2 Broke Girls (2011-2017)

I personally think this comedy show is fabulous. It tells the story of an odd, crazy family at a diner. Well not a real family, a work family. Where insults are thrown around and they all hate their jobs. At the centre of this family are two broke girls, if you couldn’t have guessed. They become unlikely friends and decide a dream to open up a cupcake business is what is going to get them out of the underbelly of Brooklyn.

2 Broke Girls

Max Black (Kat Dennings) is, as she says so many times, dead inside. She doesn’t feel emotions and what mostly comes out of her mouth is insults, or sexual innuendos. She is hilarious! To say she hated her childhood would be an understatement, she’s always using her mother’s alcoholism and her runaway unknown father as a joke butt. She tells it how it is, hilariously but truthfully, and extremely opinionated. She is an extremely strong character, standing up for everything she believes in. Amongst it all, she is caring in her own way and is a great character. She’s the cupcake baker and Caroline uses this to her advantage with a business mind, it’s her idea to create Max’s Homemade Cupcakes and try to bring it to their reality.
2 Broke Girls - Max and Caroline 2

Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs) is a posh socialite turned ex-billionaire. When Caroline’s father is discovered for embezzling a lot of money, she loses all her fortune, her mansion, her friends, her rich life. She ends up in a small diner in a sketchy neighbourhood, the one that Max works at. Desperate to not hit rock bottom, she is constantly surprised by little things, like having to do things for herself, waitressing, finding somewhere to live. In an act of kindness, Max lets Caroline move in with her and the unlikely friendship begins. Caroline constantly strives for the best, for working her way up again despite losing everything, but learns so much on the way. But she always does it in high heels and a horse in the garden, literally.

2 Broke Girls - Max and Caroline 3

Then there’s four other characters to make up this bizarre diner family. Firstly the overly sexual chef, Oleg (Jonathan Kite). Anything he says is sexual, literally everything. Then there’s Earl (Garrett Morris), who is the cool suave cashier. He’s just great! Thirdly, Han Lee (Matthew Moy) the boss of the diner and the punch line of so many of Max’s jokes. He tries to assert this authority but it never really works. Lastly, the late comer to the series, Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge), the upstairs neighbour of Max and Caroline, who comes down every day to get her cupcake treat. All the characters are so different that they bring something each to the show which is a breath of fresh air and always comical.

And the Not Regular Down There

As you can probably tell this is definitely a comedy for older ages, it’s a 15 for a reason. But regardless, it is hilarious. If you think it would be your comedy (and I do get that it is a comedy of particular taste) then I would definitely recommend. It’s an easy watch 20 minute episodes, that will make you chuckle but also wish for the girls to succeed. Watch as these two broke girls struggle through real life yet odd situations as they try and build their own cupcake business.

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The Innocents (2018 – )

A new Netflix Original television show, and once again Netflix does know how to advertise and to advertise to the max. Through a recommendation made by them, I thought the trailer didn’t look too bad, so why not? Half a day later and I had watched all eight episodes, the whole of season one, oops. And so far, that’s all the episodes there are. It is an extremely addictive show, you’re just caught constantly wanting to know more.

First off, this isn’t a programme everyone would love. It is one of certain taste. To begin with, it is supernatural, it is the whole basis of this show. However, it doesn’t shove the supernatural unknown in your face, it’s cleverly done as the teenagers don’t understand, we don’t understand. We learn what powers, a gift or a curse, this young woman has while she struggles through it too. She’s from our world, yet is different to normal humans, and that’s how the supernatural is embedded into our society and doesn’t become unrealistic (when it is). The graphics are brilliant too, it’s almost as the supernatural element seems to come natural into our world, almost believable. Secondly, it’s a programme heavily based on young romance and drama, the love between two teen first lovers. Although, somehow it doesn’t become soppy or cheesy, it’s just what it is, it’s sweet. Finally, there are a few inappropriate scenes, links to sex, drugs etc etc, so it is a 15 for a reason.

The Innocents 2

When two sixteen-year olds run away, one of them discovers she might not be who she always believed to be, instead she inherited something genetically from her run-away mother. June (Sorcha Groundsell) finally snaps when the rules of her father become too intense and he persists her leaving her life behind and moving away. Harry (Percelle Ascott) wants to escape responsibilities, and he deeply loves June. They just want to live a different life, away, together. Along the way, a man hunts June down, claiming her mother has sent him. But instead this triggers something in June she never thought possible, she can “shift”.

Meanwhile, we jump from England to Norway. In a remote area, in the middle of a lake are a few houses, one man and three women. Called the Sanctum, Dr Halvorson (Guy Pierce) spends his life trying to treat “shifters”, trying to understand their triggers. Throughout the series, there are so many secrets, so much unknown. Along the crazy, unfortunate adventure for June and Harry they meet strangers and try come to grips with what is happening to June. Their love is tested and their trust is played with constantly. We think we know everything as we jump from Norway to England but we don’t.

The Innocents 3

This isn’t a show of big names or well-known stars, in fact I hadn’t heard of any of them. Well only one I recognised, Mr Tom Clarkson from the ‘Waterloo Road’ days. All the others, I didn’t know, but that is not to say it shouldn’t be watched! Far from it. They all become the characters so well, and they are brilliant. Having them actors I didn’t know probably made it more likable for me, it made it seem that much newer and refreshing.

‘The Innocents’ also does deal with other issues too, it’s clever and eye-opening, even if supernatural elements hold the basis. For example, a young man dealing with severe anxiety, afraid to step outside. Or a father who never fully recovered from a coma and is in need of constant care. There are so many elements to this television programme.

The Innocents 1

I thoroughly enjoyed this show, it is eventful, chaotic, busy and interesting. Mystery full, thrilling in some places of the unknown, and hopeful in the young love. Not to forget the brilliant soundtrack! I was so caught up in ‘The Innocents’ wanting to know more and uncover all the secrets, and it’s been left with even more uncertainty begging and pleading for a second series. It has to be a good’un if I could watch it that quickly, right?

The Blacklist (2013 -)

So I needed a new show, and this one ticked a few boxes. Recommended by my dad, I’ve never heard of it before, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any advertising or heard of anyone else that’s watching this. But I gave it a shot anyway, and I’m glad I did. I was hooked from the very beginning, obsessed with my new show, those that know me know I get into TV shows and watch them non-stop. So let the binge-watch begin, this one’s a good’un.

Ok, first off: this is a programme for older ages. There are gory scenes, thrilling ones and crime mysteries. Also, there could be considered some scarier scenes, especially for younger ages. You do need to pay attention, all things mentioned add to the mystery. It’s not the easiest watch ever.

The Blacklist - Season 1

‘The Blacklist’ is another FBI show, but don’t be so quick to presume it’s like the others. Because this one has a major difference. The first ten minutes of the first episode: one of the most wanted fugitives hand himself in to the FBI. Introducing Raymond Reddington (James Spader), a criminal who has managed to escape FBI custody for twenty years, but suddenly he hands himself in, and he’s got demands. Reddington has a blacklist, as he calls it, a list of criminals who he claims aren’t even on FBI radar, and he is willing to hand them over. But there’s one clause, he only will speak to one Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), an agent new on the job. Although, no one knows why she was chosen, neither does she. Agent Keen is brought in, and this is when her life changes. A new task force is created, one where Reddington hands over the criminals to the FBI in complete secrecy. This is where solving crime mysteries become exciting in thrilling action.

The Blacklist - Red and Keen

Reddington is a great character. He brings in unreliability and unpredictability into the show. As he says he will never tell the full truth, and you spend the episodes never knowing why he handed himself in. He constantly holds the shock-factor as you never know what he’s thinking or what he’s going to do next. Elizabeth Keen is another great character, as she’s confused by this fugitive’s connection to her, but also lost in her own unknown past which he knows something about. She becomes more and more drawn in, but with constant hatred of his criminal ways. Then there’s the trusting leader of the task force, Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) and Keen’s new partner, Agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) who’s a stickler for the rules down to a T. Finally, we cannot forget a great tech guy, Aram (Amir Arison). Of course there are other characters, and they are all fantastic, all add something to the programme.

The Blacklist- Season 1

‘The Blacklist’ is a very addictive show. There are minor and major story arcs throughout the series; each new episode brings in a new criminal to hunt and a new mystery to solve (not always solve). If you’re a fan of these shows, I would definitely recommend this one, it’s got all the FBI qualities with a criminal mastermind at the centre.

The Rain (2018 – )

This is actually a new Danish programme, on Netflix of course. Now I’ve never seen a Danish show before, so I didn’t know what to expect. There is dubbing over the speech as they’re not speaking English, obviously. However, the dubbing is actually really well done, a lot of the shots of the programme aren’t actually of the faces talking so the dubbing isn’t really a problem for the show. To be honest, there are some moments it is really obvious and becomes a little distracting but that’s the worst it gets. Just in case, this was something that might put you off. I know some people can’t watch a show if it’s lagging and the mouth is moving at a different time to the sound.

The Rain - Simone

‘The Rain’ is a dystopian apocalyptic kind of show. Simone (Alba August) is quickly taken out of school when her father rushes in, before she knows it she’s running through the woods confused following her parents. Soon enough, her and her brother are ushered into an underground bunker and their father is telling Simone to keep her brother safe and he’ll be back. The first episode excels through six years, their father never returned, they’re running out of food and oxygen levels are running low. Then the door opens…

The Rain - all 2

I was so intrigued with this show from the beginning, anything could happen, I didn’t know where it could go. I was hooked. That was until I finished it. I felt a bit deflated, not sure what to think of it. It just seemed I’d watched all the episodes of series one, and then flew straight back to episodes one and two again, to the beginning. It all became a bit predictable by the end, which was such a shame! Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great first series, but it just felt a bit let-down by the end.

As you might have guessed, the apocalyptic notion of the programme is to do with the rain. There is a deadly virus in the rain falling, anyone caught in it instantly dies. There are a few graphic ways to die, usually revolved around throwing up then collapsing. Dangerous and nothing I’ve seen before. While on the topic, it is for older ages, as it does swear too.

The Rain - Simone and Rasmus

As Simone and her brother, Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), finally enter the real world from the bunker, new characters are introduced. The character developments of the show are very clever and their backgrounds are exposed in different episodes of what happened to each of them before the rain came. It is a brilliant way of creating they’re backgrounds and reasoning to why they are the way they are now. I have to admit, I loved that they did this, as I was so intrigued to discover their stories. I’m not the biggest fan of all the characters, I don’t think they are all loveable, actually there are times when Rasmus irritated me, and Beatrice (Angela Bundalovic), at times, seemed like a pathological lair so she’s a difficult character to understand too. But I don’t think this is takes anything away from the show, as they are raw, real characters, reacting to an apocalyptic world they used to live in. Simone and Rasmus add to this collective group as they embark on an adventure to try and understand what has happened.

The Rain - all

‘The Rain’ was a great first series, I was intrigued all the way through as I did want to know what was going to happen, just sad about the predictability coming a bit too realistic by the end. However, saying this, I would probably still watch a series two. This programme is tense and thrilling, the young adults try to escape from the one thing most difficult to, the weather.

Jessica Jones (2015 -)

So if you’ve got Netflix or are a fan of Marvel, you would have seen the mass of Netflix Original Marvel shows: ‘Luke Cage’, ‘Daredevil’, ‘Iron Fist’, ‘The Defenders’ and this one, ‘Jessica Jones’. To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to watch these, as some of them you have to watch in order to understand others and that really irritates me. But it’s all because of a Marvel Universe timeline or something… Although, happily you can watch ‘Jessica Jones’ on its own and that’s what I did because I couldn’t get into the other ones, maybe I will another time. Anyway…

‘Jessica Jones’ is extremely different to the Marvel films, the films of Avengers, light and superhero savour is not transferred to this television programme. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the Avenger films, in fact I usually go see them in the cinema once they’ve been released. But I love this show, I love the differences. It is very cleverly put together to contrast the Avengers.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones, the main protagonist of this Marvel show, is played by Krysten Ritter and I believe she is the best actress for her, she becomes the character and suits everything about her, plays her amazingly well. Jessica is a PI, private investigator, at Alias Investigations, in the underbelly of a city she lurks in shadows and photographs those riddled in affairs and crime. Deep down, Jessica is troubled from her past, her whole family’s death, the man who used and abused her, she has a traumatised history. Her coping mechanism is at the bottom of a bottle, of any whisky bottle. The theme of alcoholism is a common denominator throughout the series as it’s the one thing Jessica will always return to. Her past haunts her present, and even more so when her past comes to find her once again. Introducing the series bad guy, and a hell of a bad guy at that, Kilgrave, which by the way is played by the phenomenal David Tennant. A psychopathic, narcissistic mind-controller, his power is extremely strong as he forces people to do what he wants, whether that’s to give into him or kill themselves… He’s definitely a horrendous villain. Jessica is forced to face her fears when others are being controlled like she once was. Time to use her magnificent strength, physically and mentally, to help.

Jessica Jones 2

Another character who should be mentioned is Jessica’s adopted sister, Trish (Rachael Taylor). A strong female protagonist who desires to be as strong as Jessica, but is the complete opposite. Her character is definitely one that grows throughout the series as she becomes obsessive and determined, also troubled. Where Jessica is easily found in a bar, Trish is easily found through the paparazzi as her childhood stardom as Patsy is constantly remembered by the public and her Trish Talk radio station keeps up her celebratory status. She’s desperate for her best friend to be a superhero, not matter how much Jessica rejects the thought. Finally, another strong female protagonist is Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), a manipulative but powerful lawyer. Her character, again, is one that develops so much, and the struggles she endeavours are hard-hitting by the end. Survival is everything. All the characters are flawed, and many do things which are controversial in thought, but I think that is what makes them great characters, they feel real. Although, neither characters are likable throughout the whole series.

Jessica Jones - Trish

‘Jessica Jones’ is definitely a show that becomes extremely addictive, in the action, crime and thrilling moments of this dingy city. Jessica is powered, but she never asked for her strength, she got them without choice. Her life is full of terror and trauma. A mass of problems arise throughout the series as Jessica struggles in her own mind as she blocks people out and turns to alcohol every time. I would definitely recommend watching this show, I watched it extremely quickly. Personally, I think series two is great too, not as good as series one, but still stands some ground in enjoyment, regardless of popular opinion. Become absorbed in this different light of Marvel, purposely made to look low-budget and dark.

Santa Clarita Diet (2017 – )

Now I’m going to be completely honest, this is such a weird show. It really throws you straight in with the randomness and craziness. Oh and some gross scenes, like a lot of vomit, a lot of being sick. This is definitely a show for older ages, a few sex scenes, a lot of swearing and also use of drugs. There’s also many gory scenes, the main character does eat people…

I started watching this because Netflix was really pushing it, definitely a lot of advertisement for this show, it kept on coming up as a recommendation for me. Besides, it’s also Drew Barrymore and I love her! She’s great, she stars in so many films I love: ‘Charlie’s Angels’, ‘Ever After’, ‘50 First Dates’, ‘Blended’ and I could go on. So I gave this new show a chance. Once I started watching, even though I was so confused over the weirdness, I strangely couldn’t stop watching it. Once you get used to everything, it becomes comical and so addictive. Every episode ends in some chaotic new drama and you just need to watch the next episode.

Santa Clarita Diet - Hammond family

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the plot for you. The Hammond family changes completely when the mother suddenly falls ill. They are real estate agents whose life became routine and boring. Until… Sheila (Drew Barrymore), the mother, dies. And then she wakes up again, but this time, undead. Sheila changes completely, more confident, more impulsive and more truthful. Then what changes the most, she discovers she wants to eat people. Her husband, Joel (Timothy Olyphant) just wants a normal life. But he loves his wife so much, and would do anything for her, even though she does want to eat people, the freshest of people, because dead people don’t work for her. So this concludes the beginning of their normal-not-so-normal life of killing people to satisfy the now-undead Sheila. They try to keep secrets of their new life from their sixteen year old daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson) but in reality she knows everything, and tells all she knows to her next door neighbour, Eric (Skyler Gisondo), the stereotypical intelligent but awkward teen. The Hammond’s try as hard as they can to remain a normal family, however as the next door neighbour Sherriff becomes more suspicious and Sheila becomes more impulsive, and the question of food for the now-undead mother, things get crazier and crazier and escalate to extremes as they comically struggle through something that’s on a different world than what they’ve dealt with before.

Santa Clarita Diet - eating people

As it is a Netflix Original, of course all episodes are on Netflix. You also do need to watch the programme in order as the episodes practically lead on from one another directly. They are such an easy watch, only half hour long. It is such a different programme to other undead shows I’ve seen before. Safe to say, it’s highly opposing ‘iZombie’ for example, that even though carries comedy as well, has more of a murder mystery element. ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ has comedy, gore and crazy moments that are honestly reacted by an average family.

Santa Clarita Diet - Sheila and Joel

You know what, I would recommend it. It’s a great watch and extremely addictive in every episode. Honestly never episode is boring. The actors and actresses are superb and the loving relationship between Sheila and Joel shows no bounds. But like I’ve previously stated, it is a 15 for a very good reason. If you think this is a show you would appreciate and enjoy, then watch it!

The Middle (2009 – 2018)

Not going to lie to you all, I love my television programmes. Sometimes nothing is better than to have some easy watch 30 minutes programme on in the background, and ‘The Middle’ qualifies under this category. It’s a great show, easy to watch and real life. It tells the day-to-day life of a family living in the middle, in Orson, Indiana. The family struggles of mother and father of three, Frankie and Mike of Axl, Sue and Brick, introducing the Heck family! All of the characters couldn’t be more different, they all bring something new to the house and they’re all equally as great.

CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, EDEN SHER, ATTICUS SHAFFER, NEIL FLYNN, PATRICIA HEATON

Starting with the mother, Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton). Frankie actually narrates the programme as well, she brings the audience in at the beginning and doesn’t leave as she fills out the programme what is needed to know, she talks as from the present and we’re watching her past life. Frankie might be seen as a nagging mother by her children, but she becomes a character who just wants to improve her life by trying out wacky new ideas each day to her children’s despair. She loves the Bachelor and Oprah is gospel to her. She’s a great mother, who constantly ends programmes admitting that her and Mike are “lazy parents”, but in truth she tries as much as she can to make it better for her family, even if that means getting a second job. Frankie is constantly searching for affection from her eldest, and she’s accepted her blunt husband as he is, but they have a loving relationship. In work, Frankie usually falls at the bottom as she works as a car saleswoman and cannot sell a car. She’s hectic and shouts a lot of the time, but when it comes down to it, all she wants is her children back young again. You can always expect her to get out a tub of frosting to make everything better.

PATRICIA HEATON

Next, father of the household, Mike Heck (Neil Flynn). A recognisable actor, mostly for me as the revengeful Janitor in ‘Scrubs’. The man of the household, the man who cannot show true emotions, he’s blunt and practical in everything he does. He sees showing emotions and being soft as a weakness. When things break in the house, he comes up with creative ways to keep them going, as they don’t have enough money to replace them, practical down to a T. He’s the manager at the quarry in Orson. Watch him as he’s always in a plaid, flannel shirts, and all that’s on his mind is sports, hence his strong connection with Axl being a football player, however not so much with Brick as they don’t have much in common, other than not being sociable. But deep down, family is everything to him. To say the least, Mike’s not much of a talker.

The Middle - Mike

The oldest of the three is Axl (Charlie McDermott). The charismatic older brother, the big-headed oldest son. Axl is a great character, truly loved. The American football player of the family, who makes his father most proud. But to everyone else, he’s full of insults, particularly to Sue. This is a common theme of the show, where Axl can’t show gratitude to his family, however this becomes a comical element. Although, I do have to admit there are moments where he does show love to his sister, and those rare moments just build to his character that much more. Axl is the son who doesn’t think before he does things, his stupid ideas are hilarious. He also lives the boxer life, which if you don’t know, means when he comes home he strips down to his boxers and lies on the sofa, something you see a lot in this programme. He’s not academic, although sporty and sociable.

The Middle - Axl

Next, the only daughter, Sue (Eden Sher). Sue is the optimistic, loveable, never giving up daughter of the family. A common theme for Sue is her trying out in every club she possibly can at school, however never making anything. She’s the traditional good girl, can’t keep secrets and cannot lie, she would never do anything to hurt her parents or disobey them. She tends to be forgotten and constantly not noticed in school. She’s the awkward teen struggling to fit in, but a brilliant optimistic ball of light in the show. She becomes the punchline to most of Axl’s jokes as they are constantly arguing, but all she wants is affection and love from her family. Sue Sue Heck, yes that’s her name, is the happiness of the show, the one who would do anything to please people or to achieve something in life. Her life is controlled by teenstyle.com as she believes it speaks the truth. Additionally, Sue’s character brings in the singing Reverend Tim Tom as she holds onto every word he sings to the teen group.

The Middle - Sue

Finally, the youngest, Brick (Atticus Shaffer). Brick’s the reader, I say this because books are his life. He is constantly seen in this show with a book reading, ignoring what’s around because nothing is more important to him than books. If he’s not reading a book, he’s either going to the library or talking about the library and his extensive library fees. Brick is a great youngest son, just like his quirky name he has many quirks. His quirks entail whispering to himself after talking and then he adapts to whooping to the sky. He also has a fascination with fonts, yes fonts. All this adds to Brick not being the most sociable of the family, this is a constant theme of the programme as Frankie is desperate for him to get a friend, when in reality all his friends are books, the most important friend of all is ‘Planet Nowhere’. Saddest of all, Brick is usually the child that’s forgotten, left behind in many places, but regardless he’s not forgotten in the show, he’s a great addition.

The Middle - Brick

‘The Middle’ definitely deals with real life aspects. The constant struggle of a low income family is a dominant theme of the programme. All characters are flawed, but all characters are loved. It is a programme with reality throughout it all, the struggles of a mother realising her children are growing up too fast, the messy house that never gets clean with three children, siblings who are constantly squabbling and arguing, and so much more. The whole aesthetic of the programme is fun and enjoyable. It’s comical and there are moments of truth, every episode has some meaning behind it. I would definitely recommend this programme as an easy watch and not regrettable one at that. It does become addictive to just watch episode after episode. Furthermore, you don’t need to watch them in order, ‘The Middle’ is episodic where each episode has a different plot line, however there is a story arc throughout the series, but that’s easy to catch on without watching episodes before. Sadly, I’ve read it is coming to an end with series nine, but it’s so worth a watch anyway! Watch the Heck family live a life of junk food and watching TV on the sofa as Frankie desperately tries to change the habits, but never succeeds. Just go ahead and watch the Heck family with day-to-day struggles because they are fab.