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!

New TV Shows You Might Have Missed … (FOX)

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I told you those trailers would just be rolling in now! FOX doesn’t have the best track record of keeping the shows that I liked, but they renewed Lucifer for a second season – which was unexpected but I am super happy about! I would have been so mad if they had ended it on a cliffhanger. But here are the new things that FOX wants us to watch:

Making History

Adam Pally AND Leighton Meester – no matter how silly this looks, I AM GOING TO WATCH IT!

Pitch

I love the idea of this! Sports dramas are getting more popular, so I am looking forward to a woman being at the center of it.

Star

Considering that this was made by the same people as Empire, I am optimistic.

Shots Fired

I watched this and was wondering how it could be anything more than a mini-series and then the words “Event-Series” grazed the screen and I felt so proud for being able to deduce that from the beginning hahaha

Prison Break

WTF? After 8 years they are continuing the show??? I never expected that to happen to be honest. I wonder how that’s going to to affect their gig on Legends of Tomorrow …

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

If this works, it’s going to be amazing. But I will hold of judgement until I actually see an episode.

Lethal Weapon

I am not sure it was necessary to make this into a show. Why are they making everything into a show these days?

24: Legacy

I couldn’t even stomach the final couple of seasons of 24, so I doubt that I’ll be into a remake.

APB

The concept of a privatized police kind of scares me. Am I the only one?

The Mick

I have no words. This looks like such a mess!

Son of Zorn

Just nope. Comedies are getting weirder and weirder this season … I wonder how they shot that though. Was their a dude in motion-sensor-suit? Or did they just act with nothing?

The Exorcist

Guess who’s not going to watch this because she’s a wuss – ME! THAT’S RIGHT!

How about today? Any shows you might want to check out?

Fall Review: Limitless, The Muppets & Scream Queens

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am trying to review a lot of the new Fall Season TV shows. Today there are even three shows I want to talk about and all of them are very different in genre.

Limitless

Network: CBS
Cast: Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, Bradley Cooper, Ron Rifkin, …

I have to admit that I was positively surprised by this one. As the title already suggests, Limitless is based off the movie of the same title, but I didn’t actually expect it to be an extension of the existing story. It was great to see that Bradley Cooper (who played the main character in the movie) would actually be guest starring in a couple of episodes and therefore be a vital part of the story.

This time around the focus is on Brian Finch, a good guy who’s life isn’t really going anywhere. When his dad gets sick, it is time for him to step up. I liked that he didn’t take NZT-48 (the drug that enhances brain efficiency) for his own good, but mainly to help his dad and later to solve a murder case. I think Jake McDorman, who was very unlucky with his show Manhattan Love Story last year, fits this role alright, but doesn’t exactly stand out. I like his dynamic with Jennifer Carpenter‘s character though.

BUT it’s looking like this will be a sort of crime drama, seen as Finch will be a counselor for the FBI. The drug just becomes an excuse for him to go sherlock-ing around and that’s a bit boring in my opinion. However, I am interested to see how far he’ll be pushing his brain in other areas of his life. For now, I intend to continue watching this show!

The Muppets

Network: ABC

The Muppets is an attempt to bring the show into modern-day TV. I honestly am not sure how exactly I feel about it. It’s all a lot more grown-up now, which is fine, but I just didn’t think it was all that funny.

The show is a mix between a sort of Behind-the-scenes-mockumentary and just “normal” life on set of a late-night talk show. In my opinion it felt a bit forced every now and then and the different celebrity cameos didn’t help that much either. I think the show will have to be careful to not push it too far sometimes. I am sure it will gather a lot of curiosity, not just among nostalgic fans, but I just don’t know if that will be enough for the long-haul. The Muppets is definitely on the brink of loosing me as a viewer.

Scream Queens

Network: FOX
Cast: Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Diego Boneta, Lea Michele, Glen Powell, Nick Jonas, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Oliver Hudson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Grande, …

Okay, everyone who knows me, knows that this is not my genre. Anything with Horror, even if it’s Comedy-Horror, is just not an area where I feel very comfortable. I am a wuss, I admit it. However, there was such a big hype around Scream Queens and so many big names that I knew, I thought I should at least check it out.

I think the show is ridiculous. I just can’t deal with gross deaths and then some sort of comical scene. Barely any of the characters are really likable (or sane of mind) and that is such a shame because. The only people that really intrigue me so far are the characters of Diego Boneta, Skyler Samuels and Nick Jonas. At times the show is really predictable but then again I do sort of wonder who the serial killer is, but I don’t think I want to know it bad enough to keep watching this week after week. But if they keep killing characters (especially the celebrity kinds) like they did in the first two episodes, there soon won’t be many people left anyway.

In the end, I think you should check it out for yourself, seen as I am not the most reliable source in this kind of genre. Tell me what you think about it in the comments!

So, did you watch any of those shows? What are your thoughts?

A Court of Thorns and Roses Book Review

Everyone is raving about Sarah J. Maas and her brilliant books. I wanted to test my patience and wait until the series are all entirely released, but then I was at the bookstore and they didn’t have any of the books I wanted to buy. So, I ended up buying A Court of Thorns and Roses and definitely did not regret it since!

16096824Feyre is a huntress, not because she enjoys it so much but rather out of necessity to provide for her family. The forest is a dangerous place though, especially with rumours of the much hated faeries returning to the human world. When one day she encounters a wolf on her hunting grounds that’s about to attack the only prey she had seen all day, she kills it. What she didn’t know was that the wolf was a magical creature and that killing it had consequences.
Now she is given a choice: Die on the spot or leave her family forever to live out the rest of her life in the fairie kingdom.
But imprisoned in the foreign kingdom, Feyre’s feelings for her captor Tamlin slowly grow into something else and she may be the only one to help him save his world.

(For a full summary and more details on the book, just click on the cover to be redirected to Goodreads!)

ACOTAR has quite the fairy tale vibe just with actual fairies in it. The main plot resembles very much Beauty and Beast in the beginning and then there are elements thrown in from Cinderella and the Gallant Tailor and who knows what else. Since I love fairy tales of all kinds, I quite enjoyed that. Also, I always say there is nothing wrong with using familiar story elements as long as you add your own twist!

Feyre is the kind of person that’s very popular in today’s culture: badass female who does everything for her family, is responsible, smart and has a thing for archery. I liked her well enough as a main protagonist, but mostly enjoyed her musings about art and colours and light. The only thing that was a bit annoying is that she thought pretty much everything that had to do with faeries was impossible to paint. I got it the first ten times around.

Now, let’s talk about the even more important people in this book: the men! So, Tamlin is apparently super-hot, Lucien has a great sense of humour and Rhys is just really intriguing. Who wants to move to Prythian with me?
Okay no, but seriously, these guys are really easy to fall in love with. Apparently Tamlin is everyone’s favourite, but not mine. I much more enjoyed the scenes with Lucien and/or Rhys. Rhys sort of reminds me of Warner from the Shatter Me series … a bit of a psycho with a good heart. And what was that in the last chapter? I would love to see more of him in the second part, but I just hope that he doesn’t turn out to be some sort of Jacob to Tamlin being Edward Cullen. The mating process sounded a lot like imprinting to me …

So, overall it was a gripping read. It started out very calm, easing you into the world, getting to know everyone. And just when you thought everyone was happy and could live on like that forever the real action begins and there are some more gory scenes. I loved it!

Disclaimer: there are quite some sexy scenes in there! I definitely didn’t mind, but thought I should mention it.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Even though there was no cliffhanger, I want the next book RIGHT NOW!

P.S. I love how at the end of the book there is a guide on how to pronounce all the places, names and kinds of faeries. Some were obvious, but for others it was quite helpful!

Fantastic Four (2015) Movie Review

Okay, let me start with this: EVERYBODY NEEDS TO CHILL OUT AND BACK OFF THIS MOVIE! Are there better movies than Fantastic Four? Of course! Are there worst ones? Hell yeah! Clear enough? Good, then let’s start this review! (Spoiler-free)

So, for anyone who didn’t grasp the story from the trailer above, here you go: A bunch of young scientist attempt inter-dimensional travel, it goes wrong and they all develop unique abilities.

Now, it is true that the movie has its flaws. Josh Trank, the director, distanced himself from the final cut of the movie, saying that a year ago, he had a version the critics would’ve liked. Well, as much as I can imagine that, we’ll never know. I feel like it’s a really long origin story that takes its time to set everything up in great detail. You sort of give up hope for some action, but in the end there’s some sort of rushed final battle. In my eyes, it seems like the build-up for something that has yet to come, because not a lot happened in a movie that felt way too short.

Other people criticised the visual effects … well, I sort of have to agree on that one. Partially, they really didn’t look that great. With all those expensive Marvel and DC flicks out there, we sort of got spoiled in that department and I’m afraid that Fantastic Four really can’t always keep up. However, there is one point where I absolutely don’t agree with everyone else – the cast. I think they do have chemistry. I like the still distant and cautious, but growing relationship between Reed and Sue. I like the friendship between Ben and Reed. And I also very much like the awkward sibling-relationship between Sue and Johnny. They did waste an opportunity with Victor von Doom though. Yet, Miles Teller was as always a beacon of light for me, because he’s just a really good actor and it hurt me to watch his character be in such pain. (Funny enough, they even made sure that the kid actor who played young Reed had the same scars as Teller)

This reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise was definitely very different from the previous version, still being funny, but mostly being a lot darker. There seems to have been a lot of disharmony on set (What did I hear about an almost-fight between Teller and Trank breaking out?) and it sort of showed with the release. I kept this intentionally short, because there are already a gazillion reviews out there, but I didn’t feel like joining in with all the haters. I admit that this is not really a masterpiece and that there were a lot of better superhero movies in the past couple of years. Still, I can’t deny that I’d really like to see a sequel with this cast and now I’m not sure if it will ever happen. If it does, it definitely won’t be with Trank. In the end, I think everyone needs to chill a little and lower their expectations. What are your thoughts?

P.S.: There is no post-credit scene, so don’t wait for it … it’s only disappointing to sit there for nothing.

The Notebook TV Show!

Yes, my friend, you read that right! They are planning to turn the 2004 movie The Notebook starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (based on Nicholas Sparks novel of the same title) into a TV show!

notebook_a_h

 

The CW has teamed up with Nicholas Sparks himself, who’s been very involved with the movie adaptations of his books, to create a TV show out of the story. The project is purely in development right now, so there is no specific information available at the moment. Still, it makes you wonder if it could actually work.

It seems that TV shows based on movies are very much in demand right now. Just think about Dominion (based on Legion/on Syfy) as well as upcoming shows Minority Report (Fox), Limitless and Rush Hour (CBS). Yet, the Notebook is a pretty iconic movie by now and many people automatically associate it with Gosling and McAdams in the lead roles.  It is going to be extremely difficult to pick the right actor/actress to replace them and with the CW being the network to take on the project, I hope they’ll go with some fresh faces instead of some of their repertoire-actors and -actresses. Come on, they do tend to use the same people over and over just in different shows.

However, I am also sort of glad that this is done by the CW. Some people don’t like the network very much, but I actually really appreciate their content. Also, I think that, due to its very romantic tone, the Notebook will fit in nicely with the other shows. They have proven to be able to pull of a costume drama (Reign) as well, so I am not even that worried about the show being set after World War II. (As of now, the Notebook TV show will only feature Noah and Allie in their youth and not when they’re older, but that could still change.)

What do you think? Could this be the real deal or should they just leave it alone?

P.S.: Because I couldn’t resist, here’s a BuzzFeed video of guys watching the Notebook for the first time. See, it’s not only for girls!