Hi there, bloggers!
Now usually, I don’t watch a lot of series, whether television or online. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I don’t have much patience for sitting still for 30 minutes to an hour for such matters. And when it comes to binge-watching, I haven’t done that since I was eleven years old (back when One Piece was such a huge part of my life).
However, I managed to do a bit of watching this summer, despite not being a huge fan of series in the first place. I was fortunate to bum off Netflix from my dad’s account to watch a couple of series, as well as tune in with the family to the television every weekend after dinner.
When it comes to sticking with series, I’m usually very picky: in other words, if the first episode doesn’t pull me in, I won’t bother to continue. Thankfully, most of the series I’ve tried this summer have hooked me in, and I’d thought that I would present them to you. Without further ado, here’s my list of series I’ve seen this summer!
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Streaming on Netflix, A Series of Unfortunate Events was a series that I’d been interested in checking out since its trailer came out early this year. I loved the books as a child (the 2004 film, not so much), so I was curious to see how it would be adapted on the silver screen.
For Season 1, the series covered 4 of the 13 books, with each book split into two episodes each 45 minutes long. Overall, I found it sharp and witty in dialogue (even ad-libs) and plenty of depth that otherwise wasn’t addressed in the books. At first, I was worried that it would stick too close to the series’ narrative, but as the episodes went on, they diverged more so, which I actually appreciated. The children were cute, but it was Neil Patrick Harris (who played Count Olaf) who stole the show. It worked out well, although I don’t think it had entirely hooked me in…not sure why, but still, I will still go for a Season 2!
2. 13 Reasons Why.
Now, I wrote a review for this series earlier this summer, so I won’t go in so much depth about my thoughts on the show here. Just like with A Series of Unfortunate Events, I also read Thirteen Reasons Why when I was younger, and I was curious to see how it would be made into a series. Also watched it on Netflix, and I actually found myself getting quite into it.
Really, the show hooks you in with its mystery-suspense genre. The acting is great, but I think the plot-line was a bit tenuous at times. While I did appreciate how the show diverged from the book in some parts for the effect of it being entertainment, some of those moments fell a bit flat with character development (especially the supporting cast) and the fact that it seemed to drag on for some parts in the middle. Certainly can be graphic at some points, and it’s no wonder that it’s generated much controversy. Also think it’s not necessary for a Season 2, since the episodes already finished covering what’s in the book. All the same, though, it’s an addicting show worth your time.
3. Wynonna Earp.
I reviewed Season 1 of Wynonna Earp last year, and I have since returned to watching (and reviewing) Season 2, which premiered in June. What makes this Canadian series great isn’t just its distinctive supernatural-Western genre, but also the great chemistry among cast members which truly makes it a pleasure to watch every single week.
Now, don’t tell anyone, but I get my Wynonna Earp fix through uploaded YouTube videos, since I don’t have Syfy at home and I’m too cheap to pay for it. Not the easiest, let alone *legal* way of doing it, but I manage. Compared with Season 1, this second season has definitely gotten more intense…and all the more fun! Lots more bad guys to take down and lots more character development that we hadn’t seen so much in the previous season. Also loving the Wayhaught moments, as it’s so great to see LGBTQ+ representation on the silver screen, without any queer-baiting at all! Still in the process of watching it (there are about 2-3 episodes to go as of now), but even then, I can’t wait for Season 3!
4. The Great British Bake-Off.
Known as The Great British Baking Show in the U.S., this U.K. series was our call to all things sweet: I love watching cooking/baking shows, and my family and I happened to stumble upon this brilliant gem on our PBS channel.
GBBO is certainly a delightful series– even I’m using “British-isms” in my writing!– being deceptively calming in its pretty, dainty aesthetics in the studio (or tent), but also super intense with crazy, unrealistic challenges each week (4 different types of pastries AND a chocolate cake in 5 hours?! Unbelievable). Don’t know if it’s the fact of being British, but the judges themselves can be quite ruthless in evaluating– makes the judges on American baking series seem too nice! Love how talented the contestants are, some of them making incredible cakes, tarts, puddings, and other British pastries each week. Now that’s a show I could sit through for more than two episodes straight!
5. House Hunters International.
While not a new series I’ve seen, I have since returned to watching it regularly with my family on the television almost every weeknight. True, I watch the domestic version (i.e. buying houses in the U.S.), but it’s the international ones that really get me, as an avid traveler myself. From the architectural beauty of places like Nuremberg, Germany to the lush landscapes of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I’m enraptured by the thoughts of American expats living there, wondering if I could do so, too, in the future.
Now, I’ll admit and say that House Hunters International is extremely formulaic (3 houses, disagreeing couples) and the fact that I believe it intentionally has the couples choose the place that we never guess them to choose (seems like it’s almost always “House #2”), it’s always fun to see the variety of houses out there in the world, some of them dazzling and just unfathomably wonderful. While I don’t think I’ll be staying in such houses when I’m older, watching a lot of architectural porn (as I call it) is good enough for me!
Since coming across this Japanese anime when visiting family in Taiwan last summer, I’ve since fallen in love with it. In fact, I would spend much of my time back in Taiwan just watching it on TV, granted, Chinese-dubbed, but all the more hilarious!
I liken Atashin’chi to other anime/series which don’t have much of a plot, instead relying on daily, ordinary occurrences for entertainment. It’s always a pleasure to see what kind of antics Mother Tachibana gets into– she’s my favorite character! At the end of the day, Atashin’chi is sure to make you laugh like no other, as well as being super cute and pleasurable.
Let me know which series you’ve been watching this summer! Have a great day, bloggers. 🙂
— The Finicky Cynic
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