What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #5

Being home sick has given me plenty of time to watch stuff (I was basically ordered to do so by my doctor, so who am I to decline that suggestion). So, let’s see what’s been on my screen:

Russian Doll

I thought this was going to be so stupid and just like Happy Deathday, but Russian Doll is one of the most brilliant shows I have watched as of late. With a short 4-hour-binge, you will be taken into a world of weird but excellent acting, formidable script-work and a beautiful range of characters. It is so much deeper and complex (but still fun!!!) than I expected. It’s like an existential life crisis dramedy and I had no idea that was even a thing.

I want to say that it wraps up pretty nicely. I am not sure if this is supposed to be a limited series or not, but I wouldn’t be mad if it ended here. In fact, I believe a second season might ruin it … And just as a little inside tip from me, stick with it until at least episode 3.

In the end, I just sat there and I wanted to hug all the characters goodbye. What an amazing journey they took me on!

Siempre Bruja – Always a Witch

You know that I love contemporary witches, but I also very much like witches that are fish out of water because they’ve been transported to contemporary times. This was such a fun show and I keep appreciating all the international content on Netflix. This one is set in Colombia and I watched it in Spanish with subtitles, I believe that’s the best way to get the experience right.

I will say that it was very hard for anyone to root for Carmen to be able to go back to her original timeline. In the 1600s she was a black slave who had fallen in love with her white master’s son, but in our time, she had so much more possibilities for her future. As soon as she had felt at home in the 21st century, you just knew she could never again be content with her old life, but at the same time she was unwilling to give up on her love. Without wanting to give away anything, there is a lot of room to explore more of that in a second season.

Not going to sugarcoat it, I called a lot of what was happening with the baddies on the show. Not all of it, but enough to not be seriously surprised. There is a very teen drama soap feel to some of it, but I don’t mind that at all. It’s just something to think about if that’s maybe not your thing.

9-1-1

This isn’t really a new one, but I just felt like bingeing it all again, especially season 2. The cases on this show are so over the top and there are so many too. You might think that they go to one accident per episode or a max of two, but no! This is more like 5+ every single episode, while still giving us plenty of personal relationship stuff too.

I just really wanted to watch it again, because I am into the Eddie and Buck ship, which is not canon but I don’t even care. They could just have a beautiful non toxic male friendship as well and I wouldn’t be mad about that either, but they’d make a cute couple too. The writers even admitted that they were throwing crumbs at the viewers but I am not sure if they are queerbaiting the audience or not. They do have a canon lesbian couple, which is already pretty awesome. But yeah, the guys … one of them has a son and a random lady thought they were both his dad and told Buck what an adorable kid they had and he didn’t negate her. He just took a beat, smiled and thanked her. COME ON!

Carmen Sandiego

I never religiously watched the original Carmen Sandiego, but I remember it from my childhood and this new style of animation wasn’t exactly what I wanted out of a reboot. The voice actors are all doing a great job though and the story was interesting enough. I just believe that this is targeted at a younger audience than me and I found myself bored sometimes. 

Overall, not a bad show, but I also don’t have a lot to say about it either. If you can’t find anything else to binge, this isn’t too bad of an option I suppose.


Have you binged any of these shows? Do you intend to? Let’s talk about it! 

#CurrentlyWatching: The Gifted

As promised this week is all about heroes, villains and people with abilities. The Gifted falls right into the category as if focuses on some lesser known mutants from the X-Men universe. I’ve always had a thing for mutant stories, I think I just liked them better than the regular superheroes because in a weird way, they were more grounded in reality than the others. That could just be me though, lets talk about this particular show!

The Gifted runs on FOX and currently has one season with 13 episodes out there. It started around the same time as another Marvel show, Inhumans, but was greeted by a far better reception (peoples, I am not even going to talk about Inhumans ever. That show was such a massive disappointment!). So, I am happy to once more bring you good news and tell you that even before the season ended, The Gifted was renewed for a second season!

The X-Men are gone. There is only one safe place to go – the Mutant Underground. Together they will protect each other and fight for the life in peace they deserve.

I liked what they were doing with The Gifted from the beginning. While a lot of shows like it focus on origin stories and using all the CGI possible, The Gifted was always more about its characters and their relationships rather than anything else. Do I think the CGI could be better sometimes? Maybe, but if we’re being honest here, I think that about 90% of the things I watch, so that’s a way too high standard anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against origin stories, but it’s also nice to just have all the players ready and laid out for you. As I understood it, we are in some sort of alternate universe here – the X-Men have vanished, and so has the Brotherhood. There are no real representatives for mutants anymore. If they make one misstep, they are hunted by the government no matter what and to see the light of day again after that is more than unlikely.

As so often when it comes to the mutant franchise, this is an underlying way to talk about racism and how society and politics deal with it. The conflict is best represented by the various main characters. On the one hand we have the Strucker family, where the parents are seemingly humans (with the father even being involved in the prosecution of humans) and their children are mutants. Then we have a Sentinel Services agent, whose daughter died during a mutant protest which he blamed people with abilities for ever since and lastly, the various members of the Mutant Underground who all have their own tragic and complicated backstories.

While the Struckers are definitely an integral part of the story and provide some of the biggest conflicts, I have to admit to enjoying the parts with the members from the Mutant Underground more. A lot of the romantic relationships were already established before the show even began, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t drama and growth. I liked how they struggled with the use of their powers, when it was morally right to use them for the cause and when it wasn’t.

While I really enjoyed the whole Thunderbird-Dreamer-Blink struggle, it was Eclipse and Polaris that caught my attention the most in the end. Their personalities mirror those of Professor X and Magneto (*cough* like father like daughter?*cough*) so much, which made their relationship even more intense, comprehensive but also bound to explode. If you follow the series until episode 13, you won’t be too surprised by how the season ends, as it reminds us of several stand offs in X-Men history.

Still, they are basically meant for each other. They literally create an aurora borealis, because that’s how their powers act when they are together.

Some of the episodes unfortunately have the tendency to fall into a predictable routine. It’s almost as if we were dealing with a case-of-the-week type scenario, which here is more like “how do we get the police off our backs” coupled with “the humans went off and thought they knew better once again”. It didn’t bother me too much, but it is something to be aware of as you go along. The stakes got higher with time though, and I appreciated that.

As I said, there’s already a second season in the works and I am really looking forward to seeing where our characters end up. Allegiances have shifted a bit by the end, so there’s definitely a lot to explore!

Have you watched The Gifted? What is your stance on mutants? Do you want to watch it now? Let’s talk!