Monkey at the Movies: TV Roundup!

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Don’t worry, for all of you who are afraid of more Game of Thrones rants, I’m pressing the big PAUSE button on that! Instead, I wanted to talk about some shows I’ve watched in the last few months that I actually liked. Now, it takes quite a bit for me to finish a series/continue watching a programme these days (I’m a serial TV show quitter) so it’s no surprise that what I did finish got *all the bananas* from me! Starting with…

The Last Kingdom (Series 3)– once again, I am half monkey, half Dane! It’s no secret after my post last year how much I FRICKIN LOVE THIS SHOW! It is an excellent example of an adaptation done well. Still, I managed to forget how much this packs in. The story is both eventful and emotional and just keeps getting better and better! Certain promises from the writer in earlier seasons (though not all) are delivered with fatal blows. *This* is exactly how you give the audience what they want; this is the best example of set up and payoff in TV right now. It was even more twisty and exciting than the first two series- and that’s saying something, given how much I loved those too! Once again, the characters are amazing and worth getting invested in. I especially love that Uhtred doesn’t always do the right thing- he’s smart, but impulsive, and he often pays the price for that. It does wrap things up rather well, implying there wasn’t going to be another series- but luckily for us, it’s been renewed and there is plenty of room to continue. Forgive my boundless enthusiasm, but this is the kind of show that makes me squee every time! The only *frankly appalling* thing about the Last Kingdom is that every season comes to an end and I WANT MORE. No doubt I’ll be renewing my Netflix subscription just in time for season 4 😉

Umbrella Academy (Series 1)– this was one hell of a wacky, fun, bonkers ride- and I loved every minute of it! I don’t even know where to start with this show. The moment I knew I *had to* watch this series was when I saw the dance like no one is watching clip on Youtube. It so aptly sums up what makes this show so bloody marvellous- the humour, the poignant emotion and the characters. My goodness- the characters! They are so fabulously original and I think everyone can find someone to root for here- my favourites were poor old Klaus and dubious Diego. Oh and 5 is awesome!  From the hilarious script, to the brilliant soundtrack and world-ending plot- this is definitely one of Netflix’s best new additions. Definitely worth checking out if you like superheroes/are looking for something a little bit very different.

The Good Place (Series 3)– this is another show I’ve mentioned on my blog before. I discovered it through Kat’s amazing blog and I REGRET NOTHING. I will freely admit it’s not as good as the first season, or even the second, but it is always worth a watch regardless. Super thought-provoking and funny, this is one of those rare shows *everyone* (and I do mean EVERYONE) can get something out of- and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve seen people of all different backgrounds and beliefs coming together over this philosophical sit com- and that is quite the testament to what a work of genius it is. I’m also incredibly proud of myself because I figured out the twist for this season 😉

Angel (Series 1-2)– this might come as a bit of a *shocker* but I haven’t actually seen this before- despite rewatching Buffy many times. I know, I know, I should’ve given it a chance sooner, but I never cared much for the character of Angel or had much interest in the (seemingly) minor ways it linked up with Buffy. Well, I stand completely corrected. This show is great! It ended up being super emotional, action-packed and with fab characters! All those people you think “eh what do I care about them?” after they leave Sunnydale, suddenly get a new lease of life in LA. I really liked the evil law firm as Big Bad as well (and the minor antagonists along the way totally work!). I’m glad I finally watched this and look forward to sinking my teeth into series three!

So, have you seen any of these? Do you plan to? And have you watched any amazing TV lately? Let me know in the comments!

Some *AWESOME* (and not so awesome) TV I Watched in 2018

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Maybe it’s the cold, maybe it’s the end of the festive season, but for me, January is the perfect time of year for TV… and also wrap ups. So I decided it was a great opportunity to share some of my TV related thoughts from 2018!

The Good Place– wowee! This was one of those GOOD decisions I made in 2018. I adored everything about this: the characters, the storyline and the fact that it delves so much deeper into philosophy than I ever could have expected. I’m actually learning things while I watch- and that’s one of the things that makes this so much more than a regular sit com. I don’t want to say anymore in case of spoilers. ItI’m currently upto season 3 and it’s still blowing my mind! Thanks so much to the wonderful Kat for bringing this to my attention- and if you’re looking for good TV advice, that’s where you need to go too!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Black Mirror– I was reluctant to try this because I’d been told how freaky this was- and as many of you know I don’t do scary. In fact, when I sat down to watch this, I’d already chickened out of American Horror Story- but fortunately this was nothing like that. So if you’re like me, don’t worry! It may get you thinking, yet I’ve never had any problems sleeping after an episode, though I’ll admit it’s not as bingeworthy as the other shows on this list cos I don’t want it to mess with my brain too much 😉 Every episode is different, with some being better than others, however overall the self-contained storylines are definitely one of the show’s strengths. I still have quite a lot of this show left and I’m nervously excited for the Bandersnatch episode!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Peaky blinders– while this takes a lot of liberties with historical accuracy and is incredibly violent, I did find it completely addictive. Tommy Shelby’s dubious character is endlessly compelling- as he never quite fits into the hero/villain mould. I also thought the family aspect of the story is executed perfectly. I fell completely under the story’s thrall- it’s non-stop action all the time. The acting and production values are superb. However, I would be remiss though not to mention the niggling issue I had with the Judas-style-turncoat, bordering on blood-libellous portrayal of Alfie Solomons. And no, having a “hey you’re just as bad as me” moment doesn’t excuse the implications of having a character fall into a racial stereotype. Anyway, as usual, I’m not casting any shade on people who like this, just trying to point out something a lot of people might not have realised. I still think this is great TV… but flawed.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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A Very English Scandal– everything about this is amazing.  The acting, the story, the acting, the soundtrack, the way it’s shot. This is why Russell T Davies is the king of TV! Yes, it’s bonkers, but it’s also funny and oh-so-quintessentially British. Underneath the drama (and there’s plenty of drama!), it’s a sad state of affairs that will make you feel all sorts. It was very very very good; I simply had to watch it all in one go.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Luther– what a good old fashioned suspense-thriller! And let’s face it: I ❤ Idris Elba. The titular character makes for a fascinating study. I don’t often watch procedural dramas, but I actually binged the *entire* boxset. Because I had to; there was a gun to my head. O-k-a-y- you got me, there wasn’t… but there was frequently a gun to my lovely Idris Elba’s head and you all know I LOVE him (*ahem*). Oops this went full circle 😉 On the downside, this was on the graphic side for me and it got FAR TOO disturbing by the end. And even if the conclusion was thrilling, I’m not sure I’m totally on board with it. I mean, it makes sense as an ending, but I could have done with *more* than just “makes sense” after what a sensation the rest of it was.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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And since this is (kind of) a wrap up, this was also the year when I rewatched Buffy and fell head over heels for the Last Kingdom! I reviewed those in full, so feel free to check them out.

Alrighty then- have you seen any of these? Do you plan to? And what were your favourite TV shows you watched last year? Let me know in the comments!