What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #64

I remember when I used to do these posts almost weekly, but here we are with them popping up maybe once or twice a month. I guess a lot of my time has been diverted to reading, so I can get my challenges and experiments done in time. I don’t regret spending my time differently, but I do miss binging all day sometimes. Still, I have a decent amount of things to talk about again!

The White Lotus (Season 1)

The show makes you feel uncomfortable, but simultaneously keeps you interested in a way only an HBO show can. We’ve all met these sort of entitled, troubled, lost people before and some of us might even be able to find part of ourselves in them. I’m so very glad I don’t work in a hotel anymore, although that part, too, was relatable. It’s not exactly laugh out loud funny, but it’s definitely top notch dark humor.

You may think you know where this show is headed, but there’s some really good, partly grotesque turns along the way. All the actors did such an amazing job, but that ending … it’s not going to be for everyone.

CODA

This might be one of, if not my absolute, favorite movie of the year!

CODA, meaning Child Of Deaf Adults, is a movie about family in the most beautiful way. Ruby is the only hearing person in her family and that comes with many responsibilities. However, her true passion is singing, something none of her loved ones can quite comprehend. And so, a tale of self-discovery, love and obligation and letting go ensues.

I seriously cried my way through the final scenes, because I was so touched by the whole story. It was beautiful to have deaf representation that showed the struggle on both point of views and didn’t put any blame or take a side in the process. I can only highly recommend this movie! Please, go watch it!

The below music/lyric video is amazing, but does contain some spoilers in case you want to avoid them.

Resort to Love

Resort to Love is the kind of cheesy romance movie I like. It’s predictable, sweet and like a warm hug in most cases. After Falling Inn Love, I also knew that Netflix had a plan for Christina Milan and I’m here for it. I know that these kind of movies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like that kind of stuff, it’s definitely worth a watch.

The Kissing Booth 3

I’M SO GLAD THIS MOVIE FRANCHISE IS FINALLY DONE!

I don’t really know why I did this to myself, but it was kind of fun to make fun of the first movie. Then I sort of stumbled into the second and finally, I felt like I couldn’t pass up on the last part of it. In the beginning, I didn’t hate it, but by the end of it, I really couldn’t stand it anymore? Most of these characters were unreasonably rich, immature and co-dependant. It was just difficult for me to root for anyone. Also, there was absolutely no need for this movie to be two hours long.

Shows I Watch Weekly

Last time, I talked about a bunch of shows I watch on a weekly basis and since that worked well for me, I’m going to continue doing it!

Roswell, New Mexico (Season 3) – So far, I like the season better than the last one, although it still doesn’t reel me in as much as the first one did. I can’t explain why at all, but there are definitely still aspects I love. I always look forward to every single scene with Maria and I’m kind of intrigued by the blossoming Rosa/Wyatt relationship. Undecided on whether I’m for it, but I’m definitely interested in seeing more.

Ted Lasso (Season 2) – Ted Lasso giving its characters more room to develop without pitting them all against each other is beautiful to watch. I feel there’s still something the season is building up to, a big blow up of some sort, and I’m not ready for it.

Animal Kingdom (Season 5) – As suspected, I prefer binging it rather than tuning in weekly. It’s been dragging a bit for me.

Stargirl (Season 2) – I’m really happy the show is back! So far, my obsession hasn’t reached the same height as last summer, but seeing these characters on a regular basis again warms my heart.

Gossip Girl (mid-season finale) – I’m so over Obie and his indecisiveness. Also, there’s no way he and his mother are German. I’m going to headcanon them as Belgian now.

Superman & Lois (Season 1 finale) – Sad and excited at the same time that we ended on the cliffhanger we ended on. I’m really looking forward to more here.

Schmigadoon (Season 1 finale) – As someone who is not a big fan of musicals, this show was alright. I did expect more from the finale though.


What have you been watching lately? Do you plan on checking out or have maybe already watched some of the things above?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #63

I thought it would be nice to do one more of these posts before the end of the month. I thought I haven’t been watching very much, but in reality, I’ve just not been able to binge a lot. So, at the end of this post, you’ll find shows that I’m currently watching as they release weekly, in case you want to talk about any of those. I’ll keep my thoughts in the post to a brief sentence, but feel free to go more in depth in a discussion! I’m always down for TV talk!

Outer Banks (Season 2)

I was so very pumped to get this show back, because it was my absolute obsession last summer. I like the way it mixes The OC with what feels like the Goonies and has some really well rounded characters in it. Returning to that world now, I didn’t vibe as much with the show as I did last time.

Kiara used to be my favorite character alongside JJ, but they made some very odd choices for her storyline. While there were some unrealistic scenarios before, I couldn’t help but get annoyed or frustrated with certain character changes and choices this time around. Some problems literally would have been non-existent if people could just control their temper (and I’m not talking about the bad guys here), but most of all, I’m surprised that these kids aren’t dead. As much as I want them all safe and sound, I can’t wrap my head around some of them still being alive. It just … didn’t make sense.

But now on to the things I liked. I’m so glad that Pope got a bigger spotlight this season, because I felt like he was a bit forgotten in Season 1. We start to dive into his family more and ultimately manage to continue the treasure hunt element in a way that ties it neatly to previous events and gives us plenty of material for the future. JJ remains a favorite, just because he is super messy and funny and I want to give him a hug. Also, we get a new character that I adore – Cleo! They really did us all a favor by introducing her.

The last thing I want to say is, it very much feels like they are trying to set everyone up as a couple now, all the pairs ready to go. As much as I shipped Kiara and JJ last time and can see them wanting to put Cleo and Pope together, I kind of understand all the people shipping JJ and Pope, Kiara with John B or Sarah and Cleo. Not gonna lie, in that group, almost any pairing makes sense. I hope they won’t shy away from including something a little less … heteronormative.

Never Have I Ever (Season 2)

I had fun with the season, although I have to say that the secondhand embarrassment and cringe sometimes becomes a bit much for me. Where Season 1 had a tendency to go deeper on Ben rather than Paxton, this season switched things around and focused on Paxton instead. It’s really hard to choose a team (although I still think I might favor Ben?), but in the end, I like seeing Devi develop outside of the boys as well. Her family dynamic is always so interesting to me and I like that she doesn’t always have her emotions in check. I hope they can elaborate on these aspects without having to introduce new characters each season.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 2)

Again, I wasn’t vibing with this season as much as the last, but I enjoyed some different characters getting their due spotlight and especially for Courtney and Carlos getting to sing. My favorite in all of this, however, remains Gina. I love her character and I just want happiness for her. I’m so over the whole Rini drama, it’s the least fun part of the entire show. Ashley and Big Red are a way superior couple, if we have to focus on those …

The Last Letter From Your Lover

When I starte the movie, the aesthetic and split timeline gave me huge W./E. vibes (a film directed by Madonna), which is a plus in my eyes. In the end, it was a lovely movie with very few surprises. I think you pretty much get what you expect and that’s not a bad thing. I would say that it didn’t need a run time of almost two hours, but the visuals were very nice. I was definitely drawn to it by the cast and they all delivered what I wanted from them. I don’t think it will be a story that necessarily lingers in your mind very long, but it’s sweet and hopeful and romantic (if you can tune out all the cheating).

Shows I Watch Weekly

Gossip Girl (Reboot) – I’m really enjoying myself with this one, even though I cannot stand the teachers at all. As for actual teen characters, I need a little bit more development from a lot of them, but it all feels very promising.

Roswell, New Mexico (Season 3) – Last year, I declared Maria and Gregory as my crackship AND THEY ARE MAKING IT INTO A REAL SHIP. (I’d like to think that me campaigning for them as a couple was partially responsible for that new storyline.)

Schmigadoon – It’s a musical. It’s a relationship drama. It’s hilarious and unexpected.

Ted Lasso (Season 2) – Did not expect Ted to have such a hard time with the idea of therapy, but just happy to have my comfort show back!

Superman & Lois – I haven’t talked about the show much, but I kind of love it? The fact that this is so much about family and less about the superhero business makes it really endearing to me. Also, the twins (especially Jonathan) are great.

Animal Kingdom (Season 5) – Eh, I always enjoy this one more when I binge it rather than watching it weekly, but we’ll see how long I stick with it this time around.

Good Trouble (Season 3) – I’m so sorry to say that I mostly watch for Davia, because there’s so many great and important storylines, but … I do.

A bunch of reality TV – I need something that doesn’t require my brain to actively work, so I frequently tune in to Love Island (UK), The Hills: New Beginnings, Siesta Key …


What are your thoughts? Do we watch some of the same stuff? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #62

I’ve watched shockingly little as of late, so it took me quite a while to garner enough material for another post of What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching. I decided to leave out the backdoor pilot for All American: Homecoming and the pilot for Gossip Girl, but if you want to talk about those – I’m all ears in the comments! Now on to what I actually planned for this post.

Elite (Shorts before the start of S4)

I still haven’t watched the actual Season 4 (as I said, I’ve barely been watching anything as of late), so please no spoilers for that just yet. I’ll definitely post about it once I got around to it though. As for the shorts, I think there was an order in which to watch them, but I just went by who I liked most … anyway, I tried to talk about them in the order you should watch them below though. At least I think so.

Carla/Samuel

Honestly, those two always bored me a little. The fact that their short story started with one of my most dreaded tropes (the “chase to the airport before the love interest leaves” will never be something I enjoy … having worked at an airport and all) didn’t exactly help me warm up to them. Can’t say much more than that, but if you’re a fan … maybe you’d like them more?

Omar/Ander/Alexis

I like Omar and Ander, but they are messy and this was such a sad short for them. I guess it helped ease the viewers into something that will happen in S4 (from what I heard), but I wasn’t 100% sure if the short was the right format for the emotionality of it all. It worked for me, but I think it could have been even more effective with more time.

Guzmán/Caye/Rebe

Can I just say that this was the oddest trio to pick? I mean, I don’t remember a single scene where these characters had shared the screen in a meaningful way before, so it was just odd. Their short gave off major chaotic energy, which was probably supported by the fact that they were high for a huge part of it.

Nadia/Guzmán

This was the one short I came for and I loved it. Their relationship was always so interesting to me, despite also hitting a few clichés on the way and I love to see them continue to work on it. Long distance is hard, but it can work and they’d be good candidates for it.

Good on Paper

It’s still so wild to me that this is based on Iliza Shlesinger’s (the lead actress) actual real life experiences. You might be familiar with a lot of the themes and some of the scenes from her stand up programs, I mean, the woman really milked that break up, but the movie was still fun and just good for her. You have to watch it to understand just how messed up it all is.

Black Widow

This movie is … about five years too late. Like, literally most of the movie takes part right after Civil War and that’s when we should have all been able to watch it. I stand by that opinion and don’t think I will change it anytime soon. However, that doesn’t make it any less great of a film.

As much of the phase 4 productions have proven, the cinematography of this era of Marvel content is just on a whole other level. Everything feels grounded, natural, obviously beautiful and yet doesn’t hold back on the spectacular fights and grand-scale visuals we are used to. The casting was also impeccable, especially the younger versions of Natasha and Yelena were the perfect lookalikes.

I honestly do not know how Nat made it through the entire movie, because her injuries and recovery were surreal. However, all of this was still such a lovely tale about (found) family, proving that Nat had more than “just” the Avengers and that she deserves her badass status. I’m going to look forward to seeing some of these new characters appear again in the future. The post-credit scene promises great things!


Have you watched any of the things I mentioned? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #57

I’ve watched a decent amount of shows and movies, so, I figured it was time to do mini-reviews again. It has gotten increasingly hard to get enthusiastic about content, which I know I’ve mentioned a couple times already, but I still hope you’ll enjoy the following recaps of my watch habits.

The Irregulars (Season 1)

I don’t know how many of you remember this from the trailer posts, but I was really excited for this show. I’ve always enjoyed stories in the Sherlock realm and this one seemed promising in terms of paranormal excitement. However, I found myself really struggling to get into the whole thing. Parts of it were a bit more horrifying than I might have imagined (getting all my teeth stolen and someone skinning faces and using it for themselves is some of the stuff my nightmares are made of), but I also just didn’t connect to the characters right away. In fact, I actively disliked people such as Jessica and Watson, which were essential for the story and integrity of the group.

All of that aside, I kept watching and while I found a lot of the plot predictable, the final two episodes is where the real heart of the show was lying. Especially in those final moments, I was close to tears and fully invested, so the pay off was 100% there in the end … but it takes its time.

For fans of: Sherlock lore, paranormal events, misfits and found family

Wynonna Earp (Final Season SPOILERS)

*full post on Wynonna Earp and my love for it from the beginning can be found here*

I’ve been a Wynonna Earp fan from the get go. I own a replica Wynonna necklace and a friend once gifted me one of Waverly’s necklaces (to date, one of the best gifts I have ever received and don’t know how to repay) as well as signed copies of the comic books topped with a personalized thank you video from Tim Rozon who plays Doc. So yes, I’m an Earper and not afraid to say it. But … the past two seasons have been a struggle.

With the network and production company struggles, adding the delays due to covid and the constant uncertainty of whether the show would find a new home or not had dampened my excitement considerably. I would be lying if I said I couldn’t wait to tune into each episode, because I just let those episodes pile on and … now the show is over. I know there’s still some hope out there for it to get picked up by someone else, but I was actually pleased with the ending we got.

If you think about it, that final episode gave us almost everything we wanted (cause no one can give us Dolls back and that’s the real shame). I felt like a lot of the past seasons skimmed on Wynonna and Doc thinking or talking about their daughter, so them seeking her out is my ultimate happily ever after. The WayHaught wedding was the pinnacle of what I had envisioned for them and all the remaining characters got a hopeful outlook as well. It was just such a generally sweet goodbye that anything more would ruin that in way?

For fans of: supernatural westerns, badass female characters

Godzilla vs. Kong

Do you watch these movies for plot? Cause then I can promise you this will be a painful experience. The humans are more of a detriment than helpful in most cases, and when they do add to the narrative, they prove to have miraculous insight in something they had no prior knowledge of before. When I’m being completely honest though, it does not matter one bit. I loved seeing Kong communicate and bond with a little deaf girl – she is truly the star of that movie! (And we are going to ignore that she is from the Iwi tribe, which is like saying Chai tea or naan bread … cause Iwi in the Māori-language just means people or “tribe” … so they’d be tribe tribe. But whatever … that’s way beyond my expectations for this movie anyway).

These movies are really supposed to be watched for the monsters bashing each other and for plotholes to be conveniently forgotten or ignored. AND THAT’S OKAY! Do we need to discuss how a high ranking officer’s teen daughter got from the US to Hong Kong? No, let’s just watch Godzilla in Hollow Earth instead. Isn’t Hollow Earth powered by radiation dangerous to humans? Who cares, we have a research center down there now and apparently sunshine as well. You get my drift …

For fans of: monsters fighting each other

Thunder Force

This movie is ridiculous! I am sure there’s people out there who enjoy the humor, but I’m afraid it’s just not my cup of tea. The man who was half-crab … I will never be able to forget that imagery of her buttering him up. I just won’t.

Don’t get me wrong, it also has some really nice moments about friendship and family and I enjoyed those very much. It’s just that I didn’t find the funny parts all that funny, but cringy instead, so it was a bit of a mediocre watch. I don’t think it’s a must watch.

For fans of: ridiculousness in the superhero realm

Endings, Beginnings

TW: rape, drug use

People don’t hate this movie, but I barely know anyone who actually liked or enjoyed it a lot – then *I* came along!

Endings, Beginnings is 90% vibes and 10% plot. It’s slow and disjointed and introspective. The storytelling is anything but straight forward and I believe you have to be in a very specific mood to be able to fall in love with it as much as I did. 

Aside from the fact that I know that a lot of the performances were improvised and seemed genuinely authentic, this will make you fall in love with these actors and actresses even more than you possibly were before. I know people mostly watched it for Sebastian Stan (and I GET THAT), but I connected to Shailene’s character so much more than I anticipated. Not allowing yourself to be loved, being adrift, finding your purpose – it hit home way too hard. I really do believe that I will think about this movie and its message for a while, even if you never get a neat end to it.

For fans of: more vibes than plot, non-linear storytelling, “moment in time” rather than conclusive storytelling


Have you watched any of these or do you plan to? What have you been watching lately and do you think I’d enjoy? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #54

It’s not been two weeks yet, but I still wanted to talk about a couple things I watched, because I didn’t want the list to get too long. It’s also a decent mix of shows and movies at the moment, so I gotta seize that opportunity to hopefully create a well rounded post!

Lupin (Part 1)

I’ve always been a fan of Omar Sy and not just because of the Intouchables or whatever it was called in English, but because he is a fantastic actor. Seeing him as the lead in this gentleman-thief-esque story had me so excited and the show did not disappoint. Everyone I know enjoyed this and even though I warned my parents about the massive cliffhanger, they binged it too. Well, at least we can all be happy to know that the next part in the series is coming this summer already! (I have a sneaking suspicion that they filmed more and then split it up)

Please, do yourself the service of watching it in French with subtitles. I know dubbed versions exists, but the voices are just so much better in the original.

For fans of: Omar Sy, international Netflix content, heists, thieves, revenge stories

Equinox (Season 1)

When I first saw the trailer of Equinox, it felt like a Danish Dark in a way and … that is a fairly accurate description of the show, just adding more of a mythology aspect to it. I should probably mention that this is based on a Danish podcast “Equinox 1985”, which was super popular and sounded like a true crime podcast, but was actually fiction. I’d be interested to see more podcasts turned into shows.
At times a bit too slow for my taste (and I usually like slow, but if I can skip 30 minutes and not miss a thing … eh, time to overthink that scene), it still had me interested in its mystery.

I know I shouldn’t compare it to Dark so much (and it’s not Dark and nothing will be as good as Dark, but yeah, here we are anyway), but it had that same generation-spanning, “who is behind this?” and time-warpy feeling. I also didn’t like any of the characters really, which much reminds me of the beginning of Dark too, but it was still such an interesting ride. You get some, but not all the answers in Season 1. To me, it felt like it could be a limited series and end there with some things in the air, but I think they might continue the show. (nothing is renewed yet)

For fans of: international Netflix content, Dark, the OG podcast?

Onward

I was unsure because some of the voice-actor-casting, but eventually, I just wanted another emotional animated movie and I really liked it. I enjoy when stories focus on family and grief, as you probably know if you have been a long-time reader of this blog. I thought that especially the brother-relationship was done so well and I ended up crying. As I often always do with Pixar movies. This is definitely one for the whole family!

For fans of: movies about family and magic

To All the Boys 3: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Okay, so … I wasn’t sure if I should read the book before or after the movie. I have done it both ways already and I always liked the thing that I read/watched first better, which is also the case here with me having read Always and Forever before watching it. I liked some of the improvements in the movie, like Margot not completely hating Mrs. Rothschild and the Lara Jean and Gen growth was magnificent, but there were also some bits and pieces I really missed.

I thought the dad-storyline with Peter felt rushed and his mother never even appeared in this one at all. She was kind of elemental in some ways. I also did not grasp why Chris dated Trevor? I will never object to having Ross Butler on my screen for however little time, but I did not feel their point exactly. The family issues on the Covey-Song front just fell a bit short for me as well, although they attempted to include parts of it.

In general, I believe that choosing between what’s right for your own future and wanting to be with someone is a decent premise. It’s also a bittersweet and cutesy ending to this series. I still believe that the first one was the best movie though and I whole-heartedly believe it’s because it was directed by a woman and like in so many other cases, the sequels were directed by men who definitely let Peter shine more than Lara Jean (this is more of a dig towards movie 2 than 3 …).

For fans of: the previous movies, the cast, the books, cutesy romcoms

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

My brain tells me that this was an average movie, but my heart really really loved it. Much alike to Palm Springs, this feels like a not-so-tired version of the groundhog-day-scenario, just targeted at teens.

I thought that the casting was really charming, it never felt too long for me and had a way that made you cherish the small things as well as some deeper things in life. Maybe the logic doesn’t work out entirely (because … is that really how it all started?), but it still feels sweet and warm and sad. I cried, but not ugly-cried, so this was a good kind of sad.

For fans of: Palm Springs but make it teen, groundhog-day-scenarios


Did you watch any of these as well? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #49

As mentioned already, at least I think I’ve said it before, I now have designated binge-days on Friday where I really tear into new releases and then finish them over the weekend. That way, I feel super up to date and can share my thoughts on a lot of things with you in a quick fashion. If you ever want more detailed reviews again, please let me know! I just figure that these short mini-reviews get more done, but maybe you’d want to know more!

The Wilds (Season 1)

I don’t want to go into a lot of detail, because I really don’t want to spoil anything for you. Suffice to say, this show is very character-driven and what brilliant characters they are. Maybe you won’t always like everyone right away, but they are complex and authentic and will inevitably grow on you.

There’s a couple good “WTF!?” moments, even if I found some of the twists and turns predictable because I watched too much similar content. It’s all very twisted and disturbing and deals with heavy subject matters such as mental health, predatory relationships, body image issues, adultification and judgment of gay relationships. Add to that that they are teen girls stranded on remote islands and I think the potential for conflict is clear.

For fans of: Lost, the Maze Runner but with girls, female-centric plots

Tiny Pretty Things (Season 1)

I have not read the book this is based on and cannot tell you if it is a faithful adaptation. I saw a lot of people in the book community excited, so I’d like to think it’s close to the source material, but I also saw that names of main characters were changed, so … I don’t know.

The promotion for this show was very misleading. It made it look like Neveah would be the lead character, therefore having a focus on a black ballerina, which would have been cool but is not actually the case. However, in reality, Tiny Pretty Things is very much an ensemble show and Neveah’s character gets sidelined a lot. I thought it was important to mention that.

Having said that, I watched Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (a brilliant short documentary about Debbie Allen’s dance academy) before this show and it introduced Kylie Jefferson, who plays Neveah, to me ahead of time. I grew quite attached to her and didn’t mind that the acting wasn’t always top notch. This show hired dancers rather than actors and sometimes that’s quite obvious, but the dance scenes are all the better for it.

I am not going to say that it’s the best show out there, but I did enjoy myself. The relationships kept changing and I really enjoyed a certain bromance and some ships, despite the ones I wanted to happen not happening.

For fans of: Black Swan, Flesh and Bone, Center Stage, ballet, the book this is based on

The Mess You Leave Behind (Season 1)

Not gonna lie, I started this show solely because of Aron Piper, who you might know from another Spanish hit Netflix show – Elite. The Mess You Leave Behind also deals with the unraveling of the death of someone in a tight-knit community and an “outsider” coming in and figuring things out. However, this is the more “adult” version of Elite I suppose. Anyway, Aron can play the biggest douchebag and I’d still enjoy his face on my screen.

The Mess You Leave Behind seemed like a limited series to me and I don’t think I would need/necessarily want another season. The characters were sometimes hard to root for, but eventually they do grow on you. Although, I still don’t agree with a lot of stuff that happened, it was an aesthetically pleasing show.

For fans of: Spanish Netflix content, Aron Piper?, thrillers, mental health examination

Home for Christmas (Season 2)

I love this show! The main character, Johanne, is so messy, but you simply want her to be happy and find that person she is looking for. Episodes are very short, so, you kind of blink and the new season is over again, but it still leaves you with a happy feeling. This time around, there is no cruel cliffhanger, but instead you see her ending up with someone you might not have necessarily guessed in the first season. I adored the ending and would love maybe one more season to see them make it work.

For fans of: Norwegian Netflix productions, messy adult love life

The Mandalorian (Season 2)

This season was so good!

The Mandalorian has quickly proven to be far better than the sequel trilogy and restored a lot of people’s faith into the Star Wars franchise, including myself. They weave characters from the past into the storyline so effortlessly and brilliantly, it’s just a joy to watch. You never cease to get that giddy feeling when a familiar face pops up and they don’t mess up the integration of the character. I am genuinely happy we will get more seasons of this.

For fans of: Star Wars?

Safety

You know that I have a thing for sports stories, American Football alongside Baseball and Ice Hockey in particular, so this movie would have been interesting to me anyway. The fact that Hunter Sansone, from Stargirl, had a role in this as well and kept promoting it a lot and me being happy that he was getting more roles had me downright pumped.

Safety was such a nice movie! In true Disney fashion, it does not get as dark as the real life circumstances probably were and yes, this is based on someone’s life and I am sure it wasn’t always easy. But it had you invested and rooting for everyone to be successful despite ridiculous rules. Definitely sweet and inspiring, something for the whole family. 

For fans of: inspiring sports movies, tight family, found family trope


Did you watch any of these programs as well? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #47

Since I’ve had more time again, I’ve spent it in front of screens a lot. Aside from tearing through some MasterClasses, I binged a couple shows and movies, which I’m now, once again, going to share with you!

Grand Army (Season 1)

TW: sexual assault, adultification, terrorism, racial profiling, racial injustice

I feel like Grand Army is Netflix’ response to HBO’s Euphoria. We follow a group of teens through a rough time in High School with the portrayal being relatable and closer to reality than some of the glossier shows airing these days. I understand when people say they don’t just want a copy of Euphoria, but, as someone who struggled a lot with that show a lot, I actually preferred Grand Army. It doesn’t bank on visuals as much as Euphoria and in that sense, made it easier for me to connect with the characters.

At the end of this show, I was emotionally exhausted. I love to binge watch and rarely don’t do it, but Grand Army really had me take breaks between episodes because it was getting just so darn heavy. It’s not a perfect show, I don’t think that exists, but I loved how so many really difficult issues were handled and openly discussed such a variety of struggles without making it seem preachy.

For fans of: Euphoria but less stylized, realistic teen struggles

Over Christmas (Season 1)

In only three episodes, you follow Basti’s (probably) worst Christmas ever. His brother is now dating his ex, his parents are keeping secrets from him and he isn’t as honest with his friends as he used to be. The premise is fairly easy and includes a lot of elements (I’d almost say clichées) that most of us have seen in other productions. It’s not that it’s bad show, but when Basti eventually blows up and ruins everyone’s life in the process, I had a hard time sympathising with him.

BRIEF SPOILER MOMENT

Especially considering that he outed one of his friends to the entire town and they just brushed it off like that wasn’t some super evil thing to do, nevermind that he was angry at his friend for not telling him he was gay. Like … you really gotta make it all about you, huh?

SPOILER MOMENT ENDED

The show was just three episodes and only showed three days in the life of this chaotic family. It had some nice bonding moments, but also felt a bit over-acted at times. It’s an okay way to spend a couple hours, but it could have seriously fit into a movie too.

For fans of: Luke Mockridge, predictable Christmas stuff

Virgin River (Season 2)

This show was a surprise to me when I started it a year or so ago. I was so pleasantly surprised in turn afterwards when it got renewed almost immediately. To those who thought the previous season finale was cruel, this one will have you nothing but stressed.

Mel and Jack truly have some of the most natural and sizzling on screen chemistry and make this show so watchable! For me, personally, the “crime” element has started to take over a bit too much at times. I am not saying this is a crime show, because it is decidedly not, but I prefer the more human dilemmas that are about relationships and life circumstances rather than stuff that needs police involvement.

For fans of: small town charming romances with a lot of drama

Stargirl

I have not read the book and this has absolutely nothing to do with the show Stargirl, just thought I’d clarify that up front.

I’d definitely say it is targeted towards a younger audience, but not in a bad way at all. As far as lovers of the book go, they thought this version of Stargirl (the person) wasn’t as quirky and charming, but I found her absolutely enchanting (probably, because I had nothing to compare her to). Stargirl is one of those people that will come into your life, turn it upside down, teach you empathy and compassion and then vanish without a trace. I think there was definitely potential to go deeper and it was generally pretty slow moving, but the message came across. For one, it’s all about being YOU, but also so much about making mistakes and learning from them, showing compassion towards others without any gain for yourself and to not put people on pedestals. They are always bound to fall off.

For fans of: quirky “magic” girls

Black Beauty

Again, just to say that up front, I haven’t read the book, even though I know it’s a classic.

When I was little, I went riding at a stable that had a lot of rescue horses. Not all of them were suitable for children and there were some I loathed to ride, but mostly I was fine. I had my favourite horses and when I got them, all was good. Still, I fell a lot and eventually turned to other hobbies when it became more of a chore than a joy to go riding, but my inner horse girl always remained in some part.

This movie has absolutely beautiful cinematography and had me tearing up almost every other minute. But it’s also a fairly slow moving story and the heavy reliance on narration probably won’t be to everyone’s liking. However, I did like it overall. It gave me all the whimsical and nostalgic feels that I want in a horse movie.

For fans of: horse stories


What have you been watching lately? Do you want to see any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #45

Once again, I have watched more movies than TV shows. IT JUST HAPPENED! It feels so unlike me to not plunge into shows as much, but nothing really caught my eyes the way it usually does. Maybe I am just still hung up on the Haunting series … either way, here’s what I’ve watched instead.

The Broken Hearts Gallery

I’ve waited for this movie so long and it did not disappoint one bit!

Remember when I raved on and on about Set It Up after its release? I praised it for lifting the dry spell of really actually good romcoms, well … The Broken Hearts Gallery is that for 2020 for me. First of all, the chemistry between Dacre Montgomery and Geraldine Viswanathan is off the charts and effortless and easy and secondly, it follows what you’d expect a romcom to be while still never feeling stale or boring.

Add to that the fact that the lead is a woman of color who is not a size zero, who has an ex who is also played by a man of color and a best friend who is also a woman of color. I mean, thank heavens for that alone. Something that actually resembles reality and makes the characters feel real and still gives you the warm fuzzies inside.

For fans of: GOOD romcoms (not that cheeseball fest that Hallmark does)

Rebecca

I basically wrote a whole freaking short essay in defense of this movie on my letterboxd account, because all I saw was people trashing this movie.

If you adore the book or Hitchcock’s adaptation of Rebecca, then maybe this just isn’t for you. If you are, however, able to look beyond what has always existed and can appreciate beautiful aesthetic, a different/happier approach to how it all ends as well as how stunning Lily James and Armie Hammer look as a couple, then, by all means, check out the movie!

I, personally, enjoyed it a lot. It has a couple slow bits, but I appreciated that this wasn’t just the same story again and again. It may have lost some of its gothic character, but Kristin Scott Thomas delivers a striking performance as Mrs. Danvers and Lily’s character (nameless as ever) carries the whole movie.

There is some doubt in my mind that this was an unforgettable movie, but I do believe that some specific shots will remain in my mind forever.

For fans of: anyone on the cast, pretty Netflix stuff

Clouds

It is so very difficult to review a movie that is not just based on real people, but where the film maker knew the person in question and involved his entire family and group of friends in the making of the movie. I’m sure there were some creative liberties that were taken, but this was someone’s life, someone’s legacy – namely that of Zach Sobiech.

When you watch Clouds, it won’t take long until you find tears welling up in your eyes. By the end, I was a sobbing mess. Zach gave this world so much and always tried to show up for everyone, even when he barely had any energy left, which is why people kept showing up for him when it mattered. I enjoyed the film, but it’s still heartbreaking that this is a reality.

For fans of: inspiring sadness, strength in music

Holidate

Sometimes Netflix just makes utterly cringey stuff. They really tried to pack so much into this movie, including every single holiday they can imagine, which is a lot to being with anyway, and then add more stuff on top. I’m not a huge Emma Roberts fan to begin with, but it was hard to watch this movie anyway.

They tried to be self-aware and self-depreciating, but it just didn’t work? I don’t know how else to phrase it?

For fans of: I don’t even know? Movies that try to include as many holidays as possible?

Love and Monsters

I’ve missed Dylan O’Brien on my screen and am especially proud of him for doing movies like Love and Monsters, knowing how difficult it is for him to film any stunt scenes after his accident a couple years ago. And yet, this movie was so worth it!

A mix of adventure, love story and just pure fun and monsters is what makes Love and Monsters work. Dylan’s character is all of us, freezing in the most crucial moments, but especially faced by larger than life insects and creatures of all kind. But then he goes on this incredible journey and develops in such a beautiful way, while also still being able to deliver that ounce of humour we all need to lighten things. This movie just has so much heart!

The best moment was when he met Boy though. Boy, being a dog and all, doesn’t have a speaking role, but is still a scene-stealer extraordinaire. The dog trainer said that they had never seen such a close bond off screen either, so, that makes it all the more special too. I just loved that tiny bit of bts information!

In the end, the real star was the dog, but still – very much worth it!

For fans of: Dylan O’Brien, cute and super awesome dogs in movies

The Cellar (Ep 1, Amazing Stories)

This was born out of a need for more Dylan O’Brien and Victoria Pedretti.

So, technically, Amazing Stories is a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s series from the 80s. It’s an anthology Sci-Fi show, where each episode is a different story with different people in it. I am just going to talk about the one episode I watched, which was the Cellar.

Basically, you watch Dylan and Victoria fall in love as one of them is a time traveler and the other one was born a century ago. They have to find their places and it’s super tragic and I can’t believe they fit that into 50 minutes. I would have watched a three hour movie about it and would still 100% watch a sequel (which there will never be).

For fans of: Dylan O’Brien, Victoria Pedretti, time travel, love across time

You Me Her (Season 5)

I’m actually not sure if I have talked about this show before or not … I think I might have mentioned it. Anyway, it’s about a polyamorous relationship and this was the final season. It doesn’t really make sense to watch this or read about it unless you’ve watched the previous seasons?

It’s a Canadian show, I’ve been to set before, I generally like the vibe of it. There’s not a lot of shows that treat polyamory like a real long term relationship option, so that always caught my eye and I didn’t know that this would be the final season, but in the end it made so much sense. In the end, I was glad it was finally over, because if they had broken up one more time, I would have thrown them into the sun. But this? It worked and gave everyone the finish they deserved.

For fans of: exploration of polyamory


Have you watched any of these as well? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #41

I’ve watched so much since the last time I posted this feature, but I don’t think I will include everything I have torn through. Here are some of the things though, but please remember that these really are just mini reviews. I am 100% open to talk more about it in the comments!

Julie and the Phantoms (Season 1)

I would have LOVED this show as a teen. His has cute ghost boys, beautiful music and just wholesome content with pretend high stakes (because you KNOW it’s not going to end in doom and gloom). Very much in the spirit of Disney and Nickelodeon shows, the acting isn’t the best ever, but you get attached to those characters none the less and it’s all really funny. That’s really the prevalent theme for me as I watched this: I had a lot of fun.

Not gonna lie, I am pretty sure that a lot of my like for it also comes from the fact that they say it’s Hollywood, but it’s very recognizably filmed in Vancouver and I just walked those streets a thousand times. I miss my town. Also, there’s gay ghost boys and it’s really cute!

For fans of: cute teen supernatural shows with music

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Season 1)

Every time I start an Apple TV show, I am surprised just how much I love it. No matter what I watch on that platform, I end up adoring it and I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but it just always ends up so good. Mythic Quest is one of those perfect workplace comedies and especially the Quarantine episode had me in actual tears. Episode 5 also has a very special place in my heart, because it reminded me of a less twisted Black Mirror episode for some reason (still don’t know where that association came from).

Some of the realism that gamers might be looking for in this show is lost to gags, but who tunes into a fictional program for realism? There’s some well known faces on Mythic Quest, but I really loved Charlotte Nicdao as Poppy Li – she was a true revelation for me.

For fans of: gaming industry, behind the scenes shows

Freaks – You’re One of Us

You know that I encourage everyone to watch some of the international Netflix content, or specifically some of the German releases. Freaks is one of those movies that I think might get quite lost, but is actually a really interesting story.

Unlike in so many other “superhero” shows and movies, this is focused on a pretty regular, middle class mother, who learns that her powers have been suppressed since childhood. It’s slow-paced, with a great betrayal-storyline and almost like a set-up for a potential franchise. I don’t know what the plans are, but I’d definitely be here for more.

For fans of: international Netflix productions, adults discovering they have superpowers, the adult chosen one

Uncorked

Anytime I see a movie or show with Mamoudou Athie, I just fall in love with him and his acting again (seriously, don’t hesitate to watch him in the likes of Sorry for Your Loss or Unicorn Store). This movie is focused on his character Elijah, who is torn between following in his father’s footsteps and taking over the family BBQ restaurant or following his passion of becoming a sommelier. 

Back when I was in school, I took an exam to become a junior sommelier (don’t ask me anything about wine though) and I have also gone to France for a while and I have also had to deal with bad family news (don’t want to go into specifics because … spoilers?) while I was abroad. I did not expect to find so much to connect to in this movie, but I really did and loved it for it.

For fans of: wine, anyone from the cast, family dramas

The Sleepover

I honestly just watched this movie, because it gave me Spy Kids vibes. Those vibes were totally justified and I’d compare it to that, although it was obviously far less whacky and not actually about spies. It’s not a must-see, but it’s an okay and nice enough way to pass time.

For fans of: Spy Kids, Babynator, parents having a secret life

All Together Now

This movie is equally heart-warming and heart-breaking. I knew I was going to cry, and even though it took a bit longer than expected, it sure did happen. All Together Now is about allowing others to help you when you need it and overcoming obstacles at a young age.

It’s very much a humble way to tell this (I believe based on a novel called Sorta Like a Rockstar) story. It’s quiet and slowly paced and unexciting, but it will cozy up to your heart regardless. However, don’t expect this one to be as much about singing as the casting and the premise might suggest. That is not the main focus.

For fans of: heartwarming stories


Did you watch any of these things? Do you plan to? Let’s talk!

Mini Reviews: Teen Titans: Raven/Beast Boy

As much as I like comic books, I always struggle to review them. Anyway, I really liked the Teen Titans, so, I figured I at least gave them a try with a mini review! Haven’t done of these posts in a really long time.

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia (author) and Gabriel Picolo (illustrator)

Teen Titans: RavenA while ago, I would have firmly claimed to be a Marvel girl, but if we are being entirely honest, I am mostly consuming DC content now. While I have never watched or read Teen Titans before, I did watch DC’s Titans and liked it for the most part. This is entirely different, but I feel like that previous knowledge came in handy with Raven anyway.

The graphic novel very much focuses on Raven’s insecurities and her way of trying to figure out who she is as a person. Since she can’t remember anything, she tends to question everything instead of listening to her gut. She’s a teenager, so, she sometimes makes cringy choices, but I found those were easy to forgive.

Something I found confusing at times were the transitions between scenes, as they seemed very disconnected. I also felt like there was definitely some prior knowledge required, or you’d be a bit lost when certain characters started showing up.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Interesting introduction to this series.

Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia (author) and Gabriel Picolo (illustrator)

Teen Titans: Beast BoyI loved the illustration in this one even more than in the first one, even though it was both done by the same person. Gabriel Picolo has mentioned several times that Beast Boy is very near and dear to his heart and it shows. Especially the pages where Gar uses his powers for the first time are just swoon-worthy.

Again, this one also heavily focuses on the insecurities of the main character. For now, it’s what ties them together as they haven’t met yet. Gar just wants to be popular, not because he likes the people so much, but because he wants to prove a point. I understood why his friends were annoyed with him at times and appreciated that they had their own struggles to face. Still, there was a definite relatability to it, which made Gar very endearing.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! I was never once bored while reading.


Over all, I was really happy with these graphic novels! I think the illustration especially was excellent and I cannot wait for the third book (Beast Boy Loves Raven in Fall 2021). Have you read these ones as well?