Monday Chatter: Why You Should Watch Elite (Oh and Uh, Books)

So last week I was searching for reference photos of leather jackets and came across an article that talked about how a Netflix show called Elite was a queer sleeper hit. So I was like, “Sure. Why not” and put the jacket-searching on hold to binge through the entire season. And now I’m utterly obsessed.

So here’s a tiny impromptu review!

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The show is a thriller/highschool soap opera set in a prestigious private school in Spain. Think of it as Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale but with a lot more sex. Now, I’ve watched neither of those shows so I have no idea if the comparisons are valid, but the internet says so and therefore it must be true.

Elite starts out, as these things all do, with a dead body. Or rather, it ends with a dead body and the rest of the show is a very long flashback showing us how that dead body came to be. There’s scheming, lying, blackmailing, clandestine hookups, exploration of kink and the harms of parental expectations, and tropey characters turning into something more real and complex.

It’s also very, very, somewhat sneakily, diverse. There are Muslim characters, gay and bi characters (one with lesbian mothers), and narratives–both romantic and otherwise–that fully explore their diversities. It’s great stuff.

 

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It’s not award-winning TV by any stretch, but it’s fun and sexy and addictive and unexpectedly heartfelt. So go watch it! I need more people to rant about it with.

Now onto books!

 

Last Week – Books

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The Binding by Bridget Collins:
This was a weird one. I liked it, but I’m also frustrated with it because it could have been so much more. I’d call it a historical version of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind minus the punchy narrative.

 

This Week – Books

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Jade War by Fonda Lee & Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg:
It’s take two for both of these!

 

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Westside by W.M. Akers:
A fantasy mystery set in the roaring 20’s starring a young female detective. I’m still not sure what to expect with this one because the synopsis is a handful, but I’m pretty excited.

 

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What adventures have you been on in this past week? And what are your plans for this week?

28 thoughts on “Monday Chatter: Why You Should Watch Elite (Oh and Uh, Books)

  1. Bailey says:

    I just picked up The Binding yesterday! From the reviews I’ve read a lot of people seem to be saying the same things you are. I’m definitely curious to see how it all plays out. Also thanks for the Netflix rec. It’ll be nice to have something to break up the cycle of perpetually re-watching The Office and Black Mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      I was so, so sure that I was going to love the Binding, but it just never got there for me. The love story is still pretty wonderful, though! I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on it!

      And I used to rewatch The Office constantly when I was in undergrad! There’s just something about it that I always found stress-relieving. Nowadays I rewatch B99. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

    I’m glad you liked The Binding even if you didn’t love it! I gave it 5 stars because I think it had an emotional impact on me but I’d love to know your thoughts and what didn’t work for you because it’s an odd book in that I can *totally* see why some people would feel let down by it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      Ohhh I have a lot of thoughts and I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why I’m not completely in love with it (So that I could rant to you about it :P) And I think it’s mostly because of Emmett’s narration. He felt like… I don’t know, one of those blank YA protagonists? The ones that don’t really come with a strong personality? Because the moment I read about how he was suffering from nightmares and demons (and possible memory loss) I was like, “Okay YES. He’s going to be an interesting narrator.” And with first person narrations, I expect the story to give us a more in-depth exploration of the MC than third person would, so I was looking forward to that. And was disappointed that I didn’t get it.

      I just…don’t really know who he is as a character aside from the superficial bits (farmer’s son, binder’s apprentice, kind of sheltered), and that bothers me.

      BUT. I did love Lucian. And I loved his PoV. I loved reading about how binding can be abused in the hands of wrong people (that suicide scene was chilling). And I really liked seeing them find their way back to each other. Though the ending did feel a tad abrupt.

      Oh god, this turned into a review. Sorry, Gerry! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

        Hahaha! Not at all!

        I agree with you about Emmett in that he’s not the most solid character. The first third he does feel a bit of a blank slate but then I think I saw that as the point because who are we as people without our memories? Ultimately I think it’s our experiences and memories that make us who we are so without them in the first third Emmett is almost like a child – being led by people and craving knowledge. Oddly though the first third is probably my least favourite.

        The middle felt more fleshed out to me but I quite liked the build up of Emmett/ Lucian and the possible conflict with Emmett’s sister. I found the setting quite vivid and just felt a mixture of tense, happy and filled with anticipation because it was becoming clear that something was going to happen to them both just didn’t know how.

        I would agree with you and say that Lucian felt more real but I wonder if that’s because we got to know him more in the second part whereas we didn’t get to ‘know’ Emmett in part one and then after knowing him well in part two we went straight to part three. I found Emmett in part three to be quite resourceful and determined. The ending was definitely open ended but I loved it because they finally found each other again even though had already found each other.

        It’s odd because I totally get the flaws of the book and agreed with everything a lot of reviewers are saying about what they didn’t like about it but the science behind why I loved it is so hard to pin down because I think it gave me emotions and I was 100% led by them! Usually I’m more of a critical reader but I think this just made emote! I hate when I can’t explain what is tangible about it!

        Now who’d writing the review πŸ˜‰

        Like

    • Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      The Binding is such a weird book to pin down. People either seem to be head-over-heels in love with it, or feel really disappointed by it. And I guess I’m somewhere in the middle of that? I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on it!

      And YES! Do check out Elite! And then come ramble with me about it. πŸ˜€

      Like

  3. Norrie says:

    Oooh, i most certainly want to watch Elite! Sounds right up my alley πŸ™‚
    We always watch series while having dinner, and just finished our current one, so i’m gonna put this one forward. I usually end up being the one who picks our next watch, so i think i’m winning πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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