Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chapter 76: "I Feel Bad For You." "I Don't Think About You At All."

Hello readersJ,

So last week I told you all how I haven't really had much to report due to the fact I have been ill with glandular fever - which might I add... was gross. I went from being normal, to looking like Jackie Stallone. In case you don't know who that is or what she looks like, she is Sly Stallone's Mama and this is the beaut right here:

Yeah, it wasn't pleasant.  Although I wish it looked like I had botox in my lips cause that's where I could have done with looking swollen! I am much better now although I get tired very easily... That is the after affects of glandular fever! This can last for weeks on end and so I didn't really have anything else to do with my time but watch Netflix. Now for those of you that have this, you can convert it to American Netflix by downloading the following plug-in to your laptop (http://hola.org/). It's free and you can get more movies and programmes on there that have just been released to the cinema or are pretty good classics like Ally McBeal (1997-2002) or My Father The Hero (1994) (if you haven't seen that last one, you're missing a treat). 

My Aunt told me about this programme called, Mad Men ages ago and reckoned I would really like it. I couldn't find it on tele or English Netflix, but when I converted to American I noticed it on there and thought I would give it a bash - I was hooked from the word go. The opening credits is awesome in itself and pretty indicative of the style and context of the show. Take a look for yourself:

Mad Men is by the same television company as Breaking Bad (AMC)... so that’s already a good start! Starring Jon Hamm & Elisabeth Moss, this programme is about a group of men and women who work for an advertising agency, Stanley Cooper, on Madison Avenue in New York, hence the name, Mad Men. Of course this is also a play on words as most of the characters in this are pretty mad coming to work, drinking whiskey, gin and smoking weed all day for "creative purposes". Jon Hamm & Elisabeth Moss make the perfect on screen duo, I would even say on par or even better than Mr. White and Jessie.

It begins as an awkward relationship whereby Peggy Olsen (Moss) is portrayed as a shy and timid character, but at the same time a well guarded character. Whereas Don Draper (Hamm) comes across as a stern, strong character and again well guarded, but for all of the right reasons. As the series progresses you see Peggy growing stronger professionally and personally as it is evident she is one of Don's favourite people in the company (and probably in his life), a position that everyone else is dying to be in, even the likes of his wife Betty Draper played by January Jones. 

Before I watched this I had seen Jones in a couple of movies and didn't really think she was much to write home about in terms of her acting ability... but as I got deeper into the series, she started to become one of my favourite character's. This show contains a lot of different character's that you can relate to on many levels. There's the character of Peter Campbell played by Vincent Kartheiser:

He is the definition of someone who you just LOVE to hate. His facial expressions, his temper tantrums, his outbursts, I just can't help but laugh at him! Then you have Joan Holloway played by Christina Hendricks who pulls off the powerful, busty, independent woman who can get any guy she wants, VERY well:

It's very much a man's world in this programme, but when a good looking woman is in the way, it seems they are all rendered incapable of keeping to themselves and the women are VERY much aware of this, as back then this seemed to be the only way of shifting the power so to speak. However as the years (series) progresses we get to see the emergence of women taking on male dominating roles  such as copy writing  and printing and veering away from typical roles associated with women like being a secretary -  Peggy Olsen was the first to do this.

As you're probably fully aware, I am going off on a tangent. But I have to say this is the BEST television series I have watched in a while and after watching Breaking Bad in 2012, I didn't think anything else would top it... Until this. I think because so much research has gone into the making of this, it is pretty accurate of how men and women were portrayed back in the early 1960's and the shift that gradually takes affect is so interesting to watch, but what's the most interesting part for me is how men AND women are shown to be powerful in their own rights both in the workforce and in their personal lives.

If you're wondering what the title of my blog is about, it is one of my favourite quotes from the series:

Don is THE man. If the above wasn't enough, here are some other quotes from the programme that are pretty great:

It has a pretty awesome soundtrack as well. Here's just one of the songs - The Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night.

Hope you have all enjoyed this week and if you have been looking for a series to watch for a while and thought the same as me (nothing can beat Breaking Bad), this will definitely surprise you.

'Til next week.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Chapter 75: "This Is Fifty Shades Of F**ked Up."

Hey hey guys!

So after a month off I am back with a vengeance! Firstly I want to apologise for my absence... I have been ill with glandular fever and bed ridden for three weeks, so quite frankly I didn't have much to report to you all! Other than the fact I have watched an entire six seasons of Mad Men and it was literally the best thing I have watched in ages... Will talk about that next week though! This week I want to talk about what, well, everyone is talking about and that's the bestselling book and now film, 'Fifty Shades Of Grey.' Now... I haven't read the whole of the first book and therefore I haven't read the entire trilogy. To be quite honest, I wasn't sold on going to see the movie when I heard they were making one... That was until I heard Jamie Dornan was starring as Mr. Christian Grey himself (for those of you that know me, Jamie Dornan is my dream man and I'm still waiting on him to return my calls, emails, fan mail, you get the gist...).

'Allo love...

So even though I only read half of the book, I still had an idea of what Christian and Anastasia looked like. I imagine him to be tall, fair, strong and sort of scary in a way. I pictured her to be, well, quite a plain Jane and ironically, none nondescript. Fifty Shades has had a LOT of criticism since it came to light that the franchise would be on the big screen. I think the main issue is that it has such a massive female following whereby we all have a certain image in our minds of how the characters are, what everything looks like in each scene... but isn't this the case for every book we read? Books help us to ignite our imagination, this is the reason why so many people prefer books to films. I'm sure the Twilight Saga got this flack and how many times has Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre been on our screens? You either prefer Colin Firth or Michael Fassbender as Mr. Darcy, right? They both look different, but they both play Mr. Darcy so well for a character who is very much cemented in English Literature... just like Mr. Christian Grey.

I realise this trilogy has had a massive following from women... I'm pretty sure before the books became so well known men were thinking, "Jeeze, what's got into her? She's up for doing it AT LEAST twice a week now..."

We booked advanced tickets to ensure we got a seat last weekend (as I'm sure a lot of ladies did) and as you can imagine, the cinema was filled with vagina with exception of the odd penis, AKA, the partners of women who dragged them there beyond their control and more than likely:

  1. Threatened them with no sex if they didn't go.
  2. The blokes went for tips.
My sister was one of the women that took her fella there, but it wasn't exactly forced. As soon as Christian introduces Ana to the 'Play room', my sister's partner shouted, "NO WAY EST! THAT'S JUST LIKE OURS!" Granted this got a few giggles from girls surrounding her - she however, wasn't impressed! For those of you who don't know about the 'Play room' part of the book, Christian shows Ana a room that's basically filled with all things bondage and S&M. Here's a few funny meme's I found though:

These did make me chuckle!

My cinema however was full of rowdy women. When the film finished and I went to the toilet, all of a sudden I heard a stampede of women shouting over the cubicl

This isn't a synopsis for those who haven't seen it yet as I don't like to ruin things for anyone, but I will say this, it was definitely better than what critics were making out, so I highly recommend it. Both Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson were equally very good in this. Jamie (a previous model for Calvin Klein) has only recently got into acting and firmly earned his accreditation in the BBC drama The Fall (2013) where he plays a serial killer alongside Gillian Anderson - another must see. Let's just say, when my two friends were asked "David Beckham or Jamie Dornan" after seeing him on
Graham Norton, they were pretty cert on David Beckham. After the movie, they were for Jamie - NATCH. Dakota and her Mother, fellow actress, Melanie Griffiths are actually very similar in the way they convey themselves on screen. I watched Working Girl (1988) not long ago and they are pretty much identical, so I thought Dakota was very good in this role and brought a lot of charisma and humour to Ana's character.

All and all......... GO WATCH PEOPLE! Even you men out there :). 

I'll leave you with Beyonce's - Crazy In Love edition for the movie.

'Til next week.