The blonde, the serial killer and the guy who used to be famous
Manila– When I subscribed to Netflix early this year and started watching the first films and a few drama and comedy shows, I didn’t want to work anymore, or even go out.
I can now relate to friends and their love and longing for binge watching, or over-indulging in movies and TV series until they forget what time it is or that they haven’t eaten anything for the day.
I got to watch some classics, although some of the movies I want to see are not available on the streaming service. But the smorgasbord of choices from past and current dramas, thrillers and sitcoms will do.
From what I’ve seen so far, I loved “Schitt’s Creek,” a witty masterpiece of laughter and love in a once wealthy family that receded to poverty. No wonder the sitcom scooped acting and writing awards.
I liked “Derry Girls,” a coming-of-age story of four teenagers - four girls and a boy - navigating teenhood amid the conflict and peace struggles in Northern Ireland in the1990s. “Dreams” by Cranberries played in the background to soften the scenes with tanks and armed soldiers. I was delighted by the rest of its 90s soundtrack featuring the Corrs, Salt-N-Pepa, Shampoo, R.E.M. and Take That.
I was hesitant to watch another Marilyn Monroe drama but there was “Blonde,” her depressing quest to resolve her father issues while she’s pleasuring the U.S. president in one scene. It was dizzying; I don’t think I can watch it again.
I have a thing for horrors and psycho-thrillers so I watched a mix of productions from Hollywood, Scandinavian, Spanish, Asian and other international releases.
But I shifted to comedies when I noticed the same storyline of the killer who is not who you think it is in the concluding episodes – he or she is one of the quiet cops, the good friend, the nice neighbor, or anyone who doesn’t fit the profile of a murderer. There are also a dozen shows about moving to a house or a town of secrets and terrors.
So, I had fun with the slapstick and action in “Extreme Job,” a Korean comedy flick about narcotics cops who went undercover as owners of a fried chicken joint so they could stake out on a criminal drug ring.
But then came Dahmer-Monster, a limited series about American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered young men, kept their bodies and ate some of them. The title alone presages the viewer’s horrific encounter with probably the worst of humanity.
I found it already jarring but worse, one of the featured songs, “Please Don’t Go” by KC and the Sunshine Band, kept running through my head for days and it took some time before it went back to the song that I knew and loved during my teenage years.
So much of how the things we watch and pander to can attack our psychological makeup as we go back to real life. Think of Dahmer telling you that he wants to eat your heart after snuggling close to your chest so that he can hear your heartbeat.
Some gems I found, such as “I used to be famous,” about a hot and famous pop superstar desperate for a comeback in the music scene who became friends with an autistic but talented drummer, tugged at my tear ducts. The film tells us to walk with our wounds, because certainly, we can also shed happy tears because we can have our second chances.
Diana G. Mendoza is a longtime journalist based in Manila. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org