2017 favourites



So 2017 is nearly over, and again, I'm quite glad to see the back of it. I've had some sad times this year, but there have been positives too. I got my first proper nine-to-five job (in a library, which is nice) I've visited some new places (Dubrovnik and Edinburgh) I've been a bridesmaid at my friend's wedding and been paid for a published piece of writing for the first time ever (it was 500 words on carpets but you've got to start somewhere!) I've also had some nice times with family and friends. In terms of films and books I've not read a lot this year really, and there have been almost no films to get me excited - but TV has been decent. Here's my run-down of my favourite new reads and watches for 2017:


TV Series'

Game of Thrones (Series 7)

Lets start with the TV event of the year. Game of Thrones season is a weird time for my family. I seem to spend most of my time during the month and a bit when it's being shown, waiting excitedly for the next episode, discussing the series in great detail with anyone who watches it, and living in dread of spoilers from prematurely leaked episodes. I'm much too invested.


Roots



One of the best acted, most exciting period dramas I've watched in a long time. It was horrible but uplifting at the same time, and I cried a lot. I don't understand why they're not making another series - even if they went off Haley's book, there's so far you could take the story. Series one took the family from the early days of American slavery to the end of the Civil War, but there's enough interesting history there (WW1, the depression, the Civil Rights movement) to keep the story going for generations yet.

Lovesick

A quirky rom-com series with likeable characters despite the weird premise. Read my review here.


Alias Grace



Another Netflix find. The dramatisation of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, earlier this year, was the big discussion starter. But although I loved the book and the adaptation was great, as a series, I found (the other Atwood) Alias Grace more watchable. Based on true events, it's the story of a servant girl who appears to have killed her employer and his housekeeper. But has she? With a mostly female writing/directing/producing team it's a very female driven story all round. It's grim and dark but I thought it was great.


Gogglesprogs (Series 2)



With a lot of depressing stuff out in the real world this year, Gogglesprogs was like a little ray of sunshine, and it made me laugh and cry and feel better every week. A version of Gogglebox (which was also back on form this series) it's basically just an hour of British kids watching TV and making comments. But they've got a lovely bunch. My favourites are the little Welsh brother and sister and the little girl with glasses who cries at everything. Oh and that gang of boys who look a bit laddish but are actually quite sweet.


Banished



I watched this on Netflix a couple of months back when I was desperately looking for something to sink my teeth into. A 'gritty' Jimmy McGovern period drama based around a group of convicts who've just been deported to Australia, I've got to be honest, it was pretty terrible and I don't know why I liked it so much. It was full of dark, depressing stuff and it wasn't particularly realistic for all of that. But there was something about the humour in it (both intentional and unintentional) that made it massively enjoyable for me. And kind of addictive.



Peaky Blinders (Series 4)



While I found series 3 a bit of a let down, this series was back on form. I couldn't wait for each new episode, and however bad Tommy gets (he really is a terrible person) I love seeing him take both his family and his enemies in hand. The girls don't have much of time in it, but they're all tough, well-rounded characters at least. I've gone off Ada but I still like Lizzie and Polly and May and Jessie. Even Linda. 

Books


I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith


I read Dodie Smith's classic novel for the first time this year and I was glad I finally did, although sad I hadn't read it as a teenager. A bit Jane Austen-y, a bit young adult and an easy, enjoyable read. (Read my book and film review here)


Sofia Khan is Not Obliged
by Aiysha Malik

A new, Bridget Jones-y romantic comedy novel, it made me laugh and cry and had likeable characters and a relate-able heroine. A quick read, good fun and a good new author to look out for.  (Full review here)


Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson-Levine

Another one I wish I'd discovered as a teen, a really quick, enjoyable read and probably my favourite thing I read this year. (Book vs film review here)


Howl's Moving Castle
by Diana Wynne-Jones

Always nice to discover a new book from a favourite author, and although this is a kids book, and not as good as Diana Wynne-Jones' Chrestomanci series, it got me out of a reading slump and I really enjoyed it.


Films

Beauty and the Beast



Nothing's got me that excited in the film world this year, but I couldn't help liking Beauty and the Beast. It's got nothing on the original, but it was fun. (Review here


Hidden Figures



I re-watched this again yesterday, and it's fab. La La Land and Moonlight took centre stage at the Oscars this year, but this deserved more credit. I never thought I'd have any interest in a film about Maths and NASA but it's such a great story with great performances, a great soundtrack (and great clothes!) and it's all true. Definitely one to watch. 


Stage

War Horse



We went to see War Horse at the Liverpool Empire for my Mum's birthday and it was amazing. The way they do the horses is incredible. Maybe it was slightly too long, but just for the amazing puppetry (and the music) it's worth seeing.




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