TV and Film

Netflix Cracks Down on Password Sharing

Netflix has recently announced a crackdown on password sharing as part of its commitment to user security. With its extensive content library, Netflix has become a go-to streaming platform worldwide. However, sharing account passwords with friends and family has become a common practice, prompting Netflix to take action.

Password sharing poses challenges for streaming services like Netflix, making it difficult to accurately assess user numbers and provide tailored recommendations. By limiting the number of concurrent streams on a single account, Netflix aims to enforce its terms of service and reduce unauthorised access.

To strengthen security, Netflix will prompt users to verify their accounts through two-factor authentication and email verification. Advanced AI algorithms will also be used to detect abnormal streaming patterns that suggest password sharing. These measures strike a balance between user convenience and maintaining a secure ecosystem

Netflix’s move mirrors the challenges faced by other streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. To address the issue, these services have explored tiered subscription plans offering different access levels.

While some users may be inconvenienced by Netflix’s efforts, they serve to protect the company and its subscribers. Stricter security measures foster trust and reliability among users, ensuring a fair and personalised streaming experience.

As the streaming landscape evolves, more platforms are likely to follow suit in addressing password sharing. Respecting service providers’ terms and conditions is essential for fair usage and the sustainability of the industry.

In conclusion, Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing highlights its dedication to providing a secure and personalised streaming experience. Adjusting sharing habits will contribute to the platform’s growth and success, ensuring Netflix remains a leader in the entertainment world.

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Featured TV and Film

Did the Gossip Girl Reboot Finally Redeem Itself?

The Gossip Girl Reboot (2021) debuted its second season at the beginning of December

Matching the new social media influencer lifestyle that’s a cornerstone of the new series, most of the new Gossip Girl season’s marketing was done on the characters’ TikTok and Instagram accounts. All the characters have real accounts you can follow, with even a Goodreads account for Audrey Hope and a Letterboxd for Aki Menzies.

Season One of the reboot received mixed reviews for trying to be as scandalous as the original while pretending to be woke. The show took itself too seriously, and the plots were getting repetitive as early as episode three. It also had too many characters, some of which had multiple storylines, while more interesting characters were left unexplored. The issue of the adults’ involvement was also controversial at best.

The reboot also seemed to emulate Élite too much, which ironically, was also highly inspired by the original Gossip Girl. Now, Élite’s later seasons are meh, while the reboot is improving. And, once you watch S2E1, you’ll realise that the writers have seriously stepped up their game.

Fans, overall, have expressed pleasant surprise with the increase in the quality of the show. And, what seems to have helped to boost that quality, was it finally standing on a definite identity. The original Gossip Girl was not about petty, rich people pretending to be good, woke, and self-aware. It was about petty rich people being petty rich people, while also having sex with each other. 

The new one made away with the nonsensical ending of season one as fast as it could and began showing us rich people doing petty things to each other just because they can, through modern lenses. Giving sidelined characters like Monet de Haan the spotlight was a good move. Tucking away the Obie x Zoya x Julien triangle, which had long overstayed its welcome in Season One, was also smart.

While that’s not to say Season Two has some flaws, namely the Max x Audrey x Aki relationship not having an actual storyline, it’s still stepping in the right direction. And, whether the writers learned from their mistakes, or now have a better grasp of their target audience, it’s safe to say the Gossip Girl Reboot has redeemed itself from its shaky first season run.

Featured Leader TV and Film

Wednesday Addams Viral Dance Recreated by Lady Gaga

Following Netflix’s Wednesday, a dance scene set to a sped-up version of Lady Gaga’s 2011 cult song “Bloody Mary” has gone viral on TikTok and Fans Want her in Season 2

Follwoing her recreation of the now viral dance routine, Gaga fans are now asking whether Lady Gaga herself could be in season two of the ‘Wednesday’ Nexflix series. The dance scene, which was choreographed by Jenna Ortega herself, blew up across social media. And, Gaga’s own version, which was posted to Netflix’s official Twitter account, is as unique as you might expect.

Fans have loved the recreation, shouting out their appreciation in the comments. One fan added “Gaga in season two please”, in a hopeful bid to get Gaga herself to arrive at Nevermore School. There is an opening for a headmistress after all, following the dramatic departure of Larissa Weems.

When the scene of Wednesday dancing began to go viral after being set to “Bloody Mary”, the Wednesday Addams Twitter account wrote:“I see you doing my dance moves to @LadyGaga’s Bloody Mary. I understand she is followed by little monsters. I approve.”

Gaga herself then quoted the tweet, writing: “Slay Wednesday! You’re welcome at Haus of Gaga anytime (and bring Thing with you, we love paws around here)”.

Released on November 23rd 2022, the Netflix series ‘Wednesday’ is a modern-day spinoff of The Addams Family, with Jenna Ortega taking on the role of everyone’s favourite spooky character, Wednesday Addams.

The new series was created by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and, of course, the king of creepy movies himself, Tim Burton. The show follows a teenage Wednesday as she navigates life at Nevermore Academy, a school especially created for outcasts. Christina Ricci, the actress behind Wednesday’s iconic portrayal in the 1991 ‘The Addams Family’ movie, even stars in the new show as Nevermore’s Dorm Mom, Ms. Thornhill.

Featured Thought + Opinion

Blonde: A Review

Blonde is a Netflix film released on September 17, 2022. It’s inspired by the bestselling novel by writer Joyce Carol Oates. It’s a reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe

Most importantly, Blonde has been panned for allegedly abusing and exploiting Marilyn Monroe once more, the same way many men were perceived to do during the cultural icon’s life.

The biopic drama film was directed and written by Andrew Dominik and Marilyn Monroe is played by Ana de Armas. It’s the first Netflix film to carry an NC-17 rating. 

The film hammers home the message that Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, had an incredibly painful personal life not helped by Hollywood’s innate sexism. Sometimes it does this a little too well, expressed through the exploitation of Monroe in the film.

Armas gets nude a lot during the movie, gets topless several times and has to engage in a myriad of sex scenes, with herself lamenting that these would go viral and overshadow the film’s message. She was concerned that these films would become staples in adult websites and subreddits, which they did.

Some fans expressed more excitement at watching a Netflix film with this rating than anything else, while others were hyped to see Andrew Dominik act for the first time in nearly a decade.

Blonde @ Netflix

Critics lamented that the film focuses only on the miserable parts of Norma Jeane’s life, this is more concerning taking into account how the film isn’t even a faithful biopic. The filmmakers labelled it biographical fiction, to say the least. Monroe’s intelligence was ignored, as were her progressive social views and many of her real-life personal relationships.

Blonde’s Monroe seemed more focused on her unstable relationships with men than her real-life objective of being taken seriously as an actress, especially one that could do much more than being a dumb blonde.

During Monroe’s life, she was famous for being one of the most marketable Hollywood stars for playing blonde bombshell characters. These characters relied primarily on her sex appeal, essentially dooming her only to play stereotypically dumb blonde characters.

This caused Monroe great disappointment and she was typecast and underpaid by the studio. She also struggled with addiction, mood disorders, and unstable relationships.

De Armas’ acting was riveting, and she was praised for giving it her all every time. More importantly, she captured Monroe’s struggles and spirits in the light of an overall bleak screenplay. But, at nearly three hours in length, with some incredibly disturbing (sometimes bloody) sex scenes, a lot of Ana de Armas crying, and every situation framing her as a pawn or a victim searching for a man to protect her, Blonde is dreary.

Featured TV and Film

The School for Good and Evil: Review

The School for Good and Evil premiered this spooky season on Netflix

The film is based on the book series of the same name. It follows the story of beautiful and popular Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and her outcast friend Agatha (Sofia Wylie). The story follows the pair as they are suddenly kidnapped from their village and set to the School for Good and Evil.

The books are a fantasy fairytale hexalogy written by Soman Chainani. Paul Feig directs the film, and David Magee and Feig himself wrote the screenplay. This is a Hogwarts-esque magic school for heroes and villains, where the world’s most famous fairy tales began their stories. The film blends elements from Harry Potter and Wicked.

The School for Good and Evil
The School for Good and Evil @ Netflix

Despite their strong friendship, Sophie and Agatha are extremely different from each other. Sophie is princess-like, fair-headed (whatever that means these days) and destined to change the world. On the other hand, Agatha is called a witch. Their friendship is tested when both fall in love with the most popular Ever prince, Tedros, son of King Arthur. 

Things are flipped when Agatha is dressed in the flowery princess gown while Sophie is dressed in a raggedy sack dress after being kidnapped by a stymph that takes them to the SGE. So, it seems they were sorted on the “wrong” side, and each of these will have to explore the nuances of a black-and-white academic setting for good and evil, divided into Nevers and Evers. Sophie dreams of getting into the Evers, but Agatha wants to return home.

The cinematography of the film is mesmerizing, and the feeling of a novel magical setting filled with fairies and intriguing stock fantasy monsters is felt throughout the visuals. The acting is sharp, with Wylie’s acting as Agatha among the most celebrated.

The School for Good and Evil
The School for Good and Evil @ Netflix

There’s also Sophia’s slow descent into evil to achieve her dreams, putting the chops of both young actresses to best use. The strongest moments throughout the film are found in the characters’ relationships, with Agatha and Sophie’s bond being a highlight. 

However, despite the story’s intriguing premise, the screenwriting does at times let the movie down. Chainani knew the film wasn’t as faithful to the source material as fans would’ve expected, and frequently provided Feig with advice on how to make it work. The screenwriters picked important plot points from the novels, a couple of fan-favorites and examining passages closely to avoid recreating clichés. 

The movie was expected to become a major breakout hit for Netflix, becoming Netflix’s own YA fantasy series. The film was named one of the most anticipated films of late 2022.

Featured TV and Film

The Midnight Club: Is the New Netflix Horror Worth Watching?

The Midnight Club is Netflix’s newest teen horror show, admittedly, a relatively unexplored genre in the last few years

The most notable piece of teen horror in modern times was Nickelodeon’s ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark?’, and The Midnight Club seems to draw certain inspiration from the original show. 

The ten-episode series is inspired by Christopher Pike’s young adult novel, with Mike Flanagan at the helm. Flanagan is Netflix’s go-to director for horror series, with Netflix’s Midnight Mass (2021), The Haunting of Hill House (2018), and The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020) lodged in his CV. 

The Midnight Club tells us the story of an enigmatic doctor running the Brightcliffe Hospice. Eight terminally ill young adults reunite at midnight to tell each other spooky stories, which start becoming real after one of the group dies mysteriously. 

Iman Benson plays Ilonka, a high school salutatorian diagnosed with terminal cancer. An idealist and academic, Ilonka comes upon Brightcliffe, the facility where her foster father can take her to be placed in hospice, hoping there could be a secret cure for her there. Instead, she stumbles upon other terminal patients sharing nihilistic stories that somehow stave off the feeling of dread from the awareness of their illnesses by implying there could be something far worse. Everything seems standardly dreadful until the first jump-scare, where the stories end up being more than just that. \

The Midnight Club
The Midnight Club © Netflix

The story explores the existential dread and fear of certain death while mixing the patients’ vulnerability and hope for a cure despite their suffering from terminal medical conditions. Some of the patients have different types of terminal cancer. Others have AIDS, one has depression. The series takes place in the mid-1990s. 

There are also ominous rituals, creepy nurses and a constant feeling of bleakness: if the characters survive the horrors at the hospice, they’re still most likely going to die because of their illnesses.

The series premiered on Netflix on October 7th and stars William Chris Sumpter, Ruth Code, Aya Furukawa, Annarah Shephard, and Sauriyan Sapkota. Zach Gilford, Matt bindle, and Samantha Sloyan have recurring roles.

Good horror discusses the most primal human fears and ugly things that could happen to someone through storytelling and, most likely, jumpscares. Beyond fear, good horror storytelling instils a diversity of human emotions: compassion, empathy, and curiosity. The Midnight Club is an example of great horror. Grief and loss aren’t easy to cope with, much less when everything is mysteriously trying to kill you at a hospital. 

Featured TV and Film

Kath and Kim is Returning for a Two-Part Special

Get that Chardonnay because Britain’s favourite Aussie duo, Kath and Kim, is set for a return to our screens

Unbelievably, it has been 20 years since Britain fell in love with Australia’s Absolutely Fabulous-esque sitcom, Kath and Kim. Channel Seven TV executives have revealed that the comeback will be a two-part epic, titled, Kath and Kim: Out Effluent Life. The storyline will dive into the lives of the pair since the last season aired, which was more than a decade ago. There will also be a few behind the scenes clips, with unaired moments, and some iconic guest appearances.

 Kath and Kim
Kath and Kim (Herald Sun)

Kath and Kim first came to Australian TV in 2002. It instantly became a comedy classic, and at one point, it was even Australia’s highest rating show on TV – a feet rarely matched for a comedy sit com. Over its five year run on Channel Seven, the show’s writers, Gina Riley and Jane Turner – who also happen to play the main characters – released 4 seasons, with 8 episodes each. The show also churned out many spin offs, including, Da Kath and Kim Code in 2005, and Kath and Kimderella in 2012. The final ever episode of the original series became Australia’s most watched TV episode of all time.

“It’s fascinating and delightful to see audiences around the world still loving Kath & Kim after 20 years,” says executive producer, Rick McKenna. He continued, “It was great fun getting the team back together, plenty of laughs all around, which we look forward to sharing very soon.”

The show follows the day-to-day life of suburban mom, Kim, and her spoiled and ungrateful daughter, Kim. There is also a beloved character, Sharon: a family friend who is always chasing guys, and talking about her love for sports. Another stand out character is Kel Knight, who is Kath’s saucy love interest. The pair often get up to no good, frolicking around the house in the nude, and having a bizarre medley of hobbies. The premise of the show is incredibly simple, but what makes it so memorable is the peculiar catchphrases like “look at moi” and the relatable mockery of suburban life. You don’t have to be Australian to pick up the jokes, as it finds humour in the ordinary and mundane life of families who live on the outskirts of cities. And this is something that transcends borders.

 Kath and Kim
Kath and Kim on the red carpet (The Guardian)

Channel Seven’s Chief Content Officer, Angus Ross, is one of the behind-the-scenes suits that fans have to thank for the comeback shows. In a statement, he said, “Since I was a young lad, I’ve admired the elegance and poise of Kath Day-Knight – and her clowning glory. “In fact, it’s safe to say she was my first crush.” He continued to share his excitement, “From high-couture to yoga, Kath and Kim have had an immeasurable impact on the world. “While I still find it difficult to look Kath in the eyes without blushing, it is an honour to be able to reunite them with their adoring fans.”

Kath and Kims reunion, titled, Kath & Kim: Our Effluent Life, will come to Channel 7 and 7plus later on this year. UK TV channels are set to bid for the rights to broadcast the show. But it is more probable that it will be released straight to streaming platforms towards the Christmas period. For now, you can prepare by watching all 4 seasons on Netflix.

TV and Film

The Empress: Is it Based on a True Story?

Shows about royals have been rising in the past few years: Netflix’s The Empress is one of the newcomers

This time, The Empress retells the story of the early life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in a six-part series. Before its release, the only other well-known film adaptation of Empress Elisabeth’s life had been the 1950s Sissi trilogy, with Romy Schneider in the leading role.

A point of highlight for the show is how it presents us with modern themes while also transporting us to the historical time period of the Empress’ rule. Period dramas have advantages and disadvantages, but one of their main criticisms recently is how they present dissonant values as an excuse for exploitation. For example, sexism in historical periods seems a common trend to portray as “realistic” despite not adding anything people don’t already know to the conversation.

The Empress focuses on the meeting between the young Bavarian Duchess Elisabeth, played by Devrim Lingnau, and the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, played by Philip Froissant and mixes some fiction with non-fiction. This doesn’t necessarily provide the most accurate retelling of the story, but attempts to portray the most compelling one.

The Empress
The Empress © Netflix

The show follows those surrounding Elisabeth, such as her mother would prefer her to be more like her older sister Helene (Elisa Schlott) and Emperor Franz who has his own issues: the Hapsburg Empire is threatened, and the Austrians are on the brink of starting a revolution.

Archduchess Sophia would prefer for Franz to marry Helene, his cousin, but Franz would prefer the freer life he had before becoming an emperor. And, once Princess Ludovika and her daughters arrive to match Franz with Helene, the chemistry between Elisabeth and Franz is apparent, bonding over the resistance to their familial duties. Then, things get more complicated: Franz’s brother, Archduke Maximilian (Johannes Nussbaum) is also attracted to Sissi. Maxi is disregarded by his mother, who plays favourites with him and Franz.

The parallels with romantic period drama Bridgerton are apparent, especially now that Bridgerton fans are awaiting the third season after a steaming second run.

Lingnau’s performance as Sissi has been praised, as its appearance from her acting that the duchess would rather be with her staff at the stables than pimping up her dresses and gowns. Like the real-life Sissi, who had a more informal upbringing than most royals.

In truth, Princess Sophie would rather have her son Franz marry her niece than a stranger and Franz was infatuated with Sissi from the get-go. Five days later, their betrothal was announced.

The season ends on a cliffhanger, with a pregnant Elisabeth set to return to Bavaria.

Featured TV and Film

You Season 4 Announced for Netflix

You is returning for a fourth season on Netflix. Part 1 features the first five episodes.

The new series of You will drop on February 10. Then, part 2, with the remaining five episodes, will drop on March 10. You can watch the You Season 4 announcement trailer here.

You originally launched on Netflix in September 2018 and were immediately met with praise. Penn Badgley, known mostly for his role as Dan Humphrey in the original Gossip Girl, plays a different kind of stalker in You. Joe Goldberg’s trend is to develop an obsessive crush on a girl every season, and, spoilers end up killing her.

In Season 3, Goldberg killed Love and left to find Marienne. However, this time, the serial killer will adopt the identity of Professor Jonathan Moore in England. Living in London has, supposedly, allowed Goldberg to bury the days of unrequited love and murder behind. As per Goldberg’s admission, he’s keeping extracurricular activities ‘strictly professional’ and only focusing on academia.

Unreliable narration aside, fans are already aware that Joe will return to his old ways and end up causing the death of more than one innocent in Season Four.

You Season 4
You Season 4 © Netflix

The teaser also introduced the new characters, although he evidently thinks of Marienne in the present day. Tilly Keeper has been cast as influencer socialite Lady Phoebe, Amy-Leigh Hickman as Nadia, Ed Speelers as bestselling author Rhys, and Lukas Gage as Adam. Some of these characters will be students, others will be aristocrats, investors, ex-pats, investigators, professors and even a paparazzi photographer.

At the end of season 3, Joe staged his own death at the hands of his wife, Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti). He also abandoned his son, Henry. Badgley stated in an interview with Collider that Season Four could be different, focusing on Joe’s relationship with himself.  He’ll also have to deal with the consequences of leaving Henry and could possibly change him for good, if that’s possible at this point.

But, if there’s something that defines You’s storytelling, it is that it’s unpredictable. Filled to the brim with twists and turns, no one has any idea what might happen or how Joe completely changed his identity to that of a university professor. The only thing we have for certain is that, as expected, characters will die from a show with a serial killer villain protagonist.

Given this experiment with You, some users were confused upon noticing Netflix’s change to episode release models. This led some to speculate that Netflix would implement the one-episode-per-week format should the halved season model fail. Fans suggested Netflix try the two-episode per week format, calling it a sweet spot for streaming. These strategies are attempts to convince users to remain subscribed to the service for more months.

Art + Culture Featured

Young Royals Season 2 is Coming in November

Season 2 of Young Royals will drop in November 2022 *Spoilers Alert*

Season 2 for the acclaimed Netflix show was announced in September 2021, though filming for the new season didn’t start until February 2022. Filming wrapped on May 11, and Netflix announced that the second season of the Swedish drama series would come in November. It was teased with a photo of the principal cast in front of a sign that said “November” with a love heart.

Season One left show fans on a cliffhanger of terrible events for protagonist Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding). At the beginning of the show, Wilhelm was sent to boarding school, while at the end of Season 1, August leaked his and Simon’s sex tape. This prompts Wilhelm to deny that it’s him in the video, causing Simon to dump him after Wilhelm asks him if they could stay together in secret.

Fans speculate that although the couple has been broken up temporarily, their feelings will drive them to get back together. And, the fact that Omar Rudbger, who plays Simon, stated in an interview with The ANTI Magazine how the second season would ramp the drama up to another level, we can expect things to get spicier than ever.

Young Royals
Young Royals @ Netflix

Fans of Young Royals have praised the original story due to how it incorporates conflict, duty, and young love. Young Royals has been popular with fans of Heartstopper due to the protagonists’ youth and how both shows explore queer teen romance. 

There’s also the fact that the leads of each show are fans of the other and the similar aesthetics of both series. The protagonist, Prince Wilhelm from Sweden, has been sent to boarding school to protect the family’s reputation.

Wilhelm wants to stay out of the spotlight and have a normal life, even though many would kill to be in his position of privilege. Adhering to his royal duties while keeping his sexuality secret doesn’t make matters any easier.

The series analyzes the experience of a queer member of a royal family. Should the secret leak, as it seemed to do during the season one finale, Wilhelm and his entire family would be in a terrible scandal. However, he decided to deny the rumors and, in the process, lost the love of his life.

Whether Wille wins Simon back or not, we’ll have to wait until November rolls by to find out.

Young Royals was created by Lisa Ambjörn, Lars Beckung, and Camilla Holter.