Tuesday 6 October 2020

Five Shows I've Been Loving Recently

Interrupting our usual Tuesday schedule of Top Ten Tuesday posts, I instead wanted to share what shows I've recently been watching and have to come love. For some time I was rewatching good old comfort shows just as a way to pass time. However, I finally decided it was time to find some new series to get into and I've been thoroughly surprised by how much I've enjoyed the following shows.

1. Raised By Wolves

Source: Binge 
"After Earth has been destroyed, androids must raise children on a mysterious planet. Meanwhile the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences." 

Hands down, this has been the most bizarre show I've come across. For those familiar with Scott Ridley, you most likely would be aware of his particular writing and visual styles. I, however, have never watched anything produced by him. So yes, I was in for a huge shock, which I loved. The strangeness of it all kept me invested in the show, thinking "surely it can't get worse", and was proven wrong every episode. There's a lot to think about regarding religion, morals, nature vs. nurture and what makes you really human, which I really appreciate. I'm not just consuming the show, I'm actually engaging with the content. I also want to applaud the actresses and actors for delivering incredible performances so far. I cannot wait for season 2!

2. Carmen Sandiego (Season 3)

Source: Netflix 

A master thief who uses her skills for good, Carmen Sandiego travels the world foiling V.I.L.E's evil plans - with help from her savvy sidekicks. 

My girl is back! If you didn't already know, I am an avid fan of the Carmen Sandiego series on Netflix. I did feature it in my "Five Movies & TV Shows That Will Delight Your Inner Child" post and mentioned how much of 12 year old I really am for loving animated series and movies. I find every episode enjoyable, for its adventurous nature alongside learning tidbits about the different countries she travels to, which is essentially the whole point of the Carmen Sandiego franchise. It's a shame that season 3 wasn't as long as the previous ones, however, the show has been renewed for a fourth season so yay!

 Sweet Magnolias

Source: Netflix

Lifelong friends Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue lift each other up as they juggle relationships, family and careers in the small, Southern town of Serenity.

I've only finished the first episode but already I'm in love. I am a sucker for TV shows revolving around small towns and the lives of the people living in it. There's comfort in seeing how these towns people bind together to protect each other but underneath is drama just waiting to burst out and threaten everything they are familiar with. The three ladies, Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue definitely play a large part in me being invested (only after one episode) in the show. I've found their friendship endearing, wanting to be part of this trio and only hope the best for them. Also, the colouring of the show is quite satisfying to the eye, which is an added bonus. If you're a fan of Good Witch, which I am as well (no surprises here), this would be right up your alley.

4. Good Omens
Source: Prime Video

Aziraphale and Crowley, of Heaven and Hell respectively, have grown rather fond of the Earth. So it's terrible news that it's about to end. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing. The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Everything is going according to the Divine Plan ... except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. Can our heroes find him and stop Armageddon before it's too late?

Based on Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet's novel Good Omens, you'll find Michael Sheen and David Tennant delivering a rather spectacular and humorous performance of a devil and angel trying very hard to stay on Earth - even if it means going behind the back of their "team". I actually read the novel awhile back and would have to say this is another rare moment where the visual adaptation has made me appreciate the book more than what I originally thought of it. I found when I read it that there was a lot going on and it did become hard to keep track of (review here). However, the TV show does a great job in laying out the characters and plot line, making it a lot more understandable. A big part of that is having a narrator walk you through it all. 

5. Criminal Minds
 (too many seasons) 

Source: Prime Video

Profilers who analyse the most twisted criminal minds

This is a re-watch for me. It's been awhile since I've seen the show so I picked up where I left off and then went back to season 1 to do it all over again. If anything, Criminal Minds is very much a guilty pleasure for me, which is utterly strange to say considering how gory and disturbing it is. I managed to binge basically 14 seasons in 4 weeks before my dreams started morphing into serial killer dreams. That made me slow down slightly. Still, I find this show fascinating for seemingly being able to open up the mind of a very troubled person to understand why they commit such crimes and keeping me on the edge of my seat every episode. Of course I am totally aware that this show is overly dramatised and not all cases can be solved in a 45 minute time frame but it makes for a thrilling watch. 

What Have You Been Watching Recently?

Sunday 4 October 2020

Why You Should Read The Firebird Series Now

Series Title: Firebired
Author: Claudia Gray
Publication Years: 2014 - 2016 
I was meant to write this review as soon as I had finished the series, which was just about 2 months ago (if I'm not mistaken). However, despite me wanting to write a raving review, I got stuck multiple times on how best to express how much I adored it all. So I let myself sit with it and really mull over my thoughts. I've finally been able to point out three reasons as to why you should read the Firebird series now.


1. Gray's impressive world-building.
Gray's exploration of parallel universes gave way to some of the most exciting and memorable world-building I have come across. It's already a great feat in my eyes to produce one solid world for a story, let alone the 2 to 3 different dimensions the characters travel to and fro in each book. As I read, I felt like I was being transported into each universe with the characters. I could envision every aspect that made each world uniquely it's own - the experience was vivid and realistic. This alone made reading the Firebird series exceptionally thrilling and fun. 
2. The amount of thinking and reflecting involved.
Setting her story amongst various dimensions also invited a whole lot of thinking and reflecting on my end. There were so many questions regarding morals, how to determine right and wrong, evil and good and whether you could really justify bad decisions if you have good intentions? I love reading novels that force me to really assess each scenario and decision and action made by the characters, because it means I become invested. I put myself into their shoes and think, think hard, about what is ahead.
Moreover, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the idea of multiple dimensions really existing in real life. Obviously, this is taking the tool out of the plot and not really necessary when you're reading, but I found it interesting to take the situations in the book and questions Gray was posing and applying it to my own life. What would I do and how far would I go to save the people I love? Equally, if there were multiple Traceys out there, I would like to hope that they are living healthy and prosperous lives. 
3. Magueritte and Paul's relationship
I wouldn't say I usually read a book purely for the romance aspect, unless it's a romance of course. However, I was very invested in Magueritte and Paul's relationship throughout the entire read. It came down to the idea of destiny. Would Magueritte and Paul, after facing so many difficult challenges and running through different universes, meeting those versions of themselves, still find each other again? Will destiny play it's part in their relationship? That question was deeply embedded in the series. It became hard not to think about and slowly I was caught up in wanting to see them grow, learn about and from each other and ultimately, find the happiness they deserve. 

To read my review for the first instalment, A Thousand Pieces Of You, see here

Favourite Book: A Thousand Pieces of You

Book Ratings
A Thousand Pieces of You: 5/5
Ten Thousand Skies Above You: 4/5
A Million Worlds With You: 4.5/5

Series Rating