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.
For a long time now, Netflix has been trying to find what would become its big blockbuster franchise. Over the last few years, we have seen them going out by releasing big-budget action movies like Bright, Triple Frontier, 6 Underground and Extraction just to name a few. While some of then are or will get sequels, none seem to be poised to become Netflix’s franchise that you know they want. After all, summer blockbuster movies are still one of the most lucrative things for Hollywood and when a franchise work, it can prove to go on for a very long time. But when you look at things for Netflix, even with a few viral movies like Birdbox, they just don’t seem to catch the break that they want. Netflix’s most talked-about originals are more often than not their shows or romantic comedies. But with the arrival of The Old Guard, the streaming service might have just found what will be their next big thing. Not only because it is perfect to become a franchise but also because the film also happens to be really good.
You know that feeling when you watch a show and you just can’t stop watching. Going into something completely blind, with no idea of what this is going to happen, that surprise feeling as the episodes pass and things get crazier and crazier. Sometimes it’s a nice surprise, others it isn’t. Going blind into Warrior Nun was the best thing I did. The only thing I knew about this show was because of the trailer that Netflix released. It was a nice surprise, a surprise that after I finished I wished I had taken more of my time watching because while the show is far from perfect, Warrior Nun reminds me a lot of another great little supernatural show that deserves a lot more attention, Wynonna Earp.
Comedies are a work of art. The balance of comedy and story can be the one thing that brings the film down. Too often, the best jokes are put in the trailers and when you start the film everything else falls flat. The Lovebirds is not that. Not only is it funny from beginning to end and the jokes hit perfectly and the chemistry between Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Issa Rae (Insecure) elevates the end product. The movie might not change the game in terms of comedies but it works so well that you end up getting something really good and entertaining.
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.
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.