Thanks for tuning into another episode of So Here’s What Happened! This time Carolyn and LaNeysha discuss their top picks a for the month of December.
LaNeysha recommends some new reading material from WebToons, titled Olympus Lore. While also reviewing the Guillermo del Toro’s latest installment into the Tales of Arcadia universe, 3Below and the Golden Globe award-winning blockbuster, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
While Carolyn shares her thoughts on period film Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. She also gets into the hilarious Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience, back for it’s 3rd season.
Spoiler Warning: Mary Queen of Scots
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Have you ever wondered what the gods do after dark. Well it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Friendships and lies, jealousy and heartbreak the gossip and the outrageous parties, and of course, forbidden love. Rachel Smythe’s Olympus Lore is a stylish, immersive and modern take on one of Greek mythology’s greatest stories, The Taking of Persephone.
Based on Ino Choi’s 20011 stage play of the same name, Kim’s Convenience is family sitcom centered around a the Kim family, Korean-Canadians who live in Toronto. The main cast is comprised of Appa – Korean for Dad – played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Eomma – Korean for Mom – played by Jean Yoon, their son Jun (Simu Liu) and daughter Janet (Andrea Bang).
The show is a hilarious window into the life of a small family and their daily interactions with the customers of their convenience store, and friends like Kimchee (Andrew Phung). One of the things that make Kim’s Convenience special is how issues like race, culture and politics are discussed. In short exchanges we see characters discuss why some Muslim women choose to wear hijabs, or Appa and Eomma’s experiences as immigrants, and how they keep in touch with their Korean heritage by making special dishes, or making fun of Japanese products.
Now in it’s third season the show has become somewhat of a social media phenomenon with episode livetweets (which yours truly took part in), creation of GIFs and memes and even hashtags of Appa’s trademark phrase “Ok, See You”, and #KimBits, a play on the famous Canadian donut-holes Tim Bits. If you want to laugh, and have a good time season 1 and 2 are now streaming on Netflix.
After crash-landing on Earth, two royal teen extraterrestrial siblings, Aja and Krel, along with their doglike pet named Luug, and their bodyguard, Varvatos Vex, escape from their home planet of Akiridion-5 in the city of Arcadia. There, they must learn to adjust to human culture and try to fix their spaceship to return and take back their home planet, which has been taken over by an evil dictator known as General Val Morando, who has placed an intergalactic bounty on their heads to find and catch the prince and princess.
Just like del Toro’s Trollhunters, 3Below does not disappoint. It’s nice to see old and new characters from Arcadia and see a new story unfold. While also seeing how these characters interacted behind the scenes with their adventures during the time frame of it’s predecessor series.
When Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) lands on the shores of her Scotland, she knows that she’s going to have a battle of wills on her hands as she prepares to claim her rightful place as the Queen of Scotland and heir to the English throne. Mary knows that her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) is not a woman to be taken lightly, and like Elizabeth, Mary is a woman who is surrounded by men that will do everything they can to wrest what little control she has.
Based on John Guy’s Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart, and directed by Josie Rourke, the film is one that on it’s face appears to be ‘feminist’, because it shows two women – in the most powerful positions in Europe at that time – leading entire nations, and presiding over a roomful of men. But in reality it’s the opposite. Every decision that Mary and Elizabeth make are either influenced by, or completely ignored by the men in their lives. They make multiple impassioned speeches about their power, determination, and their claims for the thrones, but they all seem for naught as their power seems to be mitigated by the actions of men. Though they are determined, their plans are repeatedly thwarted, and though each woman sits on a throne, they are more figure heads than true rulers because of how they are manipulated into making choices they never wanted to make.
Regarding the acting, Ronan and Robbie are amazing and command attention every time they’re on screen, sadly they have only one scene together, but it’s one that makes you wish they have the opportunity to work together again in the future. There’s something to be said about two, who if it weren’t for men would’ve probably been able to accomplish more than even they thought possible.
Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, admires Spider-Man, however, when he suddenly acquires powers like his hero, he takes it upon him self to become the Spider-Man of his reality. While also crossing paths with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all of their realities.
Fast-paced action, imaginative art design, and great story most if not all fans of Spider-Man can enjoy and appreciate.
Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.