When The Haunting of Hill House was released in 2018, many discussed the exploration of grief and how every single of the Crain children represented a stage of the grieving process. By showcasing each stage by the way of each child, the show was able to explore the trauma that they all had suffered and how each of them handled it years later. It was brilliant and helped craft a series that even two years later, upon multiple rewatches, different layers can be found within it. With the release of the second season, many will look at it expecting to watch Hill House all over again. But the truth is, Bly Manor is the exact opposite of Hill House. The show outright says it by the end.
(And this is where I warn you about spoilers for the season. Come in at your own peril. Good, let’s continue.)
The first season of Mike Flanagan’s Haunting of anthology series, The Haunting of Hill House showed us that ghosts are real but they are linked to the living in unexpected ways, namely family guilt and trauma. The Haunting of Bly Manor explores the supernatural and its relationship with another very natural human emotion; love. Once again we are brought into a tense and mysterious story with surprisingly relatable and flawed characters, for the horror genre, and that just makes the horror itself so much more heightened. Bly Manor is not as scary as its first season but it does make up for it in genuine mystery and strong character work.
They say The Lord works in mysterious ways. He certainly does in Antonio Campos new Netflix film, The Devil All The Time. Based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock, the film explores the vengeful life stories of several god-fearing Americans as they try to come to terms with a higher power, but truly attempt to come to terms with themselves. It is a dark window into a society where evil can be justified in simple terms and good can be difficult to distinguish from its more aggressive opposite.
Sometimes just from a premise of a show, you just know something is for you. I usually navigate more towards comedy when it comes to television but sometimes a dramatic show will come and sweep me off my feet. Away comes from a team that I trust. Produced by Matt Reeves (Felicity, The Batman, Cloverfield) and Jason Katims (Roswell, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby), it had everything to succeed. My only concern was how one could sustain a drama set during a mission to Mars where most of the show would take place onboard a ship. Well, Away was capable of finding a way and make a show that maybe isn’t always on point but certainly shows it’s potential.
When Netflix saved Lucifer, I was overjoyed. Lucifer might have started as a simple procedural show that, yes, involved the devil, but the world-building that the show now relies so heavily on didn’t happen until it’s second season really. Over four seasons, Lucifer was able to introduce so much while also keeping its case of the week formula and build a rich world. Now with what I like to call “Netflix Money” the show is able to go bigger and it shows. With season 5 being divided in two and having been filmed with the idea that it would be their last season, even if now we know it will be getting a season six, Lucifer tries to hit the ground running with its first half of the season and while it stumbles at times, the charm of the show stays the same and the magnetic performances save it from itself.
Listen, I know this show seems to be like most shows targeting young adults and that isn’t really a bad thing, but I am just not the target audience for this kind of show. Still, the show came from a team that created a show that I loved, Orange Is The New Black so I had to give it a try. And by the end of my binge, I found myself surprised at how much I enjoyed Teenage Bounty Hunters and how I wanted more. It had a couple of moments that had me laughing out loud and never was I trying to skip some part of it or had an episode that felt out of place. Yes, it has some issues at the beginning since the show has a lot to introduce but once it found it’s pace, it became entertaining and I couldn’t stop. It’s an easy show to binge and by the end of it, I wanted more.
Project Power’s should have been better then it was. The film had a great cast, an interesting premise and great action pieces, but it got lost inside its premise and grand ideas, combine that with the pacing issues that the film unfortunately has, the film is nothing more than forgettable by the end. Enjoyable, but forgettable.
When a new drug that supposedly unlocks unique superpowers for everyone arrives on the streets of New Orleans, nothing is safe anymore. Local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams up with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier (Jamie Foxx), who has ulterior motives to go after this new drug, to clear the streets and find out who is behind this dangerous new drug.
New Charlie Kaufman alert!
Here’s the thing, I have read the whole Umbrella Academy graphic novel series. It was one of those gems that I found by accident and couldn’t get enough, wishing that more was available and running to the store every time a new book would come out. So going into the first season of the show, I had high expectations. Because I knew how crazy and over the top this graphic novel was, I was scared that a television show would tone it down and make it dull and boring. Well, the exact opposite happened. The show was wild, full of surprises and didn’t feel like the craziness was toned down. It was a show that hit hard and even with its flaws was one of the most enjoyable seasons Netflix had put out. So to say that my expectations for season two were high is an understatement. It had not only to stand up alongside the graphic novel but also the excellent first season. Did they do it? Yes, not only is the second season of Umbrella Academy excellent, but it surpasses every expectation I had set for it.
Let me preface this review by saying that I am an Arthurian legend fanatic. I have read and studied the legend for so long that as soon as the premise for Cursed, I was in. Now, I know this show is based on a graphic novel but I have not read it (yet) and so I came in blind with the hope that I would enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed Arthurian Legend content in the past. The problem? Cursed tries so hard to be so many things that in the end it fails it’s an interesting premise and becomes a mess that drags on and can’t seem to get to the point of its premise.