Easter holidays means time off work for me this year (yey) and that obviously means it rains everyday and I get to nest indoors watching my shows.
This is what I’m currently digging…
Ru Paul’s Drag Race – Season 10
I’m not blown away by anyone in the line up yet but then I’m only two episodes in and Netflix is releasing episodes week by week, so I can’t just rinse it in one sitting.
I think there’s potential for drams between Miz Cracker and Aquaria, and I’m kind of into The Vixen – but other than that we’ll just have to see.
Alongside Season 10, I’m also playing catch up on Season 5 and All Stars Season 2, which is a different kettle of fish altogether. Season 5 had so many stand-out queens – Alyssa Edwards, Alaska, Jinkx Monsoon, DETOX – that it’s almost unfair to all the other seasons. Anyway, I’m having the most fun.
I’ve only seen one episode but man, it was a banger. I’m now obsessed and can’t wait to dig in further. It has a sort of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo vibe with Rami Malek‘s socially anxious Elliot Alderson working for ‘Evil Corp’ by day and hacking shit by night.
He’s just met Christian Slater and done something dramatic that will set in the motion a series of events that will change his life – and society – forever. Presumably.
The End of the F***ing World
Everyone’s been gushing about this since it appeared on Netflix but I just wasn’t that into it. The two main characters – played by Black Mirror’s Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden – are kind of hard to love. But I got there and then I really enjoyed myself. It’s quite bleak but also sweet with a great supporting cast, including Steve Oram and gorgeous Gemma Whelan.
Funny how our March Madness Month has been more or less focused on films by and about fucking fierce women, isn’t it? Guess we weren’t quite ready to hang Feminist February back in the wardrobe, which is f-i-n-e fine with me.
To this week’s film which is no different, a neat little Netflix Original charting the rise of teen rapper Roxanne Shante.
In the early 1980s, the most feared battle MC in Queens, New York, was a fierce teenage girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Shante (Chanté Adams) and her family live in an overcrowded apartment in Queens. Things seems to be looking up as the women, Shante’s mother Ms. Peggy (Nia Long) and her daughters get set to move out and into a bigger home.
Ms. Peggy and her man have been planning a new life for the family while Peggy has been saving every last penny, finally stacking up 20 gees after years and years of hard work. Shit takes a turn when her boyfriends ups and leaves one night with the money in tow. Who fucking knew?
Throughout this movie it seems the girls’ are destined to learn than men are rubbish and never worth the effort. They hang around waiting for a father than never shows and suffer the wrath of their hard-working single mother who loves her girls dearly but has no time to suffer fools, because men. It’s actually the relationship between Shante and her mother that I liked the most about this film – Ms. Peggy is a force to be reckoned with but she ain’t taking no prisoners.
Following a rough patch at home, Shante moves out and in with a male friend (couldn’t work out if this was a friend or cousin actually). She shoplifts to order for a small gang and this is how she makes the benjamins to live. This set up can’t last forever and Shante learns the hard way that adulting is not easy and has no choice but to return home.
Shante, the hero of this story, has shown a unique talent for rap battling from an early age and earned herself something of a local infamy. Because of this she finds herself regularly challenged to battle by snot nosed neighbourhood boys.
One day – in between laundry shifts – Shante throws down a couple of verses on a neighbour’s track and before she knows it, has blown up on the radio. Popularity though comes at a price and she finds herself growing apart from her school friends and family. She also meets Cross (Mahershala Ali), a charismatic older man keen to hitch his wagon to her rising star.
I found the older man/16-year-old thing really icky to watch even if it a true representation of what happened to the real Roxanne Shante. When Ms. Peggy confronts him for sleeping with her daughter I cheered. Although Mahershala Ali is one of the most exciting actors around at the moment, he plays sleazy Cross just a little too well. I hated him and I hated the violence he rains down upon the person he supposedly loves.
When Shante and Cross take their relationship to the next level, all sorts of Hell breaks loose. Will Shante survive to become the Queen of Rap, or what? You know what to do.
God this was boring. I mean, I love a rags to riches tale and I loved Shante but why did it feel so long when it was only 90 mins? It didn’t show me anything new, didn’t really inspire me to feel anything at all – and Shante has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it birthing scene that I thought I’d imagined. As a bridge across time I got its purpose but it didn’t work. There’s not that much character development either.
Nia Long and Adams are the stand outs in this, they’re brilliant with what they have to work with – and I would have been delighted with more one on one between them. All in all this movie just isn’t all that, sadly.
What does my Queen think of this one? Would she challenge it to a rap battle or take it on tour? Find out here.
This week’s entry revolves around three TV shows because that’s basically all I’m doing at the moment. Working, coming home, reading or watching TV. It’s not the most exciting life in the world but it is January so it’s kind of expected, right?
After finding out he has an STD, Dylan must get back in touch with every girl he has ever had sex with to let them know the bad news.
I’m behind the times a tad but Netflix has kindly just added Season 3 of this sweet little show and I’m delighted to be able to sit down and enjoy it. It’s fluffy viewing and very angsty about unrequited love and shagging but there’s something relateable about it. I think it captures your early twenties really well and the main characters are pleasant to look at.
I’m personally here for the friendship between Evie (Misfits’ Antonia Thomas) and Abigail (Hannah Britland) which is somewhat doomed given that Evie is in love with her best friend Dylan, who’s in a relationship with Abi. Awks.
(I’m only a few episodes in, so all this is of course subject to change).
An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.
The big don of viewing pleasures, BM is back and I’m so glad.
Season 4 has been more consistent and stronger than the last, and although at times it feels like we’re doubling back on themes we’ve already explored with Charlie Brooker, it still feels (to me) like fresh television.
Jill and I thought we’d take a break from Christmas viewing for one week to spend a little time in Fantasy Land with the fairies. Or Elves and Orcs, mainly.
This week’s pick had the added bonus of my mother’s input as we watched, since she’s been with us for Christmas. I have to say, her love of shit films echoes mine perfectly, thus making them at least 65% more enjoyable than they actually are.
Set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. A human cop is forced to work with an Orc to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for.
Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is injured badly on the job one day while his partner, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) is buying burritos (which I think it pretty legit if we’re honest). Unfortunately, Jakoby isn’t just a cop, he’s also the first Orc police officer. Since Ward’s attacker was also an Orc this is going to lead to some political shit in a bit, just you wait and see.
Following Ward’s shooting (which he survives, just about), Jakoby is more or less blacklisted by his colleagues and seriously distrusted by his partner who feels let down by his lapse in judgement that day. He’s also been rejected by the Orc community for choosing the cop life over gang-banging. (If you’re looking for subtlety here, this isn’t the film for you).
I suppose a bit more background would be helpful. Humans live in rickety harmony with Elves and Orcs following thousands of years of fighting. While they all manage to live together, suspicion still bubbles beneath the surface.
Our Odd Couple may no longer get along but there’s still work to do and Ward is back on the job following a long recuperation. First he makes Jakoby watch another Orc get beaten up by cops to test his loyalty to the po po. Since Jakoby has only ever wanted to be a police officer the side he’s chosen is clear.
Then they pick up a mysterious dude with a sword that whispers something to Jakoby in Orcish about a prophecy and I didn’t really get it. Just that there’s a hint that maybe our two anti-heroes are more important that we’ve been lead to believe.
While all this madness is going on, Ward is being leant on by Internal Affairs to get a confession out of Jakoby for his actions on the day Ward was shot. He let the perp get away conveniently and the bureau want to sack him with probable cause. Ward isn’t comfortable with this but is promised an end to his crushing financial woes if he plays along.
Shit gets real when Ward and Jakoby are called to a safe house (something about a militant group called Shield of Light) where loads of elves have been killed. They rescue the lone survivor, an incredibly annoying elf called Tikka who has a magic wand in her possession. The wand must not be touched by human hands unless that human is a ‘bright’.
And you know what? So much happens that I just can’t go into it all. I can however tell you that the partners are double crossed by back up officers and Jakoby tells Ward the much-needed truth about what happened when he chased his shooter that day – prompting Ward to take a massive leap of faith.
They go on the run with Tikka who is being chased by Leilah (Noomi Rapace), the true owner of the wand and there’s a super beautiful Elf called Kandomere (played by the most beautiful man in the world Edgar Ramirez) knocking about in the FBI too. He’s on the tail of Ward and Jakoby which is lucky for them tbh. He can chase me any day.
Jakoby along the way is forced to face his heritage and the consequences of his past actions, while Leilah draws closer. What’s the fucking prophecy all about though and what’s so special about Ward?
Why can’t Tikka get that goddamn hair out of her eyes and stop being such a sap? What is a bright and could someone close to us actually be one? And finally, is all this shit really worth it for Jakoby who has been isolated for so long from both Orc and Human communities?
You could watch this I suppose to find out the answers for yourselves. You know, if you can be arsed.
Uh. Whatever. This has an awful lot going on and although it’s fun in places, I feel as though it takes itself way more seriously than it should. It’s also very heavy-handed on the messaging about race and police brutality. Which is fine, I guess. Subtlety is not something one expects from the director of Suicide Squad.
There’s not really much more I need to say. Why is it two hours long? Why was Tikka such a disappointing character? Why can’t real elf men like Kandomere really exist?
2.5/5. SHRUG. Take or leave really.
What was Jill’s take on this one? Would she ram a wand in its eye or save it from savage Elves? Find out here.
I’m trying not to binge this one too quickly because I’m finding it really enjoyable. DeWanda Wise‘s Nola Darling is mesmerising to watch, so it’s no wonder she’s juggling three very different men at once. Not only that but the show addresses topics that include sexual assault, female sexuality and victim blaming (so far).
SGHI is of course based on the Spike Lee movie of the same name – and so far, I’m a fan. I love the soundtrack too, which handily is framed not just as an afterthought but as a character of its own – and all the tracks are clearly signposted.
Everyone said it was good and maybe it’s been over-hyped just a smidge – but I still gobbled up the both series like the greedy guts that I am. It was satisfying but also infuriating and I think the take home I got from this is that people can be the worst. Men, women – everybody.
Doctor Foster herself isn’t even all that nice, hurting people in her own pain. Her female friends are all shits with no sense of fucking loyalty. The husband’s lying and cheating is the main event sure, but nobody comes out of this well.
Still, bloody compelling to watch though! I’ve actually just finished it and I hope they leave it there. I mean, of course I’d watch more – I just don’t think I can take it. I have thoughts on the ending, which I won’t share but I’m not surprised it split the nation so much, it could and should have been better.
I’ve just been gifted this book for my birthday, which I’m overjoyed by. The film was so wonderful, truly one of the best of this year (and DBo, who gave me the book was also my movie going partner for that one).
Absolutely without question, this is my new best thing. A handful of people have recommended this and every time I’ve ignored them. I started on it the other evening and now I’m almost two series down. It’s so gentle and lovely – an absolute credit to Mackenzie Crook who writes and stars in it, and the amazing Toby Jones who plays Lance.
My personal favourite character is Becky, Andy’s teacher girlfriend played by Rachael Stirling. Such a babe and funny as all fuck.
JESUS. This show is crazy involved and gripping af.
Jessica Biel is Cora Tannetti, a woman who one day commits an act of extreme violence on the beach. While there appears to be no connection between her and the victim, Detective Ambrose (Bill Pullman) isn’t about to let Cora just go down for the crime, no questions asked – and does everything in his power to help her unravel the truth, which is lodged somewhere inside that brain of hers. And boy, do they unfurl a story!
This is a very dark series and it was brilliant as far as I’m concerned. Biel really impressed me, while support from both Christopher Abbott (from Girls) and Nadia Alexander was pretty decent. It’s such a sad tale.
I mainlined this in one day and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes their mysteries dirty and deep.
And I might now own all of the above… what? It is my BIG BIRTHDAY MONTH!
I thought mother! might be the weirdest film I would see this year but now I’m not so sure.
TKOASD is super strange but also seriously good and full of Yorgos Lanthimos‘ signature black humour. There’s not a lot I can say without giving things away and I think going in with little knowledge can only be a good thing.
Nicole Kidman is brilliant as are the actors playing her children (Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic), while Barry Keoghan plays the part of Martin perfectly: insidious, spookily calm and actually quite repellent. I definitely recommend catching this at the cinema if you get the chance.