A Comprehensive Guide To: The TV Shows I Love.

I don’t actually watch a lot of shows on actual televison. I usually stream or download as I much prefer binge-watching a show or being able to pick it straight back up again from where I left off.

Here is a list of the TV shows/series that I love to watch and then usually rewatch.

  1. The Keepers
  2. Stranger Things
  3. Jessica Jones
  4. Game Of Thrones
  5. Lovesick
  6. New Girl
  7. Orphan Black
  8. Fresh Meat
  9. How I Met Your Mother
  10. The Handmaid’s Tale
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A Comprehensive Guide To: My Favourite Films.

A bit like my music taste, I don’t really stick to one genre of film nor do I have a favourite. I will watch pretty much anything apart from a jumpy horror film.

I thought I’d put together a list of twenty films that I really like or have watched a million and one times.

 

  1.  Hot Fuzz directed by Edgar Wright, 2007
  2. Sing Street directed by John Carney, 2016
  3. Before We Go directed by Chris Evans, 2015
  4. Tangled directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, 2010
  5. La La Land directed by Damien Chazelle, 2016
  6. Rocks That Bleed directed by Bertie Gilbert, 2015
  7. Night At The Museum directed by Shawn Levy, 2006
  8. One Day directed by Lone Scherfig, 2011
  9. The Martian directed by Ridley Scott, 2015
  10. The Fleeting Little Life Of Peter Wright directed by Tim Hautekiet and Sammy Paul, 2015
  11. Shutter Island directed by Martin Scorsese, 2010
  12. Inside Llewyn Davis directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 2013
  13. Ex Machina directed by Alex Garland, 2014
  14. Submarine directed by Richard Ayoade, 2010
  15. That Awkard Moment directed by Tom Gormican, 2014
  16. Pocahontas directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg, 1995
  17. The Mummy directed by Stephen Sommers, 1999
  18. The Edge of Seventeen directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, 2016
  19. The Empire Strikes Back directed by Irvin Kershner, 1980
  20. Blue Sushi directed by Bertie Gilbert and Sammy Paul, 2015

If you’d like to have an even deeper look into the films I watch and what I think of them, you can follow me on letterboxd.

A Comprehensive Guide To: My Music Taste.

I have a really varied and, generally, just weird music taste. I’ll listen to literally anything I deem ‘good enough’, obviously.

I thought I’d put together a list of thirty songs that I always come back to.

 

  1. Saint Raymond // Everything She Wants
  2. Raleigh Ritchie // Werld Is Mine
  3. Kate Nash // Foundations
  4. The Weeknd // Wicked Games
  5. Shag Rock // Sunbleached Girl
  6. clipping. // Taking Off
  7. The Kooks // Seaside
  8. Lily Allen // LDN
  9. Halsey // Bad At Love
  10. Bobby Brown // On Our Own
  11. Just Jack // Disco Friends
  12. BROCKHAMPTON // Trip
  13. Will Joseph Cook // Plastic
  14. Harry Styles // From The Dining Table
  15. Halsey // Coming Down
  16. Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx & Twista // Slow Jamz
  17. Paolo Nutini // Jenny Don’t Be Hasty
  18. Weezer // Endless Bummer
  19. J. Cole // High For Hours
  20. Lauryn Hill // Doo Wop
  21. Arkells // Dirty Blonde
  22. Childish Gambino // 3005
  23. Paramore // Fake Happy
  24. Raleigh Ritchie // Birthday Girl
  25. Lily Allen // Hard Out Here
  26. Fleetwood Mac // Seven Wonders
  27. The Wombats // Greek Tragedy
  28. Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari // LOVE.
  29. Ten Tonnes // Silver Heat
  30. Jamie T // Here’s Ya Getaway

If you’d like to have an even deeper look into my weird music taste, I have a huge spotify playlist below.

Harry Styles: The Modern Man of Music.

On May 12th Harry Styles released his debut solo album.

His genre-bending, self-titled album left me pleasantly surprised. When first hearing the album’s main single, ‘Sign of The Times’, I was worried. It wasn’t what I expected from the ex-boy band singer in the slightest. It was different and I wasn’t completely head-over-heels about it like I had been for One Direction singles in previous years.

Styles goes from classic ballad type songs he’s know for, like ‘Two Ghosts’ and ‘Meet Me In The Hallway’, to modern rock ‘n’ roll masterpieces such as ‘Only Angel’ and ‘Kiwi’. Styles also includes a beautifully soft song titled ‘Sweet Creature’ which oddly feels like a sequel to one of One Direction’s most famous songs, ‘Little Things’. Before even getting to the end of the album, you want to listen to it all over again.

Styles’ lyrics remain vague yet relatable but with a subtly more mature theme. He comes across as a young man with genuine experiences, instead of some baby-faced teenager who only sings about a girl’s outer beauty. From the off, you can tell Styles is aware his pre-established audience has also grown up along side him.

Not only has the type of music that Styles creates changed, so has he. In his Rolling Stone interview, he comes across as a human being before anything else, instead of some manufactured dream boy. He no longer dresses like a real-life Ken Doll that has every word and movement chosen by someone who isn’t him. Even while being questioned about ex-partners and if they’ve inspired any of his music, – the thing he’s always been interrogated over – he comes across as someone you’d meet in a book shop or small cafe. Not the award winning pop star and unofficial ‘front man’ of One Direction. He talks of his process and his experience like any other singer or songwriter in the industry.

Harry Styles is a twenty-something year old man with his own taste and his own opinions on a whole range of topics.

Harry Styles has been reborn and it’s brilliantly refreshing.

HarryStyles-albumcover.png

A Plant Pot List.

This is list is basically a ‘Bucket List’ for people like me who have mostly low aspirations.

You may be asking ‘Why call it a Plant Pot instead of a Bucket list?’…

Well, a plant pot has holes in the bottom so all the things you don’t do, just fall away. This means you don’t feel pressure to actually complete your Plant Pot List. A plastic little plant pot is also significantly smaller than a bucket too so you include smaller, more realistic goals in it.

I’d like to take credit for calling it a Plant Pot List but it was actually Elliott’s idea. I just came up with a weird little explanation.

Anyway, here is my Plant Pot List:

– Go to Ireland with Lauren – I mainly want to do this because I just want to tell people I got shitfaced in the country of Alcoholism.
– Write a book – like a proper one that’s actually good.
– Learn to drive – Being in control of a car is one of the scariest things to me. Allow it.
– See Weezer live.
– Own a piano – and be able to play it.
– Pitch/Sell sitcom to a network – This one is really strange but I love sitcoms that are actually genuine and realistic like Chewing Gum and Lovesick.
– Learn self defence.
– A bonfire on the beach because I love a good cheesy film with a beach bonfire scene.
– Go back to Edinburgh – I mainly want to do this because I want to see if I can remember my way around.
– Go to London Pride as it looks significantly better than its Northern counterparts.
– See/support friends at all public endeavours e.g. at Shows, TV, Films etc.
– Not get married which is obviously pretty achievable and free.
– Learn how to cook proper meals because beans on toast is not a meal.
– Go back to Australia to see one of my best friends. – I know you’re reading this, Iz…
– Get a good/mildly secure job.
– Get a cat that’s actually mine.
– Take part in a protest – preferably a peaceful one.
– Consider setting up a cafe/milkshake bar because A Levels will probably turn out to be pointless.
– See Mayer Hawthorne live because I missed his first UK show to go see my boyfriend.
– Go back to Crete.

La La Land: A City of Nostalgia.

I went into La La Land knowing virtually nothing about it apart from seeing the odd video about it and being recommended the soundtrack on the home page of my Spotify. I hadn’t even seen the trailer. But like most films I watch, I’d heard many good things about it. Obviously, within the good was a sprinkle of criticism which did make me worry a little but I didn’t expect any less. I’ve never seen a genuinely perfect film and I knew that wouldn’t change after seeing La La Land. But it was pretty close to being perfect.

Like many Oscar Nominated films, I was pessimistic about seeing it which is why I put off seeing it until today. Especially with it being up for so many awards. Films that win big during award season are normally quite bland retellings of the same story just with a slight but still orthodox twist. But La La Land was different. It was enjoyable even though it does conform to a handful of Oscar Nomination stereotypes.

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It feels like a classic from the off. Whether it’s the slight nods to classic old musical movies, the old fashioned items the two main characters possess or the fact that it’s a musical and a film with a cliché story line that still feels new.

It feels comfortable and familiar even when watching it for the first time. It knows that it’s a musical but it also knows that it also has to be a film.

It is so well constructed. Normally, when a film is bad I switch off and ignore the story line and instead try to find something good about the cinematography or the editing, or maybe the special effects. La La Land was different. You could appreciate all aspects of the film because each part caught and held my interest. It’s an ideal mix of good cinematography with brilliant acting and thought through editing.

It was so well shot. It used long and continuous takes perfectly.

Subtle and not-so-subtle lighting changes to signify the beginning of a singing or dance number.

The first act is mirrored and almost reshot but within a different time and context in the final act which I love. Mirrored and circular storytelling is something I wish I could see more of in mainstream film.

The way each scene was joined together was obviously well thought out. It flowed so smoothly and when reflecting on its editing and construction, you feel even more satisfied with the movie as a whole.

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The characters actually have some substance. They’re likeable but you can still see that they are flawed and human even though they just so happen to be and live in Hollywood. Both Mia and Sebastian bring out the ambition and ‘struggling artist’ – whether we’re struggling actors, musicians or whatever – in us all. They make you want to learn or teach yourself piano and dance until you can’t feel your limbs. They’re both cynical and charming which are two qualities I love seeing in people.

Gosling. I know him as that guy who’s in a few good films that I’ve either not seen or not particularly cared about. I didn’t see La La Land because I’m in love with Ryan Gosling and want to see anything/everything he’s in but I came out wanting to. The way he conveys his character, Sebastian’s passion for jazz pulled me in. His pure love of classic jazz and the people who turned it into the genre it is makes me want to consume every single second of jazz music ever created. He’s relatable, like its said in the film, he’s a traditionalist that wants to be revolutionary which almost all creators can identify with to some degree. Like most struggling artists, he sacrifices his love of traditional jazz to hopefully get his name out and becomes what is seen as a ‘sellout’. It’s a typical not an irritating sellout like Mark in Rent. Gosling is so much more than just a pretty face in La La Land and it’s so refreshing.

Stone. Like with Gosling, I’ve not seen much of her work. I saw and tolerated her performance in the Amazing Spiderman films but felt like her character needed some substance which I just put down to poor writing. Mia, unlike Gwen in the Amazing Spiderman movies, has substance. Her ending may not have been enough for me but she has a personality and charm, and wasn’t just there to be a love interest the whole time. Not only did she, as a character, have substance so did her relationship with Sebastian. It didn’t totally come out of nowhere and not make much sense when properly thought about. Yes, it was a cliche for them to fall in love but it wasn’t out of sheer convince. She doesn’t sit around and passively deal with Sebastian’s shit. She has struggles, opinions and is a human with emotion.

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It’s witty, emotional and honest even with it’s slightly sugar coated moments. And, like any good film, it makes you feel things and doesn’t feel horribly forced. The latter being quite rare especially with a film that’s also a musical.

All in all, La La Land was surprising. Surprisingly well thought out, surprisingly honest and even more surprisingly, genuinely enjoyable to watch. Even with it’s classic tropes and its carefully selected yet recycled ideas/moments, it feels like something you’ve never seen before but still feels like you’ve seen it a million times in such a perfect, nostalgic way

To Stay Alive.

Dear my past (and possibly future) self,

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had a pretty shitty day but that’s okay. You might think ‘the black dog’ chasing you is close to swallowing you whole but you’re wrong. If you need some reassurance, I wrote the following down and posted it on the internet – just for you. I hope that one day, you get the help you need and not just a prescription or a handful of therapy sessions.

Here are eighteen whole reasons to keep on living:

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1) There are books and films, and even songs you haven’t bought or experienced yet that might change you more than you could ever think possible.

2) Wonderful little words that make you happy like ‘lovely’ and bubble’.

3) Help is out there. You can’t let a certain tablet or therapy put you off just because one form didn’t work. Have a little bit of hope.

4) You are funny and clever, and witty, and most definitely beautiful.

5) Those people who really do pick up the phone at 3am when you’re too sad to say hello and understand that you just need to hear someone on the other end of the phone, just  living, breathing and existing for a little while.

6) Someone, somewhere, cares about you more than you will ever know.

7) One day, your favourite jazz/funk musician may actually come to your country and you can experience ‘No Strings’ live in a room full of people who love him as much as you do.

8) People might not understand you but as long as you understand you – That is all that matters.

9) Those moments where you’re so unbelievably happy you feel like you’re drunk.

10) Cute kittens and clumsy puppies. Enough said.

11) The jumper you bought a while ago that just makes you want to curl up infront of the TV with a hot drink and your favourite person/people in the world.

12) Nothing lasts forever. Things change and it will get better if you believe it can.

13) As Eliza Hamilton once said – or should I say sung: The fact that you’re alive is a miracle. Just stay alive and that would be enough.

14) There are places you are yet to go to and people you haven’t met yet.

15) Those songs on that playlist that, no matter the situation, you can sing (out of tune) at the top of your voice.

16) You have rules to break & bend and people to piss off.

17) The drunken conversations you will have on the kitchen floor will be the ones that matter most.

18) That aching feeling you get in your sides, and the tears falling down your cheeks when you’ve laughed more than you ever thought possible.

~

If these reasons didn’t change your mind then: stay alive for you. I know it’s easier said than done but it will all work out in the end because, like Will once said:

“Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while but the world isn’t going anywhere.

Life is always worth it.”

~

To find out more about World Suicide Prevention day:

The Samaritans: WSPD

To Write Love On Her Arms: WSPD

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If you’re here for yourself and not out of curiosity, I hope this helped. I will always be here, cheering for you on the sidelines. Your pain is valid, as are you.
I wrote this while listening to the lovely Dodie Clark’s Six Out Of Ten and a collection of other ‘sad’ songs.
They help keep my creative mindset and flow. Most of the time.

Suicide Squad Was A Thing.

*I didn’t know what to even call this so apologies for the title. This isn’t set out like my usual blog posts. I’ve written it pretty quickly and I’ll explain why at the end.*

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Suicide Squad wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be but at the same time, it wasn’t exactly great either. It wasn’t what I expected. You could tell that a lot of the film had been re-shot or re-edited since the trailers had come out. The actors clearly took as much as they could from what they were given.

The following contains some spoilers.

•The establishing scenes were good. The way they showed a little bit of each character before you ‘met’ them was a good idea.

•The editing made it seem like they’d use the transitions from Microsoft PowerPoint. The way they introduced the characters was strange and didn’t really fit as they used the cartoon ‘fact file’ style logo they also used for the character trailers.

•The tone kept chopping and changing. It was lighthearted one minute, then dark and gritty but then flicked to humorous… It wasn’t like it was a flashback in which you’d expect a different tone to show how things have changed. I couldn’t tell what tone they were actually going for because it was all over the place.

•The FX in the first Squad fight/action were bad. They didn’t look like explosions, they looked like fireworks. It was laughable for a ‘big summer blockbuster’. They were equally bad when Enchantress was doing what ever the hell she was doing.

•Harley was more than ‘just a pretty face’ in act three. Once El Diablo told the Squad his ‘story’, she got angry. She started telling him what he should do and he didn’t retaliate with some degrading remark about her body – unlike Captain Boomerang.

•I couldn’t tell if Captain Boomerang was there for some form of comic relief or just some guy they’d told to act enough like Deadpool for him to be liked (but not enough for them to get sued by Marvel) and just shoved in there. He literally added nothing special to the plot and was just a bit irritating.

•I found out from Jack Howard before watching the film that David Ayer, the director, only had six weeks to prepare and write the film and that was so clear. Anyone, whether they’re in the film business or not, will know that six weeks is nowhere near enough time to write and plan a feature length film. Planning films takes as long as shooting them. It’s clear that the planning was rushed because the film is a mess – not only tonally but generally. Obviously, that isn’t just Ayer’s fault, it’s also the stuido’s.

•The soundtrack looks so good on paper and 90% of the songs do sound good too, but the way they’ve put it over the film is bad. It was clear that they only got/made all these songs to get people to see the songs used in the film which did happen to some extent but not very well. Sometimes it was too loud in comparison to the characters’ talking and other times you were trying so hard to understand what was going on to even care.

•Will Smith was great – considering what he was given. He played his usual sort of charming and funny yet brave character he’s known for but with a anti-hero twist on it. He had some solid one liners and you did actually feel empathy for him. I like how they didn’t use him to sell the film – they weren’t like ‘Hey, look! This is a new Will Smith film! Come watch it!’. They didn’t plaster his name all over the place. They showed off the whole cast pretty fairly, it just so happened that Will Smith was in it.

•Amanda Waller gave zero fucks. Like Flag says, she’s God. She doesn’t have any abilities like the Squad but she is in control (to some extent) and you don’t question it. You didn’t need to know her background to like her and know that the Squad shouldn’t push her.

•I like how Bruce Wayne had a presence throughout with his name/company on some of the technology etc. It really did show how money has such a big influence on Gotham City.

•When Harley picked up the jester costume and got giddy. It was a nice reference to the comics and it made the audience excited to see if she’d try it on. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

•I couldn’t tell what the story line was or if there even was one in the first place. It was just lots of scenes/events stringed together. It was messy and it wasn’t enjoyable because I couldn’t understand what was actually going on.

•I liked how The Joker’s henchmen weren’t dressed as clowns like in ‘The Dark Knight’. They just had masks and were dressed up as a variety of random things. It reflected how unorganised and chaotic (messy almost) the Joker is(?)

•Rick and June’s relationship was a bit of a flop. They weren’t really ‘official’ but there didn’t seem to be much, if any, chemistry and it seemed pretty aggressive.

•It was pretty obvious that they only did shots of the Squad from behind to show of Margot Robbie’s body. It was subtle but, the unnecessary sexualisation of Harley Quinn was there. I know Harley – as well as Poison Ivy – was sexualised in the source material but that was her using it to her advantage. It was actually a shame there were too many shots of Harley’s bum which just irritated me.

•It was horribly obvious Slipknot was going to die early on as you got a brief introduction to/flashback with each Squad member except him. You also didn’t see him in the trailer. I forgot he was in it until he showed up.

•HARLEY IN THE LIFT. SHE WAS ALONE AND FOUGHT A COUPLE OF MUTANT THINGS AND IT WAS GREAT. The song played during that sequence was subtly degrading though.

•The transformation from Dr. Harleen Quinzel to Harley Quinn felt rushed. In her first flashback, she was trying to help The Joker then within a second she was in love/obsessed with him. I get that the film isn’t Harley and The Joker’s origin story but they could’ve at least shown that time had passed.

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Unfortunately, Suicide Squad was forgettable. I’ve written this in the back of the car while driving home from the cinema because I knew I’d  forget some of the points made above. It was one of those films that you go to see then don’t actually mention or talk about the fact that you’ve seen it because nothing really stands out enough for you to care. Like I said at the beginning, it wasn’t as bad as I though it would be but I felt like there were some things missing from it that would actually make me feel something as a viewer.

The Last Year: After.

I’ve tried writing this a million times but I’ve finally strung my thoughts together into somewhat comprehensible sentences.

Here’s Part III of The Last Year.

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To properly process the past five years has taken a lot of time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’ve left. It’s very happy and very exciting but at the same time, I feel like I’m now missing something. I haven’t seen some of my favourite people in almost a month which is strange considering we used to spend almost every single day together.

A lot has happened between my last day, prom and right now. I’ve already lost contact with people due to false promises of future friendship. But, at the same time, I’ve become closer with people I felt like I’d lost along the way. It’s a comforting but strange feeling knowing someone you thought you’d never talk to again wants to be your friend still/again.

I’ve changed so much in the past three months that I don’t even think I’d recognise myself, personality wise, if I I’ve become (even more) of a hard-edged bitch. I’m more willing than ever to throw a few punches (or really aggressively elbow/scream) at someone to defend myself or a friend. I’ve become more opinionated (If that’s even possible…) and educated (socially and politically) in three months than I ever thought possible. I now feel like I can shock adults into having genuine conversations (about things that matter in the real world) with me.

If you were to ask me what I’ve done since leaving school, my first answer would probably be ‘nothing much’. That would technically be a lie. I’ve been to Disneyland, I’ve been out a few times with friends and even family (for a change) but my go to answer is still ‘nothing much’. Why? Is it because I’ve spent a large amount of time in my room? Is it because if I feel nothing towards school anymore that automatically means I haven’t done anything?

Did those questions even make sense?

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You probably thought this would be a long, nostalgic blog post like the ones before. You’re wrong. But I want to finish this last one by telling you two things:

  1. I am excited to start college.
  2. I’m not looking forward to Results Day.

so please stop asking me or I will either punch you, really aggressively elbow or just scream.

If you wanted the long, nostalgic blog post that you thought this was going to be, the previous two parts of this mini series are linked below.

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The Last Year: I

The Last Year: II

The Last Year: III

Blog Posts: Attitude Changes and The Distinct Lack Of.

If you’re completely out of it like I am or just haven’t noticed: I haven’t been posting anything on this blog for just over a month. This is because of numerous things that have ‘got in the way’ of me and my writing which I’m now going to talk about in the hopes of ‘getting back’ my creativity and desire to write.

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One of them being the subject of my previous blog post. My head has been all over the place (more scattered than usual) for the past month which isn’t really an excuse but I feel that if I can’t piece my own brain together, then I have no hope of even beginning to form a simple sentence on something interesting enough to read. Not only have I been at the doctors etc quite regularly,  I started a new type of therapy which I don’t really know how to feel about yet. It’s online this time which is helpful considering I sometimes don’t have the strength mentally to leave my room. – I might talk about it properly, I might not.

Another thing that hasn’t helped is Writer’s Block. I’ve always struggled with it and when it does happen/kick in, I feel incredibly down and talk myself into believing that I’m some kind of failure as I am mostly a creative person when it comes down to it. I will have loads of creativity and ideas going through my head for a few months then all of a sudden it will just disappear. This is why I often carry a notebook with me so I can write my ideas down and when it does come back, I can pick up where I left off. If you know me well enough, you’ll know that around this time last year I started to write a book. I still have all the chapter plans and ideas but am yet to even open the year old word document containing the actual book. My Writer’s Block has also now spread to blog writing – Clearly.

I am definitely one of those people who needs quite a bit of reassurance with different things and this blog has become one of those things I need reassurance with which actually upsets me. I enjoyed thinking, planning and then writing for this blog but, like that new toy you got for Christmas when you were a kid, it got old after you had played with it a few times. I even enjoyed formatting and laying out my posts once they had been written – Not going to lie… That was always my favourite part of writing a blog post. I feel as though the subjects I talk about and my way of writing isn’t ‘original’ enough for not only other people but for myself. I have never felt like my writing or any other kind of creative piece I’ve made isn’t original but at the same time, I feel as if it’s been done before. Don’t get me wrong, I am confident in my content and the things I write/produce/create but at the same time, I’m worried that I’ve just completely ripped someone off. (Jack Howard put this into words better than I just have so check out his video about it here.) This whole blog has always been for myself (mostly) but if my content doesn’t make me happy then how is it meant to please others?

Here’s where the (very) mild depersonalisation kicks in… I currently think that I’ve ‘lost’ my opinions and, to some extent, my emotions/feelings – Like genuine ones that involve strong/clear thinking. Obviously with a distinct lack of opinions and feelings, I can’t exactly write about things that I don’t feel anything about or towards. Yeah, I do have just enough emotion to write a brief tweet or two about the odd thing but not enough to have a sustained conversation about a certain subject. I feel as though I’m in some sort of dream or I’m sat watching the world through a TV screen (which is sort of true, I guess.) I also feel like the past month, for me, has been one huge fuck off mental breakdown. – Yes. I just used ‘fuck off’ as an adjective. Deal with it. – which means I haven’t had the energy to realise all this until now.

I would also tell you that I’ve been ‘too busy’ to write which would be a lie. I always have my notes page open or my notebook (I even took all my writing stuff to Disneyland. Woah.) so the opportunities have been there this whole time, I just haven’t had the ideas or been in the right frame of mind.

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I apologise that this has been pretty much just a rambling little filler to tide people over until I start writing some genuinely engaging and interesting content that I’m truly proud of and want to share with the internet.

I will be back soon with a distinct lack of Writer’s Block. Hopefully.

#Pray4Georgia