2016 Favourites

I think we can all let out a collective sigh of relief that 2016 is over. It was a particularly depressing year – at least on a pop cultural level – but despite loving to revel in mutual loathing, first and foremost I am a blogger, so a 2016 favourites post was necessary. Consider it a form of purging. Out with old, in with the new. Except this stuff which I kinda sorta loved.

Favourite Book: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I love me a good fantasy series – but sometimes it’s hard to find a good balance between the grittiness of adult fantasy and the playfulness of YA fantasy: enter V.E. Schwab. The themes of this book are most definitely adult, there are no overplayed love triangles or teenagers born to save the world. But still, the series manages to catch a sense of adventure that others don’t, all the while building a detailed and engaging world for the characters. The last book in the trilogy comes out soon and I am not sure how I’ll cope.

Favourite Beauty Product: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita

By no means new to 2016, but new to me. 2016 was the year Spanish Sephora finally got its act together and started stocking Kat Von D. I own four of these babies now (and plan on a million more), but Lolita is the ultimate one for me. It’s a dusty/purpley/nudey colour that never fails to make me feel a little more put together on days when I’m otherwise just meh. A pro tip is to pair it with Barry M’s lipliner in Blush. Kylie who?

Favourite TV Show: How To Get Away With Murder

I was sooooooo late to the bandwagon on this show, but once I started, boy was I hooked. As increasingly ridiculous as it has gotten, I can’t look away. The twists still hook me and the reveals still shock me. Also it’s like a little glimpse into Paris Gellar’s future since the Gilmore Girls revival ruined her character. If you secretly think you’d make a kickass lawyer, this one’s for you.

Favourite Movie: The Visit

Technically a 2015 release, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it until the new year so it totally still counts. I think this movie is proof that M. Night Shyamalan either makes really great movies or really terrible movies. The Visit is definitely a return to the likes of SignsThe Sixth Sense, and The Village.  I may have a soft spot for found footage horror movies, but this is probably the best since The Blair Witch Project. But if you don’t like horror, it works as a comedy too. Best of both worlds!

Favourite Album: California by Blink-182

When Fall Out Boy came out with Save Rock and Roll, I loved it because they had grown out of their pop punk phase gracefully. When Panic! At The Disco released Death of a Bachelor, it was clearly the same band with a more mature take. But when Blink-182 released California, it was as if it was still 2003. As much as I love that my favourite teenage bands are growing up with me, something about this album had just the right amount of nostalgia and growth for me. And now I don’t have to be embarrassed about not really listening to current music, because Blink have my back.

Maybe I’ll branch out more in 2017, but for now, fantasy, murder, and pop-punk are doing me just fine ❤

 

65 Thoughts I Had During Digimon Adventure Tri

In case you don’t know, I freaking love Digimon, and I’ve been waiting for Digimon Tri for what feels like my entire life. Seriously. But as it turns out, I have a lot of feelings about my favourite childhood anime… and my constant exclamations(/complaints) were annoying my boyfriend. So to save him the suffering of listening to my whining, I decided to write notes about all my feelings, complaints, and questions whilst watching the first instalment of Digimon Adventure Tri and share them on the Internet instead. You’re welcome.

  1. Awwww yeah Tai’s learning English. Teaching the Digidestined would be much cooler than random Spanish highschoolers.
  2. Why is there like 30 seconds between every line of dialogue? I don’t have time for this!
  3. Chill, Joe, it’s already confirmed that you’re a doctor in the future. Who needs exams when it’s canon?
  4. Or am I thinking of his brother? Wait, no. Definitely Joe.
  5. Really Sora you’re still pulling this shit? MAKE A DECISION.
  6. How did she get a picture of Biyomon on her phone if they haven’t seen them in like 6 years?
  7. Has Kuwagamon always been this big?
  8. Where the fuck are the 02 kids? Does no one care that they seemed to be DYING in the intro?
  9. So now Agumon doesn’t have to scream Pepper Breath when he wants to attack? Greaaaat.
  10. Omg his voice ahahahahahahahaha!
  11. They don’t say “x-mon digivolve to” anymore?! Ugh, rude.
  12. Or was that just in the English dub?
  13. “It’s much stronger than the last time we fought” UMMM WERENT YOU JUST A LITTLE PINK BUBBLE BACK THEN?
  14. Has everyone forgotten about the giant vampire dude who took over Tokyo a few years ago? He literally enslaved people with his army of ghosts, which is totes more terrifying than a giant red bug.
  15. WTF GATOMON’S VOICE?!
  16. These fight scenes just aren’t as satisfying without hearing Hey Digimon playing in the background.
  17. I’d be so pissed if I was Kari or TK and I lost my badass 01 digivices for those lameass things ):<
  18. Oh hi there Angemon’s nipples.
  19. Aaaaah, hearing the Japanese names just feels wrong to me.
  20. If Mimi’s hair was still pink it would have been SO on point.
  21. And TK is SUCH a hipster,
  22. A PINEapple computer? Ahahaha. Wonderful.
  23. Omg Izzy and Mimi yeeees. My childhood heart can’t take this ❤
  24. How the hell did Gomamon get to Joe with FREAKING FLIPPERS?
  25. I love how chill Tai and Kari’s mum is. I’d be all “oh fuck not you again” if these things showed up in my house again.
  26. And where is Matt’s hot dad? Don’t hide him from me.
  27. Halfway through episode 3 and so far I have waaaaay more questions than answers.
  28. Like mainly WHERE THE HELL ARE THE DAMN 02 KIDS?!
  29. Is it me or have Matt and Tai both had a complete personality switches?
  30. “Is she human?!” TK gets it. Come on Joe, who are you kidding?
  31. Anime food always looks SO GOOD.
  32. We have come a long way from pretending to be stuffed animals on the train. Although it was way more believable than passing as human.
  33. How is this guy a teacher? He looks younger than the students. Still a total babe though.
  34. Watching this in Japanese feels like I’m betraying my childhood )’:
  35. Yes, Izzy, definitely go for that nice lobster outfit. That’ll win her over.
  36. Tentomon remains the sassiest character on the show and I LOVE IT.
  37. I’m sorry but I still can’t get over Agumon’s voice. HE SOUNDS LIKE E.T.
  38. I never really understood Matt and TK’s parents’ decision to separate two siblings because they wanted a divorce. Like seriously, what the hell guys?
  39. Who is TK talking to right now that would know the word Kuwagamon? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.
  40. Goggles?!
  41. GOGGLES!
  42. It’s not really a Digimon series without goggles ❤
  43. Is Palmon using Punk-Agumon’s wig?
  44. Wait… it’s taken me 3 episodes to realise that they change their clothes daily now? Yet even after returning home in 01 they still keep the same outfits? Ugh, teenagers.
  45. Is Agumon in Newsies?!
  46. This emo girl is shady as hell.
  47. I wish I could eat froyo with the digidestined ):
  48. Tai’s orange shirt and hair combination is very Dragonball-esque.
  49. This crazy cat Digimon is great and I wanna hug it
  50. SHE’S HUGGING THE CAT (✿ ♥‿♥)
  51. This is not the time to suffer from PTSD, Tai.
  52. Damn son, this Alphamon guy means serious business. Venommyotismon who?
  53. Just go Super Saiyan on ’em, Tai. Ehehehe.
  54. Cat-Digimon-thing, are you just like not gonna help at all orrrrr?
  55. Sora needs to stop her fretting about Matt and Tai because clearly they are just in love with each other.
  56. Really digging this battle music… but I’d still rather have Hey Digimon.
  57. “It got away”?! Okay, I definitely do not trust these government people.
  58. In-Training Digimon look like tsum tsums!
  59. Really… that was it? Am I at least getting a post-credits scene?
  60. Yay! Thanks Marvel for instilling this in me.
  61. Joe, you are USELESS. Crest of Reliability, my ass!
  62. Damn Matt, grow a heart dude.
  63. I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MARCH FOR THIS SHIT?!
  64. The things I do for you, Digimon.

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Sixteen year old me would be so proud right now!

22 Thoughts I Had Whilst Rewatching Girls As A 22 Year Old Intern

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When I watched the first season of Girls, I was nineteen years old. I was still wrapped in my little university bubble, protected and supported by student finance and my parents. And that was totally fine because I was a teenager. Not an adult. Not a grownup. To me the lives of the Girls seemed great. Something funny and quirky and a long way off. But now I’m 22, I’ve been out of college about a year and a half, and I’m an intern living in an expensive capital city. Now Girls seems real to me. It’s lost the comedy aspect, now it’s just an anxiety producing nightmare show. These are my thoughts when rewatching the first four episodes for the first time as a twentysomething.

1. Oh my god. My parents are going to cut me off aren’t they? I’m going to have to quit my internships and move home and be a failure.

2. Do I have an STD?

3. Should I be getting checked for those?

4. I wonder if I could ever have an abortion?

5. Was this show this terrifying the first time I watched it?

6. I want to cry.

7. Do I dress my age? I hope I dress my age.

8. I identify less and less with Shoshanna every time I watch this show and that makes me very sad. Now we’re down to forever being the youngest in our friend groups and the occasional bouts of IBS.

9. ‘I am unfit for any and all paying jobs’ I feel ya Hannah.

10. Nah, I’m totally still Shoshanna. I have strange in detail knowledge of odd subjects and I’m embarrassingly naive in the areas I should know.

11. I wish I could drink alone in bars. When do you reach that point in your adult life?

12. Okay, she was just meeting a friend (well, gay ex-boyfriend… wow my life is dull compared to this show). But still, I always wait outside. I need to just go inside and order a white wine. GROWNUP STUFF.

13. Maybe I should wear more colour?

14. I know how it feels to be physically repulsed by someone you’re dating, but bleeeeh Marnie. Just break up with him. It feels great, I promise.

15. At least I have way more Twitter followers than Hannah.

16. Is that a good thing?

17. Marnie and Hannah are comfortable going to the bathroom together… my roommate leaves me piles of her shit in the toilet. Hmmm.

18. Is that Gloria from OITNB? Should get my Netflix account back? Wait, I have no money.

19. Is this a good use of my time?

20. I am British and run away to other countries to escape my problems like Jessa… so should I buy a pair of weird patterned giant tent pants?

21. I would not date Adam. I feel like I would have dated Adam at 19. Is this what personal growth is like?

22. I should have accomplished more with my life by now.

TV | Five (Female) Fictional Crushes

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The wise words of Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project say it best here, ‘I hate when people say girl crush, no one’s gonna think you’re a lesbian if you just say crush’, and there are so many amazing female fictional characters out there, it felt wrong to limit this series only to men… animated or otherwise. I’m all for girl power and celebrating women, and what better way to do that than to list the smart, witty, talented women of television that also happen to be super cute… animated or otherwise (*cough*).

1) Nicky Nichols, Orange is the New Black:

I was pretty much spoilt for choice with this show, because there’s a whole range of amazing female characters in OITNB. Alex Vause and Poussey Washington almost made the list, but Nicky is my favourite. For starters, I wish I could get my hair that voluminous. She’s also a total badass who’s not afraid to get what she wants, and she really works that prison uniform. She also shows a sensitive side though, comforting Alex and Morello on various occasions, as well as not been afraid to call Piper out on her idiocy (finaaaaaally). We really need more Nicky-focused episodes in season three, because to me she’s ten times more interesting than this will they/won’t they Alex and Piper thing. Please just stop.

2) Elliot Reid, Scrubs:

I’ve watched Scrubs for a very long time, and I’ve gone from loving Elliot, to hating her, to loving her again. Yeah, she can be a bit neurotic and whiney– but I’m a bit neurotic and whiney. It’s so refreshing to see a character who struggles with anxiety but who still manages to be successful whilst following her own instincts. I just wanna sit and drink a bottle of wine with her and talk about our self esteem issues and maybe cry a little. It probably also helps that I have a huge crush on Zach Braff, so of course I’m gonna want to project onto her. Also, she must be doing something right if even the Janitor is nice to her. That’s a real achievement.

3) Tara Maclay, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

If you honestly thought I was going to get through a list of my favourite fictional characters without including someone from Buffy, you were so, so mistaken. Tara probably isn’t the obvious choice to be included on my list of crushes, she’s not even my overall favourite female character on the show (Willow, followed by Anya, if anyone was wondering), but she’s definitely the type of person I’d want to be around. She’s caring, smart, and funny– whilst also being super awkward and shy when she’s first introduced to the Scoobies. She’s also a pretty great witch, something that definitely adds a few bonus points. Dorky 1990s/2000s fashion aside, she’s someone I’d be proud to call a friend, and she’s not someone who could be replaced easily, Kennedy.

4) Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl:

I’ve already included Chuck on one of these lists, so it was obvious that Blair was going to follow, if not for the reason that I could borrow from her amazing wardrobe. Blair is everything I wish to be in life– and a few things I’d rather not. She’s confident, a perfectionist, and ridiculously wealthy (ummm). As well as being a tad abrasive, obsessive, and, well, a bit of a bitch. She’s cultured and intelligent, and although I don’t agree with all her methods, she gets stuff done. Her brief romantic stint with Dan also showed a new side to her, one that’s definitely more Brooklyn than the Upper East Side, and I totally dig it.

5) Marceline the Vampire Queen, Adventure Time:

Of course there was gonna be another animated character, who do you think you’re dealing with here? Marceline is the coolest girl ever– living or dead. She’s musically gifted, has an amazing sense of style (which is unusual for an animated character– seeing as they usually wear the same outfit for sixteen seasons), and is pretty much a total rockstar. Plus, she can transform herself into terrifying creatures, why would you not want that in your life? We also both like to be alone and have emotional attachments to our stuffed animals, which is a quality I definitely favour. I don’t even care that she’s over a thousand years old, her age doesn’t seem to get to her and she still seems super fun. Anyone who can boss around the Ice King is cool in my books (get it, cool? Haaaa).

I felt like my blog was lacking on the lazily hidden feminist propaganda, so I hope this does the job. Celebrate femininity! Grrrrl power! All that good stuff. Maybe I should stop living in a fantasy world (or several, if these lists are anything to go by), but I have just over a month now until I run off to Madrid, so I’m gonna keep watching TV and talking about it until then, so you better get used to it. It’s a lot more interesting than blogging about estate agents and how terrible my grasp of the Spanish language is, trust me. Yo cocino una papa!

TV | Five More Fictional Crushes

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I’ve been single for over a year now, which doesn’t really bother me as much as it does the protagonists in those romcoms that I totally don’t watch… ahem. So I may not get to be the little spoon anymore (I’m the big spoon to my cat), I have television. And with television comes the option to be attracted to somebody without all the hassle of trying to woo them. Y’know, because they’re not real. But that’s the best part about having a fictional crush. You don’t have to spend hours agonising over whether they will like you back or not, and these people definitely don’t care that you’re drooling over them whilst wearing a Hello Kitty onesie and shoving Oreos into your mouth. I think that everyone should just stop dating entirely and focus on Netflix. Here are some more characters to get you started.

1) Daniel Desario, Freaks and Geeks:

I’ve always had a crush on James Franco. He’s just one of those people who is blessed with a really nice face. I even sorta kinda maybe liked him in Spring Breakers when he had teeth that looked like they were made out of tinfoil. However, in light of recent events, I’ve actually realised he’s a bit of a creep. I got weird vibes from him when I first started following him on Instagram, but the whole seventeen year old girl scandal kind of put me off him. So even though thinking about James Franco now kind of makes my skin crawl, I can still think about Daniel Desario with ease. There is a reason that when you Google Image search ‘Daniel Desario’ the first suggestion is ‘Daniel Desario smile’. He has an amazing wardrobe that I would totally be borrowing from all the time, and even though his relationship with Kim is turbulent to say the least, he seems to be committed to hear and it’s kind of endearing. There’s also the fact he was super nice to the Geeks, which is always nice to see within the bad boy archetype. Yep, this character almost makes me forget about how gross James Franco is IRL. Almost.

2) Marshall Eriksen, How I Met Your Mother:

I think I’ve made my feelings on HIMYM pretty clear on this blog, but that still doesn’t stop me from loving Marshall. Although all the main characters on the show are super attractive, and when NPH sings my heart begins to smile, Marshall is my favourite. Maybe it’s because I never completely disassociated Lily Aldrin from Willow Rosenberg (possibly my all time favourite fictional character), but I definitely feel like Marshall is the most underrated HIMYM guy. He is just such a sweetie, and his relationship with Lily is one of the most solid that I’ve seen on TV, especially in a sitcom. The whole Ross/Rachel, will they/won’t they sitcom trope is great for a while, but sometimes I like to see the happy ever after part. I think part of Marshall’s charm is that Barney and Ted’s roles in the show were mainly about them trying to get women, and Marshall was such a breath of fresh air. It also makes me sad that I’ll never have a nickname as cute as Marshmallow or Lilypad.

3) Jim Halpert, The Office:

Despite this series showing my penchant for whole ‘bad boy’ vibe (vampires, slavers, junkies), I do love me an underdog. When I watched first The Office, I was trapped in this one ‘just one more episode, then they have to be together’ loop until 4AM every morning. I was so invested in Jim and Pam that it didn’t matter that Michael Scott is my least favourite fictional character in the history of the world (even more than Kennedy from Buffy, yeah I went there). It may seem a bit weird that I am attracted to someone purely because I love their relationship with another character, but I promise that I don’t mean it in a Fatal Attraction-eque way. It’s not like I imagine that I am Pam or anything. But like I mentioned in the first crushes post, I’m over the whole lazy musician boyfriend thing, maybe paper sales is the area I need to be looking in. Or I can just stay inside and rewatch The Office. *Turns to make face into imaginary camera*.

4) Gob Bluth, Arrested Development:

I know, I know. I don’t really understand this one either. You would think that Michael Bluth would be the obvious choice here, but there’s just something about Gob. He is a completely horrible person, and I know that being in a relationship with him must be absolute hell. But whatever, he’s hot and he does magic. There’s nothing cooler than a magician. I’m kind of embarrassed by this one and I’d rather not dwell on it much longer, because I don’t really have any ways to defend it. But at least it’s better than Buster, right? Or, like, having a crush on your cousin? Besides, I’m vegetarian, I think all the dead doves in the fridge might cause a problem.

5) Prince Zuko, Avatar: The Last Airbender:

What? I can’t make one of these lists without having at least one animated character. I’d just be lying to myself. Other than Appa, Zuko is my favourite character on Avatar. Sure, he may be a little bit evil, but Aang is super annoying, I’d want to kill him too. He has everything I look for in a character; a catchphrase I can say in barely relevant situations, a tragic backstory, and, well, he’s hot. I mean, technically Appa has none of these things and I still love him, but who cares? Appa is the exception. Admittedly my love of Zuko is not as strong as when he is bald and has a ponytail, but scruffy hair and fringe Zuko makes up for it. And have you seen him with his shirt off? Hello. Now I will make a joke about ‘lighting my fire’ and you can judge me. Zuko’s love is worth it.

I told you I could make a series out of this. I have a lot of time on my hands and a lot of love for things that aren’t real. I’m starting to think that maybe I should just do a whole post of animated characters that I want to snuggle with. Maybe it will get it out of my system? At least cartoons are better than the first crush I had as a child… Beetlejuice. I think we’ve established that I was a weird kid, there’s really no need to delve further into that train wreck.

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TV | Five Fictional Crushes

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I mentioned briefly in my last post that I am attracted to Sandor Clegane from Game of Thrones (I mean, have you seen him in that porridge advert? Hello), but there are so many other characters in different fictional universes that I have crushes on. I think this blog has already established that I spend a lot of time watching TV, and although I do pick these shows based mainly on the writing and acting, the pretty faces don’t exactly hinder my choices. Over the years I’ve actually found myself being more attracted to fictional characters than random famous people… or, y’know, actual people in my life. Why have a crush on a fellow university student when you could be thinking about kissing a vampire?

1) Ser Jorah Mormont, Game of Thrones:

I may have started this post by talking about The Hound, and although I really do enjoy his face, my heart truly belongs to Ser Jorah. It might be because I want to be Daenerys, or it might just be because I really enjoy his beard, but I love Ser Jorah. My iPhone is called Jorah (it is my advisor and closest companion, duh) and I already have plans to name a cat Ser Jorah Meowmont. I know he’s meant to be super ugly and hairy and whatever in the books, but I can’t stop picturing TV Jorah when I read them. And he has a nice face. And he taught a zombie to answer a phone in Resident Evil. Dany just needs to love him already. Or else I will. There are plenty of characters in GoT who warrant being on this list (Jon, Jaime, Tyrion), but I’m rooting for the underdog. Can we have more Jorah scenes now please?

2) Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

I have a long love affair with fictional vampires, from Edward Cullen to Bill Compton, but Spike was the first. I never bought onto the whole Angel thing, yeah he was hot but he was so whiny. Spike was what I imagined vampires to be like. Humans are a yummy food and a vital life source, not something to impregnate and marry, Edward. His dedication to Dru makes it seem like he’d be a great boyfriend, and adorable little season five Spike when he had a crush on Buffy is just the cutest. I wouldn’t mind him hiding behind trees outside my house, in fact, I welcome it (no one else, just Spike). Then there’s his face, his hair, his style, his chipped black nail polish *heavy breathing*. He loses a bit of his edge by having one of the most underwhelming deaths in TV history (although I guess he got a better deal than Anya), but my disdain for the final episode doesn’t destroy the love I have for the rest of the series. Team Spike 5eva.

3) Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl:

GoT and Buffy are two of my favourite TV shows ever and I’m a huge fan of the fantasy genre, which is why it comes as such a shock to me that I love Gossip Girl as much as I do. Admittedly the writing falls a little short during the later seasons, but by that point I’m so past caring about 3/4 of the characters and who Gossip Girl is (just kidding, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over that crushing disappointment), I’m only really interested in Chuck and Blair. I think I was one of the only viewers actually rooting for Blair and Nate to split up in season one, and the limo scene remains one of my favourite TV moments. He dresses amazingly, he is super rich, and has possibly the most attractive voice I’ve ever  heard. I didn’t even know you could be attracted to a voice until I watched this show. I don’t care if you have super bad daddy issues and sexually harass women multiple times on the show, we were meant to be.

4) Charlie Pace, Lost:

Lost was one of the first TV show I was heavily invested in, and even though I can admit that it got slowly worse as it progressed, I couldn’t turn it off. One of those reasons was Charlie. It’s not just that he was Merry in LotR (although that helped), but he was a total rockstar and thirteen year old me totally loved that. And so did fourteen year old me, and fifteen year old me… and twenty one year old me still does, so you get the picture. Yeah, there were lots of hot shirtless men on Lost that I could have picked over him. Sawyer and Desmond also rank high on my list of fictional characters I’d make out with. But Charlie was adorable, and he looked after Claire and Aaron, and he was BFFS with Hurley. What’s not to love? His death is one of the saddest TV deaths I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t watch that episode without completely losing it. Not Penny’s boat, guys.

5) Trent Lane, Daria:

I’d like to think that I’ve given a bit of variation on this list. We’ve had disgraced knights, evil vampires, filthy rich hotel heirs with questionable morals, and heroine addicted plane crash survivors. But it might seem that I’ve failed a bit here, because Trent and Charlie are kind of the same. I mean, yeah, okay, one of them is an animated character, but still. They both have the same look. Tattoos, piercings, messy hair… actually, maybe Spike fits this category too? I definitely have a type. They might have the same aesthetic, but they’re totally different characters inside, and I had a crush on Trent long before Charlie Pace came along. I really don’t think that Trent would risk his life to save Desmond, in fact if Trent was in Lost he’d probably have been the guy sucked into the plane motors in the first episode. Pre-teen me really liked the idea of a musician boyfriend who didn’t wake up until three in the afternoon, but twenty one year old me has had that type of boyfriend, and realises that if we’re gonna do the whole musician boyfriend thing again, Charlie would be a better choice. Heroin addiction or not. I still have a total crush on Trent though. I don’t think you ever get over your first fictional love. Queue romantic sighing and longing glances into the distance.

I could probably do a whole series of this if I really wanted to. I have a lot of feelings about fictional characters. Maybe I’ll do one about literary characters that I want to smooch, because that way you know I’m doing it for what’s on the inside. Characters descriptions are very subjective, J.K. Rowling doesn’t tell us that Lupin is attractive, but I still want to ruffle his hair. I probably wouldn’t be able to put any GoT characters in that list though, seeing as they’re all about twelve.

FAVOURITES | Monthly Musings #1 (March 2014)

I may come off as a bit of a nihilistic person, but I actually do get a little ecstatic whenever I find something I like. My excitement shines like a ray of sunshine behind my usual fog of pessimism. Like Gatsby’s Green Light, but instead of unrequited love it’s usually an inanimate object, and instead of throwing lavish parties I write blogposts. Usually people in the dreaded real world don’t listen to my claims of ‘this is a good thing’, but the Internet has yet to discover how incredibly lame I really am, so hopefully my cries will go noticed here. And soon everyone will know that I don’t spend all my time complaining.

1) The Good Wife
The Good Wife is one of those shows I’ve always meant to watch, but just had other things take precedence of my viewing habits. So when I saw that it was on Netflix, I knew it was time. I’m a big fan of legal dramas, which I’m pretty sure stemmed for my unnatural love of Legally Blonde as a child. And while Alicia Florrick is no Elle Woods, she is a total badass. A total badass with really great eye makeup. But whilst Alicia is great, the real gem of this show is Kalinda. Whenever I watch her I feel like I made the wrong career choice, and I’m now convinced I’d make a fantastic private investigator. With all of Kalinda’s dark colours and leathers, I’m sure I’ve already got the wardrobe for the role. I’m also convinced that you could make a drinking game out of every time Archie Panjabi’s accent slips back to English, but then you probably wouldn’t be able to remember the plot by the end of the episode. I’m only on season two, but I’m definitely a fan so far. I can tell it’s going to be a good companion during the dreaded summer of the TV hiatus.

2) Tea Tree Skincare
I’ve been dabbling with Superdrug’s Tea Tree range for over a year now. Some things have proved to be quite good, some have turned my face red. It’s been pretty hit and miss. But recently I bought the Tea Tree and Peppermint Facial Cleansing Wipes and I am in love. What originally drew me to the range was that it’s not tested on animals and is also vegan friendly, because I think I’ve made it pretty clear already that I don’t think what I put on my face is more important than suffering animals. And these wipes are one of those products that should prove to people that you don’t need to hurt animals to get a good product. They’re antiseptic, soothing, and pretty much destroy any blemishes. And also ridiculously cheap. My skin feels amazing after I use them, so tingly and clean. It’s pretty much everything you want in a cleansing wipe. I use them twice a day and it really does make a difference. 2014 hasn’t been a pretty good year for my health, and when I’m sick my skin just completely fails to look human, so these were pretty much a lifesaver. Not just for my skin, but for my mental health too.

3) Game of Thrones
DUH DUH DUHDUHDUHDUH DUUUUUH DUH DUH DUH. I’ve been a big fan of Game of Thrones for a while now, but recently I’ve taken things a step further. I decided back in January that I would rewatch the previous seasons before season four started. I did not need to start in January. I zoomed through them all and I managed season 3 in less than 24 hours. Then I started with the DVD extras, then the cast commentaries, then articles on the Internet. Suddenly I was filled with the desire to know everything about it. I bought the book Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones and was quite distraught to find that nobody in my house cares that ‘they built a real life lift for the Wall’. I initially planned to read the books before I started watching the show, but I’m lazy so that never happened. So I’ve had a copy of the first book just lying around for over a year now and I finally started reading it earlier this month. George RR Martin owns my life now. I’m this close to buying a figure of The Hound to kiss at night. This close.

4) Treggings
I am definitely one of those people who will angrily scream ‘leggings are not pants’ at whoever I’m with if I see someone committing the crime when I’m out and about. I don’t say it to the people wearing the leggings, duh, that would be rude. But I’m conflicted; because jeans annoy me. They’re expensive and boring and 80% of them are too long for me. But recently there’s been an uproar of patterned treggings in the stores I frequent. Patterns! Since I’m usually clad in monochrome, this is a very good thing to happen to my wardrobe. It livens things up a bit. So far I’ve acquired a black embossed leopard print pair and a blue pair with a tile effect. All the comfort of leggings whilst not making myself look like a giant hypocrite. The perfect solution.

5) Scented Candles
I’ve always thought that candles were a bit of a waste, and that you were literally burning money. 2014 has been the year of my awakening, and March has been the month of my obsession. It started when we had a power cut in December. Let me set the scene for you: I was alone with the cat, singing Disney songs in a dark room to amuse myself, as is a common occurrence for me (minus the dark room bit). I had lit a candle to ward off the evil shadow monsters and also to sing Be My Guest to in a terrible French accent. I don’t know if it was some suppressed pyrotechnic urges that were surfacing, but suddenly I needed to light more. Two candles. Four candles. Six candles. And then I found it. The mother of all candles. Giant and pink and calling to me. It was scented. I don’t remember what fragrance it was, I just remember the pink. But it was love. Currently I’m using an Egyptian Cotton one in a pretty tin, because why would I want to buy Egyptian Cotton sheets when there could be FLAMES? I also took the ruse of Mother’s Day to stand in a shop for fifteen minutes smelling every candle available. It was heaven (except for a pine scented one that was Nose Hell). I bought my mum a giant lavender candle because she also shares the burning love of scented candles (heh, burning).

These are the things I have loved in March (what do you mean it’s April?). I think it gives you a clear idea of how exciting my life really is. Candles and TV. I’m sure it would be super romantic (even with all the castration and incest in GoT), but alas, I enjoy these things alone. But that does mean more Oreos* for me.

*I would have put Oreos on the list, but they’re my favourite every month. And every day, week, year, and lifetime. Oreos forever.

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TV | How I Met Your Stepmother?

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I got into How I Met Your Mother a little late, probably sometime around 2010. My time at university included a lot of me sitting alone in my room at 3am surrounded by 16th century novels on the plague, and a little twenty minute per episode sitcom was just the thing I needed to, errr, ‘reward’ myself for managing to read a chapter. I’ve never really been a fan of the sitcom format. I don’t usually like my comedy to seem forced or unrealistic, and I haven’t really been a big fan of a sitcom since Friends. Something about HIMYM seemed different to me though, it actually had emotion and character development behind the jokes and the surreality. I even began liking things such as the Cockamouse. But all good things must come to and end, and for the last few months I’ve been nervously awaiting the final episode. Where they going to ruin this show that I’ve invested so much time in? Will I feel that all those hours I marathoned the episodes were  wasted? Finally, the episode arrived. I watched it, I cried, I thought about it a little bit, but I still can’t decide whether I liked it or not.

Series finales are always bittersweet for me. On the one hand it means that a show I’m emotionally invested in is ending, on the other it usually means that all the loose ends that have been bugging me for years will get wrapped up. HIMYM actually delivered on the second one. One of the things that’s annoyed me for years about this show has been what was Ted sitting on whilst telling the story? The last episode finally revealed that to me (a desk, not what I was expecting for some reason), and I know it seems a trivial and minute thing to focus on in the grand scheme of things, but I’m glad I know. I’m also happy that it told us that Marshall finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a judge, but we never find out what the other characters ended up doing with their lives. Does Robin travel with all those dogs? Does Barney actually have any transferable skills? Is Lily a stay at home mom after living her dream in Rome? I’m emotionally attached to these characters, I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FUTURE.

That being said, there were a lot of things that I liked about the finale. The most major of these was Barney and Robin’s divorce, because I really don’t think that they ever made any sense as a couple anyway. I’m not sure Barney is actually capable of romantic love. The flashback they used was perfect too, as we saw part of the scene earlier in the season, and had no idea that it is what would lead to their divorce in the future. Another thing I loved was Barney becoming a dad. Although I groaned when they initially revealed it, as soon as he held her I was turned. Barney is like the King of Daddy Issues, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the best dad ever to Ellie. If not a little sexist and degrading, but maybe her birth will show him the light a little bit. I especially loved how they didn’t make Barney have a fairytale love with Number 31, because like I said, I’m not sure he will ever be capable of having a serious committed adult relationship. Lily and Marshall continue to be perfect, and I kind of wish that they had more focus in the finale. They were Ted’s original friends, long before Barney and Robin came on the scene.

But now we get to the negatives. But really there is only one. Ted and Robin, really? Why didn’t the show just end after the first episode then? I feel so cheated. I never liked Ted and Robin as a couple, Ted was clearly more into the idea of starting a family than she was. I also find it highly unlikely that Robin would be willing to take on two nearly-adult stepchildren, as she’s never really shown any maternal instinct before. I know that the ending set it up that they were soul mates and that Ted and Robin would spend the rest of their lives together, but I give it three years maximum. They’ll split up and Ted will find someone nice again. Not too nice though, because he really did find the perfect woman in Tracy.

Waiting until the end of the series to introduce The Mother was always going to be a risky move because people have had nine years longer to get attached to the other characters and to want the best for them. But I thought that HIMYM executed it perfectly, and I was pretty much instantly a fan of The Mother. It really did seem like Ted and Tracy were supposed to be together. The umbrella, the Economics lecture, the fact he dated her roommate. They even have the same initials! The show really spent a lot of time pursuing the whole ‘so close, yet so far’ theme. And then they just ripped it away. She dies. Fantastic. I kind of saw the death coming though, thanks to the hints throughout the last season. Most notably the talk about attending your children’s wedding, but also showing that Tracy had a previous partner that died. It was as if they were letting the audience know that it’s okay to move on so that we wouldn’t hate Ted for dating someone new. I also hated Robin’s hair when Ted brings her the Blue French Horn. Where they trying to make her look older or like an alien posing as a human?

I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad that the ending was planned from the beginning. I could have maybe forgiven Ted ending up with Robin if it looked like it was something the writers threw together out of desperation at the last minute, but the inclusion of the children’s dialogue shows that it was always planned. I probably should have seen it coming, it is a bit weird that Ted started the story of how he met his children’s mother with how he met some random Canadian lady in a bar, nine years before he even knew his mother existed. Robin was clearly a huge part of Ted’s life, but I’m still not convinced that they’re soul mates.  Ted always was a huge romantic, Lily and Marshall said it themselves in the last episode. I can imagine the rest of the gang finding out about Robin and Ted and being all ‘uggggh, not again’.

Overall, I think that I liked it. It’s a lot better than other series finales that I’ve seen. The first half of the episode was perfect, it was mainly the last one I had the problems with. The flashforwards are what really made it worthwhile for me, it was great to get a glimpse at what the characters would do in the future, which is a lot more than other TV shows give when they end. Much like I do when I say Poltergeist is my favourite horror film, I’ll just pretend that the last five minutes didn’t happen. That Ted never confessed his love to Robin. That, or I’ll imagine that they went on a few dates but decided to just stay friends. Can I have a spinoff about the adventures of Goth Lily in college now please?

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TV | A Is For Antagonising Your Viewers For Another Year

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You can’t call an episode ‘A Is For Answers’ and not really give me any, it’s just cruel. The season finales of Pretty Little Liars are always terrible, it’s something I’ve come to expect; but the show has been so ridiculous recently, I was starting to think that it must be coming to an end. How long are these girls supposed to be in high school for? Haven’t they been applying to colleges for like two seasons already? I know that there’s at least one more season left, and with the cancellation of Ravenswood, I figured that this episode would set up the answers that would be wrapped up in one final season. But somehow I have this horrible ominous feeling that we’re gonna have to sit through Pretty Little Liars: The College Years before we ever find out who A is (because Spencer and Hanna going to the same college would totally be believable).

So, what were these supposed answers I was getting? Jenna isn’t A! It was kind of obvious seeing as the writers seemed to forget about her character around the dawn of second A. Yeah, but Toby’s not A either! You really think he could fool Spencer for that long? Look at how well his first attempt at ‘being A’ worked out, you cannot Red Herring a Red Herring. Ezra! He’s just a creepy statutory rapist, not a creepy blackmailer. Ian? Yet another creepy statutory rapist and also a horrible person, but he’s also dead so it would be a bit of an anticlimactic reveal if he really was A. B-b-Byron? He’s in the whole show for like two seconds a season, come on. Ugh, Spencer? I know this show is aimed at thirteen year old girls, but they were making Spencer too obvious even for them. Emily? She’s like desperate for Ali to get back to Rosewood so she can see her naked, duh. She’s not gonna actively scare her away. Hanna? Ali practically gave Hanna an eating disorder, so if anyone should have been sending her threatening texts, it should have been her, but she has no reason to attack the other girls– and she got run over by Mona, sooooo no. Aria? I actually don’t have a sarcastic remark for you this time, #AisforAria, I’m calling it now.

I’ll admit that I did like the scene showing how Mona got Alison to leave town, but is anyone really that stupid? Mona just happened to be driving through town in the dead of night? Riiiiiight. If you tell someone that you are being stalked and harassed, and their first response isn’t ‘you should go to the police’, hit them with a shovel or something. They’re evil. With her ponytails and her generation-less dress sense, she totally gives off a creepy evil dead girl vibe. Especially when she’s singing and brushing a doll’s hair in the next room; I’m not actually convinced how she managed to be released from Radley. Another little line I “enjoyed” was the really awkward way the writers managed to get Ian to say he hadn’t been sleeping with Alison. It’s as if, four seasons later, they finally caught on that all these relationships with teachers and doctors and detectives are really inappropriate for high school students. ‘It’s okay that I take this fifteen year old girl into hotel rooms and meet up with her in the middle of the night, because we’re not actually sleeping together!’ Alright, Ian. Whatever you say. What exactly are you doing with that video camera, then?

If anything this episode has left me with even more questions. The characters keep going on about who killed the girl in Ali’s grave, and whilst that is important, why is no one questioning who the girl is? The show seems to be trying to point to Melissa being the one who killed her, and I would usually claim that they were been too obvious with the hints, but the target audience of PLL makes me feel that maybe they are just being that shallow. On another Melissa note, she just casually mentions that Toby went to London and they ‘ran into each other’. Because all American TV shows think London is one tiny little village surrounding Big Ben. With all the disposable income that Toby apparently has to be able to get to London, he does not in fact own a phone or computer to contact Melissa without leaving the continent. The episode also once again raised the big ‘who is A’ question. I spent a nice two weeks being sure that it was Mrs DiLaurentis, but considering she’s looking a little dead now, I’m not convinced. And she may be able to sneak around Spencer’s house like a total creeper, but I really doubt she can jump from building to building like that.

So far the general consensus seems to be that Jason killed Alison, and I’m sort of inclined to agree. There can’t be that many people who Mrs DiLaurentis would be willing to bury her own daughter for. A lot of people really seem to be for the twin theory, and the imagery of twins has been constant throughout the series, but I’m pretty sure that’s just the creators trying to throw in a couple of horror movie tropes to up the spook factor rather than some elaborate foreshadowing. I don’t think that PLL really do foreshadowing of any kind, I’m sure that they make it all up as they go along. They’re just gonna pick a name out of a hat and claim that it’s A, much like I’m convinced the writers of Gossip Girl did with Dan Humphrey.

I still don’t know who A is, I still don’t know who tried to kill Ali, I still don’t know who was buried in Ali’s grave, and I still don’t know why the police department in Rosewood are so inept. My predictions for season five include: Ezra making a miraculous recovery, an unnecessarily long separation of Hanna and Caleb before finally reuniting them when Hanna is over her inappropriate relations with the pedophile detective, and the Liars still somehow avoiding incarceration despite being connected to seemingly every crime in the Rosewood area.

Pretty Little Liars has been as cliché and unsatisfying as ever, The Walking Dead has been boring me to tears, and I’m sensing that this hit and miss season of How I Met Your Mother is setting me up for an underwhelming end to the series. If Game of Thrones doesn’t come back soon and show me what good television is like, I’m going to set my TV set on fire and sit in the flames screaming FIRE CANNOT KILL A DRAGON. Whilst I burnt to death because I don’t have the blood of Old Valyria.

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TV | Alison DiLaurentis Deserved To Get Burried Under That Gazebo

The “big reveal” of last season’s Pretty Little Liars has been painfully obvious since the show’s beginning. It’s always been a given that Alison DiLaurentis was going to turn up alive. So when she spins around and exposes herself to the Liars, I was met with disappointment. Not because it was so ridiculously cheesy (it was), but because I really, really wished she was dead. I know that’s probably against the whole vibe of the show– everyone wants all the Liars reunited, right? But whilst all the main characters of PLL have their flaws: Ali is the worst. In fact, I’m pretty sure she has no redeemable qualities whatsoever.

Up until recently, Ali had only been seen in flashbacks, when all the Liars were seemingly innocent and happy (unless you count all those times the Liars thought they were hallucinating her). Spencer was a badly dressed overachiever living in the shadow of her sister, Aria was soooo rebellious and punk with her pink hair, Emily was a closeted jock obsessed with her douchey best friend, and Hanna was (supposedly) fat. But Ali always had this air of confidence about her, something that the other Liars often allude to in a positive manner. But from what I’ve seen of flashback Ali, I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to be friends with her. Let alone risk their lives on a daily basis to track down her/her killer/their crazy stalker.

It’s immortality, my darlings’. Shut up. Shuuuuuut uuuuuuuuup. ShuuUuUuUuuuut uuuUuUUup. Alison was like fifteen when she went missing. What fifteen year old talks like this? If I had said this at school I would have been punched in the face. If someone else had spoken like this at my school, I would have punched them in the face. I can maybe possibly kind of believe why other fifteen year old girls would have let it slide that Ali talks like she is in some artsy independent student film, but Ali seemed to spend a lot of time with creepy older dudes, and I’m really struggling to understand how they didn’t kill her or themselves whenever she opened her mouth. I know that Rosewood has this weird thing about statutory rape being the basis for any healthy relationship, but come on. I find it really hard to believe that whatever illegal activities you and Ali were getting up to when you were alone was worth listening to that all day.

As well as being inhumanly irritating, she’s also just an all round horrible person. She tries to blackmail Aria’s dad about his affair, which yeah, was a shitty thing for Byron to do, but exploiting her friend’s family like that was even worse. She practically forces an eating disorder on Hanna, another of her supposed best friends. We know that she bullied Mona enough for her to start the whole A thing in the first place. She was clearly using Emily for some weird sexualised lesbian experiment fantasy without ever actually having any real feelings for her. Not to mention the argument she had with Spencer on the night of her disappearance, when she totally judges Spencer for kissing her sister’s boyfriend. I think you’ve done a lot worse, DiLaurentis, judging by the fact someone seems to be trying to kill you.

It amazes me how these girls remained friends throughout all of this. If I had been a Liar, the day we got the first text from A, I would have been all ‘nope’. I would have either transferred schools and never set foot in Rosewood again or just taken my chances and gone to the police about the whole Jenna thing. Then again, I don’t think the Liars are really the most logical people in the world. They finally found out who has been stalking them for the past few years (one of the people, at least) and just accepted his lame excuse of ‘ohhhh, I’m actually just writing a book!’ At least two of them have spoken to Ezra since this and haven’t thought to ask him why he tracked their every move on a computer and had people follow them with cameras. I know the writers have revealed to us that Ezra isn’t A (which was obvious), but the girls don’t fully know that yet. Claiming that they’re just writing a book is exactly the kind of thing A would say!

But I guess Alison’s complete insanity and unwillingness to come home (despite the existence of various police protection programs) can at least be partly attributed to the latest episode’s revelation. Mrs DiLaurentis might be A? I’ll admit I never saw that one coming, unlike every other supposed big twist in the series so far. Mona? Toby? CeCe? Well, duh. If I had a mother like Alison’s, I’d definitely wanna stay away too. Although, the woman does have amazing creeping skills. Getting in and out of Spencer’s bedroom with at least two other people in the house is quite an achievement. It would explain all those countless shots of the Liars chasing Ali, only for her to disappear into seemingly nowhere. It must be something in the genes.

Pretty Little Liars is without a doubt a giant train wreck of a TV show. It somehow manages to be both predictable and nonsensical at the same time, which is a quality that makes it terrible and wonderful. I know that every season finale they’re going to “reveal A”, only for it to be a total Red Herring within the next few episodes. I know that there’s forever going to be loose ends or things that don’t really make sense. And I know that the high schoolers are always going to look like adults, which will somehow make it okay (???) for them to have inappropriate relations with teachers, doctors, and detectives. But I just can’t stop watching. I need to know who A actually is and who tried to kill Alison and who the hell is buried in her grave. But more importantly, I want all those loose ends tied up so Ali can finally be reunited with the Liars for them only to tell her ‘we’ve just realised you’re actually kind of a bitch, bye!’ And then the the camera will slowly zoom in on Alison’s shocked face whilst the screen fades to black; finishing off with a post-credit scene showing the four Liars eating ice cream and being happy for the first time in years. And then maybe someone can finally hit Ali with a shovel and finish the job properly this time.

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