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the telethon runner

I watch TV and write about it. Sometimes I watch movies too.

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drama

A few random, vaguely similar movie reviews

I wish I were one of those people who rush to see every new movie (or at least the ones who appeal to them) as soon as they hit the theater, or like those who check out every new show that looks promising. Binge-watching has spoiled me when it comes to TV, so aside from the few shows I follow regularly, lately I find myself preferring to just wait and binge on slightly older shows or just focus my attention on mini-series I can watch start-to-finish over a weekend.

As far as movies are concerned, I go through phases. Some weeks I don’t even have the attention span to sit through a whole movie; others I refuse to invest the time unless it’s a must-see. Over the past few months, the only “new” movie I saw was Nocturnal Animals (loved it).

Then there are times when I try to dig up a handful of movies of a certain genre and watch them back-to-back. So, given my recent disappointment in 13 Reasons Why, I figured I should get my teen drama/rom-com fix wherever I could get it, so I picked a few films off of random recommendations:

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

I would really, really like to meet the idiots who gave this movie such rave reviews and punch them in the face. Seriously, why do I fall into this IMDb trap every single time? If only I’d bothered to read the negative reviews before sitting down to watch this crapfest, I wouldn’t have wasted 105 minutes of my life.

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13 Reasons Why this show is overrated

Between all the hype around the newest Netflix offering and my affinity to teen dramas, giving 13 Reasons Why a shot was a no-brainer. And if you want to talk first impressions, the show seemed pretty good in the beginning: great opening titles, nice soundtrack, a clever premise that puts a different spin on an otherwise common theme, and I’ve loved Dylan Minette in everything I’ve seen him in.

And then I kept watching. And the more time I spent with these highschool kids, the more annoyed I became. General outrage from uptight “concerned parents” aside, I don’t see this as a show that “glamorizes” suicide – but that’s a while ‘nother kettle of fish. My main problem with the show is that it just wasn’t that good, and here’s a few reasons why:

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Big Little Lies

I almost prefaced this with a disclaimer that I normally don’t go for this type of show (and by “this type of show” I mean the kind of family drama that loosely ties a mystery into the plot for added suspense, but mostly focuses on relationships). But then I thought wait, aren’t you the one who’s devoted plenty of posts on this blog discussing the merits of The Affair? So yeah, scratch that.

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The End of the Tour

This was yet another movie suggested by several lists of films we missed in 2015, and although I don’t normally enjoy biopics, my watchlist is dwindling so I decided to give it a shot.

Now, a disclaimer: I haven’t read Infinite Jest, nor was I familiar with either David Foster Wallace or Dave Lipsky; I guess Wallace’s breakthrough novel never really acquired much notoriety in my country – plus my freshman year at university kept me plenty busy to take on a 1,000 page book for leisure. Similarly, Lipsky’s book on Wallace flew under my radar in 2008, and really would have held no interest for me anyway.

So I went in with no preconceptions or expectations, which turned out to be a good thing in this case.

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The Night Of

While Stranger Things was unequivocally the sleeper hit of last summer, and deservedly so, there was another gem that garnered much critical praise. Though decidedly not a nostalgia-evoking easter-egg hunt, rife with pop culture references, or indeed a crowd-pleaser in terms of its subject matter, The Night Of not only lives up to the hype, but in my opinion, far surpasses it.

Everyone who watched the mini series talked about what an authentic piece of compelling drama The Night Of is, and boy, they weren’t lying. It’s captivating, right from the very first scene, all the way down to the last silent moments of the closing titles.

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The Sisterhood of Night

This one popped up on my suggested movies list when I was browsing horror flicks so I figured I’d give it a shot. Although it quickly became evident that there was zero horror element to the movie, it wasn’t half bad for a drama/mystery film. It just happened to be mislabeled as a thriller, rather than a teen movie that’s pretty much the equivalent of an unfunny Mean Girls with a mystery added in for suspense purposes.

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What makes a good finale?

As far as I’m concerned, there are 3 major categories of TV show finales:

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The Affair: is it all that?

The Affair is an award winning, critically acclaimed show. The premise is probably the most frequently used plot in a drama series: a man and a woman, Noah and Alison, have an affair. What makes this show stand out is that it offers the viewer insight into the couple’s psyche by providing an original narrative twist: instead of seeing the events as they really happened, we get different accounts of what went on, from both the man and the woman’s perspective.

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