Friday 24 October 2014

Netflix Obsession

I have never considered myself a connoisseur of anything, but when it comes to watching American TV I do seem to have a rather remarkable talent for marathoning things that really shouldn't be marathoned. Too many of my days and nights have been spent re-watching Greys Anatomy again or catching up on the latest episode of Americas Next Top Model. It's fair to say that my obsession is unhealthy, but like snuffling that last piece of chocolate or giving into that final slice of cake, I doubt I will be breaking the habit anytime soon.

Back in March when I was still finding my footing in the blogging world I wrote a brief post on my slight (ahem) obsession with television programs, with particular focus on Greys Anatomy and Gossip Girl. Since then I have not only added more programs to my repertoire I have also signed up to Netflix aka the website that will ultimately see my decline as a fully functioning adult. How can one function in society when there are so many programs to be watched, and in all in one place?!

So here goes, I will attempt to jumble together a comprehensible list of television programs and films that have caught my attention over the last couple of months.

An American television program comprised of four series' that follows the lives of members of fraternities and sororities at Cyprus Rhodes University, Ohio. I started to watch this years back but ended up losing interest, I'm not entirely sure how, because when I started it again a month or so ago, I was hooked. There are a brilliant selection of characters from the carefree, child at heart Cappie (who I may or may not have developed a bit of a crush for) and nerd like Rusty who just wants to get the real college experience. As someone who attends a British university, it was fun to see the Greek system in action as it seemed to far away from my own university experience. I honestly have no idea how accurate it is but I do know that it is entertaining and slightly addictive and as I came to the end, I was definitely sad to be leaving it behind. Give it a year and I might start over again!

Life Unexpected 
Right, so the premise of this program is that teen, Lux, was given up for adoption as a baby. Unhappy in foster care, she decides that she wants to become emancipated but in order to do that she has to acquire the signatures of her birth parents. But upon meeting them and then being denied emancipation, she becomes part of a custody battle. I really enjoyed this to start with, I found Lux to be a relatively good representation of a teen and her birth dad, Baze, was suitably stuck in his teen years, refusing to grow up. I found Cate, Lux's birth mother, to be a bit annoying in parts but I suppose thats to be expected of someone who has just had their child thrown back into their lives. Although I really enjoyed the first series, and most of the second, I actually found the last couple of episodes incredibly hard to watch, they ramped up the cheese and fell into every cliche possible and I was almost glad when it came to an end.

and now onto a couple of films...

This film follows the journey of a substitute teacher, Henry, who arrives at a school and makes a huge impression on a number of people. The film had very dark tones and it had me ugly crying (the worst sort of crying). I understand that on paper the film doesn't sound all that amazing, but I thought it was brilliant!

Tiny Furniture
This film comes from the brain of the brilliant Lena Dunham, I am a huge fan of her and her TV series Girls but I really couldn't get into this film, sorry Lena! It follows a recent graduate as she struggles to enter the next chapter of her life, a chapter full of responsibility and long term work. I felt that the film lacked a strong story line and whilst I did warm to some of the characters, I found many of them to be lacking substance. It was disappointing as I loved Girls so much.

Cancer is a hard topic to cover in film, a lot of the time it is done badly but occasionally there is a good representation, see The Fault in Our Stars, and I believe that 50/50 also falls into that category. I felt that it effectively showed the gritty and ugly side of cancer, there was no Hollywood shine to it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a brilliant job of playing Adam and I believed his pain, both mental and physical as he struggled with the treatments. I thought that Adams best friend, Kyle, played by Seth Rogan added just the right amount of comic relief to the film. But most of all, I liked that even thought there were snippets of a love story scattered throughout the film, it was ultimately a film of illness and recovery. There were no dramatic declarations of love as he lay on his death bed and I was glad, I hate how often cancer is over dramatised and how the pain is made to seem almost beautiful.

Right, so I think thats enough for now! I had planned on keeping Netflix for no more than the first month free subscription, but two months in and I still haven't cancelled it. Maybe next month I'll put an end to it or maybe not.

Let me know if you have watched any of the above mentioned or if you have any recommendations...go on, feed my obsession!


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