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16 TV Shows You Need to Be Watching (Like, Right Now)

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So, it’s no surprise to some of you, I’m sure, that I’m a huge fan of watching TV.

I love TV (even though I fail to watch it sometimes because I either have to choose between binging a show or reading a book. Hard choices), and I love talking about it, but most of the shows I love are either underrated, or they’re not really shows geared towards my audience (basically other sixteen year olds), so I can’t talk to anyone about them in real life. So, why not take a break from talking about books to talk about some of my favorite shows, and force you to watch them, too (I do love me some popular TV shows such as Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, and a whole slew more, but everyone knows those already, so yeah).

Also, feel free to click the titles of the shows! It’ll lead you right to their IMDb page where you can see all the warnings and what the age range is. Most of these are TV-14 or TV-MA because that’s just how I roll.

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Spartacus

spartacus

Genre:

Action

The Lowdown:

Basically, the movie 300, except more violence, more slow-mo, and more sex. But, you know, if you remember the general revenge tale of Spartacus, then you’ll understand what it’s about.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Okay, so, my favorite time period to read about is the Roman era. “Mikaela, why are you a fan of such a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time?” Because it was a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time, duh. Which is why I love this show so much. It’s violent and over-dramatic and it uses way too much slow-mo, but who cares because it’s so much fun? Also, the actor who played Spartacus was gorgeous (even though, unfortunately, the actor died before season two because of cancer, so there’s a replacement, and NO, he’s not as good). I haven’t yet watched season two yet, but I will. I swear. Soon.

Queer as Folk

queer as folk kiss

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Five gay guys and two lesbians who are all friends are juggling romance, love, and other struggles in the midst of gaining basic human rights in the early 2000s.

Why You Need To Watch It:

This is literally one of my favorite shows of ever. You might be like, “Mikaela, this show is from the early 2000s, therefore it’s irrelevant,” and that is wrong! So wrong! It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, and it will honestly give you all the feels. Not to mention that it’s probably one of the most entertaining dramas I’ve ever watched that deals with a lot of issues in such a brilliant way. And the character development is so on point (especially Brian’s). Also, Brian and Justin are my total OTP, and I will flail about them to anyone if they are willing to listen.

Banshee

banshee

Genre: 

Action

The Lowdown: 

Lucas, the main character, finally gets out of prison, and only a day after coming out, gets caught in a gun fight in a bar where the new sheriff is murdered. He decides to adopt the sheriff’s identity, taking charge of the police force and trying to hide his previous life while hunting down his old partner in crime, Carrie.

(Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.)

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably the best action show ever. Like, seriously. It seems like no one knows about this series, which sucks, because I love it. Much like Spartacus, there’s a lot of senseless violence, but that’s the best part, you guys. Lucas is also another total hottie, and we have my girl Carrie, and Sugar, a bartender who gets involved, and Job, a badass drag queen. The entire squad is just total goals, you guys. It’s just such an intense and twisty series, and it also managed to make me almost cry in the end, which is shocking, because I was only here for the violence, not the emotions! Also, this is one of the few shows I’ve actually finished, so there’s that!

Black Mirror

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*you watching Black Mirror*

Genre:

Sci-fi/Dystopian

The Lowdown: 

Every episode presents the viewer with a different future dealing with different characters. The stories range all over the place, and manage to mess with your mind and expose things about our world that you’d never notice.

Why You Need To Watch It: 

I CANNOT GUSH ABOUT THIS SHOW ENOUGH. Charlie Brooker is a goddamn genius. Every single episode showcases a different sort of dystopian future that brings to light an issue in our world, and it’s all kinds of brilliant. Not to mention how this show creepily predicts some things that happen in real life to the point that it’s chilling (watch The Waldo Moment, and realize how scarily close it is to how the 2016 Presidential Election played out). It’s a show that really makes you think, and you must watch it. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. I highly recommend not binging the episodes, though, or your mind will melt and you’ll become extremely depressed.

Friday Night Lights

friday night lights

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Football. Family. Drama. Basically, every football movie you’ve ever watched, except it’s actually good and not cheesy.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Okay, so, usually, I’m not a huge fan of “contemporary” sort of shows. I get bored of them easily. Plus, I hate football with my entire being. But, I ended up caving and checking this one out, and I literally almost cried watching the pilot. It’s just that powerful. I’m a huge fan of bromances, so that’s primarily the reason I love it so much, but I also love the relationships between the characters and the families, not to mention all the emotions it’ll give you. This is the only show that makes me care about football in any way, and that’s a feat.

Mr. Robot

mr. robot character

Genre:

Uh, sci-fi, I guess? Maybe drama? Who knows?

The Lowdown:

Um, so there’s hacking? And a snarky main character. Also, two-thirds of the time, you don’t even know what’s real or what’s not. And, there’s a secret society trying to overthrow a secret corporation. So, yeah.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Believe the hype with this show! Not only is Rami Malek an amazing actor (and attractive), but this show is so clever. It’s about hacking, but also about a secret group of people fighting against society, and I think my favorite thing about this show is the fact that you don’t know what’s real or what’s not. Not to mention that Elliot is probably one of my favorite narrators ever with his dry humor and such.

Gravity Falls

gravity falls

Genre:

Paranormal

The Lowdown:

Twins Dipper and Mabel are sent to live with their Great Uncle Stan in Gravity Falls where they encounter strange creatures and even stranger people. It’s basically a kids version of Supernatural, if you want a short explanation.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

“Mikaela, why are you recommending me a cartoon?” This show is not simply a cartoon.  The humor is truly funny and clever and for all ages, Mabel and Dipper have such a wonderful relationship, and the show is just so fun and positive, not to mention how twisty the plot is. Just because it’s a kids’ show doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely clever and well-written and funny. And, no, I totally WAS NOT crying during the finale; what are you talking about?

(Ok, maybe I was.)

Hannibal

hannibal

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

So, Hannibal is a psychiatrist to this guy who’s a total loner and considers himself a psychopath because he’s able to basically see into the mind of serial killers whenever he’s on the crime scene. And, yeah, Hannibal eats people.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Unfortunately, this show was cancelled (damn you, NBC and Bryan Singer), but this show is just so damn good. I’ve only watched season one, but it’s basically perfection. It’s incredibly well-shot and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention violent and weird and just all around wonderful. This show is intense, so I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive people, but, damn, this show is dark, so I think most people who love thrillers would love this. Also, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson are hot, end of story.

In the Flesh

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Genre:

Dystopian/Drama

The Lowdown:

In a dystopian future after a zombie apocalypse, scientists have come up with a cure to save the zombies and help them to assimilate back into society and their families. We follow Kieren, a teenage boy who’s trying to get back into the dynamics of his family and see his best friend again.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You have probably never heard of this show in your entire life, BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE. It’s British, and, again, this one was also cancelled and ends on a cliffhanger, unfortunately, so I’d enter this one with trepidation, BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH IT.  It’s such a good show, and it actually heavily parallels the whole Donald Trump/Muslim ban situation in season two, even though this premiered way before then. And Lucas is adorable and precious; I love him. Not to mention that Lucas is gay as hell, and he has an ADORABLE relationship with this guy named Simon and it’s aljflajfajlfa. PLEASE WATCH IT.

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Political Animals

political animals

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow Elaine, a former First Lady who’s now Secretary of State dealing with the chaos of her family.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Again, another cancelled show, except this one only lasted one season (boo). If you like more political-leaning shows, you’ll probably enjoy this one a lot.  It’s a really good drama, and it can even sometimes be funny at some points. Not to mention that I absolutely love how all the storylines come together, and how it can be really touching at times. Sebastian Stan is in this one, and he’s kissing boys, and if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I don’t know what will.

Sense8

sense8 better

Genre:

Sci-fi

The Lowdown:

Eight people of different backgrounds, origins, gender, and race end up being interconnected in some weird way regarding their minds, and they try as hard as they can to figure out why.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably one of the most underrated Netflix shows out there! Not only is everyone on this show super attractive, but this is a very diverse show since everyone comes from a different background, which is really cool. Also, the ships give me all the feels, and the characters are so wonderfully three-dimensional. The show is truly captivating. Also, the sci-fi aspects of this show are brilliant.

AND NO, I HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2 YET; DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK.

UnReal

unreal

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow our main character, Rachel, who is probably one of the most corrupt and twisty women you’ll ever see on television, who comes back on to the Bachelor-like show, Everlasting, after a public mental breakdown.

Why You Should Watch It: 

If you hate reality TV, you’ll love this show. One of the people who works on the show used to work on The Bachelor, not to mention that the show is extremely interesting regarding how the producers on the fictional show twist everything to make the contestants hate each other or push conflict to happen. It’s also actually really political in some places, and quite diverse. And, personally, I think it’s feminist?? Does it count?? I count it. It’s just such a highly entertaining show to watch.

American Crime

american crime

Genre: 

Drama

The Lowdown:

A gay boy admits that he’s been raped by one of the basketball players at a party, and it spirals into a whole load of heavy events that get out of control.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

 There are three seasons of this show (it’s the one on ABC, not O.J. Simpson), but my favorite season is definitely the second one. It explores the taboo of male rape and internalized homophobia and racism and school shootings (it seems like a lot, but the show is really good at exploring multiple topics well). It’s an extremely powerful season, and, in my opinion, the best one out of the three. I will say, it’s quite an open-ended show, so if you don’t like endings like that, I probably wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s a fantastic show. Also, the two characters who I’d consider the main characters remind me so heavily of Ronan and Adam from The Raven Boys, like I would 100% cast them in the TV show adaptation. You’ll get it if you watch it.

The Fall

the fall

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

A male serial killer going around murdering girls is constantly being chased by a female detective trying to solve the mystery of the murders.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

This is also a British show, and it’s absolutely brilliant.  Jamie Dornan, despite how awful he is in the 50 Shades franchise, is fantastic in this show, and so is the wonderful Gillian Anderson as the female detective, Stella. This show is also intense and dark, and, again, one I’d highly recommend to those who like thrillers. Not to mention that this show is fiercely feminist, and that’s always wonderful.

Eyewitness

eyewitness main

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Two gay teens making out in a cabin in the woods get tangled up in a mystery when a murderer intrudes and murders three people. One of the teens’ foster mom is a police officer trying to solve the case, but the other teen doesn’t want to tell her because he doesn’t want to come out. It’s complicated.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You might have heard of this show when it was on last year, but I’m going to talk about it again. First off, the show is so wonderfully diverse. I absolutely love Philkas, and it’s so nice to see a gay couple normalized in something else that’s not really contemporary. Also, their moments are adorable. Not to mention it’s a brilliant thriller that takes in a small town (WHICH IS MY WEAKNESS), and you get to follow the serial killer from his point of view, which makes the show ten times more tense than it already is. Like, seriously; this is such a taut and well-plotted thriller that has fantastic character development. And the acting is absolutely brilliant. And the cast is wonderful. JUST WATCH IT PLEASE (especially to those who don’t like or were disappointed in Riverdale like I was).

eyewitness philkas

The Replacement

The Replacement

No suitable gifs for this show. Boo.

Genre: 

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Life is going well for our main character until she becomes pregnant and has to go on leave. She decides to assist a replacement to be a stand-in for her until she comes back, but it seems like her replacement is trying to do more than take over her job…

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Basically, if you’re a huge fan of those thrillers with psychotic girls or that trope where the main character is the only person who sees what’s going on, you will binge this quickly. Because it’s a British mini-series (British shows are brilliant at thrillers, basically), there’s only three episodes that are an hour long, so you’ll go through it quick. Most people had issues with the very ending of the series, but it wasn’t SO terrible that it ruined the entire reading experience, so I still totally recommend to those who are curious.

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And that’s it for all my favorite TV shows.

Just kidding, this isn’t all of them. Once I find the time to binge some more, I’ll probably write up a second part to this post because this was so much fun.

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[TV SHOW DISCUSSION] 13 Reasons Why // In Which I Flail, Cry, and Over-Analyze

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I had no plans to watch 13 Reasons Why. As I do with most things that I get involved with and end up taking over my life. I’d never read the book, I didn’t want to, I wasn’t interested, I’ve never been a huge fan of teen dramas, I suck at binging shows, basically a whole slew of excuses. BUT, because some of my friends in real life said how good it was, I decided to cave. And, boy, am I glad I did.

This show is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not a crier. I’ve never full on sobbed before reading a book. I’ve teared up, yes, but never full on snot-dripping, tears running down my face crying. This show made me cry. And it wasn’t even when I was watching the actual show. It was when I was watching the mini-documentary, Beyond the Reasons. It just resonated with me so hard that I cried, like, so many times. It was such an emotional experience, and I highly recommend it. Highly.

A couple things before I spoil the heck out of this show:

#1: I absolutely loved the intro to the show. I mean, it doesn’t really matter overall, but I’m glad that it was short because as someone who’s a fan of Sense8, Daredevil, and Orange is the New Black, which are all Netflix shows with minute long intros, it can mess with the binging quality. Also, I loved the animation. So cute.

#2: The characterization was spot on. Like, seriously. Even the characters I hated, still gave me feelings, whether it was anger, sadness, love, I want to cuddle you in a blanket and hug you forever. None of these characters were perfect – all of them made mistakes and all of them were in a gray area, which I absolutely loved (though some of them were bigger assholes than others).

#3: The acting was brilliant. Seriously. I feel like I recognized some of the actors’ faces, but at the same time, I couldn’t place their name, so I wouldn’t say they’re “famous” but they all were so good at bringing their characters to life. Especially Katherine as Hannah. She was absolutely wonderful.

#4: It had one of the best depictions of high school. Like, yes??? This is all I asked for! Probably one of the rawest depictions of high school, because it can either be a Glee where it’s just straight up cheesy or a Degrassi where it’s too many issues at once or a Riverdale, where it’s just…crazy and unrealistic, but this one was probably the best. Not saying my school is like that (though my school is a mess and I don’t like 90% of the people – and I go to a private school), but the things that happen are stories I’ve heard via the news. So it was nice to see something like this, FINALLY.

#5: Though I do love this show and recommend it, if you’re a sensitive person or anything regarding depression, suicide, or sexual assault triggers you, just know that the show and my review shows/talks about these things in-depth. So, again, warning to those who are sensitive to depression, suicide, or sexual assault, just be careful reading my review or watching the show. I’ll make sure to properly warn what will be discussed in my review at each episode if you want to skip.

And now I’m going to say good-bye to those who haven’t watched it yet and are planning to, or those who don’t want spoilers. Leave now and watch it.

13 Reasons Why

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So, first off, probably my favorite thing about this is that the characters are supposed to be sophomores in the flashbacks and juniors in the present, AND THEY LOOK LIKE THAT. It really bothered me when I watched the little of Riverdale that I did that they kept trying to tell me they were sophomores…mainly because I’m a sophomore, and no guy in our grade has six-pack abs, and the girls don’t look like they belong in college. Of course, there are attractive people, but it looked so fake in Riverdale. Which is why I appreciate 13 Reasons Why for having authentic actors.

We find out the first reason is that Hannah goes out on a date with Justin, gets an unflattering picture taken of her on a slide, kisses him, and that’s it. Bryce, who I want to murder (but that’s another story), spreads the unflattering photo around, and everyone immediately starts slut-shaming her. This starts a ripple effect with Hannah’s rep, and I’d probably say this is the first instance of people labeling her a “slut.” It actually breaks my heart that this happened to her, especially because she’s so confident and funny and such a go-getter, someone I’d love to be friends with if she were real. So it sucked to see her spirit broken, and this happens more and more as the series goes on.

We also find out that Tony is apparently involved with this. I was actually shocked, because I totally didn’t think Tony was going to be the whole ringleader in the tapes thing. And, also, because my school put on the musical West Side Story, and now I can’t stop thinking of him as Tony from the Sharks. So, there’s that.

And, also, why does Clay look so recognizable??? Even after learning the actor’s name, I still don’t know if I’ve seen him before or not. He really does remind me of Logan Lerman. But, already, I want to hug him and hold him tight. This feeling will overcome me often.

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First off, we see tidbits of Hannah making out with someone at the beginning. I honestly couldn’t tell who it was because the flashes were so quick, but, obviously, we learn it’s Clay. This piqued my interest because there are so many white boys in this series and what she said over the quick flashes threw me off.

We learn the subject of the second tape: Jessica. She was Hannah’s best friend at the beginning of sophomore year, and we also get to meet Alex, another key character. They were all close friends, but then they all stopped coming to meet each other, and, eventually, Hannah was left alone. And then, shocker, Jessica and Alex start dating. I was actually shocked because I truly thought Alex was going to be gay…but the actor is rumored to be dating the actor who played Justin, so there’s that? Then, this list gets passed around, which ultimately breaks up the Jessica-Hannah friendship. More thoughts on this list coming up in Episode 3.

It’s revealed that Clay used to talk to a therapist and take meds, which doesn’t get talked about often in this show, though it does seem like listening to Hannah’s tapes triggers hallucinations in the early episodes. It isn’t really talked about as to why this happened or what was going on in Clay’s life, but I’m interested.

We also get to meet Bryce a little bit. I’m well aware that he raped Hannah because I knew it happened in the book (or at least, I heard it did), so I already hated him from the beginning. Of course he’s a popular jock; is anyone surprised? I wanted to hurt him. We also see that Tony is involved with Hannah’s parents, and is talking to them. About what, exactly? Who knows.

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So, this is the tape where we learn more about Alex and this whole list. Basically, the list talks about the girls in their grade who have the “Best/Worst” in terms of body parts – and Hannah is voted Best Ass and Jessica is voted Worst Ass. Jessica thought that Hannah and Alex were tag-teaming to try to embarrass her, even though Hannah was truly unaware,  and that was the whole conflict in the previous episode. We find out Alex did it because he tried to have sex with Jessica and she said no, so he just went along and wrote her name on the list for revenge (why am I so surprised?).

We’re also getting introduced to the whole group of assholes who have listened to the tapes previously before Clay, and decide the best course of action is to keep it secret to save their own skin. I’m annoyed at this for several reasons, but mainly because they KNOW that some of the tape-receivers have done illegal things – like rape, for instance, not once, but TWICE – and try to protect themselves. And the more I learn about this group in future episodes, the more I hate them (especially Courtney). But moving on.

In one of the flashbacks, we get to see more of Bryce’s douche-y side because at a liquor store, he GRABS HANNAH’S ASS and says lewd things to her because of this list. Obviously, this spirals a whole thing in which Bryce continually gets away with this, and it unfolds into something really bad.

We also learn more about Justin’s crappy home life, which plays a part in this. He’s hiding out in Bryce’s house because his mom continually hooks up with abusive boyfriends, and doesn’t do anything about it. Even though I still sort of hate him, and have mixed feelings about his character overall, I really don’t believe he should suffer like this, and it’s really sad to see the situation he’s stuck in.

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So, we get to see a look at the school and Hannah’s parents because of this whole lawsuit thing. Clay’s mom attends this meeting with the counselor and other parents where they talk about suicide and warning signs and all that, and Hannah’s mom invades by talking about how everyone should monitor their kids because of some graffiti she’s found on the bathroom stalls. Of course, the school acts like a total snake about it and tries to hide it by painting over it, because OUR POOR PRECIOUS SCHOOL WHAT WILL WE DO UNDER A LAWSUIT. I’m basically angry at two-thirds of the people on this show.

We get to learn more about two characters: Courtney and Tyler (though the fourth tape is mainly about Tyler). Hannah feels uneasy because she thinks that she hears someone taking photos outside her window, and her and Courtney hatch a plan to catch who’s stalking her. Hannah and Courtney get drunk, and we learn that Courtney’s a closet lesbian, and that Tyler is the creepy stalker taking the pictures. I really didn’t expect that to happen, but so many other terrible things happen that this one pales in comparison.

Hannah goes to Tyler and tells him to give her all those pictures from yesterday because Courtney doesn’t want anyone to find out that she’s the one in those photos, but, for some asshole reason, Tyler keeps one and spreads it around the school, and, again, because of miscommunication, Courtney gets angry at Hannah instead of Tyler and everything gets messed up again. We learn more about these repercussions in the next episode.

I definitely have mixed feelings about Clay’s revenge. He basically takes a photo of Tyler naked from behind and sends it to the entire school, causing Tyler to be bullied. I DO understand why he did it because Tyler did some jerky things himself that were definitely illegal and creepy, but at the same time, I don’t really think the best way to handle it was to do the same thing, especially knowing how hurt Hannah was by it, and how Tyler was already bullied anyway. I’m curious to know anyone else’s thoughts on it.

Also, nothing to do with the actual show or anything, but I totally fangirled at seeing the actor who played Ben on my favorite TV show of ever, Queer as Folk, play Courtney’s dad. Literally looks like he hasn’t aged in 13 years.

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So, in this episode, we get to learn a lot more about Courtney, and how much of a snake she is. I mean, I have such mixed feelings about her. That scene at the cemetery where she says the reason she doesn’t come out is because of the way her gay dads are treated both makes sense and doesn’t? Mainly because I feel like there’s a difference between her being a lesbian and gay couples raising kids – I feel like there’s still more discrepancies about the latter than the former – and then there’s the fact that there are other out gay kids at the school, and none of them are really treated differently? I mean, sure, those guys were awful at the dance, but that was two people out of the entire student body. But, still, I hate her.

Lots of things happen at this dance. One, apparently there are no chaperones at this dance to prevent teenagers from bringing flasks and grind against each other. Pretty sure that doesn’t happen in real life, but okay. Two, we see how Hannah and Tony developed a sort of semi-relationship when he starts up her brand new car when it stops working. Three, HANNAH AND CLAY WERE ADORABLE AT THAT DANCE. THEY DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER. Four, that song is now stuck in my head, and I need to know what it is.

I loved that moment between Tony and Clay at Hannah’s grave. Especially when he marked where she was buried for her. IT HURT SO BAD. And then we learn that Clay’s mom is trying to defend the school against Hannah’s lawsuit, and Clay does that thing where he’s super vague to his mom about knowing Hannah and whether there was bullying. Like he does 3849284 other times throughout these episodes.

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I think an alternate title to this episode could be, “CLAY IS OBLIVIOUS.” I mean, all the episodes could be titled that, but this one especially.

Let’s have a little chat about Alex. We see him get into a fight with Montgomery, which definitely isn’t something that he would typically do. And he totally loses. This sort of plays a part into an event that happens in the finale, but we’ll talk about this later. I also loved the whole Honor Counsel thing where it was a metaphor for Hannah’s suicide. It was just entertaining to see everyone confused, and I loved seeing more into the character’s insights.

The topic of the sixth tape is Marcus. Who was surprised that he was yet another douche-y jock? Nobody! I’m actually shocked that Hannah was actually his number one choice for Dollar Valentine, and he was so eager to ask her out even though they’d never talked before. Also, the fact that they’re giving out real cell phone numbers??? Am I the only one low-key concerned about people’s safety and what people will do with these phone numbers???

But, yeah, Marcus practically stands her up, then when he finally arrives, brings all his awful jock friends, then proceeds to try to sexually assault her, and then act like she’s crazy for telling him to go away. WHY?

Also, we get a painful scene where Hannah is basically begging Clay to ask her out, and Clay’s like, “LOL whut.” IT’S SO PAINFUL. And then Clay’s all devastated, but you had your chance, Clay. And you lost it. Then we get to see Clay do this in the present with Sheri, even though, come on, she was ten times more obvious than Hannah was. Sheri is revealed to have been on the tapes, and I feel like I should have seen it. She was too nice.

Also, this is probably the start of Justin and Jessica’s relationship slowly falling apart, but more of that in later episodes.

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So, this is a huge Clay episode regarding his character development. Clay hallucinates heavily in this episode (which was unfortunate, because I really wanted him to have punched Zach in the face), and it leads him to key Zach’s car. He also briefly gives up the idea of listening to the tapes – and that scene where he’s nice to the whole group conspiring against him and they’re so confused made me laugh out loud – but then his tone totally shifts during his Communications class, and we get to see him act out towards the foreign exchange students during his tour (which, again, highly entertaining). Clay was probably at his best in this episode.

We get more insight into Zach’s character. He’s a classic “nice guy” – you know, the type who thinks that just because he’s nice, he therefore deserves to date all the girls. Yeah, that guy. I actually have mixed feelings about him because he was a total jerk who was so petty that he stole her compliments without any remorse, but he’s well aware that what he did was a jerk-y thing to do, and he even kept the letter she wrote to him. This sort of brings up a point about whether Hannah is lying or not because she said he threw the note away, but he’s actually kept her note in his wallet. This begs the question if she lied about any other details, but no one else says she lied about what happened, so I’m going with no. But food for thought.

We also get to see a little bit more about Clay and his relationship with Skye. Supposedly, the two of them used to be best friends, but sort of fell apart in freshman year. Skye also sticks up for Hannah when the Communications teacher reads out her anonymous note because she knows she wrote it from working at Monet’s.

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So, the eighth tape surrounds an unexpected character: Ryan. I honestly didn’t think he was going to be in the tapes since he was barely in the earlier episodes, so I was surprised to see him in it. Apparently, Hannah attended a sort of poetry group, and Ryan was the only person around her age to be there. Hannah writes a gorgeous poem and presents it to the group, but Ryan decides that he should publish the poem in the school magazine, because it’s art, and art’s supposed to be shared. BUT IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE SHARED WITH THE CONSENT OF THE ARTIST, RYAN. Hannah is completely and totally embarrassed because everyone is laughing at her, and then her English teacher decides to dissect her poetry. As someone who used to write and hates it when people I know read what I write, I feel her pain.

Also, we have another edition of CLAY IS OBLIVIOUS because he reads Hannah’s poem, and we get to watch him say, “Oh, yeah, it’s a nice poem, but I’d never be friends with the writer of the poem because they sound depressing.” CLAY WHY.

I have to say, it hurt so bad seeing Hannah have all these goals and dreams of being a writer and going to college in New York, but we know what happens to her, and her soul is just crushed by everyone laughing at her poetry. My heart hurts. Also, her rant about the education system was on point.

We also get to see Tony make Clay skip class and rock-climb with him. I find it so hilariously Tony that he basically risks Clay’s life even though they could have just taken a path up to the rock cliff just to inspire Clay to keep listening to the tapes. I loved seeing Tony have these emotions about the day Hannah committed suicide; how she left the box on his doorstep, but he ignored it, and when he finally listened to the first tape, he ran over to her house, but it was too late. It makes so much sense why Tony wants her wishes to be carried out; probably because he thinks that he played a part in killing Hannah as well. Though I am sort of confused about Clay saying he’s never seen a dead body/been on a crime scene when he saw Jeff’s dead body and was on the scene of the crime for the car accident. BUT WHATEVER.

Also, I totally knew Tony was gay and that guy was his boyfriend. Okay, I didn’t know until, like, the sixth or seventh episode, but I figured it out! Once again, CLAY IS OBLIVIOUS (and adorably confused).

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

Okay, so this was a HUGE EPISODE. We start this whole “Jessica’s party” narrative, and a lot of things happen in these next three episodes. There are three stories, and the one we start with is Bryce raping Jessica when she was drunk and unconscious. Honestly, I thought it was Justin that did it because the flashes were cut so quick in the intro that I couldn’t tell which white boy was which, but it is Bryce (because we all need more reasons to hate Bryce).

Let’s talk about the present first. So, the group totally escalates out of control (or maybe just Marcus, really), because he decides to buy weed from Bryce’s dealer and put it in Clay’s backpack and get him suspended so no one will listen to him once he starts talking. Obviously, this is frustrating because no one believes him, but these are the struggles of being in the third person as a TV show watcher.

Clay’s told to go to the police to enroll in some sort of drug prevention program (if this is how schools handle a student having weed in their backpack, we’re really having some problems), and it seems like he’s on his way to tell his mom everything and maybe confess to the police about what happened, but of course Clay doesn’t because WHAT IS LOGIC. He does tell his mom that Hannah actually meant a lot to him than he said he did, so that was a nice moment between the two of them.

I also loved the entire way the episode ended with Clay being angry at Tony’s garage, and him having this moment with Tony where he calms Clay down and encourages him to keep going on with the tapes to get the full story. It’s not an episode of 13 Reasons Why if Clay isn’t asking, “BUT WHY AM I ON THE TAPES, DAMN IT?”

And now into the past. We see Hannah wants to have a fresh start for junior year since sophomore year was so awful. She decides to cut her hair (AND LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL; HANNAH DESERVED BETTER) and wants to focus more on her studies so she can get into college. Clay mentions going to Jessica’s party and tries to ask her to it, but Hannah turns him down, and poor Clay is heartbroken even though she secretly loves him. In the end, Hannah caves and goes, which I both hate and love, because, hey, cute moments with Clay, BUT IT’S ALSO THE SECOND WORST NIGHT OF HER LIFE.

It was heart-breaking to watch Jessica get raped, especially since she wakes up in the middle of it and is completely disoriented and terrified. It hurt so bad, and then you realize that her behavior makes total sense because it’s clear she’s been quietly suffering. Not to mention how much I sort of hate Justin. It’s not even because of the rape – clearly, he couldn’t stop it, since Bryce throws him out of the room when Justin is drunk as all hell, and then locks the door – but just the fact that he knows, and he’s still FRIENDS WITH HIM. AND LIVES WITH HIM. I wouldn’t be so furious if he disassociated himself from Bryce, but he continues to hang out with him as if nothing happened – AND DOESN’T TELL JESSICA. WHY?

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So, we get to learn about the second story pertaining to Jessica’s party: the one dealing with Sheri. This takes place after the events of the last episode, and Hannah is totally disoriented, so she decides to leave with Sheri to get home. On the way to Sheri’s house, she ends up hitting a stop sign and knocking it over, and though Hannah wants to report it, Sheri refuses AND THEN DRIVES OFF. Thanks, Sheri!

We also deal with a second sort of storyline dealing with Clay. On his way home, he runs into an accident at the point where Sheri had knocked over the stop sign earlier in the night, only to find Jeff dead in his car and an old man crying out for help. It is one of those things that shocked me, since you’re so caught up with everything else that you don’t realize that Jeff is only alive in the flashbacks, not the present. It truly is heart-breaking to see yet another precious soul die senselessly.

In the present, SO MUCH HAPPENS. The Jessica/Justin situation totally launches out of control, where Justin just wants to help her feel better, but Jessica’s just going through this whole range of emotions, and is quickly becoming an alcoholic. Also, there’s this whole thing where Jessica goes off with Bryce, which is all kinds of a terrible idea, and I seriously thought she was going to shoot him in that one scene (and was highly disappointed when she didn’t), and then she agrees to go into his hot tub (and knowing what I know now, it’s even creepier), and WHAT ARE YOU DOING JESSICA?

We also deal with Clay learning that his tape is coming up! I didn’t like that Tony said that Clay killed Hannah Baker since we literally learn in the next episode that he didn’t, but WHATEVER. Finally, we approach Clay’s tape.

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THERE ARE LOTS OF FEELINGS REGARDING THIS EPISODE. I ship Clay and Hannah so hard, and even though it never happens, this episode was just so wonderful to see. First off, I loved how Jeff continually pushed them towards each other and how Hannah took notice of it. And that whole superpower conversation was ALL KINDS OF CUTE. We have that wonderful moment where the two of them finally kiss, and Clay adorably asks if what he’s doing is okay (which, unfortunately, is the only instance where a guy actually asks about what Hannah wants or even asks for consent) AND JUST ALJFLAJFLAJFJ.

I thought the mini-docu Beyond the Reasons explained this better than I could, but the way Hannah was continually treated by other guys and slut-shamed really did break her spirit. She feels like having sex with Clay would actually make her a “slut” – make her live up to her awful reputation. Add that with all the guys who completely and totally ruined her life, and she’s terrified that Clay will be the same way. It’s so sad seeing her push Clay away when she most needs him, and Clay just not understanding and thinking he did something wrong.

I also love the moment in the present when we see Clay react to this. That little moment when he’s on the edge of the cliff and thinking of an alternate ending where he talked to Hannah and let her open up to him. WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME LIKE THIS? But it’s so nice to see Hannah say that he isn’t really one of the reasons why; he just plays an important part in the story.

Lots of things are revealed in this episode: Hannah’s mom finds the bubble map she used to plan her suicide (we first see Mr. Porter’s name circled – at least I did – which made wonder what part he played), Skye is cutting herself, Clay is going to have to testify for the school, and Justin announces to the group that Bryce raped Jessica, which is a big no-no, but definitely commendable on his part.

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

So, this is the first of two episodes that just pack an emotional punch overall. I was already spoiled on the fact that Bryce raped Hannah, and already those little flashes at the beginning pierce my soul, but more of that later.

In the present, the group gathers together at Monet’s because the subsidies have been handed out, so they’re all figuring out what to say when testifying. Tyler has a plan to blame everything on Bryce so when their awful stuff comes out, it’s seen as not-so-bad, which I agreed and disagreed with, mainly because Tyler is STILL a law-breaking creep. Also, continual frustration at Marcus and Courtney – but ESPECIALLY Courtney – for not calling out Bryce for rape. Courtney calling him an “alleged rapist.” GET OUT, COURTNEY. We also see Sheri finally own up to hitting the stop sign that night, which was good to see.

So, let’s talk about the rape scene before we talk about Clay and Bryce. Hannah decides to just take a walk because it had been a really crappy day for her with her parents not getting a lot of money from the store and such, and they’re constantly arguing. She happens upon Bryce’s party, runs into Jessica, and climbs into the hot tub with her and her friends. Everyone leaves the hot tub, and Hannah is left alone, until Bryce decides to jump in with her, proceeds to flirt with her while Hannah CLEARLY WANTS TO LEAVE, and then when that doesn’t work, YANKS HER BACK INTO THE HOT TUB. I’m emphasizing this because Bryce has this weird perception where Hannah was “making eyes” at him and flirting with him. I hate him so much.

And it’s awful. Like, I knew it was going to happen, but it was so awful to watch. It’s supposed to make you uncomfortable, and that’s the point. Nothing can express how truly awful it is watching Hannah try to fight him off, and then she just gives up. And the light just completely leaves her eyes, and you see her walk home shivering and crying. It’s so, so awful, and I think the fact that it just completely breaks her soul is what makes it hurt so much. Hannah immediately goes into work on making the bubble map for the tapes, and we see her plan start to work.

Now, back to the present, with Clay’s plan. He decides to drop in and pretend that he’s trying to get weed from Bryce, but then spontaneously tries to get him to admit that he raped Hannah. I just love Clay in this scene; how clever he is to bring the tape, how it doesn’t even matter that Bryce beats the crap out of him, he will do anything to get him to confess.

We also see this sort of out-of-place scene where it’s talking about a seventeen-year-old boy who’s been shot in the head. This is juxtaposed with Clay’s parents wondering where he is, which, of course, spirals everyone into panic, AND I NEED EPISODE 13 RIGHT NOW.

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Trigger Warning: Suicide

And now we reach the finale. Boy, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it!

First, let’s tackle Hannah’s last day. I thought Christine from PolandbananasBOOKS expressed this perfectly: even though you KNOW she doesn’t make it, you hold out hope that maybe she’ll choose life. Maybe she’ll make it. And after following her journey for so long, you can’t help but just want her to live.

We see Hannah has finally finished all of the tapes, but then decides to grab a thirteenth tape (we find out this is for Mr. Porter), but also makes a last-minute decision to grab some razor blades. THAT’S FINE; MY HEART ISN’T HURTING. Hannah attempts one last school day, and it was so frustrating and painful to see Hannah try to tell Clay what happened; I just wanted to scream, “TELL HIM; HE’LL UNDERSTAND; HE LOVES YOU,” but she just says, “Never mind,” and my heart continues to break into a million pieces.

We find out that Mr. Porter is a total snake. The entire time during the show he’s insisted that he only talked to Hannah once when they were talking about their college aspirations…but then we learn this is a total lie and that he literally talked to her probably only a couple hours from committing suicide. Of course, Hannah spills everything to him, tells him that a guy at the school sexually assaulted her, and Mr. Porter’s wonderful response is victim-blaming and asking her if she said no or stop. DO YOU WANT ME TO HURT YOU, MR. PORTER??? And then he tells her to basically move on with her life. SHE WAS RAPED. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM.

I thought it was awful watching her just walk out of that office, waiting for him to run after her, but he didn’t. And that moment when she’s walking in the hallways, and saying, “People cared. They just didn’t care enough.” I CARE, HANNAH. I CARE SO MUCH.

We actually get to see Hannah commit suicide, and oh my God, it was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever watched. And I watch violent TV shows. The entire scene is just so raw and real, and that moment when Hannah makes the first cut and just screams out in pain just tugs at the heartstrings. And then she just continues to cut her arms, and then she just lies in the bathtub, panting and crying while the tub overflows with water. It’s so heart-breaking. Not only because she gives up, but just because she dies alone and in so much pain; I honestly just want to be there to hold her hand and tell her that she’s not alone at all, that someone cares for her.

And it’s just such a powerful scene. The consensus is that it was disturbing to watch, which was the exact point. Suicide and depression can sometimes be so romanticized, and I’m so glad that the show finally showed how awful it is. It’s not pretty, it’s not beautiful; it’s painful, and horrible, and it’s permanent, and it effects people. Seeing Hannah’s parents rush in, and her mom thinking she has a chance of living, and her dad just freaking out seeing her, knowing she’s gone. It’s simply heart-breaking. Everything hurt.

So, back to the present. We get to see a snippet of some of the people testifying, and it’s nice to see them finally owning up to all their crap. Tyler actually admits that there are tapes detailing everything that happens to Hannah, and that Clay is the last one out there with them. Then, Jessica decides to lie and say there aren’t any tapes. WHY?

Clay goes to confront Mr. Porter about the whole thirteenth tape. I loved seeing the juxtaposition between their meeting and the meeting between Hannah and the counselor. I was so glad to see Clay stand up for Hannah and give him the tapes, which ultimately disobeyed Hannah’s wishes since he skipped giving Bryce the tapes, but we all know that’s a terrible idea. Clay has recorded the other side of the thirteenth tape with Bryce’s confession, and leaves everything up to Mr. Porter.

We see Mr. Porter put in the tape, but then the principal comes in and says that Alex shot himself in the head last night! Obviously, this is a shocker to everyone, and with all the weird stuff surrounding Tyler, there’s been a couple of theories surrounding this whole thing since it’s left open-ended.

Theory #1: Tyler is planning a school shooting. He bought a gun, and then it’s revealed he has even more gun paraphernalia in his room, which he hides from his parents. He’s last seen in the dark room taking down Alex’s picture and remembering when Alex told Montgomery to back off bullying Tyler. Taking down Alex’s picture might imply that he shot Alex.

Theory #2: Tyler is planning a school shooting. BUT, him taking down Alex’s picture doesn’t mean he shot him, it just means that since Alex is already in critical condition OR because he was the only person to show him an act of kindness, so he’s off the hit list, so to say.

Theory #3: Alex really did shoot himself, and it has nothing to do with Tyler. Hannah talked about how other people fail to see the signs of depression until someone kills themselves, and with Alex’s spiraling behavior throughout the entire series, it does point to the fact that he had suicidal tendencies. The only reason I don’t agree with this theory is because he wanted to testify for Hannah, but one of my friends pointed out that Alex’s dad said he was going to get Alex out of testifying, so there might not have been anything left for him to live for.

That’s all the theories, but yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on there that feels like it needs clearing up, but I really do like open-ended endings, so I don’t mind too much.

I loved seeing Tony finally give the tapes to Hannah’s parents. It was so nice, and I’m so glad to see that they finally get closure and learn more about what happened to their daughter since that seemed to be killing them the most. That moment at the end when they’re holding each others’ hands and listening to Hannah was so beautiful to watch. And then Jessica breaking down to her dad as she gets close to confessing that Bryce raped her was also a moment that brought me close to tears. And then seeing Clay ask Skye if she wants to hang out, and his entire speech to the counselor about how we all need to treat each other better. THE PAIN.

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And that’s basically all my jumbled thoughts on the show. I hope you enjoyed reading about my long ramblings!

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25 Facts About Me

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So, I find it hilarious that you guys know my favorite book and series and what I read per month, but you don’t even know when my birthday is! So, I thought it’d be nice to have a sort of “Get to Know the Bookworm” post so you can learn more about me and my personality!

On to the facts!

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(1) I am sixteen years old. Yes, I’m a teenager! And, yes, sometimes I abandon my studies for reading and blogging! I mean, it’s a bad plan, but my grades are pretty okay, so what’s the harm?

(2) My birthday is December 7. I was born on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. My mom was born on April Fools’ Day, my dad on the Ides of March (the day Julius Caesar was stabbed), and my brother on St. Patrick’s Day. So, my entire family was born on holidays.

(3) My favorite TV show ever is a tie between Queer as Folk and Black Mirror. Other TV shows I love: Supernatural, Friday Night Lights, Hannibal, Looking, Sense8, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, Teen Wolf, Eyewitness, In the Flesh, Banshee, Spartacus, Gravity Falls, How to Get Away with Murder, Hell’s Kitchen, Mr. Robot.

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(4) My binging abilities actually pass into more than one category. I suck at finishing/catching up on TV series. It’s a huge problem, obviously.

(6) My favorite movies include Inception, Gone Girl, District 9, Hush, You’re Next, Don’t Breathe, Se7en, Would You Rather, Exam, The Circle, The Edge of Tomorrow, I Am Legend, Nocturnal Animals, The Edge of Seventeen.

(7) My favorite Marvel superhero is Captain America. Close second is Deadpool. Yes, it’s highly ironic that those two couldn’t be any more different.

(8) I literally just got into Marvel last year. My first Marvel movie was Deadpool, then I watched the Iron Man trilogy, and then watched the Captain America trilogy. I still have yet to watch the Avengers movies, the Thor movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men movies, or Ant-Man, but I’m slowly catching up!

(9) When I was ten, I got hit in the head with a golf club. Like, a real one. I was running past while someone was swinging, and got hit. I had to get stitches, and if you ever see me up close, you can still see a faint scar. Fun memories.

(10) I don’t like chocolate. Or bacon. Or ice cream. Or watermelon. Or grapes. Or mac and cheese. I know, I know; I’m a monster.

(11) My house is Ravenclaw. I’ve only taken a couple of quizzes, but I’m a highly imaginative person and super creative (at least, I think I am), so I’m pretty sure I know.

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(12) I have a dog named Ginger. She’s a lab-golden retriever mix, and we’ve had her for four years. She chewed up our TV remote when she was little, and now she just chews through her toys because she has zero understanding of how toys work. She also likes playing in snow, and sitting in front of the fireplace whenever we turn it on.

LEFT: Ginger as a puppy, RIGHT: Ginger now

(13) I have a weird interest in True Crime. I’m pretty sure my obsession started because I fell in love with mysteries/thrillers last year, and just grew the more I watched Buzzfeed Unsolved (which is the only thing I watch from Buzzfeed) and the ABC show 20/20. I’d never like to work in forensics or anything because seeing dead bodies and dealing with psychopaths is not my jam, but it interests me!

(14) I consider myself a Christian, but I’m liberal. Yep, they clash a lot. And my liberal side wins most of the time, to be honest.

(15) At Mellow Mushroom (which is my favorite restaurant ever), I order my cheese pizza without sauce. I know it’s weird, but I hate saucy pizza, and it actually tastes scrumptious, so I recommend!

(16) When I grow up, I want to either be a screenwriter or work in publishing somewhere. I’m leaning more towards publishing because I haven’t written something for fun in years, but I have so many stories in my head that I’d just love to get out of there.

(17) I don’t have braces yet. I should because I have the worst overbite on this very earth, but I’m probably going to get them this year. I’ll be that lame girl wearing braces in college.

(18) I haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet. Okay, so I’ve watched a couple of episodes, but then I got distracted one episode and didn’t catch what was going on, and I haven’t watched it since. It was good while I was watching it, though, so I’m definitely going to try to catch up!

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(19) Some artists/bands I enjoy: OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, Lorde, Ariana Grande, David Guetta, The Chainsmokers, Sohn, Halsey, Bridgit Mendler, Zedd, Zayn, DNCE, Ellie Goulding, Ruelle, Galantis, Major Lazer, Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, Sia, Shawn Mendes, Troye Sivan, X Ambassadors, Flume.

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(20) My favorite song ever is a tie between Elastic Hearts by Sia and The Unknown by Dirty South. LISTEN TO THEM.

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(21) Guys I crush on: all the Chrises in the Marvel Industry, Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Hugh Dancy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Sebastian Stan, Matt Bomer, Mads Mikkelsen, Idris Elba, the entire cast of Sense8…

(22) I’m the biggest introvert alive. I’m also shy. And a little bit socially anxious. It’s a fantastic combination in a world that’s loud and desires extroverts.

(23) I currently live in North Carolina. It’s sort of become a trashy state over the year, but, you know, it’s where I live. I want to move to California, New York, or Europe some day, depending on my job.

(24) Like most people, I love Youtube. The channels I watch that aren’t Booktube-related are Pewdiepie, jacksepticeye, CinemaSins, ScreenJunkies, Facts., Philip DeFranco (and his other channel Philly D, TheMostPopularGirls (which doesn’t update much), Don’t Hug Me .I’m Scared (again, doesn’t update much), the Fine Bros., LastWeekTonight, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Obviously, my tastes are all over the place, and I don’t like watching full episodes of late night politically-centered talk shows, only segments.

(25) I’m obsessed with the Game Show Network and the Food Network Channel. I don’t know why, but I just do. I don’t care how formulaic each episode is, it’s just so fun to watch.

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And those are 25 facts about me that aren’t related to books! I hope you got to learn a little bit more about me (or we found some things in common)! I really need to do more posts like this.

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What are some interesting facts about you? Do we share any facts/interests?