What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #66

Let me tell you, I’ve watched way more than you might think from the lack of posts on here. But, the problem is that I started a lot of things, but I finished embarrassingly few things. Still, I didn’t want to wait any longer, so we are going to talk about some shows and movies!

Ted Lasso (Season 2)

This show will never not have my whole heart. As many of my friends can confirm, I can write entire essays on the character work that has been done here, but I will refrain from making this too long. I just want to say that they managed an amazing sophomore season. It’s not easy to continue with a show, the vast majority of the world considers a feel-good-series and still give it meaningful and complex plotlines, but they managed it.

My heart was warmed and crushed alike. It definitely didn’t feel as light as last season, but it shed a beautiful light on various characters and gave more flesh to those usually on the sidelines. Everyone felt important, which was the reason that a lot of the betrayals felt so hard-hitting. The growth from most of the characters though – chef’s kiss.

This season heavily focused on mental health in athletics and in general, as well as themes of loss and abandonment. It’s definitely not all happy, but the balance was achieved in my eyes.

Sex Education (Season 3)

I liked the season, a lot. I wasn’t sure I would still be so invested, but I really was. I binged it pretty much in one go and also read Ace of Spades simultaneously, so the racism of certain characters/institutions really jumped out at times. Still, thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I now prefer Ruby and Otis to Maeve and Otis, which I was never really invested in anyway (let’s go Maeve and Amy!), but the storyline was continued quite beautifully.

There were a couple subplots I wasn’t 100% happy with. I expected more from Viv and Jackson’s friendship, but through the introduction of Cal, they added an amazing character that I wouldn’t want to miss from the season at all. Usually, I also really don’t like the whole “closeted gay/bi guy bullies gay kid, who later becomes his love interest and he gets a redemption arc”-thing, but they wrote Adam so well! Eric still remains one of my favorite characters and I love that he got more story of his own, while his friendship with Otis still shone through.

Towards the end, I got really emotional and I’m looking forward to more! 

Free Guy

This movie is just so much fun! I thought of it like a lighthearted mix of Tron and the Truman Show for some reason, but maybe that’s just me.

Where the movie could have easily drifted off into some existential crisis, Free Guy just remains entertaining with a heart. The cast was chosen so well and whereas a lot of the plot was predictable in the end, I don’t hold it against them. This movie was exactly the booster of goodness I needed. I can only recommend it!

No Time to Die

I am so very proud of all the people who managed to not spoil the whole world, despite having seen the movie. I, too, won’t go into detail, but just say that Phoebe Waller-Bridge did not disappoint and gave us a magnificent send off for Daniel Craig. It had callbacks to my favorites, such as Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre, while still remaining its own story.

This might have been one of the most emotionally gripping Bond movies so far, however, I do feel like the balance between action and deeper storyline was a bit off. Either it needed more action for the length it was, or they should have tightened it by about 30 minutes in terms of dialogue and exhibition. This is a minor complaint, because we still flew through the hours. Without saying too much, one of my favorite parts about the whole thing, next to the emotional main plot, was Ana de Armas. She was such a bright light and really fun addition.

Shows I Watch Weekly

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

The Big Leap – I’m obsessed with this show! I just love Gabby’s storyline, which is the one I am most invested in, but I really want to see where it can go. I have a strong feeling that they’ll cancel it, but it’s FOX. I lost faith in them a long time ago.

Stargirl (Season 2) – I love the horror vibes this season brings. It’s really gloomy and doomy right now, but I’m back to wanting to give it my full attention. It sure has me hooked.

Star Trek: Lower Decks (Season 2) – It’s such a silly show, but I love it. I don’t really get the weekly release for a show like this one, but I’m sticking with it.

Roswell, New Mexico (Season 3) – Does not have enough Maria in it, even if I did get a steamy make out with her and the love interest of my choice.

Nancy Drew (Season 3) – I have Drew’s Crew back, but most of all Ace. Let me tell you, people, he is my number 1 comfort character.

9-1-1 (Season 5) – I can see them struggling with trying to one up themselves with the tragedies and disasters each season, but it’s been a good couple of episodes so far. Even though the scenarios aren’t what I want to see necessarily, they do have emotional impact.

Station 19 (Season 5) – We all know I have a thing for firehouse shows, right?


What have you been watching? Let’s talk!

What If … The Watcher Broke His Oath? Episode/Season Finale Review

We’re back on this fine Wednesday (I say like it’s not raining where I live, then again, I do like rain) with another Marvel review – What If … The Watcher Broke His Oath? Spoilers for the episode ahead!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

The Watcher assembles a team from across the mulitverse to fight Ultron.

My thoughts?

This was … a good episode? Still a little packed, because of the minimal run time, but overall one of the better ones. It definitely felt like a season finale more than anything else, but then again, it seems like Marvel still has something up their sleeve for the upcoming season. Either way, this was an action-packed episode. Let’s break it down!

  • The Watcher finally decides to intervene and plucks the candidates for a team of his own from across the multiverse. Eventually he assembles the “Guardians of the Multiverse“, which consist of characters from previous episodes such as Captain Carter, Star Lord T’Challa, Killmonger, Party Thor and evil Doctor Strange. However, he also recruits a version of Gamora, who managed to kill her Thanos and save her universe with an infinity crusher (a device, designed to destroy infinity stones). I wonder why we haven’t gotten to see her story.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • This odd mix of characters was quite fun to watch, but they don’t get a lot of bonding time before getting thrown into a fight with Ultron. It’s here that the zombies make a cameo again, but easily get defeated by the AI.
  • As T’Challa manages to steal the Soul Stone, the gang flees to another world, where they meet Natasha, the only survivor on her planet and the version we met the previous week. Ultron quickly catches up, but they manage to hold him down long enough to use the infinity crusher. Unfortunately, this course of action fails, as each infinity stone is unique to its world and the crusher was designed for only those of Gamora’s universe. I guess this is their way of talking themselves out of the power of the stones cancelling each other out once there are multiple versions in one world? 
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Ultimately, it all comes down to the Zola virus Nat managed to save because of Clint’s sacrifice last week. With Peggy’s help, she manages to drive the arrow home and Ultron is destroyed, but nothing is ever that easy.
  • Killmonger betrays the group and takes the stones for himself. He suggests to make everyone’s world the way they want it, to give everyone what they need/desire, but the other’s are having none of it. Before anyone can intervene, Zola wants to reclaim the stones though, starting a power struggle with Killmonger.
  • It’s at that moment, that Stephen realizes what he has to do. Now that the stones aren’t attached to a body, he freezes the fighting Zola, Killmonger and the infinity stones in a pocket dimension, becoming their watcher in the process. Let’s face it, he didn’t have anything else going on.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Everyone returns to the moment they were taken from their universe, their sacrifice unknown to everyone. Except for Nat, who gets taken to a world that had lost their widow. For a moment, I carried the slight hope that it would be our universe and that the Black Widow movie wouldn’t have been for nothing and way too late, but it wasn’t “ours”.

In the end, this was a decent episode. Very action-packed and not so much character focused, but it really tied what we had seen so far together. I appreciate that it wasn’t all for nothing.

This isn’t something really big about the episode, but I feel like, if you shipped Steve with Nat in the live-action movies, then you should 100% be able to ship Nat with Peggy because of what we’ve seen. Their chemistry was off the charts and I don’t care if they call each other BFFs or not. Usually, I’m not someone who needs to find characters to ship and advocate for loving platonic relationships, but some comments on the internet pissed me off. Consider this my rant, because I can’t tolerate intolerant people.

For some reason, I thought this was the penultimate episode, but alas, I was wrong. This felt like it tied up things neatly for the season, so it makes sense to end the story here for now. Maybe we will get to find out about Gamora after all some other time? I don’t really think so, but I also don’t know what’s about to happen. I would, however, love it if the episodes would have tied together with the finale of Loki and would explain what happened there. But again, this did not happen.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this final episode of Season 1? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

TMP – TV Edition: Non-English Shows

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

As it so happens, we change it up once per month and talk about TV shows instead of movies and this time around we are talking about non-English TV shows and series. In general, this is fairly easy for me, as I do not come from an English speaking country. I’ve always watched either German shows or dubbed content from all over the world. However, I think it’s best that I’ll try and present shows that are available on streaming platforms or elsewhere, because where’s the fun if no one can actually watch them? Let’s get started!

Dark (German)

I stand by the opinion that this show is one of the best German shows to ever be produced. The cinematography, the well thought-out story and the intriguing plot are just something that will forever stay with me. You can’t just watch this in the background, you have to pay attention, but it will have been worth it.

The Rain (Danish)

The final season wasn’t my favorite, but I loved this show so much. The moral implications of a lot of it were just great to see unfold.

Ragnarok (Norwegian)

I have a thing for Norse mythology … sue me.

Plan Coeur (French)

My relationship with French has always been a rocky one, but shows like this bring the joy back for me. I loved watching it and even cried at the pandemic special episode they created. So worth it!

Honorable Mentions

As per usual when it comes to TV shows, I just can’t contain myself. Here are some more shows I think are worth the watch, which aren’t all on Netflix (but still most of them):

  • Almost all the iterations of SKAM, but especially Druck
  • Control Z (Mexican)
  • 3% (Brazilian)
  • Elite (Spanish)
  • Blood & Water (South African)
  • Vampires (French)
  • The Mess You Leave Behind (Spanish)
  • Bad Banks (German)
  • Ku’damm 56 (German)
  • Trakehnerblut (Austrian)
  • Arme Millionäre (German-Austrian)

For everyone who’s missing Casa de Papel here, I’m still only in S1, so it didn’t feel right to mention it.


What are some non-English shows you enjoy? Let’s chat!

What If … Ultron Won? Episode Review

I’m pretty sure most of you know it by now, but it’s Wednesday and that means it’s Marvel review day! Today we’re talking about What If … Ultron Won? – spoilers ahead from here on out!

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

What was it about?

What if Ultron got himself a body, some infinity stones and the realization that there are several worlds he can bring his version of “peace” to? A heap of chaos, that’s what.

My thoughts?

It’s odd – this was the first episode that actively connected to previous ones we’ve watched, but simultaneously it didn’t make sense if you considered last week. What am I referring to? Well, we clearly saw the Watcher distressed at Ultron’s appearance during the end scenes of What If … Thor Were an Only Child?, but now the course of Ultron’s story seemed to surprise him all over again. Simultaneously, we know that the episodes are connected now due to the final moments. It doesn’t fully make sense. I’m getting ahead of myself though, let’s break it down!

  • From the beginning, the Watcher seemed more invested in this universe. He said that it breaks his heart and it’s the one where Ultron managed to get hold of the body that would become Vision in the “regular world” and made it his own instead.
What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • After deploying all the world’s nuclear weapons and extinguishing most of humanity in the process, Nat and Clint (who has a metal arm) seem to be the only ones left, the only hope alive.
  • All of a sudden, Thanos shows up, but Ultron doesn’t hesitate – he cuts him in half and takes the infinity stones for himself. This Thanos must have come for the mind stone, as that was seemingly the only one he was missing, giving Ultron a full set and therefore his own infinity armor (instead of the gauntlet).
What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • With all that power, Ultron continues to bring his version of “peace” aka complete and utter destruction to all planets and life in the galaxy. Even an encounter with Captain Marvel didn’t stop him and he ultimately extinguished everything and everyone (except for Nat and Clint, but he doesn’t know that).
  •  As he becomes a program without a purpose, he suddenly reaches a previously unattainable level of consciousness and becomes aware of the Watcher, who is terrified by his hunger. The realization that there are multiple universes gives him a new mission.
  • Through all of this, the Watcher could still not intervene, but only hope that Nat and Clint would find the answer in the Russian KGB archive they needed. Apparently Zola, the AI made from uploading a Hydra scientist’s brain, is the only one that could counteract Ultron’s code from within. In an attempt to upload Zola to the hive mind, Clint sacrifices his life – it perfectly mirrored Nat’s sacrifical scene from Endgame and I liked that in an odd way.
What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Meanwhile the Watcher and Vision are carrying out an epic battle throughout the multiverse. They crash from one reality into the next and you could barely keep up with what was happening (Steve Rogers seemed to be president of the US in one though …). Ultron is not invincible, but the Watcher eventually has to retreat and seek help.
  • Ultimately, the Watcher finds himself out of options and seeks lonely Doctor Strange from a couple episodes ago. He had been all by himself, in his single bubble, since the destruction of his universe and is only willing to help. We shall see if this team up will be effective.

So, we get another open end, but, at the same time, we are entering a phase of the show where everything starts to connect. As much as I still think What If …? has plenty of storytelling weaknesses in general and banks way too much on the viewers previous knowledge and emotional attachment to the characters, I’m intrigued by this development. I enjoy that it seems like there is an overall purpose and possibly something that will be really relevant to the MCU as a whole.

I bet a lot of people who mocked Age of Ultron (which was honestly always one of my favorites) are surprised just how much the characters from that movie came back in the shows this year.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray (ARC Review)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count
: 496
Release Date: September 28, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: death, verbal/physical abuse, indentured servitude/slavery, kidnapping, drug use, sexism, spiders, snakes

Beasts of Prey is the debut novel and first installment in a magical Pan-African-inspired series by Ayana Gray. From the get go, it is clear that there was a lot of thought put into the magic system and I loved uncovering the different layers to it, despite being quite confused in the beginning. Told from multiple POVs, namely those of Ekon, a boy who wants nothing more than to follow into his father’s and brother’s footsteps as a warrior, Koffi, an indentured beastkeeper at the Night Zoo, who wants to see her family free, and a third person, who I’d like to keep nameless in this review, it was interesting to see these different characters introduced and oppose each other.

It was easy to take a liking to sweet Ekon, who is better with books and has a compulsion for counting in order to quell his anxiety, as well as Koffi, who is bold, impulsive and very caring. However, the third POV was the one that felt out of place to me for the most part. It often seemed contradictory to what we learned from the others, but at the same time, I have to admit that it made sense in the end. Still, I wasn’t entirely sure it was necessary to include and more than once felt taken out of the story because of it.

The set up takes a while, but is entirely necessary to really make the characters come to life and give us the full spectrum of their motivations, however, it makes for a slow start. I much preferred reaching the halfway point and the faster pacing that came with it. Once I, the reader, entered the jungle with the characters, it was just so thrilling. There was danger around every corner, gruesome creatures to haunt your dreams and I really rooted for everyone to make it out alive at the various crossroads they faced.

jungle danger snake

The setting is absolutely fantastic, offering almost a mix of spirituality and magic. The story keeps you on your toes, especially once you think you know where it is going, and even leaves you on a cliffhanger that will have you waiting for the sequel for sure. Maybe, because I liked the characters and their dynamic so much, I would have preferred a singular focus on Ekon and Koffi, but I would completely understand why that won’t necessarily change in a sequel. I’m intrigued either way!

Finally, I’d like to point out that I found the author’s note at the end of the novel very enlightening. She explained some of her choices and I really appreciated getting that insight from her, which truly isn’t always a given and neither should it be, but I always enjoy it a lot.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! I would definitely pick up a sequel, although I’d hope for a more consistent pacing.


Do you intend to pick up Beasts of Prey once it is released? Do you enjoy magical jungle settings? Let’s talk!

What If … Thor Were an Only Child? Episode Review

Once again, I’m a little late, but I have written a review for the latest episode of What If …? titled What If … Thor Were an Only Child? From here on forward, there will be spoilers for the episode!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Thor, who never had to compete with or set an example for his brother, turned out quite differently – he became the Party Prince of Asgard!

My thoughts?

We’ve established by now that I’m not the biggest fan of the show, so I don’t think we need to harp on it much more. I was, however, actually looking forward to Party-Thor, just because I knew it would be a more light-hearted episode and it didn’t disappoint in that regard. Then again, much like last week, this episode didn’t feel too imaginative to me. Did not having a brother really change Thor all that much, or were his parents just more lenient? I almost believe it’s the latter, but let’s just break down the episode bit by bit.

  • In this universe, Odin never adopted/kidnapped Loki and instead returned him to his birth father. This must have also quelled the war/animosity between Asgard and the Frost Giants, as it doesn’t seem to be an issue henceforth. This led to Thor and Loki growing up as friends, however, never as real brothers.

More than battles won or lost, it’s relationships that truly define a hero. The people who shape them, their stories.

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Back on Earth Dr. Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis notice a pattern from outer space, guessing an alien invasion is about to happen. While they are right about the visitors being from somewhere else in the galaxy, it’s actually just Thor and his friend group deciding to go on a bender while Odin is asleep and Frigga is off to visit her sisters.
  • I’m not going to go into detail, but Thor turns the entire planet into an intergalactic party central and apparently once partied so hard on Alpha Star, it destroyed the whole thing. Jane, who met and fell in love with Thor in this version too (they even got matching tattoos), worries that he will accidentally be the end of Earth. Death by party?
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • The cameos in this episode are almost boundless. You have several characters from the Thor movies (Korg, the Grandmaster, Skurge, …), The Guardians of the Galaxy (Drax, Mantis, Nebula, …) as well as Howard the Duck again. Howard even gets married to Darcy. I’m not joking. That happened!
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Maria Hill, who is acting director of SHIELD after Fury had a run in with an overexcited Korg, is ready to bring in the big guns to fight Thor and calls in Captain Marval aka Carol Danvers. They have a fight around the globe, but ultimately it is Jane who stops Thor by ratting him out to his mother.
  • All the alien visitors help Thor clean up his mess on Earth, but he still gets caught. It nevertheless serves as a lesson to the God of Thunder to become more mature and he eventually asks out Jane on a real date. The end? Happily ever after? Not quite!
  • The final scene, because why would we ever just end on a happy note, showed an evil Ultron appearing with all infinity stones. What does it mean? Who even knows at this point …

I’m a little tired of the cliffhangers, BUT I am intrigued by this one in particular. The thing is, The Watcher seemed surprised by the end himself. So far, no matter how bleak the outcome, he always knew that it had to be the fate of that particular universe or character. However, at the end of the episode, he appeared to be flustered by the appearance of Ultron, possibly not expecting it. So, what could it mean?
I can’t help but wonder if this Ultron breached from a different universe, which would slowly fold into the Loki series storyline of the multiversal chaos we are about to witness. The only reason I’m hesitant to fully buy into this theory is that his infinity stones would effectively be useless if he were from another universe. At least in the comics, it is impossible for more than one set of infinity stones to exist in the same realm and remain powerful. It’s like they cancel each other out.
Another theory is that he might be from the future, which would still work, but not really explain the Watcher’s surprise. We might never get an answer, so this could potentially just remain another frustrating loose end, but there is a chance that this might be the first multi-chapter story within the What If …? stories. We shall see!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!