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Reviews of The Month with A Suitable Boy, WandaVision, and More

Our movie and TV reviews for February include new period dramas, TV favorites, romances, and more. 


The new feature, Reviews of the Month, will publish once or twice a month on The Silver Petticoat Review. In one post, we will share movie and TV reviews, and in the second (bi-monthly – every other month), we will share book reviews.

These reviews are shorter reviews than the full standalone reviews we will continue to write (and link to in this post). By creating this feature, it will give us more time to share more recommendations and reviews! So, we’ll post shorter reviews in these posts and full reviews as standalone articles. Enjoy.

To read the film and TV reviews, you can scroll down or click on the title that interests you in the links below.

(Note: The full reviews link to separate pages). 

Movie & TV Reviews: 

A Suitable Boy (Period Drama, Political Drama)

The Baker and the Beauty (Rom-Com, Dramedy)

The English Game (Period Drama)

Enola Holmes (Adventure, Period Drama, Mystery, Teen Romance)

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (Romance, Adventure, Dramedy)

The Farewell (Dramedy)

Hamilton (Historical, Musical, Biography)

Judy (Biography, Drama)

Madam Secretary (Political Drama, Romance, Spy Drama)

Mulan (Action, Adventure, Period Drama)

Saved by the Bell (Comedy, Romance, Teen)

WandaVision (Comedy, Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance, Fantasy – it’s a mish-mash)

Wonder Woman 1984 (Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance)

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (Dramedy, Romance, Fantasy, Musical)

Full Movie and TV Reviews: 

Modern Persuasion: This is a Pleasant if Disappointing Adaptation (Rom-Com)

‘A Discovery of Witches’ Season 2 Review: Romantic, Captivating, and Bewitching (Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance, Time Travel, Contemporary Fantasy)

 Review: ‘Bridgerton’ is a Period Piece That Paves the Way for Future Romance Adaptations (Romantic Period Drama)


Reviews of the Month


REVIEW ONE

A Suitable Boy (2020) TV Series Review

A Suitable Boy promotional image
A Suitable Boy. Photo Courtesy of Acorn TV.
Review by Amber:

Andrew Davies (the screenwriter behind the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and ITV’s Sanditon) brings another period drama to the small screen with A Suitable Boy, based on Vikram Seth’s novel.

Mira Nair directs the series with her signature flair, transforming the story into a gorgeous period piece that is a part political drama and part romantic drama a la Jane Austen as a mother tries to find the perfect suitor for her independent daughter.

The story also follows four intertwined families in North India during the early years of post-independent India. It’s a history I don’t know a lot about, and some viewers complained about the accuracy of a few scenes when it comes to religion, but as a piece of entertainment, it’s a good miniseries that will captivate you if you’re a period drama fan.

The actors are all brilliant, the writing is excellent, the costumes colorful and beautiful, and the cinematography perfect. It’s also nice to see BBC’s first-ever all Indian cast in a period miniseries.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: You can stream the miniseries on Acorn TV.

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW TWO

The Baker and the Beauty (2020) TV Review

The Baker and the Beauty publicity still
Photo: ABC

Official Synopsis

Daniel Garcia is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do. But on a wild Miami night he meets Noa Hamilton, an international superstar and fashion mogul, and his life moves into the spotlight.

Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull their families into a culture clash? 

Review (By Autumn):

Based on an Israeli rom-com series, The Baker and the Beauty is smart, soapy, and sexy in all the best ways. Part family drama (the Garcia family is adorable) and part romantic comedy, this is the perfect romance if you’re looking for some light-hearted escapism.

Unfortunately, ABC already canceled the show after only one season, but you should still check out this heartwarming and mouthwatering (Daniel is a baker after all) drama for swoon-worthy moments and excellent family dynamics. 

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: You can buy the episodes on Digital.

OVERALL RATING

“Hello, Gorgeous.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW THREE

The English Game (2020) TV Review

the english game publicity still
Photo: Netflix

Official Netflix synopsis

Two 19th-century footballers on opposite sides of a class divide navigate professional and personal turmoil to change the game — and England — forever. 

Review (By Autumn):

The English Game is another first-rate costume piece from the creator of Downton Abbey. In The English Game, Fellowes skillfully tells the fictionalized true story of two Scottish footballers who come to England and change the sport’s rules by getting paid. 

But this is more than merely a sports drama about professional football and the underdogs. Rather, The English Game is about class differences. There are even elements of North and South (2004) with a strike.

Overall, it’s a little of everything. With a touch of Downton Abbey, a little romance, some drama, and compelling characters, The English Game is an excellent limited series. I highly recommend it. 

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Netflix

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW FOUR

Enola Holmes (2020) Netflix Review

Enola Holmes poster
Review by Amber:

Enola Holmes, a precocious and clever young woman, goes searching for her missing mother while trying to outsmart her older brother, Sherlock. Meanwhile, she begins a friendship and flirtation with a young lord, who may be in grave danger.

If you love British period dramas, this movie is a pure delight to watch from start to finish. The film’s escapist quality transports you to another time and place while sprinkling fabulous British actors throughout the film, making it all the more enjoyable.

In the movie, expect to see Henry Cavill (as Sherlock), Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Burn Gorman, Hattie Morahan, David Bamber, Fiona Shaw, and more.

Overall, Millie Bobbie Brown, as Enola Holmes, continues to prove she’s a star. This is also the type of movie pre-teens will watch on repeat. I know I would have.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Netflix

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW FIVE

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (2018) Film Review

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Movie Poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis

Aja, a clever young street magician from Mumbai, sets out on an extraordinary journey when his mother passes away, to find the father he never knew. He discovers love in a Swedish furniture store in Paris, mortal danger with Somali migrants in England, fame on a dance floor in Rome and adventure in a hot-air balloon over the Mediterranean Sea. 

Review (By Autumn):

Looking for a feel-good movie? Look no further than this hidden, whimsical gem. An international film that is part Hollywood, part French cinema, part Bollywood, the film stars Indian actor Dhanush in a role that is sure to steal your heart. However, if you’re looking for realism, please look elsewhere. 

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir is more about romanticism, finding love in Paris, and looking at life with rose-colored glasses. At one point, a migration officer even hilariously breaks out into song.

As a whole, this is a beautiful film that talks about serious world issues like immigration and poverty by transforming these same themes into a romantic fairy tale.

While not a flawless movie, the idealistic viewpoint, an exceptional performance by Dhanush, and excellent side characters all make for an extraordinary journey. 

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Prime Video, Hoopla. Rent/buy on Digital.

OVERALL RATING

“Hello, Gorgeous.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW SIX

The Farewell (2019) Film Review

The Farewell Movie Poster
Review by Amber:

I watched The Farewell recently without knowing much about the film and quickly fell in love with it. With humor and authentic emotion, writer and director Lulu Wang tells the true story (her own) of a Chinese family discovering their grandmother has only a short time to live. The family decides to keep it a secret from her while preparing a wedding as a ruse for everyone to gather and say goodbye.

Be ready to watch a beautiful film with excellent performances, particularly from the star, Awkwafina (she won a Golden Globe for her performance). The movie is, at times hilarious, at other times, heartbreaking, and always fantastic.

If you missed it in theaters, now is the perfect time to check it out. The Farewell is currently available to stream on Prime Video.

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Prime Video, Kanopy. Rent/buy on Digital and DVD.

OVERALL RATING

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

REVIEW SEVEN

Hamilton (2020) Review

hamilton photo
Hamilton. Photo: Disney+
Review by Amber:

While it’s been my dream to see Hamilton live in New York City, with the expensive ticket prices and Broadway currently closed, that dream’s now on hold. However, the taped version of the musical for Disney+ is the next best thing.

Hamilton is unique and unforgettable, and ultimately transcendent. Lin-Manuel Miranda has created a musical masterpiece everyone should see. Sure, it’s not entirely historically accurate, but it brings history to life in a new way while also highlighting contemporary themes. A perfect mix of hope and tragedy runs through the musical, feeling like life itself.

I was also fascinated with the Schuyler sisters. My two favorite numbers belonged to the women. My first favorite was “Satisfied.” The underlying and unrequited romance between two intellectual equals fascinated me, as did the chemistry between Miranda and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

And then my second favorite is the finale song, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” mostly sung by Phillipa Soo (as Eliza Hamilton). The intriguing, ambiguous ending left me with goosebumps.

Overall, Miranda may not be the best singer of all time, but he’s a master storyteller and a gifted genius. Hamilton is sure to remain a musical favorite for years to come.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Disney+

OVERALL RATING

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

ROMANCE RATING

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

REVIEW EIGHT

Judy (2019) Review

Judy promotional image
Judy. Photo: Roadside Attractions.
Review by Amber:

Renée Zellweger won the Academy Award for Best Actress last year for a reason. Where Judy shines is in Zellweger’s unforgettable performance as Judy Garland. She puts on the show of a lifetime in this film as she captures the final days of Judy Garland’s life.

Historically accurate or not, Judy is emotionally authentic and a lovely tribute to one of the most iconic actresses of all time. In an age of #metoo, Judy smartly reveals Garland’s own struggles and abuse in the industry.

While these stories offer empathy for the actress, this film doesn’t want you to remember her as a tragic figure (even though her death is sad); instead, they want you to remember Judy as a wonderful person who lived a full life.  

As Zellweger sings (and she does do her own singing) “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” expect to feel all the feelings!

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Stream on Prime Video, Epix, and Hulu. Buy on Digital and DVD.

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

REVIEW NINE

Madam Secretary (2014-2019) TV Series Review

Madam Secretary still with Tim Daly and Tea Leoni
Photo: CBS

CBS Synopsis

Newly-appointed Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord is immediately faced with a maelstrom of complex political challenges, and an international hostage situation is her top priority. Meanwhile, at home, Elizabeth questions whether she did the right thing by taking this job, as her children are finding it difficult to adjust to their new schools. 

Review (By Autumn): 

As the entire series is now available to stream, it’s the perfect time to discover the surprisingly romantic and engaging TV Series Madame Secretary.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you may have accidentally (and unfortunately) overlooked what seemed to be merely a dull political show. Thankfully, Madame Secretary is the complete opposite of a flat, pretentious snore-fest. 

Instead, the series is an idealistic show full of espionage (this is also a spy thriller), political intrigue (with real stakes that include bombings and natural disasters), and swoony romance.

Seriously, this show is all about the beautiful love story between The Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord and her husband, Henry McCord. As intellectual equals, Elizabeth and Henry are comparable to Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe. They are seriously that amazing.

Trust me, on this one, if you love romantic spy shows, idealism, and happy endings, this is the show for you. Hey, even the last episode is all about the happily ever afters of the various characters. 

Content Note: TV-PG

Where to Watch: Netflix, CBS All Access. Buy on Digital and DVD.

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

ROMANCE RATING

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

REVIEW TEN

Mulan (2020) Film Review

Mulan - Female Book Character Costume Ideas
Photo: Disney

Disney+ Synopsis

In Disney’s MULAN, a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. 

Review (By Autumn):

Epic in scope, thanks to the $200 million budget, Mulan looks gorgeous. The set designs are phenomenal, the choreography in battle beautiful, and the costumes eye-catching.

Indeed, the visuals make this live-action remake well worth seeking out. It’s a pity Mulan didn’t get a chance to shine on the large screen, as clearly that’s what the filmmakers intended. 

Furthermore, the performances are also fantastic. Standouts include Yifei Liu as Mulan (she’s just about perfect) and Gong Li as a powerful shapeshifting witch that almost steals the show.

Gone are the fun songs of the cartoon. Instead, this Mulan is a historical fantasy about family and honor.

Overall, the action and characters draw you in to make an entertaining family movie, even though the romance is as bland as a plain piece of toast. In trying to create a politically correct love story, the filmmakers changed the love interest, creating uninteresting chemistry that lacks authenticity. 

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: Disney+. Buy on Digital.

OVERALL RATING

“Hello, Gorgeous.”

ROMANCE RATING

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a

matter of chance.”

REVIEW ELEVEN

Saved by the Bell (2020) TV Review

Saved by the Bell 2020 poster
Review by Amber:

The Saved by the Bell reboot follows a group of high school students as they transfer to the upscale Bayside High when Governor (yes, the Governor) Zack Morris begins a program to help low-income students from more impoverished areas.

The reboot works because it’s not trying to re-capture the tone of the original show. This continuation of the story is more satire than sappy, making it feel contemporary and genuinely funny. That said, you really have to appreciate satire. If you’re looking for only a nostalgic watch, this probably won’t be your cup of tea. However, nostalgia is still sprinkled throughout the series if that’s important to you. It was for me.

Ultimately, what you’ll get is a fresh contemporary take on what kids are like today versus 25 years ago with more diversity than the original series.

The highlight of the series for me, however, is Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano. She was always my favorite, so I was thrilled to see her return! Berkley is fabulous in the role bringing more depth to her character.

There is also a will they/won’t they between Slater and Jessie once again – but this time without the dated ‘90s sexism. If they do come together, it will be a much stronger relationship.

Overall, it’s a refreshingly optimistic series with fun ‘90s callbacks, engaging new characters, and budding romances. My only qualm is that Zack is a bit more self-obsessed and dumber than I remember when the College Years ended. But I digress.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Peacock

OVERALL RATING

“Hello, Gorgeous.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW TWELVE

WandaVision (2021) TV Review

WandaVision promotional photo
Photo: Disney/Marvel
Review by Amber:

While I’m only five episodes in so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this bizarre new addition to the Marvel-verse. WandaVision follows Wanda and Vision’s romantic married life, with each episode paying homage to a different decade of sitcoms – starting with the 1950s. However, the fourth episode twists the story in a new direction that you must watch to believe. 

So far, I’m finding the series (almost playing out like a rom-com with sinister undertones) a joy to watch. Elizabeth Olsen excels in the lead role, giving her character more depth and mystery. Paul Bettany is also fabulous, per usual. The mystery remains: How is he alive in this fantasy world of sorts? 

As for the rest of the cast, everyone introduced so far plays their parts well. However, I won’t give away some of the characters because it would be too revealing. Just expect to be pleasantly surprised if you’re a fan of the Marvel movies and shows.

Ultimately, watching the show raises more questions: Is Wanda behind this sitcom world as a way to mourn the death of Vision? Or is someone else the real villain? Time will tell. Overall, this is unlike any entry into the Marvel-verse thus var, which is a good thing.

Content Note: TV-PG/TV-14

Where to Watch: Disney+

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

REVIEW THIRTEEN

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Film Review

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984
Photo: DC Films/Warner Bros.
Review by Amber:

Decades have passed for Diana when the sequel picks up. She’s become a successful yet guarded woman working as an archaeologist at the Smithsonian who still mourns the loss of her lover, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) when he died as a World War I hero.

When Maxwell Lord, a struggling narcissistic businessman, gets a hold of an ancient artifact that grants wishes, the destruction of the whole world is at stake. In other words, be careful what you wish for.

Ultimately, I think this movie was always going to be a letdown, perhaps unfairly so. It is not as good as the first film and falters at times (especially with a middle that drags with some illogical script choices), but the beginning sequence is excellent, and the overall movie is good, though not great.

The romance between Diana and the resurrected Steve is okay but doesn’t quite work (though I think this is on purpose), and it was fun to see some ‘80s throwbacks. The two villains (played by Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig) could also be a bit annoying. I didn’t quite follow Wiig’s descent from kindness into madness. Pascal made more sense, but he received too much screen time.

Overall, I think this movie, while it likely won’t be remembered as the best DC film of all time, will likely grow in estimation on a second watch without all the expectations. Gal Gadot was made for this role, and that makes it worth watching alone.

Content Note: PG-13

Where to Watch: In theaters; It should return to HBO Max in the future.

OVERALL RATING

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful

friendship.”

ROMANCE RATING

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a

matter of chance.”

REVIEW FOURTEEN

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (2020), Season One Review

zoey's extraordinary playlist promotional photo
Photo: NBC
Review by Amber:

Compelling, poignant, and also deeply funny, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is precisely the kind of uplifting, emotional, and fun story we all need right now. The delightful series tells the story of a young woman who develops the ability to hear people’s private thoughts through song and dance while also dealing with romantic entanglements and her father’s terminal illness. 

Besides the catchy pop music (yes, they even break out into a N’SYNC song), authentic father/daughter relationship, and family drama, the romances are also entertaining to watch. While I could do with less of the love triangle, the romance brings a nice escapist quality to the series. 

The entire cast shines in their roles, although Lauren Graham is particularly hilarious as Zoey’s boss. Overall, fans of Eli StoneJoan of Arcadia, or Pushing Daisies should give this series a watch! It’s a bright and optimistic show refreshing in a sea of darker, grittier content that’s become so prevalent on TV.

Note: Season two is now airing and continues to be fabulous, although not quite as good due to Lauren Graham leaving the show for scheduling reasons.

Content Note: TV-14

Where to Watch: Hulu, Peacock. Buy on Digital.

OVERALL RATING

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

ROMANCE RATING

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Have you watched any of these movies or shows? What are your thoughts? Do you agree with our reviews? Discuss below.


Featured image: A Suitable Boy (Photo Courtesy of Acorn TV), WandaVision (Disney/Marvel), and Saved by the Bell 2020 (Peacock).


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Reviews of the Month collage with WandaVision, A Suitable Boy, and Saved by the Bell 2020; pinterest image

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By on February 5th, 2021

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