ON MY TELLY // October Round Up

This week has been catch up week. On TV that is! Yes I have been using this precious free time I have at the moment to watch a lot of trash TV, good comebacks and Vlogs. I’m officially obsessed with Vlogs. It’s so addictive, especially people with great personalities that don’t just do make-up tutorials and OOTD’s. For you non-fashion blog/vlog types OOTD is Outfit of the Day. And for people that are clearly don’t own a computer a Vlog is a video log or a video diary as us 90’s kids may say. I myself was, or still am considering starting a vlog, but as you can see from this blog I’m not consistant with updates. So instead I have channelled my recent vlog love into a script i’m writing. At the moment my favourite vlogger is BritPopPrincess. She tells you everything and makes you feel like your just one of her friends. Vlogs can be weird, but nevertheless entertaining.

So TV shows I have been most excited about are season 2 of Homeland on Channel 4, Girlfri3nds on ITV 2 and Fresh Meat, again on Channel 4. Homeland returned with a small bang. Was so excited to see Damian Lewis on my screen again. For those that have been in a hole and have missed out on season one Homeland is about Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody returning home eight years after going missing in Iraq. Carrie Mathison, a driven CIA officer, suspects he might be plotting an attack on America. That was a direct quote taken from IMDB and sums it up better than I was going to.  The first episode of Season two was…underwhelming. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but it was clear that the only suspense in the episode came from one scene, where we see Brody (Lewis) rummaging around an office for a document with potential threat locations whilst the guy (someone important, don’t remember who) was getting coffee. It was quite intense. But apart from setting up the rest of the season nothing much was going on. I do have to say i’m sad to see that Brody’s daughter is back in this season. I really loathe her character, or maybe the way the character is executed by the actress. It’s on the same level I disliked Abby from Eastenders, and that was a lot. Below is the US season two trailer, which I love, although Channel 4’s is good too.

I don’t know what has happened to me but I’m really into dating shows, even when they’re pants! Well apart from the UK version of the Bachelor. That was abysmal.  It’s probably because I’m vicariously dating through these shows. Out of all the dating shows I’ve watched lately Girlfri3nds is top notch compared to the others. It’s every girls dream. The chance to pick 6 men to go on a date with out of 100 is amazing. Having said that 90% of the guys were dodge. There were a lot of crazies and a few hotties. Next week the girls have to spend 12 hours with their second date choice. It’ll be interesting to see which guy’s will stand the test of time. I have a clip of the promo below courtesy of Youtooob.

I don’t have much to say about Fresh Meat. It was funny in some places, but felt a bit too contrived. The characters are really playing up to their stereotypes a level higher than last season, which is not a great sign. They were already conforming to so many misguided ideologies about students. So I guess it isn’t one of my favourites. Not sure it will last beyond season two.

Okay this post is turning into a ramble, but I have to get in all the stuff I have been watching online, because that is my first port of call to watch shows. It was an exciting week for me. There is new New Girl online, new Gossip Girl, new 90210. Gossip and 90210 both never failed to deliver unrealistic Sunset Beach-esque story lines.  It’s the last season of Gossip Girl and although it is probably the right time I’m a little sad to see it go. The schemes, the love octagons, the bitchiness is a recipe for cringe worthy, addictive TV. As for 90210 i’m just waiting for Olympian Ryan Lotche’s cameo. He is the perfect face for surfing on that LA beach. Below is the promo for 90210.

So my favourite show of the week has to be….. “Hey girl… What you doing?…Hey girl.. where you going…” Yes New Girl. I’m just laughing now as I think back to the episode. I literally nearly peed my pants watching it. Season two is definitely Laugh.Out.Loud funny. Season two starts off with Jess losing her job and dealing with it in a way that is typical crazy Jess. Schmidt has gotten funnier. Yes I didn’t think it was possible, but he has! Same goes for Winston. I wish it was hour long episodes, because it feels like 15mins when watching, because you are laughing every second. I believe the writers can sustain the humour for an hour. Season two promo is below.

So that’s my TV round up. I could go on longer but you guys will probably stop reading. I have also been catching up on KUWTK (AKA Kim and Family), started watching Mad Men recently, which I like but I don’t know if I can get through all seasons in a month or two. It’ll probably take a year or two. I tried to watch Glee season 3, but after watching the first episode I think I’m officially a Glee retiree. I have also watched a few films, namely Killing them Softly and Two Days in New York, but I might do reviews in another post. If you want to discuss any of the shows or recommend something for me to get into leave a comment on the post.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

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ON MY TELLY: Homeland

So this week i’ve had the rare opportunity to catch up on TV shows i’ve been missing out on, and on top of the ‘To Watch’ list was Homeland. Not being hugely into investigative dramas I was a bit skeptical about investing time to watch it. Also I thought the war hero theme had been done a trillion times. So my decision to watch homeland was purely on the fact that it was winning awards, which is not always the best thing to go by, and that I actually like both lead actors, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Not to give away the whole plot to those missing out, but Sergeant Brody (Lewis) returns from Iraq, after eight years of being pronounced missing, to his wife and children. He is declared a war hero and has no qualms about living up to his public persona. CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Danes) has her eye on him and is led to believe that whilst captured in Iraq he has been converted into a terrorist and is planning an attack on the US.

There are many plot twists and turns, the first one being that Carrie is bipolar and this has been kept from the CIA as she will be dismissed instantly if known. Being devoted to her job, for Carrie dismissal is not an option. Carrie, sleeps, drinks and makes love to her job in every sense. Throughout the first few episodes Carrie and Sergeant Brody do not come into any physical contact and when they do, around episode five, let’s just say the drama is notched up a level. The tension from Carries’ part is addressed in a way that some viewers may have seen coming.

Homeland is very much character lead, which I feel sustains a long running series as we are invested in what will happen next to them. But it is evident that Danes, Lewis, Mandy Patinkin (who plays Saul, Carrie’s reluctant partner) and occasionally David Harewood (Carrie’s Boss) are the actors carrying the series along on their shoulders. It seems as if the other character’s remuneration is limiting their acting capability. Morena Baccarin plays Sergeant Brody’s wife Jessica and her character comes with her own sub-story. But I think she’s not invested in this story herself, causing her to maintain a smirky ‘i’m innocent’ expression on her face, no matter whether she’s angry, sad, happy, cheeky, it’s all the same. Which I think is a shame as the story she is given could have allowed her to be a great supporting actress.

I am now on episode seven and the conclusion of that episode was a shocker, and could lead foolish ones to believe that the main storyline has been resolved. But there is still five more episodes of season one to go (yes there is a season two), so I predict that episode eight will deliver another shocking twist at the end.

Get watching Homeland if you enjoy, high tension, reasonable amount of violence, subtle plot lines, Damian Lewis and occasional random sex.

Check out the trailer below.

ON MY TELLY: Beaver Falls

Channel 4 have broadcast a considerable amount of ground-breaking dramas. Some hilarious (Misfits), some gripping (Smallville) and some unrealistically dramatic (Skins). So as my time spent watching telly has fallen, I felt it was time to get up to speed and find a new show to focus on. So I gave Beaver Falls a trial run, and to write it off as flop is not a wholly fair judgement of it.

Beaver Falls allows you to believe this is a fluffy easy to digest comedy drama, and that is not far from the truth. Beaver Falls main protagonists are three Oxford Brookes graduates Flynn, A-Rab and Barry. They decide to head to Californian summer camp Beavers Falls for an experience of a lifetime, involving typical fun and frolics young men get up to.  As this is supposed to be a ‘comedy drama’ you would expect some laughs and some intriguing situations. But no! Beaver Falls fails to deliver strongly in these two genres. The clichés and stereotypes are perfectly conformed to. They have thrown in the group of uninteresting fat kids that get bullied, the stupid jocks, the group of guys that are a supposed to be different shades of cool.  The writers Iain Holland and Jack Lothian were probably aware that viewers will not eat up this much BS, so thats when they propably decided to throw in a far fetched bomb into the mix. ***Spoiler alert*** Sexy lead protagonist Flynn has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Cannot remember the illness, but it is what Stephen Hawkins has, only worse. This would make sense maybe in any other drama but the whole show is so blasé that it doesn’t appear as dramtic as they probably hoped for.

Beaver Falls’ cross continental cast initially appears intriguing, especially to see if the humour will be heavier on the Yanks or the Brits side. Instead the cast is full of drama school graduates/drop-outs that haven’t grasped the concept of subtly humour, outrageously crude humour or any kind of humour at all.

Despite not being wowed by Beaver Falls I continued onto episode two. It was marginally better than the pilot episode, as it appears that the actors have started to perform ever so slighty. But unfortunately it was far from gripping. They are just lucky that I am stuck at home sick , bored and that I hate not knowing what happens next.

Want to know what i’m yapping on about? You can catch it tonight on E4 at 9pm.

Misfits Loses its Star Character

This news comes as a great tragedy to all Misfits fans. Robert Sheehan who plays Nathan will not be returning to series three of Misfits. A new character called Rob will be introduced to the group.
This to me doesn’t make any sense. Nathans fanbase is the reason why the Channel 4 drama is such a hit, and his overt and excruciating humor is what makes this superhero inspired show not so intense and generic.
Not having Nathan in Misfits is like not having Rachel in Glee, Blair in Gossip Girl, Charlie sheen in Two and a Half Men… oh wait that got scrapped due to his dismissal. Well it might not be long before Misfits heads in that direction.

The change over will be aired on E4 Website  in a special short film, before the start of the new series.

Sadtimes.

Mmmm… Pancake Day

To really honour this day I feel it would be appropriate to devour Pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner… oh and not forgetting dessert. Or is that too greedy? I say we just go with it, besides it only comes around once a year.

As much as pancake mix from the bottle, topped with lemon and sugar is a treat, there are many other equally if not better recipes out there. In fact, whilst staying at my friend Lorraine’s aunt’s house during a trip to Sweden, I was introduced to a unexpectedly scrumptious pancake with bacon mixed-in and strawberry jam spread on top. Horrified by the potentially disastrous combination of ingredients I was willing to give it a go. Before I knew it one bite became three plates licked clean to the sparkle. So I am on a bit of a mission to bring this savoury/sweet take on the Pancake to my house and yours.

Luckily I have had the chance to lie-in on a few Saturdays recently and the TV happened to be on Saturday Kitchen. Being too lazy to switch the channel I become a fan of the programme, mostly because of guests like Larry Lamb and Gok Wan bringing a bit of personality to the show. Well I have here a James Martin Pancake recipe quite similar to Lorraine’s aunt’s bacon and strawberry jam pancakes. Ok there is no strawberry jam in James Martin’s American-style pancakes, but nonetheless it encompasses the sweet/ savoury element that I enjoyed thoroughly.

Now guys let’s get our frying pans out and get tossing.

American-style pancakes with bacon and maple syrup

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Place the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add the egg yolks and milk to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to make a smooth batter.
  3. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then fold into the batter.
    Whipping cream by hand
  4. Heat a large frying pan until hot, add the butter and heat until melted and foaming. Place ladlefuls of the batter into the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top of the batter. Turn the pancakes over using a spatula and cook for a further minute on the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot, add the bacon and cook for two minutes on each side, or until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
  6. To serve, divide the pancakes among four serving plates, top with the bacon and drizzle with maple syrup.

    Recipe and Images courtesy of the BBC

10 Reasons to Boycott X Factor

This is not an opportunity to jump onto the bandwagon that is diverging away from the car crash TV that is X Factor, but it is me honestly and faithfully turning my back for good… I promise! Having not being an uncompromising fan of the show I can always dip in and dip out, year on year, although not without any emotional attachments. These feelings that are boiling up within me are not excitement for the acts on the show, but instead for my complete loathing of the acts that are obviously just wannabes. I know you say ‘aren’t they all!’ Okay yes in essence they are. But having an appreciation for naturally gifted artists, that make music that is sweet to ones ear, I believe I am not asking for the impossible from these reality audition shows. Or am I? Is it not just light hearted fun and can everyday people not have opportunities like this to showcase their talent? Hmmm… I disagree! Success and achievement is hard work that may take months and most likely years. But 12 weeks to mould somebody to have that X-FACTOR is unrealistic and deludes the youths today in thinking that celebrity-dome and success can be easily attained.

So now my list is compiled after a concoction of last nights live show, previous series and past contestants.

1. Apart from Leona Lewis, who has actually been the international star that they promised?

2. Two words… Katie and Cher! Need I say more… They are both highly talentless wannabes that have analysed and imitated performers like Lady Gaga, Keri Hilson, Gwen Stefani and Pixie Lott.

3. Cheryl Cole/ Tweedy/ Whatever is a wannabe herself that feels that her looks and styling will further her career. Okay it has done so and her personal relations to stars like Will I Am and a premiership footballer have too bumped her up on the celeb ladder. But not to diverge away from the point I have to question her presence on the panel for a show that is supposed to find the worlds next top performers. Her experience and talent are not viable reasons as to why she is there. Well I have to leave this point now otherwise this will turn in to an uncontrollable rant.

4. Everybody is drunk on some special juice they are supplying at the X Factor studios. Why are the audience cheering on Cher and Katie like they are something special and even worse Simon…? Yes, Simon is hailing these two as the next Lady Gaga, calling them different and current! Argh… the frustration towards the words that spilled out his mouth when I was thinking the opposite can’t be explained. Dated, dreary and clone is the words that came to mind when I saw them.

5. And on that note… What has happened to Simon Cowell? Where is the scrutiniser that knows what genuine talent is? Well he has left the building and has returned with his pound sign shades on. I haven’t heard a bad word come out of his mouth this season. Well, this could be down to him protecting the integrity of his show after the Gamu debacle. The old Simon would have been able to spot phoneys like Cher Lloyd.

6. Sinitta! Why is she on the show? Is there a need for a show clown? Don’t many of those who auditioned tick that box already?

7. X Factor is well past its expiry date. Do the honourable thing like Big Brother and walk the plank and jump off into the abyss.

8. The use of paraphernalia and extravaganza is put in place to hide the fact that an act is talentless. Case 1: The camp dancers in neon spandex cycling shorts throughout Diva Fevers performance! Case 2: Katie’s rainbow coloured daft punk style helmet in this case did disguise the fact she is talentless.

9. X Factor is making us into a nation of couch potatoes that accept any program that is thrust into our faces. Isn’t Saturday’s for socialising? I thought we are country that live for the weekends. So lets get off our butts and socialise at a bars, parties, gala bingo… Not on twitter #hassing X Factor!

10. Jedward. Proof the the show is fixed.

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