Other Favourite Stories of 2020

I feel that in 2020 I spent more time watching TV series and films than reading books thanks to the pandemic. That doesn’t mean that I have a higher number of other favourite stories (those that I watched on a screen) to share with you than in previous years, though. The majority of the films that I watched were not particularly remarkable and many ended up just being background noise while I absentmindedly scrolled through social media feeds. There are four TV series, however, that I’ve highly enjoyed and wholeheartedly recommend.

 

Dark – Season 3

For sure one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched on Netflix, Dark is a German science fiction thriller about time travel and various families dealing with loss, grief and love. It can be quite complex, so viewers have to pay careful attention, which it’s not much to ask, seeing that the series is engaging and compelling. In season 3, all strands are convincingly linked together in a way that I didn’t see coming. I’ll definitely re-watch the entire series sometime in the future.

 

Dracula

A new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula was the first TV series I watched in 2020 on Netflix (it was originally created for the BBC, though). Claes Bang is flawless as Count Dracula. The first and second episodes are exquisite, terrifying and compelling. The third episode feels very different from the others, primarily because it’s set in modern-day England, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I liked how the creators of the show tried to present a reason for Dracula being afraid of certain objects. Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – June 2020

June is coming to an end, thus it’s time for another instalment of my monthly favourites. I’m about to share with you the book, TV show, blog post and YouTube video that I enjoyed the most during the last thirty days.

I have only finished one book this month. The reason why is that I’ve been reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb for at least three weeks now and still haven’t finished it. It would have been terrible if I hadn’t enjoyed the only novel that I read in its entirety. But unsurprisingly I loved rereading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and remembering why it’s one of my favourite classics. It was wonderful to get reacquainted with a story that is full of interesting characters, brilliant dialogues and that is written in an engaging and witty style. Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s interactions are often amusing.

The third (and last) season of Dark became available on Netflix during the weekend and is also one of my favourites from June. It is a German science fiction thriller that features time travel and various families trying to deal with loss, grief and love. As with previous seasons, it requires full attention from viewers. I highly enjoyed it! All parts were linked together effectively and engagingly. Some aspects, however, could have been further explored, such as the state of mind of some characters in certain instances. I also have the feeling that some revelations happened too hastily, but that sensation may be a consequence of me binge-watching the episodes in a space of three days and not a fault of the series itself. Continue reading

Other Favourite Stories of 2019

Books are undoubtedly the protagonists of this blog. However, I also consume stories, be they fictional or not, through other forms of media. So, I like to annually compile and share with you my other favourite stories, which are usually TV series and films. From the ones that I watched for the first time in 2019, I have four favourites.

 

Game of Thrones – Season 8

The last season of Game of Thrones was surely divisive. I’m part of the seeming minority (or maybe of the less vocal majority) who liked it immensely. I’ve discussed the reasons behind my enjoyment in significant detail on my monthly favourites of April and May, so I’m going to avoid spoilers and be brief this time.

Season 8 is visually stunning, atmospheric and emotive. Not only did I cry, but I also laughed. The acting is outstanding, the camera work is fantastic, and the score is perfect. I don’t think that I’ve mentioned it before, but I loved the final montage. The actions of the characters, in my opinion, result fully from their personalities and are a consequence of their life experiences. Although there is one occurrence that, at first, feels slightly anticlimactic, everything makes sense. I would have liked it to be one or two episodes longer (I think I’ve used the term ‘a couple of’ before). They were not necessarily needed for a fitting telling of the story, but I selfishly wanted more interactions between the characters. Their state of mind would have been even clearer. Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – August 2019

This instalment of my monthly favourites is probably one of the shortest ever. There are two main reasons for that. First, I didn’t truly enjoy any of the books that I read in their entirety. And, second, I think I’m suffering from TV series hangover, if there is such a thing, because, after watching a great one, I didn’t feel like watching anything else this month, including films.

As I didn’t particularly like the two books that I managed to finish in August, I decided to mention as my favourite one that I’m not even mid-way through – Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. When the main character and narrator, Fitz, was six years old, his maternal grandfather left him at the castle of the town he lived in, because he was the bastard son of the Crown Prince, Chivalry. After some years, he started being trained in secret as an assassin. I’m enjoying Fitz’s character development and the detailed writing, as it allows me to easily visualise the scenes.

My true favourite this month, however, is the second season of Dark. If you haven’t watched it on Netflix yet, you should do so immediately. It’s fantastic! I’ve been trying to convince almost everyone that I know to watch it. It is a German science fiction thriller that is highly intriguing and at times moving. It is set in the fictional town of Winden, where there is a nuclear power plant and where a couple of young people go missing. Continue reading

Other Favourite Stories of 2018

Reading is my favourite pastime, but it’s not the only one. I love a good story irrespective of it being told through the written word or on a screen. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I usually mention the TV series and films that I enjoyed greatly on my monthly favourites. From the ones that I watched for the first time in 2018, I selected those which I liked the most.

 

The Shape of Water

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, this film tells the story of Elisa, a mute cleaning lady who fell in love with an amphibian creature that was being kept in a government’s laboratory in the 60’s. Sally Hawkins is fantastic in it. She completely convinced me that it was possible to fall in love with such a peculiar (and somewhat attractive) being. I was thrilled when it won the Oscar for best picture.

 

Dark – Season 1

I believe this was the first German TV series that I’ve ever watched. It is set in a fictional town where a nuclear plant is located. After the disappearance of two children, we are shown how the past and the present of four families are connected. It’s highly addictive and puzzling. I can’t wait for the next season! Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – October 2018

I normally try to choose a single favourite from among the books that I’ve read, the TV series that I’ve watched and, more unsuccessfully, the music that I’ve listened to during a specific month. However, as I was struggling to decided which book and TV series was my favourite from October, I ended up opting to allude to two of each. I enjoyed them almost equally, thus they truly deserve a mention in this instalment of my monthly favourites.

I’ve only read three books last month. And I say only, because I could have read more, if I had not spent around a week persevering through Freedom and Death by Nikos Kazantzakis just to end up not finishing it. But this post is about my favourites, and one of them is Tula by Jurgis Kuncinas. It tells the story of a man struggling with an alcohol addiction, while recollecting his love for Tula. Throughout the book, there are plenty of astonishingly beautiful passages that convey great emotion.

My other favourite book from the month of October is Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb. Mihály and Erzsi are a newlywed couple trying to come to terms with what they want from their lives. They married for opposing reasons, and Mihály is plagued by nostalgia for his youth. There are some genuinely funny moments and a great depiction of ambiances in various occasions. Continue reading