Category Archives: TV shows

jamie_made_in_chelsea_series_2_jules_heath

The Made in Chelsea drinking game

I’m at the stage where most of my friends are either getting married or already are married. This means I have a comprehensive knowledge of what to expect from hen dos, favours and songs all wedding bands play (My Sharona is a key stage in all nuptial celebrations).

It also means I have watched my friends fall in love and become husbands and wives, and that has doubled my number of friends immediately. Wonderful. And in one particular case it means my best friend from uni, Vinay, has had to start watching his wife’s TV shows, including Made in Chelsea. Every time I see Vin he complains to me about Made in Chelsea, which he should know is idiotic as I am obviously a massive fan.

He’s also taken to texting me about it…

photo

On receiving this I had two startling realisations:

1. Vinay should give up his career as an accountant and become a reviewer for the Radio Times
2. Maybe Made in Chelsea needs to be made more fun for long-suffering people who have to watch it but don’t have a clue what’s going on

Enter Hedges (that’s me). I’ve devised a little Made in Chelsea drinking game, because if you’re not getting wasted on a Monday night what’s the point of life, really? This is a really novel idea. I’m sure no one has thought of it. You’re welcome, internet.

Every time these events happen, take a classy slurp of your champagne/gin/White Lightning:

- Someone says, “I’ve got to get out of London.” (They’ve got it like, soo tough)

article-2343503-1A5F1E95000005DC-52_634x371

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Mark Francis hands out some lifestyle tips:

- Jamie Biscuits tells a girl he loves them.

– Alex Mytton’s hair looks ridiculous:article-2599272-1CEADFDF00000578-45_634x357

- Louise cries:
louise thomson crying made in chelseaSource

- Spencer looks smug (you’re gonna be wasted):

- A tiny, ugly dog appears at an inappropriate time. Down your drink if it’s with Binky or Cheska:
Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 13.36.17

- Sam Peg-Teeth makes you cringe:
sam-flirting

- Lucy Watson shows her disgust with a facial expression:

– Someone doesn’t get invited to something:

You Should Be Watching… Nashville

Terrible photoshopping aside, Nashville is great!
Terrible photoshopping aside, Nashville is great!
Terrible photoshopping aside, Nashville is great!

When I saw the trailer for Nashville, I felt a little bit sick. Hayden Panettiere (aka one of my worsts)? Country music? No thank you, E4. But then I saw one of my faves – Connie Britton. I badly fell in love with Mrs Coach Connie Britton during my love affair with Friday Night Lights, and I trusted her to not pick a dud of a show to work on. So I elected it worthy of a watch. I know, big privilege for Nashville right?

The show is based around the country music scene in Nashville. I hate country music, but I can kind of get over it for the show. For some reason I don’t find the country music on the show too offensive. The main characters are Rayna James (a name I now cannot say without attempting a poor southern American accent) and Juliette Barnes, played by Britton and Panettiere respectively. Rayna and Juliette pretty much hate each other, as they represent to each other what they hate about the industry: Rayna is old-school and tired, Juliette is over-produced and tween-friendly. And they are really good at hating each other. It’s fun to watch.

Throw into the mix Rayna’s love triangle with hubby Teddy and lead guitarist Deacon (who is hot) and you have the start of something beautiful. It’s all high-drama and rather unrealistic. The hair styling is no exception to this. But it’s all light-hearted and gripping in a way I hadn’t experienced since the halcyon days of The O.C. (Summer & Seth 4eva).

So if you’re looking for something easy to watch to pass the time, you can’t go far wrong with Nashville. If you’re looking for something to fill the time until The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are back on, well, then this probably isn’t for you (but I do badly love those shows too).

Rayna’s kids are now going to play me out…

X Factor: Live Shows Week 1

Gary Barlow storms off the X Factor after Ryland Clark is saved at deadlock.
Gary Barlow storms off the X Factor after Ryland Clark is saved at deadlock.

Ah, the first week of live shows on the X Factor. It goes on for hours, no one can sing and dance at the same time and the first person is kicked off.

This week was “Olympic Heroes” theme. It was the crappest theme, only beaten by Big Band Week in X Factor crap theme history.

Firstly though we found out which wildcard would go through to live shows. Unsurprisingly it was the world’s most nervous cruise ship singer, Christopher Malone. *lackluster fanfare*

Oh yeah, and then One Direction came on stage and were really grumpy at Dermot for five minutes, and then they mooched off. Weird.

Here’s what the little toe rags sang this week…

Christopher Maloney

Hero by Mariah Carey

Z Factor: Beyond tedious. I suddenly really dislike this guy after learning he used to be a cruise ship singer. The shakes are an act, people!

James Arthur
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Z Factor: I love James Arthur. He looks so cute with all his make up on. Missed the glasses though. My glasses watch commence. #glasseswatch

Jade Ellis
Hero by Enrique Iglesias

Z Factor: Totally beige. She’s alright as a person I’m sure, but I am already bored by hearing about how much she wants a garden. 

District3
Simply the Best by Tina Turner

Z Factor: Also hated this. The bands need serious work. Sadly, they have Louis as a mentor. And Louis is no longer the producers favourite judge. More on that later…

Ella Henderson
Rule the World by Take That

Z Factor: Amazing. I love Ella!

Melanie Masson
With a Little Help from My Friends by The Beatles

Z Factor: Really don’t get this broad. This was pretty much my cue to look at Facebook, make a cup of tea, chat to Andrew. Anything but watch her.

MK1

Champions/Everyone’s a Winner by Chris Brown/Hot Chocolate

Z Factor: I love MK1. Espesh Charlie. What a cutie. However, this song wasn’t great. I think they’ll go on to do way better stuff. Or I hope so.

Carolynne Poole
Starship by Nicki Minaj

Z Factor: Totally over produced. She was like a Thunderbird tottering around out there. You could almost see her saying to herself, “OK, five steps to the right, in front of the wind machine for 10 beats, then back to the middle”.

Kye Sones
Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson

Z Factor: Poor Kye. You deserve so much better than this song.

Lucy Spraggan
Mountains

Z Factor: Self-penned songs already wearing thin over here, Luce.

Union J
Don’t Stop Me Now

Z Factor: A travesty. Terrible. Awful. But they’re cute, right? Right!

Rylan Clark
Gold by Spandau Ballet

Z Factor: This space is intentionally left blank.

Jahmene Douglas
Imagine by John Lennon
Z Factor: Aww Jahmeme. The nerves are gone (almost) and a beautiful butterfly is emerging.

So on Sunday night Leona Lewis came to bray at everyone. Pop’s equivalent to pan pipes. And Neyo came on and sang really badly. Then it took about five hours to whittle down those who were saved to two people left, who were not safe. Carolynn and Ryland. Obvs not the producers dream. The safest thing would be to take it to deadlock as that’s the only way Ryland would get through (and the producers really want to keep Ryland I reckon). Sadly this seemed to confuse ol’ Louis and he said the wrong name, and then changed his mind. Oh boy. Dermot almost pooed himself on stage and Gary walked off in a huff.

All in all, a shambolic first week.

X Factor – Week 9

Adam Burridge uses the tried and tested "signature hat" move (see: Olly Murs, Matt Cardle) for his X Factor 2012 bootcamp audition
Adam Burridge uses the tried and tested “signature hat” move (see: Olly Murs, Matt Cardle) for his X Factor 2012 bootcamp audition

After a lull in X Factor posts, I am back and ready to do business with bootcamp. Cue ticking clock and arial shots of England’s most ugly city – Liverpool.

The first round of auditions at bootcamp saw 1/3 of the suckers cut without singing. Seemed pretty harsh on the part of the producers but hey, IT MAKES GREAT TV SO SCREW THE CONTESTANTS. Who needs contestants anyway? Oh yeah…

Then they put the acts into little groups and made them do sing offs in front of the judges. The list of songs the acts could sing seemed to be confined to Maroon 5’s Moves Like Mick Jagger or Aretha Franklin’s Respect. Easy. I’m not going to go through how each group did because, well, that’s the job of the editors of the show. Let’s just go through the highs and lows…

HIGHS

The campest collective known to man, Ryland Clark, Gathan Cheema and Ottavio Columbro, had major “creative differences”. What can only be described as a diva-off occured backstage. Gathan seemed to rate himself as a a) very good singer b) very dedicated worker. Unbeknownst to him he is actually just a berk. Ottavio spoke about the breathy, whispery quality to his voice (creepy) and Ryland knew he was crap at singing so just got pissed.

Watch it unfold here…

There was a pretty good audition from X Factor heart throb Adam Burridge, Jake Quickenden and Robbie Hace. Except for the fact that Robbie clearly didn’t have his heart in it for whatever reason, dropped out half way through and walked off. Adam and Jake sang on through like troopers. Both went through.

LOWS

Lucy Spraggan, a contestant on X Factor 2012, reunited with her guitar.

Watching Lucy Spragging royally screw up her first round auditions at bootcamp. Nicolle PussyCatDolls said it was “a lil’ awkward at times.” However, screwing up at this stage doesn’t seem to matter too much as she was put through and went on to sing her own song. It got her through to Judges’ Houses. It does beg the question of how she will cope with singing covers every week if she does make it to live shows but meh, not our problem guys!

The other low for me was watching Jehmene Douglas suffer an extreme bout of anxiety.

Jahmene Douglas, a contestant on X Factor 2012

The poor guy seems like he’d be nervy at the best of times and has an endearing little nervous giggle, but man… he really freaked out at Bootcamp. His first round went badly because he basically doesn’t know pop songs and didn’t stick up for himself when his group picked a song to do in the sing off. He ended up screeching his way through Maroon 5. One day Adam Levine will be the death of all of us. But anyway, the judges put him through (notice a pattern here?) and then he went on to do well. He’s through to judges’ houses. Again, one can’t help but wonder if he will be able to cope with the constant scrutiny at live shows. But eh, since when was X Factor about the welfare of humans huh?

So there’s my brief round up of X Factor 2012 bootcamp stage. What about you – what were your highs and lows? Was it reading this post? Too bad, that’s 5 minutes you’ll never get back.

Until next time, losers.

Louis is definitely going to make all the groups sit on bar stools and stand up at the key change for 8 weeks, isn’t he?

You Should Be Watching… Girls

The key cast of HBO's Girls
The key cast of HBO’s Girls

Girls was one of HBO’s hit shows of 2012, and it’s about to come to the UK. Created, written, directed and staring Lena Dunham, Midas touch Judd Apatow is also very much a part of the creative team Girls. Much has been made of the fact that Dunham is 26-years-old herself. Because of this, I find Girls is very fresh, very realistic and not trying to please everyone. It speaks of a very specific time, about a very specific kind of experience.

Girls follows a group of early-20s “girls” as they try and establish themselves in their careers, relationships and friendships in New York. Obvious and somewhat lazy comparisons have been drawn with Sex and the City, but Girls is smarter and much more raw than SATC. All the characters have major flaws, their friendships aren’t perfect and they make bad – no, terrible – choices.

Girls is a “dramedy” (ugh) and with great storylines and lots of humour. It’s my new favourite show. A thinking female’s New Girl, if you will.

Hannah, played by Lena Dunham

The pilot episode sees Hannah’s (played by Dunham) parents cutting off their financial assistance. “We can’t keep bankrolling your groovy lifestyle!” they tell her. Hannah responds as any 23-year-old entitled ‘creative’ would respond – she attempts to get high, turns up at her parent’s hotel room and lies on the floor comparing herself to Flaubert. OK, so Hannah is a bit extreme and that scene doesn’t exactly paint her in a good light, but she’s also likeable because of her neurotic and histronic personality.

Marnie, played by Allison Williams

The rest of the series sees Hannah try to make it as a writer in New York, and living with her best friend from uni – sorry, college – Marnie. Marnie is going out with her college boyfriend who she’s grown out of, and works in a gallery. Marnie despairs of Hannah and her flaky, self-obsessed personality. But Marnie has her own problems too…

Jessa, played by Jemima Kirke

There’s also Jessa, Hannah and Marnie’s friend. I pretty much hate Jessa. She likes to think she’s so crazy and hedonistic and I get that she’s meant to be a bit… irritating. But it’s too much. Maybe that’s great writing but meh, I could do without her.

Shoshanna, played by Zosia Memet

Shoshanna rounds off the four girls, and is my totes fave. She is obsessed with her life being like SATC, except she’s an extremely uptight virgin. She says totally cringey things (like “totes fave”. That was an in-joke and you probably just missed it), and is wonderfully played by Zosia Memet. Most of the laughs, for me anyway, come from Soshanna. She’s so naive and sweet, and in awe of Jessa and her friends.

Girls is very easy to watch, and I would say that it touches on themes that would definitely speak to 20-somethings at the moment. And although it sounds very girl-focused, it’s completely un-girlie. I said it above, but this is in no way SATC – thank God.

X Factor 2012 – Week Two

It's a no from me - X Factor UK, Aug 25th
It’s a no from me – X Factor UK, Aug 25th

This week X Factor opened in London, with Rita Ora as a guest judge. So far, so blah.

First up to audition was an Essex boy called Ryland Clark. Fresh from Katie Price’s reality TV show, Ryland was ready to show the panel his talent. Sadly, he didn’t have any unless you count being self-obsessed and vapid as a talent. Luckily the programme focused on this Essex idiot for the first quarter for the show. Tiresome. Unfortunately Ryland got through to bootcamp. I have a real issue with the judges letting through all these talentless people who have NO chance – it’s patronising and tedious. And then I realise I have started taking the X Factor too seriously, and I have to readdress my values in life.

“Just look thoughtful but relaxed”. Kye at X Factor 2012 auditions

There was also Kye the chimney sweep. I like to think of him as a mash up between Olly Murs and Matt Cardle. And then I am sick on myself in abject horror at the thought. Kye only mentioned he was a chimney sweep about 15 times in 30 seconds – it’s like he – or the producers – was try to make a point. Anyway, he sang his version of Rita Ora’s R.I.P. and people freaking loved it. He’s probably going to do quite well.

Lucy at her audition.

Lucy from Sheffield played her own song, Last Night, which was pretty enjoyable. She’ll soon have all the joy crushed out of her. She’ll soon be made to be a “bit more adaptable” and “get out of her comfort zone” by singing songs by One Direction for Harry Styles week at live stages. Shame. The “suggested hashtags” managed to make the nicest part of X Factor so far cringe-inducing. I have a REAL hatred of X Factor’s suggested hashtags.  I will probably go on about this a lot over the course of my X Factor posts. Yeah, try not to get too excited guys.

James Arthur. Cheer up, mate.

For the last audition, Rita Ora had been replaced by Nicole Scherzinger. Continuity ERROR!

James Arthur had a sob story – the first of the series! So he had all the hallmarks of being good. And he was, in an X Factor-Matt-Cardle way. Boring is what I am saying here. He sang Tulisa’s song, ‘Young’, which made Tulisa very excited while she about all those extra downloads on iTunes she was going to get after it aired. CUE Coldplay ‘Fix You’ instrumental. James is now one of the favourites to win so far. I am yet to see anyone I really care about.

Did you have any faves this week? Any hashtag suggestions? The producers could reaaaallly do with them.

You Should Be Watching… Parks and Recreation

The cast of Parks and Recreation
The cast of Parks and Recreation

 

Just looking at the picture of the cast and I can feel a cheeky little smirk play upon my face. Creepy? Yes! But don’t just stand out there in the cold, get in on my creepy smirk too. Get watching Parks and Recs!

Parks and Recreation was originally concieved as a spin-off of The Office USA. Except it’s not really a spin-off. Sold? Yeah, thought not. Keep with me here. Parks and Recs keeps that Office style of “mockumentary”, with people despairing of each other while having their own private existential breakdowns. YAY! Now you feel happy, right?

The lead is Leslie Knopp, played by Amy Poehler (Mean Girls, Saturday Night Live), who is passionate to the point of obsessive about her job. She’s works in the parks department in local government for the small town of Pawnee. But Leslie is the only person in her department who loves her job or cares about parks, and she’s pretty much the only person in Pawnee who loves the town.

The other characters are a delicious mix of different eccentricities. They’re all played against Leslie’s relentless drive to serve Pawnee. There’s Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), Leslie’s boss. Ron HATES local government. I love watching Ron hate absolutely everything around him. The fact he has an excellent moustache helps too. Another of my favourites is ridiculous Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and his buffoon friend Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz), who display such a perfect level of self-obsessed and cringe-inducing behaviour that I find myself in cringe hysterics. And pretty glad I don’t have to work with them. I won’t go through every character, but I just love the mix of all the personalities set against the supposed mundane life in a local government office.

However down I am feeling, Parks and Recreation is guaranteed to make me cry with laughter. It celebrates the ridiculous and the absurd without being ridiculous. It definitely suits my sense of humour.

What’s your favourite TV comedy at the moment? Seen anything you could recommend to me (I’m always on the look out)? Let me know in the comments.

X Factor 2012 – Week One

The X Factor 2012 judges
The X Factor 2012 judges

The X Factor is back. I’m telling you, because the press for this season has been piss poor so it’s probably escaped people’s notice. And the fact that after a lackluster year last year, no one is exactly excited by it this year.

At the start of production, Simon Cowell obviously hadn’t picked a fourth judge so decided to do the selection process during production. Simon Cowell is so busy spending One Direction’s hard earned cash that he doesn’t have time to y’know, care. So we got to see Nicole Scherzinger – the resulting winner of this protracted job interview process – and Mel B take up a judge’s seat. Nicole was a total bore on a scale only previously seen by Carmen Electra on this year’s Britain’s Got Talent. This now makes me fear for the rest of the series. It’s going to be crap, isn’t it?

Tulisa was back. Could NOT care less about what she thinks about anything. Gary is alright, but you can kind of see the will to live seeping out of him in a very Dermot-esque way. Louis is a total simpleton. So that’s our judges line up for 2012. The guest judge, Mel B, was trying a bit too hard to be harsh. A lot has been made of how amazing she was, but I’m not sold. And Simon Cowell really cares what I think actually.

There were some mediocre contestants. Sheyi did some press that Nando’s had previously not dreamed of.

Ella Henderson – owner of the world’s largest fringe – did a song she wrote about her grandad. It was quite good, but I don’t reckon she’s going to win. There was also a kid that came on who seemed slightly socially awkward. Mel B bloody hated him, poor lil’ guy. That made me like him a bit more, but again, never going to win so ultimately a tedious waste of time.

Who else was there? Oh yeah, an old man who was very nice. My Mum liked him. But my Mum liked Gareth Gates so she’s no longer allowed to judge anything.

That was it really. So far, so soul-crushingly-boring.

Was there anything you saw on X Factor on Saturday you thought was enjoyable? Apart from the end credits.

Top 5 – Mad Men Characters

The cast of Mad Men (season 5)
The cast of Mad Men (season 5)

Mad Men is my all-time favourite TV show. It was love at first sight. I love the theme tune, the opening credits, the mise-en-scene, the characters, the scripts, the… I could go on. But let’s get down to what this post is all about: my top five Mad Men characters. There are potential spoilers here if you’re not up to date with Mad Men (season 5 finale).

1. Peggy Olson

Peggy Olson, played by Elizabeth Moss

Peggy is the character I always find I am rooting for. I think this is for two key reasons: she is often the character the show uses to explore attitudes towards women and their careers in the 1950s and 60s (admittedly there’s a wealth of fleshed-out female characters who also do this in Mad Men, but I think Peggy’s career has arguably been the most stratospheric rise). And the other reason is that Peggy is just so damn classy.

Characters in Mad Men go on journeys. They’re often quiet, subtle, only-hinted-at journeys, but they’re always going on. I love Peggy’s journey best out of all the characters in Mad Men. The illegitimate child with Pete, the battle with her matriarchal mother, her desire to be treated equally to men within the ad agencies and her quiet loyalty and love for someone she knows is fundamentally flawed – Don.

Peggy evokes such a loyalty from me that no other character has done in TV. She’s totes my number 1.

2. Sally Draper

Sally Draper, played by Kiernan Shipka

Sally Draper hasn’t had an easy life so far. For one she has the philandering Don Draper for a father, and for another she has a self-obsessed brat for a mother in Betty.

When Mad Men first started, Sally was a wee scrap of a thing with a lisp. Cute, and a scene-stealer for sure, but no real storylines to speak of aside from being able to make an punchy Old Fashioned for Don. Over the past five seasons, Sally has (I want to avoid the words “blossomed” or “developed” here, as they make me cringe) emerged as one of the most interesting characters on Mad Men. I love her complicated relationship with Betty – it’s so realistic of one between a teenage daughter and her mother. I love the simplicity of her love for Don, however misguided that may be. It’s such a realistic parent-child dynamic that they have set up.

I really enjoy watching Sally grow up and discover the adult world – both with positive and negative experiences. The scenes of her at The Codfish Ball (an episode that beautifully explores strained parent-child relationships) were some of the best Sally Draper moments so far.

3. Joan Holloway

Joan Holloway, played by Christina Hendricks

Do I need to say anything more? Joan is amazing – she is strong and vulnerable all at once. I think I will be preaching to the choir with Joan. Something Mad Men does so well is to have “good” characters do bad things, and vice versa. I think Joan, with the exception of Pete Campbell, is the prime example of this. I don’t ever quite know where Joan is coming from, and I like it.

4. Pete Campbell

Pete Campbell, played by Vincent Kartheiser

Pete Campbell is a grade-A douchebag, and man do I love him. I LOVE watching Vincent Kartheiser tell Pete’s story. As well as his all-round brattish personality, Pete has done many terrible things including rape, blackmail, essentially pimping out his employees and all of his extra-marital liaisons.

Pete is a mass of contradictions, and that’s what makes him brilliant. He is desperate to gain approval from Don, and yet his all-encompassing competitive nature means he often screws Don over. I love watching his arrogance played off against the fact that he is essentially completely miserable with his life. That all sounds quite negative, but I find it massively cathartic to watch his storyline unfold.

5. Roger Stirling

Roger Sterling, played by John Slattery

After all the heavy-going storylines, Roger is pretty much guaranteed to make me laugh. I love his don’t give a fuck attitude. I love how much he detests Pete. I freaking adored his acid trip storyline from season five, and his resulting epiphany. I find Roger’s love of Joan completely believable and one of the most genuine relationships within in the show (even though he has a funny way of showing it).

Disagree? Agree? Tell me in the comments!

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