few of my friends even knew about the show, so I now want to introduce Humans to you.

This SciFi gem is currently in its third season and the stakes just keep getting higher and higher. It airs on Channel 4 in the UK and AMC in the US. Originally it is based on the Swedish fiction drama Real Humans, but since I haven’t ever seen that, I cannot attest to how close or far they are from their storyline.

Humans shows an alternate reality where humans have advanced so far in technology that they introduce robotic servants called Synths to households. The show portrays the struggles of that shift in society as well as the repercussions once the Synths become self aware.

I cannot tell you what first drew me to this show back when it premiered in 2015. I think they had some very intriguing advertising that made it look like they really wanted to sell Synths to people. If I remember correctly, they even had a Facebook messenger chatbot for a while that sent you on a little adventure with a synth. No matter how I found out about the show though, it was one of the few I watched live every single week and that in a time where I stream pretty much anything after its original air time. However, I can definitely try and tell you why I stuck with it.

Humans is a show that doesn’t try to persuade you with many gimmicks. It has a higher production budget than the Swedish parent show, but it is rather quiet and eerie still. As the title promises and despite the focus on Synths and artificial intelligence as a big theme, this show really is about the human condition. How do we act when there is something in front of us that looks like us and is able to act like us, yet we are told they are merely a machine? Do we show compassion? Does our darker side win? There is something very unsettling and creepy about the whole thing, but at the same time you will be able to find yourself in multiple characters and their struggles. Over the seasons, Humans builds up and adds more complex moral questions to the story. What starts in a small household with only a specific group of Synths being conscious, soon begins to spread and becomes a global issue. I found it extremely fascinating to see the characters confronted with difficult decisions and the way they decided to deal with them. It made me question how I would act, especially since technology these days is targeted in the direction of human-looking AIs becoming a real thing.

In addition to the moral dilemmas, I was really happy with the casting! I know that the actors and actresses who were cast as the AI robots had to visit a specific Synth school to study the behaviour and mannerisms of their characters. The acting is really phenomenal on their part. But also the rest of the cast seem like good choices and realistic for their age groups as well. Over the seasons there are a couple of guest appearances and limited character arcs that I also had a lot of fun with.

CW: rape, abuse, suicide, violence

It is very difficult to spotlight just one character. The main synth group the show is based around is extremely faceted and each and every one of them would deserve the spotlight for sure. My personal favourite is Matty, a badass hacker girl. I also have a soft spot for Leo, a person who is stuck between humans and synths, not sure where his alliance should lie and he fits in. However, the person who has probably gone through some of the most significant development is Laura Hawkins.

She is a working mother, an initial skeptic in regards of synths who later turns into a synth-rights-advocate. While I may not always agree with her approach to things or decisions for that matter, that woman is really there when it counts and ultimately does the right thing. She is fiercely protective of her family, but also extends that protection to others in need. She’s tough and resilient and if I ever were in a pickle, I’d want her in my corner.

I hope you got a closer look at Humans and maybe would consider watching it now? Have you already seen a couple episodes? Let’s talk about it!

Summer Review: Dark Matter & Humans

Sorry for my brief absence, but I had to study for my final exams and now I officially have a Bachelor degree of arts in business (*doing a little victory dance through the apartment right now*). Never thought that would happen so fast, but now it’s over and I have to figure out what to do next. In order to “celebrate” I’ll review not just one but two new Science Fiction TV shows that started airing this month. Enjoy and beware of Spoilers!

Dark Matter

Dark Matter is a show based on a comic book series of the same title that started airing on Syfy last week. It follows the six members of a space ship, who awaken from stasis just to find that they have lost their memory. In order to find out information on who they are and what they were about to do, they try to find the ship’s original destination.

I think the show started deliberately slow in order for the audience to get used to the different characters and show the confusion that they must have felt. It takes the entire first episode for them to find out who they are and leaves us right at the most exciting moment. It turns out they weren’t supposed to help the people on the planet the ship brought them to, but instead five of the crew members are murderers and they were meant to kill them. That was the point at which I was most invested in the show, just to get ripped out of it and told to wait another week. It’s smart really, but also highly annoying.
Somehow I was reminded of Firefly and several other shows set in space, simply for the reason that everyone and everything has a very familiar feel to it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I liked all those shows, but it also doesn’t give it that vibe of excitement that comes with new things. Lastly, it doesn’t look like it had the biggest budget, but it definitely has potential. I will make sure to check out a couple more episodes!

Humans

Humans is based on the Swedish drama Real Humans and follows several storylines throughout a universe that has developed artificial intelligence in the shape of Synths. They are programmed to be humanity’s slaves, but things get interesting when some of them develop feelings and a consciousness of their own.

I originally started watching this show because of Colin Morgan (previously known from Merlin, Doctor Who and Testament of Youth), but I got hooked right after the first episode. The three main storylines are very diverse and therefore cover all sorts of emotions. On the one hand you have a family where the arrival of a new Synth threatens the mother of the household since she feels she’s loosing her place in the family. And on the other hand, you have an elderly man who’s created a father-son-relationship with his Synth and doesn’t want to get him upgraded in order not to loose him. Lastly, there’s Morgan’s storyline which is too complex to fully comprehend after just one episode. Let’s just say he is pro-Synth and wants to protect the ones who have a mind of their own.
The whole dilemma of whether artificial intelligence is a danger to humanity or not and if they deserve to live their life as they wish to if they have feelings and emotions like us is extremely intriguing to me. I hope the show will continue to have a controversial point of view on the topic and show both sides of the story.

So, the reviews were pretty short, but could I spark your interest in the shows nonetheless? I’d love to talk in the comments!

The Final Season of Misfits

Misfits is by far one of my favourite British TV shows. It started airing on the network Channel 4 in 2009 and has just started it’s fifth and final season. While I do love the show, I feel like it has reached a point where it’s supposed to end.

The premise is easy. A bunch of young offenders get hit by lightning during a freak-electrical storm and get the weirdest kinds of superpowers from that. Ironic as it is, these not exactly model-citizens get thrown into situations where they have to be the heroes (not without killing a probabtion worker every now and then though). It is partially vulgar, very witty and shows a great example of British humour, but somehow it is just not as good as it was before.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the show and doesn’t want to be spoilered: You should stop reading now! I don’t want to be responsible for ruining the experience for anyone!

While the show is still not bad, I think it sort of went downhill when one of the earlier cast-members, Robert Sheehan, left after the second season and got “replaced” by Joseph Gilgun as the funny one of the bunch. After that more and more cast-members left, so that by the end of the third season only two regulars were still in it. Since season four only featured Nathan Stewart-Jarrett for half the season, because Lauren Socha got kicked out (apparently not because of her recent conviction, but I do think that that was part of the decision to not let her return). After that Joseph Gilgun became the new veteran of the show and had to deal with four new mates. In my opinion, it is alright to change actors every now and then, but changing almost the entire cast in such little time is too much. The storylines got weirder too, and while I do think that Alisha’s and Simon’s endless love-loop is very romantic, I also think that it was the same season (series 3) that lacked creative story-telling. So, as you can see there are plenty of reasons why the show should end.

I did get used to Joseph Gilgun by now and I really like him as Rudy, but I still need time for the other newbys. I guess I just really miss Iwan Rheon (who’s now in Vicious and Game of Thrones) and Robert Sheehan (who’s latest appearance was in City of Bones) and Lauren’s accent, but I can’t change anything about them not being in the show anymore.

The main actors and actresses over the seasons include: Robert Sheehan, Lauren Socha, Iwan Rheon, Antonia Thomas, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Joseph Gilgun, Carla Crome, Nathan McMullen, Matt Stokoe, Natasha O’Keeffe, … Furthermore, the show was created by Howard Overman, who also co-wrote the script with Jon Brown.

What do you think about the show? Could it go on forever or is it time to go for our superheroes?

A Series of Terrible Dates

Channel 4 has a fairly new TV show called Dates. I have watched the six episodes that have aired so far and still can’t make up my mind about it. It’s from the creators of skins, so my expectations were pretty high from the beginning on. They claim that it’s a sexy, witty and emotional drama – I can agree with that in most points, but I also think it has comedic elements sometimes.Image

Mainly, you watch people from an online dating service having their first date. So far, I have not seen one episode where the date did not end in complete misery for at least one person. I quite like the concept and am mostly fascinated by the characters, but something just puts me off about it. I can’t exactly put it in words, but maybe it’s because there aren’t any real main characters or even a real pattern (besides the theme “First Date”) that I can recognize. It’s not like there aren’t any reoccuring characters, but I simply have no clue as to where the story is about to go.

I would love to hear your opinion on it. I started watching it because I saw the list of actors that were about to appear in the show. Maybe it will do the same for you. Some of the actors are: Oona Chaplin, Katie McGrath, Andrew Scott, Will Mellor, Gemma Chan, Ben Chaplin…

So, tell me what you think? Is it a brilliant show or did they miss the mark by not giving the audience a possibility to connect with the characters?