2018 was a big year for Netflix with the rise of their biggest original productions such as their adaptation of Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before and their darker take on Sabrina The Teenage Witch. They didn't stop there, though. Crossing over to the new year, they've made quite a stir with news of their latest releases. We're talking about the shows and movies you may have had a glimpsed of on your socials this past couple of days. Do Bird Box and Black Mirror's Bandersnatch ring a bell?
Unfortunately, we don't all have the luxury of time to jump into a series or a movie to see if it really is worth the hype or just meme-able. So we've taken one for the team. Here's what we think of the new Netflix Originals.
With Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson headlining the movie, it's no surprise why it was much anticipated. Following a similar format like Emily Blunt and John Krasinski's A Quiet Place, Bird Box is a thriller that relies not on CGI but the characters being sensory handicapped to keep the audience at the edge of their seats. Overall, it is a very exciting film to watch that will leave you gasping at some moments. It ends anticlimactically and will leave you wanting more — not necessarily in a good way — soon after the credits start rolling.
Duration: 2 hours and 4 minutes
Verdict: It's not the first movie to have a compelling body that ends on a so-so mood. But while it may not exactly be mindblowing, it's still worth spending two hours of your time on a weekend.
Another Netflix thriller, but this time in the form of a series, You stars Gossip Girl alum Penn Badgley and Once Upon A Time's Elizabeth Lail. Following the bestselling novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, the story revolves around Badgley's character Joe Goldberg, who falls in love with Lail's character, aspiring writer Guinevere Beck. Unlike your typical boy-meets-girl plot, their entire relationship is mixed with manipulation, mania and a lot of stalking. Oh, and did we mention that Shay Mitchell is also in this series?
Duration: 40 to 49 minutes per episode; 10 episodes for Season 1
Verdict: If you loved Gossip Girl then you'll definitely enjoy this one. It has the same air of (sometimes) questionable drama but with an elevated level of real-life horrors because it shows the danger of putting every aspect of your life on social media. It's also been commisioned for a second season even before it aired so that definitely gives you a reason to binge it, right?
Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour
This isn't exactly a movie or a series, but whether you love or hate T. Swift, it's inevitable for your interest to be piqued upon seeing her RepTour dropping on the streaming platform. One of the reasons is that the entire vibe of the Reputation album revolves around her past celebrity feuds, which we are all aware of. So whether you're a certified Swiftie or just a casual viewer, there's definitely an expectation of her throwing shade at Katy Perry or Kim and Kanye. Fair warning: it can either be a major plus or a massive disappointment when you find out that the entire duration of the film is just a run of the concert itself. Yep, no backstage, behind-the-scenes, or 'what's it like on the tour bus' clip in this one, fellas!
Duration: 2 hours and 5 minutes
Verdict: It's quite interesting to watch Taylor project a 180-turn from being a sweet pop-princess to an edgier and sexier persona as it shows her growth as an artist. However, it really depends on whether or not you're a massive Swiftie to be able to sit through this one especially since there are moments when Tay-tay just gets a bit preachy.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Unless you've been living under a rock this past couple of days, then you probably would have heard of Netflix's new approach to our viewing experience: the option to choose where the plot takes you. That's right. Taking technology to a whole new level, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch allows the viewers to control the main character and conclude the story depending on the viewer's choices. We won't spoil which and how many endings we've reached so far while 'playing' this episode but we will tell you that what's interesting is its concept of free will and decision-making when you are given the power to take over someone's life. Creepy yet intriguing, right?
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes (estimated)
Verdict: If you're not ready for existential dread, then this may not be the thing for you. And we're not exaggerating. It can really pose a lot of reality-changing questions even just with a couple of runs. However, if you love conspiracies and a philosophical and mind-bending viewing experience, then you're really going to enjoy this. Take note, though, that there are some parts of the plot that can get droning when you try and try again. So to maximise the experience without it becoming a bore, we suggest taking a pause after an ending or so. This will help you take a break from the recurring plot-lines and refresh your experience once you're ready to jump back in again.
Next, we'd like to know! Do you find these Netflix characters relatable, too?