Big Little Lies (Book/Adaptation Review) By: Liane Moriarty-Also spoilers

This is something that I always kinda wanted to do for quite sometime now, in which I discuss both the book and its adaptation in the same review.

Also this will contain spoilers for both the show and the book.

For Big Little Lies I watched the show first last year when it was on HBO. I always would see the book at stores but never really would pick it up because it was never really a genre that I would grab towards which is mystery novels. My girlfriend would sometimes read mystery novels and they could either be really good or really bad. I also borrowed this book from my girlfriend for almost a year before reading it (sorry Julie).

I am first going to review the show.

Big Little Lies

Image result for big little lies show

The show premiered on HBO last spring in 2017. It starred Nicole Kidman as Celeste, Reese Witherspoon as Madeline, and Shailine Woodly as Jane.

It started with a mystery of what happened on a school’s trivia night and a dead body that came with it. Was in an accident or murder? That is what the book is trying to figure out.

It felt as if I was watching a very long movie, with nice and solid pacing. It was written by David E. Kelly who I have been following since his legal dramas, The Practice and Boston Legal, and it really paced out the book well.

What they left out/Changed

Since it is an adaptation, there will always be changes to fit the narrative. A major change is the setting. While the book took place in Australia, the show took place in California.

Also Madeline had another son, and so did Reneta who weren’t in the adaptation. It wasn’t a big change since those characters didn’t really add a lot to the plot.

Also there was an affair that Madeline had with her musical director in which she worked at, that wasn’t in the book, and I sort of didn’t like the subplot in the show. But it did give Madeline more to do.

There is also the character of Bonnie. Who in the end, was the one that pushed Perry during the trivia night. Her character was a lot more fleshed out in the book, and it actually gave reason as to why she pushed Perry off.

How it is as an adaptation

I watched the show, before I read the book, and I had the book for months because I borrowed it from my girlfriend. The show did follow a lot of the beats as the books.

It starts with the trivia night, and is told mostly through interviews of the other parents and teachers who were there, and starts from the first day of school. In which an incident occurred involving two of the children and Ziggy the son of Jane is accused on bullying, and from there it deals with the fallout from, party invitations, to wars between parties and gossiping moms all around.

It also deals with a semi civil war between the career moms and the stay at home moms. Especially with Renata and Madeline. The book dived more deeper into that situation.

It also dealt with the issue of domestic violence and how while Celeste and her husband Perry seem like an happy normal couple, who goes away on extravagant vacations all the time, but underneath there is violence among the marriage and Celeste tries to hide under all of that.

The show did a good job at highlighting the various degrees of a domestic violence perpetrator in which there are scenes of Perry being a loving and caring Husband and father, and then becomes the monster that he is.

I also liked how both the show and the book, had the same twist in which Perry was Ziggys father. The book was Jane saying his fake name and revealing that he was her rapist, was very chilling in both the show and the book.

As an adaptation I thought the show did an amazing job with the characters, and most of it lies in its performances especially by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailine Woodley. Aleksander Skardgard and Laura Dern. Those performances elevated the characters and its now suprise that Nicole, Laura and Aleks all won Emmys for their peromances.

Image result for big little lies show emmy

Both the show and the book was amazing. I usually don’t read contemporary books and especially mysteries for that matter but loved it any way. I may read more of Lianne Moriarty’s work.

 

 

Game of Thrones Season Seven review (Spoilers)

Hello everyone,

With the seventh season of Game of Thrones coming to a close it is only befitting that I review this season. I was initially going to do an episode by episode review but I realized that would take up so much time.

The season sort of picks up where the last season left off. Jon Snow is King of the North with the Starks having control over Winterfell, but is now dealing with the threat of the White Walkers north of The Wall. Daenerys Targaryen, just reached Dragonstone with her three dragons and finally reached Westeros with her allies; Yara Greyjoy, The Dornish fleet and the Tyrells. Cersei being just crowned Queen is trying to make her moves in order to consolidate power.

This season was seven episodes long and everything was moving pretty fast. When Jon Snow went to Daenerys for help with the White Walkers it didn’t take long to reach Dragonstone from Winterfell, when in earlier seasons it would take episodes for a character to reach their destination it took just the same episode.

The meeting of Jon and Daenerys was something that fans have been hoping for. Many since the show started started shipping them, even though it was revealed last season that Jon Snow is actually the son of Rhaeghar Targaryen and Lynna Stark, so it makes Jon Snow, Daenerys nephew so their relationship is very incest. But hey this is also a show in which a twin brother and sister also have sex and produced three children.

One of my gripes with this season was how Daenerys had allies and then were lost within an episode. She lost Yara Greyjoy and Dorne to Euron’s fleet very easily and the Tyrells to the Lannister army. I think it was to speed up Jon and Dany.

 

Another plot dealt with the reunion of the surviving Stark children. First it was Bran who became the Three-eyed Raven and then Arya. The reunion plot line dealt mostly with Arya and Sansa, both reuniting after being through some shit. Both also wondering if they would trust each other, with Littlefinger trying to pull the strings. But in the end, they realize that Littlefinger shouldn’t be trusted and he gets executed which was a glorious scene to watch.

The end of the season comes in which a council meeting being set up with all of the kingdoms represented, in order to deal with the White Walker situation, and the tension was very high, with Cersei doing a little backroom deal with Euron, and Jamie finally telling his sister off, and telling her that is was a stupid idea.

While this season was a short season with seven episodes, it still told a lot of story. It also moved the plot even more forward with only 13 episodes left. You can tell from this season that the end or “Winter” is coming. Six more episodes and the show is over. It does fell weird that I am watching the show ending rather than reading it, but George RR Martin didn’t finish the books yet.

I felt this season was really good, while not as good as season six but still a great season. you see everything is coming to an end, and I am excited to see how the series ends.

Grade: A

Best Episode: The Wolf and the Dragon

Season MVP: Leanna Heady and Sophie Turner

13 Reasons Why: TV Show Review (TW: Suicide, Depression, Sexual Assault, Mental Health) Also Spoilers

I finally finished watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, and now I am go give my thoughts on the series.

First, let me discuss my views on the book. I felt the book was little over hyped. I did like the ideas the book portrayed such as how bullying leads to suicide, the problem I had with the book was mainly the character of Hannah, and I didn’t connect with her like I did with Clay. I also feel that we didn’t get enough depth about the character on the tapes.

The show, follows the same beats of the show, it starts after the suicide of Hannah Baker, Clay receiving the tapes and starts listening. In the book Clay listens to the tapes in one sitting, but in the show he takes his time to listen to each tape and process the information. That was one of the show main strengths, is not just listening to tapes but also seeing how the school and the other characters on the tapes react to them as well.

Each episode is one tape, that was a big plus because the story could also be more fleshed out. I remember when I first read the book a movie was optioned with Selena Gomez playing Hannah. A movie would not have done the book justice. A TV show made it so much better, and part of me kinda wishes that Hollywood should adapt YA novels into TV series instead of movies.

Another plus was how the characters were a lot more fleshed out, and you them on the tapes and also after the suicide. The characters I felt were more fleshed out were Jessica, Justin and Alex. WIth Jessica especially with what happened to her is who I felt had the most development throughout the show. Justin, while it was a douchy thing that he did , you also see a glimpse into his family life. Alex, is a character who actually really felt bad with what happened to Hannah.. Some other characters such as Marcus and Courtney who didn’t really change in the end and kept conspiring against Clay.

The performances were also very outstanding. Katherine Langford who plays Hannah does an amazing job with the role. She added a lot of depth to the Hannah role, which I always felt was lacking in the book, in which we only see Hannah through the tapes and not her as a person. Another amazing performance is Dylan Minnette who plays Clay is also outstanding in the role, and you really feel for Clay throughout the show. Kate Walsh who plays Hannah’s mother is also great in the role. She does a great job at playing a grief sicken mother dealing with her daughters suicide. Hannah’s parents don’t really play a role in the books so I was glad that it was included in the show. The rest of cast are also very good, and I think it has the best teen cast since Friday Night Lights.

The show also takes a few liberties with the book. It deals with a lawsuit brought forth by Hannah’s parents. Also how Clay listened to the tapes, instead of one night its about a few weeks. Another is how Hannah committed suicide. in the book she overdosed on pills, while in the show it she slit her wrists. Hannah’s suicide could seen as very triggering.

Now to give my thoughts on themes of the show. This show is very split on how it handles suicide and depression. One half says it raises awareness of teen suicide, another side says it trivializes suicide. Some people will say that Hannah’s suicide and the use of the tapes sees it as more of an act of vengeance rather than trying to deal with her mental health problems.

As someone that has dealt with bullying, dealing with depression and has on a few occasions contemplated suicide. I think there is no right or wrong way to write suicide, or mental health stories, and I feel that Hannah’s story shouldn’t have to match my story or anyone else’s. While for some the material the show addresses could be triggering I could fully understand if anyone doesn’t want to watch the show. I kinda wish that both the show and the book did a better job at addressing Hannah’s mental health issues.

In the end, 13 Reasons Why was a very good show that expanded on the book and fleshed out a lot of characters. If they make a second season, I think they will address the lawsuit, maybe Bryce getting arrested for rape, Alex’s suicide attempt and maybe Tyler shooting up the school. I want to see where the story goes.

Season MVP: Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh and Dylan Minnette

Best Episodes: Tape 1, Side A, Tape 6, Side A and Tape 7, Side A.

Season grade: A

Daredevil: Season one review

With season 2 of Marvel Daredevil coming up I think it is important that I share my thoughts on the first season.

First, let me address my thoughts on the 2003 movie. I didn’t hate the movie as much as most people did, I just thought it was okay. The directors cut, however is much better and I recommend that you check it out.

The show however, is so much better than the movie and I am so glad that Netflix was a part of it. It starts with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) starting their own law firm it Hells Kitchen. The story also sort of picks up after the events of the first Avengers movie and how Hells Kitchen is rebuilding after the Loki’s attack which they call the incident. The rebuilding is being lead by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), after a young women named Karen Page(Deborah Ann Wool) uncovers some illegal dealings that Wilson Fisk is involved in she works with Matt and Foggy to uncover the scheme.

Let me start by telling how great Charlie Cox is as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. While Ben Affleck did a good job on the Matt Murdock side, Charlie Cox does a great job playing both characters.

Another highlight is Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. He plays such a villainous character with so much empathy and is one of the best villains in television and also in Marvel.

Also, the action and fights in the show are the best I have ever seen on television. Just watch the 2nd episode and see the hallway fight which was done in one continuous take and tell me I am wrong.

This show was truly amazing I am so excited to see season 2.

Grade: A+

Season MVP: Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio

Best Episodes: Cut Man, World on Fire/Condemned and Daredevil

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Season 1

Jessica Jones is one of several TV shows set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe just like Daredevil which came before it, and it stars Krysten Ritter as the titular character. Also like Daredevil while it is set within the MCU it is far enough that it can come up with its own stories and also very street level, so don’t go expecting Iron Man or Captain America to help her out. She also has powers in which she can jump real high and has unbelievable strength.

Now for the series, its AWESOME. Now let me tell you why. First of all, Krysten Ritter is Emmy worthy for her performance and knows how to be what is supposdly an unlikable anti-hero. Also she plays a charcter that has dealt with a signifacnt trauma which is bascially rape and also deal with PTSD and guilt for what she has done. Also very good, David Tennant as Kilgrave or the Purple Man and he plays what I think is one of greatest villians in comic book adaptation since Heath Ledger as the Joker from The Dark Knight. As a Doctor Who fan it blows my mind how David Tennant can go from the charming Doctor to the predotory Killgrave.

Another character is Luke Cage played by Mike Coultor, He will get his own series as well. But even though he has a few great episodes I am already impressed and can’t wait for his new series coming this year.

What makes the show great is not just the great cast but the fact that as a comic book show it doesn’t feel like a comic book show. It is more of a film-noir that just so happens to have people who have powers. I am very excited with the next Marvel netflix series.

Season MVP: Krysten Ritter and David Tennant

Best episode: A.K.A Sin Bin and AKA 1000 cuts

Grade: A