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.

Marry Me – Movie Review

I know it has just been Valentine’s Day and romance was in the air but that wasn’t the reason I decided to try the new Jennifer Lopez film. Being someone who likes comedy, dramas and big budget movies, I still have a soft spot for a cheeky Rom-Com now and again. My friend and I have gone to see almost every single J-Lo movie in the past and have never come out complaining. So, we were going to watch this film, no matter what!

Normally I like really deep and clever scripts, so this may seem a departure from the bookish films I often talk about. However, I also like cheesy stuff. For point of record, this movie stemmed from a comic book which was popular ten years ago. Going back to the cheesy bit, this picture feels like it is going to be oozing cheese sauce, but it has some brilliant nuances. I would go as far as to say it yielded a strong message.

Overview

Jennifer played a pop star (Kat) who was going to publicly marry another singer at a huge event, screened across the world. A twist caused her to find she had different options, mainly the appearance of a charming teacher (Charlie), played by the brilliant Owen Wilson. The chemistry between these two was lovely and very funny. Owen seems to have bounced back onto the screen recently, with a starring role in the Loki series on Disney too.

The story is about trying to go against expectation. A situation leads to a marriage which is unwanted but also creates great publicity. Kat was a believable character who was fed up with being used. She was starting to see beyond branding, selfies and non-stop documenting of her daily routine.

Thoughts

One thing that stood out was the soundtrack, which I later found myself downloading. The songs were catchy and modern with J-Lo showing off her voice and talent. The script was unpredictable (although one key idea was easy to see through to its conclusion) with funny elements and plenty of self-reflection by the characters. Supported by John Bradley (Game of Thrones) as her manager, Kat really explored what is actually important and what’s facade.

Apparently it was the most watched movie on Valentine’s Day but I went the day after. This movie was just the right amount of sweet, with a twist or two to make it worthwhile. If you want something to make you feel good, then try this. For a review of the last film I saw, click my write up of Belfast.

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