Show Review: The Day of the Triffids (2009)

If anyone ever asks me what my favourite Cinderella story is, my answer will be shouting Ever After (1998) at the top of my lungs before they can even finish the question. Perfect Cinderella, perfect Prince Charming, perfect Leonardo da Vinci as the fairy godmother. Perfect, perfect, perfect. As a result, Dougary Scott has always been a favourite of mine and I’m therefore *shock Pikachu face* at the fact that this BBC adaption of a classic science fiction novel from 1951 with the classic Prince Charming has somehow escaped my notice. At least I’ve found it now!

The Day of the Triffids is two-part series that follows Bill Masen and Jo Playton after a meteor shower has left most of the world blind. For context, triffids are a source of alternative fuel that is pollution free and easy to grow, but at a steep risk – these plants eat people. Global warming has been diverted by these plants, but they’re not safe and must be kept under constant watch. Bill, a scientist who has spent his life studying triffids after a sting from one killed his mother, and Jo, a reporter, escaped the blindness (two of the few who did), but not the triffids.

Bill and Jo cross paths as panic breaks out and chaos ensues as a result of so many losing their sight all at once. At the same time, the triffids, now unwatched, begin to wreak havoc on London. While what’s left of the government try and gather supplies, and a man named Coker rallies those who have been blinded by the meteor to keep them safe, the triffids spread across the land and the only ones emphasising their danger are Bill and Jo. Everyone else is more concerned with the obvious diversions of everything going wrong, believing the pair’s fears overblown. (Narrator: Their fears were not overblown.)

Dougray Scott and Joely Richardson are fantastic in this! I wasn’t expecting to see Jason Priestly in a BBC production, but his character makes for a good introduction. He plays Coker, a man furious at the lack of care being shown to those who have been blinded and becomes an activist of sorts, although his tactics take questionable directions. I wasn’t expecting to see Eddie Izzard either, and his character becomes a supplementary antagonist alongside the triffids and adds to the chaos and fear that permeate every scene.

If you’re looking for a science fiction miniseries with a solid cast and a different take on unravelling of society, this one is a good diversion from zombies and aliens. This time, it’s plants!

Show Review: Fringe (2008)

My Dawson’s Creek rewatch led me to Fringe, which I unfortunately never finished when it was airing a few years ago. I’m now finally going through it properly and really, really enjoying it. If you like The X-Files, Supernatural (and can we talk about the most recent episode ending, guys, because I’m not okay?!), Alias, Buffy or Angel, this one fits right in with classics of the 2000s. It has that vibe. I can’t even describe it, but if you watched these shows, you know what I mean.

Fringe follows Olivia Dunham, an FBI agent who has fallen in love with her partner, John Scott. She and John end up on a case that ends badly, with John in hospital afflicted by a strange virus. It’s turned his skin translucent and he’s dying. In an effort to save him, Olivia begins researching doctors, treatments and scientists who might know more about the mysterious illness. Her search leads her to Walter Bishop, a genius who’s been in a mental institution for almost two decades after someone died during one of his experiments. Bishop, a leading thinker in the field of ‘fringe science’ is believed to be insane, but is still brilliant.

Unable to get in to see Walter without a family member, Olivia flies to Iraq to find Peter Bishop, an MIT dropout turned transient who has no relationship with his father and doesn’t want one. Fibbing blackmail, Olivia gets Peter to come back with her to Boston to see Walter. They take him out of the institution and, along with Astrid, a fellow FBI agent, begin researching ways to save John.

When I first started it, I got heavy X-Files vibes, but after a couple of episodes the two shows couldn’t be more different. There are strange figures called Observers popping up at random events and they are sufficiently terrifying. Each episode follows a different mystery of the week, many of which tie into ‘the Pattern’, or are related to Massive Dynamic, a multinational group that has a role in the strange events going on. Massive Dynamic reminds me a bit of the Life Foundation in Venom, actually.

I love the focus on characters in this show. This one has a really good balance between hard science fiction and character relationships and development. There’s a lot of focus on Peter’s relationship with his father, Olivia’s past relationship with John, and the growing friendship between Peter and Olivia. All of the characters are intriguing and complex, and I’m excited to see how the show progresses and how it ends.

Thoroughly recommend!

Dawson’s Creek Rewatch (Part 2)

spoilery (✿◠‿◠)

I apparently have a lot of feelings about Dawson’s Creek and a second post is required!

Carrying on from my previous post, my Dawson’s Creek rewatch continues and so DOES THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOSTER. I’m now partway through season two and I’m constantly stunned by how impressive this show is, especially for its time. The characters are very well written and there’s such a running theme of genuine sincerity throughout the show that I’m just moved by. (I’m all about good vibes these days and let me just say, this show is the perfect break from reality right now.)

Season two tackles Jack’s coming out storyline, the return of Joey’s father, Jen’s struggles with her aunt and her personal happiness, Andie’s mental health crisis, Dawson’s parents’ divorce and subsequent dating adventures, and love stories on all sides.

I’m just gonna start with my favourites: Jack and Pacey. Jack’s dating Joey – who’s smitten with him – when his bitter, angry teacher decides to make Jack read a personal poem in front of the class. The poem was meant to be only for the teacher’s eyes and is about another man. Jack leaves the class in tears. This is followed by Pacey spitting in his teacher’s face. Pacey is honestly the most amazing ally in these episodes and I STAN A GOOD MAN. Later, when he confronts Andie about her being bothered by Jack’s homosexuality, he tells her straight out that he’s disappointed in her. He further refuses to apologise to the school for standing up for Jack and is genuinely delighted when Jack thanks him at the end. Pacey is honestly so pure. THESE PRINCES.

Pacey’s amazing treatment of Jack is also mirrored in his wonderful treatment of Andie, who struggles with her mental health throughout the season. He’s open and understanding, promising to stand by her side through what’s to come. The scene where she locks herself in her room, hallucinating Tim, her and Jack’s late brother, is gutting. In the aftermath, Jack is forced to recall his dad – who was last seen telling Jack that he didn’t want him to be gay – for Andie’s safety, and the end result isn’t great for anyone. Jack’s father continues to be homophobic and suggest conversion therapy, but Jack stands up for himself and tells his father that while he wants his dad to be proud of him, he won’t compromise who he is. I’m definitely bummed that Andie left at the end, leaving Pacey and Jack brokenhearted, but I’m glad Jack stayed behind and gets Jen to move in with him at the end.

This season also had a lot of classmate Chris (Jason Behr) and resident drama llama Abby, who bonds with Jen while stirring up chaos with everyone else around her, often with Chris’ help. I thought they were really great minor characters and I wish we’d had them around longer. The actors were superb!

I’m stoked for the rest of this rewatch! (Clearly.)

Rewatch Review: Dawson’s Creek (1998)

I’m going to be fairly spoilery with this so heads up. (✿◠‿◠)

Do you know what I remember about Dawson’s Creek? I mean, we all remember: I don’t wanna wait for our lives to be overrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ♫♪. But the standouts for me were Jensen Ackles’ showing up right before he started on Smallville and Supernatural, and of course Jack McPhee’s storyline.

For those don’t remember, Dawson’s Creek made television history with Jack’s LGBT storyline at the time. LGBT relationships, let alone kisses, weren’t commonplace on television in the US at the time and it was A BIG DEAL. I could count on one hand the number of gay storylines we got on network television when I was growing up: Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friends. So my everlasting memory of Dawson’s Creek was largely: thank you for giving us representation when so few would.

I also just adore the cast of Dawson’s Creek in general and continue to, to this day. Seriously, the core actors all went on to have lovely careers and seem so genuine in real life that I’ve always had a soft spot for the show as a result. Same with Firefly and Buffy and Supernatural. If the actors seem chill in real life, the show feels like comfort food, especially when you’re looking for escapism (and who isn’t this week?). Now it’s a decade since I last watched the series (I think?) and I’m finally getting a chance to rewatch it, and I’m finding that I remember – basically none of the storylines whatsoever! Which is making the rewatch so much fun and surprising. Somehow I even forgot about Dawson’s movie obsession??? Which is basically the foundation of the entire show, so that’s a wow at me. WOW.

Some more wows: I didn’t remember Dawson’s parents having an open marriage after a case of infidelity. Nor did I remember Pacey and his teacher in season one?! What the?! I feel like that storyline came out of left field. I didn’t remember Joey and Jack kissing??? Wut??? And he tells Dawson he’d do it again? To his face?? And Dawson punches him?! How did I forget this???? And wait, Jason Behr was in this, too? *SHOCK PIKACHU FACE*

Something that really struck me this time is Pacey’s fixation with his brother Doug’s sexuality in season one (Doug comes out in the final episode of the series and ends up with Jack), and while Pacey is being a jerk in the context of the scene (it’s evident that he’s mocking, not supporting), I wonder if it was foreshadowing on the part of the writers? If so, I’m really impressed by how early Doug’s homosexuality is brought in (1998) and how it comes full circle by the end (2003). I’d also forgotten about how awful and homophobic one of the high school teachers was to Jack. (Watch Jack’s poem.) And then, somehow, I forgot about Pacey’s response. Let it never be forgotten that Jack and Pacey were precious, loyal and deserved better.

I also really appreciate how much agency Joey starts to assert for herself after she begins dating Dawson. She starts pushing herself to have more of her own identity, which is something so important. The emphasis on friendship that’s really underscored in the show is wonderful, too. The characters are all well developed and have great individual storylines, from the high-schoolers to the parents and siblings.

Jen as a character is one I didn’t remember too much about, although I’ve followed Michelle Williams’ career as a result of Jen, so go figure. She’s a sweet, spunky girl who’s open minded and kind, befriending everyone and supportive to all. I really adore her from the get go, and much as I like Joey, she was being quite cruel to Jen at the start simply for existing. The progression of Jen’s relationship with her grandma is really lovely and well progressed. I love that they have that bond, and the scene where her grandpa dies is so heart-shattering.

I think it’s clear Pacey’s one of my favourites, but just as a character study he’s so lovely and mature to his friends. When I think of other 90s lead guys, Pacey really stands out as someone who cares more about the happiness of the ones he loves than his own. And that’s something, I think, that I’m noticing on this rewatch. There’s a lot of kindness amongst the characters of the show that I think is absent from a lot of television nowdays. Nineties show had a quality, a softness, a kindness. I miss that. Kinda wholesome, you know? I mean that in a truly sincere way. I love how wholesome it is.

Anyone else watch this show when they were younger? Thoughts?

Show Review: Alguien tiene que morir (2020)

Set in the gorgeous 1950s Spanish countryside, Alguien tiene que morir or Someone Has to Die, follows the wealthy Falcón family. For anyone that loves Élite, the main actress from that show, Ester Expósito, is also in this one. I seriously adore her! The rest of the cast are amazing in this, too, but it’s great seeing her in more things!

The main storyline follows the Falcón family after the son, Gabino, brings his ballerino friend Lázaro home from México. Unfortunately, his family are less than pleased as they suspect Gabino of being gay and they don’t want Lázaro to spend time with him. Never mind the fact that Gabino is completely in love with Lázaro despite the fact that he’s is engaged to the wealthy Cayetana Aldama, who is none the wiser to Gabino’s sexuality. Sparks also fly amongst others in the area and tensions quickly worsen for everyone involved.

What I really liked about this show was the scenery, the fashion and without question the acting, which was fantastic. All absolutely amazing. It’s beautifully shot and the cinematography is lush. I don’t know as much about Spain’s history as I’d like, so learning about it is fascinating. That said, this isn’t a cheerful or uplifting miniseries by any means. It very much underscores how awful the homophobia was, so bear that in mind as it’s tough to sit through several of the scenes. It’s certainly well worth a watch, but I recommend having something cheerful to put on afterwards!

Show Review: Truth Seekers (2020)

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are two of the most popular choices for comedians in my house. I have seen Paul so many times at this point that I can quote it backwards and forwards. (And yes, you should watch it!) So imagine my partner’s and my delight when Truth Seekers was announced. And it’s every bit as awesome as I’d hoped!

The eight episode first season follows Gus, an internet repair man and amateur ghost hunter, and Elton John, the newest hire at the company, as the pair wind up falling headfirst into the paranormal on their first call. Simon Pegg plays their boss Dave; there’s also Helen, Elton’s sister who suffers from agoraphobia, and Astrid, the girl with all the ghosts. Richard, Gus’ father, is played by Malcolm McDowell, and I loooooove his character. Oh my gosh, he’s a scene stealer and I’m so here for his character!

What I love about this show is that it’s simple, sweet and good fun. It’s classic Frost & Pegg, and I watched half of it before conceding that a break might be warranted so that I didn’t watch the entire series in one sitting. If you like ghosts, comedies and some wholesome spookiness, definitely check this one out!

Show Review: Daredevil (2015)

‘This … Elektra, this is a part of me that I need. And you’re the only one who gets it. Without this, I’m not alive. I’m not. Not really. And I know that now, thanks to you. I don’t know what we are together, and if we have any chance in the future … But I … I do know that I’m free with you. Like with no one else.’

I’ve come in and out of Daredevil. I don’t know why, cos it’s amazing, but I just never made it past season one the first few times. And I love season one. I’ve seen it multiple times. But I’ve been wanting to finish it properly, so this time I came in with the arrival of Elektra and my word, I don’t think I’ve adored a star-crossed couple as much as Matt Murdock and Elektra.

This pair, ahh. They are what OTPs are made of.

The storylines of Daredevil are so enthralling and require your full and total attention, and season two is a great mix of a case that’s impossible not to care about – Karen learning about Frank Castle’s past and seeing the human side of him – alongside an epic, heart-shattering romance – Matt’s relationship with Elektra. Their history/flashbacks are so perfect and make them impossible not to root for. Matt and Karen are cute this season, but I really liked watching Karen with Frank and Foggy, and Matt with Elektra and Stick. Those were great trios and made the season nonstop action and anxiety.

I haven’t read the comics, or seen season three yet, so I don’t know where the final season is going, or what’s going to happen in The Defenders, but I’m excited. The fact that Daredevil got cancelled before it got a fourth season is truly gutting, because now I want many, many seasons of Matt and Elektra fighting side by side and being ridiculously perfect for each other. (ˆ⌣ˆ)

Show Review: The Innocent Man | Nice Guy | 세상 어디에도 없는 착한 남자 (2012)

Oh my gosh, The Innocent Man has me hooooooooked. If you like intense dramatic romances, this one is fantastic. I’m only about six episodes in, but I can’t stop! (It’s on Netflix as Nice Guy, if you’re looking!)

[I keep writing reviews for these shows before I’ve finished them but I just have a lot of EMOTIONS and OPINIONS so bear with me (and also there are some spoilers for the first six episodes herein, so if you don’t like spoilers, avoid until you’ve seen the show!).]

The main characters are Kang Ma-ru, Seo Eun-gi, Han Jae-hee, Kang Choco and Park Jae-gil. At the start, Kang Ma-ru’s madly in love with Han Jae-hee. They grew up together without money and have been together for years. There’s nothing Kang Ma-ru wouldn’t do for her. One night, after proving himself in medical school, he comes home to find his sister unconscious on the floor. Choco suffers from a long term illness and is constantly fainting and needing medical care. He’s in the process of bringing her to hospital when Jae-hee calls him, frantic. Torn between his sister and his girlfriend, he promises his sister that he’ll be right back, she only has to count to 500, and he runs to Jae-hee.

At a hotel, he finds Jae-hee sitting beside a dead body. They panic about what’s going to happen and in a spur of the moment decision, Ma-ru takes the fall. He’s kicked out of medical school and goes to prison, Choco’s health worsens, and Jae-hee ends up marrying a rich older man.

Five years later, Ma-ru’s jaded and furious. He’s on a flight when he encounters Seo Eun-gi, an heiress and step-daughter to Jae-hee. When Eun-gi faints onboard the plane, he uses his medical knowledge to save her life. In the process, he encounters Jae-hee once more.

Later, Jae-hee comes to his house and offers him compensation for taking the fall. Disgusted, Ma-ru returns the money but he gets caught in the crossfire between Jae-hee and Eun-gi, and is accused of blackmailing the family for money. So, that’s twice now that Jae-hee’s got him into trouble with the law.

I don’t know what to think about Jae-hee, honestly. She’s a really interesting and well developed character. Like, I cannot stand her in most of her scenes, but I do feel deep empathy for what her character experiences before the start of the show. She’s truly broken and terrified of going back to where she came from, so even though she’s manipulative and awful at times, she’s an interesting character and I hope she finds peace by the end. Also, her chemistry with Ma-ru is unreal and their scenes can be really heartbreaking.

Both of the women have great side relationships outside of Ma-ru and the love triangle, too. Eun-gi is close with Park Joon-ha, who’s been her friend all her life and fights for her within the company she runs, and always has her back. Jae-hee is close to Ahn Min-young, her husband’s secretary who’s secretly in love with her and helps her fight back against Eun-gi, who’s hated Jae-hee since her father kicked out her mother to make room for Jae-hee. There’s also Choco’s relationship with Park Jae-gil, Ma-ru’s best friend, who lives with them and supports Ma-ru through thick and thin. It’s a really splendid cast overall!

I really adore Ma-ru the most, though. He’s an amazing character. He’s such a good brother to Choco and he loves fiercely even though he’s been deeply hurt by Jae-hee’s actions. I love how his relationship with Eun-gi develops even as he’s battling Jae-hee and their tangled history. There’s so much intrigue and tension and looks. Seriously, this is a show that thrives on glares and side-long glances and I am here for it.

I can’t wait to see how it ends! Has anyone else seen it? If not, you totally should!

Show Review: Marriage Contract / 결혼계약 (2016)

Oof. This one’s tough and beautiful.

Marriage Contract deals with two very tough situations: a son dealing with his mother’s illness and his desperation to find her a new liver; and a young mother, hiding from loan sharks after her deceased husband left her a massive amount of debt, who finds out that she has a brain tumour. The pair cross paths when Kang Hye-soo, the young mother, begins working at Han Ji-hoon’s restaurant. She overhears his plans to marry someone and pay for a liver, she offers herself and requests that he gives her enough money so that her daughter Eun-Seong will want for nothing. Not knowing the reasons why, Ji-hoon pays off the loan sharks, marries Hye-soo, and the pair begin to sort out plans for her giving her liver to his mother.

The more time they spend together, the closer they become, but that only makes things more difficult as Hye-soo doesn’t want to share what’s happening to her with anyone or ask for help. Her scenes are absolutely shattering. Ji-hoon’s mother’s storyline is also devastating; his father’s the absolute worst, though.

One of the best parts of this show, other than Hye-soo and Ji-hoon’s relationship, is their relationship with Eun-Seong. She doesn’t warm up to Ji-hoon at first, and is deeply protective of her mother, but soon the pair begin to bond and it’s clear they come to see each other as family. I loved how fatherly he was and how much he cared about both Hye-soo and Eun-Seong.

I’m not gonna lie, this show will make you cry. Constantly. Hye-soo’s pain is so real and all I wanted to do was reach into the screen and hug her. Ji-hoon is such a good son and caretaker and partner. He really grows over the course of the show and I loved his character progression. His dedication to his mother and now-wife are amazing. LOVE IT.

This show is truly wonderful and touches on some really rough topics. I definitely recommend giving it a chance!

Show Review: Where Your Eyes Linger / 너의 시선이 머무는 곳에 (2020)

It appears television writers came together and wrote a show just for me! (Just kidding, but not really.) One of my absolute favourite tropes is a bodyguard falling in love with the one they’re protecting; another of my favs is ANGST that hits you in the FEELS without ruining your whole day. And thus we are blessed with Where Your Eyes Linger.

The short series – eight episodes, ten(ish) minutes each – follows Han Tae-joo, heir and rich kid, who is guarded and protected by his best friend of fifteen years Kang-gook. They’re more than friends, though. Their relationship is deeper than just bodyguard/protectee as well. They spend every waking moment together and have only been apart for one week when Tae-joo visited Japan.

Things take a turn when Choi Hye-mi, a girl at their school, begins to take an interest in Kang-gook and Tae-joo’s jealousy surfaces. But it’s far from one sided, and as Tae-joo tries to get Kang-gook’s attention, things become more and more intense.

I watched the whole series in less than two hours and it’s totally worth it. Has anyone else seen this one? Or have some bodyguard show recs? (The K2 is perfection, FYI.)