If there is one thing the second season of Dead To Me was able to do is to up its game and stakes. There’s something special when a show comes into its own brilliantly, so much so that it is even a little bit hard to find a way to talk about it without gushing too much. But also, it’s hard to find flaws when you found yourself enjoying it so much that all of a sudden the season ended and you just wanted more. That is exactly what Dead To Me delivered in its second season, a show that is not only funnier but is able to expand on its first season and even, at times, surpass it. The second season of Dead To Me might have flaws but it also helps elevate the show as a whole.
A secret love deserves to not be kept a secret anymore. It’s cheesy to say but the story of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel should have been said much sooner. Terry Donahue is already a legend on her own, being one of the inspirations behind the great movie A League of their Own. She might have been one of the few women that played professional baseball when that was still not the norm for women but maybe what is the most impressive, and sad, is how who she is was never known, not only to the public but to her family until just a few years ago. Their story deserves to be told and A Secret Love tries to do them justice but the short run time and the overstuffing of the documentary impairs it from going in deeper in their story and a lot gets lost in the process.
From American Horror Story to last year’s The Politician, Ryan Murphy has continuously given us some of the decades best and most unique TV. Now this year we’ve been gifted with his and Ian Brennan’s (Scream Queens, Glee) newest series, Hollywood. With a stacked cast of newcomers and veterans, gorgeous visuals and a score that feels timeless; Hollywood is a welcomed addition into Ryan Murphy’s world-building. But not one without flaws.
In 2004, a film called Saving Face written and directed by Alice Wu came out. Telling the story of an Asian-American doctor who must learn to balance her life with her unwed pregnant mother and her dancer girlfriend. I was too young at the time to see it but once I discovered it as a teenager in the closet, I fell in love with it. I fell in love with Wu’s writing and directing. So waiting for her second film felt like ever, it felt like it would never come and then, Netflix announced that they would produce a film written and directed by Wu. To say that I have been anticipating The Half of It is an understatement. Alice Wu won my heart with her directorial debut, a film that had been able to win my heart and made me feel accepter. With The Half of It, she was capable of recreating those feelings that I had felt as a closeted teenager but she did it in a very unexpected way.
Never judge a show based on its first episode, Feel Good reminded me of that. I have to be honest here, after watching the first episode of the series, I thought that this show wasn’t for me. I didn’t particularly enjoy the first episode and while I couldn’t find anything wrong with it per se, I also couldn’t say it hit it out of the park. But I decided to continue, to give it a shot and honestly, never judge a show by its first episode is now going to be my motto. Sometimes you have to remember, the first episode isn’t everything and I should always remember that. Because by the end of it, I found myself enjoying this show a lot more then I anticipated. I laughed out loud, cried and smiled more than I ever thought I would.
Sometimes after you sit with a show for a while, your opinion of it can change, for better or worse. After my first watch, I found myself loving I Am Not Okay With This, but with time and space, I realized that most of what I felt was just falling short of what I had hoped. That doesn’t mean this show isn’t enjoyable, it is but it also isn’t as good as it could be. It falls just a little short and takes to long to finally get to what it needs to be. By the end, you think you are satisfied but in reality, you are just okay with this. Coming from the producers of one of my favourite shows, It’s The End of the F***ing World and coming from a graphic novel written by the same author then the show, I Am Not Okay With This as a lot of expectations to live up to. Using a very similar way of telling the story, by having the main character narrate their side of the story, but what was very effective in It’s The End of the F***ing World just doesn’t work as well in this.
I wanna start this review by saying that I have a love-hate relationship with this series. When the first season was released, I wasn’t exactly transfixed with the show. I thought the first episode was cringe, derivative and cliche in terms of its settings and characters. While I did find the premise of the show to be interesting, I just was not motivated to watch the rest of the show based on my reaction to the pilot. But when I heard that Anthony Mackie would be taking over the role of the protagonist in season 2 I decided I’d give the series another go. So it really wasn’t until about 2 years later that I finally watched and finished the rest of the first season, mostly due to the fact that I was very interested in how the second season would play out.
The first To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a nice little surprise when it came out last year. It wasn’t really what we expected when we all logged into our Netflix account to watch this romantic comedy. Instead of getting a movie that we would all forget and make fun of overtime, we got a film that actually was good. Yes, it did play into most of the young adult tropes that we are all very used to but the elevated cinematography for this type of film and a charming cast brought something refreshing and, quite frankly, unexpected. With all that and the success of the film, it wasn’t a surprise at all when a sequel was announced. Not only was one sequel was announced but the announcement came with the news that the third book of the series would also find it’s way to being adapted and on Netflix in the near future. But like any sequels, being able to recreate what had made it special could be hard, so the arrival of To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You was something that, while I was looking forward to it, I was also a bit scared. I had enjoyed the first film and really hope that I would find myself enjoying this one too.
My relationship with the source is a very new and fresh one. I didn’t start watching the show until the beginning half of the final season came out. The reality is, everyone told me I should have watched it ever since the second season. And they were a hundred percent right. Not only so that I would have been more aware of the show earlier, but to binge this show, is to know sadness at an accelerated rate.
The big question for this highly anticipated new season has been, will it live up to its exhilarating and remarkable season two? Well, it does and it doesn’t. Chilling Adventures continues to stun us with its haunting and gorgeous imagery along with its beloved and thoroughly fleshed out characters that we continue to enjoy and relate to. The campiness factor remains intact this season all the while taking itself more seriously than the previous two. But the whole time, I couldn’t help but think something seems off. Before I jump into my thoughts, there will be some brief spoilers regarding season two and some talk of storylines set up by episode one so if you haven’t seen the previous season yet I recommend watching it before reading this review.