Tag Archives: Series Reviews

WANDAVISION (2021): EPISODES 1 AND 2 – The Thing I Liked…

WandaVision (2021), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios
WandaVision (2021), Paul Bettany, Marvel Studios

I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of WandaVision; the new TV series spinoff focused on the Avengers movie characters, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision

Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; WandaVision got on my wrong side very soon after it began. And part of the reason is the application of a generally overused comedy bit. The one where two people think they’re talking about the same topic when they’re speaking of two completely different things. This particular comedy writing trope has failed to be funny, for me, ever since I binge-watched Arrested Developed (2003-2019) and realised how heavily the writers relied on it.

As annoying as I quickly found WandaVision to be, I was determined to get over it, as long as what was happening soon proved interesting enough to hold my full attention. Sadly, I hoped in vain because both episodes one and two, which are 99.9% in black and white, hinted at potentially sinister and entertaining things to come. But no matter how much I wanted the show to get to the point faster, it didn’t.

Matters were made worse by the completely unfunny sitcom scenario, in which Wanda and Vision appear to be trapped. Even if this predicament is the perfect set up for everything else fun that will follow, sitting through comedy I consider terrible isn’t how I generally like to spend my time.

Having never read the comic books that inspired these stories is something that has probably contributed, in part, to my level of dissatisfaction. Either way, what I know for sure is this, I’m going to be beyond disappointed if the following episodes of this, so far, hardly engaging Marvel Studios production continues the same way. Just get to the fun parts already! The parts when both Wanda and Vision get to use their powers, frequently and in ways that matter.

I need to know what’s going on with them and soon because this colourless town with the random, mysterious event and even stranger neighbours is causing me to reach for my phone out of boredom. And far more frequently than I want to.

Happy Film Loving

G

EMILY IN PARIS (2020), The Things I Liked…

Emily In Paris (2020), Lily Collins, Netflix
Emily In Paris (2020), Lily Collins, Netflix

I’ve seen one or two review titles say that if you miss Sex and the City (SATC), new series Emily in Paris (EIP) is here to help you out. As a long time fan of SATC and having now seen the new EIP series in full, I’d say that it’s at best a very loose comparison. Besides both SATC and EIP sharing a creator (Darren Star), the other similarities between the series feel very slight indeed.

Starring Lily Collins as Emily, a young American woman who’s hired by a marketing firm in Paris to provide an American perspective, the reason I watched the entire series isn’t so much because I think it’s great. I kept watching to spend some time in Paris,’ a place I’d hoped to revisit in 2020.

The other reason is that I like Collins. And although the EIP story isn’t as well-written as one would hope, I found other elements that kept me watching. In other words, I blocked out all of Emily’s seemingly over the top and forced/exclamations to the generally loved elements of French cuisine, just so I could ‘stay in Paris.

Part of what made SATC so great, besides all the glamorous high fashion, the humour and its much-loved fifth star, the vibrant city of New York is the story of beautiful female friendships. There’s a little bit of that in EIP and room for improvement that a second season will hopefully deliver.

I know very well that EIP isn’t supposed to be SATC and it shouldn’t be. I’m just disappointed that it’s not at least as good in almost every way, including the fashion, which feels less exciting.

If Netflix confirm a second season of Emily in Paris, I’ll give it a chance in hopes that it will have improved. That way, my love of Paris and appreciation of Collins’s charm won’t be the main reason I keep watching, assuming I do. I mean, I probably definitely will.

Give Emily in Paris a chance if you’re very curious.

Happy Film Loving

G

RATCHED (2020): The Things I Liked…

Ratched (2020), Sarah Paulson, Netflix
Ratched (2020), Sarah Paulson, Netflix

Is Ratched, Ryan Murphy’s latest crime/drama/mystery starring Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock and Sharon Stone good? I wouldn’t say no. Is it also well-acted, features some great dialogue and is visually pleasing because of the colour-rich cinematography and costume design? Yes. So, with all that said, why did I find it to be a tad taxing to watch this eight-episode mini-series through to the very end?

It certainly didn’t help that the show annoyed me almost immediately. All thanks to the overly dramatic music which persisted throughout episode one. I found no need for the music to be as loud and constant as it was. Luckily, the episodes that followed aren’t as overtaken by the music.

Ratched, the story of Mildred Ratched, a nurse at a mental institution who becomes jaded, bitter and monstrous to her patients opens quite well with some dark happenings. Besides Paulson’s performance and the great dialogue we get to enjoy as soon as we meet Ratched in episode one, I liked Finn Wittrock’s turn as the definitely disturbed Edmund Tolleson.

Ratched (2020), Sharon Stone, Netflix
Ratched (2020), Sharon Stone, Netflix

The whole cast performs very well but it’s Wittrock, Paulson and Sophie Okonedo’s performances that stood out most for me. The latter, particularly in the very last episode. Episodes two to eight contain some twists, turns and more monstrous happenings; some of which you may or may not see coming.

The main reason I’m not overly enthused by Ratched is because the series is the kind that features plenty of scheming, secrets and lies. The kind of scheming, secrets and lies that took me back to the likes of Desperate Housewives, a show I enjoyed mind you. Yet, with Ratched, even though the setting is different, I think I may have fully exhausted my enthusiasm for such stories. That is unless there’s something delightfully different and or the story doesn’t feel rushed which Ratched does, in parts.

In the end, The only reason I stuck with Ratched is to find out how it would end. I think the story will be a lot more impressive if you haven’t seen much out there like it before. As for the ending, I didn’t love it because I wanted a far cleaner conclusion; one with some finality to it. Still, I say give Ratched a chance if you’re curious. There are certainly some highlights to enjoy, even though most of the characters, especially Ratched are not so easily likeable.

Happy Film Loving

G