I didn’t have a particular book, movie or TV show that I wanted to review this week, so I have decided to give you a selection of awesomeness from the Jess files. The things I am particularly enamoured with right now that I think might appeal to you. A potpourri of perfectness, if you will. But no whiskers on kittens, sorry people 😉
TV SHOW: Episodes (TV1, 11.10pm Fridays): this brilliantly funny English/American show has finally been brought back by TV1, albeit in a ridiculous timeslot. But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I can enjoy it whenever I want. The half hour comedy show – that has just as much heart as it does laughs – is into its second season, and follows the exploits of English TV comedy writers Beverley (Tamsin Greig) and Sean (Stephen Mangan) in Hollywood. The couple (or are they?) previously had a hit show in the UK, and are enticed to La La Land to ‘Americanise’ it. Enter Matt Le Blanc (playing an exaggerated version of himself) as their star, John Pankow as their ridiculous (but probably far too realistic) studio boss and a suitably colourful supporting cast as execs and other Hollywood types. I love all things Hollywood, so I particularly love this show, but the writing is top notch, the jokes a cut above, and the storyline far from predictable. Check it out, I tell ya.
ALBUM: My Head is an Animal – Of Monsters and Men: I downloaded (legally!) this album on Friday after watching the band’s performance on The Graham Norton Show (also one of my favourite things), and have been addicted to it ever since. I had heard the single ‘Little Talks’ on the radio a few times and really enjoyed their sound, and the whole album is a delight. Equal parts chilled and bouncy, it has a unique feel that is truly uplifting. The fact they are Icelandic seems to come through on the feel of the album, and I have had a few Reykjavik flashbacks listening to it (that is one crazy town – especially if you play cards and drink Bicardi with some of my friends…). The mix of male and female vocals work well and they harmonise brilliantly. And, well, I am a sucker for animals, and the animal motifs used in their lyrics (evidenced in the album’s title) appeal to my furry side.
RESTAURANT: Chocolate Boutique – Parnell (Auckland): I was introduced to this place by my fellow chocoholic Nicola last week, and my immediate thought was ‘how have I lived so many years in Auckland without coming here???’. It is a MUST for all chocolate addicts, or even those with just an occasional flirtation with chocolate. As Nicola said, this is no one night stand, my relationship with this place is now a serious and committed one! Their dessert menu is extensive, and does indeed contain non-chocolate options for those of you that way inclined. What shocked me wasn’t the size or quality of the desserts (which I was expecting) but the price! Given it is Parnell and had the word ‘boutique’ in the name I was expecting to pay above the odds, but no. Super cheap, and by far the cheapest and best dessert I have had in ages. Only downside is seating – there are only a few tables. But it is worth the wait…trust me J
MOVIE TRAILER: Now You See Me: I am a bit of a movie trailer junkie, and check daily for new trailers (one of my alternative career options is trailer maker – like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday – though how does one become a trailer maker?). One I found this week has me particular excited, especially since I had heard nothing about it before seeing the trailer. Now You See Me is the story of a group of magicians…who also rob banks. It has a stellar cast of people I am particularly fond of – including Jesse Eisenberg (looking hot rather than geeky for a change), Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman. Oh, and Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo and Isla Fisher. If the film is anything like the trailer it will be a fun and frivolous ride with many laughs thrown in. Bring it on.
BOOK: Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor: So I read this last year, but am about to re-read it since a) I loved it and b) the sequel – Days of Blood and Starlight – has just been released. American author Taylor tells the story of a teenage art student named Karou who lives in Prague (and is Czech we assume) and has connections to the underworld. And by underworld I don’t mean criminal underworld I mean a whole other world under ours. Little does she know but she is pivotal to a war going on between angels and demons in this other world and – what do you know – she happens to fall in love with someone on the other side of said fracas. Although the premise of star-crossed lovers is far from an original one, Taylor’s spin on it truly is – and the Prague setting combined with the originality of her narrative and characters make this a seriously enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
ARTICLE: ‘The Twilight Legacy: How it’s Changing Cinema’ – Empire Magazine: Laini Taylor’s book features in this brilliantly written article that does a much better job than I have done on this blog previously at explaining how Hollywood appears to finally be cottoning on (albeit slowly) to the fact that the female demographic needs to be better catered to. For all its short-comings, the Twilight series really has shown that studio execs really do need to pay better attention to what women want – especially young women. Anyway, I can’t say it better than this article does. But great news in that Taylor’s book is one of many that have had the movie rights picked up (hope for my dream of having my book published and made into a movie starring Ryan Gosling? Hell yeah!).
So, there is my random selection for this week. Like a Roses chocolate box, I hope you find something you like 🙂