What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #47

Since I’ve had more time again, I’ve spent it in front of screens a lot. Aside from tearing through some MasterClasses, I binged a couple shows and movies, which I’m now, once again, going to share with you!

Grand Army (Season 1)

TW: sexual assault, adultification, terrorism, racial profiling, racial injustice

I feel like Grand Army is Netflix’ response to HBO’s Euphoria. We follow a group of teens through a rough time in High School with the portrayal being relatable and closer to reality than some of the glossier shows airing these days. I understand when people say they don’t just want a copy of Euphoria, but, as someone who struggled a lot with that show a lot, I actually preferred Grand Army. It doesn’t bank on visuals as much as Euphoria and in that sense, made it easier for me to connect with the characters.

At the end of this show, I was emotionally exhausted. I love to binge watch and rarely don’t do it, but Grand Army really had me take breaks between episodes because it was getting just so darn heavy. It’s not a perfect show, I don’t think that exists, but I loved how so many really difficult issues were handled and openly discussed such a variety of struggles without making it seem preachy.

For fans of: Euphoria but less stylized, realistic teen struggles

Over Christmas (Season 1)

In only three episodes, you follow Basti’s (probably) worst Christmas ever. His brother is now dating his ex, his parents are keeping secrets from him and he isn’t as honest with his friends as he used to be. The premise is fairly easy and includes a lot of elements (I’d almost say clichées) that most of us have seen in other productions. It’s not that it’s bad show, but when Basti eventually blows up and ruins everyone’s life in the process, I had a hard time sympathising with him.

BRIEF SPOILER MOMENT

Especially considering that he outed one of his friends to the entire town and they just brushed it off like that wasn’t some super evil thing to do, nevermind that he was angry at his friend for not telling him he was gay. Like … you really gotta make it all about you, huh?

SPOILER MOMENT ENDED

The show was just three episodes and only showed three days in the life of this chaotic family. It had some nice bonding moments, but also felt a bit over-acted at times. It’s an okay way to spend a couple hours, but it could have seriously fit into a movie too.

For fans of: Luke Mockridge, predictable Christmas stuff

Virgin River (Season 2)

This show was a surprise to me when I started it a year or so ago. I was so pleasantly surprised in turn afterwards when it got renewed almost immediately. To those who thought the previous season finale was cruel, this one will have you nothing but stressed.

Mel and Jack truly have some of the most natural and sizzling on screen chemistry and make this show so watchable! For me, personally, the “crime” element has started to take over a bit too much at times. I am not saying this is a crime show, because it is decidedly not, but I prefer the more human dilemmas that are about relationships and life circumstances rather than stuff that needs police involvement.

For fans of: small town charming romances with a lot of drama

Stargirl

I have not read the book and this has absolutely nothing to do with the show Stargirl, just thought I’d clarify that up front.

I’d definitely say it is targeted towards a younger audience, but not in a bad way at all. As far as lovers of the book go, they thought this version of Stargirl (the person) wasn’t as quirky and charming, but I found her absolutely enchanting (probably, because I had nothing to compare her to). Stargirl is one of those people that will come into your life, turn it upside down, teach you empathy and compassion and then vanish without a trace. I think there was definitely potential to go deeper and it was generally pretty slow moving, but the message came across. For one, it’s all about being YOU, but also so much about making mistakes and learning from them, showing compassion towards others without any gain for yourself and to not put people on pedestals. They are always bound to fall off.

For fans of: quirky “magic” girls

Black Beauty

Again, just to say that up front, I haven’t read the book, even though I know it’s a classic.

When I was little, I went riding at a stable that had a lot of rescue horses. Not all of them were suitable for children and there were some I loathed to ride, but mostly I was fine. I had my favourite horses and when I got them, all was good. Still, I fell a lot and eventually turned to other hobbies when it became more of a chore than a joy to go riding, but my inner horse girl always remained in some part.

This movie has absolutely beautiful cinematography and had me tearing up almost every other minute. But it’s also a fairly slow moving story and the heavy reliance on narration probably won’t be to everyone’s liking. However, I did like it overall. It gave me all the whimsical and nostalgic feels that I want in a horse movie.

For fans of: horse stories


What have you been watching lately? Do you want to see any of the things I mentioned? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #23

Hello again, I’ve been watching some great stuff! I even considered doing a more thorough #CurrentlyWatching post for some of them, but then just didn’t have it in me. I hope these briefer accounts work for you as well and that you’ll maybe check some of them out!

Reprisal

Whatever you think this show is, you are not prepared! It released last Friday and I sat there and binged all 10 hours of it, because I was so transfixed, and even then I just wanted more. Reprisial is brilliant, noir, funny, smartly edited (in both visual and sound-mixing ways), aesthetically pleasing and despite an a tale as old as time revolving around revenge, utterly and completely unique. You have to understand, this isn’t our world, our earth. This is an entirely new universe. It’s as if someone mixed all the eras we knew and made something completely of their own by having rock-a-billy style clothing, burlesque, beautiful old cars and cellphones exist on the same plane.

If I had to pick a favourite performance, I really couldn’t (although I will forever hold a soft spot for the three River Phoenixes). Someone meticulously casted this and made sure that even side characters would remain memorable. The occasional 4th-wall-breaks just add to the ambiance. I generally like gang-settings (if they aren’t too tied with boring drug business) and this was no exception. When you watch those characters, you will get chills because they are so sweet and dark at the same time. All I want is another season now … like, literally, right NOW.

For fans of: stylized noir Sons of Anarchy, complex characters with shifting loyalties

Virgin River

Sooo … Netflix recommended this to me (cause my profile is curated very well and recs are usually on point), but doesn’t promote this in any way whatsoever. That is super apparent when you look at the trailer … For those of you who think “wow, this just seems like Hart of Dixie”, I get it. The comparison alongside with one for Saving Hope was one of the first that came to mind for me as well. However, the books this show is based on (and believe me it’s a long series of books) were released way before Hart of Dixie … so, I don’t know who took inspiration from who. The casting is a little funny considering the resemblance of the content though.

Anyway, I really liked this! It has drama, but not the unnecessary kind, just the personal one that everyone who has lived a life with some baggage brings along. It has a lot of heart and now one of my favourite “boring” ships, as I like to call them. There’s obviously heartbreak, but the development of the relationship has a certain pureness to it. Something that builds from friendship and genuine care for one another into something more. I love those!

For fans of: small town love stories with medical aspects

Merry Happy Whatever

This was okay? I am not going to go around and praise something to the heavens that I didn’t absolutely love, but it was alright. I find it tricky to really make this into a continued series, since it would mean you only ever get to see the family around holidays or special events with large breaks inbetween. I am someone who doesn’t love that, because then they always pretend like nothing whatsoever happened in those 10-months or whatever and only the 5-day holiday is where all the drama stems from.

Anyway, it’s still a nice, family-oriented show. I loved the coming-out storyline for one of the characters (not going to say who, because spoilers?), but other than that, it was a lot of standard stuff.

For fans of: former Disney kids

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 3)

I love this show so, so very much! It breaks my heart whenever a season ends and this time was no different. Maybe it was even more heartbreaking that last time and I didn’t think that was possible, because Zachary Levi is a darling and basically played the perfect man on the show and I am rambling … Anyway, I consider Miriam “Midge” Maisel to be one of the smartest and most funny people, but boy, she messed up … I saw this coming a mile away and it still hurt like hell.

None the less, this season was another treat! I don’t know how they keep the brilliance coming, but they just do. My favourite episode was maybe episode 5, because Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce is just pure magic. His sadness is killing me and the way he looks at Midge – seriously, get yourself a partner that looks at you the way Lenny looks at her. I am just always so terrified, thinking about what happened to him in real life and I just don’t want to see that on screen. He shows up like once or twice a season and still is one of my favourite characters in the entire series. (And Benjamin. I do love Benjamin.)

For fans of: Midge Maisel, Lenny Bruce looking at her like she hung the moon

Did you watch any of the shows mentioned above? Would you like to? I am always here if you want any more information, let’s chat in the comments!