Admittedly over Christmas all I really did was spend time with family and watch Netflix. In order to get myself in that Christmas spirit I wrote up a list of all the Christmas films I wanted to watch. Most of them were the classics, Home Alone etc, but the ones features on this list were new to me. On top of that, I’ve been watching a lot of TV shows and they ranged from the delightfully weird to the insanely creepy. Here is a summary of what I’ve been watching recently.
Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency (Season 1)
This show had been on my radar for a while, thank you Kat, and with the end of the first season, this is the most logical summary I can think of. Basically, a lot of weird stuff happens, everything and nothing is connected, the characters are quirky and endearing, and you finish the series with no idea what the heck you’ve just experienced but want more from this delightfully weird show.
Possibly the biggest disappointment on the list. Hero Mask had an interesting concept with these bio-masks that seemingly give humans and criminals enhanced abilities. However, the execution of this story was all over the place and the animation, not that I’m an expert, was below par. The movement in some of the action scenes felt awkward to watch. This show was basically anime’s rendition of James Bond, our titular character being James Blood. There’s no problem with that, but if you’re going to go down the crime drama/action hero route, you’ve got to have stakes and you never get the feeling that there’s something to lose in this story.
The Punisher (Season 1)
The best kind of slow burn. John Bernthal’s Punisher debut in the second series of Daredevil was brilliant because at the end of the day, despite Frank’s extreme methods and revenge-fuelled mentality, he and Matt have the same crime-fighting goal. In the Punisher we get to delve deeper into Frank’s military service and uncover the web of lies and secrecy that eventually led to the death of Frank’s family. In his search to discover the truth and exact his revenge, Frank finds an unwelcome ally in David Lieberman, who’s had his own entanglements with this case. It’s a partnership formed out of convenience, but in this, we see an unlikely friendship form between these two. The build-up to the final confrontation was brilliant and along the way, we get a series of cat and mouse chases between Frank and those who want his death. In between all this, we get to see Frank at his most vulnerable as those he once considered allies betray him in the worst way.
Luther (Series 5)
This was one of the most anticipated show to kick off the new year. It’s been three years since the fourth series of Luther aired and admittedly the details were a little fuzzy. Nevertheless, Luther was back and the first episode made you never want to take public transport at night again. However, as great as the first episode was, the following episodes saw this latest case get shoved to the background as the Luther/Alice situation came back to the forefront. There’s no doubt about it that these two needed some sort of closure, but they didn’t need to shove it down our throats. The final episode predominantly focused on them, with several characters’s getting caught in the crossfire along the way, and the case of this killer surgeon lost a lot of its early momentum in favour of exploring Luther’s personal dilemma. Is this the end of Luther? Time will tell, but with the way thing ended it wouldn’t be a surprise if we had one last round with this tormented detective.
Kicking off the New Year with this show instead of something light and fluffy might not have been my smartest move, but it was definitely worth it in the end. This show is brilliant. It’s twisted, surprisingly logical, and every character on this show is unlikeable. To start, I think it’s important to stress how crucial curtains are for privacy. Getting into the mindset of Joe was uncomfortable at best. Penn Badgley was so convincing in his sincerity that you actually found yourself rooting for him, that is until he did something completely abhorrent to remind you of the fact that he is an obsessive stalker (to put it lightly). Now, I don’t know if you follow me on twitter, but my reaction to the finale says it all.
Antman and the Wasp
After the trauma that was Infinity Wars, Antman and the Wasp serves as a breath of fresh air as we get to reacquaint ourselves with Scott Lang. Looking to keep his head down as he finishes up his two years on house arrest following the events of Civil War, the last thing Scott anticipates is being kidnapped by Hope and Pym. What follows is a chaotic series of events that delve into the quantum realm in the hopes of rescuing Hope’s mother. The entire film was just a fun, action-driven superhero flick, but it also provides some hints to possible solutions to the Infinity Wars crisis.
The Christmas Chronicle
One of the more charming Christmas films Netflix released. It had that perfect combination of chaos and heart. Kurt Russell perfectly embodied the slightly mischievous side of Santa, even going as far as holding an impromptu concert in jail. The story follows the typical save Christmas trope as siblings Kate and Teddy are on a mission to prove Santa’s existence. Along the way, their mischievous antics and quest to save Christmas explores the bond between these siblings and the many ways grief affects a family. This film was charming, cute, and provided plenty of festive cheer.
The festive period is all about films that make you smile and laugh. It’s also a time to unwind, so the film selections this year were deliberate in the way you don’t have to think too much about these films and can just enjoy them at face value. Sing is a simple concept. It’s basically a singing contest that hopes to salvage the future of this once opulent theatre. The animals that audition for the show come from various backgrounds and their task is to find that delicate balance between pursuing your dreams and going about your daily obligations. It’s a chance to break the walls that held you back and embrace the music. This film was hilarious. The entire audition sequence was golden and while this film wasn’t a game changer in animated films, it does make for a brilliant family film.
Angela’s Christmas is a 30-minute film that makes you feel all warm and festive inside. Set in Ireland in the 1910s, this film is a heartwarming tale of family and childhood innocence. If you didn’t watch this in the lead up to Christmas last year, I highly recommend adding it to the watch list this year.
What have you been watching?
What was the best TV show/Film you watched in 2018?