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?

There’s a New Genre of TV Shows and I’m HERE For It

There’s a New Genre of TV Shows and I’m HERE For It

So I binge-watched Dead to Me on Netflix a couple nights back and like the cool kids say: I AM SHOOK. (That’s super weird if you think about it grammatically, but that’s another story for another day.)

This whole genre of TV shows portraying angry women is something that’s been gaining a lot of popularity lately and I’m honestly a fan. Although most of these are advertised to be “dark comedy”, I think I’m sticking with “angry women”, because it makes me feel like we need some female badassery already. I’ve talked about Good Girls and Why Women Kill on the blog before. And I adore both shows. All have a similar vibe – cheating spouses/partners, money, sexual tensions, they’ve got it all.

Also, did I mention – all of these shows have a BRILLIANT cast? Dead to Me, for example, has an ensemble cast of Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini (who was born on June 25th as well, OMG does this mean I qualify as THE NEXT VELMA DINKLEY?) and James Marsden, who in my opinion, has only gotten hotter. Take a look:

I also love the fact that these shows feature multiple protagonists, and they all come from different age groups and ethnicities. Win. Win. A total win. Jen and Judy, for example, have totally contrasting personalities in Dead to Me. While Jen is a mother of two, who’s investing the recent hit-and-run of her dead husband, and is constantly on edge, Judy is an artist who’s carefree and believes in woo-woo. The banter the two exchange is hilarious and very well-done.

Also, SPOILER ALERT: there’s a brilliant 1966 Mustang that plays a key role in the show. And, Judy’s bangs are on point.

If you’re looking for something to binge watch this weekend, Dead to Me is an excellent pick. That is, if you don’t mind the fact that your Netflix playlist looks like you’re plotting a murder and doing your very own thorough research.

And if you’ve already watched the show, and cannot wait for season two, what was your favorite bit?

AHS 1984: Should You Be Watching?

AHS 1984: Should You Be Watching?

American Horror Story dropped its ninth season yesterday, and boy oh boy, the first episode was a total banger.

Here’s a list of things I absolutely LOVED:

• The outfits are on point. The hair, the makeup, the everything.

• They got the throwback vibe just right.

• This season is all about slasher movies of the eighties and it doesn’t disappoint – so far there seems to be two killers, Mr. Jingles (the name comes from the bunch of keys that jingles when he moves) and a Satanist, the Night Stalker who also featured in season five, Hotel. I love how they’re bringing in characters from the older seasons. Lovely way to tie plots together.

• The movie references, like I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

• Billie Lourd, Cody Fern and Emma Roberts are actually killing it in this episode, with Roberts playing the good girl Brooke.

So, should you watch or nah?

If you’ve been following the show religiously, you must have noticed that Ryan Murphy tends to make the trailers hella scary. Sometimes they’re way more terrifying than the actual season. This time, I think he just gets it right. And I’m LIVING for this.

If you like slasher movies, you’ll absolutely LOVE this season. The gore is super in-your-face right from the first few frames. The scene where Rita gets stabbed and has her ear cut off by Mr. Jingles and doesn’t make a noise because, as she says later, Jesus was guiding her – is brilliant.

If you’re someone that doesn’t mind the marked absence of Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates TOO MUCH, do give this season a chance. Oh and if you’re someone that does mind the absence of the OG cast members, but can’t miss a season because you’re legit obsessed with the show, YOU HAVE TO WATCH.

American Horror Story is also super close to a hundred episodes, I cannot wait for what comes next.

Movie Review: Secret Obsession

Movie Review: Secret Obsession

Going to cut to the chase here and say, “Issa NO.” Just no. I wasted my afternoon watching this absolute trash of a movie trying to justify having done it – came up with zero reasons to actually tell myself that it was okay.

Truth be told, I’m offended.

Netflix messes with you sometimes. I loved YOU, which actually told the story of a psychopathic serial killer from his own point of view. And I assumed that Secret Obsession would be similar, but boy, was I sorely disappointed.

First off, you can actually tell the whole story from the trailer itself. Where’s the fun in that?

She still has fake lashes on. Slow claps.

I’ve to admit I watched it for Brenda Song alone. She played London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and I was such a huge fan. She plays Jennifer Allen who gets hit by a car and suffers from short term memory loss, with no memories of her life or her husband. This guy Russell comes up to her and introduces himself to her as her husband and she says yeah, okay. And she goes home – a suspiciously large home – with him. She comfortably settles into the role of a housewife because Russell says she’s quit her job and eats an obnoxious amount of breakfast eggs, and goes about trying to see if anything at home triggers her memory. But Secret Obsession did her dirty. Her character is bland at best and there are so many gaping pot holes, you’re going to give yourself a headache just by trying to keep track. Mike Vogel, the psychopath that plays Russell, isn’t just crazy enough. He photoshops himself into her life, edits a whole bunch of photos, including the wedding photo, but forgets to blend in the skin tone and edit major stuff like fixing his own reflection in a photo that shows the back of the real Russell’s head. Which Jennifer notices eventually – by then it’s too late.

Look at the obscene amount of scrambled eggs she’s eating.

Like, honestly.

There’s a good cop with a tragic backstory that finds out about the knock off husband pretending to be the real husband, and he does some investigation and finds out the real tea. The other thing that gets me is the completely baffling timeline. Three months, and fake Russell KILLED Jennifer’s (Song) parents and they’ve decomposed funny. There’s also a strange man that leaves flowers and Russell kills and buries him in the backyard. Nobody finds this dead person. There’s also a scene where Russell gets mad because Jennifer won’t do it with him and he has an angry outburst and grips her arm tightly. Okay, dude needs to learn to get it under control.

Eventually Russell gets found out and we have a happy ending with Jennifer limping away in heels. Why would anyone put her in heels when she’s clearly limping is yet another mystery to me.

A few people have liked the movie, but it’s a hard pass in my opinion. If you’re bored and want to get drunk surreptitiously out of your skull and need something to distract you, watch Secret Obsession. Have a great weekend, folks.

“Meat.”

“Meat.”

It says “wifey” right there on my Instagram bio. That never stopped a bunch of guys from sliding into my DMs because they wanted to tap that. Do these people NOT have parents? Do basic manners not exist in 2019?

Apparently not.

I ran an Instagram social experiment and paid to boost one of my posts. This is the photo I “boosted”.

As you can tell, there’s no skin show. Just my hands, my face and my phone. My phone isn’t showing any skin, either. I’m not someone that ever wears clothing that shows a ton of cleavage or arms. I’m not someone that even has a bikini body to begin with, so I don’t wear bikinis. And despite being so covered up, stuff like this didn’t hesitate to show up.

India has this rampant rape culture and my photo is PROOF in the pudding, that it’s not about what you’re wearing. You could be in a potato sack and your hair could be a greasy mess, and you would still get objectified and propositioned to, even flashed. There have been no naked photos in my DMs – yet – and I consider myself very lucky.

What does all of this mean?

That there’s something seriously wrong with India. If you happen to be a woman, you will be – invariably – treated as meat. There will be human versions of rabid wolves fighting to sink their teeth into your skin. To claim and to maim. To destroy, pilfer and damage beyond repair.

I hate to think of what would happen if I posted a photo of mine from my workout sessions.

And it’s terrifying to me that WOMEN, and sometimes men, have to live in constant fear of the possibly of getting attacked if they don’t go into hiding. The whole social experiment proves that it’s not about how you’re posing on your Insta, it’s not about how you talk, it’s got nothing to do with your personality – you’re basically just someone’s meat. And that’s the bitter truth.

This is what scares me to death.

When Did The “BODY POSITIVITY” Movement Get Hijacked?

When Did The “BODY POSITIVITY” Movement Get Hijacked?

I’ve been seeing a lot of “body positivity” posts that are promoting plain simple obesity to be honest.

It is one hundred percent okay to love yourself but it’s kinda wrong, you know, to stuff yourself and never get any exercise. I know people that follow unhealthy lifestyles, and fall prey to diseases like hypertension and diabetes type two. They justify their behavior and call themselves curvy and they’re leading you to believe that morbid obesity is the new normal.

When I think of body positivity, the first thought that comes to mind is accepting yourself, all of your imperfections. Albinism. Crooked teeth. Heterochromia. Freckles. Birth marks. Unibrows. Everything you were born with. Body positivity doesn’t mean making yourself unhealthy by neglecting yourself and taking a drum to the streets, announcing that being morbidly obese is the new normal. There’s a lot of obese people all over – sporting beer bellies, with BMIs that are over thirty, and having to battle things like atherosclerosis, because they INSIST on eating pizza every day rather than choose something healthy. They’d rather go drinking every weekend, than actually hit the gym to stay in shape. And they body-shame people that run Instagram fitness accounts. And they have hijacked the body positivity movement and they are now insisting that being unhealthy is super cool because that’s what being curvy looks like. I beg to differ. Here’s what curvy looks like:

And she’s far from being fat or unhealthy.

As opposed to this:

Your heart is only programmed to pump so much, don’t make it overwork and don’t kill yourself. How hard is that? It’s so important to cut back on alcohol and sugar, both of which do zilch for your body. I feel so strongly about this only because I used to be overweight and I was super unhealthy. But now that I’ve changed my eating habits and made a lot of lifestyle changes, I actually feel and look good. And it makes me happy.

What’s your take on this? Do you think the body positive movement has somehow been hijacked by the over-promotion of obesity?

Friday Binge: Movie Recommendations! *contains spoliers*

Friday Binge: Movie Recommendations! *contains spoliers*

It’s Friday, and it’s probably raining where you are – or it’s really really HOT, and you’re tired from a long week at work. And if you’re like me, you’ve also got zero inclination to leave the house. Which is why, you’re probably going to binge watch a lot of stuff and binge eat and then chill.

Here are five movies you might like:

• The Queen’s Corgi.

This one has to be my absolute favorite. An animated movie, about a Corgi called Rex, that belongs to the Queen of England, animated versions of Melania and Donald Trump AND cute little puppies? Yes, please. Also, Rexie gets caught up in the underground world of dog-fights. If you’ve watched Fight Club and loved it, you’ll love this cute movie.

• Murder Mystery.

Aniston and Sandler (sporting a mustache) are a husband and wife duo that get involved in a very Agatha Christie kind of plot. Hilarious, fast paced and witty, and not to mention that Aniston made me question my sexuality while she was driving the Ferrari, this is a must watch in my book.

• Cecil.

The story of a nine year old with a lisp will have you rolling on the floor laughing in certain places. The movie has a lot going on: from selling names at Horsey Orsey and a twisted principal and Michael Jordan, and the most adorable protagonist, ever.

• Shazam!

A fourteen year old that turns into an adult with a bajillion superpowers may not seem like much of a movie plot, but Zachary Levi is hella charismatic and has some of the best lines on screen. If you haven’t already watched, what are you waiting for? Also, you get cameo performances by Ross Butler (Reggie Mantle from Riverdale) and Adam Brody!

• After.

A coming of age teen drama, with “young Voldemort” Hero Fiennes Tiffin as the male lead is something you need to watch if you’re into romantic movies. His eyebrows do a lot of talking and the British accent is delectable. After also stars inspirational YouTuber Inanna as bad girl Molly, and she nails her character down to a T.

Have you seen any new stuff lately? Leave me a comment. Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!

Are Reboots Better Than The OGs?

Are Reboots Better Than The OGs?

Netflix is doing great lately. It gave us Birdbox. And it gave us Stranger Things. It also gave us the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Dynasty, reboot and Charmed, reboot.

I grew up watching Sabrina the teenage witch. I mean, Melissa Joan Hart was adorable. Take a look at that hair! And aw, that face. She was bubbly and cute and everything rosy. But nobody realized what we were missing out onuntil the CAOS happened. And it was so good. Is so good.

It stars Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina, and boy oh boy, her acting skills are top notch. Although arguably a lot darker, the show is also a whole lot more gripping. While many people detested the show because of how satanic it seemed to be, and quit midway, most of us loved the show and cannot wait for the new season. The trailer that dropped a few days back looks promising and basically, just whoa. The bonus Christmas episode from 2018 was beautiful. Super nice.

Dynasty was a big hit in the eighties. The 2018 reboot is actually more interesting to me. Maybe that’s got something to do with my love for Liz Gillies but the girl can act. And sing. And the clothes are great, and the script is great, the cuts are crisp and Alexis is awesome (spoiler alert: even though she gets thrown into the fireplace in the latest episode of season two.) I’ve rarely loved a TV villain half as much as I’ve loved Nicolette Sheridan’s – remember her from Desperate Housewives? – portrayal of Alexis. The woman is as eye-conic as her eyelashes. Although Dame Joan Collins as Alexis was just as badass:

…I still like the newer cast better. For starters, I love the inclusivity and the tweaks here and there – for example, I love that Sammy Jo is a gay man in the reboot, that the Colbys are black, and that the new location is now Atlanta. Woot woot. Plus, I love the new Fallon. She’s PERFECT.

Which brings me to the last show I want to discuss – Charmed.

Okay, I loved the OG. I was obsessed. I mean, who doesn’t love Prue and Paige? Rose McGowan was a treat to watch.

The new show though, wow. They changed the names and the sexual orientation of one of the sisters. Which made me go, yaaaaaasssss girl, and I adore Macy. She’s brilliant and doesn’t wear over the top clothing and isn’t perfect, and has demon blood in her and oh my goodness, she’s brilliant. Swoon. Also Maggie as the empath is just so effing cute. Kind of don’t like Mel much but I love Jada because she’s so mysterious. Ah. You need to watch the show.

Clearly, all the reboots take the crown. In my opinion. Are you a fan of the OG or the reboots, in case you do watch any of these shows? Meanwhile, I cannot wait for the new episode of Charmed, this Sunday. The only sad part about these shows I watch would be the fact that they only air once a week. Argh.

Romanticizing The Morbid

Romanticizing The Morbid

Sabhyata (@palletesandpaint on Instagram) recommended this show to me. I’d thought that Gillian Flynn’s Amy Dunne was the coldest of the lot. Turns out, I was wrong.

What show am I talking about? Read on to find out.

We’ve all seen Gone Girl or read the book, and we’ve all been weirdly fascinated by the way Gillian Flynn’s mind works. She writes some of the best psychological crime thrillers in my opinion. I had no idea that Caroline Kepnes managed to create a protagonist – or an anti-hero, if you will – quite as fascinating as Joe Goldberg, and he’s clever and calculating and obsessive and I love the way Kepnes portrays him.

Joe Goldberg first makes an appearance in the 2015 novel, You. It’s now a Netflix show, same name, and there’s a season two coming. Oh JOY.

The reason why I found Goldberg so appealing was the fact that he comes across as a harmless bookstore manager. How crazy would a bookstore manager be, right? WRONG. He’s Internet-savvy, and can work Google like a pro. Also, he’s read every book out there and *spoiler alert* knows how to dispose of most evidence. Also, his stalking skills are crazy. It’s kind of chilling, you know? How far a person would go to get the woman of his dreams, whom he ultimately ends up killing. At least Amy Dunne let Nick live. Shudder.

Things people say they do in the name of love.

Now, is the show any good? And is it different from the book?

Well, yes and yes.

I made the mistake of watching the show first and then reading both You and the sequel, Hidden Bodies. It should have been the other way round, just so I could compare better. It’s kind of different from the book, because the producers of the show decided to bring Joe’s ex back. Candace doesn’t make a comeback in the book. Which means that the sequel is going to be way different from Hidden Bodies. Ugh. Now I’ll have to wait for ever to find out what’s going on.

How good is Penn Badgley’s portrayal of Joe Goldberg? On point.

Joe is a completely different character than his portrayal of Gossip Girl’s Dan Humphrey. Sure that character was shady and everything, but it feels like a completely different person. You couldn’t tell this was the same actor. The manic, crazed look in his eyes. The brooding demeanor. Oh my. Everything is perfect.

Apparently the character is so crazy and evil and sinister and all of that, that Badgley was super hesitant to play the role initially.

Left: Goldberg. Right: Humphrey.

I know a few people that happened to get so freaked out after watching the show that they had to go look at puppy videos. I’m not kidding. If you’re someone that’s sensitive and cannot stomach morbid stories, maybe stay away. Someone sent me this meme the other day, which sums up just about everything:

Did you watch this show? Or read the books? Any new Netflix recommendations are welcome. Hope your 2019 is going great.