#CurrentlyWatching: Greenhouse Academy

I am back with another theme this week and it will lead you into some “competitive environment“. I do have some more themes in store, but I think I will eventually go back to single #CurrentlyWatching posts per week, just because this is a lot of work and my schedule change and some other factors have made it more difficult to keep up with blogging. So, if there is no post on a Tuesday, you’ll know what has happened.

It should come to no one’s surprise that Greenhouse Academy is a Netflix show. However, it is based on a show from Israel that was so successful on a national level, they wanted to do an English remake (I hear that’s a foreign network’s dream!).  I can’t say anything about the original show, as this post will focus only on the Netflix version, which was filmed in Israel and produced by the showrunner of the original though. There are currently two seasons available and chances are looking alright for another season, but I gave up on predicting Netflix’ decisions about their shows (still bitter about the hold up concerning One Day at a Time …).

The relationship of the Woods’ siblings is tested after their mother’s death and their enrollment at one of the country’s most elite private schools.

I am going to be upfront with you here, I did not exactly expect to love this show. As surprising as it was, I found it really engaging and quickly became very invested in the fate of various characters. I think the idea of having a school separated in Eagles and Ravens, basically the equivalent of sport-interested and smart kids, very much reminded me of Hogwarts Houses and the appeal of figuring out which one you could possibly belong in (Raven all the way here!).

As much as I liked the show, I am also not delusional. The acting is mediocre at best, the sets look nice but also have something very fake about them at times and the actual school made no sense whatsoever if you took a closer look. They claim to have brought up some of the most influential and intelligent people in the country, but they barely teach the kids anything and then expect them to ace tests. I am serious, when do these kids even have class? Also, the very prestigious and successful basketball team they have is just for the boys while the girls are cheerleaders? Like what is even happening? The way girls are treated in general seems very behind. In my head, I made up this entire secret life of all the school students that aren’t shown where they have female sports teams and actual classes, because that was the only way this would have made sense to me.

Having said all that, I think it’s a decent teen show, especially for a younger audience. It doesn’t require too much thinking and isn’t graphic or violent (like many other shows of more quality on Netflix), yet it offers elements of mystery (but please don’t expect anything unpredictable or realistic!) as well as love triangles and drama that will keep you glued to the screen eventually. Especially the season two cliffhanger had me on edge (WHO IS AT THE DOOR?) and I would definitely be up for another season. Yes, it is very cliché and cheesy, and there are loads of aspects that could do well with some improvement, but if you don’t take it serious, I am sure you can laugh about it and just be entertained by the ridiculous parts. Also, bonus for good music – that’s always something I can appreciate.

With all its faults and shortcomings, I really enjoyed the friendship, rivalry and family aspects of the show (parents are actually present *gasp*, but I am not saying they are all being good just because they are present). There is some slow-building romance here and there, girls supporting girls no matter what and long-time rivals who can’t stand each other but still have some real respect and concern for the other’s well being.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, especially when it comes to Hayley and Alex – the main characters. At first I was really hoping for a supportive sibling-relationship, but was quickly disappointed by how easily Alex turned on his sister when it came to the rivalry between the two dorms. Hayley, who was very much distrusting of the entire Greenhouse Academy scheme, was by far among my favourite characters and only tried to be there for Alex, especially when he was bullied. I guess, when it really counts, they stick together, but I still wish their relationship had been laced with less betrayal (in the end, on both sides if you ask me).

My other faves of the show are nerd Max and rebel Jackie and their blossoming friendship. They couldn’t be more of polar opposites, but that is what makes them work so well. Max may be awkward and rambly, but he is kind and nice to people just because he can be and Jackie is not used to that. It takes her a moment to warm up to him, but then she realises that he is truly that sweet of a guy and becomes his wing-woman and shadow wherever they go. I swear, they couldn’t be any cuter and make a stellar duo! There was this one time he sets up a private screening of a movie for her, so she can do an assignment for class even though she felt ashamed for not having seen the movie in the first place. He never makes fun of her in those cases, but simply quietly helps her.

I think that is more than enough on the show for now. Have you watched it? Would you consider tuning in to it? Let’s chat!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To See As TV Shows

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for the original weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishIf you want to join into the fun, just head over to her website and check out the theme of the week. Since we all get a FREEBIE this week, I chose to do “Books I Want To See As TV Shows“. It’s common knowledge that I love all things TV (even more than watching movies most of the time), so you’re going to get a list of books that I’d like to see as a TV show (some of those will actually be happening!)

top-ten-tuesday

1. Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh announced on a BookTube videoShatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) that the series has been optioned for TV and I just got SO excited! I am cautiously optimistic that it will happen and keep thinking about who may be cast for some of the characters (I might do a post for that soon!). I loved that world so much and I think I would’ve been sad if they just pushed all the content in 3 or 4 movies, this way they can go on even beyond the ending of the books.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I actually liked the movie, even though it wasn’t like the books. I thought the casting was really good, but hey, it got picked up by Netflix and they have an amazing track record with their original content (still not over the awesomeness that is Sense8)! With more than 13 books out already, this could definitely be a show for the long-run.

3. Rebel Belle Series by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)To my own shame I have to admit that I still haven’t read Miss Mayhem, but superheroes are really in right now and I consider Harper Price somewhat of a heroine. She has superpowers/super-strenght at least. Then it’s all in a High School setting – I can see it!

4. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

This is another show that’s actually happening under the title “Shadowhunters”. Since the movie was somewhat of a flop (mostly due to seriously bad casting in my opinion), I am glad it gets a do-over on TV. Also, I am totally on board with the casting this time around (except for Kat McNamara as Clary … sorry, I am still hesitant about that one). But I finally want a real trailer now!!!

5. Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Avalon HighThere’s actually a movie for this as well I think, but it was a Disney-channel movie and therefore … well, disney-fied (watch the Trailer for that here). It just looked ridiculous but I love the Arthurian theme of the book and I think it would work very well as a TV show where the story can be stretched out. The book would obviously only serve for one Season, but I bet they could come up with other mystical stuff to do afterwards.

6. Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Can you imagine it? Every book would be a season and after Season 3/Isla everyone would want more and then Stephanie Perkins would be forced to right more books in that universe and I would be beyond happy! Okay, so maybe I just want more books, but I still think it would be a really funny and sweet show.

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlI imagine this as a show where not a lot would actually happen, but you just sort of see what Cath is doing all day long with some flashes of her fanfiction in between. Episodes would probably only be like 25 minutes long, but still, the show would go on forever, because people can just relate to her and her geek life so much.

8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next DoorIn my opinion we would see so much more of the actual life next door if it were a TV show. Also, there is surely a lot of drama they could come up with over the seasons and we could just switch the focus to a different sibling every season and watch as they grow up!

9. The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)I could see this being a lot like the teenage version of Ghost Whisperer.

10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusAs much as I am rooting for the movie to come out (it has been optioned after all), I don’t think that one movie could ever be enough. There are so many different places in the circus itself that I would like to see, that I doubt they could fit them all in 2 hours. They’d have to scratch a lot and I don’t want that. When it comes to the Night Circus I can be really greedy! It’s just so magical!

Honourable mentions

  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman (also actually happening!)
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (but only as a mini-series)
  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

So, what do you think? If any of those shows would really happen, I SO want to do the casting. That would be amazing! Have you read some of the books as well and do you share my vision? Would you rather have movies for some of those books or no adaptation at all? What are some books you would like to see as a TV show?

The DUFF: Book vs. Trailer

In my Taylor Swift Book Tag I mentioned how much I was looking forward to reading the DUFF (=Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger and now I finally got around to it. As you may or may not know, I buy a lot of the books I read after watching the trailer for their movie adaptation and this one was no exception. All throughout the comments on YouTube people complained about how different the movie looked from the book. I thought this was just the usual annoyance that came with movie adaptations barely ever being faithful to their underlying material, but now I can tell you that the two are really nothing alike. I don’t know what the studio was thinking when they produced this film, but it has nothing to do with the story the book tried to tell.

So, basically the movie looks like a typical generic teenage RomCom – nothing wrong with that. Themes like the one from “She’s All That” and “Mean Gilrs” have been copied a million times for a simple reason: they work. I’m not one to judge them for that and quite honestly I would watch it for the simple reason that it has Robbie Amell in it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not the book.

Warning: from here on there will be Spoilers for the book (and possibly the movie)!

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger is about Bianca Piper, a cynic girl who deals with her problems by entering into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with the person she hates the most: Wesley Rush. She starts avoiding her friends and bottles up her emotions which inevitably leads to a lot of chaos. Despite what the trailer suggests, the story is a lot deeper and deals with multiple issues that not only teens are confronted with. Here are some of the major differences I’ve spotted:

  • Bianca doesn’t come to Wesley for help. She despises him and solely uses him as a means of escape, well until it turns into something else. It’s different than in the movie though. She doesn’t want to change her appearance, or herself in general, to make anyone like her and he doesn’t fall for her just because she’s slowly changing for the better, but because they have a genuine connection. Bianca knows that for the people who really care about her, she doesn’t have to pretend.
  • I have no idea who Bella Thorne is supposed to be. There is no mean girl in the story. Of course there are the obligatory bitchy cheerleaders, but not a particular mean girl who rules the school. Was that really necessary to add?
  • There is some hope in me that they will deal with the family issues of the characters in the movie, even though it doesn’t look like it from what I could tell from the trailer. But I thought it was important to have Bianca’s father’s alcoholism and her mother being away all the time as well as Wesley’s judgmental grandmother, his sweet little sister and so on in the book. The cast list doesn’t really reassure me though … we’ll see.
  • The movie makes it look like the goal of it all is to make Bianca datable for prom – she doesn’t even go to prom! Neither does she go to the Homecoming or any other school dance, because they just aren’t her thing. There better not be some big showdown at prom …
  • The Nest just doesn’t exist. Seems sad to me, since I really wanted to see Joe.
  • I suppose there will be a lot less sex in the movie. Just an educated guess.
  • I suppose the only thing that will be the same in the movie and the book is moral of the story, which means that Bianca soon discovers that everyone who has friends feels like the Duff at some point.

I hope it came across that I really don’t think the stories have anything in common. I mean not even the set up is the same. Have you read the book? Let’s talk about it!