Wrapping It Up June 2020: Films I Watched

I didn’t watch many films this month. In fact it took me until the 20th to even watch a single film. I was really enjoying books and TV this month so I just didn’t feel like watching a film. I got it in my head that I had to watch a film or I would have one less blog post for the month, so I did that. I think in the future I might not do that.

Before I Fall (2017) - IMDbBefore I Fall

This is the film I forced myself to watch, after scoring Netflix and Prime for ages. At the beginning I wasn’t super invested, I’m not 100% sure if this was because I felt obligated to watch a film or because by the nature of the film the beginning wasn’t the best. As the film is a groundhog day style story, it took a while for the plot to actually start. I really enjoyed the film once she started doing different things in the day, which happened in the last 30 mins of the film. It is hard to properly describe my reaction to the film as the beginning annoyed me and the end had a big impact on me.

Teen Spirit (2018) - IMDbTeen Spirit

I started watching this film of a bit of a whim, I wanted to watch a film and this is quite a short film. I enjoyed it more than I expected to, it is a subtler film than I expected it to be. The talent show in the film gave me black mirror vibes, it really looked like ‘Fifteen Million Merits’. It isn’t a film where an awful lot happens, it is much more character-based and situation-based. It was interesting but its definitely not a film I will rewatch or anything.

Listening On and On and On: Thoughts on Audiobooks

While there is a lot of debate over whether audiobooks count as reading, I really enjoy listening to them – I am even currently listening to one at the moment. Here I have recommendations of specific audiobooks to listen to and time to listen to them. 

Favourite audiobooks I have listened to:

These recommendations are based more on the narration and the audiobook than the plot of the book, that being said all of them I did really enjoy.

All of the books listen below are narrated by celebrities and perhaps this is something I like in audiobooks. However, I would say it is because their voices are soothing and familiar to me. Many audiobooks have elements like full casts and sound effects, I reckon this is something that I would also enjoy I have just never listened to an audiobook with this element. 

  • Me by Elton John, narrated by Elton John and Taron Egerton
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune 
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, narrated by Jason Isaacs 

Times I listen to an audiobook:

  • When on a long car journey 
  • When walking 
  • When baking 
  • When cooking 
  • When doing jobs around the house 

Wrapping It Up June 2020: Books I Read

I am really enjoying reading at the moment so hopefully, this should be reflected in how many books I will read this month.

Wise Children by Angela Carter

I thought I would enjoy this book more than I did. It was not a bad book, I think I just had high expectations for it. Angela Carter is a great writer but there is something about her work that is unable to fully engage me, for whatever reason her books don’t make me excited to continue reading them.

The Unhoneymooners: escape to paradise with this hilarious and ...The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I loved the tropes that were included in this book, but for whatever reason, I did not enjoy the execution of them as much as I thought I would. The book includes enemies having to pretend to date which is something that I enjoy, but it felt like the plot included too many obstacles – it was just a bit too much. I quite liked the sister’s complicated relationship with her husband, but it felt a bit out of place in this narrative – I might have preferred it if the sister was included more in the novel. I also thought it was weird that it did not include both main characters perspectives, from what I can remember Christina Lauren’s others do.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon | WaterstonesThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

This book was hailed as an epic journey centred around a love of reading, and that’s exactly what this book was. It was a beautiful story that I would recommend to anyone. I think after reading The Starless Sea and The Archived I have to admit that books about libraries are something I look for in books.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I had been wanting to read this book for years, however, I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it years ago. I think now reading books about fan culture and high school is not something that I relate to as much or something that I particularly seek out. That doesn’t mean that this book wasn’t good, it was. It was a great book about coming of age, accepting yourself and letting other people in.

And Then There Were None: Amazon.co.uk: Christie, Agatha ...And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

I read this book in one day and I was very much not intending for that to happen. I really wanted to read a mystery novel and was not really sure where to start, so I decided I would start with the master – I had been saying I would read an Agatha Christie novel for a while now. There is a reason that this book in the best selling crime novel of all time, it is excellent. At first, I was having to really focus on who all these characters are (introducing 10 characters very quickly is hard), however suddenly without really thinking about it I was drawn deeply into the story. It was at this point that I just couldn’t stop. I highly enjoyed and would recommend this book. I am definitely planning on reading more of her books in the future, and let’s be honest I will probably read another one of her books this month.

City of Girls: The Sunday Times Bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Gilbert ...City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

As soon as I heard about this book I knew I would read it, I love a book about fame in decades past. This book does remind me of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but that isn’t a bad thing. Not only are both about fame (City of Girls is about theatre rather than Hollywood), they also both include an old woman explaining her past to somehow who she doesn’t know very well and they also include complex characters who don’t always make the right choice. City of Girls is not just for fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo it is an absolutely fantastic book.

Wilder Girls: Amazon.co.uk: Power, Rory: BooksWilder Girls by Rory Power

For whatever reason, I just did not connect with this book as much as I wanted to. It was not a bad book or anything, it just did not live up to my expectations. Firstly, I knew that it wasn’t actually inspired by Lord of the Flies but I had heard that it was similar to it so often that I actually expected it to be at least somewhat similar. I really wanted there to be some battles for leadership or fights over who is in charge or debates on morality, and while there was some of the latter it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I also felt like I never fully understood The Tox or found it ground in any reality, even when the novel explained what it was. In general, I think it did not nearly include enough horror elements to be considered horror – every so often a description would make me feel a bit uncomfortable but nothing else. The characters and relationships in the novel also confused me, I don’t feel like I ever fully understood them. I had more to say about this book then I thought I had.

Burn by Patrick Ness

I have been listening to this audiobook for a while. It wasn’t a long audiobook I just never wanted to listen to it, I kind of had to force myslef to finish it. Burn has a weird concept, but this wasn’t fully my problem with the book. However, there was something that happened in the middle of the book which is something that I specifically do not like in books. I used to love Patrick Ness a lot but the last couple of books he has released have not been by favourites. To be honest, I was not planning on reading this book but I heard some good things about it and the audiobook was on my library so I gave it a go. I’ve listen to the last couple of Patrick Ness’s books in this way too and it worked for Release but for Burn I just failed to connect. This is totally my own fault though as I was not planning on reading it at all.

Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

After enjoying And Then There Were None I decided to pick up another one of Agatha Christie’s books. Like And Then There Were None I read it very quickly even though I initially thought that I would not be able to keep up with all the characters. I didn’t enjoy this one as much, but that was because I knew how one of Agatha Christie’s books ended and as I was reading I realised it was this one. This meant that I picked up on various clues to who the killer was and was unsurprised by the ending. In some ways, I enjoyed this as you could tell how well planned it was, however, I definitely would have enjoyed it more if I did not know how it would end.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I decided to reread this book as I was wanting to read a really fun summer romance book and I was kinda craving reading this one again. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much the second time around – it is quite a long book considering nothing much happens. That doesn’t mean I did not enjoy it, I just think I perhaps shouldn’t have reread it.

Autumn by Ali Smith

I am rereading some Ali Smith books for university, so expect to see some more of her books throughout these upcoming posts – I won’t say much about them as I am reading them for a very focussed reason. I really enjoyed reading it again, I definitely noticed more of her clever witticisms than I previously remembered.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Recently, I had been thinking about reading this book. For years and years I have heard about this book and never really payed attention, but recently it became something that I wanted to read and I am so glad that I picked it up. It has been so long since I had started a young adult series that I truly found myself emersed in – I am definitely planning on reading the other books in the series at some point. At the moment I am loving a 20th Century historical setting and even though this book is supernatural it really felt like it was set in the 1920s. I have also been really into mysteries at the moment, and while it isn’t fully a mystery it still had the characters trying to find out what was happening. The supernatural elements of the book were also so well done, it was a perfect mix. I think I read this book at the perfect time.

Suzanne Collins: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger ...The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I was unsure if I was going to read this book but I am kind of glad I did. I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed it, Santino Fontana narrates it and he is great, although knowing that he can sing made it frustrating when he didn’t sing the songs that are in the book. I quite liked how it showed how Snow became a villain – at first I was a bit wary it was going to make him too sympathetic but I think it did a good job. However, it is quite long. The character of Lucy Gray was by far the most interesting part of the book, I wish it focused on her a bit more. I quite liked how it showed the hunger games being made as it shows the pyscology behind them, however, at times the references to the original trilogy were a bit forced.

The Guest List: The Biggest Crime Thriller of 2020 from The No.1 ...The Guest List by Lucy Foley

This book was like a mixture of And Then There Were None and Big Little Lies and I’m still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. The Guest List follows a variety of people involved in a celebrity wedding on a remote island. Lots of secrets surround the characters. Someone dies and you don’t know who did it or who even dies. I don’t want to stay too much about this book as it’s almost impossible to talk about without spoilers. I will say I became very attached to some of the characters and completely hated others. Some of the secrets were hard to read about, but at the same time the novel kept pushing me to read on.

Having a Body

Sometimes I forget I have a body.

This does not mean that I am unaware of my body

but more that I forget that it is a part of how you are perceived,

that in society your body means something.

 

Now I can’t forget I have a body.

I see my body in a way I never have before,

It is equivalent to my worth and value.

I see myself more than the people who actually see me see me.

 

There must be a happy medium between the two.

To know you have a body and but not be deliberately conscious.

What Makes A Favourite a Favourite? Brother Bear and I Could Never Be Your Woman

Brother Bear (2003) - Rotten TomatoesTwo of my favourite films are films that hardly anyone has watched. These two films are ones that I rewatched excessively throughout various times in my life, and yet they mean so little to other people – in fact, a lot of people do not know these films even exist. At least people who I talk to don’t know a lot about these films, both films had the potential to be big films – Brother Bear is a Disney film and I Could Never Be Your Woman stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd.

I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007) - Rotten TomatoesWhy is it that these films consumed my mind so much? Does it say something about childhood innocence, being able to enjoy something without a thought to whether other people consider it to be good? But then I don’t know if this is the case, as I often enjoy things that seem to go under the radar and I am no longer a child. While there are some things that I have definitely watched due to the hype or some sort of mental pressure if I want to watch something underrated I will. Now I even wonder if I like that not many people have watched them. Does it make me feel different? Does it make me above others?

Ultimately I just liked these films. Sure there is some sort of childhood innocence here, as I liked them without really thinking about what it means to like something. However, now I watch them and I like the messages that they include. So maybe there is some reason why I liked these films so much, or maybe it just ain’t that deep.

Wibbly-Wobbley-Timey-Wimey: Favourite Doctor Who Episodes

Every Doctor Who Opening Titles Sequence : 1963-2017 (HD) - YouTubeDoctor Who was a big part of my childhood and it is one of my go-to shows to re-watch.

Here’s my list of my favourite Doctor Who episodes, they are not ordered by how much I enjoyed them, but are ordered by the season they appeared in. Seasons 1-7.5 are the seasons I have rewatched and love the most so more episodes will appear from these seasons. Also, this is quite a long list so thoughts will vary in length.

A Review of the new Doctor Who: Season 1 – Broken MirrorsSeason 1

‘The Empty Child’ + ‘The Doctor Dance’ 

The episodes that inadvertently started Torchwood. I love these episodes not just because they introduce Captain Jack and Torchwood is one of my favourites, but because the plot is great. It is an interesting concept with good character moments and lots of iconic scenes – ‘Are you my mummy?’

Doctor Who Finale and Season 1 Retrospective - The FandomentalsSeason 2

‘Tooth and Claw’

I don’t know why I love this episode, but I do. It is one I go to watch all the time!

‘School Reunion’ 

A great ep that reintroduces Sarah Jane and, hence, leads to the Sarah Jane Adventures – another show I love.

‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ 

Apparently, this season has a great run of episodes, the last few eps all follow off after each other. Everyone loves this episodes, and it isn’t hard to see why. The Doctor and Madame de Pompadour start a connection but only see each other through time. It’s a great concept.

Doctor Who Season 3 Review - The Review GeekSeason 3

‘The Shakespeare Code’ 

I don’t just love this episode because I’m an English Literature student, but I love the depiction of Shakespeare himself.

’42’

Another episode that I don’t really know why I love.

‘Blink’

There’s nothing to be said about this episode which hasn’t been said before. Another episode everyone loves.

‘Utopia + The Sound of Drums + Last of the Time Lords’ 

This is, in my opinion, the best ending of any of the seasons.

BBC One - Doctor Who, Series 4Season 4

‘Partners in Crime’ 

The Doctor and Donna had a classic and hilarious relationship which I love. This episode might be the funniest ep of Doctor Who.

‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’ 

Another episode that highlights the banter between The Doctor and Donna. I, also, love the Agatha Christie murder plot. One of my top, top favourites.

‘Midnight’ 

I love that this episode makes the most out of the bottle episode. David Tennant is a fantastic actor and this episode makes it very clear. This is another contender for a top, top favourite.

‘The Stolen Earth + Journey’s End’ 

Another great ending to a season. I love that this episode brings everyone back for David Tennant’s ending. Endgame before Endgame.

Doctor Who Season 5 Review - The Review GeekSeason 5

‘The Eleventh Hour’ 

A great ep to introduce all the characters.

‘Amy’s Choice’ 

Even though I don’t like the plot where Amy has feelings for The Doctor, I do love this episode.

‘Vincent and the Doctor’ 

A classic emotional episode.

‘A Christmas Carol’ 

My favourite Christmas episode.

Rating: Doctor Who, Season 6 – Co-GeekingSeason 6

‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ 

This is a great episode for Rory, who is one of my favourite companions. It has some crazy scenes in it, but also some classic funny moments.

‘The Girl Who Waited’ 

This episode is great for Rory and Amy. A proper emotional episode.

‘Closing Time’ 

I prefer this one to ‘The Lodger’. The follow-up is better than the original. James Corden is great in the role he plays and he and Matt Smith have great chemistry.

Season 7 | Doctor Who | BBC AmericaSeason 7

‘The Power of Three’ 

This is one of my favourites. I love the simpler, more grounded episodes. The Doctor living with Amy and Rory for a while is a great premise – love the montage scenes.

‘The Angles Take Manhattan’ 

Amy and Rory’s last episode is very sad.

Doctor Who' Season 8 Scripts Leak Online - Business InsiderSeason 8

‘Time Heist’ 

If I had to choose an episode from these few seasons it would be this one. It is a lot of fun.

Doctor Who' season 10: Meet the new Tardis crew - CNETSeason 10

‘Smile’ 

I really liked this episode and loved Bill as a companion.

‘Knock Knock’ 

I really like that this episode is set in just one house, it reminds me of some of the earlier Doctor Who episodes.

BBC One - Doctor Who, Series 11Season 11

‘Rosa’ 

Definitely the stand out of the season. It is the episode I have talked about the most and remember most clearly.

Doctor Who series 12: Spyfall spoiler-free review | Den of GeekSeason 12

‘Praxeus’ 

This is most definitely my favourite episode from the last few seasons. It is one of the only episodes I would enjoy rewatching. It’s not a perfect episode by any means but I do love some of the side characters in this episode so much it almost makes up for it.

Wrapping it Up May 2020: Books I Read

I have been continuing to read a lot as I have more time. While I might not be watching as much stuff, I am reading a lot.

James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - The Hilarious Sunday Times ...James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster

James Acaster is my favourite comedian so this book was great. The classic James Acaster comedy in book form makes for a great read. When Audible emailed saying I could have two free audiobooks, this was my first choice. I had wanted to read it for ages and having James Acaster himself read it for me himself was an added bonus. Such a good book.

Toffee by Sarah Crossman

I love the idea of a poetry book telling a narrative. This book was interesting and a great concept. It was a really enjoyable read. The only problem, well not a problem persay, was that I think I would have enjoyed the book more when I was younger. As it is a poetry book (saying collection feels weird when it forms a narrative and is over 300 pages), it is more focused on emotion and relationships than a traditional novel normally would be. Definelty an intersting read, I am glad I read it.

The Guy on the Right by Kate Stewart

I finally remembered that I have two months free of Kindle Unliminted and that I should probably use it. This book wasn’t the best to be honest. However, while other books I have read on Kindle Unlimited had major problems, problematic elements, or poor writing, this book had none of that. It was just that I did not particularly enjoy it for whatever reason. It was alright, just nothing to write home about.

The Switch: The funny and utterly charming new novel from the ...The Switch by Beth O’Leary

This is the other book I choose to listen to on Audible. I loved Beth O’Leary’s other book, I read it just last month, and The Switch was just as good. I really enjoy how her books balance the romantic aspects with characters realising things about themselves – it is that aspect that makes her books stand out. This book follows an overworked London girl and her country grandmother who swap lives for 2 months. I particularly enjoyed listening to the audiobooks for her books, while I think they stand by themselves, this is a great way to listen to them.

One Of Us Is Next: Amazon.co.uk: McManus, Karen: BooksOne of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

I know a lot of people didn’t like One of Us is Lying, but I really did (I even read it twice). However, I did not like her second book as much so I was a bit worried about reading this. Also, this book was weirdly marketed as a sequel to One of Us is Lying while also focusing on new characters so I was a bit confused. One of Us is Next, however, does balance these two elements really well. It was a decent book and was everything I expected from it. What I liked about One of Us is Lying was the characters and their relationships with each other, and this is also very well done in this book. The ending was also very memorable.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Considering this is a book about a girl deciding to spend a year in her home it is probably weird that I read this book during quarantine, but I really enjoyed it – it is definitely not the most depressing book I have read during this time. This book is a weird mix of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and American Pyscho by Bret Easton Ellis. Mild spoiler, but I probably should have known that a book starting in 2000 would end with 9/11. I’m not completely sure how I feel about this aspect, I’m not sure if it felt a bit cheap or if it felt like the perfect event to change the way the main character viewed everything. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, I imagine I will eventually read her other book.

19 Love Songs by David Levithan

I used to love David Levithan’s books when I was younger. I have read so many of his earlier books (he was one of the first authors that I religiously bought again and again), yet I have not read one of his books for a good few years. When I saw that he had a new short story collection out I decided to give it a go. While I did not enjoy it as much as I would have when I was younger, I did still enjoy the book. I also think it felt like a very important book, it includes many diverse stories.

Alias Grace (TV Mini-Series 2017) - IMDbAlias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors and this book was fantastic. While it is not my favourite Margaret Atwood book, it is still absolutely magnificent. I read this book so quickly, I kept wanting to know more and more – even though the book does not deliver all the answers this is purposeful. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone, Margaret Atwood is one of the rare authors who draws the reader into everything.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Initially, I only read this book because I didn’t know what audiobook to listen to and this was available through my library. This book was very weirdly paced, it took a while for the concept of the book to actually happen – I think if a book includes something in the description it should happen pretty early on in the book. I Owe You One was more about family than romance, which didn’t annoy me, but it did mean that the book was weirdly focused. It was an alright book but not something I would recommend.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

I really love Victoria Schwab books and am slowly trying to get through the ones that I missed. The Archived was great, the concept was really intriguing. The only thing that bugged me (well not bugged me, but it was super noticeable) was that you could tell when the book was written – the book included a lot of 2014 young adult vibes. This was not an issue though, I just thought it was funny.

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

Like the previous book in this series, it was a really fun book. I loved the world and the characters. Although it is kind of sad that this book expanded the world so much and yet the series ended.

From Glee to American Horror Story to Hollywood: Thoughts on Ryan Murphy

I have many opinions on Ryan Murphy TV shows, cause that guy somehow does some excellent things and bad things all at once. Like I love some of what he does and am very confused by other things he does. I honestly do not know how he manages to do what he does, and this is both a compliment and an insult.

I am going to discuss my complex feelings on all of the Ryan Murphy TV shows that I have watched below! They are listed in the order I think I first started watching them.

I even jumped on a trend I don’t completely understand and created a tier list, I was going to do for every season of every Ryan Murphy show but that would have taken a long time! Instead, I grouped the seasons together and put them on this list. Some seasons of these shows do deserve to be on different tiers, but altogether this is where they belong. Click here to fill out the tier list yourself!

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Glee

Glee was a massive part of my childhood. It might not have been the first show I was obsessed with, but it was definitely the one that lasted the longest. Not only did I watch it every week, I also would listen to the songs when they were released and would look at the episode titles etc beforehand. Therefore, even though objectively glee is not the best show, it is still one of my favourites. The show has some obvious problems, it definitely would not be made today. I could spend hours talking about my complex feelings on glee, however, I do not have the time. Here’s just a few of my thoughts:

  • like many people, I think season 5 is when the show goes off the rails, particularly the puppet episode. How multiple people approved that I do not know.
  • some of the issues people talk about were not meant to be taken seriously, like Rachel Berry was meant to be a satire
  • although, some of the things she did, like taking Sunshine to a crack house was a couple of massive steps too far

However, this show feels like family to me, only I can make fun of it.

American Horror Story 

I have to split this show up into seasons cause they are all so different, even if the cast is pretty much the same – charting the recurring actors in American Horror Story kind of shows you the progression of Ryan Murphy’s favourite actors.

Murder House

Undoubtedly, this is the most thought out season of the show. It feels masterful and so well put together – every single element of this season comes together perfectly. The show puts an inventive spin on some horror tropes, it is a good balance between classic horror moments and new and exciting moments.

Asylum 

Even though Murder House is the best when considered as a whole, Asylum is my favourite season. The acting of Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto make this season my favourite for me, I mean Jessica Lange is also fantastic but the other two stand out. Despite these phenomenal elements, the season as a whole does have some confusing moments. If you ignore the alien subplot, which I do, this season is fantastic.

Coven 

One thing that strikes me about this season is that at this point the fact that they had to use recurring actors might have been a burden to the show. For example, what were they doing with Evan Peters at this point. Looking back on this season it was a good season. It was a season dedicated to a variety of fantastic female actors. This season is iconic and deserves more recognition than I gave it at the time.

Freak Show 

At the time this was not my favourite season, but looking back it was a pretty good season. It was well structured, had some fantastic acting and was very memorable. I think part of the reason I didn’t like this season as much was that when I started watching the show the first three seasons were out. So, therefore, I consider the first three differently than the others. However, this season is better than I thought it was at the time. This seasons villain adds in some commentary to the show which I like.

Hotel 

I honestly can’t remember if I finished this season and I think this says a lot about my feelings on it. I really liked the beginning of the show. Initially, I liked Lady Gaga’s character and the dark nature of the plot. However, as the season went on it lost focus and became a bit of a mess, they definitely did not know what to do with all the actors they had – this is something that appears in almost every season after this one too.

Roanoke 

I swear this season used to called ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’, either way, I cannot remember what roanoke means, or why the season was called this – especially when every other season has a normal name. I don’t know if I can remember this season well enough to comment on it, but this is not a very memorable season. It uses the house trope for like the third time, writing this, however, I am realizing that every season up to this point has been focused at a single location which I can now not unlearn. For what I can remember this season was actors recreating a spooky thing that happened in the house and then the same spooky things happen to them. This is an interesting premise, but the season was not it.

Cult 

I didn’t remember loving this season. It was meant to be political satire, but there was a cult and people doing a lot of problematic things. Unlike other seasons, I don’t remember liking any of the characters.

Apocalypse 

Before watching this season, I saw people loving the antichrist on the internet and was a bit scared about it. To be honest, I don’t think this season needed to be as reliant on Murder House and Coven characters, like it was nice to have the callbacks, but it could have been subtler and worked better. I remember this season being all over the place, I’m pretty sure half-way through it decided to shift-focus, the show could have been way more coherent. There were definitely elements of this season I loved, again the acting was great and I really did like the ending of the show. I think this was better than the last couple of seasons.

1984

I haven’t watched this season yet, but I will when it appears on Netflix.

The New Normal

I think I’ve watched this show twice, and from what I can remember I enjoyed it a lot more when I first watched it. I have no memory of how funny it was, but I did like the characters and I think this show was important for the time and in terms of representation. Although wasn’t it also meant to be Ryan Murphy’s life, but not, it was weird but good.

Scream Queens 

I came up with the tier ‘Honestly Why’ to explain this show and that is by far the best description of the show I could come up with. I didn’t even finish a season of this show, which I have for every other show on this list, so that’s saying something. I really enjoy satirical horror shows with teens, but this show was so stupid.

American Crime Story

So far this show has proved to be the best Ryan Murphy show in my opinion. Both seasons have been great.

The People Vs. OJ Simpson

This was a fantastic watch. For what I remember, this show was structured very well, going from event to event. I did not know much about what happened, as I was either very young or not born yet, and I think the show was made with the idea that most people would have at least some knowledge of what happened. It wasn’t objective, but it allowed you to see all of the sides to it and I liked that.

The Assisination of Gianni Versace 

This season was slightly less well-structured, but was still so good – telling the story in reverse at times felt a bit gimmicky and the story might have been served better if there were flashback episodes instead. The acting was amazing and it was such a memorable show.

9-1-1

While I know 9-1-1 is a Ryan Murphy show, it does not feel like a Ryan Murphy show. This is somehow both a good and a bad thing.

The Politican 

This show was weird. When Ryan Murphy does something that is trying to be satircal and over-the-top it tends to get weird, and this got weird real quick. I would have preferred this show if it was slightly more grounded in something and the plot didn’t just go off. Honestly, I probably will watch the second season, at the very least because I like the actors (and to an extent some of the characters).

9-1-1 Lonestar 

This show is like 9-1-1 Lonestar, but I care slightly less about the characters. There is not much I could say about this show that is different from what I have said about 9-1-1.

Hollywood

I really enjoyed it. While I think that this show had a strange structure, I still think it was one of the best Ryan Murphy shows. I have talked about this a lot on my blog recently, but I really loved this show. The actors are all phenomenal (which is something that can be said for most Ryan Murphy shows tbh) and the message is uplifting. The show has a nice balance between creating a nicer vision of Hollywood and still presenting the horrors that did exist in Hollywood in the 1940s.

 

Wrapping it Up May 2020: TV Shows I Watched

Another month of lockdown. This month I watched slightly more than others it felt like. Maybe its cause I have fewer deadlines or something, although I am continuing to mainly watch YouTube videos and quiz shows.

Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 2020– ) - IMDbHollywood

I loved this show. I always enjoy media about fame for whatever reason and this show just ticked the right boxes. Ryan Murphy shows are always a bit hit and miss, but this one was a hit. What I loved the most about this show was the powerful women, I loved Patti LuPone’s character in particular. The show was so impactful. Hollywood is a retelling of Hollywood in the 1940s, giving minority groups the chance to shine they should have had then. It shows the impact of representation.

Normal People (TV Series 2020) - IMDbNormal People 

This book is one of my favourites, so it is surprising that I took so long to eventually watch the TV series. I mean it took me less than a week to start, but I would have thought I would watch it straight away. There is a reason this show has been raved about so much, it is because it is fantastic and the actors are truly amazing! I hope this show means that we get a Conversations with Friends TV show, click here to read my review of the book.

9-1-1

This show is one where I really love the characters and for whatever reason, I watch all the time. I can’t completely explain why I like it, but I do. This last season had some good moments and some wtf moments that felt so far out of realms of possible it was insane. I think this show is kind of like a soap opera but better.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

I watched this show so quickly. I can’t completely explain why I liked it, but I did. It was a really fun show, with a nice amount of emotion. I have a whole blog post about this show, cause I have some complex thoughts.

How to Get Away with Murder (season 4) - WikipediaHow to Get Away With Murder 

It has ended. This show has meant a lot to me and I have spent 6 years watching it, it is one of the only shows that I started when it aired. Season 1 is by far the best season of the show, but it is still very enjoyable to watch. I think when a show starts with a premise that is resolved by the end of the first season, it kind of struggles afterwards. This last season had some strange moments and I was a bit worried about what the last ep would be like. However, the last episode was pretty good. I will probably write a full review of the end of the show, so watch out for that.

Never Have I Ever 

I finally watched this show on Netflix. While initially I thought it was just an easy to watch show, I quickly got hooked on the show. It was a fun show with an important message. It is one of those shows where I loved the characters a lot and just wanted the best for them.

Watch The Mindy Project Season 1 | Prime VideoThe Mindy Project 

I used to love this show and after watching Never Have I Ever I wanted to watch this show again especially because I never finished it the first time. I forgot so much of what happened and really enjoyed watching them happen again. Although, I am still not up to the point of the show where I stopped watching and am a little scared I am going to want to stop watching again.

Going Back To Young Adult Fantasy: Reading The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

When The Cruel Prince came out I had moved on from simply just reading every single young adult book that was published. I used to literally read everything I could get my hands on, but when this book came out I was more selective about what I was reading. When this book came out it didn’t appeal to me, but now I’m going to give it a go, not gonna lie primarily because I can get the audiobook through my library and I need an audiobook to listen to.

So I’m going to make reading this book a little bit of an experiment, I’m going to see if I should delve more deeply into the young adult fantasy genre. In the past two years, I haven’t read a young adult fantasy that hasn’t been a continuation of a series. The only exception is Ink by Alice Broadway and the main reason I read that was because I was trying to read all of the physical books I owned.

So we’re going to see how I feel about this book and see if I should get back into young adult fantasy. If it is successful the other two books in the series are available through my library so we’ll see how this goes. On with the experiment.

If you don’t know, The Cruel Prince follows a girl called Jude who’s sister is the daughter of a fairy so she and her siblings are taken to live in the fairy realm. It is about her attempts to be accepted and have power in the fairy world that doesn’t want to accept her. She also is fighting against, the cruel prince Carden, get it, who I think is going to be the love interest, cause of course he is.

First things first, I have to talk about the audio narration. In general, it’s not bad, I have definitely listened to audiobooks that were narrated worse… but I just can’t get other the voices the narrator does for the male characters. Like it was really bad, it would probably be equal to me trying to do a male voice, and there’s a reason I do not narrate audiences. You could tell she was trying to deepen her voice, and because most of the male characters are kings, princes and authority figures she tries to make her voice traditionally masculine. I’ve listened to many an audiobook and I have never had a problem with the voices an actor does, so this really got to me: for the first 2 hours of the audiobook, this was my main thoughts about the book. I would not recommend the audiobook because of how distracting this element is.

The main character’s personality is something that I really enjoyed. I liked that she wanted power – so many stories follow characters thrust into power they don’t want – I loved her Slytherin energy. Although she does tell us she wants the power a lot. I think that it something that was shown enough that it didn’t need to be told to us… repeatedly. This might just have been an element needed for a slightly younger audience, so I don’t know if this is something I can be made about, but it was so noticeable.

Other characters I did not enjoy that much. The relationships between the sisters annoyed me, as I think that it was often presented in a way that suggests that women hate other women. Also, one of the sisters was definitely introduced just so they could have diversity points – it wasn’t very well developed. However, the parent-child relationships throughout the book were great. I love a good complex relationship.

Going into the book I knew there was some hype about the relationship, but I didn’t really see the build-up for it in this book. From what I knew about the book I expected more romance – or like an actual romance storyline. I wouldn’t be opposed to the romance happening, but it still felt a bit forced in this book.

To be honest, the beginning of the book I found a bit slow. The typical high school style drama in this fantasy setting was something that I didn’t love. However, I did find that the plot turned around throughout the book. I really enjoyed the spy narrative that started to happen. This was an unexpected narrative shift that I really enjoyed, although I do think it could have come about sooner in the book. The beginning felt a bit disconnected from the rest of the book. Also, what is it with young adult fantasy and shadows, do authors know that they don’t have to use the word shadow in the name of something – the Shadow Court genuinely made me laugh. The court politics element of the novel made me actually excited to read the book.

The ending I really enjoyed for the court politics and backstabbing moments. However, the title of the second book in the series really gave away what was going to happen – I definitely wouldn’t have called it that, even though the titles do have a continued theme. Perhaps this says something about how quickly we are expected to read young adult fantasy books. I am not someone to often read a book when it comes out and I think we shouldn’t feel pressure to do so.

For whatever reason, this is one of the most in-depth reviews I have ever done. At first, I did not think I would continue with the series, however now I think I will. While it is not a perfect book, I did enjoy it. However, I probably wouldn’t continue with the series if I did not have access to the audiobooks through my library app. This book definitely made me want to read more fantasy again, so I am very happy about that.