Drag Race Season 10: Everybody Say Love

Anyone else got feelings about this last season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race? Yeah me neither.

Except! It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, hasn’t it? Explosive arguments, dubious ejections (imho), conversations about race, gay conversion therapy, more rows, tears and above all fierce as fuck looks across the board.

*Spoilers*

And now we have our Queen and I’m not that sad about it. Sure, Aquaria is young, thin and white with a privilege not all contestants can claim themselves but she’s been open and conscious of that – and she has werked her arse off consistently to the end. Man, her looks time after time have been rich and powerful, with a mind-blowing attention to detail.

Aquaria is super young but she’s incredible – can you even imagine what more time and experience will make of her? That said, I was sort of counting on Kameron Michaels for his incredible lip syncing talent. Plus, I kind of like the concept of a quiet queen smashing the competition.

In some way I was also rooting for Eureka, the big girl who has also been an incredibly strong contender. The only downside is that Eureka isn’t completely likable and at times I feel she isn’t genuine. Shock horror someone might be playing up the cameras, right? But I sometimes get a disingenuous vibe and it puts me off. I guess we’ll have to wait for a fat queen to boast the crown in the future, then.

If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t that fussed about who won this season, they were all deserving in their own ways – and Season 10 despite its drama wasn’t as exciting as past seasons. Which is a shame because there were some queens with real potential in the line up – Miz Cracker, Monét X Change to name a couple – I was seriously pissed when Miz Cracker was booted out but then again she didn’t always nail the performance she was going for.

I don’t know, really none of them had the spark I saw in Detox, Adore Delano or precious Kim Chi – and that’s okay. We’ve all got our favourites. That said there were some stand out elements and here are a few of my highlights:

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All of Aquaria’s high fashion looks

It’s hard to pick a favourite because they all bang but I would say that the bone mask, the rainbow fur, the wrestler look and Aquaria’s oil slicked mermaid were my favourites.

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Dill With It

In episode 5 Miz Cracker dressed up as Dr. Dill, a giant pickle to help cure Mayhem Miller’s picklephobia on the “Bossy Rossy Show”. It was sublime with perfect comic timing and in my eyes marked Cracker out as a real contender.

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Butterfly-gate

The finale was fun and all but lovely Asia O’Hara really missed the mark with her dubious bra contraption. During the final lip sync for their life, she opened it out to release real butterflies into the open air. I’m not sure who green-lit an idea this dodgy but let’s just say it did not have the expected wow factor and many, many butterflies were crunched under foot by our queens. There’s a great reaction shot of Kameron processing what has just happened.

Oh, but apparently Asia donated a lot of money to a butterfly charity to make up for the faux pas, which is kind of cool, if a little too late.

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The Reunion

Oooh gurl, the dramas! The Vixen stormed off set, Ru got shouty and Asia O’Hara went way up in my estimation when she showed really empathy for her sister (Vixen) – it was all popping off.

When Ru asked The Vixen and Eureka to open up about their dramatic fighting during the season, all hell broke loose, with The Vixen pondering why she was always been told how to react, while nobody got on Eureka’s case for the way she was acting. Which is a valid point. I’ve read a bit of backlash against the way Vixen has been portrayed and I’m inclined to agree. Asia’s call to help Vix rather than apportion blame fell on mostly deaf ears but she was pretty much the only person to speak up in her favour, and I loved her for it.

Oh, and lots of queens called Kameron out for being a snooty bitch. She did not like that one bit. LOL.

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Mermaid Power

This was so relevant to my own interests because I was obsessed with mermaids as a kid – and none of the queens really let me down. Aquaria took hers to the next level but I also really enjoyed Kameron and Miz Cracker’s more girly traditional takes. Asian O’Hara’s fish face was also hysterical.

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Twinning

Episode 11’s Double Trouble challenge was super fun and I can’t deny I was very partial to Eureka’s Divine/Clueless inspired double header.

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Miss Vanjie!

The undeniable real winner of the entire season.

~

You?

Dietland

*The first 3 episodes*

I want to talk about the TV adaptation of one of my favourite books in recent years (and apparently, my Book of 2016) – Dietland. It’s just started airing in the US and thankfully also on Amazon Prime – which is the greatest weekly treat. The first three episodes are up now and so far so good.

IMDB Synopsis

Plum Kettle is a ghostwriter for the editor of one of New York’s hottest fashion magazines. Struggling with self-image and fed up with how she’s treated by her boss and society, Plum sets out on a wildly complicated road to self-awakening. At the same time, everyone is buzzing over news reports about men, accused of sexual abuse and assault, who are disappearing and meeting untimely, violent deaths.

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My Thoughts So Far

Joy Nash is gorgeous and so likable as Plum – and she’s actually fat! But I can’t help thinking she’s too good-looking and not fat enough – wouldn’t this be even better if she didn’t fit into the ‘beautiful’ ideal at all? (Hate saying anyone isn’t ‘enough’ of anything but hopefully you know what I’m trying to say) – that said she’s so bloody lovely, I want to see her in everything coming up, please.

Julianna Margulies as Kitty Montgomery is PERFECTLY cast – I despise her in every way. What a prize A CUNT

♥ I’d give anything to visit the beauty closet for just one hour – ten minutes, even

♥ It is never tiring to watch abusers get their comeuppance, even when it’s brutal and violent (particularly then)

♥ I really like that Malleck Ferguson is such a poorly disguised version of a well-known fashion photographer and abuser – down to the minute details of his over-the-top glasses and personal style – LOL

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♥ Marlowe Buchanan is also cast well (she’s played by Alanna Ubach) and so far comes across as a bit of an arse with a God complex – proof that heroes and villains aren’t always cast in black and white

♥ Not enough Leeta (Erin Darke) – so they better bring her back again soon

♥ The closing speech at the end of Episode 3 made me cry. I won’t spoiler but it starts with “I don’t hate myself, society does” and it’s important and vital and above all TRUE

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I haven’t seen any violence towards sex workers or porn stars yet but I’ve read a discussion about it on Twitter and I’m not into it either. I know that the book tackles the porn industry on the whole and it opened my eyes when I read it – but I don’t think this should be a judgement of the women themselves, in either capacity. I’ll see when it comes along how I feel but I am hoping that it doesn’t let me down.

I can’t wait until the next episode, TV just got GREAT again!

Anyone else watching? What are your thoughts? 

Weekly Digest

This week I am seriously digging:

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Atlanta, Season 2

The first season of Atlanta was so good, I feel like I’ve been waiting a life time for it to return. And now Donald Glover and friends (including the amazing Lakeith Stanfield) are back and it’s just as good as ever. Not only is deeply observational, it also has a lot to say about the state of the world, from the point of view of its mainly black cast.

It’s also funny as hell with some of the most off the wall scenarios (particularly episodes 1 (“Alligator Man“) and 6 (“Teddy Perkins“)). One of my favourites so far is episode 5, “Barbershop” which is pure perfection in its simplicity but is written so well and made me cackle all the way through.

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Killing Eve

I’m two episodes into this Phoebe Waller-Bridge co-written thriller and I’m frankly OBSESSED. Starring Sandra Oh, Fiona Shaw and always-flawless Jodie Comer as super-assassin Villanelle it’s already been pretty explosive.

Currently playing on BBC America it’s one of my most favourite current shows and I can’t wait to see how Oh’s Eve Polastri fares in her mission to uncover the identity of the woman knocking off several of the world’s most prolific people. What’s more this all feels very female and while we do meet your usual bullshit male bureaucrats, it’s very much the women who shine here.

Jillian, I think you will LOVE.

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This Jumpsuit (Above)

Look at this total babe in her orange kimono sleeved jumpsuit.

I can’t imagine myself looking half as good as this in it, however I still want to swan around in this in the warmer months, a straw bag swinging from one arm and my own statement earrings embellishing my ear lobes.

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Penguin Modern Collection

There are 50 books in the Penguin Modern collection and are only £1 a pop, so you can grab yourself some classics from the greats without breaking a sweat. So far I’ve got:

Fame by Andy Warhol
New York City in 1979 by Kathy Acker
Food by Gertrude Stein
The End by Samuel Beckett
Investigations of a Dog by Franz Kafka
Three Japanese Short Stories by Akutagawa and Others
The Breakthrough by Daphne Du Maurier
The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson
and The Custard Heart by Dorothy Parker

Not bad for under a tenner, eh? And they look amazing on the bookshelf or in my case, dotted around the flat.

What are you digging this week?

Weekly Digest – TV Special

Easter holidays means time off work for me this year (yey) and that obviously means it rains everyday and I get to nest indoors watching my shows.

This is what I’m currently digging…

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Ru Paul’s Drag Race – Season 10

I’m not blown away by anyone in the line up yet but then I’m only two episodes in and Netflix is releasing episodes week by week, so I can’t just rinse it in one sitting.

I think there’s potential for drams between Miz Cracker and Aquaria, and I’m kind of into The Vixen – but other than that we’ll just have to see.

Alongside Season 10, I’m also playing catch up on Season 5 and All Stars Season 2, which is a different kettle of fish altogether. Season 5 had so many stand-out queens – Alyssa Edwards, Alaska, Jinkx Monsoon, DETOX – that it’s almost unfair to all the other seasons. Anyway, I’m having the most fun.

Who’re your fave queens? Mine are Kim Chi, Detox and Adore Delano!

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Mr. Robot

I’ve only seen one episode but man, it was a banger. I’m now obsessed and can’t wait to dig in further. It has a sort of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo vibe with Rami Malek‘s socially anxious Elliot Alderson working for ‘Evil Corp’ by day and hacking shit by night.

He’s just met Christian Slater and done something dramatic that will set in the motion a series of events that will change his life – and society – forever. Presumably.

Eek!

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The End of the F***ing World

Everyone’s been gushing about this since it appeared on Netflix but I just wasn’t that into it. The two main characters – played by Black Mirror’s Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden – are kind of hard to love.
But I got there and then I really enjoyed myself. It’s quite bleak but also sweet with a great supporting cast, including Steve Oram and gorgeous Gemma Whelan.

What have you been watching?

We’re All Born Naked

I know Drag Race isn’t perfect. I understand that sometimes it gets it very wrong – fat suits, dubious slang, controversial hot takes on trans issues – there aren’t excuses for these things. However, I am slowly working my way through the show on Netflix and I keep falling in love with contestants, again and again. New problematic fave it is then.

I’m sickeningly behind and only started at Season six so I better #werk to get it all in – but woah, how much fun?! I’m currently on Season eight – the Kim Chi Season – which friends have said is one of the weaker runs but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it.

Here are my highlights:

*minor spoilers*

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Kim Chi everything

God, Kim Chi is so bloody relateable. Clumsy, lumbering, gentle – and insanely, magically talented – Kim Chi broke my heart more than once as she revealed that her family don’t know she’s a drag artist yet, and that as a child she always struggled to fit in. Although I can’t imagine what she’s been through obviously, a little bit of me can identify with the feelings of awkwardness and the inability to move that body without falling down a lot. I cried and cried in the episode where she broke down in front of the panel talking about how she’d finally found her place in the world. Damn, girl.

Kim can’t dance and she’s not the best actor but she is head and shoulders above the rest in the costuming/make-up stakes – and my favourite contestant to date. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Best Looks

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Kim’s signature look is massive manga eyes, cartoon silhouettes and bold colour everywhere. Let’s not forget her music video look:

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Best Quotes

“I came to DESTROY EVERYONE, with my make-up.”

“Donut come for me!”

“I came to chop suey the competition!”

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Acid Betty‘s Sea Creature Look

As far as I’m concerned, the show doesn’t get any better than this. I’m sure it does really and I will eat my words but of what I have so far witnessed in this Season, between Acid B and Kim Chi, I’ve never seen such creativity. It’s next level theatre and probably the main reason I’m here. I might stay for the shade and the character growth but I’m here for the looks – and Betty serves it up like a queen.

I’m was very disappointed when Betty was eliminated so early in the show. She was a stone cold bitch but I loved that about her and I also loved that she’d just started to open up about how little she fit into the NYC scene. She had so much more to bring to the table – luckily for me she’s prolific on social media so I can always get myself a fix when I need one.

Best Looks

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Betty’s Season eight finale look was FIYRE while her unique take on the Madonna theme, based on the Bedtime Stories video may have fallen flat with the judges, I was a fan of its dreamy Marie Antoinette vibe.

Best Quotes

“No need to adjust your TV sets. This acid trip is all real!”

“I do freaky drag… the drag scene should not be homogenized, and not everyone should look the same.”

“Acid Betty, out!”

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Team New York

In Season eight, Team NY was comprised of the aforementioned Acid Betty, Bob the Drag Queen and Thorgy Thor – a formidable threesome who may have loved each other but also knew exactly how to wind each other right up.

At the beginning of the episode, in which Team NY band together on a challenge, the trio strive to plant doubt in the minds of the other teams. But things take a hilarious turn when Bob and Thorgy rub each other up the wrong way and almost implode with their bickering.

Thorgy is a unique and interesting queen who I also enjoyed watching every episode – and I liked that she was neurotic and anal about the challenges she faced. I think the competition was a little poorer after she left too. Of all the queens in Season eight she was most like a character that could fit into Rent – and I loved that.

Thorgy’s Best Looks

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Lichtenstein meets Studio 54 by way of a Crayola box – Thorg wasn’t scared of being ugly at times and there must be such a lot of freedom in that. Especially in contrast to all that sterile perfection…

Thorgy’s Best Quotes

“Don’t borrow anything from Thorgy, because it has voodoo. You will go home, or lipsync for your life if you borrow something from me.”

“Witty catchphrase, you know what I mean?”

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Bob the Drag Queen

I can’t not mention BTDQ in her own right because I really enjoyed her turn on this season. The comedy element could grow tired at times but in general I love it when a contestant brings something else to the table and humour is a big thing in a sea of similarly glamorous drag artists, some of whom could be D-U-L-L af. (Looking at you Derrick Barry).

Bob of course had her own story and the humour hid a lot of his pain but I’m so glad he saw it through to the end *spoiler*.

Best Looks

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Rocking Madonna’s boy scout look from the 2013 GLAAD Awards, bringing Orange is the New Black realness to the Snatch Game and blinging it up. Fun all the way!

Best Quotes

“Purse first! Purse first! Walk into the room purse first! Clack!”

“Why y’all gagging, I bring it to you every episode!”

“Find something about you that you like and focus on that. If I don’t like my face, if I don’t like my skin, if I don’t like my weight. I think to myself ‘I have a nice teeth.’ And it may just start with that one tooth. Look at that tooth. That’s a nice tooth, man. And then once you can accept that little thing about yourself, you can just accept you for who you are.”

So those are my standout observations about Season eight. I can’t promise this will be a regular thing, these are just some of my thoughts on something I’m currently digging.

What are you watching/loving – thoughts on Drag Race?

Weekly Digest

This week I am loving:

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The Fall

I’m very late to this party but I’ve become obsessed. I’ve done the first two seasons already this weekend. Could being able to rinse an extraordinary amount of television within a tiny window of time be considered a super power?

In The Fall, a strangler is terrorising Belfast with his sadistic woman-murdering ways. He has a very particular type too, so dark-haired, beautiful professional women beware. Hot on the heels of this monster, thankfully is Gillian Anderson‘s Stella Gibson, MET officer and all-round badass – so he better fucking watch himself.

There’s little mystery here, from the start you know whodunnit but as it unravels we learn more about the psyche of the man behind the killer – and it’s a compelling watch. PHEW-EE.

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Stella Gibson from The Fall

A shout out to the character of Stella Gibson as mentioned above for her cool demeanor – and her chic-as-shit wardrobe. Stella is fighting the good fight for the victims of the Belfast Strangler and I enjoy her very much. She doesn’t seem frightened of anything in the heat of the moment but she’s a deep and interesting character.

I really enjoy Stella’s confidence, attitude towards the Patriachy and her chemistry with both PC Danielle Ferrington and pathologist Reed Smith.  Who run the world?

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Pet Sematary – Film & Book

My god I love this book. I’ve recently finished it and can honestly say it’s one of my favourites so far. While I was expecting it to be super trashy, I was actually greeted by a sad lament on grief and loss – by way of an abandoned Indian burial ground, of course.

Nobody can spin a yarn the way Uncle Stephen can and I’m still firmly in love with his mind. Who knows what I’ll find next?

As for the 1989 film adaptation, well it is what it is. And what it is, is: AWESOME.

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This Week’s Graffiti

Just a few of my favourite bits of graffiti/street art from this week. Brighton is great.

What are you digging this week?

Weekly Digest

This week I’m digging:

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Marcella

IMDB Synopsis

Marcella Backland left the Metropolitan Police for the sake of her family, only to have her husband leave her. She returns to her job on the murder squad, investigating a case that seems disturbingly familiar to her.

Fucking hell. This show is great, Anna Friel is brilliant and men are the worst, obviously.

There are a lot of characters to keep track of and therefore a lot of suspects but it’s a compelling British crime thriller that keeps you on the edge. Particularly Marcella herself who could be good, could be bad but regardless is still someone you’re totally on-board with at all times.

Recommend.

Moleskine® Film Journal

I was recently given this amazingly thoughtful gift by my friend, Damon for my birthday. (Picture above, not mine).

The film journal is part of the Passion Journal range that allows you to log information about your hobbies (there’s wine, gardening, books). I’d already decided that keeping a log of the films we watch for the podcast was what I wanted to do – you know, actually writing down the name of actors and directors could do wonders for content. So this came at the best time. Here you can record comments on the films, give them a rating out of 5 stars, etc. It’s very cool.

Thanks again, Damon!

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Podcasting Again

Speaking of the podcast, after a December hiatus James and I are back in the studio. If by studio, I mean James’ front room, on the sofa (which is what I definitely mean).

I’ve really missed having the structure of watching films to talk about and having the podcast as my main (with this blog) creative outlet. You sometimes don’t realise how much you love and need these things until you stop doing them, even temporarily.

So we’re back in the game, determined to tighten things up and be more organised. I’m going to be better about taking notes (see above) – and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

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The Women of the Golden Globes

Goddesses, the lot of them. And yes, I could say a lot more than that but what have I got worth adding? Let them speak for themselves.

What are you digging this week?

Weekly Digest

Welcome to the first WD of 2018!

This week’s entry revolves around three TV shows because that’s basically all I’m doing at the moment. Working, coming home, reading or watching TV. It’s not the most exciting life in the world but it is January so it’s kind of expected, right?

This week, I’m digging, in no particular order:

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Lovesick

IMDB Synopsis

After finding out he has an STD, Dylan must get back in touch with every girl he has ever had sex with to let them know the bad news.

I’m behind the times a tad but Netflix has kindly just added Season 3 of this sweet little show and I’m delighted to be able to sit down and enjoy it. It’s fluffy viewing and very angsty about unrequited love and shagging but there’s something relateable about it. I think it captures your early twenties really well and the main characters are pleasant to look at.

I’m personally here for the friendship between Evie (Misfits’ Antonia Thomas) and Abigail (Hannah Britland) which is somewhat doomed given that Evie is in love with her best friend Dylan, who’s in a relationship with Abi. Awks.

(I’m only a few episodes in, so all this is of course subject to change).

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Dark

IMDB Synopsis

A family saga with a supernatural twist, set in a German town, where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families.

This show is super weird and atmospheric – and I suspect, quite brilliant, though sometimes I feel as though I’m not following along as tightly as I should.

Something I do know, however, is that this feels like something exciting and new – and I’ll definitely be sticking around until the story has fully unraveled.

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Black Mirror

IMDB Synopsis

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

The big don of viewing pleasures, BM is back and I’m so glad.

Season 4 has been more consistent and stronger than the last, and although at times it feels like we’re doubling back on themes we’ve already explored with Charlie Brooker, it still feels (to me) like fresh television.

I’ve enjoyed all of them this time round but my standout is Black Museum, which was GREAT. Special shout-out to Arkangel, directed by my girl Jodie Foster and Hang the DJ, which was a happy little tale (much like my all-time favourite BM episode, San Junipero).

Almost gutted I watched them all in such quick succession. *Shrug emoji*

What are you digging/watching this week?

Weekly Digest

This is what I’m digging this week.

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She’s Gotta Have It (TV Series)

I’m trying not to binge this one too quickly because I’m finding it really enjoyable. DeWanda Wise‘s Nola Darling is mesmerising to watch, so it’s no wonder she’s juggling three very different men at once. Not only that but the show addresses topics that include sexual assault, female sexuality and victim blaming (so far).

SGHI is of course based on the Spike Lee movie of the same name – and so far, I’m a fan. I love the soundtrack too, which handily is framed not just as an afterthought but as a character of its own – and all the tracks are clearly signposted.

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Doctor Foster

Everyone said it was good and maybe it’s been over-hyped just a smidge – but I still gobbled up the both series like the greedy guts that I am. It was satisfying but also infuriating and I think the take home I got from this is that people can be the worst. Men, women – everybody.

Doctor Foster herself isn’t even all that nice, hurting people in her own pain. Her female friends are all shits with no sense of fucking loyalty. The husband’s lying and cheating is the main event sure, but nobody comes out of this well.

Still, bloody compelling to watch though! I’ve actually just finished it and I hope they leave it there. I mean, of course I’d watch more – I just don’t think I can take it. I have thoughts on the ending, which I won’t share but I’m not surprised it split the nation so much, it could and should have been better.

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Utopia – Björk

Weird, wonderful and no, I probably don’t get the subtle nuances yet but I love Björk more than I love myself.

Also, this is a great walking soundtrack.

The Cold

Crisp mornings are the best. Cold evenings are even better. I love Winter.

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Call Me By Your Name – Andre Aciman

I’ve just been gifted this book for my birthday, which I’m overjoyed by. The film was so wonderful, truly one of the best of this year (and DBo, who gave me the book was also my movie going partner for that one).

I have high hopes – and it is now firmly on my Winter Reading List.

What are you digging?

Weekly Digest

This week I’m totally digging:

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Same

Tessa Thompson

Tessa as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok was absolutely boss, I loved her. She’s always great, particularly in Dear White People (2014) and I really hope to see more of her.

The film itself wasn’t bad either and really made me laugh a lot. Definitely one of my favourite MCU movies so far – adding Taika Waititi to the mix was inspired.

Also, bonus but FUCK ME:

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Pwoar: Ragnarok

Sugar & Vice Christmas 2017 Collection

Featuring this insanely good leg lamp necklace which may be on its way into my loving arms as we speak…

S&V is definitely one of my very favourite small businesses and one I’ve been shopping with for an age. I basically just want to own everything.

Fucking MEN

Alias Grace

Based on the book by Margaret Atwood, Netflix has just released this TV adaptation which looks pretty good tbh. Jill and I are both excited for it.

Here’s IMDB’s synopsis, if you don’t know:

Based on the true story of Grace Marks, a housemaid and immigrant from Ireland who was imprisoned in 1843, perhaps wrongly, for the murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer 

I thought mother! might be the weirdest film I would see this year but now I’m not so sure.

TKOASD is super strange but also seriously good and full of Yorgos Lanthimos‘ signature black humour. There’s not a lot I can say without giving things away and I think going in with little knowledge can only be a good thing.

Nicole Kidman is brilliant as are the actors playing her children (Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic), while Barry Keoghan plays the part of Martin perfectly: insidious, spookily calm and actually quite repellent. I definitely recommend catching this at the cinema if you get the chance.

What are you digging this week?