Black Mirror Review & Ranking All of Bandersnatch’s Endings

Netflix’s Black Mirror unleashed its much anticipated choose-your-own-adventure episode “Bandersnatch”, where it allows the viewer to make decisions throughout the film, which alters the ending. After watching the episode, I must say, it’s mind blowing. It’s not the best installment of Black Mirror,  but it is a one of a kind experience. My mind is still processing the endings, but I do want to break down and rank all the endings I found. If I’m a bit off or wrong about certain aspects, please forgive me as I spent three hours watching through a lot of the possibilities. Here’s my ranking and needless to say: SPOILER ALERT

8) Too safe for good reviews: If you were too scared to see Stefan go completely insane, then you probably clicked on options such as “spill tea on computer” or “take pills” which both result in poor reviews of “Bandersnatch” with an unhappy Stefan watching his game fail. I grouped these all together because ultimately, you decided to play it safe, rather than go down a twisted path.

6) Stefan works for the company: To me, this isn’t even a real ending as Will Poulter’s character, Colin, lets you know right away that you made the wrong move already. This is literally 15 minutes into the episode, so there’s no way you’re content and decide to leave it at that. So is it really an ending? Wrong choice mate.

6) Stefan falls to his death on acid: This ending means you followed Colin back to his apartment for a drug-induced night. While they’re on drugs, they go out to the terrace where Colin says one of them is going to jump. What. And you have to choose who. WHAT? This is one of the first really intense choices you have to make, and I chose wrong as I chose Stefan, thinking he’d have a Birdman moment and start flying. Anyway, you’ll want to go back and choose Colin after making this fatal mistake. Just remember to stay away from drugs kids.

5) Stefan’s father drags Stefan out of his therapist’s office: This is one of the first set in stone endings as Stefan and his father fight his therapist. Stefan learns that Netflix is watching over him and controlling his every move. The fight is actually pretty badass and crazy, but to me, it ends so abruptly and we don’t get to know how the game turns out. Weird, but at least it’s a final ending.

4) Stefan buries his father, goes on killing spree: This was the first ending that I got that didn’t give me the option to go back. I closed my eyes as I clicked “Kill Dad” and watched as the “White Bear” symbol determined pretty much the rest of the ending. He kills his father, Colin’s wife shows up to his door, but then the dog discovers his father’s body. Apparently though, there is a path where Colin comes to his door and you get the option to killing him too. I didn’t get that, but Stefan is sent to jail before finishing the game and he gets poor reviews.

3) Stefan goes back in time to join his mother on the train: This ending was really interesting and it definitely has potential. Stefan gets to the safe and picks the option “TOY” and out pops the white rabbit he was looking for right before his mom’s death. It’s surprising as he travels back in time to that moment so he can board the train with her. Stefan dies in present time because of this decision and the episode ends. I’m surprised this ending led to tying in his mother’s death because it was the only one that did. However, everything about the video game proves to be irrelevant after the episode ends, so it leaves me missing some sort of conclusion to the game Stefan was working on so intently.

2) Dr Hayne’s office is revealed to be a movie set: This is such a cool ending. Instead of the therapist brawl that ensues, you can choose to climb out the window, and it leads to a way more of a meta ending. At this point, Stefan is aware of Netflix making his decisions so he asks his father to take him to Dr Haynes. When Stefan goes to climb out the window, someone says cut, and it becomes clear that the entire episode is being filmed as a director tells “Mike” that he’s doing the wrong action. I know it ‘s supposed to be a bit light-hearted but it’s pretty satisfying and funny because it shows how emotionally stunted the actor was as he got too into his character “Stefan.” If there was more to this ending that involved the video game, maybe it’d feel more satisfying. As a whole, it’s not the best ending, but I found the most joy and watching this ending.

1) Stefan chops up his father, gets in the right mindset and gets rave reviews: I love the Netflix ending. It’s so interesting, but it’s another storyline that sort of ended. This is the darkest of the endings, as you choose to chop up his own father’s body. It started to dawn on me that the uglier more gruesome choices led to more interesting paths, so Stefan kills his father, chops up the body and has plenty of time to finish the video game. This is the only ending where Stefan gets rave reviews, but his moment is short lived as he’s arrested shortly after. Colin’s daughter Pearl takes over the game years later, and we think the episode is over, but when there’s a glitch in the game, we have to choose to destroy the computer or spill the tea, and either way, it ends the episode. What makes this ending the true ending to me is the fact that Stefan concludes that he needed to make people think they had a choice, when in reality, he chose the ending. And in reality, we as viewers think we have a choice, but we’re often pushed to complete certain actions like killing his father and refusing to work with the company. It’s mind-boggling and I loved it.

  • My favorite moment from the whole episode was Will Poulter’s monologue about Pac-Man making you think you have all these choices and free will in life, when in reality you simply don’t. Everything he said about alternate timelines was exactly what happens, making his character more self-aware than anyone else’s. When he said “wrong choice” he’s talking more so to the audience. When he said “you’re down the hole” he’s telling the audience you’re deep into the path you’ve selected. His character was definitely a scene stealer for me. Loved the acting. Also it breaks my heart that people were bullying the actor on social media after the episode aired, so much so, that he quit Twitter. People are so cruel.
  • The acting in general was all very good. Apparently every path was filmed separately meaning they had to film similar scenes multiple times. I guess I get why because it made every moment to moment choice feel very seamless, but that sounds incredibly difficult production wise.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. While the plot suffers because of all the choices you have to make, I’ve never had the joy of choosing what happens in an episode, and it was exhilarating to have unfold. All of the endings sort of leave you lacking in other subplots and points, but I feel like they did the best with what they were working with.
  • There’s also a PAC ending, where Stefan finds out his father and mother are working for the government, but it actually leads back to Stefan having to choose to kill his father, so to me, it wasn’t exactly needed.
  • My ranking is purely based on my own opinions, and if you disagreed, that’s totally fine. To me, it was important to have certain moments like what the heck happens with the video game which happens to be the title, so if it didn’t include that, I was just more inclined to rank it lower.
  • I want to know other people’s thoughts. What’s your favorite ending?
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Netflix Review: You

You was a series I was excited to watch immediately after its episode one airing on Lifetime. Then, all of a sudden, I was in the UK, and there was no way of watching the series legally. I was bummed after seeing what could be a great guilty pleasure. Then, I hear the entire season is on Netflix, and I waste no time binging through the remaining nine episodes. And boy, it was exhilarating.

The series stars Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley who plays Joe, a book store worker who meets a young graduate student, Beck, and instantly falls for her from first sight. Joe starts finding out more about Beck (Elizabeth Lail) , such as a mild social media search and a quick address search in Google maps. Sounds like stuff we’ve all done right? But something isn’t right, as Joe starts stalking her, watching her, breaking into her apartment and a variety of creepy activities in his all black getup and a cap. His infatuation turns into an obsession and the scariest part is that from Beck’s perspective, Joe seems like the perfect gentleman.

The series definitely has a Lifetime feel, don’t get me wrong. The show is not something that is always the most smartly crafted series ever, but it really embraces that guilty pleasure feel that I miss in a series. Every episode is unpredictable as Badgley shows Joe’s erratic behavior perfectly through his eyes and clenched demeanor every time something doesn’t go his way. It’s a social media horror story, as Instagram and Twitter become key mediums for Joe to pull off some of his shenanigans. Additionally, it’s relevant more than ever as dating apps and “sliding into the DMs” are the new ways of meeting people these days.

The show largely benefits from the fact that Joe is the one narrating every creepy thought he has, and it’s twisted that we can actually empathize with him at times, especially when we see him care for his neighbor, Paco.

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell also stars in the series as Beck’s spoiled Queen Bee friend who is smarter than she appears, as she catches on to Joe’s sketchy behavior quite quickly into the series. John Stamos also makes a surprise appearance as Joe’s therapist late into the series. These guest stars add to the overall drama and both play key roles in how the story unfolds.

The 10 episodes fly by quickly, and the ending left me pretty satisfied as the finale escalated to a point when I started saying “How are they possibly going to wrap this up?” If a series has me asking that by the final episode, that’s a good sign. With the twist at the very end, I’m not sure how strong a second installment of the series will do, but I’ll definitely be tuning in to see how the second chapter will go down.

The Incredible Jessica James Review & Talking Diversity in Rom Coms

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I’ve been binging romantic comedies all summer, and while I’ve been enjoying them more now than ever, I find myself seeing the same female leads. I remember watching The Spectacular Now and completely identifying with Shailene Woodley’s character. That was back in 2015 when I watched that movie. She played the shy Amy who slowly came out of her shell through the eyes of her love interest, which reminds me a lot of Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved. And while I adore these female leads, I find myself not relating to them anymore, mostly because I’ve grown out of that phase of not truly knowing myself yet. Now bring in this little gem of a movie starring a black female who knows she’s dope but for whatever reason doesn’t have her life figured out quite yet. Jessica Williams shines as she plays a total bad ass whose insecurities are shown through actions and body language rather than talking about it. Not only is this the perfect display of showing rather than telling, but it really does emulate what twenty somethings are going through.

Everyone is all about talking about what they’re passionate about, but at the same time, everyone is struggling to pursue that same passion. James works at a nonprofit and wants to pursue play writing, but the movie itself is more or less about her trying to get over a breakup. She meets Boon played by Chris O Dowd who is totally opposite from her but also getting over a breakup so they begin a weird relationship, including a pact to follow each other’s ex. It’s a story we’re all familiar with, but it’s a more modern take. Chris O Dowd brings the same charm he had in Bridesmaids and it really works because he feels much more like a real human being instead of a Prince Charming. He makes mistakes and doesn’t make some sort of grand gesture for them. Instead, the two leads talk through their shit like normal adults would, and it’s refreshing to watch. In addition to the romantic elements, there’s a great side storyline that shows James interacting with one of her students. It’s simple but a great display of why Jessica James pushes some of her students so much to pursue their dreams.

Overall, I really loved how realistic this movie felt, and I love seeing more interracial couples come to screen lately. Growing up, a lot of my friends assumed I liked people with skin like mine, and it really upset me when I was younger but I couldn’t quite pinpoint why so I kept my mouth shut. I remember my friends in 5th grade asking me if I liked the only other colored person in my class and I couldn’t express back then why it was so wrong of them to say that. However, when I saw the backlash with To All the Boys I’ve Loved with some people saying they should of casted an Asian male lead to play Lana Condor’s love interest, I resonated so much with the actress’s response.

“You are being racist unknowingly and continuing to put us in a box that we don’t need to be in. It’s really unfair. People should be able to love who they want to love. It’s offensive to me — you’re continuing to promote tribalism. So I can’t be with who I want to be with? These are probably the same people who have an issue with the LGBT community. It’s the same thing — you telling me who I can love is unfair,” Condor said.

Anyway, I went off on a bit of a tangent, but my point is that I love that we’re seeing more diversity because growing up all the love stories seemed to happen to people that didn’t look anything like me, so I hope young women and men are inspired in a way that I wasn’t able to be when I was growing up.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Review

Starring Lana Condor , Noah Centineo and Janel Parrish, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a teen romance about a girl named Lara Jean who writes five letters to all the boys she’s ever liked. Mysteriously, they get sent out to them, and drama ensues when one of the boys, Peter, strikes a deal with Lara Jean to fake a relationship so that he can get back together with his girlfriend. On the flip side, Lara Jean wants to fake a relationship so that her neighbor doesn’t suspect her feelings for him.

I really liked this movie. When I watched the trailer, I thought it would be cute and man, it was so stinking cute. I have to hand it to the actors because for me, the way they craft the characters and dialogue is what makes this movie so likable. If it weren’t for Candor and Centineo’s chemistry, I’m not sure if I would have bought them as much as the central couple, but there is a ton of chemistry between the leads. I’ve always been a fan of Noah Centineo because I religiously watched The Fosters every week, but I’ve never seen Lana Condor before, and I think she really carries the movie whether it’s her innocence coming across at a party full of mean girls or talking to her dad about missing her mother. It’s all very awesome stuff from this actress.

I also adore Janel Parrish and thought she was fantastic as the outgoing older sister to Lara Jean. But the little sister to Lara Jean and the father are also quirky and total scene stealers too.

The plot is pretty predictable. That’s probably the weakest aspect of this movie, but the movie makes up for its lack of originality with the conversations the characters have. I also like that in the main conflict, it’s not so much about the guy messing up and then making a grand gesture. It was always about Lara Jean and her internal struggle. It feels fresh and authentic, and I’m pretty content with the way it ends as well.

There’s a lot of sentiment in this flick, and it’s definitely a pretty solid movie for its message of taking risks in life. I remember being in high school and reading novels where I would imagine myself as the main character, so I completely related to Lara Jean. But just like me, she learns that she can keep reading or watching fairytales, or she can go out and create her own.

Bachelor in Paradise Season 5 Thoughts

Welcome to my paradise recap for only the first four episodes. I feel bad, but two episodes a week is a lot and so much has happened! Let’s begin with my thoughts on the main couples.

Jordan and Jenna: I am loving Jordan this season. If you look back on my old recaps, I cut him a lot of slack because he clearly pokes fun at himself and plays up his character. I think his one liners and charm toward Annaliese and Jenna proves he’s not really an idiot model as people make him out to be. One thing I’ll say about the David blowup is that I too am someone that likes to poke fun at myself with my friends and family and then all of the sudden, someone takes it too far to come off as demeaning, and that is why David just sucks this season. He just provokes Jordan for literally no reason. Did Jordan handle it maturely? Nope. He snapped and it looked pretty bad, but I understand why he felt like people were making fun of him. P

His relationship with Jenna makes so much sense, and his little sorry speech was actually just proof that he adores her completely. He’s not a vulnerable guy, and he said some pretty wonderful things to Jenna. I know he’s the underdog but I’m pulling for him!

Joe, Leo and Kendall: I love Joe. Him and Jordan laughing hysterically about Kendall’s date was a highlight from the last episode. They’re both just goofy guys that got stuck in a bad situation this week. Joe is so endearing, and he owns his awkwardness.

I don’t think Kendall deserves any sort of hate because 1) She doesn’t know Leo is a slime ball just yet, although I would not take well to some of his comments. 2) She was completely transparent with Joe. I also happen to see her and Leo’s connection while they talked. My issue with Leo is that he kind of knew Chelsea was interested, so it was almost like a sure thing after his date with Kendall, which is gross. But ya know, next week looks really good for Joe.

I’m curious if people think Kendall and Joe will last because I was super confident last week when they were making avocado toast, but after this week, I feel like Kendall and Joe are on two separate pages.

Astrid and Kevin: I was glad when Ashley and Jared got together, but man did Kevin get the short end of the stick. But Astrid is so beautiful and she seems super chill and laidback. She’s drama free, but I want to see the two on a date. Like why did Colton and Tia have two dates already and then there’s others that haven’t at all?

Colton and Tia: Not sure why the producers want us to see an overload of these two, but I am a little over the drama. I have a feeling it’s not going to work out. I feel for Tia. I’ve been Tia before saying how she wants him to open his eyes and I gotta hand it to Bibiana. That girl made a gorgeous speech. I wish she could’ve slapped some sense in some guys from my past. But regardless, I think they won’t last because there’s still too many reservations from Colton.

John and Jubilee: Some people are over Jubilee. I love her. As someone of color, I have so much love for these two because they admitted how insecure they felt on their seasons since they weren’t stereotypical contestants. Will they last? Not sure.

Chris and Krystal: It’s like Kevin said. They’re the two crazies in the corner and like Jenna and Jordan, they sort of deserve each other. The only difference is that Chris literally sucks more than David. He’s awful and thinks he’s so cool. The way he talked to Tia was so disrespectful. Krystal on the other hand is fabulous for paradise. I had a feeling she’d be chilling with a margarita and get along with the girls. So to me, she’s better than him.

Eric and Angela: Good-looking couple. Love Eric. He’s got one of the best personalities of the group of guys.

Kenny and Annaliese: Definitely got friendship vibes, but I’m excited for something good to happen for Annaliese.

The fact that Jordan and Joe are two of my favorites guys that I’m rooting for says a lot about this group of guys. The girls on the other hand are fabulous. They’re all gorgeous, handling themselves well and pretty patient with the guys.

Sorry if this recap is all over the place 😆 I had four episodes to work off of.

Why the Bachelorette Finale was different from the past three seasons

It was not a shocking finale as we saw Becca and Garrett get happily engaged. Becca gave her first impression rose to Garrett, and she followed directly in the footsteps of Kaitlyn, Jojo and Rachel.

There’s one huge difference though. The show was edited quite favorably for Becca and Garrett, which I’m so happy the producers finally did. I’ve always felt so bad and honestly confused why the Bachelorette’s final pick is edited poorly. We saw it with Shawn, Jordan and Bryan three seasons in a row.

And when you compare it to Bachelor seasons, it’s so different. I mean news came out about Vanessa being a little catty toward the women in her season, and she had a stellar edit. Same goes for Ben and Lauren, although there wasn’t that much drama. Arie’s season was an outlier, but it’s been a trend I’ve noticed. The lead’s storyline on The Bachelor seems to be edited to show a fairytale ending, but somehow we’re left questioning Rachel, Kaitlyn and Jojo’s decisions.

With Becca and Garrett, I am so happy for them. They’re so freaking cute together, and I’m so pulling for them to last. I was so happy we got to see Garrett get emotional about finding Becca and calling her his person. It was so wonderful and beautiful to watch him crying to Becca’s sister too.

Blake was a champ. The breakup was messy, but he handled the after the final rose really well almost kind of similar to Becca a little. I’m curious who people think should be the next Bachelor? I think Jason would be fun, but I’m cool if it were Blake too.

As far as paradise, I saw episode one, and man I’m really excited! Last season was kind of weird with the scandal, so I’m stoked to see all the fresh faces from Arie and Becca’s seasons. I’ll give a full recap of all three episodes next week.

For now, I wanna know! Why did it take this long for a bachelorette couple to be edited so favorably?

The Bachelorette Review: Love in Thailand

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SPOILER: We are down to two. It’s Blake and Garrett. It’s not really a surprise, but I definitely have thoughts on the final three even though the episode was nothing shocking.

Garrett: I don’t have a ton to say about this date. Becca and Garrett just seem to work well together. I said I can’t imagine Becca saying goodbye to Garrett, and he basically reiterated the same sentiment. If he’s the final one, I would not be surprised at all. In fact, if Blake somehow is the chosen one in the end, I will be shocked.

Blake: Blake oozes the same anxious nature Nick did during Andi’s season. Maybe, he isn’t getting the same reassurances that Garrett is getting, but you can tell he is a very sensitive person. I keep thinking about Rachel, Jojo and Kaitlyn coming in and saying their first impression rose went to their final pick. Maybe in some sort of twist ending, Becca ruins that narrative by going with Blake. It can go either way, but if he gets his heart broken, there might be some Bachelor potential there.

Jason: I adore Jason. He’s always been my favorite, but I just don’t see the narrative for him to cued up to be the next Bachelor. We’ll have to wait until the Men Tell All, but nowadays, the producers have the time to go back to older contestants like Ben and Peter. If they went with Jason, I feel like it’d be way more interesting because he’s got such charisma compared to how bland the past few Bachelors have been.

That’s it for now! I mean the only other thought I have is how funny that blooper was between Blake and Garrett. It was nice to see that they were at least on friendly terms. I’m excited for the Men Tell All, but I also think it’s going to be kind of petty drama. We’ll see!