Every year, I tell myself “Don’t get invested. You’ll just fall in love with another show that won’t last.” and every year, I don’t listen to myself. So, as a sort of cathartic experience, I decided to talk about all my lost loves. I wasn’t equally as invested in all of these – like, I’ll definitely get over a lot of them until they become a distant memory – but some still sting. Let’s just take a look!
You all know that my love for books constantly has to compete with my love for TV shows, because in the end there are only so many hours in one day. That is why I love it all the more when I can combine those two passions and do a little comparison of a book and its (big or small) screen adaptation. I’ve previously done this for Still Star-Crossed and since I am still getting clicks for that, I am just going to assume you won’t mind more posts of the like! Today’s book vs. show post will feature Famous in Love!
The story of Famous in Love follows Portland-raised Paige Townsen on her way to Hollywood fame. She soon finds out that being cast for the main role in a YA trilogy adaptation isn’t just glamorous when she struggles to unite her old and new life, succumbs to the pressure of being a new face in a harsh industry and ultimately finds herself amidst an intense love triangle.
I am going to start with the show, because I actually watched it prior to reading the book. I usually try to read stuff before the show/movie comes out, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen and from there on it can go both ways. Anyway, Famous in Love is in its second season on Freeform. Not going to lie, Freeform and I have a strenuous relationship, because they often do very superficial adaptations and tacky content, while easily cancelling the things I actually do like (except for The Bold Type, they are doing great on that one!). I suppose that was part of the reason why I wanted to watch the show without having much knowledge about the book, since I knew they were going to change a lot. Not having any sort of allegiance the content beforehand can be really helpful in those kind of situations.
Freeform shows follow a very simple formula. Have a glossy appearance, get a mix of known and unknown actors and actresses in their early twenties and then just add drama, drama, drama at a varying degree of realism. For some formats that doesn’t work at all and for other things I quite enjoy their take. Famous in Love is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, but mostly because it takes place in the film industry and that is my soft spot.
As someone who has worked in that industry, I always like those supposed behind the scenes kind of shows. Mix it with a typical Cinderella and fish-out-of-water component and you basically have me hooked without question. I may not be the biggest Bella Thorne fan to begin with, but it’s easy to root for her character, Paige, the entire time. Who hasn’t secretly (or not so secretly) dreamed of becoming famous over night and having celebrities swoon over you?
I am a simple girl, I always favour episodes with character development and exploration of relationships over the superficial drama that comes with jealousy, affairs, fake press stories and out-of-the-blue-murder, but I guess it was to be expected with this kind of show. And even if it’s silly sometimes, in the end you just want to know what happened? So, while I do enjoy watching it as a whole, I still think that Famous in Love has a couple weaknesses. For one, the cast is quite big and keeps getting bigger, which often makes it hard to focus on anyone in particular for an extended amount of time without neglecting someone else. Also, I feel like some of the characters changed their personality quite a bit from Season 1 to Season 2 and I don’t get why exactly. None of that has stopped me from tuning in every week so far though.
One of my favourite parts about Famous in Love is the teen novel they are adapting called Locked. I want that book to be a real YA franchise so that I can dig in and read the story myself. OR I want that fake movie they are filming to be a real movie, so that I can watch the entire Locked film one day. *sigh* Those are the dreams of a TV obsessed bookworm …
Now that the second season started up on Freeform, I thought it was finally time to check out the source material. Granted, I went into this with quite a few preconceived ideas of what the story would be according to the show, but I still wasn’t prepared for the amount of actual changes.
The general idea is still the same. Paige is a nobody, but gets the role in this huge franchise. But that’s about it. Whereas the show takes place in LA, the book is almost entirely set in Hawaii. Whereas Paige is in her early twenties on TV, she is only 17 and still living with her parents when the book starts. Whereas Paige’s friends are right there with her not just in life but also in the film industry in the adaptation, they have a huge fight and grow apart while also being in different locations entirely. Whereas the love triangle on the show is between Paige, her co-star Rainer and her roommate Jake, the book’s main romance catastrophe was between Paige, Rainer and ALSO her second co-star Jordan.
Look, I am all for love triangles IF they are done well. I like the idea that one’s heart is torn between two amazing love interests, but that just wasn’t the case here. While I may have understood the slow burn approach of the Paige and Rainer relationship, which was actually really cute and developed slowly, the Jordan part was completely beyond me. Paige was downright ready to sabotage him getting a job on set, just to fall head over heels into him without saying much more than “hi” to each other for weeks.
In addition to that, the version of Locked they were filming in this scenario also sounds less appealing somehow and I don’t even know why that would be different as well? Anyway, I think that I would usually allow for the possibility of me not enjoying the book as much because of having seen the show first, but I cannot imagine myself liking this book in any other situation either.
Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! (click on the cover to be redirected to Goodreads!)
So, in the end, I would say that the TV show is vastly superior to the book and I stand by that statement. Making the characters older and a tad more mature with that, as well as setting the scene right in the high life that is Los Angeles, was a smart move in my opinion. They also created a better love triangle (whether you like them or not) than they did in the book and I will happily continue watching the series even if I won’t read any more of the books.
Do you watch Famous in Love? Have you read it? What is your take on the subject? Let’s talk!
P.S.: Shout out to the unsung heroes of any kind of production – the PAs (Production Assistants)! Or in this particular case, Adam, a reoccurring character on the show who deserves more screen time.
I did a Twitter poll to decide on this week’s theme (only for a short amount of time, so don’t worry if you missed it) and … there were two winners, so the poll wasn’t helpful at all. Still, it narrowed down my options by a little bit and I ultimately went with “Shows that could use some more buzz“. I know that a lot of you haven’t even heard of some of the shows that I promote as it is, but whenever I am on social media, I either feel like shows are getting attention or not. This week, we will talk about the ones that don’t.
To describe today’s show Here and Now is a thing of impossibility. It’s like the OA meets This Is Us but because of the lack of focus on one genre, it doesn’t quite do as well as either of those shows did? It currently airs on HBO and is still in its first season.
Here and Now focuses on a multi-racial family with three adopted and one biological child as things start to play into their lives beyond anyone’s understanding.
What even is this show? I don’t know! I honestly cannot tell you. It’s a lot of things and it is none of those things. It’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery. I have never been so frustrated with the lack of an aha-moment, yet felt so compelled to tune in every single week at the same time!
One the one hand, Here and Now is a family drama. It deals with adoption and especially what it means for the parents and children if you adopt outside of your own race. But it is about so much more than that, it’s about religion, mental health, sexuality and belonging into the world. Even within the pilot alone, you see that you get fleshed out characters that are all dealing with their own stuff in their own ways. Everyone is connected to the others, however, at the same time, it all feels very much like they all have their own stories apart from one another. So, taking all that into consideration, you might think you are watching just another contemporary drama, but that’s not the truth at all.
There is an element of mystery that, even after 6 out of 10 episodes, I cannot put my finger on. And I am not talking about a murder mystery here, I am talking about full on spiritual, supernatural or magical connections happening very reminiscent of the OA and Sense8. The numbers 11:11 play a huge part in it all, but it doesn’t feel like we are anywhere near the discovery of what it all means. This is partly the show’s downfall, as it sometimes seems to forget what it’s trying to convey with so many characters and their real life problems that the supernatural sub-plot just gets put on the sidelines. It often feels like Alan Ball is trying to throw in so many debates about culture and identity, that he never truly hits home with anything. I do want to give him points for trying though.
Overall, I think that Here and Now might be more enjoyable as a binge-watch. It is told slowly and with many taboos and straight forward confrontations typical in the style of HBO. The show has no to very little need for the use of CGI, which makes it feel grounded in reality. I am very curious as to what the whole 11:11 shebang means, because that’s just who I am. Whenever I randomly look at my phone and it’s exactly 11:11, I think of the show. I want the answers and I hope Alan Ball delivers before I get too impatient.
As I mentioned above, every character has their own story to tell, their own demons to face, their own hurdles to overcome. I am sure there are characters that appeal to someone that might not appeal to another person but there is something there for everyone. I personally feel very detached from the parents of the family. Their narrative is kind of lost on me, just because I cannot connect to them emotionally. Their children all hold my attention far more! It was difficult to choose who to talk about. Ashley struggles in her marriage and also with the fact that no one in her family can relate to being a black woman in America. The celibate Duc seems to be haunted by his past, but rather micro-manages other people’s lives as a “motivational architect” than face those memories. And Kristen just wants to be unique in a family that has so many stand out members. But in the end I went with the person who really started things in my eyes.
This someone who immediately caught my eye was Ramon. He was adopted from Colombia when he was 18 months old and is now an openly-gay student who is designing video games. He is the darling of the family and his adopted siblings suspect it is because he is white-passing and it was therefore easier for their parents to “deal” with him. He very much felt like the main character, despite everyone being important to the plot, just because his supposed hallucinations kick off the mystery plot. At first, the unsettling images are confined to his dreams, but then the visions seem to sweep over into reality.
All of his relationships are interesting. As I said, he is kind of the darling boy of the family, but I was especially intrigued by his not-yet-disclosed connection to his new therapist, Farid. I expect that, should the aha-moment that explains the entire supernatural sub-plot ever come, it will take place in a scene between those two.
But I also love Ramon’s relationship with Henry. There were some recent developments that I don’t want to get into, but I hope they can get over their fight and be the cute couple they used to be. I was very mad at Ramon for that one … I really thought they were hitting it off.
While it may not seem that way, there is more than just one family to take into consideration when it comes to Here and Now. Ramon’s therapist’s family takes up an important part of the narrative as well and they are connected through more than Ramon when Farid’s son, Navid, tries to befriend Kristen, Ramon’s sister, at school. The Shokranis are used mainly to show the fanatic and healing side of religion (in their case they are Muslims), but with Navid they also explore the topic of being gender-fluid.
I am not sure the show was strictly necessary. Maybe I should have waited until they were actually done with their first season, but I think there is a certain appeal to it all. It is far from perfect, but I think it tries really hard to put in as many current issues as possible. Sometimes it ends up being really clunky, but other times it can also be beautiful.
Have you ever stuck with a show despite not knowing what was going on? Would you want to try Here and Now? Do you think it might deserve some more buzz or do you think it is trying too hard to succeed?
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!
This week’s theme is “literary adaptations not just for kids” (I know, I am so fabulous at coming up with something new all the time) and I am very excited to talk about this particular show. I was pretty late to the bandwagon, but Anne with an E definitely needs to be talked about at one point or another.
This, by far, isn’t the first adaption of the Anne of Green Gables book series, however, Netflix really managed to give it a fresh take with a fantastic young cast and extraordinary detail concerning the set and costumes. So far there is one season, but production for the second one has already started in November 2017. Again, I have not read the book (BUT I have ordered it – progress! But seriously, Anne of Green Gables just wasn’t really a thing in my country, so you can’t blame me for not knowing it.), but I have heard that there were some changes made to the original narrative as well as tone, probably to fit into the darker and more drama-filled TV landscape of today.
Anne with an E chronicles the adventures of a young orphan girl as she finds a new home, love and friendship on Prince Edward Island during the 19th century.
Okay, I have to admit that I started watching this because I missed Canada. I am not sure how much sense that makes, considering the time this is set in and that Canada is huge and I wasn’t actually in that part of the country, but I still got the vibes that I wanted. Anne with an E is such an easy show to fall in love with. The visuals are simply stunning and no one on this planet can tell me that this isn’t the most stylish adaptation of the source material yet. But it really shines because of how emotional and gripping it is. Thinking back, I don’t believe there was a single episode where I didn’t need tissues.
As I mentioned above, there were some changes made to the story and that resulted in the show getting edgier than the books. In my opinion, this added greatly to the realism and the exploration of Anne’s past. Having said that, I don’t want you to think this is a super dark show, because it definitely is not. Anne with an E is a beautiful visual treat with a slow pace to accompany the gorgeous cinematography. You will laugh and cry, both out of joy and sadness.
I also really want to applaud all the actors and actresses involved in this series. Netflix always manages to pull amazing young talent out of seemingly nowhere (at least it feels that way for me), but the adults really hit home with me as well. The performances (aside from a very theatrical Anne at times) were so quietly convincing. It’s all a big part of what makes Anne with an E so charming.
Overall, I just really enjoyed the themes that were explored on the show. It is about all kinds of things, each of them relatably portrayed even with the very different setting from our world today. It is about growing up and finding that place called home. The adoption process and Anne’s background were an emotional roller coaster for me and her continued fight to be heard and accepted was so very inspiring. It’s about poverty and friendship. It’s about first love, loss and grief. Also, there’s a real feminist element to everything Anne does and I love her all the more for it.
I could talk about Anne for days. She’s quirky, charming, smart, wonderful, has the biggest capacity for imagination I have seen on screen and probably knows more complicated words than me. She can also be overly dramatic and a real scene stealer, but I guess that is what makes Anne so very Anne. Even when I will admit that it can border on the point of being a tad annoying behaviour, Amybeth McNulty really made that role her own and I cannot imagine that being easy at such a young age. However, I feel like this part of the post is not just here to feature the main character and that is why I want to talk about Gilbert Blythe.
Gilbert is the guy everyone loves, except Anne. Even though the poor boy immediately takes a liking to her, Anne feels like he is just making her life harder and that’s true even if he never intended for that to happen. He is kind, smart, confident, incredibly cute (except when he pulls girls’ pigtails) and most importantly he doesn’t judge people by where they are from but rather who they are.
He is an overall good guy and doesn’t give up on Anne so easily, but rather uses her aversion towards him to start an academical rivalry he knew she wouldn’t be able to resist. I hope you can see where I am going with this, but it’s the perfect set up for enemies to lovers/the hate-to-love-trope. I adored seeing how Anne slowly changed her view of Gilbert and through that her feelings for him. I am really looking forward to where this is going in the future (although everyone who has read the books already knows, but the journey still counts!).
So, in the end, I don’t know how this show will fare with people who absolutely adore the books. I went into it pretty unknowing and that might have been the best way to watch the show. After all, there are changes! And they aren’t just minor ones either, but I still think that this show is like a piece of art that should be appreciated anyway.
Did you watch Anne with an E? Did you read the books? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat! (Bonus question: can you guess which show I will talk about on Friday?)
At this point, I don’t think I necessarily have to say it, but I got another weekly theme for you! We are talking “Freaky Sci-Fi” today and on Friday and are starting it all off with Travelers. From what I’ve noticed, not that many people know it. So, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase it a little.
So, far there are 2 Seasons of the time travel drama out there. You can watch them on Netflix, but they originally air on Showcase in Canada. There’s definitely more to tell, but it has been well received among viewers and even made it onto some list of Netflix, ranking it among the top 10 shows to marathon/binge-watch. So, here’s to hoping Season 3 will be greenlit soon.
The future is in peril! To prevent humankind from extinction, brave souls go on a suicide mission and transfer their consciousness into the 21st century to change what’s to come.
Usually I decide whether I am going to keep watching a show or not within the first 10 minutes. Whatever you do, do not base your opinion of Travelers on the first ten minutes! I might be sightly exaggerating, but they were dreadful. I didn’t understand what was going on and when I finally did, I didn’t enjoy seeing those situations over and over with different people. It just took way too long to really get going, felt hacked up and not like a good flow at all, but in the end I am really glad I stuck around.
The so-called Travelers leave their original identity behind and enter their new host body shortly before their moment of death, which they then prevent. Most of their information is based off of social media accounts or official records and digital papertrails. This makes for a great fish-out-of-water-scenario as the main characters have to pretend to be someone they don’t know in a time they’ve basically only read about.
Other than most Sci-Fi shows, Travelers is very understated. There’s not a lot of CGI or pompous effects, but rather a focus on interpersonal relationships and the drama that comes with wanting to save the world, but also having to preserve the cover of being an ordinary person. It’s more on the slow paced side, which gives the show room for character development and the exploration of the moral predicament the cast is facing at every other turn. After all, there are rules to time travel but nothing is what it seems and there comes a time when they have to decide which rules might be worth breaking and which ones aren’t.
Now it’s time for a new official part of my #CurrentlyWatching posts. I’ve already started to implement this a little in the past, but most of the time, it’s really the characters that make the show worth watching. So, from now on, I want to do a specific section to feature and spotlight one or several characters of a show that particularly enticed me. I am trying to get you attached here, but at the same time, I will try not to give too much away. Otherwise where is the fun in watching, right?
Already I struggled a bit to just spotlight one person for this post. After all, there is Trevor – one of the oldest travelers, yet the one who ends up in the body of a High School student. He is invigorated by youth, but struggles to fit into the shallow and reckless life the real Trevor used to lead. Then there is Philip – the historian of the team who has perfect recall and has to carry the weight of remembering all the deaths of all the people they might encounter, knowing that he is not allowed to change history, while also coping with a drug addiction that wasn’t made privy in death records of his host. Or maybe Carly – the tactician and soldier of the group, who finds herself with an abusive boyfriend and newborn baby that she cannot help but feel maternal for. But in the end I went with Marcy.
Marcy, the team’s medic, also fell victim to expecting a different life from her host, due to fake social media profiles. In truth, the real Marcy was a intellectually disabled woman and did not in fact have a relationship with David, who, in reality, is Marcy’s social worker. On the one side, I really enjoyed watching Marcy’s journey as she is one of the most enigmatic characters, but then again there is so much … problematic (not sure that’s the right word, but it’s what I am going with for now) with her character. Aside from the fact that they basically “cured” an intellectually disabled woman (which gets a whole new spin in Season 2 that I will not go into right now but I am also still not sure how to feel about), there is also the fact that she then proceeds to have an on and off relationship with her former social worker. Don’t get me wrong, they are incredibly cute. David is one of the most precious people out there, but the implications that come with that are staggering.
I am glad that it’s a topic that is discussed, challenged and by no means just accepted. David in particular struggles with his growing feelings for Marcy and knows what that means for his career and life.
There’s a lot happening in the two seasons so far. Some things I really liked, others I felt more iffy about. There is a tranquility to the show that is really appealing to me, but there are also single episodes that don’t work particularly well for me. In general, I feel like the show works better as a binge than one episode per week. There’s still so much potential in this story and their characters, so I am curious to see where they will go next.
Have you ever watched Travelers? Do you think you would want to check it out?
Let’s continue with this week’s theme of “family business“, but with a show vastly different from Dynasty. If you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen me gush about it all of last week and that show is Peaky Blinders!
I joined in quite late, considering that the show premiered in 2013 and already has 4 seasons available, but then again, I am really glad I could binge it all in a short amount of time, instead of waiting a year or more between season (seriously, Season 5 won’t be out until 2019 and I am dying a little bit inside, but am also super grateful the show continues). Peaky Blinders is made by the BBC, but is also available on Netflix in most territories as far as I know.
**Please ignore that the official BBC speaker pronounces Cillian as Sillian, because it is Killian and I am ashamed for them**
Set in the early 1920s, Peaky Blinders chronicles the life of the infamous gang by the same name run by the ambitious and ruthless Shelby family.
While the Peaky Blinders as a gang really did exist, the show has no claim on being factually correct whatsoever. Whereas the series starts in 1919, the real Peaky Blinders operated from around 1890-1920 and would have most likely been extinct by the time the show begins. There is no proof of any of the characters having existed (except maybe some of the opponent crime bosses) and the razors the gang has sown into their caps were a luxury product at the time that probably not even the Peaky Blinders could have afforded. So, I personally do not care about any of these things at all, but some people might want to know that this is not based on real history. I always saw it as a pure work of fiction to begin with.
Right from the get go, I quite enjoyed the family dynamic of the Shelbys. Whereas the family business, in this case a buzzing gambling den, is usually run by the eldest sibling, it is Thomas Shelby (the middle child) everyone looks to. None of the brothers have come home from the war the way they left for France, but he has taken up the responsibility to care for his family and to get them the life he thinks they deserve for their service to their country – by whatever means necessary.
Thomas Shelby is a complex character and I love him all the more for it. Is he a good man? Debatable for sure. I wouldn’t even go so far as to say that he always has good intentions in mind, because it wouldn’t be the truth. People fear him, but they also adore him. He provides protection, but at the same time he is often the reason people need protection to begin with. Whatever he does, it always feels like a two-edged sword. He wants to go legit, but in the end there is always one more thing to do, one last heist, one last mission. I am not sure he would actually be able to be content with a life in peace if it was right in front of him.
Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Thomas is perfection in my eyes. He has no problem showing his callous and ruthless side, he can turn on the charm and self-confidence that is required to navigate certain situations, but there is also an underlying vulnerability and endless sadness to him. All this affects his every relationship at one point or another and shows how broken war has left him.
Women were at a clear disadvantage in the 1920s, however, I appreciate that there is an element of progressiveness among the Peaky Blinders. Women’s issues are discussed, equality is at least attempted and it is in no way implied that they are just damsels in distress that need to be saved and protected all the time. Women have their own head in this show and oftentimes sneakily manipulate the men in their small ways. I am not saying that the female representation is perfect, but considering the time period it is set in, I certainly enjoyed the direction they decided to go in.
There is no denying that the show can go quite dark and violent. I suppose that is part of the whole ogranised crime topic we are dealing with. However, it also handles topics such as mental health and PTSD in particular. Considering how little regard there was given to mental health issues at the time, I always find it interesting to see how people dealt with it. There is a lot of emotional trauma to deal with throughout the series and they constantly managed to break my heart.
All in all, I hold Peaky Blinders in high regard. It has most stellar acting in all roles, be it the main casting or supporting characters. The setting is not one you see on TV every day and even throughout several seasons, it never seizes to amaze me in terms of intricacies of the plot and characters. Also, one final shout out to all the epic walking scenes on that show. You should never underestimate how difficult it is to walk normal or cool while being filmed.
So, by the order of the Peaky Blinders, I command you to watch this show. Just kidding! But if you do think this one is for you, check it out and tell me what you think!
By some miracle, I am able to keep having a theme for each week of #CurrentlyWatching posts and this week is all about sitcoms with depth. I can’t exactly say what it is with sitcoms, but usually they are terrible at holding my attention. It’s not so much that I don’t enjoy watching them, but they rarely have a compelling overarching theme or storyline that compels me to watch every single episode. Well, until the shows came around that I am going to present to you now, starting with The Good Place.
The Good Place airs on NBC, has currently 2 seasons available and is already renewed for a third one (Major YAAAS! for that). As I mentioned, it’s a sitcom, so episodes are usually about 20 minutes long.
Eleanor died and made it to the Good Place. Or has she? A seemingly small mix-up that Eleanor refuses to clear up in fear of having to go to the bad place, leads to consequences for all the inhabitants of her new neighborhood.
Is everything really fine? No, it is not and it’s hilarious. Surprisingly enough, I keep meeting people who haven’t even heard of The Good Place yet, but for me it was such a breakout star when it premiered at the end of 2016. While it is funny at all times, it also manages to carry a life message or get an ethical point across without ever turning really heavy. I can appreciate that, because there are days you don’t want the heavy stuff on your screen.
Also, while the concept may seem formulaic, I can promise you that there are tons of twists and turns that you won’t be expecting. Obviously I am not going to give anything away here, but let’s just say it’s big and very good!
During the past two season, I’d say we’ve gotten a pretty good look at the main characters, without having seen ALL there is to them. With flashbacks (that are thankfully not overused) we discover more about the humans, but also Michael – the architect of the this particular neighborhood in the Good Place.
I like that there is such variation in the personalities. You are bound to recognize both, good and bad, traits in each of them that you are probably also able to find in yourself. Eleanor, for example, may be rude and selfish, but it’s mostly because she had to fend for herself from a young age on and therefore knows the world doesn’t hand out freebies. Or Chidi, the ethics and moral professor, who is so flustered by the idea of making the right choice that he sometimes fails to make any choice at all. I’d like to go more into detail, because these characters are absolutely fantastic, but I just realised how many spoilers are potentially in their description, so I’d rather have you discover them yourselves.
There is so much to love about this show. Janet, who can’t technically be classified as a person, is definitely among the favourite parts of the show. However, there was always something about Eleanor and Chidi’s relationship that fascinated me the most. Actually, all relationships Eleanor has are interesting, because they don’t just make her but the other person a better being as well. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that there are several main characters, with Kristen Bell’s Eleanor kind of being the main main character among them.
So, that’s it for today. I hope I could pique your interest for this show a little bit. Again, it is funny, explores some moral issues but never fails to surprise and stay interesting as it continues on the long run (seriously, the season finales are the bomb!).
Have you watched The Good Place? Do you like it as much as me? Who else is pumped for Season 3?
This week is all about peculiar and unusual shows, so I want to talk about The End of the F***ing World today. A while back, I shared the trailer for this on one of my Sunday-trailer-posts, but back then there was no talk of it also being released on Netflix yet. However, we could all agree upon it being very … strange? I am getting ahead of myself again, let’s start with the basics first.
The End of the F***ing World is a dark British comedy series, which originally premiered on Channel 4 but is now also available on Netflix. The show is based on the graphic novel by Charles S. Forsman of the same title, which I had never heard of before though. Currently it is still in its first season with 8 episodes (that are all way too short) ready to binge, but it has received quite some critical acclaim and that makes me hope that things are looking up for a continuation in the near future.
Self-proclaimed psychopath James and rebel Alyssa run away together. Each of them has their own reasons for going on the road trip, but neither expects the twists and turns their relationship will take.
Okay, hands down, I did not think I would like this show, never mind fall in love with it. Alyssa and James aren’t exactly the super likable or relatable characters at first, however, Lawther and Barden have a way about them that portraits the characters in such a fascinating light. Aside from the fact that it’s refreshing to see actors who actually look the age they are supposed to portray, even though they are older, those two strike the perfect balance between cynicism and raw emotions. The characters have issues for sure and you can’t make excuses for their actions, but they are also vulnerable and damaged. It’s them together and their relationship that added the true magic and broke my heart over and over again.
I don’t really want to go too much into the plot. A lot happens and shit escalates to put it simply. Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest this one to the faint-hearted. I want to use this moment to give trigger warnings for murder, abuse, suicide, sexual harassment and rape. All of those are reasons why it’s sometimes incredibly hard to watch, while the show as a whole still makes you laugh with its incredibly dark humour and enraptures you in beautiful cinematography. Add an utterly amazing soundtrack to that and you know The End of the F***ing World has my heart for good.
I couldn’t stop watching. I binged the entire series when it was available in one go and felt an empty hole inside me that only comes after you’ve watched something great. Performances all around were amazing, but everyone definitely gets to show their true potential with time. So, as a recommendation, I would say stick to it for a bit after the first episodes to see what the story and actors truly hold in store.
If I had one last thing to add here, it would be that I absolutely need more. Against everything I thought this show would turn out to be, I fell hard for this story and I sincerely hope there will be seasons more to come.
Did you watch The End of the F***ing World? Did you like it? Are you going to watch it? Let’s talk!
The #CurrentlyWatching feature is back by popular demand. I haven’t tweaked it too much, because why change a winning formula? However, there will no longer be a “why you might not enjoy show XY”-section, simply for the reason that I can never think of why you shouldn’t watch something and in addition to that, I just hope that your own judgment while reading the post will give you a feel on whether you might like it or not. So, without further ado, let’s talk about today’s spotlighted show: Schitt’s Creek!
Schitt’s Creek (stylized Schitt$ Creek, but I am too lazy to do that throughout the entire post) is a Canadian sitcom created by Eugene Levy and his son, Dan Levy, and iscurrently in its 4th season. Those of you who know me very well, know that I struggle with keeping up with sitcoms/comedy shows, simply because my attention span is better built for the story arcs of dramas. Yet, I swear, I wouldn’t miss an episode of Schitt’s Creek for the world of me. It’s inappropriate as hell but always hilarious and refreshing.
The show centers around a family who loses their entire fortune and is forced to rebuild their life in their only remaining asset, a small town in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, their previous lifestyle and habits clash with the good-natured locals as they build their new home in the town’s motel.
In my opinion, this show flies a little under the radar and it’s such a shame. I only discovered it when I was in Canada last year and binged through all of the available episodes right away. In the beginning it reminded me of a German show called “Arme Millionäre” (which translates to “poor millionaires”) and I think that is why I first stuck with it, but Schitt’s Creek is more than capable to stand on its own.
One of my favorite parts about it all is the cast! Aside from the formidable main cast (I swear, Dan Levy is one of my favorite humans and the light of my life), there’s also a whole lot of secondary actors/actresses and cameos that I simply could squeal over for days. Just to name a few I was really excited to see, there’s Dustin Milligan, Tim Rozon, Noah Reid, Francois Arnaud and Steve Lund. As the seasons went on, I just knew that I wouldn’t be disappointed in whoever showed up next.
The chemistry is just off the charts and works on all available levels, be it the on-screen-marriage of Catharine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, the sibling rivalry of Alexis and David, the blossoming friendship of David and motel receptionist Stevie or whatever other possible combination you can think of. Especially that last one captured my heart though, and I would call their scenes together among my most precious each episode.
Another point of why I enjoy this show so much is the writing. While it can be full of crude and definitely partially offensive humour, it is also written extremely witty and with such heart. Initially, the Roses aren’t a very likable family and definitely not the relatable kind, but they do grow on you tremendously as they grow. This shows mostly in the scenes where the family allows themselves to actually form bonds with the citizens of Schitt’s Creek. Also, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t fascinated with the respective romantic pursuits of Alexis and David, which also lead to some of the more substantial character growth on their part.
Lastly, the mention of David leads me to my final and among most important points. David Rose is an openly pansexual character on TV and I am 100% here for that representation! Aside from the fact that pan characters are rare to begin with, I simply ADORED the unexcited and casual way they introduced his sexuality and treated it thereafter. While Schitt’s Creek as a whole is definitely always on the joking side, they never make fun of him (for that! We do laugh about David’s character in general a lot though) and I value that a lot.
I think that was more than enough information for now. I will just let that all sink in and hope that you know you can ask me anything you like in the comment section below!
Could I convince you to try Schitt’s Creek? Did you already watch it before this post? Let’s chat!
Also, you are welcome to suggest TV shows you would like me to write about or hear more of. I already have 3 more planned for now, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t check out the ones you suggest!