Gobble, Gobble, Goblin

Now let me see, if I were a nineteen year-old high school senior with no parents and an abusive auntie, would I go for a well-dressed, obviously wealthy immortal with a mysterious past and a sword sticking out of his chest? Le duh. All a girl really wants is to be with a guy capable of taking her to Quebec City in the blink of an eye after asking if she feels like having steak.  I might quibble a little, though. The best beef would likely be found in Argentina and Wagyu beef is big, but hey. I’m nineteen years old and easily impressed, Quebec City is romantic in sepia and who wouldn’t want to catch falling maple leaves in slow motion with an admittedly attractive man? Anyone would disown their abusive relatives in a heartbeat after a date like that.

My feed will not shut up about this show, so naturally I jumped on the bandwagon and am gawking at it along with the rest of them. One episode is way too long – an hour and a half, come on people, we have lives to live too – and sometimes the things the people in it do and say are completely contrived and make absolutely no sense. Still, this is a soap opera and it’s par for the course. I’m also chalking the wonkiness down to a bad translation job, and the need to make a story stretch for sixteen episodes.

It does drag on as it goes along. I’m still in the sixth episode. The titular Goblin (Gong Yoo, last seen running from zombies on the train to Busan)   has spent over 900 years looking for his bride – the only girl capable of seeing the sword wedged in his chest, destined to pull it out and therefore end his agonizingly long and lonely existence. Now that’s he’s found her, he  can’t seem to decide whether or not he wants to die. Cue mood music and intimate whispers under raindrops that fall just softly enough not to ruin one’s hair, because he also makes it rain when he gets all emo.

This is a show where the men dress better than the women, and I’m loving it. Even if I’ve never been drawn to fops, it’s hard to ignore Lee Dong Wook, an amnesiac Death God, giving face, face, beauty and moody face each time he’s onscreen, rocking wool coats like no one’s business. All the brooding disappears when you hand him a smartphone, and the results are hilarious.  I’m rooting for him and the owner of a fried chicken shop – that budding romance is way more interesting than the one between a nineteen year-old high school senior and a Goblin who can’t make up his damn mind.

Speaking of interesting romances, the best part of this show is the bromance between the Goblin and the Death God  who wants him to go ahead and die already so he can take over the gorgeous home they both share. Both immortal, both gifted with supernatural powers, both males used to getting their own way, both tired of the vagaries of living.  Like all males, they express themselves in the form of pranking, the level of which is borderline Van Wilder, and this forms a big chunk of what makes this show watchable, extended running time bedamned.  The weakness of one brings out the humanity in the other. It doesn’t hurt that both of them look like they stepped out of the pages of Korean GQ every day of the week. It’s easy to see the script flipped into a homo-erotic story where the women exist on the fringes as superficial interests, but it doesn’t and their Odd Couple setup brings enough charm to keep us rooting for them to succeed with the women who’ve wormed their way into the hearts of these troubled immortals.

 

 

You say YouTube black hole, I say Netflix black hole

Netflix is a black hole of great content. I just spent this weekend getting through The Crown, it’s latest prestige period drama which was so awesome it hurts to think I have to wait another year for its second season. It’s also so awesome it deserves its own post, which you can read right here.

I was pretty tardy to the Netflix party. Everyone I knew had it, the term “Netflix and Chill” had come into existence, but I resisted the idea because well, I’m cheap. You know, why bother buying the cow if the milk is free? Yeah, I’m one of those people. Whatever. But then Popcorn Time went down, the major torrent sites started falling like dominoes and it just became too damn hard to stay ahead of the game and be a pirate. So I hung up the tricorn, vowed to go legit, decided to bite the bullet and get Netflix.

Ha! Dramatic. No, the real story behind me getting Netflix is a friend loaned me her account, I couldn’t remember her password, I really wanted to see what Once Upon a Time was all about (because she was raving about it), I didn’t want to wait for her to return my text and Netflix’s first month was free. In conclusion, Once Upon a Time sucks,  going legit was pretty much a good idea, I got a lot of content well worth the price and this month marks my first year anniversary with Netflix. Sometimes, patience is not a virtue. #iregretnothing

Wait, maybe I do regret something. Because I binge-watch like a pro, I sometimes have moments of self-awareness where I look up from the screen and realize I’m turning into those fat Earthlings in Wall-E who zoom around on chairs  ignoring the rest of humanity because everything in their world that’s worth paying attention to is happening on a holo-screen. Netflix in general and the internet as a whole is a pretty insidious way to make sure I no longer go out to climb trees and attempt to cook leaves in a rusty tin can over a crappy fire made of twigs. Where’d my childhood go? Right, swallowed by the 80’s.

Still, there has to be a way to combine Netflix with exercise. Note to self: must get treadmill in 2017. I’ll be a hamster on a wheel, but at least I’ll be a well-entertained hamster on a wheel, and life doesn’t get much better than that. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the saddest sentence I have ever written in my life thus far. What is happening to me? Stupid Netflix subscription. Quick, someone take me out stat… ooh, look, Dana Carvey has a Netflix special!

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Vive La Reine! Netflix puts our $11.99 monthly subscription to good use and I have no regrets

Just when I was wondering where  to get my dose of  exquisite gentility since Downton Abbey wrapped after six glorious seasons, Netflix comes out with the superb The Crown, its  take on the rise of Queen Elizabeth II. I’ve finished two episodes.  Because I cut my teeth on trashy historical romances and have a thing for stories about royals, history, biographies and nostalgia, this show is like crack to me.

  • Claire Foy, last seen playing Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, has a knack for playing female rulers. She brings a unique blend of vulnerable haughtiness to the role, which seems to work in her favour.
  • Matt Smith as the mischievous Philip Mountbatten shines in every scene he’s in. It’s impossible to look away. I’ve never had a thing for blondes, but I believe I am about to make an exception to my rule. Also, I keep muttering “why the long face?” and laughing to myself like an utter lunatic. Is there historical proof that Prince Philip always sleeps in nothing but his birthday suit? Because all those butt shots are clearly gratuitous. Did that sound like a complaint? Because it wasn’t. Royal butt shots for president!
  •  Winston Churchill apparently had an amazing sense of timing and absolutely no shame – dude almost upstaged the then princess at her own wedding. No wonder he beat Hitler. John Lithgow as ornery octogenarian Winston Churchill chews every scene he’s in. Git it, John Lithgow!
  • Netflix has obviously shelled out mega bucks for this prestige show. This observation is brought to you by the face merkin on Jeremy Northam.
  • Speaking of Jeremy Northam,  I last saw him getting his head chopped off by Henry VIII in The Tudors for sticking to his morals  on pain of death. Now he’s playing an ambitious silver fox of a Foreign Secretary who aspires to be Britain’s next Prime Minister. Welcome back, Jeremy Northam!

As an adopted Canadian,  it is my duty to watch a show based on the queen’s life because Elizabeth II is on our money and we should all support the Commonwealth even if I have no idea what the Commonwealth even stands for anymore. Actually, I never really did  and that question didn’t come up in the citizenship exam.  Long live Elizabeth Regina!

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The Life Lessons of Carl Grimes

Meet Carl. Carl is a teenager who came of age in the Atlanta zombie apocalypse. His world view is shaped by his father, who was a no-nonsense sheriff  when the world still made sense and people weren’t re-animated monsters out for brains. Carl can teach you things. Important things. Also, Carl’s lessons might be spoiler-heavy so if you haven’t seen the first few seasons of The Walking Dead, this is your cue to avert your eyes and move along.

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