Netflix Review: The Society

Netflix’s new teen drama is a 10-episode series from Chris Keyser that follows a group of privileged teenagers who embark on a school field trip, only to return to their New England town with all of their parents missing. This “Lord of the Flies” meets “The 100” series combines mystery and teen angst to bring a surprisingly complex story that deals with parallel universes and conspiracies. So if you’re the type of person who says “that’s not humanly possible” whilst watching fantasy shows, you’re likely to roll your eyes at the concept. However, I’m all for conspiracy theories and the darkness that comes with parallel universes, so I was on the edge of my seat the entire ride through. Here are some of my thoughts after watching.

Spoiler’s Ahead:

When I was 12, I remember there was this American show called “Kid Nation”. The premise was basically the same with teens running a society on their own with a designated “mayor” and “working class” roles distributed among the town. What I learned from the show is that there’s a lot of teens willing to step up to be a leader, and there’s a lot of teens who will shell up and hide.  I really liked seeing how characters reacted to the absence of their parents. It was obvious that all hell would break loose.

There’s a lot of political undertones in the series as characters debate whether a democracy is the best way to run their town. Additionally, other issues such as physical abuse, mental illness, and the death penalty are brought up for teens to face head on. Even the state of women’s rights are brought up as 16-year-old pregnant Becca utters the words “I didn’t even get to choose to be a mother.” The intensity of the show surprised me in that retrospect.

Kathryn Newton’s character, Allie, is the presumed main character who has one of my favorite story arcs as she goes from the rebellious little sister to the fearless heroin. Her performance was one of the most nuanced, as her sister’s death fuels her to become the leader of the town.

In fact, for a teen drama, the acting overall was fantastic. Other standouts include Alex Fitzalan, who plays the spoiled “sort of” villain. What I liked about his character is that he could’ve been the straight up psychopath like Campbell, but instead, he dives into an unexpected depression. Additionally, Jack Mulhern plays my favorite character from the series, Grizz, who’s the kind-hearted expedition leader and a closeted teen who starts a romance with Sam. It’s sweet and probably my favorite romance among the teen angst, although I’m weirdly hoping Allie and Harry work things out as well.

There’s so many other likable characters such as Kelly, Gordie, Helena and Will, but I like that a lot of them encompass some gray area to their morality, such as Luke and Harry. My one issue with the series is that there’s a LOT of characters to the point where I’m confusing some of the boys and girls. Don’t get me wrong, I love that there is representation of the LGBTQ and deaf community, but if there’s going to be 15 main characters, I’d would have liked more women and men of colour.

Finally, let’s talk about that ending! OK- so what’s up with the dog? Are we sure we know who killed Cassandra? And what universe are the kids in? Purgatory? It’s too soon to really come up with a coherent theory, but I think there’s some sort of parallel universe that the kids were sent to after discovering what the “smell” was all about. It’s so intriguing to me, but I imagine fans are dying for some more clues. Hopefully, the committee on going home can sort something out soon because I want answers. Let me know what you thought of the show below!

The Bachelor Recap: Take a Hike

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

This episode featured a ton of drama between the girls, mostly involving Krystal. The women got to pack their bags for Tahoe, and there were two solo dates and one awkward group date. Here’s my picks for the top 5 this week, along with some thoughts.

Becca K.: Becca barely had any airtime, but she seems like she’s pretty cordial with everyone and avoids all the drama in the house. I still think she’s going far.

Bekah M.: Bekah is the front runner in my mind. Arie and Bekah had a crazy date, where she revealed her age. I think Arie liked her enough to give her a chance, but I can tell Arie needed some time to probably process everything.

Seinne: Seinne is awesome, and I think she should be the next Bachelorette provided she gets that far. I think she carried the entire date really well, and she was actually bringing out such a good side of Arie. Seeing them on their date made me like Arie a lot more too.

Tia: Tia is a firecracker for sure, and she reminds me so much of Jojo and Raven. I think Arie really likes Tia too, and it showed despite the drama surrounding her.

Kendall: Kendall is such a quirky chick. That’s probably why I like her so much. She’s confident and owns her weirdness, which is why I think Arie kind of digs her.

Other Thoughts:

  • With all the drama going on, I mostly agreed with Caroline and Tia. I mean Krystal literally called herself flawless. But I didn’t like when Tia didn’t even look at Krystal when she asked to speak with them. That was a bit mean girl for me.
  • I like Chelsea the more and more I see her. The glam shaming bit at the end was hilarious.
  • Arie did a great job in this episode. I was so hard on him for my past recaps, but I actually liked how he handled everything.
  • These group dates are rough. The hiking date looked like another nightmare with the girls not knowing where to go.

 

Thoughts on Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

After a huge win for Big Little Lies during the Golden Globes and a few of my friends telling me to check out the HBO success, I gave in and watched all seven episodes in one day.

*SPOILERS AHEAD* With a star-studded cast, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern carry the show as they all play seemingly happy mothers all doing the 9 to 5 while taking care of their first graders. However, dark secrets from their past start to surface in Monteray Bay, California.

By the end of the first episode, we have three questions: Who’s the bully? Who’s the murderer? And who was killed?

The show benefits from an impressive cast. Nicole Kidman steals the show as she portrays the character with the biggest gap between the perception of others and what is really happening with her abusive husband played by Alexander Skarsgård. His portrayal of Perry is so good, you actually feel scared when he enters a scene. Kidman and Skarsgård both play off each other well, and that’s probably why they both were awarded Gloden Globes.

Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott play the central couple going through their fair share of issues, but they also serve as the glue that links everyone together. Shailene Woodley gives a quiet performance as she plays a single mother battling her past as another question raises: Who was her rapist? Laura Dern gives a great performance as she plays a frustrated mother battling the three mothers throughout the series to protect her own daughter.

The show also benefits from a lot of small elements that make the mini-series so special. The soundtrack is fabulous with a killer theme song that I never skipped over once. The female relationships in the show are really strong especially between Jane and Madeline. The prospects for a season 2 also make up for the lack of resolution between Madeline and basically her whole family.

Now let’s get into the real spoilers, so if you do not want to find out what happened in the finale, do not read on.

The first reveal was that Max, one of Celeste and Perry’s twins, was actually the one bullying Amabelle, and not Ziggy. My sick head thought it might have been an adult, and I thought making it one of the twins would have been almost too obvious. But I was definitely wrong about that one and it makes a ton seeing how Celeste’s therapist says a few times in the series “What if the kids find out?”

So after finding out that Perry was both the rapist and the person being killed, I instantly felt dumb for not realizing it seeing how aggressive he was with Celeste. Hearing Jane say to Celeste that she has to accept her son might have violent tendencies clearly has a double meaning, and it’s great foreshadowing. I had an inkling that her rapist would be someone from the main cast, but for some reason I thought it could be Nathan or Ed. Celeste and Perry’s storyline was so separate from the rest that I didn’t think the stories would cross wires.

The last episode was definitely the strongest with reveals coming out slowly and then leading to the scene where Perry meets the women by the stairs. Zoe Kravitz’s character Bonnie being the murderer was unexpected, but it was awesome seeing all five women in one scene battle it out. I love the moment that Jane has her realization and it almost seemed like Madeline and Celeste read her mind instantly and knew what needed to happen. The beach scene was heartwarming, and to be honest, I can see a second season of the show coming about with all the women being questioned by the main detective.

Also, one last thought, how cute was Tom? He was adorable in that last episode. Let me know what you thought of the mini-series!

 

My Thoughts on Degrassi Next Class Season 3

Degrassi Next Class came back with a riveting season filled with drama, relationships and darker elements than ever before. I binged the whole season in a day and the final episode was extremely intense. Before you read on, there are spoilers below!

Zoe’s Sexuality: Zoe’s sexuality was one of the highlights of the season. It’s incredible that we see her come to terms with her sexuality in the final episode of season 2. In season 3, she embraces her sexuality, which is amazing to see after trying to avoid it for so long. She’s the strong female leader I always knew she would become after seeing her bully people for years. She’s using her powers for good by taking over Tristan’s presidency and being a awesome support for characters like Grace, Miles and Winston. However, her storyline focused on the relationship with her mother. It’s sad to see Zoe mistaken her mom’s denial for acceptance, and the fact that she was kicked out of her house following her mother’s wedding is brutal. It’s funny how all these former flames of Zoe’s end up being her support throughout her relationship with Rasha. I love her friendship with Grace and Winston, and I’m liking the budding relationship between Rasha and Zoe. There’s a lot of complexity to their relationship that goes beyond sexuality, and I’m excited to see it unfold.

Maya’s Depression: Maya’s spiraling was intense and uncomfortable, but at the same time, I couldn’t wait to see Olivia Scriven’s acting chops come into play. Her character is known for being the voice of reason and the generally positive bubbly girl from the bunch. But Maya isn’t that girl anymore, and she becomes frustrated that she can’t flip a switch. I can’t relate to Maya’s depression, but I totally related to her wanting to go back to when she was in a happier place. So she tries going back to Grace and Zig, but it just didn’t work for her. Seeing Maya’s anger toward her mom was unnerving and while it was nice to see the return of Katie, I knew there was more to the story. In its conclusion, I had no idea what was going to happen, and I honestly thought there could be a chance she jumped from the building. Seeing all her friends in the hospital crying was a tender moment, and I’m interested to see Maya’s recovery.

Lola’s Abortion: Lola’s abortion was the hot topic of this season. I know some people will watch it and be horrified by how casual the whole episode was about the subject, but that was the point of the episode. Sometimes it isn’t this dramatic scene where she’s sobbing right before the procedure. In the earlier generation of Degrassi, Manny had an abortion storyline that caused controversy because she wasn’t emotional right before her abortion. I really appreciate the writers sticking with their beliefs, and if I’m being biased, it’s because my beliefs happen to align with the episode. Lola was entitled to get the abortion because it’s her body, and she shouldn’t have to feel anything if that’s not what she’s feeling. It was told with uncertainty throughout the episode, but I was happy to see Yael being the surprise support system for Lola. People might not agree with what she does, but I believe that’s our reality today. And the fact that she owned it was commendable.

Grace’s Health: Grace’s story was perfectly summed up by Jonah who says at one point. “All this time, I thought you were afraid of dying, but it’s living that you’re afraid of.” It’s easy for Grace to just shorten her life by refusing the surgery, but like most people, she fears the future. What drives the episode home is Maya’s limited role toward the end when Grace realizes she’s not even close to embracing death the way Maya has been all season.

Frankie and Jonah: Frankie and Jonah’s relationship was tested in the sleepover episode, where Frankie decides it’s time for her and Jonah to have sex. Everything about Frankie’s neediness is something many girls can relate to. She’s insecure about being immature and constantly puts Jonah on a pedestal. Her relationship was on Jonah’s terms in many ways. The ironic part being that they just want to make each other happy, as we later see Jonah vent to Grace. Her obsessive behavior is definitely something she needed to take a step back from, and it was very mature of her to take a break from him.

Tiny and Shay: Tiny and Shay are in many ways an unlikely couple. I love the episode where she’s insecure about her period and the sleepover episode. For me, it depicts all of Shay’s insecurities in two episodes. Between Lola and the experience Tiny already has, we see her struggle to keep up with her relationship. They make it through alive, which is an accomplishment after this season.

Esme in General: Esme is the girl people love to hate as they watch this season. She really is awful and clearly has issues getting along with other girls. The way she bullies and talks to Shay and Maya in such a demeaning manner is something we haven’t seen in a while.

Miles and Tristan: Tristan is MIA this season, but it leaves Miles in a total dilemma of whether to move on or stay by his side. My favorite scene was when he was crying for Tristan to wake up as Zoe embraces him for comfort. When Tristan returns, we’re left with the mystery of whether Tristan knows about Miles and Lola. As far as Lola being his support, it made a lot more sense and their friendship seemed natural. They’re extremely unlikely but they started liking each other through their own despairs. When they hooked up, the morning after scene was tender but still telling of Miles’s guilt.

Yael and the boys: Hunter and his friends were used humorously this season as they had several funny light-hearted storylines. I appreciate the innocence they bring to the show. I loved the sleepover episode because the dynamic between Hunter, Vijay and Baez brought me back to Toby and JT episodes. I also thoroughly enjoyed Yael’s makeup storyline as two females put her in her place for shaming women who use makeup.

The Bachelor Blog: 27 Red Dresses

The Bachelor 2017 outfits
Rachel and Nick

The Bachelor is back, and I’m late with my review already! Here are my top 5 after episode 1, along with some other random thoughts.

Rachel: Rachel reminds me so much of Andi, and Nick has always liked strong independent women, so it’s no surprise he liked Rachel because she gives off a very put together and confident attitude in the limited time she has with Nick. They had a very easygoing conversation, and her red dress didn’t get in the way of the first impression rose.

Vanessa: I really like Vanessa already. I feel like I’d be friends with her in real life. She just seems very genuine and her and Nick had a nice connection. Nick also said “She’s a keeper,” which is way more of a compliment in all honesty than saying she’s pretty or cute.

Danielle L: Danielle is someone who I’ll put as my dark horse. She’s beautiful and came off really well in the first episode.

Corinne: Corinne said about thirty things that made me cringe in the first episode. She seems like such a great villain. Olivia was always somewhat likable in Ben’s season, so it’s always nice to have a villain that just makes the show more entertaining. She’s aggressive and I’m 100 percent positive that Nick will consider the fact that he was painted a villain in his season if the other women say she’s no good.

Sarah: Sarah was the girl that ran up in sneakers as the “runner up” and although most of the intro corniness makes me want to barf, I thought it was pretty cute. She also wore that really pretty lavender gown.

Other Thoughts

  • I don’t know what’s worse, that the shark wore her costume all night or that she’s 23 years old going on the show.
  • Haley might be better off with Daniel/
  • The girls needed to chill with the red dresses. It’s the Bachelor, not prom.
  • OK, regarding the Liz thing. It seemed super awkward. When she explained herself, it really didn’t make sense when they were talking, but maybe that was just nerves. The whole exchange between them seemed a bit forced. I will defend her for a second though because I could completely understand the idea that she thought it would be exciting to see him again. Poor girl is getting beat up on Twitter, but I get where she’s coming from.
  • How the heck did Olivia not make it? She came in with the fur coat and was so charming.
  • Jimmy Kimmel had both Andi, Kaitlyn and Nick on the show, and man was it awkward!
  • It looks like a drama packed season, and I’m stoked.
  • I’m curious to know what others think of the whole Liz thing so comment below!

PLL Fashion 7×03

So here are some of favorite looks from the episode. What a crazy episode! You can check out my review here: https://mytrendingstories.com/article/pretty-little-liars-review-season-7-claims-its-first-victim/

Enjoy the fashion!

I’m loving this Spencer’s trench coat. I like this mustard color and the way it all billows. I’m also loving that the liars are wearing a lot of Zara this season.

Zara ‘Trench Coat with Horn Button’ – $79.99

This is a classic Emily jacket. It’s olive, has patchwork and super casual  I love this color on Emily and thought this was a cute, but still appropriate for Emily’s age.

Zara ‘Patch Overshirt’ – no longer available

I liked how Spencer wore this with a trench. At first, I thought she was wearing a turtleneck, but I like this high neck peplum top for her. For some reason, I love Troian in all these high neck tops. It’s flattering on her.

Elizabeth and James ‘Perth Peplum Top’ – $119.99

Hanna’s kimono was my favorite piece. I loved the black tank top and burgundy skinny keans that she wore. This denim kimnon is very unique, and I love that Hanna wore it very casually.

Hanna’s Kimono- Intermix

Also, check out PLL Closet on Tumblr for more Pretty Little Liars fashion. Her blog is awesome!

The Bachelorette Review: Alex is the New Chad

This episode was pretty boring. I’m going to recap the episode and rather than list my top 5, I’ll put my thoughts on everyone since there were only eight people anyway.

Photo from Jojo’s Instagram

Jordan: Jordan and Jojo. She just likes him so much. I didn’t mind Jordan at all in this episode. I’m just wondering if Jojo does pick him, what is the narrative? The edit isn’t exactly showing a love story.

Luke: I  think Luke would be a great choice for Jojo because he seems genuine when he’s with Jojo, but I also like the scenes when we get a glimpse of his personality. His “Are you guys going to kiss?” moment was actually really funny, as well as his “So where are we going next week?”

Robby: Robby is another guy who would be great for Jojo. He came out of nowhere, but it would be interesting if Jojo chose someone who wasn’t edited into the show until recently. Even tonight, we barely saw them together, but they both seem confident about their relationship.

James: Oh, James. I really love how humble James is. He didn’t have to throw Jordan under the bus because he’s got a great personality. Jojo isn’t going to pick

Chase/ Derrek: This two on one was really hilarious in a cringeworthy way. I really like Chase, but he is a little hard to read. He puts together these cute mini dates for Jojo, so I’m not sure why he needed to express anything so blatantly like Jojo wanted. Derrek’s crying was edited in such a ridiculous way.

Wells: Wells is such a sweetheart, but clearly not a match for Jojo. I’d love to see him in paradise.

Alex: Why did Jojo keep Alex? There’s no way she’s picking him. He’s constantly instigating everyone.

Other Random Thoughts:

  • I’m loving Jojo’s style. Her black dress with the leather jacket was so cute. Her blue cocktail dress was also stunning.
  • Lauren and Ben are getting a reality show. I love them, but what could it be about?
  • Derrek is going to have memes with that limo scene.

 

The Bachelorette: Chad Overload

I’ve been in London for the past week so here is my recap for the past three episodes.

 

Jojo and James

1-on-1 Dates: 

Derrick: Derrick was the first one on one of the season, and he had a great showing. I liked that he made an effort to be decisive with each choice he was given. I had no idea there was even a Derrick after the first episode but he made a great first impression.

James Taylor:  James is awesome. I love how genuine and sweet he is with Jojo. I loved how outgoing and grateful he seemed during their entire date. The more he is shown the more I like him. That being said, I don’t think Jojo is going to end up with him. I would love it if she did pick him, but I don’t see that happening.

Luke: Luke is someone Jojo really likes just based on body language for the first couple of episodes. When they finally sat down for their date, Luke was so open and honest with Jojo. I really like them together, and see him going very far.

Chase: Chase is also another stand up guy. I loved the mini snow date at the cocktail party and when they went on their date, I really warmed up to him.

Power Rankings:

  1. Jordan– OK, it’s so obvious Jojo loves this guy. She’s already pressuring him for all this validation. She needs it from him because she just loves him. Kaitlyn did it with Shawn and Andi did it with Josh. Now Jojo is doing it.
  2. Luke
  3. Chase
  4. James T.
  5. Robby– Robby is someone I didn’t really think about until last night’s episode where Jojo said she felt comfortable with him even though she didn’t really know him.

Chad

Chad gets his own little section on my blog because he was just that much of a character. In episode 2, I actually didn’t mind him. He was pretty hilarious with the West Side Story comment and his commentary during the rose ceremony is gold.

He was also kind of right about saying he’s not going to say he’s falling for Jojo, when he doesn’t even know her. Did he go about it in the right way? Not really, but from Jojo’s perspective, she sees this guy is is being polarizing with how honest he is and she is intrigued by it. Additionally, when he does say he had feelings for Jojo, it’s more believable.

Now in episode 3 and 4, I can’t defend him…at all. The violent threats were absolutely ridiculous.  In what world is violent threats going to look good on television? His self-awareness flew out the window when he grabbed Evan’s shirt. Now I do think the constant pestering from Alex and Evan was a bit too much, but to say he’s going to beat up people is absurd. Now we wait for the epic conclusion of the Chad Saga.

Other Thoughts:

  • Chad’s eating habits at the cocktail party is literally me at any function.
  • The Jojo song had me dying. The bromance is real in the house.
  • That being said, who’s going to be the next villain? The house really bonded with their anti-Chad pact, but he’s gone now.
  • Chad explaining his protein shake analogy was really great.
  • I’m going to miss Chad. 😦
  • Wells was adorable. I think he’s a lock for Bachelor in Paradise. James too.
  • I think if Chase doesn’t win, he’d be a solid Bachelor.
  • Jojo is killing it when it comes to the fashion on the show.

PLL Fashion Finds: 6×12

I really liked Aria and Hanna’s style on the last episode of Pretty Little Liars. I left my thoughts below, along with the links if you want to check out the clothing. Thanks to PLL Closet on tumblr, who always finds the details on the fashion from the show. Check out her blog here: http://pllcloset.tumblr.com/tagged/6×12

I loved how flowy these trousers were. The pants were very boho, but Hanna made it more preppy with a collared crop top and a blazer.

Zara ‘Printed Bell Bottom Trousers’

I also really liked this crisp collared top. Hanna is definitely embracing her career and it’s clear with her fashion this season.

Elle Sasson ‘Cisco Crop Top’ – $78.00

Aria’s style is a little more understated this season. She’s still wearing moto jackets, but she’s wearing them in pastels and grays instead. This leather jacket is classic Aria, and I love the color. It softens the look.

Maje ‘Leather Jacket’ 

This romper made me want the spring to come because I really liked the structure of this piece. I can see Hanna wearing this too, but Aria makes it more her style by wearing a textured jacket and a statement necklace.

French Connection ‘Paradise Satin Romper’ – $99.99

Helmut Lang ‘Lightening Wash Denim Biker Jacket’ – $167.77