I really need to start watching more musical movies.
Best Movie: In the Heights
I was supposed to separate this category into ‘Best Movie’ and ‘Best Musical Movie’, but went through my options and realised I don’t remember half the movies I’ve watched. I do, however, have the entire In the Heights soundtrack memorised. And so here we are.
I won’t go into reviewing the plot or songs, since that feels more appropriate for reviewing the musical. I will instead say I loved the robust energy present throughout the entire movie — especially strong in 96,000 and Carnaval Del Barrio, songs that feature what feels like the whole of Washington Heights. However, I found myself quirking an eyebrow at particular directorial and editing gimmicks. The movie’s vibrant enough as is, and these whimsies just distracted from the talented cast.
Musical-to-movie adaptations haven’t gotten the best rep lately (see Dear Evan Hansen and Cats), but this is exactly what we need: a movie musical that isn’t afraid to be a musical movie, in all its 2 hours and 20 minutes of unabashed celebration and glory.
Best TV show: Sex Education Season 3
When Sex Education first dropped on Netflix it was revolutionary, the first and only of its kind — and Season 3 has just gone and done it again. Each time I think the show has run its length, it comes back packing a stronger punch.
Alongside the continued “will they / won’t they” storyline with well-developed main characters Maeve and Otis, Season 3 explored various aspects of sex and sexuality that other shows would shy away from. From unconventional fetishes to the gender spectrum and trauma, everything was touched upon with acute sensitivity and tasteful (yet occasionally absurd) humour.
Unfortunately, there was perhaps too much going on in the mere 8 episodes. Plots were jumbled together, irrelevant scenes playing out one after another but never intertwining. Perhaps Season 4 could do with dissolving some storylines.
Honourable mentions: Dr. Stone (the only anime I watched more than 1 season of!), Vincenzo, Fresh Off the Boat
BANNER PHOTO CREDIT: UNSPLASH/@NARDLY