This bumper issue of What I'm Watching... gives you the low down on all the TV shows I've been hooked on over the past few weeks. And as we've been watching loads of movies lately I've decided to include some film recommendations for the first time! Whoop whoop! So grab a notepad and buckle up...
This series is based on a true story. Eric Bana is the truly despicable John who appears to be the dream man but in reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I binge watched this show and wasn’t disappointed by the stellar performances by the cast. I’m off to watch the documentary to see how dirty John really in real life...
The 6 part mini series of the famous Victor Hugo book (which just happens to be my favourite musical) aired in January but it has been sitting on my digi box waiting for a few quiet evenings. It didn’t disappoint. Dominic West is an excellent cast to play the lead role of Jean Val Jean, a man living in the shadow of a petty theft which ruined his life, while Lily Collin’s portrayal of the fall of Fantine is powerfully understated and haunting. And just to make you even more excited Olivia Coleman’s performance is, as always, outstanding. Catch it on BBC iPlayer.
When a GP is brutally murdered in front her child in a busy children’s playground, a man hunt begins for a local psychiatric patient. But when the man is found dead and the police begin to receive mysterious messages from ‘the ghost detective’ the police being to suspect there is more to the murder than they first believed. This was an ok show. I found Indira Varma’s (you probably know her better as Luther’s dead wife) portrayal of a neurotic 38yr old police officer who has just been dumped by her boyfriend and panicking over her body clock both bizarre and cliched. Phillip Glenister actually did a very decent job of playing a detective suffering with anxiety, but the link between his condition and the plot felt a little forced. Good background watching (except some bits are subtitled) but I don’t expect a second season.
Riverdale continues to be my guilty pleasure. Unfortunately I’m in the position where I’m all caught up with the show so I’m forced to wait each week for a new episode, which is painful. The show continues to be completely ludicrous but it’s a great bit of escapism.
This documentary focusing on claims that Michael Jackson abused young boys has just aired and social media has gone mental. People are 50/50 split between supporting Jackson and burning him at the stake. It’s the international version of Brexit. This programme was incredibly difficult to watch and potentially a little too graphic at times, but how anyone can be left in any doubt that Jackson was a predator who abused little children as young a 7 then they need their heads examined.
When a Egyptian born chemical engineer is potentially linked to a sucide bomb in North Africa he is apprehended on his way back to the USA leaving his family baffled by his disappearance. The action flips between his wife’s (Reese Witherspoon) desperate search for the truth and the brutal off the books torture in Morocco witnessed by an uneasy CIA agent (Jake Gyllenhaal). This was a decent watch but rather depressing. Reese Witherspoon’s performance was particularly impressive.
When Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns from Hong Kong unwell she attributes it to jet lag but within 48hrs she is dead leaving her Husband (Matt Damon) distraught. Soon cases begin to appear and spread across the globe sparking a global pandemic. I love a medical thriller and this film was particularly good at the science bit which is usually brushed over in favour of action. The ensemble cast was immense too with Kate Winslet, Lawrence Fishburn and Jude Law to name a few.
On a routine journey through space on course to a new home planet two passengers are awakened early from their cryo sleep pods. Realising they have woken too early, with no way to get back into cyrosleep and 90years left until they reach their new plant the two have to come to terms with the fact that the rest of their lives will be spent alone on this ship. And to add insult the ship is beginning to malfunction around them. I quite enjoyed this film, it was an original idea and easy watch - plus the special effects looked epic on our new TV!
Another space film but this time set on the International Space Station orbiting Earth. The team of International astronauts aboard receive samples from Mars containing the first ever alien life form. The alien is no more than a microscopic cell which shows no sign of life but when the team adjust the atmosphere in the lab to mimic the atmosphere on Mars thousands of years ago the cell wakes up - with devastating consequences. This film has Ryan Reynolds in, which obviously automatically makes it a hit in my book but Ryan aside this was a pretty good watch with a few jumpy moments. The ending was clever if a little predictable.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.