What/If – Netflix

Lisa and Shaun, a happily married couple, are faced with a big dilemma. Lisa’s dream is to go forward with her science research company Emygen with its life-saving technology. However, she faces trouble finding the finance to do so, until she meets mysterious venture capitalist, Anne Montgomery. Anne can help her with everything that she needs –  all that she asks in return is for a night with Shaun and a signed confidentiality agreement about what happens on that night. Reluctantly, Lisa agrees, not knowing what problems and secrets lie ahead…

What/If is a camp ludicrous piece of entertainment. Renee Zellweger shines as Anne Montgomery, the cold and clever investor who seems to have a peculiar large interest in Lisa and Shaun’s relationship. The plot twists and turns come thick and fast, with some unbelievable events happening. The drama also devotes time to other friends and family of Lisa. Whilst it is nice that the drama seeks to flesh out more of Lisa and her background, I found the other plot lines distracting from the main story. The story of Angela and her affair with Ian and the tragic secret that Lisa’s brother has been keeping from childhood don’t seem to bring that much to the show. The characters aren’t particularly likeable either – it is hard to sympathise with the main lead Lisa – I am not sure if it is because how she is written or if Jane Levy isn’t suited to the role.

Daft as it is, if you have a few hours it is worth binge-watching to see how the story reaches its conclusion. It does leave potential for a second season although I am not sure if it really needs one.

Disenchantment – Netflix

Netflix’s new addition is Disenchantment from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. It follows the story of Princess Bean, not your typical princess, as she tries to find true meaning in her life.

Whereas I loved Futurama and The Simpsons (earlier seasons), it was quite hard for me to take. A lot of the humour feels forced, and the characters feel like stock characters – you don’t connect with anyone at all. Many of the storylines feel predictable, as does the shock twist in the latter part of the season. Whether the characters can achieve any growth or likability remains to be seen. I didn’t feel the plot was that engaging, I guess it only feels a little interesting in the last two episodes of the season.

It is a little disappointing, given that I liked Groening’s past efforts. Whether any improvement can be made in its next season remains to be seen. Perhaps after setting the scene and the characters, Disenchantment can move forward and achieve its success like The Simpsons and Futurama.

Champions – Netflix

Season One of Champions is now available to watch on Netflix. Co-written by Mindy Kaling, from The Office and The Mindy Project, it follows the story of Vince (played by Anders Holm, best known for Workaholics) , who once had hopes of a long and successful baseball career but now runs his dad’s old gym with his brother. Vince’s life is far from aspirational and soon, his long lost son Michael appears to shake things up a bit.

Whilst the cast perform well, I felt the story was predictable and was lacking something. I liked The Mindy Project because you warm to the main character, but here the leads are unlikeable and almost like stereotypes. It seems like Kaling can’t write for a male-led comedy? Some lines did make me laugh, and I like the pop culture references (similar to The Mindy Project). On the whole, I didn’t think it was anything special, despite the cast’s best efforts, and I would be interested to see if would garner enough interest to get a second season.

The Good Place – Netflix

 

Whilst scrolling through Netflix, I saw The Good Place, starring Kristin Bell and Ted Danson. I’ve been a big Kristin Bell fan since Veronica Mars, and the premise for this sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a go.

Eleanor Shellstrop has died and gone to the Good Place, a perfect place for good people. Everything you could possibly want is there, and the perfect soulmate is waiting to spend the rest of eternity with you. Except there is one thing wrong, Eleanor doesn’t belong there.

The show sees Eleanor try to avoid the truth coming out and being sent to the bad place, full of torture and misery. The show itself is well written and the leads are likeable. I was surprised to see Jameela Jamil in the show, I never thought she was an actress, and she is a little weak compared to the rest of the cast. I really like Jianyu/Jason – his comedic timing is spot on and he has some great lines!

I thought the “trying to hide the truth from everyone” would be stretched out over the course of the season, but things come to a head in the second half of the season. At that point, it was quite hard to predict where the show was going to go. I constantly binged on the show over the next few days, and I certainly didn’t see the twist ending!

I have started the second season now, and it is just as good as the first. I would definitely recommend the show. It’s a nice surprise and the story is a little different to the comedies out there.

Honey G – WHY?

Why is Honey G so popular? She is not. Everyone hates her. She is not a singer and she has no aspirations to be a musician. She has no heart in music or performing. All of her performances consist of her “rapping” – it isn’t really rapping, it is more like rambling out of time to the music and then occasionally shouting “When I say Honey, you say G” before more rambling. She looks like your auntie wanted to look cool and “hip” and pretend to be a rapper so all of the kids think she is cool but she would be embarrassing.

I am convinced that the show has been fixed in her favour. The way I see it, the name Honey G generates so much media attention – the woman you love to hate – and the intention is to bring more publicity and viewership for X Factor. She won’t win but they will keep her in as long as possible until the final stages so they can vote her out for a more “serious” winner.

Every year, Simon Cowell and the judges always insist it is a serious music competition intended to find the next big talented singer but as we all can see, that has never really been the case. This year, the judges have even been praising Honey G (What!!!) when the majority of viewers and even celebrities voice their dislike of her! Nobody can take her seriously and nobody can be voting for her seriously! Last weekend, Honey G was in the bottom two. Finally, we all thought that this was her time to go. There is no way that any other contestant who can sing better (not hard, she doesn’t sing) can be voted out…what?! WHAT?! The judges voted to keep her in!!?? If I was Ryan I would be feeling very sad/angry at the moment.

If the show isn’t fixed as ITV seem to maintain, I say everyone should vote for her, just to mess with Simon Cowell. I have had enough – the show is a joke. Let her win, make a mockery of the show, release her Christmas single (said to written by Ed Sheeran this year – can’t wait to see how that will pan out), flop, make Cowell a laughing stock and end the show forever. The end.

The Apprentice 2016

Is anyone still watching The Apprentice? And if so, is anyone still enjoying it? I have been a regular viewer but I feel like the format is getting stale now. It is always the same tasks every year – design and market a new product (this year jeans), make and sell your own food (this year spending time in the kitchen making sweets), find a list items, at least one of them unknown, and negotiate for lowest price (spending the early hours of the morning looking for a tagine in London). As always, the tasks don’t actually matter because Lord Sugar only cares about THE BUSINESS PLAN in the end, which makes watching the whole process pointless!

This years’ candidates have to be the worst ever. Normally in each series, there are a few candidates who look like they are worthy and work impressively but this year, they are all completely useless! There are no shining stars at all, given that we are 7 weeks in. They are  all stupid, dishonest, passing-the-buck and egotistical. It makes it painful to watch each week, and it is not even entertaining any more, just boring.

If these are supposed to be the top of the crop of businessmen and women, what does that say about our country? The Apprentice is tired, dull and boring. Change the format or give it a rest.

Spooky Come Dancing

This week’s Halloween show saw some new favourites emerging, and some scary dances from others.

Georgina found herself at the top of the leaderboard (new week, new leader) and rightly so. Her dances are getting stronger each week.

Jay’s American Smooth was cool and Helen’s samba was clever. Although the judges raved about Kellie’s Paso Doble, I thought it was overrated. Perhaps due to the theme/music, it felt frantic and messy to watch.

Anita’s waltz was hauntingly beautiful, and I become impressed with Gleb’s choreography every week. It feels very different, very new to the show, and I like how the story merged with the dance. I did feel that they were undermarked by the judges, again! A 6 Craig?!

Jeremy isn’t the strongest dance but I really liked his “salsa” on Saturday. The Thriller elements are possibly the best dancing he has done to date.

I really want Anton to win or finish highly this year (he has never had the best of luck in SCD histoty) but for the second week running, Katie’s dance received negative feedback. I did feel it was worth more that 21 but I was disappointed. There was a lack of fire and conviction, and a lot of hesitiation in dancing the steps. Was the Viennese Waltz just a fluke or can they pull it back next week?

Kirsty was left in the dance off with Jamelia, and lost her place in the compeitition. I guess this was the right decision – Kirsty had the worst dance of the night. Even though she had the mistake, her Charleston felt very heavy and uninspired.

Bottom two next week? Jamelia – I feel she is overmarked this week. Her dances aren’t great. She lacks confidence and her personality doesn’t seem to come through. She seems a little cold and boring to me, and possibly the audience watching at home. Even though she is securing mid-table positions, lack of votes are leaving her in the dance off. I feel her chances may end soon. Unless Carol ends up in the bottom two as well, but for some reason, the public are really warming to her.