Riverdale Season 3 Has Pulled Me Back In

Sometimes shows start great and become a crucial part of pop culture history and slowly devolve into a pale imitation of their former selves perhaps unable to keep up momentum, maybe they just burnt too fast and too bright.

This is especially true of teen shows either taking hold of a fair and stories becoming fan service to funnel a million fanfics. Or with your target audience growing up quicker than your perpetual teenagers you have to go to new heights to keep them interested.

We no longer live in the golden age of television, we’re in a period of modified nostalgia, reboots of reboots and revivals no one else asked for. Instead of attempting to recapture some of that magic and some of the audience from these programs.

The first season of Riverdale was a pleasant surprise to me, the updated story of Archie Comics in a noir mystery had an ambiguous, dreamy quality with the murder of Jason Blossom driving the ten episode season. The cast was strong, the writing was funny, and the conclusion to the story was satisfying.

And the first season was pretty much a runaway success, Gossip Girl from Gen Z or Veronica Mars with smartphones as you will, however, the second season just felt different. I think a lot of it had to do with the 22 episode season a lot of the episodes felt frustratingly pointless and then there were the storylines that went nowhere. I think a lot of it was attempting to flesh out the town of Riverdale, make the city feel real, however, the dreamy ambiguity of Riverdale was part of its charm.

Was there anyone who was tuning in every week to learn more about real estate dealings or Archie’s apprenticeship as a consigliere?

I missed more than a few episodes and only just recently caught up on the third season, but I’m pleased to announce I’m here for it the main reason being; it’s so fucking stupid I love every second.

The two main conflicts of the season centre around the ‘Farm’ cult Betty’s sister Polly went off too in season one and a Dungeons and Dragons rip-off game that may or may not have lead to the death of two different people. Oh yeah, Archie’s is now in a prison fight club, but tbh I don’t super care.

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They’ve seemingly decided to get rid of any pretence of the actual education system within the confines of the high school, and there’s been no real nod to age-progression, and maybe that’s how it should be. Veronica owns Pop’s diner and looks set to make a speakeasy underneath it, Jughead runs an upstart biker gang, and Betty is his ‘queen.’ Babies are flying. Dungeons and dragons are getting murderery. The cheerleader’s sexy dance outside the prison, the prison is named after two 1920s murderers.

A show that went so far out of its way to establish them as normal kids, in the beginning, this show is now amazingly ridiculous, and I love it.

I have no idea what’s going on, motivations and alliances seemingly change from one moment to the next and right now I’m down for that. Riverdale is a full comic book with no pretence of realism, this is especially evident in the dialogue, but it’s just so silly.

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The cult aspect seems the most promising new storyline for the season; the farm has been mentioned since the first season when Polly ran away. I’m ready to see how those dynamics influence the town and the magical realism quality of the floating babies.

The cult aspect seems the most promising new storyline for the season; the farm has been mentioned since the first season when Polly ran away. I’m ready to see how those dynamics influence the town and the magical realism quality of the floating babies.

It’s campy it’s fun and depending on how they take the rest of the season the Gargoyles aspect could also be enjoyable as well.

The only complaint I have is that once again Archie’s storyline feels like it’s divided from the rest of the cast (this time he’s in prison) I’m probably going to do another post on why Riverdale should bite the bullet and kill Archie soonish.

But if you’re like me and found Riverdale season 2 to be lacking then I would advise you to revisit this show, it’s fun, it’s silly and is refusing to take itself too seriously the perfect escape from the cold outside.

 

 

 

Charmed Pilot Review

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s witchy reboot season, and the first offering is the revival/reboot/continuation of the 90s hit TV show Charmed now on the CW.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while (it’s cool I know you haven’t) you’ll know I’ve been following the Charmed revival since it was first in the works as a prequel just over two years ago.

The first episode aired on the CW last night with Madison, Macy and Mel being our new Charmed ones in a college setting with one dead mom and a book of shadows and ready to fight the forces of evil (I think.)

Ostensibly I thought it was a good pilot, things were set up but dynamics take a while to be defined, and I don’t think modern audiences are as cut out for a ‘monster of the week’ format as they were in the 90s but were this season is going remains to be seen.

Now lets got onto the thoughts I had about it as a whole, word of warning there are spoilers, and there’s no particular order to the list I’m just attempting to get a framework and pretend this blog is professional.

If you’ve watched, then please join me down below, if you haven’t go watch- it’s a fun 40 minutes- then read and please feel free to email and we will argue.

Things I liked About The Charmed Pilot.

  1. I love me a college setting with a solid reason for every sister being there; it’s like having a small-town setting with all the amenities of a big city- a perfect choice
  2. I enjoyed all the sisters as individual characters, everyone was clearly defined, and I believe that helps with the witty banter that weaved itself into the show
  3. It was campy af, from the dialogue to the way the story goes  and I love me some camp we’ve seen too many gritty revivals give me something silly
  4. Enjoyed the White Lighter character- looking at other comments I think I’m in the minority for this- but I guess they objectively need a light sparring energy to play off some of the more serious elements- again campy shit is something I enjoy
    Did not realise the eldest sister was British until I googled so I’m impressed with the accent
  5. The main ‘humanistic’ (is that the right word?) arc of the story to do with sexual assault within a college based environment I felt was handled well
    I liked all the acting  everyone was charming and seemed to have a hold on their character
  6. The sorority captain was also very funny, and I hope she stays around as like their human adversary
  7. Overall I liked it because it was fun, silly and an enjoyable piece of TV, I will be watching the next episode however if they don’t find their feet quick enough I am worried that this won’t last long

Things I didn’t like About The Charmed Pilot

  1. This should have just objectively been a two-hour special to settle into the rhythm of things as we moved very quickly from mom’s death to secret sister to we’re witches to there’s a demon oh wait that’s the wrong demon. We’re introduced to all these characters and what’s more these characters are added to each other, it just felt natural that it would take them a little longer. Two hours would have also given them time to set up the mystery more although I will be watching the next episode I’m not desperate to watch it if you get me
  2. At the moment I don’t understand why this is a Charmed reboot (or is it a revival or a continuation I don’t know atm) add one more sibling and make half of them male, and you could do the same storyline without the connection to Charmed. I feel like this show could have worked on its own merits it’s not like a Book of spells, and the Source of All Power are two unique concepts to the original Charmed.
  3. On a different but also kind of the same note, most revivals/reboots at least have a connection to the original and at least casting Daryl as campus security would have been a nice homage. I feel like Charmed fans are really loyal (we would have watched that Billy spin-off for christ sake.) Even the way the book and the whitelighter worked didn’t seem cohesive with the old show if you want to get the old fans on board you have to give us something.
  4. WHY WAS THE MAIN DEMON LITERALLY WALMART THE NIGHT KING- I will eventually find a screenshot but my god none of them mentioned it throughout the whole fight scene even said the shocking similarity to the Game of Thrones character- it was right there just put a lampshade on it
  5. I just feel like I don’t know what I’m in store for this season, will this work or will it be cancelled after three episodes who tf knows at this point.

Anyway, I’m here for the next lot of episodes, and I’m secretly hoping for an original cast appearance here’s the trailer for the second episode.

Wattpad Adaptations Are Going To Take Over Your Screen And Probably Your Life

The invasion is already here!

Production companies are scrambling over themselves to sign deals with books that first appeared on social-publishing site Wattpad. Teenagers and young women are now scoring multi-million-pound development deals because of novels they posted online, and we’re all going to be obsessed pretty soon.

What the F is Wattpad

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For those unfamiliar with the website Wattpad it describes itself as “a community for readers and writers to publish new user-generated stories in different genres.” Writers can basically publish their work and receive comments, likes and follows; it’s basically if twitter and a kindle had a baby and all the books are free.

The website is especially popular with teenage girls and is known for fan fiction with some of the most popular stories being about boybands. And because we tend to dismiss anything adolescent girls like the site and its literal millions of active readers, writers and creatives went mostly unnoticed by the general public.

Kissing Booth

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The Kissing Booth was one of the first Wattpad novels to get noticed by the general public, and you’ve probably seen the movie version pop up in your Netflix trending bar. Kissing Booth first came about in 2011 and was posted on the site by Beth Reekles and by 2012 it’d won onsite awards and garnered over 19 million reads.

To give you a quick comparison, you need roughly 5,000 to be considered an Amazon bestseller. It was published as an actual novel in 2013, and the original movie came out in 2018. Despite criticisms of the original film Netflix stated it was hugely popular which made others sit up and take notice.

Kissing Booth is the story of Ellie Evans who was currently enjoying her life with her best friend, finds herself face to face with her crush at the spring carnivals kissing booth- said crush being her best friends brother who she’s not allowed to date. It’s a simple, fluffy romantic comedy, not necessarily the thing that gets made anymore but you can’t argue with 19 mil.

Despite criticisms of the original movie Netflix stated it was hugely popular which made others sit up and take notice.

The Philippines Did It First

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Although a lot of Wattpad stories have only recently signed deals to get Western publishing deals, there’s been a lot of adaptations of Wattpad stories in the Philliphines. The Bet, She’s Dating the Gangster, and Diary of an Ugly Person have all been adapted into respectfully successful films within the country, and the trend looks set to continue.

Watts Next To Come

Wattpad is coming for your TV whether you like it or not and here are just a few projects already in the works

Light As A Feather

A simple game of Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board goes very wrong when a group of girls start dying in the way the game predicted. This ten-part series began life as a Wattpad book which currently has over 3 million views and counting, kind of a cross-between Pretty Little Liars and American Horror Story it’s set to premiere on Hulu in a matter of weeks, check out the trailer here…

Death is my BFF

Sony Pictures recently required the rights to humour/romance/supernatural story Death is My BFF a story about a girl’s meeting with the personification of Death who happens to be a bit of a playboy. It’s a biting take on the supernatural boyfriend trope although Death is My BFF is an original story. What’s more, it currently has 92 million reads and counting.

Under Glass

Set under a glass-domed Mars Colony, a young girl leads a rebellion against a dictatorship. Under Glass has been optioned for film, said novel has been taken down from Wattpad but according to Deadline Stampede Ventures has acquired the rights to books, formats, graphic novels and video games to adapt for film and TV.

After

This is the one you might have heard of…

After was originally a fan fiction AU about Harry Styles and One Direction about Harry Styles as a college student in America and his relationship with a young freshman girl who’s super innocent and what not. I admit I haven’t read it may be the plot has more to it, but that’s what I got. It’s epic love; it’s a saga, it’s romantic, it’s two straight white people.

But After started getting attention when it reached 1.5 billion reads.

1.5 billion that’s 1/7 of the world’s population, I’m so tired. Anyway, the book was a runaway hit, it was published with Simon & Schuster, and according to wiki, there are currently 19 million copies in circulation. So there’s an audience for it which is why a film starring Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Harry (now Hardin) is currently being shot and is scheduled for release in 2019.

 

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Hero played young Voldermort in the 6th Harry Potter film he’s now an adult which quite frankly is very rude of him 

 

Wattpad does have its flaws with problematic storylines being chief among them, but it’s also Hollywood’s teenage dream. In this little corner of the internet story trends live and die so instead of having to predict teen interests, popular stories are picked democratically by your audience, and when something gets popular it’s super popular, and you pretty much have a guaranteed audience.

What’s more, the data element is amazing when it comes to adaptation, readers have already made themselves known about aspects of the story they do like and bits they don’t. As a production company, you can iron out plot details and get rid of problems with a focus-group of literally millions within your demographic.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of all the books the site produces but there are some shitty ass books out there categorises as real literature so you can’t argue. Plus it does have a few gems, and it fosters a love of reading amongst a new generation, who can hate that? You can’t help but admire it for the power of teen girls and young women who’ve found a way to get their stories heard and forced men sitting in boardrooms to sit up and listen.

Expect to see a lot more Wattpad stories produced as movies in the future.

Just please…please no Kissing Booth part 2.

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Searching Movie Review

4/5
Short and smart thriller for the online age

David Kim (John Cho) desperately traces the digital footstep of his missing teenage daughter.

Like Taken but with social media right?

However, this is all filmed from the perspective of Cho’s character surfing the internet with calls, facetime and his activity as he searches his daughter’s hidden social media accounts. The found footage element of this film feels very of the time, and nothing feels particularly jarring, it’s all just a natural use of social media, and there’s an excellent use of direction (would you call it that, editing maybe?)

I didn’t necessarily dislike the “filmed through screens” motif throughout the movie I just felt the movie was simultaneously defined and confined by its concept. (I never said this review was going to make any sense!)

The story and the background story, especially in the beginning with the story of Margot’s mother Pam, playing out beautifully through pictures, calendar and other online devices. I think for a relatively short film we don’t usually get this level of backstory and it’s executed beautifully.

However, as the film progresses and we realise Margot Kim is missing we’re stuck with this one perspective, and sometimes this becomes frustrating as an audience member as we have plot points explained to us- usually by newscasters. I think this is probably my main frustration with films like this such as Unfriended and Megan is Missing where we’re delivered plot points secondhand.

Unlike Megan is Missing, of which this film shares similarities (girl goes missing, and it’s all filmed found footage computer style.) However, maybe it’s because we live in a more technological infused society then we did seven years ago, or perhaps it’s because Searching spends a lot of time getting to us to invest in these characters and the internet sites are all real and well-defined places we know from going there ourselves.

I think the use of social media profiles to define the characters. It’s all natural, from the way characters act when they know they are on camera to the way people  react to events such as a disappearance on social media (there’s even a Reddit shoutout which I thought was clever.) The most substantial element of the through a screen element in the definition of the missing daughter- Margot-  thoughts and feelings are unfurled as her dad investigates what was going on with her.

John Cho is also fantastic in this movie, and as he’s driving the full force of the story and as a lot of the story relies on his natural reactions he plays the missing dad perfectly. Stoic and intelligent but also irrational and desperate you were complete with him for every response.

And the guy who plays his brother is a bright light within the film as well. I was kind of disappointed with Debra Messing’s character as I don’t feel like she was as complex as the rest of the cast.

Storywise this is a psychological thriller, if you like a well-executed plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing then this is for you. If you’re here for a complicated thriller with action and gore, then look somewhere else.

This is an unquestionable tight story and enjoyable hour and a half (I think if it’d come out on Netflix it would have received a lot more attention), but this isn’t a wasted trip

 

 

Must Be The TV Season Of The Witch (again)

TV has a new obsession, and it’s magical, with the Charmed reboot, the Sabrina adaptation and the latest series of American Horror Story, everyone is getting a little witchy.

-First of all hey!- For anyone particularly interested in the lack of posts I just seriously haven’t had the time, I love this blog, and I love TV, and I have every intention of updating- anyway on with the show.

Supernatural TV shows have a tendency to appear in waves, Vampires, Werewolves or Wizarding Schools. They can go both highbrow and lowbrow with a certain historical element to appeal to the intellectual and the leniency of ‘a wizard did it’ to cover plot points. Plus, the sexiness factor and all that jazz…

But witches have always had an enduring appeal and are seemingly cyclical in pop culture and always have an impact but why do we (more specifically me!) love them so much.

Witches through the ages

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So as I mentioned witches had been part of pop culture and TV with the most notable first example being Bewitched, The Wizard of Oz and pretty much every female Disney villain.

I’m not going back to the influence of the Salem trials on TV (well not yet)

The witch is kind of the perfect archetypal villain in terms of gender stereotypes, she’s mean, she’s ugly- if not ugly then terribly seductive=, and she often subverts traditionally maternal roles. She was the opposite of everything a woman should want to be

90s witches

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In my head, the 90s and early 2000s really cultivated the “modern-day witch” women who lived in the real world, pursued relationships, made mistakes and did it all with great power.

Of course, there are examples before this- Witches of Eastwick being the one that springs to mind

Although similar premises for witches in modern-day settings had happened before the 90s really defined it, with technology, Gen Xers attitudes and the rise of feminism juxtaposed against the ancient rituals and prejudices of witchcraft the whole thing just sort of worked.

Hocus Pocus

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1993

Ask literally any millennial ever about Hocus Pocus, and they’ll profess an eternal love and an annual viewing. A teenage boy accidentally frees a coven of witches on Halloween in Salem; they race against time to stop the witches from becoming immortal. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, they were a send-up of every witch stereotype ever to exist. Starting off the decade with such an overt caricature of witches gave room for a lot of reimagining of tropes.

Charmed

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1998-2006

Charmed told the story of three sisters, the Halliwells who discover they are the proverbial chosen ones and the most powerful witches ever to exist. However, it’s also a show about sisters, immense pressure and romance. Charmed balanced the traditional femininity, ideas about children and jobs with ideas of glorious purpose. It was Clark Kent and Superman with a hella lot more nuance.

Practical Magic

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1999

Again a story of sisters, Practical Magic might be the best thing to watch on an autumnal afternoon while dressed in a warm cardigan and with a pumpkin spice latte. Okay, I’m a basic white girl shoot me. Two sisters with a family curse and a hell of a lot of magic, any man who falls in love with them will die, they know Practical Magic but not much else. Again Practical Magic is about discovering the power and the unmistakable power of sisterhood.

The teen witch

Of course, the above movies and shows represent one aspect of the modern witch mythology on TV its the teenage witch. Magic and female teenage puberty are two things that go hand in hand (again, one day I will go further into this whole deal and how far it stretches back.) But the idea of changing bodies, periods and hormones can make the average teenage girl feel like she’s becoming a witch and subsequently she’ll find herself identifying with the protagonist.

Again the 90s had teenage girls at the forefront of pop culture, Britney Spears was gyrating in her school uniform while talking about staying a virgin until she was married. You were supposed to have everything figured out even if you didn’t. It’s a confusing time, and there seemed to be a witch for every type of teenager in the 90s.

Furthermore ancient magic perfectly contrasted against the fluffy problems of high school is super fun…

The Craft

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1996

Peak 90s teen witch, The Craft is the story of four outcast girls who form a coven and start using witchcraft to rule the school. The film is perfectly complete with 90s teen slang and fashions for a while the magic helps they get what they want whether that’s beauty, love or money. However absolute power corrupts absolutely, and things slowly start to crumble. The Craft is definitely a unique take on witchcraft, the concept of female power and when it can turn.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

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1996-2003

A personal fave of mine (I was a 90s child shoot me) half witch Sabrina Spellman navigates high school while coming into her powers. Everything from the humour to the acting was broad, to say the least, the magic here represented the ‘secret’ side of a teenager, something we all have. Sabrina herself as portrayed by 90s staple Melissa Joan Hart and flowed with the trends of the time. It lasted for so long as it embraced the dichotomy of girlhood with the magic and had fun at the same time.

So what comes next

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The next generation of these programs will soon hit our screen, and I’m willing to bet they aren’t as concerned with balancing their love lives.

American Horror Story Coven and the subsequent Apocolyse series shows us the mean, evil witch that we’re now officially rooting for. Whether Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Legacies or Charmed 2.0 find themselves tapping into that remains to be seen but a Witch show needs to understand the women it’s reflecting/

Teenage girls today are educated, commitment to social issues and the world at large tend to define them.

More than anything witch stories are defined by female power and the confrontation of said power.

A new generation of women didn’t see their gender as a detriment; there was no wish to have it all- they were never told they couldn’t. A generation that believed they were going to elect the first woman president, who believed in equal pay, women’s rights and assault against them deserved punishment. A generation of women who’d been betrayed.

The women seeing their lives reflected back are from a generation that believed they were going to elect the first woman president, who believe in equal pay, women’s rights and assault against them deserved punishment.

A generation of women who’d been betrayed.

In recent days and weeks, women across the country have summoned rage they’ve discovered a new part of themselves.

And maybe, just maybe there’s power in that.

 

Class Was Not The YA Doctor Who Spin-Off We Needed

As the BBC 3 Doctor Who spin-off “Class” made it’s way to Netflix I couldn’t help but think about the Doctor Who spin-off that should have happened.

Class itself was perfectly fine, a series surrounding the sixth form students at Coal Hill sixth form college and their fight against the Shadow Kin, a group of aliens that want to get to the prince hiding out at the school. However it was doctor who adjacent rather than part of the universe in the same way Sarah Jane and Torchwood were a part of Doctor Who’s world before and after that their respective spin-offs. In my opinion that’s why it didn’t work, Class could have retained a lot of the same characters and storylines if it was about a haunted boarding school or magic academy instead of aliens.

Young Adult feels like a natural step for the Doctor Who franchise however as it’s most fervent fans occupy the 13-18 demographic the show itself had to honour them and their love of the show. For me, this left a natural successor…

 

Between 2007-2011 a program called ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ featuring the iconic Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith as played by Elisabeth Sladen. Accompanying Sarah Jane Smith was her young neighbours,  Rani, Luke and Clyde, oh and K9

The Sarah Jane Adventures bridged together the two worlds of ‘old’ doctor who and new doctor who. Reappearing in David Tennant’s stint in ‘School Reunion’ even watching it as a child it was easy to recognise this was a woman of great importance to the series, she was effortlessly weaved into the tapestry of the new show.

The show itself was suited for its young audience with the younger characters being integral to every 30-minute episode of the five season show. Sarah Jane, the journalist sniffing out alien activity from her London home while presenting a normal face to her neighbours was an ultimately fantastic show

The young character dynamic resembled the Harry Potter trio of the chosen one, the goofy best friend and the smart girl and the show itself regularly integrated itself into the Doctor Who plot.

Of course, The Sarah Jane Adventures ended with the death of Elisabeth Sladen, her death was a great loss to us all but the legacy she left behind, especially in the doctor who community was truly amazing.

Yet in the world of the show, there were three young characters left adrift with knowledge of aliens and no anchor, these felt like the characters we should have witnessed at sixth form or possibly university. As a show that managed to retain an audience through a sixty year time period, it wouldn’t have been too hard to introduce a new audience to these kids.

 

 

 

 

Sirens ‘Pilot’ Review

Plot

A fishing boat accident sparks a serious of mysterious events in the ‘world’s mermaid capital’

Quick Review

A sci-fi fantasy adventure that plays by its own rules Sirens is an interesting take on an overlooked myth

The Deets

It’s strange to see a woman as the aggressor in fantasy romance shows, I was a teenager throughout the vampire craze so I automatically read brunette heroines as passive and weak (vampire diaries, fallen, twilight it  was a trope of the genre.)

Elin Powell plays our main mermaid ‘Ryn’ named after a children’s TV show character and she is ridiculously good in this role. She’s a fish out of water (I’m here all week people) and her physicality embodies that. From the first shot of her feet lagging behind her, the head movements and thousand yard stare you see something that isn’t of this world without any explanation except the audience figuring out she’s helping her captured mermaid sister. It’s fascinating to watch her work even if she says barely three words during the whole episode. More than anything her story feels natural even if we don’t know all the ins and outs of it.

Ben, our main character, our Elena Gilbert is doing excellent accent work (both of the main actors are British) but there isn’t much to hold onto in the way of character. He is the rebel son of the town’s founding family and a marine biologist, other than that we don’t really know anything. Bad Boy with a heart of gold? Misunderstood heartbreaker? Ted Bundy-esque Serial Killer? Who the fuck knows, at this point he’s the audience avatar.

The story unfolded naturally from the town’s founding day to the fisherman’s story of an attack and a mysterious sea creature. Interactions between our two leads as well as Ben with Maddie allowed us to get a feel for the main characters. Action scenes were also fun to watch and set the tone for what this series is going to be about. The introduction of the military and their awareness of mermaids provided another hook to the series.

Here the town and the marine wildlife are playing second fiddle. I have no idea about the mythology surrounding mermaids or sirens, breadcrumbs were dropped but you’re not going to find anything particularly significant. Rather than just hints towards the mermaid/siren of it all it would have been better to see scenes such as the sirens song through a pov (such as being told ‘oh sirens songs do xyz’)

I overall enjoyed the pilot and the subsequent episode however with the pacing I’m worried that this show won’t find it’s audience. The post-college mermaid drama crowd isn’t all that big and there isn’t a clear definition of the show’s type to bring in genre fans it may need to drop a full season (+netflix!) before it starts getting the attention it deserves.

This new freeform show is solid sci-fi that refuses to push its story too quickly and right now I’m definitely tunaing next week.

What Would Happen If Gossip Girl Was Set In 2018

Gossip Girl was easily one of my favourite shows growing up, the glitz and glamour of Manhattan’s elite and the judgemental eye overseeing everything with an xoxo. But it’s amazing to see how much things have changed in such a small amount of time, the show ended in 2012 before

Following the lives of Blair and Serena at their Upper East Side, private school razr phones and aim messenger are still a massive part of the original show.

It’s amazing to see how much things have changed in such a small amount of time, the show ended in 2012 before snapchat, the trump presidency and while Kylie Jenner was still in middle school so how would a show like Gossip Girl look like

 

  • Gossip Girl would have started out as an instagram drama page before getting it’s own website and then app
  • Serena would have been snapchatting her return to the city- completely scooping GG on the scandalous news
  • Blair would have the most followers but Serena would have more mainstream success
  • Dan would secretly want to get twitter verified and secretly seethe when Jenny got verified first
  • Jenny would definitely have a youtube account complete with dress making and heavy eyeliner tutorials
  • Nate would have invested in a poorly thought out new social media platform
  • Blair would be an aspiring make-up entrepreneur
  • Vanessa befriends Lena Dunham, no ones knows how or why
  • Jenny befriends Kendall Jenner
  • The Constance Billard Choir sing a rendition of Bodak Yellow
  • Vanessa would be posting her documentaries to vimeo
  • The #Metoo movement came quickly and swiftly for Chuck Bass
  • Blair would initially be mad Ivanka got to the White House before her but has now decided to take a step back
  • Dorta and Vanya are brought in for questioning about the Russia investigation
  • Georgina who definitely had something to do with the Russia investigation is not brought in for questioning
  • The Gossip Girl app would go through an update and everyone would hate it
  • Serena actually makes it in LA, ends up starting a wellness blog, single handedly brings beet juice to the East Coast
  • Nate finds success in a weed vaping company and becomes an outspoken advocate for the use of pot in New York
  • A reverse google image search would have caught Charlie out
  • Agnes and Jenny date
  • Dan’s book would have been made into a HBO miniseries, Margot Robbie plays Serena, Jennifer Lawrence plays Blair, Elle Fanning is Jenny, Zac Efron is Nate
  • It’s critically panned as a straight, white mess
  • Blair devotes a substantial amount of time to getting on Raya before she realizes it sucks
  • Blair, Serena and Jenny all begin to read about feminism and 90% of the fights over guys are avoided

So that’s just a couple of my ideas on how Gossip Girl would look different in 2018, do you have any of your own let me know and as always…

You know you love me xoxo

Derren Brown ‘The Push’ Review

Derren Brown’s latest offering went straight to Netflix this time and three days after watching it I’m still thinking about it.

The Push is a psychlogical experiment conducted by Derren Brown which sees a subject manipulated into pushing a man off a building.

The concept sounds ridiculous when it’s first presented but as the show goes on we see just how easy it is to get people to do what their told.

Stripping it back to the casting of the unwitting subjects we first see how simple it is to get someone to do something with a cafe worker taking away a baby because a voice on the end of the phone tells him to. Then in the casting day we see the main contestant Chris compiles with a group of people standing up and sitting down without any reason. It’s a simple test but shows he will do things without questioning.

A highly eleborate situation is set up where Chris will be lead into a place where he’ll be asked to push a man off the building. The not so subtle leading includes a charity night for a charity called ‘Push’ which had the tagline ‘Whatever it takes.’ The stakes are high and Chris is forced to go along with covering up the death of a man and impersonating him.

Social experiments like this can sometimes feel very paint by numbers as the subjects seem unusually compliant and you’re left wondering if this would really happen to any normal person. However here with Chris we watch him slowly reclaim his independence even after he’s gone about hiding a dead body he refuses to take the ultimate plunge.

Push is ultimately fascinating in the same way serial killer documentries are. As we discover what ‘pushes’ a person to kill, here we see people deemed relatively normal put in a situation where they a forced to kill except Chris chooses not to. It truly is riveting.

And then we see three other subjects, shown early during the casting day scene actually push a man off a roof in the belief that could actually murder him. This shocking twists leaves us reeling and then there’s nothing else. Three out of the four people commit the murder, even Chris was close to it at the end, a seemingly ridiculous premise suddenly looks veey real.

Although everything is stripped away and we see Chris discover that his ordeal was simply for entertainment purposes, the knowledge he went along with impersonation, hiding a dead body and forgery. There are no indepth interviews with Chris or the other contestants that went onto to kill the man, no insights into their psyche.

So this means that Derren Brown’s Push is an interesting, shocking and enjoyable show it’s designed to prove a theory abut social compliance entirely instead of looking into any common factors between the four contestants. Because without looking too deeply into them it makes the audience wonder, if these people can commit murder then you can as well .

Book Review: Arrowood By Laura McHugh

Overview 

A gothic mystery, Arrowood tells the story of Arden Arrowood returning to her old town in the South of America and the Arrowood house that had once been grand. Arden’s life has been blighted by what once was, especially the disappearance of her twin sisters many many years ago. Now back in the house they disappeared from and with the help of a private investigator Arden Arrowood begins to put together the pieces of the past that may lead to clues to what really happened to her sister’s all those years ago.

Audience: 

Not quite a paperback thriller and not quite literary, Arrowood sits in the middle. I’d venture the audience for Arrowood are not mystery fans but are more interested in southern gothic dramas.

All in all, if you’re into atmospheric pieces look no further.

The Good 

Arrowood is a gorgeously written story, in the style of southern gothic, descriptions of curtains and forgotten bedrooms leave you with a certain sense of sadness

The premise itself is personally fascinating to me, Arden Arrowood is the girl left behind while her sisters are taken. She’s grown up being surrounded by other people’s tragedies  which has made her a uniquely sad character and the

I appreciate aspects of the supporting cast including the private investigator who comes onto the scene with his own theories about what really happened to the Arrowood twins

At times the set up to the suspense was very intriguing, you won’t be able to guess the ending at least not for the first half

The Bad 

At 280 pages with relatively big writing, I was expecting an easy read going into this but Arrowood seemingly dragged on for a bulk of it’s middle. Elements of the slowness came from back story and side drama that just felt like filler, with such a short book I want to know that I’m getting somewhere.

The disappearance of the Arrowood sisters was set up as the main focus of the first half of the book and then it sort of waned as it continued.

The descriptions started out quite interesting and really got you to experience the heat, the loneliness and the depression of the Arrowood house and the same descriptions repeat throughout the book

For a book set up to be so much about family, we don’t really get to see a lot of them. We more or less hear about them second hand or through Arden just straight up explaining what went on the reader and I’m not sure if I cared for that.

The Conclusion 

Arrowood is a beautiful book but maybe that’s just it, surface level beauty and not much else, maybe I’ll reread in a couple of months to try and get a grasps of elements I may have missed. I felt like this book picked up towards the end and the conclusion was satisfactory but I didn’t feel like I got the emotional pay off from slogging through the middle of it so I’m not sure if it was worth it.