Glue: A Fall Review

The USA is not the only country with new shows this Fall Season (obviously!), but I wanted to stay in the realm of English speaking television, so I checked out E4‘s new original British teen drama Glue! (FYI: I tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible!)

From the trailer I guessed that Glue would be an intense, possibly dark and definitely strange show – I can now say that I was right! I heard some people call it a mix between Skins and a teen Broadchurch, which I also find quite accurate for what I watched during yesterday’s pilot episode, but I still cannot entirely make up my mind about what to think.

The show starts off by showing us a group of friends and all the fun they are having, but soon turns into something darker when the body of one of their own is found dead under a tractor. So, they try to solve the murder of one of their best friends, which makes it sound like a crime show, although it’s not. The focus isn’t on the investigation, but rather on the relationships between all the involved people. There are some gorgeous shots of the countryside, paired with great young (and to me, mostly unknown) actors and actresses such as: Jordan Stephens (who is part of one of my favourite bands – Rizzle Kicks), Callum Turner, Yasmin Paige, Billy Howle, Charlotte Spencer, Faye Marsay, Jessie Cave, Tommy Knight, Tommy McDonnell and many more.

Let’s just begin by saying that the show features a lot of nudity, sex, drugs and death in the first episode, so this definitely isn’t for everyone. Yet, all of this should in no way mean that that’s a bad thing, because it’s not. It is shocking, but in a good way. I don’t have any clue as to who could be the murderer – which is always good – and I feel intrigued by it. The characters all have their secrets and it is generally very tempting to see where all of this will go, but it seems like a very heavy show. I personally prefer shows that have a dark theme, but brighten up every so often, which it just didn’t feel like in this one. I could see opinions really differ on this show, which finally brings me to the point where I would say, it is definitely worth checking out, but I doubt that it will be a mainstream success.

Have you watched it? I am happy to discuss in the comments!

How I Live Now – Book vs. Movie

How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff definitely isn’t a universally appealing story, but it somehow managed to fascinate me – which not a lot of stories have been capable of as of late. I have read the book and watched the movie and I wanted have finally decided to share my feelings about it with you.

First off, a little summary: Daisy, a fifteen-year-old girl from Manhatten gets sent to England to visit her family there. The only thing is, she never met her aunt and cousins before, because her father didn’t want to talk about anything related to her deceased mother. So, naturally, Daisy feels quite uncomfortable, rejected by her father and now having to live with perfect strangers. It doesn’t take long, until her aunt has to go away for a business trip and leaves the kids by themselves. Now the real storyline begins, because the next day World War III breaks out.

I don’t want to say more than that about the plot, because it will totally spoil the experience, but you are probably wondering why I categorized the book as not universally appealing. Well, one of the problems a lot of the readers complained about is Meg Rossoff‘s style of writing, which is very stream-of-consciousness, and there are no quotation marks around the dialogue parts. This might seem strange to some people, but it isn’t actually something that bothered me very much. Now on to the second point. Very early on in the story, Daisy falls in love with one of her cousins. I mean she’s a teenager and they’ve never met before and it really seems like they are in love, but some people complained that it would encourage incest. Now, I am not into incest stories, but somehow I didn’t mind that part either. I guess, that those are points that could turn people off from reading the book, but I don’t think it should.

From the more problematic parts on to what I really liked about the book. I thought that it was extremely interesting to see how Meg Rossoff would envision a worldwide war in modern-day civilzed countries. Mostly, when I read about war it is either about WWI or WWII or in some sort of dystopian novel, but this one actually took place in the here and now in a country like Great Britain. That’s also what I would like to have read or in case of the movie seen more about. The build-up and the resolution concering the war could have been way longer in my opinion. And I was extremely sad at the ending … I dread endings, so they are never really my thing.

Now, I’ve talked a lot about the book, but I think I enjoyed the movie even more! It is drastically different from the book, not so much in what happens (although there were some changes involved as well), but concerning the characters. A lot of people just didn’t exist in the movie or were portrayed completely different and usually that would annoy me, but in case of How I Live Now it weirdly enough didn’t. It was shot beautifully, it has a great soundtrack and I adore the main actors Saoirse Ronan and George MacKay. It really was heartbreaking! Other than that, there’s only to say that it was directed by Kevin Macdonald and stars (next to the people I mentioned before) Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, Corey Johnso, Harley Bird and many others.

What did you think of the movie or book? Would you watch it after seeing the trailer? I think it is definitely a story that should be checked out even though you might hear a lot of negative things about it.

 

A Series of Terrible Dates

Channel 4 has a fairly new TV show called Dates. I have watched the six episodes that have aired so far and still can’t make up my mind about it. It’s from the creators of skins, so my expectations were pretty high from the beginning on. They claim that it’s a sexy, witty and emotional drama – I can agree with that in most points, but I also think it has comedic elements sometimes.Image

Mainly, you watch people from an online dating service having their first date. So far, I have not seen one episode where the date did not end in complete misery for at least one person. I quite like the concept and am mostly fascinated by the characters, but something just puts me off about it. I can’t exactly put it in words, but maybe it’s because there aren’t any real main characters or even a real pattern (besides the theme “First Date”) that I can recognize. It’s not like there aren’t any reoccuring characters, but I simply have no clue as to where the story is about to go.

I would love to hear your opinion on it. I started watching it because I saw the list of actors that were about to appear in the show. Maybe it will do the same for you. Some of the actors are: Oona Chaplin, Katie McGrath, Andrew Scott, Will Mellor, Gemma Chan, Ben Chaplin…

So, tell me what you think? Is it a brilliant show or did they miss the mark by not giving the audience a possibility to connect with the characters?