Uncategorized · wrap up

April Wrap Up 2017

April was a pretty awesome reading month for me. I think this is the most I’ve read this month than I have in the earlier months of 2017. I DNFed a few things but read 9 books and 2 short stories.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (3/5)

Faulkner has an interesting narrative style. He writes this from several different Image result for as i lay dying bookperspectives but sometimes the character will refer to another character solely by the pronoun, he, and you kind of have to read the next perspective  to confirm who the character was even talking about. While this does increase the fluidity of the story, it also lends to a lot of confusion on my part. This book was both successful and not successful in portraying grief and I think that boils down to certain characters. It seemed like Faulkner liked some characters more than others. For instance, Jewel is probably the most compelling character in the entire cast. His attitudes towards his mother remain ambiguous even till the end and his independence-to-a-fault was really interesting to read. The other interesting character was the father and though he may respect his wife’s dying wish, we all know he is long past caring about her. Faulkner also does a good job portraying the grief of a child, the way they want to transform that grief into something tangible. But the other characters felt disposable. As far as satire goes, the ending was fucking hilarious. But overall, it was quite meh.

By Prudence Ruled by ehmazing (4/5)

I don’t know why I’m including fanfiction in my wrap up but I am because I never read fanfiction, like, ever. This is how you know I’ve really descended into fandom hell. TBH Related imageI’m simultaneously proud and ashamed to be in the Voltron fandom. It’s literally the most toxic fandom I’ve ever been in, there’s like 50 ship wars, ship hate every hour, and just general no-mercy attitude and bashing of the creators and writers. I just hope the VLD staff do not go through the Tumblr tags. But simultaneously I’m proud of the fandom because earlier last week, there was a photo leak from the show from a newly casted voice actor and she accidently posted a photo from the upcoming season and she deleted it from her instagram story but it was way too late. I swear people in fandom actually make the best detectives. ANYWAYS, this fanfiction follows my non-canon (so far) OTP Shiro and Allura. By Prudence Ruled is one of the most well-researched and accurate-to-the-characters fanfiction I’ve ever read in my basically non-existent fanfic history. It just captures the character’s voices so well and it’s inspired by The Bodyguard so I mean that speaks for itself. Also, it’s really well-researched in terms of worldbuilding which I really appreciate.

Related imageThis is My Idea by Teukiewookie (3/5)

Does anyone remember the movie The Swan Princess?

Well this fic is based on the movie except in space and with Voltron characters.  It is so fun and relatively accurate in character voice as far as surface-level character goes but not so different as to disengage me from the story. Plus the chapters are short so..

 

 

These next few books, I will have reviews for.

In my 2017 reading resolutions, I resolved to read more translated fiction and I made my first few steps this month. The first ones I will be doing mini reviews for in my translated fiction spotlight.

Silence by Shusaku Endo, Translated from the Japanese by William Johnston | Before the Feast by Sasa Stanisic, Translated from the German by Anthea Bell

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I also read some translated short stories that will be featured in the mentioned post as well.

Wither and Blossom by Suvi Kauppila translated by Suvi Kauppila (4/5)

Faces and Thoughts by Abdul Wakil Sulamal translated from Pashto by James Caron (3.5/5)

I also finished History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (4/5) which I actually wasn’t planning on reading but ended up loving. I will have a full review on this in May. Just expect a lot of YA contemporary in the upcoming future period.

And then I have reviews for two YA books I read this month in a mini review post.

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett | Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 

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The Girls by Emma Cline (2/5)

The Girls shines when Cline discusses the intricacies of girlhood. She does it so well and because of that I wish the whole book was solely focused on that. What does it feel 26893819like to come into adolescence wanting to own your body but at the same time wanting to feel desired and be desirable.

 That was part of being a girl–you were resigned to whatever feedback you’d get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn’t react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they’d backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.

But honestly, everything else was just kind of boring. This is ironic because this book was suppose to be about the mysterious Manson murders. One of the most compelling characters was suppose to be Charles (or whatever his name is) who we are suppose to believe is this really alluring person who persuades these girls to leave everything they have but he turned out to be kind of boring and predictable as were the other characters. I will say that Cline really knows how to write. Her writing is intoxicating and feels like reading through the subconscious. It feels very Gone-Girlesque. But all in all, I would not recommend this one.

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (3.5/5)

Ted Chiang has some really cool ideas–both visually and scientifically which translates very well to a movie like The Arrival (based off of Stories of Your Life). But I wish there 31625351was better execution of these ideas. Most of his stories feel unfinished as if he suddenly had a good idea and had to write it down but didn’t know where the thought was going. They also feel like unfinished ideas because he sort of left them to meander on their own so a few of them lacked focus. But nevertheless they were still fascinating to read. My favorite stories were the first one, The Tower of Babylon, which is about people building a tower to reach heaven; Stories of Your Life which visually was better represented by the movie but the story itself was better in the book, and the last story Like What You See: A Documentary which is about a fictional debate about whether or not to undergo a procedure to “unsee” beauty. I still think this collection is definitely worth reading because his stories just raise so many thought provoking questions about religion, technology, mathematics, and linguistics.

Planetfall by Emma Newman (3.5/5)

A mysterious man enters the one and only colony on Planetfall. Renata Ghali is shocked and terrified because the colony she lives in is suppose to be the only home to any living inhabitants on this planet. It turns out that this man is the grandson of Suh-Mi who was 24237785the leader of the first colonization trip to Planetfall. As we get further into the book, we realize there is a lot more to this colony that we initially thought and that Renata is keeping a lot of secrets from the people around her. I will tell you this from the start: nothing will really make sense until the last 20 percent of the book and even the last page leaves off on an ambiguous note which I’m still not sure if I understand but that’s totally ok with me. I often found myself wondering why the author was focusing so much one aspect of this character and other times why the plot seemed to be falling apart and it only made sense to me after finishing the book. I really liked the worldbuilding in this book. There’s lots of mentions of 3D printing and building houses which just reminded me of the Sims. The biggest issue with this book are the characters. They felt so two-dimensional and can be listed off with a few traits. The ending was satisfactory to me but I get the feeling that if it wasn’t it would’ve marred the entire experience of reading this book for me so make your own judgement about that. I will say that I haven’t read a lot of science fiction mysteries/thrillers if any at all so this was refreshing.

DNF

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (2/5)31395274

As you may have noticed by now, I’m really picky when it comes to contemporary romances. I thought the banter between the two characters was kitschy and super tacky and the “hating” part of the haters-to-lovers trope was over a little too quickly. The side characters were overly quirky and purely ornamental to the main characters which is just a recipe for a boring story to be honest. I started skimming this around the 50 page mark and it progressively grew cheesier and cheesier to the point of fanfiction so hard pass on this one.

 

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them and what you plan on reading in May. I hope your May is going well so far and I will see in my next post which will probably be my April Favorites =)

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Misc · Uncategorized

My Dreamcrate!

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service that specializes in goodies for gamers and geeks. They put together a project where fans can talk about their dream crate or what they’d like if they could design their own box. This is a dreamcrate so everything is fair game but I decided to make it more realistic because it would be nice if nice things were affordable. So I decided to revolve my box around the theme of Wonder. I was thinking about Wonder Woman and how much I love the concept of wonder: of being excited about the world, of exploration and discovery and learning new things. I mean it is kind of what drew me to the character in the first place, how despite how much of the degradation and rot that she saw in the world through her long, immortal life, I still liked that she still found something in it worth saving. So here is what I would like in my box.

So of course to celebrate Wonder Woman and in the spirit of previous Lootcrate boxes, I obviously want the box to be decorated as Themyscira. I love the this concept of Paradise and the lush nature of the island.

Image result for wonder woman themyscira
Themyscira from 2009 Animated Wonder Woman
Image result for wonder woman themyscira
From the new movie Wonder Woman coming out in June 2017..Also wouldn’t it be awesome if movie tickets for Wonder Woman could be included?

I love art prints to hang up so I chose gorgeous watercolor print. It would be nice if it came with the frame too. I just think it would look awesome on any desk or wall.

Wonder Woman print, Wonder Woman watercolor print, Wonder Woman Poster, Superhero print, DC comics, Marvel print, wall art, Kids decor -519
Buy it here

But I also really enjoyed the Vintage pop art design on Etsy where a print of Wonder Woman is placed on a piece of newspaper page. Again, it would look really good framed.

Wonder Woman Print - Wonder Woman wall art - Vintage pop art  - Retro Super Hero Art - Dictionary print art
Buy it here

Moving on from Wonder Woman, what better represents the theme of wonder than the Star Trek franchise?

“Space… The final frontier… These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds… To seek out new life; new civilisations… To boldly go where no one has gone before!”

I love this concept of exploration and discovery and the idea of camaraderie over conquest. I would love a decal of the USS Enterprise and the logo.

Star Trek Decal Vinyl Sticker, Starfleet decal, Trekkie, Decal for Vehicle, Laptop, Tablet
You can put this vinyl decal on your phone, car, laptop or tablet.

Speaking of new worlds, some of the best games I’ve played have dealt directly with this concept. I’ve never seen a plush before in a Lootcrate and honestly is there anything better than a Pokemon plush?? I like the pokeball plush a lot.

It’s big enough to cuddle; it’s a really good icebreaker, and it’s perfect for a low-key game of catch when you’re bored.

And moving back to the old school, I’ve always loved the fusion of Final Fantasy and Disney characters exploring different worlds in the Disney canon in Kingdom Hearts.

What better merch for Kingdom hearts than a keychain of Sora’s keyblade like this one.

I wanted to put in something from a not-so-big fandom even though the fandom is actually kind of big. Like Star Trek, Voltron: Legendary Defender deals with the idea of exploring new worlds in space but also this overarcing theme of an ensemble doing things together. As I’m watching the show, I also notice how much the characters learn a little bit from each culture and planet they visit.

Voltron: Legendary Defender Button Set - 5 Paladins of Voltron - Shiro, Lance, Pidge Gunderson, Hunk, Keith Pins
These pins are so adorable.

Also stickers because why not.

Voltron Sticker Sheets
Buy these adorable stickers here.

or even a shirt because that’s how much I love this show.

I also noticed that Lootcrate likes to include posters in their crate. Since my theme is all about Wonder, I thought a poster of Summoner’s Rift from League of Legends would be really fitting. LoL is not just about the strategy and tactics, it’s also about the awesome graphic and art design especially of the landscape itself. A decent-sized poster would probably help with strategizing as well.

Summoner’s Rift from LoL

So that is my Dreamcrate! Please feel free to post up your own Dreamcrate post. You have 100% creative license because it is a Dreamcrate obviously. Lootcrate will be highlighting some Dreamcrates throughout their social accounts.

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Book Discussion · Uncategorized

Discussion: My favorite romantic tropes

In the grand scheme of things, shipping is probably goes at the bottom of the list of things of importance. But shipping has always been and will probably always be important to me. I might be a pessimist at times but in my heart of hearts I will always be a lover of love stories, preferably ones with HEAs. So let’s talk about love stories and romance but more specifically, what makes a couple an OTP for me? What are some tropes on romance that I will devour again and again? 

Perhaps the most important thing to me in order to get me to ship a couple is to ask do I like them as individuals and can they exist as individuals on their own with a world apart from who they love. Love is a uniting of two people. How can I like them together if I don’t like them apart or if I get more development for one character and not the other how can I feel that they really love each other? This is where all these romance tropes are born. I love Kaz and Inej from Six of Crows because they are so independent from each other makes it more special when they come together, the fact that they are so independent lets the other person figures things out on their own while still silently supporting each other. Inej never tries to change Kaz and vice versa, but she won’t give up who she is for him.  It’s a reason why I’ve never really liked Edward and Bella from Twilight, Bella of course wanting to be a vampire solely because of Edward. What does she even like?

It sounds sort of weird but one of the most important things to an OTP for me and maybe the most important thing is their wit/banter or their chemistry with each other. You might be thinking, umm what about respect? honesty? Nope, it’s chemistry. It’s that initial attraction, something about these two people that makes you interested in them. It can start in a meet cute or some sort of romantic plot device to have them realize their feelings for each other. After that, it’s where the fun part comes in. Most if not all romances can be boiled down to a trope but when these tropes are executed well, an OTP is born.

  1. The slow burn-usually culminates in a kiss after lots and lots of angst

My favorite couples of all time have been slow-burn, sometimes so painfully slowburn. Percy and Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series are one of my favorite slow-burns that felt so completely natural and lovable. It’s even more lovable because we get to see them grow up together from kids to young adults and it’s just so heartwarming. Chuck and Sarah from Chuck were also extremely slow burn mostly because Sarah had trust issues but it just felt all the more natural and sweet when they did get together.

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Percy and Annabeth (I forgot where I got this but it’s not mine)

It’s important to note that even though I like slow-burn relationships, there’s still an initial spark to them that made me want to ship them in the first place. I love Arin and Kestrel‘s from The Winner’s trilogy initial tension but like mindedness in their wit and banter which made their slow-burn all the more heart achingly angsty.  Pam and Jim from the Office. I really got to see how they’ve changed over the course of the seasons and having them finally be together was just perfect

Image result for arin x kestrel fanart
Arin and Kestrel playing Bite and Sting :3 (Credit)

2. Dynamic Duo-Two people are similar and capable in ways and just are there to mentally support the other

I love this trope because we get to see dynamic duos just take on the world together and the other half knows that the other person can handle shit and just mentally supports them. This is why I love Leslie and Ben from Parks and Recreation because they are so supportive of each other even as they have their own big ambitions. I also really like this trope  because it gives both parties a chance to save the other and have a battle of wills.My

Famous hand-holding scene in 2×05 

favorite non-canon couple is Shiro and Allura from Voltron. They’re both really intense leaders that feel the need to take on burdens and responsibilities for the rest of the team. But they often disagree strongly with each other and they’re kind of each other’s voice of reason. It’s all the more satisfying when they have their moment of happiness. My other favorite non-canon couple for this trope that I’ve been shipping for years is Eragon and Arya from the Inheritance cycle. And did my shipping pay off??? Nope, Christopher Paolini just decided to leave me hanging..

One ship that does this trope well in my opinion is Once Upon a Time’s Regina and Robin. I don’t even watch the show and I know what happens to Robin but holy shit, this ship is so much better to me than Captain Swan. I just completely love their strength but understanding that they can be vulnerable with each other without undermining that strength. Another dynamic duo that I ship and I don’t even watch the show but I love their gifs on Tumblr is Bellamy and Clarke from The 100. Again, the whole they’re both leaders

Phillip and Elizabeth 

and they subtly support one another is my jam. One show that I recently started watching, The Americans also does this well; Phillip and Elizabeth are already on my top OTP list because not only are they a great dynamic duo (they both kick ass and take no names), but their well-being depends on them forming sexual and romantic connections with other people but somehow the show is able to convey that they have a special understanding for each other and their silent support of one another gives me life despite their deepest reservations about the other. And speaking of silent support, San and Ashitaka and San from Princess Mononoke I love too because they like each other but they realize they have a duty to other people besides themselves and that kind of selflessness makes me love them all the more.

3. Weird meets weird- one person’s weird is perfect for another person’s weird

Every person is some level of weird and I like this trope because it makes me believe that there is someone on that same type and level of weirdness that just makes them perfect together. Probably the ultimate example of this is April and Andy from Parks and

Jimmy x Gretchen

Recreation. April is eternally annoyed and cynical. Andy eternally naive and optimistic. But somehow their eccentric humor and personalities just mesh and it’s just so cute. Gretchen and Jimmy from You’re the Worst are both terrible and pessimistic people that shouldn’t be in a relationship with anyone decent but somehow you just love the two of them together because they just get each other and they kind of throw societal expectations of what should happen in a relationship down the drain.  The opposite of that would be Jake and Amy from Brooklyn Nine Nine. They’re both too pure for this world but they’re nerds on the inside so they just meld p

Jake x Amy ❤ 

erfectly together. My other favorite workplace couple is Jonah and Amy from Superstore (they’re not together…yet..). On the surface, they seem like the stereotypical no-nonsense girl and the idealistic guy trope but as the episodes go on, you realize that they are so similar. They love getting into other people’s business and both have the same core views about the workplace. I love them so much

4. Witty Playfulness- Usually consists of witty banter and being playful with another person that they’re usually not with others

I normally make it a rule not to ship real life people together because I don’t truly know them but usually if they have a video together or act together, I just find myself loving their dynamic. I love this trope because it’s so telling of how their minds think and it just shows that they have the same type of humor. Haven’t you ever talked to a person that did not have the same humor as you and just felt awkward. Like can I really be with someone who doesn’t understand memes?? (jk, but not jk, but jk). This is why I’m in love with

Wow please tell me you two are back together please… 

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone‘s relationship ever since I saw them in The Amazing SpiderMan. Like I’m in this for life. Just look at any interviews they have together. Any and you cannot deny that they’re meant to be (i’m being dramatic). I know that they broke up and I respect that but have you seen the things they say about each other even now? Also they both just got nominated for Oscars and they hugged during the BAFTAs just two days ago. Don’t tell me love ain’t real.

For some reason, I also love Marzia and Felix who both have really popular Youtube channels. They’re so adorable. I’ve literally watched all their videos together.

5. Opposites Attract-Bad boy meets good girl or even better, bad girl meets good boy

In real life, this would more likely not happen because statistically, you’re more likely to be with someone who is more similar to you than not. I like seeing how two people who never really like each other because of who they are end up falling for each other anyway or somehow end up spending time together because of some unforeseen circumstance. The ultimate one for me right now (non-canon) is Haley and Andy from Modern Family. I mean she’s like this popular girl who’s too cool for school. He’s not that…cool and pretty nerdy but it just works. Another perfect example of the opposites attract is Ryuuji and Taiga from Toradora. Ryuuji is sweet and kind and loves doing housework and cooking but he has a face that makes him unapproachable to many people. Taiga, on the other hand, is super cute and short but she is actually irascible and has a really bad temper. Their interactions are just hilarious because they’re so different. Nina and Matthias from Six of Crows is kind of in that same vein. Nina is flirtatious and confident, Matthias more reserved and conservative and that just makes their interactions so interesting and fun to read because there’s always that tension, having these two personalities at odds with one another. The most recent one that I ship is Jonathan and Nancy from Stranger Things. I
know, I know, that the writers dared to actually have Steve undergo character development and that was such a pleasant surprise but please, you just can’t give me angsty stares and not have me ship Jancy. Again, I love the trope because these two people would have never crossed paths if it hadn’t been for the mystery of the strange creature.

 

6. Star-Crossed Lovers/Forbidden Love

This trope is so cliche but I eat it up like no other. I think, if done right, it’s actually one of the most insightful romantic tropes to be used. Forbidden love usually means there’s some societal, cultural, or familial aspect in the way of two people getting together. And if done right, this trope can prove what love makes people do. What are they willing to sacrifice for another and isn’t that one of the most romantic things of all? To defy the selfish nature of survival and humanity itself. My ultimate couple for this one has to Sharzhad and Khalid. They’re honestly one of my favorite couples in general of all time but Renee Ahdieh really plays this trope well because they will never apologize for loving the other person even though Khalid supposedly killed her best friend and Sharzhad is supposed to die.

Also, Khalid definitely knows how to talk.

They never deny their attraction to the other person which is common in forbidden love stories. The other couple that comes to mind is Evan and Maise from Unteachable because they understand how wrong on paper it is but they are attracted to each other and they’ll hide it but they won’t deny their attraction.

7. Rivals-Always competing against one another but everyone knows they should just hook up already

I think I first fell in love with this trope surprisingly when I read The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare himself. It was further cemented when I read The Night Circus, the two magicians, Celia and Marco being actual rivals in a deadly, magical game. I like this trope because it gives an automatic level of sexual tension above the others and it makes it so much more sweet when they do find common ground. This was especially true when I started shipping Keith and Lance from Voltron. They’re always bickering and trying to outdo the other person but when they share a serious moment, it is out of this world. Please be canon!!

And how could I forget Elizabeth and Darcy, always trying to outsass the other. Jane Austen probably knew what sexual tension was before it was even a thing.

8. Friends to Lovers

This trope is precious because often the feelings of love aren’t realized until something happens but that deep-seated love was always there even if the characters don’t see it but the audience does. Percabeth is a classic YA one but I also love Emma and Knightley from Emma and the webseries. Emma and Knightley have such a deep knowledge of the other person and it’s so endearing to watch them voice what the other person is already thinking.

 

9. Fake Relationship

This is my most recent favorite that I didn’t even know I liked but like friends to lovers, it deals with the concept of being so sure that the other person is just a friend or someone you thought was one thing to you but it turns out to be another. Fake relationships are fun because the person is using the other person to get someone else so they think they won’t fall for the other person. My favorite one so far is Peter and Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve loved Before. I also liked Gia and Hayden from The Fill-In Boyfriend though it’s not as well developed or endearing as Peter and Lara Jean.

OMG HOW ADORABLE. It’s Kitty, Lara Jean, and Peter!!  Credit

Of course, great OTPs will do these tropes well but they are also some combination of these tropes. Percy and Annabeth are a combination of the dynamic duo, the slow burn, the playfulness and a few shades of the opposites attract. What are some of your favorite tropes and your favorite otps that fall under these tropes. I obviously need more pairings to ship…obviously. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and if these ships have taught me anything, if you are in a good relationship, you’ll feel the love and respect you deserve everyday 🙂

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Book to Movie Review · movie reviews · tv review · Uncategorized · What I've Been Watching

What I’ve Been Watching: Winter 2016-2017

Because I always seem to do these in big groups, I thought why not just do seasonal wrap ups of what I’ve watched; winter meaning November-February (so far). As always, I will be listing all the movies first and then TV shows. I have links to my reviews. I decided to do something different this time and rank them from my least favorite to favorite of the season. So least favorites are at the top, favorites at the bottom of that specified list. I also added a letter rating to each. And sorry for being the most inconsistent person ever, these wrap ups always look different every time I do them. If anyone is interested in talking spoilers,  leave a comment tagging spoilers or hit me up on my Goodreads or email me at cqncarols@gmail.com or you can even message me on Tumblr =). 

Movies

Image result for ms peregrine home for peculiar children movie poster        Related image

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Fantasy, Family Movie, Book to Movie Adaptation | Director Tim Burton| Review

Overall, I was pretty disappointed; it was just so uninspiring. It seems that for every one great Hunger Games movie, we have to get at least 50 duds. D

Me Before You

Romance, Melodrama | Featuring Emilia Clarke, Sam Clafin | Review

I was also pretty meh about it. It wasn’t totally horrible thanks to the cinematography but I didn’t expect much and I got pretty much exactly what I thought I would get. No tears were lost in the process of watching. But maybe a good Valentine’s Day movie..if you have a bottle of strong liquor with you. C

        Image result for animated wonder woman poster   Image result for the dressmaker  Image result for fantastic beasts poster

Wonder Woman: Animated Original Movie (2009)

DC Comics adaptation, Animation, Children’s | Director Lauren Montgomery, Written by Gail Simone

Because I’m freaking obsessed with Wonder Woman now, I thought that I would try and watch some of the movies. Sadly, this was just ok. But Wonder Woman was so well-animated as a person like girl crush alert. And she is just so badass. Steve Trevor, however, was just weird and a womanizer in a creepy and annoying way. If you take away all the lines he says about creepily flirting with women, you’d only have around 3 lines left. It’s pretty good for a TV movie but nothing great to rewatch or seek out if I hadn’t already had a predisposition to WW. B-

The Dressmaker (Australia 2015)

Historical Fiction, Revenge, Comedy-drama | Featuring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth

This movie tries hard but ultimately does not sustain itself in my opinion, I mean this movie has won a bunch of awards. Kate Winslet is good in it and so was Liam Hemsworth but they are not enough to carry the whole movie. It also hosts a cast of quirky side characters that are not odd enough to be quirky and not interesting enough to be compelling. The story itself was also way too linear and simplistic to warrant such a long movie. It could have been cut in half. The ’50’s costume design was a feast for the eyes though. B-

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantasy, Family Movie | Director David Yates, Written by JK Rowling

So I finally got to watch this and honestly I was a little disappointed. I think it’s because there was no sense of urgency throughout. Grindelwald was mentioned at the beginning of the movie and then not again until really the end. There were just so many loopholes and inconsistencies in the magic system (why is everyone so careless about doing magic in front of Muggles, excuse me, No-Majs) it didn’t really even feel like the wizarding world sometimes. But it was so much fun getting to learn about the different creatures (can I please get a Niffler) and Eddie Redmayne is always great in whatever he does; he is such a precious cinnamon roll as Newt. I can’t really see anyone else as Newt. The other characters were good (how sweet is Jacob??) but the romances were kind of boring. I say that but the ending made me tear up a little. I did NOT think they would go there. Also, petition to open a Jacob Kowalski bakery please and thank you. And after watching this, I’m wondering how they have enough material to sustain 4? more movies. B

Image result for train to busan poster    Image result for mustang movie poster   Image result for wadjda poster

Train to Busan (Korea 2016)

Post Apocalyptic, SciFi, Zombies | Director Yeon Sang-Ho Featuring Gong Yoo | Review

Train to Busan lacks in anything substantial thematically but it was still a lot of action fun and the immediacy of the zombie transformation heightens the suspense into more good fun. B+

Mustang (Turkey 2015)

Contemporary, Drama | Director Deniz Erguven | Review

A quietly feminist movie about 5 orphan girls dealing with the restrictions of freedom and sexuality placed on them. A-

Wadjda (Saudi Arabia 2012)

Contemporary, Drama | Director Haifaa Al-Mansour | Review

Wadjda-A charming and feminist movie about a girl who wants to own a bike. A

Image result for la la land poster      Image result for the edge of seventeen poster

La La Land

Musical, Magical Realism, Romance | Director Damien Chazelle, Featuring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling | Review

Despite the simplicity of the storyline, La La Land boasts an inspiring color palette along with stunning technical visuals and two charming and romantic leads. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy and inspired inside and I love it for that. A

The Edge of Seventeen

Comedy, Coming-of-Age, High School | Featuring Hailee Steinfeld

I know this movie slipped under the radar among the giants of Oscar bait but that’s such a shame because it is a hilarious and honest coming-of-age movie. I know it seems like a teen comedy that doesn’t have much to offer but its authentic screenplay (these are things teens would actually say!!) and an amazing lead performance (Hailee Steinfeld) catapult it above the rest. The side characters have a kind of depth beyond their stereotype that is rarely seen in teen movies and the love interest is Asian!! Props to him for actually being a 30-year-old but looking like a 17-year-old. How is that even possible? It has a lot of heart and sincerity combined with really funny jokes. I love this movie and I’ll definitely be rewatching it again. A

Want to Watch:

Moonlight

Hacksaw Ridge

TV

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Seven First Kisses (Korea 2016)

Webdrama, Romance, Contemporary | Featuring Lee Cho-Hee, Lee Jong-Suk (aka bae), Lee Min-Ho, Ji Chang-Wook, Kai, Lee Joon-gi | Youtube | Finished

I’m going to be honest with you; I only watched this short webdrama (available on Youtube right now) because Lee Jong Suk was in it. He is too precious. And I loved his episode the most. But other than that, it was so cheesy and ultimately boring. I actually watched this in twice the normal speed which made it more entertaining lol.  Watch it if you have some eye candy you need to see more of. D

Sherlock Season 4

Mystery | Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman | BBC, PBS | Finished | Review

What even happened this season??? What even is Sherlock?? C

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Image result for the abominable bride poster      Image result for w two worlds

The Abominable Bride

TV Movie, Historical Fiction, Mystery | Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman | BBC, PBS

Half of my enjoyment of this was due to the constant references to Sherlock’s hat and the ever cool transition and text scenes. The other half was due to the costume design. The rest was sort of forgettable. Shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone that it couldn’t have been a ghost? And if it wasn’t obvious, it shouldn’t be so obvious to the audience. Also, the ending really rubbed me the wrong way. B

W Two Worlds (Korea 2016)

Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Romance | Featuring Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo-Joo | MBC | 16 episodes | Finished | Review -ish

I mentioned this in my honorable mentions of my favorite TV shows of 2016 and all the reservations that I had about it after episode 9 came true. Awkward…It was so illogical, inconsistent, Oh Yeon Joo’s character just devolved into a pawn for Kang Chul’s emotional development, and the ending was so abrupt and unsatisfying. However, something about it still kept me watching though so I give props to it. And even at its messiness, I still found it to be incredibly enjoyable and suspenseful. B

Image result for the people vs oj       Image result for voltron legendary defender

The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Crime/Court Drama | Featuring Sara Paulson, Sterling K. Brown, Kenneth Choi, John Travolta | FX | 10 episodes | Finished | Review -ish

A compelling, bingeworthy drama worthy of its hype and praise. A

Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 2

SciFi, Children’s, Animation | Produced by Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos | Netflix | 13 episodes | Currently finished with Season 2 | Review of Season 1

Oh man, this show is so dear to my heart and makes me so happy. I think I liked the second season even more than the first. The animation is definitely better especially the landscapes. It also got more heavily anime in my opinion but that’s definitely not a pro or a con. It is the definition of fun at its most finest. I love each and very one of these characters to death and I will defend them till I die. I don’t think I can wait another year for the next season to come out.  For the record, I ship Klance and Shallura 😉 A-/A (for ripping my heart in shreds)

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Insecure Season 1

Comedy, Contemporary | Created by Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore | HBO | 8 episodes | Season 1 Finished

I love Insecure soooo much. It’s about the friendship between two black women, their friendship, and exploring the realm of dating, jobs and everything in between during their late 20’s. It is funny with a diverse cast and so well executed. The humor is sarcastically dry which is just my type of humor. It slyly explores race, gender, and sexuality in a natural and underhand way. It was pretty steamy for a comedy but only in the last episodes and only sprinkled throughout as part of the narrative (although this is a show on HBO so what did I expect). It feels a lot like a Netflix show because one story arc will just bleed into the next episode to make the season one giant story and I binge watched in two days. Excluding the one distasteful Asian joke, I can’t wait for Season 2. A

The Americans Seasons 1 & 2

Spy Thriller, Melodrama | Featuring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys | FX | 13 eps per season | Finished Season 4, Season 5 starts March 2017

Why didn’t I watch this sooner??? It is so amazing. An amazing combination of family drama and spy action and mystery during the Cold War. The main two leads are Soviet spies and was arranged to be married to keep up their spy covers. They move to the US where their next door neighbor is an FBI agent working for counterintelligence to capture spies.  I love it because so much attention is paid to character layering and the two main leads are fast becoming my new OTP even though their relationship so messed up. They often have to form relationships with other people, platonically or sexually or even romantically to get information they need. There’s definitely not as much action as I would like sometimes but it’s great anyways. A

Currently Watching: 

Tomorrow with you (Kdrama)

Powerless (NBC comedy)

The Crown (Netflix show on Queen Elizabeth)

Secret Love Affair (Kdrama)

As always if you think I would like something based on what I’ve watched, let me know!! I’m always down for recommendations. 

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favorites · tv review · Uncategorized

My Favorite TV Shows of 2016

Hi! I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas or holiday yesterday. I spent it with my family eating good food and just catching up with them. I hadn’t seen some of my cousins for a while and it’s interesting what time will do to someone both physically and personality wise.

The last week of December is always my favorite because I get to reflect on the things I’ve read and watched over the year and compile and talk about my favorites. And as you probably know, I never get tired of talking about my favorite things. 2016 was if nothing else a really great TV year for me. If you look at my 2015 favorite TV shows, I tend to gravitate towards the comedy and the slightly weird. This year was actually really different and here’s why: the inclusion of kdramas and shows revolving around crime. These two categories of TV have always been polarizing to me and I thought I would never really enjoy one enough to call my favorite but it just goes to show you that you shouldn’t judge a genre of TV before you’ve really dug into its many different facets. I have 4 honorable mentions and 8 favorites and at the end, I list a couple of shows that I would like to get to in 2017. The honorable mentions have no particular order however I have ranked my favorites but some my favorites can be interchangeable. Bear in mind that I have only included new shows that were new to me this year. So shows like Brooklyn Nine Nine will not appear because even though I watched the new season this year, the show itself wasn’t new to me this year. Also, if you would like to know more of my thoughts for a certain show, click on the corresponding banner and it will lead you to my review. As always, if you have any recommendations for me based on what I’ve mentioned, I would love to know, I can never have too many shows to watch. Actually I can but I would like to think that I don’t.

Honorable Mentions

Signal.png

It’s a kdrama and a crime thriller, so who would have thought it would end up on my list but it was an amazing surprise. This show is the near perfect melding of character and plot. You would be surprised at how many shows fail to find this balance, when plot fails to be the proper catalyst for the character’s development or when the characters don’t get enough choices to advance a stagnant plot. I loved the exploration of the concepts of idealism and corruption of the police force through episodes of tightly-woven suspense, a blend of magical realism, thrilling soundtracks, and heartbreaking characters at its core.

the-night-of

I’ve been loving my limited series this year mostly because they are so binge worthy. The Night Of is comprised of subdued, monochromatic blues and grays which is fitting for its gritty and brutal examination of an oftentimes flawed justice system. A system that would rather paint the picture of innocence and guilt instead of finding the truth. It’s less concerned with plot (although it still has a decent one) and prison life (like in Orange is the New Black) than its characters and ideas.  But what emerges is a thought provoking drama that actually doesn’t answer the whodunit at the end but by then, it doesn’t really matter.

voltron-legendary-defender

Voltron is the type of show that I naturally gravitate towards and it does exactly what it set out to do. It’s a really fun and entertaining animated show featuring a diverse ensemble of characters that play off one another in funny and heartwarming ways. It’s one of those shows that can reach a wide audience, kids, teens or adults and still be fun to all. The animation is expertly done (what did you expect from the team behind Legend of Korra) and it never seems to run out of action-packed fight scenes and adventure to keep you on your toes.

WTwo Worlds.png

As of the time I’m writing this, I’m currently on episode 9 but I cannot imagine an honorable mentions list without it. I have to admit at points, I was more in love with the concept than the execution. And what a concept, I mean a surgeon from the real world accidently gets sucked into the world of a comic and falls in love with the main character. Please. That shit is my jam. And while it does fall into some unbelievable territory and tension-sucking tropes and the old mistake of consistently making the main female character’s story revolve around the male main character, I continued watching because of the gorgeous production value (I particularly loved the transitions between the comic art world and the real world), the nonstop action and plot twists, and of course, the romance (That handcuff kiss though; I’m shook). And although there is just so many loopholes and logic problems, this show boasts main leads that are as smart and capable as they come which to me, is kind of a staple of the thriller genre second only to the horror genre.

Favorites

the-ladies-paradise-1

When I started watching this, I was expecting an angst-fest similar to the likes of Downton Abbey. What I got instead was a sweet and touching story about one woman’s ingenuity working at London’s first department store with a surprising commentary on feminism, how a woman’s ideas often gets credited as their male counterpart’s work. What it lacks in plot, it compensates with a (mostly) lovable cast of characters that get their own resolutions. This show also cemented my aesthetic love for period pieces set during the Industrial Revolution (the latest being Peaky Blinders). The set design of the department store is so intricate and aesthetically pleasing and Denise, the main character, works for women’s fashion so there’s a lot of gorgeous costume designs. I’m sad to see that this show only got 2 seasons but it was sweet while it lasted.

friends-1

This had to be included in here somewhere. I cannot believe this is the first time that I’ve watched this series from start to finish. It’s so awesome how this show has stood the test of time and I can totally see why. It shows a deft hand when writing about friendships and relationships and at the end of the day, it is just hilarious. Everyone probably knows or is some parts Monica or Chandler or Joey or any of the Friends cast. I can’t wait to watch these again and again. I suspect that when I do, it’ll feel like a cozy cafe ready to invite me back. And you do not want to know how many times I’ve referenced “We were on a break” in outside conversation. It’s embarrassing.

Stranger Things (1).png

Do I really need to explain why I like this show? I don’t think so. Although I have to admit I might have been predisposed to like it because my favorite movie of all time is Super 8 and guess what it features: an 80’s suburban setting, middle school aged kids running around having adventures, themes of friendship and coming of age, and a supernatural alien. You can see why I might like Stranger Things..

love-2

I watched this near the beginning of the year and it has stuck with me ever since. This show is so completely underrated. It’s a romantic comedy following two eccentric characters but unlike most romantic comedies, the end goal is not necessarily for the two characters to be together but more about how people meet each other, how they perceive others and how they interact with other people. Of course, this is all helped by an amazing screenplay and great acting from the two main leads. It also has just the type of humor that I love where the two characters get into bizarre, derpy situations that are just hilarious and both of them are really sarcastic and wry. I can’t exactly explain why I love this show so much because it might seem just like any other comedy but there’s just this level of hard hitting emotion and truth that undercuts the episodes that elevate it above other comedies I’ve seen. Whether you like romantic comedies or not, please give this one a shot, you will not regret it.

The People vs. OJ Simpson.png

This show is so, so deserving of its 22 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Limited Series. I guess, in 2016, I’ve become as crime-obsessed as every other American. But inaccuracies aside, there is literally no weak point in this show. It’s such a compelling story told with so much sympathy for its characters under a shroud of ambiguity and never ending tension. It’s clear that this is more than just the biggest celebrity crime case in America, it’s about how these characters manipulate the changing racial and gender politics to bend to their agenda and win the case. The reason why this crime show is on my favorites and not The Night Of is because it keeps such a breakneck pace and no scene feels unnecessary and each character (from both the prosecution and the defendant side) feels as fully realized as if they were all the main characters. Although I have to admit I cannot see David Schwimmer as anyone but Ross however he was brilliant in this one so it’s ok. I finally understand why this case is so interesting to so many Americans and to this day, this case has still not been solved which is kind of bizarre to me.

We’re getting to my top three now. DRUMS PLEASE

superstore

It feels like I’ve been watching this show but I’ve only started this year. It’s crazy. If you saw my favorite TV shows from 2015, you’ll know that I included Parks and Recreation in that list and this show is very similar to it in feel. It follows a cast of eccentric but loveable characters working in a big box store that looks suspiciously like Walmart. It started as a sweet but forgettable comedy that grew into such a funny romp that makes the most of its funny situations. I cannot get enough of these comedies so it’s only natural this show would end up on my list.

descendants-of-the-sun

Just from the things I read and the TV I watch, you can probably tell I have a huge, huge soft spot for epic romances. Don’t be fooled by my jaded and pessimistic exterior, in my cold heart of stone sometimes there is nothing more pleasing to me than to see my OTP exchange witty banter and give swoon worthy, angsty looks at one another. And holy shit, did this drama deliver that for me featuring, let’s face it, such good looking actors (Soong Joong Ki, you slay me) and magnetic chemistry. Oh and a really good ost. And the best part was that it was so blissfully unproblematic in the romance department. Aside from that, this drama was just pure escapism for me, logic and reason be damned. I also know that objectively speaking, Signal is far superior drama in almost every way but I also know that when there was a scene with Kang Mo Yeon and Yoo Shi Jin flirting together, nothing could tear my eyes from the screen. Obviously, I’ve got my priorities straight. It also reminds me of happy times when I was watching this with my roommates eating ice cream until 4am screaming at the computer screen.

age-of-youth-4

While Descendants of the Sun delivered in the feels department, it lacks in its plot objectively but Age of Youth delivers on both fronts. It’s true that it’s quite a niche drama seeing that it will probably only appeal to people in their 20’s (most likely women) but hey that’s me. Don’t let that deter you from watching however, it is so well-crafted and such a gift to the coming of age genre. Age of Youth is ultimately an ode to friendship more specifically female friendship. It is funny, inspiring, and hopeful in all the right ways but more than anything it is a quiet melodrama that resonated with me, with who I was, who I am, and who I will be. I miss these girls already.

TV to watch in 2017

The Americans (long overdue)

Homeland (political thriller)

Please Like Me (another comedy)

WestWorld (against my better judgement; the hype’s getting to me)

Narcos (show about drugs is all I know LOL)

Sense8 (Why haven’t I seen this yet?)

And that’s it! My top TV shows of 2016! I hope there is more good TV to come in 2017; I can’t wait to watch them all. Winter break is almost over so watch these before you’re too busy to 😉 Let me know what your favorite TV shows of 2016 were and if we have any of the same ones!

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Misc · Uncategorized · What I've Been Watching

What I’ve Been Watching: June/July/August

Yeah, I’ve watched a few things these past few months. Once again, I’ve listed the order I’m reviewing/ranting about them down in the list below. The bolded ones are my favorites out of the bunch and I’ve included trailers for each one. Without further ado, let me share them with you =)

Movies                                              

Horror

  • The Ring
  • Mirrors
  • Occulus

Science Fiction

  • The Force Awakens
  • Mockingjay
  • Star Trek
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Star Trek Beyond

Historical

  • The Duchess

TV

Science Fiction

  • Mr. Robot
  • Stranger Things
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender (cartoon)

Realistic

  • It’s Okay That’s Love (Kdrama)
  • Unreal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ring

This was a decent horror movie but I don’t understand why it’s considered a classic. There were some scary moments (omg the part when the girl climbs out of the TV..*shudders*) but the storyline especially the backstory behind the videotape wasn’t really that compelling to me.

 

 

 


Mirrors

 

My thoughts: This actually might be the worst horror movie I’ve seen in my life. People told me to watch it just for the scene where the girl in the bathtub peels off her face with her bare hands but the special effects were so bad that I just laughed. There was no sense of character, plot, or logic. In this one part, the security guard goes into the abandoned house and he’s looking at the mirror and for some reason, a random bird flies out of a bush inside this decrepit, old building. Please, director. You’re not scaring anyone and you know it. This movie was a hot mess; please stay away from it with a ten-foot pole.


Oculus

 

I’m a little embarrassed to admit I haven’t finished this movie and I don’t really care anymore. It was just a little boring. I stopped halfway through and at that point they were still setting up the scare. It is one of the smarter horror films though that doesn’t rely on jump scares to frighten and actually has a compelling storyline.

 

 


Mockingjay

 

I actually liked it more than I thought I would and I discuss why here.


The Force Awakens

Ummmmmm, I was slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I completely adored the action scenes especially the one at the end with Rey. I love that a woman is the main protagonist of such an iconic series (how many times in blockbuster movies do you see women going through the hero’s journey?) It was almost jarring to see a woman being part of big prophecies that are usually reserved for underdog heroes (usually white males). Love C3PO and the return of Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and Hans. What I didn’t like is the fact that the character development was a little off especially for Finn and at the end, SPOILER Hans died and everyone was like ok, moving on now.

Star Trek (2009)

Rewatching this movie after watching Star Trek Beyond really shows how much these characters have grown. I really loved the plot in this one and the development of the crew’s relationships along with its trademark humor. This movie definitely has a focus on Kirk and Spock. I know that the first two movies don’t stick all that much to the original but I think they stand really well on their own. Aside from the lack of female presence, I completely adore these movies as far as blockbusters go. They have just the right balance of scifi opera fun with smart and poignant character relationships and moments.


Star Trek Into Darkness

  • My favorite of the trilogy so far
  • I did wish they had casted a POC for Khan because that was what he was but Benedict Cumberbatch is a magnificent actor albeit a little too dramatic at times. But he actually makes a challenging opponent.
  • The scene with Carol Marcus still makes me cringe so hard and it’s so blatantly gratuitous that I’m wondering what the writers were even thinking at that part.
  • The ending where Kirk is risking his life always makes me emotional *sigh* I just love Kirk and Spock’s relationship
  • I love the chase scene between Spock and Khan

Star Trek Beyond

  • The action scenes really shine esp the ones on the ship (I mean what did I expect from The Fast and Furious director)
  • I completely adore the relationship between Bones and Spock
  • I seriously wish Uhura had more to do than just say pretty things; it’s a disrespect to her character
  • I love the addition of Jaylah but her story arc was done by the middle of the movie and then she was just pointless after that smh so much potential

 

 


The Duchess

I don’t think you can go wrong when Keira Knightley stars in a period piece even if the hairstyles are so freaking ridiculous haha. Her acting in this one is brilliant per usual and the storyline is heartbreaking. I’m actually quite surprised at how complex the person she was arranged to be married with was. Clearly, the audience was not meant to like him but he shows a depth that could have been swept under the rug. Another surprising thing was that this movie is actually quite a nod to feminism which was cool. The ending was a little unsatisfying for me mostly because I just wanted her character to be happy…


TV

Science Fiction

Mr. Robot

Currently on: Season 2, ep 2

Mr. Robot is sort of a cross between Fight Club and American Psycho. It might be a show about hacking but it’s predominantly interested in the human psyche and social commentary: our reliance on technology and societal constraints. The social commentary can get annoyingly heavy handed in my opinion and simplifies the issue way too much which is ironic since this is a pretty complex show in terms of character. It’s definitely not your average digestible drama with a linear, fast plotline and easily labeled characters which is really refreshing. It’s slow and oftentimes confusing (imo) because it alternates a lot between the Elliot’s state of mind and what is actually happening. I’m in love with Rami Malek’s acting. You really can’t keep your eyes off him (the things he does with his eyes). In addition to brilliant acting, the cinematography is uniquely stylized and its electronic score is to die for.


Stranger Things

The hype is definitely deserved for this show. It’s an 80’s inspired supernatural show with horror elements that’s very reminiscent of things like ET, Stand by Me, The Goonies, Super 8 (coincidentally my favorite movie ever), and Stephen King novels. In fact I’m starting to think that ’80’s parents don’t know where their kids are half the time, that all ’80’s boys really like Dungeons and Dragons and that ’80s high school kids were actually separated into the loners and the popular kids. But it does enough things differently that make it stand out. The mystery aspect (what is this weird demon thing and where the fuck is Will) is consistently engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat. The acting is so well done and I love the chemistry between the group ensemble. The themes of friendship and loyalty between the characters are heartwarming and really make you care. There’s also a few truly creepy scenes that were really exciting. Btw my header came from the lovely makeitstranger.com logo generator.


Voltron

I adored this so much that I did a full review of it here.


Realistic

It’s Okay That’s Love

On the lovely recommendation of Summer over @xingsings, I decided to watch this kdrama. Her review does it way more justice than I do so you should check it out. I must say the strength in this drama lies in its character chemistry, both between the main characters and the side characters. And it’s so refreshing to see a kdrama embrace female sexuality more. It reminded me a lot of It’s Kind of a Funny Thing by Ned Vizzini where it explores mental illness in a humorous and endearing way (albeit at times really inaccurate) and it has a little romantic subplot between our two main characters who have mental illnesses. It definitely leans more towards the vibrant and optimistic side of things than the dark but it doesn’t skimp on the dark emotion especially near the end.


Unreal

This show was such a pleasant surprise. Never in my life did I think I would like a show about a fictional version of The Bachelor. But I love it. The characters are despicable but utterly compelling, especially the two main ones whose relationship resembles Walter’s and Jesse’s from Breaking Bad. The writing is top-notch and the drama doesn’t hold any punches. It just gets more and more dramatic and intense as each episode goes on but never in a way that I felt was unbelievable or shocking just to be shocking. The ways in which Quinn and Rachel manipulate the show and the contestants is so disgusting but so clever at the same time, you can’t help but see how it unfolds. It was also a very unique satire on reality TV and the way that women tear each other apart.

Which ones have you seen? What did you think of them? Are you planning on watching on any of these? I would love to hear your thoughts! =)

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Misc · tv review · Uncategorized

TV Review: Voltron: Legendary Defender

Title: Voltron: Legendary Defenders

Original Release Date: June 10, 2016

Seasons (as of now): 1

Episodes: 11

Length of each episode: 20 minutes (except for first ep-69 minutes)

Production Company: Dreamworks Animation, Studio Mir

Starring the voices of: Steven Yeun, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Josh Keaton, Tyler Labine, Kimberley Brooks


I would like to confess that I am having a love affair with Netflix.

Ok, I’m sure Netflix has had mediocre original content distributed before, but when it’s good, it’s good. It all started last year when I watched Aziz Ansari’s Master of None to serious documentaries like Hot Girls Wanted to romantic comedies like Love to one of my personal favorites of last year, Marvel’s Jessica Jones. And now Voltron: Legendary Defenders has made it to this list of glory.

This show is fun in its pure form. I wasn’t initially too interested in this show because it’s a reboot (what is with all these reboots this year???) of a popular ’80s cartoon and ’80’s cartoons are just not my thing. (He-man anyone??) I personally just don’t like the animation style.

1984 Voltron series

But then I read a review and the reviewer mentioned that the executive producers were *gasp* Joaquin Santos and Lauren Montgomery aka the producers of Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. So right off the bat, you can probably expect a quality show.

Ahh, much better..2016 Voltron: Legendary Defenders

The plot is not really anything original. The evil emperor Zarkon, leader of the Galra Empire has been conquering the universe for 10,000 years. Five Earth teens–more like 4 teens and 1 adult who is 25–discover Voltron, 5 lion robots that form one tall robot (Think Power Rangers meets Transformers) that is rumored to be the only weapon to defeat Zarkon. They are joined in their fight by the Princess Allura and her royal advisor, Coran. A very Star Wars-esque plot now that I’m thinking about it.

The main opening scene follows 3 of our main characters, Lance, Pidge and Hunk in a space flight simulation. Lance is about to attempt a risky landing and in the background Hunk is trying not to throw up, and Pidge is trying to contact Earth which makes for a really amusing scene that immerses me into the show right away.

space

And immediately, I noticed the animation(in between keeping up with the scene because this show is relentless). It is absolutely fantastic. It’s very reminiscent of the Korra animation style (almost like a sister) but with heavier anime influences. The animation truly shines during the action sequences that are so epic in scope but it also does justice to the character’s nuanced facial expressions that make it more intimate.

Ah.. I’m so proud of this shot. An exercise in moon light.

The second thing I noticed is the character dynamics. Oh and how I love these characters. When we first meet them, they fill the usual stereotypes that you’ve come to expect in kids’ shows and movies. You know, there always has to be the nerdy one, the ladies’ man, and the comedic side relief. But the thing that makes it different is the fact that when we meet these characters, some of them already have an established history together so there’s an added layer of mystery and you’re kind of a stranger peeling off the layers of  their friendship. It also doesn’t hurt that the voice acting is top-notch. Watching these characters banter and play off one another is so entertaining to watch that you can forgive the sometimes predictable and cheesy dialogue. There’s a lot of situational and self-aware type of humor which I love (“I get to be the head next time”). It just gives off such a fun and familiar vibe like going to hang out with your best friends who are a little weird but you love them all the same. And as the characters start to work together as a team, they really start to feel like a real family that you can’t help but love. I also have to admit, once again, that I am lowkey attracted to a fictional character.

Just stop..

Reboots can be a hit or miss in terms of character because sometimes the creators are so wrapped up in nostalgia and tradition that it doesn’t offer anything new to the table. And at first, I thought this was going to be the same thing but I shouldn’t have been worried because as the show went on, it totally impressed me with its character relationships and understated diversity.

But that’s only two things this awesome show has to recommend itself. It is also fast-paced, extremely action-packed and suspenseful show that doesn’t skimp on the heart. There’s also plenty of humor and friendship woven in that will make you smile. The worldbuilding is expansive and steeped with hidden curiosities. It’s been in so many reviews, but it’s true that it will seriously make you feel like a kid again, with that same sense of adventure. 

I binged watched this show in 3 days but I could have finished it in a night if I didn’t have other things to do. I actually wanted to wring my face after the cliffhanger of the season finale (it’s a Rick Riordan status cliffhanger) BUT it was revealed just yesterday at SDCC no less that Season 2 will be coming out later this year!! Holy fuck am I excited.

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