Manchester, UK

Rachy’s Radar | Monthly Media Roundup – Squid Game, The Lana Blakely Podcast and More

Rachy Lewis

October was home to new beginnings and uncharted territories – just like the trees, I too allowed the old to fall to the ground to make space for something new.

Cosy socks on my feet and numerous steaming cups of tea became a daily necessity as I marked the days on the calendar and the air grew colder and colder by the day, I often yielded to the temptation to draw my frozen breath on my bedroom window. I love the transitional weather though and would not exchange it for any of the extremes – I love a good middle ground, so I’d say this phase fits my personality to the tee.

We celebrated the 3rd Year Anniversary of the blog weeks ago which was super cool, comforting and encouraging. Thank you for all your lovely private messages, it may have taken a swift moment to write, but your words I carry with me every time I pick up my laptop or open up a blank page.

Whilst looking through old posts, it occurred to me that it has been an entire year since I shared my monthly media roundup you know as Rachy’s Radar. Since then, I’ve drafted too many versions of this post and have had to replace old songs with what’s currently on repeat in my playlist a few times now but although I’ve been eager to bring it to you somehow the pieces just never fit together – until now.

The past couple of weeks were fun-filled when it came to entertainment. I took my first post-covid trip to the cinema where I watched Sang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings on the big screen (short review below) and used my many monthly streaming subscriptions to a point where I organically felt I was getting value for money. I also discovered some new podcasts and added a ton of new tracks to my playlist so there’s much to share. With that said, it’s time we get right down to business! Here’s what has been on my radar lately:

ON THE BLOG LATELY.

On Second Thought – Would You Really Risk It All For The Ideal Life?
REVIEW: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
3 YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY – The Quiet Year
If This Is Madness, I’ll Chase It
Catch Up: Little Big Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made And More

TV SHOWS.

The Devil Judge.

Can you stay a good person in a world infested with so much evil? How far will you go to get revenge?
This show was a daily dose of insanity that had my emotions spiralling out of control; confused and enraged. The Devil Judge goes under your skin in a way many other shows of its kind just don’t, in fact, the discomfort in conflicting emotions and thoughts at the end of each episode would stay on my mind for a bit too long, putting my morals to task every single time.

I guess what would bring shivers down my spine a lot of the time was how a series that was meant to be a dystopian reality often felt closer to real tangible life than fiction ever could. I watched this with my sister, and we’d often disagree so much about basic good or pure evil and it scared me just how emotions can really distort the truth. The cast was impeccable too and this is definitely in my top three favourite Korean Dramas this year – would definitely recommend!

Squid Game.

Is there anyone left in this world who is yet to watch Squid Game? Except for those who skipped it because they couldn’t stand the excruciating gory scenes, the rest of us binge-watched the show without a second thought. By now, there’s been countless theory videos, essays and thought-provoking pieces on the buzz-worthy series on Netflix that undoubtedly became the most talked about Korean drama of all time and the biggest show of the year.

I’m of the opinion that everyone old enough to definitely should watch the show, because whilst being intensely graphic and unsettling for the most part, Squid Game I instantly thought was fundamentally a rather deep social commentary about capitalism at its darkest finest and how ultimately it rules the way we roam through life.

In order to join the game, you ought to be at your wit’s end with life, highly desperate and drowning in the depths of poverty. 456 people take up the challenge after getting slapped in the face by Gong Yoo – those of us who watched agreed we’d all sit through such embarrassment if it meant coming face to face with the man – and the hopefuls aspire to win millions by playing several childhood games. After watching the first episode where the first elimination, essentially code word for ‘very brutal massacre’ happened, I promised myself I would not get attached to any of the characters, but spoiler alert, I failed terribly at that.

There are so many points to hit on mainly because it made me think so much and most of the opinions I formed at the start were torn apart and dismantled by the end of the twelve episodes. The show left me with a lot to ponder upon and I thought I’d share a few with you to end this mini-review.

Does it actually kill to be kind? Perhaps, it can kill to be too kind…
Is it even possible or downright shameless to act morally upright when one’s survival relies on the literal death of others?
How much can money really buy a person? How far can someone truly get by luck?

Hospital Playlist 2.

Just like season one, Hospital Playlist 2 was nothing short of heart-warming, a much-needed break from all the dark thrillers I’ve been watching lately. The busy life of our favourite five doctors continues right where we left off leaving the rest of their story to unfold beautifully throughout the season. Whilst waiting impatiently for the second chapter, I often wondered if it would live up to the first one, and I was glad it did.

As I did last year when it was released, I waited for all the episodes to be out before watching them twice a week on Netfix party easily making it the highlight of my weeks. The shenanigans of the five best friends and supporting cast brewed a wide range of emotions in me; loud laughter, tears, anger and fluttering fuzzy warm feelings that lingered on in my memory like a sweet kiss.

You know those shows you wished you hadn’t seen yet so you could experience them all over again for the first time? Well, that’s just how much I loved it…

TUNES ON REPEAT.

Jojo – Anxiety (Burlinda’s Theme)

Clara Mae – Not Sad Anymore

Alec Benjamin – Older

Lennon Stella – Fancy

Lee Hi, Yoonmirae – Red Lipstick

Alessia Cara – Best Days

Holly Humberstone – Scarlett

Twice – The Feels

Coldplay, Selena Gomez – Let Somebody Go

Sofia Reyes, Becky G – Mal De Amores

Sigrid – Burning Bridges (Up Close, Acoustic)

FINNEAS – Love Is Pain

Yuqi – Bonnie & Clyde

Eric Nam – I Don’t Know You Anymore

MOVIES.

Unlike my usual self, in the last two months, I watched more than a handful of movies which I absolutely loved. I’d say my first trip to the cinema post-pandemic was an absolute success, not only because I was in great company and resolved my anxious feelings about ‘the outside’, but also because the movie I saw was absolutely worth the watch. Sang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is the type of movie you enjoy on a big screen and definitely one of my favourite Marvel films to date.

Rachy Lewis

The plot was not one I was familiar with, but nevertheless, the execution was nothing short of perfect and there was not a thing I didn’t like about the movie. From the crazy stunts to the brilliant acting and the interesting storyline, all the pieces fit just right. There’s a set recycled formula to superhero movies we all know and love, but I think Sang-Chi did a good job of stepping out of that structure a little allowing the movie to give more heart to the audience. It was a beautiful story about family and trauma, broken relationships, true friendship and the side effects of heartbreak.

On a chilly Sunday evening, my sisters and I gathered the popcorn and sat down to watch the new Cinderella movie on Amazon. I had followed the release excitedly, but then stumbled on some not-so-great reviews around the web, so let’s just say I was curious to find out just what 2021 Cinderella had done so wrong.

The first thing that threw me off was the singing – the constant singing. Although I had followed the release closely, I guess not close enough to realise a major thing; it was a full-on musical. While I had no problem with that initially, I began to have one when it started to seem like the actors were barely doing any talking nor did it feel like the songs were actually filling the deep gaps in dialogue. I did love the overall independence of our modern Ella and the feminist approach they took with it, and whilst I think the actors did a great job with what they had, I found the whole thing to be a tad bit too predictable for me. What did I expect though from a tale as cliché as Cinderella?
If you are thinking of watching this, I’d suggest doing it with a group of people. The awkward stares between my sisters and I, as well as our sarcastic banter actually made it a more pleasurable experience to watch. The highlights for me were every single song by Idina Menzel, the grand ballroom ‘perfect’ moment and whenever princess Gwen was on screen.

I don’t know what got over me this month, but I accidentally watched one Tom Cruise movie and just couldn’t help myself, so I watched three more. I began with the action-comedy, Knight And Day, which I believe I may have already seen many years ago, and then proceeded to watch Jerry Maguire, a classic I had not seen yet, and both Jack Reacher movies. Not much to say on these as frankly I enjoyed them all nearly equally.

PODCASTS.

The Lana Blakely Podcast. Do Good Things Lie On The Other Side Of Fear?

There are less than a handful of YouTubers I’ve followed over the years and many of my favourites I grow tired of, or they end up disappearing off the platform when they “hit it big”.
Well, when Lana Blakely announced that she’d be starting a podcast, I had no doubt I’d be tuning in to listen. Lana’s videos to me have often felt authentic and thought-provoking just on a basic human level, so I was excited to hear what she’d bring to a weekly podcast.
So far, there has been a total of seven episodes released and I can already see myself two years from now making a hot cup of tea as I listen to Lana’s voice in my ear talking about life, lessons and constantly evolving thoughts. I love how down to earth the production of the podcast is, essentially an unscripted version of her videos I’ve always loved where she can say things and challenge them, rephrase them and reframe them all in one sitting, and there’s something so real and transparent about that.

This Is Your RemindHer. Dear Student Of Life…

While flipping through my Instagram stories, I came across one a follower shared where they highlighted the ‘This Is Your RemindHer’ podcast and based on the title alone, I decided I’d be adding it to my list to check out later as it intrigued me.

If the title of the podcast is not enough of a sell to you, then I suggest you listen to episode 4 where host Sasha, reflects on milestones and why as we grow older, we slowly stop taking notice, acknowledging or celebrating them.

Well, I was thoroughly entertained in the past couple of weeks so that’s a wrap on my roundup. What about you? What did you enjoy watching, listening to and reading lately?

Your restless romantic roamer

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