With lockdown restrictions and needing to stay at home more often, I, like many of us, gravitated towards movies and TV to stave off boredom. Throughout the past year, I’ve watched so many movies and TV shows I can barely keep track of them all. Some of these films/shows were great, and others, not so much. Today, I’m going to be sharing my favorite things I’ve watched during the pandemic!
Just as a heads up, this list isn’t ordered in any particular way (because it would be way too difficult for me to decide based on that). Also, big shout-out to my brother Toby, as he watched most of the media on this list with me! He’s been my movie/TV watching buddy throughout the pandemic. And finally, I hope you enjoy my post! 😄
Where I Watched It: Amazon Prime Video
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with Invincible, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite shows of 2021! And I firmly believe it’s best to go into this with as little information as possible, so I’m going to do a quick, vague rundown of the plot. It’s an animated show about a teenage boy named Mark, whose dad is Omni-Man, the greatest superhero in the world. One day, Mark starts displaying powers similar to those of his father, which sets off a chain of dangerous events and brings hidden truths to the surface.
Truly, I cannot gush about this show enough! Although it tackles the classic superhero theme, it does so in a very refreshing, interesting way. The world Mark and the other characters live in is regularly plagued with violence, crime, invasions from other planets, and other catastrophic incidents. It’s very gritty, dark, and gory, but these aspects perfectly fit the world that Invincible presents. In certain ways, this may be more of a realistic take on the superhero genre than usual.
In addition, the characters are unique and have multiple layers to them. I genuinely enjoyed watching as some of the characters grew and realized truths about themselves. It was fun to see the respective journeys they went through in deciding what they wanted out of life. Furthermore, the story is excellent and kept me hooked from the very first episode. This show is full of twists and turns, to the point you’re never quite sure what to expect.
And that animation is absolutely gorgeous! Everything, including the battle scenes, was animated so smoothly and looked fantastic. Invincible deserves all the praise it’s received; it really is one of the best shows I’ve watched in years. If you can stomach gore okay, then I very highly recommend giving it a try!
Where I Watched It: HBO Max
This is a movie that’s been out for decades, but I just never got around to watching it until recently. Toby, who has already seen it before, rewatched it with me last weekend, and that’s when I realized I’d been missing out all these years. Blade tells the story of a half-vampire, half-human hybrid, known as a “Daywalker”, who’s made it his life’s mission to eradicate all vampires. To be clear, the vampires in this world don’t peacefully coexist with humans; most humans aren’t even aware they exist, and most vampires have no qualms with completely draining humans of their blood. To sum it up, Blade hates vampires because of something that happened in his past and their general disregard for human life.
For being from 1998, this film still holds up very well today and looks great. Rather than relying more on CGI (like the next two entries do), Blade focuses on practical effects, fast-paced action and fights, and smooth choreography. This combination works incredibly well, leading to satisfying fight scenes that are easy to follow and fun to watch. Although I did enjoy the next two Blade movies, I think they relied a bit too much on CGI, especially in their final battle sequences. The original film also uses some CGI, but it’s a minimal amount that’s fleeting and executed well.
Additionally, the aforementioned story is pretty solid and kept me interested throughout. I appreciate that it has more of a dark, gritty feel to it, as that’s quite fitting of a world where vampires prey on unsuspecting humans. There are some fun, interesting characters in this as well, with Whistler, Blade’s vampire slaying partner, being one of my favorites. Honestly, though, most people are probably going to watch Blade for its action and fights, which is great because those aspects are done well. If you want to see a cool, collected vampire hunter kick some vampire butt, this movie has it in spades!
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Sweet Home tells the story of the residents in a Korean apartment complex after an outbreak suddenly causes people to turn into grotesque monsters. The group has to survive their overrun building, try to figure out what triggers this terrifying transformation, and work together long enough to do so. My first point about this show is that the characters are fantastic. With the setting being an apartment building, there are many characters, but they’re all unique, interesting, and relatable. Some of the characters don’t get much screen time, but most of them are well developed and fleshed out, with personalities we see in real life every day. These people seem very much like they could be your friends and family, your next door neighbors.
Moreover, the story is engrossing from the very beginning, with a bleak atmosphere that instills a lingering sensation of dread. Even though you expect bad things to happen, you never quite know exactly what will happen, who it’ll happen to, or how it’ll occur. This despairing aesthetic is interspersed with brief moments of hope and poignant scenes between characters. No matter how dark things seem to be, there are always characters who refuse to give up and keep fighting on. Life can be difficult at times, but there is always hope; Sweet Home does an excellent job of conveying this theme and balancing despair with hope.
Another very positive point of this show is its monster design. The monsters are a main focus of Sweet Home, with the characters often having to confront them, so it’s important they look good. And in this case, the monsters look great. They have truly original and horrifying designs, many of which I’ve never seen anything similar to. Each one is unique in both its abilities and appearance, making it interesting to continuously see them on screen. I really can’t recommend this show enough, especially if you enjoy Asian horror!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Where I Watched It: Disney Plus
Back in February, my brother and I had a month-long marathon of various Marvel movies while we had a Disney+ subscription. One of my favorite movies from that marathon ended up being Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2! I really enjoyed the first movie as well. They just have such energy and style to them, which in my opinion, makes them incredibly fun to watch. While I enjoyed all of the Marvel movies we saw, there is something special about Guardians of the Galaxy that sets it apart from the other MCU films and makes it refreshingly original.
I believe the characters are a large part of that. You have a kind of ragtag group, full of people from different backgrounds and species with wildly varying personalities, and despite their differences, they eventually come together as a team. I absolutely love that sort of dynamic, so I may be a bit biased, but I think Guardians of the Galaxy captures it really well. From the first movie, I already loved these characters, and the second film reinforced that fondness while introducing new, likeable characters. The character interactions and dynamics with this group are so fun, entertaining, and touching.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a genuinely fascinating, involving story that focuses on Peter Quill’s past as well. I quickly found myself becoming very invested in the plot and wanting to see how it progressed. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I will say the conclusion of Vol. 2 was both epic and emotional for me. It was a very fitting end to an already excellent movie, easily making it one of my favorite Marvel films. If you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 yet, you’re missing out! Go give it a watch!
Where I Watched It: Amazon Prime Video
Toby tried to get me to watch this show for a while and repeatedly told me how good it is. For whatever reason, I was kind of skeptical, but decided to finally give it a try, and now, I’m so glad I did! Burn Notice is about Michael Westen, a CIA agent who suddenly receives a burn notice in the middle of a mission, leaving him with no money, no job, and countless enemies. This sets Michael on the path to finding out who burned him and why.
The last couple seasons of Burn Notice became a bit darker than I would’ve liked, but overall, it’s such a fun show! Personally, I think the characters make this show. Along with Michael, we have his trigger-happy, weapon obsessed ex-girlfriend, Fiona, and Sam, an old friend of Michael’s who downs mojitos and continuously seeks out sugar mommas. In this show, the character interactions and relationships are complete gold. These characters are so likeable, interesting, and entertaining, to the point I quickly became attached. And if you’re a fan of romance, you’ll definitely love the relationship between Michael and Fiona; they may be exes to begin with, but their chemistry is still off the charts!
In addition, I really enjoyed the story of Burn Notice and how it progresses. Although it starts off simply enough, it quickly becomes much more complicated and reveals a larger plot in the works. With seven seasons, the show has a lot of content to explore and is one you can easily get invested in. Outside of the main plot, Michael, Fiona, and Sam regularly team up to help people dealing with criminal activity, scams, and other debilitating issues. I loved seeing the team help everyday people and get them out of these terrible situations. All around, Burn Notice is a wonderful show that’ll provide you with hours and hours of quality entertainment!
Nailed It! Double Trouble
Where I Watched It: Netflix
My mom and I started watching the original Nailed It! together and were immediately hooked! Since then, we’ve watched each season together, laughing and smiling the entire time. And as expected, Double Trouble was no exception! The concept of this show is three amateur bakers are brought in to replicate expertly crafted desserts the best they can and compete for a $10,000 prize. Double Trouble, the newest season, puts a fresh spin on this familiar format by having three teams of two instead.
Each season of Nailed It! is great in its own ways, but this new approach leads to some unforgettable moments and hilariously disastrous creations. It’s so fun to see how every episode will play out, especially with the unpredictable nature of these teams. You never know exactly what monstrosity or masterpiece they’ll make; just that it will be extremely entertaining all the while. You’re basically guaranteed to laugh or at least chuckle while watching this!
And the judges are just as amazing as the show itself! Hosted by the beautiful and hilarious Nicole Byer, and with the super charming, loveable Jacques Torres as a judge, the comedy never gets old. These two immediately stole my heart with their amazing dynamic and banter. Their personalities just mesh together so well, always leading to gold standard comedy. Nailed It! is such a bingeable show and is perfect if you’re looking for something light-hearted!
Love and Monsters
Where I Watched It: Amazon Prime Video
A couple months ago, Amazon Prime Video had a deal with Love and Monsters being available to rent for just a couple dollars. I didn’t know much about the movie then, but remembered seeing trailers for it and thinking it looked interesting. So, I decided to take the plunge and rent it. I can tell you with utmost certainty that Love and Monsters is worth way more than $2.99!
Set several years after an apocalyptic situation results in the world being overrun with monsters, it tells the story of one of the survivors, Joel Dawson. After discovering his high school girlfriend Aimee is living only 80 miles away, he leaves the relative safety of his underground bunker to reunite with her. With this choice, Joel experiences new sides of the world he never knew and finds renewed meaning in life.
I’m going to start this off by saying the world of Love and Monsters is a beautiful and brilliantly realized one. It’s filled with deadly, terrifying creatures, ones that have driven most surviving humans underground. But there are gorgeous landscapes, moments of poignancy, and plenty of reasons to continue living. Despite showing the aftermath of a disaster, the environments are lush, filled with emerald green grass and forests of towering trees. The movie spotlights old, abandoned towns that still bear faint traces of humanity, and it’s hauntingly beautiful to watch.
Furthermore, the monsters look so, so good, which is in large part thanks to excellent CGI. I seriously didn’t expect it to look nearly as smooth and seamless as it did. These creatures felt like they were truly living, breathing beings because of the masterful way they’re animated. It also helps that the monster designs are quite cool and original to begin with. I loved seeing how each monster moved around and behaved.
Finally, the characters in Love and Monsters are very charming. Joel makes for a likeable protagonist with his optimistic personality and dry humor. I absolutely loved seeing his journey to find Aimee, the amazing people he met along the way, and how it changed his worldview. It was such a satisfying journey, full of danger, adventure, romance, and discovery. I’d highly, highly recommend this film! It’s suitable for almost all ages, too, which is always a plus.
Where I Watched It: HBO Max
Earlier this week, I started watching Jujutsu Kaisen and it’s quickly become one of my recent favorites. I’m also not completely done with it at the moment, but I’m enjoying it enough to include it here anyway. That says quite a bit about this anime! It’s based off a manga series of the same name and takes place in a world where curses, dark creatures that bring about misfortune and even death, run amok. The main character is a teenage boy named Yuji Itadori who becomes a curse to save a friend’s life. This leads to Yuji also becoming a sorcerer, a being who exorcises curses like himself.
One of my favorite parts of Jujutsu Kaisen is its atmosphere and aesthetic. Like many other shounen anime, this show includes some familiar tropes of the genre and is stylized similarly. However, I really like how dark and gritty it is in comparison to other shounen anime. Terrible, tragic things happen throughout the show, and many of the characters have backgrounds befitting of that. The fights are serious and always feel as if high stakes are involved. Each encounter carries the sense of life or death with it, which I think makes Jujutsu Kaisen very suspenseful.
In addition, the animation is undoubtedly gorgeous, boasting smooth fight scenes and seamless movement. I found myself staring at the screen in pure awe during multiple scenes; the animation is just that good. Everything is so pretty to look at because of the lovely animation style and immediately captures your attention. Most modern animation looks fantastic these days, but this is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen.
And onto my absolute favorite aspect of Jujutsu Kaisen: the characters. So many of them are likeable, relatable, unique, and interesting, with various backgrounds and captivating personalities. I adore the main trio and their friendship dynamic. It’s really fun to see their interactions with one another, especially since they start out as complete strangers and eventually warm up towards the other members. I loved Gojo Satoru as well and had my eyes glued to the screen for all of his scenes. He’s definitely best boy in this anime, haha! 😁💕
Castlevania Season 4
Where I Watched It: Netflix
I can’t express my love for Castlevania enough. I’ve been following this show ever since it first began airing on Netflix a few years ago, and it’s wild to think it’s now ended at four entire seasons after starting with a single four episode season. I’m so glad it was continued to the point it could end properly and provide closure for all the individual characters. Since I’m highlighting the fourth season specifically, I can’t go into the plot too much. You basically just need to know it centers around Trevor Belmont, a descendant of the famous monster slaying Belmont lineage, after Dracula wages war against the human race over the death of his wife. It starts as this and over time, turns into so much more.
Let’s start with the story of Castlevania. It becomes much more complex as the show goes on, with interesting subplots, fascinating characters, and several different factions plotting. I loved following the journey of Trevor, Sypha, Alucard, and all the other characters. They go through so much, and as a result, change from how they started, even if just in subtle ways. I became legitimately invested in seeing what would happen next and where their respective journeys would lead. And I absolutely love these characters, so of course, I wanted them to have happiness.
The final season of Castlevania doesn’t disappoint in that regard, either. Once again, I can’t go too in depth without spoiling certain plot points. But, I will say this show ended in a way I was very happy and satisfied with. I feel that almost all the characters had a good resolution to their stories, and the overall plot was tied up well, without leaving any loose ends behind. I’m a bit sad Castlevania had to end, but overjoyed that it ended so well. I would highly recommend watching this show; it’s more than worth it!
That does it for my post over great movies and TV series! I hope you enjoyed reading it and that it could maybe even inspire you to check out some of the media I listed. If you have watched anything on my list, or end up watching it, I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments below! 😊👍
This post is part of the Lifestyle Ladies Blog Collab, which takes place every month! Each blogger takes turns posting on their blog one of several days in a row, with all posts being around a central theme. So, be sure to check out the seven other wonderful bloggers in this collab! They’re so talented and absolutely deserve the support. You can follow along with their blogs and posts at the links below! 💗
Since streaming was such a popular activity throughout the past year (and because it’s fun to talk about movies/TV), our theme for this month was ‘Favorite Movies and TV’! 📺🎬
Day 1 (May 26)- Jessie over at wandererandtraveller
Day 2 (May 27)- Karalee over at talesofbelle
Day 3 (May 28)- This was my post! Thanks so much for reading it!! 😊💜
Day 4 (May 29)- Rhiannon over at mrssleejones
Luce over at perselem
Kim over at chimmyville
Beth over at thoughtsofarealredhead
Kirsty over at kirstymarie