Friday, 7 July 2017

Blogging Break & 8 TV shows I'm loving!

My long absence from this blog is due to a long bout of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) which I suffer from occasionally. It restricts what I can do with my hands so I have become a bit of a Netflix addict instead! Here are four shows I'd recommend watching.

I loved Ingobernable, a thriller about Mexico's first lady and president, it reminded me a bit of the show '24' especially the last two episodes that had a countdown timer. Disillusioned with the lack of progress that her husband, President Diego promised Mexico, Emilia wants to divorce him. After a violent argument, Diego falls off the balcony and lands on top of a car. But an autopsy reveals that it was a bullet to the head that actually killed the President not the fall. Emilia is now on the run until she can prove that she didn't kill her husband and find the identity of the real murderer. It's a Spanish Netflix original drama (with English subtitles) starring Kate del Castillo and they've confirmed that there will be a second series, hurrah!

I also enjoyed watching Cable Girls/ Las Chicas del Cable. Set in my favourite era of the 1920's the show is about four women from different backgrounds- small town Marga, upper class Carlota, working mother Angeles and Alba who are all recently hired as operators for a Madrid Telecommunications company.  The show begins with Alba who is the main character. She and her friend Gimena dream of starting new lives in Argentina. They begin to steal from lavish parties to finance their new lives. But an argument with Gimena's lover Pedro ends up with both Gimena and Pedro being shot and killed with Pedro's gun. Alba is accused of double murder by the police, but a corrupt police man offers to let her go if she robs a safe at the Madrid telephone company. Using the alias 'Lidia' she flirts with a manager to get a job there. However she runs into trouble when she meets Francisco, the company director and son-in-law of the owner. Francisco feels there is something familiar about her.  The show is dubbed in American English.

Netflix also dropped season 5 of Orange is the New Black, a show based on Piper Kerman's real life experiences in Danbury women's minimum-security prison. Middle class, law abiding Piper has an adoring fiance called Larry, but her past finally catches up with her. Years ago she transported drug money for her ex-girlfriend  and suddenly finds herself sentenced for year and a half behind bars. Season 5 is a lot darker as it covers the prison riot. It was a good season both plot-wise and the acting, although Piper's character did annoy me sometimes.

Finally I loved watching the seventh and final season of Pretty Little Liars which is based on Sara Shepard's loonng series of books. It all began with Alison Dilaurentis, a mean high school girl who went missing. With Alison gone the friendship group consisting of Emily, Hanna, Aria and Spencer fell apart. Until they received anonymous bullying texts from a person called A who blackmailed each of them. The bullying from the many 'A's revealed across the seasons has only made the group stronger.  I've absolutely loved the show, the mysteries, romance and fashion. I'm so sad it's over!

Usually costume dramas air in the autumn in the UK, and I love watching them on a cosy night in with a hot chocolate, blanket and fluffy slippers. But the BBC have spoilt me with two dramas to watch through the summer. Versailles came back for a second series where we saw Louis XIV engaging in war with Portugal and plagued by suspicious poisonings in his court. The Versailles palace is definitely somewhere I'd like to visit someday - it looks incredibly beautiful! The show is also available on the BBC iplayer or itunes here.

Poldark is set in Cornwall in the late 18th century and revolves around the Poldark family. It is based on the novels written by Winston Graham. We follow the rifts that divide the two branches of families, their fortune in the mines and the hardships they each face. It begins with Ross Poldark returning from the American War of Independence to his Cornish copper mines. When he arrives home, he finds his father dead, his estate in ruins, and his old sweetheart Elizabeth engaged to his cousin Francis. He rescues a young woman, Demelza, from being beaten up and takes her on as a kitchen maid. She later becomes his wife. Ross attempts to help the village by gaining control of the mines sought after by his rival, the greedy and arrogant George Warleggan. While most people see Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) as the hot brooding topless heartthrob I actually prefer Doctor Dwight Eyns (Luke Norris.) Available on BBC1 Sunday 9pm or  Itunes here

I would definitely recommend watching Clique (available on BBC iplayer here) It tells the story of two childhood best friends- extrovert, impulsive, fun loving Georgia and quieter, slightly shyer Holly. They start Edinburgh University together and are studying business. Renowned lecturer Jude McDermid has founded the exclusive Solasta Women's Initiative, helping women in business. It's a competitive position and Georgia suddenly finds herself accepted into the group. Holly is left out and has FOMO issues. Holly is also haunted by disturbing scenes from her past. When Georgia suddenly behaves erratically, she is worried. Wanting to help her friend, Holly digs deeper and manages to infiltrate the group. At first she sees the glamourous parties attended by powerful and famous business men and women. But when she discovers a darker side she is determined to save Georgia by exposing it.

The Handmaids Tale Channel 4 / Hulu
This show is based on Margret Atwood's dystopian novel. The government of the United States of America has been overthrown and replaced by the totalitarian Republic of Gilead. To tackle low fertility rates handmaids are allocated to ruling elite couples who have trouble conceiving. The main character Offred is a handmaid to Commander 'Fred' and his wife Serena Joy. Every month Offred has to participate in a ritualised rape with the commander in order to conceive for the couple. The life of a handmaid is completely restricted, their movements are curtailed and freedom of speech gone, instead they are forced to stick to a set script of Christian phrases. Ominously Gilead’s secret police force 'The Eyes' are always watching everyone. In flashbacks we see June's (Offred's) previous life with her husband and child. We also get a glimpse of  the events that have led to the Gilead regime. Women's rights were gradually eroded due to temporary anti-terrorism laws that became permanent. Laws banned women from working and owning property or even a bank account. Atwood used examples of female oppression and totalitarian regimes past and present as her inspiration. These terrible events were not imagined but had happened in one society or another. Since I haven't read the book I'm curious to see what happens next even though it's a kinda bleak and a hard watch at times. The acting is superb though especially from  Elizabeth Moss who plays Offred. The Handmaid's Tale is available on Channel4 Sunday 9pm or Hulu.

Tell me what TV shows do you recommend watching? 

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