Happy Galentine’s Day: A Web Series About a Group of Girls

I’ve long thought about what I would post this week. Obviously, I am going to do my yearly rendition of Kiss, Marry, Kill on Valentine’s itself, but it didn’t feel right to just do that alone. So, instead I also want to celebrate Galentine’s Day this year … because I can! All my fabulous friends who are always there for me when I am in need are simply too amazing not to be celebrated on their own day every year.

So, I was trying to come up with something creative when I realised, I could perfectly combine this with something I wanted to talk about for a while now – web series! The thing is, I mainly watch German language web series and very few of them are available internationally or with subtitles, so I don’t want to post about it and get your hopes up about cool new content when you can’t even understand a thing. Not so with this one though, so let me dive in about DRUCK!

A while back, I could not log onto Twitter without the word SKAM floating around somewhere. It took me a while to realise that it was a Norwegian web series, but back then I didn’t have the time or interest to really dig into the matter. However, that show became so widely popular that a bunch of countries adapted it and I am watching SKAM Germany aka DRUCK religiously (I also started watching SKAM France, but that’s a whole other matter).

But why did I think this was a good fit for today’s post? Well, even with the trailer showing a lot about the love life of the girls, it’s mostly about their friendship group and dynamic. Each of the two seasons (so far) has a focus on a different girl from the group. It’s about how they met, how they supported each other but also how they fought, had differences, overcame prejudices and grew. It’s not all black and white, these are teen girls that make mistakes and sometimes really bad ones! But that’s part of what makes the show feel so real. 

Another part of why I enjoy this show so much is that it operates on multiple platforms. On the one hand, you have the regular content on Youtube (click here if you want to watch the episodes in German, click here if you want to watch them with English subtitles). But even that is special, because throughout the week they release clips in what feels like “real time”. Say the scene plays on a Monday around 8AM, well, then the clip will be on uploaded to Youtube on Monday at 8AM. However, every Friday they post an entire episode which includes the clips from the week as well as new material.
Then in addition to this already pretty dope schedule, all the actors and actresses put their real life Instagram accounts on private and have public profiles as their character. That way they can post additional content in the shape of pictures or stories that won’t be featured in the actual episodes, but will add a certain touch of realness as well. And lastly, there’s the option of adding the show on Whatsapp, where they send you screenshots or voice messages the characters leave each other. (As well as updates about the show and new episodes) All of that makes the show incredibly interactive, even if you aren’t really interacting with them at all.

I know this was a super random post, but I hope you could still enjoy it to some extent. Feel free to ask me questions about the show, because I do realise it was rather short on the actual content of it, but it’s basically just teens in high school and the drama of their lives. I enjoy that sort of stuff!

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin (Book Review)

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Publisher: Orion
Page Count
: 496

Blood for Blood is the conclusion to the Wolf by Wolf duology (you can read my review for the first part here) and what an amazing one at that. I had the book at home for months now, but I dreaded finishing this little series, not really wanting it to end. Also, I felt like I had to be in the right mood for it, because of the whole World War II storyline and my relationship with that (already talked about that quite a bit in my other review).

This book broke me, but at the same time it was everything I could have wanted. Other than in Wolf by Wolf, we get multiple POVs and not just Yael’s, which in my opinion, serves the narrative greatly. While you never feel like you have all the information, you are way more in the loop about where everyone’s head is at. Yael’s actions from the first book definitely have consequences and affect her every relationship and even though I don’t condone what certain people did, reading chapters from their point of view made me understand their decisions. Also, you get a glimpse into their past as well, which shows how circumstances can shape people and how lives are intertwined without us realising it sometimes. Once again I feel pretty good about predicting some major plot twists, however, there will forever be one that I am not happy about. For obvious spoiler reasons I am not going to go into detail about it though. But the gif below, that was me! DESTROYED AND IN SHOCK!

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I cried, I laughed, I was very involved once again. Right from the beginning it was action-packed and defying all my expectations for how this story could possibly play out. I actually thought that this would be a whole longer series than just the two books, but Blood for Blood has one of the most perfect closing sentences and I will forever cherish that tale for sure.

Noooow, there is one more thing I need to talk about and it’s something I also talked about in the review for the first book – the use of the German language. As a native speaker I am here to tell you, they used it all wrong. It already bothered me a little bit during Wolf by Wolf, but this time around I could barely go three pages without having to complain to someone (thanks for listening to me about that – you know who you are!). I didn’t really make that part of my rating though, because that would have meant such a huge reduction of stars and I actually like the story very much. So, here goes nothing, I am hoping this makes sense to you, but I mostly just need to vent.

  • Curse words: okay, I get it. The author used words even a non-German speaker could kind of grasp the understanding of such as verdammt or scheiße (and YES that is how you actually write that word, not with a double s), however, during the 1940s that wasn’t nearly as common of a curse word as it is these days. So, it does not necessarily make sense to use it so very often. Aside from that, the author used expressions that only exist in the English language such as “I don’t give a shit”. Now, they replaced one word (in this case “shit”) with the German equivalent, but since the saying doesn’t exist in the same form in my language, it again makes no sense. Therefore the use of words felt random and just for the sake of putting something German in there.
  • Nouns: You cannot use nouns as verbs or adjectives, also, they are always written with a capital letter. In addition to that, the ending of the word depends on whether it is singular or plural and the placement of it in the sentence. There are just so many grammatical issues I have with the way words were used. Unfortunately, I am also not sure that even the author understood all the words. Again, a couple of examples.
    • You cannot be dummkopf, however, you can be a Dummkopf.
    • You cannot blitzkrieg someone. Blitzkrieg is a military term and refers to quick military actions to prevent further escalation. It’s a method of warfare, yet it was used so often and casually in the book that even I started to doubt the actual meaning of the word. In fact, I don’t even know what it really meant in the context of the story sometimes.
  • The names: This was actually something that bothered me right from the beginning of the duology. I discussed the names with my mother and even she agreed that most of them would not be authentically German.
    • Luka Löwe LITERALLY means Luka Lion. Aside from the fact that I think that Luka is a rather modern name (that could just be me), he is supposed to be this hot womanizer and all I could see was an animated lion. It just takes away so much of the credibility and the earnestness if the main love interest has such a ridiculous name.
    • Why is every other character’s last name the one of an animal? We already clarified the meaning of Löwe. Wolfe anyone? (Still unhappy about the -e at the end of that name. If I could show you how silly that sounds pronounced in German, you would understand.) Baasch? (That’s not actually an animal, but Barsch is a fish and there’s really not that much of a difference here anymore.)
    • So many of the names were English-fied (again, well aware that’s not a word, but I think you get my meaning). There were letters added or taken away that just made the name sound … wrong? Some names were turned into nicknames NO German speaking person would use. I could see some of it working in this day and age, because we’re are such a global community, but not in the 40s and 50s, especially if German is the main language in that universe.

See, I would not have complained if those mistakes had happened once or twice … but they were constantly present. There was barely a time when they used the correct German word or phrase. So, what I don’t understand is why the publisher, who surely has a partner company in Germany or something, didn’t send it to them to check for those things? It would be such an easily avoidable thing to prevent frustration among everyone who DOES speak the language. Because let’s face it, not everyone of us has English as their mother tongue, yet most of us read in that language. I, for one, would really appreciate that.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! (but only because I didn’t take the language problems into consideration!)

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Now that the duology is finished, will you read it too? Have you already read it?

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

I’ve never seen the TV series from back in the day, but I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E.! The review is spoiler-free, but I can’t promise the same about the comments!

Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy

Length: 116  minutes

Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant, Luca Calvani, Jared Harris, …

Director: Guy Ritchie

So, the movie is placed in the year 1963 and is about an American agent, Solo, and a Russian agent, Illya, who have to work together to protect a German mechanic who’s father is on the brink of developing a nuclear bomb. Sounds confusing, but isn’t really if you watch it. Loyalties will be tested and there may be some unforeseen twists (although they are not completely surprising if you watch closely).

I should probably start by saying that I like Guy Ritchie‘s movies. His style, although it may be a bit too much at times (I am looking at you shaky-camera-scenes!), is just so fitting for the setting and cool to watch. It includes a lot of split-screens, genius angles and shots seen through mirrors, perfect costumes and a very fun soundtrack. Nonetheless, I went in to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with fairly low expectations, being pleasantly surprised within the first couple of minutes of the movie.

At the beginning my friend and I were the only ones laughing, but we honestly didn’t care – to us the movie was hilarious. Then after a while, and I don’t know if it was because of our loud giggles or really just because of the movie, the rest of the audience joined in and by the end everyone was laughing together. I seriously did not expect the movie to be so hilarious, but the main trio consisting of Cavill, Hammer and Vikander is just too good. Those three really made the movie what it was and I would be more than happy to see them working together in several sequels (which this movie definitely set up) or a continuation of the story in TV format (although that is more than just unlikely and not planned whatsoever – just my dream …). It is no secret that I am a huge Alicia Vikander fan and love her in everything she does from Ex_Machina to Testament of Youth, but seeing her in a more playful and lighter role made me love her even more. Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill really did a great job with their accents and were genius as a duo (but I still like them better with Vikander in the mix as well)!

If there was one thing I had to complain about, it’s the German in the movie. There were a couple of actors who were actually German (like Gaby’s father and uncle) and they were of course fine, but Cavill butchered the language and Vikander was difficult to understand as well. Also, Vikander did not have a German accent when she was speaking English, I don’t know what kind of accent it was, but definitely not German. But that is beside the point. Even if they had no idea what they were saying, couldn’t they at least have had a vocal coach teach them how to pronounce it? I guess I am being too demanding here, but it would have been even cooler (but maybe less funny) if they did it the right way.

Fazit: If you want to watch something fun and entertaining, yet still action-packed, I’d recommend it!!!

We Are The Night

we are the nightWe Are the Night is a vampire-thriller from Germany 2010. Since the market for vampire related movies and shows is pretty saturated, it is difficult to come up with something interesting yet still entertaining. We Are the Night has found a good balance between the emotional side of the story as well as the action-packed, cool side.

The movie revolves around a trio of female vampires on the one side and the relationship between a cop and a low-life criminal called Lena on the other side. When Lena unwillingly gets turned into a vampire as well, she has to deal with her new surroundings, powers and feelings.

I, personally, liked the story because it dealt with the different stages of lonliness and solitude every immortal being has to deal with, but didn’t just have the heavy emotional sides to it. Also, the dynamic between the actors is great, especially the one between Tom (Max Riemelt) and Lena (Karoline Herfurth). If you enjoy the general genre of vampire-stories, you should definitely check out We Are the Night. Further cast members are: Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich and Anna Fischer.

Do you know the movie? Did you think it was a good take on vampirism or just another lame story?