Friday, 18 May 2018

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING • TWO

THE RAIN
I absolutely love anything to do with Scandinavia. I've seen quite a few foreign shows and they all seem to be shot with this sort of cinematic blue tinge, adding to the cold creepiness that is often symbolic of these types of European dramas. I was proper sucked into The Rain. So much so that I binged-watched it in two evenings... The synopsis is as follows: 'Six years after a terrible virus carried by the rain wiped out almost all humans in Scandinavia, two Danish siblings, Simone and Rasmus, emerge from the safety of their bunker to find all remnants of civilisation gone. Soon they join a group of young survivors and together set out on a danger-filled quest through abandoned Scandinavia, searching for any sign of life. Set free from their collective past and societal rules the group has the freedom to be who they want to be. In their struggle for survival, they discover that even in a post-apocalyptic world there’s still love, jealousy, coming of age, and many of the problems they thought they’d left behind with the disappearance of the world they once knew.' The show is Danish, but dubbed over with English, which surprisingly wasn't distracting at all. It has some wonderful acting, including the Danish equivalent of Richard Armitage (seriously, look up Mikkel Følsgaard, I'm a little bit in love). The story was left quite open-ended so I'm hoping there will be a second season to follow. If you start watching one series this weekend, let it be this one, you'll be hooked!

TASKMASTER
The newest series of Taskmaster is back on our screens and I couldn't be happier. If you've never heard of it - which you need to get with it because it's hilarious - it's basically a comedy panel game where Greg Davies (the Taskmaster) sets simple yet comedic tasks to five regular contestants, all of which are British comedians or personalities. Alex Horne is Greg's assistant, and his comedy is so bizarre but funny (he's actually the one who created/wrote the show but is the butt of most jokes). So far there have been 6 series and a Champion of Champions spin-off. Each episode starts with a prize task, where the contestants each donate a prize to offer up following a given theme e.g. their most prize possession, and the winner of the episode receives all of these prizes at the end of the show. Three or four pre-filmed tasks follow, usually taking place in and around the Taskmaster house. Tasks are delivered to the players in an envelope with a wax seal, which the player reads aloud: e.g. "Completely empty this bathtub – fastest wins". After the tasks are shown to the audience, the players justify their creative methods and argue to Greg – and among themselves – as to why they did best. After all the attempts at the task have been seen, judgement is passed by Davies and points are awarded (or players disqualified) accordingly. The final challenge is performed live in the studio. In the event of a tie, the winner is decided by a special tie-breaker task, which may either be pre-filmed or performed live. In addition to the prizes for each episode, at the end of each series a trophy is presented to the contestant who has scored the most points over the course of the entire series. From the second series onwards, the trophy took the form of a golden bust of Greg, which is kind of terrifying! It's just an all-round easy thing to sit down and have a giggle at. You can see all seasons on UKTV Play (highly recommend) and the newest series is shown on Dave, Wednesdays at 9pm.

SAFE
The latest victim to my Netflix binge, this 8-part drama would be fitting on BBC One primetime. Very Broadchurch-esque, Safe uncovers a mystery revolving around the disappearance of a doctor's young daughter and the death of her older boyfriend. It's created by crime author Harlan Corben, and is full of twists and turns, dead ends, flashbacks from different characters' points of view, and will leave you wanting to keep watching. It stars a great cast, including Michael C Hall, Amanda Abbingdon, Marc Warren and Laila Rouass. Honestly it had me hooked, and I don't want to give too much away, but it's definitely worth the watch if you like suspense, mystery, thriller type shows. 

EUROVISION
Of course I watched Eurovision; I absolutely love it! Even though the United Kingdom never has a chance at winning - let's face it, Europe hates us since Brexit and it's all political voting anyway (neighbours voting for neighbours and all that!) - we all still have a party and dress up. This year I was pooled to dress up as Azerbaijan... I know, I couldn't think of anything else but to paint a flag on my face and a drape a flag around me. What made it worse is that Azerbaijan didn't even make it through to the final on the Saturday night so I looked a right pillock! It was still such a fun night though, and I always love Graham Norton's sarcastic commentary.

REAL HOUSEWIVES
As you can probably gather I watch a whole mixture of things, but trash television is a guilty pleasure of mine. I was obsessed with Real Housewives of Orange County back when I was at uni; I used to come home and it would be on ITV2 so I could sit for an hour and just wind down while rich blonde tanned women fought like banshees across the pond. I only recently got back into it (thanks ITVBe...) but I'm hooked on all the American versions once again although I definitely have an order of preference. Orange County and Beverly Hills will always be the front-runners for me. New York follows as the drama is intense but hilarious (and Bethenny Frankel is one of my all-time favourite housewives). New Jersey is just too staged and crazy for me. Atlanta was a lot better when Kim and Nene were both on it. And I don't think I've seen much of Miami or Washington D.C. One thing is for sure though, the British version (Real Housewives of Cheshire) is truly awful and I have to switch it off! Reality television is something America does so well. With the exception of our beloved Love Island, of course.
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