TV Shows I Am Watching And Loving

This was originally posted to my Medium Blog.

As you know, I love nothing more than to sit back on the sofa and absorb a great TV series. Right now I am really enjoying three programs and wanted to share them with you. Please comment if you have heard of them or want to check them out.

Zac comes across some cute Koalas who are sadly vulnerable.

I guess you wouldn’t think of most Hollywood stars as climate change enthusiasts. Often they are known for lifestyles which celebrate excess and encourage travelling around pointlessly. However, I always knew that Zac Efron was educated and tuned in and now he has proven he has a consciousness when it comes to the planet.

Down To Earth – With Zac Efron (Netflix)

The first series was filmed before Covid lockdowns and explores different ecosystems around the world and their vulnerabilities. With his environmentally minded mate, Darin Olien, Zac has explored issues such as conservation, food and pollution.

In the new series, Zac had been stuck in Australia due to Covid restrictions and so made the most of it by investigating various ecological developments there. For example, he discussed the Aboriginal way of maintaining and respecting the wildlife and landscapes. They also saw how Tasmanian Devils are being looked after and bred successfully in a large nature reserve.

Fascinating Findings

The main reason I like this, as an environmental blogger, is that he is very honest about what he sees and his colleague, who is a Vegan and eco-expert, keeps the reporting realistic with shortcomings and all. They try to use less carbon with a hybrid vehicle this time and weigh up each relevant environmental issue carefully, in a fun and friendly way.

I have learned lots about better ways to make clean water, as exemplified in Paris, why food miles are a massive problem and how important rotational crop and livestock can be for the maintaining of soil, which locks in carbon and underpins food chains.

The White Lotus (Now TV/ Sky)

When I first watched this programme in 2021, it was all about an expensive hotel in Hawaii. A bunch of quirky guests lived out their awkward holidays totether, with dramatic and hilarious scenarios. One of the highlights was the appearance of Jennifer Coolidge who is renowned for playing Stifler’s mum in American Pie.

Well, season two sees a whole new cast arrive at a swish hotel in Sicily. Funnily, the only returning characters are Jennifer’s ‘Tanya’ and John Gries’ ‘Greg’. Their continuation in the show is the icing on the cake of what continues to be an exceptionally good drama-comedy.

Two couples are on holiday together but with some antagonism; one girlfriend seemingly jealous of the other couple’s closeness. An elderly man, his TV producer son and grandson are there together with a series of issues that are challenging and funny in equal measures.

I totally recommend watching the premier season but feel that the second one is even better.

Wednesday (Netflix)

Noticing that an Addams Family spin-off had popped up on Netflix as the number one show, I was initially worried that it may be a let down. Soon it was a no brainer that I would have to check it out and find out for myself.

I am glad that I did!

First of all, it stars Jenna Ortega who was impressive as a younger sister in YOU and appeared in the recently brilliant ‘Scream’ movie. Secondly, Christina Ricci was listed as a character (bringing that vital link to the original films in which she acted as Wednesday Addams) and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) plays the smiley yet stern school headmistress. The final thing that drew me in was the fact that Tim Burton had taken on the directing role.

Anyway, after some misdemeanours at her previous schools, Wednesday has been placed by her mum (Catherine Zeta-Jones) into the renowned ‘Nevermore Academy’ for outcasts, much to her disapproval. It does seem that finally Wednesday may have met her match at this college and the series watched her push her own boundaries as she tried her hardest not to become her own mother, who was a legendary Nevermore graduate.

I am well into this series but have not yet got to the end. It is amusing, freaky and very entertaining. Tim Burton has found his feet again with this popular series.

TV Shows Worth Trying

Every now and again you will find me reviewing some of the latest TV content that I have been hooked into. So here I am again sharing my thoughts on some brilliant recent TV series. The first has two very entertaining seasons so far and each episode is thirty minutes long, while the second is a three-part police drama which I found to be riveting.

Dead To Me (Netflix)

This funny series has quite a stark backdrop. Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) has lost her husband in a car accident when she is befriended by Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini), not knowing that she is reaching out as the woman who ran the hubby over. The guilt that Judy holds is palpable and makes every scene either funny or intense.

The strange friendship that they established becomes uncomfortable and amusing. Judy finds that she is trying to hide her connection, but her ex-boyfriend keeps stirring up trouble for her. In season two, working as a duo, her and Jen have such hilarious situations consume them, as they now both know the full story about each other.

From moments of drama to scenes of laughter, these two Hollywood actors do a great job of taking you on a journey through their chaotic lives. With short episodes, it would be a shame not to try out one and see if you agree that this Netflix show is well worth a watch.

The Tower (ITV/Britbox)

I have always loved watching Gemma Whelan act, starting when I saw her in Game of Thrones as Yara Greyjoy. Her recent three-part series is about a police sergeant who was in charge of investigating a tragic event that occurred at a high storey building in London.

Taken from a short book called ‘The Tower: Post Mortem’ by Kate London, this was an extremely gripping show where Gemma got to showcase her subtle ability to closely portray any character. A policeman and teenage girl had jumped from a tower block for no obvious reason. Rather than wiping it out as an accident, DS Sarah Collins (Gemma) was determined to get to the bottom of the more sinister causes.

Both of these shows have been enjoyable. Dead To Me is now returning for a third season and it is rumoured that DS Sarah Collins will also be coming back in another drama, utilising her detective skills. For another TV review check here.

The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost – Extract

AD – This is my own publication which is currently available on Amazon. There is an Amazon link at the bottom of my blog.

Today’s Blogtober post is an extract from my debut novella, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost’ which is about three families that are turned upside down by a tragic loss. The fathers tell the start of the story and the teenagers carry it on, ten years later as they try to unpick things.

“Mummm!”

I wished he would give it a rest.

“Dadddd!” he went on.

It made me wonder why his mum never answered. I was too busy trying to get knots out of Tess’ hair.

“What’s wrong now?” I replied anxiously.

Alfie stormed in with a red face and swollen, angry cheeks.

“I can’t find my football socks anywhere!” he announced.

“Try under the bed,” I said, trying to remain calm and de-escalate his crossness.

“Ouch,” squirmed Tess softly, as I caught yet another knot.

She was always so relaxed. She never let anything get to her. She was ten times cooler than Alfie, whose hot-headedness got him into scrapes—left, right and centre.

He stormed out again and slammed the door to his room. I winced and hoped that he could find those damn socks, or we would never hear the end of it. The clock was staring at me and reminding me that we hadn’t got much time left. I went to find Michelle.

The distant noise of a bath filling, coupled with an aroma of scented steam made it obvious that she would not be coming this morning. When we woke up this morning, she told me that she had had a bad night’s sleep, and her headache was back. Women use headaches as excuses to get out of things, but this was not like her! She always liked to be involved in school-related stuff. She loved the banter between mums. Her favourite thing was pricking her ears up and listening intently for any titbits of gossip that she could soak up from the gaggle of parents, who would usually surround her on that packed and bustling playground. Maybe this time she was actually feeling a bit sick. Quickly I realised I should attend to this in a sympathetic, understanding way. After all, she had cared for me, like a private nurse, when I had man flu last Christmas.

“Are you alright?” I tried, gently.

She turned off the tap to the bath and opened the window slightly to let out some steam.

“Have fun today. I bet the assembly goes well.”

I could tell she was not feeling very well. She kept holding her head; sort of wiping her brow as she spoke. I had not seen her look like this for a long, long while. Thinking back, I should have realised that this was out of the ordinary for her. Instead of prying further, I left her to it, planting a quick kiss on her forehead and then rushing down the stairs.

Alfie and Tess soon followed, and we collected our things and burst out into the driveway, where they ran to the car; Alfie calling shotgun as usual to make sure he got to sit in the front passenger seat. I asked if he had kissed his mum, and he simply said the bathroom door was shut. Tess went on to say, “I hope Mummy gets better soon because I want to go swimming later.”

When we got Tess off to class, and I had signed Alfie in, I went to find a seat next to someone I barely knew and sent Michelle a text. Quickly I switched off the phone and tucked my coat under my chair. I gave a slight nod to Matt as he rolled in, just in time. The lights came on and that teacher did the introduction. It did not cross my mind that today was going to turn out so black and dismal and full of anger.