Netflix Originals Faves

I’ve had Netflix for a few years now and have always been a fan of the shows they offered. In recent years, Netflix has started creating Netflix Originals – and I’m hooked!

It started innocently enough, take a popular TV series, put up an extra season, like Arrested Development. But then they started producing their own series altogether like Orange is the New Black. And from the successes of those, they basically took over all my TV watching time. So, here are seven of my Netflix Original faves (in no particular order).

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.20.31 PM

A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on the children’s book series of the same name. Before Netflix, there was a movie that spanned four of the thirteen books. Let’s just say, Netflix’s approach – currently, each book is two episodes – is a much better one.

The costumes and set design are gorgeous! Since they worked closely with the author of the series, they managed to keep true to the source material – with a few extra bits (that work!) here and there. I especially loved the way they included the story’s narrator – Lemony Snicket. And the acting? Remarkable!

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.19.26 PM

Netflix released season three of Black Mirror, that was the first time I heard of the show – a British Sci-Fi show with a satirical glimpse into modern society’s psyche. I started from episode one of the third season – imagine a world where you rated others based on your interactions, now imagine those ratings determining your worth to society. Then I moved back to the first episode of the first season. I’m glad I didn’t start with that one, most people I spoke with afterwards were turned off from watching the rest of the series because of the pig storyline. Yeah, what a way to kick-off a series!

There are so many great gems of episodes, so much to think about after seeing each one. Thought provoking is definitely a phrase I would use to describe this.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.25.06 PM

As a lover of British history – specifically the monarchy – I was especially happy to see that Netflix was releasing The Crown last year. I binged watched over several weekends, and I’m anticipating the next season. It was so well done, with great acting! Clarie Foy and Matt Smith were exceptional.

Queen Victoria is still the most fascinating monarch to me, but Queen Elizabeth II is coming in a close second.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.26.09 PM

I’m not often interested in documentaries, but 13th came highly recommended by quite a few friends, so I decided to watch it. Wow, did it pack a punch!

As an immigrant, who migrated just a few months short of my high school graduation, I didn’t spend a lot of time learning U.S. History in school, and to be honest, at that point in my life I didn’t care much for any history lessons. Now, I enjoy reading about historical figures and learning about past events, so seeing how the laws – and America’s particular history with slavery – shaped the current penal system was fascinating.

It gives you a lot to think about, and I appreciate that it looks at both sides of the political spectrum and has people from both ends commenting on our current system. I believe that it’s a must-see documentary for anyone living in the U.S.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.31.51 PM

I’ve heard Stranger Things being described as a nostalgic movie for folks who grew up in the 80s, and I can understand why. There are a lot of references to things a kid of the 80s would understand. Nevertheless, it’s a series anyone would be able to enjoy. I wouldn’t call this a horror, but there were some frightening bits and a lot of suspenseful moments. I’d think of it more like science fiction, a little bit like Firestarter or E.T.

The acting was good overall, but I think the kids stole the show, especially Eleven. I’m looking forward to the next season. Warning, you might have the urge to eat Eggos after watching this show.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.29.54 PM

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of those shows that I find funny, no matter how many times I look at an episode. There are so many little gems that one might miss after the first viewing. I really love that there was a sweetness to the show under all the comedy.

Season three is releasing soon, and I’ve got my calendar marked!

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 11.54.11 PM

A recent fave of mine, The OA is a good deal magical realism and some mystery. It’s compelling enough to keep you clicking on the “Yes, I’m Still Watching” button. I appreciated the way they slowly revealed Prairie’s missing years, allowing the viewers to switch back and forth between believing she’s insane and wondering if, perhaps, what she’s saying is real.

I can’t wait to see how the story continues!

~*~

Advertisements

TEN more Favourite Doctor Who Episodes

A while ago I posted ten of my favourite Doctor Who episodes. Since then, I found a lot more that I liked. So here’s another list of ten favourite Doctor Who episodes.

Note, spoilers!

Asylum of the Daleks

asylum

The Story: The Doctor, Amy and Rory meet Oswin Oswald – who later becomes important to, and is one of my favourite characters on, the show. Along the way, the Doctor helps to fix Amy and Rory’s marriage.

Why I love it:

  • The story of Oswin and her humour. “Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?”
  • Also, the first time we hear “Run you clever boy, and remember.” (>>)

The Snowmen

thesnowmen

The Story: One of the Christmas specials where we meet Clara Oswald, a governess in the Victorian Era.They investigate sentient snowmen and the Doctor starts on the mystery that is Clara.

Why I love it:

  • More Clara, I love her as a companion, she’s spunky and a bit of the Doctor’s equal. I also loved that she doesn’t swoon over him!
  • Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax – love these three!
  • Victorian England (>>)

The Day of the Doctor

dayofthedoctor

The Story: The Doctor and Clara are taken by UNIT where they receive a message from Elizabeth 1. The 10th incarnation of the doctor and doctor prime(? original?) also make an appearance. This episode focused a lot on the time lords and Gallifrey.

Why I love it:

  • I liked the glimpse into the time war.
  • I loved that this had a little bit of everything, from future travel to past travel.
  • Also, David Tennant. (>>)

Listen

listen

The Story: What if there was an entity that was so good at hiding that you never realised it exists? Also, what’s that under your bed?

Why I love it:

  • Thoroughly frightening – at least in the beginning.
  • Loved the way the stories ties to the nightmare of someone hiding under the bed, ready to grab your feet.
  • Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of the doctor in this episode is great. (>>)

Time Heist

timeheist.jpg

The Story: Think Ocean’s 11, but the most dangerous – and well protected – bank in the galaxy. Along with memory-wiping worms.

Why I love it: 

  • The “smartness” of the heist, especially when we find out why it happened.
  • The way some of the past Doctor  Who episodes were referenced.
  • Overall thrill of the episode. (>>)

Kill the Moon

moon.jpg

The story: After crash landing on the moon in the future, the doctor, Clara and one of Clara’s students, Courtney, try to figure out what’s going on on the moon before astronauts can blow it up.

Why I love it:

  • There is only one reason I love this episode, and that’s because the moon is a dragon in an egg, waiting to hatch! (>>)

notes: images taken from bbc.co.uk/doctorwho

~*~

 

Five Things (16)

Miles ran: 14 | Miles cycled: 0 | Steps: 146,506

I’ve gone and done another crazy thing …

— Thing One —

This week, while complaining about signing up for a half marathon, I decided to sign up for the 5 Boro Bike Tour. I think I’m sabotaging myself. I did it six years ago, on a borrowed bike, having no training, so I don’t believe that it would be a problem. At least, this time, I do cycle some (though no miles logged this year).

I’m riding with a team, a total of seven people. I’m certain it will be great. (She says, as she tries to convince herself that riding forty miles, after a few weeks of running thirteen would be great).

— Thing Two —

The Symphony Chorus is back in rehearsals, and my heart is happy! Last October I joined this group of singers and instrumentalists, all volunteers who sing in churches across New York (and other places). A friend of mine introduced me to the group and the first time I sang in a concert with them, I felt a strong sense of contentment. I’m looking forward to our Spring concert and the other concerts along the way.

12346268_170292293325287_778140980_n

— Thing Three —

I had the pleasure of breakfast with friends. Getting up early and running is one thing, but getting up earlier to run so that I could meet with a friend for the best meal of the day is pleasing. I’m not a morning person, but I can get behind meeting people for pancakes, or omelettes.

I’ve also had the pleasure of sharing a free lunch with colleagues. We ordered from Maple; I got the chicken with roasted carrots and quinoa. It was delicious. I’m certainly going to order from Maple again. If you’re in Manhattan I suggest you check them out!

12547567_1632943663636159_1792183557_n

— Thing Four —

In an attempt to continue using products that contain ingredients that occur naturally, I found a site, Meow Meow Tweet,  that makes deodorant creams. I can make my own, but seeing as I just finished the batch that I made, I thought I’d try their version. So far, I like it! I think I might try to use shea butter in my own mixture when I decide to make it again.

I found the deodorant cream in (what I can only call) an alternative pharmacy – which is a new favourite place of mine – called Stanley’s Pharmacy. I tried their sore throat tea – it was delicious – I think I’ll try others from them as well.

— Thing Five —

This week in pop culture, I saw the first two episodes of the new Shadowhunter series and the new Tarantino movie, Hateful 8.

I liked the little changes they did (from the book) in the Shadowhunter series; I think it was a good move. A lot of the story (in the books ) focused on the romance than the rich and vibrant world of the Shadowhunters – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I don’t think it gives a film/show much material to work with, so adding a some new characters and stories fleshes things out a bit more.

Moving on to Hateful 8. It sits at #4 in the list of six Tarantino films I’ve seen, but it still had all the key factors that make a Tarantino film great.  He does an excellent job with the visuals and the directing, as well as in the stories that he created.

~*~

 

I Am Eleven

I am a summer baby, so eleven found me looking forward to school. I had a little over a month before school started again, but I was looking forward to it because I was starting secondary school that September – I was finally a high schooler. I was a little nervous as well. They randomly assigned classes so I was also worried that I might not be in the same class as the few St. Margaret’s friends that were attending Queen’s College with me that year. And there were ten houses and I chose Austin (C) house, what if none of my other friends chose that house? Then of course there were the classes, what if I couldn’t cut it at this school?

But, mostly I was looking forward to the new school. It was an exciting year, eleven.

I’m not randomly thinking about eleven, there is a reason. I watched a film yesterday called I Am Eleven where filmmaker Genevieve Bailey traveled to fifteen countries and interviewed different eleven year olds asking them questions about life, love and other mysteries. It both extremely funny and insightful, I enjoyed it and it really causes you to think about life and how we live.

I think the most eye-opening piece of the film for me was when the kids were asked what they would change if they could. One girl wanted longer weekends and another wanted a home. A lot of children around the world (and in America) face different challenges and some are fortunate to live a life where the only thing they have to worry about is getting up for school and hanging with friends on the weekends, I wish all kids could experience that, but that’s just not the case. This is something that will stay with me, that I will need to think about and consider a bit more. How can I help those less fortunate? How can I bring awareness of the issues? I think this film really encourages that sort of thinking and I think it’s important for children to be exposed to the differences in the world around us. 

Check out the trailer below and if it’s showing in a theater near you, I do hope you to go! 

Do you remember when you were eleven?

~*~

The Bletchley Circle

The Bletchley Circle

The four women in the Bletchley Circle worked together in a top secret department during WWII. Years later they moved on to ordinary civilian lives (more or less). Susan, the main protagonist, hears about a series of gruesome murders over the radio and notices a pattern that everyone else seems to miss. She calls in the help of her Bletchley Park friends and together the four women solve the crime.

Absolutely LOVED this show and I’m so glad to hear that they have been renewed for a second series coming this Spring!

~*~

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. ― Mark Twain

My Netflix Queue – Top Ten

Now it’s called “My List” … I really like the old way. But, I digress, here is what I’m watching on Netflix!

doctor

Though I’m sad that, with the recent popularity of Doctor Who, the seventh season has not been made available, I’m still keeping this up on my queue and in the first spot!

torchwood

I have to take Torchwood a few episodes at a time because some of it is a bit over the top. But, I love Captain Jack Harkness so I will continue to watch it. Also I find that this is one of the few spinoffs of already established TV shows that I love and it was the show I found before I even became a fan of Doctor Who!

Sherlock

I don’t rewatch TV shows a whole lot, but I have seen the first two series of Sherlock three times.

Serenity

I dropped this on there recently because I wanted to give it a second change. I saw this a long time ago and for some reason couldn’t get into it. However, given my recent tastes in TV shows I feel like I might enjoy it this time around.

firefly

See above, similar reason.

Bones

Bones is by far one of my favourite TV shows. I’m not usually one for character arcs in my crime shows but the character growth in Bones is excellent!

psych

Are you beginning to see a trend in shows I watch? Psych, part Sherlock, part Bones. I like this sorta stuff!

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 9.11.12 AM

This is a show about Merlin, you know the wizard in King Arthur’s time? It’s a really fun watch!

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 9.11.23 AM

An oldie, I grew up watching Columbo. He’s a seemingly bumbling detective and this is what throws people off. He always ends up catching his guy because he’s intelligent and outwits the crooks.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 9.11.31 AM

Seeing my number one, I hardly doubt I need to explain my number ten.


** all screenshots were taken from Netflix!

~*~

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ― Albert Einstein

Summer & Jon

Do not read if you have not seen 500 Days of Summer or Don Jon and if you want to see either of those movies.

*Spoilers ahead*

*You’ve been warned!*

***

**

*

There’s a story on the interwebs1 about 500 Days of Summer. The script writer based it on a real story from his life; the girl he based Summer on read his script and related more to Tom than to Summer.  I’ve always liked 500 Days of Summer and even more so after I read that story. It’s the same reason I liked Don Jon.

Initially, when I saw 500 Days of Summer I thought that it was a role reversal kind of romantic movie. But after thinking about it some more I realised that the movie was just a reflection of real life. It’s hard to miss the fact that Summer did tell Tom (a number of times) that she wasn’t looking for a relationship2, or the fact that he thought that he could change her mind. They both had different expectations going in; and isn’t that the underlying issue when it comes to any sort of relationships? Expectations?

This is where Don Jon comes in3.  Both characters had unrealistic expectations.

Barbara’s expectations were shaped by her addiction to the Hollywood depiction of romance while Jon’s expectations were shaped by his addiction to pornography. Interestingly enough, neither of them realized either their addictions or the role it played in shaping their view on relationships. Another interesting thing was the way they both reacted to the news of their flawed relationship views.

I think, after seeing the movie, it might be easy to dismiss Barbara as crazy because she doesn’t see that she was flawed, but is she really that strange? There are a lot of things that I do that might hurt someone else, that I might not see as wrong and might not see the need to change – I’m not talking about political correctness here – but that doesn’t mean that I have not wronged that person.

Everyone’s worldview is different. We’re shaped by our experiences and the things we are exposed to that’s what makes us individually unique. Interestingly enough, even if we are exposed to the exact same things it’s possible that our reaction to those thing are different. I think really loving a person is appreciating the differences instead of having them confirm to your ideal (or in Barbara’s case, she wanted to “fix” Jon so he would be her perfect man).

There have been a lot of times where I have placed my expectations on people, this ultimately that leads to disappointment. Disappointment is the pit for broken expectations. On the other hand, it’s hard to see that I’m doing it. I’ve been trying though, and journaling and talking to people helps with that. It helps me to see whether I was listening to the person or imposing my views on them. What might be good for me might not be good for someone else and that’s something that I always have to keep in mind.

Life would be easy if we can truly imagine each other complexly.

Anyways … watch Don Jon, it was good. 🙂

1 That story was from the writer himself.
2 This doesn’t make it right – what she did – but he had ample warning.
3 BTW, great movie; could have done with less nudity.

~*~