Show Review: The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window (2022)

a man in shadow tilting his hat with his fingers, very noir; text says 'show review'

I started this one on a whim, feeling in the mood for a mystery. It’s on Netflix, if anyone’s looking for it. I’ve been watching Slow Horses recently (amazing show, it’s on Apple+ if you’re looking) and wanted something similar. Although … that one’s about spies and this one’s a satirical mystery. I didn’t, however, realise straight away that it was satire, and I would actually amend that and say it’s mostly satire, albeit not entirely. There’s a whole lot of genuine drama, angst, fear, etc in this show, so don’t expect to be laughing the whole way through.

[Note/Spoiler: The actual background of the series is, like, some of the darkest shit ever. It’s not a total spoiler to say that the MC is grieving the loss of her daughter, as that’s pretty much told to you at the start, but it’s how her daughter died (later revealed to the audience) and it was so horrific that I was actually in shock. I think it’s supposed to be overtly shocking to play into the satire/black comedy aspect that the show is going for, but it really was so dark and even my partner was like ‘Whaaaaaat?’ So, yeah. Again, not total comedy, lots of really dark and depressing stuff.]

That said, the show as a whole I quite enjoyed and I really do recommend everyone give it a chance, although I’ll admit that I found myself frustrated by a lot of the central characters’ decisions. The MC’s ex-husband especially. He just made so many frustrating choices. I felt truly awful for Anna throughout, the MC, who is struggling with her grief and consumed with spending her days drinking wine and watching her neighbours through her window. A lot of the characters are furious at her, and she doesn’t help her case a lot of the time, but I really did root for her throughout.

When Anna’s new neighbour Neil moves in with his daughter Emma, the pair bond over mutual loss: that of Neil’s wife and Anna’s daughter. But despite the evident vibes between the two, the next morning Anna’s thrown through a loop when she learns that Neil has a girlfriend that he never bothered to mention. Anna quickly distrusts the girlfriend and spends her days obsessing her all the ways the girlfriend could be up to something. And then things take an even worse turn when Anna witnesses the girlfriend’s death. The show then follows her trying to prove that she’s not crazy, didn’t hallucinate the murder, and trying to solve the case when no one believes her. It’s a great role for Kristen Bell, who I first became a fan of whilst watching Veronica Mars. It’s great seeing her back in a mystery-centric show!

It’s a pretty short show and easy to marathon. Some of the episodes are less than twenty-five minutes long, but it’s super intense and incredibly compelling. I watched the whole thing in one sitting. I really liked the friendship between Anna and Sloane, her best friend who stays by her side throughout the whole show. Her other neighbour, Carol, made me laugh multiple times and provided a good amount of humour to lighten the darker moments of the show.

I got spoiled for part of the ending reveal, but not the whole twist, and I will say I had a lot of moments with my mouth open in shock. One of the final twists had me like \o/

Definitely worth a watch for fans of both mysteries and black comedies!

Show Review: Kin (2021)

Text says 'Kin'; in the background are actors Charlie Cox, Aiden Gillen, Ciarán Hinds and Clare Dunne.

Kin is a must-see crime drama on RTÉ.

I remember watching Love/Hate years back – with Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gillen. I really enjoyed the first couple of seasons, although I don’t believe I ever actually finished it. A very good show, though! But when I heard that Kin was similar in style to Love/Hate, this time with Charlie Cox and Emmett J. Scanlan and Aidan Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy, I knew I would like it. And I really, really did! Charlie Cox has been a favourite actor of mine since Daredevil, Stardust and The Theory of Everything. I remember watching Emmett J. Scanlan years back on Hollyoaks, and I’ve always liked him! Charlie Cox is brilliant – as expected – but honestly the whole cast were so, so good. Clare Dunne, who plays Amanda, is a new to me actress, but I really loved her in this. She is astoundingly good.

Kin follows the dark dealings and struggles of the fictional Kinsella crime family, not unlike the Sopranos (The Sopranos) or the Gallaghers (Shameless). When Michael Kinsella, played by Charlie Cox, is released from prison for accidentally killing his girlfriend and the mother of his daughter Anna, he returns home to find that a lot has changed. In his eight years in prison, Anna has grown up, his brother Jimmy is married to his former fling Amanda, and raising his biological son Jamie as his own, and little has changed with the ‘family business’. Insisting that he needs a legal job in order to see his daughter, Michael opts out of returning to his former position as enforcer and takes a job at Amanda’s car dealership, which the family use as a front.

This lasts for exactly one episode until Eric, son of the family’s leader, Frank, attacks their rivals and sets off a chain of events that leaves Jamie, Michael’s biological son with Amanda, dead. Jimmy, his brother and the one who raised Jamie with Amanda, swears revenge and asks Michael to help. At first, Michael refuses, but he’s soon drawn back into his old life, desperate to avenge his son and help his brother, whilst trying to get custody of his daughter, who is curious but wary about the return of her father.

The action and suspense in the show were so good that I ended up watching the first, like, six episodes without stopping (and have since started a rewatch). Only the fact that it was three in the morning made me finally pause and finish up the show the next day. It’s that intense and spellbinding. The characters are all interesting and the storylines are so engrossing. The cinematography is gorgeous. Really, it has all the ingredients for a top tier drama and totally succeeds. It’s a show that’s about family more than anything else and I’m so excited to see where the series goes from here. The ending of season one was action packed and dramatic and I can only guess what else there is to come!

Has anyone else watched Kin? What’d you think?

Show Review: Panic (2021)

a dark forest at night, text says 'show review'

I started this review in *checks notes* the summer? And then it ended up in my drafts and I totally forgot to post it. BUT that shouldn’t be indicative of my love of this show, because I did seriously enjoy it. And you know, I actually think it ended pretty much without a cliff hanger, so I’m not mad about the lack of a season two as such, because as much as I wanted more of these characters, I think the ending we got was good and more might have taken that away, so yeah. I think this is a really good show that can now be watched as a fun miniseries!

*spoiler warning*

I have a new favourite show and it is Panic. I wasn’t sold by the trailer, but I was bored and turned it on at random. And it’s so good, I was shocked by how much I loved it! I legit stayed up until four am watching it. If you liked Outer Banks, Friday Night Lights, Before I Fall, Ginny & Georgia or The OC, this is the show for you. I’d liken it most to Friday Night Lights in feel, romance and music. That said, it has nothing to do with sports!

Based on the book by Lauren Oliver, the show differs somewhat in plot and characters. In the show, Panic follows a group of high school graduates who embark in a competition of fear and dares in order to win $50,000. The main competitors are Heather, who dreams of getting out of Carp and going to college, which she can’t afford; Ray, the local bad boy and rebel; Dodge, a new kid who only showed up in the final year of high school and has a secret; Nat, who has money but butts heads with her father at every turn; and several others. There’s also Bishop, Heather and Nat’s best friend who watches the dares, but doesn’t compete. There’s also the sheriff and his deputies who are trying to shut down Panic after the deaths of two students the previous year.

The storyline itself is engaging and quick and filled with over-the-top stunts, but I adored the characters and the dynamics that were established. Heather is a terrific older sister, and her friendships with Bishop and Nat are great. Dodge is a great brother, as is Ray. Dodge and Nat’s relationship took me by surprise and was very well done, I thought. Mostly, though, I loved Heather and Ray. The pair of them were just so adorable and well developed throughout the series.

Hands down my favourite scene was Ray running back into the burning house to get Heather out. What a freaking hero. Very like Victor. I was really rooting for him and Heather throughout the show. Bishop was a great character, but I like his friendship with Heather more than them together. For the half a second we thought he was with Leela, I actually liked them, haha. I also don’t like how he treated Heather at times. The dynamic of him/Nat/Heather as friends was perfection. That said, I thought Dodge/Nat was perfect.

All in all, a really fun, thrilling show with strong friendships and a good central romance!

Show Review: Falsa identidad (2018) [pt. 2]

Oh my gosh, okay, fewer shows have destroyed my heart as much as Falsa identidad. Luis Ernesto Franco has quickly become one of my favourite actors, too – DUDE CAN ACT. Seriously, I have not loved a couple as much Diego and Isabel in a while.

If anyone wants a romantic crime thriller, for sure watch this show!! Has anyone else seen it? If not, you absolutely must. The show’s available on Netflix!

I’m starting Señora Acero now, which stars Luis Ernesto Franco and ¿Quién mató a Sara? star Carolina Miranda. I loved her in that, so seeing them together is awesome! I can’t wait to see how their scenes unfold. It’s so good so far! (I started in season three because the cast swapped out, but it’s not confusing starting here, if anyone’s curious!)

Shows For Hopeless Romantics (multilingual recs)

For those who, like me, adore a good romance plot line and want more of it, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite shows that are filled to bursting with wonderful romance, emotions and FEELS. A few have longer reviews attached, and I’ve added where I’ve found them, what language they’re in, and the country they’re set in.

Suspicious Partner is honestly so adorable. It follows a woman who keeps landing herself in trouble entirely unintentionally. It gets even worse when she’s wrongly accused of murder! Her paths cross (and cross again) with the prosecutor, and soon the pair join up to solve the mystery of the death she was accused of. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

The Road to Love follows Cecilia, born and raised in a trucking family and desperate to make a name for herself in a crowd that doesn’t want her to. From episode one, her best friend Fabián, aka Peluche, declares his love for her and proves himself to be the best friend (and maybe more~) everyone wants. [On Netflix | Spanish | Colombia]

Sense8 is definitely a romantic show. Yes, it has a strong sci-fi/action plot line (the fight/chase scenes are AMAZING) but romantic and platonic love drive the show completely and the characters’ love lives take front and centre. [On Netflix | English, Spanish, Korean, German, Icelandic, Swahili, Hindi | USA, Mexico, SK, Germany, Iceland, UK, India, Kenya]

Summertime is such an underrated gem! Set in an Italian beach community, the story follows Summer, the daughter of a musical family who’s become rather jaded due to her father’s long absences to perform, and the romance that develops between her and Ale, a racer who doesn’t want to race anymore after a bad fall. [On Netflix | Italian | Italy]

Where Your Eyes Linger is a short web series that follows the romance that develops between a bodyguard and his friend, who he’s been tasked with protecting. (Longer review here.) [Online web series | Korean | South Korea]

Virgin River is set in a small, idyllic town where a young widowed doctor relocates to heal and start fresh. She bonds with the locals and finds love with a bar owner. There’s something very sweet and wholesome about this show. If you like Gilmore Girls, Ginny and Georgia, Hart of Dixie or Sweet Magnolias, this one is up your alley! [On Netflix | English | USA]

Romance is a Bonus Book is the perfect show for book lovers. The story follows a young woman with no money and no experience, trying desperately to get hired. She’s living in her best friend’s house without his knowledge so that he doesn’t find out she’s homeless. She soon scores a job at his company and romance blossoms as their lives collide. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

One of my favourite costume dramas, Kurt Seyit ve Şura is truly in a league of its own. The story follows a young Russian noblewoman’s romance with a Turkish officer just as war breaks out. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Turkish, Russian, Arabic | Turkey]

Another small town romance (although much different from Virgin River), When the Camilla Blooms blends murder into its romance (like Suspicious Partner) and follows the romance and struggles of a young cop and the single mother he falls for while trying to solve a murder. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

A Discovery of Witches follows a young researcher/professor arrives in Oxford to study in the old libraries only to accidentally find a book that every vampire, daemon and witch are also seeking. She instantly becomes a target for just about everyone – but not if fellow academic (and vampire) Matthew has anything to say about it. (Longer review here.) [On Sky, Amazon | English, French | UK, USA, France]

Crash Landing on You cannot be over-recommended. A woman from South Korea accidentally hang-glides into NK and lands near a solider. Along with his dearest friends, he keeps her alive and tries to plot a way to send her back to South Korea before they’re all found out. This is truly one of the most fantastic romances I’ve seen and it’s the show that introduced me to Korean dramas. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

Bonfire of Destiny, like Kurt Seyit ve Şura, is based on true events. This one is based on a real fire that happened in a French bazaar in 1897. The show follows three women who are in the bazaar and what becomes of them and the men in their lives after the fire. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | French | France]

If you like bodyguard romances like I do (second on the list, woooo), I probably don’t need to say more, but The K2 is truly a fantastic action/romance series. The chemistry between the two leads tugs at your heart in every scene, the soundtrack is fantastic, and the action scenes have some of the best fighting choreography. SO GOOD. [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

Okay, so this is a television film not quite a show, but I’m counting it. I adore Richard Madden and Holliday Grainger, so having them both in a show is true perfection. I haven’t yet read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, but I truly adored this adaptation. [On Netflix, BBC One | English | UK]

Cable Girls is everything you want in 1920s romance and intrigue. The storyline follows four woman in Spain working at a telephone company, who find themselves entangled in politics and thievery after a young woman calling herself Lidia shows up with a plan in mind. Little do her new friends know that Lidia has a lot of secrets, many of which include the company’s boss, Francisco. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Spanish | Spain]

Surely a classic already, Poldark is a great show and totally worth your time. I love Demelza so bloody much and even though Ross wrecks my head at times, they’re perfect and their love is beautiful. Ross also has pretty good politics for the era, so hats off to him! (Longer review here.) [On Netflix, BBC | English | UK]

And last but certainly not least, Timeless. Yes, it’s a show that’s centred on time-travel and conspiracy, but what fuels the show is the love the characters had for those they lost and the love that develops between various couples through its two seasons. There is also a huge emphasis on found family and the importance of friendships. The finale also made it clear that love was the driving factor of the show, and I freaking adored every second. Fear not, lads, it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | English | USA]

Show Review: Falsa identidad (2018)

I’m definitely on a Spanish-language show roll this week. [I also recommend Las chicas del cable and ¿Quién mató a Sara? And at some point I’ll write up a review for Vivir sin permiso.] I stumbled across this whopper of a romance-thriller show at random and fell in love after the first episode.

*SPOILER WARNING EPS 1-7*

The series follows Diego, the wayward brother of rising politician Eliseo. Diego is caught on film stealing petrol and Eliseo reluctantly issues a warrant for his arrest. At the same time, Diego is caught on film with the wife of his fiancée’s father, who also happens to be in charge a cartel. (He gets caught, like, a lot in the first ten minutes, goodness. Not a sneaky sneakerson) Gavino, the head of the cartel, makes it his personal vendetta to hunt Diego down. Now on the run for his life, Diego turns to Eliseo, who is still trying to clean up his mess with the petrol and warrant. Everything rapidly changes when Eliseo’s maid’s dear friend Isabel shows up at Eliseo’s house with her two children, fleeing from her abusive husband, Corona. Eliseo quickly devises a plan to get Diego, Isabel and Ricas, her son out the country, with the aim of her daughter joining them in the US once things settle down. (Eliseo can only get three passports.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t go swimmingly. At. All.

This is very much an on-the-run romance, with side plots developing amongst the characters chasing Diego and Isabel and it’s kept me on the edge of my seat every episode!

Something I noticed throughout the episodes is the running commentary on toxic masculinity and misogyny. Fair warning, this show has a lot of rough elements and dark themes. The main guy, Diego, is contrasted by the abusive Corona and his just-as-terrible father Mateo. (THEY ARE BOTH ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE AND THE WORST AND UGH). But Diego is kind, sensitive. He encourages Ricas to face his fears and tells him that real men show emotion. He talks Ricas through everything step by step and supports Isabel at every turn. And you can see how his conversations with Ricas impact Isabel, who is still expecting the worst after being married to Corona for so long. This dynamic is contrasted by the situation Circe, Gavino’s only daughter, is facing. The misogyny of those around her has left Circe largely on her own, with only her close friend and advisor at her side. Then there’s Lourdes, who has been lied to and abused by Mateo. Her storyline breaks my heart and I hope it improves. I have a feeling that she’s going to cross paths with the other characters eventually, though.

I find Circe an interesting character. When Diego cheats on her and she’s ordered by her father to handle it, she can’t and instead turns on her father. (He, like Corona and Mateo, is also THE WORST.) She determines that she’s going to make her own decisions and quickly becomes a power player in the series. Her hawking is super cool, too. Lady’s got style. I want her to rise up and be rid of José for good. He’s her father’s right hand and so awful, ugh. (THE WORST, etc.)

The relationship between Diego and Eliseo is also great. I love close brother dynamics and theirs is wonderful. Very Prison Break, with Eliseo the calm headed, well connected one, and Diego the wild, kind-hearted one. Both are so well meaning and adore each other. The family dynamics that begin almost instantly with Diego, Isabel and Ricas are great, too.

I’m curious to see where the show goes, but there’s 169 episodes, so it’s going to take a while to find out! Has anyone else watched this show? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Show Review: Las chicas del cable (2017)

I started watching Las chicas del cable after finishing ¿Quién mató a Sara? (which you should all watch, FYI. Season two is a banger!) I wasn’t initially sure what the plot was going to be, but I wasn’t expecting it to draw me in so quickly and now I’m four episodes in and loving it!

*MILD-ISH SPOILERZ FOR EPISODES 1-4*

The plot follows four women in 1920s Spain at a telecommunications company. So basically early telephones, where you tell the operator who you want to speak to. The girls are tasked with being the operators, essentially. When Lidia, aka Alba, arrives at the company with the aim to rob the place in order to settle her debts, she doesn’t intend to find her childhood best friend and beau, Francisco, now a married wealthy man and her new boss. Francisco immediately figures out who Lidia is and determines to help her. THEIR CHEMISTRY IS ON FIRE, YO.

At the same time, Lidia’s new friends Marga, Carlota and Ángeles are all struggling with their own personal problems. Marga is young and timid, and cannot for the life of her pluck up the confidence to face Pablo, a colleague she has a crush on. Carlota is trying to flee her overbearing father who hates the fact that she works and keeps trying to get her fired. And Ángeles is in a terrible marriage with a cheating jerk who is trying to get her to leave her job because he doesn’t want to cease his affair. SO MUCH UGH AT HER HUSBAND.

The women quickly bond, pursing their new found freedoms, helping each other with their troubles, and in some cases exploring their sexualities.

It’s a really well written show, the costumes are fantastic. The music seems quite modern, what with the show taking place in 1928, but it’s not bad music (some good bops, to be honest), it just sometimes feels a little anachronistic in some places. Although I could be totally wrong. I’m excited to see how the political angle of the show develops as well, as there’s hints throughout the first episodes that that’s where it’s going.

My favourite characters so far are Lidia, Francisco, Pablo, Carlota and Marga, but honestly all the characters are well written and portrayed. I feel so bad for Ángeles and I hope she gets some happiness soon. Poor thing. The chemistry between Lidia and Francisco is amazing and they’re my favourite couple so far along with Pablo and Carlota. Not totally sure about Carlos as a character yet, although he’s nice enough.

I thoroughly recommend this show for anyone who enjoys costume dramas and romance-driven narratives (as you can tell, this is my absolute jam).

Show Review: Superstore (2015)

I love a lot of sitcoms: Friends, Schitt’s Creek, Raising Hope, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc, so I’m always on the lookout for more good ones. One that I discovered in lockdown is Superstore. AND IT’S SO GOOD. There’s something truly special about this show, honestly. The plot follows a group of employees at an American superstore and the struggles they face trying to make ends meet and keep good humour in the face of tremendous odds. The plot lines focus on issues like immigration, minimum wage, health care, maternity leave, cost of college, and even the pandemic in the final season (which needs to be added to Netflix because I WANT TO SEE IT). But even when the topics are serious, the show takes a really wholesome, kind, honest stance on everything.

Like, I’m not sure there’s a nicer, kinder, sweeter character on television than Jonah Simms. Behold:

(gifs not mine; source.)

All of the characters are honestly great, though. Amy is so wonderful and inspiring and I JUST LOVE HER. Jonah and Amy’s relationship is straight up GOALS. Their first kiss is absolutely epic, too. Dina and Garrett are also a hilarious couple and their scenes are everything. Glenn, the manager at the start, is freaking hilarious and charming and so, so kind. Cheyenne and Bo always make me giggle. Mateo is so snarky and hilarious, too. It’s a show of simply likeable characters and you want good things for all of them.

Has anyone else watched this show? If you haven’t, you must!

Show Review: Castlevania (2017)

‘Killing you was the point. Living through it was just a luxury.’

This show was never on my radar until the other night when someone used it to describe a book. I looked it up and found out that Richard Armitage, one of my favourite actors, is the lead voice actor. SOLD. For those who don’t know, Armitage is known for his voice work and narrates loads of books. So far I’ve listened to his audiobooks of The Velveteen Rabbit, Their Lost Daughters (need to finish this one), and Sylvester; and I’ve got The Chimes waiting for me. He’s also done David Copperfield, plus more besides. So you know he’s a great narrator!

But I totally ended up falling for the show. It’s a great addition to vampire television. (And I have seen a lot of vampire television shows!) The storyline is imaginative and original, and the artwork is mind-bogglingly good. The look is like a blend of anime and vintage 90s styles. It really reminds me of the 90s animated movies that I grew up with, actually. Kind of makes me nostalgic, yanno? But the storyline is also really great. The show follows Trevor Belmont, the last of his family, fighting against Dracula in ancient Wallachia. Trevor is such a great character. He’s weary and sarcastic and not in the mood for anybody’s shit. His dry humour is such a fantastic addition to the show. He kind of reminds me of Raylan Givens in Justified! (An amazing show, too.)

If you like vampire shows, witty characters and animation, this one is for you! It’s a great historical fantasy action series that reminds me of the 90s in a great way!

Show Review: The Resident (2018)

The Resident is the perfect show for romance lovers, although it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart! The drama and gritty depictions can be super intense!

The show follows a core series of doctors and nurses at the fictional Chastain Hospital. The show spends as much time on the behind-the-scenes drama as it does on the medical cases that follow each episode, but what I really like is how the cast isn’t so big that the stories are spread across a dozen people. There’s only a handful of central characters, however, the guest stars are frequently around for several episodes, so when a patient comes in, you get to see their storyline develop alongside the doctors and nurses, rather than just having new patients/cases every episode. Most medical shows I’ve watched only have the guest stars around for two episodes at most, so the fact that The Resident has the patients’ storylines get as much development as the doctors’ romances is a really great change in storytelling.

The show also spends a lot of time focusing on the ethical side of medicine and the cost of medical care in the US. Many of the plotlines revolve around this, actually, with the doctors in the show often butting heads with a system they feel isn’t fair to the patients.

There’s a few main characters, but so far (I’m two seasons in) there’s really only one super front and central couple, Nic and Conrad. I feel like they are the heart and soul of the show and I’ve been rooting for them since episode one. I don’t just mean they have engrossing storylines, I don’t just mean they have amazing build up and development, I mean: they are supportive of each other from minute one and I really appreciate that.

They start the show as exes who still have feelings for each other. Conrad is the kind of male lead we don’t get a lot of in television. He’s not a womaniser, he’s not a jerk to Nic, he’s not looking around for other love interests, there isn’t a love triangle. It’s actually so refreshing. He loves her and has personal issues that kept them from being more, but he works episode by episode to get her back. THIS IS THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WE NEED ON TELEVISION, DARN IT.

For those who like romance and medical dramas, this one is definitely worth checking out. I’m excited to see seasons three and four!