Showing posts from December, 2016

Favourites of 2016

So 2016 has finally come to a close, and I'm going to be a whinger like the rest of the world and say I'm glad to see the back of it. But it's not been all bad, and at least there's been some good TV. Below is my year in Television, film and books - not always new things, sometimes just new discoveries.

TV: Favourite new discoveries:
Black Mirror

My cousin has been telling me how good this is for ages, but somehow I only got round to watching it recently. There are three seasons so far (I've watched the first two Channel 4 series' and the first episode of the new Netflix season) but you can mix up the order because they're all stand-alones with totally different characters and worlds. Each story is set in a different, dystopian near-future, where people are causing problems, usually by misusing slightly scary everyday technology. My favourites so far are the episode where everyone wears play-back contacts in their eyes (which is clearly not good for your men…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Play Review

(Mild SPOILERS ahead)
Over the last couple of months I've been re-reading the Harry Potter series (see here) with the intention of swotting up for my trip to see The Cursed Child. My sister and I got cheap tickets via Pottermore when they first went on sale, and so I'd had months to get used to the idea of going to see it (read: get myself thoroughly over-excited). Despite the widespread release of the script I'd managed to avoid spoilers for the most part, but I still didn't reach the theatre with a totally open mind. Everyone I'd spoken to who had read the play (at least, those who were devoted fans of the books) seemed to be of a similar opinion. Although they told me nothing about the plot I sensed eye-rolling disapproval and mild frustration. When I asked what they thought in general, the answer was always the same: "I'm sure it'll be better on stage". I hoped they were right. The critics' reviews had been great after all, and plays are…

Re-reading Harry Potter #7 The Deathly Hallows

So, it's Christmas tomorrow (!!!) and I've finally come to the end of my Harry Potter re-read. I'm a month off target but better late than never! And I'm glad I took the time to re-read the series. It's been a while and it was nice to properly immerse myself in Harry's world again. I'd forgotten just how rich and exciting the stories are, and how much I love the characters. Out of all the books, Deathly Hallows was possibly the biggest surprise of all. When I usually think of the final book it conjures up nostalgic memories of queuing at midnight, of my mum crying her eyes out reading Dobby's death aloud in a back bedroom on holiday in Ireland (we only brought one copy as a family and no-one wanted to wait to read it), it brings back anger over particular deaths (She could have at least given Lupin and Tonks a death scene!) and irritation over that cheesy epilogue and the odd heaven-ish chapter at King's Cross Station. But as a novel in itself, I t…

Favourite Films for Christmas

As we're into advent, I thought it was about time for the obligatory Christmas themed post. I haven't  watched a Christmas film yet this year, but the below ten films are on my winter watch-list. No, Elf and Home Alone aren't on there. Call me a Grinch if you must - but he's not on there either.

The Nostalgic one: Nativity! What's it about? A Christmas-hating primary school teacher's boast gets out of hand and soon the whole of Coventry believe that Hollywood are coming to film the school nativity play. Who's in it? Martin Freeman, Miss Trunchbull, Christina from Ugly Betty and Alan Carr. And lots of very cute and not-actually-annoying kids. Why do  I love it? It's  heart-warming and funny, there are great songs and it sends me right back to being in Primary school at Christmas. I was Mary one year, don't you know. 
The Musical: White Christmas What's it about? Two ex-soldiers turned entertainers join forces with a female double act and aim to pu…

Re-reading Harry Potter #6 The Half-Blood Prince

I'm getting to the end of my Harry Potter series re-read, having now finished Half-Blood Prince. I know that this one is a lot of people's favourite, and although it's personally not one of mine I can see why it's so well loved. This is the one where the romance kicks in but you can also feel momentum building, pulling us towards the end of the series. I really enjoyed it.

New Thoughts this time:

Re-reading Harry Potter 6 immediately after 5 was interesting. First thing I noticed was that Harry seems to have got over Sirius's death very quickly (two weeks??) - especially considering it was kind of his fault, and how cut up about it he was initially. Not that I mind, really, as it's a relief to have Harry more emotionally stable than he was in Order of the Phoenix. But still. Second thing I realised, was that I actually don't mind Harry/Ginny. It's done so badly in the film, but even in the book it used to niggle at me, I always thought Ginn…