This seems to be a bit of a tradition now, making a handful of resolutions on this blog for the coming year. I try not to put too much pressure on myself to achieve these things, because twelve months is a long time and who knows where we’ll all be at the end of it? But sometimes it’s nice to have some guidance, so I’ve got some more for 2020.
The flagship offering of Apple TV+’s launch was The Morning Show, a complicated drama set in a network television morning show and featuring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston as sparring and unwilling co-anchors. The show came in for a lot of early criticism, being a bit corny, full of tropes and stereotypes and generally not telling the story well.
I didn’t get any of that. There were a few cliches, sure, and it did take a while to fully warm to some of the characters, but as with the other Apple TV shows, a couple of episodes in and I was hooked.
So I did this round up last year, quickly running through other posts that had already collected upcoming releases and pulling out films that I thought I’d be interested in.
Turns out, I picked twelve films and only managed to watch half of them. Oh well! Let’s see how well I do this year. For reference, I’ve looked at the BBC, a selection from Total Film and a pretty long list on IGN.
It’s that time again! A whole year of music listening gets distilled down to a choice of five top albums and seeing if any of them can break into my top ten of all time. I don’t usually enjoy this process and this year hasn’t been any different, although if I’m honest, the choice was slightly less inspiring than usual.
It felt like the year was very top heavy in terms of stand-out albums, and as I was reviewing my shortlist, none of them were really jumping out.
If you’ve followed my adventures, you know I’ve gone back and forth on the whole album thing, but I think getting to the end of my fourth year of listening to two albums a week (400 albums!) means that I’m on board. So I was surprised when I first heard that Sheryl Crow wasn’t going to make any more records after her latest release Threads.
At the time the album came out, she talked of how happy she was that it would be her final release because the album features so many incredible guests and songs, and it was a good one.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but Christmas television this year hasn’t felt as special or as inspiring as it sometimes does. There’s no Christmas Doctor Who special, and no superb films finally showing on TV, so that the only thing to look forward to seemed to be Gavin & Stacey.
Wait a minute, Gavin and Stacey returning after a decade?? Yes! Many, many, many of us were looking forward to this welcome return to the twin worlds of Billericay and Barry Island, and thank goodness it was a perfect episode that wasn’t ruining anything that went before.
As is tradition now, I have come to the latest Sims game very, very late. When I talked about The Sims 3, it was about four years after the game had been released. I love a good late review, honestly. Well, The Sims 4 is slightly different. I did download it slightly nearer its release date - 2017, I think. But it didn’t work on my Mac, because it’s an old and rickety machine that desperately needs updating.
When I first wrote about For All Mankind, it was out of duty rather than enjoyment really. This was a show about the moon with a sprinkling of feminism and couldn’t have been made more for me if it tried. I talked of how the first episode dragged and the second picked up and by the third I was hooked.
Well, I should have sensed the pattern there because every single episode that went by was better than the one before and by the tenth episode, the season finale, I was enthralled.
I had heard that a new version of Baby It’s Cold Outside was going to be released, with updated lyrics, but I hadn’t heard it until recently. Kelly Clarkson and John Legend have rewritten the old classic which has come under fire for some difficult lyrics that could be considered to fall on the wrong side of consent.
I do get why the old song is problematic for some people. That line “what’s in this drink” can absolutely be taken out of context and if you read the lyrics at face value, it does sound like a guy trying to coerce his date to stay longer than she really wants to.
Final thoughts! How can it be over already? I mean, I know it’s been weeks and we’ve all been on a journey and it’ll be quite nice to have my Saturday nights back but still… it’s all done!
What a final show it was, kicking off with an incredible routine, and featuring Taylor Swift, plus all the old gang back for one more round including lovely Will!
I really, really would have been happy with any of those three winning it but Kelvin edged it for me, and I’m so happy he and Oti took home the glitterball.