Outer Banks Season 1 Review

Outer Banks. This show has been all over my Instagram, so I did what felt natural– I decided that I would not watch it. I tend to not like shows or movies that are generally popular. I usually find these shows stereotypical and not unique.

But, I started watching this show by accident. How, you ask? Well, I had Netflix on my T.V. and it just started playing. Like magic. The show played in the background while I did homework and I started to get interested in it. At first, the characters annoyed me because they seemed like typical teenagers that I would avoid if I saw them at the beach, but the story started to get better as it continued. There was more depth than I first realized, no pun intended.

from Netflix on YouTube

So, what makes it so special?

Simply put: the characters, treasure hunt, atmosphere and the world it creates, the plot, love story, conflict and lots more. Let’s dive right in (pun intended).

Let’s Talk:

The characters are all unique and change throughout the season. At first, none of the characters were very likable, but as I started to understand why they act as they do, I became a little more forgiving. The characters’ backstories are what drew me into the show and made me want to keep watching. While some people are head-over-heels in love with the actors, I am most attracted to the ocean and the idea of living so close to it. But, that’s just me.

Next, let’s discuss the acting. It’s great. The characters and their actions are so believable because the actors are so good and make the story enjoyable to watch. There have been countless shows I have watched that did not work because the actors were not the best, even when the plot of the show was solid. However, this show is great BECAUSE of the acting. And plot. And writing. But the actors played a huge part in the show’s overall storytelling success.

And who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? It’s easy to live simultaneously through the characters while sitting at home on the couch in the dark eating oreos by the handful. I can relate to that. (insert a pic of me macking on oreos here)

My favorite part about this show is how the setting becomes a character in the story. The lifestyle of the Pogues, the plot that ensues and the conflicts that naturally appear, make this season easy to watch in one day. At least, that’s what I did– that’s dedication. The love story also adds a nice touch for those who like that kind of thing. Sometimes the relationship seems overdone and too “perfect,” but I can deal with that. Overall, the relationship between Sarah and John B is sweet, but sometimes it’s a bit too unrealistic.

from Netflix on YouTube

What to think about:

While watching this show, I thought about ways in which I could relate to it. To my surprise, I could not relate to much (besides the fact that I share the same love for the ocean that the characters do).

All of the characters are part of their own clique and have friends that are more like family. I can’t relate to this, but maybe that is why I liked this show so much. I always wanted to have friends that I could rely on when everything went wrong, but I have never had that. This show reminded me how important and valuable it is to have a strong support system in your life. It made me feel thankful for the friends and family that I do have.

Watch Outer Banks:

Want to watch teens go on a treasure hunt, just barely escape looters, hide from the police and try to escape an island during a tropical storm? Then you are in the right place.

This show premiered on Netflix this April 2020. You can read more about the show on IMDb or just search “OBX” on Instagram and I think you will come across an abundance of information. Check out the show’s official Instagram here.

Outer Banks Season 1: 7.2/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

I hope that this show has a Season 2. I mean, ending with such a cliff-hanger, Netflix needs to make a Season 2. Please. Although this show is not as intricately detailed as Mr. Robot (2015-2019), or as comedically genius as Barry (2018-), it’s good in its own respect. I especially loved it because I have not been able to go to the beach in a while because of the world right now, so I had a fun time living through the characters.

I enjoyed the writing and how the writers made the characters have more depth than most T.V. show characters. The episodes were fun to watch: an enjoyable experience to say the least. Sad sometimes, but lifted by the bond of strong friendships and the yearning for adventure.

Sentence Summary:

When OBX locals get involved in something that quickly spirals out of their control, their commitment to their friends is tested over and over again.

Thanks for reading. Let me know on my Instagram what film or T.V. show I should talk about next!

Arianna xx

Woogity woogity woogity!

P.S. This has absolutely nothing to do with this review, but why does this video make me laugh so much? I just had to leave this here. Enjoy. Or don’t. Or laugh a lot. Maybe.

from John Mayer on YouTube

Why I Love Movies

With so much going on in the world, I was not going to post today. But then I thought that is exactly why I should post. I am not going to reiterate the news because I think that we all know what is going on, I just want to talk about the power of movies and why I love them so much. They have had such a profound impact on my life and I want to take a moment to appreciate them.

With so much negatively weighing us down, I think movies are a way to reflect and get away, just for a moment, so we can try our best to continue thinking clearly, even in such an unpredictable time. Movies have taught me so much and made me who I am today. They have the power for positive change, especially right now.

1. New Perspectives

When you watch a movie, you are often presented with a new point-of-view, or a new way of life, that you may have never thought about before. Whether you watch a film like Harry Potter, the Avengers, Rocketman, the Quiet Place or Dirty Dancing, you are learning about another person’s life and how and why they make the decisions they do.

Similar to reading a book, movies open our eyes to thoughts that we may have never thought were possible. I have been spending more time reading and watching new films, and I am learning so much. Whether I watch a comedy film, like Ghostbusters or Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, in the end, I spend time thinking about the characters from the movie and what I liked, or did not like about them. Then, I take what I learned and apply it to my own life. First, don’t go looking for ghosts and second, do not crash weddings in Hawaii.

2. Emotions

A lot of the people that I am close to rarely talk about their emotions. I, on the other hand, talk about my emotions freely and it seems to make people uncomfortable. When I watch a movie, I can almost guarantee that I will cry. But I was not always like this. I used to keep all my thoughts to myself. This changed when I started to watch more films and realized the value of wearing your emotions on your sleeve. How can people know what you are thinking if you don’t tell them? (Kindly, of course.) I learned through movie characters who have conflicting wants and needs, how important is is to talk about things, even when they are hard to talk about.

I think movies have the ability to get people more connected to their emotions, so they can open up more to the people that are closest to them. Emotions are beautiful– the bad, the good, the horrendous, but having people to talk to can make the hard times a little more bearable. Movies reminded me the importance of that.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

3. Lessons

It can be hard to evaluate our own lives and see the mistakes that we keep making over and over again. But, when you watch a movie, it can be easier to look at a situation from the outside. I have learned a lot from characters: how to evolve, be more accepting, more confident and kind. How to be determined, have courage and not let unsettling words hold me back. Films allow us to see a glimpse of ourselves in characters, stories, relationships and conflicts, as long as we are open to the experience. We could all have a different reaction to the same film because we relate to the film in different ways.

For instance, I love the Harry Potter films, but I know quite a few people who are not fans. I have liked the character of Harry Potter since I was a kid. It was probably partly because he had glasses and so did I. It was also probably because he was nice and got bullied because so did I. I could relate to the character and I learned a lot from watching him. I learned to stand up for myself, like Harry did to Malfoy, but not to be mean. I learned to push for what is right and be ok with what might look like a failure, because it could end up being a win in the end.

Films are good teachers. Even the worst films often have lessons built into them, like, it’s ok to fail because at least you gave it a try. Trying something and failing is better than not trying at all, especially when you learn from the experience.

Photo by Rob Wingate on Unsplash

4. Not Alone

This is the most important reason why I like movies and why I like to tell stories. I was going through a hard time that caused me to feel desperately alone. I had a head injury and no one understood what I was going through, not even the handful of doctors I went to weekly. No one could tell me if I would ever get better, or how long my recovery would take. I spent years just laying down on a couch in so much pain, no friends, I could barely walk or talk, and my thoughts ran wild in my mind 25/8.

Once I slowly got better, I was able to watch movies again. But now, watching a movie was a much different experience. I felt movies. I felt them, I did not just watch them. When I saw a character cry, I felt their sadness because I felt it in my life, too. When a character was betrayed, I cried from their pain because I felt it, too. Watching films made me feel less alone in my struggle. I related, even when characters were magical or had super powers, their emotions were realistic and I felt understood for the first time in so long.

That is the power of movies.

I love films. They are great. But there are definitely things that can be done to make the movie industry a more welcoming place.

When I was younger I rarely, if ever, saw films that had people that looked like me in them. I was made fun of for the majority of my life for being Asian. (Even though I am also Polish and Italian, and I am just 1/4 Asian.) I was made fun of every day for my eyes, my hair, my good grades. For so long I thought that because I was Asian, I was not good enough for anyone and that no one would want me. It hurts me to type that, but it is true. I believed that to my core.

Television and movies reinforced that mindset because I rarely saw people that looked like me on screen. I hope this generation of cinema can change that and make it so incredibly normal to see a wide variety of people on that big screen. That is what I will be doing for my future films, I will have a diverse cast.

I have hope. I think we can do it, but it needs to be a conscious choice because without that, I fear the next generation of kids will have to deal with the same thing that I had to deal with. I did not have someone that looked like me that I could look up to. I did not have someone to tell me that being and looking different was beautiful, too.

I know we can do better and we will.

-Arianna

I hope you are doing ok.

I am sending you happiness.

I am sending you hope and a smile, even if only for a few seconds.

I know we can do better and we will.

I hope this post helped you in some way.

I will continue educating myself as much as possible.

My Film Timeline

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

If you go and look up your favorite director, you will likely find that they started by making low-budget short films. Today, I compiled the short films I have created over the span of a few years. Note that I made all of these films with no crew: just me, a camera, an idea or a script. I edited, I directed and most importantly I learned.

In film, like many other aspects of life, you learn by doing, and that is precisely what I did. It took so much courage in me to start making films. I was so afraid that I would create something horrible. But, over time, I learned firsthand that you learn by doing, not by thinking about doing it.

Cheers to dreams and doing what we can to make them happen.

1. My first short film.

I created this film for a contest. I remember finding out about the contest and using it as a reason to finally make a film, instead of just reading about filmmaking. So I actually DID IT. For this contest, the short film had to be filmed on a phone and had to completed in a week.

I chose the category of a documentary and made the film focus on my grandfather and his daily life. I followed him around and filmed some of his daily events.

2. My second short film.

I created this short film for a contest to be able to work with Disney. Find a pattern here? In the beginning, having a set due date helped me get working and come up with a plan. That being said, this film was a huge undertaking. I had so much footage and the only thing I could edit on was an old iPad. On top of that, that said iPad kept crashing and I had to keep re-editing over and over again.

When you watch this, you may not think that it is much, but the meaning it holds is strong for me. I also spent 100 + hours editing it. YES, you read that right. My iPad kept crashing, as I said, and I just kept powering through. This film made me realize how much I love film and how determined I am to tell stories.

3. An experimental film.

This film was highly inspired by the films I was watching in my World Cinema class, specifically by Italian Neorealism. When you watch it, look for notes of Fellini, Bergman, De Sica, etc.

I based this film on a poem I wrote. Looking back now, I probably should have made a voiceover to go along with the film. But this was largely experimental, so I am ok with how it turned out. I just wanted to try something new and be creative.

4. YouTube videos.

Then I took a short break from making short films and started to work on YouTube videos. I was posting twice a week and sometimes more. I filmed some reactions to movie trailers, movie reviews, recreated scenes from my favorite films and made some kind-of “comedic” shorts. Here is one of them.

If you have seen the movie, The Room (2003) by Tommy Wiseau, you may appreciate this video. But if you have not seen that movie, you will just think I am crazy and weird, which is ok too.

5. More YouTube videos.

I continued making some YouTube videos to express myself. I had been watching a lot of SNL, specifically Stefon clips, and I was urged by my inner self to create this film. I won’t give this any context except with the fact that John Mulaney has some comedy specials. In one of his specials, he says how people thought he was an Asian American woman. Now you are free to watch the video.

Enjoy it, or just be alarmed at my weirdness.

6. Inspired by a dream.

I have some really crazy dreams. I know a lot of people say that, but believe me, they are pretty unique. This film was based on an idea that I thought about and then had a dream about. This concoction of ideas led me to create this. Again, I have a lot to learn about directing and such, but I am limited to a crew of 1 (me), so this is what I ended up creating.

I love the writing process and acting the most, but filming, directing and editing all by myself can add up to be quite a trek, especially for a newbie like me.

7. Inspired by a movie and a poem.

I write almost everyday. I write poems, short stories, screenplays, anything to get my ideas on paper and projected from my head. This was a poem I wrote that was inspired by the movie First Man (2018). That film is about Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and his journey to the moon. I was proud of the poem and wanted to create something to honor Neil. This is what I came up with.

8. Motivated by quarantine to tell a story.

Being stuck at home left me feeling some kind of way, so I went to get my camera and just started filming around my yard. I edited the clips together and got my microphone ready. I recorded the first words that came to my head. I did not plan anything, I just said what was on my mind. Here is a raw piece from my thoughts.

P.S. I am genuinely a very happy person, regardless how I sound in this short film. 🙂

9. Inspired by quarantine feelings. (hey, that should be a title of a song)

Another short, brought to me by my feelings during quarantine. Imagine if I was quarantined with a film crew and a director, I would be creating so many films right now. But I fit all of the above job descriptions, so I have some limitations.

Wow, my creativity is just flowing, man. Creating is how I live, it’s how I deal with feelings of unease and stress. I was just inspired to create this film and I tried to make this one a little more comedic than the last. If you love Hannah Montana, you will love this film. (insert winky face here)

10. Let’s get to know each other!

I am always looking to meet new people who are also interested in film. None of my friends enjoy film like I do. I have met numerous people at film festivals, but many of them reside in L.A., so it is hard to collaborate and stay in contact.

Whether you are a seasoned director and are interested in being a mentor to me, or if you are also an aspiring director, writer and actor, I would truly enjoy getting to know you better.

Feel free to message me through my contact page, my email, or on my instagram!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Arianna 🙂

Barry (Season 1-2)

Every once in a while, you come across a show that is special. Barry (2018-) is one of those shows. This show is dangerous, action-packed and somehow wickedly funny at the same time. I find myself watching this show, and being amazed and confused as to why I am laughing, in the best way possible.

Why is it so special?

Barry has a multitude of characters that are magnetizing and complex, but I put the success of this show on Bill Hader. He and Alec Berg created the show together. I have watched so many interviews where Bill is asked how he and Alec came up with the idea for the show. The interviews are always so interesting.

There is this character in the show called NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) and he is my favorite character. He steals the show and delivers some much needed comic relief to an otherwise serious story. In an interview, Bill discussed how the character of NoHo Hank was inspired by a nice dude he met while at a laptop store. Stories like this make me smile. As a writer myself, hearing how one interaction changed the temperament of a character is so interesting. Imagine if NoHo Hank was a bad, evil dude. I mean he is, but he is also a kind, goofy, innocent guy. Not completely innocent, but you know what I mean.

This show has so many characters that keep you guessing. Hardly any of the characters fill the stereotypes that are typical to T.V. shows. Barry (Bill Hader) is a troubled guy, but he is not completely bad. No character in the show is all nice or all mean. Instead, they are complex, driven and contradict one another.

The tone of this show, and its balance of comedy and action make Barry unique. As the story continues, characters die off and more conflict ensues. I find that a lot of shows are scared to kill off characters, but it seems that the writers of Barry are not scared of anything. If I tell you to imagine right now one thing that you will never see in a show, I think you will find it in Barry.

Hader does not try to drag on the action and make it last longer than it should. The show is full of plot twists and changing circumstances. Something major will happen, and then two seconds later, the tone will completely change and it will feel as if you were just slapped across the face (in the best way possible).

from 92nd Street Y on YouTube

The characters.

Fuches (Stephen Root), Sally (Sarah Goldberg), Cousineau (Henry Winkler) and more, add humor and suspense. One of my favorite things about this show is the characters. Just the characters alone are interesting. They command my attention and make me ponder how they will act in the unique world of Barry.

I think it is important to talk about the character of Barry. He is not the best dude. He is a hit man and does not usually make the best decisions. But in an unexpected way, he suddenly wants to become an actor, and his life quickly changes. He is still a hit man, but now he has the additional struggle of trying to open up and command his emotions so he can act.

Barry used to be a soldier, so he has a lot going on in his mind that he still has to deal with. Acting gives him a forum to express himself and how he is feeling on the inside. His character is deep, complex and multidimensional. Somehow the audience feels for Barry even though he has done some awful things. One minute I find myself feeling bad for Barry, and the next, he does something incredibly vile. He keeps you guessing and wanting to see and learn more. Well done Bill, Alec and the entire cast!

from Team Coco on YouTube

What to think about:

When you watch this show, I urge you to think about what led Barry to where he is today. What could have prevented his decline and his violence? What would be different about the story if Barry was a woman? Why is NoHo Hank so likable despite everything he does? I can answer that question: it’s because Anthony Carrigan is so hilarious and has perfect timing. The cast is truly impeccable.

Also, when I watched this show, I found myself thoroughly hating Sally. I thought about why I hated her so much and realized that she is just a really determined woman. Maybe I was conditioned by society to think that was a bad thing. But, I watched the show again and realized that she is not really a bad person, she is just ambitious. And that is not a bad thing.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Watch Barry: 8/10

Check out this show on IMDb or watch it for FREE on Amazon for a limited time if you have Amazon Prime. Usually this show is only available on HBO, but Amazon and HBO did a special deal, so you can watch a few HBO shows for free if you have Amazon Prime. I would take advantage of this and watch all of the episodes of Barry. The show is pretty special and unique, and I think you might be shocked at how much Hader and the other actors can get you to laugh at insane situations.

Give the show a try, I dare you.

Arianna

P.S. What is your favorite Hader character on SNL? I will leave you with this: It’s hard to believe that Barry and Stefon are the same person. Imagine if they met. I would pay to see that.

from SNL on YouTube

Fish out of Water Film Review

I had the pleasure of watching Fish Out of Water, a film by Jes Vasquez, before the official release on May 22, 2020. This short was edited by Jes, herself, and acts as an introduction to a story and its characters, rather than the format of a traditional short film.

Fish Out of Water

The short is just about 5 minutes long and left me wanting more. The film introduces the audience to two sisters, Marla and Madison, that seem to have a deep connection with the water and with singing. The film also briefly includes another character, Ramona, that is the sisters’ driver for the day. She appears to be a scientist, or a researcher of sorts, and is intrigued by the sisters.

It is not explained who exactly these characters are, what their relationship is to the weather, or the water, but enough information is presented that left me wanting the film to continue far passed the 5-minute mark.

The two sisters just arrived in town and the town is celebrating the sisters’ return. Therefore it can be inferred that they must have some value to the townspeople. Additionally, near the ending of the film, another character is introduced: Madison’s “other half”. Only time will tell what exactly that means.

Besides the characters and the plot, I love the sounds of nature in the background of the film. The soundtrack made me feel as if I was near the water and in the same environment as the characters. Good audio has the ability to make a story seem more realistic, and I think that is precisely what this film did.

In conclusion:

When you watch an indie short film, you never know if you are going to watch something of horrible quality with no premise or meaning, or a film that changes your perspective on life. This film is shot in incredible quality, with great sound and acting. The color correction is gorgeous and the story is engaging and unique. I remember watching H20 as a kid and this film brought back some of those memories. I think the premise of this short could easily be made into a T.V. show or a feature film.

These days, it is all too common to watch popular feature films that are all regurgitations of other films. Many new films have nothing unique about them, besides the rotation of Hollywood actors that are currently popular. I found this film refreshing because of its unique characters and its presentation of the plot. There is also a creative transition that uses the splashing of water to visually transition to a change in scenery. And I love a good transition.

I enjoy supporting indie filmmakers because often, short films are full of one-of-a-kind thoughts and characters that you do not see in the theaters that often. I love sharing stories that encourage others to think “out-of-the-box” and explore their creativity a little more than usual. I used to think that once you became an adult, your creativity starts to disappear. But this film proves that creativity is not lost, as long as you remember to practice it.

Say hi to Jes!

from ThisJes Films on YouTube

Thank you, Jes for allowing me to watch this film early and to review it. It is ambitious women filmmakers, writers, and directors, like you, that inspire me.

If you want to read more about Jes, you can visit her website, or follow her on Instagram. Be sure to visit her YouTube channel on May 22 at noon EST to watch this film!

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Arianna

Riverdale: Seasons 1-4

Most people have heard of the show Riverdale (2017-). This teen T.V. show first aired in 2017 and had been adored by teenagers ever since. I usually stay away from the typical teenage television shows because I find them repetitive and highly unrealistic, but I thought I would give this show a try so I could see what everyone was talking about. *This review has no spoilers!*

T.V. Talk

Let me premise this by mentioning that I have watched all of Season 1, most of Season 2 and 3, and a portion of Season 4. Although I have not watched all of the episodes, I have watched enough to be able to understand the story, the dynamics of the characters, and the unique tone of the show.

There is so much I could say about this show, both good and bad. When I watched the first Season, I could not understand why so many people were drawn to this show. Personally, I did not find anything intriguing in Season 1, so I almost did not finish watching it. The show was something that I thought teenagers would have made in their film class. The ideas were not unique, did not surprise me and the characters were over-the-top and not believable. I rarely talk about a show or movie like this, but I think it is important to be honest. Don’t worry, it gets better.

Season 2 left me more disappointed than Season 1, so I did not even finish watching it. I took a break from Riverdale and moved onto watching other movies and shows. But more recently, I have had an urge to get back into the show. Maybe it is because I watched an interview of KJ Apa and his accent made me want to give the show another try. Nonetheless, I started watching the show again, starting with Season 3 on Netflix, and then I caught up on the episodes of Season 4 that are on the CW app.

In Season 3, I found that the characters finally started to become more interesting, dynamic and real. I mean the story is still far from realistic, but the characters became more relatable. I think the actors were also starting to get used to playing their characters and their performances started to get better. My favorite character in the first season was Kevin, but slowly my favorite characters became Jughead and Archie. In this season, there were more plot-twists that I did not see coming and that kept me guessing. It was in this season that I got hooked on the show, and I felt like I needed to get my hands on all of the episodes and watch them quick.

from TVLine on YouTube

Season 4 is almost done airing now, but I was able to catch some of the episodes on the CW app. You can watch a few of the last episodes on this app for free. One thing I need to point out are the singing/musical episodes that appear in every season. I am not a fan of musicals and that being said, the musical episodes are both great and horrible at the same time. The show is not usually realistic, but the musical element adds another layer of “dream world” to the show. The performances are fantastical, but not always in a good way. Some of the songs and scenes are great, incredible actually, but others are off-key and flat. Many of the dance numbers are spectacular in a way that you would be awed if you saw it at your high school play, but you are taken out of the story when you see it on Riverdale. Ironically, one thing that I find consistent with this show is that the quality of the performances, writing and directing is entirely inconsistent.

My favorite actors in the show are KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse. I find their characters most believable because they seem to meld right into their characters. They are in the moment as an actor and their gestures and little movements truly help convey the story. I think that their work as actors is the reason why their characters are my favorite. Somehow they made their highly unrealistic characters seem relatable.

In addition, the sound effects throughout this show throw me off. Often the sounds are not timed properly to the action that is seen on the screen. This can be distracting to a viewer and can take them out of the story. However, in contrast, the soundtrack to each episode adds so much to the tone, suspense and meaning of a scene. This show is full of contradictions, once again, some good and some bad.

Overall, I love the world that this show creates and the characters’ relationships that are ever-changing, but some of the story feels to be repeating itself over and over again. I am looking for uniqueness and get the same story regurgitated in three different ways. I know this story is inspired by the stories in the comics, and maybe that is where it gets some of its appeal to its viewers. The show has characters that are reminiscent of many film noir movies and has a confusing mix of new and old (ex: typewriter then iPhone then cassette player). Who uses cassettes, VHS tapes and typewriters in 2020? Here, I will answer that for you: hardly anyone, except for the characters in Riverdale.

from WIRED on YouTube

Also, one thing that caught my eye as a writer and filmmaker myself, most of the characters say exactly what they mean, exactly what they are thinking. This is not often done in films and in T.V. Usually feelings are better shown and not said. However, this show has so many repeating characters that it appears that the writers found the need to have the characters say major plot points, instead of just showing the characters in action. I find that this takes away from the story and makes it less interesting to watch. In reality, most people do not say what they are truly thinking, that makes them too vulnerable, their true thoughts are seen through their actions, not their words. But, is anything about this show realistic?

Now, all of that being said, something about me is drawn to this show. I think it is the mystery of the characters and how they are simultaneously normal school kids and criminals at the same time. How can the good kids do bad things and somehow eventually everyone is ok with it? There is so much contradiction in this show that makes me think, and maybe that is why part of me likes the show. This show is not good in the traditional sense of the word, meaning it is not like a Christopher Nolan script or full of Waititi jokes, but there is something magnetizing to it. The show has a wicked hook that makes the viewers want to watch the next episode and the next and the next. I commend the writers for that. And now I will go watch the parts of Season 2 & 3 that I missed. See you when I am out the other side!

What to think about:

I just want to mention that I think this show is for adults, not for kids in high school. However, I imagine that high school kids are the show’s key demographic. I do not think that many of the elements of the show would be a good influence on kids of high school age. I remember in my Anthropology course I learned that what kids and teens watch on T.V. becomes normal for them, therefore if they watch violence, they get used to seeing violence and get desensitized to it. I think that this show does not represent a realistic high school experience and I think it is important for high schoolers to know that before watching this. And I am not just talking about the mysteries and disappearances, I am talking about everything else too. It is hard to find scenarios in this show that ARE realistic.

from Teen Vogue on YouTube

Check it out: 5.9/10

I think most people have watched this show already and decided if it was or wasn’t for them, but I urge you to give it another try. Riverdale will never be Barry, or Mr. Robot, or The Office, but it is still a good show to put on at the end of the day.

The show does not require your full attention, you can have it on while you are doing your homework, or exercising, and you will still be able to understand what is happening. Although the show has many serious elements that will scare younger kids, I think it is a good mystery show for older teenagers or adults who need a break from their busy lives. Maybe this show is like Scooby-Doo, but for adults.

That being said, I rated it a 5.9/10 because I think the story could be better planned, leave better clues for the audience to follow and have more elements that are realistic and relatable for the everyday person. Some scenes are great, others are not, and because this show is not consistently good or bad, I gave it a 5.9. Some episodes are well thought-out, but other plots twists are done loosely and feel as if they were just thrown in there without much thought going into them. For those reasons, I recommend watching this show, but do not have high hopes, because they might be crushed.

Sentence Summary:

When high school friends in Riverdale encounter danger that you could only dream of, they are forced to grow up fast, make decisions they might regret, and stand up for one another in the face of vicious danger.

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what you think of Riverdale. You can watch it on Netflix, or read about it on IMDb.

What show should I watch and write about next?

Arianna

Keep Going.

This time in quarantine has allowed me to think deeply about my goals and where I want to go. Previously I have felt that I was working so much, but getting no where. I told myself that this was a common thing for someone working towards a job in the film industry, but I wasn’t happy just accepting that. I knew this journey would be full of ups and downs, but something did not feel right. I did not feel like me and my happy self. I mean, I wasn’t sad, but I was doing so much work helping me get to a career that I love and I was not happy. So I knew something needed to change.

I reevaluated my goals. Took a break and thought to myself, “What is making you unhappy?” I realized it was because I was doing too much. I was trying to learn how to be an expert director, writer, actor, filmmaker, editor, cinematographer, producer, all while being an intern and a student at the same time. I was always doing something and rushing to do the next thing that I did not have time to appreciate and enjoy what I was doing at any given moment. So what would I do next? I am a natural hard worker, so getting myself to slow down was a process, but I needed a plan. If doing too much made me feel like this, the obvious solution was to do less. But, “I want to work towards my dream,” I thought. I was ok with this period of unease if it meant that I was working for something that I truly care about. So I thought and I thought, and soon I realized some things.

  1. If I continue to work too hard without breaks, I will continue to get more and more tired and unhappy.
  2. If I continue to try to learn too many things at once, I will be mediocre at a lot of things and not great at any.
  3. If I focused on one thing, I could be great at it, but it would mean I need to take a break from some other things.
  4. If I take a break from working on something, that doesn’t mean I can’t go back to it when I am ready.

Thus, I came to the conclusion that my true love is writing. I love stories, telling them, creating them. That is why I love acting, directing, editing, producing, because I love telling stories. So it made sense to choose to focus on what I love, story-telling.

I decided to focus on writing, specifically screen-writing, and sometimes poem writing, with the goal of having fun while getting better at my craft. Later, I can get better at directing, acting, producing, but for now I am going to work on being the best writer I can be. Once I made that decision, the clouds started to clear. At first it made me so nervous to take a break from learning everything and anything about film, but I think a part of me knew that if I want to make this a career, I need to have a smart plan. And throwing a lot of sloppy cupcakes at a wall and hoping that they all will stick was not working. I needed to carefully and delicately make, cook and decorate one cupcake, make it incredible and then I could work on another cupcake, instead of trying to learn the recipe to so many different cupcakes all at once. Baking metaphors, I like it. Very suitable for this quarantine life.

I just wanted to write this post to show people how plans can change and you can choose to reroute and continue. Sometimes when you run into a problem, it can be easy to abandon your path and hop on someone else’s. But maybe taking a step back and looking at it from a different perspective can save you a lifetime of regret. Stick to the goal, just change your plan and keep going.

Keep going in the view of discomfort and unease. Think about what is making you feel that way, how you can move around it. And remember that a small change here and there can add up to a huge change everywhere. Did I just make that saying up? Yes. Does that mean that it isn’t true? No. See, that’s the beauty of art. People can interpret it different ways and none of them are wrong. Unless you’re an English teacher, then you most likely think that there is a right and wrong way to interpret art. In this case, I highly disagree.

To dreams and working hard,

Arianna

P.S. Comment your biggest goal in the comments so I can cheer you on!

Here is a word search I made to help encourage positive thoughts. 🙂

My 5 Favorite Films

There are so many films that I enjoy, so this was a very hard list to make. Let’s get started on the list before I change my mind and make this 10 films, instead of 5.

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)

Do not shake your head to this movie. It is really good. Almost as good as watermelon in the summertime (movie reference). I do not tend to enjoy films that are the traditional “rom-com” type, but this film is different. The characters are real, the stakes are realistic and the story does not unfold in the exact way you would predict it to. The acting really pushes this story forward and makes it even better.

When I watch this film, I feel true emotions. I go on the rollercoaster with the characters, and by the end, I am exhausted, but happy and content. In addition, Patrick Swayze (Johnny) really seemed like he was a great, genuine guy, so I really enjoyed watching him play this character.

4. Shutter Island (2010)

Wow, I was obsessed with this film when I first watched it. I was shocked by the ending and I immediately had to watch it again. I actually have a story about the first time I watched this film because something specific happened on that day. But that is a story for another time.

This film is suspenseful, well-thought-out and just brilliant to watch. Incredible acting (Ruffalo, DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley), story-telling, and directing (Scorsese). The mystery plays well throughout the movie and the audience is engaged by trying to put all of the pieces together. Just to find out that we were looking at the pieces through the wrong lens.

I learned a lot from this film, it makes me think how I can make my own films and screenplays better. I definitely recommend watching this film if you have not seen it. It will surprise you, unless you are insanely great at mysteries and finding clues that many might not notice. This film shows how perspective is very important to consider when telling a story. Watch this film with a magnifying glass (figuratively, or literally if you feel like it).

3. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

This movie makes me cry! It makes me feel, which is what I like most about films. Most of the films I enjoy watching are dramas, with a hint of funny, that also tell a very meaningful story that changes perspectives.

The acting in this film is just incredible. DiCaprio (Arnie) was so young, yet he gave an unforgettable performance, and Depp (Gilbert) is just awesome. The story is sad in many ways, but the story is beautiful. I first watched this film a week before I went on a trip to Italy. Then, while I was on a bus traveling between Italian cities, you best believe I was watching this film on my phone with my headphones on, while I was watching Italian towns go by. Now, that is what I call a vibe.

This story has such heart and I enjoy watching it every time.

2. Gifted (2017)

This is one of the films I have watched recently, but it still made it on my list. Chris Evans (Frank) and Mckenna Grace (Mary) help tell an incredible story of family and life. Things do not always go as planned and sometimes we make mistakes. But we are trying our best, and that is all we can do.

I cried many times throughout this film, but I also laughed a lot too. The story is heavy and light at the same time. It is realistic in some ways and extraordinary in others. I like the comparisons and contrasts in this film, particularly between Mary and Frank. They are very different people, but also very similar. This film makes my heart happy and sad, but happy in the end. You can read the full post I wrote on this movie here.

1. The Judge (2014)

No one I talk to about this film has watched it, but I have seen it over 10 times. I watch it often when I want to watch a film that I know is good and that will make me think of my past and present.

Downey (Hank) and Duvall (Judge Palmer) have a complicated relationship. Hank is getting a divorce and some unfortunate things have just happened to the Judge and his family. I can personally relate to this story a lot, which may seem unlikely because I have not had a divorce and I am not a 40 year old man. But Hank experiences some emotions that I know very well.

I saw a part of me in Hank, even if at first he does not seem like the best guy. By watching how he treats his father when he truly needs his help, I was overcome with emotion. This story is pretty heavy, but it has everything a good movie has: a great story, great actors and emotion.

BONUS: Another Happy Day (2011)

I know I said 5 films, but I just had to mention this last film. I will be writing a blog post entirely on this film, but here are some brief thoughts. The biggest thing I took away from this film is that I am not alone in the way I feel. One of the reasons I love films is that they can make you realize that other people have gone through the same situation you are in, and they have found their way out. This film does that. The characters are relatable, sad, but true.

I will say that this film has a lot of bickering, misunderstanding and sadness, but sometimes it can be nice to comprehend that you are not the only person who experiences these emotions. I love this film for that. It made me feel understood and not alone in a time I really wanted to be a part of something.

Overall…

Here’s to great films that make us feel and learn. Films that change the way we think and act. Improve our lives in one way or another. Cheers to feelings, crying and laughing, because they are all valuable in our pursuit of happiness. If you want me to do a more in-depth post on any of these films, let me know in the comments.

Arianna xx

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