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.

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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.

Harry Potter – A Reunion To Watch

Today I noticed that the well publicised onscreen reunion of the Harry Potter cast was already showing on NowTV (HBO Max in the US). Straight away, I turned it on and was keen to see what it involved. Beginning with a cute opening sequence involving some of the big stars, I was totally ready to go down Diagonal Alley again and be completely absorbed in the world of Hogwarts and wizardry.

Without giving anything away, I can say that this programme was largely filmed at the Harry Potter Tour location in Watford. Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were joined by various other actors and directors to sit around and chat about the experience of making these fantastic movies. For me it was a reminder of my own visit to the studio tour back in 2012, making me want to go once again.

Some of the insights into the filming of all eight films were fascinating and quite revealing. Many recollections were emotional too. Sadly some important cast members have passed away since filming. In particular, Richard Harris (Dumbledore) and Alan Rickman (Snape).

Worth Watching

Seeing Chris Columbus talk about how he started the movie franchise off and seeing snippets of the auditions from the main cast was intriguing for me as an avid viewer. Each director gave a different piece of magic to the films and guest actors added sparkle and energy. The first films were very light and as the movies developed the material got darker, as Emma, Rupert and Daniel grew up.

I was moved to tears by this lovely programme. It was really well put together and brought back so many memories from the incredible books and the magical movies. I was sad that Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon didn’t appear in this reunion, as they were very important to the franchise and were among my personal favourites.

I totally recommend checking out this TV show as it really brings back the wonder of the characters and storylines which J K Rowling initially created in 1996. The actors provide interesting recollections and funny anecdotes. It is a visual treat and made me want to start watching the movies over again (for the umpteenth time).

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