Netflix Series Detention (2020) Review: It’s More Than Meets the Eye

Based on the video game Detention, released Jan 12, 2017, developed by Red Candle Games for Netflix, the T.V show comprises of 8 episodes which tells a detailed story of a transferred student who suffers from mental illness. Oddly, I experienced a sense of familiarity after taking so many social science and history courses back in the day when I see literacy references appearing in the show. Great writers (Plato, Orwell, Walden) helped me understood quickly what the plot was about. It gets an A + for using influential books as props to illustrate that point. I was entertained all the way.

This show is worth checking out if you are into East Asian horror and also if you are a big fan of poetry, which I think is an outdated art form, but when incorporated with other medium, it becomes extremely powerful. Poetry is the form of using words to paint an image and evoke feelings; its rhythm helps create memorable lines too. There are some emotions that you cannot described alone just through the use of prose. Only poetry can deliver powerful images to abstract concepts such as life and death so that we can understand it on a deeper level.  I like how Detention glorifies the power of a poetry through the use of a dead schoolgirl’s poem. It allows me to see and feel the political oppression in a small Taiwanese town through its high school. Thus making it a hauntingly political tale that gives me a glimpse of the culture on the island. As a horror fan, horror is a genre that is very difficult to execute so when a rare one comes by, I can’t help but want to share with the rest of the world. I wrote a short review on the game a few years ago. Please do check it out. No spoiler I promise.

For my final thought, the show made me wonder why do grownups imprisoned students with their outdated ideology? What purpose does it serve other than complete control of one’s sovereignty? Perhaps going to detention may not be such a bad thing because it’s “in the pursuit of freedom [against authoritative government, we find] inner peace,” I quote the counselor from the show. The school was just a training ground for a more authoritative political system. But even if we escape, “outside this place is just a bigger crazier world,” says Liu Yun-hsiang, the main female protagonist. So what is the solution? Death? Overall, if you are looking for a thought provoking horror title on Netflix, I highly recommend this one.

Savage Streets (1984) Review: The Hunting Bow Heroine

I’ve been thinking a lot about films and I’m beginning to really enjoy the medium. It’s like poetry. It’s full of imagery and it gets to the point, especially someone like me who is on the go and dislike details. I guess I’m a bit savage myself–me think in few words and like simplicity.

According to Miss Young, the school teacher in this film, poetry contains the following:

  • Rhythm
  • Rhyme
  • Meaning

I could see it. There are few catchy phrases that were cheesy but entertaining. The right songs are played in each scene, echoing the edginess theme. Lastly, the film has a good message. We could all take some notes from Brenda, the fiery protagonist played by Linda Blair who also starred in that terrifying film called The Exorcist. She is bold, daring but just. And she is only a teenager–a teenager who dares to lit a cigarette in the classroom and tells her sentimental poetry teacher to back off. As she said, teachers only know their students for 1-2 hours. They don’t know them on a personal level and what they are capable of. Grr…feisty.

[Okay! Forgive me for my poetry rant. Let’s talk about the film.]

Savage Streets is at its savageness. It’s a comedy/drama that’s not to be taken seriously. Unless you are a teenager reading this review, you may find the film offensive. Why? Because teenagers don’t really know anything in life other than peer pressure and seeking one’s identity and purpose in life. Unless you had a rough life like Brenda where you are forced to grow up fast, then that’s a different story. Brenda has to be tough because she got a deaf mute sister to care for. It’s no surprise she takes the lead among her female friends. She is like the hunting bow of the streets with her pack, walking in the night fiercely and patrolling the streets from injustice. Like Scorpion from Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion, she is on a mission to put bad boys in their place. Brenda doesn’t wait for the law to set things straight and offer her justice. Instead, she gives that neanderthal, punk villain Jake what he deserves. She hunts and strikes that barbaric savage down with her sharp arrow. I could hear her say through her eyes: “I got you bad boy!” Like a true heroine, she defends the weak from the domineering apes that prowl the streets.

I can’t tell you exactly what happened in the film because that would ruin the fun. Watch this film with friends, significant other, or by yourself and I am pretty sure you would get angry but then have a great laugh. Well depending on your sense of humor. Mine is pretty morbid. Overall, fun film to watch–a few outrageous scenes and nudity that don’t make any sense other then the fact it’s there for eye candy. On a second thought, it might not be a good idea to watch with an easily jealous girlfriend. There’s nothing more annoying than being accused of stealing someone’s boyfriend like in Brenda’s case. It’s not Brenda’s fault that men foolishly gravitate towards her hotness. I guess some men just want to get burn.

Jane Eyre BBC (1983) Review: A Romantically Crazy Love Story

After watching so many quirky Japanese shows, I decided I need a switch, so I watched Jane Eyre. In fact, I’m feeling very English. I’m anticipating for fall so I can drink hot tea, but at the same time, I’m not looking forward to the horror of what Covid-19 (the reaper) will do to more lives and the economy. All we can do is tread on until we get out of this dark period. But as an introvert, I sort of enjoy this solitude because most of my hobbies are in door. I just wish the world is not so much in chaos.

My newest obsession goes to Jane Eyre BBC series. This show is superb and romantically crazy. I felt like a little girl all over again, dreaming of Mr. Right who is fictional and who only exists in a woman’s world. The attractive man is mysteriously brooding and sullen. He is a philanthropic, but denies it by behaving coldly. His speech is harsh and short. He is demanding like a child. But underneath his gloomy visage–is a man who is afraid of abandonment. Yes, I just described the male protagonist, Edward Rochester. It must be biology because it was so easy to empathize with Jane and why she fell in love with such a man. She is direct, restless and outspoken; yet she is frail, naive and forgiving. She is realistically feminine, but strong. It was an enjoyable experience to watch Jane grow and watch the dark plot unfold. There was not one moment I find the show dull.

There are two things, however, I didn’t enjoy about the show. One, is knowing the fact Edward is old enough to be Jane’s dad. He is 20 years older than she! It’s biologically impractical to pursue someone twice your age, but most girls yearn for a father figure who will make them feel safe and wanted. Realistically, falling in love with an older man is a tragedy. He will surely die before her and leave her as a heartbroken widow. Most lovers do not survive after their significant other pass away. Unless she is an ambitious woman. Then I can see Jane remaining a widow for the rest of her life.

Another thing that disturbed me about the show is the idea of love and unity. It’s sweet to hear such talk of merging oneself with a lover–to be part of his flesh and belonging to him. It’s romantic, but eerie. Who in the world would want to fuse in with another human being like conjoined twins? The quote below sounds like a horror story!

I am my husband’s life as he is fully as mine. We are bone of each other’s bone and flesh of each other’s flesh.

Despite my pessimism towards everlasting love, I enjoyed Jane Erye very much. It is clean, romantic, dark, and innocent. Watch it if you want your heart to be captivated with beautiful dialogue. What is the harm to romanticize some love into your life? Love can feel like a scary thing especially when emotions take over.