Going from the holiday break and diving straight into CES 2020, the team hasn’t really had plenty of time to watch or play much of anything. It’s been a busy time so there aren’t a lot of recommendations here. But they’re still worth checking out!
Movies to see
Vincenz: We know Parasite has been making rounds online and I attest to its excellence. It shows the common divide between the rich and the poor (as represented by the Kim and Park families), but you’ll never really know what happens next — especially when greed arises. It honestly made my jaw drop and my mind was utterly confused while watching it. The astounding cinematography makes this film a whole lot better. No wonder it bagged several awards globally.
Steven Universe The Movie
Leez: During the holidays, I rewatched every episode of the cartoon series Steven Universe and rediscovered the best scenes, songs, and episodes. It’s an amazing cartoon series and the movie cuts deep with concepts of trauma, grief, and growth. Steven is all grown up in the movie and everything seems to be set in place until a pink inverted heart gem appears. There’s singing, fighting, and a ton of crying. If you haven’t seen it, get on it. It’s a lovely series and a stunning movie.
Shows to binge-watch
Great Teacher Onizuka
Rodneil: A former biker gang member decides to pursue teaching after he saw how he can get closer to high school girls that way. While he didn’t start off with the best intentions, the titular character Eikichi Onizuka discovers his passion for teaching while solving his students’ troubles in the most unconventional ways possible. This show is perfect for a few laughs and a few life lessons.
You Season 2
MJ: Joe Goldberg is back! If you didn’t feel that much love for him in the first season, you might be conflicted on how you’ll cheer for Joe this time around. While it’s not good to romanticize a stalking psycho, You made sure you’re going to love Joe. And yes, we want a Season 3.
MJ: There’s a reason why a sitcom situated in a police precinct got a cult following; not because of hype but because of its quality. It’s absolutely funny (without the laugh tracks), has a diverse representation, and tackles pressing social and cultural issues subtly. The series is about to premiere its seventh season, so it’s time to binge-watch again from Season 1-6. Oh, they’re also working on Season 8 already! You better catch up.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Psycho by Red Velvet
Vincenz: Other than the mesmerizing visuals of Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri, the song is highly addictive. Speaking of addiction, the lyrics talk about a love that makes one go “Psycho.” It’s an extreme love-hate relationship — one that’s probably bad for you but you just can’t get enough of — just like a drug. The part before the last chorus states that “everything will be okay” — and I felt that. Prior to RV’s Korean recording, there’s an English demo which you can listen to for a better feel of the song.
Pwede Ba (괜찮을까) by Lola Amour
Vincenz: I was browsing my Twitter timeline when a popular schoolmate (slash vocalist of the local indie duo Ysanygo) promoted this track through a quote tweet. At first, I didn’t mind but when I saw a lot of mutuals sharing the same song, it made me curious to actually try and listen. The mellow tune goes well with the Korean lyrics. Listening to it feels like I’m in an episode of a melancholic K-Drama. It’s actually a Korean version of the already existing Pwede Ba (written in Filipino) that was released 2 years ago.
Dive feat. Chris James – Hot Shade, Mike Perry
MJ: If you need a good pick me up song, “Dive” has that upbeat melody that will make you want to move and love life. If you happen to be in love with someone else, the lyrics will resonate with you as it tackles diving into the unknown with your love interest, and following him/her wherever your hearts lead to.
Polaris by BLUE ENCOUNT
Rodneil: I have a weird emotional attachment to My Hero Academia and one of the reasons is how good the opening songs are. “Polaris” — the show’s current opening theme — is such a rush of energy. When I need to get going, I just put this on and I almost feel like One for All is surging through my body. It’s a fantastic picker-upper.
Games to play
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Rodneil: If you’re the type who goes on an annual re-watch of Dragon Ball Z, Bandai Namco is giving you another way to relive the popular animé series by putting you right in the middle of it. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the entire series but in RPG form.
Vincenz: I’ve been a long-time fan of games that lean into city building / urban planning. SimCity has been around for ages but after several years, other developers had their own take. I played Cities XL Platinum prior to this (which is honestly good but just lacks certain features and a bit slow even with high specs in mind) but this game is on another level. With the mods and assets you can install, building cities is limitless. You can even control the growth of the city, underground systems, transportation, traffic, and more. With the video above, it shows that you can even have a glimpse of your city just like a regular person riding a train.
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!
3 comedies you need to watch for good laughs
Keeping it inclusive and culturally diverse!
We can all use a good laugh every now and then. But now that our society and culture has become more progressive, popular comedies that people used to love — mostly from the 90s — aren’t really that funny anymore.
As the world gets more connected, our awareness of global, socio-political issues increases. Nowadays, the comedies worth watching are the shows with subtle messages that raise issues reflecting our reality.
Here, we listed down three comedies that are worth checking out, especially if you want a good laugh while staying woke.
I was late to Community party but was very glad I made it. When Netflix dropped its six seasons last April 2020, I found myself sneaking in an episode or two in my daily quarantine life. Having spent three months on lockdown, we can all use a comedy to lift our spirits (other than a psychological evaluation right after the crisis).
Community is a popular sitcom that’s (forgive me for saying this) streets ahead. First aired in 2009, it had a pretty diverse cast. There’s a classic white alpha guy and two white women; one atheist who’s also an activist and a Jewish obsessed with competing.
There are African-Americans, too! One of them is a highly-religious Christian mom, the other is played by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. There’s also a half-Arab, half-Polish Muslim, a senior citizen who practices a Buddhist-like cult, and a Chinese-American teacher turned student.
Together, they formed a storyline of misfits turned friends, turned families.
Watching Community heightened my awareness of issues regarding race, gender, nationalities, ages, and cultures. While most of these issues are brought out for comic relief, the characters worked together to find a solution and come into realizations.
Personally, I found it interesting how I can learn life lessons after watching a show that’s supposed to just make me laugh. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: getting entertained and educated!
The Good Place
I first heard about The Good Place through my best friend who loved watching tellies and was instantly hooked. I honestly believe when pilot episodes make you laugh so hard, the series is going to be extremely good. And that’s what happened when I watched The Good Place.
It’s a story about four deceased individuals who end up in a heavenly utopia called The Good Place. The cast comprise of a white, selfish saleswoman from Arizona, an indecisive black Ethics professor, a hot rich fraud British philanthropist with legs for days, and a Filipino DJ and drug dealer from Florida.
What I love about The Good Place is how it tackled ethics and philosophy creatively, bringing up morals through the concept of heaven and hell. Moreover, diversity and representation are on point in this show, with ethnically appropriate actors and actresses. (And they don’t even make a big deal out of it!)
Last but not the least, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a must-watch comedy for everyone. As usual, I was late to the party but I’ve fallen in love with it.
The show didn’t tackle pressing topics such as racism, sexism, and homophobia through specific episodes. Rather, it’s intertwined in the storyline along with a racially mixed group of cops.
The precinct’s captain is a happily married, openly gay cop. Being in the police force since the 80s, he shared his many disadvantages and struggles due to his sexuality.
There are topics mirroring our reality in each and every episode: a bisexual cop’s coming out and her parent’s refusal to accept it, the horrors and fear that black people endure in their daily lives (even if they’re in a position of power), struggles of motherhood, pursuing your passion, and a lot more.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the most inclusive, diverse, and progressive comedy we all need to watch. It’s open-minded, lighthearted, and ridiculously funny. I still re-watch it to this day when I need a good laugh. It’s guaranteed to have me in tears while laughing out loud.
March on, progressive and inclusive comedies!
I still find myself at odds with my friends, especially with the types of comedies they enjoy. However, I believe that we just need to help our friends explore comedies that don’t use transphobia, homophobia, sexism, fat-shaming, white supremacy, and plain racism as a way to deliver ‘funny’ lines.
How about you? Do you have a go-to comedy you enjoy? Share it with us!
Netflix Protip: Finding content like ‘The Last Dance’
Everything from basketball films to animé
Live sports were cancelled due to the health crisis, that’s why basketball lifers turned their attention to The Last Dance. It’s a documentary series featuring the final championship run of basketball G.O.A.T. (this is not debatable) Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Sadly, the docuseries has ended and now there’s another void that needs to be filled.
Fear not, Netflix shared with us some protips on how to find similar content. This, by the way, applies not just for basketball but also for other types of content. You can also do all these whether you’re accessing Netflix on your smartphone or a computer. Let’s go!
Search by Keyword
If you’re still on a basketball high, you can type in keywords such as ‘Basketball’ or ‘Michael Jordan’ and let Netflix share with you the results. Here are some of the titles you’ll find.
- Q Ball — At San Quentin State Prison, hardened convicts take their shots at redemption while navigation personal struggles by bonding through basketball.
- One in a Billion — Follow the journey of Santam Singh Bhamara as he works to fulfill his dream of becoming the first India-born player to be drafted into the NBA.
- #Rucker50 — This documentary celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Harlem sports program that has inspired countless kids to become pro basketball players.
- The Carter Effect –– Featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, this documentary takes an in-depth look at his impact on pop culture and the Canadian basketball scene.
- Coach Carter –– Controversial basketball coach Ken Carter puts school before sports and benches his undefeated high school team for poor academic performance.
To save time from having to search over and over, quickly add titles you’re interested in to your list. The add to ‘My List’ feature enables you to compile and easily access the shows that you may want to watch at a later time.
Here’s yet another list of basketball movies and anime titles you might want to watch.
- Space Jam — Bugs Bunny and his pals coax Michael Jordan out of retirement to play in a basketball game against a team of monstrous aliens to win their freedom.
- Basketball or Nothing — Follow the Chinle basketball team in Arizona’s Navajo Nation on a quest to win a state championship and bring pride to their isolated community.
- Kuroko no Basuke (Anime) — Five middle school basketball stars went to separate high schools and now Tetsuya Kuroko and Seirin High are making their play to glory.
- Ahiru no Sora (Anime) — Sora joins the high school basketball club, but his unmotivated teammates don’t care about the game. To get anywhere, he has to change their minds.
More Like This
In case you didn’t know, there’s a tab called ‘More Like This’ right under a show or a movie’s title page. This reveals a list of other shows that are similar. So, if you enjoyed that one show or film, this is a great way to find more that might interest you.
Here are more sports shows and films you might enjoy:
- Antione Griezmann: The Making of a Legend — With heart and determination, Antione Griezmann overcame his small stature to become one of the world’s top soccer players and a World Cup champion.
- The Ronda Rousey Story: Through My Father’s Eyes — This documentary chronicles former Olympian and UFC champion Ronda Rousey’s ascent to iconic status in the world of mixed martial arts.
- First Team: Juventus — Follow renowned soccer club Juventus on and off the pitch as they attempt to win a seventh straight Italian title and achieve Champions League glory.
- Losers — In a “winning is everything” society, how do we handle failure? This series profiles athletes who have turned the agony of defeat into human triumph.
- Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ — This docuseries follows English soccer club Sunderland through the 2017-18 season as they try to bounce back after relegation from the Premier League.
Recommend to Netflix
Not everything is on Netflix and they’re the first ones to admit it. Fret not, if a title you’re looking for isn’t there, you can let Netflix know that you want it. Tucked away in their Help Centre is a little page that lets you recommend TV shows or movies for Netflix to add to their service.
You access this either through a web browser at help.netflix.com/titlerequest or by clicking on “Help” in your account menu. Personally, I’ve previously requested for Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and for all the three Rurouni Kenshin live actions movies. Kimetsu No Yaiba is actually available to watch now, so I’m crossing my fingers that the live action Rurouni Kenshin movies come next!
10 films and shows about motherhood you need to watch
Untold struggles and stories that every mom experiences
Fierce, strong, brave, loving, gentle, and caring.
When we’re describing mothers, the list of adjectives can go on and on. Often, they’re selfless — putting their kids’ and families’ needs first.
To celebrate the women we hold dear, we have an annual holiday where everyone shares their love for their mom in one day. The internet turns into a forum of stories glorifying mothers, painting them as superwomen worth looking up to.
However, mothers don’t need to be celebrated in just a single day. So we’ve compiled a list of TV shows and films you can watch by yourself or with your mom. From comedies to documentaries to thought-provoking dramas, they highlight the untold struggles moms experience and stories of our relationship with them.
After watching a few from this list, you might come into realization how strong our mothers really are. If you’re a new mom, a mom taking a break from your busy life, a partner to a mother, or a daughter or son who loves their mom so much, these shows are definitely worth watching. Express your love and celebrate each day like it’s Mother’s Day!
This new Netflix documentary tells the story of Michelle Obama, from her humble upbringing on the South Side of Chicago to getting her law degree, to meeting Barack Obama, to being a mother to Sasha and Malia, to their journey to the White House, and beyond. It’s a story of love, loss and hope, successes and failures, fulfillment and hard work, and bringing about change for oneself and for others.
Cheryl Strayed decides to build her life again in this movie adaptation of her memoir with the same title. She sets out for the great outdoors and hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone after losing her mother, going through divorce and addiction.
Unorthodox is a short but profound story of a former member of New York’s Hasidic Jewish community. Esty’s journey is a story of self-discovery and questioning what happiness truly is — is it one that you find for yourself or that which your circumstances dictate? Is becoming a mother a choice you make yourself or one that’s made for you by society?
The Joy Luck Club
Based on a book of the same title, The Joy Luck Club explores the lives of four Chinese-American women and their Chinese immigrant mothers that defy what it means to be a woman.
Despite what the title suggests, Marriage Story is a deep dive into the ugly, painful process of divorce. It’s an intimate story of a couple breaking up and a family coming together.
Four urban moms find each other and become friends over their shared struggles in raising children in the city, their careers, and trying not to lose their sense of self.
Comical yet eye-opening (and somewhat depressing after some realization kicks in), Tully tackles the struggles of motherhood — juggling responsibilities while tending to your family’s needs, sometimes forsaking the need to take care of yourself.
There’s a reason why some women choose motherhood, and some fear it. Over a heated discourse, Egg cracks open different ideologies about bringing new life into the world. With complicated characters and truth bombs being thrown left and right, this comedy will make you laugh while making you realize why it’s perfectly okay to have your own definition of motherhood.
A Disney-Pixar favorite, Brave is about a mother-daughter relationship going astray because of indifference. Merida defies an age-old custom of forced, arranged marriage by her mother, Queen Elinor, to pursue freedom which led to chaos and a striking realization about changing fates.
Three over-stressed moms went on a quest to break free from the usual responsibilities of every mom. Most of which are imposed by a clique of women dedicated to becoming devoted, perfect moms. This film highlights every mom’s breaking point caused by overworking and over-exhaustion. One night, they just decided to be the ‘bad moms.’ But in reality, they’re not regular nor bad moms. They’re the cool moms.
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