Compared to previous years, I haven’t watched that many movies or series at all. But I did find some great binge-worthy pieces that I recommend you watch asap. They all had me at the tip of my seat. These are my best of 2017!
Big Little Lies (series)
Synopsis: All is not what it seems in this dark comedy set in an idyllic seaside California town, where success, affluence and privilege are slowly but surely undone by secrets, rivalries, deception and murder.
I have blogged about this miniseries before, so I won’t go into much detail. Rather than your classic ‘whodunit’ murder story, this series explores the characters of the women involved exposing their darkest secrets. Brilliant cast, beautiful cinematography, great plot and a killer soundtrack to back it up. Recently Season 2 was confirmed and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. I’m excited to see it but at the same time I’m afraid it won’t live up to the first season. It’s just that good. Fingers crossed!
Train to Busan (movie)
Synopsis: Train to Busan is a harrowing zombie horror-thriller that follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a countrywide viral outbreak while trapped on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched bullet train ride to Busan, a southern resort city that has managed to hold off the zombie hordes… or so everyone hopes.
This South-Korean movie came out last year but only recently managed to convince me to give it a try. Because honestly, how much can happen on a train? Apparently a lot. This movie is packed with suspense and a tad of humor (Ma Dong-Seok is to thank for that. I loved his character Sang-Hwa). A must if you love zombie movies.
Tabula Rasa (series)
Synopsis: Tabula Rasa is a psychological thriller about Mie, a young woman with amnesia who is locked up in a secure psychiatric hospital. Mie is visited by Detective Inspector Wolkers who claims she was the last person seen with the vanished Thomas Spectre. As a witness and prime suspect, she appears to be the sole key in this mysterious disappearance. Mie can’t be released from the hospital until Thomas is found. In order to solve the puzzle and find Thomas, Mie has to reconstruct her lost memories and find her way back through the dark labyrinth of her recent past. The more she remembers, the more she starts to mistrust not only the people around her but also… herself. Are these new memories real or mere figments of her imagination in a desperate attempt to fill in the blanks?
It’s been a while since I loved a Belgian series as much as this one, so I had to include it in the list. I’m so over the typical Belgian films about families during the war or prostitution. Ambitious series like Tabula Rasa is what Belgium needs to put its film industry on the map internationally. If only we could have a teen/young adult series like it as well.
13 Reasons Why (series)
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, the Netflix Original Series 13 Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life.
My list wouldn’t be complete without 13 Reasons Why, the controversial series about teen suicide which led to a massive increase in suicide internet searches. Many critics say the producers have gone too far in explicitly showing the suicide of the leading lady and I’ll be the first to agree it was disturbing to watch. But equally stomach-turning where the events that lead to her death because they’re the daily reality of many teens (and adults). A reality that may be difficult to face, but one that’s part of a story that needs to be told. As someone who has lost several people to suicide, I’m only hoping that by watching this series people will reflect on their own lives and fully understand the impact of their actions on the lives of other people.*
*If you have questions about suicide, please contact a suicide prevention hotline in your country.
The Sinner (series)
Synopsis: The first installment of the close-ended series follows a young mother (Jessica Biel) who, when overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage, commits a startling act of violence and to her horror has no idea why. The event launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the “who” or the “what” -but the “why” – as an investigator (Bill Pullman) finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman’s buried motive. Together they travel a harrowing journey into the depths of her psyche and the violent secrets hidden in her past.
I’ve only started this series recently and watched 5 episodes but I’m so intrigued to know what happened to her. The story leads you in many directions which makes it difficult to predict. If you liked Tabula Rasa you will probably enjoy this one too (and vice versa).
The Handmaid’s Tale (series)
Synopsis: Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values’. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
The Handmaid’s Tale is by far my favourite series of 2017. It is both shocking and frightening because it’s so real. Just have a look at the headlines of the news after watching this and you’ll understand. The refugee crisis, terrorism, rape, women’s rights, religion, racism, homophobia, politics, etc. this series tackles all. It makes you think that none of the rights you have today should be taken for granted and are worth defending every day. MUST WATCH!
What are your favourite movies/series of 2017?
Have a splendid NYE and hope to see you again in 2018! Cheers!