What I am Watching During Quarantine

Hey my loves,

since this quarantine-thing seems to be going on for a lot longer I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite tv shows and movies I watched during the last few weeks. As well as share the top 3 from my bestie Miri, which you would know from blog post like

I don’t know about you, but in the first few weeks of this all I didn’t do much else besides binge-watching tv shows and movies. If you like I could also write a post about how I got out of the rut and into doing actual productive things. It wasn’t very easy, and I still have some days where I don’t do anything, but most of the time I am actually staying quite busy.

Now, I have a few tv shows I have watched during quarantine. Some of them I’ve finished, some of them I’m watching while puzzling and some I can only watch the weekly episodes.

My Top Tv Shows during Quarantine

Community is great if you want something in the background while doing some household stuff or while your puzzling, it’s also super funny which lifts your mood like nothing. I binge watched the entire season of Locke & Key and am super excited for the news about a season two. I really enjoy watching Station 19 and have to say that season 3 is by far my favorite so far. Station 19 also inspired me to start watching Chicago Fire again.

Z Nation is just a really entertaining zombie apocalypse show which in the current situation is a little morbid, but the show is just too good. Last but not least, I also binge watched I am not Okay with this in one day. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but man I freaking loved it. Highly recommend it!

My Top Movies I watched during Quarantine

I feel like pretty much everyone has seen Contagion by now even though it is probably the worst movie to watch while in quarantine, but it is just really good. I love a good Jason Statham movie and that includes the animal movie The Meg. I really like this one I feel like it has a good structure to it and is quite entertaining.

I recently rewatched not only the original movies from Jurassic Park, but also the second one from the newer one. They are just classics and really entertaining. I wanted to see Snowpiercer for a real long time and finally got around to watching it and it was so good. The whole story line is super intriguing and I really like the fact that it’s shot in one place. Last but not least, I watched Lost Girls. This one is definitely not a feel good movie but I am a sucker for a real life event movie and this one is just horrorfying. Really should watch it if you are into real crime movies.

Miri’s Top Choices

Here are the three top movie Miri has watched during this time: Aus dem Nichts, Frank and The Purge. She also loves to watch TV Shows and recommends the following:

  • Narcos
  • Halt
  • The Mandalorian
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • Catch Fire
  • La Casa De Papel

What are some of your favorite things to watch? Tell me in the comments, I’m always down to try some new tv shows.

Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.
XoXo, Jasmin.

Four TV Shows with Bad Fourth Seasons Part Two

Check out Part One here.

2. Justified

The FX show Justified is a real conundrum for me. The first time I watched it, I was very young and didn’t have much of an idea of what makes a great TV drama, so I thought it was all amazing. And undoubtedly, there are some things that make this show unique: the exploration of southern culture in Kentucky, the look inside the US Marshall Service, the atmospheric use of country music, the intense dialogue in that wonderful accent. But when I went back to it years later, after having seen The Wire, The Sopranos, and Breaking Bad, I recognized the many ways in which Justified really is not that good a show overall. It starts out amazing in the pilot episode, and then the next eight or nine episodes turn into a boring, generic cop show mess, before the last three episodes of season 1 are awesome again, and I’m sure I know where the problem lies, because the show’s saving grace is Walt Goggins as Boyd Crowder. As complicated as Raylan Givens, the actual protagonist, may be, and as nice as Timothy Olyphant is to look at in boots and a cowboy hat, Boyd Crowder has always been the coolest, the most captivating, and the most interesting character, and he just wasn’t present for most of season 1 because Goggins was off shooting Predators (and what a waste of his time and our money that was). Accordingly, the middle part of the season, when Boyd is in prison, had to be constructed around his absence and that just didn’t work. In season 2, Goggins joined the main cast, and it did the show a whole lot of good, because most of that season was great. There was Boyd trying to find himself after his faith in God was destroyed, his slow progress towards becoming Harlan’s leading gangster, and Raylan’s constant tension with the newly introduced Bennett family. Some parts still felt a bit forced or generic, and the writers would have done themselves a favor in making Winona a bit less annoying, but I could tell the show was finding its footing, whereas in the first season it didn’t seem to have a clue what it actually wanted to be. And then, well, the third season happened, and it was absolutely brilliant. The writers left all notions of generic cop shows behind and finally focused on amazing TV drama. There was one clear arc that led the season (where is the Bennett money?), but it had enough side plots to keep the audience on their toes, while there were betrayals, murders, and the introduction of some interesting new characters. As the best TV dramas are prone to, it also managed to blend drama and comedy, as we can see in that hilarious episode where Dewey Crowe runs around thinking someone stole his kidneys. And the season ended with an absolute bang, in terms of action as well as emotional impact.

The extremely high bar set by the season 3 finale was unfortunately also Justified’s downfall. The scene in which Limehouse chops off that creepy villain’s arm with a meat cleaver is pretty much the best scene of the entire series, and the moment when the audience realizes Raylan’s father really wanted to shoot Raylan and not the State Trooper was the most shocking, and the way in which this truth is revealed to the audience is beautiful and simply done very well. It just wouldn’t get any better than that, and that much became obvious in season 4: Justified had jumped the shark. Season 4 was just not very good. Apart from the introduction of some not very interesting characters, there was that nonsensical episode where Boyd and Ava have to go to this weird sex party organized by the former sheriff in order to achieve something (what exactly, remains unclear), not to forget the incredibly pointless and just plain stupid game cock episode. And going back to the structure of story arcs, this season functioned similarly to Teen Wolf season 4 because at the beginning of the season, a riddle was posed: who is Waldo? No, I am not kidding, that is the riddle. Some dude died some decades back, and apparently his name was Waldo, or maybe it wasn’t, and then Raylan has to find out who he really was. As far as story arcs go, this kind of idea is of course not uncommon, but whereas the stakes were high in Teen Wolf, in Justified season 4 the question remained: why do I need to care who Waldo is? The sad answer was: I absolutely do not care at all. It did not make any difference to anyone if Waldo was ever discovered. It seemed that the writers had used up all of their creativity on season 3 and just had nothing left. A few moments were still great, of course, such as the way Raylan’s father’s death was handled, or Boyd’s proposal to Ava, not to forget the finale, when Ava is arrested and Boyd completely falls apart. But while Teen Wolf and Community completely recovered from their terrible fourth seasons, Justified did not. Season 5 was a lot better, of course, as it went back to what had worked so well in season 2 with the Bennett family and introduced a new family: the Crowe clan from Florida. And I know Michael Rapaport’s accent was less than perfect, but I couldn’t help but be interested in the guy and his dynamic with Boyd. Nonetheless, the show couldn’t quite recover; the plot was a bit too convoluted, people scheming with and then against each other so quickly one had to stop and wonder what exactly the point was. This issue continued into season 6, although the finale was worthy of the show as a whole. Putting Boyd back in prison and making him a preacher again was a stroke of genius as it showed that some people are incapable of change.

1. Boardwalk Empire

It was obvious right away that Boardwalk Empire would be great. It was produced by HBO, and they went all-out, employing Martin Scorsese as one of the main directors and Steve Buscemi for the lead character. The wardrobe alone must have cost HBO millions, not to mention the fact that they built a life-sized replica of the original Atlantic City boardwalk. So this show had no need to find its footing. Right from the very first minute of the series premiere, it knew what it was and it did the job: high quality TV drama in a historical setting. As is usual for HBO shows, the story is populated by innumerable characters, all of whom have their own interesting backstory, their own motivations, and are portrayed by brilliant actors. The show harshly criticized American politics, the ideal of the American Dream, and World War I, while simultaneously underlining the fact that pretty much all Americans are immigrants, and it managed all of that through intricate, complex plots and subplots, and the first two seasons were glorious. At the end of season 2, the show found itself at a crossroads when two main players left the game: Jimmy Darmody first killed his father, the Commodore, and was subsequently killed by Nucky. These two characters, especially Jimmy, had been central to the plot of the first two seasons, so a completely new story arc was needed, and boy, did the writers deliver. Season 3 brought us Gyp Rosetti, one of the most fascinating and unpredictable TV villains I have ever seen, and Bobby Cannavale seriously deserved the Emmy he received for that role. But his story ended after only one season, sadly. And season 3 was the best season of that show by far. It’s almost impossible to choose one scene as the best one when there are so many highlights to choose from. The fact is, this season could not be topped, and indeed it was all downhill from there. Boardwalk Empire, too, had jumped the shark, although it wasn’t immediately visible.

The fourth season started out great and definitely had its bright sides. The introduction of the FBI agent Knox, the vilest creature this show has to offer, did the plot a whole lot of favors. Unfortunately, the dark sides slightly overshadow the season. For one thing, there is Eli’s son Willie, who in season 3 was a very mature, reasonable young man who had to grow up fast in order to care for his legion of younger siblings while his father was in jail. Now in season 4, the character has been recast, which happens and isn’t a problem, and has undergone some significant personality changes, which very much is a problem. Gone is the mature, reasonable kid; it seems like going to college has made Willie regress into a snotty, emotionally unstable teenager who makes spectacularly bad decisions. Most of the problems in that season could have been avoided if Willie had just used his brain a bit more. Then, there is the new villain Narcisse, who seems interesting enough, but most of the problems he brought about could have been avoided if Chalky White had a) treated Purnsley a bit more like a human being and b) kept his dick in his pants. And that leads us to yet another issue I have with this season. Her name is Daughter Maitland. Yes, that’s her name. She is a very talented singer. And how do I know that? Because the writers of the show seemed to think it a good idea to have her sing at least one song in every. Single. Episode. That doesn’t sound like much of a problem at first glance, but hear me out. Of course she had to sing once to demonstrate her talent and justify Chalky’s interest in having her perform at his club. But every performance after that first one was completely redundant. This isn’t going to turn into a tangent about musicals, but Boardwalk Empire is not a musical, and if her singing does not contribute anything to her character or the plot (and it never does), then I do not want to hear it. Her constant singing, as pleasant as it may sound, gave off the impression that the writers were running out of ideas and needed to fill some minutes of screen time, so why not have the pretty singer perform some more? This feeling was rather disturbing because it really was not an issue I had encountered before. Never had any of the musical performances (and there had been quite a few) felt so forced and so redundant and so incredibly repetitive. It appeared inspiration was dwindling.

And this trend was continued in the abysmal season 5, full of flashbacks that told us nothing new, only repeating facts we had already been told in detail. We already knew everything (!) about Nucky’s involvement in Gillian’s introduction to the Commodore, so there was no point, none at all, to rehash it all in a flashback. Again, there seemed an acute lack of ideas and an acute need to just fill a few minutes with something, anything, and the season only ran for eight episodes. Of course, it had its highlights, but they were few and far between. And that is why Boardwalk Empire is number 1 on this list. While Justified tried to regain its footing after season 4 and managed to produce a fifth season that was noticeably better, Boardwalk Empire’s fifth season was even more disappointing than the fourth one.

Author: Miriam (@miri_mh8)

My Top 10 Movies of 2019

Hey my loves,

On Sunday I shared my top ten movies I am excited for in 2020, so I thought it was only fitting to talk about ten movies I have seen in 2019 that were my highlights of the year. These are only movies I’ve seen in the cinema, so if you want I could make a Netflix highlight reel, too. Just let me know in the comments.

The movies are not in any order only in order of their release. But if I had one movie that I loved it would a hundred percent be Joker.

Top 10 Movies 2019

Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and James McAvoy in Glass (2019)

Glass

„Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.“

One of the best movies I have seen in 2019 for sure. I love the entire storyline and James McAvoy was brilliant. His portrayal of the endless personalities are absolutely amazing. If you haven’t seen this movie or the previous one you should. Split and Unbreakable are truly good as well. 


Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Clark Gregg, Brie Larson, Stan Lee, Rune Temte, Gemma Chan, and Algenis Perez Soto in Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel

„Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.“ 

I really had high hopes for this movie. Brie Larson is one of the best actresses out there. And I was not disappointed, the movie was fun and entertaining. If you aren’t a fan of the marvel universe, give this movie a try anyway. A strong female leading character and a really nice storyline.


Lupita Nyong'o in Us (2019)

Us

„A family’s serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.“

Get Out was one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in 2017, so I was really hyped about another movie by Jordan Peele. Us is intriguing, chilling and surprisingly terrorizing. And boy I did not see that ending coming. Really would recommend to watch this one.


Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Danai Gurira, and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame

„After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos’ actions and restore balance to the universe.“

As you might have noticed I am a big Marvel fan. I have been hooked on the movies ever since the first Avenger movie and honestly have seen any movie since. But man, Avengers: Endgame had me on the edge of my seat and crying. I knew something bad was about to happen but they did it so good. I won’t spoil even though I think it is super unlikely that anybody not know what I am talking about.


Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla II: King of the Monsters

„The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.“

I love a good monster fantasy movie. And Godzilla II did not disappoint whatsoever. I really enjoyed this movie and its effect and am highly excited about the new one in 2020. Also, can we talk about Millie Bobby Brown? She is so great. I love her.


Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, and Tye Sheridan in Dark Phoenix (2019)

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

„Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix, causing the X-Men to decide if her life is worth more than all of humanity.“

So, this movie is in my highlights, because I love Sophie Turner, but I do have to admit I had higher hopes for this one. It was still great though, but I wished the story wasn’t as predictable and sometimes a little to stretched. But the X-Men Franchise is one of my faves so got to respect the work!


Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Spider-Man: Far from Home

„Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.“

Peter Parker, he is just too damn cute not to watch. Also, it was the movie after Endgame so it was a MUST to see. We had to know what would happen, right? I loved it. His humor the twist, the entire story line. Just appreciating the light and airy work.


Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Adam Brody, Nicky Guadagni, John Ralston, Elyse Levesque, Melanie Scrofano, Mark O'Brien, Kristian Bruun, Samara Weaving, Daniela Barbosa, Celine Tsai, and Hanneke Talbot in Ready or Not (2019)

Ready or Not

„A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.“

This one was so much fun! I watched it at a film festival with one of my best friends and we had such a good time with the movie. It is about so much more than just a game and the characters were hilarious. Really enjoyed it and would highly recommend!


Bill Skarsgård in It Chapter Two (2019)

It: Chapter 2

„Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.“

The entire movie was freaking awesome! I loved the original and the remake and the casting is just perfect. The child actors are unbelievably good and the older ones just portrayed the effects of what happened to them so amazingly well. It was worth every second!

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)

Joker

„In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.“

Now, I honestly can say, hands down, that Joker was one of the BEST movie I have seen in my entire life. It left my in absolute awe and shock. I did not know what to expect when I was going in, but man, it was so good. At more than one time in the movie I was actually sitting there with my mouth opened stunned at Phoenix’s performance as Arthur. It was chilling and it truly made me think about our society a lot afterwards.


What were your 2019 movie highlights? I would love to know, write your top 3 in my comments. 

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

All movie information is from http://www.imdb.com

Four TV Shows with Bad Fourth Seasons Part One

There appears to be a pattern in television entertainment that some series peak in their third season and then plummet in quality in the fourth. I am unsure of when I first noticed this pattern, but once I had recognized it in four of my favorite shows, I decided it was high time to think about it and possible causes and effects. So this is that. Beware, however, that I will talk about these shows in great detail, and not just their third and fourth seasons, but all of them. These “bad” seasons may not be that bad in isolation, so in order to explain what I mean when I call them bad, I have to compare them to the rest of their respective shows. So if you have not watched these shows, or have only watched up until the third season, there will be hard spoilers and you may not want to read. Let’s begin.

4. Teen Wolf

Oh, the beautiful mess that is Teen Wolf. Like two of the other shows on this list, Teen Wolf’s seasons vary in quality. The first season was nice, but still had a rather trashy look, and Tyler Posey as the lead was an undeniably mediocre actor—it didn’t help that his sidekick was Dylan O’Brien, who from his very first moment on screen outdid everybody so clearly it was almost embarrassing. Still, the show had a unique charm and so many beautiful people, I couldn’t stop watching. The second season was already a lot less trashy, but still featured some questionable ideas, such as letting the werewolves run on all fours while still in human form (an idea that looked so stupid it was thankfully abandoned after season 2). It did make some very good decisions, however, such as bringing back Peter, one of the funniest characters (and one who could provide a lot of friction). And then came the third season, which was the best season so far, the second-best season overall and definitely the scariest season. Stiles’s dream sequences in the second half were seriously uncanny, and the whole Nogitsune situation was body horror at its finest. It was exhilarating, complex, devoid of any trashiness, and the writers really went all out on emotional impact, as the death count in this season was higher than in any other. It would have been difficult to continue the series with something even better. But the fourth season made some serious mistakes, and in order to explore what went wrong, I’d like to say a few words on story arcs.

The story arcs of a TV show can span over one season and then be done, or they can be continued over the entire run of the series and be resolved (or not) after several seasons or even at the very end. The advantage of closing a story arc after one season is that it makes writing a season simpler: you present a problem/mystery at the end of the season premiere, and the problem/mystery is solved/revealed in the season finale. That structure gives the story arc a clear direction while still leaving room for interesting action. And if the stakes are high enough that the audience really cares for the problem to be solved and the mystery revealed, then this structure works. And it worked in season 4 of Teen Wolf. The stakes of finding the benefactor were very high, indeed, so lack of caring on the part of the audience was not the problem. The problem was the revelation of who the benefactor was. Seriously? Peter orchestrated the whole thing, but he did it while he was in a coma, so he didn’t remember, and then he stole his own money from himself, and Meredith, the traumatized reclusive, made it all happen? I mean, come on. It seems like the writers had a lot of fun constructing the plot for the season, lost sight of the time, and then had only five minutes left to come up with a resolution and realized they didn’t have one. The only possible resolution that could have been worse was that in the end it was all a dream. Gerard being the benefactor would have made more sense. Kate would have made more sense. Even Meredith on her own would have made more sense. Throw in the stupid idea of de-aged Derek and the convoluted side-plot in which Kate and Peter, the characters who arguably hate each other the most out of all the characters on the show, suddenly start working together, and the season was an overall failure.

It wasn’t all terrible, of course. There was the crucial introduction of some new characters after the numerous departures in the last season, there were some amazing fight scenes, Tyler Posey’s acting had considerably improved. But the main reason why Teen Wolf in only in fourth place, apart from the fact that its fourth season isn’t the worst fourth season on this list, is that the fifth season was much better, and almost as scary as season 3 (even if the writers seemed to have completely forgotten about Peter for an entire season, which admittedly was pretty weak). And the last season was the very best one, even if Dylan O’Brien was absent for a lot of it because of The Maze Runner. The drama of Stiles ceasing to exist, and the panic I felt when that happened, were gripping, and the series ended in the best possible way. After all the supernatural threats the McCall pack had to face, in the end the worst monster of all turned out to be the human being. It was just really good writing. So Teen Wolf’s fourth season was a dip in quality in the middle that it completely recovered from, ending the show on a high.

3. Community

Community is an outlier on this list for several reasons. First, it is a sitcom, not a drama series (and as hilarious as Teen Wolf is, it’s still a forty-minute-drama). Second, because of its difference in genre, it has a completely different structure in terms of story arc. While dramatic shows tend to tell stories that span over several episodes or even seasons, classic sitcom episodes function in a more self-contained way and rarely continue the main plot from one episode into the next one. Even though Community does exactly this at the end of season 2, the plot is only stretched over two episodes (A Fistful of Paintballs, and For a Few Paintballs More), and even between those two episodes, there is a significant tonal difference, as the first one is a homage to classic old Western films, while the second one makes clear and obvious references to Star Wars, complete with Storm Troopers and Abed’s Han Solo outfit. And third, it is the only series on this list with a constantly high quality that experienced only one decline: season 4. Now, first off, not all the episodes were terrible; I liked the Halloween episode, the Thanksgiving episode and the Inspecticon episode, and I thought the attempt at an origin story in the finale was nice. I didn’t hate the puppet episode as much as most do, either. But still, most of this season was dreadful, cringeworthy, and unfunny, most of all the abysmal body-switch episode. There is a clear tonal difference in this season compared to the others that I can’t quite pinpoint, but it is obvious that safe for Jeff, none of the characters develop or change in any way at all, and even Jeff’s change seems rather superficial considering the fact that the half-brother he meets and connects with in the Thanksgiving episode never appears again. The paintball episode was a nice try, but really what the writers did there was an attempt to recapture the brilliance of Remedial Chaos Theory (without question the best episode of the entire show and maybe the best episode of any sitcom ever) that was doomed to fail because they didn’t get it at all. The season 3 episode Remedial Chaos Theory explores seven different possibilities of what could happen, and it uses the roll of a die to lead us through the different timelines. The brilliance of Remedial Chaos Theory is that all of the different timelines actually happened, and all of them gave us as the audience valuable information about every single character. And in the season 4 paintball episode, despite the nice reference to Terminator, nothing actually happens, it is all in Jeff’s head, and the re-introduction of the die made no sense and had no effect, not to mention we didn’t learn anything about anyone.

The reason why this season was so bad is well-known and seated behind the scenes. For some stupid reason, Dan Harmon, the creator and mad genius behind Community (and nowadays, Rick and Morty), was fired after season 3, and then apparently NBC thought anyone could do what Harmon can and hired some replacements for him who wanted to capture the humor and tone of the show and epically failed. In addition, Chevy Chase wanted to leave the show, and that resulted in a lot of scenes where Pierce just wasn’t there and the remaining characters had to laboriously explain his absences. That alone disturbed the comedic rhythm enough that the audience had to notice something was off. And because it must have been so obvious that the show’s quality was rapidly declining, and because the cast complained about Harmon’s departure, Harmon was rehired for season 5, in which Community finally felt like Community again. That season had the most insane episodes—the one where the floor is lava, the MeowMeowBeenz episode (the idea of which allegedly Black Mirror stole for one of its own episodes), and G.I. Jeff. Of course, this season suffered from the departure of Donald Glover, but Harmon turned this massive change into an important character development for Abed. And despite NBC cancelling the show after season 5 and Yahoo!Screen picking it up for a sixth season (and plunging into financial ruin because of it), the last season is beautiful and hilarious and the finale was a real heartbreaker. And as Community has always been extremely self-aware, the finale even contains a reference to the low quality of the fourth season: when Abed mentions the fourth year (the fourth season), Chang farts and then explains that “it’s an inside joke.” May season 4 of Community function as a warning for anyone who thinks humor is easy to replicate.

Part Two coming this Thursday…

Author: Miriam (@miri_mh8)

Movies I am excited for in 2020

Hey my loves,

I love movies, I love going to the cinema and I love a good movie night with my gals. Don’t you? This year I thought it would be fun to share some of the movies I am looking forward to seeing. I always check out the list once a month to find movies I want to watch.

This coming week will be filled with a lot of entertainment content. I really hope you enjoy the extra blog entries.

I have a really long list so I thought I would minimize it to the ten movies I am the most excited about. They pretty spread over the entire year so I have a lot to look forward to. They aren’t in any particular order of which I am most looking forward to see.

My Top 10

Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy (2019)

Just Mercy

„World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.“

I’m really excited about this one, I love Michael B. Jordan and a movie that is based on true events. I’m really looking forward to watching this one and I will try to read the book beforehand as well.


Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie in Bombshell (2019)

Bombshell

„A group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.“

Again, a movie based on true events and the casting is just absolutely amazing. I’m really intrigued to see this story unfold on the big screen.


Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

„Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.“

I mean, Tom Hanks. Do I need more reasoning to watch this movie than that?


Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Bad Boys for Life

„The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life.“

I’m a sucker for an action movie and I’ve love the other movies so I have to watch it.


Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Margot Robbie in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

Birds of Prey: The Emancipation of Harley Quinn

„After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.“

Harley Quinn was by far the best part about Suicide Squad and therefore the only reason for me to even watch Birds of Prey. I just love a good Margot Robbie movie and I really like her interpretation of Harley.


Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place: Part II (2020)

A Quiet Place: Part II

„Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.“

When I first watched the initial movie I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not, but after a lot of thoughts and also after re-watching it, I must say, I really like it. And am looking forward to Part 2.


Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick (2020)

Top Gun: Maverick

„After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.“

Tom Cruise is the action man, wouldn’t you agree? I’m really intrigued to see if they how the story unfolds.


Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Wonder Woman 1984

„A sequel to the 2017 superhero film ‘Wonder Woman.“

Gal Gadot. Chris Pine. No more reason than those two.


Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow (2020)

Black Widow

„A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.“

I was waiting for years for a movie about Natasha. I love her character a lot and am really, really excited to see this movie.


Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)

Godzilla vs. Kong

„As the gigantic Kong meets the unstoppable Godzilla, the world watches to see which one of them will become King of the Monsters.“

I really enjoy watching these monster movies. And I am a big fan of Millie Bobby Brown. So intrigued to see what the story will be.


What are some of the movies you look forward to in 2020? I really hope my wallet lets me see all these movies on the big screen. I’m so excited for this years movie. Let me know in the comments, I am always open to suggestions. I also look forward to the new Illegally Blonde movie and The Conjuring 3.

I wish you all a wonderful day.

XoXo, Jasmin.

All movie information is from http://www.imdb.com

Gift Guide for Book Lovers

Hey my loves,

in today’s blog post I am going to show you some of my book recommendations that make perfect gifts for your friends and family members who love to read. I personally enjoy gifting and getting books a lot, you are gifting so much more than just a few pages with words. You are given a new world, a new fantasy, an escape from your life risen from your own imagination. 

Books have the power to create a lot more for you. They tickle your inner child, your inner private detective, raise dreams and emotions and so much more. I tried finding a vast variety of books to put into this gift guide, so that there is something for everybody. 

I also posted a gift guide for your makeup loving friends, you can check it out here: Gift Guide for your Makeup Loving Friend

My Top 3 

The Circle, The Girl on the Train & Sharp Objects

When I read “The Circle” I was captivated, I loved the entire story, from front to back and I think I’ve read the entire book in just two days. It was that good! Sadly, the movie version sucked! You can buy it here: Dave Eggers – The Circle

“The Girl on the Train” is one of my absolute favorite books ever! It was truly amazing and Paula Hawkins is a gifted writer! I was so into the book, I actually read it twice! And the movie version is amazing as well, but that could be my love for Emily Blunt. You can buy it here: Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train

Gillian Flynn is a genius when it comes to writing dark and twisted stories. And “Sharp Objects” is definitely one of her best work. I really did not see that ending coming, let me tell you that. AND – the tv series with Amy Adams was truly amazing! Amy was the best choice for it, she shows so much vulnerability, I absolutely loved watching it. You can buy it here: Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects

Other Great Books & Some that are on my own wishlist include

Paula Hawkins – Into the Water

This one has been on my list ever since it coming out, just haven’t gotten around to buying it! But Paula Hawkins is an amazing writer and I loved “The Girl on the Train”.

You can buy it here: Amazon


Stephen King – Gerald’s Game

Wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie version, but loved the book!

You can buy it here: Amazon


Stephen King – The Green Mile

One of the best movies I have ever seen and one of the many books on my wishlist because of that.

You can buy it here: Amazon


Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House

I love the TV show on Netflix, it was one of the best shows I have seen in ages and it was truly amazing to watch the story unfold. Highly recommend watching it!

You can buy it here: Amazon


Michelle Obama – Becoming

I mean… how can this not be on any girls wishlist right now! Definitely excited to get my hands on this!

You can buy it here: Amazon


What are some of your favorite books or books that are on your wishlist? Tell me in the comments, I would love to know and I am always open for any suggestions.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

My Favorite Christmas Movies

Hey my loves,

in today’s blog post I am sharing with you six of my absolute favorite Christmas movies that I actually love to watch every year. I love Christmas movies so much, they are always so full of love and usually have a happy ending! So here are my Top 6!

Die Hard, Elf & Home Alone

Now, listen to me on this one. It plays on Christmas so it is a Christmas movie! Haha xD Also I just love Bruce Willis! Check it out here: Die Hard

How could you not love Buddy? This one alway makes me smile so much! If you haven’t seen it yet, first of all: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?, haha xD Check it out here: ELF

A CLASSIC! And by far one of the most well-known Christmas movies if you ask me. Check it out here: Home Alone

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Love Actually & The Holiday

I vividly remember watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” for the first time, so I believe this is the first mover, like ever, that I actually remember watching each year when it was Christmas eve. Check it out here: How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

Love Actually is the only romantic movie that I can watch over and over and over again and still get as emotional as I got the first time around. And how could you not love it! Check it out here: Love Actually

The Holiday is another classic! When I watched it the first time I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but at the end of the movie I was sobbing and happy at the same time and it quickly became one of my absolute favorites. Check it out here: The Holiday

What are your favorite Christmas movies? Tell me in the comments below, I am always up for new movie ideas. 

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

My Summer Playlist

Hey my loves,

today I am sharing with you my summer hits for 2018. Yesterday I spent the day at a lake with one of my closest friends and we had such a nice time and ride there. We listened in the car, as well as at the lake to my favorites from this summer.

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My Top 3 songs are:

Ariane Grande – God is a woman

This song is so good, I sometimes wakeup and have it in my ear without even hearing the song. I don’t follow her music much, but this one I love.

iiola – sickly sweet

By far my favorite this summer, heard this on my long train rides to College and it’s just a beautiful song in general. Really love it!

LANY – Thru These Tears

Love this one! I just love a lot that LANY does and I absolutely fell in love with this one when I heard it.

What are some of your summer favorites this year? Let me know, always open to new suggestions.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

The 3 Best Non-English TV Shows – Guest Entry by Miri

What’s up folks?

This is Miri. The last couple of years I have always been on the lookout for new, exciting TV dramas, and, as we all know, the best (or, at the very least, the most) entertainment is still produced in the US and Britain. However, there are a few golden pieces of TV I’ve come across that may completely escape the English-speaking viewers. Of course, being able to watch something in its original form, without dubbing or subtitles, is always the most rewarding, but trust me when I tell you that for the three shows I will introduce to you, dubbing and/or subtitles will not ruin the fun.

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No.3: Gomorra – La Serie

Gomorra is an Italian TV series produced by Sky about the mafia in Naples, Italy. The show is based on the nonfiction book by Roberto Saviano, who infiltrated the Camorra (the mafia’s local name) and published names of important people and detailed information on the organization’s illegal operations. Saviano’s book was so close to the truth that he has had to live with a constant protection detail due to threats. Herein lies the series’ biggest advantage as well as its biggest flaw. The stories told are so realistic and so sinister they not only make for prime entertainment, but they also serve as a constant reminder that what we see here is not fiction but bitter reality; this knowledge creates an intense viewing experience. Because of its realism, however, we have no one to identify with. Everyone is evil, no character is likable. Every person portrayed in-depth is either a hateful, cruel beast of a human, or an innocent soon to be killed. That is reality in the mafia, and that makes the show hard to watch, so those who like gritty crime shows with hero figures may be disappointed or confused. We are constantly reminded that we are not watching standard, easily digestible TV because of the violence that always undercuts each scene, every piece of dialogue, always threatening to break out. Everybody is fair game, no one is safe, not even little children.

So why is this show worthy of your time? For one, it is something that needed to be made to expose the violence that exists day to day to a broader audience. The people live with fear, the young kids grow up believing that they will never get out of their parts of the city. Honest jobs are rare, so if you need money, you have to turn to crime. The show brilliantly portrays the way in which the kids in Secondigliano take the crime and cruelty for granted, even emulate what they see in their childish games.

Also, and we as viewers should never take this for granted, Gomorra is incredibly well-made. The cinematography is stunning, especially in the third season, where every frame would be worthy of being hung on a wall as a piece of art. The original score is haunting and creates a unique atmosphere. In these gorgeous images, we see devastation and beauty exist side by side.

Lastly, the characters may be unlikable, but they are strong and interesting and captured in amazing performances by talented actors. The show has been renewed for a fourth season set to air next year, and I cannot possibly imagine what may happen next, but the first three seasons all centered on the relationship between Ciro di Marzio and Gennaro Savastano. There is an entire army of characters, including some strong women, but Ciro and Gennaro and their connection with one another has driven the show forward. It is brutal, and disgusting, and beautiful all at once.

No. 2: Deutschland 83

Everybody in Germany who loves great TV entertainment has had to turn their backs on German TV productions. Most shows produced in Germany, by Germans, for a German audience, are not very good, and every German will agree with me, I’m sure. I think the problem is that the German networks are, on the one hand, very hesitant to allow change (which is why, when Breaking Bad was aired on free TV, it was hidden in a very small channel Saturdays at 10 pm). Experiments are never welcomed with open arms. On the other hand, the prime networks probably think we, the viewers, are stupid. They do not seem to have a lot of faith in our comprehensive abilities. These issues make it all the more astounding that such a show as Deutschland 83 exists at all. It is a well-written, intelligent, thrilling show about the tensions between East and West Germany in the 1980s. Martin Rauch, a young man who firmly believes in the government of East Germany, is forced to go undercover for the Stasi in West Germany, posing as a soldier named Moritz Stamm. The real Moritz has been killed to make room for Martin. Suddenly, Martin is ripped out of his safe, relatively comfortable existence with his sick mother and his (unfaithful) girlfriend and thrust into the colorful world of West Germany, where all the restrictions and trade embargos on American merchandise of the East do not exist. But Martin also continuously risks his life for his country, spying on the West, stealing important data, only barely escaping from being discovered. The stakes are high, as would be the punishment for treason.

Deutschland 83 thus manages to combine history lessons on East and West tensions and the Cold War with a genuinely thrilling espionage story. The actors are amazing, and the soundtrack includes some of the best songs from the 80s. What makes this show so entrancing, however, is the development the main character undergoes over the course of the episodes. Martin starts as a rather naïve young man who firmly believes in his government’s values, that East Germany is right and everybody else is wrong. When he is forced to go undercover in the West, he refuses at first, but with a few patriotic lines, his Stasi handlers, who include his aunt, manage to convince him that what he is doing is “the right thing.” This serves as one example of how fanatic patriotism is akin to brainwashing. And the longer Martin works for the Stasi, the more ruthless he gets, until even human lives seem to pale in significance compared to his mission. Subtly fused into the compelling thriller is the story of how one finds his or her identity, sometimes by consciously turning away from what you know. The show is also very well-made, as lighting and editing basically scream American TV standards. And, indeed, it is a co-production between German network RTL and the AMC. If only we could have more collaborations such as this one. A second season is supposed to be coming this year, and I can only hope that t will be able to compete with the first one.

No. 1: Bron/Broen

The Bridge is a Scandinavian crime drama I discovered on accident while I was browsing articles for my bachelor’s thesis. The pilot episode begins with a female murder victim on the Øresund Bridge, a bridge that is 5 miles long and provides a direct connection between Denmark and Sweden. The body discovered has been placed exactly at the junction of the bridge where the official border between Danish and Swedish territory runs, even though the border crossing is not marked on the bridge. Also, the body of the victim is cut in half, one half each lying on Danish and Swedish territory. As the upper half is immediately identified as belonging to a known Swedish citizen, the Swedish police claims the case as theirs. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that the lower half of the body belongs to another victim, making it two cases of murder. The lower half is discovered to be that of a Danish woman, and thus a cooperation between Swedish and Danish police forces becomes necessary. The bridge obviously stands in for more than just a geographical connection between two places; it also symbolizes the cooperation between two nations, as well as the language gap that is artfully bridged in the show. The original title, Bron/Broen, means “bridge” in Swedish and Danish, respectively. As I do not speak Swedish, or Danish, I watched the show in German, so the language barriers that the characters may encounter at times was completely lost on me, but I do know that when the Danish characters speak, there are Swedish subtitles, so the language definitely factors into the viewing experience for native Scandinavian audiences.

Even without the language barrier, however, the show makes for a unique experience. In part this is due to the clearly Scandinavian crime thriller vibe. Muted colors, sparse lighting, and imaginative murders create an oppressive, sinister atmosphere that provides a welcome distraction for those viewers who are tired of polished, over-produced shows where everybody looks pretty and the bad guy is always apprehended. This is one thing The Bridge has in common with Gomorra: there can be no happy ending. The bad guy is never caught, or if he is, he has been caught too late.

What really makes this show worthwhile is its main character: Såga Norén, homicide detective in Malmö, is the strong female lead women have been waiting for. Interestingly, she is the antithesis of what societal norms predetermine a woman should be. An excellent detective, extremely intelligent, with an almost perfect memory, Såga is incapable of understanding social cues and engaging with other people on an emotional level, which makes her come across as cold and rude in the beginning. Once the audience gets closer to her, it becomes clear that she must have some form of Asperger’s Syndrome, and although she has never been diagnosed, Såga herself is aware, as she says at one point, that she is “not normal.” She never tries to hide this fact about herself, however, which gives her a range of freedom in social interactions others can only dream of: not inhibited by the unwritten rules of “proper” conduct, Såga has sex whenever she wants, with whomever she wants to have it, without ever coming across as anything but self-assured and determined. On the downside, her condition, and the love she has for her job, make her incapable of maintaining relationships, and she has a hard time finding, and keeping, friendship. Såga’s job is her life. Not interested in hobbies, police work is all her life consists of. We learn more about her tragic backstory as the seasons progress, and it fits right into the sinister mood of the show. Basically, if you love Scandinavian crime thrillers and strong female lead characters, this show is an absolute must. I am currently waiting for the fourth, and final, season to arrive on Netflix, because I would really like to see how Såga’s story concludes. If you have the opportunity, just watch it. It is time well spent.

Do you know any non-English TV shows that would be worth watching? I would love to hear some suggestions. Also, follow me on Instagram if you want: miri_mh8

Books: What I Want to Read 2018

Hey my loves,

in today’s post I thought I would share with you my reading list for 2018. I will be updating this along the way this year, but for starters I have a couple of books that made it onto my list for this year.

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I am currently reading “The Night Circus” and I absolutely love it, it feels so different to anything I’ve read so far. Mainly because I usually stick to the thrillers and haven’t read any fantasy lately (except for rereading Harry Potter, duh!).

What is on your reading list for 2018? Tell me in the comments.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.