5 Reasons Why You Should Watch Netflix’s The Hollow: TheList

Hello everybody! When you think of an adult watching animation, you think of shows like Family Guy, The Simpson’s, Bob’s Burgers, stuff like that. In other words, adults watch adult animation. If they’re feeling a little nostalgic, they may watch cartoons from their childhood like Scooby-Doo or Rocco’s Modern Life.

Recently, everyone’s jumped on the Avatar: The Last Airbender bandwagon. But, who could blame them? It is a beautiful, well-written piece of work. The story and characters suck you into this complex, yet still fun world. And also, Uncle is the best!

Even still, Avatar was from the mid to late 2000s. More than likely, you will never catch an adult watching one of today’s children’s animated shows, unless they have kids who watch them. But, if you will indulge me, I want to encourage you to watch Netflix’s The Hollow. Here are a few reasons why:

1. The Premise

In a world where everything’s been done to death, this show’s unique premise really stands out. Three kids wake up in a Saw-type situation. They awaken to find themselves in a locked room. The catch is that they have no idea who they are, where they come from, or how they arrived in this locked room. The only thing they know is that their names: Mira, Adam, and Kai, and they learn this from scraps of paper found in their pockets.

From episode one, the lack of information really caught my attention. It forces these kids to adapt and work together to get out of one sticky situation after another. And this sense of mystery stays with us for the entire season one, giving us a long-sustaining tension.

2. The Characters

I loved the relationship between Adam, Kai, and Mira. It was complicated like real relationships. They did not wake up in the locked room and were “instant best friends” or “felt some sort of connection”. Their friendship develops over time and, again like real friendships, are put to the test with each new conflict.

Another thing I like about The Hollow is that there’s no real leader. Even though Adam appears to lead the charge, he’s not always the one with the ideas, getting everyone out of trouble, or defeating the bad guy. Each character brings something to the table that proves to be invaluable to the team.

We also meet several other characters throughout the show. Some of them help our main characters, others set out to harm them. The kids do not always agree on how to deal with these characters, but somehow manages to survive these encounters.

3. The World

The world that these kids have to traverse is humungous and diverse. They’re in the desert one second, the jungle another second, and space another second. Each locale has its own set of perils and surprises.

I’m trying not to give away too much of the show but I’ll tell you my favorite location. In one episode, they are in the desert and run into the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse. Apparently, Death is a great cook and can make a mean scone.

Similar to Avatar, The Hollow’s variety of locations deters redundancy. Being stuck in the same place for an extended period of time can become pretty dull (The Walking Dead proves this). We do not have to worry about that in The Hollow.

4. The Season One Finale/Season Two Opening

At the end of season one, we know what’s happening. I kind of had an idea of it early on, but the show confirms our suspicions. By the end of that season one finale, I thought “what a good show”. But, it made me wonder what story was left to tell for there to be a season 2.

When I watched the first episode of season 2, I was pleasantly surprised! Everything I knew from season 1 is different. We have the same characters (I thought they’d bring in different people), in a new version of the same conflict. Yet, we still maintain the tension and sense of urgency from season 1.

5. The Story

You can have the best setting, premise, and characters, and still, deliver a lackluster story (looking at you the last season of Game of Thrones). If the charcters are the heart of the show, the storytelling is the brain. And The Hollow gives us intelligent storytelling.

The same reason why I feel like adults should give anime a try is the same reason I believe they should give this “kid’s cartoon” a watch. It’s a good story! There isn’t a bunch of tired cartoon slapstick and goofy jokes. And, when there are corny jokes, it’s the show taking the opportunity to laugh at itself.

I guess that’s why I’m a little dumbfounded as to why more people aren’t talking about The Hollow. It’s a really good show, animated or not. We as adults have to get over this “cartoons are for kids mentality”. Today’s cartoons are sophisticated and I often think we are too “grown” to see it.

Just because it doesn’t have adult language and themes, doesn’t mean it’s not mature and intellectually stimulating. In fact, The Hollow may be more mature than your typical adult animation.

Wrapping It Up

Have you watched The Hollow on Netflix? If not, I hope you give it a shot. If so, tell me what you think.

Still this week, I’ll bring you more Tower of God on Couch and Chill. Also, there may be a Sunday Drama in the works. I’ll see you later!

Cast Gets Us Ready for Umbrella Academy Season 2 and I’m Obsessed!

Hello everybody! Yesterday, I posted a message on my personal Facebook page about how I’m excited about July. The causes of my excitement revolved around my sister-in-law’s birthday, the release of Paper Mario on the Switch, and the return of The Umbrella Academy.

My excitement was taking to a whole new level when the latter’s Twitter gave me a clip that has a popular classic by 80’s teen queen Tiffany stuck in my head. The clip shows the cast of the Umbrella Academy re-enacting the “I Think We’re Alone Now” scene from season 1, episode 1.

If you don’t remember, the siblings were all in separate rooms, essentially moping. Luther (Tom Hopper) turns on the song and everyone, in their separate rooms, starts absolutely jammin’. Vanya (Ellen Paige) is dancing in the most emo way. It was a fantastic moment that sort of discretely displays the underlying bond between them.

Cut to the Umbrella Academy tweet (@UmbrellaAcad), we see the cast social distancing and dancing to the song. Ellen Paige’s moves brought me right back to the Academy. Tom’s “rock lobster” dance was hilarious. And don’t even get me started on beautiful Emmy Raver-Lampman’s (she plays Allison) amazing blond hair (yes, queen!). All of this groovin’ was part of the announcement for season 2, premiering July 31st on Netflix.

Why This Tweet is So Amazing!

With Covid-19 still looming over our heads, movies and tv shows have to re-think how they push and promote their respective projects. It’s not like last year, where the cast can show up at San Diego Comic-Con or go on huge press tours. The projects have to rely heavily on social media to get the word out.

A great way to build anticipation for a show is to take you back to a memorable scene. You may not remember every single scene in the show, but I bet you remember Klaus (Robert Sheehan) dancing with his father’s ashes. Or, Diego (David Castaneda) dancing as hard as he fights. Watching them go back to those moves makes me eager for the show’s return.

What I Want From Season 2

The way that season 1 ended, I’m hoping to at least catch a glimpse of my favorite dynamic duo, Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige) and Hazel (Cameron Britton). I also wonder what point in their past will they land. Will their father be in the picture? How will their present knowledge impact their past lives? How will they prevent Earth’s destruction? Will they dance to “I Think We’re Alone Now” again, but as little kids? Either way, the show’s Twitter has me fired up for July 31.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for my thoughts on Umbrella Academy season 2. If you want some more anime content, be sure to head over to Couch and Chill. I will see you later!

Couch Cruisin is Back

What you can expect on Couch Cruisin’!

Hi everybody! Three years ago, I started a blog called Couch Cruisin’. Those beginnings were kind of aimless. I was talking a lot about pop culture. This was a start, but it was all over the freaking place. Sometime later, I started Couch and Chill. Here, my primary focus was anime, but I still ventured off into other stuff. I talked about Japanese Drama, the show Firefly, and just a host of other things.

Recently (like two days ago), I decided to reboot Couch Cruisin’. This served two purposes. One, it allows me to use a site that I’m paying for, and two, I can streamline Couch and Chill. So now, Couch and Chill will be strictly anime. Couch Cruisin’ will be everything else. And if you’re wondering what everything else entails, allow me to enlighten you.

Sunday Drama

I’m bringing it back! Sunday Drama is where I discuss a Japanese Drama. So far, I completed I’m Mita, Your Housekeeper, and High School Entrance Exam. I still haven’t finished Detective v. Detectives, so I suppose I’ll begin there. I’m also going to add movies, like Train to Busan.

American Horror Story

I love this show so much, I had to give it it’s own section. I’ve seen every season and of course, I have my favorites. This fall AHS is changing its format, bringing us American Horror Stories. You better believe I will bring you my thoughts on every single episode.

TheList

If you read Couch and Chill, you know about TheList. Both sites will have it, it’s just that Couch and Chill will be purely anime, while Couch Cruisin’ will be everything else.

MC Tuesday

Marvel-Studios

Here you will find all of my reviews of movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whenever we get the next movie (Black Widow), you’ll find the reivew here.

Rod-Tino Tuesday

Rod-Tino Tuesday was a rewatch by movies written/directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quinton Tarantino. This is a good filler post, so I may reboot it as well. Also, this post can get a little messy, considering I have an issue with a few Tarantino films.

I Just Watched

This section is for movies/tv-shows that it seems like the whole world saw except for me. Again, another great filler piece.

Sci-Fan

This section is for all the science fiction/fantasy media that doesn’t fall into the other categories. For instance, my next post will be on Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. You will find that post here.

Serenity Sunday

A while back, I covered the iconic series Firefly and the movie Serenity. You will find those posts here.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s everything you will find on Couch Cruisin. I feel that this format gives me a little more freedom. I will not tie myself down to strict timelines. I’ll simply write here when I feel like it. Don’t get me wrong Couch and Chill will still be my home for all things anime. That will never change.

My next post (probably later on today) will be about Umbrella Academy season 2. I will see you then.

[Review] Detective v Detectives Episodes 5 & 6: Sunday Drama

Hello everybody! Welcome to Sunday Drama, where we watch a dramatic series. This time, we are watching Detective v Detectives episodes 5 and 6. You guys, this show is a fantastic thriller. It kind of reminds me of Jack Ryan on Amazon. There is plenty of intrigue and intensity to keep your fists clutched and shoulders to your ears. Let’s get into it.

Episode 5

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In the last episode, Rena caught killer and torturer Hiike. Hiike fell off of the balcony and is in serious condition. In this episode, he is lying in the hospital. Rena hears that he is awake. She wants to get intel about the Death God. She attempts to go seem him, even though the hospital is covered in policemen. She manages to make it to Hiike’s hospital room. Rena finds him dead from some sort of injection. The police believe that Rena is the culprit.

Most of the interesting stuff involves Kotoha. In episode 4, she finds a video of her sisters Ayane’s apartment. In the video, Rena is kneeling on the floor. In this episode, Ayane erased the incriminating videos, but Kotoha recovers them. In the new footage, Kotoha sees Rena apologizing to Kotoha, followed by all kinds of abuse at the hands of Kotoha’s sister and others. Disgusted at the footage, Kotoha decides to confront her sister. Ayane says that she needed to teach Rena a lesson. She’s lucky that Rena felt so guilty. Otherwise, Ayane, her husband, and their friends would’ve caught a beatdown. Kotoha leaves her crazy sister’s house and returns to the Suma Detective Agency to work with Rena.

Episode 6

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This episode is so freaking good! At the beginning of episode 5, we see a battered women’s shelter. For some reason, four of the women “escape” through the forest and get into vans. The police are called to investigate. In this episode, Rena joins the investigation when she learns that the Death God is probably involved. Rena learns the name of one of the abusive husbands and goes to his house. When they arrive, police investigator Yuma Kubozuka is on the scene. Back during the Aribu episodes, Kubozuka was the only officer that thought something was fishy about Aribu. But, his superiors ignored him and even put him on vacation. In this episode, he warns Rena to lie low before she is arrested. When he leaves, Rena steals some mail. With it, she tracks down the abusive husband.

Eventually, the abusive husband leads her to a meeting. In this meeting are the husbands and boyfriends of the abused women who ran from the shelter. They are there to retrieve the women as if they are lost property. We learn that the criminal organization Nohozu is behind the kidnappings. Here’s what I think happened: They probably told the girls that the abusive men found them and that they needed to escape. More than likely, the organization used the Death God to find the girls. Then planted someone inside the facility to get the women out of the shelter.

At any rate, Rena is caught eavesdropping on the conversation. She tries to get away but fails. Kotoha knew that Rena was going to get into trouble so she called Kubozuka for help, but he’s too late. Kotoha couldn’t call the agency because she promised Rena she would not tell them her next step. They probably would’ve tried to stop her from making another reckless decision.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for Detective v. Detectives. This week, we’ll get into Dr. Stone episode 7 and Demon Slayer episode 20. On The Lost Otaku, I’ll bring you episodes 9 and 10 of To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts. I will see you later.

[Review] Detective v. Detectives Eps. 3 & 4: Sunday Drama

Hello everybody! Welcome back to Sunday Drama, where we watch episodes from a drama. This time, we are watching 2015’s Detective v Detectives. Episodes 3 and 4 have some unbelievable twists and turns. In these two episodes, secrets are revealed, villains are unmasked, and new secrets emerge. The information we get in these episodes is usually reserved for near the end of a season. Recall that Sakura is our main character Rena’s sister. A detective helped Sakura’s killer find Sakura, who’d left her home to escape a sadistic stalker. But thanks to the detective that Rena calls the “Death God”, Sakura is murdered. Let’s get into episode 3.

Episode 3

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Episode 3 really takes us on a ride. We know that from the previous episode the killer Okao isn’t dead. We get this information from the DNA analyst in charge of collecting evidence from the crime scene of a kidnapped little girl. In this episode, Rena asks the analyst to gather any information she can about the investigation, then contact her if she gets something. The analyst agrees to do so.

Meanwhile, Khotoa is trying to find a way to connect with Rena. Suma, the head of Rena and Khotoa’s detective agency, tells Khotoa that she needs to open up to Rena because that’s the only way to gain her trust. Later that night Rena is about to go to Okao’s possible hideout. This is a tip that she receives from the DNA analyst. Prior to leaving, Khotoa confesses that she knew Sakura and that they were friends. She feels responsible for Sakura’s death because the pair were supposed to meet the day she disappeared. This is enough to gain Rena’s trust and the two set out for Okao’s alleged hideout.

When they arrive at the hideout, Rena tells Khotoa to stay in the car. Rena then proceeds to make all the noise there is to make. Rena lacks both noise and light discipline. She’s stomping around the hideout, shining a flashlight and creating a huge ruckus. If Okao is in this building, he’s well aware of Rena’s presence.

Well, Okao isn’t there. We know this because the DNA analyst is lurking in the shadows. The analyst says that Okao’s dead. She works for Abiru and this was a trap. There’s also a hired detective with the analyst. He’s captured Khotoa and nearly kills her. He’s also responsible for using a bulldozer to push Rena’s car into the river.

Episode 4

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Rena manages to defeat the evil detective. She also saves the kidnapped girl and exposes Aribu as a criminal. But, everything is swept under the rug to save the police department the embarrassment of their utter incompetence during the kidnapping. Also, they consider Rena to be a criminal (can you believe it!). But they cannot arrest her without exposing their missteps. Aribu informs Rena that he is not the Death God she seeks.

The search for the Death God continues. This time, we investigate a kidnapper who sexually assaults young women. Rena finds him through a corrupt tech detective that steals money and receives pictures of the sexual assault from the assailant. It turns out that the bad guy visited the Suma agency, claiming that his sister went missing. Rena finds the assailant, kicks his butt, and rescues the young woman. In the guy’s apartment, she discovers a report. This report proves that this guy used the same detective as Okao.

Meanwhile, Khotoa is recovering from the injuries sustained during the Aribu situation. She’s back living with her sister and has not heard from Rena in the year since the incident. One day while cleaning her apartment, she discovers a video. The video contained her sister and her brother-in-law. There were also two friends in the apartment. They were all laughing, eating, and having a good time. Just then, the camera pans and there is a girl sitting on the floor. She looks as if she was beaten. I had to rewind it a few times because the girl looks like Rena. In fact, it is Rena. What is going on there?

Overall

What an intriguing show. Everywhere you look there’s deception. The DNA analyst was a surprise until she called Rena with that location. This latest surprise of Rena’s appearance in the video may be a step too far in the “surprise twist” department. We don’t want to go so deep in the weeds that we lose track of the main idea, finding the detective responsible for Sakura’s death. But, that depends entirely on where we go from here.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for Detective v Detective episodes 3 and 4. Next week it’s back to anime with Dr. Stone and Demon Slayer. I’m still watching Yu-No, but I think I’m going to do a wrap-up of the show at the end. I don’t quite understand where the show is going this late in the season, but it has a new theme and everything. Over on The Lost Otaku, I’ll bring you episode 6 of To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts. I will see you later!

[Review] Detective v Detectives Episode 2-Sunday Drama

Hello everybody! Welcome to Sunday Drama, where I discuss an episode from a drama. I cannot necessarily say Japanese drama since my next show will be American Horror Story: 1984. For now, we are discussing the Japanese drama Detective v Detectives. We are on episode 2, where we are turning up the intrigue. Before we get into episode 2, allow me to refresh your memory.

Justice

Rena Sasaki is a detective that investigates corrupt detectives for Suma Private Investigations in the Anti-detective Department. She joined the company via Suma Research, the PI school. Her aim is to learn about being a detective. It was a detective that led to the death of her little sister Sakura. Sakura’s stalker hired a detective to find her so that he can kill her. He threw her and then himself into a furnace, killing them both.

Rena works hard to catch corrupt detectives and try to learn about the circumstances that led to Sakura’s death. Suma throws a monkey wrench in Rena’s work when he hires Khotoa Minemori. Khotoa is the same age that Sakura would be if she lived. She’s extremely timid, not cut out for the dangerous detective work.

One of the leading detectives in the city is Aribu. He is out to kill Rena, primarily because she is messing with his business. He also seems to know about her sister. Is he the detective responsible for her death?

In A Car…In A River

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Aribu visits the Suma agency to deliver a gift to Rena. Rena’s in Chinatown taking pictures of passersby. Khotoa accepts the gift on Rena’s behalf. She runs around the office, asking what she should do with it. Everyone ignores her. She checks the gift for bugs and finds nothing.

Rena calls her and Khota tells Rena about the gift. Rena tells her to come to Chinatown. Khotoa grabs the gift and heads to Chinatown. When she arrives, Khotoa gives Rena the gift. Rena tells her that there’s probably a GPS tracker inside. She instructs Khotoa to run as fast as she can for the train. Rena takes the car and the GPS to the docks. While there, a bulldozer pushes the car into the river, with Rena in it. Rena manages to escape. Upon arriving back to the apartment, she falls asleep. Aribu is frustrated because Rena is still alive.

Aribu’s desire to kill Rena feels bigger than business disruption. It may have to do with Sakura’s death. Or, it may be as cut and dry as her impact on his business. But, Aribu has the trust of the police. Hell, he pretty much has them wrapped around his little finger. Does Rena pose that much of a threat?

The Big Discovery

Detective-v-Detectives-Episode-2

While all of that is happening, there is a kidnapping. The mayor’s daughter is taken right out of her driveway. They captured surveillance of the kidnapping, but the police did not see the culprit’s face. They also found the stolen car abandoned in another location. Aribu Investigations is hired to lead the recovery efforts. Of all the charlatans to hire, the police hire Aribu.

Back in the office, Rena receives a phone call from an unexpected person. It is the DNA analyst that worked on her sister’s case. When they meet, the analyst tells Rena that her sister’s killer is still alive, and likely the little girl’s abductor.

We also learn that Khotoa was Sakura’s classmate. This brings more questions. Why did Khotoa really join Suma? What is her relationship with Sakura?

Overall

I really like the pacing of this show. It’s slow enough to give us the details we need to follow the story, but it’s moving fast enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. Everyone is keeping secrets, and some people are flat out lying. It’s going to be interesting to see what Rena finds out next.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for Detective v Detectives. Next week, we will discuss episodes 3 and 4. We will also watch more Dr. Stone, Demon Slayer, and To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts. I will see you later!

[Review] Sunday Drama: Detective v Detectives Episode 1

Hello everybody! Welcome back to Sunday Drama. This is where I watch episodes of a Japanese drama. In the past, I’ve covered High School Entrance Exam and I’m Mita, Your Housekeeper. These shows have entertaining stories to tell that can often be a departure from western dramas. In this round, I’m discussing 2015’s thriller Detective v Detectives. The show stars Kitagawa Keiko. Apparently, she was in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. I’m going to take Google’s word for it. Let’s get into episode 1 of our show.

Meet Stone-Cold Sasaki

Detective-v-Detective-Episode-1

In 2009, Rena Sasaki rushes onto the scene of a murder. The victim is her younger sister Sakura. Apparently, Sakura had a stalker. The stalker used a detective to track down Sakura and kill her. Needless to say, Rena does not take it well. She signs up for a detectives course at Suma Research. The owner of the PI school, Yasuomi Suma, tells her that she is ill-equipped to be a detective. He says that she never smiles, a weakness when working undercover. She says she doesn’t want to be a detective. She just wants to know the detective process.

A few years later, Suma is apart of Suma Research. She works in the Anti-Detective Department. You see, the detective racket is extremely corrupt. It’s Rena’s job to bust detectives not abiding by the law. Because of this, she is a target by rival agencies that she’s busted. As a matter of fact, in this episode, she is set up quite a few times. But, she manages to escape.

Why Are You Here?

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Loner Rena reluctantly gets a new assistant. Her name is Khotoa Minemori. If there is anyone that chose the wrong career path, it is Minemori. She enters the detective field to make her older sister proud. But she is oblivious to the fact that it is a dangerous profession. She attempts to go into the field with Rena. Rena is attacked by a rogue detective. All Minemori does is squats in a corner and screams at the top of her lungs. Meanwhile, her partner is getting punched in the face and thrown around. What are you doing, sis? Hit that fool with a lamp! Anyway, Minemori nearly quits but decides to stick it out until she finds another job.

Tom-Foolery

While investigating who is trying to kill her, Rena learns that the police hired Aribu Detective Agency to help with an inheritance dispute. Both the mother and the son of a man who died claim to have wills leaving the property to them. Aribu claims that the son is the rightful heir and that he has a genuine document. The mother only gets jewelry and a little cash left in a safe deposit box. Rena learns that the cash in the box was printed after the man died and that Aribu doctored a journal from the dead man to use for handwriting analysis to authenticate the will.

When Rena confronts Aribu, he hints to know about what happened to her sister. I think it has something to do with Suma. That’s why he wants to keep her close. And, why he gave her an assistant that is the same age as her sister and can take her dead sister’s place.

Overall

I like the intrigue. It looks like the show is going to give us breadcrumbs. Kind of like How To Get Away With Murder. Each episode we are going to learn a little more about what happened to Sakura. More importantly, we will learn which detective is partially responsible for Sakura’s death.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for Detective v. Detective. This week, I will review episode 4 of Dr. Stone. We will have more Amnesia on Flashback Friday (God help us). On The Lost Otaku, I will review episode 5 of the fantastic To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts. I’m hoping to find time for episode 3 of the podcast. I will see you later!

Why Did Parasite Win A Golden Globe?

Hello everyone!  I hope your 2020 is going well.  Today, we’re going to discuss Parasite.  If you didn’t know, Parasite is a movie from South Korea that won a Golden Globe for best foreign film.  We’re going to discuss a few things about this movie. I want to tell you how I discovered this movie, why it won a Golden Globe, and the message the director Bong Joo Ho had for America.  Let’s get into it.

When The Wrong Spelling Goes Right

I should mention that I did not watch the Golden Globes.  I found out about Parasite’s win the following morning. Honestly, we found this movie by accident.  We were actually looking for Parasyte (like the anime), but found Parasite. We were about 10 minutes in before we realized that ths may not be what we’re looking for.  But the way this movie opens instantly drew us in, and we decided to stick it out and see where it goes. And let me tell ya folks….it went places that I never dreamed it would go.  The first happy accident of 2020 for me as a viewer left me thoroughly satisfied. 

Well Deserved

I used to like watching awards shows.  But, the older I get, the more I realize that I’m not the award show’s audience.  To me, the audience is actually Hollywood. It’s nothing but the industry paying homage to itself and the people they like.  They occasionally throw in a noteworthy winner to quell public outcries of favoritism and discrimination. But, for the most part, award shows are by Hollywood, for Hollywood.

With all that being said, Parasite deserved any and all accolades it receives.  It’s a gritty story of a family of con-artists trying to hustle their way to a better life by pulling the wool over the eyes of a wealthy, and naive, family.  My husband says it’s like the show Shameless, and he’s right.

The con-artist family is despicable to say the least.  The things they do to milk the family out of thier money is truly deplorable.  But, karma comes back to bite them in a very poetic way. What I really liked about the movie is that there are really no winners in the story.  Both families face major tragedies because of the actions of the con-artists. It’s not some boring “the nice family wins” type of thing. It’s realer than that.  Everyone paid the price for the family’s criminal behavior.

This is often how real life works when it comes to crime.  If someone is mugged, both the perpetrator and the victim feel the negative impact.  The victim is traumatized by the experience, while the pereptrator has to live in a state of constant paranoia, fearing arrest or reataliation.  Sure, they may have money, but they lose their freedom.  

Parasite pefectly illustrated the gap in class between the haves and the have-nots, and the consequences of both crime and gullibility.

The Bong Joon-Ho Dragging

So today (the Monday after the Golden Globes), I’m on Twitter and I see that Parasite won the Golden Globe for best foreign film.  I said to myself “good for them! That was a really good movie”. But what everyone was really talking about was the director’s acceptance speech.  Bong Joon-Ho absolutely got Americans together. He said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”.  

Some of the best movies in the world are not in English.  I remember growing up loving the movie “Like Water for Chocolate”, a film set in Mexico.  Now, I write about anime, which is in Japanese. So many great works of art come from other countries, yet we ignore it because we’re too lazy or ignorant to read subtitles.  It’s a bit rediculous.

Do you want to know the kicker?  Lots of movies and characters popular in America are adaptations from other countries.  Do you remember the movie True Lies with Arnold Schwarzeneggar? Well, it’s based on a French comedy, along with The Birdcage.  And let’s not forget about The Grudge, which is based on a Japanese horror movie. It’s so funny how international ideas are only palletable to us when they are in English.   I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, and try a foreign film beofre it’s “adapted” by Hollywood.

Wrapping It Up

Parasite is everything I look for in a good movie.  The story is compelling, the characters are dynamic, and the ending is memorable.  The film has a high rewatch value. The story isn’t lost in special effects, BS romantic entangelments, or other such nonsense.  It’s just a good movie…period. 

Well that’s it!  I will see you soon for Number 24!

[Recap] American Horror Story: Oh The Horror- Reloaded!

Allow me to take you back over two years ago when Couch and Chill was CouchCruisin and I had no idea what this blog as going to be.  Back then, I discussed everything from Cardi B to Game of Thrones. Back in this wacky blogging time, I discussed a little Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk masterpice known as American Horror Story.  In this article, I discussed every season leading up to American Horror Story: Cult. Since then, we’ve had Cult and Apocalypse. And now, we are at the beginnings of AHS: 1984.  

I’ve decided to review the newest season of AHS.  But before I dive into this new iteration of the FX anthology. I thought I’d revisit past seasons and add new viewpoints and thoughts on the past two seasons (also make some editorial adjustments).  Any new comments of past seasons are underligned. Let’s get into it!

AHS: Murder House (2011)

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Like most shows, the first season is the best season (so far).  A troubled family relocates from Boston to California to make a fresh start.  The realtor warns them that the house has troubled past, telling them that a murder/suicide was committed by the previous tenants.

She fails to tell them of the many horrors that occurred prior to that incident. These horrors include some of the most infamous crimes in American history, including the Black Dahlia murder of 1947.  The family is terrorized by the ghosts that haunt the house.  But, they cannot leave because they have nowhere else to go.  The family soldiers on, living with a bunch of ghosts and unearthing a bunch of skeletons (so to speak), including their own.  

This season introduces the audience to a mix of history and the macabre.  And the opening…scary as hell. The only opening that comes close to this amount of terrifying his Coven.

AHS: Asylum (2012)

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This season was based on a real-life journalist’s expose, where she commits herself to an insane asylum.  The journalist is Lana Winters, played by the brilliant Sarah Paulson.  AHS: Asylum is basically a retelling of journalist’s Nellie Bly’s stint in the horrid Blackwell Island’s Women’s Lunatic Asylum. There are some crazy nuns, some crazy doctors, and some truly crazy situations.  I remember being bored mid-season but regaining interest towards the end.

AHS: Coven (2013)

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(This entire section is new).  When I first discussed Coven, I said that Coven was “okay”.  But, after I watched Apocalypse, I remember how amazing this season was.  Coven surrounds a school for witches, led by Fiona, the head witch known as the Supreme.  This season had some of my favorite characters including Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), Delphine (Cathy Bates), Myrtle (Frances Conroy), and Marie (Queen Angela Bassett).  I see why hints of Coven appears over and over in subsequent seasons (Hotel, Roanoke, Apocolypse).

AHS: Freak Show (2014)

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Season four was lame.  This could have been a terrifying season.  There was this circus freak show that was on its last leg, a clown that you would not invite to a kid’s party…ever, and a sadistic man-baby (as in he is a man that acts like a baby).  It was all there. The problem was the story they were trying to sell me was not interesting. Not to mention the singing. I mean it was AHS: The Musical. They focused too much on the ring leader’s story, a story that I cared the least about.  As a matter of fact, there was too much time devoted to individual stories. There were just too many characters for that. I think they should have told the story from one perspective, namely the perspective of the conjoined twins. DID I MENTION THE SINGING??!!!

AHS: Hotel (2015)

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Freak Show was pretty lame but Hotel just plain sucked (and not just the blood-sucking kind that was on the show).  There was the whole “once you check-in, you never check out” thing they were going for.  It’s actually based on the hotel built by H.H. Holmes in the late 1800s, where people would disappear once they checked into the hotel.  So, the horror foundation was there. The season is set in this hotel in California that was haunted by those who died there.  Lady Gaga played some sort of vampire-like person. They tried to incorporate all these dead serial killers, but it was just a whole bunch of nonsense to me.  I may garner a lot of hate for saying this but I think too much was made of Lady Gaga’s performance in the show. She played a blood-sucking, gold-digging floozy.  But I guess she did outstanding when compared to the other characters. The problem was more about the bad writing than bad acting.

AHS: Roanoke (2016)

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Just when I had given up hope of ever seeing a decent AHS again, here comes Roanoke to punch me in the face!  This season takes us to another haunted house, but this time it’s in the dark and creepy woods of North Carolina.  It was jump-scare city this season. You found yourself yelling “Run!” at the screen like you were watching Nightmare on Elm Street or something.  This season had complex characters with complex relationships, enough tension to give you anxiety, and a creepy tone with none of the cheese of the previous two seasons.  And just when you thought it was over….it wasn’t. It reminded me a lot of the first season in that you don’t understand why they are there or why they stay, but you glad you are a witness to it.  A lot of people I talked to did not like this season, but I loved the Blair Witch vibe to it.

AHS: Cult (2017)

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I was really looking forward to this season because cults always fascinate me.  All cults usually start with good intentions and end in disastrous results for those involved.  The cult in AHS started crazy and ended crazy. I think where it fell short was that it relied heavily on today’s politics to tell the story.  It felt preachy and sanctimonious. The season lost the creep factor that makes past AHS seasons so good. I did like the connection that was made between the cult in the show, and known cults like The Peoples Temple.

AHS: Apocalypse (2018)

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There is so much to love about last year’s season.  First, there is the involvement of the warlocks. Billy Porter and B.D. Wong as warlocks?  Yes, please! We also see the return of the coven. They reappear to try and prevent the end of the world.  And, how do they do this? By going back to the infamous Murder House of season 1 to stop the rise of the anti-Christ.  It was a great season, full of the vilest people you would ever meet. It also brought us full circle, back to the AHS we all loved.

Overall

When you begin a season of American Horror Story, you do not know how you’re going to feel about it when it ends.  You can fill a sense of satisfaction like Murder House, Coven, or Apocalypse; or, you can be disappointed like Freak Show, Hotel, or Cult.  What you do know is that you’re going to get a glimpse into America’s dark history through an often jarring but sometimes perplexing anthology series.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for my AHS recap.  Later this week, I discuss episodes one and two of AHS: 1984.  Also this week are my thoughts on Dr. Stone and Demon Slayer.  I will see you later!

I Just Watched: Snowpiercer

Hello everybody! Today, we’re going to discuss the 2013 movie Snowpiercer. This movie is directed by Bong Joon-ho. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the extremely successful, Oscar-winning Parasite.

You know, it’s funny how my introduction to the film came about. My husband and I were watching a YouTube clip. Someone was reviewing the Netflix film The Platform. They said it was a mix of Snowpiercer and The Cell.

My husband strongly disagreed that The Platform (we watched it a few days before we saw the review) was anything like Snowpiercer. I told him that I’d never watched Snowpiercer. He was shocked! We immediately turned it on.

The Cold Train

Well…we’ve finally done it! Humanity has obliterated the ozone and brought about massive global warming. And, in classic human being fashion, we overcorrect. The world decides to spray something in the air to normalize the global temperature. But, like I said, we overcorrected.

The substance brought the temperature down too far and now the earth is entirely too cold. You can’t even live on the planet. Luckily, I guy named Wilford (Ed Harris) builds a completely self-sustaining train. A good guy right? No.

The people that paid to be on the train live closer to the front, while the people that are living on the train for free, live in the back. You can imagine the squalid conditions of the back of the train. The food they’re given is a disgusting protein bar.

Curtis (Chris Evans) has lived in the back of the train for the past 17 years. He and the others decide to take over the train to bring some equality into their little world. They begin a revolt to make it to the front of the train, where Curtis plans on killing Wilford so that poor person Gilliam (John Harris) will lead the people.

We Need to Talk About Chris Evans

I’m sure most people in the world know Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers/Captain America. Even though he played the crap out of the role, that’s not even my favorite character. He was also Lucas Lee in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, one of my favorite movies. Recently, he played the sly yet spoiled Ransom in Knives Out. I tell you what, Evans has range when it comes to acting. He’s so believable in any role he plays.

Curtis is a deliciously complex character. It is so important that you connect with Curtis because you are with him the entire movie. Curtis is very driven to succeed. You think it’s because he’s tired of living in poverty, but it goes so much deeper than that.

Keeping It Classy

You know, Bong Joon-ho seems to find interesting ways to explore the theme of class in society. In both Snowpiercer and Parasite, we watch the “have-nots” trying to take from the “haves”.

What I really appreciate about both films is that the “have-nots” aren’t perfectly innocent and just cursed with being poor. In Snowpiercer, the people riding in the caboose have done horrible things on this train, even Curtis.

Overall

What an amazing journey! This movie has so many twists and surprises, it’s ridiculous. But the twists flow so seamlessly into the film, that you aren’t lost or confused. The acting is incredible. We’re on a train and it feels like there’s some new hurdle in every car. Wait until they get to the car where the poor’s food is manufactured!

My husband’s right. Snowpiercer is not similar to The Platform. Not in the least. Snowpiercer and The Platform are available now on Netflix.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for Snowpiercer. Coming up, I begin my review of Tower of God. I didn’t think I was going to review it, but since I’m home for the foreseeable future, I thought “why not?”. I’m also going to bring you my Wondery Podcast List. I will see you later!

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