I was wondering why I instantly felt a connection to Flint in Black Sails and I've just discovered Toby Stephens played Mr Rochester in the BBC 2006 Jane Eyre adaptation (the first adaptation I saw as a child of my favourite book) and yeah that checks...
Hollywood - Max Verstappen x Reader
Max Verstappen x female!reader
Anon: Hi! I love Dog Days sooo much! I'm blown away by your writing and this is story is such a comfort to me. I'm not sure if you're taking any request but I'm hoping you can write another Max x OC. The reader is Max's biggest celebrity crush and they meet for the first time at Monaco/Miami GP. He's all shy & flustered but he manages to take the reader around the track during the hot laps. They get ask about each other in interviews/talk shows. A lot of shipping & happy ending? Thank you in advance❤️
Word Count: 3.7K
Warnings: Fluff, swearing, sexual innuendos, Christian Horner, far from home spoilers
Becoming Spiderwoman was a dream come true. It was finally the big break you had worked hard for. Being Spiderwoman had its perks, many A-listers would happily slide their way into your DMS hoping they’d get a reply and you’d go on a date with them, sure a few of them were hot and definitely grabbed your attention but looks would only go so far. So many of them would have similar lifestyles to you and things like that could get boring besides, if you force something it never turns out well.
Your love life seemed bleak well… that was until a Formula one driver announced that he had a crush on you.
Max Verstappen had been doing some press work with his teammate Sergio Perez when one of the questions asked the pair of you who their celebrity crushes were and Max said that you were. Since that the internet took off a little. You couldn’t scroll through your Instagram timeline without seeing someone make an edit of you and Max or talking about the pair of you despite the two of you never actually meeting.
All these events led you to now. You and your co-star, Tom Holland, were currently in Miami doing some press for the next upcoming Spiderman film. The pair of you were shooting a Q&A for GQ. Thankfully you and Tom got on like a house on fire. As you were new to the industry Tom would always look out for you, sort of acting like an older brother.
“Hello, I’m Tom Holland!”
“And I’m y/n y/l/n!”
“And we are answering fan questions for GQ.” Tom smiled as he took out a piece of crumpled paper from the pot on the table which contained the questions. “Okay so… if you could take three people to dinner, dead or alive, who would you pick?” He smiled to you as you pondered at the thought.
“Hmm, I’d have to say, Freddie Mercury, Carrie Fisher and… I’m gonna say Maggie Smith.”
“Those are good choices.” Tom smiled.
“Who would you take?”
“It’s hard to pick just three, I’ve met a lot of people I’d want to take to dinner, probably Obama, Lewis Hamilton and Heung Min Son.” He smiled proudly at his answers as you moved on to the next question.
“Favourite scene you’ve ever filmed in any film or television show?”
“These are good questions.” Tom smiled, leaning back in his chair. “Probably the scene where all three Peters met one another.”
“Arguably one of the best scenes in cinematic history.”
“You think so?” Tom smirked.
“Everyone in the cinema was clapping when it happened.” You smiled at the Brit.
“What about you?”
“First first scene where I ever wore my suit, finally felt like I made it then.” Tom’s smirk grew to a smile at your words.
“How sweet.” You could tell Tom was mocking you slightly, never in an ill-intent way more in a childish way. “Next one.” He dived his hand in before laughing. “Oh you’ll love this one, who is your celebrity crush?”
“Well we all know yours.”
“And I know yours.” Tom acted like a child on Christmas morning, swinging back and forth on his chair.
“Well I don’t have just one -”
“But I know who fancies you.” His smile got wider. “Max Verstappen! And you fancy him back!”
“Wouldn’t say I fancy the bloke I’ve never met him although, there is something about how he looks post-race, helmet hair Max is something I could look at for hours.” Tom burst into laughter.
“Has he ever slid into yout Dm’s?”
“He has not but he does follow me.”
“Come on Max,” Tom looked straight at the camera. “If you can drive around a car that fast then you should have the guts to dm her.”
Well ever since that interview the internet went wild. The edits started becoming more and more frequent, more fans were talking about the pair of you and at that time you honestly thought it was just a bit of fun, Max would like a few of your Instagram posts and maybe comment on a few and you’d do a same. Nothing went further, that was until Red Bull invited you and Tom to the race in Miami.
When Max found out he’d never been so nervous in his life, not even when he drove the final lap to win his championship. You were set to turn up any minute now alongside Tom Holland and he knew he had to drive the race of his life today after all, he wanted to impress you right?
“I’ll be your wingman.” Tom opened the door of the car for you, allowing you to climb out.
“If you’re my wingman I won’t ever get to kiss Max Verstappen.” The pair of you walked over to a Red Bull employee who was taking you around the paddocks and track for the rest of the day.
“Is that your plan?” Tom smirked. “To kiss him?”
“If you get to have your celebrity crush then I think I deserve mine.” You winked as you collected your passes, scanning them past security.
“That’s why I need to be your wingman, I got mine and I can help you get yours.”
“Believe it or not Tom I can flirt my way through situations without you by my side.”
“Is that why you’re single and needed me to mention Max in that interview to get here or?” His smirk grew, making you push him lightly as the pair of you laughed at his words.
Miami was full of celebrities, even Michelle Obama had turned up. You had been watching this sport for years now and never in your life had you seen anything quite like Miami. It was hard to navigate through the paddock let alone the actual garages. Tom extend his arm back so you could hold onto his forearm as you reached the garages, last thing Tom wanted was you to get lost when Max was nearby.
“And this is Christian Horner, I’m sure the two of you know who he is.” The woman who was taking you on a tour smiled at the man who extended his hand for Tom to take. Tom shook his hand, smiling as the pair said hello to one another.
Christian turned to you, his arms open as you shared a quick hug. “There’s the woman we don’t stop hearing about.” You laughed at his words. “Not only do my daughters talk about you all the time but so does Max.” Christian turned his head, making eye contact with Max and calling him over.
Max didn’t know why Christian was suddenly calling over. He was yet to see that you were standing alongside his racing Principle. When he got closer his face dropped at the sight of the woman he’d had a crush on the moment he’d seen her in the Spiderman trailer.
“Ah Max, finally, I’m sure I don’t need to introduce you to y/n y/l/n, considering you don’t shut up about her.”
Max went bright red at Christian's words. He kept his gaze firmly on you, trying his best not to stare but he couldn’t help it. The woman he’d spent hours thinking about was standing before him and she was wearing his merchandise. Max could have sworn he’d just died and gone to heaven. Sensing how awkward this could get your wingman decided to step in.
“Christian do you happen to have a bathroom around here?” Tom glanced over at you, a smirk on his lips as he spoke.
“Ah yes, I’ll show you it.” He smiled, leading Tom off which just left you and Max alone.
“Hey.” You smiled up at the man, hoping to break the ice between the two of you.
God even your voice was perfect.
“Hi… H-how are you?”
“I’m good thank you.” Your smile was bright, the sight made Max’s heart flutter. It was supposed to be a stupid crush yet here he was, already stuttering. “How are you? Nervous for the race?”
He let out a deep breath, letting a small smile escape his lips before he spoke. “I’m okay, you do tend to get used to a few things when you’ve been racing for a while.”
“Oh yeah?” You smirked. “Never nervous about driving cars that could kill you but you stutter over a woman?”
Being an actress meant it was easy to hide your emotions, including ones like you had for Max. He might have been able to mask his nervousness but you could. Seeing how confident Max was in interviews and online it was amusing to see him crumble under you after just a few words.
“I - Umm -” He stuttered yet again. You let out a small smile which turned into laughter, your laughter made Max relax slightly. “H- have you been around the track yet?”
“I have not.” You looked him up and down. “Care to show me? If you have time -”
“Yes!” Max may have said a little too loudly. “Yes, I have time.” He flashed a smile.
“I’ve got an idea.” Christian suddenly came into view. “What about if the pair of you do a hot lap? We’ll set up some cameras and get the pair of you to answer questions. I’m sure if we just tweeted something out now we could get a handful of questions for the pair of you to answer.” Normally questions wouldn’t be asked but Christian had a plan, he knew everyone wanted to know about you and Max so the questions would be interesting.
“Are you happy to do that, with me?” You turned to Max, silently hoping he’d say yes.
“Well, I’m not going to let one of the other guys take you away am I?” He gained some confidence before mouthing a ‘thank you’ to Christian as the pair of you left to get ready.
The Red Bull social media team set up some cameras in the car they planned on using and screenshotted some questions you’d read out to Max as he drove. Christian and Tom made sure the questions had some interesting takes.
Max handed you a helmet as he opened the sports car door for you. Flashing a smile you thanked him before he joined you. “Nervous?” He asked.
“Yeah a little.” He laughed at your reply, starting the car up, and allowing the engine to roar. He looked at you as the engine grew louder. “Is that you’re way of trying to make me nervous?”
“Depends how you are with fast cars.”
“Depends who’s driving it.” You smirked at the man as he held his gaze with yours. Max smirked as he set off the car, catching you entirely off guard. “Max!” You screamed as the car picked up its pace without warning. The Dutch only laughed as you gripped onto the side of the door for support.
“Come on it’s not that fast -”
“Not that fast?” You yelled as he picked up the pace before drastically slowly down to turn the corner, making you scream at the sudden change. Max couldn’t contain his laughter as he drove.
“You need to ask the questions.” Max turned his attention back to the road.
“Fuck the questions!”
Max kept laughing, he couldn’t believe this confident woman he’d met only minutes ago who was so confident around him was now screaming and holding onto the car like she was going to die. “Just start with the first one.”
You pulled up the phone reluctantly. “What is the one thing you like the most about me?”
“You have really pretty eyes.” He turned the corner, making you jerk to the side. You held your arm out for support but the only support you had that wasn’t the door was his arm. You grabbed his arm, the action made Max look down at your hand before his eyes trailed up your body, scanning every inch of you with a sly smile.
The fans were going to have a field day with that shot.
“Thank you!” You screamed again as he sped up. “Jesus Max, umm what I like the most about you? You look pretty hot when you’ve finished racing.” It was bold of you to say that to him but you’d already said that on GQ.
“If you had to take y/n on a date, where would you take her?” You laughed at the question.
“Well would you want a more expensive date or a relaxed one? We could order in and follow Bob Ross painting tutorials or we could go to the Ritz.”
“Very creative Verstappen.” You looked back at the phone as you read out another question. “Who would win in a staring competition between the two of you.”
“Definitely me.” Max turned his head to look at you, not leaving your gaze as the pair of you stared at one another for a couple of seconds.
“Max look at the road!” You broke away from his hold, pointing to the road but Max only flickered his gaze forward for a split second before looking back at you.
“We’re fine.” He smirked, putting his foot down just that inch more making the car speed up.
“Yeah you are -”
“Do you do your own stunts?” He suddenly asked.
“Some of them why?”
“What about at the end of the film, you swung across that building and fell but landed on your feet, was that all you?”
“Yeah, I had a harness on so I didn’t die as we were rather high up -”
“Were you scared?”
“So you’re not scared of jumping and swinging around a set that’s high off the ground but you’re scared of me driving fast?”
“I’m not scared you just took me off guard with it -” Max suddenly turned another corner making you grab onto his arm again. “Fucking hell Max.”
The pair of you had completed the lap but Max wasn’t done there. “How good are you with spinning?” Your eyes widened at his words, knowing exactly what he was going to do.
“Max no -” Max had already set off, creating doughnuts with the car, he didn’t stop at just one either, he kept going. Maybe it was because he loved the way you held onto his arm to feel safe or because he was able to just have you alone and when he was in a car he felt confident with you.
Eventually, Max had to stop. His cheeks hurt from the constant laughing. He quickly opened his door, running around the car to open your door. He leaned over you to undo your seatbelt before helping you out of the car. “You okay?” He smiled, reaching up to take your helmet off whilst the two of you were blissfully unaware that your interactions were still being filmed.
“A little dizzy but hey that was fun.” You smiled back as he removed his own helmet, earning him an interesting gaze from you as you were taken back by his state.
“Fun? You screamed the whole time.”
“I scream in the bedroom, doesn’t mean I’m not having fun, maybe if you’re good enough you might hear it too.” You sent him a smirk and just like that, you had made Max Verstappen weak at the knees. Reaching up you placed a kiss on his cheek before walking away from him, leaving a stunned Max Verstappen to blush at your actions.
Max had won in Miami and needless to say the after-party was an experience. You woke up the next morning to a flood of ship edits and posts of you and Max. The hot laps video came out just after Max had won and fans didn’t need to wait long for more content of the two of you.
Photos started to circulate of the pair of you at the party. Max had his arms around you as the pair of you danced to the music. You spent your morning scrolling through multiple video edits and photo edits of the two of you. You even liked a few, knowing that would also more than likely set the fans off even more.
You wished you could have stayed in Miami for longer but you had to fly to London with Tom, the pair of you were set to appear on The Graham Norton show for more interviews.
“Morning Mrs Verstappen.” Tom smirked as you met him outside your hotel room. “Is Max in there with you?”
“No, he isn’t.”
“So did the pair of you -”
“No, we didn’t do anything like that.” You huffed, pulling your hoodie closer as the pair of you left to catch your flight. Your phone vibrated in your hand, you looked down to see that Max had Dm’d you. A smile crept across your face at the sight. “Not yet anyway.”
On the plane you were finally able to answer his message.
Max: Christian told me you were leaving today, have you left yet? X
You: We have, we’re going back to London for press, I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye x
Max: Don’t apologise, are you free on the 25th? X
You: I believe so, how come? X
Max: Will you still be in London then? X
You: Yes x
Max: I wanted to ask you in person but seeing as you’re no longer in Miami I’ll ask you now, would you like to go on a date? As you’re in London we could go to the Ritz? I’ll book everything and if you’re free that weekend would you like to come to Monaco with me for the race? X
You: I’d love to Verstappen x
Max: Thank fuck x
“What’s got you smiling like that?” Tom’s voice grabbed your attention, snapping your head up your smile faded when you realised what he was alluding to.
“He’s messaged you hasn’t he?”
“What’s he said?” Tom smirked. “Oh come on y/n you’ve got to tell me -”
“He asked me out on a date, he wanted to ask in person but considering we’re up in the sky that might be rather hard.”
“What did you say?”
“Take a guess.” It was now your time to smirk.
“Where are the two of you going?”
“The Ritz -”
“Bloody hell he must fancy you, that place is expensive.”
You arched your brows at his comment. “As if your bank account would be damaged if you went there.”
“You know if things work out well between the two of you we could all go on a double date.”
“Well I hope they do because I’m going to Monaco with him after.”
“Please use protection I don’t want mini y/n’s running around, one’s bad enough.” Tom smiled as you flipped him off, sinking back into your chair to text Max.
“y/n I have to ask.” You sat alongside Tom and a few other celebrities as Graham Norton started to interview everyone. He was yet to ask about Max which was surprising considering it was all anyone was talking about currently. “You and Max Verstappen…” The crowd cheered as you broke out into a smile. “Is there anything between the two of you?”
“Well…” Your smile didn’t falter. “I hope so.” The crowd screamed again. “We have a date set up and well… who knows what will happen.”
It wasn’t just you who had been questioned about the two of you. Max had to deal with interviews all year round, thankfully for you, it was only when you had an upcoming project coming out or if you were invited on a talk show out of the blue. He’d said the same, that the two of you were going on a date in the near future. You knew it would be hard to keep your relationship hidden from the public eye as everyone was still very much obsessed with the two of you but the reaction was very positive so maybe the two of you could be the next parents of Hollywood, despite his profession.
You’d managed to survive the endless questions and the constant teasing from Tom who was determined to have your upcoming relationship talked back so maybe the press would back down from his.
Opening the door to one of the dressing rooms which held your belongings you were met with bright ocean eyes and a mess of brown hair. Standing in the middle of your dressing room was a very tired Max Verstappen who evidently took the first flight he could to London after you’d left.
“What the hell are you doing here?” You looked down at his hands which had a large bouquet of flowers tightly grasped between them.
“I - I’ve just realised how weird this must be -” His confidence fell. You warmed to his words, he really did like you.
“It’s not weird, if anything I’m actually rather impressed you managed to get a flight out here, make yourself look presentable after that hangover you must have gotten last night and pick up flowers.”
“I am very tired.” He let out a breath of relief.
“Well…” You stepped closer to him, your hands resting above his. “Why don’t you come home with me and this time I’ll drive.”
“Sounds perfect.” He planted a kiss on your forehead. “I hope you like the flowers too, I wasn’t sure which ones to get so Daniel helped.”
“They’re beautiful Max.” You took them into your hands, admiring how stunning they were before moving one hand to lace into his. “Come on, I’m fucking shattered.”
Needless to say, the photos of the two of you holding hands as you left the set went down a treat on social media.
I'm rewatching S1 and it has come to my attention that Steve's infamous bat is technically not his. Jonathan was the first to use it. He and Nancy made it. Nancy supplied the bat. Jonathan the nails.
The real love triangle isn't Steve/Nancy/Jonathan. It's Steve/the Bat/Jonathan.
Steve and Jonathan share custody of it. Steve gets primary custody since he's "always the goddamn babysitter". Jonathan gets custody whenever he feels the need to beat the ever loving shit out of Mike for hurting his little bro. After Steve found out what a little shit Mike has been to Will, he doesnt fight Jonathan on it. Jonathan just shows up gives him the look and Steve hands over the bat and says "bring her back safe and clean". (Yes the bat is a her. It's the 80s and guys always call inanimate objects they love "she/her".)
Her name is Bat Benatar, after Pat Benatar and her famous song "Hit Me With Your Best Shot". Its the only song both men enjoy. Steve insists Bat likes to be called "Battie".
Nancy and Robin think the two of them have finally lost it. Even tho Nancy does insist that she gets custody of Bat on occasion cuz she helped create her. Nancy only uses Bat to intimidate people who piss her off tho. You kno Nancy would be like "Steve, Jonathan, I need to borrow our child for a minute. Someone is picking on Max."
They all kno when Nancy asks for custody of Bat, all hell's about to break lose. Cuz Nancy never asks for Bat. Shes always too busy w/ taking care of her other children: Smith, Wesson, Colt, and her sawed off shotgun, Winnie. Theres also her adopted son, Mak whom she rescued after the Battle of Starcourt Mall. If you dont think Nancy doesnt name her guns, then ur wrong.
Robin thinks they're all losing it until Steve points out that she has named her trumpet, Jett.
Hopper has also named his gun. Her name is Maggie.
GAY ICONS - ALAN BATES
Alan Bates appeared in one of the most homoerotic scenes in movie history - wrestling nude with Oliver Reed in “Women in Love” (1969) - but I never considered he might be gay or bisexual… until…
Recently I watched “Tea With the Dames” (2018) a documentary where Maggie Smith and Judi Dench gossip about their careers. When talking about Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra”, Maggie off-handedly mentions that Alan Bates would have preferred to play the role of Cleopatra!
That remark sent me off researching … and sure enough, several sites mention that Bates, although he was married with twin sons, had several male lovers throughout his life. This was confirmed in a biography “Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates” which was written in cooperation with Bates’ surviving son Benedict.
In the 1960s, Bates starred in a string of international hits, including “Zorba the Greek” (1964), “Georgie Girl” (1966), “King of Hearts (1966), and “Far from the Madding Crowd” (1967).
What was unknown by the public at that time, Bates lived with and was in a 10 year relationship with actor Peter Wyngarde. (Wyngarde himself was outed in 1975 when he was arrested for 'gross indecency' with a truck driver in the toilets of a bus station.)
But Bates was attracted to women as well. In 1964 Bates met actress Joanna Pettet when the both appeared on Broadway in “Poor Richard”. According to Pettit the two had an affair during the run of the show.
In 1970, Bates married Victoria Ward who was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to their twin sons the next year. From all accounts their relationship was rocky. They separate but both were involved in raising their children. Tristan, one of the twin, died of a suspect overdose in 1990. His mother Victoria couldn’t recover from the shock and she died in 1992.
In 1972, Bates met actor Nickolas Grace while they both were performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Grace was 25 at the time and described the relationship as:
“very close and very loving, in an intense affair that was one of the most important relationships of my life"
Bates denied to Nickolas that he was homosexual.
“(Alan) was free and happy, and … he took me to meet his family in Derby, where we had lovely weekends. But at other times he was reserved and frightened… he didn't want me to be seen with him.”
Bates later had a two year relationship with English Olympic skater John Curry. Curry was outed prior to the 1976 Olympics but the international press largely ignored it. In 1987 Curry was diagnosed with AIDS and died in 1994. It’s been reported that Bates helped to care for his former lover and was with him when he died.
Bates had relationships with other men and women but the ones I mention above seemed the most significant.
Bates and Maggie Smith were reunited in Robert Altman’s “Gosford Park” (2001), the movie that inspired “Downton Abbey”. The next year Bates was knighted by Queen Elizabeth when she bestowed him with a CBE. The same year Bates rekindled his friendship with Joanna Pettit and she moved from the US to live with him. They had a common bond - her son had died of an overdose as well.
Bates needed hip replacement surgery in 2003. While recovering doctors discovered he had pancreatic cancer. And the final insult, a stroke. Alan Bates slipped into a coma with his son Benedict and friend Joanna Pettit by his side.
‘My new hairstyle was my husband’s idea… and I love it!’
Downton Abbey star Phyllis Logan tells Anna Bonet about the joy of playing Mrs Hughes again, meeting George Clooney and why she took the plunge with a new look
Actor Phyllis Logan on her new look and the latest Downton Abbey film
Phyllis, 66, lives in London with her husband, actor and writer Kevin Mcnally. They have a grown-up son, David.
THE RETURN OF DOWNTON
I’m so excited for everyone to see the new Downton film at last.
I’m not allowed to reveal too much about the story, but some of it is set in the sunny south of France and the film explores a whole new world of technology – and my character, Mrs Hughes, finds herself in a situation she wouldn’t be in normally. There are plenty of frissons in the film and the potential for fresh romance. It’s good to be back! Not all of us got to go to France. Some of us had to man the fort at home – not that one is at all expressing any frustrations about it! Those of us who stayed behind did get to stay in a lovely hotel. And actually, it was nice because some of the upstairs lot had to stay behind, too, so it was great to spend more time with them. In the hotel, we had our own Downton wing, and we were often found having a drink on the lawn after filming.
Reuniting with the cast is delightful. It’s always so good to work with them again, but I keep in touch with most people between filming. I’m probably closest to Lesley Nicol [who plays Beryl Patmore]. We live near each other and often meet up for dog walks – and recently we all went to see Elizabeth Mcgovern’s play Ava: The Secret Conversations, about Ava Gardner. That was a great reunion!
It was wonderful to have new cast members join us for the latest film. Hugh Dancy, Dominic West and Nathalie Baye are lovely. I knew Laura Haddock already: she used to live two doors down from me, so it was fabulous to see her again! It’s nice to have ‘new blood’; they make us appreciate everything more because we’re all so used to each other.
The film is unashamedly feel-good. That’s how the creator Julian Fellowes has described it and I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, it’s even more full of splendour than the last film; who thought that was possible? Not me, that’s for sure!
Getting my corset back on was not a fun moment. It isn’t very comfortable. Before the last film, the crew lost it and I said to them, ‘Is it not a sign?’ Sadly, they made me a new one. No one else has to wear a corset, I must point out! But it does help me get into character. My wig goes on first, and then my corset, and as it gets tightened, I think, ‘Here we go, Mrs Hughes is here.’
I’d love to do more Downton films. I doubt the TV show will be rebooted any time soon, because it requires a huge amount of writing and Julian is very busy; he’s just done The Gilded Age, too [an HBO drama set in 1880s New York]. Having said that, I do hope there’ll be many more films. If there are, I’d be in there like a bullet.
The one person I always wanted to work with was George Clooney – and then I did! As part of the charity initiative Text Santa, George did a guest appearance in a one-off special of Downton back in 2014. Everyone on set completely fell in love with him – from the caterers to the camera people to Maggie [Smith]. And me. All I can say is that he has no right to be that handsome! He’s also really lovely, and made time for us all. Everyone else got selfies with him, and I didn’t, which is one of my biggest regrets, ever.
I never had a plan B for my career, but when I was fairly young, I wanted to be a vet. I loved animals and at home, we had a couple of budgerigars and my brother had a pet white mouse. My cousin’s husband was a vet and I remember when I went to visit, they would have sick animals in pens out the back. I always wanted to help! So that’s probably what I would have ended up doing, if it wasn’t for getting into drama school in Glasgow.
My career highlight was winning a BAFTA award. This was back in 1984 and I won Most Promising Newcomer for the film Another Time, Another Place. It was an amazing moment, but I don’t think it made me feel like I could rest on any laurels. In fact, I’m still trying to fulfil that potential!
Nowadays, I find the theatre more and more challenging, to be honest. Working on stage is always lovely and I have so much fun, but it can be hard work. I did a show called Switzerland in the West End, which was just two of us talking for an hour and 40 minutes every night for two months. Shouting at night, that’s what we call it. It feels good when you do it and achieve it, but it’s not easy!
I have no plans to stop working. Nowadays, there are much better roles for older female actors. Just look at Dame Judi Dench. I’m going to keep going until either my legs give up on me and I can’t keep upright, or I can’t remember anything any more. I used to think 66 was old, but now I’m here, I feel like I’m still in my prime!
I don’t have any set ambitions. I’m not one for saying ‘I need to play Lady Macbeth’ – I like to just see where life takes me. So, my dream role now is probably something that isn’t written yet. Although I would love to do something funny.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Kevin and I have been together for nearly 30 years and I think one of the reasons the relationship has lasted so long is because we’re often apart for work. We’re not in each other’s pockets all the time; it’s important to be individuals. During lockdown, it was a bit of a challenge. I often looked at him and thought, ‘Are you still here?’
We got married so I could stop calling him my ‘boyfriend’! After we’d been together for 17 years, it felt silly to still call him that. We were then engaged for quite a while and it was getting a bit like Guys & Dolls [where the lead characters are engaged for 14 years]. So we finally got on with it in 2011 and it’s lovely to be able to say, hand on heart, ‘my husband’.
I can’t remember exactly what we did to celebrate our 10th anniversary. If we were together, we probably went for a nice meal, and Kevin probably sent me some flowers if not. We’re quite romantic, but I don’t expect diamond jewellery for every special occasion. Love isn’t about material things. Sometimes, just someone making you a cup of tea can be a great act of romance.
As a mother, I’ve learned that you never stop worrying. It never goes away, even though [our son] David’s now a grown man. Kevin would say that I worry too much, but I don’t think I do. I think he doesn’t worry enough, so I have to do my worrying for the both of us!
Motherhood has taught me patience. You go through different phases as they get older, and there might be squabbles along the way, but you need to be patient and clear-headed. Kevin tends to be more practical than me with parenting, while I do more of the emotional side. We make a good team.
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
I wanted a complete change with my hair, as I’ve had the same style for quite a few years. It was actually Kevin who encouraged me to go short, so I took the plunge. Dannie, my wonderful hairdresser, who I’ve been going to for decades, showed me several different styles and we both agreed that this was the one. I’m very happy with it and it’s so much easier to look after.
I do think about my health more nowadays. I was going to the gym for a bit, but I’m not very good at that. I try to be good by not eating too much rubbish and I also try to walk 10,000 steps a day. I find walking is really good for clearing my head.
I’ve found a lovely route that I take along the river and I often stop and have a nice cup of coffee, which is always something to look forward to.
The best thing about being in my 60s is not caring. There’s so much off your shoulders when you’re this age. When I was younger, and I used to worry about my school skirt being too long and things like that, my mother used to say, ‘Nobody’s looking at you!’ Now I finally understand it. If I trip up, I don’t care. Very little embarrasses me any more. It’s liberating!
Downton Abbey' star Phyllis Logan sees 'great love' in Elsie-Carson romance
By Karen Butler
JULY 5, 2022 / 3:00 AM
1/5'Downton Abbey' star Phyllis Logan sees 'great love' in Elsie-Carson romance.
NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- Phyllis Logan says her housekeeper character Elsie's new marriage to Mr. Carson is going well in Downton Abbey: A New Era, even though the snooty former butler is in the South of France with their employer for most of the movie.
"They get on each other's nerves like all married couples from time to time, but there is a great love there. She knows what a curmudgeon he can be, but, even withstanding that, she loves him," Logan told UPI in a recent Zoom interview.
"They are just settling in," she added. "It's like they've been married for years. It's all comparatively recent, their wedding, but they've known each other so well being butler and housekeeper ... and always had time for each other -- having a wee sherry and discussing the day's business, which was lovely.
"I love those scenes because it meant they could slightly take off their housekeeper and butler hats and show themselves as human beings."
Set for DVD release Tuesday, the movie is set in 1928 and finds Lord Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), steward of the cash-strapped titular British estate, making the difficult decision to accept a lucrative financial offer to allow a Hollywood film production to shoot at Downton. This is much to the chagrin of most of his family, but excites the household staff.
At the same time, Robert's ailing mother, Lady Violet (Maggie Smith), inherits a villa in the South of France from a mysterious man, prompting Robert, his wife Countess Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), who has secrets of her own, their daughter, Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), and their son-in-law, Branson (Allen Leech), to head out on holiday to inspect the new property.
That leaves Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Elsie (Phyllis Logan) at Downton's helm.
To get the fussy Carson out of the way so the filmmakers may get on with their work, the women concoct a ruse and convince him that Robert desperately needs him on this trip.
Logan categorized the plot as a "bit of subterfuge."
"Lady Mary suggests it because I say Mr. Carson is going to make trouble. He's not going to countenance a film crew -- a bunch of vagabond actors who are stealing the silverware," she laughed.
"She thinks Lady Mary is going to have to get rid of him, not through homicide, of course. So, she says, 'Well, he's going to have to go to France.' That will get him out of the way," Logan added.
"Robert needs a stalwart to help go through the trauma of a holiday abroad. Carson buys that, and off he goes, leaving us to have fun with the movie stars."
Protective of the estate but not quite as steadfast as Carson is, Elsie found the film company, including fictional screen icons Guy Dexter (Dominic West) and Myran Dalgleish (Laura Haddock), to be a major disruption to the household.
But Elsie, as always, was able to rise to the occasion, stepping "into the breach to save the day" when needed, Logan said.
"In the beginning, she might seem slightly fazed by all these theatrical types just wandering about the place," she admitted.
"She was a bit overwhelmed to start with, but she quickly caught on to how to deal with these people and got quite actually interested in the making of [the film] and got quite excited along with the younger members of the staff like Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Daisy (Sophie McShera), who were thrilled to see their idols from the magazines and movies.
"She wasn't impressed to begin with, but I think Dominic West won her over."
Logan doesn't know if there will be another Downton story to tell, but she is all in if there is one, just as long as it doesn't jump too far into the future.
"I love doing it. I love all the people. I love the character that I play. It's just one of life's great gifts that we've been given," she said.
"Some of us who are senior members of the cast, we'd probably be long dead if we leap forward too far. We could keep it to a year or a couple of years."
The actress said she is grateful to the viewers who made the franchise a global success.
"They are the most loyal bunch of fans you could ever wish for," Logan said.
"Ultimately, it's they who enabled a second film to be made because enough of them went to see [ the first] and loved it enough. The studio felt, 'Well, it's popular still, there's an appetite still, why don't we do another?'"
Logan said she is is pleased to put A New Era out in the world at a time when so many people are trying to resume some normalcy after the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is just a real joy with a touch of sadness, of course, but that's what life's about, isn't it? It is a real, feel-good, walk-out-of-the-thing-with-a-big-smile-on-your-face [movie]," she said.
Bookending A New Era are heartwarming group scenes with the whole cast turning out for one beloved character's joyous wedding and another's tearjerker of a funeral.
"It was just wonderful to kick the whole event off with that wedding when we were all there at the same time, which doesn't happen a lot within the filming," Logan said.
About that mournful sendoff at the end, she added, "You need to have a heart of stone not to be affected by that."
Logan and some of her castmates were crestfallen to read the script and see they would be staying at Downton while others headed off to France.
"We were all a bit [disappointed,] to tell the truth, but then we were having so much fun doing the stuff we were doing. Having seen it on film, it looks stunning and they all came back [from France] with raging tans," she recalled.
Not that the British cohort didn't enjoy themselves in between filming scenes. Because the movie was made during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the cast members found themselves blissfully isolated together in posher quarters than they are used to.
"We stayed in this gorgeous hotel near the castle. Normally, it's just Maggie Smith who gets to stay in the place," Logan dished. "We were given a wing of the thing to be kept separate from the other residents or visitors. We had our own garden and dining areas. It was like going on holiday with your pals."
It’s Father’s Day and I felt like it’s the perfect time to rank the dads of Fox Animated Shows I have seen from best to worst
The guy is basically Ron Swanson when you take all his positive attributes with a mix of emotional issues and a hint of blindness to social cues and put them in an animated character. He’s an Alaskan father of four who makes a living as a fisherman. Even though The Great North has been on for only one season so far I could tell he’s a quality father figure. He represents positive masculinity and isn’t afraid of being emotional nor of shedding tears in public. He’s very accepting of his middle son Ham for being gay and the fact that he’s the town “cake lady” and very supportive of that fact. His eldest son Wolf absolutely worships him. His youngest son Moon, only daughter Judy and daughter-in-law Honeybee have shown to respect him as well. The fact that they all enjoyed being on the fishing boat with Beef helping him work pretty much states that his good parenting more then made up for his ex-wife Kathleen’s terrible parenting.
Even with his struggling business and his refusal to compromise on how he runs things he’s always made sure that his kids have good lives. As a child who grew up with a tough homelife (an overly criticizing father and a dead mother) he made sure to give his children the best things in life even if they can’t be luxury goods or even third hand goods. All of his kids have rooms that reflect who they are and they aren’t ashamed of who they are. He’s an accepting and open-minded human being and will do pretty much anything for his family even if gets hurt and/or humiliated in some capacity. You can tell Linda is pretty content and happy with him even though it all started from a simple high five in lieu of an engagement ring.
He’s pretty much the standard bumbling dad you would see on cartoons but is a little more emotionally open. As someone who had a terrible father growing up he’s made sure to break the cycle with his own kids. Jack gives his adopted child the same amount of love and care he gives his own flesh and blood kids. He’s shown to make sure his kids are loved although it does tend to make him too lenient at times.
He’s a pretty rigid father figure. He has a tendency to be scared off by new ideas especially if they tend to be of a overly sexual nature. Hank does the best he can to make sure his son Bobby is raised properly especially since he gets influenced pretty easily. He’s had a pretty terrible father growing up but even then he’s been better about raising Bobby without utilizing the harder aspects of Cotton’s parenting. Though ironically his father thinks more highly of Bobby then he does Hank.
Over the seasons he’s been a flip flop between worst parent and parent of the year. Though that might be mostly because of how many writers the show had gone through in its decades long running. He’ll choke Bart when a joke calls for it, he will have wronged Lisa then learn to make up for it in the most asinine way and even forget that Maggie exists to emphasize what a flawed father he is. Though when it comes down to it he loves his family and will go to hell and back for their sake.
It’s a given that he’s pretty terrible especially to his family. He’s the epitome of right wing fascism and white male cisgender male privilege. He forces his toxic beliefs on his kids and tried to mold them to his standards of wholesome American families. Though there’s still a part of that cares about his family. Even though he keeps learning the same lessons over and over (as a given for long running shows that adheres to status quo) he’s capable of being open minded.
I don’t even know where to begin. For a show that says Family Guy he’s not really for his family. Always thinking of himself and not considerate of how he treats people it’s a wonder why he’s still a father at all. Don’t even get me started on the way he treats Meg. Not that his wife is any better.
Chilling audio has captured disgraced legal scion Alex Murdaugh laughing that he has “allegedly done illegal stuff” in a jailhouse phone call with his surviving son – one year on from the still-unsolved double murder of his wife and son.
In the phone call, part of a trove of jailhouse calls obtained by The State, Mr Murdaugh is heard speaking to his adult son Buster Murdaugh from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, where he has been holed up since October on a string of financial fraud charges.
Buster is heard acknowledging that his father has done “illegal s***” as they discuss a search warrant that he believes was improperly served on Mr Murdaugh while he was behind bars.
“Well, I think it does matter, man… I mean, something’s got to give,” he says.
“I understand that you’ve done illegal s***. But it doesn’t mean you can just, you know, turn a cold shoulder to the laws of the United States.”
At that point in the call, Mr Murdaugh – who is also facing charges for allegedly orchestrating a botched hit on himself – makes an unsettling joke about his alleged crimes.
“Allegedly done illegal stuff,” he tells his son, laughing.
He then adds: “I’m kidding, anyway… so… It is what it is, you know? It is what it is.”
Mr Murdaugh’s team fought to prevent the release of the tapes to the local outlet, after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Their efforts to stop its release was thrown out by a judge.
Mr Murdaugh has had a spectacular fall from grace over the last year and found himself at the centre of a twisted tale involving unsolved murders, millions of dollars of allegedly embezzled funds, a suicide-for-hire plot and several mysterious deaths that are now under investigation.
The son of a powerful South Carolina legal dynasty first hit headlines last summer when his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul were shot dead in a brutal double murder at the family’s hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina, on 7 June 2021.
It was Mr Murdaugh who said he discovered their bodies, placing a traumatic 911 call that night.
No arrests have ever been made in the case, no suspects named and no charges brought.
At the time of their deaths, 22-year-old Paul was due to stand trial over the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach in a 2019 boat crash.
Paul was allegedly drunk driving a boat when he crashed it, throwing his friend Ms Beach to her death.
He was charged with boating under the influence and faced up to 25 years in prison but was killed before his trial.
Three months after his wife and son’s deaths, Mr Murdaugh then allegedly hired a hitman to fake his own murder.
On 4 September, the attorney called 911 claiming he was ambushed in a drive-by shooting while he was changing a tire on the side of a road in Hampton County.
Mr Murdaugh was shot in the head and taken to hospital with superficial injuries.
One day after the shooting, Mr Murdaugh entered rehab for a 20-year opioid addiction and announced he had resigned from his law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED).
Days later, his law firm partners accused him of stealing millions of dollars from its clients going back years.
The partners had confronted Mr Murdaugh about the allegations and ousted him from the firm just one day before the shooting.
Mr Murdaugh’s version of events around the shooting rapidly fell apart and he confessed to police to paying an alleged hitman to shoot and kill him in an assisted suicide plot so Buster could get a $10m life insurance windfall.
Both Mr Murdaugh and his alleged accomplice Curtis Smith – who the attorney had previously represented – were charged over the incident.
Mr Murdaugh was released on bond on the promise that he enter rehab for his opioid addiction.
He was then arrested on his release from rehab in October on charges of stealing funds from the wrongful death settlement over the mysterious trip and fall death of the family’s longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield in 2018.
Mr Murdaugh is accused of siphoning off $3.4m of the $4m settlement meant for Satterfield’s sons to a fake company called Forge.
Questions have been swirling around Satterfield’s death ever since and investigators reopened a probe into her death.
Earlier this month, officials announced plans to exhume her body.
Satterfield worked for the influential Murdaugh family for more than 20 years when she was found at the bottom of some stairs at the family’s home.
She died weeks later from her injuries.
At the time, her death was regarded as an accidental fall – though her death certificate cited her manner of death as “natural”.
Mr Murdaugh reached an agreement to pay her family $4m in a wrongful death settlement – money he is now accused of swindling from his insurance company to help fund his drug habit.
An investigation was also reopened into a third mystery death connected to the Murdaugh family.
Stephen Smith, 19, was found dead in a road from blunt force trauma to the head in 2015.
His death was officially ruled a hit-and-run but the victim’s family have long doubted this version of events and said that rumours swirled in the community that a “Murdaugh boy” may have been involved.
In total, Mr Murdaugh is facing a staggering 79 charges from 15 indictments around the suicide-for-hire plot and schemes to defraud the Satterfield family and other victims out of millions of dollars.
Unsaid-Verse Dramatis Personae
A list of all the named OCs who have showed up in the Unsaid-verse so far. (Or what I did instead of actually writing.
Annika: Youngest daughter of the Fjerdan ambassador about four years into Alina and Aleksander’s reign, Nadya’s friend.
Anton Kogart: The mayor of Novokribirsk. A “portly man of unremarkable height with a receding hairline balanced out by generous mutton chops,” with a slightly nasal voice. A kind and well-intentioned busybody who loves attention.
Avdotya Sidorova: Alina’s midwife, a delightfully blunt woman, “reed thin with a sharp nose and salt-and-pepper hair pulled back into a simple bun.” Although Otkazat’sya, she’s been working as a midwife at the Little Palace for decades; feels for the Grisha, as she has a niece who is a Tidemaker.
Cassandra: Black mare, Sock’s mother, and sister--through their mother--to Hector, Aleksander’s primary horse.
Luiza Kogarta: The wife of Novokribirsk’s mayor. A “short, stocky woman with a kind, round face, and blonde hair so fair that the generous amount of grey in it is only visible in direct sunlight.” Kind, excitable, and somewhat noisy, but bound by the etiquette. Has three children, the oldest boy is in the navy, middle daughter is recently married in East Ravka, youngest boy is enrolled at the military academy.
Madam Barysheva: High society woman Alina encounters in Novokribirsk. She holds no title, but is married to one of the richest men in the city. In her late thirties. She has a good head on her shoulders and an affinity for the arts. She and Alina get on well.
Madam Gribova: Luiza’s mother, high society woman in Novokribirsk. “A stately matron with a deeply lined face, but a straight back, her steel grey hair in an impeccable do.” An imperious woman concerned with propriety and the duties of a wife, especially giving her husband sons. (Basically, imagine Maggie Smith as the Dowager Duchess from Downton Abbey.)
Madam Yenina: High society woman Alina encounters in Novokribirsk. The young wife of a local noble, currently expecting her first child.
Olga Blinova: Nadya’s wet nurse. Otkazat’sya resident of Os Alta, in her late twenties. Married, her husband Igor--affectionately called Igorek--works in the Little Palace as a cook, while Olga is a homemaker, supplementing the household income with some washing and mending. They have four children, one girl, the oldest, named Anya, and the boys, the youngest named Pavel. She is pregnant with her fifth when Alina and Aleksander are in West Ravka.
Nadya: Alina and Aleksander’s firstborn daughter, conceived the night of the winter fete.
Sergei: Head groom at the Little Palace stables. Middle-aged Otkazat’sya with slightly stooped shoulders and grey, thinning hair. Quiet, polite, and dutiful.
Socks: Colt born at the Little Palace stables during Alina’s first few months there. Named after his undesirable pattern--although his breed should be all black, he has white “socks” on all of his feet.
OC Trivia - Accents and Voices
I don’t have ‘voice actors’ in mind for most of my characters, but nevertheless I do generally have some idea of what their voices sound like. This got a bit longer than I’d originally intended, so I’ll put it under a cut. So here goes:
I’ve established on several occasions that Stormhaveners sound Welsh, though as with Wales itself there are regional variations.
Wygar (like most people from the city of Stormhaven) has a fairly gentle South Wales accent. I actually imagine him as sounding similar to Tom Jones, but with a somewhat lighter, higher voice, more of a tenor than a baritone (and he’s not as good a singer).
Calburn’s accent is very similar to Wygar’s, but he has a deeper, more gravelly voice.
Rhona has more of a North Wales accent; her family are from a farm out in the countryside and she never visited the city until starting her apprenticeship at the College. She’s spent enough time in the city since to have picked up some of the accent but still sounds different enough to tell she’s not a native. In terms of pitch and timbre she has a fairly middling voice, not noticeably high or deep.
The Kiraani Empire is huge and accordingly includes a vast variety of different accents, so let’s take ‘Kiraan’ to here mean the Imperial City itself and its immediate surroundings. Basically they sound like Londoners, with all the class variations that implies - the only two Kiraani who’ve spent much time in the spotlight are middle- to upper-class, but I expect Kiraani from a more working-class background definitely have a certain Cockney edge to their accents.
Zar, being the Emperor and expected to do a lot of public speaking, was put through all sorts of rigorous elocution lessons growing up. Accordingly he speaks with your very clipped BBC-style Received Pronunciation (like David Attenborough), but with a deep voice to go with it. I’m talking Keith David-deep, the kind of voice you feel in your bones. So not like David Attenborough.
Asta also sounds fairly upper-middle-class Londoner, sort of ‘generic English’ but not quite as formal as full RP. She has quite a high voice, but not squeaky or shrill unless she’s extremely worked-up about something. She doesn’t do much singing but she’d be in the soprano range.
The Sea Loch Country:
The Sea Lochs, as you might have guessed from the map, are a kind of amalgam of Scotland and Scandinavia (Scotlinavia?) and have the accents to go with that. The people of Loch Deas to Loch Dubh sound Scottish; the people of Bjarnafjord to Myrkfjord are more Norwegian. Though as you might expect, the transition is more of a spectrum than a hard boundary.
Roan: Naturally she sounds Scottish. She doesn’t, however, sound Glaswegian; she has a much gentler West Highland/Hebridean accent with a definite Gaelic lilt. She has a moderately low voice for a woman, squarely in the alto range, with a bit of a purr to it. Asta could listen to it all day.
Daro, eldest son of an aristocratic clan, has a very posh Edinburgh accent. Kind of like Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie, only a man. Similar tenor range to Wygar, I’d say.
She gets a section of her own because frankly your guess is (almost) as good as mine. She grew up living feral in the Darkwald buffer zone between Stormhaven and the Empire and, other than a few informal vocab lessons as a six-year-old, learned English Imperial by spying on travellers making their way through the forest. A lot of those travellers were from Stormhaven so she probably does have the odd Welsh inflection, but ultimately has a weird, unidentifiable hybrid accent made up of dozens of others she’s heard. She’s of mezzo-soprano range, but years of living as an animal have left a bit of a growl in her voice.
Black sails !! 👁️👁️
OOH this is on my list! There's pirates and it's the ones from Treasure Island but the show is Not for Kids and they're all sexy and I think some of them have the hots for each other and it's got Maggie Smith's son that's in Lost in Space (shit what is his name I swear I know it but I can't remember) who is...Long John? And also the actor who plays Luther/Percival is in it I think? (why can I not remember names) And there's a guy with Black in his name/title and he has long hair and seems like a really sweet dude but I'm not sure how sweet he could actually be when it's pirates. I think people like to ship and/or whump that one in particular. But beyond pirates and some homoeroticism I don't actually know what it's about, it turns out. Presumably there is treasure involved. And ships and the ocean. And guns and killing. You know. Pirate things. Oh, and swords!
Documentaries to Watch
Two weeks ago I hosted a Clubhouse room with our awesome members where we discussed what draws us in to watch a documentary and some of our current favorites. I took notes and compiled all the documentaries below for those that weren’t able to catch them all and for whoever needs a new documentary to get lost in.
Comment below your thoughts if you end up watching any of them or if you have already seen them. Would love to hear your thoughts!
Till then, BRB... binging 🍿🍸✌🏽
The September Issue: A documentary chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's preparations for the 2007 fall-fashion issue.
The 13th: An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
Miss Americana: A look at iconic pop artist Taylor Swift during a transformational time in her life as she embraces her role as a singer/songwriter and harnesses the full power of her voice.
Athlete A: Follow the Indianapolis Star reporters that broke the story about USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's abuse and hear from gymnasts like Maggie Nichols.
The Jinx: Robert Durst: Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki examines the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes.
Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado: Every day for decades, Walter Mercado — the iconic, gender non-conforming astrologer — mesmerized 120 million Latino viewers with his extravagance and positivity.
The Staircase: The high-profile murder trial of American novelist Michael Peterson following the death of his wife in 2001.
Allen V. Farrow: A look behind the years of sensational headlines to reveal the private story of the accusation of sexual abuse against Woody Allen involving his 7-year-old daughter with Mia Farrow.
Tiger: A look at the life, success and scandals of golf legend Tiger Woods.
Tina: Exclusive access to the Grammy Award-winning artist to celebrate her career.
O.J.: Made in America: A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.
I Am Not Your Negro: Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.
The Madoff Affair: Bernie Madoff was responsible for the largest financial fraud in history. Frontline correspondent Martin Smith investigates how he managed to steal $65 billion dollars from investors.
Bigger Than Enron: The meteoric rise and stunning collapse of Enron caused many to question why the corporate oversight system that was supposed to protect investors failed to sound any alarms about the company's dubious finances.
American Greed: Documentary focusing on history's largest financial crimes ranging from Ponzi schemes, murder for hire, and insider trading.
25 Million Pounds: 25 Million Pounds details the collapse of Barings Bank in the mid 1990s primarily by a broker called Nick Leeson, who lost £827 million ($1.3 billion) by speculating on futures contracts. The film contextualises the downfall as the history of Barings Bank was one of the oldest and most prestigious merchant banks in Britain, run by the same family for decades with extensive ties to Britain's elites.
Naomi Osaka: Featuring unprecedented access to Osaka, the documentary follows her pivotal year, from the U.S. Open in August 2019 and on tour, as she plays in each of the Grand Slams and prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Who Killed Malcom X?:Activist Abdur-Rahman Muhammad begins his own investigation into the perplexing details surrounding the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X.
Paris is Burning: A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.
Love on Spectrum: A four-part documentary series following young adults on the autism spectrum as they explore the unpredictable world of love, dating and relationships.
Sophie: A Muder in West Cork: The documentary follows the investigation of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, a French film and TV producer who was killed while at her isolated holiday cottage in West Cork, Ireland, in 1996.
The Last Dance: Charting the rise of the 1990's Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, one of the most notable dynasties in sports history.
Dear Zachary: A letter to a Son about His Father: A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.
The Imposter: A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.
Wild Wild Country: When Osho, the world's most controversial guru, builds an Utopian city deep in the Oregon country, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal.
Varsity Blues: College Admissions Scandal: Reenactments drive this documentary investigating the mastermind behind a scam to sneak the kids of rich and famous families into top US universities.
Murder on Middle Beach: A young man is determined to solve an unspeakable crime and absolve the people he loves, while looking for answers within his fractured family and community.
Showbiz Kids: A documentary about the highs and lows of children in show business, featuring interviews and examinations of the lives and careers of the most famous former child actors in the world.
Val: Documentary centering on the daily life of actor Val Kilmer featuring never-before-seen footage spanning 40 years.
Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami: Two childhood friends go from high school dropouts to the most powerful drug kingpins in Miami in this true story of a crime saga that spanned decades.
Abuducted in Plain Sight: The twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer: This limited docu-series tells the true story of how one of the most notorious serial killers in American history was hunted down and brought to justice.
*This last recommendation is a podcast but it was an interesting listen.*
S-Town: John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
March 15, 2021: Clash of the Titans (1981) (Part One)
This one’s personal…sort of.
Other than the fact that this is based on Greek mythology (previously well-established as one of my favorite subjects), this movie is, in a way, responsible for my existence. And that is because, according to legend, this is the film that my parents went to on their first date. And apparently, it went very well, because I came into being 10 years afterwards. So, yeah, this film is personal, like Dirty Dancing.
And also like Dirty Dancing, I HAVEN’T SEEN IT? I don’t know HOW I escaped seeing this movie. And that’s especially considering that I’ve seen the new one. And that movie was...not great.
Maybe not the worst film I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely not a good movie. But OK, what’s this one about, exactly? Y’all ready for “The 365 Greek Mythology Hour” again? OK, then, here we go. SING IT LADIES
Clash of the Titans concerns the myth of Perseus, one of the greatest Greek heroes ever. Before Heracles, there was Perseus, son of Zeus. Yeah, Zeus, as he is wont to do, came down to Earth and had some good time with the princess of Argos, the beautiful Danaë. He came upon her while she was locked in a box by her dad, Acrisus, king of Argos.
Yeah, the Oracle at Delphi, ever the wisest, was visited by Acrisus one day, who wanted a son instead of a daughter. The Oracle spoke with Apollo (AKA huffed some of that SWEET SWEET ETHYLENE GAS), and told him that his daughter’s son would kill him. And so, he did the most logical thing: he locked her in a box. Yup. Dick. SPEAKING of dick, Zeus appeared to her in the open box as a golden shower. NOT THAT KIND OF GOLDEN SHOWER. I mean a literal shower of gold. Although...I wouldn’t put it past Zeus, of all gods. Dude was kinky.
So, Perseus is conceived, and Acrisus responds to this with his usual tact; he stuffs Danaë into a SMALLER box, and shoves it out to sea. She gives birth to a boy in the box, and the two eventually wash up on the shore of an island, where a fisherman finds them and takes them in. The boy is named Perseus.
Years go by, and Perseus’ mom is sought by his adoptive dad’s brother, and the king of the island, Polydectes. Polydectes is kind of a dick, and Perseus, now an adult man, doesn’t like him. The feeling’s mutual, and Polydectes has a plan. He holds a banquet, and forces all invited to bring a gift of horses. Perseus, being pretty poor, cannot bring this gift, but promises on his honor to bring whatever Polydectes wants of him, no matter what. And Polydectes asks for the head of Medusa.
Medusa’s one of your classic Greek monsters, a Gorgon. She’s one of Athena’s victims, formerly a vain temple priestess who was, well...raped by Poseidon, let’s be honest. However, since Athena’s priestesses were meant to be celibate, she was the one who ended up being punished. Fuckin’ YIKES. But OK, literal ancient gender politics aside, Athena cursed her with snakes for hair, and the ability to turn her victims into stone with a gaze into her eyes. Classic. And sure death for anyone who went after her.
So, Perseus is fucked. He’s gotta kill Medusa, and he doesn’t even have a way to get to her place. And that’s when he gets a favor from none other than Athena, goddess of wisdom and wartime strategy, as well as Perseus’ half-sister. I love Athena (other than the Medusa bullshit, obviously), and this is one of her most prominent roles in mythology. Well, that and the creation of spiders. That was also punishing a woman for her vanity, by the way. She has a type.
First, Perseus was told to find the Hesperides, nymphs of the dusk and dawn who would give him weapons. He got their location from the Greae, more colloquially known as the Gray Sisters. Weirdly enough, you may know them from Hercules, where they were combined with the Fates. They don’t have the future gimmick, but they do have that whole “sharing an eye” thing. Also, they share a tooth. Neat.
Anyway, Perseus takes their eye hostage, which makes them tell him where the Hesperides are. He goes to them, and they give him a bag to hold Meduga’s head. Then, the gods step in. Zeus decides to be a good dad for a change, and gives him an indestructible sword, and Hades’ Helmet of Invisibility. Hermes, another of Perseus’ half-brothers, gives him a pair of winged sandals to fly with. And Athena, technically Perseus’ patron, gives him a mirrored shield.
Perseus heads to the cave of Medusa, uses the shield, then goes up to her and cuts off her head. From her neck, for some goddamn reason, and golden sword pops out, alongside this guy.
Yeah, he’s not made out of clouds. He’s actually the, uh...he’s the result of Poseidon’s crime against Medusa. Fucked up, innit? Pegasus flies up to hang out with Bellerophon to kill the Chimera, and Perseus heads back to...actually, he goes to ANOTHER king who was a dick to him, and turns him into stone with Medusa’s head. Kings hate Perseus, seriously.
Perseus heads home after that, and goes through Ethiopia. There, he meets the King and Queen, Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Cassie’s gorgeous, but she tells Perseus that her daughter Andromeda is, like, WAY hotter, as beautiful as the sea goddesses. Which PISSES OFF POSEIDON (who is basically the villain of Perseus’ story, let’s be honest), and he send a sea monster named Cetus to destroy the kingdom, UNLESS they sacrifice Andromeda to it. And, because kings are assholes in this story, they do, chaining Andromeda to a rock. But, because Perseus believes that all women are queens, he goes to rescue her, and kills Cetus using all of his things. He weds Andromeda, and turns his romantic rival Phineus into stone using Medusa’s head.
Usually, that’s where retellings end, because there’s a recurring trend to Perseus’ story after that. A king is an asshole, Perseus whips out the head, asshole becomes statue of an asshole. However, there is that prophecy to contend with, about Perseus killing his grandfather. See, Acrisus basically retired by this point, and lived in the kingdom of Thessaly. But one day, he went to see some games, in which Perseus was competing in the discus. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Perseus isn’t great at it, and loses control of the discus, which hits Acrisus, killing him instantly.
Utimate frisbee, man. It’s dangerous.
There’s another version where Perseus uses Medusa’s head to turn his dad into stone, surprise surfuckingprise there. But yeah, after that the story varies. Sometimes he becomes a king, sometimes he doesn’t. He basically always marries Andromeda and has kids with her. Sometimes he founds a city of his own, sometime he doesn’t. And in one ending, where he’s lived to be an old king, he fulfills his ultimate destiny and turns Medusa’s head on himself. Geez.
So, yeah, there you go. That’s the story of Perseus. Let’s, uh...let’s see what the movie does, huh? This is another Ray Harryhausen joint, so I’m...tentatively excited for it. We’ll see how badly they mess up the myth, and whether or not it works despite that. So, ENOUGH of me lecturing you guys, huh?
We begin approximately where most iterations do: King Acrisius (Donald Houston) has just cast his daughter Danae (Vida Taylor) and grandson Perseus into the ocean, containing them within a wooden chest in order to “forgive his daughter’s crimes”. Yeah, sure, OK, buddy. Whatever helps you sleep at night.
This also pisses off Zeus (Laurence Mother Fucking Olivier), who consorts with the rest of the Olympians on what to do to Acrisus. Said Olympians include Hera (Claire Bloom), goddess of marriage and women; Thetis (Maggie Mother Fucking Smith), goddess of the sea and leader of the Nereids; Athena (Susan Fleetwood), goddess of wisdom and strategic victory; Aphrodite (Ursula Andress), goddess of love; and Poseidon (Jack Gwillim), god of the sea.
Hera tries to defend Acrisus, noting his prior years of devotion to Zeus and the other gods. But Zeus ain’t HAVING that shit, and tells Poseidon to destroy the city of Argos in revenge. This is to be done by...releasing the last of the Titans? Which is apparently the Kraken. I mean...no, a thousand times no, but whatever.
This little tantrum is Zeus’ way of showing his love towards Danae, whose child Perseus is his. This is helpfully pointed out by Thetis, who seems...a little spiteful, as much as Hera is about Perseus. Seems like she’s stoking some fires. Hmm. She is Queen of the Nerieds, so she may play a larger role later on.
Beneath the sea, Poseidon readies himself to set loose the Kraken and destroy Argos, at Zeus’ command. Zeus, meanwhile, kills Acrisus by using a clay voodoo doll of sorts to strike him down. And that’s when Poseidon lets loose the Kraken for the first time. And the Kraken...
Guys, the Kraken looks...actually, I’ll spoil his appearance later on. The Kraken destroys the city, and Zeus kills Acrisius. So much for the goddamn prophecy that explains why Acrisius did what he did, but fuck me, I guess. Danae and Perseus, meanwhile, have safely arrived on the shores of the island of Seriphus, at Zeus’ insistence. There, Perseus grows from child into a fine young man, with Zeus always watching over him...and with Thetis and company always watching over Zeus. Interesting.
The adult Perseus (Harry Hamlin) lives happily on the island, much to Perseus’ delight. Thetis, on the other hand, asks about her mortal son, a young man named Calibos (Neil McCarthy). Apparently, Calibos is a bit of a monster, and while he’d been set to wed the princess Andromeda, he’s also managed to kil all living things on the island that he’s been given, save for a single winged horse named Pegasus. Hence...he is to be punished.
Calibos, by the way? Entirely original creation of the film, and there’s nobody like him in Greek mythology. Anyway, Thetis is crushed by this, and decides to exact revenge of both Perseus and her son’s would-be fiancee, Andromeda. She pledges to open up Perseus’ eyes to grim reality, and does so by placing him in the kingdom of Joppa, where Calibos was originally set to rule alongside Andromeda.
Here, in an amphitheatre, he encounters a mysterious masked and robed figure, who quickly reveals themselves to be Ammon (Burgess Meredith), a poet and playwright. Apparently, Ammon wears his disguise to scare off trespassers. He tells Perseus that all of Joppa is in a tizzy about a curse of some kind, and that the story of the fallen kingdom of Argos is a famous legend.
Ammon tells Perseus to go back home to Seriphus, but Perseus tells Ammon that he’s promised to restore his mother’s old kingdom, and decides that Joppa would be a good start. Despite his drive, though, Zeus is pissed off at Thetis for plopping Perseus down unprepared. He tells the other goddesses to give him gifts to help him claim the kingdom of Joppa as his own. This includes a helmet from Athena, a sword from Aphrodite, and a shield from Hera. I mean...OK, that’s super goddamn weird, but OK.
After Zeus leaves, the goddesses rightfully complain about Zeus’ constant womanizing, but note that he probably doesn’t remember Danae at this point, is is most likely acting out of stubborn pride for his “handsome son”. Their words, not mine.
In Joppa, Perseus finds the gifts by the statues of their grantors. The sword from Aphrodite is adamantine, like the original myth, and slices through marble without a blemish. The shield from Hera...talks. Yeah. The shield bears the visage of Zeus, who tells him that the weapons are gifts from the gods, and that the helmet from Athena turns the wearer invisible. I mean, fuck Hades, I guess, but OK. Technically Athena did give the helmet to Perseus, so OK.
Armed with his new gear, an invisible Perseus immediately takes off to see Joppa, sans his sword. We only see his footsteps in the sand as he leaves, which is legitimately a VERY neat effect, and I’m not sure how they did it, but it’s neat as hell. Off to Joppa, a vaguely Phoenician/Persian kingdom, despite the fact that the original Joppa, or Jaffa, is a port city in Israel.
There, he meets a soldier, Thallo (Tim Pigott-Smith), who tells him of the situation. Since Calibos fell to Zeus’ wrath, Andromeda rejected him, allowing any suitor to try for her hand, whether they be royal or not. To do so, they must answer a riddle. If they fail to answer, the would-be suitor is burned to death. This is lorded over by Queen Cassiopeia (Sian Phillips), while Andromeda (Judi Bowker) lives in the tower of the palace.
Which is why Perseus IMEDIATELY uses the helmet to go into her room that night! CLASSY, PERSEUS. There, he sees...a giant vulture bring a cage to Andromeda’s balcony. No idea where in the fuck this is going, but that’s a damn good looking vulture. God, I love Harryhausen.
Anyway, the vulture is here for Andromeda’s soul, which leaves her body and goes to sit in the cage. The vulture takes off with it, al as the invisible Perseus watches on. He takes this opportunity to touch Andromeda’s face in her sleep (stop, Perseus, for the love of Zeus), then decides that winning Andromeda is his destiny. And so, his simpin’ journey begins.
The next day, Perseus asks Ammon how they can follow the vulture, who has apparently headed to the marshes to the “marsh lord”. To follow the vulture, Ammon suggests that they find and capture the last of the winged horses, known as Pegasus. And we’ve officially lost the track of Greek mythology at this point. Shit.
Well, with Ammon’s help, Perseus captures Pegasus and rides him through the skies. Meanwhile, in Corinth, some dude named Bellerophon is just having a stroke, I guess, because he’s totally fucked now. Whatever. The next day, the vulture comes back to Andromeda’s place and takes her soul to the marsh. But this time, Perseus and Pegasus follow them.
In the marsh, the marsh-lord and riddle-maker is revealed as Calibos, who is still in love with the beautiful Andromeda. As she cannot love him, he provides to her another riddle to give her would-be suitors. In tears, she memorizes the riddle and its answer, Calibos touches her uncomfortably, even as Andromeda asks him to lift his curse and show pity. But he refuses, in pain from his love. Jesus, this movie should be called Clash of the Simps, goddamn.
Perseus was watching the whole thing, though, which Calibos immediately figures out when he sees Perseus’ footsteps in the dirt. As Perseus goes through the swamp looking for Pegasus, he’s found and attacked by Calibos. Calibos, by the way, is a guy in pretty solid makeup in close-up shots, and a Harryhausen model in far-away shots.
The two struggle, the helmet is lost in the swamp, and Perseus draws his sword. But we suddenly cut away to see the daily ritual of the presentation for Andromeda’s would-be suitors. Perseus steps in, having survived the attack from last night, and offers his hand to Andromeda, who recognizes Perseus from a dream. She gives the riddle, which is ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. Here, I’ll prove it.
In my mind’s eye, I see three circles joined in priceless harmony. Two, full as the moon; one, hollow as a crown. Two from the sea, five fathoms down. One from the Earth, deep under the ground. What is it?
Any guesses? Anybody?
NO MATTER WHAT YOU FAIL. Because the answer is Calibos’ ring! HOW IN THE SHIT WOULD ANYBODY HAVE GUESSED THAT? It’s a golden ring with two pearls on it! WHO KNOWS THAT SHIT? I call complete bullshit, and the only reason that Perseus knows it is because he spied on this last night! Also, because he cut off Calibos’ hand, and made him renounce his curse, which is...never really specified, now that I think about it.
With that, Perseus has both Andromeda’s and Calibos’ hands! HA! Calibos is not as amused, as he preys to his other Thetis, at a temple of hers. He demands that Thetis take revenge on those whom Perseus loves, specifically Andromeda and the city of Joppa itself. He demands justice, but Thetis identifies this correctly as revenge. All the while, Perseus declares his love for Andromeda, and they seal their union with a kiss and ritual.
During this ritual, in which Andromeda and Perseus are essentially married, Queen Cassiopeia, LIKE A DUMBASS, says that Andromeda is more beautiful than the goddess Thetis herself. Yeah. BAD FUCKING MOVE, especially because she said that IN FRONT OF THETIS’ FUCKING SANCTUARY. At least that dumbass move was kept from the original story.
Well, Thetis tells Cassie that she can only atone for her stupidity in one way: sacrifice your daughter to the Kraken in 30 days. Later on, Perseus speaks with Ammon to figure out how they can defeat the Kraken. Ammon suggests speaking with the “Stygian Witches”, who I’m assuming are our Grey Sisters for the night. However, according to Thallo, they have a taste for human flesh. Still, Perseus is going, as are Ammon, Thallo, and Andromeda. But not Pegasus.
Well...shit, man. That changes a few things, huh? But that’ll be addressed...IN PART TWO! See you there!
Okay, I know, I know, it's already old news, everybody and their uncle in the costuming community has already talked it over, but anyhoo, I made notes when I crawled my way through effing Bridgerton and I will be damned if I don't vomit them onto this site. I have 32 pages of this shit, I'm not gonna throw that away.
I'm also typing this on my phone because I'm stuck on a trainride that's just doubled in length because this is the 2021 Northern German snow storm. What, there's snowflakes on the rails? We cannot possibly keep up our schedule, say goodbye to 90% of the connections.
Okay, on to Bridgerton, Episode 1
We're in Britain (oh, London, okay), allegedly 1813. I see people who are clearly meant to be asympatico, but is this size incusivity I spot there? Daring! Gasp! Me li...
Oh wait, no. The character is promptly shamed for her figure (which is mostly caused by the horrible cut of her dress. Every size can look great in Regency garb, but never mind, we need to make the "fat one" look bad!).
Also, no shifts under the stays. Why. There was obviously enough budget, don't tell me you couldn't afford a few strappy tops - it's not like the rest is historically accurate, so it would have sufficed to send some poor underpaid intern to H&M and get some. Nvm, that wouldn't be sexay.
Wait, is the garishly dressed (always a sign of a character of bad character in a costume drama) woman Delphine from Selfridge? Does she always have to play bitches? That's not nice, and just because she has a recognisable face, which by modern (read: americanised) standards is not favourable enough. Ugh. But I like the actress, so I'll let it slide (for now).
Not sure about the girls' dresses. Also, the Queen is a WOC, cool!
Oh no, one of the Featherington sisters faints! But that's okay because the Featheringtons are just comic relief and foil anyway.
I get weird incest vibes from the Bridgertons.
So the court is clearly 18th century and the show is set in the 1810s. I've by now seen several explanations for this decision, I still think it robs the Queen of reproductions of her actual historical gowns which were heavily inspired by the 18th century but so. Magnificently. Weird. It would have been so neat, and more of a "hey, I'm kinda out of touch with things" vibe, but hey, I'm not the one getting paid for making those taffeta gowns here (her hair is glorious, tho).
I'm very into the intro.
That Regency gossip girl is a real b, not unlike the Dowager Countess of Downton (unpopular opinion, I think she's pretty overrated, yes, I like Maggie Smith).
Again, no shifts.
Where do I know the "pragmatic" Bridgerton sister from? Ah, it's The Paradise. And Jonathan Strange. (Wait, she's my age. And she's supposed to be a teenager. Man, do I love a good Dawson casting. I like the actress, though, she has a face ™!).
Aaaah. We get it. She's the spirited one. She also doesn't care about dresses because she's not like other girls™. I really like her voice (but she still doesn't sound like a teenager).
The heck is up with Lady F's dress and that of her friend? Oh, yeah. Antagonist fashion.
Of course the Featheringtons are Horrid Hags™ aside from Penny who's nice, but the pudgy one (at least we don't get a case of "she's not conventionally attractive so she's bad").
Oooh, the cousin! Supposed to suck, but ofc she's a stunner, and only Penny (who's the nice one, remember!) is delighted to have her around. She's also a POC, which is nice but apparently that means she does not follow fashion, hair-wise. I would have loved to see some Regency hair on her, it would have been so pretty *cries in Greek updo*
Ugh, we're still in Ep. 1, typing this on my phone was a bad idea.
Lady Danbury and the Duke guy are delightful with each other (more POC! So neat!).
The girl the oldest Bridgerbro screws is apparently a singer, which isn't up to status for his doucheship, and she doesn't wear a shift.
The music at the ball sounds like something from the Top 40s, but I'm woefully ignorant of contemporary music charts so I can't tell what it is. I like it when they do that in historical-ish works, making well-known pop or rock stuff work for the ambience (ugh, that dance scene to Golden Years in Knight's Tale. My heart. In a good way.)
I dig the Ducktail hair of Penny's crush. Oh, wait, that's a Bridgerbro. I don't quite get why the hair trends of the time don't apply to the POC characters or extras, but seeing how most white characters also show a shameful disregard for the weirdnes and gloriosity (that's not a word) that is early 1800s hair (the 1830s take the cake, tho) despite those hairdos being basically designed for white people hair, I don't think I care much (well, I do, but about all of them). Overall the hair is horrid and not very 1810s. Let's just leave it at that.
Like a good old romance novel (I've since been told that Bridgerton is supposed to be a pastiche of such novels, but I really couldn't tell from the series, not at all, and I'm not inclined to read the books) we have
a pretty, kind, superpure daughter of the main family
the mean matriarch (could have been an aunt, too, but here she's the mum) of the rivalling or antagonist family
a spirited daughter of the main family (in most romance novels this would be our heroine but so far she refreshingly lacks a love interest and pretty daughter seems to get the most screen time)
a Horrid Suitor™
a Hot Suitor™ who doesn't want attention
a really good and doting good parent
Lol, misheard Greece for Grease with Ducktail Bridgerbro, whose name is Colin, apparently. This is funny because of his Danny Zuko memorial hair.
Overall a bit too much bling for my taste, and too few pearls. It looks like an episode of My Super Sweet Sixteen with a Regency theme.
Of course the romance is going to be the Pretty One aka. Daphne and the Duke and he's even bros with her eldest bro. Wait, are they exes? I can haz bi? No? Aww, shucks. Maybe in another episode (spoiler: no).
Okay, WHAT is it with Lady F's dresses and hair. Like, she reminds me of Mars Attacks. Which, as you might remember, was not set in the Regency period.
Lord B (Bridgerbro the Eldest) sucks, he's screwing Opera Girl without any intention of marrying her but he's bitchy about his sister being ogled by his Eton (or wherever) bestie?
Oh, I'm in Hamburg now. And my train back home got canceled, so back to Berlin it is because there's not a single option to get to Hanover tonight, at least that's what the lady from the train station is saying, "oh well, you'll have to go back and try again tomorrow", so that's awesome...
Honestly, if it weren't so late and I didn't have things to do at home I'd find this terribly exciting.
Back to Bridgerton!
Where were we? Ah.
I can't even read my own annotation. Something about George III. I think I was upset about how they totally ignored that it's called Regency because George IV acted as the regent king, and he doesn't even feature in the series, I guess because they wanted to play up the Queen? Not a fan, because thanks to Horrible Histories I'm quite fond of that guy.
Again, no shifts.
Oh, look, it's Horrid Suitor™, destined for leftovers.
The Featherington cousin gets all the attention but no fleshed-out character.
Penny Featherington's dog is named Lord Byron, which ❤️
I like the Duke! He's there, drinking in his club (even though they're a patriarchal remnant of the past I have a weird appreciation for stuffy Gentlemen's Clubs, I blame Bertie Wooster and the Drones), calling Lord B out for his general fuckery.
Oh no, Ducktail Colin is more into the Cousin than Penny, who obviously pines for him!
Thank you, Lord B, for enabling Horrid Suitor™. Nobody asked you to be such a fucktwit.
The Queen is, of course, a bit of a bitch, but patronage from cool Lady *scrolls up for name* Danbury ensues for Protagonist Girl™ Daphne.
"I wish they had found a better trend language", what the heck did I even mean by that? That's what you get for just scribbling down notes while watching and simultaneously sewing. 18th century pants, in case you wanted to know.
Cousin is angry, probably because Lady F behaves like Cinderella's evil stepmother, because Cousin is prettier than her daughters and gets, like, all the suitors because Lord B bitched away everyone who wanted to get into Daphne's dowry ifyouknowwhatImeanwinkwinknudgenudge, right across the street into Cousins parlour.
The Bridgertons are annoyingly perfect. Ugh.
Oh look, it's "banter" between Daphne and Dukey! It's so Pride & Prejudice! It's almost a tiny bit Shakespeare! I put banter in parentheses because wow, nope, I'm not getting any chemistry here.
Uh, Lady B calls out Lord B (aka. her son aka. Bridgerbro the Eldest) for his screwery with Opera Girl and his outpimpery of his sister to Horrid Suitor™, buuuurrrrrnnn. He promptly calls of his affair with Opera Girl.
Penny gets to dance with Ducktail Colin at the thing! Good for her, but it's a country dance with jumping and fun, because she's a) the pudgy character and b) a Featherington, so it can't be something romantic and pretty (I personally like country dances, but they aren't protagonist dances).
Oooh, Cousin had her period, oh no, oh snap, oh she didn't, because she's PREGNANT! Shit, that's problematic, and not because she's an unmarried woman in the 1810s, but because she gets close to no lines at all so far, and suddenly she's pregnant and telling Lady F that she sucks for being privileged, violence ensues, this is ugly. Man, I get what some critics mean by "the POC actors*actresses get all the problems" and that not exactly being great.
Horrid Suitor™ makes property claims about Daphne, eeewwwww, thanks to Lord B's general suckiness, ewww, [email protected]
attempt ensues, was that really necessary? It doesn't really fit in with the rest of the series and generally nope, yay, broken nose! (which was indeed totally necessary). Nice one, and probably the only scene so far (spoiler: overall) in which I actually like Daphne. Dukey thinks a mean left hook is attractive, and, generally speaking, he's not wrong.
Daphne and Dukey come up with a pseudo-shakespearean plot to pretend to be totally into each other so she can attract suitors by being not available and he gets not to have fangirls by being not available, and as someone who has read a few too many historical-ish bodice rippers I know exactly where this is going. I mean, come on.
I can't see enough of the following choreography to complain about it. Man, I miss historical dance classes.
And that concludes Ep. 1! Finally! Thank you for getting this far, sorry for all of it (especially typos, it's the bane of unwanted autocorrect), I guess?
Update on the train situation: I've been told by the ticket control person that I shouldn't get my hopes up until noon tomorrow.
To be continued,
because I didn't take these 32 pages of notes for nothing.
Weekend Edition: Women’s Prize for Fiction Winners
The Women’s Prize for Fiction is a prize awarded annually for the best novel written in English by a woman and published in the UK during the previous year. And it just so happens that OCL holds all of the previous winners since the Prize started in 1996! Scroll below for links to all of the books.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
"A thrilling departure: a short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare's 11 year old son Hamnet--a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain--and the years leading up to the production of his great play. England, 1580. A young Latin tutor--penniless, bullied by a violent father--falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman--a wild creature who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when his beloved young son succumbs to bubonic plague. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down--a magnificent departure from one of our most gifted novelists"--Provided by publisher.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
"From an internationally acclaimed novelist, the suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart by secrets and driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences. Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother's death, an invitation from a mentor in America has allowed her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half the globe away, Isma's worst fears are confirmed. Then Eamonn enters the sisters' lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to--or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz's salvation? Suddenly, two families' fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, in this searing novel that asks: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?"-- Provided by publisher
The Power by Naomi Alderman
A rich Nigerian boy; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. When a vital new force takes root and flourishes, their lives converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power-- they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And everything changes.
1996: A Spell of Winter by Helene Dunmore
1997: Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
1998: Larry’s Party by Carol Shields
1999: A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne
2000: When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
2001: The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
2002: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
2003: Property by Valerie Martin
2004: Small Island by Andrea Levy
2005: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
2006: On Beauty by Zadie Smith
2007: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2008: The Road Home by Rose Tremain
2009: Home by Marilynne Robinson
2010: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
2011: The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
2012: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
2013: May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
2014: A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
2015: How to Be Both by Ali Smith
2016: The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
TEN COMMENTS ABOUT “Five Little Pigs”
Five Little Pigs is a Murder Mystery written by Agatha Christie in 1942 and included in season 9 of Poirot (2003).
In the story, a young woman asks Poirot to investigate the murder of her father 14 years earlier. The police suspected that his wife (the young woman’s mother) committed the crime; she was arrested, put on trial, and hanged for the murder.
But the mother wrote a letter to her daughter saying she was innocent. The daughter received the letter on her 21st birthday. So she wanted Poirot to clear her mother’s name.
The story is told Rashomon style, with Poirot interviewing each of the five people who were at the house on the day of the murder - each telling what they think happened.
The victim was a painter who regularly cheated on his wife with younger women - I felt no sympathy for the victim and it was a little hard getting invested in the story.
The wife was one of those long suffering types who put up a weak defense (proclaiming her husband committed suicide) and seemed to be covering up something.
The best known actor in the cast was Toby Stephens (Maggie Smith’s son). At first I thought he was the murderer (that part usually goes to the biggest star). But they saved another hammy scene for him instead - he was homosexual and loved the man who died. (1) this was not in Christie’s novel of course; (2) Stephens had a big teary eyed scene which he way over acted.
Other suspects included the wife’s sister who was blind in one eye (the wife had hurled a marble clock at her years earlier blinding the girl); a faithful governess; and a friend who lived near by and happened to have deadly poisons in his unlocked laboratory.
The most flamboyant person present was a young woman who the husband was painting; she was very selfish and rude and announced to the wife that her husband was leaving to marry her (what a bitch, right?).
Although the story seemed overly long, David Suchet was excellent. There was less running around as he mostly just interviewed suspects (the 5 pigs) but he was very intent, giving the story a melancholy aire. And his denouement had an interesting twist - everything pointing to one person, only to reveal someone else actually committed the murder.