Tag: TV

Late to the party – Game of Thrones

When we were in the process of buying our new place (at which point does it stop being new, and just be “our place” I wonder?) it became apparent that our existing TV provider, Virgin, didn’t supply our new home. No matter, the husband was quite happy with switching over to Sky after feeling disgruntled with Virgin broadband for a while anyway.

So, on the day we moved in, I arranged for a Sky engineer to come round and hook us up, lest the husband should be without TV for even a day and have a childlike collywobble (I’m only half joking).

Unfortunately said engineer was unable to fit a Sky dish and give us access to all that lovely TV content, because there’s a ruddy great – nay, monstrous – tree smack bang in the middle of where the Sky signal comes from. The tree is growing on the railway bank which runs not far from our house, and is therefore not easy to get rid of.

The husband didn’t take things well. At all. The childlike collywobble I thought I’d avoided by being organised came somewhat to the fore. Phrases like “this fucking place” were uttered by him, my soothing noises fell on deaf ears and placatory comments from me like “I’m sure we’ll find an alternative” were met with a deathly stare.

Luckily, the husband is not one to be beaten by obstacles (aka he’s a stubborn bugger, remember the vigour with which he approached the BBQ ban at our old place?) and so he set to urgent work in looking at a way to bring joyous entertainment into our home. After all, that was way more important than unpacking boxes and other moving day dullness, no?

The upshot was that we ended up with Now TV. Which, as I understand, is like Sky “lite” but runs through the internet instead of a satellite signal, meaning the broadband package I’d signed up for wasn’t nearly sufficient, and we chewed through our data allowance within 3 days. It also means we have yet another remote control that I don’t really know how to use and that I can be blamed for when it disappears down the side of the sofa. But, on the plus side, we have the Sky TV that the husband so desperately wanted!

So, in an incredibly late to the party turn, we’ve started watching Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones

A show which I never thought I had any interest in at all, until we started watching it and I got totally sucked in! We’ve currently made it to half way through season 3, so no spoilers please! I spend a lot of time saying “who’s that?” and “I don’t understand” – it’s by far one of the most complex programs I have ever watched, with so many main characters and locations, but I have the general grasp of things and it starts to make more sense as time goes on. Outside of the complexity and the storyline, the visual side of the show is incredible, with fabulous costumes, sets and backdrops. I love tales of mediaeval times and they’re depicted incredibly graphically within the show, at times almost too graphically, and there are definitely moments which make me hide behind my hands. Character development is so well done; I’ve already gone from hating some characters to feeling sorry for them in later seasons, and I can’t wait to see how things develop further.

On the plus side, because I’ve never been interested in it and haven’t had Sky before, I don’t really know what’s to come in seasons 4 to 6, so it genuinely is a surprise to me. The only storyline I am aware of, because it was discussed in the office, was the life or death of Jon Snow, but even knowing the outcome, I’m still intrigued by the storyline around it.

With season 7 being just around the corner (first episode on 17th July) I don’t think we’ll quite be up to speed ready to watch them in real time, so it will be an ongoing struggle to avoid trailers, spoilers and conversations in the office from my colleagues who have been watching it for many years. And, on the odd occasion we think we recognise someone in the show, we have to avoid Googling anything because it will be sure to throw up results which may reveal what’s to come before we’ve watched it.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Have you watched all the seasons? Let me know! (and no spoilers!)

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Channel 4’s Naked Attraction

Last night I watched an episode of Naked Attraction; the new dating show on Channel 4 where people choose a date purely on physical attributes.

For anyone outside of the UK, or if you haven’t seen it, a chooser stands in the studio faced with 6 coloured boxes, each containing a completely naked person. The shutter on the box lifts up in stages, revealing first the person’s bottom half, then mid section, then head. At each stage, the chooser must eliminate one naked person and give their reasons.

Naked Attraction Channel 4

Let me start by saying I’m not a prude in anyway. I don’t find nakedness offensive or embarrassing, I don’t turn over the TV when a sex scene is on and I’ve sunbathed on a nudist beach (tip, it’s not fun when things start to burn). But I just find this programme completely unnecessary and gratuitous.

Sure, it’s delivered in a “this is a social experiment and aren’t we all great for pushing the boundaries and being cool with nakedness” manner. They throw in scientific facts, like what it might mean if someone has a toe fetish (bleugh). But, in truth, it’s just a headline grabbing cheap titivation show. And I can’t imagine for one minute why anyone would choose to go on it!

As I said, nakedness is fine. It’s how we all come into the world. But in the days of catch up TV, and the internet, why would the average Joe want their bits immortalised forever more? Think it’s bad when prospective employers search Facebook profiles and Google? Imagine knowing your new boss has probably seen your short and curlies before they’ve even interviewed you?

I just don’t like how purely appearance based this show is. I mean, we’re all guilty of judging people on looks. You fancy someone or you don’t. But this is going one step further. This is looking at men and rejecting them because of a hint of ginger pubic hair. This is eliminating women because their boobs aren’t quite big enough.

A guy on yesterday’s programme was looking at the women’s bits closely and making comments about their neatness. “That one’s all very tightly packed” was one observation. I had a pang of “mine doesn’t look like that!” And if I’m thinking that, then how many other (younger and more impressionable) people are doubting themselves too?

The female chooser, an attractive women with two children (whhhhhyyyy do that to your kids?) stated “it’s like Christmas – all these men in boxes. I’ve never been faced with 6 penises before”. I’m sorry but peens just aren’t attractive. They’re not pretty. It’s what they stand for (oo-er) that’s the good bit. But when they’re just there, well, they’re just there!

Most of the contestants, both men and women had no pubic hair. I know that’s a preference of many people, but I don’t think the percentage on the show is representative of real life. One woman with a Brazilian was judged as trying to show her maturity by still having some hair. Realllly? Who knew?! (heavy doses of sarcasm). My point there, is this bringing unrealistic expectations to young people growing up? After all, this show is the kind of voyeuristic crap kids will be watching and then switching over the minute their parents walk in. Is it teaching people that what’s underneath your clothes is more important than what’s in your head or heart?

Negative comments on floppy foreskins, big nipples and hairy chests – all of which are completely natural – don’t exactly promote body confidence in someone who might have one (or all!) of these attributes!

Maybe I’m being too deep (ahem). Maybe it’s good that nudity is being normalised? I just think there are better ways of doing it than inviting strangers to ogle each other.

The one redeeming feature is presenter Anna Richardson, who I’ve always loved on TV. She’s smart, she’s spunky, she’s attractive and funny. And, as she rightly pointed out, as someone who’s swung both ways who better to stand in a room full of naked johnsons (a willy word I hadn’t heard before!) and vaginas!

You can’t really argue with that!

Have you seen it? What do you think? Am I being a boring old maid??!!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Are tattoos on women becoming more mainstream?

X Factor, whether you like it or not, is mainstream Saturday night TV. So it’s great that Rita Ora consistently shows her tattoos on the show.

Rita Ora tattooed bicep

Rita Ora tattooed wrist

OK, so Cheryl is known for having tattoos but, aside from the one on her hand, they’re generally hidden from view (what with her not getting her bottom out on TV, as much as I’m sure some people would like her to!)

Cheryl Cole tattooed bottom

Rita has quite a large and visible inking on the inside of her left bicep, as well as her right wrist, amongst others.

Not only that, I’ve recently noticed a tattooed McDonalds worker in their new advert. I can’t recall seeing any tattooed females in an advertisement before.

McDonalds advert tattooed girl

Tattooed males have been mainstream for quite a while, and represented positively in the media (not the bad boys they once were). David Beckham is lauded as a family man and ambassador for Great Britain and he’s extensively tattooed, including his hands and neck which at one time was for the realms only of the real hardcore of society. Most young boy bands have visible tattoos these days, with sleeves seemingly de rigeur. One Direction have a large collective collection of inkings and their fan base runs from very young girls through to fully grown women (although possibly for different reasons!)

In the past, public representation of tattooed females tends to be quite extreme – those who have a lot of coverage (like Jodie Marsh). It’s good to see a woman in a workplace on TV (I know she’s an actress, but even so).

One of my main bug bears has been the lack of tattooed models on everyday websites. ASOS, for example, uses a majority of tattooed male models (including, most recently, one with ink on his face) yet there never seem to be any women. This reinforces the stereotype that tattooed women are very much an exception, and can’t be used to sell an image or product. Why is that? Does it suggest that tattoos are off putting and undesirable? Strange, when beautiful women like Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie are inked.

So I was pleased to spot a couple of female fashion models with tattoos recenltly. Small, but it’s progress.

Boohoo featured this model on an eshot (note the not huge but nonetheless visible wrist ink).

Boohoo tattooed model

And H&M went all out with multiple ink locations, including fingers, on an email advertising party wear, no less!

H&M tattooed model

What are your thoughts on female tattoos? Are you offended by seeing them? Are tattooed men more “acceptable” than women? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Thanks. as always, for reading! x

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I’ll be there for you…

…as long as you can get to London that is…

If you read the blog title as the tuneful refrain of the Friends theme tune then have a point (there’s no prize, but recognition is good).

Cast of Friends

I was only thinking to myself this morning just how much Friends is part of every day life and how I refer to the characters almost like acquaintances from real life (“you know, Joey from Friends“). A colleague at work is in the early stages of pregnancy and I mentioned this morning about when Ross and Rachel had the first scan and Rachel couldn’t see the baby. I thought everybody refers to Friends in that way, but judging by the way she looked at me with confusion then obviously not.

Friends is always on. Always. And it’s still always funny! I can’t think of any other programme that has such a level of longevity and is watchable over and over again. Sometimes it’s even funnier because you know what’s coming!

And of course there’s the age old deliberation of who’s your favourite. I veer from Joey to Chandler to Rachel. It all depends on the episode. But I do know that Ross is my least favourite! (although I also know that his annoying side is one of the foils that makes the other characters so likeable).

At the weekend we ended up watching 2-3 episodes back to back, even though we’ve seen them before. Friends is like a comforting hug. When there’s nothing else on TV you can easily sink into it’s warm familiarity and you know it will leave you with a good feeling.

So it was with a sense of excitement that I saw a news article this morning that Comedy Central is bringing a Friends Fest to the UK! It will feature replicas of Monica’s apartment, a Central Perk coffee shop, the fountain from the credits – how exciting! And knowing how much my husband loves Friends, my first thought was “I’ll grab some tickets”.

Foiled – it’s only on for 5 days, in London. From a Wednesday to a Sunday.

Issues I have with this:

  • We’re in Cornwall for a long weekend
  • We don’t have any spare annual leave to facilitate a mid week visit
  • It would involve a trip to the capital

The last one is perhaps my biggest gripe. LONDON IS NOT THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE!!!

Londoncentric

Phew, I already feel slightly better. It’s so annoying that London seems to get everything. I know it’s the capital city, and has loads of tourists and loads of citizens and all that jazz, but it’s just not fair. I mean technically (apart from the Cornwall thing) I can get to London fairly easily. Not cheaply, by train, but that’s another story (damn you National Rail and your corporate greed). But what about people in Scotland? Or Northern Ireland?

I know this is nothing new, and I also know it’s unlikely to change. But it would be good if organisers considered that people outside of the capital city might want to take advantage of such things without needing to take time off work and remortgage their homes to raise the costs of a return train fare where they’ll probably have to stand all the way home.

Anyway, the tickets apparently sold out within 5 minutes (the only good thing about the whole thing is that it was extremely reasonably priced at just £5 per ticket) so whether I’m away or not makes no difference.

And neither does this post!

Who’s your favourite Friend? Let me know!

EDIT:

O.M.G

Look at Chandler and Joey now!!!!!

Joey and Chandler Friends

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