Netflix recommendations- Bling Empire (season 2

This proves that there is absolutely no good shite on Netflix ATM!

And this is exactly what my sister has been telling me for the past 12 months, why they say they rarely watch Netflix anymore. As there’s  an obvious drop-off in good and new content to binge on Netflix! Grrrr! But what we’re seeing are the second instalments of series which did alright in 2021- now extending out the story-lines for another season. But are these second go-rounds any good?

In the case of Bling Empire season 2, I have to admit it’s as good as, or perhaps even better than season 1? But what does that really say about season one though? For those who are unfamiliar with Bling Empire, it was dubbed as the real life version of  ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. And they’re justified to say so, as each of them were born into wealth (in some cases mega-wealth, we’re talking 10 figures here), while some are self-made, while some are just your typical run of the mill good looking Asian model. You know?

In season one we spend much of the time just getting to know these rich Asian characters, and in season two we delve a little deeper below the surface, learning of their hidden secrets, vulnerabilities, and who likes whom etc. And of course, after seeing their friends gain notoriety (probably on Instagram or gossip blogs), their equally shallow friends had to get into the mix, so we’re introduced to a few more of their friends, just as rich and eyebrow raising as the others.

For moments there was a story-line which I was really getting behind, be that the deepening friendship between Kevin and Kim- the two most down-to-earth of all of their friends. But of course, drama split them asunder, due to a manufactured drama. But who am I kidding!? The entire show is one big, manufactured drama! It’s either rich people creating their own drama to make their otherwise meaningless existences more meaningful (in their eyes); or the drama is manufactured for the benefit of Netflix and its viewers. As after all both Kelly and Christine are Executive Producers on the show.

But hey, like I always say, when you point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing right back at you. So, what does this show say about me? Here I am rolling my eyes at the rich, and their silly antics, but I’m the one who is encouraging them. Because as I  invest my time to watch their antics, my viewing habits are then providing data to Netflix so they can decide if they’re going to pay for a 3rd season of Bling Empire. The end outcome being that if their renewed for a third show it furthers each of their ambitions of being celebrities, people who you recognise on the streets and follow on mass on all the social platforms. *Shrug*.

And even as I now blog about Bling Empire, this exhibits how few good shows are currently on Netflix, half of the driving force for me to complete the series was so that I had content for this weekly blog!? *Headshake*. Last year I had rolled-up the review of Bling Empire season one into a post where I reviewed 3 similar shows all at once. But now due to the lack of content, I’ve spent an entire post on it! And it doesn’t prove that it’s great or even good, but more like there’s nothing else to write about ATM! Ahhhhh!

Netflix, I hope you have a whole pipeline of new shows coming our way! As you have a hungry audience out there, an audience addicted to binging content- an addiction which you Netflix had first created in us! If you don’t meet our needs, we’ll just have to go elsewhere to find a streaming service alternative who can give us what we need! Constant new shows! Bigger! Better! Badder than what has come before it! Moohaaha!

For those who have already scraped the bottom of the Netflix barrel and looking for anything and everything to binge, check-out Bling Empire, just click HERE! Let the shallowness and petty drama begin      !

Netflix recommendations- The Circle (Season 4

For the life of me, I can’t remember who won season 3! Argh!

And here we go again! I have to admit, with some Netflix series, they do feel like you’ve just finished one and the next season is already released! But in the case of the Circle, it’s a very welcomed thing! As the Circle thus far has been super entertaining, the players have been characters you can definitely fall-in-love with, and there are always twists and surprises which keep both you and the player on their toes!

And season 4 is no exception, the central features which you know and love from the Circle are still there. E.g., the Circle building located in Salford, England; each individual player isolated in their own apartment like they’re in COVID Hotel quarantine; Circle chat- a social networking like platform which is their only means of communication with their fellow players; the anonymity they hide behind to either play as a ‘Catfish’ or to secretly throw shade on nemesis or ally alike; the popularity votes to nominate the Influencers which ultimately determine the outcome of the game; and of course, the $100K+ prize pot for the winner of the game!

But in season 4 there are a few extra secrets and twists e.g., a celebrity dual who Catfishes as a random player; the players having the potential to affect the size of the prize money; and even the return of an ex-player, all be that in the form of their true selves after the first time around their profile was used as a catfish avatar for another player! So, with those new surprises installed for season 4, this novelty alone made the latest return back to the Circle worthwhile for us!

And as the seasons go by, I think the producers are becoming more experienced in casting and choosing the right players for the game. As this season each individual brought their own charm to the show. In the final 5, honestly it was anyone’s game. There was no obvious weak player who you could easily right-off straight away,  nor could you say there was a favourite. So, it was a guess to who was going to win, right to the very end! And this time, it seemed like all players had fun, no animosity in the house- and I think the Circle has set themselves up nicely for a great 5th season! As I think the Circle franchise is only building up steam at this point, and the fans of the show are still wanting more! The concept has definitely not run its course just yet. Although, although, the seasons are starting to all blur into one another. Recalling back with my wife, we can remember the key players from season 1 and 2, and who won those seasons. But for the life of me, we cannot remember who won season 3! And I’m too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia to find the answer. But I’m sure they were a deserving winner……..

For those who haven’t checked-out the Circle yet , please start from season 1! But for those die hard fans, season 4 is out, and it is brilliant! To start binging, just click HERE! Let the overuse of hashtags and emojis begin!

Netflix recommendations- Selling Sunset (Season 5

Selling Sunset? More like Beverly Hills 90210! Or Melrose Place! Whichever was more drama filled!

I can’t lie to you; I love Selling Sunset! It’s the high-flying lifestyle, it’s these outrageous listings, it’s the fashion, and it’s the drama! O-so-much drama! And as cringe worthy as some of the drama may be? But it’s this drama which brings viewers back for more!

Sure, the show could perhaps focus more on the selling sunset side of things……..  But take ‘Million Dollar Beach House’ as an example- another Netflix reality TV show about Realters. But this time an office made-up mostly of men who get the job done, with a fraction of the office drama. But where are they now after season one? **Disclaimer: Season 2 was picked up by the Discovery channel after being cancelled by Netflix and renamed ‘Selling the Hamptons’. But, but, but here is my point………

After 5 seasons (that’s four years), Selling Sunset is still going strong and we’re not tired of the drama and the conflict, and the amazing thing is this! If it was me, after seeing myself on TV for the first time. I’d be in horror, seeing all my personal conversations captured on film and then aired to an international audience? If it was me, the next time the camera crew is around, I’d be more guarded and I’d keep my private conversations private. But no! After 5 goes at this, the ladies from the Oppenheim group are still as unguarded and themselves as they were in season one! The good, the bad, and the ugly. And frankly, that’s why we love them, as they’re living out their truth. They’re not acting like someone that they’re not.

And in season 5 we have a new Realter Chelsea who definitely doesn’t hold back, who basically elbowed her own way onto the show. Can you say, ‘Obsessed fan’? Like she literally made herself into an instant celebrity by appearing on the show, and I personally think that was the soul reason why she befriended Christine in the first place. Seeing a way to instant stardom. So, with Chelsea’s introduction, it has added an additional spice, to an already spicy dish!    

In Season 5 we also have office romance. We see a more human side to the Oppenheim brothers. We see ‘The Return of the Jedi’, as in the down-trodden rise up, and stand-up to the evil villain. We see more developing romance from the remaining singles in the office. And for the first time, Selling Sunset incorporated a reunion episode- which was refreshing as to date, we never hear the girls talk-about or acknowledge the show, and we see some unseen footage and updates on what’s been happening after the cameras stopped rolling. And I must admit, the reunion episode almost brought a tear to my eye. And I’m not all that much of an emotional person when it comes to these things.

But there are winds of change! To date, there are no promises that there’s going to be a season 6 of Selling Sunset (at the time of this writing). And if there is, there might not be Christine (the shows villain). And how can you not have Christine!? As much as we hate those types in the office place, but once they’re gone. We miss them! Right? As having a toxic colleague in the office, it bands everyone else  together. As they are a central point for everyone’s energy and gossip. So, if she’s gone! What are we left with? Just selling property? Now that thought scares me. Haaha. And as the LA office can no longer accommodate so many Realters, as where would the office puppy settle then? So, I’m sure there’s going to be some turnover of Realters, if and only if Selling Sunset season 6 returns to Netflix in late 2022? Early 2023? Sure, Netflix has already released the Trailor for Selling the OC. But hearing those voices, it seemed like a much younger cast! Like inexperienced children, when compared to the elegant ladies of the LA office! But I guess we’ll see if I’ll enjoy the spin-off. As God knows I’ll be watching that as well, as soon as it drops!

So, if you haven’t already watched it! Season 5 is ready for your consumption, just click HERE to start! In a hot market, with hot Realters? What more can you ask for!?     

Netflix recommendation- Get Organised with The Home Edit (Season 2

Sometimes you just need to make that hard decision, to chuck something out!

We loved the first season of ‘Get Organised with The Home Edit’, first released in 2020, so we were very pleased to see the return of Clea and Joanna to Netflix- the founders of The Home Edit.

For those who are unfamiliar with their work, they’re friends and business partners who first found prominence on Instagram as they promoted their efforts in helping others tidy up their spaces. But after gaining the attention of celebrities and having their own Netflix show, the ladies have further grown their business on the back of their successes from season 1.

In season 2 we see firsthand the fruits of their labour, they now have a residential property which has been transformed into an office space for their business. They’re flying around the US, working on projects (which inevitably takes them away from their families). They have their own line of products and merchandise which joins them in a vehicle, so they always have their trusty storage containers when they need it. And the Clients they help out, they’re all huge fans of Clea and Joanna, Clients ranging from your average US family to a growing list of celebrities! And guess what? No matter who their Clients are, or who you (reader) may be, we all have the same problem! We have too much stuff to be stored in our limited spaces! And the main problem is, we accumulate stuff, stuff which might be sentimental in value, or perhaps it just cost us a bit of coin to acquire, but now we’re stuck with all this stuff which weighs us down. And what Clea and Joanna help with, is to help their Clients make those difficult decisions to keep, trash, or donate! And once those difficult decisions have been made, they use their experience, clever use of storage containers, and their creative flair to transform tired spaces into spaces people want to hang-out in (or at least use again).

And the spaces up for transformation, can be as simple as a kitchen pantry, a child’s bedroom, right to a musician’s mobile home!

Although I personally enjoyed season 1 a whole lot more than season 2 (S2 felt more like 8 episodes I had to endure). However, The Home Edit occupies a special place in my heart. Because it was after watching season 1, back in 2020- when we were inspired to edit our own place.

And the key for us was to say good-bye to a very nice and  very expensive racing chair. We had to break it all down, before we could build it all back up again.

So, when we first got married and were planning to move into our new apartment. We scheduled 3 consecutive trips to purchase all our furniture to furnish our new place. I remember so clearly that one of those trips we purchased all of our white goods, all our electronics, and all the furniture for the bedroom and the study- all in this mega 6 hour spending spree! And although I had a clear idea what I wanted, but I had a moment of weakness and was talked into buying an expensive office chair which I hadn’t planned for. I’m a motorsport fan, and this office chair is literally a racing bucket seat on wheels! It was super comfortable, looked the bomb, and it was so me! However, I’ve always hated chairs with arms, as it feels too constricting but because it was an entire package, I went through with it- putting up with the good and the bad.

But what happened after we moved into our apartment, was that we found that the internet signal into the study was hopeless; I didn’t enjoy sitting in the racing chair (due to said armrests); and the study ended up being a dumping ground for all of our crap! My desk became a showroom for the over 20 1:18 diecast model cars I had collected, so much so that I couldn’t even place my laptop onto the skinniest of ledges. My wife’s desk was stacked with boxes both under and on top of, so she couldn’t even get near it, let alone work from ( this was after she inherited all of her mum’s stuff after her mum sadly passed away in 2017). And one entire corner of the study was a no-go zone, with things on the floor, piled up, balancing precariously on-top of each other. So, our study became an unused space, which was a shame as we only live in a 2-bedroom apartment.

But after watching the first season of The Home Edit, we decided that we needed to reclaim the study (as this was 6 months into the COVID pandemic and we were spending so much more time at home). The first decision was to get rid of the racing chair (we gave it to my dad). It was occupying a space against the wall like an armchair, and once we freed up that space it allowed us to bring in an extra shelving unit. With the vertical storage we were able to clear up 60% of the boxes which occupied my wife’s desk, and stowed the things which were previously piled up haphazardly, now with it’s own spot on the shelf or placed into a container. We also sorted through my wife’s mum’s stuff, keeping the most sentimental items, while editing out the rest. And I placed half of the model cars onto the top tier of the shelving unit, which allowed me to move back into the study and use that space as my WFH home office. Not to mention, we purchased a Google Nest WIFI router, which now gives us stable internet in the study. And no joke, 2 years on I still look back fondly at what we’ve done to the study. How we’ve transformed it from the ‘Room of requirement’, to a multi-purpose space which my wife and I both love using, it’s both a home office, and a home music studio- with all of our guitars and Roland musical instruments. And all of this was made possible, because of Clea and Joanna, as we were inspired by their Netflix show to finally take back control over our space.

So, if you can relate to my re-count of how we re-claimed a space in our home, and you’re looking to turn talk into action? Check out ‘Get Organised with The Home Edit’, as you’ll learn so many tips and hints in how you can turn your home back into a treasured space! To watch The Home Edit now, just click HERE! Ah, home sweet home!  

Netflix recommendations- Old enough

This could only happen in Japan!

When I first read the blurb of the show ‘Old enough’ now airing on Netflix, I thought this was for real! As I’d heard of Japanese kids as soon as they’re of school age, they’d walk on their own to school- none of this drop-off in-front of the school in a luxury SUV thing.

But when we started watching, we better understood the premiss. So, these families and their kids, they’re chosen by the Producers to go on their first errand for their parents. So, this wasn’t a common occurrence for these kids but were fully scripted scenarios (some of which were only 2 and a half).

And I must say, the kids are super cute, the fact that they speak to themselves when their alone, not knowing that they are secretly recorded by a camera crew. Super cute! And one thing which stood out to me, was the fact that Japanese adults, speak to kids like adults as well. None of this talking down to kids or speaking motherese to them. And thus, the kids act in kind, responding back and acting more mature for their age.

After watching an entire week of Old enough, I couldn’t help but compare Aussie kids to the Japanese. We were in a restaurant and there were two kids on the other table losing their sh*t! Perhaps they were just fed up with sitting still. And I asked my wife “Do you think they’re candidates for Old enough?” And of course, they weren’t, as they showed no self-discipline, not like  the cute Japanese kiddies.

So, if I haven’t sold you on Old enough yet. Here is my hard sell……

Each episode is only 9-15 minutes long, and there’s only 20 episodes in the series. So, you can easily smash through 3 eps in one sitting. The show always starts by setting the scene, capturing the scenic locations these families live in (mostly small towns and rural areas). Then we meet the family (usually mum and the child). Then the mother gets the child ready for the errand, making up an elaborate back-story to ‘trick’ the kid in believing that they (the parent) cannot do this task themselves, and then insists in how important this task was and must be done immediately. Then the parent gives them a bunch of verbal instructions, and it’s always funny watching the kid take in the information. And when ready i.e., dressed, and hidden microphone placed around their neck (sold to them as a good luck charm), off the kid goes to perform their first errand! Do Re Mi Fa Daijobu!

Sometimes the funniest part                                                  of the episode is watching the camera crew try to keep up with the kids or try their best to remain hidden in plain sight. It’s like a nature documentary, but the subjects are under 4-year-old humans, who just might spot the incongruous camera man, who they see multiple times throughout the day. So, with the camera crew surrounding the child from a distance, the kids are never really at any risk of harm. But it’s incredible that they allow them to cross the road by themselves! These little 3-year-old crossing semi busy streets, a few times the child has a flag which they raise so the cars can better see them. Super risky hey?

In the first few episodes, before I truly understood the set-up of the show, I was muttering “Where are their parents? This is so irresponsible of them!” And in some scenes the parent is watching on, while the kid struggles and I’m shouting out “go help them! You irresponsible parent!” But later I better understood, it was all apart of the show’s rules. The parents were to allow the child to complete their tasks on their own, even though the parent wanted to help them or run to their aid, but they had to control their natural parental urges and allow their kids to complete the task.

And the tasks included going grocery shopping, delivering items to dad (who is always so forgetful and leaves for work without a critical element of their profession), physically calling on people and bringing them home (like as if the telephone hadn’t been invented yet), and many other variations on similar tasks. But no matter how mundane the tasks might sound, but because these tasks are performed by tiny cute Japanese kids- it just makes it so entertaining! As kids will do kid things. Like take directions too literally, so if a barber store was closed and they were meant to use that shop as a point of reference, they were completely confused and went home without completing the task. Or kids being too shy to ask shop assistants, so after they couldn’t find a product themselves, they left without buying said item (which sounds a bit like me). Or kids being too shy to speak-up or call-out, thus they stand there for 20 minutes deliberating on what to do, which causes the camera crew to also stand around for 20 mins waiting for their eventual response. It’s super cute.

And I guess the big lesson here is, that the parents make them complete the task, no matter how the child might struggle or doesn’t want to do it. The adult remains firm and allows the child to complete the task they were set, and that does say something about their society. That is why Japanese produce products and services at a completely different level of proficiency and quality. As it seems there is no such thing as doing things half-assed, but everything must be done perfectly, at the highest level every time.

So, if you want to watch Japanese kids do the most mundane things, but because they’re 3 years old and super cute which equates to must watch TV? Then check it out on Netflix, just click HERE! We want more! We want more!      

Netflix recommendations- Byron Baes

And here is Netflix’s first foray into producing original Australian content.

This is me; I scroll through my Netflix app and if a show’s title catches my attention I click in and read the blurb. If the blurb then captures my interest, I watch it, with no prior conceived notions or expectations. And whilst I’m smashing through said series, I close my ears off to what others are saying about it (either friends or online), so I can get through the season without spoilers or having popular opinion influence my own opinion.

So, this means, I don’t check-out reviews, blogs nor Wikipedia mid-series, to see what others are saying or not saying about the show. Thus, after making my way through the 8 episodes of Byron Baes, a reality TV show following a bunch of Byron Influencers and entrepreneurs, I was super surprised to find that there’s a scant amount of chatter online about the show! There was more discussions back in April 2021 when it was first announced that a Netflix production was being filmed in Byron, than there were discussions about the show after it was released in March 2022.

And the most surprising is the fact that there isn’t a Wikipedia page, and everything has a Wikipedia page! And there are some reviews, but not as many as you’d think  there ought to be, considering it’s a Netflix show which should be consumed by millions of viewers. It’s like there’s been an active effort to scrub the show off the face of the planet! But here are my thoughts…….

So, my habit over the past 2 years of ‘Working from Home’, has been to watch trashy TV during my lunch break. Just allow my mind to get away from real thinking, and consume something completely mindless, but interesting enough which makes my 35-minute Spin-cycle feel shorter than 35 minutes slaving on a stationary bike. And since the new year break, I’ve been lazy with my midday exercise, electing to work through lunch, as sitting on your back-side working on a laptop is much easier than sweating away on a spin-cycle during the peak of Summer. So yeah, I was trying to get back into the habit, so I needed a good trashy show to help pass the time. I tried ‘Hype House’, which is also a reality TV show about young Influencers, but even I had to draw the line at that, after 3 episodes I had to give in and say that was even ‘too trashy’ for my taste. So, when I started Byron Baes, what I deemed as Australia’s own version of Hype House, I actually found it to be a step-above on the classiness meter. But I guess my point of reference was Hype House, so that doesn’t say much….

But it’s hard to wrap your arms around the true purpose of Byron Baes. It all seemed a bit staged and scripted? Let me explain. If I was responsible to write the blurb for the show, I’d pitch it as:

“Follow Jade and Sarah, the two newest residents to move into the idyllic seaside town of Byron Bay – Australia’s hotbed of influencers and entrepreneurs. Watch as Jade and Sarah make their mark in this tight-knit community, do they find what they’re seeking? Friendship? Romance? Success? Acceptance?” etc.

The reason why it all feels contrived, is because they insert two outsiders into an already established friendship group, and then sit back and allow the camera crews film the aftermath when cats and dogs react to this disruption to their equilibrium. You know it’s not going to end well?

Yeah, from an outsiders//voyeur’s perspective, it seems fun, as who doesn’t like to watch drama unfold when the claws come out, and when alphas impose their dominance over others. But it’s all a bit pointless as well? After 8 episodes, I was left thinking, “What just happened?” Nothing was really achieved here. Each member of the cast is probably left worse off than before the camera crews rolled in. As frankly, everyone was left looking not so good afterwards as the cameras captured their ‘true selves’, except for Simba (the question must be asked, which came first? The Byron resident? Or the Disney animated film?).

So, is there any regret? I’d imagine after the cast of Byron Baes watch themselves on-screen, and saw their seemingly private conversations broadcasted to a global audience. Yeah, I would imagine there has to be some regret there, regret in ever agreeing to be a part of this Netflix project, to film the “interesting residents of Byron”. And could there possibly be a second season? I highly doubt it, now knowing the angle the producers will take to portray individuals, I can’t see any Influencer ever agreeing to put themselves and their brand through such a reputation harming ordeal. So, for us, the up-in-the air ending of season 1, I’d think that would remain unresolved. And we probably can store this experience ‘Byron Baes’, to the archives as Netflix’s first and only foray into creating original Australian content, with a label across its cover saying, ‘Not to be tried again’.

So, if you want to see why it was so bad, and why we probably wouldn’t hear much more from Que Minh Luu again, head of Netflix Australian Original Content- just click HERE!  Hey Netflix, just keep buying old content from the ABC, now that’s a proven commodity. *Wink*.