Flashback Friday: Keeping Up Appearances (1990-1995)

This British comedy focuses on Hyacinth Bucket’s (pronounced ‘Bouquet’ according to her) desperate attempts to hide her working class background and gain her rightful place at the top of the social ladder. In a nutshell, Hyacinth is the ultimate snob. She has a knack for humiliating those that don’t live up to her standards including her husband, her poor neighbour and her lower class sisters. And, for those that she hopes to impress, her insistent nature is unbearable.

Notable running jokes include:

  • Calls from random people who have mistaken the Bucket residence for a Chinese takeaway shop. 
  • Hyacinth’s continuous boasting of her older sister Violet, who unlike the rest of the family, is actually very wealthy.
  • Hyacinth’s nervous neighbour, who she regularly invites round for coffee.

For those that are more familiar with the modern premise of British comedy (i.e. we’re all apparently really awkward), this is a great introduction to some older material if you’re interested!

I Just Watched The Best Episode of Community! (so far)

Ok, it wasn’t the best episode so far (I’m on season 3).  I’m not actually sure what the best episode is, they’re all are pretty good in their own unique way. But anyway, it was the one where they’re in a video game playing for Pierce’s inheritance. This is what I love about Community, the fact that they do all these cool themed episodes and it still feels real to me. I turned to Community as my replacement for The Office (I’m just not ready to go through 9 seasons of Parks & Recreation) but I’ve found that it’s more of my feel good show as opposed to my go-to comedy show to laugh at hysterically. That’s not to say that it’s not funny; there are plenty of hilarious moments that live up to its comedy genre but more than often I find myself smiling rather than laughing.

What I love about Community:

  • The themed episodes
  • Diversity of characters
  • I don’t think I have a favourite character or a least favourite character. Well I do find that Pierce grates on me but I feel like he is so integral to the show that it would be wrong for him not to be there.
  • Use of Meta – I like to think of myself as a younger, less socially awkward, female version of Abed.
  • Say no more..tumblr_nbr8qsqjCM1tlr437o1_400
  • The running gags – I thought these would get old very soon but they are still enjoyable to see; my favourites being ‘Pop, pop’ and rhyming names.
  • In short… It’s just different to everything else on TV at the moment 

Anyway if you haven’t watched Community or are thinking of watching it, then definitely go for it, it really is worth the watch!

Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

Brian Mooney

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds of institutional and internalized racism that manifest in the lives of Morrison’s African-American characters, particularly the 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove and her mother, Pauline. We posed questions about oppression and the media – and after looking at the Dick & Jane primers that serve as precursors to each chapter, considered the influence of a “master narrative” that always privileges whiteness.

Set in the 1940s, the Breedlove family lives in poverty. Their only escape is the silver screen, a place where they idolize the glamorous stars of the film industry. Given the historical context…

View original post 2,152 more words

Social Media Highs

There’s nothing I love more than being on Twitter during a big event. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about collectively watching and commenting on something with millions of other people that just warms my heart. Twitter is where the undiscovered comedians, philosophers and geniuses come to light. In this post I’m going to highlight a few of my favourite social media moments/ factors.

  • London 2012 Olympics

Golden Saturday/Super Saturday was probably one of the most exciting events of that year . With everyone posting tweets and statuses cheering Team GB athletes on, the atmosphere online was so amazing that I almost felt like I was in the Victoria Park stadium myself (lol ok not really.. but it felt good).

(Can’t believe Olympics 2016 is next year, I can remember 2012 like it was yesterday!)
  • Eastenders Live Week – Who killed Lucy Beale?

I’ve noticed that most people that visit my blog are from the US, so for those that don’t know, Eastenders is a very popular British soap that recently celebrated its 30 year anniversary with a Live Week. At the end of the week, they put an end to a ‘Whodunnit’ murder storyline that went on for almost a year with a full 30 minute live episode, revealing who the killer was. But it wasn’t just the prospect of finding out who killed Lucy Beale that everyone was talking about; as well as tweeting about events as they transpired, people also brought back to mind some of our favourite characters and the blunders of the first Eastenders live episode back in 2010. Fortunately, there weren’t many blunders this year (not really fortunate, as I was expecting to laugh hysterically) but everyone managed to notice that Max Branning may or may not have messed up the whole storyline with the confusion of just one word, and the fact that Jo Joyner used Adam Woodyatt’s real name instead of his character’s name Ian.B-PyY1WIYAA3MTA

  • Meme Wave

I don’t have much to say about memes except for the fact that sometimes I feel like using them is the only way I can express myself these days. If there’s one thing that makes me proud of my generation it’s the fact that we can get really creative.

Probably one of my favourite and most used memes:

1355784507639

* Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of Karl Pinkington?
  • Vine

I am both surprised and happy that Vine is still popular today (although it now mainly consists of viners doing videos ‘inspired’ by other viners).  Again, I have to commend our creative generation on this one. What Vine has taught me is how similar we actually all are, whether I like it or not.

I couldn’t even begin to make a list of my favourite vines so here are just a few I’ve seen recently:

GTA Las Vegas?

As well as a love for TV & Film soundtracks, I’ve become interested in soundtracks for games. While I don’t really play much (except for GTA), I have the pleasure of constantly hearing game music every time I enter the living room (as my brother plays games on full volume -_-).

The Grand Theft Auto soundtracks have introduced me to some of the best music/artists that I now listen to. And, they’re the thing I look forward to the most whenever Rockstar announces a new game in the series.

Today I’ve compiled a list of songs that I think would go well on a Las Vegas type version of Grand Theft Auto  (I don’t know why I chose Las Vegas, it was just the first thing that came into my head)*

  • Nite Jewel – Nowhere to Go (I know this was used on the GTA V soundtrack but I feel like it would go better here)
  • Kasabian – Treat (mainly for the interlude part)

  • Calvin Harris – Certified or Neon Rocks

  • Metronomy – Boy Racers (this would probably sound better playing during one of those mini missions as opposed to on the radio – the one where Trevor is high and he has to kill the clowns comes to mind)

  • Phoenix – Love Like a Sunset pt. 1&2 (obviously without the Intro and all the super quiet bits)

  • Mark Ronson ft Business Intl – Bang Bang Bang
  • Ronnie Jones – Video Games (I definitely hear this playing in a casino)

  • Jessie Ware – Night Light (Joe Goddard remix)
  • La Roux – Uptight Downtown
  • Frank Ocean – Pyramids
  • Janelle Monáe Ft Erykah Badu – Q.U.E.E.N (I think I was just swayed by the synths)
  • Kanye West ft Dwele – Flashing Lights

Maybe’s:

  • Kanye West ft Jeezy – Amazing
  • Metric – Black Sheep or Gold Gun Girls
  • Caribou – Silver

*I’m probably going to keep adding to this list

 

Random film thought

Where did this whole idea in films about a nosebleed being the first sign of a virus come from? Is it a real scientific thing or something that someone just came up with one day and everyone copied?

I’m going to have to do some research into this guys or if anyone knows please comment!

Review: Gone Too Far (2014)

Gone Too Far is a comedy based on the 2007 play (same name) by Bola Agbaje. Yemi is a young British teenager about to be reunited with his older brother who is moving over to London from Nigeria (something that he’s not too keen on). The film follows the brothers as they get reacquainted, whilst running into a series of problems over the course of one day.

Agbaje delivers a hilarious and relatable story about life in urban London for young ethnic minorities. I constantly found myself pointing out to my mum how accurate Golda John’s (Yemi’s mum) performance was. However, I felt that the comedy was sometimes a bit restrictive, with references being made to some things that maybe only black British people would understand or, even with the fact that characters were speaking Yoruba at various points throughout the film. Nonetheless, it’s a great film and I highly recommend it!

Amidst the jokes about your typical African ‘fob’, the film also covers two important issues: the tensions between different cultures in London and the fact that some young British Africans are embarrassed by their background. I thought Agbaje wrote a great storyline that helped to send the message of the importance of being proud of your roots.

I also really enjoyed Miles McDonald’ (who plays a supporting role as Ghost) performance. Personally, I think that there’s a bad habit amongst some urban British shows/films of exaggerating the whole ‘roadman’ attitude. However, McDonald managed to give the character a more natural feel. The film also stars Adedayo Adedayo, the lead star of the show ‘Some Girls’ mentioned in one of my previous posts.

THE OFFICE – THE END IS NIGH :(

A few days ago, I reached the first episode of the final series of The Office US (yes, yes I’m a late passenger on the Scranton train but better late than never right?). It has been a hilarious journey and one that has ended with The Office taking a top spot as one of my favourite TV shows ever.

I think one of the best things about The Office is that I can’t work out who my favorite/funniest character is. Whether it be Michael & his insulting comments, Stanley with his facial expressions or Creed & his creepy thoughts, it pretty much changes every other episode for me.

So, to commiserate the end of an era (not really, but it felt long) I’ve listed a few of my favourite moments/episodes so far:

1. Michael and Toby – 

The relationship between Michael and Toby during the whole show constantly had me in fits of laughter (poor Toby!) It was pretty hard to pick a favourite moment between them so I’ve chosen 2: 

  • Toby returns from Costa Rica (Season 5, ep 9:Frame Toby) 
  • Toby and Michael’s counselling session (Season 7, ep 2: Counseling)

2. Dwight’s fire drill (Season 5, episode 14: Stress Relief)

Probably one of the funniest opening scenes I’ve ever watched – seriously, I was laughing so much that I had to pause it and take a five minute break.

3. Jim runs away from Robert California (Season 8, ep 9: Mrs California) –

In his attempt to avoid getting involved in the whole hiring/firing Mrs California nonsense, Jim ends up abandoning his car in the middle of the car park, climbing up to the roof and losing a shoe, only to find Robert California and Andy waiting for him at the end. I think it was more Robert’s determination to find Jim that got me laughing.

tumblr_n05zlyKmEc1qbn5oto4_250

4. Tallahassee (Season 8, ep 2) – 

I pretty much only chose this episode for the whole Dwight appendicitis situation..

5. Secret Santa (Season 6, ep 13) –

Michael’s mad that Jim has allowed Phyllis to be Santa instead of him – and he just can’t seem to let it go!

6. Branch Wars (Season 4, ep 10) –

tumblr_m1ohaugslZ1qdvp4lo1_250

Jim’s face :’)

Obviously the funniest thing about this episode is Jim, Dwight and Michael’s trip to Utica to stop Stanley from transferring. However, the writers managed to keep up the humour back at the office, with Andy trying to get into the exclusive ‘Finer Things Club’.

7. Jim thinks he got the last laugh (Season 8, ep 12:Pool Party) –

8. Parkour (Season 6, ep 1: Gossip) –

9. Creed is the new manager (Season 7, ep 25: Search Committee part 1) –

*going to have to click on the actual link for this one*

10. Kelly & Ryan get divorced (Season 7, ep 15: The Search) –

http://tmblr.co/ZJk4SxIxUIge

All that remains is for me to enjoy these final episodes & choose a new show to fill the soon to be void that The Office will be leaving in my heart – Parks and Recreation here I come!

Random side note: Can we just appreciate the fact that this post literally took me days to finish due to countless distractions from The Office clips on Youtube – this is what happens when you try to write about your appreciation for TV.