Everything Sucks!




Picture Courtesy of Netflix



Everything Sucks! is a Netflix Original coming of age story set in the 90’s.  I have to admit that when I first saw it and started watching I assumed it was just some quickly mashed together show to take advantage of everyone’s love of 90’s nostalgia.  To some extent, this is definitely true and is a big selling feature and bonus for many.  There are the more obvious references and then there are the more obscure.  The ones you do catch are like finding little bits of treasure along the way and the ones you miss you likely wouldn’t understand them anyway.

The story begins with Luke (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), McQuaid (Rio Mangini) and Tyler (Quinn Liebling) starting their freshman year in the town of Boring, Oregon.  In order to set the tone and their status in Boring Highschool, they decide to join a club and land themselves in the A/V Club.  It is here that Luke meets Kate (Peyton Kennedy) and falls in love and things are a downward spiral from there.  Okay, maybe not a downward spiral but what you can expect by combining a group of junior’s, freshman, sophomores, and seniors with an awkward 90’s backdrop.  Hormones are running wild, questions about sexuality are being explored, and the desire to dream big is found in all of them while the world is out to get them.

The story is not the most complex but it is its simplicity set in the 90’s, which I think is safe to say was a simpler and more wholesome time, with a kickass soundtrack that really makes the series.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about these mixed characters while watching the series as it progressed, but in the end, I found myself building a connection with the characters, rooting for their successes and hoping things work out for them in the end.  Each one has their own quirks from the nerdy religious girl, the dramatic popular girl, the awkward nerd, the squeaky-voiced cool nerd, and even the ridiculous but lovable dad and principal of the school.  A coming of age/finding yourself story doesn’t strictly have to be about kids, right?

Netflix had only ordered 10 episodes for the first season but I would be shocked if they were to allow it to simply die there.  I think they found something worth expanding on and I would be willing to stick with these awkward teens and see how they navigate through life.  While I can appreciate the sexual orientation aspects of the series, I do hope that they do not make it a focal aspect of all the series and are able to balance the storylines.  Everything Sucks! is perfect for fans of the afterschool specials, Full House/Fuller House wholesome era, but who also enjoy some foraying in more risque topics such as sexuality and drugs.


The Crown: Season Two



Image result for The crown season two netflix

Picture Courtesy of Netflix



With my love of all things monarchy, royalty and castles, it comes as no surprise that I absolutely loved the first season of The Crown.  I also enjoy my fair share of conspiracy theories which doesn’t mix well when watching historical drama.  Historical drama is the retelling of historical events while editing the events to allow for a more streamlined and pleasing tale for your viewing pleasure. The trouble with this is the blind following that many of us do while watching such movies and shows.  I came across some posts online while I was still watching the second season.  I did not open them for fear of spoiling anything but their message was clear.  Something within the seventh episode was scandalous enough to credit people to question whether or not the Queen has seen this season and the events that took place during this episode.  I would just like to point out that aside from the fact that it is a historical drama that has an extensive attention to detail, I very much doubt that there is anything that the Queen is unaware of.  In fact,  I bet one could make endless seasons based on the facts that the Queen was and is privy to that has never seen the light of day or your browsing history.  So perhaps it is you, dear viewer, who should be questioning what it is you are watching?

The first season of the Crown has a very nostalgic dramatized setting that had us on the edge of our seats for the entire season and craving more.  Many events involving many different people took place during the first season, and while many more events take place in the second season, the main focus seems to be on the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.  Claire Foy and Matt Smith, along with the entire cast, create the most engaging and spellbinding portrayal of the royal family and relations that you can’t help but google and compare the similarities.  The show even has a way of tricking us with actual footage and stunning recreations leaving you to question what was real and what is newly created for the show.  There is something about their extremely proper demeanors and accents that sings deep within me.  Claire Foy’s portrayal of the Queen only makes me like Claire, and Elizabeth II more.  While I’ve seen posters and ads for other projects that Matt Smith has done, I can’t say I’ve really watched any of his other work.  Even if I had, it is his demeanor and accent in The Crown that I find most alluring and wanting to know more about this mysterious man.  The second season of The Crown provides us with a deeper look into who Philip Mountbatten was as well as his even more curious past.    Continuing with my love of posh British accents, while he is more of a villain, and I can’t entirely forgive him for calling Elizabeth II Shirley Temple in his correspondence, I can’t help but love Alex Jennings voice and style portraying David, the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII.  The aforementioned scandal not surprisingly centres around Princess Margaret.  The younger sister always wanted what her old sister had and perhaps in some ways would have made a better Queen, but not in the ways that count.  Princess Margaret can sell newspapers, but it would be fair to argue whether or not the monarchy would still exist today had Margaret been Queen.

The events that take place during the second season of The Crown are just as intriguing to watch as the first season, but there is a different feel to the whole season that I’m unsure of.  I still absolutely love and adore the series, but I think the second season sits within the shadow of the first.  Despite this, I cannot get enough and I can’t wait for season 3 and onward to be released.

Outlander: Season Two


Picture Courtesy of Sony Television Pictures


If you’ve read my review of the first book you may be surprised that I would even continue with the show into the second season.  After that, you may even be wondering why I continued after my review for the first season of the tv adaptation.  It all began with the first episode…

Season two opens with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) appearing at the stones of Craigh na Dun.  In distress and seemingly disoriented, just as we are, Claire wonders through the countryside until she happens upon a road and a motor vehicle.  It is here that we both come to the realization that we are back to a time when Claire initially disappeared from the Scottish Highlands what seems ages ago.  After being admitted to a hospital, Frank (Tobias Menzies) is contacted and comes rushing to the hospital, overjoyed that his wife has returned to him after being missing for three years.  Frank’s joy becomes even more intense after learning that Claire is pregnant, until his mind pieces together the fact that it obviously could not be his.

Season two takes us on a whirlwind journey between the future and the past landing us in the port of France in 1744.  With Claire’s knowledge of the future and the inevitable demise of the Scottish Highlanders, Claire and Jamie (Sam Heughan) set out on a dangerous mission within the French Court to join the Jacobite cause and stop their planned rebellion.

Season two of Outlander has a very different look than the first season.  The first episode still has the same qualities of the first season, but when we jump to episode two with Claire’s recollection and the beginning of our journey in France, things are clearly very different.  The cast has a polished new look, both Claire and Jamie decidedly more attractive, or perhaps just clean.  As many of you may know I have a thing for monarchies, royals, and castles.  I was markedly giddy upon seeing Claire’s French couture and the lavished architecture and accommodations that adorn the second season.  Not to say that there were not many good characters within the first season, but the second season creates an avalanche of new characters full of joy, friendship, sorcery, and enemies.

Claire’s character, while a stranger in a different land and different time, was at the mercy of those around her in the first season.  Though the second season finds her in a den of snakes, she is given the position to be the strong woman that we know she is and in this, she flourishes.  Using her quick wit, cunning, and skills as a healer Claire becomes the heroine that we so sorely needed in the first season.

Jamie Fraser is still the same reliable honor-bound husband from the first season, but there is something different about him.  He is somehow more handsome in the second season than in the first and remains our rock as we travel through the maelstrom of the French Court and the impending war.

There are many familiar faces that rejoin the cast for the second season with Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) having grown on us greatly and we welcome his weathered face and sour expression.  The Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) with his schemes that make you admire his character while wanting to punch him at the same time and even that little witch Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) who you wish would just burn already.  Though this is only a fraction of the familiar, there are a great many new faces worth mentioning for the good and the bad.  The Jacobite cause intends to put the Bonnie Prince Charlie (Andrew Gower) on the English throne in honor of the Stuarts who once claimed it as well as God.  I’m not sure what should have come to mind with a name like Bonnie Prince Charlie, but Charles Stuart was not what came to mine.  The pale sneaky little man who seems nothing more than a puppet chooses to find his voice at the most inopportune times and utters the phrase “mark me” more often than I care to say.  Perhaps this should be a praise for his acting and role as we are not meant to like him, but I would have very much liked to have done away with him and saved us all a lot of trouble.  Fergus (Romann Berrux), joins our story as a young thief and while he does not play a large role, he has found a way to steal our hearts.  Perhaps a dangerous friendship to begin having just escaped a witch trial, Claire be-friends an apothecary owner named Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon).  I’m not sure if it is wise to deal with someone who does business by selling potions and poisons, but Master Raymond plays a significant role in the second season and becomes an unlikely ally.  Now that I’ve found myself rambling I want to add one more new face quickly, though there are more I’d like to touch on, Mother Hildegard (Frances de la Tour).  Claire finds herself aiding a hospital for the poor which is run by the nuns and Mother Hildegard.  Frances de la Tour has earned a special place in many of our hearts when she took on the role of Madame Maxime in the Harry Potter series.    Now that I’ve sufficiently rambled about nothing…

I absolutely loved the second season of Outlander, greedily binging on each episode far more quickly than I did the first season.  Towards the end of the season, I found myself clutching my chest for fear of having a heart attack and also holding back tears.  I now find myself in a predicament where season three has been completed but it is not available on Netflix.  It looks as though I may be picking up those hefty tomes once more in the future if the third season proves to be as good as the second.


Outlander: Season One

Picture Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

After having read the first book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon I decided to leave it up to the TV series to decide how I would continue the adventure.  You can find my book review here.

My favourite thing about watching a TV show or movie based on a book I have read is making the connections between the two and comparing how I envisioned them as to how things play out.  I happen to have a thing for accents with British coming in at first place but my knowledge of the Scotts and their accents was pretty slim.   It’s here that reading the book then watching the show came in handy.  While I knew the context of what they were saying in the book, there were times I didn’t know how it was properly said.  I think this plays both ways, if I were to have watched the show and not read the book I feel like there were a few things I might not have got, but would have got on just fine.

The second world war has just ended and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her husband Frank Randall  (Tobias Menzies) are vacationing in Scotland.  The trip acts as both an escape as well as to reconnect having been newly wed during the war and separated during the war.  While exploring the ruins of Craig na Dun near a small town called Inverness, Claire is transported back in time 200 years.  Claire must try to assimilate to the time as well as being an English woman in the 17th century.  Upon her arrival, Claire comes face to face with a ghost of the past with the face of her future when she meets Frank’s ancestor Jonathan Randall.  In an attempt to escape Black Jack Randall, Claire is captured by Scottish Highlanders of the clan MacKenzie.  It is here that Claire meets our main man and heartthrob, James “Jamie” MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

The series follows Claire’s attempt to understand why she has been sent back into the past, how to survive in this new time and which path to follow.  Not knowing if and how her choices in the past will affect her future, Claire must make some difficult choices to follow the path she once led, or to take a new path on this new adventure that this ancient magic has provided her.

The TV series follows the books for one season per book, or so it would seem.  The show has done a good job following the book accurately but has taken its advantages by skipping some things and adding others for the sake of viewing ease and for those who have not read the books.  There are scenes of passion and sex within the novel, but I must say it is much more prevalent watching the show than having read the book.  Unless it was simply the fact that the images are in your face and you are more aware of it while breasts and ass flash (or remain) on the screen while you are riding the bus to/from work or watching on your lunch break with wandering eyes abound?

Now that I’ve read the first book and watched the first season I think I have come to the determination that rather than continuing with the rather cumbersome tomes I will continue the series on Netflix, and potentially on TV as they come.  I have already caught the first episode of season two and find the show and the characters to be slightly more polished than the first season.  The introduction to season two was a bit of a shock, but I am intrigued to see how things play out.




What we expected:


Picture Courtesy of BBC Three and Netflix

What we got:


Picture Courtesy of BBC Three and Netflix

While it may not be completely fair to review this show without even having finished the first season I assure you I did try.  I made it all the way to the end of episode two, which I think was a feat in and of itself.  I feel as if I am Frodo on such a journey but no reward in the end.  The first season only consists of 6 episodes which does not make it any more bearable which is even more disappointing since it is a Netflix Original series and they have done so well thus far.

A husband and wife (Greg Davies and Helen Baxendale) are preparing to welcome their daughter Rachel (Tamla Kari) home after her travels abroad.  She has finished school and is on track to complete a medical degree at university.  When the daughter returns with an unexpected surprise, the parents find that the daughter they knew has become a completely new person.  Long gone are the days of practicality, ambitions and cleanliness, welcome free loading and free love.  While traveling abroad, Rachel met Cuckoo (Andy Samberg), fell in love and married in some obscure native ceremony.  The family tries to adjust to the return of their body snatched daughter while trying to swallow the hard pill that is Cuckoo.

The comedy in the series surrounds the absolute absurdity that is the character of Cuckoo, a free loving, free loading and completely unaware individual in comparison to his new family and specifically new father-in-law who you know… showers and works for a living.  I am aware that the character is fictional and his actions and words were chosen for effect, except the most annoying thing is there are people exactly like Cuckoo in the real world.  Free love and individuality, peace and togetherness blah blah blah I get it, but do that on your own time and dime, not on others.

I would like to point out that the only reason I started watching the show was the false advertising on Netflix.  The show is on its fifth season, though I don’t know how it managed that, which creates the confusion for initial viewers.  For starters the poster ad for the show is of Greg Davies and Taylor Lautner.  “Rachel shocks her proper British parents when she marries an American hippie, but it’s just the first in a series of surprises for the family.”  One could only assume when seeing this that Taylor Lautner is Cuckoo.  Also, at the time, there was a description for the show of the father walking in on Cuckoo naked.  I thought to myself, Taylor Lautner, point, naked? point, point.  Sadly while there is some nudity it is of Andy Samberg, who is in fact Cuckoo, and Lautner does not actually make an appearance onto the show until season two.  The fact that I must endure a further four episodes just to reach season two makes it not even worth it.  I would almost consider skipping the first season entirely just to see season two and see if it was worth the journey just for Lautner.

Unless you can vouch for season two, three, four or five being any better, there is no way I am going to continue this dreadful series and put up with the cringeworthy antics of Andy Samberg.


Riverdale Season One


Picture Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures, The CW and Netflix

Whether you were a fan of Archie comics or not, Riverdale is a new hit series released on Netflix guaranteed to please.  While the fan base for the show could be clearly geared towards the younger viewers, the show creates a dark twist to the lives of these wholesome comic book characters and feeds on the addiction of mystery, lies and secrets that we all so eagerly crave from a show.

Riverdale is the setting for our wholesome town with our wholesome characters and as with all things wholesome comes secrets and lies.  The town is turned upside down when Jason Blossom, the son one of the towns most prominent families, is found murdered.  His death has sent shockwaves throughout the small town, but the most shocking is the fact that almost everyone in town could potentially be the killer.

One of the main characters, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) has set fire to the ginger community by creating a new sexy face to what people imagine when they think of a ginger.  (I’ll just point out that KJ’s natural hair color is not actually red and his appearance is a severe contrast to an actual ginger such as Trevor Stines who plays Jason Blossom.)  Regardless of your tastes both male and females cannot deny that KJ makes one very sexy ginger and if you aren’t entirely convinced, he even has an accent from his native New Zealand which you can check out in some of his Instagram posts: kjapa (you’re welcome).  Our underdog and surprising entry is Cole Sprouse who plays Jughead Jones.  You may remember Sprouse better from such things as Big Daddy, Friends (Monica Bang) and the Suite Life of Zac and Cody.  As handsome as our Archie may be, Jughead adds some much needed depth to the story and the characters.  I wasn’t entirely convinced by his one liner angsty comments in the beginning, but I’ve come to like him as our dark narrator. His darkness is balanced by that of the sweet Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper and a dash of spice with Veronica Lodge.  While there are things that we love above each of these main characters I can’t help but have a soft spot for Cheryl Blossom.  She is one half of the Blossom family twins and is a fierce bombshell of a red head whose wealth creates a glamour in both her home decor and her killer outfits.

The show has made its attempts at sending messages through its episodes but I much prefer when it sticks to the secrets and lies.  Only three episodes in it had already tried to cram in slut shaming and the race card while also casually inserting the subliminal push for teens that Twitter is the new teendom and Facebook is for seniors.  This is also part of that strange thing that shows do when they portray Highschool students as older than they actually are by drinking coffee all the time and drinking alcohol at clubs while still clearly well below the legal age limit.  On the topic of young and old…As passing the torch from one teen show to the next, Luke Perry is cast as Archie Andrew’s father Fred Andrews.  As young and attractive are the new cast, Luke Perry portrays the obvious effects of drugs and alcohol that an actor can be exposed to looking more like grandpa Andrews rather than dad Andrews.

Riverdale has that addictive mystery thriller quality where every person on the show could be a suspect.  This can become tedious at times because you know that the first few sets of people pinned as the killer will be cleared in one way or another making way for our next suspect.  The murderer of Jason Blossom is the pinnacle of season one, and while we may know, or not know, who that may be after season one, Riverdale has planted a few seeds to help create some lasting power for the seasons to come.  There are many thrilling events and shocking secrets revealed in each episode of the season, but I must admit that there is a pretty obvious element of predictability when it comes to the show.  I’ve been able to predict many events and even been able to quote lines before they are spoken much to the chagrin of those around me.  Still, I am very much behind Riverdale and can’t wait to see which of my expected plot seeds will Blossom in season two.



Scream Queens Season One


Picture Courtesy of 20th Century Fox


These days you can barely take a crap in your own home without someone finding out about it and taking offence to it.  Frankly, your offence and your easily offended nature are offensive to me and my butt hole.

Scream Queens is one of those shows that I am actually shocked that it was able to even air on TV/Netflix and that the cast of the show haven’t been hunted down on social meeting and barraged by a wall of complainers.  The show is an obvious horror comedy that basically takes every opportunity that it can to make an offensive comment about something, anything and anyone.  Sometimes while watching the show you have to do a double take and say, Did they really just say/do that?

Season one of Scream Queens centres around a fictional university in the U.S. where a serial killer dons the schools mascot uniform and begins killing the students.  The victims centre around the sorority of Kappa Kappa Tau, a well known sorority for having the prettiest and most popular girls every year.  It is actually the fact that they are so racist and elitist that makes them the sorority that every girl wants to be part of.  The sorority is lead by Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and her gaggle of minions dubbed The Chanels.  Each of the original Chanel’s are given a number ranging from 1 to 5. These include: Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande), Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd), Chanel #4 died prior to the pilot and Chanel#5 (Abigail Breslin).  The Chanels are an elite group of rich daddy’s girls that plague and torment the university.  They stand for everything that the Dean of the university is against and so Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) makes it her mission to shut down the sorority for good.  As part of her mission to push the girls of Kappa Kappa Tau, the Dean makes it mandatory for the house to allow any pledge to join the house.  This strips the house of its exclusivity and creates a group of misfits that are an extreme contrast to The Chanels.  When a serial killer sets its sights on Kappa Kappa Tau, The Chanels and their new recruits must band together to try to protect one another and to unmask their killer and the reason behind the killings.

With the show being set on a university and within a sorority we have the added benefit of many different character roles to follow, and also plenty of victims.  The Chanels may be known as their number, but each one has their own name and their own personality.  Something that each character also has are their own skeletons.  The secrets from the past mixed and those of the present along side the over the top personalities helps to create a stronger storyline instead of a straight forward serial killer slasher show.  It also doesn’t hurt to have so many familiar faces added to the cast to keep us coming back including:  Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Jonas and an appearance by Chad Michael Murray.

The show is full of over the top comedy, cheesy horror (and actual horror) with the tantalizing element of mystery.  The thing that all these shows have in common is the fact that there is a killer and us as the viewer wants nothing more than to find out who it is.  This is what keeps us coming back for more as we target one person with a full belief that they are the killer, only to find out that they aren’t, to set our sights on the next person for the same pattern to continue.  This game allows the show to continue longer than just one episode and also keeps the viewers coming back; however, it can also get a little annoying.

There are moments of humour throughout the season, but I must admit I was hoping for more laughs than I actually got.  I appreciated the mystery of trying to work out who the killer is but even that only went so far.  Scream Queens is one of those shows that you don’t love, but the shock factor seems to keep you hanging around.  I wasn’t that impressed by season one, but I must admit that if season two was on Netflix I would have continued with the series.  With even more familiar faces in the second season when it does come available on Netflix, I won’t be surprised to find myself watching.