WHAT'S on their screens?
Find out what all the fuss is about with these popular shows.
THE KISSING BOOTH
Reminiscent of teen romantic comedies that were all the rage in the early noughties, this particular one sees the protagonist, Elle, torn between her pact to her childhood best friend, Lee (they swore to never date each other’s relatives), and her burgeoning feelings for Lee’s older brother, Noah.
Prequels can very often be difficult to pull off, but this particular series on the story of Superman’s grandfather, SegEl, has taken flight and received solid reviews. It’s also a treat for DC Comics fans as the series explores in more depth what little is known of Superman’s background, ancestry and planet – even featuring the villain Brainiac as Seg-El fights to restore his family’s honour.
13 REASONS WHY
Adapted from a young adult novel, it follows the life of Clay Jensen who receives a set of cassette tapes that detail the reasons and people behind the suicide of his classmate, Hannah Baker. It’s been lauded as a series that delves into darker themes and opens the floor for discussion on many issues such as suicide, cyber-bullying and rape – giving way to controversy, but also creating a space to converse and discuss the very real issues that plague teenagers these days.
THE STORY OF YANXI PALACE
China is well-known for its palace and concubine dramas, but this recent one of how Wei Ying Luo, a palace maid who enters the Forbidden City to investigate her sister’s death, and rises the ranks to become the emperor’s favourite concubine, has taken even international audiences by storm.
This series has garnered critical acclaim – combining the mystery and supernatural genres within an early 1980s setting. The plot revolves around the disappearance of a boy, which leads to an investigation by his mother and friends. This reveals the experiments a nearby laboratory has been conducting as they explore all that is paranormal and supernatural – including testing on human subjects.
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE
This light-hearted teen romance film, which premiered on Netflix, gained a lot of buzz as it’s based on a best-selling young adult novel and features a main character of Korean heritage (if Crazy Rich Asians was anything to go by, you’ll understand just how important representation on screen can be). It tells the story of Lara Jean, who pens down letters to all the boys she’s had feelings for – meaning for them to remain private, only to find out they’d been mailed out to the intended recipients.
A play on the Archie Comics universe, this interpretation may use the same beloved characters, but the storyline is a whole lot darker and twisted. Season One actually opens with a murder mystery to solve! The plus side is that it showcases social issues, which are often swept under the rug, such as Betty Cooper coping with mental illness.
A very different offering from the usual Korean romance dramas or melodramas, this one is set on examining the hard and cruel aspects of life – presented in the form of three brothers battling their own demons (failures, alcoholism and more) as well as a woman who has survived plenty of hardships.