What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #46

I really enjoy letting you in on all the nonsense I watch, so I hope you continue to like these posts as well! Fact is, it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever slow down in terms of all the stuff I’m watching, so … you might just have to deal with more content like this.

Love & Anarchy (Season 1)

I did not want to be on board with this show, because something inside of me just did not feel right rooting for two people to get together like that. Even the age difference aside, which everyone has their own opinion on anyway, the obvious cheating just really isn’t something I enjoy. They were reckless for the sake of being reckless! But then …

This show wasn’t about romance and cheating and office affairs. In the end, it really was about mental health, what it means to be labeled “crazy”, what people you surround yourself with and whether some relationships are healthy or downright toxic. I did not expect to go it in that direction at all, but it gave it so much more depth and while I still cringed a lot, I was actually very curious about that aspect.

For fans of: Scandinavian Netflix stuff, a guy who looks very much like Bill Skarsgard as a romantic lead

The Queen’s Gambit (Season 1)

Originally, I did not intend to watch this show. When things are set in the past, I often get bored and while the cast was intriguing … I did not think chess was really the topic to get me going. BUT I was wrong. My friends were so enthusiastic about it though (yes, sometimes I do listen to other people when it comes to TV. Rarely, but it does happen), I had no choice but to give it a shot.

I still stand by the claim that the show is a bit boring in some parts. Especially in the middle, certain elements were dragged out and there’s a lot of exposition and repetition of certain elements. However, that aside, Beth was a fascinating character and I was never more interested in chess than after watching that show. I especially appreciated how everyone got over the fact that she was a woman super quickly in favor of appreciating her skill at the game. Loved that! I also adored how there was no apparent bad guy in the end, everyone just wanted to win at a game and it was very respectful.

For fans of: chess, the cast, only moderate sexism even though it’s a historic setting

Dash & Lily (Season 1)

I’ve stated so many times how much I loved the book that was Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, I was super pumped for this adaptation. To my surprise, it was actually an 8-episode-show though instead of the movie I thought it to be. It was really fine though, because the more content the better.

At this point in time, I have already watched the show twice and might watch it again. It brought the spirit for me, was cute and quick and adorable. It turns out, I forgot all about the book though and only retained the memory of how it made me feel. Now that I have started reading the sequels, I have a feeling that the Netflix show was fairly faithful but improved on certain aspects. So, a general big thumbs up from me.

If you are a very keen watcher, you will also find a reference for Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which I just LOVED! (Blink and you’ll miss it, but it is there in episode 3)

For fans of: cute and fluffy teen romance with a generous sprinkle of Christmas

Operation Christmas Drop

Look, I am well aware that these type of Netflix Christmas movies are super cheesy and Hallmark-esque. This time, the cast was just too endearing not to check it out and I have no regrets. Operation Christmas Drop is definitely one of the better Christmas movies out there. The generosity and real life aspect of it is so charming and while I am sure it’s not all Santa’s laugh and elf giggles in actual life all the time, I loved this little reprieve. Not every cheesy movie is able to evoke an emotional reaction from me.

For fans of: cheesy Christmas romances, but set it on an island and emotional due to real life stuff

The Mandalorian (Season 1)

I’m gonna keep this very short: It will forever be beyond me how a dude with a helmet and a puppet can convey emotions and story so effortlessly, but it just works! I know exactly the kind of facial expression the Mandalorian has at almost any given point in time, but maybe it is that ability for us to project on to him that makes it so special. Either way, I am glad I caught up in time for season 2, even though the weekly release is killing me. I much prefer to binge.

Also, I never watched Clone Wars, so, initially I had no clue why everyone was freaking out so much recently (as of right now, chapter 11 is out), but I googled up on the matter and – it’s pretty freaking cool!

For fans of: Star Wars lore, space cowboys


Did you watch any of these? Are you starting to get into the holiday spirit with your watchlist? Let’s chat!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #45

Once again, I have watched more movies than TV shows. IT JUST HAPPENED! It feels so unlike me to not plunge into shows as much, but nothing really caught my eyes the way it usually does. Maybe I am just still hung up on the Haunting series … either way, here’s what I’ve watched instead.

The Broken Hearts Gallery

I’ve waited for this movie so long and it did not disappoint one bit!

Remember when I raved on and on about Set It Up after its release? I praised it for lifting the dry spell of really actually good romcoms, well … The Broken Hearts Gallery is that for 2020 for me. First of all, the chemistry between Dacre Montgomery and Geraldine Viswanathan is off the charts and effortless and easy and secondly, it follows what you’d expect a romcom to be while still never feeling stale or boring.

Add to that the fact that the lead is a woman of color who is not a size zero, who has an ex who is also played by a man of color and a best friend who is also a woman of color. I mean, thank heavens for that alone. Something that actually resembles reality and makes the characters feel real and still gives you the warm fuzzies inside.

For fans of: GOOD romcoms (not that cheeseball fest that Hallmark does)

Rebecca

I basically wrote a whole freaking short essay in defense of this movie on my letterboxd account, because all I saw was people trashing this movie.

If you adore the book or Hitchcock’s adaptation of Rebecca, then maybe this just isn’t for you. If you are, however, able to look beyond what has always existed and can appreciate beautiful aesthetic, a different/happier approach to how it all ends as well as how stunning Lily James and Armie Hammer look as a couple, then, by all means, check out the movie!

I, personally, enjoyed it a lot. It has a couple slow bits, but I appreciated that this wasn’t just the same story again and again. It may have lost some of its gothic character, but Kristin Scott Thomas delivers a striking performance as Mrs. Danvers and Lily’s character (nameless as ever) carries the whole movie.

There is some doubt in my mind that this was an unforgettable movie, but I do believe that some specific shots will remain in my mind forever.

For fans of: anyone on the cast, pretty Netflix stuff

Clouds

It is so very difficult to review a movie that is not just based on real people, but where the film maker knew the person in question and involved his entire family and group of friends in the making of the movie. I’m sure there were some creative liberties that were taken, but this was someone’s life, someone’s legacy – namely that of Zach Sobiech.

When you watch Clouds, it won’t take long until you find tears welling up in your eyes. By the end, I was a sobbing mess. Zach gave this world so much and always tried to show up for everyone, even when he barely had any energy left, which is why people kept showing up for him when it mattered. I enjoyed the film, but it’s still heartbreaking that this is a reality.

For fans of: inspiring sadness, strength in music

Holidate

Sometimes Netflix just makes utterly cringey stuff. They really tried to pack so much into this movie, including every single holiday they can imagine, which is a lot to being with anyway, and then add more stuff on top. I’m not a huge Emma Roberts fan to begin with, but it was hard to watch this movie anyway.

They tried to be self-aware and self-depreciating, but it just didn’t work? I don’t know how else to phrase it?

For fans of: I don’t even know? Movies that try to include as many holidays as possible?

Love and Monsters

I’ve missed Dylan O’Brien on my screen and am especially proud of him for doing movies like Love and Monsters, knowing how difficult it is for him to film any stunt scenes after his accident a couple years ago. And yet, this movie was so worth it!

A mix of adventure, love story and just pure fun and monsters is what makes Love and Monsters work. Dylan’s character is all of us, freezing in the most crucial moments, but especially faced by larger than life insects and creatures of all kind. But then he goes on this incredible journey and develops in such a beautiful way, while also still being able to deliver that ounce of humour we all need to lighten things. This movie just has so much heart!

The best moment was when he met Boy though. Boy, being a dog and all, doesn’t have a speaking role, but is still a scene-stealer extraordinaire. The dog trainer said that they had never seen such a close bond off screen either, so, that makes it all the more special too. I just loved that tiny bit of bts information!

In the end, the real star was the dog, but still – very much worth it!

For fans of: Dylan O’Brien, cute and super awesome dogs in movies

The Cellar (Ep 1, Amazing Stories)

This was born out of a need for more Dylan O’Brien and Victoria Pedretti.

So, technically, Amazing Stories is a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s series from the 80s. It’s an anthology Sci-Fi show, where each episode is a different story with different people in it. I am just going to talk about the one episode I watched, which was the Cellar.

Basically, you watch Dylan and Victoria fall in love as one of them is a time traveler and the other one was born a century ago. They have to find their places and it’s super tragic and I can’t believe they fit that into 50 minutes. I would have watched a three hour movie about it and would still 100% watch a sequel (which there will never be).

For fans of: Dylan O’Brien, Victoria Pedretti, time travel, love across time

You Me Her (Season 5)

I’m actually not sure if I have talked about this show before or not … I think I might have mentioned it. Anyway, it’s about a polyamorous relationship and this was the final season. It doesn’t really make sense to watch this or read about it unless you’ve watched the previous seasons?

It’s a Canadian show, I’ve been to set before, I generally like the vibe of it. There’s not a lot of shows that treat polyamory like a real long term relationship option, so that always caught my eye and I didn’t know that this would be the final season, but in the end it made so much sense. In the end, I was glad it was finally over, because if they had broken up one more time, I would have thrown them into the sun. But this? It worked and gave everyone the finish they deserved.

For fans of: exploration of polyamory


Have you watched any of these as well? Let’s talk!

October 2020 Wrap-Up

October was A LOT for me. Initially, I was still on a blogging and reading high, but then halfway through the month it all fizzled out as I got busy with something else. However, I did finish my Goodreads reading goal for the year (30 books) and even surpassed it. Usually I have to scramble to get all the reads in by the end of December, so, it’s super neat to not feel that pressure. Even if, all things considered, I put that pressure on myself.

Anyway, here’s what I read:

  • Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe (3 stars)
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (5 stars)
  • The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo (5 stars)
    I did not review this on the blog, because I didn’t know how. It’s like dark fairy tales, but everyone ends up being a saint in the Grishaverse. I think especially the later entries might have had more impact if I had read the Shadow and Bone trilogy, but it still worked great for me. I do love it when a universe is expanded upon.
  • DKMH by Dacre Montgomery (2.5 stars)
    While this had a great opening, I really struggled to connect to the actual poems. I know it was incredibly personal for Dacre, but they felt random to me.

Charming as a Verb Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1) The Lives of Saints DKMH

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As mentioned above, I got super busy about halfway through the month. That is due to me finding a job (it’s a call center job, we don’t need to talk about) and having gone to multiple job interviews before that and also scheduling a bunch of doctor appointments to get check ups. I don’t know why I made life for myself harder, but yeah …

Now, my country is entering a second lockdown. I don’t think it affects my work (yet?), but we will have a curfew from 8PM to 6AM and I heard a lot of people went to parties this weekend to have like a last hoorah before it is mandatory … don’t think that was the smartest idea? This whole situation is just so endlessly frustrating. I really think this whole year is a dumpster fire, but I also don’t really see the prospect of 2021 being any better.

Sorry for having been such a downer! On to other things!

I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I don’t think I will have the time at all. Maybe I will check in every now and then though and try and get some words in. Will any of you be participating?

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I was caught completely off guard by just how much I loved the Haunting of series but I completely lost myself in those ghostly love and family stories. It reignited my love for Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti, which had been pretty strong as is anyway. But now I just want to watch even more of all their existing and future work.

I made this for Oli’s birthday!

Also, I went back down a rabbit hole of watching Dylan O’Brien stuff. One was Love and Monsters and the other an episode of Amazing Stories (on Apple TV+) called The Cellar. Both were great and will be talked about in a separate post. But … Victoria Pedretti and Dylan O’Brien in the Cellar was just plain heartbreaking. I can’t stop thinking about them!

The fan video below is pretty spoilery, but SO. GOOD!

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Hope you had a great month! Is there something you are planning on doing in November? How is the situation in your country? 

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #44 (Spooky Edition)

Look, I know what I always say. I keep telling you all that I don’t watch horror, yet here we are today. I did a whole freaking horror binge and will now talk to you about it! (also, I am not going to do the whole “for fans of”-part … cause it would be for fans of horror and the cast for all of those? This is a very specific round up of things I’ve watched …)

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Why did I start with Bly Manor? I don’t really know.

I just saw a bunch of people talking about the sapphic vibes and how it wasn’t as scary as Hill House and … I caved? I always knew I liked the cast they got for this series (as well as the previous one), but I am an utter scaredy cat and I don’t enjoy feeling scared. (I honestly still don’t understand why anyone would.) Bly Manor really wasn’t that bad in that regard. Yes, dolls and people without faces are inherently creepy, but except for maybe two jump scares, this was rather tame.

The kids weren’t really my cup of tea and you will have to endure some elements of repeitiveness, but I think it makes sense in the overall picture (the repeating of things, not the kids being annoying).

In the show itself, they say how it is more of a love story than a ghost story, or how there sometimes is no difference and I liked that. I enjoyed that this was more about existential dread of being forgotten albeit having loved so much. How you can fail at protecting those you care about most, or succeed at it, depending on how you look at it. There was something thought provoking about it, but not anything that left me too terrified … although I will jump at anything moving in my mirrors.

Here’s another one of my original drawings, portraying Victoria Perdetti (a goddess) as Dani Clayton

The Haunting of Hill House

I already knew that much of the cast from Bly Manor had already worked together in Hill House and I wasn’t quite ready to let them go. In a way, a lot of horror-fans weren’t too pumped about Bly Manor, but I just have to give it credit, because it paved the way for people like me to check out Hill House. And yes, it is far more scary. I did not enjoy those ghosts or entities or screams or foreboding signs a lot, but I did live for the family dynamic.

The casting was so well done (again, I had a feeling that would be the case), but I especially loved the kids. I wanted to hold them and protect them and get them as far away from that cursed house as possible. Seeing their grown up counterparts was also such a joy and their fights cut deep even without any paranormal occurrences.

Overall, I think I liked Bly Manor a bit more, because I had troubles with Hill House after dark, but it was still amazing.

Helstrom (Season 1) 

This was marketed as a Marvel horror show. And it is Marvel, in the sense that it is based on the material from Marvel, but it is not, in fact, part of the MCU. And I don’t know if it’s really horror either. Do you think gross demons (that really only do anything gross every other episode) is horror? I don’t know. It’s a tough call, but I think it would have sufficed to advertise it as an edgier and darker show

Anyway, I binged through this pretty quickly and yes, it had a lot to do with my love for Tom Austen and missing him on my screen. It is a fairly slow show and needs time until about the halfway point to pick up. The strong suit are definitely the various relationships the characters have with each other. And even though I would have preferred not to have a romantic plotline, when there is a fantastic sibling relationsihp to explore RIGHT THERE, I will concede to it being important in the grand scheme of things.

I liked the occasional weird humour, but I can see it being hit or miss with a lot of people. All in all, I think it had a really intriguing set up for a potential next season (which I am not sure they will get).

Not my best work, but here you go anyway

The Invisible Man

If you haven’t noticed a certain pattern here … I will spell it out for you! I apparently am into a very specific type of man aka Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Tom Austen kind of men. Oliver was in this one as well, pair it with Elisabeth Moss and Aldis Hodge and you have my freaking attention. Once again, the cast was 100% the reason I watched this.

The lingering shots of just looking at nothing were so unsettling. The lack of sound and then very cleverly used sound – brilliant! You knew he was there, but you couldn’t see him. No one could and the way that gaslit poor Cecilia, I cannot even. It’s one of my worst nightmares that everyone will think that I have gone insane even though I am stating plain facts. That, in itself, is horror to me.

It was a tad long maybe, because we were like halfway through the thing and had had some pretty major confrontations already, but other than that … creepy. Definitely creepy.


Technically I also watched Ready or Not, but I only wanted to talk about spoiler stuff when it came to that one. The conclusion of this is that I still don’t like *most* horror. I will tolerate some? It’s really all down to the cast. What do you think?