Promised myself I’d write this post once I finally brought out Truancy 9.
How do I even begin to list down everything I’ve been watching in the past eight months with my meals or when I’m so tired from work/the world and just needed to zone out? Answer, I’m not even going to bother to be exhaustive. I’ll likely forget some things, but I do remember others. I’ll post highlights. So many good things this year! Yes, I flag the problematic stuff but eh, I’m a critical theorist who teaches popular culture, can’t always switch that off when I watch things!
- Shadow and Bone— I was so hooked on this, I got all the books in the first two Grishaverse series for my birthday in June. Haven’t read them yet though. They’re my reward for after I’ve submitted four goddamned academic articles. I kept saying “When did Ben Barnes get so hot?!!!” because of course he grew facial hair and was a bit older since the last time I saw him in the Narnia movies when he looked too youthful (and therefore not worthy of a screen crush! See I don’t rob the cradle even when it comes to screen crushes!)! But yes, a compelling series and I can’t wait to watch the sequel.
- Loki — Ahh. This was so totally not what I expected a Loki series would be, but it was so mindbendingly good — although some episodes were a bit of a letdown. I also really enjoyed the set design. And I’m inconsolable that six weeks of looking forward to more Tom Hiddleston is now over.
- Bombay Begums — this was BRILLIANT, so powerful. I really want a second season but given the surrounding controversies, it doesn’t seem likely.
- Shadowhunter — I caught up on S1 and S2 of Shadowhunter but quickly lost interest in it after the multiple toying-with-incest subplots happened. Kind of the same way I stopped watching Dynasty. Incest isn’t cool, it isn’t edgy, it’s just gross and abusive. I wish people would stop putting this in plots.
- Bridgerton — Yes, I watched it. Hooked on it the first time around but when I started rewatching it, it was slow going. Probably because I wasn’t in the mood for it after awhile.
- Battlestar Galactica (S1)— Slowly rewatched it throughout this year especially since I was teaching it in my Popular Culture class.
- Aladdin (live action/movie) — I know the reviews were not flattering but I actually rather enjoyed this.
- Enola Holmes (movie) — Delightful! Please could we have a series based on Enola?!
- The Aeronauts (movie) — you can find this on Amazon Prime. It’s really good. Grows on you. Also has Dev Patel. I mean, Dev Patel, man. (I KNOW I’m not the only one all hyped up for The Green Knight).
- The Half Of It (movie) — I didn’t watch many movies this year, but this one was really good. I am so glad to watch another Alice Wu movie. I really enjoyed Saving Face back in the day. And this one also hits you in all of the feels.
- Sherlock — Rewatched everything right up till Series 4. Heartbroken by one aspect of Series 4, not into the casual misogyny and fatphobia. Still want to watch Series 5
- Never Have I Ever (s2) — Devi is such a hot mess! She’s very therapeutic to watch because of this 😂 ! I also love that there’s a series with people using tamil terms I grew up hearing. And the season finale leaves so many questions unanswered. To be honest, I don’t want her to end up with EITHER of the two guys. But we’ll see what the show-runners do next.
- Little Voice — Wonderful. I bawled my eyes out watching this on Apple+ . Highly recommend this one. Grows on you and the last episode was chef 😘.
- Rise of Phoenixes — This is an epic Mandarin historical series based on romance novels. It’s really good but has so many episodes that I’m too intimidated to continue watching. Maybe when I am less stressed.
- Fate: The Winx Saga — I scoffed a little when I started watching this supernatural high school drama but then was so quickly hooked it was not funny! Also awaiting the next season. I hope there will be one. I seem to be saying this a lot.
- Harlots (season 3) — I finally watched the last three episodes and I’ve got to say, I’m glad they ended there. It was getting progressively awful in one sense albeit with a good script. So as much as I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t!
- OUAT (s1) — rewatching this currently. It’s nice to be back in Storybrooke. Though I have SO MANY THOUGHTS on the portrayal of Regina and how the rhetoric of rehabilitation works in these episodes. The episodes with the Hunter still fills me with a kind of sick horror. Read this article that echoes my feelings on this.
- The Nevers — this had very uneven writing and the problematic elements one would associate w/ JW but despite him, wound up really good and addictive. I’m really bummed at the way it ended, though.
- A Discovery of Witches (season 2) — I’ll be honest, it’s not as good as season 1, but it’s still nice to go romping in Elizabethean England with all of the nerdish glee of someone who did Renaissance Lit and wrote two papers about the period. And Matthew Goode’s voice, well. I shall say no more.
- American Gods (season 2) — astoundingly, still very slowly making my way through season 2 because it tends to drop the gore/gross elements surprisingly and I watch these things while eating my meals.
- Firefly Lane — I started watching this with lukewarm interest but then was surprised by how into it I was. To the extent of buying the two books it was based on, and bawling my eyes out.
- Sweet Magnolias — I really like the representation in this series and I was also surprised that I liked it. I expected the usual hallmark fare like the all-mayo Chesapeake Shores but this was a refreshing surprise. (side-note: I actually enjoy a lot of the eye-candy on Chesapeake Shores but it has a representation problem which sometimes makes viewing it unpalatable, it’s really laughable how unnaturally/awkwardly the token poc/woc gets slotted in some episodes. We’re getting spoiled for choice, it’s 2021, we get to choose the content we watch. Oh, and when I say eye-candy, I mean the scenery and the interior decorating. Seriously. The same way interior design-tok and clean-tok grabs me.)
- Virgin River — I finished the first season but don’t seem to want to be bothered with most of the second season. Maybe just not in the mood for it. Does have better representation than Chesapeake Shores though.
Things I never got through even the first episode: Jupiter’s Legacy, The Bold Type. Meh. Not for me. Dishonorable mention for live-action Mulan. I thought I’d catch it when it was free-for-view (on Disney Hotstar) and have a good chortle. I didn’t even make it to the 30 minutes mark. Actually, the same applies to the two aforementioned series.
Things I am planning on watching: Catching up on Elementary and Doctor Who plus the rest of OUAT and The Originals. Maybe even a LOST re-rewatch at some point. I don’t remember where in the Capaldi Doctor Who episodes I got stuck but I think that was way back in 2014? A lot of catching up to do. Oh and I occasionally rewatch Star Trek: TOS and Star Trek: TNG episodes. People also keep telling me to watch The Expanse. I’m also told WandaVision is a must-watch. Alrighty. I do have Disney Hotstar now so a lot of series have become available to watch. So many subscriptions, so little time. There’s also operas and ballets and concerts on medici.tv.