The Housewives & I

Reality TV has got such a bad rap over the years and is often looked down upon for not being exactly high brow. I have mixed feelings about it, not because I’m too good to watch it but because some of it really stresses me out, infiltrates my dreams (more on that later) and at times, is all I want to watch. Read More

Schitt happens

Schitt’s Creek (2015–2020)

When rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt’s Creek.

Starring: Eugene LevyCatherine O’HaraDan LevyAnnie Murphy

*No spoilers*

Moira Rose: Oh, I’d kill for a good coma right now.

Oh my fucking god. I’ve just watched the Schitt’s Creek finale and I’m done. Back to bed with a cup of tea to cuddle my teddy bear DONE.

It was perfect. It was beautiful. It was hilarious. It was EVERYTHING.

I am very late to the party on this show – I had no idea it would bring me so much joy. Every time I heard or saw someone talking about it, I thought I’d probably check it out at some point but it probably wouldn’t be for me, like It’s Always Sunny. Which is crazy to think of now because it’s given me such warm feelings and is honestly one of the biggest-hearted (not a word) shows I’ve ever seen.

I was thinking of breaking down my favourite moments but I really don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. I would have been so mad if I hadn’t been left to savour this at my own pace, which it turns out was to absolutely devour six seasons in about ten days. I have no regrets although I will be doing a re-watch in a couple of months which I’m already excited for – now I know the Rose family so well, I can’t imagine a life without them.

The Roses are incredible, each flawed but deeply lovable – and firmly on their own character journey. Spoilt siblings Alexis (Murphy) and David (Dan Levy) haven’t ever had to work or worry about the a thing, so losing everything has imploded their worlds. Sharing a room at the motel and learning to stand on their own two feet is going to take a lot of effort but what they achieve when they put their minds to it is beautiful.

I love how Alexis comes to the conclusion she needs to invest in herself rather than jump into another relationship – and she’s really one of my favourites. The bickering that holds brother and sister together is brilliant but also relatable since I have my own brother – but there’s a moment between them in the last episode (ever) that truly destroyed me.

Meanwhile, former soap-star Moira (O’Hara) struggles with the lifestyle perhaps most of all but doesn’t let it diminish her spirit, or her fashion sense. She comes into her own when she realises her inimitable style and class might just help the community. I love her comeback project most of all but again, I’ll refrain from saying too much. All I know is I would be all over The Crows Have Eyes 3: The Crowening.

Johnny (Eugene Levy) is wonderful, channeling his entrepreneurial expertise into project after project until one really sticks – it’s heartening to watch him and Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire) bond as he brings out her bad business bitch side.

There are romances and heartaches and casual hookups and friendships and drama – and I can’t think of a single moment I wasn’t enraptured. There are also lots of really satisfying moments surrounding some of the secondary characters and I love Ronnie (Karen Robinson), Twyla (Sarah Levy) and Jocelyn (Jennifer Robertson). A special shout-out to Patrick (Noah Reid) for being the absolute sweetest human being of all time.

I miss all of them already, I really do and I think I might have to pop into visit the last episode again because who would that hurt, besides my heart?

*Closes laptop and heads to bed*

Are you a Schitt’s fan?

Weekly Digest #3

I’m going to have to think of a new name for this series, since I hardly post weekly – but here’s what I’m currently digging.

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood (2020-)

A group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood try to make it big – no matter the cost.

Starring: Darren CrissSamara Weaving • Patti LuPone

Murphy’s latest is a very golden affair and heavy-handed as it may be, it’s very enjoyable. As always it’s very centered around LGBTQ+ themes but also tackles the topic of race and representation within the studio system.

Starring The Assassination of Gianni Versace‘s Criss, my standout is Patti LuPone’s Avis Amberg, former-studio WAG turned studio-head, who comes to make awe-inspiring changes to the way things are done at Ace Studios. While it does smack a little of white saviour shit, it’s pleasing to revel in the achievements of the team as they get their controversial movie, Meg off the ground – with a black leading lady and writer. There’s great support from Weaving, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello, Holland Taylor, Mira Sorvino and a whole lot more.

I’m absolutely devouring it.

Supporting local/small business

Things are fucking tough for everyone right now so I’ve been trying to support my favourite small businesses during COVID times. This works out in my favour massively because I get to shop without guilt – something I enjoy very much. (And don’t worry I’m shopping as thriftily as I can and also saving money as a full government-sanctioned recluse).

I just had to share the prints I picked up from Brighton-based artist Tal Sharville, an amazing illustrator and all round good human. I don’t feel so bad about these as I see them hanging in the new house – the Mia Wallace one possibly in the kitchen…

Florence, Jodie, Mia

Tal’s Etsy shop here.

In other news, wardrobe staple Snag Tights recently sent out an SOS regarding their struggles during the pandemic. It looked as though all was lost for the brand given they weren’t eligible for government assistance. Well, they cooked up a clever plan, and with the help of their loyal customers, managed to smash their target. Which is incredible news because personally, I can’t imagine not having their tights in my life.

I’m also a massive fan of their Chub Rub Shorts which are imperative for a curvy girl if she’s going bare-legged in the sunshine.

Not mine, sadly

Nail art

I had to quit the acrylics at the beginning of lockdown so I’ve turned to gel nails at home instead. It’s so satisfying and it’s bringing out the nail artist in me. I was always into nice nails and getting acrylics has really wrecked the natural order of things, so I’m doing everything I can to get them healthy and beautiful again. 

I *think* one of the reasons the cat hates me is because he doesn’t like the smell of my nails but I’m afraid, I’m not giving them up any time soon.

Choose Love, Choose Our Carers, Choose Our NHS

I am loving these Choose Love x Choose Our NHS t-shirts. 100% of the profits from every item will be matched by ASOS and donated to the NHS, which is so cool. Lord knows the NHS and all carers are the heroes of this whole shit show and deserve every ounce of the praise they get.

They also deserve to be paid properly and given adequate PPE – and for the country to vote sensibly in the future (e.g. not fucking Tory), just sayin’.

Get your own at ASOS.

Lady V London dresses

I did a naughty splurge this afternoon which I have justified to myself in several ways. Firstly, the site currently has a VE Day 20% discount offer which is epic. Secondly, I’ve been saving money every week from not getting the bus, going out or buying lunch every work day. I’m also aware than when we’ve moved, I won’t have as much spare cash and any I do have will be put back into the home – so why the fuck not? Swish swish bitches.

I got these two beauties and I can’t wait to wear them outside or in the office.

 

What are you digging?

Normal People (TV series)

I know I’ve gone on about Normal People a lot (here and here). I swear I’m not secretly Sally Rooney (I wish).

I just feel that the Hulu/BBC adaptation of Rooney’s novel deserves a mention because I loved it so much. The girls and I even had a Whats App thread about it, obsessively commentating on each episode as we absolutely rinsed it over a couple of days. For just a moment I pretended I was going to pace myself but I already knew, from the first few minutes, that that wasn’t going to happen – I did it in a day and a half, and I might have to go back and watch it all again to catch all the details a second time.

Normal People (2020)

Follows Marianne and Connell, from different backgrounds but the same small town in Ireland, as they weave in and out of each other’s romantic lives.

Starring: Daisy Edgar-JonesPaul Mescal

*Spoilers*

Marianne (Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Mescal) are perfectly cast, I can’t imagine anybody else playing them now. While reading the book I don’t know what I pictured. I think Marianne was exactly as we see her, while Connell wasn’t quite as beefy, maybe less attractive – more Jack O’Connell/Taron Egerton (not that I don’t fancy both of them).

Both actors nail their parts and bring such a realness to their characters that I love them even more than I did while I was reading them. The story, which spans years, isn’t saturated with a lot of action. While the characters evolve and live full lives, this is most definitely a study in human emotion, rather than a rip-roaring yarn. I love it for that but essentially, everything and nothing happens.

Marianne and Connell meet in school and hook up despite their very different backgrounds. Marianne comes from wealth and comfort, Connell from a single parent home. Marianne’s mother was a victim of domestic abuse which, following the passing of her father, has permeated everything, leaving her mother cold and unfeeling. She turns a blind eye to the increasingly hostile behaviour of Marianne’s brother towards her daughter. Meanwhile, Connell’s young cool mum is loving and fully involved in her son’s life.

When the two start sleeping together however, it’s more the difference in their social standing at school that causes friction. Connell is hugely popular and part of the football team – Marianne has no friends whatsoever. So the relationship is destined to continue in secret and falls to its knees when Connell choose his reputation over his true feelings.

At Trinity College a short time later, the friends meet again and things have shifted dramatically. This time our girl is the popular one, enjoying the social aspect of university with her BFFs, Peggy (India Mullen) and Joanna (Eliot Salt) – and her new boyfriend. Connell this time, is the isolated one, struggling to find his place in the grand scheme of things. When they reunite at a party, things gradually start to heat up again.

It’s not long before the besties start sleeping together again but through a series of miscommunications and failure to say what they fucking mean – things flip flop from on to off again. And so it goes across the years, through new relationships and life experiences. There’s no doubt that they love each other but can they ever get it together and do it properly once and for all?

Well. I dare you to watch this and not cry your bloody bucket out. I felt every single jab of heartache and pain – and I think it’s around episode ten or eleven that I really started to lose it. This is a love story of course but it’s also about finding your place in the world and of choosing yourself.

Marianne deals with the trauma of her family life in increasingly dark and isolating ways, while Connell has his own cross to bear, following the suicide of a close friend. It’s real life but presented in such a gorgeously photogenic way, with the perfect soundtrack and dialogue that is has hardly been changed from the page itself.

It is incredibly frustrating in parts – like – say what you mean people! But did we all have the words we needed when we were young? Did we know just what to say to stop the ones we loved from leaving? I didn’t, sometimes I wonder if I do now.

So I recommend this wholeheartedly. It’s beautiful and effecting, I can’t take my eyes of Daisy, who give me major Anne Hathaway vibes. Her wardrobe is absolutely breathtaking and she does doe-eyed waif well. The sex scenes it might be worth adding are really hot which doesn’t hurt the enjoyment factor. Since the relationship, at least to begin with, is based purely on shagging, there’s a lot of sex.

The shows captures those heady highs of being a hormonal teenager well but this is definitely a) more sexy and b) more advanced that my own experiences at the same age. Not many hot boys wanted a chubby ginger with an eye patch and a bad attitude, surprisingly.

I love the way the show ends – which is slightly different to the book – I think it suits Marianna very well and leaves it open for more if we want it. I don’t know if there are plans to follow this up and it’s perfect as it is but I wouldn’t be against meeting these characters again in a few years to see how they’ve fared.

Anyway, enough gushing. Check it out if you like well-made TV, attractive young actors and literary brilliance.

What are you watching?

Weekly Digest #2

Some of the things I’ve been digging in quarantine.

The Normal People adaptation

I loved the book which I finished just in time for the live-action version. It’s wonderful so far with Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) perfectly cast. It’s just very emotional, has completely nailed the tone of the book and it looks gorgeous.

It’s both trippy and satisfying to see it come to life on the screen and for it to be so close to how I imagined it. I had planned to pace myself but am already half way through the 12 part series. I can’t seem to stop watching it.

I absolutely recommend both formats of the story and hope you love it as much I as do.

Vivarium

A young couple looking for the perfect home find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses.

Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) find themselves living a life they never wanted when they visit the housing development Yonder, an apparently sought-after neighbourhood for young home buyers.

I won’t say too much but this is a very eery, oddball sci-fi parable that wouldn’t be out of place in the Black Mirror series. I didn’t really see where it was going and although the ending is bleak AF, it was interesting to see it unravel. Poots is particularly good as Gemma, a woman saddled with the role of mother to a very strange little boy indeed.

After Life, Season 2

I was loathe to include this because I am not exactly a Ricky Gervais fan but honestly, I can’t stand by the notion of not being embarrassed about the things we like if I don’t include it. I love this show, rinsed it in a day and cried through every single episode, without fail.

The premise of the first series was Tony (Gervais) struggling with suicidal thoughts and anger following the passing of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman) to cancer. Season 2 picks up with Tony still grieving but learning to find meaning in his life again, which is easily done really when you look around.

Tony relives memories from his life with Lisa via home videos and it kills me every time. Much as I hate to say it, RG is a talented writer and when he’s good, he’s very very good. Support from Mandeep Dhillon, Penelope Wilton and Roisin Conaty doesn’t hurt – and honestly, massive points for the (mostly) sex-positive representation of Roxy’s chosen profession (sex worker).

I can’t pretend I love all of it, I hate Paul Kaye‘s therapist (I get I’m supposed to) and I could definitely do without the fat jokes. Call it a problematic fave, if you will. I hope there’s another season.

Writing Letters

I’ve been enjoying writing letters since we went into lock-down. There’s just something so satisfying about slipping pretty envelopes into the postbox addressed to friends in your best handwriting. It’s also really lovely to receive things in the post. It reminds me of a simpler time.

What are you digging?

Weekly Digest #1

I thought I’d start sharing my Weekly Digest, something I haven’t done on this blog yet. It’s a good way to keep track of the days and the things I’ve been enjoying/doing while in quarantine, ‘cos god knows it’s all blurring into one.

Here’s what I’ve been digging this week – in addition to napping. Lots and lots of napping.
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Lock-in Documentaries: True Crime Edition

Pretty much every man, woman and their cat has sat down to watch the Tiger King documentary over the past month. I was quite late to the party myself but I’m done now.

It’s fun of course, a story you couldn’t make up but I do feel it was over-hyped. I’m so torn by Joe Exotic, who’s so compelling to watch but is also a terrible person, not least for the animal cruelty and controlling behaviours (I want to say more but won’t because *spoilers*).

Honestly, none of the ‘characters’ are particularly good people, including Carole ‘Fuckin’ Baskin and they have no sense of loyalty to each other either, which bothered me way more than it should have.

Anyway, this is my long winded way of saying, there’s some good True Crime shit on Netflix that isn’t Tiger King and I have enjoyed an awful lot of it recently. I thought I’d share in case the grimier side of life is your bag and you’re wondering how to fill your spare lock-down time.
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