Review-ish: Friends From College – Season 1

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWUBRto1WZQ

Dir. Nicholas Stoller

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Summary: Ethan and Lisa move to New York, which reunites them with their old friend group from college. College was twenty years ago, and they are all at different parts of their life and careers. The group consists of Ethan & Lisa, Sam & her husband, single-ish guy Nick, Max & Felix (until it’s just Max), and Marianne (and her boyfriend who is introduced later).  The people specifically from college are highlighted. Ethan is a writer; Max is his agent. Lisa is an attorney who works at a law firm with an extreme frat boy culture- she hates it. Sam sells furniture (I think). Nick doesn’t do much of anything besides date women half his age, and Marianne is an actress who recently starred in a reverse-sex production of A Streetcar Named Desire.  The catch is that despite being in marriages (Ethan & Lisa; Sam & her husband), Ethan and Sam have been hooking up since college, and consequently, they have been having a continued affair which continues to the current day.

Review:

It makes me want to watch a romantic comedy where the main characters begin single and find the loves of their lives and then go through a roller coaster with them but then end up together.

My review is definitely tainted by my own personal set of beliefs. So, I will do one part where I talk about that and then the other part will be technical things. Okay- let’s go!

So, story-wise and structure wise: no me gusta. As an audience member, I am uncertain of who I am supposed to really empathize with.  I feel as if the writers of the show would like the audience to empathize with Ethan and Sam, hence how their hooking up beginning before either of their relationships. Yet, I can’t do that. I just question why they never managed to enter into a real relationship of their own, and I wonder as to why they bothered to begin actual relationships but continue their own secret thing on the side. Watching, that doesn’t make sense to me. I empathize more with Lisa, and the only reason I actually watched each episode of the show was to see if Lisa would find out. If she found out, I wanted to see how the show would handle that discovery. Alas, they make it more complicated as Lisa cheats on Ethan too with Nick. It’s almost as if it is taking away the audience’s ability to be upset for her so that they empathize with Ethan and Sam again. Besides the cheating, which is the main thing of the show, I’m not sure where the story is supposed to go. It’s also about the reuniting of these friends who reminiscence a lot and are more or less wishing that their college days were continuous. I don’t know how long you can milk that certain storyline. I couldn’t empathize with Sam pining for the past and not wanting to have a fortieth birthday party because I was already annoyed by her and Ethan. And just her in general- especially when she gave Lisa a lecture about love after almost being caught cheating. OOOH and again, just to stress, they’re all supposed to be friends. Lisa is supposed to be Sam’s friends, and whenever I see her try to be her friend on screen, I just dislike it. AnywayAnyway, I don’t find the storyline endearing enough, in terms of the friends being reunited or in terms of all the cheating going on.

Alright, on to technical!

The cinematography was great. Which is also a reason I kept watching. I did like the way it was film and how it looked. There was something that was special about it, and if I wasn’t so distracted by being mad at the story, I could tell you exactly what shots I mean haha. Anyway, I liked how it was low key lighting in many of the scenes. I suppose that added to the more grown-up feel of the show. Also, the show is witty in some ways, which comes through in the editing as well. It’s kind of odd because it almost doesn’t fit, but it does. Even when they’re in a random Jekyll and Hyde restaurant, it fits. The acting is also fantastic. Each character does feel like a different character, and I actually care a lot about Max. Especially when he is going through his stuff with Felix. Marianne becomes most endearing in the last episode, when it’s clear that she cares about her friends. It’s interesting to see Keegan-Michael Key in a different type of role, and he did a good job. Everyone really did, but special s/o to Lisa (Cobie Smulders). She’s very believable. It’s nice too how they set up different aspects of the characters personalities and refer to them throughout. For example, Ethan with his weird voices thing or the noises he makes when he plays tennis. The tennis scene with Max was actually pretty funny.

Anyway, to wrap it up: Technical aspects were pretty good, but I can’t get down with the story.

There are eight episodes now streaming.

Much Love.

Stuff from the past week

*I am just rambling. These are not academic reviews or even really reviews at all. kk. much love**

Spiderman: Homecoming

Saw it once with Jacob and another time with Jp and my mom. I enjoyed the lightheartedness of it. Am wondering what’s up with Hollywood and multiracial families (diverse but not too diverse??), but the twist was actually really cool and fit in with the story. I love that it wasn’t a story about the world ending but just a nice, high-school story. Putting the fun back into the superhero world. It doesn’t always have to be apocalyptic. I tried to tell Jacob that’s why I liked it so much, but I don’t think he got what I meant haha. Also liked how Zendaya ended up being MJ and not just Michelle. Sidekick was fun too. He did a good job. Also good ending all around from Peter Parker and Tony Stark.

Okja

Took the cake. I want an Okja pig. Through all of the things that I have watched this summer, this is what I feel the most connection to. I normally dislike animal movies (read: dog), but this was so endearing, aghh. Like Mija seriously made sure she was going to get that pig back. Lovely. It’s cool that people believed in this movie enough to make it. Seems like one FT would have made.

Frances Ha

I think I started this like 3 years ago, and I finally actually went back to watch it after reading about it in a New York Times article. It was a gem. Also reminded me of Tuscany. Short, sweet, character-driven. In the article, they said it wasn’t a second longer than it needed to be. I agree. Great as is. Oh- and I was really pleased with how the reason for the title tied in to her getting her own mail box/apartment. She got it all together.

Great British Baking Show

Guilty pleasure, except without the guilt. It has a very precise way of editing that each episode follows, but I absolutely love seeing them create their bakes every week and introduce them. Idk how interesting I thought it would be really, but it’s cool to see all these different European/Eastern European desserts that I’ve never heard about. I like the personalities of the people as well. I’m on Episode 9, so I have that one and one more. Rooting for Chetna, but it might be Luis or Robert. Or maybe the lady who referred to Paul Hollywood as the male judge. Mary Berry is pretty intriguing too, and the British humor is nice.

Friends From College: Episode 1

so much cheating agh. I guessed that it was going to open with a sex scene and guess what? IT DID. props to ya girl for knowing the tropes now.

I might keep watching it just to know what happens, but I’m wondering how much I can really empathize with the characters considering the situation they placed themselves in. Like, I think the creators/show-writers want you to empathize with the affair people because they’ve been hooking up since college, before they ever met their spouses, but it’s like- if you were hooking up with someone else, why even bother to ask someone to marry you or date someone during that time? lame. anyway. I’m just being harsh, but that’s how it goes. I have to read too many stories that feature cheating people now lol. tired. Though, I think Inheritance handles that whole bit so beautifully. But the cheating thing also keeps me from blowing through GLOW, even though I think it’s so fresh and shot fantastically.

Wish Upon

almost, but not quite. As in- I almost made it to the theater with Jacob, but not quite. We had ten minutes left until start, and I threw up in our to-go bag in his car. And he took me home. Will be seen later though.

ooh oopsie- I knew I forgot some movies (just checked my Netflix activity so I could remember what they were)

Miss India America from July 5th and To The Bone from July 14th.

Those are obvi two different weeks, but it is what is.

I really enjoyed Miss India America. It was cool to…ya know, now I feel like I wrote about this already. did I write about it in my actual diary? hmm lemme check these drafts. nope, not in drafts. prob in the diary then. anyway.

It was cool that it centered an Indian story and that the majority of the people in the film were Indian, instead of being a side-joke, ya know? I liked it for the actors as well.

And To The Bone. I also liked. I don’t think it’s the style of movie that I hope to make it in the future, but I hope the people who made it are fond of it.

kk. much love. time for bed.

 

Series Premiere: Bizaardvark

Bizaardvark Theme Song

Watched on: Television, Disney Channel

Production Company: It’s A Laugh Productions

Creators: Kyle Stegina, Josh Lehrman

Synopsis: Two best friends, Frankie and Paige, operate a Vuuugle account called Bizaardvark. They don’t feel as if they fit in at their prep school, and they have been excited to use the Vuuugle space once they hit 10,000 subscribers. When they finally do achieve the privilege of joining Vuuugle, they feel as if they have “found their people”. The feeling quickly fades as they rub various Vuuuglers the wrong way. However, once they regain confidence in their comedic voices through a video about late comebacks, they are welcomed into the Vuuugle family.


I really liked it!

The two main actresses, Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu, draw in the audience. I definitely want to see future episodes and see where their friendship goes.

The Comeback video was really funny. Being good at comebacks, except too late, is a great idea for a video, and their execution of it was great.

Also- it’ll be interesting to see if Bizaardvark acts as a criticism of YouTube in a way. It seemed like it almost could go that way. We’ve seen Hollywood criticisms, but YouTube would be new territory.

It’s a little reminiscent of iCarly but not that much. Also, it was enjoyable how the prim and proper girl ended up being nice at the end and not just solely pretentious.

Bravo Disney Channel.

Jane the Virgin

AHHH. I just finished Season 1 of Jane the Virgin (I know I’m a year late), and it was FANTASTIC.

Literally, this show is so good.

I thought the final episode of the season was going to end in a very cute manner, and I was totally ready to awwww about it. Instead, it stuck to its true twist and turn telenovela format, and it had me yelling at the screen and flailing my arms instead.

Gina Rodriguez definitely deserved the Golden Globe that she received for her performance.

Something very special about the show is the depth of the characters. Even the ones who did so many shady things were still able to be championed. For example, Petra. She is so underhanded, but the audience still empathizes with her and her love for Rafael, overlooking that she cheated on him in the beginning of the series and sabotaged him and others since then. When she was kidnapped by Aaron/Roman, I still felt bad for her when she jumped when Michael came around and about the way she had to resort to calling her mother, Magda.

I keep switching between #TeamMichael and #TeamRafael because of how well done the character’s were. I end the season being Team Michael because he is such a good guy, cares so much about Jane, and remembers everything that she tells him. He constantly checks up on her and roots for her. That may be because he still loves her, but it’s sweet nonetheless.

Rafael and Jane argued too much for me to be Team Rafael near the end, but it’s understandable considering everything that happened to Rafael in the end.

And even Luisa- annoying af, but she’s still a complex character, which is really seen in the relationship with her brother.

Aside from the characters,

breaking boundaries is what I LOVE that Jane the Virgin has done. Gina Rodriguez is right when she says that she has opened more doors for people.

It’s important that Alba speaks mainly Spanish and is undocumented. When she almost got deported, I cheered when the screen said #YesThisReallyHappens #ImmigrationReform. Like, yes, go ahead and say it.

The casting is on point. And I love that it’s the Villanueva women. They all have their own personalities, but their family is at the center of it all. And their religion is at various centers for them.

Also love the names – Jane, Xiomara, Rogelio. Mateo.

THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD. Enjoyed watching every second. Just when you think it’s going one way, it turns around and gives you a twist. And it’s not a cliche twist- ever. It’s a fun ride.

Also- Rogelio is a sweetie.

Jane the Virgin can and it did.

5/5 from me. 100% RT.

Watched on: Netflix