tv review · Uncategorized

I rewatched Friends..

I have to admit I did not like Friends as much this time around since I watched it for the first time 3 years ago. I had forgotten most things that happened aside from some memorable one liners (We were on a break!!!). So after rewatching all 10 seasons again, I realized that while it is a good background show to have you’re doing laundry or whatever and does have moments of great depth and relatability but there are definitely some cons that I just couldn’t ignore. Here are my stray thoughts upon rewatch.

The humor

While I absolutely adore comedy today such as The Good Place and Parks and Rec, there is something about the blunt sarcasm in Friends and other sitcoms that I totally love especially when Chandler is talking to Joey or Ross. I missed that from today’s comedies. It is especially apparent in Friends considering the characters are pretty sarcastic personality traits themselves. The jokes become pretty repetitive and formulaic but I didn’t expect anything radically different when it comes to sitcoms.

Rachel

I would argue that this show revolves around Rachel. The show begins and ends with a big decision that Rachel has to make. I really like her character growth throughout the seasons especially when it came to her career and I wish it had continued during the later seasons. I have to admit, I have a much better appreciation for her now growing up though I wish I could say the same for Ross.

Themes of Friendship!

The greatest thing about Friends is how it so accurately portrays the nature of friendship and big life events that happen when you’re in your late 20’s and early 30’s. Things like quitting your job to pursue something you actually love. Getting fired from your job. When your deepest relationship is with your friends. Trying to get pregnant. Deciding whether to commit to a relationship or even marriage. Deciding if you want kids etc. A lot of their feelings and love and devotion between friends and SO’s, these themes of finding your one true love is of course is as universal now as it was in the 90’s. I truly believe this is what makes Friends really work, the chemistry and bonds between the characters. I absolutely love the episodes when they’re doing things together such as the episode where Ross is trying to hurry everyone up for the paleontology banquet and everyone is taking their goddamn time or all the Thanksgiving episodes.

Problematic Jokes

I understand this show was written in the 90’s but I had no idea how pervasive the “gay” jokes were and it got really annoying after a while. There were whole episodes dedicating to making fun of the guys and whatever feminine habit they adopted. For example, in the episode where Joey carries around a bag, all of the friends make fun of him for carrying a purse. Or the time when Joey’s roommate who is a woman decides to spruce up the apartment and teaches Joey how to arrange flowers and Chandler furiously berates him. Or the time when Chandler plucks Joey’s eyebrows and soon after they insist they have to do something manly in order to idk continue being men? There are also way too many jokes about Ross using lotion (how that’s hilarious I don’t know). Even Monica is implicit in this, often calling Chandler and Joey girls after she does a masculine coded trait. For example, in the last episode of Season 10 she breaks Chandler and Joey’s game table, she says “I’m going to go check on the twins, see ya girls!” You could argue that these male characters do not fit stereotypical male characteristics and that makes it ok that they make fun of each other for not being “manly” cause none of them are anyway. However, it’s clear to me that in the end, the male characters continue to dig themselves deeper into the masculine stereotype they so rigidly define and never get out of it.

On the flip side, I have to give credit where credit is due although I have to admit for every credit, there is a counter..credit?. This show arguably revolves around a female main character who used to be the popular girl and is sexually promiscuous and is not punished for it (even though the show makes too many references to her being slut). Ironically, though, Rachel continues to call Ross’s female love interests sluts or whores.  The female friendships between the female characters are so wonderful and there’s numerous episodes revolving around Monica’s and Rachel’s friendship which was great to see.

The prominence of lesbian jokes also became grating. There are so many jokes about Carol being a lesbian for none other than her being a lesbian. But they did at least show Carol and Susan in a caring relationship which is something. The only thing Friends can’t be considered really is racist although how much credit should be given to them considering there were very, very few POC in the show itself? Friends does not quite stand up to the test of time but I do understand it was a product of its time.

Way too many relationships with people who you know they’re going to break up with

There are so many random extras in the show that serve as love interests that last no longer than an episode! It came to a point where I knew something had to be something wrong with the love interest. For example, Ross finds a love interest who was interested in his paleontology book in the library. She seems to be perfect: she loves paleontology and is also very good looking but come to find out she has a disgusting apartment and is a hoarder. I was frustrated at the number of “filler” love interests that came in that stood no real chance and that kind of took the fun out of it for me. I really like that Phoebe ended up with someone outside of the group, plus her and Mike are the real OTP to me.

Ross and Rachel storyline

Obviously this storyline is very hit or miss with audiences. While I found them entertaining, I never understood the appeal especially near the end, when people would come in and out of their lives and you knew they were going to break up because of course Ross and Rachel were going to end up together. Honestly, if I had it my way, I would have paired Ross with Julie from Season 2 or Charlie from Season 10 and Ross would have been with Gavin though admittedly maybe these options would not have provided enough tension? I did like that through this on and off relationship though we get to explore Ross and Rachel’s insecurities and flaws from Ross’s fear of Rachel cheating on him to both of their respective possessiveness. It would have been nice if some of those flaws had been addressed before you know, Rachel gave up a dream job in Paris for him but who cares about that when you have a hot on and off relationship with Ross right? There is a definite appeal to their story but I got tired of it very easily.

Chandler and Monica

Chandler and Monica have some very sweet moments. I especially loved Chandler’s speech to the mother about adopting her kids when Chandler tells her I’ll learn to be a good dad once the baby is born but Monica? She’s already there. She’s a mother without a baby. But I did not like their relationship dynamic after the initial stages, it just made it seem like Monica was a mom and Chandler was her kid. Chandler had so much character development from his commitment issues to opening up about his feelings and being more emotionally mature but Monica? her character development went to a standstill after she broke up with Richard which on this rewatch, I’m forever bitter about it. They were so freaking good for each other. I was also bothered by the fact that hereafter whenever Richard was mentioned, Chandler got really, really insecure about it and Monica had to convince him that he was better than Richard (even though in what ways I cannot tell you) considering Monica basically spent the entire relationship tutoring Chandler on how to even be in a relationship. Chandler did get better near the end though.

Conflict

The biggest issue I have with Friends is the constant usage of lying to build conflict. Every single episode is built on someone telling a lie to another friend and by the end, the truth is revealed. It made it really hard to understand why they were even friends and made it hard to distinguish their motives from one another. It does do very well setting up drama though. I was reading this one review about Friends and he stated that Friends was basically “a soap opera disguising itself as a comedy” which I have to agree with.

Stray Thoughts

– I think the Vegas episodes after Season 5 were among the best of the entire series. I completely love the Rachel and Ross dynamic (among the best of their acting) and their little marriage storyline was so funny

“Heelllooooo Mrs. Ross, Hellloooo Mr. Rachel!! LOL

-lots of filler storylines near the end – like Ross wearing a girl’s shirt, Joey not liking sharing food, Monica’s hair problem at the beginning

– ross and rachel storyline is sooo overdrawn. It should have ended at least 3 seasons earlier. literally everyone was better than them for ross and rachel than either of them.

-those computers and cellphones look so much older and bulkier after 3 years of not watching this show

-how awkward must it be if you say someone else’s name other than your betrothed at your own wedding? I’m looking at you Ross..

-is it just me but did Joey just get dumber and dumber with each season?

-it was so funny when the friends made fun of Ross for how many marriages he’s had

 

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Book to Movie Review · Recommendations · Uncategorized

What I’ve Been Watching: April/May

Buckle your seatbelts and grab a snack, this is going to be a long post. So after my Descendants of the Sun watch, I’m kind of on a Korean drama binge watch phase. It’s already starting to wear off because I just DNF’d a lot of them but still..Anyways, I loved most of what I watched these past two months. Being an organization crazed person and knowing that you probably don’t want to read through this entire list, I have assembled a list of the things I watched in order by type. They’re in order so just scroll down respectively to see my thoughts on them. BUT the two shows at the bottom of the list are the ones I would recommend the most out of all the things I’ve watched. Enjoy! =)

Sidenote: All summaries are from Wikipedia.

Movies

  • Zootopia
  • Room
  • Captain America: The First Avenger

TV Shows

  • Friends
  • Futurama

Youtube

  • Jenn from Clothesencounters

Korean Dramas

  • Reply 1988
  • Signal
  • Descendants of the Sun

Movies

Zootopia

Sigh, this movie just makes me so happy, one of the better Disney movies of late because it strikes a near perfect balance of lovable characters, hilarious moments, action scenes, and an engaging, relatable story. Sometimes it’s a little too on-the-nose with the parallels to our society which makes me feel like these messages of anti-prejudice were being shoved down my throat. A little subtlety would have been appreciated although this is me speaking as a person who analyzes things all the dang time. I’m sure kids will love it.

Room

What It’s About: Held captive for seven years in an enclosed space, a woman (Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

The movie is actually better than the book. Granted, I forgot a lot of what happened in the book but I believe the movie delved a lot more into the aftermath of being in Room rather than being in Room which I thought was fascinating because half the battle was actually escaping but I came to realize that they’ll never really escape it; it will always be with them. A well-deserved Academy Award for Best Actress for Brie Larson. 

Captain America: The First Avenger

I think I know what the writers of Captain America were thinking when they were writing the script for this movie…

“Hey Jerry, um, people are really liking superhero movies right now, let’s just copy the basic formula. People will eat it up.”

“Ok, Dave, that’s sounds like an easy route to millions. Ok, um, an underdog that’s a white guy, oh and um a badass girl who’s in the army too!!

“Oh cool, what’s her story?

“What story? She just needs to shoot a gun like twice so feminists will not be angry with us and be the love interest.”

“Ok, sure, sounds good, ok, um, a bad guy!”

“Yeah, sure, a bad guy, write that down. He says muahahaha.. And oh, throw in some action scenes!!”

“Let’s do one where he jumps—

“Jerry, who cares about originality, just have the bad guys shoot at him while he’s riding a motorcycle!!”

“Ok, done with the script”

Christ. I seriously hope Winter’s Soldier is better than this.

TV Shows

Friends

I finished all ten seasons of Friends for the first time!!! Honestly it was easy because Netflix has that thing where it just automatically goes to the next episode for you..You know how binge watching works don’t you Netflix..Ah, I grew so attached to these characters and it’s so rare that a TV show doesn’t dip in quality through 10 seasons. Not sure how I feel about the ending with the whole Ross/Rachel thing mostly because they’re my least favorite characters lol but anyway..

Sidenotes: OH. MY. GOD. IS JANICE FOLLOWING THEM EVERYWHERE LOL

-Best romance award goes to Joey and Chandler.

-The whole Monica/Chandler side plot especially in later seasons was so adorable and surprisingly really emotional.

 

Futurama

What It’s About: The series follows the adventures of a late-20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who, after being unwittingly cryogenically frozen for one thousand years, finds employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company in the retro-futuristic 31st century.

Currently on: Season 3

Finally I know where all these old popular memes are coming from lol. But surprisingly this show is so sweet. I thought it would just have really crass humor similar to like South Park, Family Guy and it does have that but it balances out so well with its sweet undertone. It’s also really clever and a really funny parody and satire. 

Youtube

Clothesencounters

I’ve only recently subscribed to Jenn but she’s already one of my favorite beauty channels. I think she puts in so much work to her videos because the details are so unique from the typography to the editing and camera movements to the placement of products. I also love her chic/edgy fashion style although I wouldn’t look good in like half the things she wears.

Korean Dramas

Reply 1988

What It’s About: It is a family drama set in the year 1988, about five families living in the same neighborhood of Ssangmun-dong, Dobong District, NorthernSeoul.

After DotS, I wanted to watch the majority of the dramas nominated in the 52nd Paeksang Arts Awards which I’ve heard is like the Golden Globes. Honestly, this just made me want to watch Reply 1997 again (my favorite kdrama of all time) and not in a good way. To be quite honest, I don’t know why I stopped after 5 episodes especially since the first episode made me cry and it’s actually written very well. I did really like the emphasis on the family dynamics and community but I guess the main characters weren’t compelling enough? Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for a family drama. I think I might come back to this one.

Sidenote: I think this show is basically 90% everyone yelling at each other. Like honestly, everyone needs to chill.

Signal

What It’s about: A mysterious walkie talkie allows a detective in 1989 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015; with the power of fore and hindsight the two not only solve crimes but prevent them from ever taking place. However a long standing murder case is closer to home than either realizes.

Signal is another nominee in the Paeksang Awards but I was wary because I loathe procedural cop shows. Signal is a procedural cop show. But I loved it. I suppose it’s more of the fact that it resembles BBC Sherlock a lot more than say Criminal Minds in that it focuses more on the intricacies of the puzzle than who actually did it. This drama is a prime example of what a well-written, tight, and suspenseful plot can do for a story. Usually cop shows go from a suspenseful scene to a calm one in order to develop the characters but Signal seamlessly weaves in the suspense and the calm so that it feels like your heart is being constantly squeezed throughout the entire episode. A lot of cop shows also rely on sensationalized murders to amp up the dramatic like “hey that guy killed 25 women and always kills them by the neck on Saturdays at 5pm” or something like that. As horrible as that is, it gets boring because it’s just episode after episode of these. But I love that Signal takes the time to get us to know the murderer and it is handled with such delicacy. And that makes all the difference. Because the plot is not just used to move the story along, it’s used to reveal what our characters’ motivations and deepest fears are. So that means very few aspects of the plot feel without purpose. It was fascinating to see our main characters, idealistic cops who believe in the power of justice face police corruption and frustrating bureaucracy. It’s honestly too bad that the last two episodes basically serve as a plea for a second season. It’s also too bad that they completely butcher the only main female character’s arc. *Rolls eyes* But the show’s amazing cinematography, melancholy color tones, and award-winning performances combined with all the good parts I mentioned above make this show a must-watch.Also, this is the first kdrama I’ve watched that has no romance whatsoever and it was kind of awesome actually.

Sidenotes: Omurice is a significant dish in the show and it looked so good so I made it and it turned out to be surprisingly good considering my cooking..

-The main character, Park-Hae Young who is played by Lee Je-Hoon is actually too cute for words. Like his low-key cuteness just kind of sneaks up on you.

Descendants of the Sun

Another opportunity to shove this drama down people’s throats?? Sign me up..I’ve already mentioned this drama in like 4 posts so if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s my reviewAlso if anyone can buy me that poster, I don’t care if you’ve killed puppies, you’ll be my favorite forever and ever. Jk. Kind of.

I’m seriously ashamed to say that I haven’t caught up with Orphan Black since the 2nd episode of the new season. Woops..I promise I’ll catch up in June but yeah that’s probably what I’m going to be watching next. What have you been watching lately? Any recommendations? I’d love to know =)

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favorites · Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

February/March 2016 Favorites

 

Warning: Extreme Ranting Ahead..

Omigosh was February and March hectic. The beginning of March was especially stressful since my phone and wallet actually got stolen while I was taking a midterm at a theater near my school (yeah I actually have class in the movie theater). And yeah, some student decided it would be fun to steal my stuff WHILE I WAS TRYING TO PASS COLLEGE. Can you be any more cruel? But the police found them so it’s all good but then the next day I lose my apartment keys and then I found out I couldn’t call anyone so I had to buy a new SIM card and I was out all last week because my fraternity had rush and also my  new credit card isn’t working and I didn’t get the job I wanted..and because I had to cancel my credit card, my order for The Winner’s Kiss COULDN’T COME IN. Ok I’m done. Be calm, Carolyn.

It’s like the bucket of problems got dumped on me this month. And I’m telling you it’s not even the big problems that really frustrate me, it’s the addition of the little things. But on a side note, I’m so thankful to my friends and my sister for being so emotionally supportive during this time. I’ve honestly never felt so loved and I feel like everyone deserves a chance to feel this way at least once in their life.

In other more pleasant news, I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time and I did not know eyebrow shaping could make such a difference but it does! I also went shopping a lot because shopping is actually really therapeutic. I had my spring break where I honestly spent it all trying to find PAs to shadow (Why is this so hard?) and hanging out with my friends. If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I went to the Carlsbad Flower Fields. It was so pretty!! I’m not a big flower person but one look at these flowers and I was converted.

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Ah, so serene..unlike my life

Makeup

I think getting my eyebrows threaded got me really into more of the possibilities of makeup and I’ve been loving it.

I would highly recommend the Nyx eyebrow pencil. It just gets so much coverage with so little ink and the color is perfect for my brows. I’ve also been loving my Nyx liquid eyeliner as well.

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This post was not sponsored by Nyx, fyi

 

Clothes

White crop top from forever 21- so pretty and summery; I can’t wait to wear it in the upcoming weeks because it is so hot here in Socal.

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This post was not sponsored by Forever21 but that tag is all kinds of cute. 

Apps

Google Opinion Rewards-Basically you do free surveys for free money to buy things on the Google Play Store. You can’t really go wrong with that. I buy games and ebooks with it. Surprise, surprise.

Songs

20160310060202coldplay_hymn_for_the_weekend_artworkcharlie-puth-nine-track-mindtroye_sivan_-_blue_neighbourhood

Hymn for the Weekend-Coldplay’s new album is so awesome and I think this one’s my favorite out of all of them.

One Call Away by Charlie Puth– A random surprise

I Won’t Let You Walk Away-more EDM

Youth by Troye Sivan-My youth is yours.. This song has been playing nonstop for me. I even internally fangirled when I heard it playing at Starbucks

Wild by Troye Sivan– I love the melancholy in this song.

Lost Boy by Troye Sivan-I normally would not like the beat of htis song but something about it is just so charming and yeah this has been a Troye Sivan month. No shame.

Recommendations from Summer and Joey 

Your Lie in April OST– AHH so beautiful, it makes me want to cry. Thanks for the rec Summer!

Smoke-filled room remix– I actually usually don’t like remixes but I really liked this one. Thanks Joey, I’ve been looking at all your retrospective posts for music recs 🙂

TV

This whole month I haven’t watched basically anything but FRIENDS and this is actually the first time I’ve seen Friends. I know, I know, how can a lover of comedy not  have watched Friends by now. Well, funny story, I didn’t like Friends at first. I thought it wasn’t funny..but I’m officially converted! I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. It’s hilarious and charming and Joey and Chandler are probably my favorites haha 🙂

 

Well that’s it! Hopefully, hopefully, April brings better luck. Fingers crossed.

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