TMP – TV Edition: Love Triangles

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. 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.

The entirety of February is dedicated to a special Romance Edition, focusing on many, many typical romance tropes and themes. This is the final week of the romance themes, as we are in the final week of the month, but it’s also a departure from films and a move to TV shows again. Today we’re going to focus on one of the most dreadful tropes (at least for most people) – Love Triangles. Can there even be such a thing as a good love triangle? Or are some just more notorious than others? Let’s check out my picks!

Dawson’s Creek – Dawson/Joey/Pacey

This feels like one of my first and truly OG love triangles. I was very invested in Dawson’s Creek from a young age on and so very disappointed when people in High School did not actually have these existential crisis and philosophical way of talking. It got to a point, where grade school me really mimicked Joey’s mannerisms … I was always an old soul.
Anyway, to get to the point – this was the first love triangle I was invested in and woah, did I always root for Pacey. He was the one for me.

Veronica Mars – Logan/Veronica/Weevil

CONTROVERSIAL, because this is not canon. Veronica Mars has got me through my early teens like no other show. I worshiped Veronica and dang, did I want to be a PI for a while, if only I had the guts and interest in crime like she did. Logan was always my favourite love interest of hers (Duncan Kane who? Piz was cute but could not keep up with her and while I love Leo, they had terrible timing and she was way too young when they first met), but I could not deny seeing a certain spark between her and Weevil. I swear, that had so much more potential than they gave them credit for.

We are going to ignore the final minutes of Season 4 of Veronica Mars exist!!!

Younger – Charles/Liza/Josh

My favourite show set in publishing! At first glance, you don’t think any of these relationships should work, with how they all started out with lies, but they both work so well. Charles and Liza are age appropriate, intellectually compatible and both sexy and sweet, but Josh – do not underestimate him! It was clear for a while that he wanted things in life that Liza wasn’t likely able to give him (*cough*children of his own*cough*) but he supported and loved her like no one else. They gravitate towards each other for a reason and I still can see them ending up together eventually.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – Simon/Zoey/Max

Simon and Zoey have this deep bond and understanding, both struggling with the death/illnesses of their fathers. It’s something not everyone will get and being able to have serious conversations about grief with someone is essential and beautiful in a partner. But then … I have such a thing for friends to lovers and Max is adorable. He might not get 100% what Zoey is going through, but he still always will keep showing up for her and that’s what you’re looking for too. Could not choose!

Honorable Mentions

The love triangles mentioned above are probably my favourites. I’m usually not very invested in them, but here are some other love triangles of shows (that I sometimes didn’t even finish) and my preferences:

  • Jane the Virgin: Michael/Jane/Rafael (Michael was my guy here, but not after he came back?)
  • Never Have I Ever: Paxton/Devi/Ben (Team Ben all the way)
  • Gilmore Girls: Rory with all her guys (I love Jess, but not for Rory. I always saw her more with Logan)
  • True Blood: Eric/Sookie/Bill (Eric. Come on.)
  • Lost: Jack/Kate/Sawyer (Sawyer?)
  • Vampire Diaries: Damon/Elena/Stefan (I literally got none of the ships I wanted. I shipped Damon with Bonnie, although I loved seeing her happy with Enzo. Elena and Stefan could have each other, did not care. I just really, really wanted Caroline with Klaus …)
I didn’t even dare mention Riverfail … can you keep up with Varchie, Barchie, Bughead, Choni, etc.?

What are some of your favourite love triangles on TV, if you have any at all? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #54

It’s not been two weeks yet, but I still wanted to talk about a couple things I watched, because I didn’t want the list to get too long. It’s also a decent mix of shows and movies at the moment, so I gotta seize that opportunity to hopefully create a well rounded post!

Lupin (Part 1)

I’ve always been a fan of Omar Sy and not just because of the Intouchables or whatever it was called in English, but because he is a fantastic actor. Seeing him as the lead in this gentleman-thief-esque story had me so excited and the show did not disappoint. Everyone I know enjoyed this and even though I warned my parents about the massive cliffhanger, they binged it too. Well, at least we can all be happy to know that the next part in the series is coming this summer already! (I have a sneaking suspicion that they filmed more and then split it up)

Please, do yourself the service of watching it in French with subtitles. I know dubbed versions exists, but the voices are just so much better in the original.

For fans of: Omar Sy, international Netflix content, heists, thieves, revenge stories

Equinox (Season 1)

When I first saw the trailer of Equinox, it felt like a Danish Dark in a way and … that is a fairly accurate description of the show, just adding more of a mythology aspect to it. I should probably mention that this is based on a Danish podcast “Equinox 1985”, which was super popular and sounded like a true crime podcast, but was actually fiction. I’d be interested to see more podcasts turned into shows.
At times a bit too slow for my taste (and I usually like slow, but if I can skip 30 minutes and not miss a thing … eh, time to overthink that scene), it still had me interested in its mystery.

I know I shouldn’t compare it to Dark so much (and it’s not Dark and nothing will be as good as Dark, but yeah, here we are anyway), but it had that same generation-spanning, “who is behind this?” and time-warpy feeling. I also didn’t like any of the characters really, which much reminds me of the beginning of Dark too, but it was still such an interesting ride. You get some, but not all the answers in Season 1. To me, it felt like it could be a limited series and end there with some things in the air, but I think they might continue the show. (nothing is renewed yet)

For fans of: international Netflix content, Dark, the OG podcast?

Onward

I was unsure because some of the voice-actor-casting, but eventually, I just wanted another emotional animated movie and I really liked it. I enjoy when stories focus on family and grief, as you probably know if you have been a long-time reader of this blog. I thought that especially the brother-relationship was done so well and I ended up crying. As I often always do with Pixar movies. This is definitely one for the whole family!

For fans of: movies about family and magic

To All the Boys 3: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Okay, so … I wasn’t sure if I should read the book before or after the movie. I have done it both ways already and I always liked the thing that I read/watched first better, which is also the case here with me having read Always and Forever before watching it. I liked some of the improvements in the movie, like Margot not completely hating Mrs. Rothschild and the Lara Jean and Gen growth was magnificent, but there were also some bits and pieces I really missed.

I thought the dad-storyline with Peter felt rushed and his mother never even appeared in this one at all. She was kind of elemental in some ways. I also did not grasp why Chris dated Trevor? I will never object to having Ross Butler on my screen for however little time, but I did not feel their point exactly. The family issues on the Covey-Song front just fell a bit short for me as well, although they attempted to include parts of it.

In general, I believe that choosing between what’s right for your own future and wanting to be with someone is a decent premise. It’s also a bittersweet and cutesy ending to this series. I still believe that the first one was the best movie though and I whole-heartedly believe it’s because it was directed by a woman and like in so many other cases, the sequels were directed by men who definitely let Peter shine more than Lara Jean (this is more of a dig towards movie 2 than 3 …).

For fans of: the previous movies, the cast, the books, cutesy romcoms

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

My brain tells me that this was an average movie, but my heart really really loved it. Much alike to Palm Springs, this feels like a not-so-tired version of the groundhog-day-scenario, just targeted at teens.

I thought that the casting was really charming, it never felt too long for me and had a way that made you cherish the small things as well as some deeper things in life. Maybe the logic doesn’t work out entirely (because … is that really how it all started?), but it still feels sweet and warm and sad. I cried, but not ugly-cried, so this was a good kind of sad.

For fans of: Palm Springs but make it teen, groundhog-day-scenarios


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

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #53

I think at this point, I hardly have to explain what is going on in these kind of posts. I’m just going to tell you a bit about all the different stuff I have watched and we can discuss them in more detail in the comments below!

Firefly Lane (Season 1)

I wasn’t super eager to watch this show, but then the automatic preview kept showing up on my Netflix account and I caved. I tore through it in about 1-2 days and don’t think it’s a necessary watch. Much like Sweet Magnolias (which was also adapted from books), it is centered around female friendship, however, with a very co-dependent note to it. It’s also a show that takes you on a nostalgic trips through the decades, starting in the 60s and spanning all the way to the early 2000s.

The thing is, the “present” POV takes place in 2003 and this show truly feels like something in that was made in 2003. I don’t really buy it when they pretend Heigl and Chalke are in their 20s just because they changed their hairstyle and topics such as sexual harassment at the workplace and journalistic integrity have been done better in different shows (e.g. The Morning Show) as well. But still, Firefly Lane has its moments and manages to capture you emotionally every now and then.

I especially found myself in Kate, which is eerie considering how similar our names are on top of everything. I did not understand how she ended up with who she ended up with until the very last episodes, but now I am invested. And Tully, that woman has to go through all the bad things that can happen to a person, it’s grueling. In the end, I did care about them, but it still wasn’t really a must-watch. I was just mad that they did not reveal what big bad thing happened that finally broke the friendship (and it is rumoured they might not go with what happened in the books should they get another season).

For fans of: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke, book to screen adaptations

Star Trek: Below Decks (Season 1)

I am not a Trekkie and just a really casual viewer of the more recent Star Trek movies. I am also not a huge enthusiast for adult animated shows? I do watch them, but not a lot. And still, I really had fun with this show. I don’t know how well it fits into the universe and it’s definitely more on the silly side, but I was really entertained! That’s the most important thing to me.

For fans of: animated Star Trek?

Bonding (Season 2)

I enjoyed the first season, but literally know nothing about the dom community. Apparently, they had quite the quarrels with the first season though and the writers of season 2 made sure to address the concerns. It’s such a fast-paced show and I am really more here for the relationships than anything else. I don’t even know who is really in the right in that final fight.

For fans of: BDSM, relationships that aren’t just romantic

Yellowstone (Season 1-3)

I actually watched S1 a couple years back, but forgot so much that I had to rewatch it. If you are into slow-paced shows with a good production value and a fantastic cast, this might be for you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brutal and violent in part and that is not for everyone, but it is also so amazingly complex. Family relationships like that always catch my eye and I like watching their dynamic, even if it’s tough to find anyone likable in this mess. It’s still such an underrated show and I am nervous about who will actually return for season 4.

For fans of: cowboys, family dynasties

Finding ‘Ohana

I love the Goonies. It’s one of my most favourite childhood movies and Finding ‘Ohana is the most Goonies thing since the Goonies, just set in Hawai’i and with Hawaiian myths included. It was funny and sweet and tugged at your heartstrings with the family vibes. And seriously, no other movie can pull off Meghan Trainor’s “All the Way” in the midst of a dangerous life or death situation!

For fans of: Goonies, adventures with kids


Did you watch any of these shows/movies? Would you like to? Let’s talk!

WandaVision: Episode 4 “We Interrupt This Program” Review

Once again, I’d like to reiterate that this review of mine is filled with SPOILERS and should only be read after having watched the episode! Proceed at your own risk.

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

In a look back, it is revealed how S.W.O.R.D. and other organisations are involved with the monitoring of Westview and the information they have learned.

My thoughts?

This was definitely a change of pace. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the disruption of the storytelling style, but I can understand why they wanted to provide background information as well as a different perspective.

First of all, we learn that Monica Rambeau was one of the people who were snapped out of existence by Thanos. Upon her return, she discovers that Maria Rambeau, her mother and vital founding member of S.W.O.R.D., had passed in her absence because of cancer. Despite the heartbreaking news, she returns to work right away, although being grounded and only cleared for terrestrial cases. This puts her in the way of Jimmy Woo (former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who now works for the FBI and who we have met previously in Ant Man and the Wasp), who is looking for a missing person, someone who is in witness protection.

That person was supposed to be in Westview, a town no one knows or remembers. The 3,892 people inside forgotten by everyone they once knew … except that Jimmy does remember the missing person. And he can also see the town, just like Maria. It is not clarified why they aren’t affected by the selective amnesia, except for not having a personal connection to the town.
In an attempt to investigate, Maria gets sucked into Westview, prompting S.W.O.R.D. to step in and hiring a couple experts. Enter Doctor Darcy Lewis (known from Thor), who finds the broadcasting waves that let the agents watch the Wanda and Vision show.

credit: Marvel Studios

In general, I feel like this episode answered a lot of question, even if it opened up some new ones in the process. We now know that things/people that pass the threshold to Westview forget who they are (except for rare moments of lucidity) and get transformed to fit into whatever time period is currently the most recent one.
We also have confirmation of Wanda’s awareness of the situation. Not only did we get to see how exactly she threw Geraldine/Monica out of town, but we also see her reassuring Vision that she has “everything under control”. As sinister as that already sounded, it is yet again verified when Monica comes back to herself and tells S.W.O.R.D. “It’s Wanda. It’s all Wanda.”

One of the things I adored was that Jimmy Woo had pretty similar questions to those we as viewers had the past couple of weeks as well. Let’s take a look at what he put on the whiteboard:

  • Why hexagonal shape? – good question! That shape has been present everywhere and could be an indication of so many different things. Is it just hex as in magic? Does it have something to do with Hive? All still very unclear.
  • Why sitcoms? – they sure are entertaining, but why indeed? With their silly logic and happy world, they might just be a comfort for Wanda. Who knows?
  • Why the different decades? – this is similarly unclear as the previous question. However, S.W.O.R.D. also asked themselves whether the broadcast was live, which I could not tell. It was hard to know how much time had passed outside of Westview and if they saw more/less than what we did. It seemed to me like they only had access to “episode 1” for a long time before things changed, but I could be wrong about that.
  • Is Vision alive? – I think the answer here is no. For a brief moment, we saw Wanda acknowledge that Vision’s death happened, but it wasn’t enough to startle her back to reality. I think, in part, this just might have made her more determined to stay in Westview and keep everything neat and tidy, especially after Vision suggested they could always leave. However, he does seem to question the world they are living in, which might hint at part of his mind having been preserved before Thanos took the mind stone from him. Otherwise, why would Wanda allow him to question the perfect little world she made for them?
credit: Marvel Studios

All in all, I believe this episode might not have been as much for the casual viewer as previous ones. It required a lot of information on what had happened in the Marvel universe before and if you wanted any kind of connection to the characters introduced, you would have had to watch a variety of movies (from Ant Man and Captain Marvel to Thor) to have known them from before. I personally love the connection to all those previous works, but I am still not sure how I feel about the POV change. If it’s only for this episode, I think I can live with it, but it was still quite the info dump buffer episode.

If you have missed my previous reviews, you can check them out here:


How was this episode for you? Did it catch you off guard or did you enjoy it? Let’s chat!

TMP – TV Edition: 2020 Freshmen Series

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. 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.

I am sorry if this getting a bit repetitive, but today’s theme is all about 2020 Freshmen Series, which means TV shows that aired for the first time last year. Now, I did a whole post on that already when I ranked my favourite new TV shows of 2020 (which you can check out here if you need a reminder). Seen as I don’t want to do the exact same thing again, I’m going to focus solely on the shows I liked (maybe not my top picks, but still good ones) that I think went unnoticed by the public. A lot of series managed to reach quite a large audience, but others not so much, especially in terms of international content. I’m not just going to showcase foreign shows, but there’s going to be some! Let’s celebrate them!

Little Voice

2020 was surprisingly full of amazing music-centric shows. We had Julie and the Phantoms for a predominately younger audience and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist for everyone else. I adore both those shows and would 100% recommend them to anyone who wanted something emotional and upbeat at the same time. But, I would also recommend Little Voice. With a beautiful cinematography and amazing songs from Sara Bareilles it is sure to capture your hearts! (Yes, once again, I am strongly advocating for Apple TV+ content)

Ragnarok

If you enjoy Norse mythology, but prefer a modern setting, this might just be for you! Tackling subjects such as climate change, Ragnarok feels current, but also captures the intrigue of old myths. It might not be the retelling you’d expect, but the lines on who is the villain and who is the hero aren’t always as clear as they seem. (Season 2 is already filming!)

Vampires

(would recommend watching it in French with subtitles, but could only find a French trailer without subtitles)

Vampire content fluctuates in popularity and doesn’t always manage to grab audiences. Vampires, on Netflix, felt pretty refreshing to me. Yes, I will admit to still shipping something that’s problematic and there must be some gene in vampires that makes them inherent stalkers, but it also felt different like so many other shows and movies I had seen with those creatures before. (Season 2 has yet to be confirmed)

The Mess You Leave Behind

This is (I think) a limited series, so it wraps up nicely. My main draw for the show was Aron Piper, but eventually I just wanted to know what had happened. Moving between present and past, the viewer learns about what happened at a Spanish school in the country and the mess the new teacher inherited. Not going to lie, it’s sometimes tough to root for … well, anyone? But the intrigue was kept nicely, even with a slow pace.

Blood & Water

Being one of South Africa’s first Netflix productions, it centers around the divide between the poor and the rich as well as child kidnapping and corruption – all things that hook you easily. True to being the teenagers they are, they sometimes trust too easily or are so closed off, it seems ridiculous. I wouldn’t hold it against them, but just be aware of the drama that comes with that. (Season 2 is confirmed)


If you are looking for more recommendations on TV shows that don’t have an onslaught of seasons out already, I’d love to redirect you to my 2020 ranking once again (click here). Did you watch any of the shows I mentioned? What were some shows you think deserved more attention in 2020?