Archive for the ‘England’ Category

The Crown: Season 2 (trailer)

August 16, 2017

The magnificent Netflix British television series, The Crown continues into the 1960’s with the reign of Elizabeth II. Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of The Crown: Season 1.

The Level

August 14, 2017

Tried watching The Level, a British crime drama featuring a flawed female detective. Great cast including Noel Clarke (Metrosexuality) and Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey). In the end, I just couldn’t commit. The story didn’t seem particularly realistic to me. Too far-fetched that a cop would be at the scene of a crime, then be assigned to the case and the clock counts down to when she gets caught. She wasn’t a bad cop, so I suppose there is redemption somewhere. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. 2 out of 5. Next.

The Great British Baking Show: Season 4

August 6, 2017

What reality show makes you cry with happiness over the contestants? What reality show proves kindness trumps selfishness? What reality show makes me forget all the world’s problems for an hour each episode? Those are just a few of the marvelous things The Great British Baking Show does for me each time I watch. Season 4 exceeded all my expectations. More fun from the hosts and judges. More outstanding bakes from the diverse and cordial contestants. By the time the show got down to the top 5, it was anyone’s win. And through the final bake, any finalist could have snagged the crown, err cake stand. I thank my lucky stars for the break from the horrors of our current reality. Thank you to the creators and producers of The Great British Baking Show for giving us outstanding entertainment and hope for the human race. XOXO. 5 out of 5 for this classic reality television series.

Did you pick this season’s winner?

 

Queer Icons (BBC Radio 4)

July 24, 2017

From BBC Radio 4 Front Row,

LGBTQ guests champion queer artworks which are special to them, to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. From the poetry of Sappho to the songs of Frank Ocean. More guests coming soon, including Mary Portas, Nicholas Hytner, Rebecca Root, David Sedaris, and Colm Toibin.

These 5 minute audio pieces are powerful examples of the various types of LGBT art and how something influences a person at a certain moment in time. What’s your icon?

See the entire list of guests discussing their favorite queer icon on BBC Radio 4.

Downton Abbey: Season 6 The Final Season (take 2)

July 20, 2017

Watching Season 6 of my favorite costume drama television series, Downton Abbey for the second time brought back so many great memories. I cherish this series and send a big thanks to Julian Fellowes and crew for the beauty, elegance, and magic of Downton Abbey. Click on the image below for Reel Charlie’s updated review.

 

Chewing Gum

July 16, 2017

Netflix’s British import, Chewing Gum combines an oddball hipster feel with a modern feminist premise. Tracey (Michaela Coel) is a 24 year-old religious woman, still a virgin who desperately wants to have sex. Her boyfriend would rather pray than play which frustrates Tracey and has her investigating a sexy, sweet neighbor in the premiere episode. Another interesting show that just didn’t grab me. Comedy as I’ve said many times is extremely subjective. Chewing Gum just didn’t make me laugh. If you like quirky, unique protagonists, you might want to give Chewing Gum a try. 2 out of 5.

Prime Suspect Tennison Season 1

July 12, 2017

The PBS DVDs always get mailed out to the library before the season is finished airing on television. Yea for me. I breezed through the entire season of Prime Suspect Tennison the prequel to Helen Mirren’s classic, award-winning seven-part detective series. In this incarnation, we find Jane Tennison at the very start of her career. I was so worried this wasn’t going to live up to my expectations. It did and more. I loved it. Young Jane played by Stefanie Martini steps into some enormous shoes embodying the character perfectly. By the second episode all thoughts of Mirren are out of mind. This is a retro 1973 brand-new Tennison. The good old boys don’t seem quite as harsh as mid-career. Of course that may have something to do with the fact that Jane is at the bottom of the rung making coffee and working dispatch. Other cast standouts include Sam Reid and Blake Harrison. The ground work gets laid for Jane’s idiosyncrasies and obsessions. Her work ethic appears to be from birth. She hits the ground running. Episode 5 explodes reminding the viewer this is British television. Anything’s possible. I loved Prime Suspect Tennison. 4 out of 5 for this welcome prequel.

A 78-Year-Old Gay Man Shares Sobering Truths With A 13-Year-Old Gay Boy (Logo)

July 11, 2017

May the generations reach out to each other in unique and creative ways. From Logo,

Commemorating 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in the U.K., a new video sits a 78-year-old gay man across from a gay boy 65 years his junior.

The heartwarming video, produced by YouTubers duo Trent & Luke in collaboration with London Pride, gives the two British blokes the rare opportunity to compare their experiences coming out and living as gay in two very different times.

 At 13, Louis already has a boyfriend and is overwhelmingly supported by his peers and family. “I think you’re so lucky the world has changed and you can just be yourself,” Percy tells him.
Watch the 11-minute short interview on YouTube.
https://youtu.be/yOXKf_nPWpk

50 Shades of Gay (2017) – Channel 4

July 11, 2017

An unfortunate title, Channel 4’s 50 Shades of Gay turns out to be a brief, compelling look at the progress made in Britain’s gay community since the repeal of sodomy laws 50 years ago. Rupert Everett wrote and presented this snapshot of how lives have changed since 1967. Remarkably, Everett manages to include older gay men, people of color, television actors, laborers, a lesbian community, a lesbian trans couple, Princess Diana’s former assistant and the former head of BP. Quite an impressive collection of diverse stories for 47 minutes. And Everett himself softens his persona in order to welcome the changes that have taken place allowing the viewer to decide which are positive and which may be troublesome. 4 out of 5 for 50 Shades of Gay. Watch it on YouTube.

Grantchester: Season 3 Episode 1

July 7, 2017

I enjoyed Grantchester‘s first two seasons rating Season 1 a 4 out of 5 and Season 2 the same. But something happened during the first episode of the third season. The story disappeared. The situations the characters found themselves in felt absurd. And I didn’t care much for Sidney’s continued avoidance of his life and particularly Geordi’s flat existence. I’ve seen Robson Green do great things in Touching Evil and Wire in the Blood, so I know it’s not his fault nor is it the fault of James Norton playing the sexy vicar. I also desperately wanted Al Weaver’s Leonard to have a larger and more robust role. I realize quiet, feminine guys were the butt of jokes in the 1950’s. But couldn’t the writers add a bit of swagger to his role instead of adding to the stereotype by having him racing around yelling, “I don’t know nothing about birthing no babies!” Of course he didn’t actually say that in the season opener, but he might as well have. Sissy boys don’t have to be one-dimensional. They are also smart, sage-like, sexual beings. Meanwhile, I’m saying goodbye to Grantchester. 2 out of 5. That gives the overall series a 3.33 rating. Sounds about right.


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