What to Watch – Summer 2017

As the nights start to draw in, it’s the perfect time to get comfy with your beloved/fluffy pet/preferred beverage on the sofa and watch some great TV. Here are my picks from the past few months:

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Last Chance U

I loved this series and was delighted to have season two back on my screen. It felt slightly different of course; the effects of the on-pitch brawl last season (not a spoiler – the first series actually begins with it) are still being felt, athletes and coaches are reactive to their portrayals on screen and the associated ‘fame’ that goes with it and the breakaway star (and heart) of it all, Miss Brittany Wagner, announces she’s leaving. It hammers home the last chances for the athletes, with some overcoming their past and some unable to escape the cycle they’re stuck in. Expect tears.

Available on Netflix

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Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press

A documentary on the Gawker vs Hulk Hogan case that saw Hogan winning $140 million in damages. It starts with a simple sex tape/invasion of privacy ruling and ends in the destruction of a company with multi-millionaires funding lawsuits to effectively silence dissenting or critical voices. It’s a fascinating (and sometimes flawed) look at the American legal system and first amendment rights and the scary AF notion that people with all the money can win at everything.

Available on Netflix

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Game of Thrones

The greatest show on Earth. No, really. I don’t think there’s enough hyperbole to describe this season. It had e v e r y t h i n g with some episodes taking my breath away and others making me shout at the television like a hooligan. The production, the cinematography, the special effects, the budgets (!) are incomparable to anything else out there on television right now. Forget that it’s a fantasy series and forgo the snobbery of people who proclaim they’ve never seen it (it doesn’t make you a better person y’know *eye roll*) to envelope yourself in winter. It’s not coming, it’s here.

Available on Sky Atlantic

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Ozark

Imagine Breaking Bad without the drugs, cancer and science in the desert, add the Ozarks (actually filmed in Georgia for the tax breaks) and money laundering and brilliant performances from Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. Seriously good.

Available on Netflix

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Atypical

An eighteen year old decides to start dating throwing his family into chaos at his new found independence. Not unusual but it presents challenges as he is also is on the autistic spectrum. It’s funny, touching and insightful to life with autism – as much as it can be – with penguins. I love the relationship between brother and sister too: “My sister doesn’t let anyone beat me up. Except herself.”

Available on Netflix

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Glow

This had me laughing out loud alone. A quirky look at the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling with a fantastic retro soundtrack and heartwarming performances. Watch it for the brilliant costumes and parody of stereotypes, stay for the sisterhood.

Available on Netflix

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How The World Made America

I really wish I could make every single racist bigot watch this and then see their ideology crumble. A fantastic series documenting the immigration patterns of different ethnic groups from across the world to the US, merging with historical events. The interviews with descendants of key figures in the making of America are fascinating. It poses the question of what is it to be American, and can you be anti-immigrant when your entire nation is founded on the backs of those very same immigrants?

Available on History

Stuck On Repeat… July and August 2017

Summer seems to have had a mellowing effect on my musical tastes, because everything is quite chilled on this installment of #stuckonrepeat. For the full playlist, click here.

I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen

Edgy with synthesisers, but still that late night-dark road, rock n roll that I love. You can’t beat a tune from the Boss. The original and the best version.

Favourite lyric: Hey little girl is your daddy home/Did he go away and leave you all alone/I got a bad desire/I’m on fire

Love Is Blindness – The Damn Truth

Heard on an advert and I shamefully never realised that it was a U2 song. Love the vocals on this version, there’s an urgency to the desire which borders on hysteria.

Favourite lyric: Love is blindness/I don’t want to see/Won’t you wrap the night/Around me?

Hushabye Mountain – Julie London

A classic lullaby that stuck with me for years and then I heard it on an advert for Audi and fell for its charms again. The sibilance alone is a joy to hear.

Favourite lyric: The winds of night so softly are sighing/Soon they will fly your troubles to sea.

Aerial Ocean – The Pines

I have to thank Jack Savoretti for introducing me to this beautiful tune. It’s ethereal and wistful and reminds me of big sunset skies.

Favourite lyric: So low and behold we’re all just silhouettes in the sunset

You Do Something To Me – Skunk Anansie

I already loved the Paul Weller version but together with Skin’s voice this transcends into something vulnerable and delicate, but could still rip you apart.

Favourite lyric: You do something wonderful/Then chase it all away/Mixing my emotions/That throws me back again

My Eyes – The Lumineers

I heard this in the final moments of the last ever episode of Reign and adored the melancholy nature of it. It sounds like the song of a disappointed lover, knowing they will be hurt again.

Favourite lyric: Oh, the devil’s inside/You opened the door/You gave him a ride

Unforgettable – French Montana, Swae Lee, Major Lazer

The sound of the summer, laid back and sexy. I prefer the Major Lazer remix to give it a bit of a punch.

Favourite lyric: I’m gonna catch the rhythm while she push up against me/Ooh, and she tipsy

Thinking Of A Place – The War On Drugs

Someone shared this on Twitter and I found I couldn’t stop playing it. It changes and moves as if exploring the soul. Ten minutes of utter bliss that I need to play very loudly on a road trip somewhere warm.

Favourite lyric: Love me every night/Drown me in the water/Hold my hand and there’s something turning me

Still The Same – Bob Seger

Thanks to Ozark for this one, it’s the song that Tuck plays on stop on the jukebox and I can see why. It’s borderline honkytonk mixed with a bit of darkness.

Favourite lyric: You’re still damn good, no one’s gotten to you yet

What are your current musical earworms? Let me know in the comments!