Things We Love – March Edition

Things We Love is a place for the contributors of Really Late Reviews to let you know what we’ve been enjoying in pop culture this month. From superhero dramas to Canadian teen soaps to boy band documentaries, Things We Love is a way to discover some new gems and re-discover some old favorites.

 

stephen amell and grant gustin in arrow and the flash on the cw
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Valeria recommends…
“Arrow” on The CW

I highly recommend “Arrow,” although it was a tough tie between “The Flash” and “Arrow.” “The Flash” has done really well so far (not to mention receiving a People’s Choice Award for Best New TV Drama), but I feel it’s too sweet, where “Arrow” is dark. This month, I have been on the edge of my seat during every “Arrow” episode; Laurel gradually becoming the Black Canary, Thea learning the truth about Sara and Malcolm, Arsenal being a badass, Diggle trying to decipher Oliver, Felicity on a love train, Roy Palmer determined to create The Atom and Oliver continuing to fight for justice. The latest storyline involving Ra’s Al Ghul has been a game changer for the show, as recently Ra’s Al Ghul asked Oliver to take his place. I did not see that one coming. All the kudos to the “Arrow” writers, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

Backstreet Boys Show 'Em What You're Made Of Documentary
GIF Credit: music-is-love-4ever.tumbr.com

Amy recommends…
“Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of”

For as long as I can remember, I have been a Backstreet Boys fan. Less than two years ago, I finally saw them in concert during their 20thAnniversary tour in Las Vegas. During the concert, while the boys changed their outfits for the next set, they showed a teaser trailer to their upcoming documentary. Towards the end of January, that documentary was released. I bought the movie at midnight, and next thing I knew, the clock read almost 3 am “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” is worth staying up late for. This documentary goes all the way back to the beginning and explains everything that has happened to the band. It shows all the highs and lows, the fortune and struggles the boys have dealt with being in a successful boy band. What I really liked about this documentary was how opened and vulnerable the boys were about sharing their story that got them to where they are today. The boys opened up and let their fans in with what they dealt with growing up, their struggles they faced (or still struggling with), and the sacrifices they made. If you’re a fan of the band, this movie is definitely for you.

 

alexz johnson stars in instant star canada power
Photo Credit: CTV

Elena recommends…
“Instant Star” on CTV

I have a weakness for Canadian teen soaps. Logically I know that they are over-dramatic and incredibly cliche, but from “Degrassi: The Next Generation” to “The Best Years” to “Whistler,” Canadian teen soaps will never fail to make my heart happy. One of my favorites is “Instant Star,” a show centered around Jude Harrison, played by Alexz Johnson, winner of an American Idol-style reality singing competition. Over four seasons, the show follows her rise to fame, her complicated relationships with the people around her and her on-again, off-again romance with her producer and former boy band member Tommy Quincy. Each season is accompanied by a catchy and well-crafted pop soundtrack, with songs written and sung by Alexz Johnson. While the show has been off the air since 2008, the show’s songs are still in heavy rotation on my iPod. (My favorite is “Where Does It Hurt,” the song that closes out the third season) It’s heavy-handed at times, and it’s not going to win any awards, but “Instant Star” is a blast to watch as a small peak into the fictionalized world of pop music.

 

beautiful catamaran for xbox 360
Photo Credit: Namco

Jordan recommends…
“Beautiful Katamari” for Xbox 360

There’s not a lot of family-friendly titles on the Xbox 360, but I found “Beautiful Katamari” and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Amid a stressful job and hyperactive toddler, I can play this game to destress and focus on other things. Plus, my three-year-old will sit in my lap while we play together. Bliss. Each level you start with a katamari and play until you reach King Cosmos’ objective. Each level is different and as you progress into the game it gets increasingly difficult. It’s fun, relaxing, a bit challenging and a perfect way to spend 20 or 30 minutes a day.

 

Empire on Fox
Photo Credit: Fox

Jordan also recommends…
“Empire” on Fox

Everybody. “Empire” is a beast. It is truly excellent, and Taraji P. Henson is a damn treasure. Set in the world of hip-hop, “Empire” focuses on the Lyon family and their music empire. Each episode leaves me wanting more and there’s so much drama and gasp worthy moments. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s not too late. Binge the entire season on Hulu or just buy it because you’ll want to rewatch it over and over again. It’s addicting, the songs are catchy, and Cookie is the best character in ages.

 

The Italian Americans on PBS
Photo Credit: The Picture House

Sarita recommends…
“The Italian American” on PBS

I don’t usually watch documentaries. However, I was inspired to watch more after I watched PBS’s fantastic documentary on the Roosevelt family this past fall.  The documentary’s storytelling was in-depth, and presented history in an easy to digest/memorable manner. I recently watched another PBS documentary, a four-part series called “The Italian American.” The series is narrated by Stanley Tucci and delves into Italian immigrants’ lives and roles in the United States since their arrival in late 19th century/early 20th century. The episodes take a closer look into Italian immigrants’ trials before and after coming to the United States, how they managed prejudices against them, overcame labor hardships , and contributed to various facets of American life (such as politics, sports, entertainment, and food). The documentary seamlessly blends people’s personal stories into pictures and news clips, and thereby makes viewers feel intimately connected with the Italian American journey over 100 years. The stories about prominent Italian American figures was well-researched and captivating, and made me want to read more about them. A must-see documentary series for those who love history as much as I do.

 

Linda Cardellini and Kyle Chandler star in Netflix series Bloodline
Photo Credit: Netflix

Gina recommends…
“Bloodline” on Netflix

The teaser trailer was one scene and one sentence long, but that was all I needed to know that Netflix original “Bloodline” and I would get along just fine. I was right. “Bloodline” follows the dysfunctional Rayburn family after the return of eldest son and black sheep, Danny. Danny’s return uncovers secrets, lies and all of the imperfections hidden within such a seemingly perfect family. The show is a suspenseful, twisty-turn-y ride that will have you on the edge of your seat through all thirteen episodes. Oh, and two words: KYLE. CHANDLER.

 

Do you agree with the things we love for March? What are you all enjoying this month? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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