My 5 Favorite British Comedies

Hi everyone!

If you don’t know by now, I watch a lot of television. A couple of years ago I went through a phase where I was only watching British comedies and period dramas. I became a bit of an anglophile and learned to love and appreciate the TV industry in the UK. Today I wanted to list some of my favorite British comedies in hopes of introducing you to a show that you may have heard of but haven’t checked out yet!

Without further ado and in no particular order, these are my five favorite British comedies…

1. Spaced (1999-2001)

Alright, I’m going to be honest with you. I know I said in no particular order, however, Spaced might be one of my favorite shows of all time, so it was the first one I wrote down. It’s only two seasons (or series as they say in the UK) and it features a young Simon Pegg and Nick Frost who you may recognize from the Cornetto Trilogy and stars Jessica Hynes who is absolutely amazing and hilarious in her role as Daisy. Also, every episode is directed by Edgar Wright who is well known for the Cornetto Trilogy, Scott Pilgrim, and Baby Driver. The show is about Tim and Daisy who find themselves living together and getting through life while being surrounded by the quirkiest group of people. The show has some great nerdy references too, including Star Wars, so it’s definitely my jam.

2. The Thick of It (2005-2012)

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All hail Malcolm Tucker! The Thick of It was created by Armando Iannucci who is also responsible for HBO’s Veep (a favorite of mine). This show is the British equivalent to Veep and it’s just as hilarious and amazing. I didn’t think I’d care for a British comedy about government but the show is pure satire and the characters and jokes are what make it so GREAT. Peter Capaldi stars as Malcolm Tucker who is the Director of Communications for the government and is a crazy, vulgar man who is feared by all. It’s a really fantastic show that may teach you a few things about modern British government or how to tell someone off using the most perfect of British insults.

3. The Office (2001-2003)

Classic. If you are a fan of the US version of The Office then at one point in your life you have been told to check out the original UK version of The Office created by Ricky Gervais. I’ll admit it took me a few episodes to get into but once I fell in love with the characters I couldn’t stop watching and binged the entire show in one night.

4. The Mighty Boosh (2004-2007)

THE MIGHTY BOOSH. This show is weird and surreal and comical. I had seen sketches from The Mighty Boosh on YouTube but had never seen the show until I watched it on a streaming service. The show features Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt as Vince Noir and Howard Moon respectively, two failing musicians trying to pursue fame. I will say it’s not for everyone. If you are into sketch comedies like Portlandia or The Kids in the Hall, or maybe if you’re into talking Gorillas, this might be your thing.

5. Black Books (2000-2004)

Black Books is another really great series that is often considered a sister show to Spaced. It’s about Bernard Black who runs a little book shop and hates all of his customers. Bernard is accompanied by his shop assistant Manny and his friend Fran who try and get Bernard to be more social. There are several actors from Spaced who make appearances throughout the show’s run, which is pretty cool. I will say Black Books does have a laugh track and it can be bothersome at times, but I’ve learned to accept laugh tracks from older shows because they’re still funny and great at the end of the day.

The 7 Best Historical Fiction & Fantasy Shows (IMHO)

Hey!

Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing for historical fiction? Well, I do.

I love period dramas and medieval fantasy shows. Like, I eat that shit up. I thought I’d list a few of my favorites because nothing’s better than sharing what you love, right?

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my favorite historical fiction & fantasy shows….

1. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012)

This. Show. Is. So. Good. A couple of years ago I saw a gift set of Miss Fisher on tumblr and checked the show out on Netflix. I binged it in three days and fell in love with the 1920s. It’s a really, really great mystery show. I stopped watching Sherlock (2010) after season 3 so this filled my mystery hole quite nicely.

2. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (2015)

Based on the popular novel (that I have yet to read) by Susanna Clarke, this miniseries is funny and weird and I looked forward to every episode each week when it was airing. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something light and magical and takes place in the 19th century. I’d watch the hell out of this again if it were available on a streaming service.

3. Downton Abbey (2010)

Before people were live-tweeting Game of Thrones on the reg, people were live-tweeting Downton Abbey. I’m pretty sure at one point it did become a cultural phenomenon, but only a handful actually stuck around until the very end. This doesn’t mean it sucked, it just didn’t cater to the US as much as it did to the UK. Anyways, it holds a very special place in my heart and I still think about some of the characters to this day. If you want to see beautiful costumes from the early 20th century and walk around your house pretending you’re upperclass aristocrat this is the perfect show!

4. Outlander (2014)

Men in kilts! That’s it. That’s the whole show. To be honest, it bothers me that not enough people watch this show! I never see people talking about it online as much as they do other shows. It’s a hot and heavy romance featuring the political history of Scotland, men in kilts, and a dash of time travel. I live-tweet this show when it airs and I don’t plan on stopping.

5. Pride & Prejudice (1995)

Sticking to the romance, I present to you my favorite Pride & Prejudice adaptation. I love the Joe Wright film from 2005 and as a matter of fact it was my first introduction to P&P. From there I read the book and then I was recommended the 1995 miniseries, which I was a bit hesitant about due to google image searches and the fact that I didn’t find Colin Firth VERY APPEALING. But all that changed when I actually sat down and watched the damn thing. It is really good and yes, I fell in love with Colin Firth, as one does. I live for Mr. Darcy memes on tumblr so sit yourself down and watch this and join in on the fun! It’s romance in the 18th/19th century with an english countryside backdrop *swoon*.

6. Black Sails (2014)

I LOVE PIRATES. I love the history of pirates and rebellion in general, so this show was right up my alley. Black Sails gives us a realistic look at piracy in the 18th century and really interesting, complicated characters. I’m sad it didn’t get as much recognition when it aired, but it’s totally worth checking out. I will say that season 1 was slow but every episode of season 2 was fucking amazing and it just kept getting better! I am a former Pirates of the Caribbean fan (FORMER) and I used to say that if you grew up with PotC, Black Sails is your graduation gift.

7. The Crown (2016)

My current BAE. The Crown is phenomenal! While it is based on Queen Elizabeth II’s life, it’s not entirely fact and therefore qualifies as historical fiction. I love learning about the monarchy and while I’d prefer 17th century monarchy any day of the week, the 20th century monarchy is actually fascinating and wasn’t that long ago. I’m always googling what actually happened after every episode I watch of this show. If you’re interested in the life of Queen Elizabeth or love the present day royal family, check this show out!

Honorable mentions:

Game of Thrones (2011)

Vikings (2013)

Marco Polo (2014)

Penny Dreadful (2014)

The Man in the High Castle (2015)

Mad Men (2007)

I know there are many shows that I haven’t mentioned and that’s probably because I haven’t seen them yet or they escaped my mind. If you think I’d like something that’s not on this list, please feel free to recommend it! I do tend to like higher quality shows with bigger budgets, but if it has a good story and great writing then I’m ALL IN.

 

Godspeed Rebels

Star Wars Rebels is over. It’s the end of an era.

The first season of Rebels was one of our earliest glimpses into the galaxy far, far away after the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Many were hesitant about the show post-Clone Wars (me), but with Dave Filoni at the helm it quickly earned many fans’ respects.

Over the last four years we have been introduced to several characters across the galaxy and many unique qualities about the force that none of us would have ever believed. If you think The Last Jedi was weird, watch Star Wars Rebels. The series finale aired last night on Disney XD and I wanted to share my thoughts about the ending of this show that initially, I had very little faith in.

Basically, I loved it. I loved the finale. I loved that in the end, our ragtag crew of rebels made it out alive.

Well, for the most part.

We lost Kanan in “Jedi Knight” after he sacrificed himself to save the family that he loved, who he knew would continue the fight against the Empire. It was tragic, beautifully done, and a necessary loss. As for Ezra, I honestly cannot imagine where he’d be and if Thrawn is alive or not. I will probably have to listen to a few podcasts and read a few theories before I make any assumptions. Zeb and Kallus live happily ever after on Lira San and probably adopt a few lasats (wishful thinking). Hera turned out to be pregnant, which I would NEVER have predicted and ended up giving birth to a baby boy named Jacen (yes, Jacen). Jacen Syndulla.

Sabine narrates everyone’s lives from the liberation of Lothal to after the Battle of Endor, which was another surprise! Everyone expected Rebels to end before Rogue One or possibly after the Battle of Yavin. I absolutely love that Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper survived the original trilogy. I didn’t expect it, but I should have. Sabine then goes on to say that she along with Ahsoka Tano (AHSOKA LIVES) will fulfill the promises they made to Ezra to find him and bring him home.

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I’m dead.

First of all, Ahsoka Tano is a fucking legend. I am in love with her story even though it’s shrouded in mystery. I honestly think that’s probably what makes me love her even more. Yes, there is a small part of me that wants to ask, “well, where was she during this event or what about this infamous Yoda quote about Luke being the last Jedi?” I get it. However, Ahsoka isn’t a Jedi anymore and Luke is the only one who could have redeemed Vader, end of story.

Jacen Syndulla is my new favorite conspiracy theory. Who does he grow up to be? Where do his allegiances lie? They obviously were inspired by the EU to use the name Jacen. Why Jacen? Hmm? Anyways, I’m happy that Hera was able to have a living memory of her love for Kanan and it looks like she’s teaching him the ways of space piloting, which is so sweet.

Ezra is the heart of this show. I will admit that I didn’t care for him until the very last episodes because I couldn’t relate with him on a personal level. He is a teenage boy growing up under incredibly difficult circumstances. While I still don’t quite relate with him, I do sympathize and saw that in the last few episodes he really grew up and became the leader and light that everyone needed in those dark times. He made the decision to sacrifice himself not knowing where he’d end up, so that he could liberate his home planet and save his family. Just thinking about his last words make me teary-eyed. I hope Sabine and Ahsoka do find him and I hope we get to see that in a future show or film one day.

Thank you to Dave Filoni and the entire cast and crew of Star Wars Rebels. The show is over, but the Ghost crew will never be forgotten.

 

Featured image from StarWars.com & Lucasfilm.

Rebels With A Cause

Star Wars: Rebels will come to a close later this year. With the final trailer for the animated series having dropped just last week, I have many concerns about our Ghost Crew, but mostly about Kanan’s hair.

Check out the trailer below:

So, there’s a lot going on. I don’t understand Kanan’s decision-making process but I’m guessing his new hairstyle has more meaning, like perhaps a rebirth or reawakening. All I’m going to say is I agree with Hera. It’s not a good look.

I’ve never been one to theorize the ending or make any predictions for Rebels. Maybe one or two when it comes to Ahsoka’s fate, but in regards to the Ghost Crew I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Thanks to Rogue One, we know that Hera and Chopper will make it out alive. I’m hoping Ezra and Kanan don’t take the hermit path because we just witnessed Luke in The Last Jedi. Yes, Luke had his own problems and running away from everything and everyone seemed like a good idea at the time. However, we are talking about Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus… do I think they’re going to run away from a cause they’ve put so much effort into? No.

As for Zeb and Sabine, all I want for them is to be happy and live their best lives, but I have no current predictions for these two. The big reveal in the trailer was the long awaited appearance of Emperor Palpatine, who is voiced by none other than Ian McDiarmid. Palpatine appears to be fixated on Ezra and I look forward to seeing these two interact with each other very soon.

My two favorite parts of the trailer were the convor and the Mortis mural. The Mortis arc is one of my favorite moments in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and one that made everyone view the Force differently (I mean forget everything you know about midi-chlorians). In the arc, Ahsoka Tano (one of my favorite characters of all time) is killed by the Son who is the avatar for the dark side. The Daughter, who represents the light, uses what is left of her power to resurrect Ahsoka. If you’ve caught up with Rebels, you know that Ahsoka dueled Vader, her former master, and the ending was left ambiguous. All I know is Ahsoka walked down some steps and was followed by the same mysterious convor from the trailer. After the season two finale fans predicted that Ahsoka lived, from a certain point of view, and most likely reincarnated into a wolf or became a force ghost.

In June of 2017, Dave Filoni, creator of Rebels and Clone Wars, sent out a tweet:

As soon as I saw the convor in the trailer I immediately remembered this drawing. No, she’s not the wolf, but she’s probably (like 99.9%) the convor. The only reason it seems plausible is because in the Mortis mural there is a convor on the shoulder of the Daughter. Filoni has also stated that the convor is an avatar of something we have seen before in the animated Star Wars universe. Okay, Dave, I see what you did there.

Let me just tell you, I have never been more excited for a show to end. It’s bittersweet for me because as much as I love this show (most of the time), I am ready for it to come to a close and I look forward to the future of Star Wars animation, or whatever Dave Filoni has up his sleeve. Also, Ahsoka Lives.

Star Wars: Rebels returns February 19th, 2018.

The Anime We Saw That Day

A couple of years ago, back in high school, I became fully aware of anime and the culture that surrounds the popular art form. When I was young I had only heard of the term, but never really associated it with shows like Dragon Ball or Sailor Moon. To me those shows were just cartoons that I watched on Cartoon Network early in the mornings. In high school, I had friends who watched anime regularly and who would suggest shows here and there, however I never really took the time to check them out. I simply just preferred live action TV shows and I also felt that reading subtitles took away from my full enjoyment and understanding of what I was watching. Yeah, I was wrong.

Fast forward to 2016. My SO suggested I try to experience anime again and this time with an open mind. We started with Your Name, which also happens to be the fourth highest grossing film of all time in Japan and considered one of the greatest anime films ever made. I instantly fell in love with it. I am still very new to anime but as a movie buff, this film is absolutely wonderful and I still think about it to this day.

After Your Name, I moved on to actual shows. This is where I attempt to get any readers who have not seen an anime before to check out some handpicked shows that I think are amazing.

As an entryway anime the SO recommended, Attack on Titan, and it did not disappoint. Yes, Attack on Titan is extremely popular, but it deserves that recognition. I consider it the Game of Thrones of the anime world. Again, I am new so if your opinion differs, that’s fine! The show is epic and ongoing and there is so much happening and I happen to love most of the characters (Mikasa forever). As you can tell, I’m a fan. Season 2 just ended and it was fucking amazing. Go catch up in time for season 3, which is slated for a 2018 release!

The next anime is a real tearjerker and a show that will make you miss all the qualities of being a kid. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is the show that made me cry a lot, almost every episode, seriously. I related with it in the sense that I was a young kid who had a group of friends and we had great times, but all that ended and everyone grew up. The show deals with themes of innocence, grief, regret, and unrequited love all within a group of young high school kids. As I watched the show I kept thinking about the ending quote of the film Stand By Me, which goes “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” I highly recommend this show!

Terror in Resonance is phenomenal. The first episode had me hooked. I kept telling my SO that the show reminded me of something that would be on HBO. He did not get that reference. The tone of the show is very serious and feels very realistic in many ways. Honestly, its just really, really good TV. Worth a watch if you want to stay away from the goofy, fantasy centric anime.

My last recommendation is the brilliant Your Lie in April. I will admit this show took me about two episodes to really fall in love. It’s sad and in some ways predictable but it delivers the whole way through. I like to compare it to a Nicholas Sparks/John Green novel that really tugs at your heartstrings. It’s a romantic drama that will make you cry and make you wish you stuck with your piano lessons when you were younger.

As of July 2017, I have completed 7 shows and seen 4 movies. I am still extremely new to the scene and I am taking my time. I have yet to see at least one Studio Ghibli film, so I have a lot of gems to uncover. Before I started watching anime I had been in a TV show rut, nothing was really doing it for me so the change of pace is really nice. I also LOVE the fact that I don’t have to worry about catching up with 7 seasons of a show, 2 of which I will have to suffer through (looking at you American TV shows). Most Anime is short and ends where it needs to end.

Hopefully, I have convinced a few of you to check out some anime and give it a chance. There are really great shows and movies out there that I think people who are used to American TV shows will love and appreciate.