Happy November, everyone! October was full of spooky vibes and Halloween fun, as well as the month I finally got to see the conclusion of Schitt's Creek and the emergence of the show that's responsible for my 2 most viral TikToks, Emily in Paris. Let's discuss everything I watched in October.
Hotel Transylvania (2012, dir. Genndy Tartakovsky)
Halloween cuteness with lots of fun voice performances.
Descendants 1, 2, and 3 (dir. Kenny Ortega)
I had seen the first movie years ago, but couldn't remember most of it. I gotta hand it to Kenny Ortega (who also was involved Julie & the Phantoms—more on that below) the dude knows how to make hits. While the songs themselves aren't as memorable as High School Musical, the story is cute and the first movie in particular has some major star power. Also, the increase in wig and costume budgets from movie to movie is fun to track.
Penelope (2006, dir. Mark Palansky)
I could stare into James McAvoy's eyes all day long. A sweet, quirky fairytale. Bonus points for Catherine O'Hara and Richard E. Grant!
The Lobster (2012, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
The Favourite is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, so I figured I would return to director Yorgos Lanthimos' earlier movie The Lobster. I remember seeing trailers for this movie that made it feel like a dark comedy, but while there are comedic moments, this movie paints a rather depressing view of humanity and relationships. I loved it.
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 1 and 2 (2018 & 2020, dir. Paul Hoen)
This is another duo of recent DCOMs (with a third presumably on the way, based on how the second one ended) that seemed vaguely in the spirit of Halloween, so had to check out. It's no Descendants but it's cute.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020, dir. Jason Woliner)
I will gladly start the Oscar campaign for Maria Bakalova. She was absolutely amazing. Also, I was not expecting Borat to make me emotional, but the storyline between Borat and his daughter (played by Bakalova) is surprisingly sweet.
Emily In Paris (season 1)
It's a perfect show for fulfilling your wanderlust and giving you a character you love to hate. Check out my post here for all my thoughts on Emily.
Schitt's Creek (season 6)
Hot off sweeping the Emmys, the sixth and final season of Schitt's Creek finally appeared on Netflix. By now you know how much people adore this show. It really is a perfect tonic for these "unprecedented times" a town where everyone's a little whacky but true hatred doesn't exist and selfish rich people learn to be a little less selfish (perhaps because they become a lot less rich?) You bet I cried during the sweet final few episodes.
Julie & The Phantoms (season 1)
Did I expect a YA show about a ghostly rock band to make me so emotional? Absolutely not, and yet here we are. At the recommendation of both my roommate and Steph, I checked out this series and adored it. The story is sweet, the main actress is incredibly talented, and the songs are absolute bops. Heads up, break out the tissues for when "Unsaid Emily" starts playing.
I May Destroy You (season 1)
After hearing nothing but raves about this series over the summer, I binged it all this past week. Michaela Coel is just fantastic, serving not only as the star of the series but writer, producer, and director of some episodes. The story itself is heavy, as it deals with rape and sexual assault, but as Coel's Arabella comes into her own strength and explores different venues for justice, revenge, and forgiveness, it becomes a beautiful portrait of modern womanhood and taking back your power when shitty men try to strip it away.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
I was really blown away by the story and the intricate ways in which characters' lives intersected and wove together. The novel follows two white-passing Black twins as they leave their small Louisiana town for bigger lives, with one sister eventually "passing over" and living her life as a white woman. Spanning decades of American history, from 1950s New Orleans to 1980s Los Angeles and New York City, the novel explores how, while the Vignes' twins' lives diverge greatly, neither can seem to fully sever her ties to the past. I'd highly recommend for anyone looking for an enjoyable and thoughtful read.