House Of Dragons – Did You Watch?

Obviously I cannot get a real image from the series.

This week I caught the first episode of the new GOT prequel, ‘House of the Dragon’. When I was in Amsterdam I saw people queueing for a preview and so I knew it would arrive on our screens soon but I wasn’t sure if it would be worth watching or not. How can anything live up to Game of Thrones?

After being disappointed by the end of GOT (a bit rushed and not really satisfying for fans) I was wary of a new series being developed as so often they are poorer versions of originals. Nevertheless I noticed that Sue Perkins had a panel show which was discussing the new season and she quickly got me intrigued.

In A Nutshell

Daenerys Targaryen was the last in a long line of dragon riding royalty and this series was all about her ancestors, 200 years before Game of Thrones. The King was chosen by ballot and was desperate for a male heir. His daughter was uninterested in power and his raging brother (Matt Smith) was a loose cannon, intent on inheriting the Iron Throne himself.

The daughter, Rhaenyra, was a young version of herself and had a close friend whose father was the King’s right hand man, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). The friend, Alicent, will eventually grow up to be played by the brilliant Olivia Cooke. I cannot wait to see how the Hightowers become involved in the unfolding stories, especially as they are played by such talented actors.

Without giving too much away, the first episode is all about establishing the royal family. The Queen was in labour and the King had arranged a tournament in the name of his forthcoming heir. Needless to say, things didn’t flow predictably. Thank goodness.

What Was Missing?

For me, I enjoyed the original series because each main character (mainly the Stark family) went off on journeys and we caught up with them each week. Mind you, they all started off in Winterfell in the first episode.

Everything in House of the Dragon began in Kings Landing. However, hopefully they will all spread out to different places in future episodes. That is one thing that I really enjoyed and will miss if House of the Dragon doesn’t do it.

Summary

I hope that you get to check out House of the Dragon on Sky Atlantic or Now TV. It is really good and sets the scene incredibly well. There is so much potential for a fulfilling season.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. You can also read a previous post about the ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ movie. Please follow the blog for similar future reviews of books, TV shows and films.

Read, Watch, Listen 4

Before I start my holiday I thought I would do one of my update posts regarding a good book, TV show and podcast that I am currently enjoying. I am a book lover and hoping to read a whole book in the next fortnight as well as reporting back on my travels around Europe.

It is worth noting that a few of us bloggers have clubbed together to start a monthly set of articles about greener living and widening knowledge about climate change. I will look forward to plenty of engagement with these posts as we need to start an open dialogue about tackling climate change.

Back to the books…

Five Tuesdays In Summer By Lily King

After impressing me with her brilliant ‘Writers and Lovers’ which I previously reviewed, I was intrigued to see her set of short stories being published and quickly snapped it up.

Although I am not far in, I already like the strong personalities coming through is these heartfelt stories. From a bookseller’s love for his employee to a widow escaping on a seaside holiday with her daughter, the settings are fairly varied and definitely intriguing. More to come on this later on.

Love Victor (Disney Plus)

Love Victor – Disney Plus

I love Becky Albertalli’s books so it was no surprise that I have fell in love with this series on Disney Plus. In its third and final series, I was happy to see Steven Canals directing an episode too (the writer of Pose FX).

The brilliant Victor (played capably by Michael Cimino) has explored his sexuality in a sensitive way and the surrounding characters are fun, interesting and well acted. The soundtrack is cute and the whole feel of the show is supportive, entertaining and feel good. Produced by the actor who portrayed Simon in the ‘Love, Simon’ movie, Nick Robinson also pops up occasionally.

Making the Cut Podcast

Podcast Link

Davina McCall and her partner, Michael Douglas, have presented this fascinating podcast ever since lockdowns began. They cover everything from TV shows to make up, fitness to theatre and comedy to travel.

They only mention things that they like so you won’t hear negative reviews here. I discovered Ted Lasso because of these two and their life hacks are useful indeed. Davina talks a lot about gut health and Michael gives great insights into history and documentaries.

I am a massive fan of this brilliant podcast and totally recommend checking it out. Their relationship is great and you feel like you are part of the conversation in every episode.

Thank you for taking the time to read my content. Please follow my blog for future similar posts.

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours!

Today is the day that I have to get out the tissues and prepare for some weeping. My favourite TV soap opera is finishing after 37 amazing years. ‘Neighbours’ has been with me ever since I was 8 years old and I originally watched every day with my nan. Now we are about to see the final episode with some returning famous faces.

The original cast from 1986.

I used to love coming home from school and checking in on the Erinsborough neighbours as they went through drama after drama. It had an optimistic way of presenting Australian life and soon became incredibly popular.

After a failed run in 1985, Channel 10 decided to start afresh with Neighbours and introduce new characters. It was this second run that was publicised in the UK and established the Robinson and Ramsay families that included Charlene and Scott and introduced us to Madge, Paul and Mrs Mangel.

In the school holidays I lapped up the early afternoon showing and sometimes watched it twice in the same day. When Kylie and Jason’s characters got married 20 million UK viewers tuned in. Kylie went on to be a popstar and Jason starred in West End shows such as Joseph and the amazing technicolour dreamcoat.

Although I lost touch with the show while I was at university I did reconnect and soon got back into it, following the stories as they moved from BBC 1 to Channel 5 in Britain. Sadly in April this year Channel 5 decided to drop the show and another funding company wasn’t found so the show had to reach a conclusion.

Neighbours should be proud of tackling difficult subjects such as cancer, sexuality and celebrating diversity in a way that felt natural and totally inclusive. The story team are excellent and ground breaking and its narratives will be surely missed.

And Sadly..

Tonight we see some of those superstars return for a much anticipated finale. Neighbours was a breeding ground for talent such as:

Margot Robbie, Jason Donovan, Annie Jones, Guy Pearce, Thor himself – Chris Hemsworth and his brother Liam, Kylie Minogue, Jesse Spencer and Felix Mallard.

So I hope some of you will check out the Neighbours Finale online. It will be a celebration of wonderful characters, including my favourites, Jane and Madge. I will be crying my eyes out and looking forward to when the cast do a UK tour next spring. Thank you for reading my article and If you enjoyed it please consider following my blog.