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Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

In Awe Of…Girls

Lena Dunham is the mastermind behind one of the most clever female driven comedic shows on HBO this year. Lena writes, stars and directs the extremely witty and refreshingly honest Girls; a show that draws upon Dunham’s own experiences as someone in their early 20’s trying to adjust to a post college world and attain the life and career they have always dreamt of.

Dunham plays Hannah, an aspiring writer who gets a nasty reality check when her parents decide the time has come for Hannah to start financially supporting herself. The series centres around Dunham’s character and her small click of friends as they traverse through the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and as the press release states “navigate through their 20’s one mistake at a time”.

Dunham stated in an interview regarding the show that the age bracket of mid to late 20 year olds trying to figure out what to do with themselves has been under represented in shows like Gossip Girl and Sex and The City. I think perhaps that’s one of the reasons I love the show so much as I can really relate to Hannah and her friend’s struggles to carve out a career and life for themselves that will make them happy. It also helps that the show is so well written and rip roaringly hilarious, Lena Dunham is definitely the voice a generation and undoubtedly has an amazing career ahead of her.

If you haven’t yet seen Girls make sure you tune in and fall under the charms of these talented and intelligent ladies!

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In Awe Of…Soul Eater

After finishing the fantastic anime series Claymore, I began foraging through the internet in search of a new japanimated show to fill the void that Claire, Theresa and all my favourite Yoma/human hybrids left in my heart. I typed “Top 10 Best Anime Shows of All Time” into the google search bar and anxiously awaited the all knowing and all seeing Google’s results. Admittedly, I have found this tactic of searching “Top Ten bledebla of all time” can sometimes produce questionable results. However, luckily this time google didn’t let me down and pointed me in the direction of the extremely bizarre yet hugely entertaining world of Soul Eater.

The anime series is based on the Japanese manga written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo. The story is set in the mythical land of Death City and centres around students enrolled at the DWMA also known as the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Each student in the academy is paired with at least one other student to make up weapon meister and human weapon team. Confused yet? Ok, so basically around half of the students at the academy are human weapons, humans with the power to transform into several combat ready weapons like swords, scythes, guns etc. Each human weapon student is paired with a meister student who during combat wields the human weapon’s transformed state and works in synch with them to battle the enemies of the DWMA. Each of these meister weapon and human weapon teams are trying to morph their human weapon comrade into a death scythe who will then be strong enough to be used by the DWMA’s headmaster who is none other than Death himself. In order to achieve the desired transformation, the teams must kill and collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch in that specific order otherwise they have to start all over again.

Still confused? Like I said it’s quite a strange concept and also a seemingly difficult one to describe. However, I assure you the show is astounding! I loved Claymore for it’s intensity and the animation was mind blowing, however Soul Eater I feel is a much more versatile and in some ways a more enjoyable watch. The show has a wicked and very dark sense of humour which I thoroughly enjoy and whilst it maintains the funny quips and silliness throughout the show’s episodes, it also has a very troubling and at times disturbing undertone.

I’m truly enamoured and, I know I say obsessed a lot, but I am totally obsessed with the world of Soul Eater. You can find the show on the American Netflix but for all us European’s out there I highly recommend logging on to your Amazon accounts and purchasing this fantastic series. If you’re a fan of Cowboy Bebop, Claymore or any kind of cleverly written, quick witted animated show this is totally up your street! 

Here’s the first part of the show on youtube, go on have a gyaaander.

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In Awe Of…Smash

Now I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Smash that show that’s got all the spontaneous singing and dancing in it? Ie. the show that’s shamelessly capitalising (or ripping off some have gone so far as to as to say) on the success Glee. Well… yes I am in fact talking about that Smash. Now I must confess, I too had my doubts and preconceptions but I decided to give it a chance seeing as the effervescent Anjelica Houston was starring in said show and I figured, if it’s good enough for Anjelica it’s probably good enough for me. Thankfully, I was right to trust in Anjelica’s instincts.

The show uses the High School Musical/Glee blueprint in which a drama show is interspersed with impromptu musical numbers. Smash have slightly altered the formula by writing a story that enables the spur of the moment style sing alongs to maintain a much more natural feel. The story of Smash revolves around a group of songwriters, directors, producers and broadway performers who are in the process of creating a musical based on the life of the one and only Marilyn Monroe. The show’s musical numbers come, for the most part, from the prospective broadway show that these group of artists are in the midst of creating. At the beginning this idea of using only the songs from the Marilyn musical was much more prevalent. During the last episode we were subjected to an auto tuned bedroom rendition of a Jessie J ballad which for me felt a bit out of place in the show. It just felt a little bit too much like maybe some big wig told the creators to make it more Glee to gain ratings or something. I don’t think it made much sense and I appreciated the fact that the show chose to stay away from placing those kinds of performances in the show. However, as I said for the most part they choose to stick with a more natural musical incorporation, which I think works wonderfully.

As I mentioned, Anjelica Houston was what really drew me to the show. However, Debra Messing of Will and Grace fame is outstanding in the show. I always liked her as Grace because I like that she doesn’t seem take herself too seriously and is never  afraid to make herself the butt of the joke. With her role on Smash we see a different side to Messing as an actress that has really left me quite smitten with the woman! She plays Julia Houston, one half of the songwriting team in charge of writing the Marilyn musical. I can’t really put my finger on it but Messing is able to play very well this kind of everyday girl who even when she’s doing things you don’t agree with you still route for her and want to see her succeed. She effortlessly creates a very loveable character in her role as Julia in Smash, and it definitely something that I think has drawn me back to the show.

The songs, the cast and the writing in this show are great! I highly recommend you give the show a view. Whilst it does use a couple of generic plot devices and themes, it does so with an honesty and style that will undoubtedly cast viewers under it’s spell! I’ll leave you with a clip of the incredible Marilyn, what a gal!

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