REVIEW: “Manages to end with the message it started with” – ‘Orange Is the New Black’ (Season 7)

“in equal parts uplifting and upsetting, but ultimately satisfying, conclusion to one of Netflix’s flagship pieces of original programming.” If there’s one thing that ‘Orange Is the New Black’ has taught us, it’s that not everybody gets a happy ending. Throughout the six previous seasons of this iconic, sometimes ground-breaking, sometimes controversial show, we’ve seen…

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“Stranger and More Complicated Than You Know”: Storytelling as Communion and Experimentation in ‘The OA’

A puzzle box of a series, The OA arrived on Netflix in 2016. Its sixteen episodes span two seasons, and it has recently emerged that the streaming service has lamentably chosen not to renew it for the anticipated further installments. Created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, The OA primarily revolves around Prairie Johnson (also…

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REVIEW: “Short, Sweet and Deliciously Hammy” – Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein

★ ★ ★ ★ “If you enjoy a bit of tongue in cheek humour, this special keeps the tongue securely clamped down.” Netflix has slapped down a thirty-two-minute-long special in which the content is as ludicrous as the notion that they would even consider funding it. And thank God they did. Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein is…

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REVIEW: “A Bark With No Bite” – ‘Anima’ (2019)

★ ★ “Disappointingly flat, delivering platitudes instead of punch” Thom Yorke has always been wary of the digital age. Radiohead’s breakout, possibly career-defining work, OK Computer, was an album of computerised alienation and political pessimism. Released in 1997, it stood in stark contrast to the overwhelming mood of Britain (and much of the world) at…

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Why Netflix Shouldn’t Have Cancelled ‘Tuca & Bertie’

When a show comes out that’s created by a woman, stars women, and is to its core about women, it’s hard not to be excited. When those women are Lisa Hanawalt, Tiffany Haddish, and Ali Wong, and the show – Tuca & Bertie – is bright, gorgeously animated, and funny, it’s hard not to completely…

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REVIEW: “Pihu Will Steal Your Heart” – ‘Pihu’ (2018)

Crafting a film from scratch takes courage, timing and a hell of a lot of planning. So, to suggest centring a feature-length film around a two-year-old girl, who is not only the leading character but the only character featured in the entire film, seems like absolute insanity. Yet for writer/director Vihod Kapri, the insanity works…

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The Danger of What-If’s in ‘Shirkers’

“In all golden afternoons there are movers, there are shakers, and then, there are shirkers.” What-if’s are dangerous. As a perfectionist with a dangerous level of anxiety, I know the world of what-if’s all too well. They are poisonous and there is never just one, as each one leads to the next until you obsess…

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REVIEW: “A Subject Struck With Gold” – ‘Life In the Doghouse’ (2018)

To begin with, I will admit, with a heavy heart: Life In The Doghouse is not an outstanding documentary. The film finds itself abiding to a generic documentary style that does not make heads turn. However, and I cannot stress this enough, Life In The Doghouse has struck gold with its subject. Danny and Ron’s…

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REVIEW: “The Ultimate Feel-Good Romantic Comedy” – ‘Always Be My Maybe’ (2019)

Always Be My Maybe is the ultimate feel-good romantic comedy. It may be a little cheesy at times but it is full of charm, and does wonders for representation by showcasing a realistic Asian-American relationship at its core. Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) is a successful celebrity chef, not-so-happily engaged to a handsome older man, and…

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Mad Women, Crazy Women: The Subversion of Gender Roles in Netflix’s ‘Dead To Me’

In 1991, Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise proved that there was a space for women in the buddy film and road movie genres that had been largely dominated by male protagonists. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon’s eponymous characters were well-developed, complex and life-like; their touching and authentic friendship remaining centre stage as they fought back…

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