One of the things that I picked up late during quarantine was journaling, particularly a creative-type journal. I’ve always been an analog type person when it comes to keeping my thoughts, making lists, and so on, but it was this time that I did some creative writing. One of things I started to keep track of was the new-to-me tv shows I watched per month. I do not watch a lot of new shows as much as I’d like, but there were some that I finally got to or tried out. Here’s what I watched in the recent weeks.
The Baby-Sitters Club (2020)
I was an occasional fan of the Baby-Sitters Club books. I have read some of them, and I was aware of the core story and the popular books in the series. These were some that I borrowed from my school library - and they didn’t have much Baby-Sitters Club books to begin with. This adaptation puts a spin to the stories that were already established, and adapts it to fit the current setting. The things that made the books special are still very much present in the adaptation. I love the friendships, and I really liked how the show updated the stories to suit the modern setting, making it more meaningful without losing its charm. I liked that the show involved the adults a bit more; aside from Mimi, most of the parental figures seem to be absent in the novels. I love that the property is venturing out to a new audience, but does not alienate the generation it was inducted to.
Miss Sherlock (2018)
I watched Miss Sherlock when Netflix announced its movie, Enola Holmes, and how the Sherlock Holmes property is suing the company because Sherlock Holmes was portrayed in a way that was not part of the free licensing - or so I’ve gathered. An article I read pointed out that there was a Sherlock-inspired Japanese show that featured a female detective, and so I watched it. As far as these types of shows go, Miss Sherlock was entertaining. The characters that audiences were familiar with are present in this adaptation. I liked the tandem between the two actresses. What I’ve noticed with the male Sherlock characters in the recent adaptations is that they tend to be obnoxious in a really annoying way. This Sherlock does possess the same qualities the character is known for but somehow Yuko Takeuchi makes the character likable, even someone you can actively root for. Even her relationship with her brother seems a lot more positive, and I really liked the camaraderie.
The Umbrella Academy, S2 (2020)
(spoilers) I finished the season on the weekend it premiered. I thought that the story was a bit more complicated, but a lot more fleshed out. The basis is still the same: end of the world, have a few days to stop it. They go through the motions of investigating how their presence in the past caused another end of the world situation that they just zapped theirselves out of. There was a lot more going on in their current present, as a main proponent of the narrative was the shooting of JFK, and most of their activity surrounded that particular big event. I was glad that Ben (Justin Min) got more screen time. There were moments that I really liked; the moment between Ben and Vanya was one where I almost cried. This was a really good season that ended in a cliffhanger; season 3 has much to explain.
Awkwafina is Nora From Queens (2020)
I first became aware of Awkwafina’s rise to stardom in Ocean’s 8, though I have watched her in Neighbours 2 and Storks. She has since been in a number of blockbuster movies, and was recently praised for her performance in The Farewell. All I really knew about her was that she was a comedian, and if her scene-stealing notable performance in Crazy Rich Asians was basis for her comedic chops, I knew I was going to watch her show some time. The main thing I like about the show is Nora’s relationship with her grandma. I could just watch Awkwafina and Lor Tan Chinn do stuff together and I’d be content. The show has its highs - like “Savage Valley”, “Vagarina”, and “Grandma & Chill”. I’m excited to see how Nora’s story continues.
This is one of those series where you want to watch again because you finally understand what was going on. I heard a lot of praise for this show, and it does not disappoint. I would have loved another season, but this also ends things in a good way that I don’t mind just having this one perfect season. I was initially wary of watching the show because I don’t know much about the Watchmen universe, and the first couple of episodes had me confused so I did end up reading about the show and the characters mentioned and all of that. It definitely helps if the viewer has prior knowledge of the Watchmen universe because it would help with the world building, but this was still wonderful even without. The production was amazing. Regina King was fantastic. The first few episodes mostly set the narrative, and the latter ones are when the viewer is given the information needed to piece everything together. I really liked episodes 5 to 7: these are the most important episodes of the show as this is where everything comes together.