I have neglected the blog for a while now but I’ve been spending so much time writing, editing, even trying my hand at graphic design, and baking up a storm lately that I just don’t have the courage or energy to spend more time in front of a computer in my spare time…
When I’m not elbow deep in sugary, buttery, chocolatey goodness however, I do make time for shows or even a couple of movies, so here are some random notes:
- After binge-watching the new House of Cards season the minute it was released, I must say I’m not too sure I’m really loving the direction it’s going. Both Frank and Claire are completely unredeemable at this point, we spent way too much time on the election campaign and never even got to the actual election, and the cliffhanger with the ISIS-knockoff just doesn’t feel too exciting to me. It’s also frustrating to see Doug obsess over yet another woman, but at least the Jackie/Remy stuff is interesting. As far as the shooting goes, it really was a bummer when they killed off Meechum, and I could have done without Frank’s dreams/hallucinations. I feel like they offered nothing to the story: if he’s “haunted” by the ghosts of those he killed, then how come he comes back from this ordeal an even bigger asshole than he was before? And don’t get me started on his short-lived feud with Claire. The show has already driven the point home since season one: these two will step on anyone and do anything to push their own agendas, even if means destroying each other in the process. I probably would have liked to see them go toe to toe a bit more this season rather than have them reunite again and wage war on the Middle East, but at least now their secret’s out so that should make for an interesting plot next season.
On the plus side, Neve Campbell was a pleasant addition to the cast this year, but not as much as the lovely Joel Kinnaman. A lot of characters we hadn’t caught up with in a while showed up this season, which was also a nice surprise.
- On a completely unrelated note, I binge-watched both seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I’m mostly happy with it. Is it completely over the top? Sure, but I prefer this type of comedy to the full-meta nonsense that is Community, for instance. Ellie Kemper’s mugging gets a bit too much at times, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane. I’m not a sci-fi fan, so for me this was a case of an excellent movie up until the last 15′ or so. Great story, fantastic performances, and like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for confinement thrillers so this was right up my alley. And then they had to involve an alien and screw it all up (no, I haven’t seen the original Cloverfield, so this twist came as a surprise). Not only that, but an alien that is vanquished by way of molotov cocktail? Ugh.
- I tried to watch Hail, Ceasar. I honestly did. Ten minutes in, I just gave up and turned off the TV. The Coen brothers have always been hit-or-miss with me, with Fargo, True Grit and No Country for Old Men being at the top of my list, but I still don’t get why everyone loved The Big Lebowski so much (seriously, The Dude is a fucking loser), or what was the big deal with Raising Arizona aside from Nic Cage’s usual overacting. Anyway, this was the second time in a few years I tried (and failed) to watch one of their movies from beginning to end – the first time being Burn After Reading – so there you go.
- I had much better luck with Bridge of Spies. Although there’s very little actual spying going on, and the movie drags on far longer than needed, it was interesting, well-written and definitely well-acted.
- I’ve started watching Shonda’s new project, The Catch. It’s just as cheesy as you’d expect, both female leads are annoying (the lazy-eyed protagonist is so boring it makes me want to cry, and Sonya Walger made me want to punch her in the face even when she played the lovely Penny on Lost, let alone now that she’s a villain – also, I hate hate HATE her accent).
- Also new, Game of Silence. It’s basically the movie Sleepers in tv form, and it’s pretty damn good so far. Love me some Michael Raymond-James, and the shocking cliffhanger-y season finale suggests we should expect a killer second season.
- I watched the 5th Season of New Girl out of boredom… meh. Zooey Deschanel is slightly less annoying than she was in the beginning, but I’m never going to be on board with the cutesy hipster persona. Schmidt IS hilarious though.
- Banshee came to a close this year and I definitely enjoyed it more than season 3. Yes, it’s outrageous and cartoonish, as is usually the case with Alan Ball projects, but it’s fast-paced and entertaining (if you don’t mind the over-the-top violence, which I definitely don’t). I’m glad they decided to tie up the story while it still made (some sort of) sense rather than drag it out for a few more seasons – maybe they learned their lesson from True Blood’s disaster late run! The whole satanic cult storyline was a bit random and didn’t really add that much to the plot, so I’m happy they wrapped it up quickly and turned their focus on the main characters in the last couple of episodes. I also liked that they didn’t give the show a fairytale ending, which would have been way too cheesy and tough to swallow. Sigh, Lucas Hood (or whatever your real name is), I’ll definitely miss you.
- I watched The Girlfriend Experience over the Easter break and I’m a bit on the fence on this one. Riley Keough is beautiful (and looks so much like her mother!) but I’m torn between whether I find her performance subtle and understated or just expressionless. As far as the actual story goes, it was different, the pacing was slow but in a good way, and I generally found it a refreshing and welcome change from what we’re usually served in similar drama plots. Is the lead character relatable – or likable, even? Not really, but she’s intriguing and impossible to look away from no matter what she does. It’s an unusual take on female empowerment stories and I guess that’s what ultimately makes it interesting.
- If you’re a sucker for BBC mini series and can’t wait for Sherlock to come back (The Abominable Bride was a nice treat but not the best episode of the show), check out And Then There Were None. Not only is it probably the best book Agatha Christie ever wrote, but the 3-episode series is amazing – and it’s got Charles Dance in it, aka Tywin Lannister. A must watch for Christie fans.
- Wayward Pines is back for a second season and I haven’t checked it out yet, nor am I sure I’m actually going to. The first season started with a bang and was actually reminiscent of Stephen King stories in terms of plot and overall tone, but I felt it just unraveled towards the end.
- Speaking of returning shows, the new season of Suits will be premiering next month and I’m definitely excited to see my favorite (and best-dressed) lawyer back on the screen.
- Masterchef Australia is also back, and I’ll say it again: it’s the best cooking show out there, hands down. It combines the most interesting food, diverse cuisines and the most likable contestants out of every cooking competition. Not only is it entertaining, but very informative – and at times, actually moving.
- Finally, Game of freaking Thrones! What an amazing season this has shaped up to be! I haven’t read the books so everything that’s happened on the show so far was a surprise to me, but I feel like this year, without the constraints of following the books too closely, the writers have really managed to push the story forward quite fast, and we’re onlyhalf way through the season.
A lot of people seem to be calling season 6 their “fan service” season, which I suppose is accurate, as we’re finally getting a lot of things we either expected or desperately wanted to see. Last season we got a lot of filler episodes and spent way too much time pursuing boring storylines basically up until things started happening at Hardhome. This season we’re finally seeing the pieces fall into place and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come in the last 3 episodes of the season!
I’m sure I’m forgetting some random shows here and there, but that’s it for the most part. Between mourning poor ol’ Hodor, loving Lyanna Mormont and shipping Tormund and Brienne (Torienne?), I don’t really need much TV for the next 3 weeks, although any suggestions for awesome new shows are greatly appreciated!