Netflix & Chill, Stuff I Dig, TV Addict

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

I really want to talk about Nanette without actually talking about Nanette, which is going to be a bit hard. But going into this stand-up special with little to no knowledge about what it’s about means you’ll be hit with the power of it.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that this blew me away and has remained in my thoughts ever since I saw it. I’ve also recommended it to a heap of people and I’m recommending it to you too, dear reader because I believe everybody should see it, no matter who they are or what they stand for.

Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian and TV writer. I hadn’t heard of her before but I hope Nanette helps the right people find her because she is brilliant. She’s astute, eloquent and her observations are both hilarious and sharp as hell. Hannah also shares deeply personal moments of trauma and it’s difficult to hear but imperative that we do. She talks about (but not limited to) mental health, being medicated, unsolicited advice (mostly from men), art history and every moment is a joy.

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Not to spoiler this
but there were a couple of segments that spoke profoundly to me and one of them was about being described as sensitive. This is definitely a word that has been used to label me, particularly by my family and Hannah does a whole bit about why this has to be perceived as a bad thing – and why being insensitive would be something to strive for. Reader, I felt seen and heard in a way I can’t describe.

Hannah also talks about letting anger go and although I’ve always subscribed to the anger can be a good motivator strategy, she really made me consider this from another point of view. Honestly, drop everything and get Netflix on now, please.

What are you watching?

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2018, The Movies

Atomic Falafel (Film) Review

A comedy about potential nuclear havoc this week – and you might be asking, where’s the LOL in that? Well, you’d be surprised.

Another prime example of Jill picking a film I’d never choose for myself – and me thoroughly enjoying myself.

*Spoilers*

Atomic Falafel (2015)

IMDB Synopsis

Two girls from nuclear towns in Israel and Iran spill their countries most valuable secrets on Facebook while trying to prevent a nuclear crisis.

My Review

What do you get when you place a general, the minister of defense, a commander and the chief intelligence officer together in an underground bunker in Israel? Apart from a load of middle aged men blowing hot air around, that is?

You get conversation about how to deal with the threat hanging over them by Iran, obviously. Complete with strategic sandbox props. And the brigadier general Partosch figures, since the world is against Israel anyway, that the only solution is to hit Iran with a fuck off great atomic bomb in seven days’ time.

However, when the International Atomic Energy Agency rock up, things take a turn. Among the IAEA is German Oliver Hann (Alexander Fehling), a hot piece who immediately catches the eye of lovely Mimi Azrian (Mali Levi), our local falafel van driving activist. Oli is highly and deathly allergic to uranium which makes him kind of useful to have around, in the context of tracing nuclear weapons at least.

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Mimi’s daughter Nofar (Michelle Treves) meanwhile, is hellbent on getting laid by her boyfriend, computer whizz Meron. They get distracted however when they get hold of a military command disc and decide to fuck shit up.

Nofar also meets teenage rapper, Iranian Sharareh (Tara Melter) online and their blossoming friendship has a lot to do with their ongoing campaign for peace between the countries. Oh and Mimi’s late husband, and Nofar’s father, was also Iranian.

Oli stays in Israel much longer than his original duties require when he starts to fall hard for Mimi – obviously, you can’t just walk away from excellent falafel. As the seven days draw to a close and the kids get themselves into more trouble with the authorities, will peace actually be achieved?

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I’ve left out a lot of nuance from this review. It’s really charming and has a real attention to detail. While it paints some of the military big wigs as buffoonish, it also places a lot of responsibility in the hands of our brilliant teens. Nofar, Meron and Sharareh are joyous to watch and I can quite believe that they have the power to bridge peace between the two warring factions. Plus, Sharareh is freaking cool and talented as well.

That said, our heroes are also afforded the time to be concerned about teenage things such as losing their virginity, getting decent grades at school and uploading content to social media.

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My Rating

3.5/5.

What did wifey think of this one? Would she feed it extra spicy sauce or leave it to be blown up? Find out here!

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A Voluptuous Mind, The Movies

Ghostbusters (2016) (Film) Review

Ghostbusters-2016

It’s 2016 and I’ve just been to see a Ghostbusters film. What is this madness?

A lot has been made of the decision to “reboot” such an 80’s classic and with an all-female team of ghost hunters no less. If we’re frank, most of the comments about its impending release have been negative, or at least these are the easier ones to remember.

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This is my favourite picture of anything, ever ❤

The die-hard Busterites have been up in arms about their beloved films being tampered with in any way which I understand, yet it’s very hard to separate this train of thought from that of the misogynists who can’t bear the thought of women in any context other than draped over the bonnet of a car or making a sandwich. That’s before we even think about the racial slurs against Leslie Jones, whose only crime in life was to take a role and not be white.

I’m only touching upon this stuff because I want to focus on the way the film made me feel but the way Leslie’s been treated is appalling. And while I doubt justice can be served to an army of cowards hiding behind their keyboards, I hope she’s engulfed in love and continues to feel great pride in what she’s accomplished with this film. Because it’s fucking ace.

I’m not reviewing in the traditional sense, nor giving anything away because that would be foolish. I hope everyone goes to see this film, even if they have misgivings because it has been joyful to tap back into my childhood for a few hours. As with the whole Pokémon Go phenomenon, I think we’re learning recently that there’s a huge space in our lives reserved just for nostalgia. I blame Trump, British Politics and all the violence in the world, in no particular order.

But to the film. If I were asked to review in just three words, I would say:

Loved. Every. Minute

I did. I smiled like a dufus from beginning to end and threw my head back to laugh out loud a hundred times. Sure, sometimes I was guffawing at a fart joke but what else do you need on a balmy Hump day evening?

The writing overall is very strong and of course it is, it’s written not only by Paul “Bridesmaids” Feig but also Kate Dippold who has Parks & Recreation (2009) and The Heat (2013) under her belt. It is a female-centric film with gender reversal very much at the forefront but it’s done well and is never mean or dismissive.

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Chris Hemsworth‘s Kevin the Receptionist for example is objectified to the hilt but in the nicest possible way and even though his prettiness far outweighs his intellect, he never feels 2D and that’s skillful writing if you ask me.

The ladies are spectacular and I have huge affection for each of them. McCarthy is gorgeous, Jones is hilarious and wonderfully expressive. Wiig brings vulnerability to the role of Erin Gilbert while making me really buy into her childhood history with BFF Abby Yates while Kate McKinnon, lovely, lovely Kate, adds an injection of kook to engineer extraordinaire Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.

Holtzmann, FYI has caused the internet to implode with lust, as gay and heterosexual women the world over are crushing hard all over her character. While her sexuality is not openly stated at any point, we’ve given enough material to reach our own conclusion. My conclusion is that it’s fucking awesome to see four interesting woman helm a movie without a sniff of patronising love story on the horizon. In fact, scrub that, the love story is about their unswerving loyalty to one another.

Twitter also remarked that this is probably the first film you’ll see that doesn’t make you feel bad about your body and it’s true. I loved seeing big bodies onscreen and I, for one, am stoked Melissa McCarthy is out there being an attractive, sexual and funny fat woman who gets shit done while being someone I can identify with.

(Also, two posts on this blog mentioning Kristen Wiig and McCarthy in a row. You’re welcome).

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Honestly, I’m not here to criticise this movie in any way, I’m just not going to do it. The effects take me right back to 1984, the acting is hammy where it needs to be (the main villain) and the music, oh god that theme – it’s still everything. The cameos were also fun but I don’t want to spoiler them.

I’ll sign off here just by saying that I’m glad this is such a strong film. Those haters are going to hate regardless but I’m delighted it touched me the way it did. So far I’ve heard nothing but praise for these modern-day Ghostbusters, which was respectful to its forefathers by taking its own path and I’m closing my ears to anything but because I don’t care.

I ain’t afraid of no troll (I am).

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Jillian & Christa's Great Blog Collab 2015, The Movies

Stung (Film) Review

STUNG-POSTER-RED-R1I had a harder time than necessary choosing a film this week and only because I placed so much pressure on myself.

We were going to do High School Movies Month but that didn’t work out (long boring story), so we’ve gone instead with Plan B, which actually fits our new theme rather well: B Movies.

Remember both Jill and I complaining that our choices recently have been too good? Well, we have been doing that and both welcomed the return of some signature snarking, a skill Jill certainly excels at (for films mostly, I can’t speak for the rest of life).

So enter the bad movie line-up. I was going to go with Sharknado (2013) but thought that seemed too obvious for my first choice, so you get this instead.

*Spoilers* as always.

Stung (2015)

Director: Benni Diez
Stars: Matt O’Leary, Jessica Cook, Lance Henriksen, Clifton Collins Jr.

IMDB Synopsis: A fancy garden party turns into upper class prey when a colony of killer wasps mutates into foot tall predators.

My Review:

First up, I love a Creature Feature. The zanier the better as far as I’m concerned, and this bonkers sounding movie has been on my list for ages. But was it worth the wait and did it leave a lasting impression (AKA sting) though? Let’s find out!

Julia has started her own catering business and is understandably keen for her first ‘gig’, a fancy garden party, to go off without a hitch. Nerves make her pretty snippy when it comes to her only other employee, goofy Paul. I think there’s some dialogue at the beginning about her having just lost her father which turns out not to have much bearing on anything, so I’ll assume it’s to give her some depth (uh-huh).

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This story has a sting in the tail…

Paul is super into Julia and is actually really good-looking in a sort of Daniel Radcliffey-throw-some-dirt-on-him-and-put-him-in-a-perilous-position-so-he-can-show-himself-to-be-quite-action-hero-ey way, though he’s also very annoying. The fact he likes Julia but she doesn’t like him (or does she secretly, duh) is not going to stop the guy continually trying to get in her knickers though, obvi – and it grows tiresome real quick.

Anyway. Straight off the bat Paul notices that there’s a wasp problem at Mrs. Perch’s  (Eve Slatner) sprawling home. They’re pretty huge and aggressive but not so obnoxious that anyone’s that fussed yet. The do seems to be a send off for Mrs. Perch’s dead husband. They have a creepy son too, Sydney (Collins Jr.) who has a drink problem.

During the night, which is going just great (bar the annoying buzzing buggers), Paul befriends Larry (Daniele Rizzo) and they fuck off to get stoned together. Meanwhile, we meet some of the guests, which range from some very odd old men to a highly sexed Cougar who can’t get enough of Paul (but of course). Suddenly, there’s a scream and before we know it, though pesky wasps are stinging guests willy nilly.

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I don’t want to spoil the effects for you

Alas, this isn’t like the time I stood on a bee when I was five, these wasps have a nasty affect on their victims and it’s of the chest busting variety. It seems the victims don’t so much become killer wasps as host them for a small amount of time before giving birth to them in hideous and exciting ways.

Shit kicks off real quick as the core cast get themselves back into the house where they batten down the hatches. Unfortch, this doesn’t keep them safe for long and one by one the survivors are picked off. It’s really gross which is definitely one of the best things this film has going for it. Mrs Perch goes first (old = weak, innit), then lovely Flora the housekeeper (Cecilia Pillado) leaving just Julia, Paul, old man Caruthers (Henriksen) and creepy Sydney to fight to the death.

Luckily they’re a solid unit with not even one secret between them. Are they fuck! Sydney is forced to admit that this is all his fault (dead dad’s growth hormones in the fertilizer = giant killer wasps, yo) and what’s more he conceals a sting of his own. No problem though, course that won’t come back to bite anyone on the arse later (or face).

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Catering’s a bitch

There’s not an awful lot to play with here in terms of story line but we didn’t come here for depth so it’s best just to focus on the grotesqueness of it all. Wasps make sticky nests and it takes them no time at all to turn the once beautiful mansion into a heap of shit. Plus it’s no party to have one bursting out of your mouth/eye socket/chest so the new decor is somewhat splattered. But whatya gonna do?

Once through the worst of it, all our surviving heroes have to do is find a way out into the open but who knows how they’ll fare? The answer is surprisingly better than expected until Paul is kidnapped by a fucking angry female (of course there was going to be Queen). Will Julia kick ass and go back for him, or will she hightail it out of there as fast as her little catering van can take her? I know what I’d do…

To the questions!

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Sidney and date

Questions:

What the fucking fuck is going on Sidney, you freak?

Who survives anyway? And will you even care or will you zone out a bit because you’re so disappointed that a film about giant killer wasps turned out to be so fucking dull? Asking for a friend.

I don’t even know anymore. There’s a ridiculous climax (or not) at the end and then it’s all over. No lasting effects whatsoever.

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Woman up, creep

My Thoughts:

Paul just really annoyed me trying to touch Julia all the time. If I found myself in a similar situation and someone was trying to paw me, even if it was my own husband, I would have something to say about it. No means no dude, even if the underlying (condescending) message is that she does really. FFS.

When he makes a throwaway comment to one of the men about how Julia should be more grateful I wanted to turn the film off altogether, and go and kick something. Fuck gratitude right now, dude.

It’s nice that Julia gets to save Paul in the end but that scene with the Queen and the larvae is so hideous I nearly puked. I think the gist was that she wanted to plant her babies in Paul. At least that would have made him useful for a bit.

This is supposed to be a horror/comedy FYI but I don’t think I cracked a smile the whole time. Maybe that says something about me?

Later these crazy kids fuck in an ambulance because that’s all you’d want to do, then it’s all over and everyone can go home. Or can they?

Watch if you like or don’t, I don’t mind. I think I can safely say our Too Good Curse has now been lifted, at least for this week.

My Rating: 2.5/5. Points awarded solely for the gore and special effects. May I recommend you go and watch The Fly (1986) instead?

So, what did Jillian think? Was it a B for Brilliant Movie in her book or would she rather kill it dead where it stands with a giant can of Raid? Find out here silly.

Ps. I’ve found an incredible movie for us to watch together in the flesh Jillian, it’s so good/bad a concept I’m not even going to give you a teaser! ❤

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A Voluptuous Mind, Heroes, TV Addict

We Could Be Heroes #1: Daisy Steiner (Fictional)

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K.O

Just before I moved to Brighton to follow my own path, I fell in love with a television show called Spaced. It was 1999 and I felt like it was written just for me.

That it became popular, and then pretty much a cult classic later on didn’t matter, back then I thought it was mine. Specifically, I thought Daisy’s character had been written with me in mind. The dufus other half (though not romantically) of Tim Bisley, I wondered how could she exist when she was so similar to me and my friends. Here was a normal woman, who looked normal, dressed eclectically and accidentally threw around the peace sign in job interviews.

Together, Tim and Daisy felt like the voice of my generation: slacker edition.

Today, I still watch Spaced with the glee of a child. The characters are nailed so brilliantly, from chain-smoking Marsha the landlady to Brian the tortured artist and his on-again-off-again love interest, Twist. Mike, Tim’s best friend and would be commando, Tyres – you can’t not love every single last one of them as they bumble through life, job searches, dole offices, petty rivalries and affairs of the heart, by way of club nights and street fights.

Yep. Me too.

Yep. Me too.

But Daisy Steiner. What is there to say? From the moment she bustled into that greasy spoon and bonded with Bisley over the accommodation section of the local paper, it was love. Not for them, mind but for the rest of us. As they convinced Marsha they were a professional couple in order to secure the keys to her downstairs flat, a beautiful friendship was born.

Daisy was an aspiring writer with a penchant for procrastination, though she eventually birthed such literary gems as ‘Bogling – is it the new Tango?’ and ‘Winter Skincare – do’s and don’ts’. She was (is) a happy-go-lucky lady-child with the sort of over-enthusiastic nature I can get behind. When Tim’s heart is broken (twice), she’s right there with him and when he’d rather mope, she takes him to the pub.

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:/

But the beauty of Daisy is her tendency to put her foot right in it. Social interaction isn’t always the most successful as she likes to waffle and just loves to get involved in other people’s business, mainly so she doesn’t have to do any work. In short, she’s a more extreme version of me, though can’t we all see a little of ourselves in Daisy?

It’s easy to forget what the nineties was like for TV, but a brief flashback reminds me that this was probably the first time something like Spaced appeared. It showcased superb comedy writing (by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes née Stevenson), contained references to films and television shows I truly loved and was the antidote to the piles of shit I’d been watching before it.

It was the opposite of serious dramas like Cracker and Band of Gold (which were admittedly brilliant) and a different humour altogether from popular comedies like The Vicar of Dibley and Ab Fab. Spaced was as different as you could get from favourites like The X Files, Twin Peaks (very early 90’s) and my personal favourite, This Life.

So I ate it up and will love it for the rest of my days. It’s quoted daily in our household and how many other households across the country, honestly?

Daisy was best when she was finding herself, getting off with the paper boy, quoting the Spice Girls, rescuing Colin, her beloved miniature Schnauzer, batting away backhanded compliments from her BFF, Twist and bringing out the big guns in bar and street brawls with men in black/culinary school kids. In short, she was always the best.

So to you, dear Daisy, I say; Girl power forever.

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N’aw

We Could Be Heroes is a new series of posts looking a women (and sometimes men) I admire, sometimes fictional, sometimes real.

All images via Google.

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#onewomanbookclub, A Voluptuous Mind, Bookworm, Confessions

Bridge Over Troubled Water: Mad About The Boy Review

Photograph does not belong to me

Photograph does not belong to me

Monday 11th August 2014
Weight: doesn’t matter. Have decided that worth is not tied to numbers on scale. Fat test is now whether or not I can tie own shoelaces. At the moment can, so v. good. Cigarettes smoked: nil. Haven’t smoked since 1994. Tell people I am allergic to Nicotine but it is because I don’t know how to inhale properly.

Monday. This is not good. Mental boss being particularly mental and clueless as usual. Only ray of light poking into my day is work (and IRL) friend B. Decide the only way to distract myself from shouting at someone is to eat my feelings and sent 37 bitchy emails entitled ‘WTF’. This helps.

18.15 pm Get home and remember I finished my book last night. Hence bags under eyes and less than regulation 8 hours sleep. Hence bad mood. Realise I have Bridget Jones 3: Mad About The Boy on the ‘to read’ pile so feel a bit happier. Hmm, but also have I Capture The Castle which is a classic and will make me look cleverer on the bus.

Realise never take bus and anyway, need a dose of Bridge as she is v. funny. Decide overusing Fielding‘s ‘v.good’ signature phrase makes me look lazy so vow to leave this alone for rest of review.

20.38 pm Must start book but have recently discovered Nurse Jackie on Netflix. Netflix was invented by the devil, wasn’t it?

21.41 pm Laugh out loud for solid minute at Gwyneth Goop pisstaking. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Tuesday 12 August 2014
Weight: look I told you, none of your beeswax. Punnets of cherries consumed: 2. Number of times strained eyebrow muscles by rolling eyes too vigorously over the desk divider at B: 12. Number of times considered flipping desk violently and telling Stupid Boss to stick her job: 3.

08.09 am Husband leaves while I am brushing my teeth. Says he will be at the Barbara when I get in having his beard groomed (barber). Makes Night of the Living Dead reference as front door slams. Married right guy.

09.00 am Get to work and talk about Robin Williams who has passed away. Facebook is awash with tribute posts about the man most of us grew up with. Feel sad. Vow to watch Patch Adams this weekend.

09.14 am Boss already cursing behind computer screen. I decide best course of action is to zone out and not give her attention. Think about Mad About The Boy and how touching it is. Imagine what my life would be like if I were in a similar sitch. Decide, like Bridge, not to dwell.

09.15 am Remember line about Gwynnie and chuckle to myself for another minute.

09.24 am Is it home time yet?

09.25 am Have eaten all morning snack supplies already. Will be hula hooping this evening for three hours at this rate.

10.46 am Irrationally angry. Rant over email to B for five minute. Feel better.

11.50 am Can someone pay me to blog inanely with no real focus from home in my pants please?

11.59 am Tweet stuff about Boss then get paranoid. Leaving trail of outrage across social media not very profesh. Decide don’t care. Think about Bridge’s foray into social networking and it cheers me up. Can’t wait to get back home and read my evening away. Vow not to turn on TV at all when get home from work.

20.06 pm Get annoyed with Mr Bee as he wants to watch a Zombie/Vampire hybrid tv show called Strain. Get annoyed about the name of show as it puts me in mind of something disgusting. Agree but tell Mr Bee must be in bed by 9.30 as Bridget is waiting for me.

21.22pm Get to bed with eight minutes to spare. Pre-empt seduction by mentioning tiredness and reading.

21.38pm Am crying. Hard. Mascara did not remove before bed falls into eyes. Bridget grieving is a very powerful thing. Ah, but have also caught up with Daniel Cleaver. Not all doom and gloom.

Wednesday 13th August 2014
Weight: pffffffffffffffffffffffffft. Number of bums shouting “Fuck!” repeatedly outside window at 4.30am this morning: 2. Number of times consider bucket of cold water out of window onto street below: 3 (twice for bums, once for flock of seagulls – not the eighties band).

10.25 am Let’s not talk about work again, shall we?

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#onewomanbookclub, A Voluptuous Mind, Bookworm, Literature

Fantastic Mrs Fox: Where’d You Go, Bernadette Review

Photo is not mine

Bernadette Fox first made herself known to me when her cover popped up on Good Reads.

Bright, bold and Glamorous, what was I to do? So I dug a little deeper and found that some of my friends were into Bernadette too.

So I got myself a copy and promptly fell head first into B’s World.

This book, for the record, is brilliant. I found it to be a breath of fresh air, which is great when you find it.

There is so much fluffy shit out there and – I hold my hands up – I love some of it, but it’s not always the most original.

This has something about it that makes you want to devour it. Ultimately, it is a story about self-love, family, love and expression, some of the themes I hold dearest.

Bernadette is mother to 15-year-old, Bee, wife to barefoot Microsoft Rock God, Elgie. To the other mums at Bee’s school she is a menace to society, a disgrace and an obsession they just can’t kick.

As B’s behaviour swings ‘out-of-control’, Elgie starts to fear for his opinionated spouse and is compelled to do something about her, for all their sakes. But Bernadette is dealing with Something Bad that happened a long time ago, and she’s dealing with it in her own way.

Where’d You Go is written from the perspective of Bernadette’s super-bright daughter Bee but is mainly a compilation of emails (about Bernadette), articles (about Bernadette) and reports (about Bernadette).

The Gnats, who pen most of the emails to each other, are hilariously pompous with major self-importance issues. Outraged that B has only ever helped out on a school outing once, they spend all their spare time reporting back and forth on any or all gossip they can glean on Mrs Fox. This only serves to accentuate their small-mindedness but I do feel a little bit of empathy as they get carried away with their meddling, and their lives come crashing down around them.

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As for Bernadette, well… Our protagonist is a fabulous creature: creative, funny, ballsy and enigmatic, also mad as a box of frogs. Her dynamic with Bee is heart-warming and although the shine may have worn somewhat on her marriage to poor hapless Elgie, there’s a lot of love there.

So, if you’re wondering where Bernadette goes, whether she comes back and what made her leave in the first place, I’d suggest you pick up a copy and join the search. It’s well worth it.

Ps. Maria Semple wrote for Arrested Development and Ellen and that quality of writing is definitely apparent in WYGB. The film rights, apparently, have been sold with a rumour that  Helena Bonham Carter may be Bernadette. If true, this news is frankly bloody exciting.

Go read this book please, it’s a corker!

Book details:

 

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