What I’ve Been Watching This Week: Netflix and New Releases


If you follow me on social media, you’ll probably have noticed I’m quite the film and TV fanatic, so I figured I’d start putting my talent of binge-watching things to good use and watch everything so you don’t have to (unless it’s great of course).  Being the go-to gal for regular WhatsApp messages asking, “what series should I start watching?”, I feel it’s now my duty to help those in need – and so I shall. So, to begin with, here’s a roundup of everything worth talking about this week that I’ve watched – the good, the bad, and the absolutely must-watch. Stay tuned cos I’ll be doing this more often!

Red Sparrow

The J-Law thriller received mixed reviews upon it’srelease earlier in the year, but in a world filled with superhero movies, it was definitely a breath of fresh air. The film follows ballet dancer Dominika, who following a career-ending injury finds herself working for a secret intelligence service that trains gifted youths to use their minds and bodies to gain information from their enemies. J-Law’s performance is exceptional as always, even still showing us a totally badass side to her that we’ve never seen before. As a side note to this, the fashion styling here is spot on! I saw J-Law in some lovely vintage Soviet-Era dresses and what I suspect to be some original Oliver Peoples sunglasses, very nice!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (S4)

Everyone’s favourite guilty pleasure show is back for its final season, and it feels more on form than ever before. After a wild journey with Rebecca and her BPD, the show is taking us full circle; beginning to tie up the events of the first three seasons with a pretty (yet turbulent) bow. Character arcs are beginning to reach completion with bittersweet results, along some great musical numbers in true Rebecca Bunch style. We just hope the ‘Period Sex’ song will reprise before the season’s out…

The Holiday Calendar

November might have only just arrived, but Netflix is in full force with this year’s Christmas offering. While last year saw a positive response to their festive original content, new addition ‘The Holiday Calendar’ starring ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Kat Graham misses the (hall)mark. While the concept of the story offers a heartwarming premise, it fails to deliver with a lacklustre energy and zero connection between the love interests. While the story arch fits the bill of your typical, trusty rom-com, ‘The Holiday Calendar’ didn’t quite have the snow-covered pull to keep me watching.

Riverdale (S3)

Season 3 has seen a dark, dark turn for ‘Riverdale’, even for the show that demonized the neighborhood girl-next-door-come-Nancy-Drew’s father and made him the town mass murderer. Presumably upping the stakes due to the introduction of sister show ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, we’ve seen a handful of deaths before the season’s reached second gear. One thing is for sure, however – the showrunners are giving fans exactly what they want – with a perfectly set out storyline delving into the gang’s parent’s dark pasts. There’s been a ton of baby steps heading this way, particularly with Betty’s mum Alice Cooper and Judhead’s father FP – not to mention the mystery that’s carried through surrounding her sister and her twins. Something tells us we’re in for some real shocks and dark turns with ‘Gryphons and Gargoyles’ (and hopefully a ‘Sabrina’ crossover!)

The Haunting of Hill House

Ok, so this one I watched as soon as it became available on Netflix, but it’s probably my top-rated season of the YEAR. Yes, I’m going to rate it that highly.

The series adaptation of the book by Shirley Jackson follows the Crain family as they move into their new home, which their parents plan to renovate and sell. Little do they know; the house has a mind of it’s own. The story picks up with the Crain children in their adult lives, still facing the aftermath of the traumatic, paranormal experience they faced at Hill House. When tragedy strikes again, they’re forced to confront their pasts together.

With an exceptionally strong cast including Carla Gugino (Watchmen), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) and Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight), the 10 episode special takes you on an emotional journey of twists and turns, experiencing everything that each of the characters themselves faced. This is not your typical horror set up, with jump scares and tacky spooks not required to lure you into its dark tale. Prepare to be swallowed whole by Hill House’s emotional grip. This isn’t one you’ll get out of your head so quickly, not because of the chilling sights – but because of the near-perfect storytelling.

While Netflix continue testing different directions for their original content, I think they’ve found their footing with the horror genre.

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