What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #3

It’s been one of those weekends again, where I just couldn’t resist a good old binge of TV shows. There were some new releases on Netflix, but I’ve also finally started something I’ve been eyeing for a long time now. Here’s what I got for you this time:

Sex Education

Not gonna lie, I thought this was gonna be garbage, but the show had something really endearing about it. Obviously, if you aren’t comfortable with the topic of sex or just don’t care about it, maybe the show isn’t entirely for you, but there’s so much more to it. Although it might look like it’s set in the 80s, it very much plays in our world today, in some part of the UK that I could not specify if you begged me to.

I feel like this show is so relatable for so many questioning teens out there. It isn’t really so much about regular high school drama, but the discovery of yourself as a person and your boundaries, the things you are capable of and your limits. Pair all of this with some really great acting, great humour and a more than solid plot and you do have my attention. At this point, I would be delighted for another season!

Friends from College (Season 2)

Friends from College is one of those truly underrated shows on Netflix. It has a star-studded cast, is absolutely hilarious and tackles some really great topics. I might be drawn to this more now that I am in my mid-twenties and adulthood is inevitable, but I genuinely enjoy every single episode of this show and Season 2 was a real blast.

The characters and their relationships are so complex and while their decisions are often faulty and misguided, you do understand where they come from. There’s hours upon hours of material up for discussion after watching this but I just need everyone to back off of Lisa. The woman is no saint, but Ethan’s transgressions were like a 100 times worse and I stand by that.

Halt and Catch Fire (Season 1)

Okay, I haven’t actually finished the first season yet, but I am officially in love with this show! I’ve known of its existence for a while now, but Karen Gillan’s The Party’s Just Beginning made me yearn for some more Lee Pace stuff I hadn’t watched before, and that’s when I finally started it. Best. decision. ever!

Halt and Catch fire is an incredibly intelligent drama about what seems to be the 80s computing industry, but is really only the backdrop to showcase some intriguing and real characters (real even has a double meaning here, because it’s supposedly largely based on true events). They have their faults, dang they are all introduced in a less than flattering way, but you want to know more about them. It’s a truly character-driven show. I can’t wait to watch all the rest!

Have you watched any of those? What are your thoughts on them? (For those of you surprised that Titans wasn’t in the post, it will probably be featured in the next one) Let’s chat!

#CurrentlyWatching: Riverdale

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This week I did a Twitter survey to determine which show to talk about and Riverdale was apparently the strong favourite. Not that I mind, but it is a rather controversial show at the moment, so that could have gone a lot of ways – more about that later though.

Going into this show, I knew about the Archie comics, but I didn’t make the connection until later. While most of the characters are based off of those, the story really isn’t. It’s kind of a Veronica Mars meets Teen Wolf meets Secret Circle meets Gossip Girl but all without magic? So, basically I am saying it’s a mystery show with tons of teen drama. I am quite the sucker for CW shows, so I would have watched it either way. You can also watch it on Netflix, which is very convenient for me, because it gets uploaded each week.

A small town gets rattled after the death of one of their most promising teens. Everyone is a suspect, old family rivalries are awoken and relationships are tested. *insert dramatic music here* All the while our main characters try to figure out their love life and how to survive High School.

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Riverdale might not be the most faithful adaptation, but they did a great job with the visual aspect and the music (seriously adore the soundtrack). A lot darker than the original source material, I fell in love with the look of it at first glance. It’s very much like book aesthetics come to life. They did an amazing job at the costume department and the locations are beyond gorgeous. You basically have everyone from the comics there, but slightly different and a lot of them might still hold a surprise for you. But, as I said above, you don’t necessarily need to know the comics beforehand, because it’s a very loose adaptation. Still, there are nice easter-egg-kind-of situations for hardcore fans of the series.

As per CW tradition there is a lot of over the top drama and beyond gorgeous people. Shipping several of them is inevitable and even though that is the case, I do not have a separate shipping portion today. This is mainly due to the fact that I haven’t made up my mind though. They want to make the canon love triangle of Betty-Archie-Veronica happen, but at the moment I feel like everyone is just crushing on Archie because he got hot over the summer, even though he surely is the dullest of the characters presented.

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I am much more interested in the Veronica and Betty dynamic, their friendship but also what it might become in the future. They both have a lot more to them than you can see at first glance. Kevin’s lines are on point every. single. time. and he is just majorly funny. The show might feature my favourite version of Josie and the Pussycats ever and Cheryl and her possible twincest with Jason does have me intrigued as well. Still, my favourite so far remains Jughead, who definitely needs to talk more about food, but has the greatest vibe. This brings me to my next point.

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So, I mentioned controversy surrounding this show earlier and this section will explain what I meant by that. In the comic reboot Jughead has his own series in which he is openly asexual. The writer has confirmed that and has mentioned in a tweet (but not specifically in the comics as far as I noticed) that Juggie also has a tendency towards being aromantic. Now, that is not (yet) the case in the show.

Hear me out! I think that accurate ace/aro representation in mainstream media is direly needed and something that has been neglected for a while now. We’ve come a long way making TV more diverse, but there is still SO much work to do. However, I woke up after the first episode of Riverdale had aired and people were mad at the show, threatening to boycott it because Jughead wasn’t portrayed as ace/aro and I simply don’t get it. Absolutely nothing suggested that he isn’t in the first episode. Neither did it in the second or the third (which is all that has aired yet/that I have seen before this post gets published). So, my question was why everyone was so mad and I did some research!

Cole Sprouse (who portrays Jughead) revealed in an interview that they wouldn’t portray the character as ace (as they don’t seem to focus on any aro aspect, seen as it is not necessarily considered canon) in the first season, however, he also said he would keep fighting to make it a topic in the future. The producer of the show said that Riverdale is merely the beginning of those characters and that things that are canon in the comics need to still develop on the show (click here for the article). Jughead, as well as other characters, are still discovering their sexuality, so I read that as it being a real possibility that they will make Jughead’s sexual identity a future story arc.

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There’s also been some leaked material, which suggests Juggie will have a romantic storyline. Nevertheless, I don’t see how that is a hindrance just yet. Sexuality is something very fluid in my opinion and especially when you don’t know how you feel or categorize yourself, you might try different things. I feel like a lot of people don’t even know about ace and aro (and the difference between them) and maybe a teen who hasn’t figured it all out just yet would try to date like everyone around him does? I mean, he could try to fit in with the rest of his friends and then realise that it’s just not what he wants? This is obviously just my opinion and I have no idea where they are going with it in the show.

So, what I am trying to say here is that I really wish people would give the show a chance. If they mess up the portrayal, boycott away! Everyone deserves the right kind of representation, but maybe, just maybe, this show will give you a great story about a character who for the first time figures out that they are asexual. Keep in mind, the reveal in the comics wasn’t until Volume 4 either, so give them at least the possibility to work on this before condemning them.

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There isn’t much I can say as to why you shouldn’t watch the show. Maybe don’t tune in if you can’t stand water-bloated corpses? Also, this is obviously a teen drama and in case you know that that’s not your jam at all, I can’t really recommend it either. Lastly, I would understand if people wouldn’t want to watch it because they don’t want to get their hopes up about ace representation and then maybe get disappointed on the long run. If that’s a concern, maybe it’s better to wait a while and see what others say. In the end, it’s always on Netflix to binge.

Are you watching Riverdale? What are your thoughts on it?

Chicago Med Series Premiere

Everyone who knows me just a little, knows how obsessed I am with the Chicago shows. Well, last night was the Premiere of the third installment in the franchise, Chicago Med. I’ve been excited for this for what seem like forever and as expected, it did not disappoint! SPOILERS ahead!

First, I want to say that I’ve been tired of medical dramas as well. There are so many out there and it was getting boring, but Dick Wolf, creator of most Chicago shows as well as the Law & Order universe, is simply a genius. Instead of doing a spin-off, he slowly spins the show into the already existing universe. The actors switch between sets almost seamlessly and you just get the impression that it’s all one and the same thing anyway. Which is great! There are characters related to each other and even some crossover-romances, which makes the actual crossover episodes even more fun.

I don’t think it would make much sense to go into the details of the different cases of the first episode. They were chosen wisely and we got to know all our doctors and nurses a lot better. So, lets break it down:

  • Dr. Will Halstead, brother of Detective Jay Halstead, has been on Fire and PD several times by now. We got to know him a little beforehand and I am really looking forward to finding out more about him. He’s really good at his job, but the thing is, he knows it too. He can be a bit brash sometimes, but I like that about him. I find his relationship with Dr. Natalie Manning really interesting, but for now, I hope that it will stay purely platonic. A thing that was definitely fun to see, was Will butting heads with Dr. Connor Rhodes. They are way more similar than they’d like to admit, but it’ll probably take some time until they become friends.
  • Speaking of Natalie Manning. I thought that Natalie was married, because I remembered reading that somewhere, but then April mentioned that Nat wouldn’t have to do the single-mom-thing on her own. I was really sad when I found out that her military husband had died. I’m glad that info didn’t leak to me beforehand.
  • Dr. Connor Rhodes has most of the ladies swooning and the guys annoyed to no end. He is so cool! I totally get it! He stitched his own wound and has some mean tattoos as well. I wonder where he was and what brought him back to Chicago. He definitely has me intrigued already and I see a ton of broken hearts along the way.
  • Dr. Daniel Charles has also been appearing regularly on Fire and PD already. He’s a good psychiatrist, who knows exactly what people need and when they need it. I gather he bends the rule in favour of his patients sometimes, but I don’t think that’s a bad quality. I liked seeing him care for Jamie as much as he did. He grows on me more with each episode!
  • April Sexton – there’s really not that much new to tell. She was really badass before and she will continue to kick ass in Chicago Med.
  • Dr. Ethan Choi – It’s a little early to tell, but I think I like him. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, but very capable.
  • Dr. Sarah Reese – She sort of surprised me. I knew that she had some troubles with the job, sometimes simply because she didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I didn’t expect her not to want to be at the ER at all. She thinks she’s a lab person, but I bet that the continuous exposure to patients will change her mind soon enough.
  • Maggie – she’s the kind of person who knows about everything that’s going on in the ER. Very cool!

I bet I forgot someone, but I really just wanted to say that I enjoyed the first episode of the show and that I can’t wait to watch the rest of it. There are several crossovers planned, especially around February I think. What did you think of the show?

Chicago Med Season 1 First Look

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Okay, so I did it for the new Seasons of Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, now I feel like I am obliged to do it for Chicago Med as well even though this is a little pointless. The promo basically just showed a lot of scenes from the backdoor pilot on Chicago Fire, but at least the date is set for November 17 this year! YAY!

There aren’t that many Spoilers and infos floating around, but I’ll try my best! The order for the first season consists of 13 episodes. I know that several crossovers with the other Chicago shows, as well as with Law & Order: SVU are planned for early 2016. Laurie Holden, who played Dr. Hanna Tramblen (and can still be seen on the right of the picture above) had to leave the show due to family reasons. I guess there won’t be any romancing with Will Halstead then, which means he needs a new love interest and it better be someone cool!

A couple of people have been added to the cast since the backdoor pilot:

  • Brian Tee has joined the cast and will play a resident who went into medicine after several tours of duty as an Army medic.
  • Colin Morgan (who we should all know as Tommy from Arrow) has also been added as series regular, but there is not much known about his role. He is possibly expected to be a pediatric doctor, but it hasn’t been confirmed.
  • Torrey DeVitto (from TVD and PLL) will portray a pregnant emergency room doctor named Dr. Lilly Manning.
  • (this one I found out thanks to Cristina @MyTinyObsessions who helped me out in the comments) Rachel DiPillo (Jane the Virgin) will be interning as Dr. Sarah Reese at the ER and is fresh out of med school.

I am super excited about the show, but it’s still too early to know what all will actually happen. I already know that I’ll be very invested in what Dr. Halstead is doing, simply because he’s Jay’s brother. Other than that I’ll be happy to let myself be surprised. Are you excited too?

Dark Matter Season 1 Finale

What a journey it’s been! So many twists and turns and revelations. I hope you enjoyed Dark Matter as much as I did and therefore won’t mind the upcoming Spoilers!

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So neither Killjoys (which ended last week and I didn’t write a review for – sorry!) nor Dark Matter have been renewed for a Season 2, which is a real shame in my opinion. Renew the shows already, because they definitely were great summer sci-fi programs that I’d like to see more of!

I think we can all agree that we learned a lot about the characters, while still having to learn a lot about them. Especially after the finale!!! Let’s break it down one crew-member at a time to see what we discovered about them throughout the season:

  • One: So, he’s not actually Jace Corso. We now know that he actually came on the ship to revenge his murdered wife, but his rivalry with Three definitely made him blind to the real traitor among the crew. His relationship with Two is also a bit rocky … at least he might have a legit excuse to get released by the Galactic Authority since he’s not Corso?
  • Two: FINALLY the mystery was resolved. She’s pretty much an engineered being that should not be captured or she’d be in real danger of being destroyed. There is still a lot we don’t know about who really constructed her and for what reason. We got a glimpse at it, but there’s still so much more to find out. I’m sad to think that Five doubted her, but I probably would have too. Well … Two is still boss and I bet she’ll find a way out of this dilemma.
  • Three: Who would have thought the guy had such a heart? I didn’t trust him in the beginning, and trust might still be a strong word, but I definitely like him. He’s one of my favourites and cracks me up every episode. I wish they wouldn’t have taken away his love interest that quickly though.
  • Four: I am glad he considers taking his empire back, although that seems pretty difficult from where he’s currently at. However, I was so excited to hear that he is training Five and that he was the one who let her stay on ship in the first place. I think seeing some training scenes would be awesome in the future!
  • Five: She’s my favourite! Those goggles and her outfits – could she be any cooler? I like her innocence and her wanting to belong to the crew. And I love how everyone wants to protect her, even though she’s quite capable herself. She’s just an amazing character!
  • Six: HOW DARE YOU? I don’t even know who he is anymore. I just don’t understand how he could do this to his friends, especially Five. He was like father to her! There needs to be some serious explaining in Season 2 (and yes, I am just assuming there will be one)!
  • Android: Can we all just agree on how amazing Zoie Palmer was as the Android! I loved how she wasn’t just like a robot, but actually their friend and with some really funny quirks to her personality. Also, people who can play a double-role are always cool! I hope she won’t be rebooted with a different personality!
  • He’s not a crew member but it was still a mighty fine surprise to see Wil Wheaton on Dark Matter. Even though the same can’t be said about his character …

So, what do you think? I have no idea how the crew is going to get out of this and how they’ll ever forgive Six but I NEED MORE! That’s my opinion, but what is yours?

Summer Review: Sense8

Sense8 is Netflix’ new original series and it’s the perfect show to binge this summer! (Seriously, no human being would be capable of watching this on a weekly basis only!) Since it is pretty difficult to review an entire series without giving things away, beware of Spoilers.

Sense8 is about a cluster of people around the planet who are “Sensates”, which links them mentally and lets them share their feelings, skills and knowledge. To me, it’s very much a mix between the web series H+ (click here to watch it on YouTube!) and Joss Whedon‘s In Your Eyes, seen as H+ has this global touch and In Your Eyes is about sharing that special mental connection. Netflix has planned to force their program to become more important globally, which they definitely managed to do by including people from all continents in this show (… even if they still all speak English, at least they have specific accents according to their territory. I get that no one likes to watch shows with subtitles).

First, I want to make clear that I loved the show! I am more than happy that Netflix took a risk with it and really plunged into the genre here, but it’s also in no way perfect. One of the problems of the show is that it takes quite some time until you figure the whole “Sensates”-thing out. At the beginning that is fine, because you are just as clueless as the characters are, who mostly think they are going insane. But, if it weren’t for Naveen Andrews‘ character Jonas (who I had a hard time not calling Jafar) we probably wouldn’t know anything at all about the “Sensates”, since he’s the one explaining it to the audience as well as the characters.

Another thing I want to talk about is not really a problem, but a bit of an inconsistency throughout the Season: pacing. For one, there are scenes where characters literally sit down next to each other for 10 minutes and just talk. Don’t get me wrong, that can be just as emotional and beautiful as any other scene, but when it’s followed by an over-the-top and unrealistic action scene (and I’m not talking about Lito’s scenes for his movie), it just feels a little weird. In general, there can be a lot of over-exaggerated scenes that weren’t really my thing (e.g. “the orgy” (actually no, I take that back, that was pretty entertaining … and hot), the birthing scene, Wolfgang’s confrontation with his family, …).

But enough complaining, I started by saying that I loved the show and here’s why:

  • It tackles a lot of serious topics such as homosexuality, transgender relations, racial differences, feminism and many more without ever doing it in a tacky or pretentious way.
  • You feel connected with all the characters and share their emotions as if you were in the cluster with them. Often their connection is portrayed in a beautiful and poetic way, mostly underlined with great music which makes it a real feast to watch (and to sometimes sing along). Also, the I just loved all the different relationships and how the characters’ fates were intertwined!
  • Still, with everything I just mentioned, Sense8  also has some hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud for minutes.
  • Last but not least, the cast is simply amazing, varying from names such as Naveen Andrews, Brian J. Smith, Freema Agyeman, Tina Desai and Tuppence Middleton to Max Riemelt, Miguel Àngel Silvestre, Aml Ameen and many more.

So, even though it might not have been all it could’ve been, I like the cast, I like the ambition and direction of the show and most of all I really want to know what happens next. Netflix hasn’t yet decided on whether they’ll renew or cancel it, but I am hoping for a future for Sense8 and maybe an even more amazing Season 2. What are your thoughts?

P.S.: Have I mentioned how happy I am to see German actor Max Riemelt in this? That was seriously one of my personal highlights!

My Guilty Pleasure: The Royals

So, when I first watched the promo for the Royals, I thought it seemed a bit rubbish. It looked cheesy and cheap, but then they brought out a different Trailer and I couldn’t resist checking it out. And guess what, I loved it and am now proud part of the Loyals! Each week I anticipated the new episodes and the show rewarded me by continuing to surprise me. Therefore I thought it deserved a little review now that it’s over. (Major Spoilers included!)

The show starts by announcing that the heir to the throne, Prince Robert, son to Queen Helena and King Simon, brother to Princess Eleanor and Prince Liam has died. It comes as a shock to the entire family as well as the country and the circumstances of his death stay somewhat of a secret. At the beginning it really bothered me that we never once saw Robert, not even a photo, but in the end that was good. It added a lot to the drama towards last episodes of the show. Here are some of the elements that I liked most about the Royals:

  • The father-son/daughter-realtionship was adorable. King Simon was a truly good man and you saw that he made up for the lack of emotion that his wife showed towards their children. He only ever wanted the best for everyone and in a way I think it was very brave of him to acknowledge that the monarchy might not be the way of accomplishing that.
  • Speaking of the Queen though, she doesn’t stop at anything to get what she wants! But what is it she wants? She remained an enigma to me the entire time. She purposely hurt her children, the man she loved and her own reputation for what? To stay Queen?
  • Eleanor was my favourite person on the show. She is majorly messed up and an addict, but she’s a good person at heart. You know how much she cares for her family and it was often her scenes with the King or Liam or Beck or Jasper (so, basically everyone) that broke my heart the most.
  • Eleanor and Jasper (is it Jaspenor or Jaleanor?) are just so fun to watch! Who doesn’t like a relationship that’s founded on blackmail? Also, Jasper is another candidate for “Most Mysterious Character”. Who is he? Where is he from and what was his plan all along? We know so little about him … at least very little that is true.
  • Liam’s change from partying bachelor to heir to the throne was interesting and his relationship with Ophelia was like from a fairy tale. I’m sort of sad they have such a hard time finding a time and place to just be together and be happy.
  • I never truly liked Gemma, but she kind of fascinates me. She’s a lot smarter than people give her credit for anyway.
  • Cyrus and his daughters are one of the most hilarious elements of the show. Nonetheless, he is such a creep and you wonder how he could possibly be the brother of Simon. They are nothing alike! His actions are repulsive and selfish through and through.
  • Marcus was one of my favourite people as well! During the finale I couldn’t believe that I missed that he’s into Ophelia … Seriously, I must’ve been off my game because something like that usually doesn’t pass me. In hindsight though, it totally makes sense and I feel for him, because he doesn’t stand a chance against Liam at the moment.
  • The Finale!!! Just thinking about what happened in the last 5 minutes, it’s torture to wait until next Season with all that information. Robert was murdered, Simon is dead, Cyrus is King, Prudence is pregnant from him and what on earth is this Domino thing??? I mean that’s definitely one way to go and leave everyone clueless.

I think that sums up the whole Season and what I liked about it: so much drama! Let me hear your thoughts on the topic!