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.

My 5 Favourite Actresses

Most people know that I am a movie geek. Right from a young age I was always obsessed with films. When I took the train to University I always used to read movie magazines from cover to cover. A particular favourite of mine was Empire Magazine because it included articles about behind the scenes of movie sets and in-depth analysis of upcoming films.

Often I write movie reviews but today I wanted to share my top 5 favourite actresses. There are some actresses that I have been a fan of for many years now and their work has been consistently brilliant. Though I number the actresses, this blog post does not intend to rank them as they are all equally talented, in my view.

1) Kate Winslet

Ever since I saw her in ‘Sense and Sensibility’, I was intrigued by her ability to really mould into every character that she played. After watching her early movies, I saw her star turn as Rose in ‘Titanic’, which made her a worldwide name. She then went on to play varied and fascinating roles in ‘Enigma, Iris, Holy Smoke, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Holiday, Finding Neverland’ and so many more. With a well deserved Oscar for playing a German rail worker harbouring a guilty past in the widely acclaimed ‘The Reader’, she showed how incredibly skilful she could be, portraying that character as she went through the ageing process.

2) Cate Blanchett

From seeing her in the movie ‘Elizabeth’, about Henry VIII’s daughter, to its sequel ten years later, and with so many roles in between, Cate is someone who I followed with delight and still admire. She has earned a supporting actress Oscar for ‘The Aviator’ with Leo DiCaprio and in a leading role for Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’. Lately she has mixed TV political dramas like ‘Mrs America’ with blockbusters such as ‘Ocean’s Eight’. In a more peculiar role, she played the iconic Galadriel in both ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’.

3) Emma Thompson

When my GCSE English teacher advised that we watched ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, I was immediately impressed by her. A few years later, my then A-Level English teacher recommended reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and then checking out the movie. Not only did my appreciation of Emma grow but I was also introduced to Kate Winslet and both films included Imelda Staunton, who I mention later.

After reading her screenplay and diaries that went with the film, I absolutely loved watching Emma’s career progress. With ‘Love, Actually’, ‘Nanny McPhee’ (which she wrote the script for as well), appearances in ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’, she soon grew into a national treasure. Scoring an Oscar for screenwriting and best actress, she has become an incredible force in Hollywood, whilst retaining her down-to-Earth nature.

4) Imelda Staunton

Imelda had often cropped up in Emma Thompson films, but it was when I caught a short video of her singing in Sweeney Todd on YouTube that I decided to book tickets to see her in Gypsy. Her performance was breath-taking and I went on to see the stage show twice more. I also watched two other plays with her in and got to meet her several times.

Lately her film presence has grown still further. Having scared everyone as Umbridge in Harry Potter (a role where she played an evil headmistress who kicked Emma’s teacher character out of Hogwarts) she then played a funny and moving woman in ‘Finding Your Feet’ before being given a regal role in ‘Downton Abbey’, the movie. Now she is carrying the mantel as Queen in the final two series of ‘The Crown’.

5) Whoopi Goldberg

Having seen her standup show twice in London, I am a massive Whoopi fan. I have read her book and followed her career right since the early days of ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and ‘The Colour Purple’.

Her Oscar for supporting actress in the brilliant ‘Ghost’ led to so many wonderful dramatic and comedy roles, including ‘Sister Act’ and it’s even better sequel. With a range of small and large acting parts as well as presenting gigs such as hosting the Oscars (three times) and America’s version of ‘Loose Women’ (called The View) she has achieved so much. She remains funny, clever and so very talented in whatever she turns her hand to.

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TV Shows Worth Watching Now

As it’s summer, I have had plenty of time to get hooked on new TV shows and as a blogger my instinct tells me to share. In this article I want to celebrate another couple of programmes that have gained my viewership and entertained me thoroughly this summer. Usually I enjoy watching comedies and dramas, so here are my reviews of one of each.

Schmigadoon

This little gem came from nowhere. I was ready to watch another episode of ‘Physical’ on AppleTV+ (See my previous review) when I stumbled across a trailer for a new comedy series, styled like a 1950s musical. Before long I was checking it out and totally entertained.

The cast is led by Keegan-Michael Key (The Prom) and Cecily Strong (Ghostbusters 2016). Supported by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, the talented singers and dancers bring a charming production which is nostalgic and funny.

This comedy is all singing and all dancing.

With plenty of tongue-in-cheek humour and lots of glitz, this series doesn’t take itself too seriously. It takes off classic movies such as ‘The Sound of Music’ with affection and is a great distraction from the rigour of modern living. The couple are having marital problems and whilst camping, find a bridge that traps them in a town which seems stuck in the 1950s. The town has nods to ‘Oklahoma’ as does the theme tune. They can only return to New York if they can prove they really love someone. Maybe confirm their love for each other even.

Big Sky

Having watched half of the season of ten episodes, I am right in the midst of the drama. The thing that tempted me to view this Star/ Disney Plus show was the fact that it was scripted by the incredible David E Kelley (Big Little Lies/ husband to Michelle Pfeiffer). Interestingly Michelle’s sister appears in this gripping drama, which includes a guest appearance from Ryan Phillippe.

I don’t want to give anything away about this. It is best just to switch it on and see what you think. To start with, episode one introduced some private detectives who were squabbling over an affair. Then we met some teenagers who were driving to Colorado from Montana. Everything seemed great until it was revealed that recently lots of young women had gone missing along the route they were taking.

This series has breath-taking scenes set in beautiful Montana and covers trafficking, which is a harrowing issue and involves shipping women over the border to Canada. The script is clever and many of the characters have funny lines to say which make you smile. The state trooper is particularly quirky, witty and scary (all at once).

These two shows are both proving to be successful and entertaining. Big Sky is already on its second season and I am sure Schmigadoon will soon follow. Six episodes are definitely not enough.

I hope that you consider checking out one of these TV series. If you enjoyed this post please follow my blog and help me grow the platform.