What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #41

I’ve watched so much since the last time I posted this feature, but I don’t think I will include everything I have torn through. Here are some of the things though, but please remember that these really are just mini reviews. I am 100% open to talk more about it in the comments!

Julie and the Phantoms (Season 1)

I would have LOVED this show as a teen. His has cute ghost boys, beautiful music and just wholesome content with pretend high stakes (because you KNOW it’s not going to end in doom and gloom). Very much in the spirit of Disney and Nickelodeon shows, the acting isn’t the best ever, but you get attached to those characters none the less and it’s all really funny. That’s really the prevalent theme for me as I watched this: I had a lot of fun.

Not gonna lie, I am pretty sure that a lot of my like for it also comes from the fact that they say it’s Hollywood, but it’s very recognizably filmed in Vancouver and I just walked those streets a thousand times. I miss my town. Also, there’s gay ghost boys and it’s really cute!

For fans of: cute teen supernatural shows with music

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Season 1)

Every time I start an Apple TV show, I am surprised just how much I love it. No matter what I watch on that platform, I end up adoring it and I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but it just always ends up so good. Mythic Quest is one of those perfect workplace comedies and especially the Quarantine episode had me in actual tears. Episode 5 also has a very special place in my heart, because it reminded me of a less twisted Black Mirror episode for some reason (still don’t know where that association came from).

Some of the realism that gamers might be looking for in this show is lost to gags, but who tunes into a fictional program for realism? There’s some well known faces on Mythic Quest, but I really loved Charlotte Nicdao as Poppy Li – she was a true revelation for me.

For fans of: gaming industry, behind the scenes shows

Freaks – You’re One of Us

You know that I encourage everyone to watch some of the international Netflix content, or specifically some of the German releases. Freaks is one of those movies that I think might get quite lost, but is actually a really interesting story.

Unlike in so many other “superhero” shows and movies, this is focused on a pretty regular, middle class mother, who learns that her powers have been suppressed since childhood. It’s slow-paced, with a great betrayal-storyline and almost like a set-up for a potential franchise. I don’t know what the plans are, but I’d definitely be here for more.

For fans of: international Netflix productions, adults discovering they have superpowers, the adult chosen one

Uncorked

Anytime I see a movie or show with Mamoudou Athie, I just fall in love with him and his acting again (seriously, don’t hesitate to watch him in the likes of Sorry for Your Loss or Unicorn Store). This movie is focused on his character Elijah, who is torn between following in his father’s footsteps and taking over the family BBQ restaurant or following his passion of becoming a sommelier. 

Back when I was in school, I took an exam to become a junior sommelier (don’t ask me anything about wine though) and I have also gone to France for a while and I have also had to deal with bad family news (don’t want to go into specifics because … spoilers?) while I was abroad. I did not expect to find so much to connect to in this movie, but I really did and loved it for it.

For fans of: wine, anyone from the cast, family dramas

The Sleepover

I honestly just watched this movie, because it gave me Spy Kids vibes. Those vibes were totally justified and I’d compare it to that, although it was obviously far less whacky and not actually about spies. It’s not a must-see, but it’s an okay and nice enough way to pass time.

For fans of: Spy Kids, Babynator, parents having a secret life

All Together Now

This movie is equally heart-warming and heart-breaking. I knew I was going to cry, and even though it took a bit longer than expected, it sure did happen. All Together Now is about allowing others to help you when you need it and overcoming obstacles at a young age.

It’s very much a humble way to tell this (I believe based on a novel called Sorta Like a Rockstar) story. It’s quiet and slowly paced and unexciting, but it will cozy up to your heart regardless. However, don’t expect this one to be as much about singing as the casting and the premise might suggest. That is not the main focus.

For fans of: heartwarming stories


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

#CurrentlyWatching: Stargirl

It’s finally here – the post I have been talking about for weeks now! Stargirl has, more or less, taken over my life in the past months and I mean that in the absolutely best way. I did fanart and met some fun people through it, never mind the absolutely lovely cast. That show was a godsend during lockdown but while I have mentioned it regularly, I still wanted to wait until the season was out in its entirety before I reviewed it properly. So, after FNL, this is definitely the show that deserves a full on #CurrentlyWatching post!

Stargirl is a DC comic book adaptation that was released on the DC streaming platform as well as the CW and currently consists of one season of 13 episodes, but has already been renewed for a second season (which will air only on the CW). Thanks to one of the best people I know, Lois, I have actually been able to read the definite collection of Stargirl comics created by Geoff Johns, who is also in charge of the show! It’s probably due to that fact that it isn’t a 100% faithful adaptation, but one that rings very true.

After discovering that her step dad was a superhero’s sidekick and having been chosen by a powerful weapon to carry on the legacy, teenager Courtney Whitmore has to become a superhero of her own.

There’s something about Stargirl that is really special. I want to preface this for anyone who didn’t know this, but Geoff Johns, the creator of the comic book character Stargirl and the show, shaped Courtney Whitmore after his late sister. She passed away at a young age and he wanted to immortalize her in a way. Through that alone, the character has so many more layers and it was the loveliest way to honor her.

If you look closely, this photo of the real Courtney and Brec (who plays Courtney on the show) is featured in the pilot episode. Credit: CW

When I first started watching Stargirl, it didn’t feel like any of the other currently airing superhero shows out there. It had a cinematic look to it and was visually pleasing, but also included bursts of humour that made everything immediately more endearing, while maintaining a cast of relatable characters. A lot of the times people complain that the heroes are either all kids or all adults, but here there is a great mix of both. Whether you prefer a bit of high school drama or more grown up issues, there’s likely something in there for you.

Something I massively appreciated about the show was that everything felt incredibly intentional. No episode, and that is really rare, felt like a filler episode, as it was all leading up to something. While I will say that I sometimes wished that a couple characters got more screen time, everything we saw made sense and led towards the progression of the story and development of the heroes.

This season very much focused on Courtney and her journey, which is funny, because a lot of the time people were just really annoyed with her. But that’s the beauty of a show that isn’t afraid to show a flawed character growing. Courtney was so stubborn and sometimes even entitled, that her behaviour could be frustrating, but you really see how much she grows and where here insecurities and beliefs come from through the episodes. Her relationship with Pat (played by Luke Wilson) was one of the most precious things and an absolute joy to watch. In the end, the main theme of the show is found family (one of my absolute favourite themes ever) though and that affects so many more characters than just Courtney.

Another thing that I enjoyed about Stargirl was that it often threw you a curveball. The heroes don’t always win or succeed at the first try. It is stated clearly that they aren’t natural talents without any sort of training and that no one can really do it alone. There are consequences to actions and no one is really save. Oh, how I wished I could get some characters back, because they trick you and peel off layers to make you like someone you never thought you would just to rip them away from you.

Where do I even start? I fell in love with so many characters, whether their roles were small or big, I have no clue what to say! The cast of villains was some of the best I have ever encountered. The Injustice Society of America, while ruthless, made sense and you even found the occasional scene where you rooted for them. Not to mention that they were just highly entertaining and I would watch a spin-off show of Icicle, Brainwave and/or Tigrees & Sportsmaster without so much as a second of hesitation.

Every character had their own journey to undertake and many still have so much more story to tell, but I guess if I had to pick a major draw for me, I would say HourNite! It has the grumpy angry guy and smart cheery girl dynamic that I love and while there were hints and crumbs, I just knew I’d ship them unconditionally when episode 8 happened.

Rick (Hourman) and Beth (Dr. Midnite), who make up the ship that is Hournite, are both such great characters on their own. I would legit do anything to protect Beth, who is bold and so smart and always positive. People were giving her a hard time, because she didn’t know how to fight on the show, but honestly, we need people who do the intel stuff and despite not having combat skills, she still went into dangerous situations to help her friends. I wanna see those critics do that!

And Rick, my angry angry boy, he came such a long way this season. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was just so proud of him in the finale. That’s what I call growth!

Putting those two together would be such a smart move, and not just because they are canonically married in the comics, but because Beth can logically argue and calm Rick when his temper gets the better of him and he is there to make sure nothing harms her when she puts her life on the line for the people she cares about it. It just works!

I KNOW that I could go on and on about so many more characters, but this post is already over 1K long and I know that it’s the breaking point for a lot of my readers. I hope this enticed you to check out he show if you haven’t yet! Season 1 ends beautifully with a tease of what’s to come, but no brutal cliffhanger at all.


Did you watch Stargirl? If so, who is your favourite character? Who do you want to see more of in S2?

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #40

Once again, this is going to be sort of long, but I apparently had more time to watch stuff than I thought I did. Let’s hope there’s some shows and movies in there you are interested in!

Home Before Dark (Season 1)

It took me literal months to finish this show and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because Apple TV really isn’t the site to be when you have spotty wifi, but it just took long. That, however, does not reflect on the quality of the show. I’ve really enjoyed all the Apple TV content I have checked out so far and Home Before Dark is no exception.

Based on a real story, Hilde just baffled me as a character. She is eight years old and out there solving intricate decades-old crimes like it’s nothing. It’s not all down to the actors being amazing (and yes, Jim Sturgess as a dad is a BIG draw for me), but the whole case is actually really compelling. I am not a crime person, not even or maybe especially not true crime, but I like this. And I would like to point out that I would not recommend watching this with children, despite the young protagonist.

Home Before Dark has a clean look, the cinematic quality that all Apple-productions bring with them and a great cast of all ages that are (mostly) able to tell this story convincingly.

For fans of: true crime dramatized, Apple content, kid detective stories for adults

Selling Sunset (Season 1-3)

I just one day felt like I should check that out, always enjoying looking at some real estate I will never ever be able to afford, but then I got roped into the drama and … I loved it? Well, that’s not the right way to phrase it. I am actually quite annoyed with some of the drama, because it makes me dislike people (despite knowing that this is scripted to a certain extent), but I never thought I would care for them. I just want to know what happens next at the office, not caring at all whether it’s staged in parts or not. I so know which group of women I’d be friends with if I worked there … But, please, bring back more open houses and showings of the real estate. I just want to judge those residences so bad!

For fans of: LA millionaire houses, docusoaps, women being badass at their job but also fighting each other all the time

Mortel (Season 1)

I’ve had this on my watchlist for a while, but never really felt in the mood for it. With me watching it with subtitles, it’s definitely one of those shows I have to pay attention to (other than French romcoms where I can space out every once in a while). Anyway, while it was a bit darker than I thought it would be (like … I was wondering if I should really watch this in the dead of night), I ended up enjoying it a lot. Most of it is probably due to the romance between the awkward kid and the smart artsy yet cool girl? I was living for that and I am not lying when I am telling you that the hair cutting scene lives in my head rent free!

There was a lot set up for another season and I would definitely be interested to watch it, but I heard different things about it. Some sources say it’s up in the air, others say it’s cancelled, so, I would proceed with caution if you prefer shows with a very clear ending.

For fans of: international Netflix content, dark gods, horror with superhero-elements

The Rain (Season 3)

As happy as I was with the bittersweet end of Dark, I really felt screwed by the finale of the Rain. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that there are a couple character deaths. Most of them I understood, but others I was just plain furious about, because they were for no good reason in my eyes. My favourite ship was destroyed … and for what? I don’t know! In general, the show ends with this glimmer of hope, but still with a pretty darn glum future for everyone and I don’t know how I feel about that. Maybe a little flash-forward would have helped, anything really to give me a better sense of this being concluded.

I understand that not everything needs to be tied up super neatly and that this leaves it up to the viewer to interpret the fate of the group at the end, but I wanted … more? Something else? These complex and layered world-ending stories are hard to wrap-up, but I am not sure this was it for me.

For fans of: Danish dystopian TV

Ted Lasso (ongoing)

I only saw the first three episodes of this show, as it’s still an ongoing release, but it already has my whole heart. I don’t want to say it’s wholesome, because for that, the word “wanker” is used far too often, but it’s precious in a way. It’s infectious with positivity in ridiculous situations, has some real characters and will make you laugh.

There’s such a fun dynamic of stereotypical American meets stereotypical English people, and while I can understand why people think that’s cliché, if you see it for what it is (entertainment, not to be taken too seriously), it’s hilarious. The characters play off each other perfectly and I am just here rooting for Ted. Him and coach are a duo that I would appreciate in my life, not gonna lie, they’d make everything better.

For fans of: American optimism meets British skepticism/pessimism

Work It

I honestly thought this would be so much worse. I came for Keiynan’s soft pink hair and Jordan Fisher, but stayed because it was an actual fun movie to watch. Definitely not world-class and I am not sure the dancing in the groups was that groundbreaking, but I didn’t hate it. There’s really a part of me that can’t believe that this was produced by the same people who did The Kissing Booth – does not compute in my brain.

Some of the dialogue is cringey and I could not with the shirtless scene in mattress land, but overall, not terrible.

For fans of: teen dance movies, the cast!

Project Power

The plot of this whole movie was very generic and predictable. You think you know what’s going to happen? Yeah, it likely will happen exactly that way. BUT I will give it to them that they had some great characters. The cast alone was a draw for me, but watching it, they were the only highlight.

I love superpowered humans that get messy and those kind of stories, but there was nothing particularly fresh about the approach here. It’s not a bad Netflix movie, but it’s also not them on their A-game.

For fans of: superpowers, the cast, mediocre Netflix movies that will pass the time

Magic Camp

I haven’t turned into the biggest Disney+ fan ever since I subscribed. There’s just not a lot of content on there that interests me, but I was a kid who was totally into magic, so, I figured … why not?

In very Disney-fashion, this definitely delivered as a family movie. You had kids struggle, you had a (found) family element, you had them tugging at your heartstrings, while also attempting to be (more or less successfully) funny. It’s a formula that works, but that doesn’t blow you away. I enjoyed myself, but I also don’t think I would revisit this movie ten more times.

For fans of: family friendly movies, comedians doing movies that are actually more wholesome than you’re used to from them

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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!