My Top 10 New TV Shows of 2021

My endless lists and rankings are coming to a close for 2021 with the topic I usually leave for the final day – new TV shows! Other than with the books and movies, the show actually has to be released in 2021 for the first time to qualify. I didn’t struggle with my picks as much as I thought I would though? Usually, I have a hard time narrowing it down to 20, but here we are … let’s check out my picks!

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My Top 10 Books of 2021

If you’ve visited my blog these past days, you will have noticed me having started my year in review posts, chronicling my top movies and shows to an extent. Today is all about my top reads of 2021. Once again, I need to clarify that I only read these books in 2021, not all of them were published that year!

I managed to read 50 books in total last year, which was a mix of comics, poetry collections, fiction and non-fiction. Thanks to my reading experiments, I often stepped out of my comfort zone and glad I got the chance to do so. However, I want this list/ranking to focus on fiction. I will, however, include some poetry books, etc. in my honorable mentions at the end of the post!

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My Top 10 (ongoing) TV Shows of 2021

Yesterday was about movies (click here, if you’ve missed the post), but today is all about my favorite shows of the year 2021 (or at least part 1). I thought that I’d have more trouble picking the shows or limiting it to only ten, but apparently I wasn’t as passionate about the things I’ve watched as I’ve been in previous years.

I feel like I need to clarify that I know the word “ongoing” is misleading. By that, I’ll be referring to shows that were released before 2021 and had a new or in some cases a final season airing/streaming last year. So, ongoing, in this particular case, doesn’t mean they’re still airing. I never quite know how to phrase it, but this is what I’ve established a while ago to call the ranking, so I’ll stick to it now. If you are interested in my favorite brand new 2021 shows, stick around for more posts in the upcoming days!

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My Top 10 Movies of 2021

Every year, I present to you a series of rankings for movies, TV shows and books that I watched or read in the past calendar year. Today is the first one in said series talking about the best of the best (in my humble opinion) of 2021 in terms of films. I love to celebrate the things I enjoyed, so I hope you’ll either find something on here that you’ve liked as well or something you want to watch in the future.

To clarify, not all movies on my list were released in 2021, that is just the time frame in which I first watched them! I’ve only seen a really low amount of films in actual movie theaters (4 in total), so streaming services or video on demand will be heavily featured.

Lastly, before we get started on this ranking, if you enjoy my ramblings, please don’t hesitate to follow me on Letterboxd! It’s a platform where you can track the movies you’re watching, rate and review them or create watchlists. I’m not the most avid movie watcher, but I adore the platform and record all my activity!

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My Top 20 New TV Shows of 2020

This is the final post in my rankings and lists of 2020! If you have missed the previous part on ongoing TV shows, click here to check it out. Today will be all about TV shows (both limited series and shows that might still continue) that first released in 2020. There’s been a lot of good content, which was helpful considering how much time most of us spent at home. Let’s dive into my faves!

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My Top 10 Movies of 2020

Let’s be real, I could probably name more movies than just ten for this list, but with the TV show posts being so extensive, I wanted to make sure you didn’t have to endlessly scroll through all these rankings. Even though I haven’t been to a cinema since January 2019 due to obvious reasons, I still watched a whole lot more films than usually.

Again, to clarify, not all the movies that you will find on this list were released in 2020. That’s just the year I watched them in. You are also very welcome to follow me on letterboxd to stay up to date with what I am watching!

10. Late Night

Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, a whole writer’s room full of dudes who need to be taught that the world doesn’t revolve around them – I love to see it. Literally adored this.

Also adored the director’s other work The High Note, which also deals with women lifting women up in the workplace and that’s just the way it is supposed to be.

9. The Photograph

It’s a simple romance, mostly set by the music and aesthetics. Technically, it’s two stories put together, which sometimes works better and sometimes not so much. LaKeith and Issa have amazing chemistry, but I also loved the discussion of parental love here.

8. Palm Springs

This is a crazy movie filled with quantum theory and shenanigans. I can see it being a bit much for some people, but I had a grand time. It’s just pure weird fun!

7. Knives Out

I’ve legit watched this movie about ten times now and I have no regrets. I still love the casting, I still love the twists, I even came to terms with Marta’s ridiculous condition. It’s a murder mystery to my liking and I am glad they are doing a sort of series for the detective character.

6. Love and Monsters

Dylan O’Brien will forever be an amazing argument for me to watch a movie, but I did not expect just how much fun I would have with it. Yes, the real star is the dog, but that’s okay too.

5. Soul

This movie – it was so beautiful. The animation was gorgeous and the message was inspirational and the scenes were emotional. I teared up for sure! Also – the music! (But again, please stop transforming black characters into blobs or frogs or other animals for the majority of a movie.)

4. The Half of It

I fell for this movie so hard, I don’t even have words. Alice Wu, the director, told a very personal story here and had beautiful symbolism incorporated in her storytelling. Also, loved the friendship love in this one.

3. Uncle Frank

My heart. This movie was sad and complex and funny and well paced. The characters were amazing and once again, it shows that stories that are personal to the people involved can translate just so well to the screen. I wish everyone had a Wally in their lives!

2. The Broken Hearts Gallery

This is now one of my favourite RomComs of all time. It’s that fun and good and sweet. More of this please!!!

1. Little Women

Okay, this was the last movie I had seen in cinemas and I still remember the experience so vividly. For a lot of teen girls in the audience (and believe me when I say the room was packed – what a concept!) this was their first encounter with the material and they laughed and gasped and cried in unison and mirrored all my feelings and this movie has such a place in my heart now.

Honorable Mentions

Okay, this is now a fixture in all my posts anyway, cause I can never contain myself. Not that anyone thought I could to begin with. Here’s some more movies I liked:

  • Happiest Season
  • Banana Split
  • Clouds
  • Enola Holmes
  • Safety
  • Godmothered
  • Uncorked

What did you think of my picks? I feel like this was all very on brand for me. Did they make sense to you? What are movies that were your absolute treasure of 2020?

My Top 20 (ongoing) TV Shows of 2020

Yesterday I gave you my thoughts on the 10 best books I read in 2020, but we all know that the topic I really can’t stop talking about are TV shows. So, not only am I giving you a list of my top 20 shows, I actually split it up in two categories – new and ongoing shows. (The post for the new shows will be up in a couple days, but tomorrow is movie ranking day!) I simply could not contain myself.

I am aware that the phrasing “ongoing shows” might be a bit misleading, which is why I want to clarify what I mean. I included all shows that released before 2020 in this list! That means, they may only have one season that aired previous to that year, but they also might have had their series finale in 2020. Ongoing here doesn’t necessarily mean it is still airing now or that they released follow-up seasons during the last year. Hope that made sense!

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My Top 10 Books of 2020

I do these rankings every year and I enjoy them so much as a kind of closing ritual for the old year. I have no idea if you are even interested in my thoughts on all this stuff, especially since I am not certain I even know how to describe my thoughts sometimes, but I hope you still enjoy this series of lists and rankings in the upcoming days as well!

First things first, not all the books I will mention were 2020 releases. I managed to read 40 books, which is a great feat for me, but I don’t even know if there had been that many new releases among them to fill a list. Either way, let’s get started.

**Click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads**

10. Admission by Julie Buxbaum

Admission

I know next to nothing about the admission scandal in the US, but this book managed to really show an interesting viewpoint of it. While you won’t like all the characters, getting this in-depth breakdown of what might have gone through people’s heads is fantastic.

Click HERE for the review!

9. Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan

Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily

The original Dash and Lily book has always been a “childhood” favourite of mine. I don’t remember when exactly I read it, but I had such good memories of it regardless. With the Netflix adaptation emerging and me enjoying it a whole lot, I finally decided to pick up the sequels. At first, I didn’t have the best of times with Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, but with this part, I really felt for the characters again. Especially the topic of being disappointed by the things you had always envisioned for yourself as well as some really good anxiety rep warmed my heart with relatability.

Click HERE for the review!

8. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Dear Justyce (Dear Martin, #2)

When this sequel was first announced, I wasn’t sure if it was strictly necessary? I thought Dear Martin was a perfectly fine standalone book, but with Nic Stone’s explanation for the sequel and the fact that I had the privilege of reading it ahead of its release quickly changed my mind. Dear Justyce is perfectly capable of standing on its own and was a great addition in Stone’s bibliography. Also, it will forever be just a very timely book.

Click HERE for the review!

7. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)

Adult romance books were never really my kind of genre, especially not the smutty ones. I am not trying to put shade on those books at all, I just personally never really cared for the physical descriptions etc. Nevertheless, I had such a fun time and cannot wait to continue with the romantic adventures of the Brown sisters. Talia Hibbert has created an array of amazing characters here.

Click HERE for the review!

6. This Is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes

This Is Not a Ghost Story

This Is Not a Ghost Story was a last minute addition to the list. Earlier this year, I had actually read a similar-ish book (Watch Over Me at least felt akin in vibes now that I had time to think about it some more – what is it with me and ghosts this year?) but this one felt like an overall better experience. It was funny, creepy and still made you think. I am still not 100% on board with the end, but that’s life.

Click HERE for the review!

5. Anna K by Jenny Lee

Anna K: A Love Story (Anna K, #1)

Me, the person who has never read or watched any Anna Karenina related content, loved this book. I really was so very tempted to seek out some more about the source material. I just do like my modern day retellings, I suppose.

Click HERE for the review!

4. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute was easily one of the cutest and sweetest books I read in 2020. I do enjoy a good online rivalry, lots of talks of food (especially grilled cheese) and the You’ve Got Mail vibes this presented. Maybe not the deepest of stories, but that’s not always what I want and/or need in a good read anyway (because it entirely depends on my mood).

Click HERE for the review!

3. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

I just love this book. I like the way you feel out of place at a new school and especially when you come from a different country. I adored the main character’s snarky personality and I liked that it was more of a snapshot of a time in their lives rather than a finite story.

While we’re at it, I just also want to give a huge shout out to the author’s 2020 release Charming as a Verb! Both books are definitely worth the read!!

Click HERE for the review!

2. Beartown by Frederik Backman

Beartown (Beartown, #1)

Sports. Community. Trauma. Grief. Struggle. Love. Family. Kinship. There are few topics that Beartown DOESN’T touch and I was an emotional wreck reading it. Definitely will go down as one of my all time favourite books.

And I want a movie of it. Like SO bad!

Click HERE for the review!

1. Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Okay, so this is my absolute strangest pick of them all, because … I did not enjoy reading this book. The style of writing was irritating. The characters weren’t even likable half the time and I was not on board with so many of their decisions and yet … it’s the ONE book this year that did not let me go. Maybe it has something to do with the show also invading my mind and me ordering the hardcover copy of the scripts, but still. Something about the story of Connell and Marianne wouldn’t let go of me and that is the sole reason it deserves to be so high up this ranking.

Click HERE for the review!

Honorable Mention

Aphrodite Made Me Do It

I don’t review poetry collections on the blog, although I quite enjoy them every now and then. I just don’t have the sophistication and words needed to describe anything that goes through my head when I read them, so, I just wanted to make sure I had a little section where I got to highlight at least one of the poetry books I enjoyed this year. Aphrodite Made Me Do It was personal and like a conversation. Not long at all, but still hard hitting in parts.

 


Have you read any of these books? What did you think of my picks and where I ranked them? What is a book you loved reading this year? Let’s chat!

My Top 10 Movies of 2019

Here we are! Today is the day that I finally finish all my 2019 rankings. As you should be able to guess from the title of the post, it’s about movies I have watched in 2019. I tried my best to mostly include releases from last year, but let me warn you, it’s not my best list ever. I only watched Parasite in 2020 for example. Also, a lot of movies haven’t been out in my territories yet and yeah … don’t judge me too harshly.

10. Instant Family

I need silly content sometimes and I have an absolute soft spot for adoption/foster home stories, especially the ones with a positive message and happy end. So yeah, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea and maybe you won’t find it funny, but I loved how heartwarming it was.

9. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu 

This movie was by no means perfect, but there was something interesting about it. I really enjoyed seeing the pokémon animated in a real life setting and Ryan Reynolds voicing one of them was just the cherry on top. I think I’d like it if there were sequels to this for sure.

8. The Goldfinch

This movie would have been better served as a limited series, giving every character the time and respect to slowly explore their story. This way it was rushed and confusing at times, but something about it still gripped me. Also, the cinematography was beautiful.

7. The King

When I think of Timothée, I think of a boy. I never expected to watch a scene where he plays a king talking to his men on a battlefield, giving a speech that carries through rows and rows of people and believe his performance, but I did. And it was brilliant! (Most of all, shout out to Joel Edgerton, who was involved in so many parts of the making of this movie though and carried big parts of it.)

6. Long Shot

Maybe not the most obvious choice, but I found this movie funny and poignant? I was really sad that it flopped almost everywhere, because I never like Seth Rogen films, but I liked this one a lot. He works so well with Charlize Theron and it’s a sort of romantic comedy without too much romance and really current jokes.

5. Klaus

If you add any new Christmas movie to your yearly watch list, please, let it be this one. I didn’t just like the animation style, but I absolutely, with all my heart, adored the storyline. I swear, by the end of it, I was in tears and had no regrets.

4. Yesterday

I know that we had Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody and whatnot last year, but … I haven’t actually seen them yet. There is just something that always makes me worry about these biopics not being what I want them to be. Yesterday had it far easier in that department, because while they really dug into the legacy of the Beatles, they made it a whole story of their own. I liked how creative that felt and I really, really liked the cast.

3. The Party’s Just Beginning

This movie is best enjoyed with a lot of trigger warnings concerning graphic scenes of a suicide and warnings about depression. I watched it while I was in a bad place and it didn’t exactly help, but this movie was really great nonetheless. I am so proud of Karen Gillan for pouring her heart into this project and having it set in Scotland none the less!

2. Someone, Somewhere

Yes, I put a French movie in this post! It’s a love story without being a love story at all. It’s about how hard it is for single people in this day and age, especially in a big city. It’s about how you have to have your life in order for you to be able to share it with anyone else. It basically spoke to everything my heart and brain thinks daily.

1. Brittany Runs a Marathon

It’s supposed to be funny, but I cried my way through a lot of parts of this movie. Don’t let the trailer fool you, it’s not about how you have to lose weight in order to become a “better person”. That’s not what happened to Brittany at all, she turned into a bitch as soon as she was skinny if you ask me, but just like the last movie, it’s a lot about how you have to find a way to live with yourself. Also, it’s really motivational. I hate running and I wanted to run for days afterwards.

Honorable Mentions

As you’ve seen these past couple of days, I like to give a shoutout to some movies that haven’t made it in the ranking. Here we go:

  • Shazam!
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Captain Marvel
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Aladdin
  • Always Be My Maybe
  • Good Boys
  • Last Christmas
  • Someone Great
  • Love at Second Sight
  • Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood
  • Otherhood

Also, because I watched a lot of German content, I also want to specifically mention some movies worth checking out here:

  • Der Junge muss an die frische Luft/All About Me
  • Golden Twenties
  • Cleo
  • Traumfabrik
  • Nirgendwo
  • Trautmann/The Keeper
  • Rate Your Date
  • O Beautiful Night

That’s it! What did you think of that list? Any surprises on it? Let’s chat!

My Top 10 Continued TV Shows of 2019

I hope this post title isn’t too confusing, but I wasn’t quite sure what else to call it. Basically, yesterday was all about shows that were released in 2019 and this post is about my favourite shows that continued on with their x-amount of season. Hope you enjoy!

10. 9-1-1 (Season 3)

I don’t want to call this show a guilty pleasure, because that’s not really what it feels like to me. But compared to the other shows on this or yesterday’s list, the storytelling is definitely far less high-brow and more focused on drama, drama, drama and pour some over the top drama on that. But the tsunami episodes were absolutely heart shattering and I will remain a Buddie shipper forever, even if I strongly believe they are just queer baiting the viewers with that one.

9. Marvel’s Runaways (Season 3)

I already touched a little bit upon how much I enjoyed this last season. My favourite out of all the kids on the show is probably Gert, so I am grateful for how the show ended and even if it wasn’t a perfect season (or series as a whole), I am glad for what we got. I will miss all my superhero kiddos (Cloak and Dagger included).

8. Stranger Things (Season 3)

I do not like redemption through death storylines, but saying any more than that would be such a massive spoiler in case you haven’t watched it yet. For some reason this wasn’t my favourite season, but it’s cool to see everyone grow up and the addition of Robin was one of the smartest moves ever. Ice cream squad for the win!

7. Elite (Season 2)

I wasn’t entirely sure where this season would go, since the murder mystery, despite not being entirely solved, was more or less over. They somehow managed to incorporate a decently suspenseful supplicant story though and offered some more exposition on certain characters. I really dig where we left things and hope the wait for the new season won’t be too long.

6. Sorry for Your Loss (Season 2)

I don’t think anyone expected a Facebook Watch series on this list? But, in all honesty, I feel like Sorry for Your Loss is totally being slept on. It’s such an amazing story about grief and how everyone handles it differently and how earth shattering revelations can be about a person you thought you knew and who can’t give answers anymore. Also, if you want to support Kelly Marie Tran after they basically cut her out of Star Wars, this is your chance!

5. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 3)

Thinking back, I never thought I would enjoy this show and now I am always just eagerly awaiting the new season. While I would like to think that Midge is smarter than the poor judgment on material she has shown in the season finale, I believe she still has so much more ahead of her. Also, my heart breaks every time Lenny Bruce gets involved in an episode, so I definitely need them to continue covering several more years in that universe and maybe changing Lenny’s fate? Wouldn’t mind that at all. (And poor Benjamin. He was done dirty too.)

4. You (Season 2)

I LIKED the new season. I had my doubts about repeating the concept from season 1 etc., but it stayed original and it stayed suspenseful and creepy. Still in no way a fan of Joe (especially since he didn’t react a certain way I wanted him to after a revelation), but Penn is killing it in that particular role.

3. The OA (Season 2)

Similar to Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, I will never forgive Netflix for cancelling The OA before its time. The final episode had such a beautifully juicy twist and I will be forever sad we were denied the remainder of the story. I would seriously crowdfund the heck out of this if there was any way I could watch the rest, but alas, the world wasn’t ready for this show. Still, it’s 100% worth watching if you have the time and attention span. This one is not made for casual viewing.

2. Dark (Season 2)

Speaking of beautiful twists! I love Dark for a couple of reasons, but the end of Season 2 was a game changer and I cannot wait to see where they take us. Also, I lowkey appreciate that next season will be the last one, giving it a proper ending and all that jazz.

1. Fleabag (Season 2)

I don’t necessarily think that Fleabag is for everyone, but it sure is something! In my eyes, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius and has created a character that is both, easy to judge and hard not to love, but she just up and went with adding the Hot Priest to the mix and things got wild. One day, I am going to buy the Fleabag scriptures and I am going to study the heck out of those scripts.

Honorable Mentions

As per usual, I am nowhere near at capacity with all the great things I have watched, so here are some more shows for your consideration:

  • Veronica Mars (Season 4)
  • Charmed (Season 2)
  • Lost in Space (Season 2)
  • Friends from College (Season 2)
  • Legacies (Season 2)
  • Glow (Season 3)
  • Derry Girls (Season 2)
  • The Rain (Season 2)
  • Plan Coeur (Season 2)
  • Baby (Season 2)
  • Good Trouble (Season 2)
  • The Bold Type (Season 3)
  • The Man in the High Castle (Season 4)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 3)

So, that’s all on TV shows! Have you watched some of these as well? Would you have ranked them similarly? Let’s chat before tomorrow’s final post on my top 10 movies.