What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #36

I still owe you a couple mini-reviews to the stuff I have watched lately. I actually got around to way more than I thought I did, although at least two of those shows were streamed while I barely looked at them drawing all the time, but still … I say they count.

Dark (Season 3/Final Season)

I cannot tell you how happy I was with this final season!

I hope you all know how much I adored this show, but I, unlike my much wiser friends, did not 100% believe that the producers planned every minute detail and had a solid plan. I was legit terrified they would ruin it in the end, but it completely made sense. Of course, there wasn’t going to be a super happy ever after or anything like that, but I found the finale we got very fitting.

There were only two or three decisions that I didn’t 100% understand or back the way they did them. But once again, super impressive casting choices and smart storytelling. I was really wistful when it came to the end and think it is one of the best German (and international) shows to ever come out of Netflix. Pro tip: watch it with subtitles and not dubbed! The cadence of the voices is far better that way.

If you want to talk about it in more detail with me, feel free to do so in the comment section. I just don’t want to spoil anyone who has yet to watch it.

For fans of: complex shows, time travel, different realities, international Netflix content

The Baby-Sitters Club (Season 1)

Unlike a lot of people on Twitter, I have never read or watched anything regarding the Baby-Sitters Club before. Maybe, and even that is a huge stretch, I have seen some film stills, but I would not have known what it is or where it’s from. I just think it’s more of an American thing? I could be totally off-base with that, but I can assure you that it’s nothing anyone would know in my country.

However, having said all that, I get why people like it. The kids, despite their young age, are super relatable and have complex and not just comedy-based interests and relationships. It talks about serious topics, but also has a light-hearted feel to it. While I don’t think this show will be a huge priority for me moving forward, I am still glad I watched it.

I’ve read everything from “It’s better than the books” to “the best adaptation yet”, so I feel pretty good about this being my first real contact with the matter. I can really recommend it, not just to parents who want to talk about more serious topics with their kids in a productive way, but also just for people who enjoy the nostalgia and cuteness of it all.

For fans of: kids being relatable, children with actual fully developed personalities, the books and the previous movies (?)

Warrior Nun (Season 1)

I kind of like shows that mess with angels and demons and I could not tell you why that is the case, it just is!

Warrior Nun is based on a comic series from the 90s, but Netflix definitely made it more angsty. The dialogue and the voice over from the main character can be … cringey to say the least. I think it has a lot to do with the actors and actresses being from a lot of different countries and sometimes they sound a bit off in their non-native tongue … like the intonation is just the tiniest bit different? If you can overlook that though, I think it’s a decent enough show.

I have to admit that I mostly wanted to check it out because Emilio Sakraya is in it and that would mean that non-German people would discover him and I had to know how he did! But, I kind of liked it overall, with Emilio being the lesser interesting part. However, beware of a cliffhanger at the end, with a lot of potential for another season.

Overall, this is a show that needs to grow on you and definitely needs a couple episodes to either win you over or not … and then it’s best to skip it.

For fans of: religion as undercurrent of story, action sequences, the og material?

The High Note

You all know how much I loved Late Night and this is basically the same just in music instead of comedy. I’m not even joking, the movies have the same director and both are about women lifting up women in a very competitive field. Like, it’s such a simple premise, but I am here for it!

First of all, the soundtrack for the movie is really beautiful and I would have gladly listened to the songs on repeat afterwards. I liked the lore they built around the characters and while I found the plot predictable, I still enjoyed the journey.

Lastly, this is not a movie that will stay with you forever (even though, if it does, all the more power to you), but it is a nice way to pass time. I am pretty sure you will come out of this movie with a fuzzy feeling inside of you and a smile on your face and sometimes that’s all I want/need from a film.

For fans of: Late Night (the movie), sweet but kind of forgettable stories, music industry setting

That’s it from me today! What do you all think? Do you have any interest in watching these shows as well? Have you already watched them? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #35

I told you that there was a lot to be watched, which is why this post has come so soon after the other one. The thing is, there’s even more ahead in the upcoming days and weeks. I’ve never felt this blessed with summer content as this year, even if I burn through shows in a matter of days. Here’s what I’ve been watching.

Love, Victor (Season 1)

I liked Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I liked the movie they made out of it. When they announced a spin off show, I thought it would be about Leah or any of the other people that Becky Albertalli had written books about, which are actually set in that universe. However, having now watched Love, Victor, I think they made the right choice to establish a storyline with a new cast. 

Coming out is always a unique experience and Victor doesn’t need long to realise that his won’t be anything like Simon’s story (I mean, I’d hope so. Getting outed against your will should never ever happen). His circumstances are different, he’s from a far more conservative latinx family, but we also see him questioning his sexual identity more than we did Simon’s. It was a great mix of nostalgia for the movie with cameos and definite callbacks to it (watch the gay character compliment Victor’s shoes in his first scene, just like Simon tried to compliment leaf blower dude’s boots) and entirely new elements.

Having this be formatted as a show, there was more room to explore the stories surrounding Victor rather than rushing through them like they sometimes had to in the movie. There really wasn’t any character that I didn’t like and I have a deep appreciation for the nuances to all of them. Mistakes are made, that’s just the way life goes. The episodes ended up only being 25 minutes and while I really enjoyed the final shot (it was brilliant!), I would have liked 13 or 15 episodes better than the 10 we got. I breezed through the entire thing in one afternoon and we will have to wait quite a while for more content (hoping there is more), so I just wanted that tiny bit more. I know, I am greedy.

For fans of: Love, Simon, coming out stories

The Order (Season 2)

Season 1 of the Order was a bit of a surprise to me. While I could see that the budget wasn’t always on par with what they were trying to accomplish, the show managed to completely reel me in. I had missed my wolves dearly, because let’s face it, the Knight of St. Christopher and Randall in particular were a prime reason for me to watch. Now I am done with the season and miss these idiots already again. You’d think I’d learn to pace myself, but no.

Anyway, the entire season was comprised of two-parters for episodes. That was strange, but worked pretty well, because it didn’t seem like it was too out of context but still with an overall arc that bound it together. I tend to get very angry at the choices the characters make, because a lot of them are inherently dumb, but I still like watching the show. Here are my main thoughts on this season:

  • Lilith deserved better and got the only romantic storyline I didn’t mind.
  • WHO asked for those new ships? NO ONE. I don’t like them. I don’t want them. The only romance Hamish has is with liquor and Randall is just too himbo for the person they paired him up with.
  • I actually liked Jack’s bleached hair. Make it come back.
  • Alyssa remains a big ???
  • Actually found the threats more credible this time around.

For fans of: magic, werewolves, secret societies, demons, haywire shenanigans

The Politician (Season 2)

The main reason I love this show is the impeccable cast. I’ve become more involved with politics as I got older, but it’s usually not a topic I seek out in particular, but The Politician is still something I enjoy very much. Maybe it’s because this show is so much more about ethics and morals (and their difference) rather than actual politics. There’s plenty of talking points the show goes through, touching on issues that concern us right now in real life, while mostly using them the way actual politicians do – as topics that could get you votes but that won’t necessarily be followed up on. Instead, the show keeps focusing on Payton and whether you need to be a good person to do good things for society.

While I do think that there’s a lot less bite to this season, there is something that just keeps me so very interested in what comes next. We’ve spanned about 7 years time in just two seasons and all I want to know is what Payton will do next. Will he be president one day? Will he actually do good things with the power he has?

Don’t expect anything realistic in this show, I hope that was obvious in the first season already. This is a satire and over the top! Messages are there, but they might not always be in your face, masked by louder topics instead. I firmly believe that you can take away a lot from this show, but most of all, it’s cast is just a joy to watch.

For fans of: satire, politics and scheming, the formidable cast, Ben Platt singing because Ben Platt

Doom Patrol (Season 1)

I am just trying to catch up on DC content, especially with the new season around the corner. I have sort of distanced myself from most of the CW content, not because I have anything against them in particular, but a lot of them just get worse as they go on. I’ve completely lost track of what’s happening, but also just found that I liked the darker aesthetic of the non-CW shows better.

Doom Patrol is incredibly random. I have no other way of describing it. More than once, you think that the episode couldn’t get more ridiculous, be it in visual effects or storyline, but it just seems laughable. Yet, at the same time, it deals with so many far more serious topics. I think they don’t always manage to keep the right balance, but they sure know how to keep it interesting. I’m excited for more.

The only thing I can’t stop thinking about is whether Matt Bomer and Brendan Fraser are always in their costumes or if they have stand-ins and do ADR (voice recording) later on. Don’t know why I can’t shake that thought.

For fans of: random chaos, antiheroes, misfits turned family


This is it! Did you watch any of those things? Could I persuade you to check them out? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #34

There’s a lot of content I’m excited about releasing this and next week, so I wanted to make sure I update you on the stuff I’ve watched lately before I dive into those new and shiny things. Let’s go!

Love Life

Romance isn’t everything. I was in a really weird mood when I started this show and them telling me about the average number of relationships a person goes through and so on just knocked me down even more. I don’t have any relationship stats to share. I don’t have an epic (or even lame or otherwise) love story to tell and sometimes watching those shows that hyper-focus on the way to finding “your person” hit me in the feels especially hard.

Having said all that, it wasn’t a bad show after all. I really liked the ending, although I struggled with some episodes in the middle. I found Darby and her behaviour quite cringey from time to time and struggled with massive secondhand embarrassment from time to time. But you know what? I like that she wasn’t the perfect person. She had flaws, she needed to grow and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them or planned them to. I can appreciate a show that doesn’t portray it all through rose-tinted glasses.

For fans of: introspective love stories, realistic portrayal of not everything being happy all the time, complicated family structures

Siempre Bruja/Always a Witch (Season 2)

I had meant to watch this for the longest time, but didn’t feel like reading and concentrating on subtitles. My Spanish is not good enough to go without them and I’d really recommend this show without dubbing (although it exists). Anyway, finally watched it!

I have to say, I didn’t enjoy this season as much as the first one. The villain was less defined and therefore made everything feel a bit all over the place. One of the biggest parts/problems of the season completely went over my head and I now feel stupid. It’s like everyone had to give up on something to help Carmen, just for them to get all of it anyway and yeah … did not get it.

However, I was here for the various romance storylines. Kobo and Alicia in particular are star-crossed over the centuries and I love that. And while I wasn’t to happy about Esteban being sidelined, Carmen’s new love interest has my attention.

For fans of: international Netflix content, witches, time travel

Alexa and Katie (Part 4)

Katie is one of my favourite fictional characters and that’s just that. I wish for everyone to have a Katie in their lives and I want to be someone’s Katie. This show has given me so much joy and even though it seems super bubbly and bright and like something that would run on the Disney channel or Nickelodeon, but it has talked about some great and frankly deep topics over the seasons. I cannot speak to the realism of the cancer portrayal, but the way they handled panic attacks meant everything to me.

I loved the ending to the show! It was wholesome and sweet and heart-warming. Without wanting to spoil anything in particular, I just want to say that I am going to ship Aidan and Katie forever. That’s just a fact now (and he better find an art college to attend in NYC). If they decided to do a special on them in college or after college, I’d tune in to it, but I also get ending it where they did. I am really happy with it all.

For fans of: bestest of friends, looks like a superficial Disney show but has amazing in depth topics

Gifted

It was Chris Evans birthday and for some reason I hadn’t watched Gifted yet, so I remedied that. I don’t actually have very much to say about it? It’s a good movie, because I enjoy complex family dynamics. I like when it’s not obvious what the right thing is for a child (although I felt it was fairly clear here) and the main party struggling to make all the right choices. Obviously, Chris Evans is always a joy to watch, so, go for it?

For fans of: Chris Evans, genius kiddos


Did you watch any of those things as well? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #33

I still stand by the fact that I’ve watched far less since lockdown started, compared to my regular viewing. Regardless, it is time to talk about what’s been happening on my screen lately! So, here we go!

Sweet Magnolias

I started watching this show, because I needed to calm down. I had just watched some episodes with a lot of racial injustice and I was boiling and angry and I needed something to soothe me. The name, Sweet Magnolias, alone suggested to me that this was going to be lovely and it was? Following the lives of these three women was nice, their children had some decent plotlines too. It’s not the most exciting show out there, but I love these kind of soft and sweet stories that border on the line of cheesiness. It just feels so much cuter and less stressful than other shows, even if some plot points have quite a lot of depth if you think about it. So, does it give you Lifetime-vibes? Probably. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not really.

HOWEVER, I am furious, because the show ended on a massive cliffhanger!

So my plan to distract myself from being mad did not pan out in the end … I just hope they get another season, and if only to resolve that end. I cannot deal with it right now!

For fans of: small town American settings, a certain quality of wholesomeness, book-to-screen adaptations

Upload

I can’t help but think about this show giving me “The Good Place” vibes and that’s something brilliant, because I miss the show SO much. I think the actual series is better than the trailer suggests. Sure, it has some rather silly elements (but let’s be real, so did The Good Place) but it also a very intriguing mystery plotline that I did not necessarily expect. I don’t feel like Upload made me as happy as watching The Good Place did, but it asks the same or at least similar questions about morality, mortality and can we improve after we have died. The fact that we are more and more asking ourselves these questions is really interesting to me.

Especially for a first season, I thought there was remarkable character development, although I wasn’t super happy with the end. I think it already got picked up for another season, so that’s helpful in easing my mind, because they need to resolve some stuff for me that I won’t get into because of spoilers.

For fans of: moral questions about the afterlife, quirky and fun takes on future technology

All American (both seasons)

So, I am still not over the brilliance that was Friday Night Lights and maybe I never will be. Yet, seen as I am still working on my American Football writing project, I needed another show to keep me in the right headspace. While there is a lot of content on college Football, there’s actually not as much focused on High School, so I figured I’d just go with the most recent example I could think of, which was All American.

Obviously, since this is based in LA, it hits VERY different to FNL. I didn’t get the same feeling of just being with those characters for ages, but eventually, I really felt with them regardless. I only have three episodes left, before finishing the second season and I want to savor those. Like so much at the CW, it already got renewed, which is great. I think the show has some really great moments, although I think they need to find more balance with some storylines as they feel just dropped into the narrative and as if they ask people to accept certain relationships and feelings despite us not having seen the development of it on screen.

I am rooting for them to get to tell more impacting stories on the CW! My heart is not over some of the episodes from the second season, such as 2×07, 2×10 and 2×11 – I cried and raged and felt numb.

For fans of: “based on a true story”-stories, American Football, racial issues in the US, community, found family trope

The Lovebirds

I decided to do a mini Issa Rae movie marathon today, so I started it out with The Lovebirds, since it recently dropped on Netflix. There’s no denying it, I love Issa Rae and I love Kumail Nanjiani and I love them together. They know how to keep up with each other’s energy and quick wit and it shows. While this movie threw them into some utterly ridiculous situations (think stuff like Date Night), I laughed a lot and I wasn’t sure I would really find it that funny.

I don’t think this is the best movie ever, but I was so entertained and that’s pretty much point of The Lovebirds. Suspend your disbelief, folks, and it will be a fun ride!

For fans of: funny couples in ridiculous crime-related situations

The Photograph

This was my second choice after The Lovebirds and NO REGRETS! Uhm, I think we’ve established how much I appreciate and adore Issa, so I just want to say that I would watch every single movie with LaKeith Stanfield as the male lead in a romance. I get that he is very versatile and can do all sorts of stories. As an actor, he would probably get bored just doing one thing, but I’ve just fallen more and more in love with him every single time he played the love interest in a movie. That is a fact!

I really enjoyed how calmly The Photograph told its story and it was so much more than just a love story. It told us that our parents had their own lives and past that we likely don’t know about, but that we cannot judge them for. They are, after all, just human. And it was about having a passion for work that overshadows the other elements in your life that might need attention and love too. It is so hard to give yourself to people, not just romantically, but some are worth taking the risk/fall.

So much in this film was told simply through looks and body language and I lived for it. The music and landscapes added to the atmosphere in exactly the way they were supposed to. Truly adored it all!

For fans of: parents who have their own stories/lives, that certain kind of unforgettable love-feeling


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #32

Ever since lockdown started, I feel like I have been watching less and … it doesn’t make any sense? But I really haven’t been very motivated and since the wifi isn’t the best either, I think something about it just has me really turned off screens for a while. Also, I’ve been super busy with other things, but I still wonder whenever I am behind on so many shows (I haven’t even started Hollywood or Outer Banks yet … who am I?)

Our Girl (Season 4 Part 2)

I have talked about Our Girl plenty of times on this blog. (If you want a detailed post on, click here) I never quite know what to call their seasons? I was so sure this was season 5, but it looks like it was the second part of season 4? Either way, this was the final season of Michelle Keegan as Georgie Lane. I still remember how invested I was in Molly’s life and then Georgie came along and I was not impressed at all. Now, quite a couple tours later, I think I love Georgie more than I ever loved Molly and that says a lot.

Not all seasons were perfect (I am looking at you Season 4 part 1!), but this one really hit home. As one of the most emotional seasons yet, we lost some dear members of the platoon (every death on this show is impossible to get over) and finally saw Georgie deal with the aftermath of [Spoiler]’s assassination. I thought that was lacking on the last tour.

I personally didn’t mind that Captain James was very much absent on this second Afghanistan tour and enjoyed a lot of the new characters. Nico Mirallegro as Prof immediately has found his way into my heart. I will say, that it’s kind of ridiculous that there are AT LEAST two guys pining for Georgie every season, but the romance plots do help with the more heavy stuff on the show.

All in all, I thought this was a brilliant farewell. Georgie got the closure she deserved, found a way to move forward and I think any more on her life might ruin the picture we have of her now. I am going to miss her terribly, but I am sure that Tony Grounds will find another brilliant actress to continue the legacy of Our Girl, if he wishes to do so. There’s always stories to tell!

For fans of: female characters in the military, having no fear of getting too attached to people who might die

Never Have I Ever

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Mindy Kaling content. I know she’s not for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoy her stuff. Now, I’ve heard some people be really happy with the representation on this show and others not at all. I don’t think it’s my lane to comment on that, so I’m just not going to?

Just like other Mindy Kaling projects, I think this show is not for everyone either, but I had so much fun. It was over the top, but it was also incredibly touching. The show dealt with grief (how everyone processes it differently), identity and yes, sexuality. I laughed, I cried, I grieved with them. The way I see it, you just have to give it a try.

(also … #TeamBen … can’t get over the fact that he got an episode narrated by Andy Samberg)

For fans of: Mindy Kaling produced content, bold characters, grief plotlines

The Half of It

I was SO excited for this movie! I relish any content that doesn’t just focus on romance storylines (although nothing wrong with that, love a good romantic love story too), but also on familial and platonic and “whatever else lies in between”-love. I was also super excited that it would portray a queer Asian main character and that it was directed by a queer Asian woman (Alice Wu) – that kind of rep is rare to find. Still, I was not ready to love the movie as much as I did.

The Half of It is a quiet story. It’s not flashy and loud and full of way too big gestures, it’s calm and sweet and makes you think. Some of the shots were beyond gorgeous, the quotes between parts of the story were chosen perfectly and the motives in general incredibly beautiful. It’s about loving someone so much, you never want them to change and simultaneously having to accept that change. I know some people have quarrels with the end, but I don’t. It was one of my most favourite parts, because it was reminiscent of Ellie’s dad watching the scene in a movie where it said “this is the start of a beautiful friendship” and so it was.

For fans of: not all love stories have to be romances! (Yakult sponsored teen movies)

After Life (Season 2)

I never quite know what to say about this show. It’s not one I am immediately drawn to when it pops up in my Netflix queue, but it’s one I am always glad to have watched. It’s a very simple but effective premise that manages to reel you in easily. I WANT those people to be happy and get all the things they like, even if a lot of them are some real weirdos. I just want them to take care of each other. It was like that in season 1, it was like that in season 2 and it will likely be the same in season 3 (which Netflix has just asked Ricky Gervais to do!).

For fans of: British comedians in semi-serious roles, grief storylines

Friday Night Lights (all of it)

I just wanted to mention this show again, because I love it so very much. Last time I adored a sports related series like this, it was cancelled after a season (R.I.P. Pitch – forever missed, but now available on hulu, so please binge! I am serious, the show’s creator said we might get to do more if it performs well on the platform) and then I got to witness FIVE glorious seasons of Friday Night Lights. Please feel free to check out my full and detailed post here if you haven’t yet.

For fans of: sports dramas, Football, characters that are easy to root for, small town drama


That’s it! What have you been watching? I am really enjoying Council of Dads so far, but there’s literally only three episodes out yet. And each and every one of them will make you cry.

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #30

Is the fact that this is the 30th post in this series a sign that I watch too much? Let’s hope not, because I really have no intention of slowing down in this climate. Here are some shows I have distracted myself with lately (which are in actuality fewer than I thought they’d be):

Vampires

I AM SORRY! I only found the French trailer, but the show is available with subtitles, cause that’s how I watched it!!!

I really thought I was over vampires at this point, but … I just can’t seem to stay away from them for good. After I finished this show, I thought to myself “huh, there were some interesting aspects, but this surely isn’t essential viewing for everyone”, yet here I am. THREE days later and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

What intrigued me the most was that this really wasn’t your usual vampire society (although they still have an inherent stalker gene it seems). In this world, vampirism is a matriarchy and vampires are created the same way humans are and not through a bite (at least that’s the story so far?). Doina, daughter of a vampire and human, turns out to be a hybrid of the two species, turning her world upside down.

This show features interesting character dynamics, although I will not hold it against you if you don’t like very many of them. To my utter shame, I also have to say that I was mainly watching for a toxic ship. I am trash that way, but at least I acknowledge it.

For fans of: international Netflix shows, different take on vampires, diverse French setting

On My Block (Season 3)

Was this the last season? It felt like the last season, but the end had me in absolute shock!? From the beginning of this show, it had always had its ups and downs. I could never take the danger as seriously as I should for some reason, because it just felt too light-hearted and silly in other moments. So, when those last frames showed up on my screen, I was like “this is a joke? Surely it must be!!” (Except for the Oscar part, I am here for that!)

This wasn’t my favourite season and I honestly don’t know what to say. I think it’s fun entertainment or a little bit, but parts of it I just could not relate to or, as mentioned above, take seriously. I think it might have been the acting, but I am really not here to bash them. I still had a great time watching all seasons after all.

For fans of: teen squad stories that get a bit out of hand and don’t look as realistic anymore

Elite (Season 3)

Okay, so, not my favourite season BUT I really like how they brought it all around. It basically mirrored season 1, but this time everyone stuck together and ended the cycle of misery. I was disappointed, because some character relationships were completely ignored, even though they had so much potential. For example, I was really hoping for a Valerio and Nadia reconciliation and that they’d be the messy friends I love to see, but instead they had Valerio be interested in being in a certain throuple (which I am cool with as a concept, I just didn’t like the other characters and used to love Valerio …). My favourite part was the Nadia-Lu-duo. Those girls really were the light for me this season!

Now, I am confused about Season 4. First, why do we need it? Why does it say no one from the OG cast will be in it? We explicitly saw a certain number of characters who had to repeat the year or were at school for some other reason … so why include that when they aren’t going to be featured anymore? I have questions!

For fans of: murder mystery and character dynamics, moral questions

Greenhouse Academy (Season 4)

Why am I even still watching this show? They completely botched the “who’s behind the door?”-mystery from a couple seasons back and they just haven’t been the same ever since. I was already massively dissatisfied with season 3, because they changed actors for characters and just had some people disappear completely. To me, that threw off the dynamic massively already and they handled it poorly. I even forgot that there was a massive cliffhanger at the end of that season, that’s how little I cared. Similarly, I feel pretty dispassionate about the twist at the end of Season 4.

I just can’t get over the fact that they reopened the whole love triangle thing with Leo, Hayley and Daniel … because someone on that list got screwed over a lot. Also … it was about a virus, so that was just poor timing for sure.

I can’t believe I used to really like Greenhouse Academy at this point, but here is the proof that I did.

For fans of: House of Anubis style over the top mysteries for teens?


Have you watched any of the shows above? Let’s talk about that!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #29

It’s time to talk about all the things I watch again. Although I usually try and keep that list in check to not make it too long, I think I overdid it just a little bit. But, hope you enjoy the post nonetheless!

Gentefied

Please watch this show? I know we are all still mad that Netflix cancelled One Day at a Time and then did another show centered around a latinx family (but with more male characters), but it doesn’t change that the show is really great. America Ferrera executive produced Gentefied and even though they got a lot of offers from networks, they went with Netflix. It has to mean something.

Anyway, about the content of the show: I went into it expecting a bubbly and lively exploration of family life in LA, but I got so much more. I cannot even express how heartbreaking some episodes were and how they still remain at the back of my mind. Gentrification is a real issue, but sometimes not giving in isn’t really an option for the people involved. I adored how balanced the show was. How it didn’t shy away from showing consequences, but also the struggle people have to face on the daily from so many different angles. It’s absolutely a high recommendation from me!

For fans of: latinx content, family issues, gentrification in America

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

Usually, I talk about shows that I have watched in their entirety (or at least the season), but Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist only has 3 episodes out so far. Still, I felt really compelled to talk about it, because rarely have I been hit with a pilot the way I have with this show.

Zoey doesn’t enjoy music (apparently people like that exist?), but after an earthquake, it suddenly follows her everywhere she goes. Zoey could now hear people’s innermost thoughts in the shape of songs, so, if you aren’t into random bursts of musical numbers, this show is not for you! What seems like a trivial plot point that will cause more hilarity than anything else, I was really surprised by how emotional I got. There is so much depth balanced with the humour of the show and it’s so enjoyable to watch. I just hope they go easy on possible cheating plotlines, but other than that, I am really all for it for now.

For fans of: music in shows, humour balanced with deeper issues

I Am Not Okay With This

I have a love-hate-relationship with Netflix making more and more shows that are about 6-8 episodes of just 20-minute-content. On the one hand, I enjoy the fast pace that the short format brings, but on the other hand, the lack of episodes makes it feel like a prequel or like we always have to stop when things just get started. It’s different to Ragnarok (which also only had 8 episodes), because at least their episodes were 45 minutes long, but it has the same vibe of origin story that is only just beginning. It doesn’t help that we have had our fair share of white girls with telekinetic abilities in recent years either …

While I feel a bit lukewarm about the show as a whole, there are some aspects I would like to praise about it. For one, I am glad to see a show let young girls be angry. Obviously there is some underlying reason behind the high-boiling emotions, but I am still happy that it was part of the plot. I also liked how the coming of age and sexual exploration side of it was handled. I think a lot of people guessed it from the trailer, so I am not going to go into more detail. Lastly, Stanley Barber is a treasure and I want him protected at all costs.

For fans of: the kids from IT, ambiguous styles that won’t let you guess the decade of the setting, Stranger Things but more now?

Living With Yourself

I like Paul Rudd. Is there really anyone out there who doesn’t? I also like Aisling Bea, because I am obsessed with British panel shows. So, in my mind, this show was really made for me, but somehow we didn’t click?

It’s hard for me to put the finger on what exactly didn’t work for me. It always hinges between comedy and drama, but fits neither category very well. Everyone believes the whole clone-thing far too easily (I am not talking about the actual clones, but more like his wife and such?) and I would maybe try to befriend my clone rather than make them my enemy? I think I was just waiting for Miles to have this moment of enlightenment where he would finally see where he went wrong and what made him so unhappy, but he remains miserable all throughout. Maybe that’s what bugged me so much?

For fans of: short clone stories, Paul Rudd

Peaky Blinders (Season 5)

I love this show, I really do with all my heart. The broken man that is Thomas Shelby is one of my all time favourite characters in all of TV history and he will likely never leave that list. I can’t say that season 5 was my favourite season, but it had a great new villain in Sam Claflin (who made it easy to love to hate him) and a particularly beautiful episode involving the ballet Swan Lake.

Watching Tommy’s state of mind deteriorate is painful. The flashbacks to Grace were unexpected and painful, because I apparently really overestimated how much he had dealt with her death at this point in time. The end of the season was practically torture and I hope they are already working on the next season as you read this. We deserve more, but it will also be the most brutal with an inevitable Shelby civil war at hand.

For fans of: the Peaky fucking Blinders!!!

Jumanji: The Next Level

I liked the reboot of Jumanji. I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to the original, but it was fun to watch and that’s basically all I need/want from a movie like this. It took itself a whole lot less seriously and was all the better for it. Now, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous about a sequel to the reboot. Could they really recreate that funny magic with the switched bodies? The answer is yes and no. 

There were still plenty of laughs in Jumanji: The Next Level, but far less so than the last time. I would even go so far to say that it dragged on in certain parts. I still enjoyed the displacement they all felt with their new bodies, but the running gag with the grandpas got old pretty quick. Still enjoyable, but definitely not necessary to drag this on forever.

For fans of: the cast involved, easy and effortless humour

Isi & Ossi

The trailer looks so dumb and so low, but after watching the movie, my Twitter account briefly seemed like an Isi & Ossi stan account and I have no regrets. Do you enjoy the rich girl meets working class boy trope? Do you like fake dating stories? What about two worlds colliding? I like all of these things in my romances and so much so that I can even overlook super crass and borderline humour. The fact that this movie starred Dark’s Lisa Vicari and Traumfabrik’s Dennis Mojen was just a huge plus in my book. I will always and forever support German Netflix content that isn’t crime related. ALWAYS!

For fans of: German Netflix content, Dennis Mojen and Lisa Vicari


That’s it for this time. Have you watched some of these shows or movies? Do you want to? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #27

Sometimes I really underestimate just how much I watch in a short amount of time, but I hope you don’t mind if this post gets a little longer. I think most of you are pretty on board with this feature in general, so let’s go!

Ragnarok

Most of you already know that I quite like the Norwegian Netflix productions. One of them (The Innocents) even got me to start learning the language on duolingo and I am loving it. So, when I saw the first teaser and then even more trailers for Ragnarok, I WAS IN!

Basically it’s a modern take on Norse mythology, but it includes capitalism, environmental issues and gives you just the sweetest taste of just how broad the story could turn out to be. With only 6 episodes, Ragnarok very much feels like the beginning of something and I sincerely hope that we will get more seasons because it was fantastic. The show is incredibly atmospheric and has compelling characters. Some you will love to hate and others you will want to protect with everything you’ve got. I already have a couple theories, some definite favourites and enjoy the mystery that some characters are still shrouded in.

Fair warning though, there is a lot of animal gore (hearts getting ripped out, mouths getting torn open, …) and I do not recommend it if that is something you do not like to see.

For fans of: Norse mythology set in the now, giants and gods, European Netflix productions, M83 music

Dare Me

With the hype around Cheer (which I have actually also watched and never talked about, but boyo, did I cry during that last episode when they went to Daytona), this is the perfect counterpart in terms of fictional cheerleading content. You still get bone-grinding drills but the drama is more off mat than on it. I think there’s a lot more to the characters than you see at first and I am definitely loving the queer vibes off of basically all the ladies. I have absolutely no clue how I feel about half the relationships, because some of them feel so utterly inappropriate but none the less compelling.

It’s based on a book, that I haven’t read, and as far as I know, the author was very involved in the production and gave the actors a lot of freedom to expand and change the story wherever necessary. Everyone felt really comfortable with her on set, which is always good in my opinion.

I would like to offer a trigger warning for sexual assault as this is one of the themes explored throughout the series.

For fans of: cheerleading drama, all the girls giving off major bi vibes

BoJack Horseman (Series Finale)

I like BoJack Horseman as a show. It’s really depressing sometimes, but it also feels incredibly real despite it being animated. The voice acting is obviously phenomenal with a great cast for even tiny roles, but I did not feel the same emotional impact for all seasons equally. This last season especially, having been cut into two parts, didn’t hit has hard as some previous ones.

To this day, I think my favourite season was the 4th one, but that’s just my own preference. I liked when we dug deep into the messed up past of BoJack’s family. In comparison to that, some of the solutions and problems this season just felt superficial. I did get briefly emotional during the penultimate episode and the beginning of the last one, but ultimately the final minutes didn’t have as much of an impact on me as I had hoped. Still, if BoJack was a person, I’d wish him the best.

For fans of: animated shows for adults with meaningful themes but also dark, dark humour

The Good Place (Series Finale)

I sobbed, I cried snot and tears, I was SO freaking emotional during the last episode. The Good Place is one of those very rare shows that is perfect from beginning to end. I will never forget the impeccable twist of the first season that was a real game changer for how the rest of the show would turn out. I love, love, love that they got to finish it on their own terms and that they didn’t drag it out.

The way this show ended made sense. It was beautiful and meaningful. To come up with such an out of the box idea for a show and to get to carry it through all the way, that’s a real feast and I am so very glad I got to witness it all. The Good Place is one of those cases where it’s best not to talk about what happens too much, to just let people experience it themselves, but I want to say that it was a great study in character development and I will cherish these characters forever.

For fans of: moral dilemma and afterlife hijinks

Next in Fashion

Usually, I just do fictional content, but I binged this show and really liked it, so I am going to include it here real quick as well.

I am a fan of shows like Project Runway (although I haven’t watched the latest seasons) and this is pretty much just Netflix’ take on it. I liked that people were paired into teams at the beginning and how reluctant some of them were to get separated later on. I realise that it creates extra drama when people who do not work well together have to create one garment or a cohesive look for several episodes and I felt truly and honestly so sad for some of the people who had to leave where it was definitely due to the partner.

But the judges were refreshing and opinionated and experts in their fields. I loved seeing one of my favourites soar to the finale (even if they didn’t win). I just like fashion shows, despite not being a fashionable person at all.

For fans of: Project Runway, but make it Netflix

Little Women

I love this movie so much, there aren’t enough words to describe just how much exactly. Considering how many people were so adamant that there was no way anyone could top the 1994 adaptation, I think this surpassed all the Little Women content I have consumed so far. It felt fresh, I liked how the narrative was presented and we don’t even have to talk about the amazing acting and chemistry between all characters.

Genuinely, I had the best of times watching this movie (and no, I am not late to the party, because I watched it on release day here in Austria. It’s not my fault we get movies super late!). The theater wasn’t entirely full (original language versions rarely are) but there were so many young women and men and they laughed, giggled, cried, sobbed and gasped in unison, it just made the experience all the richer. I know the story pretty well and yet I never felt bored, all I felt was pure joy at watching what was happening on the screen. I loved how the parallels played out, how Jo’s life mirrored Louise May Alcott’s and that Florence portrayed Amy in a way that made it easier to connect. I liked how much effort Greta Gerwig put into the distinguishable looks of past and present and the choreography of big ensemble scenes.

To me, Meg and Beth felt a bit blander than Jo and Amy, but you still felt with them. I just want to watch the movie a million times more.

For fans of: the novel, Greta Gerwig, period dramas, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, anyone from the cast really …

Code 8

If anyone asks me about my favourite characters in comics, it’s mostly mutants. So, this movie being about how 4% of the global population have superpowers and get discriminated because of them immediately had me intrigued.

I know that the Amell boys fought for this movie to get produced for a long time and I am happy for them that they got a deal on a spin-off series already. It makes sense, because it’s a vast world where you can explore so many more aspects of it. However, we are here to talk about the movie and that was … okay? I know that “okay” doesn’t sound like the biggest endorsement, but while watching the movie, I didn’t connect to the aesthetic as much as I had hoped. The struggle is very relatable and mirrors daily racism in a cohesive way, but it felt like a prequel or something that should have been a show to begin with! I felt like there was information on the characters that I was missing that would have been great to explore, but maybe that’s what they intend to do with the show. It just seemed like viewers were supposed to accept certain background stories without ever having been told what they were.

For fans of: The Amell family, superpowered humans, mutants (?)


That’s it for post #27! I am also halfway through the latest part of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but I am not particularly enjoying it, so it will take some time to finish. Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #25

Well, this post sure is Netflix heavy, as in … it’s all either Netflix shows or movies. But can you really blame me, most of the content I consume has always come from that particular platform (still always open to get hired and/or sponsored by them!). So, here’s what I’ve been watching!

Home for Christmas

Since Christmas passed already and I wasn’t exactly in the most festive of moods, I didn’t really intend on watching this show anymore. However, then someone posted that it wasn’t as obvious who she would bring as her “boyfriend” to the family dinner and that the ending was quite unexpected, so I changed my mind and binged it.

It’s really not a very long show (6 episodes of roughly 25 minutes), yet you find yourself connecting with Johanne and a series of other characters quite easily. While I will agree that it isn’t obvious who her true love interest is supposed to be, I did not find the ending as revolutionary as some others. Overall a nice story with potential for sequel seasons, where I am just not sure if the title would still fit.

For fans: Norwegian family stories, short episodes, no definite ending

Spinning Out

I am so in love with this show! I have a soft spot for figure skating content and was immediately hooked when I saw the trailer. Having said that, I really want to issue a content warning for this show, because despite it just looking like regular competition and scheming drama, it heavily focuses on a bipolar main character who eventually goes off their meds. I understand how that can be triggering for some and even I felt very stressed and anxious during a majority of the episodes. With all that stress, it was no less addicting though.

Also, I would like to acknowledge that the POC, who are few, on the show were done pretty dirty. I am not sure how heavily some people will be featured in the next season (should there be one), but I definitely want Jenn to get more screen time and not be screwed over all the time. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the Kat and Justin dynamic, with Justin quickly becoming one of my favourite characters (Kat not so much). The true MVP is Mandy in my eyes, that’s how you do step parents right!

So, if you are into figure skating, sizzling romantic involvement between the dancers and a slight (*cough* or pretty obvious *cough*) parallel to Canadian ice dancers Virtue and Moir, this might just be the show for you.

For fans: ice skating, figure skating, Virtue/Moir fanfiction

Messiah

I am not a very religious person. I find it fascinating to a certain degree, but I wouldn’t call myself a faithful person. I don’t know why, it’s just the way it is. So, starting a show about the Messiah returning in our day and age shouldn’t have been very high up on my priority list, yet I watched it pretty quickly after its release.

This is a tense show that will leave your head spinning! I feel for all the characters that have no idea how to feel, because neither does the viewer. You are shown evidence of things being real, then having those same things disputed and it’s tough to keep up. By the end, it really seemed like most characters were screwed over and then they left it on THAT cliffhanger. I am not sure I can recommend this in case there isn’t another season, but it was interesting to watch. I just wish it had less of a focus on the US, because the world just really doesn’t revolve around that one country.

For fans: geo-political and religious discussions

Anne with an E (Season 3)

I adore Anne with an E! When I heard the news that the show was cancelled, I was really sad, because there is obviously still a lot to tell. However, compared to how some of the other seasons ended, I can live with it not continuing after this?

Every season, they take on some really interesting topics and S3 was no exception. They don’t shy away from showing darker parts of (Canadian) history and I admire that. I wish the storyline built around Anne’s friendship with an indigenous girl and how the government took away children from tribes to reeducate them in western ways had been given more screen time. It was so heartbreaking and I know that was reality back then, it wasn’t nice to see. But at some point, I just thought they treated it as more of a removed afterthought from the main storyline and that made me even more sad.

Still, the season had great themes and emotional moments for all characters. I could see this going on for years and am sad this was a casualty due to CBS ending its partnership with Netflix. Maybe some more campaigns for the renewal of the show will change things, but it could have ended on worse terms.

For fans: Anne of Green Gables, wholesome Canadian TV

Alexa and Katie (Season 3A)

This is one of my guilty pleasures that I don’t feel guilty about watching at all. Sometimes you just want light and fluffy friendship antics in the old Disney/Nickelodeon style. The show is coming to an end with Season 3B and I like how they are coming full circle. These characters were a blast to follow along with and have made me cry and laugh (to the point where I chocked on a cookie I was eating) so many times. I can only appreciate them for that.

I don’t want to give anything away, so feel free to skip this last sentence if you don’t want to know anything about the finale episode of 3A, but I really felt it when Katie had that panic attack. It looked and felt so very real!

For fans: light but still emotional friendship stories

6 Underground

I don’t even really know why I watched it, but … Ben Hardy might have been an argument. And Adria Arjona. And … you get the gist. I like the cast, but if you can argue about a movie needing a theatre release and not just one on a streaming platform, you might do so for a Michael Bay movie. Just me? I don’t know, but the action extravaganza seems more suited for a large screen than my laptop.

Anyway, I watched it and I did not expect it to be so funny? Humour in action movies is not a bad thing, but when it’s to the point that I don’t actually believe anyone will die because they are still making fun of things, I am not sure it’s the best thing either. It was a decent movie, but nothing out of this world. I like ensemble cast and heist-esque movies, so this was fun for a little bit, but I doubt it will stay very memorable. However, it was definitely set up to be a series, so I wonder if enough people watched it to continue with it.

For fans: heist/ensemble movies, action with a good dose of humour


That’s it! Have you watched some of these things as well? Do you want to talk about it? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #24

This will likely be one of the last “normal” posts of the year! Tomorrow there’s the usual trailer post and then come Monday I am going to go WILD with multiple ranking posts almost every day of the week. It’s going to be interesting to see if I can really follow through on it, but I did tweet about it already and am saying it here as well, just to hold myself accountable. Anyway, I watched a lot of stuff and it was as follows:

Marvel’s Runaways (Season 3)

I am really sad this was the last season of the Runaways, but they really did try to give it their all. In some ways that worked better than in others, but I am glad they tried to fit the content of about three seasons into those final ten episodes. Maybe some more time would have helped with certain storylines, but I particularly lived for the cameo of Cloak & Dagger! I love Tandy and Tyrone and they fit in with the other kiddos so well, I basically just wanted them to stay.

While I understand Marvel’s need to start fresh and cancel everything that they didn’t start themselves as canon-part of the greater MCU, I am disappointed they weren’t willing to work with anything pre-existing at all. I understand that there are complex character-specific contracts and that they couldn’t just continue with the Netflix shows (as there are clauses about waiting periods until they can use characters again), but Runaways was produced by hulu which is owned by Disney as well, so I don’t see the issue here …

Lastly, something happened at the end of ep. 9 of the season and I would have never in a million years forgiven them, if they had ended it on that note. They remedied it though, so for that alone, I am already so very grateful. At least I got that!

For fans of: evil parents, teen superheroes, messy relationships, found family, cool cameos

Soundtrack (Season 1)

This show was a bit of a surprise hit for me. Usually, I am not too fond of musical content, but none of the people actually sing on the show, they just use music and lip-syncing to dramatise scenes. Well, that’s not entirely true, since some of the characters are in the music industry, but overall it isn’t really a musical, but rather the OG song of Imagine Dragons starts playing and someone just mouths to it.

While the show looks more on the light side, it had surprising depth to it. As much as I could see this as a standalone season, over the course of the episodes, you really connect with the characters and want to know more about them. Without giving anything away, I love that it has a “This Is Us”-kind of approach to the timeline and really neatly works with those different layers.

For fans of: music, fresh faces, family-centered struggles

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I feel like, in order to properly review this movie, I would have to go in depth and therefore spoil some of the things that happen in the movie, but I don’t want to do that. So, I am going to try and be very vague. IF you still haven’t watched this and want to go in completely blind, then by all means, feel free to skip everything about this movie and just continue reading about the next show. Overall, I can tell you that I was disappointed with the movie. While I did chuckle and felt entertained during the run time of the film, the movie just didn’t make sense within the universe and was a huge disservice to so many characters. Here it goes:

  • Redemption through death is one of the laziest tropes ever. It’s rarely ever satisfying, it’s an easy cop-out to not do the work and let the character actually show that they are better and I am still mad it was used in this movie.
  • Rose, as a character, was completely sidelined, which made it feel like the writers gave in to the hate and cowardice of the fanboys who harassed Kelly Marie Tran, to the point where she had to leave social media. She had 73 seconds of screentime. Let that sink in.
  • They initially made it seem like this trilogy was about how ANYONE could use the force, not necessarily people of a specific heritage. Also, they negated the statement that everyone has a certain light and darkness in them, by basically saying that a specific character only had “dark” thoughts due to their heritage. Another easy out if you ask me to blame her doubts on her DNA.
  • Finn and Poe had great chemistry, we all saw that! But, to say it in the kind words that Oscar Isaac used, the Disney overlords were too cowardly to do anything with it. Instead they insert a new female character, who’s face you literally never see, just to make sure no one is getting ideas about Poe being anything but straight.
  • Speaking of Finn, his character was also done dirty. I am glad he is force sensitive, but the boy didn’t even get to say whatever he wanted to tell Rey in a precarious situation. Guess we’ll never find out now.
  • They did things with the force that were never done or mentioned before. They weren’t just inconsistent with it in terms of other movies, but within the movie itself it didn’t always work the same way. It’s almost as if it just does whatever they want it to for the convenience of their writing.

Seriously, my highlight of the movie was a little droid who had some unknown past trauma and respectfully rolled away saying “no, thank you” whenever someone tried to touch him. Even more so enjoyed how the good guys all respected that and didn’t force themselves on it. That was my favourite part.

The Witcher (Season 1)

I have neither read the books nor played the games that this show is based on, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. I want to warn anyone who isn’t sure about watching it that it heavily features nudity (especially of women) and violence, to the point where I sometimes skipped scenes, but it doesn’t deter me from still recommending it as a watch.

It’s definitely a show where you have to pay attention and I would recommend watching it within a short period of time, just because the timelines and story is more complex than it might seem and it took most people (me included) until at least episode 4 for all pieces to really fall into place. I like the world-building a lot though and am glad it already got renewed for another season which will air in 2021. It has a couple minor flaws (some *romantic* relationships were too intense too fast for me, like dude, no way could you fall in love with someone that quickly), but the performances all around were magnificent. The fight choreographies were beautiful, the characters layered and three dimensional and even the animals (shout out to Roach) were cool. I especially liked the dynamic between Geralt and Jaskier, because I love a good we-are-friends-but-I-will-never-admit-that-out-loud-relationship. Also, Henry Cavill gave so much depth to a single “fuck”, I am in awe!

For fans of: Fantasy settings, magical creatures, complex timelines and world-building, Henry Cavill in a weave

Lost in Space (Season 2)

I really liked the last season of Lost in Space (you can read more about it here) and I was really happy to have enjoyed this one as well. First of all, JJ Feild was a great addition to the cast. It’s really never a mistake to have that man on board, please, cast him in more stuff. Second, Don is still one of my most favourite characters. I think the writers picked up on the fact that people didn’t love the underlying romantic tones they gave him with Judy (since she is what? 19?), so there was a lot less of that happening. However, I loved his scenes with Penny. Legit some of the favourite of the season for me. And third, the Robinsons remain a beautiful complex mess of a family and I am here for it.

The season felt different than the last one and I would have preferred some more intimate conversations between a couple characters, but I really liked where we went overall again. Just like last season, it ended on a huge cliffhanger though, so I am just praying we get more episodes. 

For fans of: space adventures, hero-villain-friendships, family dynamics

YOU (Season 2)

I know this show is crazy. I honestly don’t understand how people are swooning over Joe as a character, because it’s a big NO from me. If we are talking about Penn’s performance as Joe though, that’s a whole other story. He very openly advocates for people to look at Joe critically and to not see the show as a “how far are we willing to go for love?”-thing, but rather as a “how far are we willing to go to forgive an evil white man?”, which I applaud him for. And those are legit his words, I did not phrase it like that myself in case some people feel attacked in their white male privileged ego.

I wasn’t sure if a second season with more or less a similar premise would work, but I was positively surprised by how smoothly they made that transition without getting repetitive at all. I would LOVE to talk about so many things but so many of them are spoilers. Let’s just say that I liked how they managed for the viewers to root for Joe to take down another bad guy (like, if someone has to do the dirty work, might as well let it be the “villain”), but I was a bit disappointed with the pay-off from some scenarios. It felt like really good writing that didn’t end up where you sometimes wanted it to. Definitely could see another season in the future and would 100% watch it.

Finally, I did love how ambiguous the whole “did he finally find his match?” tagline for the season was and how I guessed it right though.

For fans of: creepy white man inner monologues, “is that still love?”-questions


Did you watch some of the things as well? Are we on the same wavelength concerning opinions? Let’s chat!