Black MirrorCoffee PrinceFilms & TVGilmore Girls A Year In The LifeGoblinGong YooLegend of the Blue SeaMy Love from the StarSense8Westworld
I Lose Sleep To Binge-Watch These Shows #2Saturday, December 24, 2016
The last time I had a handful of shows I eagerly watched was late last year and I actually made this blog post about it. Okay, let me say this first and foremost: binge-watching at excessive levels is really bad for your health. I have no clue if there's a way to make this sedentary activity healthier (or is that even possible?!) so I highly recommend that you reserve your loved TV shows during long breaks and not during days when you are in dire need of shuteye but you choose to sacrifice sleep because sometimes you have a poor sense of judgement. Hahaha.
To be fair (LOL at justifying my actions), during the early to mid part of the year, I can't remember a time when I became obsessed with any TV show. I would watch an episode or 2 of SNL or F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or that Thai series called Make It Right once in a while but those don't count because 2 episodes do not really constitute a decent binge-watch.
Anyway, come the last quarter, I found myself in a buffet of wonderful TV series and even though my weekdays have gotten super busy, I had to fill my plate with quite a heap just to get the ball rolling (and not to miss on anything). So here we are, a blog post where I shall share all those TV shows -- because really, what's the use of watching all of these if I don't get to discuss it with anyone else? (Note: As usual, contains spoilers!)
1. Sense8 (12 episodes, Season 1). This show confused the hell out of me especially the first few episodes. But it's the kind of confusion that makes you wanna stick for more rather than give up watching it. One of the reasons I continuously watched this was because of the astral projection that all the characters (from different parts of the world) are capable of doing. My eyes feasted on scenic views of Iceland ❤️, the different traditions in India and the rough streets of Nairobi in Kenya among others. Another is that each of the characters are so complex on their own. All of them are a representation of social issues like gender, race, religion and sexuality. It's mind boggling, smart and provocative.
2. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (4 episodes). A must-watch if you're a Gilmore Girls fan! Although it felt compressed at times because they tried to include every character in the 7-season show, I'm not really complaining that I got to see some of the old faces from Stars Hollow. At the first scene of Winter, it felt kind of awkward hearing Lorelai and Rory fast-talking once again. I don't know why. Haha. My favorite part would be the whole flashback when Richard died, I was really heartbroken and ugly crying the entire time. I loved that they were able to finally acknowledge the dysfunctional relationship between Emily and Lorelai and actually do something about it, in the end making it work. I loved that Lorelai and Luke are finally together. I hated the looooong musical. There are so many other things to show other than that musical. I don't get it at all. I loved how messed up Rory was in her state of affairs (pun intended). I love how Jess is still and will always be the driving force in Rory's life. That window peeking scene just broke my heart. Jess is to Rory as Luke is to Lorelai. And that ending! That ending made the whole TV show come back in full circle. I wish for a new season, why not, but if things are left this way, it's fine with me too.
3. Coffee Prince (17 episodes). Never really paid attention to this Korean drama back when it was aired at a local TV station. When Train to Busan exploded and Gong Yoo won the hearts of many, I think it was a natural reaction to revisit this oldie but goodie show. Good thing it was available on iflix so I was able to watch it tirelessly. It easily became an all-time favorite. Gong Yoo is really a great actor. His little facial expressions make all the difference in the world. You can't help but feel whatever he's feeling. Especially those scenes when he's going out of his mind when he started realizing he's falling in love with a boy and that scene when he actually accepted the realization. Same goes for Yoon Eun-hye. She's so committed to the role that it's hard to imagine that she also played that girl in Princess Hours. Together, the chemistry is so real, you kind of wish they were really together in real life. This show definitely challenged the normal tropes and cliches of Korean dramas (for one, the awkwardly positioned kissing scenes that's just the worst and so hilarious instead of being romantic; case in point: Park Shin-hye in The Heirs hahaha) that's why it's so damn refreshing.
4. My Love from the Star (21 episodes). I found MLFTS just okay. I already felt I was going to like and enjoy it from the first few episodes. Gianna Jun was funny as hell and her character was just so unapologetically in-your-face and showed us the perks and peril of being a celebrity, and Kim Soo-yun as the apathetic alien was just perfect. He's stoic, distant, old fashioned and mean. They have super great chemistry. They are silly and sweet together, and like most K-dramas, they started with that 'I like you but I hate you' relationship. There were a lot of LOL moments that I love, especially the one when Cheon Song-yi's (Gianna Jun) brother (Ahn Jae-hyun) and Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-yun) mimicked that famous E.T. scene! I didn't like the push and pull nature of their relationship towards the end. I CAN'T STAND THAT. I actually skipped 2 episodes just so I could finish this already. I hated that he kept showing her that he really cared then rejects her the next minute. I get the whole noble thing he's trying to do but for heaven's sake stop playing with her feelings! Mygahd, my frustration with these two. There are also quite a few loop holes and loose ends in my opinion. Why was the evil brother so hateful and evil? We'll never know. Maybe he's just really the spawn of Satan. The ending, I guess, is the most believable scenario possible for the two. Although they have talked about having kids, I have no idea how that will happen since, duh, he's an alien and also, he gets all weak and frail by a mere kiss from her. Also, is the closing scene of the final episode a Notting Hill reference? Because it was the same. I may have to rewatch this in the future.
1. Black Mirror (on Episode 4 of Season 3). If you haven't seen any episode of Black Mirror, do yourself a favor and binge on it when you have the time. Why? It's so fucked up, it's good. Currently stuck at episode 4, San Junipero, and may try to finish this in the coming weekends. I loved all of Black Mirror's seasons but sometimes it gets too hard to watch, though by contrast, San Junipero was the most positive (or feel good?) episode in the show's entirety. The first 3 episodes were heartbreaking, especially Shut Up and Dance.
2. Legend of the Blue Sea (on Episode 12). Watching for Gianna Jun and the whole 'mermaid falls in love with a human' arc. She's really got this wide range of acting skills! This drama is cute, but I'm having issues with Jun's character being too submissive to all of Lee Min Ho's character's whims. I'm planning to write something about LOTBS and another popular drama, Goblin, so I guess I'll have more to say there. Haha.
3. Westworld (on Episode 4 out of 10, Season 1). I kept seeing Westworld from a film blogger that I follow and it being hailed as HBO's next best thing to Game of Thrones made me want to watch it. It's actually inspired by the film of the same name by Michael Crichton, but since I've never watched it, I never knew what to expect. The concept of the Westworld universe is already fucked up on its own:
Westworld isn't your typical amusement park. Intended for rich vacationers, the futuristic park -- which is looked after by robotic "hosts" -- allows its visitors to live out their fantasies through artificial consciousness. No matter how illicit the fantasy may be, there are no consequences for the park's guests, allowing for any wish to be indulged.
On a daily basis, all of the robots' memories are wiped out but something seems to be wrong -- a bug or a glitch -- and they began to have consciousness and memories. So yes, the hosts began to recollect memories of them being killed, raped, repaired, reprogrammed or whatever vile acts were done on them by humans. As most reviews mention, it's indeed like Groundhog Day for these robots. When Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) swatted that insect on her neck, my jaw dropped. I know I'm going to be in a hell of a ride. I have yet to finish the entire season but Jom said the season finale was so messed up. Excited for it!
4. Goblin (on Episode 8). I am completely smitten by this Korean drama. All the elements of Goblin (I don't why, for the life of me, it was named Goblin. Maybe it was the literal translation?) make up a wonderful, enjoyable show. What I loved most about this series was the cinematography (everything is just beautiful and breathtaking) and the soundtrack. Second would be the chemistry between the two male leads, Gong Yoo (ok that's another reason) and Lee Dong-wook. Sometimes it overshadows the Eun Tak-Kim Shin relationship, to be honest. Hahaha. They are really so funny, they're like Dumb and Dumber ("play store" scene hahahaha) but more fashionable. Ugh. Everyone is just adorable. Need more reasons? Click here.
For Future Viewing:
Since I easily get distracted and end up watching a whole new bunch of films or series (told myself I'd finish Black Mirror and Westworld over the holidays but instead I watched a lot of Japanese and Korean films), some of these may just be stuck on the planning to watch category. But I'm firm on watching This is Us (because Milo) and Terrace House (because I'm intrigued that a lot of people are currently watching this.)
I didn't expect that this would turn out to be a long post. Hahaha. Thanks for reading if you've made it here to the end. Do you have any recommendations? I would love suggestions for anime and other Asian TV series. Seriously in love with Korean and Japanese dramas and films lately. I just can't get enough!