Read, Watch, Listen

I wanted to try something different today and talk about three different types of media in one post. As you know I love to soak up TV shows and try to read plenty of books all of the time. I also really enjoy listening to podcasts. So it makes sense for me to drop some recommendations now and again.

Today I wanted to start sharing one of each. In this article I will mention three things that I am currently really into. Most days I read a few chapters from a book, listen to a section of a podcast and watch a couple of TV shows. Here are the ones I am loving right now.

Read

This Much is True – Miriam Margolyes

Ever since I saw her popping up as an actress in movies such as the Baz Luhrman version of Romeo and Juliet, I have found Miriam fascinating. She then appeared in a documentary called, ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’ with other celebrities who were exploring India. This series went on for a few years and allowed us to get to know her as a person.

Her hilarious stories and brash way with people made her comedy gold. She has since presented more documentaries on her own which were eye-opening and interesting.

So as soon as I saw that she had written an autobiography, I instantly bought it. Already I am loving it because she maintains her wit whilst reflecting on her interesting childhood and career.

I am still part of the way through this book but every time I pick it up I learn something new and have a giggle too.

Watch

Outer Range – Amazon Prime

I was drawn to this when I saw it advertised on an instagram account for Imogen Poots. She is a wonderful actress who I was lucky enough to see on stage with Imelda Staunton in ‘Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf’. After this performance I got her autograph and had a lovely chat with her and she came across as very genuine and charming.

Anyway, after checking out the trailer I was quickly keen to have a look at this brand new series set in Western USA. Josh Brolin is the other lead actor in this really intriguing drama. I last saw him in a Kate Winslet movie called ‘Labour Day’. where he was an escaped prisoner who shacked up with Kate.

He is the patriarch of a family in ‘Outer Range’ who are living in the middle of nowhere on a cattle ranch. One day he discovers a large, mysterious hole in one of his fields which seems to be a portal to another dimension. Autumn (played by Imogen) comes to camp in a nearby field and things start to get really weird.

Well all I can say is I was hooked right away. It started off gentle and then ramped up the tension. This one is definitely well worth checking out.

Listen

Bridgerton – The Official Podcast

As a massive Bridgerton fan I was excited to listen to the first season of this podcast where they discuss plots, characters and everything related to the making of the TV series.

Shondaland has created a brilliant podcast which includes people who work behind the scenes and cast members. In the second series they are discussing an episode a week and have all of the main actors involved. Hearing them discuss wardrobe, dance practice, set design and dialogue, I feel my need for background information is certainly fulfilled.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post about the book, TV show and podcast that I am currently consuming. For more TV recommendations check out my post, TV shows I laugh at. Please comment your thoughts and consider following my blog for future similar articles.

TV Shows I Laugh At

It feels like ages since I updated my TV show suggestions and today seems like the right time. I wanted to concentrate on a couple of shows that are funny and entertaining as, let’s face it, some of us need cheering up a bit. My current favourite comedy programmes are short and simple, but brilliant and laugh-out-loud crazy.

Newark, Newark (UK Gold and NOW TV)

Morgana Robinson is hilarious in this funny, light show.

Sometimes my favourite discoveries come from podcast recommendations and my go-to podcast for TV show suggestions is Making The Cut which is jam-packed with reviews of anything from kitchen equipment to movies. Davina McCall and Michael Douglas got me into Ted Lasso and that was a great series which I am now hooked on.

I remember Morgana Robinson from her previous comedy show where she did amazing impressions of famous people. This new comedy series is a pilot made up of three half an hour episodes and originally showed up on UK Gold, a channel I would never normally watch. Luckily I was able to stream it using my NOW TV app, and after travelling through Newark the other day, my memory was jogged to check it out.

Maxine (Morgana) is a chip shop owner who split up with her weird husband Terry (Matthew Horne) and has a teenage son who is trying to come out to her and his friends. She is such a distracted, frantic person and seems to find ways to sidetrack her son’s dilemmas, while pushing her ex to one side. Starting with her 40th birthday party, the short series is full of nothing but witty dialogue and Northern charm.

Matthew Horne is brilliant in this quirky role, which is quite a departure from his lead role in Gavin and Stacey. Another funny character is Maxine’s mum who is plastered in make up and trying to dish out advice left, right and centre. Beverley Callard is perfect for this role, with her comic timing and cheeky expressions.

Bloods (Sky/ NOW TV)

Bloods is quirky and easy viewing.

I have spoken about how much I like Jane Horrocks as an actress. Having seen her in serious plays and on screen in comedies such as Absolutely Fabulous, I have been a fan for many years.

It was brilliant to see this paramedic spoof comedy return for a second series as it made me laugh the first time. Season two, in my opinion, is funnier still. It is as if the script writers have woken up a bit and dialled up the jokes.

Wendy (Jane) and Maleek (Samson Kayo) are a mismatched pair of paramedics who somehow ‘work’ as an accident-prone ambulance crew. Wendy now has a grown up son who irritates her a lot and Maleek is always trying to take shortcuts and show off his skills. The storylines are cheeky and have begun to follow the other ambulance crews more too.

Having worked in ambulances in the past, I can totally relate to some of these situations but of course they somehow turn tragedies into comedy sequences. I defy you not to at least crack a smile when watching each episode. Being just 23 minutes long, they are great remedies to a hard day’s work. I love popping them on and having a giggle to help me unwind.

One of the stars for me is also the ambulance station manager, Jo, played by Lucy Punch, who I recognised from the equally hilarious ‘Motherland’. Her character is obsessed with a blissfully unaware paramedic who is still getting over the death of his wife. Returning to dating, he has no idea that Jo holds a torch for him, despite her incredibly awkward attempts to show her interest.

So those are my two suggestions for comedy series to watch. Both have short episodes and are easy to get into. For other TV suggestions that I previously wrote about, check my TV Shows I Like article. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog for similar future content.

More Great TV Shows

TV has already been brilliant this January and now we enter February I have added even more programmes to my recommended list. The choice of quality and fun series feels better than ever after a slow down in production during the pandemic. I am still registered with a TV Extra agency and the shear amount of offers I have received lately is great. Sadly I just don’t have time to do them as I no longer work part time and haven’t done for a while.

Anyway, the following TV shows have got my attention and sustained my interest so far. If you are looking for new shows to grab your interest, then these are definitely worth a try.

Casting agents have been doing a great job lately, especially in the shows I have reviewed.

Trigger Point – ITV

This show was always going to be good. It is produced by Jed Mercurio, of ‘Line of Duty’ fame, and stars Vicky McClure, with a guest spot by Adrian Lester. All about a bomb disposal team who are dealing with some challenging times, this series is thrilling and fascinating.

Vicky plays Lana, who is a strong female lead that is trying to solve a puzzle related to recent bomb discoveries in London. Alongside this, she is dating a Police detective, making work and personal life an interesting balance. Also the loss of a close friend and colleague provides more incentive to rid London of the preceding threat.

Only two episodes in, but this masterpiece of an ITV drama is compelling and well written, with fully rounded characters. The gritty subject matter makes this unsuitable for kids but as far as storyline goes it had similar ingredients to the incredible ‘Bodyguard’ series, also penned by Jed Mercurio.

The Book of Bobba Fett – Disney

Oh my goodness! For any Star Wars fans, there have been some brilliant series coming out since Disney Plus emerged onto the streaming market. First we had ‘The Mandalorian’ (reviewed here), which was followed up with a second season and now we have ‘The Book of Bobba Fett.’

Baby Yoda, otherwise known as `Grogu’ is a regular Mandalorian character.

I don’t want to give any spoilers for proper Star Wars fans but can say that these two series are linked in several ways. In the six episodes of Bobba Fett we find out what happened to him after he was thrown into the Sarlak pit during ‘The Return of the Jedi.’ Let’s face it – we were all wondering if that was the end of him or not.

Bobba had already appeared in the Mandalorian series and now we get to find out about how he dragged his way out of a pit (literally!) and quickly became a big player in Mos Eisley, the town that Jabba once ruled. The other main characters are well cast (especially Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand – Bobba’s loyal deputy) and help to make this narrative interesting and entertaining. There are many flashbacks and connections to the original George Lucas movies, too.

Both of my recommendations are six part series so can be spread out or easily watched in binges. I absolutely love Trigger Point for its unpredictability and pace. Bobba is all about Star Wars nostalgia and filling in the gaps of ongoing stories. Created by Jon Favreau, this series is another example of Lucasfilm magic.

I hope that you enjoyed these brief reviews and consider checking out my blog for similar future content. As well as TV show reviews, I also write about books and the environment.