Mini Reviews: Seven Days in June, Open Water

I really want to make use of this feature a bit more in 2022, as I don’t think I can always provide a full length review, but there’s still books I like to talk about. This time, I want to focus on two very beautiful novels about Black joy, love and pain. In no way is this post meant to pitch the two against each other, but rather shine a light on both! Let’s dive in!

*links to Goodreads and Storygraph will be provided after the ratings!*

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

book cover of the novel "Seven Days in June"

Publisher desrciption:
Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York.
When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can’t deny their chemistry-or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since.
Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva’s not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal. But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered …

My Thoughts:

Reese Whiterspoon really knows how to pick ’em, because this was also one of her book club picks (I’ve previously read Daisy Jones & The Six as well as Where the Crawdads Sing)! So, far I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read that she has chosen, even if not everything has become a favorite of mine. That’s what I call good taste and a definitely a way to get me interested in future novels that she endorses.

From the get go, Tia Williams’ voice is engaging and reels you in. I can’t remember the last time I read a prologue that got me so hooked, while I can also really commend the epilogue (as well as the whole story in between, of course). Add the setting in the world of literature to the great writing style and you have my whole attention. I don’t know what’s up with that, but I’ve read two books about writers, who express their feelings about each other through their stories, in a row and I love it.

“One thing,” she whispered, her lips by his jaw. She didn’t want anyone to overhear. “Before I forget.”
“What’s that?”
“Stop writing about me.”
Only Eva could’ve noticed the change in his expression. She saw the flinch. The slow, satisfied curl of his lip. His bronzy-amber eyes flashing. It was like he’d been waiting years to hear those words. Like the girl whose pigtails he’d been yanking during recess all year had finally shoved him back. He looked gratified. In a voice both raspy and low, and so, so familiar, Shane said, “You first.”

Over the course of seven days, you will fall in love and get your heart broken by our leads, Eva and Shane. Somehow their story is tragic, they face so many struggles and while all of that hits you emotionally, the writing never gets too heavy. You feel their past weigh on their present, but there’s also plenty of humor and joy to offset it. At the same time, this is not just about romantic love, but generational trauma, self-realization and motherhood. Truly a beautiful balance of topics and emotions in my opinion. 

Definitely give this a go if you are into second-chance romances! 

CW: self harm, substance abuse, absent/dead parents, kids in foster system, chronic illness, sexual content, racism, domestic abuse

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Engaging, funny as well as emotional – it took out all the stops!

Goodreads | Storygraph

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

book cover of the novel "Open Water"Publisher description: 
Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence. At once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity, Open Water asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body, to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength, to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the most essential British debut of recent years.

My Thoughts:

Meeting a person you just click with, someone you can be your most vulnerable self around (until you can’t) – it’s rare and it’s beautiful and it’s what we get to witness in this book.

“It’s one thing to be looked at, and it’s another to be seen.”

Written in a second person POV, the style of writing takes some getting used to. We never learn the names of our protagonists, but hash glimpses of their lives, growing connection and the inevitable limitations of unconditional love. Some things you just don’t want to unburden, ultimately closing you off from the person who only wants the best for you.
Despite it’s short length of 145 pages, this book took me several days to finish. In all its poetic beauty, Open Water is quite heavy as it illuminates some of the more terrifying aspects of the Black experience.

“You have always thought if you opened your mouth in open water you would drown, but if you didn’t open your mouth you would suffocate. So here you are, drowning.”

Everything about this novel feels deeply personal and will have your heart aching. There’s many great references to music, films and literature, making it feel relevant and timely. I can only say that the impact of the introspective writing will last and linger much longer than the size of the book might suggest.

CW: racial profiling, police brutality, death

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Beautiful heart and gut-wrenching, but possibly not for everyone.

Goodreads | Storygraph


Have you read either of those two books or do you plan to? Let’s talk! 

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #70

As I’ve recently started my vacation, I’ve also binged more and more TV shows and movies. I thought it was about time I’d get you all caught up, before this post gets out of hand. I did find so many things I liked!

The Witcher (Season 2)

It’s been two whole years since the last season and I, once again, binged it all in one sitting. I don’t know what it is exactly, but this season didn’t work as well for me as the previous one. That’s not to say it was bad, because it wasn’t, but it also didn’t excite me as much. This time around, there were no timeline shenanigans and I felt the final twist was somewhat predictable (at least the thing I imagined happened to be exactly the thing that was the final frame?).

To me, we got to spend more time with characters last season, getting to know them and their fears and dreams in detail, while it felt more rushed this time around. I’m glad we got a focus on Ciri, because I couldn’t quite grasp her before and she feels much more well-rounded as a character now. Still, there was a kind of emotional disconnect from me to the characters in general, despite several bonding moments that were clearly meant to evoke some sort of feeling. You’d think Daddy Geralt would work more for me, but it just felt a little bland.

There was a clear story-thread throughout the entire season, less “monster of the episode”-type stuff, but I’m still confused about some revelations or developments. I’d very much like to continue with the story as a whole, but I hope the break won’t be too long. (I very much understand why it took that long and I do not blame them for keeping their production, crew and cast safe! I want to make it very clear that I am pro Covid-safety and stopping work during a pandemic.)

Little hint: If you stay past the credits of the finale episode, you’ll get a first glimpse at the spin-off The Witcher: Blood Origin!

The Big Leap (Season 1)

I loved this show with my whole heart. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me want to dance and sing. While it works (kind of) as a self-contained mini-series, I’d very much appreciate another season. This show totally works for you, if you like a show about reality shows, but make it fictional and dramatized. The characters were absolutely brilliant and lovable and so very easy to let into your heart. I have so many favorite moments and dynamics. At the end of the day, I can only say that it was beautiful and human and I hope people watch it online now that it’s on hulu (or Disney+ if you’re in Europe. Sorry, not sure about other territories).

The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 1)

I 100% didn’t expect to enjoy this show as much as I did. I thought it was just going to be some comedy about sex, but it really wasn’t. It had a lot of depth, while still providing quite a bit of humor. I’m rooting for these girls and I’m happy to announce that Season 2 was already confirmed, so I don’t actually have to worry about whether I have to prematurely say goodbye to characters I adore again. There’s just so many themes that get picked up that I don’t even know where to start. I especially liked Bela’s ambitions to become a comedy writer, but was heartbroken about some developments. Kimberley is a favorite. She tries so hard, but definitely says the wrong thing a lot. Her story focuses quite a bit on being inexperienced and poor surrounded by much worldlier people with money and influence. Leighton has this whole sexual identity crisis, which was done very realistically in my eyes and lastly, there’s Whitney. I liked her, but I felt her story arc was the least developed.

Lost in Space (Season 3)

This was the final season of the show and it was a good one. Not AS good as previous ones, but it gave us a satisfying ending.

I think most of my issues with the season were the fact that the Robinsons kept getting separated and that it all just felt a little bit rushed. Maybe that’s because they had more planned and needed to cram it all into one season or maybe it just happened, because sometimes that’s how it goes. Either way, it was lovely to see them all grow up and go through it one last time. Especially my baby Will is now a really tall and lanky teen – when did this happen!? I might have cried during an episode …

The Hating Game

Disclaimer: I have not read the book!

I had so much fun watching this movie? I know there were changes and people weren’t happy. I also know that the male lead casting was questionable? I didn’t really feel a spark watching the trailer either, but they worked really well off of each other once you watch the entire movie. I think romances are often predictable and this didn’t exactly feel like an exception, but I was entertained throughout. Solid movie!


There’s currently not too many weekly shows that I’m following aside from The Wheel of Time and Hawkeye, which are both ending next week. Hence, I spared you my list of weekly shows. What did you think of my mini-reviews? What are you watching? Let’s chat!

Thursday Movie Picks: Book Adaptations

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today we shall talk about Book Adaptations, which most of you will know, is a topic I’ve talked about on numerous occasions here. Seen as this blog is dedicated to books, TV shows, movies and really anything I can think about, it does tend to be a repeat subject.


Here are some examples of previous posts regarding adaptations:


I’m going to try my very best to not to repeat myself too much from previous posts (and to stick to movies and not TV shows). There’s not really a theme here, other than that I have actually read all the books for the movies as well as watched them. (Because there’s still some books I haven’t watched and some films I haven’t read … if that makes sense.)

Stardust

Stardust is one of my absolute favorite comfort movies and I can watch it pretty much any day, whenever it is on. There’s no such thing as too much Stardust. I also have to say that I enjoy the movie more than the book, because I didn’t actually connect to Neil Gaiman’s writing at all. I know he is brilliant and a much beloved author, but this book wasn’t really it for me. The movie is where it’s really at!

Charlie St. Cloud

I read this book after watching the trailer, while I was doing my internship in the French countryside. Something about this story was just magical and although I think the movie didn’t capture that as well as the book, I still enjoyed both.

The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now is one of those cases where I thought I would really enjoy both, the movie and the book, but ended up feeling very confused about both. It’s not a fluffy teen romance at all, it has a deceptively amount of depth. It’s even quite sad …

Dumplin’

I cried watching and reading Dumplin’. It’s a really beautiful story, but it was interesting to see on what different aspects the two variations focused on. I remember the book featuring more of Bo (who I adore as a love interest), while the movie had a clear focus on the mother-daughter-relationship. Then again, how could you not utilize having Jennifer Aniston in your movie …

This Is Where I Leave You

I have a thing for grief explorations and complex family dynamics, so I was immediately drawn to This Is Where I Leave You. The book obviously has the room to go much more into depth on some of the relationships, which I missed in certain scenes, but generally, it was a well done movie. Some things were even improved (thank the lord we didn’t have to hear Judd’s horny thoughts all day long).


What are some of book to movie adaptations you like? Let’s talk about those!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #68

I’ve watched so much in a short amount of time that I decided to better do this sooner rather than later. It will likely be a lengthier post, so I won’t talk about the weekly shows I am currently watching, just because they aren’t that many and haven’t really changed anyway (The Big Leap and Nancy Drew are my bright spots of the week!). So, let’s get this started!

An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts (Season 1)

This was a really quick watch that I enjoyed far more than I initially thought I would. Basically this little hidden Italian gem of a show is based on a book, about 6 episodes for now and will hopefully (seriously, fingers crossed!) get renewed, because I need to know what happens next.

I’m not huge on astrology, but I like to have fun with it at times. I know my signs, but I honestly don’t take it very seriously. However, if you are very attached or protective of your star sign, beware that there is going to be some intense roasting of most signs (I think leos, which I am coincidentally one of, were the only ones getting off easy here). But the characters are really charming and will have you in a chokehold by the end of it. I’d sure like to have a Davide and a Tio in my life.

Locke & Key (Season 2)

I was semi-excited for the new season, but it was actually really good. Please do not read on if you haven’t watched the first season, because this is a spoiler, but Gabe was a great villain. The way he really seemed to have feelings for Kinsey made this so much more interesting to me. Generally, my takeaway from the show so far is that Dodge just wants to be a hot teen boy.

Anyway, the teens were still fools, the whole show is pretty far removed from the gory comics and targeted towards a younger audience, but it worked for me. This time around, they had to deal with the fact that they were growing older and that would mean they’d forget magic. It also dug deeper into the lore of the keys and set up an intriguing future season. I’d be here for more.

Another Life (Season 2)

I’m going to be real honest with you and tell you that I forgot pretty much everything that happened in season 1. It was a real struggle to get back into it, even though I remembered really being in love with the AI, William, so I wanted that feeling back.

In general, Another Life is quite brutal. Barely any crew members are safe and you really can’t get attached to anyone. Every season is “torture the AI” season, which I’m not a big fan of. Overall, it continued the story nicely though. I suppose I won’t be the only one struggling to remember everything that happened previously, but this felt like a good end. It could continue, but this season felt like an end to the show. At least it would be a neat one.

Stargirl (Season 2)

Last summer, I was so very invested in Stargirl and I had really hoped to feel the same way this time around, but the feeling never quite came back. Somehow, I felt a distance while watching the season and it could very well be because of them filming during the pandemic, but it also might have been, because they missed so many chances.

They set up super interesting characters (Green Lantern’s daughter, the Shade) and then barely used them or featured then at all for several episodes, all in favor of a villain that got super repetitive fast. I like the themes they dealt with this season and still adore the characters, but there was potential for some better plots. Still, they had some standout episodes and a really great finale. I’m excited for next season, which is titled “Frenemies”. It’s going to be so much fun!

Army of Thieves

To begin with, despite it being a prequel to Army of the Dead, this has nothing to do with zombies. They are barely even a B-plot, because this is squarely a heist movie. Having said that, I feel like the charm of the movie and the many references only work if you watched Army of the Dead first. In a way, I think it might even confirm some theories about the zombie movie in the final scene … but maybe I was projecting here.

Army of Thieves was very fun with a quirky cast of characters. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but Matthias Schweighöfer did a great job not only bringing a charming and fun backstory to his character, but also directing it.

The Harder They Fall

I was really excited for this movie, because it looked stunning, had an amazing cast and soundtrack and I had a whole plan about watching movies with black cowboys, but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how violent this movie was. I think my brain blocked out a lot of those gory scenes, because that’s not really what I’m about.

Aside from that, it has a lot of wit, humor and, again, amazing visuals. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but as someone who is not usually huge on westerns, I enjoyed this. (You can really thank the outstanding cast for that!)

Love Hard

Did this movie have cute moments? Yes, it totally did. Does that excuse the fact that we are in the year 2021 and they are still trying to make catfishing cute in dating movies? No, not one bit. I’m just so tired of the trope. We’ve established that it’s not okay, so don’t make a million more redemption movies, where we need to fall in love with the person by the end anyway.


There will be a separate post where I talk about Eternals, which I have watched a couple days ago. I want to make it a post with spoilers, so I’m targeting next Wednesday, hoping I’ll have sorted my thoughts by then. But what about this post? Did you watch any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk!

TMP – TV Edition: Horror (Halloween Edition)

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

The entirety of October is dedicated to a special Halloween Edition, meaning we’ll take a look at themes through the lens of Spooktober! This week, however, is also the week we focus on TV shows instead of movies, so the theme was kept simple with – horror! I don’t watch a lot of horror shows in general, but I already have a few in mind that I’d love to discuss with you. Here we go!

Nancy Drew

I thought I’d start off with an example of super light horror, but it still has some really creepy scenes, plenty of ghosts and hauntings and not all things end well. Still, I was never much into the whole Nancy Drew lore, but I adore this show (not at the least, because it gave me one of my comfort characters – Ace). They keep getting better each season, while also proving that they know how to write a continuous story with plenty callbacks. I’m curious about the Tom Swift spin-off!

From Dusk Till Dawn

I wrote a whole detailed post about this show, which you can check out here. I never in a million years expected to like this, but I did. I was bumbed when it ended, but I have my headcanon where they are now. That’s what matters the most.

Helstrom

You all know how obsessed I am with Marvel, so it should have come as no surprise to you that I watched Marvel’s first attempt at a horror show. It definitely was creepy in atmosphere, but I suppose it could have gone further. They also cancelled it after one season and didn’t make it part of their MCU, although TV shows are canon now, so I always should have known it wasn’t going to last long. Impeccable casting though!

SurrealEstate

I was almost going to put Wynonna Earp (it IS a supernatural western horror show), but then I figured, why not hype up Tim Rozon’s aka Doc’s new show? SurrealEstate is a mix of real estate stuff and paranormal things. Enough said. It’s cool!

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Bly Manor was the first time, I felt like I put on a horror show on purpose, fully knowing what kind of show I was getting into. I sought it out, more than feeling pressured into it. No regrets whatsoever! In the end, it was more of a love story than a ghost story, or maybe a bit of both, and I fell in love with it too. Bly Manor also paved the way for me to watch the next show…

The Haunting of Hill House

I love Hill House so much. The characters, the complexity, the end! So amazing! I will never forget the emotional journey they took me on. I can’t even say if I like Hill House or Bly Manor better, because I wouldn’t have one without it the other, even if they are two separate stories.

 


Previous Halloween Editions:


What did you think of my list? Do you agree that those are (at least in part) horror shows? Let’s talk! 

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #67

We shall not speak about the dire state of my reading this month, but I’ve actually managed to watch quite a lot. I’m so happy to get to do these posts more again, even if it’s just a clear sign that I struggle to balance my reading and watching schedules with work. So what? Let’s talk shows and movies!

Midnight Mass (Limited Series)

I finally made it! Not going to lie, this is the Mike Flanagan show that took me by far the longest to get through. It’s not that it was bad – not at all – but it felt heavier and slower than the others, possibly because of the heavy religious focus. Over all, Flanagan did it again and managed to bring impeccable characters to our screens. He really is my exception when it comes to horror content, at least his shows are. I love that he tends to stick to cast members from previous projects and hope that trend will continue with the upcoming shows.

Overall, I was able to predict a lot of the underlying plot, but it had great emotional moments again. (Still like Bly Manor and Hill House more though.)

Pretty Smart (Season 1)

This is the kind of show, you want on a slow day in the background. It doesn’t require a lot of attention, it’s super over the top, so you’ll always get what it’s about and it’s a nice way to pass the time. I binged it in a day, because I didn’t feel like doing much and liked it a lot. It’s silly for sure, but I laughed so much during the pottery episode, I couldn’t remember the last time a show cracked me up like that. So, if you don’t mind ridiculousness, clichés and over the top acting, this is for you. Again, I’d recommend it as a bit of a background show?

YOU (Season 3)

I was so ready for this season and I watched it as quickly as work allowed me to. It’s strange how this story just goes on and on and they don’t get discovered, despite being really bad serial killers. I don’t want to give away too much of the season, but I think we all know the formula by now. There were a couple nice new characters, few surprises, but somehow this series just works. I do not, however, get how people still lust after Joe. I do not trust a man who hasn’t picked up a single book written after the 1950s. Sorry.

On Our Block (Season 4)

I’m glad they got a final season to wrap things up, but I wasn’t super impressed by the finale. I think there’s one character who would have just deserved better and I didn’t feel as emotionally impacted by their fate as I would have suspected, so that felt a bit like a let down. Either way, it tied up the loose ends, especially the confusion that reigned at the end of Season 3. I know they already have a spin-off planned, but I’m undecided on whether I will check it out.

Night Teeth

Do you like aesthetically pleasing, but campy vampire movies? This might just be for you! I think it definitely has some flaws. I will never understand why it was promoted with Megan Fox and Sydney Sweeney, who could not be more inconsequential for the movie if they tried, but lets not riff on it too much. There was some interesting lore there, which I wish they’d have dug deeper into, but they focused a lot on the more cutesy parts. Again, I think there was potential for it to be just a lot MORE, but I can also see them do a sequel … maybe. I’d watch it. It was really pretty and the characters I cared about were cute.

Shows I Watch Weekly

This is the part where I talk about the shows that I watch each week and that are still ongoing. It’s my way of not forgetting them, because I can’t binge them in one go and mostly talk about finished seasons in the above section.

The Big Leap – This is the show I look forward to the most every single week! I can’t tell you how much I adore the characters and all the various dynamics. There’s so many ships, but not even just romantic stuff. I’m so here for it, while the back of my mind screams to not trust FOX.

Stargirl (Season 2) – I have my issues with this season, because the characters feel different. I’m so here for Beth’s emancipation, but they did not utilize this version of Green Lantern well. They just introduced her and then didn’t use her for episodes. There’s great moments in between (that Yolanda episode was everything), but I’m very tired of the big bad of the season. The Shade was an awesome addition though, while it lasted.

Nancy Drew (Season 3) – Still beyond happy to have the crew back, even if I’m always a couple days late to watch the episode.

9-1-1 (Season 5) – There were a couple emotional hooks in there already, but nothing too out there yet. At least for me. I miss Chimney.

Station 19 (Season 5) – Crisis One is such a great topic, not just because it gives my bae Dean Miller more screen time, but also because it is based on a real initiative in Seattle. I wish they’d communicate and promote that more in the credits or something.


What are you watching? Anything on here you’d like to or have watched too? I’m currently in the midst of the new season of Locke & Key, as well as some German RomCom movie marathons. 

Ranking all the “What If…?” Episodes!

I said Wednesdays are Marvel days, but I doubt I can keep this up until the release of Eternals/Hawkeye in November. Still, I did say I was going to do a ranking of all the “What If…?” episodes, so, here we are! You can get my full review/recap of each episode, by clicking on the titles. This ranking is completely subjective, but I hope you still enjoy it!

9 – … Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

I always liked Killmonger as a character. He has purpose, an interesting history, is just generally charismatic, but … this episode didn’t add anything new for me? His path was still very similar to the one in “our” reality, just a tinge more ruthless. Also, it probably didn’t help a lot that I was quite tired of seeing Tony Stark perish at that point in the series …

8 – … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

I’m going to raise a similar point as the one above, but I just really don’t need to see the Avengers die in various ways over and over. I don’t find it particularly interesting nor creative and I even guessed the big reveal. I can’t say I found much that stayed with me after this one.

7 – … Thor Were An Only Child?

The purpose of this episode was to be fun and it did that. We got Darcy marrying Howard the Duck, Jane and Thor getting matching magic/science tattoos, the Ice Bros … all entertaining for sure. The story felt silly and had some logical faults (especially when it came to traveling via the Bifrost), but it wasn’t terrible.

6 – … Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

When I watched the episode, I wasn’t very impressed. In a lot of ways, it was a shot for shot recreation of Captain America: The First Avenger, but with Peggy getting the serum. While that was a nice callback visually, there were few surprises, since we all know the story. However, the longer I watched the series, the more I liked it. It was a really good introduction to what the show would be like and included unexpected moments, like Steve wearing the first Iron Man suit or Bucky and Howard being besties.

5 – … Ultron Won?

What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios

I was always a huge Age of Ultron fan, so this was an interesting take. I liked the recreation of Nat sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone, but with the role reversal of Clint being the one to let go. Most of all, though, I liked that the Watcher was really involved in the episode and started an epic fight through the multiverse with an unhinged Ultron. It was a really good action sequence.

4 – … The Watcher Broke His Oath?

As far as season finales go, this wasn’t bad. It felt cohesive, put most of the puzzle pieces together and made the season a whole instead of an anthology. There could have been more interaction with the Watcher, but the team constellation was fun. If I had to criticize something, it’s the wasted chance of bringing Black Widow back into the live-action MCU, which would have been an easy choice. And, secondly, I think it’s a shame that they robbed Shuri and Pepper of the chance to dethrone Killmonger in their world.

3 – … Zombies!?

It’s Zombies – need I say more? I’m not even that huge of a zombie fan, but I think they worked that particular sub-genre well into the world of Marvel. It was one of the more gruesome episodes, but I enjoyed myself, except for the last scene. It kind of ruined the vibe.

2 – … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Even though I never watch all episodes of Black Mirror, I like the concept and quite a handful of stories from it. This episode felt like it was made with Black Mirror in mind and I loved that. It was twisted, had a dark ending, but also taught you a lesson of sorts. It was *so* close to being my favorite, and I’m not just saying that because I have a soft spot for Doctor Strange, the egomaniac.

1 – … T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?

This episode just made me happy! It works well on its own, without leaving you bumbed or too questioning about what comes next. It gave me an entirely unexpected pairing, which has now become one of my favorite ships – Nebula and Cha Cha – like, I’m seriously so grateful they were introduced to us. But most of all, it was a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who I’m sure, many of us consider to have been just as much of a bright light and force of good as T’Challa was in this universe.


What would your ranking of the “What If…?” episodes look like? What did you think of mine? Let’s talk!

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!