What I’ve been watching, Autumn 2018

Good morning and happy Monday everyone! How are we all this fine weekday? I hope you all had a calm and relaxing weekend. I certainly did; I brought a new car. I know – crazy. I feel like a real adult, doing real adulting things. Anyway, I haven’t been able to binge watch a series, and there’s only been a few episodes of the new seasons of shows that are out. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been watching at the moment (on Netflix obviously). There may be spoilers ahead.

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Chidi and Eleanor talking about philosophy – The Good Place, Netflix, 2018

The Good Place Season 3

This season started off with a bang. We’re back on Earth, due to Michael’s shenanigans, and none of our characters know each other. We saw a bit of this last season, but now we know how Michael got all of the characters there. I have to admit – it’s been a bit of a slow start. But the latest episode was really good. Their acceptance of their fates was superb, and showed them all going through signs of denial and grief. I love this show and am really glad it’s back.

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Bojack and his agent – Bojack Horseman, Netflix, 2018

Bojack Horseman

I’m a bit late to this party. I have only just started to watch it, and I have to say, I don’t know how I feel about it. It’s funny in places sure, but it feels like any other adult cartoon (Family Guy, American Dad etc.) except this guy is a horse and there are other animal-people around as well as humans. It’s just meh. Maybe it’ll pick up later on. I’ll stick with it.

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Riverdale Season 3

I don’t remember if I told you my thoughts on Riverdale Season 2 but you should know I thought it was whack. It kind of started to ruin my love for it (But nothing ruins my love for Bughead, Bughead for life). This season starts out with Archie’s trial, and goes on to be about the Occult? I don’t know, I was a bit taken aback when it began. I know the new Sabrina is coming out, so perhaps they’re trying to tie them in a bit? It would be interesting, seeing as Greendale is already in the series. I won’t be giving up on it, but I am dubious at the moment.

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The Dragon Prince

I am halfway through The Dragon Prince and I honestly do like it. It’s a good story, and it’s done by the same people who did Aang so it’s going to be amazing. But what’s with the frame-drop art style? I worried it was my internet for a little but lots of people have been complaining. It makes it a bit disjointed to watch. Which is why I’m only half the way through. But I will finish it. I promise.

I need to get to finishing some tele! I am very behind as you can see!

Have you seen any of these? What is your thoughts on any of them? Something you wished I would watch on Netflix? Leave me a comment down below! 

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‘That was one heck of a worm dance’ – Big Mouth, Season 2, 2018

Hey everyone! How are we all? Thanks for allowing me a week off! I felt pretty awful over the weekend and just needed some time off. It’s been a tough week my end, purely because I was sick all week. And teaching whilst sick is very difficult. But being sick meant I got a lot of television watched. Including the new season of Big Mouth.

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Andrew and The Shame Wizard. If there’s one man that I like to speak like, it’s The Shame Wizard. Sorry, The Shane Lizard – Big Mouth, Netflix, 2018

Big Mouth is based around Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg’s childhood within the New York suburbs – but we already know that. Because we’ve already reviewed season one.
As with before Nick is constantly comparing himself to Andrew. Even though he’s got a hormone monster now, he feels like he is behind in his developmental stages. He’s told time and time again there’s nothing wrong with him, but he won’t listen and wants to grow up. Andrew, and honestly every other character, is terrified of growing up. Each of them has something wrong with them; Andrew thinks he’s disgusting for having feelings, Jess is having trouble with her parents, Jay’s dad is a terrible influence – that kind of thing. Plus, Coach Steve gets his own story too. Which is just hilarious. He sings the theme tune for his episode.

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Andrew looking at Nick’s sister’s swimming costume – Big Mouth, Netflix, 2018

Season 2 was even better than season 1, in my honest opinion. It’s so open and honest about adolescence and puberty. It handles how boys and girls feel about their bodies and emotions so candidly, I assume that any adult watching it can relate – I certainly can. Issues are still dealt with in refreshing openness. I would say this seasons got much better writing too – it’s not officially one of the best cartoons on Netflix. Heck, it’s one of the best cartoons out there. I would even suggest showing it to elder teens – the hormone monsters and the teens, and even the adults, feel so real and genuine. Their stories are just top notch.

Go watch Big Mouth, seasons one and two. It’s just so good. I think everyone will love it.

[Header image: Big Mouth, Netflix, 2018]

‘My head doesn’t work right. I thought maybe these people, could fix me. Sounds stupid.’ – Maniac, 2018

Hello everyone! How are we this lovely Monday? I hope well! I am exhausted, but not too exhausted to not bring you a good ol’ blog post! I just hope you forgive that my reviews are smaller and more concise for the time being!  I’ve been settling into working, so haven’t been watching or reading much – however, I had this to finish off, which means you’re getting a review of one of the greatest things I’ve seen on Netflix this year – Maniac. 

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Maniac poster, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill – Maniac, Netflix, 2018

Maniac follows Annie and Owen, two random people who put themselves up to participate in a pharmaceutical trial. Annie is pretty done with life, taking drugs, living in a hovel and stealing most of her father’s money. She’s more fixated on her broken relationship with everyone than trying to actually fix them. Owen, a younger son of a rich family (and probably the most normal, which is saying something) has struggled his whole life with schizophrenia. Neither is happy – they want to get better. So when Dr. James K. Mantleray claims, via his trail, that he can repair anything about the mind it draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial. Let’s just say it goes a bit crazy, and nothing goes as anyone would like. But what else were we expecting when it’s being run by an AI with emotional issues.

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Owen and Annie deal with their emotions, face to face – Maniac, Netflox, 2018

If you can’t already tell, I loved Maniac. I found it really realistic to the real 80’s (not that I was alive then). The use of the AI in the old style computers was amazing, and I loved the high colour palettes used. Even the stark whiteness of the lab contrasted so well to the dream sequences.
The writing was superb. I found myself falling in love with all of the characters, each of them were unique – the lab techs and the test subjects. Their conversations were candid, and sometimes funny, but the actors really got behind their characters. From what I’ve read, they did a lot of method acting. For instance – Justin Theroux only managed to get into the character of James by playing his awful wig as just that – an awful wig that James puts on every morning to cover his bad bald spot. They all played into their character’s small madnesses and insecurities – Owen worried about his mental stability, James worried about his mother etc.
I know this is a limited series which is what I’m both happy and sad about. Owen and Annie’s story is over, they have an ending. But not all the characters do; and I want to know what happens to them. What happens to the AI? What happens to the company? What happens to everything. Maybe even what happens to Annie and Owen, if they make it where they want to go.

You should see Maniac. It’s a good sci-fi show. It’s deep and alluring. I loved it. Go and watch!

[Header: Maniac, Netflix, 2018]

“Which one of you is my Grandad’s girlfriend?” – Trust, 2018

Good afternoon, Monday-ers! How are we all this week? I hope well! I’ve had my first week of my PGCE, which means that I am officially a trainee-teacher, woo! But this does mean I’ve had less time to watch and read things than I would have liked – it’s all been tiring! Therefore, what I’m reviewing I admit to not having finished. I am half way through. This is unlike me, and I hope it won’t happen again. But I just had to talk about it! So, without further ado, I bring you Trust, a story about the Getty kidnapping. It’s a bit shorter than my usual reviews, but that’s purely because I’ve not seen all of it.

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John Paul Getty III getting kidnapped – Trust, FX/BBC, 2018

Before I begin this review, I think I should explain the kidnapping itself. John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in the in Rome when he was 16. He had toyed with the idea of getting himself kidnapped by petty criminals but he changed his mind because both of them started getting work modelling for photographers. He was blindfolded, transported, and imprisoned in a cave. The kidnappers issued a ransom note demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that message arrived, some family members suspected that the kidnapping was merely a ploy by Getty III, as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his wealthy grandfather.

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Donald Sutherland as Getty Snr. I think he really looks the part! – Trust, FX/BBC, 2018

I have really enjoyed watching this show. I am engrossed with all of it. From what I’ve heard it does a better job than the Scott movie adaptation, but this I need to watch. Perhaps when I’ve done that I can give a comparative review of both.
Where I’m at currently at in the show is a little… boring? It’s the explaining of how he was captured, but I feel like it’s too explanatory. I think it would have been better to see most of the story from Gail’s (Getty III mother) perspective in this part. We’ve seen her going crazy over it, but I feel like we should know what she’s doing more to get Getty Snr’s attention. I am hoping it picks up later on, when we see his body parts being cut up and sent back to his family – to show that the kidnappers are not joking.
The acting is superb though. Even though there has been a few slumps in pacing, I’ve not felt like I haven’t engaged with any of it. I want to find out what happens next. I mostly want to see how it ends – How Getty III came back to his parents and grandfather, how his grandfather lived his last three years of life, if anything else crazy happens to them! I wasn’t alive when this originally happened, so I can’t wait to find out what does!

If you can get on to the BBC iPlayer, I really recommend watching it. I know it was on FX in America, but am unsure where you can see it there. But please do! It’s well worth the watch!

[Header: Trust, FX/BBC, 2018]

‘Singing While Working isn’t Happiness… It’s Mental Illness’ – Disenchantment, 2018

Hey everyone! How are we all on this lovely, and probably rainy, bank holiday? I’m currently at the ‘St. Albans Vegan Fair’, enjoying some dairy free chocolate. I like vegan chocolate. Don’t at me.
This weeks review is about a new show on Netflix, from a well known creator – none other than The Simpsons’ Matt Groening. We’ve had the modern day (with said Simpsons), the future (with Futurama) and now the past – with Disenchantment. Without further ado – here we go! (It’s a short but sweet one this week!)

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Riding out of town – Disenchantment, Netflix, 2018

Set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland, the series follows the story of Bean (Tiabeanie, who knows what made her parents choose that), a rebellious and alcoholic princess, her, frankly stupid, elf companion Elfo (so named as he is an elf, and the male tradition with names is adding an -o to the end, seems to be a -y with females) and her “personal demon” Luci. Antics etc ensue.

 

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Princess Tiabeanie on her throne – Disenchantment, Netflix, 2018

I like The Simpsons. Even new episodes. I like Futurama. There’s nothing that’s going to make me hate this show. Matt Groening is an icon of mine, and I have loved his work since I was a child.
There’s been a lot of complaints about this not being as good or as funny as either of the predecessors. With that argument, I point people back to when Futurama first aired. People slated it. Then they loved it. That will happen with this. Bean is one of the most relatable characters Groening has created in my opinion – everyone’s been a teen that hates their parents at some point.
Unlike its sister-shows, it’s story goes from one episode to the next. You can’t dip in and out. I actually think this is a blessing, and not a curse. For one, it means everyone watches it all. But two, it means it gives the show a nice continuity that it wouldn’t have had before. I love a series that entangles it’s narrative over more than one episode.

Also the plot is made with it’s one liners. Such as that of the title. Elfo is pure hilarity. I don’t want to spoil any of the plot, but each bit is juicy and gorgeous to watch. It’s just good tele. Good binge watching.

Go. Binge. It’ll take you less than a day. It’s the bank holiday! Go do it!

Have you seen Disenchantment? What did you think? Better, worse or equal to it’s sister-shows? Leave a comment down below. 

‘Will you help me into my Birthday Suit?’ – Steven Universe, 2013 – Present

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! It’s another swelter of a week, and we 100% need some rain or I think we’ll all melt into small puddles soon! If only British houses had air-con!
As I’ve been writing a really long dissertation, I’ve been watching stuff in the background. Today’s show is one that I’ve had on the radar for a very long time, but Season 1 has only just been put onto Netflix (I know it’s on other stuff, such as Sky, so will be catching up the rest there)! So this won’t be a review of a recent season, but just the show and characters as a whole! And only from what I’ve seen so far! Don’t worry – I am catching up!
Without further ado – here comes Steven Universe!

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The Crystal Gems – Steven Universe, Cartoon Network, 2013 – Present

Steven Universe is a young boy who lives with the Crystal Gems – magical ladies (with magical powers) from a magical different planet named Pearl, Garnet and Amethyst. This all takes place in the fictional town of Beach City. Steven, a gem fusion of his mother (Rose Quartz) and his human father (Greg Universe) adventures with his friends and helps the Gems protect the world from their own kind.
Whilst this show may seem like it is for children, as with any other Cartoon Network show, it tackles hard hitting subjects (acceptance, LBGT+ rights, race alienation). Seeing the world through Steven’s eyes shows us, as the audience, that we are just as naive as he is on these kind of things. He’s walking through a world he feels he has no place being in.

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Our main foursome – Steven Universe, Cartoon Network, 2013 – Present

Steven Universe is a really easy watch. Each episode is only 10-ish minutes long, which means that you can literally binge watch a load in an hour. I have gotten through quite a lot in the past couple days, because I’ve just had them on in the background.
What I like about this show is the different personalities the Gems have. Although we have seen doubles of Gems (Rubies being the most prevalent), the Crystal Gems have their own personalities away from them.
The Gem’s abilities are also really cool. For instance, Lapis being able to control the oceans, Amethyst has her whip (also her story is very sad, just saying). And that, although there are lots of pearls etc. they all have their gems in different places, giving them their own personalities.
It is also interesting to see the Gem hierarchy on HomeWorld compared to how the Crystal Gems don’t have one.
Honestly, I’m loving every minute.

I can’t tell you to watch this enough. Though it’s mind numbing, I love the cute art style and I love the story it’s trying to tell.

Have you seen Steven Universe? What did you think of it? Do you like it or not? Leave a comment down below!