Posted in media, Netflix Chronicles, Series Review

Review and Reflections on The Good Place Show (Season 1)

 

 

 

I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some of my reflections and overall review.

Premise

The story begins with Eleanor Shellstrop’s death and subsequent welcome into the Good Place. Just what it sounds like, the Good Place is a place for those who are good.

One problem though: Eleanor is not a good person.

She often maintains that she was a “medium” person. But, throughout the show, the audience get to see flashbacks of who Eleanor was in her life.

Ahem. Let me summarize: not a very good person.

Themes

I love this show, because it dealt with morality and with the limitations in our heaven/hell paradigm. Even more pressing is the question regarding finality in terms of the time frame for being “good.”

Can we learn to be good? Or are we royally screwed if goodness doesn’t come naturally to us? To what extent can we blame our nurturing for our nature?

Another wrinkle in this complicated canvas is the idea of intention in congruence with the seemingly, outwardly, selfless actions we display.

What about soulmates? Do you meet soulmates only in your lifetime? Or, can you be “rewarded” with a soulmate? Is that an easy connection to be made or does it take effort and compromise?

Characters

And, I think part of the reason behind my love for this show is the characters. They were real and flawed, even when they tried to seem “nice” and “good.” Plus, that plot twist in the last episode shook me up quite a bit.

Chidi will always be someone rather close to my heart, because I can relate to the indecisive nervousness around making decisions. Part of me will forever aim to please everyone, but will also weigh in the pros and cons far too many times. He was a good teacher; I learned lots from him.

Tahani and her struggle to find peace within herself also hit close to home for me. Man, I grew up with very high expectations of myself, and I was constantly disappointed. Sometimes, I slip back into that destructive critical tone with myself and others. Watching Tahani be unable to be truly accepting of others was a tough pill to swallow. I am not even sure I digested this lesson quite yet.

Eleanor and Jianyu are interesting people, too. I kind of worry that I am more Jianyu than I’d like.

Overall

It’s definitely a 5/5 kind of show. Funny, light, charming, and yet meaningful and profound. Super nice.

Also: I don’t know if this is just me adjusting to my Hufflepuff status, but I will say this show reminds me of the essence of being a Hufflepuff. This is a good thing, because there are not many shows that remind me of the Hufflepuff-ness in life.

If you have seen this show, please share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to discuss this one with you. See you in the comments. 

Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The
As you may have gathered by now, I am working my way through The 100. This
  Over the past few months, I have been slowly watching Jane the Virgin. So,
Posted in media, Netflix Chronicles, review

Season Review: The 100 Season 2

Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The 100. In order to preserve the freshness of this experience, I wanted to write reviews for compelling shows. Needless to say: The 100 is one heck of a thought-provoking series. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

season 2 gloss over:

The stakes are much higher than they were in the previous season. Forty seven Ark citizens are taken into a place called Mount Weather. A funny play on words, “wither” suggests that the place is not as harmless as it may appear to the survivors of season one. Even the names of the authority figures here have sinister names: Dante Wallace (Wall-ace) a la Dante’s Inferno. His son’s name is Cage.

Make of that what you will. But, to me, these names were very indicative of these characters’ functions within the story.

Power play

If the first half of the season was simply a power play between the adults, things surely change in this second half. Clarke and her mother tug back and forth at the leader position for the ark people.

More than anything, the biggest struggle is between Clarke and newcomer to the show Lexa, the commander of the grounders. This duo is sometimes difficult to watch because Lexa is an intense version of Clarke. She is all mind with a dulled heart. Meanwhile, Clarke has to make some difficult decisions that lead her to question her own humanity and connection with others.

Leadership changes within the mountain as well: Cage starts off slow, but then overtakes the approach to Mount Weather’s liberation. Again, here we see this struggle between being humane versus being efficient. There is a play at science versus art and culture underlying this conflict, too, between the father and son.

Poor Lincoln and octavia (round 50000)

Lincoln has the crappiest luck in this series. I just can’t get over how resilient he is. Through Lincoln, we get to see someone questioning grounder culture from an early age and be critical of these expectations. Not only that, but he also manages to be sympathetic to the sky people.

Same coin, flipped side: Octavia of the Sky People was isolated simply by existing. She never belonged with her own society. As such, she searches for her place within the grounder community.

I like that Octavia’s growth has little to do with Lincoln. Sure, he introduces her to grounder culture, but she mostly interacts with his people independently. Her relationship with Indra should be explored more in later seasons, I hope, because it must be weird after how things ended between them.

Oh, and let’s all applaud the choice to separate Octavia from Bellamy and Clarke. Octavia is a fierce woman, not just because she is a warrior. In addition to physical strength, I find her to be emotionally and mentally resilient. Just like Lincoln.

Tough decisions

Ultimately, the decisions that leaders make for their people’s survival are the driving force of this season. Clarke and her “good guys” approach withers (no pun…okay, some pun intended) in the presence of Lexa.

Abigail questions Lexa and Clarke’s authority on the basis of their age. Dante and Cage are at an impasse and Dr. Tsing is getting restless.

Bellamy and Lincoln have to face the horrific usage of grounders and sky people by the mountain men.

There’s something strange about the utopia presented at first: everyone knowing each other’s name. People eating in the same room, arguing over cake. Jasper and Monty transition from contentedness to full blown resistance.

So much conflict.

And loss. I’m not sure I’ll ever be over the betrayals and that death.

One liners

“The first dose is the worst.”

“I hope you know how special you are.”

“I bear it so they do not have to.”

and finally, the most painful line to hear, Thanks, princess.”

 

Set in 1960, the film opens with the death of Ellie's mother as she prepares
As you may have gathered by now, I am working my way through The 100. This
  Over the past few months, I have been slowly watching Jane the Virgin. So,
Posted in Netflix Chronicles

The 100 Mid-Season Reflections: Season 2

As you may have gathered by now, I am working my way through The 100. This show is a complicated grappling with human morality and ethics, wrapped under the guise of a cute cast and a seemingly familiar premise. Humans had to leave Earth, live in space, because of radiation. Years later, they can return after they send in a 100 of their criminals to test life on the “ground.”

Everything has Changed

I just cannot get over how much people changed this season! Clarke and Bellamy hugged when they saw each other. I’m with Octavia: no one could have seen this coming.

With the arrival of the “adults” on the ground, we are now seeing how one would traditionally approach the conflicts from the first season. The Grounders are mad, especially because someone killed them off (I’m not looking at you, Clarke and Finn, or anything like that).

Speaking of which: FINN! What happened to good ol’ sweet Finn? Through him, the concept of loss and trauma take on a new depiction. I like the parallels between him and Lincoln so far.

The strain between him and the rest of the surviving group is so, so palpable. I am so curious to see how it will unfold, how the show will unpack that guilt. Also: will Finn recover from his actions early in this season?

Jaha vs. Abby vs. Kane

Ah, the Chancellor position continues to be very confusing. It’s riveting to watch this position of power and leadership held by different people. In doing so, we get to see various takes on what truly matters for the people of the sky, and the methods they choose to go about it.

Mount Weather

Ultimately these folks are the catalyst for the conflict thus far. The way they are divisive even when they seem to be peace-keepers. I am trying not to completely be like Monty, but my suspicions were prickly from the very moment we are introduced to Mount Weather.

The question is: how will the conflict be resolved? And, what happens to these people’s survival? It’s like the constant natural selection process is unfolding even with people lying and deceiving just so they can survive.

My hope is that Jasper and the gang are able to hold their own rescue mission. This is mainly because I love Jasper and I want to see him try to grasp his own sense of agency and control. But, if it doesn’t happen, I’d understand that it’s hard to do this for someone with so much turmoil (I mean, for me, I can relate to that struggle).

Your Turn:

Have you watched any episodes of The 100? Who are your favorite characters? Any theories on what will happen next? Watch out for spoilers (not for me. I like spoilers. But, other people might not appreciate them).

See you in the comments

      I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some
Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The
  Over the past few months, I have been slowly watching Jane the Virgin. So,
Posted in Netflix Chronicles

The Netflix Chronicles: Jane the Virgin (Seasons 1-2) Review

 

Over the past few months, I have been slowly watching Jane the Virgin. So, I thought for this week’s Netflix Chronicles, I can revisit the first two seasons in a review. Let’s start.

Meet Jane: About the story

To me, the premise of the story feels very close to my experience as a young Muslim. Except, it was more vague? Like, no one really talks about sex openly. Anyway, I identified with Jane’s dilemma, I suppose.

What started out as a simple idea for a story turned into an engaging and charming series of events. I just fell in love with the mystery underlying a romance, the coming of age tale of a young writer as well. All of these things were fantastic to watch.

The more common theme of a love triangle frustrated me often. For the record, I have always been #teamMichael. He was such a kind, goofy man, who knew Jane really well.

Also: the narrator is amazing. I love him.

meet the characters

Jane

Jane Gloriana Villanueva is easily one of the most relatable characters I had ever encountered. A woman of color, a writer, a hard working person, and totally sweet. She is a romantic at heart.

For a while, I thought she would get annoying as she struggled to find her right partner. However, she remained sweet and kind.

Xiomara

Ah, she drove me into a state of fury. Perhaps it is because I’m more of a Jane, but I got really upset with all her rash decisions. Still, she is a good mother, and daughter (eh, kind of). I am impressed with her development as someone looking for a career and for a place in the world.

Michael

Love him. He grows closer to Jane, and they start trusting each other. When they do that, their relationship flourishes and becomes quite beautiful. Still team Michael.

Rafael

I mean…he is the spoiled rich boy who is trying to redeem himself. There are certainly some layers to his personality that I did not anticipate at all. Cancer, divorce, familial problems, identity. Also: the actor who plays Rafael is phenomenal as a person. I follow him on Instagram, and he constantly inspires me to strive to be a better person.

Petra

There are quite a few elements that make Petra a compelling “villain.” I grew to love her a lot, even when she did terrible things. Her development as a mother, daughter, and sister was stellar. She comes from such a rough background. It’s really hard not to empathize (at least for me).

Luisa

Why is there not enough Luisa? I love her. My favorite mess of a human being reminds me of myself a bit too much. I don’t drink, but I still connected with her on a deep level.

The mystery

Sin Rostro and Mutter kept the story from getting too predictable. I am still not sure how it is going to work out now that I am on the third season. Listen, peeps, I just get thrown off by all the face changing surgeries going on.

Very invested in seeing how this is going to be resolved.

Overall:

I’d recommend this show to anyone, really, especially friends who have anxiety. There isn’t any violence or scary moments on this show, and it is a fun time in general. Highly recommend it.

 

 

      I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some
Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The
As you may have gathered by now, I am working my way through The 100. This
Posted in Netflix Chronicles

The Netflix Chronicles: Season 1 of The 100

 

Shannon, my buddy who loves this show called The 100, recommended that I give it a shot. After millions of years full of hesitation, I finally managed to finish my first season of the show. Here are some of my thoughts.

Premise

In essence, the story doesn’t start out as particularly foreign. It has to do with space, radiation, and coming back to earth. These are some of the more out of the ordinary elements in the premise. But, the rest: colonization, survival, morality, romance, dystopia. These are all relevant topics.

Characters

It took me a while to actually figure out who are my favorites. Thirteen episodes, and I still hate Murphy. This boy is so much trouble. Surprisingly, Bellamy was not my favorite at first. But, I feel like his character arc, and the dynamic he has with Clarke is promising and rather compelling. Also: “Here, there are no laws,” is one of the most iconic lines I have ever heard. Oh, that and, “Whatever the hell we want.”

Raven is probably up there in terms of favorites. I like her contrast with someone like Jasper (another favorite). The way the story is set up, it pushes the envelopes of natural selection against a more unbalanced competition between various groups of people.

I am liking the transition the 100 go through, from criminals, prisoners, to pioneers, all the way to invaders and enemies. The struggle these characters face in defining themselves with a harsh and unforgiving background is executed beautifully.

The Adults

It is going to be so interesting to see the adults on the ground, dealing with the issues these young people grappled with. I have a feeling things won’t go well for the People from the Sky.

Ships

This is probably one of the very few shows where I am content with whichever ship is presented in the fandom or in canon. It’s probably because I like (almost) all of the characters. My qualm is in the lack of diversity within these characters.

People of color are rare, and it is kind of baffling to me. Also: how come there are no queer people? I am confused. Sincerely confused.

What is Next?

“On which planet would you rather?” I am curious to see Jasper’s unfurling PTSD. He’s probably the closest one to my existence. I wish I were more like Octavia or at least bright like Raven.

Oh well.

To these characters, all I have to say is, “See you on the other side.”

And, to my Shannon, thank you.

 

      I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some
Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The
As you may have gathered by now, I am working my way through The 100. This