What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #51

I didn’t come up with a better way to title these posts, so I stuck with the numbering. I wonder how high we will get with those eventually! Today I am going to talk about a couple shows and I will have designated spoiler sections for a couple of them. Please, beware and avoid them if you do not wish to know that much about the show/movie!

The Letter for the King (Season 1)

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the show at first. There are a couple really amazing misdirects and I think it is cool that it has characters that actually look their young age instead of being a decade older than what they are supposed to play, but then … they just had to go and ruin it. Without going into detail, they fall pray to the whole “bury your gays” thing, by killing a gay character shortly after having them start a relationship of sorts. It was completely unnecessary as the person in question could have just as easily been wounded and survived everything. It still has me so mad to think about it now.

For fans of: knights, magic, destiny

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 4)

Okay, so, I’ve already voiced some of my thoughts on the final season of CAOS in my post here, but did not go into detail, because it didn’t seem the right time. Overall, if you don’t want to be spoiled, I just want to say that I was not happy with this ending. I found it disrespectful to many characters, despite actually enjoying this season as a whole. But to elaborate a little bit:

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

  • Sabrina being constantly jealous of her friends and family, because she was single for a longer period of time for the first time since the show started was majorly annoying. We really need to stop acting like it’s the end of the world when people aren’t in a relationship.
  • The eldritch terrors were interesting to me, although I am not familiar with them to a point where I could judge them based on previous iterations. I liked the foe of the week theme, as it moved the season along nicely and kept it more compact than with previous villains.
  • I think there’s a couple plotholes, e.g. Sabrina doesn’t stop being married to the Uninvited just because she locked him in a room outside of time and space and let the Void swallow it … don’t think that’s how marriage works.
  • Why do people keep hating on Cabrina as a ship? I think Morningstar and Caliban were really it and Caliban still scheming to rule hell was just very in character.
  • I am unsure how I feel about Sabrina dying. I think if the show continued, they’d have found a way to resurrect her, even the actress said so herself, so, to have Nick kill himself to be with her in the afterlife was a cruel thing to do. They acted like it was the most casual thing in the world, but I found it really disrespectful to the character. He had gained so many friends over the past seasons and to end his arc like that … not cool.
  • My favourite part of the season were the new and old Weird Sisters. Truly the best!
  • I know that they didn’t really expect to get cancelled for real, but even though you saw Sabrina in the afterlife, you have no idea how any of the other characters are doing and I think that’s a shame. The show wasn’t just about her and a funeral isn’t a series finale for me.

A Discovery of Witches (Season 2)

I binged the entire season in one day and only regretted it slightly, because I love this show. I know it’s not perfect, but it truly enchanted me in Season 1. In comparison, I think Season 2 couldn’t hold up as well in terms of aesthetics and pacing. The split timeline was a tricky thing to pull off, especially since the book solely focuses on Diana’s POV and the show on everyone. I don’t think they managed the balance very well and I would honestly have been frustrated watching it on a weekly basis if I wanted a certain storyline to continue just to get an entire episode set in a different time. It just gave the whole thing a bit of a choppy edge.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I haven’t read the second book, so, I can’t say how faithful it was. Somewhere it said that Gallowglass was in love with Diana and I did not get that vibe this season, but they might explore that in the next one. I sometimes wished that some storylines went a little deeper, for example the adoption of Jack or the love story between Phoebe and Marcus, but it also had some great moments again. Finally getting to meet Philippe was a real treat! Also, I enjoyed Diana being fiercer and coming into her powers, although Matthew went in the opposite direction and became more chliché-vampire territorial/feral.

Life Itself

TW: graphic suicide and death

Life Itself has one of my most favourite trailers of all time. I had put off watching the movie for years though, because the reviews weren’t exactly glowing and now that I’ve finally seen it, I get it. The overall premise of life being an unreliable narrator and everyone possibly being the hero and villain in someone’s story is a good one. It’s even an excellent one, but the execution did not hold up at all. It felt like very disjointed storytelling and the emotions sometimes felt like they were overshadowed by certain scenes that seemed added for shock value. Unfortunately the film did not hold up to the trailer at all.

For fans of: stories within stories


Have you watched any of these? Do you want to talk about them? Let’s chat!

The Crown by Kiera Cass (Book Review)

Crown

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count
: 278

I was debating whether to write a review for this book or not, since I haven’t written one for the rest of the Selection series (which I read kind of before all of this turned into a book blog), but here I am. I think this will be rather short though, because it’s the finale and I don’t want to spoil anyone and I don’t think this will make all too much sense for people who haven’t read any of the books at all.

First things first, I hated Eadlyn in The Heir. I kid you not, she was selfish, arrogant and didn’t have an ounce of empathy in her little finger. How could such a cold person be the main character we were supposed to root for? I didn’t want any of those sweet suitors to win, simply because I didn’t want any of them to suffer living next to her side for the rest of their lives. And then The Crown came

I don’t know what happened … well, I guess I do know a little bit of what happened, but Eadlyn has changed so much. She is compassionate, considerate and truly listens to others, which I just didn’t expect of her. It felt like she was too good all of a sudden, which was entirely confusing at first. However, it did help with the whole me-wanting-her-to-find-the-right-partner-and-lead-a-happy-life. It’s been a while since I had read the prequel to this book, so it took me a little to remember all the guys and who’s who. What felt off the entire time was that Eadlyn, unlike her parents, had no clue who she should choose. She went on several dates with all those guys and there was no discernible feeling as to who she liked best. In the end, I am very glad she chose the guy I had already sort of rooted for in The Heir, but of course I am not going to tell you who that is, just that I think it was a brave choice.

All in all, Eadlyn made A LOT of good choices in this book. Up to a point where she was so selfless, she would have lead a miserable life herself just to do the best for her people, which is just too much. I think the political situation could have been addressed a little more, but it was handled decently. Ultimately, I just can’t give it a super high rating because I really just read this book to finish the series. It could have been so much worse though, which is a happy consolation!

Fazit: 3/5 stars. A nice conclusion for the series I suppose.

3stars

Have you read the entire Selection series as well? What did you think of the finale?

Doctor Who: Hell Bent

What a loaded Season 9 Finale of Doctor Who! Hell Bent definitely wasn’t the way I thought it would be, but with this show surprises can definitely be something good. Spoilers are coming your way!

hell bent

What was it about?

The Doctor uses his status as a war hero on Gallifrey to get back his beloved Clara. He is willing to tear apart time itself apparently, but his realisation about the hybrid and his best friend leads with them having to part ways anyways. 

My thoughts?

I know I say this almost every week, but I seriously don’t know where to start! I enjoyed last week (although not as much as some of you guys), but I definitely didn’t see this continuation of Heaven Sent coming! At the same time, this is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t think that Clara deserved such a short and uneventful death like the one in Face the Raven. She was and still is important to me and I wanted her to get a spectacular exit – Hell Bent gave her that and so much more! In the end she became what she was heading towards the entire time – immortal, running away with a TARDIS and possibly even her very own companion – basically the Doctor. I am sure that many won’t agree, but to me, that was really the perfect ending for her. And like with River, there is a slight possibility of Clara and the Doctor crossing paths again. I LOVE IT!

I think what got to me the most though, was that this was almost like a reversed Donna-scenario. When I realised that Twelve didn’t recognise Clara, I was heartbroken for her! Imagine your best friend not knowing who you are anymore … it’s really quite sad, especially since he was so convinced that he would recognise her. In the past I’ve complained about the excessive use of Twelve and his electric guitar, but wow, I am so glad he played Clara’s theme, that put some more cracks into my heart. Anyway, I am still wondering what exactly Clara told the Doctor in the Cloisters …

We haven’t had an episode on Gallifrey for a long time and they didn’t shy away from including some popular monsters as well. I almost wish they’d made it more Gallifreyian centered though, because it’s such a great setting for all kind of stories. However, aside from that I loved seeing all the other Time Lords and Ladies and how they idolise and fear the Doctor. Then again, I couldn’t believe some of the changes he had went through in those 4.5 billion years (still can’t believe it was that long!). He wasn’t really the Doctor anymore, I mean for crying out loud, he shot someone (even if he knew that he still had a regeneration left). It’s kind of frightening to think what all the Doctor would do for Clara. Which brings me to my next point!

The hybrid was Clara and the Doctor in the end? Did I get that correctly? Was that what was happening? Because after the last episode it was pointed out to me that “me” could have been the Doctor or Ashildr, which I was apparently way too tired to really notice. Many would have liked to see Ashildr become the Doctor’s new companion (I wasn’t one of them), but she ruined her chances of that. However, it was fitting that they met at the end of time and I am  now sort of hoping that she’s Clara’s new travel companion, taking the long route to Gallifrey.

Now, last but not least – THE SONIC SCREWDRIVER IS BACK! And it’s a glorious and fantastic looking one that I would love to add to my own collection!

I am sure I once again missed a ton of references to pre-2005 Whovian episodes, so if you wish to share some of your observations in the comments, be my guest! Also, sorry if I went on a tangent every now and then … it’s late. Other than that, I can only finish with being really excited for the Christmas Special. River was always one of my favourite characters!

Death In Heaven

It’s over … well until the Christmas Special that is. “Death in Heaven” was the Doctor Who season finale of Series 8 and this is my review for it. As always your inner River Song should tell you: Spoilers!

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this finale. You know, I always write these reviews right after watching them, so I sometimes change my opinion later on. But right now, I feel like crying. A lot has happened, while also nothing has happened at all because there weren’t many surprises in my opinion. Does that make sense? This episode was 60 minutes long, but it still felt rushed sometimes and like 30 minutes max to me.

But let’s talk a bit about the story first. Cybermen technology has evolved so far that they can now convert the dead. This of course means that they are invincible, because how do you win against an enemy that weaponises the dead? While the Doctor gets appointed President of the Earth, which he obviously hates, Clara finds the upgraded Danny Pink, or rather he finds her. He wants her to switch off his emotions, but she can’t do it alone and asks the Doctor for help, who is busy dealing with his plane crashing and Missy killing his friends. The Doctor doesn’t want Clara to turn Danny’s emotions off, because he thinks that Danny would instantly kill her, which he promises not to do. Clara uses the Screwdriver to activate the Cyberman mode on Danny, just in time for Missy to arrive and announce that the whole Cyberman army is just a gift for the Doctor (What?). She’s so busy trying to prove to him that they are more alike than he wants to admit, that she doesn’t notice that Danny doesn’t comply like the others. In the end, Danny gets the bracelet that gives him power over all the Cybermen and orders for everyone to destroy themselves in the sky, so that the Cybermen cloud/rain wouldn’t kill the rest of humanity. Does that sum it up alright? Then here are the rest of my thoughts:

  • Osgood is dead and I’m not okay with how little that was acknowledged! She was super-smart and had the perfect taste in accessories.
  • Seb was still weirdly creepy, but he was killed by Missy as well.
  • Kate Stewart almost got killed, but her now-Cyberman father saved her from falling to her death. Brigadier Letbridge-Stewart appeared in previous Doctor Who episodes and all he ever wanted was for the Doctor to salute him. Which he accomplishes by the end of the episode, after he killed (?) Missy.
  • Missy really is bananas, just killing people as she goes about her day. I have no idea if she is dead for good now or not and I also don’t understand how she still lived in the first place anyway. It has something to do with the Doctor saving Gallifrey, but I didn’t actually understand the logic behind that. Also, since it’s now confirmed that Missy was the woman in the shop, I don’t understand her reasons for wanting the Doctor together with Clara either. Was it because she thought Clara could exercise control over him? But it was fun to see Missy floating down with her umbrella like Mary Poppins. She was generally a really hilarious character at times.
  • The scene where the Doctor falls out of the plane and manages to get to his TARDIS in mid-air was really cool in my opinion.
  • It’s sad to think that even at last, the Doctor and Danny didn’t really get along. I loved Danny and he looked terribly frightening as a Cyberman to me. I was sitting in my seat almost crying at the misery that they couldn’t save him and that he died after all. Then he gets the chance to come back, and he still does the right thing, rather than the thing that would make him happy. He sends back the boy he killed from the afterlife (which now looks a lot more like the one from Torchwood), instead of returning to Clara himself. You just can’t really be mad at him after doing something as noble as that.
  • I loved Clara in the last two episodes! There definitely was a bit too much of her this season as a whole, but I enjoyed her darker side towards the end. Also, I adore the whole love can conquer (almost) everything theme that she had going on with Danny and of course the great friendship scenes with her and the Doctor. Is their story really over now? And I’m talking about both, the Doctor and Danny. Because how would Orson Pink ever happen if Danny’s gone for good?
  • Humanity certainly has a lot of darkest hours.
  • The Doctor and Clara part and I am so very unhappy about that. I understand that they probably will get back together … at least I hope so, but it’s so sad to think that they parted with a lie. Clara saying that she’s now living her life with Danny and the Doctor about finding Gallifrey and going back home. Loved the hugging line though, because in a way they really are deceiving by giving one the opportunity to hide your face.
  • The Christmas Special … I want to watch it! How else could it be? We already saw Santa barging in on the TARDIS, but I didn’t understand the Sneak Peek, nor do I know if Clara will be in it.

How did you feel about the season finale? I wanted more … but then again I always want more when it comes to Doctor Who.

Dark Water

So this is it! Only one week until the finale of Series 8 of Doctor Who and I have to say that “Dark Water” was a great way to start the two-parter! Be warned, there will be Spoilers if you continue to read!

So much was happening this week and I have to say they did well, at least in my opinion. Starting the episode by killing Danny, reminded me of the olden days when Rory used to die every other episode. What a shocker, but also logical one, if they want to have a valid reason to go to the Nether-sphere. I’m really excited to see how they are going to let this end next week (even though I am not happy that it’ll be over so soon again), because there were definitely some cliffhangers at the end of “Dark Water“. So let’s start my list of thoughts, because there are a lot this time around:

  • First thing I want to say: HA! My theory about Missy being short for Mistress, which in turn is the female version Master was right! Needed to get that out of the way, because I am never right about anything when it comes to Doctor Who.
  • How sweet that Clara’s gran had another appearance, but it was heartbreaking to see Clara loose it after Danny’s death.
  • Clara betraying the Doctor … I don’t know what to say about it, but I loved the whole thing. Her going so far as to destroy all seven TARDIS keys, the Doctor caring so much about her that he would help her even afterwards and their interaction in general – just perfect. I mean the Doctor saying “Go to hell!” was totally misunderstandable and brilliant. I might even go as far as to say that that was my favourite part of the episode!
  • Okay, we need to talk about 3W! I did not think that the three lifechanging words would be “Don’t cremate me!” … that was sort of odd and I find it scary to think that I would still be linked to my body after dying and fully aware of everything that’s about to happen. That’s just a really creepy thought! But the entire time they showed the symbol of 3W, I thought that I knew it from somewhere. I kept thinking and thinking, but it wasn’t until the sliding doors closed that I finally realised that it was a Cyberman eye. Smart move! But I am afraid I don’t get the whole uploading people’s minds on a Gallifreyan harddrive, while upgrading their human remains to Cybermen … oh wait, I think I just explained it to myself.
  • Poor Dr. Chang got killed so soon … but then again, Andrew Leung was just there to explain the reasoning behing the episode title anyway.
  • There were some really funny moments in the episode, although it had much of a doom and gloom vibe. I mean, WiFi in the afterlife, iPads because of Steve Jobs and Missy saying she’s not a Dalek when the Doctor took the stairs. I don’t know about you, but I laughed at that.
  • I would not want to be greeted by Mr Armitage (Nigel Betts) after I die. I don’t know why exactly, but I don’t find him to be very comforting.
  • Danny, oh Danny … that poor fellow really had to deal with a lot this week. Clara confessing her eternal love for him, his death, meeting the boy he killed during his time as a soldier and then having the possibility to delete himself. (Which would probably just turn him into a Cyberman !) I feel sorry for him and through all of this he still wants to protect Clara, he’s just too good to be true. I could imagine the young boy persuading him to not delete himself next episode, but I am still curious as to see how they’ll get him back to life.
  • As you know by now, the Cybermen are back and they are made from an army of dead people. Actually not a bad idea, since the dead outnumber the living by a number I don’t even want to think about. We’ll see how they’ll deal with that next week as well.
  • Speaking of next week, there was no promo right after the episode, but they showed some material in the last promo that didn’t appear in “Dark Water“. I am psyched for it no matter what, because the Master is back and that can only be interesting.

What were your thoughts on this week’s episode? I quite enjoyed it and it brought back some of my enthusiasm for the show, but maybe that was only the case because I was right about something for once.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Participation

As some of you may already know, I intend to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo. In case you have no idea what that is, here’s a little explanation: NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is an event that takes place every November all over the world. In those 30 days you are supposed to write a novel with at least 50,000 words. Also, you are not allowed to write a single word for the story before November 1 and there is a time limit of maximum one month for plotting and character development. (If you want more information on the project and how to participate yourself, please click here!)

You probably think this is crazy. “How could a person write a whole book in just one month?”, but let me tell you this: it can be done! In fact, very famous novels such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Fight Club have been written in much less time. Yet, I would not exactly call myself a writer and NaNoWriMo will definitely take up a lot of time. I’m just really happy that it’s more about quantity rather than quality. Nonetheless, this means my blog might suffer a little in terms of regular blog posts, but I hereby promise to still write about the two-part finale of Doctor Who, and after finally catching up with the latest of episodes of Downton Abbey, about that as well. If you are interested in hearing about my writing ideas and my general progress on NaNoWriMo, let me know in the comments below and I will blog about that as well. And last but not least, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo and you still want a writing buddy, don’t hesitate to add me! Click here for that!

Wish me luck for reaching 50,000 and tell me what you think about my plan to participate in this ludicrous event!

In the Forest of the Night

As always it’s time for a Doctor Who review on Saturday! This time I’ll be talking about Series 8’s “In the Forest of the Night” and we all know what comes now: Spoilers ahead!

A lot happened this week, but it wasn’t at all like I expected it to be. There was global forestation over night, a solar flare that should’ve destroyed the Earth and some really great Clara/Doctor moments. I should say upfront that while there were some really sweet and amazing scenes in between, this again isn’t one of my favourite episodes. I want to clarify that that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it at all, I just liked others better. But since I seem to complain a bit too much about Doctor Who as of late, I’m trying to find some good things in there. So, let’s break it down:

  • I actually liked the message: Trees are our friends! But the thing was that they tried to sell me that I was supposed to be scared in forests, because of fairy tales and such, but I actually quite like them. Never felt uneasy there, but rather calm instead. What I am scared of though, is getting lost, which seemed like a real possibility during the episode. Also, it would have been way different if it all had played during the night. Everything can be scarier in the night and I will admit that I wouldn’t want to be alone in a forest in the dark.
  • There was some speculation that the episode might have something to do with William Blake‘s poem “The Tyger“, so I’m really glad that there was an actual tiger and that it made sense that he could be there. Cool reference in my opinion!
  • The kids were all great little actors and actresses! Often I’m a little anxious about episodes with loads of children, because they are often not very convincing, but the casting director of Doctor Who either has a ton of luck or chooses really well (I’m guessing a bit more of the latter). Abigail Eames, who played Maebh, did a great job portraying that seemingly troubled little girl and it was creepy when her voice mixed with the one of the “firesflies” (or “trees” whatever I’m supposed to call them).
  • If you’ve followed my blog the past weeks, you probably noticed that I am huge fan of BBC’s Our Girl. The woman who played Maebh’s mother, Siwan Morris, starred as Mrs Smurf/Smith/Candy on that show as well. Just seeing her in another storyline that involves losing a child made the story so much more emotional for me, just because the wounds of Our Girl are still so fresh.
  • I still wonder where Annabel, Maebh’s sister, was and why she ran away … assuming that she left home willingly.
  • I sort of doubt Danny‘s intelligence if he seriously believed that Clara didn’t meet up with the Doctor. He’s a great man, as this episode proved once more, but I just can’t imagine him not noticing that his girlfriend was spending time on the TARDIS, especially not after last week. Also, I just want him to tag along for an adventure and he seems so utterly unwilling to do that, that I’m starting to get tired of him. He has his reasons, and good ones too to be fair, but … I thought this might become more of a Rory-Amy-Doctor dynamic with a twist over time and that’s just highly unlikely now.
  • Twelve and kids is such a fun combination. I like it when they let him play the grumpy Scottish man!
  • Another glimpse of Missy that I could do absolutely nothing with. So glad next week will start to unveil what’s been going on!
  • I loved the scene when Clara told the Doctor to leave without them (although I am not sure if, at that moment, it really was wise to say that they should all die instead of saving at least a few people). Capaldi and Coleman just have this great chemistry and also conflicts with each other, most of the time their confrontations are my favourite part of the episode.

I guess that’s it for today. Concerning “Dark Water” next week … I’m scared to be honest, and not because the Cybermen will make their return. It’s the first part of the finale and I am always anxious about those, because I hate endings, but also because of what I saw in the promo. That just wasn’t like Clara at all and I’m going to freak if nothing was real!

What are your thoughts about “In the Forest of the Night“?