While we do love us some books, believe it not, we do have a life outside of reading. So to highlight our other pop culture interests, on the last Monday of each month, we each will highlight three other “happenings” from the last month. Big events on favorite TV shows, new movies we’ve watched, old movies we’ve “discovered,” etc. Pretty much whatever we found of particular interest outside of the book world during the last month. Share your own favorite things in the comments!
My sister had actually been recommending this show for a while, and I’m not quite sure what was stopping me. A post-apocalyptic, YA, sci-fi romp is definitely in my wheel house, and I’ve been a big fan of many of the genre shows on CW, including my beloveds “Supernatural” and Smallville.” So finally, for no reason in particular, I started watching it a few weeks ago. And now I’m on season 4 and facing an entirely different conundrum: I now love it so much that I’m worried about how it will end and with the last season coming out later this spring, do I follow my typical rule about quitting while I’m ahead until the end has proven worth while? (“Game of Thrones” recently proved how necessary this rule is to my sanity, as I didn’t actually watch the final season for this reason and was so thankful I didn’t by the time I heard all about it and was still enraged.) Or do I throw caution to the wind and continue my binge and hope for the best? I still haven’t decided, but if all goes well, you might be hearing about this one again when it does finally come to a conclusion this summer.
Like the many Jane Austen adaptations my mom, sister, and I watched when I was younger, “Little Women” was another beloved classic that was in our rotation of re-watches. Other than my general, and lasting, dislike of Christian Bale, I always really enjoyed that movie and its take on the novel. And now they’ve re-made it. My husband and I had just recently gotten into a bit of a debate about the pros and cons of endlessly remaking things, and, while I can understand his frustration about “nothing new under the sun” and often agree, this movie proved my overall point: sometimes even something that was very good the first time can, years later, be done even better. Yes, I liked this movie even more than the 90s version! And, even more amazing, I think Amy was my favorite character in this one! Laury, on the other hand…Amy is too good for him! Anyways, this movie lived up to all the buzz surrounding it, so it’s definitely worth checking out!
The other side of the same argument about adaptations is that sometimes the first attempt is just abysmal. The first adaptation of the “His Dark Materials” series was a godawful movie that was so terrible that its own creators changed the ending, knowing it wouldn’t get the sequel necessary to the original story. It’s also served as my go-to example of how movies can royally screw up beloved books and as my standard answer for “most disappointing” adaptation ever. So, while I was optimistic that with the change of format (from movie to much longer mini-series with, hopefully, three seasons) and a stellar cast (though, to be fair, I had no qualms with the movie cast and really liked Nicole Kidman, in particuarl, as Mrs. Coulter), I was still quite nervous. I’m not even all the way through it (see the above about my strategy about waiting until seasons are finished to start them), but so far I’m really loving it. All the changes that have been made are for the better, and the cast is blowing it out of the water. I’m super excited to see how the rest of the season plays out and what will be in store for the next season!
Joe Goldberg is back, and not a moment too soon. While I continue to wait for the third book in the “You” series (but apparently it’s in process, so YAY!), Netflix has kindly continued the TV adaptations, this time tackling “Hidden Bodies.” Season 2 is just as fun and dark as Season 1, and while it continues to deviate from the source material, in some cases drastically, Penn Badgley continues to shine as my favorite psychopath. Joe has run to L.A. in hopes of getting away from his hellbent on revenge ex-girlfriend Candace, and hopes to better himself and stop with his, uh, murderous and obsessive tendencies. But when he meets Love, a chef with baggage of her own, he finds himself once again fixated. Season 2 has a lot of twists and turns, and while it’s very different from “Hidden Bodies”, I quite enjoyed it.
This was a show that I just kind of stumbled upon one Saturday. I was looking for something to watch while I did stuff around the house, and when I saw that not only was is soapy and dramatic, but also had to do with figure skating, I was one hundred percent in! “Spinning Out” concerns Kat, a figure skater who is suffering from PTSD after an accident on the ice. Along with that she has to contend with a mentally ill mother and a determined but drama filled sister. When she’s approached by Justin, a golden boy skater in need of a pairs partner after an accident, she has to decide if she’s ready to try and achieve her dreams again. Not only does “Spinning Out” address real issues about mental illness and the cost of trying to achieve greatness in skating, it also is truly sudsy and fun and filled with all the juicy drama of a water cooler show. I loved it.
My favorite Netflix show has finally returned!! We didn’t get a Halloween timed fix, nor did we get another Christmas Special (super bummed about that), but now “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is back and our favorite teen witch is going to Hell. Literally. At the end of last season Sabrina’s boyfriend Nick had to use his body as a vessel for Lucifer, and was taken to Hell by Lilith, who has decided she’s going to rule as queen. Now Sabrina wants Nick back. The usual gang is back, though we also get a few new faces too. I haven’t finished it as of this writing, but so far, so good, and I’ve really warmed up to Nick and have high hopes that Sabrina will be able to rescue him from his role as a cage for Satan!
What movies or shows stood out to you this month?