Read, Watch, Listen 2

A few weeks ago I decided to review a book, a TV show and a podcast in the same blog post and was happy with the outcome. So this week I have once again put together my three current sources of entertainment.

Each of these is worth checking out. I am half way through the book and the TV series. With the podcast, I am catching up on episodes and currently listening to all of the new episodes as they are published.

What I am reading

Currently I am making my way through ‘Different Class’ by Joanne Harris. It follows on from the brilliant ‘Gentlemen and Players’ which really got me rooted in these school- based dramas.

I really love this story as it builds so cleverly, with alternating chapters by two key characters. Joanne’s writing is always so brilliant and the way she creates a backstory for the latin teacher and new super head is nothing short of superb.

Let’s say the new headteacher is younger and used to be in Roy Straightly’s class. As we flick back and forth, we discover events that suggest that there is so much more to be said. Full of intrigue and skilful mastery of words, this book is totally immersive.

What I am watching

Last week I noticed that Imogen Poots was in a new sci-fi series on Amazon Prime Video. ‘Outer Range’ seemed really intriguing as it is set on a ranch in the USA and costars Josh Brolin as the cowboy patriarch (Royal) who I recall from the Kate Winslet movie, Labour Day.

A black hole has been discovered on landowner Royal’s land. A violent event leads to an investigation which is muddled by a battle for one section of land that seems to hold more value than it suggests. Meanwhile Autumn (Poots) wanted to camp in his field whilst poking her nose into local goings on.

The black hole seems to be a place to deposit bodies but can we be sure they won’t come back? When one does reappear it causes a whole load of contraversy.

What I am listening to

When I was growing up, I loved watching the hilarious ‘Big Breakfast’ programme every morning on Channel 4. Presented by Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, it was a magazine show with great guests, funny sketches and crazy alien puppets called Zig and Zag.

Ever since, I have remained a firm fan of Gaby Roslin and so I was pleased to see her begin a podcast where she chats with famous people from all sorts of backgrounds. Starting with her friendly and fun Kate Winslet episode, I have started working my way through her previous series.

I seem to remember Gaby interviewing Kate in 1995 when she was promoting Sense and Sensibility. Gaby mentions this in the episode and The fact that Kate came on this podcast (after all her interviews are rare) shows her high regard for Roslin as a broadcaster. The banter between them is funny and honest.

Other highlights include a chat with Judi Dench, Alicia Silverstone and Jill Halfpenny. I also found Sebastian Croft from Heartstopper really interesting. There are so many cool people on it and I am yet to check out Jim Broadbent and many others.

Thank you for taking the time to read my current suggestions. If you want to check out my previous recommendations please click here. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and may consider following my blog for more of the same.

Read, Watch, Listen

I wanted to try something different today and talk about three different types of media in one post. As you know I love to soak up TV shows and try to read plenty of books all of the time. I also really enjoy listening to podcasts. So it makes sense for me to drop some recommendations now and again.

Today I wanted to start sharing one of each. In this article I will mention three things that I am currently really into. Most days I read a few chapters from a book, listen to a section of a podcast and watch a couple of TV shows. Here are the ones I am loving right now.

Read

This Much is True – Miriam Margolyes

Ever since I saw her popping up as an actress in movies such as the Baz Luhrman version of Romeo and Juliet, I have found Miriam fascinating. She then appeared in a documentary called, ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’ with other celebrities who were exploring India. This series went on for a few years and allowed us to get to know her as a person.

Her hilarious stories and brash way with people made her comedy gold. She has since presented more documentaries on her own which were eye-opening and interesting.

So as soon as I saw that she had written an autobiography, I instantly bought it. Already I am loving it because she maintains her wit whilst reflecting on her interesting childhood and career.

I am still part of the way through this book but every time I pick it up I learn something new and have a giggle too.

Watch

Outer Range – Amazon Prime

I was drawn to this when I saw it advertised on an instagram account for Imogen Poots. She is a wonderful actress who I was lucky enough to see on stage with Imelda Staunton in ‘Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf’. After this performance I got her autograph and had a lovely chat with her and she came across as very genuine and charming.

Anyway, after checking out the trailer I was quickly keen to have a look at this brand new series set in Western USA. Josh Brolin is the other lead actor in this really intriguing drama. I last saw him in a Kate Winslet movie called ‘Labour Day’. where he was an escaped prisoner who shacked up with Kate.

He is the patriarch of a family in ‘Outer Range’ who are living in the middle of nowhere on a cattle ranch. One day he discovers a large, mysterious hole in one of his fields which seems to be a portal to another dimension. Autumn (played by Imogen) comes to camp in a nearby field and things start to get really weird.

Well all I can say is I was hooked right away. It started off gentle and then ramped up the tension. This one is definitely well worth checking out.

Listen

Bridgerton – The Official Podcast

As a massive Bridgerton fan I was excited to listen to the first season of this podcast where they discuss plots, characters and everything related to the making of the TV series.

Shondaland has created a brilliant podcast which includes people who work behind the scenes and cast members. In the second series they are discussing an episode a week and have all of the main actors involved. Hearing them discuss wardrobe, dance practice, set design and dialogue, I feel my need for background information is certainly fulfilled.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post about the book, TV show and podcast that I am currently consuming. For more TV recommendations check out my post, TV shows I laugh at. Please comment your thoughts and consider following my blog for future similar articles.

Heartstopper TV Show – Ground-breaking!

Always someone to welcome and encourage diversity, I am excited to write about the new Netflix series based on the incredible YA books written by Alice Oseman. It was definitely intriguing to see her work get picked up by Netflix but I was initially anxious that they may not represent it as wonderfully as she has.

Thankfully Netflix got Alice on board as script writer and producer during the making of the TV show and integrated some of her unique style into this brilliant take on LGBTQ romance. If you want to know more about the books, check my previous review of Heartstopper Book One here.

Heartstopper Review

This particular TV production was filmed last year in England and has been hotly anticipated ever since. Tiktok has always been fond of Alice Oseman’s best selling webcomic-turned book and the series trailers started to inspire a whole new set of inventive Heartstopper Tiktok videos right away.

Heartstopper tells the modern tale of a nervous, but likeable, Charlie Spring who is openly gay but pretty intimidated by the English equivalent of jocks (otherwise known as rugby players). Being asked to sit next to a slightly older rugby lad in class, Charlie is instantly smitten, despite that guy being apparently straight. Played by a newbie, Joe Locke, Charlie takes us on a journey through his crush.

Nick Nelson is the other lead character. As a charismatic lad who is in with the cool crowd, it surprises Charlie just how much interest in him he shows. Nick is played by Kit Connor who famously had the role of the young Elton John in the movie Rocketman.

Why is Alice Oseman so cool?

Alice originally published a book about Tori Spring, Charlie’s sister, in 2014 after signing a book deal at the age of seventeen. She followed this success with other novellas and, of course, a webcomic which was first put out weekly as a series of Tumblr cartoon strips.

Heartstopper illuminates Alice’s ability to shine a light on diversity in relation to LGBTQ issues without making the stories obscure. She has a way of handling such subjects with respect and cleverness, weaving them naturally into stories without making them seem awkward.

Following trans characters and topics such as confusion over sexuality, she has a way of making her characters very relatable and intriguing. I wish her material was around when I was younger as it would have made such a difference. It promotes acceptance and celebrates individuality.

So, in answer to my own question, Alice is cool because her stories grab readers and enable them to think carefully about these situations and feel more comfortable about their own feelings and insecurities.

The Heartstopper TV Show Itself

The director has a great way of capturing emotions and the actors are really well cast. It is a nice surprise to find out that Olivia Coleman has a guest role as Nick’s mum and it is also good to see Sebastian Croft (a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones) playing the role of Ben, the guy who toys with Charlie’s affections while remaining safely in the closet.

Without giving too much away, this series of eight half an hour episodes is beautifully laid out with a well written script. The use of some cartoon images really adds a bit of extra Alice Oseman spark. For instance, colourful cartoon leaves float in and out of shot at key points in the episodes.

Summary

If you haven’t had time to check out this fresh and refreshing new Netflix phenomenon, what are you waiting for? It is great to see a series that discusses those issues that can consume you when growing up (and forever after). This show is a genuine heartstopper and is beautifully acted, in keeping with the thought-provoking feel good books of the amazing Alice Oseman.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article about Heartstopper TV Show. If you enjoyed the post, please drop a comment below and consider following my little blog for similar future content.