What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #60

Before the end of the month, I definitely wanted to do another of these posts to showcase what I had been watching. As I’ve gotten back into network television and I don’t tend to mention these shows on here (but feel free to always assume that I am up to date with most of the weekly releases), this post won’t be super long. Enjoy!

Panic (Season 1)

Panic is an Amazon Original show based on the YA novel of the same name by Lauren Oliver. I actually read this book years ago (I think all the way back in 2014???), but I honestly can’t remember much about it and I know that to be true, because I was genuinely shocked by some of the twists on the show.

Where the book was written from a dual POV (Heather and Dodge), the show focuses on even more key players of the game Panic with a clear bias towards Heather and her perspective though. Having so many characters the audience is supposed to care about can be tricky and I don’t think it fully managed to make us invested in all of them. I found a couple performances really intriguing and even liked minor side characters, but definitely not all of the mains. The relationship between Heather and Ray was something that kept me interested. I have a soft spot for the boy who is always presumed to be the worst, but who actually really cares.

As for the premise in general, I find it hard to judge these teens for playing a game as stupid as Panic. First of all, this wouldn’t be the first time a really upsetting tradition was created in a small-knit and poor community, no matter how reckless participating is, and secondly, I truly believe that these characters thought taking part was the only way out for them. Of course, the thrill-seekers of the bunch are morons for playing a potentially lethal game, but if you had nothing to your name and all you wanted was to escape a place and your circumstances … maybe you would consider it too?

All in all, I really enjoyed the show. I binged it in one go and liked the thrill that came with some of the challenges. The acting was wooden in part, which didn’t help me connect to the characters, but as I said above, there were a couple performances I really enjoyed. The game in itself is something you just have to believe in no matter the plot holes for this work. A lot of the mystery is just for the mystery’s sake and the viewers know even less than the characters while watching, which can be frustrating at times. Still, I would watch another season.

Special (Season 2)

I had a great time watching Special when it first released on Netflix. I think they managed to get to do longer episodes this season (even if it was only by a little) and it helped strengthen their narrative. We weren’t stuck with last season’s plot at all, but naturally evolved with the characters. So much of it was finding out who you want to spend your time with after you’ve learned to love yourself, which isn’t an easy feat to begin with, but you might not want to compromise or settle. Kim’s love life was a highlight for me, because I adore that she just had men worshiping her. I love to see big girl love.

Army of the Dead

Not going to lie, this isn’t my genre at all. I’m not into zombie movies in general (Warm Bodies being the rare exception), but I genuinely wanted to see how Matthias Schweighöfer would fare among these other Hollywood actors. He must have made a great impression since his character is getting a prequel movie, which he will also direct and I found his character a really good comic relief.

In general, this movie was much more fun that I thought it would be. It has some weaknesses, but the zombies were different than the ones I’m used to and I felt entertained, which is the most important part anyway. I can see how this would lead to an entire cinematic zombie universe of its own, because there is definitely potential for sequels, especially some that are set outside of the US.

Doors

I don’t know why I felt to watch an anthology horror movie with extraterrestrial doors in the middle of the night, but I did. It weirdly gave me annihilation vibes and everything about the sound design and the visuals is specifically made to make you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I was a little put off by the way writing was incorporated in the movie, but it definitely added to the unique style. I didn’t end up loving it, because it made me feel super off and wasn’t a very satisfying watch in my opinion, but I don’t regret checking it out.


I’m currently watching the second season of Ragnarok, so you can be sure that I will talk about that once the next post rolls around. What are you watching? Do you plan to view or have you already seen any of the things I mentioned?

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #11

I promise the trailer post will come right after this, but I just don’t like it when there is nothing in between the weekly Sunday trailers. Since I did watch a couple things though, I thought I’d just throw in a little binge-watching one in the meantime.

Special

If you want something nice and quick to watch about and from a gay man with cerebral palsy, this is the show for you. Netflix has started to put out content with only about 15-ish minute episodes, so you will certainly fly through this program. Personally, I thought it could have handled a bit more depth and length overall, but if this was just the appetizer for what’s to come in (hopefully) future episodes and seasons, I am here for it! It all gives you more of a web-series vibe, which is totally fine by me and most of the time those shows have a higher output rate than regular TV shows.

No Good Nick

No Good Nick basically screams Nickelodeon or Disney Channel at me in the way that it tries to tackle hard topics for a younger audience, but doesn’t quite succeed to get it across in a serious manner because they still try to be wholesome at the same time. All in all, there is nothing per se wrong with that, but it is something you have to be prepared for when you start watching No Good Nick.

My favourite part of the show was seeing all the different family dynamics, but mostly Jeremy and Nick being suspicious of each other and trying to outsmart one another. Especially the last couple episodes really manifested my like for their dynamic and I am curious which way it would go should that show continue for a longer time.

BONDiNG

Who would have thought that I would really like a show about a guy who helps out at his best friend’s work, which is that of a dominatrix? Actually, never mind, I have watched way weirder stuff! Just like Special, this show has super short episodes and you can fly through it and despite the seemingly sex-heavy topic, it is really just a beautiful story about friendship. That’s probably the reason I enjoyed it so much, because who doesn’t like a good friendship-story? Also, it’s funny. We all need to laugh every now and then.

Dark

I finally watched it and don’t you dare judge me!! I watch so many shows and movies all the time, I am allowed to be behind on some things. However, the new season is releasing (somewhat) soon and I just wanted to get caught up on the hype. I really loved it! Knowing a ton of the faces in it and seeing this as a German production specifically for Netflix really made my heart sing. I honestly just want more content like it. 

I don’t necessarily agree with it being the German Stranger Things, because the show being strange doesn’t really suffice as a parallel for me. Dark really manages to be what the title promises – really dark. However, it is also complex and intriguing and sometimes even scary (and I usually don’t do scary=). I adore it when shows are still able to surprise me as they go along and Dark definitely managed that. Anyway, great acting, great confusing storytelling and the certainty of another season around the corner. What more could you ask for? Although, one of the best parts was the music for sure. Just needed to add that too.

Lastly, if you want to see the guy who plays Jonas in Dark in a fantastic German movie, then go watch “Die Mitte der Welt”/”Center of My World” movie. (Click here for the trailer)


Have you watched some of these shows? What are your thoughts? Are you as excited for season 2 of Dark as me? Let’s chat!