Killing Eve (Season Two)

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are back for a second season of ‘Killing Eve’. One of the best shows I’ve seen of 2018, of course it had to come back in 2019! In just one day, season two had been watched – every ending just begs you to continue, so why resist? There will be some spoilers from season one as they carry one from each other, therefore read at your own risk – watch season one first: review here.

Villanelle (Jodie Comer), heartbroken yet impressed by Eve’s (Sandra Oh) recent stabbing, is trying to cope with the injury. However, what Eve doesn’t recognise is Villanelle’s even more deepened interest in the MI6 agent. Meanwhile, Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) recruits Eve back on another psychopath hunt. Eve is looking for Villanelle, Villanelle is hunting Eve. The obsessed chemistry only gets worse between these two, as the first contact between at the end of season one has only brought a need for more.

Killing Eve S2 - Eve

Both actresses are phenomenal in this season just alike to the first. Jodie Comer as Villanelle is amazing in her acting talents, more of her accents are experienced in this series. Talents from Russian, to British, to French and American. Again, we travel across Europe visiting the beautiful shots and scenes, while Villanelle patrols doing what she does best: killing. However, we see so much more of this character, we learn more. The complexities are explored in this season. Although, keeping the sassiness and hilarity of her bluntness – the things that make her character so great.

Whereas, Eve in her new psychopath-centred life, forgets her husband and delves even deeper into a life of MI6 hunting of murderers. Eve’s character changes progressively throughout the season. She begins to think differently, influenced by Villanelle more than she’d want to admit. Finding Villanelle is her whole life.

Killing Eve S2 - Villanelle

The parallels between the two series is phenomenal, beautiful in its irony and reflection. I do think this is a great second season, I don’t think anything will ever live up to the brilliance of season one, however it doesn’t need to. This season brings everything that is needed from season one and draws even more out of the characters. ‘Killing Eve’ continues to be a fantastic show, so different from other shows. Something is always happening, there are shocks and laughter. Characters unpredictable yet addictive. If you loved the first season, don’t worry this one isn’t a let-down.

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

This drama is inspired by the true story of Ted Bundy – one of America’s most infamous serial killers during the 1970s. The film does seem to follow very closely to real-life events with embedded flashbacks of the televised trial from the 1970s at the end. However, with drama thrown in, not every aspect was shown in this film and there were some false identities too, so don’t take this as a truthful documentary of what actually happened to this “extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile” murderer.

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When first exposed with this film, my initial reaction was a confusion to the extremely long name. Although after watching it, it seemed a fitting name from the Judge’s own words from the 1970s when he sentenced this pathological killer. The sentencing of the film is one unusual yet mesmerising to watch in the cinematic elements with the speech performed by the brilliant John Malkovich. Something that cannot be denied is the excellence of the acting in this film. Whereas everyone is proclaiming that Zac Efron is the star of the film as Ted Bundy; I believe that the fiancé whose side the story is told from, is the most powerful performance on screen. This being Lily Collins playing the betrayed, broken Liz Kendall who fell deeply for Ted Bundy.

I do have a few reservations for ‘Extremely Wicked’. Where the trailer may make the film seem riddled with the killings of this guilty man, watching the film I felt a completely different presence that dominated. I couldn’t shake the feeling that every moment of the film, until the very end, just tried to plea the innocence of this man. It seemed to glorify a serial killer as innocent where doubt only shook at the very end. This was because those that believed innocence dominated the screen, where those proving his guilt shared much less time. I feel this is where the film did fall, they should have persisted more with the facts of guilt, rather than dramatizing a pathological liar with more innocence. I do understand this was an element of history, where people did believe his innocence due to his ‘looks’, although he was found guilty and if I was presented with the film only, I wouldn’t completely understand why until the end. Which is hauntingly creepy at the thought.

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Overall, this is not a terribly film, far from it. It’s a highly dramatized rendition of a prolific killer in America’s past. Acting is brilliant and you do become drawn into the opposing sides of Ted Bundy. Additionally, time does race past and you do need to pay attention to everything happening to grasp the full understanding of this version of Ted Bundy’s life from the point of view of his fiancé. Safe to say, Zac Efron is a completely different actor from his Troy Bolton days. 

Dead to Me (2019 – )

Well this new TV show didn’t take long to finish at all… One season, 10 episodes, one sitting, one day: easy. From the first episode, I was hooked, I had to keep watching till the end, desperate to know what was going to happen, desperate to uncover all the secrets. It’s such an interesting, shocking programme. Brilliant from beginning to end. Truly with a phenomenal cast, the entire season was just excellent in every element.

Dead to Me

So, if you haven’t seen the wide advertising Netflix does so well, then here’s a quick plot. Jen’s life has become a downward spiral ever since her husband was violently murdered in a hit and run. Since then, she’s become a widow and single mother to her two sons. Her response for grief is anger and wine. However, she does start to try and make way for life again when she going to a grief counselling. In this meeting she meets another grieving woman, Judy. Amongst all the loss and hatred the women hold, they soon become unlikely friends as they try to piece together what happened three months before and finally come to grips with their losses.

Apparently described as a comedy – I don’t really get it. There were parts of the programme that made me smile, but I feel like I was invested into the drama significantly more. My face wasn’t really a constant grin but rather jaw-dropped from the twists and turns this show takes you on. You can’t help but watch the next episode when you’re left stunned and speechless at the end.

The two protagonists of the show have to be mentioned as they are both incredible. Firstly, as the heartbroken widow, Jen, is Christina Applegate. She is absolutely outstanding in her role of damage and anger. Then there’s Linda Cardellini (who I always remember as Velma from ‘Scooby-Doo The Movie’) as Judy, the supporting friend with way to many secrets locked away. The roles these stars become is remarkable and really brings the whole show to life.

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I would definitely recommend this new binge-watch. It doesn’t take long and becomes an interest for a day. So much happens as you become warped into these two women’s lives, invested to learn all the secrets and uncover what is going to happen. Just a quick note: the programme is a 15 as it does involve drugs, sex and swearing. Nevertheless, ‘Dead to Me’ was such a change of pace from the programmes I usually watch and was so refreshingly different, I couldn’t stop watching – that was until Netflix announced that there were no more episodes left for me to watch. Give it a go, I promise you’ll be hooked straight away!

Scrubs (2001 – 2010)

‘Scrubs’ is a comedy drama about a group of doctors, surgeons and nurses in Sacred Heart Hospital. This is a brilliant show with hilarity, emotion and just good fun to watch. Although, I have to admit, there are a few episodes that I’ve cried my eyes out during. This is what makes this show slightly different to the other comedy sitcoms of the same era. ‘Scrubs’ tells a moral every episode, but also highlights the reality of life, anything could happen. You really can’t underestimate the emotions of this show. Nevertheless, ‘Scrubs’ still somehow seems to maintain an upbeat and comical strike to enter every episode.

The characters of this show are only ones that build up over the nine series, you get to know these people so well. And they are all flawed, at some point they will all do something stupid or something that will make you hate them, even if only just for a little while. All the characters are realistic, there are no perfect protagonists. This just adds to the brilliance of the show. To begin with, ‘Scrubs’ is mainly revolved around one character. This character is JD (Zack Braff). JD quickly becomes known as Newbie as he is a new intern at this hospital from the first episode and it is his journey we watch as he becomes more of a competent doctor. JD’s character resembles one insightful, goofy and desperate for a mentor. Due to his sensitivity, he quickly adopts another nickname of Bambi from a co-worker. JD is also the voice of the running monologue of the show, he narrates his life or his thoughts. This is another element that is something different to other shows. Constantly throughout the show, you will be flashed into JD’s mind of a moment he sees comically different; a lot of these are relevant to popular films. For instance, two colleagues having a heated debate of egos, in JD’s mind becomes ‘Star Wars’ of good vs evil. Or maybe, when JD becomes surprised by what someone has told him, a tonne of bricks come crashing down on him. And so on. I do love this element of the show and JD’s narration and dreamland are a nice constant throughout the programme.

Scrubs - JD and Turk

Along with JD, there are two other main characters that start on the same day. There is JD’s best friend from college, Chris Turk (Donald Faison) and a new friend met on the first day of interning, Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke). Turk is confident and cocky, and extremely competitive. Unlike JD, who’s a medical doctor, Turk is in a different department of surgical medicine. Elliot, however, is quite the opposite. Whilst also being extremely competitive, Elliot is a doctor like JD, she’s very talkative and adopts the nickname Barbie by another doctor. As the show goes on, we quickly learn that there is a lot more to these characters than what is just shown in the first few episodes.

JUDY REYES, SARAH CHALKE

There’s also a mass of other characters to really love and appreciate in this programme. I have to mention Nurse Carla (Judy Reyes) to begin with. Pretty much from the first episode, Carla becomes the love interest of Turk. Although, she’s a lot more than that. She’s strong-minded and extremely confident in her own person. She loves to tell people what to do, but she’s always there for her friends. Then, there’s Dr Cox (John C. McGinley), who is rather different from all characters. His large ego and his brutal honesty are two reasons why JD becomes so desperate for his approval. He should be remembered for his long rants and his anger towards everything. Next, there’s the chief of medicine, Dr Kelso (Ken Jenkins). Constantly referenced to as the devil by Dr Cox, he’s the one who has to make all the hard decisions of controlling the hospital and where the money should go. Although, he does enjoy making sure people are scared of him. Personally, Dr Kelso is one of the funniest characters on screen.

Scrubs - Dr Cox

Lastly, a few other minor characters I wanted to mention to just show the vast personalities we have on screen. Nurse Roberts (Aloma Wright) is one of my favourite characters and I think she is so underrated. Her sass and comical honesty are brilliant on show, but also her loving nature is to be adored. Then there’s the reliability of surgeon Todd (Robert Maschio), who comes along to make anything comically sexual ending with a high-five to whoever he says it to. Another excellent character lies in the Janitor (Neil Flynn) who from the first day has it out for JD for putting a penny in the door. There comical back and forth is fun and enjoyable throughout the whole series, with a reliable prank in most episodes. And lastly, Ted (Sam Lloyd), an acapella singing lawyer of the hospital, whose nerves and desperation for love is always present.

Scrubs - Janitor

As you can see there are so many characters to appreciate, I haven’t even begun to explain all the characters of the show, but they are the best ones to highlight. There are also some great guest stars, including Ryan Reynolds, Elizabeth Banks and Courteney Cox. We cannot forget the episodes with Brendan Fraser from ‘The Mummy’. Every episode is episodic, so there isn’t any need for them to be watched in order. Just like, ‘Friends’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ or ‘The Middle’. Alike to these, there is a story arc throughout the series to maintain some essence of growth and connection between episodes. There are a range of episodes too and they never become boring. All telling a different story, or even a different style. We have an episode that changes from JD’s narration to other characters and even a musical episode, which I do love! There is fabulous music in the whole season, this is definitely a great aspect to the show. All the episodes are so easy to watch and enjoy, I would recommend this show over and over again. One thing I have to say which isn’t a positive, is that the last series was such a let-down. For some reason they decided to get rid of the original characters and change them for new med students – it’s definitely not the best thing they’ve done. Nevertheless, watch the medical and surgical interns from day one all the way to the end of nine series.

Dumbo (2019)

Fall into a new fantasy adventure of the Disney Classic ‘Dumbo’. From 1941 to 2019, Tim Burton reimagines this emotional tale of a circus and an elephant whose looks are different from others. Ridiculed and misunderstood by its large ears, the baby elephant has to perform for laughs. But soon, they discover this calf is only one that has a secret talent: it can fly!

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As we all know, Disney Classics are coming out as live-action films quicker than anything – maybe not as quick as Marvel at the minute, but you get my point. From ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to the waiting of the new ‘Lion King’; ‘Dumbo’ has been released as a live-action film to reminisce all the way back to 1941. I don’t know about anyone else, but ‘Dumbo’ hasn’t been one that I always jump too when I watch Disney Classics, but after watching this remake, it only intrigues me to re-watch the film I’ve seen so many years ago! As it’s been a while, I can’t comment on the similarities between the two, but I do believe, as you would always assume, Tim Burton has put his magical twist to reinvent this wonderful tale.

This is truly a beautiful tale; it is so emotional! The graphics are phenomenal in bringing in the life of the circus, you become invested in this adorable little elephant. An elephant whose emotions are felt by the whole audience, and you can’t not have a little tear up when he’s feeling down. And understandably so! This elephant goes through a lot!

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Furthermore, I thought the addition of these excellent actors who pave the way for Dumbo’s journey is also magnificent. The two children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) Farrier have an adorable love for the elephant as we watch them teach him how to fly. And I cannot forget the flawed character of the circus leader, Max Medici, whose want for greed and money, transfers into him discovering the need of a family. I only mention this character due to the brilliance of its actor, Danny DeVito, bringing this character to life in the forefront of the circus. But also, he has the comical unwanted duo sketch with the rebellious monkey. All the personalities in this film have deeper real-life challenges, which only brings the characters to life in a more realistic way on screen. This is not only a film of an elephant, but one of a family in a circus altogether.

DUMBO

This remake definitely has a deeper emotional moral embedded into the film. It feels real to watch, making it become even more hard-hitting of how animals can be treated. It’s a film that paints a moral of looking after our animals and ending animal cruelty. Don’t be expecting a film to have a good laugh, instead it becomes one of drama and chaos, but brilliance and satisfying to the end. Watch as all the characters develop in spirit and personality throughout the film, as new enemies rise and old challenges have to be faced. If that doesn’t make you want to watch this magical film, just watch the sheer spirit in little Dumbo and his feather.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

A biography of one of the most well-known bands in history: Queen. Revolving around the tale of the lead singer, Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek). The film follows the story of how Queen created their brilliant songs and albums, how their band was born and how they reached Live Aid in 1985 from an extremely bumpy, but musically-successful road.

Some of the classic Queen songs brought to screen, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘I Want to Break Free’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ etc. I did enjoy the development of the albums, especially the creating of the songs in the recording studios which was fun and creative with experimental musicals that made Queen’s music so unique and classic. Although, I have to admit, quite a lot of the songs were suddenly cut off, leaving me singing into the next scene… I was also hoping that the film would incorporate and intertwine real-life videos of Queen into the film, but sadly that didn’t happen – I just felt it would make it more authentic. However, saying this all the actors played their parts bringing their characters to screen visually as if Queen were all still alive today.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by this film. It just didn’t reach the potential of the hype surrounding the film. Freddie Mercury was painted in quite a bad light, but then again it’s a biography so perhaps that was the truth of it all. But I felt like it shattered the reality of the great Queen band with a lot of squabbling and selfish demanding from the lead singer. The film was also very fast-paced and a bit misleading at times, you sort of had to read between the lines to understand some aspects. But also I don’t know if this was done this way because maybe the truth wasn’t found to be so specific with Mercury’s life in such secrecy when he was alive? Maybe the unsure elements needed to be there for the audience to make their own assumptions. Overall, it seemed Mercury’s personal life presumed to be lost in “the wrong crowd” as they say, rather than actually understanding anything from his point of view. On the other hand, you can tell which of the character’s real personas have had an impact on the film and have had their own say.

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I guess the reality of this grand band wasn’t as smooth-sailing as believed. Therefore, the film was very drama-driven and not as much as the music-making as I thought it would be. But the music in it was thoroughly enjoyable and fun. Sadly, the film just wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. However, I didn’t hate it, I just don’t know if I’d be rushing to watch it again.

Instant Family (2019)

‘Instant Family’ follows the real-life story of a couple who, in a snap decision, decide to adopt from the foster-care system. The film follows a comical, fast-pace, enjoyable film of a new family. Initially, wanting to adopt a child, they end up fostering a teenager and two other younger siblings. The family fly through the ‘honeymoon phase’ as the new happy family, to crash and hit the realistic struggles these children have gone through and the hardship of entering a different family. The parents hit the realities and struggles of new parenthood and the worries of replacing parents they already have.

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I really enjoyed this film. The actors and actresses are all phenomenal. With Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne at the centre, they execute the plot line brilliantly. I also loved that it was a film that could go anywhere, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and I was happy to go along with the rollercoaster. The whole film feels very realistic with understandable struggles. But not to worry, it also captures the comedy well and makes a heart-warming, sweet film. The movie got me giggling at quite a lot of moments. Wahlberg and Byrne bounce off each other in such an excellent comical way, they add a lot to the film. As do the social workers at the foster-care orientation and social support groups, particularly Karen (Octavia Spencer) who was a great character.

Instant Family

The children are brilliant in the film: Lizzy (Isabela Moner), Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz). Lizzy seems to be more of the centre of the film, the 15-year-old who has adapted to the mother of her two younger siblings. She is the one who finds it the hardest to adapt into a different family, feeling unloved and alone. Then, there’s Juan, an overly sensitive boy, who seems to spend most of the film worried or crying. However, he is the source of some comical moments and he is a great character to watch. Finally, Lita, the youngest of them all. Very stubborn and loud, Lita only wants to eat crisps and nothing else. Being the sole main reason of the film, they really add some genuine and real struggles for children and the realities of some foster children’s backgrounds.

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‘Instant Family’ is a thoroughly enjoyable film. As I said before, extremely fast-pace, I was a little confused at the beginning of who people were and where they are, but soon enough these sort of things don’t matter and I understand why time wasn’t spent on it to clarify. Instead, the film is about a new family and the adjustments they are having to make. In a loving, chaotic adventure a family try to join as one, but with rejections and difficulties along the way, you’ll enjoy the ride as a normal comical family appears.