Tag Archives: TV Shows

Binge Watch Complete: The Umbrella Academy

I’ve been doing a lot of binge-watching lately and I thought it would be fun to stray a bit from books and talk about some more TV shows! With this feature, I’ll be sharing a little bit about my binge-watching experience and things I liked about the show! 

** Disclaimer: These posts may contain VERY MINOR spoilers for the shows in discussion. I will never reveal big twists or plot points but if you haven’t watched the show, there may be some very broad plot points discussed. **

METHOD OF VIEWING: Netflix (Season 1)
SHOW COMPLETE? No, this was the debut and I’m sure there will be more!

I’ve been having a lot of fun binge watching TV shows so whenever I finish my last watch, I’m alway looking for something new. I saw the little preview for THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY and immediately knew it was something I would enjoy. I didn’t even realize it was a graphic novel before I started watching it! I absolutely loved the whole show and thought it was so well-done.

Firstly, if you haven’t read the graphic novel, you won’t be lost in the show. A friend’s brother had read them and felt like people would be lost watching the show but I think that’s just the case where you have more knowledge from reading first (I’m guessing) because I felt like everything flowed well and nothing seemed confusing.

The characters are fantastic and complex. I’m used to reading a lot of YA so it was fun to watch a show where the characters are all grown up, allowing us to see so much backstory and history. There’s so much that this group went through together, some with shared trauma and pretty much everything battling something individually, they come together to form a unique band of misfits that I immediately loved.

If you’re not familiar with the show, the premise is that these main characters who form “The Umbrella Academy” each have special abilities/powers and were “collected” by a man who they later called father even though they seemingly appeared as if from nowhere. Each of these kids was born on the same day to a woman who was not pregnant when the day started. Every one of these characters has a unique, supernatural ability except for Vanya (Ellen Page) who constantly gets left out of things because of this. Oh yeah, and we find out the world is ending in just a few days.

As the show goes on, you find out more about each ability and each character’s secrets. They all have unique relationships with each other and I just love that each dark side also has a soft side. I love each unique ability, the overall feeling of the group, and the surprisingly lovable antagonists, two hitmen (hit people?) who are assigned with the task of killing Number 5 (oh yeah, each kid has a number and Number 5 is his number but seemingly also his name. I don’t think we ever learned it?), who can travel through space and newly, time. Number 5 returns after being gone for several years shares with everyone that the world is about to end and they need to stop it.

So now we’ve got a show with special abilities AND with time travel and could this BE any more me? I don’t want to say too much more about the plot because then we get into spoilery things but I just really loved how everything was handled. Bad things happen to the characters and not everyone is safe all the time. Secrets are revealed. So much escalates!! Really, it’s just so worth the watch and hopefully I’m not adding to the already-existing hype and making it over-hyped. It really was SO good and the ending had me dying for the next season! Who knows when that will be but I will definitely be there.

Have you watched The Umbrella Academy? Who’s your favorite character?

Binge Watch Complete: Better Call Saul

I’ve been doing a lot of binge-watching lately and I thought it would be fun to stray a bit from books and talk about some more TV shows! With this feature, I’ll be sharing a little bit about my binge-watching experience and things I liked about the show! 

** Disclaimer: These posts may contain VERY MINOR spoilers for the shows in discussion. I will never reveal big twists or plot points but if you haven’t watched the show, there may be some very broad plot points discussed. **

METHOD OF VIEWING: Netflix (Seasons 1-3), Amazon (Season 4, purchased separately)
SHOW COMPLETE? Not yet. We binged through season 4 which is the last complete season and Season 5 is forthcoming on regular TV.

I had never seen Breaking Bad before this year and when Shane and I were looking for something to watch, we selected that and quickly binge-watched the whole series (despite trying to pace ourselves) within a few weeks. After that TV show hangover ended, we decided to pick up its prequel, Better Call Saul!

This was another show we had a hard time resisting. I liked that it actually had a different tone than Breaking Bad but it still made the connections back to the original series. If you haven’t watched Breaking Bad before Better Call Saul, despite the fact that Saul is a prequel, I highly recommend watching in the order of release and not chronologically in the story’s timeline (TL;DR, watch Breaking Bad first). Certain things won’t really mean anything to you, story-wise and emotionally, if you haven’t watched Breaking Bad first and there are kind of some spoilers in a way based on what’s revealed from flashbacks. I guess you wouldn’t notice that things could kind of be a spoiler, but I think it’s much better to watch Saul second.

I think I was less stunned by Better Call Saul but I was a bit more connected to the characters. The show revolves around Saul Goodman’s “origin” and how he became Saul from his actual given name, Jimmy McGill. It was so interesting to see how he became a lawyer and everything he went through to become the person that he is in Breaking Bad, name and all. So far through the 4th season, the stakes aren’t quite as high as Breaking Bad, or at least they’re in a way that doesn’t put me as much on edge! Most of the series so far follows Jimmy’s experience as a lawyer, dealing with his older brother, and his relationship with Kim Wexler. It lets us wonder throughout the series: What happened to his older brother Chuck? What happened to Kim? What happened to make him choose the path of Saul and his assistance to assist the shady folk? Some of these questions get answered in the first four seasons and some we’re still wondering! I really enjoy how the series can really draw out this whole prequel as long as they want by continuing to build on the backstories!

I’m also always impressed with the writing and production of this show (both of them, really). The characters are ALWAYS so complex. Each character has a good and a bad side and I always find myself loving one character and being in disbelief at their actions the next episode. They really find a way to make you see every facet of a character and see that not every “good” character is all good and not every “bad” character is all bad. They’re all human and some humans are worse than others, but the heroes are always morally grey and the antagonists make some surprisingly good points sometimes.

I’m also really enjoying seeing Mike’s backstory because he was such a favorite character in Breaking Bad! We get to see how he ended up in Albuquerque (since that’s not where he’s from) and how he ended up working with Saul. It was something that I never questioned in Breaking Bad but it was so fun to watch that partnership develop slowly but surely! Situations continue to escalate throughout the series and the viewers really start to see how they ended up where they did in the “present day”.

What’s really fun is that the show was able to get a lot of characters from the previous series, not just main characters like Saul and Mike. There are a lot of important players that make appearances, some of which I never would have even thought of but their involvement in Better Call Saul really makes you rethink how you viewed Breaking Bad and how deep things really went. I love how the writers made these plots even more elaborate than they were before and it’s just such great writing to be able to continue to add surprises and twists despite everything that we already know.

I also really enjoy that the first episode of each season (and sometimes a few other episodes here and there) pop back to where Saul ended up after Breaking Bad and it makes me wonder what else we’ll learn about his fate in the future!!

Have you watched Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul? What do you think of them? And have you see the news on the Breaking Bad movie!?

Top Ten Tuesday – September 6, 2016: Ten Book Recommendations Based on TV Shows


September 6, 2016

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was a TV theme and I chose Ten Book Recommendations Based on TV Shows

TEN (2)

Fall TV is back and I know I can’t wait for a few of my favorite shows and some quality TV time. I don’t watch nearly as much TV as I used to with reading and candle-making but I still have a few favorite shows that I never miss!

Book recommendations are always a favorite of mine and this is the perfect opportunity to recommend some books based on popular TV shows! Recs coming at ya…

BOOK REcs tv showsUntitled design

If you like LEVERAGE, try HEIST SOCIETY | I made a specific note during my read of UNCOMMON CRIMINALS, the second book in the Heist Society series, on how much it felt like Leverage! I love the heists and amazing crew throughout.
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like CHUCK, try ALSO KNOWN AS | Both Chuck and ALSO KNOWN AS have such a fun feel to them! They both have spy aspects and although ALSO KNOWN AS isn’t quite as outright geeky as Chuck, I think the tone fits really well as a book recommendation!
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like THE BIG BANG THEORY, try THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE | Oh, this book was so much fun. One of my favorite parts was all of the totally nerdy debates that these characters get into, much like the characters on Big Bang! Plus, the whole book takes place at Comic Con!
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like LOST, try NIL | I’ve always thought NIL was a great Lost companion! Teens are stranded on a deserted island and no one understands how they got there. The island really starts to become a player in itself and there are some interesting science-fiction things happening!
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like HEROES, try STEELHEART | I like STEELHEART for a Heroes recommendation because it really plays with the concept of power being used and misused. There are good “epics” (superheroes) and bad “epics) in STEELHEART and I love how there are so many unique characters, powers, and situations.
Review | Goodreads | Amazon


If you like GALAVANT, try MY LADY JANE | I mean… historical satire. Can you really get much better?
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like SLEEPY HOLLOW, try HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER | HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER is fun, cheeky, and full of supernatural creatures! It doesn’t have the historical aspect that SLEEPY HOLLOW does but the humor and supernatural is a great match!
Review | Goodreads | Amazon 

If you like ELEMENTARY, try LOCK & MORI | I love the contemporary takes on Sherlock Holmes! I haven’t watched a ton of Elementary but I think LOCK & MORI is a good fit with so many modern takes on the classic characters and some gender-swapped characters (Watson for Elementary, Moriarty for LOCK & MORI).
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like GUILT, try DANGEROUS GIRLS | This is actually sort of a recommendation in reverse… I have Guilt on my DVR but haven’t gotten to it yet but I taped it JUST because I loved DANGEROUS GIRLS so much and it sounds like an amazing fit!
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

If you like DEXTER, try THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES | Alex is sort of a female Dexter but I also really appreciated the ways they were different. Both main characters are antiheroes and seek justice for all of the heinous wrongs they encounter. They also both start to develop normal feelings for the new loved ones in their life, appealing to the feeling-side.
Review | Goodreads | Amazon

What are your book recommendations for fans of a favorite TV show? Have you read any of these books and agree?