What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #51

I didn’t come up with a better way to title these posts, so I stuck with the numbering. I wonder how high we will get with those eventually! Today I am going to talk about a couple shows and I will have designated spoiler sections for a couple of them. Please, beware and avoid them if you do not wish to know that much about the show/movie!

The Letter for the King (Season 1)

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the show at first. There are a couple really amazing misdirects and I think it is cool that it has characters that actually look their young age instead of being a decade older than what they are supposed to play, but then … they just had to go and ruin it. Without going into detail, they fall pray to the whole “bury your gays” thing, by killing a gay character shortly after having them start a relationship of sorts. It was completely unnecessary as the person in question could have just as easily been wounded and survived everything. It still has me so mad to think about it now.

For fans of: knights, magic, destiny

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 4)

Okay, so, I’ve already voiced some of my thoughts on the final season of CAOS in my post here, but did not go into detail, because it didn’t seem the right time. Overall, if you don’t want to be spoiled, I just want to say that I was not happy with this ending. I found it disrespectful to many characters, despite actually enjoying this season as a whole. But to elaborate a little bit:

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

  • Sabrina being constantly jealous of her friends and family, because she was single for a longer period of time for the first time since the show started was majorly annoying. We really need to stop acting like it’s the end of the world when people aren’t in a relationship.
  • The eldritch terrors were interesting to me, although I am not familiar with them to a point where I could judge them based on previous iterations. I liked the foe of the week theme, as it moved the season along nicely and kept it more compact than with previous villains.
  • I think there’s a couple plotholes, e.g. Sabrina doesn’t stop being married to the Uninvited just because she locked him in a room outside of time and space and let the Void swallow it … don’t think that’s how marriage works.
  • Why do people keep hating on Cabrina as a ship? I think Morningstar and Caliban were really it and Caliban still scheming to rule hell was just very in character.
  • I am unsure how I feel about Sabrina dying. I think if the show continued, they’d have found a way to resurrect her, even the actress said so herself, so, to have Nick kill himself to be with her in the afterlife was a cruel thing to do. They acted like it was the most casual thing in the world, but I found it really disrespectful to the character. He had gained so many friends over the past seasons and to end his arc like that … not cool.
  • My favourite part of the season were the new and old Weird Sisters. Truly the best!
  • I know that they didn’t really expect to get cancelled for real, but even though you saw Sabrina in the afterlife, you have no idea how any of the other characters are doing and I think that’s a shame. The show wasn’t just about her and a funeral isn’t a series finale for me.

A Discovery of Witches (Season 2)

I binged the entire season in one day and only regretted it slightly, because I love this show. I know it’s not perfect, but it truly enchanted me in Season 1. In comparison, I think Season 2 couldn’t hold up as well in terms of aesthetics and pacing. The split timeline was a tricky thing to pull off, especially since the book solely focuses on Diana’s POV and the show on everyone. I don’t think they managed the balance very well and I would honestly have been frustrated watching it on a weekly basis if I wanted a certain storyline to continue just to get an entire episode set in a different time. It just gave the whole thing a bit of a choppy edge.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I haven’t read the second book, so, I can’t say how faithful it was. Somewhere it said that Gallowglass was in love with Diana and I did not get that vibe this season, but they might explore that in the next one. I sometimes wished that some storylines went a little deeper, for example the adoption of Jack or the love story between Phoebe and Marcus, but it also had some great moments again. Finally getting to meet Philippe was a real treat! Also, I enjoyed Diana being fiercer and coming into her powers, although Matthew went in the opposite direction and became more chliché-vampire territorial/feral.

Life Itself

TW: graphic suicide and death

Life Itself has one of my most favourite trailers of all time. I had put off watching the movie for years though, because the reviews weren’t exactly glowing and now that I’ve finally seen it, I get it. The overall premise of life being an unreliable narrator and everyone possibly being the hero and villain in someone’s story is a good one. It’s even an excellent one, but the execution did not hold up at all. It felt like very disjointed storytelling and the emotions sometimes felt like they were overshadowed by certain scenes that seemed added for shock value. Unfortunately the film did not hold up to the trailer at all.

For fans of: stories within stories


Have you watched any of these? Do you want to talk about them? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #49

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

The Wilds (Season 1)

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

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

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

Tiny Pretty Things (Season 1)

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

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

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

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

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

The Mess You Leave Behind (Season 1)

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

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

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

Home for Christmas (Season 2)

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

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

The Mandalorian (Season 2)

This season was so good!

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

For fans of: Star Wars?

Safety

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

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

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


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #47

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

Grand Army (Season 1)

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

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

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

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

Over Christmas (Season 1)

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

BRIEF SPOILER MOMENT

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

SPOILER MOMENT ENDED

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

For fans of: Luke Mockridge, predictable Christmas stuff

Virgin River (Season 2)

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

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

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

Stargirl

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

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

For fans of: quirky “magic” girls

Black Beauty

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

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

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

For fans of: horse stories


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #44 (Spooky Edition)

Look, I know what I always say. I keep telling you all that I don’t watch horror, yet here we are today. I did a whole freaking horror binge and will now talk to you about it! (also, I am not going to do the whole “for fans of”-part … cause it would be for fans of horror and the cast for all of those? This is a very specific round up of things I’ve watched …)

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Why did I start with Bly Manor? I don’t really know.

I just saw a bunch of people talking about the sapphic vibes and how it wasn’t as scary as Hill House and … I caved? I always knew I liked the cast they got for this series (as well as the previous one), but I am an utter scaredy cat and I don’t enjoy feeling scared. (I honestly still don’t understand why anyone would.) Bly Manor really wasn’t that bad in that regard. Yes, dolls and people without faces are inherently creepy, but except for maybe two jump scares, this was rather tame.

The kids weren’t really my cup of tea and you will have to endure some elements of repeitiveness, but I think it makes sense in the overall picture (the repeating of things, not the kids being annoying).

In the show itself, they say how it is more of a love story than a ghost story, or how there sometimes is no difference and I liked that. I enjoyed that this was more about existential dread of being forgotten albeit having loved so much. How you can fail at protecting those you care about most, or succeed at it, depending on how you look at it. There was something thought provoking about it, but not anything that left me too terrified … although I will jump at anything moving in my mirrors.

Here’s another one of my original drawings, portraying Victoria Perdetti (a goddess) as Dani Clayton

The Haunting of Hill House

I already knew that much of the cast from Bly Manor had already worked together in Hill House and I wasn’t quite ready to let them go. In a way, a lot of horror-fans weren’t too pumped about Bly Manor, but I just have to give it credit, because it paved the way for people like me to check out Hill House. And yes, it is far more scary. I did not enjoy those ghosts or entities or screams or foreboding signs a lot, but I did live for the family dynamic.

The casting was so well done (again, I had a feeling that would be the case), but I especially loved the kids. I wanted to hold them and protect them and get them as far away from that cursed house as possible. Seeing their grown up counterparts was also such a joy and their fights cut deep even without any paranormal occurrences.

Overall, I think I liked Bly Manor a bit more, because I had troubles with Hill House after dark, but it was still amazing.

Helstrom (Season 1) 

This was marketed as a Marvel horror show. And it is Marvel, in the sense that it is based on the material from Marvel, but it is not, in fact, part of the MCU. And I don’t know if it’s really horror either. Do you think gross demons (that really only do anything gross every other episode) is horror? I don’t know. It’s a tough call, but I think it would have sufficed to advertise it as an edgier and darker show

Anyway, I binged through this pretty quickly and yes, it had a lot to do with my love for Tom Austen and missing him on my screen. It is a fairly slow show and needs time until about the halfway point to pick up. The strong suit are definitely the various relationships the characters have with each other. And even though I would have preferred not to have a romantic plotline, when there is a fantastic sibling relationsihp to explore RIGHT THERE, I will concede to it being important in the grand scheme of things.

I liked the occasional weird humour, but I can see it being hit or miss with a lot of people. All in all, I think it had a really intriguing set up for a potential next season (which I am not sure they will get).

Not my best work, but here you go anyway

The Invisible Man

If you haven’t noticed a certain pattern here … I will spell it out for you! I apparently am into a very specific type of man aka Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Tom Austen kind of men. Oliver was in this one as well, pair it with Elisabeth Moss and Aldis Hodge and you have my freaking attention. Once again, the cast was 100% the reason I watched this.

The lingering shots of just looking at nothing were so unsettling. The lack of sound and then very cleverly used sound – brilliant! You knew he was there, but you couldn’t see him. No one could and the way that gaslit poor Cecilia, I cannot even. It’s one of my worst nightmares that everyone will think that I have gone insane even though I am stating plain facts. That, in itself, is horror to me.

It was a tad long maybe, because we were like halfway through the thing and had had some pretty major confrontations already, but other than that … creepy. Definitely creepy.


Technically I also watched Ready or Not, but I only wanted to talk about spoiler stuff when it came to that one. The conclusion of this is that I still don’t like *most* horror. I will tolerate some? It’s really all down to the cast. What do you think?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #42

I have focused on only a few things to watch these past weeks since my last post, but I still wanted to share with you. It’s going to be a lot shorter than usually though!

A Million Little Things (Season 1-2)

TW: suicide, depression

I was caught off guard by just how much I loved this show. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, because the subject matter is really heavy and while I like that it talks about suicide and depression openly, I also know that it can be detrimental to the mental health of some to be confronted with that over a longer period of time.

What I adored most was that this was an adult friend group, who met as adults (cause not everyone keeps all their childhood friends) and that they really found a family in each other. Obviously, there are a lot points of conflict, but I like the way they handled most of them. There’s two characters that have easily become all time favourites (what’s up Gary and Katherine) and two that I think don’t deserve rights (go away Eddie and Delilah), but I just love being on a journey with all of them.

Filming for Season 3 is underway in Vancouver (although currently paused due to delays in the covid testing lab) and I am pumped for more episodes in November.

For fans of: found family drama, stuff that will make you cry, ensemble casts

Black Lightning (Season 2-3)

I just really played catch up on a lot of shows. Black Lightning is always such a refreshing superhero show to watch on the CW, because it is not so obviously tied to everything else in the Arrowverse (even if they did a crossover for Crisis on Infinite Earths or whatever it was called). Add to that the fact that it is a majority Black cast and I am happy for people to see themselves represented in that genre.

I had already watched half of Season 2, until a certain someone got their spine ripped out, and then it took me a long while to keep going. Season 3 felt a bit different than the previous ones, but I enjoy binging it on Netflix always (although my country always adds it pretty late, which is why I am always late). Still, Jenn and Khalil are mostly what I am here for? 

For fans of: CW superhero shows

Lucifer (Season 5)

I know how much everyone loves this show and I am so happy for them, but … I was not that invested this (first part of?) season 5. The thing is, I got bored with the whole Lucifer and Chloe thing and the other struggles felt very predictable as well. I guessed … everything and every plot twist (and I blame casting for a certain twist especially). On top of that, I wish they hadn’t shown the Michael dilemma in the trailer already, it would have been so much more fun to discover while watching the show.

Not saying it’s a bad show, but also not sad that it will end soon?

For fans of: celestial drama shenanigans paired with crime

Enola Holmes

This was way more fun than I expected it to be!

First of all, yes, I agree that Henry Cavill is slightly too handsome to be Sherlock. He also played the character very soft and emotionally aware and while I loved that … it didn’t feel as Sherlock as other iterations. But then, this is about Enola and her being a non-canon character in that universe and therefore Sherlock can also be his own version? Hope that made sense.

Anyway, I adored the 4th-wall-breaks of Millie as Enola. While watching, I kept comparing it to the 4th-wall-breaks of Fleabag and that makes all the more sense (despite them being such different genres and for different target groups), because the show and this movie had the same director.

It was fast paced and quick witted. The dynamics between the characters were golden and I would absolutely love to see them continuing to adapt the rest of the books with this cast. Also, very much enjoyed the parallels to current topics that made it feel relevant in many ways.

For fans of: teen non-canon Sherlock version with far more current topics than expected


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #39

I meant to do this earlier, but I then forgot … so, now this post is getting a little long. But I hope you’re looking forward to hearing my thoughts on some shows anyway!

Outer Banks (Season 1)

I think this show released in May and I heard the buzz, but I just wasn’t ready to really dive into it. I, then, watched it all in the span of two days and kept thinking “I’m not sure why this show got so hyped”, but … we are now two weeks later and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. I keep watching cast videos, have the episodes ready for editing, the script of the pilot and am seriously considering doing my next art series with the characters in mind. So yeah, guess I DO get it after all …

Basically, this show has a treasure hunt, OC-like rich and poor kids in a beach setting, a kind of thriller element with bad guys with guns and a bunch of possible ships. I already mentioned this in my monthly wrap-up, but basically everyone ships these two characters that are like the only ones that haven’t hooked up yet. Their chemistry was on fire! But it’s not just romantic tensions everywhere, the friendships on that show are golden and I don’t mind them actually taking the time to evolve things naturally to another level, if that’s something they want to do. I had a lot of fun and am super curious about the next season (which is confirmed)!

For fans of: the Goonies, the OC, found family

The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)

I didn’t read the comics and I don’t know if they followed them anyway, but I had no idea what this season would look like. There was never really any doubt, but I really enjoyed it again. The characters are just so much fun and unique, it’s great to watch them try to prevent stuff they caused themselves. I have to say that sometimes a couple episodes felt a bit repetitive or slow, but the music choices were killer again and the end always makes up for the slower parts.

If there’s one thing I would criticize, it’s that almost everyone had a love interest (either from the previous season or a new one) and it felt a bit like too much romance sometimes? That could totally just be me, but I noticed it. Also, them not really reflecting on the people they lost in the last season made me sad. Sometimes the characters seem like they just live in this bubble of now, when we darn well know that their past affects them greatly.

I’m obviously not going to spoil anything, but – THE END!!! I wish the next season was already done as well.

For fans of: comic book adaptations, unconventional superheroes, character driven stories

Get Even (Season 1)

Netflix kept recommending this to me over and over again, so I caved and just watched it. It’s not a very long show and I think it was already released on BBC a while ago? Could be wrong about that, but they definitely co-produced it.

The show is about a group of girls who, instead of getting mad, get even. I understand a need for revenge and sneakily wanting to get back at bullies, but I am torn about the message. On the one hand, I don’t want abusers and bad people to get away with what they did, but on the other hand, I don’t think revenge is THE answer.

It was a decent show that definitely set up a future season with a couple relationships not being as explored but rather hinted at so far. Overall it didn’t overwhelm me though, it just whelmed ….

For fans of: don’t get mad – get even, rich kids, outsiders, revenge plots getting out of hand, possible lesbian ship

Control Z (Season 1)

Control Z is Mexican Netflix content and I’d say this show is a mix of Elite, Gossip Girl and You. If that doesn’t make it clear for you, it more or less means that the themes involve hackers that publish secrets, rich vs. poor kids conflicts and also some stalking material.

I binged the entire show in one afternoon/evening, because it was a pretty easy watch. Sometimes those teens felt way over the top and unnecessarily so. Especially in the romance department, there was a lot of instant attraction that I had no idea where it came from? But overall also decent and with a massive cliffhanger in the end – be warned!

For fans of: Elite, Gossip Girl, You, hackers, blackmail, dramatic teens

Banana Split

I wanted to watch this because I thought this was finally a less toxic female friendship that shows how two people who just get each other can be friends despite complicated histories with a guy. Well, it wasn’t exactly that. Still, it’s one of the smarter teen romcoms in terms of emotional complexity, while still having super crude and offensive language? Could be your thing or not, but I liked the way the movie was directed and how it prioritized friendships in the end.

For fans of: smart teen romcoms, friendship > romance

School Life

Sometimes I just randomly watch French content to gauge if I can still understand the language. That’s not to say that I don’t need subtitles, but I generally like French stuff I find on Netflix. I checked out this one in particular, because the main actress was also the lead in Plan Coeur and that’s my favourite French show on Netflix. Anyway, for a school drama about how the system makes it hard for certain kids and how not every teacher cares, there were some amazing shots in there! Transitions and just some scenes as a whole were really cool to watch and I liked it overall a lot.

For fans of: hardships in the French school system in fictional drama form

The Willoughbys

This was a strange movie and the kids wanted to purposely make sure their parents died so that they could be orphans. Granted, their parents were really, really terrible. They abused and neglected their children, but this was (despite the bubbly look) quite dark. I am not sure what age I would really recommend this for?

The final message of finding your family in the people you choose is beautiful though, so there’s always that!

For fans of: animated (dark) family films, “what is family?”-questions


That’s it from me! Have you watched any of those things? Do you want to talk about something? Let’s chat!

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 #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 #26

I have watched so many things that this post is probably going to get a little longer than I initially planned, but there’s just so much to talk about! Let’s get started to not add to the word count by some rambling in the intro!

Another Life

I had this saved to my Netflix list for months now, but never quite felt in the right mood to watch it. However, I generally like alien and outer space stories, so I am honestly not surprised I ended up enjoying this one as well. Even though I found some visuals to be very obvious aftereffects, the show has a cool and believable feel to it, making you wonder how far it is in the future and thinking it’s not quite all that much. Maybe, as if we were only one scientific breakthrough away from getting to that point as well.

Anyway, do not watch this show for Tyler Hoechlin, you’d be disappointed! Definitely watch it for the AI William though!!! He was the kindest soul and my absolute favourite from episode 1 onwards. I’d love to talk some more about the aliens and whether they are a threat or not and if humanity is being a dick once again, but then it would take out all the fun of you watching it. If you ever do want to talk about that stuff though, just hit me up in the comments!

For fans of: people crammed together on small living spaces, precarious situations that escalate past what you think possible, aliens, outer space, human challenges

Ares

I only found this trailer to make it accessible to all of you, but this is originally a Dutch show and I highly recommend you watch it in Dutch with subtitles. As you all know by now, I quite enjoy my international (especially European) Netflix shows and just upon hearing the title of this one, I was intrigued.

It’s another quite short format, but it is VERY dark. I mean that and want to warn you that someone stabs their own eyes and slits their throat within the first three minutes and many more brutal suicides will follow throughout the course of the show. I understand that it is not for everyone and want you to be prepared for the violence. Having said that, the show had amazing layers to its story, showing how karma can build up through generations and metaphorically portraying the consequences to actions in a very interesting way. You never quite know what’s behind it all and what’s going on, but it was very interesting nonetheless. The end, while making sense in a way, was super abrupt though and that irritated me a little. 

For fans of: metaphors, lore, karma, ambition, how far would you go-scenarios

October Faction

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Netflix is on fire with their comic book/graphic novel adaptations! While I haven’t read this personally and therefore can’t compare the content to its origin, I had the best time watching it. I will admit that it’s not the best comic book series on the platform, but it has its own charm for sure. While the premise seems pretty straight forward, I promise there are twists and turns to the story and characters that will make it ten times as intriguing as the trailer alone might suggest.

I don’t have all too much to say, other than that it was a quick and interesting watch that leaves you wanting more easily. There is a sort of cliffhanger and it definitely feels like not all loose ends are tied up just yet. I assume they made this with several seasons in mind and I can only hope that they’ll be able to get to do far more.

For fans of: comic book adaptations, humans vs. monsters, who is the real monster though?

Sex Education (Season 2)

Pretty sure it’s no secret that I liked the first season of Sex Education quite a bit and I liked this one too. There are still brilliantly shot scenes, good acting, confusing fashion choices that never quite make sense in terms of which decade we are in and lovable characters all around. I think I cried a whole lot more this time around than I did with the first season, but it also felt a little less focused? I don’t really have anything bad to say though (except maybe not loving the definition of pansexuality they used), because I don’t know … the show is pretty awesome.

The storylines that especially touched me were Aimee’s, Adam’s and Jackson’s, but Maeve also had some tearjerkers. But not just the main characters, but also some one episode sidestories were pretty great, with the “asexuality” scene probably being one that I can see helping many people out there. I know a lot of people weren’t too happy with some of the new additions *cough* Isaac *cough*, but just keep in mind that there would barely be any conflict without some new drama. They need material for hopefully a couple more seasons after all!

For fans of: messy teens, all kinds of love

Titans (Season 2)

I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to include this one here as well, because I am not even sure I ever talked about the first season, but here we are! The thing that is on my mind the most is that … I just don’t really love this show but also keep watching it? I just find it very hard to root for some characters, because you never quite get as close to anyone as you would need to be fully invested. The story is all over the place, there’s far too many flashback episodes (which are just a personal nuisance to me) and they keep adding characters.

An ensemble cast isn’t something bad, but if you see a character for a minute per episode or not at all, can you really still call them part of the main team? I don’t know. It’s such a slow build here, but as I said, I still keep watching it. There must be something to it! (Definitely didn’t mind the addition of Superboy and Krypto but will forever be sad about Aqualad’s part in all of this, especially cause I loved the casting)

For fans of: DC comics, origin stories, Titans

Knives Out

I wasn’t exactly impressed with the Oscar nominations, but that’s a whole other topic. Still, I try to catch at least some of the nominations every year and I really, really, really wanted to watch Knives Out. It released in cinemas here pretty late, so there’s still 5 screenings per day now and I finally caught one. I now get what all the fuss is about!

Murder mysteries not being my favourite genre, this was actually A LOT of fun to watch, as in, I laughed out loud several times. I don’t think we even have to talk about how brilliant of a cast they managed to get, but I was really impressed by all of them. Ana carried the movie perfectly and it was great getting to see Chris Evans in something other than America’s golden boy. I even thought I had been spoiled about the ending, but I wasn’t entirely and still loved all the twists and turns. Many people have mentioned it to me before I went and watched it, but the final shot of the movie is perfection!

For fans of: murder mysteries a la Agatha Christie, any and all of the amazing cast members, Rian Johnson as director


Have you watched any of these things? Do you want to? Let’s chat!