Review: Netflix “Elite”

Review: Netflix “Elite”

Who’d have thought that yet another teen murder mystery would garner so many fans worldwide? It took me the longest time in history to finish Netflix’s hottest new WILD teen-drama, Elite. There are only twenty four episodes – eight episodes per season, spread across three seasons. And you’ll see a lot of familiar faces if you’ve already seen Money Heist.

From Elite Fandom Wiki:

At some point, Pablo Ruiz and Marina Nunier began a relationship that led to Marina contracting HIV. Enraged, Marina’s brother, Guzman, along with Polo and Ander, beat him up. This led to the scholarship program in the school to be suspended, until  San Esteban collapsed, leading to three former students to gain admittance to the school through scholarships provided by the construction company. 

For a short time, Rebeca and Valerio began selling drugs on school premises in order to finance themselves. Valerio needed money to study abroad with Polo and Cayetana, whilst Rebeca needed to feed herself after her mother was arrested. They were eventually found out, and Rebeca, Valerio, Guzman, and Samuel are expelled for being involved.

Did I enjoy watching Elite? The third season, yes. It’s been kind of a slow-burn frankly, so it took time to grow on me. The storyline is just okay, and the makeup is great. But that’s just about it. You’ll see a lot of Gossip Girl and a lot of American Horror Story happening, but it ends with a twist. Again. The show seems to be full of those.

The few things that I did like, though, were:

1. That a Spanish show is doing so great. This is the second one after Money Heist that seems to be getting a lot of attention, and it’s good.

2. The plot twists. It starts off with something and before you know it, something else has happened altogether.

3. The cinematography and location. Beautiful shots.

4. Female friendships. Two of the main characters, Lucrecia and Nadia, start off on the wrong foot but become good friends sometime well into season three. Also, I love Lu’s hair and hair accessories to death.

Unfortunately, the list of things that I didn’t like actually trumps the other list. Here’s what GOT my goat:

1. TOO MANY CHARACTERS. You can do a show with basically two, and even four, protagonists. But here you’ve got a million – Samuel, Nadia, Christian, Guzmán, Polo, Ander, Omar, Carla, Lucrecia, Valerio, Rebeca, Cayetana, Yeray, Malik… oh man, that list is endless and the show is only three seasons long. So far.

2. Unrealistic storylines. Like which high-school student goes to so many parties?

3. Drugs and sex. Everyone seems to be having too much sex – (and of course the nudity is crazy) – with every random person, and the drugs that they’re doing are out of control. Netflix is accessible to everyone and the audience is often young and impressionable. Yikes.

4. Incest. As if Game of Thrones wasn’t enough.

5. Strong language. Everyone seems to be swearing, all the time, even in their parents’ faces. Like, what? And if you’ve grown up in an Asian family, you know that’s the cue for the rolling pin from your mum to hit you on the head.

If I were to rate the show, I’d give it a three out of five. And since we’re all quarantined with nothing much to do, maybe you can give it a go.

What are you binge watching this week?

This Show Touched My Heart

This Show Touched My Heart

“You’re a wish come true I never knew I was making,” – Marilla, Anne With An E

I’ve watched more Netflix shows than I’d care to admit. At this point, I’ve developed a pounding headache and pink eye and 2020 isn’t looking too sparkly for me. Also, the news isn’t helping. There’s far too much terror in India at this point. Between Christmas and New Year’s, I’d binge-watched Don’t F*ck With Cats, You, Unbelievable and gotten overwhelmed by all the murder and other forms of bloodshed and chanced upon Anne With an E.

I’m not someone that watches a lot of dramas but Anne with an E is based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and it was one of my childhood favorites and Anne Shirley-Cuthbert, with her fiery red hair and her romantic ways, is actually pretty iconic.

The show drew me in. Based in the fictional town of Avonlea, the cinematography is stunning. There’s a bunch of glorious shots of Prince Edward Island.

AmyBeth McNulty, who plays the titular Anne, is perfect. She actually beat almost two thousand other people that auditioned and got the role. Anne with an E follows the story of an orphaned thirteen-year-old, severely bullied and shuffled from home to home, in her quest to belong to someone.

Anne is accidentally sent to the Cuthberts, a pair of elderly siblings called Matthew and Marilla, in place of a farm hand they originally requested for, from the orphanage. Anne meets Matthew at the train station and talks all the way to the Cuthbert residence, the Green Gables. Initially disapproving of Anne, Marilla eventually warms up to her, and she and her brother go ahead and adopt Anne formally. Anne adjusts comfortably, and although often she creates trouble, she does a lot of good too, thanks to her quick-thinking. She also becomes good friends with the neighbors’ older daughter, Diana Barry.

The first season was a tad too slow and flowery for my liking, but if you’ve loved Ms Montgomery as much as I have, you’re probably going to stick to it too. Season two picks up pace that season one lacks and the writers put their own twist to the plot, with Aunt Josephine “Jo”, Diana’s aunt, being revealed as lesbian and Anne’s classmate, artist Cole, as gay. The coming-of-age bits are brilliant and beautifully done. You also witness a lot of focus on the LGBTQ community as a whole, with Jo’s companionship with Geraldine shocking Diana initially till the time she learns to accept it. Gilbert Blythe, another classmate of Anne’s, goes off on a ship and meets Trinidadian Sebastian “Bash” after the death of the former’s father. An unlikely friendship forms and the two boys return to Avonlea.

The new teacher, widowed Ms. Muriel Stacy, who wears pants and forgoes wearing the corset obstinately, much to the chagrin of Rachel Lynde, while also riding her motorcycle, is like a breath of fresh air. Anne realizes that she and Ms Stacy are kindred spirits and I almost whooped when they go to the town hall in season three to protest against the ministers burning down the school and taking away the printing press because Anne dares to post an article about consent and what’s fair, and what isn’t.

While the other girls aim to be good brides and wives to some man, with Ruby cherishing a burning passion for Gilbert, Anne wants to become a bride of adventure.

That is, until she realizes that she’s loved Gilbert since forever and while Ruby finds a new object of adoration in another classmate, Moody, Anne and Gilbert try to communicate with each other via notes. These notes never reach the concerned parties and a lot of confusion ensues, and I almost wanted to shake Gilbert and go, AAAAARRGGGGHHH, when he keeps courting Winnie and doesn’t get anywhere. Season three has to be my favorite. Anne searches for her legacy and finds love and Marilla and Matthew send her off to college and Gilbert comes to meet her before going off to the University of Toronto, and I’ve never sighed so much in my life. That too, as dreamily.

Anne blossoming into a young woman in the last episode, running to meet Gilbert with her fiery red hair flowing behind her, contrasting perfectly with her blue dress and freckles, is the best thing on Netflix right now. Oh, sigh.

Honorable mentions:

• Rachel Lynde, Marilla’s best friend – the character’s transition from the narrow-minded mean woman in the first two seasons to someone who’s all for women’s rights, is brilliant.

• Ka’kwet, a twelve year old belonging to the indigenous people who sell hockey sticks and make baskets – the way she escapes the clutches of the whites trying to “convert savages” by locking children up in schools and forcing them to learn English and rechristening them, had me on the edge of my seat.

• The Cuthberts – I had to talk about them twice. They’re super adorable. Matthew is sweet and Marilla, stern start first. I kind of bawled my eyes out when she yells that she loves Anne in the third season and therefore, wants her to be safe. Talk about tough love mellowing into mushy and selfless love, I love how Marilla makes a detour and takes the ferry with Matthew to retrieve memoirs of Anne’s long dead parents from the first home Anne lived in. WHOOP DE DOOP!

• Aunt Josephine Barry – she’s got to be my favorite. Full of life and new ideas and open-mindedness and the fact that she’s fiercely supportive of Anne, is amazing.

The show focuses on so much, there’s so much you can take from it. The diversity is incredible. The most important thing, I’ve learned, is to give people, and things, chances. Because who knows what you might be pleasantly surprised with, right?

Epic Madness.

Epic Madness.

Oh my goodness.

You guys.

I’m on vacation right now. Not really vacation so much as visiting family I haven’t seen in years. And I’m already a thousand pounds overweight from all that eating. Ugh.

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Me focusing on the gay porn.

Anyway. Did y’all know that the roads are so screwed up – narrower than Twiggy’s waist, to be precise – and accidents happen, left, right and center? One of my uncles was driving and then this motorcycle just whooshed in out of nowhere, and Uncle tried to brake but there was two guys in front of us, and well, we crashed. Yelp!

All of us went into a state of mad panic.

My cousin and I, who were in the backseat, got out so we could pile the guys into it and Mum and Uncle took them to the hospital. (While my cousin and I were sitting there by the side of the road. For two whole hours. Before someone came to get us.) It was all messed up. God. And terrifying.

Since I’m on vacay, I’ve been binge watching Penny Dreadful and I’ve come to the conclusion that gay porn is kinda too much. Oh man. Why is Dorian such a whore? Guy needs to die.

These two, on the other hand, just d’awwwwww.

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Awwwww.

What have y’all been doing?

Favorite Holiday Lipsticks!

Favorite Holiday Lipsticks!

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Let's take a moment to appreciate how amazing my beat up old HTC still is, y'all!

On top of the List of Stuff I Wish India Had, is *drum roll* an online Sephora that catered to Indian women AND came with cash-on-delivery! I cannot believe we’re all missing out on every good sale there is. And that I always have to pay bunches of moolah and some part of my soul to buy lipsticks from my favourite brands. 

Before I start rambling about my top seven lipsticks for the fall, let me quickly say Hallelujah. Why, you ask? November is almost gone, y’all! It’s finally official pig out on chocolate holiday season. Winter. Plaid shirts. Beanies. Endless amount of white chocolate mocha. Natural blush. Boot weather. Aaaaaaand berry lips!

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Speaking of berry lips, my first favourite would have to be the Too Faced Melted Berry. It’s such a beautiful color, it’s like holiday on your lips. Also, since it’s the first ever liquid lipstick that I bought, it’s got a giant sentimental value for me. I think the applicator is really nice too. It dries down matte, which I love; it wears beautifully; plus, it doesn’t budge. Win win!

Next up is Nars Audrey, a muted, reddish plum. It’s a warm toned lipstick and looks great on most skin tones. It has a luminous finish and a traditional lipstick formula and the rich pigmentation is to die for. Nars describes it as a “one stroke lipstick” and true to that claim, it does pack a punch. All in one stroke.

The next two favorites are by L’Oréal. Bold Bordeaux is a true plum with a satin finish and a little tacky on my lips, but it’s still comfortable. Arabian Night is a dark grapey color, the darkest of the seven lipsticks I picked. It looks so nineties and compliments my skin tone really well. (I’m NC 35 in MAC.)

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Arabian Night on my lips.

Captive by MAC has a satin finish and it is the neutral ish color of this batch. It is a pretty pinky purple lipstick.

Bittersweet by Urban Decay is a bright purple matte, such a beautiful color. The formula on this one is phenomenal, wears beautifully and doesn’t tug at all. What’s amazing about every Urban Decay Matte Revolution lipstick is that it actually hydrates the lips, instead of drying them out, which most other mattes on the market seem to be doing.

Finally, the Kat von D Everlasting liquid lipstick in L.U.V. I’m in LOVE with this one. It’s bold purple, it dries really fast and doesn’t cake or flake away. Nor does it settle into the cracks of the lips. And does not budge. Literally. These guys, along with the Stila liquid lipstick range called the Stay All Day, are my favorite liquid lipstick formulations, ever.

Since I don’t really wear red lipstick, and if I started talking about my favorite holiday nudes, this post would be 47926492729191926291921616 words long,  I had to limit this one to berrys and purples.

Here are some swatches of all seven of these guys.

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What are your favorite holiday lipsticks? Do you have any recommendations for me?

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