‘Cowboy Bebop’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

3, 2, 1… let’s jam!

One of the most beloved anime has been given the live-action treatment on Netflix. If you haven’t heard of Cowboy Bebop or you haven’t dived into the extensive anime catalogue, then this series will definitely get you interested. Cowboy Bebop is a Japanese science fiction neo-noir anime television series created and animated by Sunrise and André Nemex for Netflix has adapted it. We see a ragtag crew of bounty hunters (in space), chase down the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals; they’ll save the world for the right price. So yes, they are heroes, but they also gain some coin in the process.

The opening credits sequence that was released had everyone sold even before watching the actual series. The one thing that can be said about Cowboy Bebop is that it has a fun style and there is vibrancy to the atmosphere on each planet. When we first meet Spike Spiegel (John Cho) and Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) they are on a mission to collect a bounty. Within that first sequence, Cho completely embodies Spiegel and the fight choreography that follows will have you locked in for the rest of the series. The directors, Alex Garcia Lopez and Michael Katleman have so much fun with the fight sequences, as they fuse together western genre conventions and anime tropes.

Spike Spiegel has a past that he has been trying to get away from and he has adapted to his new life as a bounty hunter quite nicely. Spiegel and Jet Black are fairly comfortable with each other but it seems like they don’t know the extent of each other’s lives before they met. As the story unfolds, we get flashbacks to Spiegel’s past life and how it suddenly merges with his encounters on different missions. There are plenty of characters that come into play like, Julia (Elena Satine), Vicious (Alex Hassell), and my personal favourite Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda). They all bring something different to the table and change the dynamic of the story.

Without spoiling anything – even though this is an adaptation of an anime that has been around since the ’90s – this story tends to get lost a bit throughout the series because of the surface level ‘bounty hunting’ in each episode. Even though the story does get a bit jumbled, and the main storyline gets slightly off track, the series is just filled with so much style and excitement, that there really is never a dull moment. It’s a lot to take in, but once you understand these characters and get to the meat of their story, you’ll want to see more of them. Cowboy Bebop has impressed me and if the live-action does anything, for anyone, it’s that it will make you want to watch the anime from the beginning.

‘You’ Season 3 Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Hello, you.

If you haven’t watched the first two seasons of You on Netflix, then I suggest you stop reading this and start binge-watching.

In season three, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and Love Quinn-Goldberg (Victoria Pedretti), are now married and raising their baby, in the balmy Northern California enclave of Madre Linda. They are surrounded by privileged tech entrepreneurs, judgmental mommy bloggers, and Insta-famous biohackers. This suburban lifestyle would drive anyone crazy. Joe is now committed to his new role as a husband and dad, but fears Love’s lethal impulsiveness.

This series has always explored what the meaning of love actually is. Majority of the time it’s through a toxic, borderline psychotic angle, but it still does assess relationships from every side. The violent, lethal side is definitely an exaggeration of the passion shared between two people. It works for the stalker-esque persona that Joe has locked inside him. It also works in favor of Love’s jealousy and territorial nature. The way this season sets up Joe and Love’s relationship, as a couple, and as individuals makes for an interesting finale.

you season 3  penn badgley as joe goldberg
Courtesy of Netflix

Joe and Love had a very unique love story in season two. We see Joe’s obsession turn into something wholesome and normal. Until, Love turns out to be the exact same as Joe, maybe even worse. In this season, there’s an exploration of past trauma and how it can affect every single aspect of one’s life. The show will always have Joe as the central focus, so his flashbacks are integrated during crucial moments. Joe knows that the violent, animalistic nature of his relationship with Love isn’t that energy of a soulmate, but a very toxic union involving a murder spree.

Joe is clearly unhappy in this marriage and he wonders if Love is his soulmate, or if someone else is out there, who understand him more than she does. Joe is definitely not content with his marriage and is trying to find his actual soulmate elsewhere. While Joe is stalking other women and making poor life decisions, Love is struggling with motherhood and being the perfect wife in a suburban town. It’s almost like a modernized, influencer version of The Stepford Wives for Love. As she meets the other mothers in town, she becomes insecure and loses herself in the ideal perception of motherhood in Madre Linda. She spirals out of control because she feels the need to protect her family, even from her own husband, who seems to be putting in very little effort.

You' Season 3 | Netflix Cast, Release Date, Plot, and More
Courtesy of Netflix

You season three incorporates so much, that it truly exceeds expectations. Love and Joe are an unlikely tag team and they continuously make poor decisions throughout the season. It progressively gets worse for them, as more characters come into play. It is one gigantic game of lust and betrayal. The viewer has no choice but to stick around and watch it unfold. Even though Joe tries to keep his past behind him and attempts to repress his violent, stalkery urges, Love just brings out the worst in him. The pacing of this series is extremely strong and packs a definite punch to the gut at the end.

You season three drops on Netflix this Friday, October 15th and you won’t want to miss it!

Firefly Lane Series Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

The new series Firefly Lane was just released today on Netflix!

The show stars Sarah Chalke and Katherine Heigl as a pair of best friends, who have gone through everything imaginable together. What starts out as a very unlikely pairing, turns into one of the best friendships I’ve seen on a television series. They are complete opposites but they care for each other in every single way. This was so heartwarming and charming that you will fall for the characters on the show by episode three. What this series shows is that the greatest love story can be between friends and that they can be soulmates. There were such beautiful moments shared between the two of them.

Courtesy of Netflix

Tully (Katherine Heigl) and Kate (Sarah Chalke) meet at age fourteen, they couldn’t. Tully is the badass and ballsy girl you can’t ignore, while Kate is the timid, quiet girl you never notice. But when a tragedy brings them together, they are bonded for life. They have been together for thirty years and have grown together. Tully goes on to be a famous television host and reporter and Kate chooses marriage and motherhood. Their friendship, however, is put to the ultimate test in this series and the drama doesn’t stop coming. The series is based on the novel of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah, who is also co-executive producer.

What I loved about Firefly Lane is that it showed Tully and Kate’s past extremely well, as it became relevant to what was happening presently in their lives. We see them at three different stages, at the age of fourteen, early twenties and in their mid-30s. We see their journey and how they helped each other in every single way, whether it was for job opportunities, relationship advice or even suffering a loss. The female energy in this show is something I didn’t know I needed until I watched it. We have two very different women and they handle things in their own way. We have two different perceptions of motherhood and how to create a pathway for your career.

Courtesy of Netflix

Tully has easily become one of my favourite characters because of how complex she and how she holds herself together after everything she has gone through. We can’t forget that Katherine Heigl is a great actress when she is given good material to work with. Sarah Chalke was also perfectly cast as Kate because of the kindness she brings to the role. Watching Tully and Kate’s friendship unfold on this show was truly beautiful to watch, their backstories will get you so invested in their lives and each episode leaves you wanting more. Firefly Lane has so much heart and is a very fun watch. The entire cast has a great dynamic and they touch upon important social issues.

The Haunting of Bly Manor Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Here we are, in the month of October, or Spooky Season, as we have named it. Mike Flanagan takes his rightful place as King of the entire season. The Haunting of Bly Manor is beautifully adapted, from the stories of Henry James and it takes us, into the hearts of the characters, at Bly Manor.

Similar to The Haunting of Hill House, the writing is the strongest aspect of the series. Each episode is perfectly written, to allow the viewer, to connect the dots themselves, all while delivering a heartfelt story. You do not realize that you are registering the tiny hints, they have set in each episode, until it flourishes. This series will captivate you, from the moment it begins and you will get lost in Bly Manor until the end.

The series is deeply rooted in the idea of love and what it truly means to love someone. The extent you would go to for the one you love, how to properly love them and how valuable time with the one you love can be. This gothic romance shows the immense loss one can feel and how everyone grieves differently. It explains the many versions of love and the perception a person can project, for what they truly want.

The beauty of the series lies in the small details in each episode, everything is perfectly placed and the series is structured incredibly well. Both The Haunting series’ are brilliant pieces for Netflix, especially with Flanagan at the helm. He is incredibly gifted in telling these stories and showing audiences, what he wants them to see, through the lens. The framing composition, cinematography, lighting and camera movements, all come together to create, a perfectly splendid atmosphere for the characters.

Courtesy of Netflix
(center) Victoria Pedretti as Danielle Clayton

This was the first time, in a very long time, probably since The Haunting of Hill House, that I have been fully immersed in a series. The Haunting of Bly Manor has fantastic performances, from its cast, but Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson – Cohen, continue to blow me away, with how talented they are. The entire cast is perfectly splendid and had wonderful chemistry together. You will remember their names and fall in love with their stories.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is beautifully haunting and rich in gothic romance conventions. The impending doom, that rests upon the roof of Bly Manor, is felt through every nook and cranny. Everything is perfectly crafted and it is one of the best series to come out this year. So settle in and listen closely, to a love story, that has many surprises and an ending so beautiful, that it will stay with you, long after you’ve finished.