Entertainment

Now Playing: Run On, Love Story, Your Name Engraved Herein

Feel good and feel warm, because love is always in the air!

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Love is in the air — only if you let it. If you’re looking for the best shows and films to watch, games to play, and songs and albums to listen to that will make your heart warm and fuzzy, look no more. Here are our recommendations for that much-needed dose of romance.

Editor’s favorite right now

Run On

Watch on: Netflix

MJ: Feel good and feel in love again. Run On brings us to a point in our lives where love is always in the air. It’s a romantic K-drama that reflects our daily lives — the mundane, boring days; the sleepless nights after a fight with someone; and the way we juggle romance and career on top of our personal and financial issues. It’s also high on growth, healing, and changing yourself for the better after meeting someone special.

The best entertainment device to accompany you

Samsung 4K QLED Q80T TV

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Shows to binge-watch

Goblin (쓸쓸하고 찬란하신 – 도깨비)

Watch on: Netflix, Viu

Vincenz: This is a story of a woman who fell in love with a goblin/도깨비 (dokkaebi) — or a powerful spirit in Korean mythology. This mythical creature was also responsible for saving her from her mother’s womb in an old accident. Other than them, there’s also the second lead couple between another woman and you guessed it, a grim reaper — which will also make your hearts warm and eyes wet at the same time.

P.S. This has one of the best Korean OSTs of all time. You can listen to one of its legendary tracks here.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 7)

Watch on: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

Leez: I know, I know. It’s been a year since its official release. But, it’s been a rollercoaster of a show series. From barely getting through another season to getting picked up by a network, the show sticks to poking fun at each character’s caricature while pulling heartstrings with the same charming precinct. And, with the series’ favorite couple, Jake and Amy, who wouldn’t want to see two very different people ending up together?

Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo (역도요정 김복주)

Watch on: Netflix, Viu

Vincenz: Female weightlifters may not capture the hearts of all men, but Joonhyung (portrayed by Nam Joohyuk, who’s also Nam Do-san from Start-Up) eventually fell for one anyway. They weren’t aware that they’re childhood friends at first, but that made it more interesting to watch. Aside from the cheesy yet heart-fluttering moments, you’ll also enjoy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) eating A LOT of Korean food (and chicken) — a lowkey mukbang/먹방 perhaps? Spoiler alert: They were a real couple.

Crash Landing on You

Watch on: Netflix

Apple: I can’t stress enough how this K-Drama series should be on this list, even if most of you have watched it probably more than once just like me. Yoon Se-Ri, a conglomerate heiress from South Korea lands in North Korea after a paragliding accident caused by extreme bad weather and meets Ri-Jeong Hyeok, an army officer who risks his life just to bring her back to her country. In the process of all the danger and mishaps, they fall in love with each other and go against all odds, even being separated by borders, just to be together.

Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)

Watch on: Netflix

Vincenz: Started off as friends, eventually grew up as friends? Or lovers? This is the show where the characters reminisce about their early teenage years in a late-night reunion. The petty and super-obsessed K-Pop fan is obviously the star of this show. There’s also some form of platonic love that you won’t expect. For a good start, I’ll recommend this one over the less-popular Reply 1994 and my most favorite (and also the most popular) Reply 1988.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Watch on: Netflix

Rodneil: It’s been months since I finished binge-watching this series but I’ve since still been watching YouTube videos about it. Watched this at the height of the pandemic at a time that I was feeling really dead inside. It was the unexpected warm hug that I needed. The dynamic between Sakuta Azusagawa and Mai Sakurajima isn’t your typical anime romcom. It’s the backbone that this show is built on.

My Love From The Star (별에서 온 그대)

Watch on: Netflix, Viu

Vincenz: K-Dramas, like it or not, have been mixing “mythical” elements together in the real world. Cheon Song-yi, a star-studded female celebrity, has gone head over heels to a good-looking alien (portrayed by Kim Soohyun) from the planet KMT184.05 that’s been stuck on Earth for 400 years. Little did she know, she looked exactly like the princess he saved from an old Korean dynasty. IMO, their on-screen chemistry is enough to keep you going ‘til the end.

Movies to see

Your Name Engraved Herein

Watch on: Netflix

MJ: Love hits differently when you’re in a hopeless, damning place. Taking place after the end of Martial Law in Taiwan back in 1987, two men fall in love amid homophobia and social stigma. The story is both heartbreaking and romantic at the same time, but knowing that it’s based on a true story makes it hurt more when you realize the battles they had were real and hard.

Tenki no Ko 天気の子 (Weathering With You)

Watch on: Netflix

Vincenz: “I want you more than any blue sky” is what Hodaka Morishima said to Hina, a girl who can manipulate the weather. Between their sweet moments, sacrifices, and challenges, the two found love that changed the course of the world. Tokyo, at the very least.

Kimi no Na wa 君の名は (Your Name)

Watch on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

MJ: There’s no other anime film that can be as heartwarming and heartbreaking as Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name). It has the perfect visuals and music accompanying the storyline of longing and yearning for someone you can’t remember, playing with themes of fate, dreams, prophecies, and the connectedness between two souls through a red cord. No matter where you are, the love of your life will always find you. Even if it’s years apart.

Before We Go

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video

Rodneil: “There is no perfect. There will always be struggle. You just have to pick who you want to struggle with.” I was fresh-off an extended break-up when I first saw this and it hit all the spots that needed to be hit. I was drowning myself in a bunch of romantic drama for some reason and this one stuck. I haven’t seen it since, but I’m thinking I’m due for a re-watch.

Albums/Songs to listen to

“Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

MJ: Suddenly it’s 2009 again. Taylor Swift re-recording her ‘Fearless’ album after all the brouhaha is a much-needed salvation for the humanity, especially this 2021. Love Story (Taylor’s Version) brings back memories from a decade ago — hopeless romantics wishing to be swept off their feet by someone like Romeo. Except this time around, we know love doesn’t always have a happy ending. Still, this song will make you want to feel love again, and go against all the odds just like Romeo and Juliet.

Lover by Taylor Swift

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

MJ: What’s not to love with Taylor Swift’s Lover album? It’s literally songs about love in different forms — self-love, love for other people whether they’re your friends, family, or even exes, and all the hopes and fears of being in love and/or in a relationship.

“Happy” by Oh Wonder

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music

Leez: Alone this Valentine’s and embarrassing the strides you’ve been making to being better? This song is a mature take on a break-up. Moving on takes time and this song embodies a level of maturity of being happy for an ex who’s changed for the better without you.

“Someone Like Me” by TWICE

Stream on: Spotify, YouTube Music

Rodneil: The song primarily talks about having overwhelming feelings for someone but being coy about saying or showing it. Story of our lives, right? Lol. It’s my favorite TWICE B-Side track and something I put on repeat as I try to sleep. The girls’ heavenly vocals plus the overall vibe of the song just lends itself nicely as a lullaby.

“200% “by AKMU (Akdong Musician)

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: Other than being reminded of my crush of almost one-year, listening to this bright and poppy track by the dynamic siblings from YG Entertainment (same agency as BLACKPINK) always gives me good vibes. After several replays, this might actually mean that what I’ve been feeling for so damn long must be L O V E — and my heart probablyy says “I’ 200% (i-baek %) sure of that”. Also yes, that’s Nam Joohyuk (again) back in his early days.

“IL2LU” by James Reid (ft. Nadine Lustre)

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: We have to set aside James and Nadine’s current relationship status. This song has been so golden for me that it always gives me that ~love~ feeling where you have that someone who always reminds you that you’re loved regardless of your flaws and shortcomings. I may not have someone to share this but this is a song you can recommend to your… partner 🙄

“I Love You 3000 II” by Stephanie Poetri and Jackson Wang

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: This isn’t Stephanie’s original track (thus, “II” at the title) but I can feel the two-sided love story better with Jackson Wang’s vocals in it. I’m honestly not into the MCU but I’m pretty sure that’s (obviously) an Iron Man reference. Although I’m not dreaming of a Hollywood-like love story, the lyrics, their vocals, and the overall rhythm are enough to make me feel like I’m in love.

“Mundo” by IV OF SPADES

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: If you’re in for some retro-sounding OPM together with powerful vocals and lyrics that are both sentimental yet appreciative, then you have to listen to this! Tagalog/Filipino may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I assure you, it’s one of the best languages to listen to, especially in a love song. For some weird reason, this song made me remember someone I used to like 🤮

Folklore

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Disney+ for Folklore: Long Ponds Studio Sessions

Apple: Not exactly a mushy album since this album talks about different feelings and emotions about independence, freedom, one-sided and hidden love but who wouldn’t be envious that Taylor Swift actually co-wrote ‘Exile’ and ‘Betty’ on Folklore with her current beau, Joe Alwyn under the pseudonym “William Bowery”? I would also want the kind of love that they share — where you are even in sync with someone when it comes to making music.

Games to Play

Final Fantasy VIII

Play on: Steam

Rodneil: Squall and Rinoa. Yep. If you were disappointed that Aerith and Cloud weren’t endgame in FFVII, Squall and Rinoa have a similar dynamic and it’s one of the pillars of the game’s story. For sure, this is more than just the romance between the two, but their dynamic adds some spice to the larger story of the game.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

Entertainment

Stranger Things 4: 4 Big Things To Expect

Every Ending Has Its New Beginning, Indeed

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Writing this specific article makes me remember my early days in GadgetMatch where I wrote two special articles about Stranger Things 3 — especially because I’m the biggest fan in the team (been a fan since Season 1).

After almost three years of (patiently) waiting, we’ll finally be able to watch Stranger Things 4 on our screens again!

Special Screening in Cinema 11

Seven days before the actual release of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1, Netflix Philippines invited us for a special screening of its first episode — right at Power Planet Mall’s last cinema booth, Cinema 11 (y’know, Eleven 🥁).

Wear anything “retro”, they say

The littlest set details outside the cinema made me cherish the good ol’ days of the First Season of Stranger Things from 2016. From those bright neon lights, a retro-styled photobooth, and ST4-branded popcorn box, soda cup. Even the “swag set” full of ST4 goodies that imitated the look of the spooky creel house, This also reminded me of how the series (as well as the fanbase) expanded entirely until it became a hit globally.

A single photobooth access plus a single swag set for that single Stranger Things fan, please

Although I went there all by myself, I still enjoyed every bit of the screening. To best describe everything, here’s my Instagram Reel roundup of it:

4 big things to expect

After watching the first episode of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, there are four things I think we should expect in the series.

1. Out with the old, in with the new?

After the devastating phenomenon that happened in Hawkins last season, several characters have moved into a new town. The Byers, together with El(even) in mind. That also means Will and El have to deal with a new set of people in a seemingly unfamiliar environment.

Other characters have remained in the OG town, though. From the Wheelers, SinclairsDustin, Joe, Robin, and even Max, they have continued with their lives despite being stuck in the same ol’ town. And oh, as the gang turned from kids to teens, do expect some dramatic changes in the way they act — especially after what happened.

P.S: There’s a new school club, too, that’s hilariously fun and cool despite its degrading image to the eyes of many.

2. Familiar and unfamiliar faces

Other than the remaining original cast from Season 1, a new season also means expecting new characters on the block. Apart from new schoolmates, there are also people that might help the initial set of kiddos who have saved Will from the darker underworld a.k.a the Upside Down.

The first few minutes of the episode was also revealed through Stranger Things’ YouTube channel showing how the Hawkins Laboratory had more than 11 Eleven-like superchildren that are being tested and experimented — until everything fell apart because of one superchild that ruined how things work inside the lab.

3. Jim isn’t dead

Jim Hopper’s sudden disappearance after the closing of the Upside Down had a lot of fans shaking their heads. Most (including myself) have speculated that he already died. Well, we can’t afford losing one more main character after the death of Bob from Season 2. Plus, Billy and Alexei just last season.

Fortunately, Jim, in his new haircut, appeared on the official trailer of Stranger Things 4. And just as shown in the first episode of the first volume, his presence can be felt — just from another side of the planet.

4. Another monster to kill

The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer are two of the most wicked supervillains ever existed. Whether that may be in the history of Hawkins or just in the eyes of people.

But the two evil creatures aren’t the end of the gang’s fate. A new town means there’s a new monster, too.

As shown at the end of the official trailer, the new horrendous creature is in human form. It can manipulate the mind of the affected individual — even the dimension where s/he’s at. While I won’t be specific about what happened, it sure is a powerful, demonic creature. It can truly make someone disturbingly psychotic and literally broken inside and out.

Biggest season ever with super-sized episodes

After watching the first episode of the first volume, I can say it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. First it was thrilling, then it became a full-on comedy show. Next thing you know, you’re already mindf*cked with what’s happening. I always say this but still, hands-down to the team behind Stranger Things for making the fourth season more exciting to watch (despite being borderline creepy and horrifying).

Image by GadgetMatch

The First Volume of Stranger Things Season 4 will be released only on Netflix on May 27, 2022 (Friday) with seven episodes. Most episodes are reported to be as long as a full-length film.

On the other hand, Volume 2 with a whopping total of nine episodes will be released after two months: exactly July 1st — just four days before the independence of the United States of America.

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

For reality shows and comedy specials

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Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.

First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.

A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.

Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.

That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: Netflix considers cheaper, ad-supported subscription

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