From Me to You, TV and Film

My Dalliance With Period Dramas

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– I do not own the rights to these images –

I’ve never usually been one for period dramas. There’s something about them that doesn’t appeal to me. Odd, considering that I absolutely adore learning about history. When Downton was on telly, I was never very interested in watching it. Even now, I’ve never seen a single episode.

That being said, fairly recently, I’ve been obsessed with TV shows set in the past. It all began when I came to the end of a long series on Netflix and realised I had nothing to watch and lots of time to kill. Sure, I could occupy myself with Friends, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Brooklyn Nine Nine, but I wanted something other than my regular wallpaper TV shows. I wanted something new I could binge. Then along came Call the Midwife. Now, believe you me, I’d watched it before. It was on every Sunday night, BBC One, 8pm. And I’d watched a fair few episodes – the first series all the way through probably – and I knew the gist.

Well, what can I say? It certainly captured my attention. I fell in love with the characters, the aesthetic, Vanessa Redgrave’s lovely little voiceover bits. Now, this is technically a period drama, though I’m hesitant to give it that label. All things considered, the 1950s wasn’t really that long ago. Coming from someone who is fascinated by Tudor history, Call the Midwife is comparatively modern.

Though my adventure in period dramas didn’t end there. About a month ago, I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. Well, the 1995 BBC version was just sitting there begging to be watched. Again, I was surprised by how much I liked it (given that Downton had never been my thing at all). It was loyal to the book, the settings and costumes were perfect (and of course it gave ample screentime to the swoon-worthy Colin Firth).

Now that I’ve finished that, I’ve moved onto Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, a whodunit-style Australian drama set in the 1920s. Maybe it’s the golden age detective format I like, maybe it’s the Gatsby-esque aesthetic, maybe it’s the mix of intriguing characters with characters as sweet as a lollipop. Whatever the appeal, I’m a third of the way through the entire series. Seemingly, very soon I’ll have to find another period drama to watch. Any suggestions are very welcome.

A

Book Reviews, Books

REVIEW: Dear Amy, Helen Callaghan

Image from Amazon UK

Book: Dear Amy

Author: Helen Callaghan

Rating: 4 stars

Margot, our ‘Dear Amy’ agony aunt, is fairly recently divorced and is a teacher at the school of a girl that has recently gone missing. She receives a letter to the column from Bethan Avery who says she has been kidnapped and is begging to be found. Bethan Avery did go missing – twenty odd years ago. Margot assumes this is a hoax, but fears this letter might in some way be connected to the recent missing student, Katie. She goes to the police and a mysterious investigation begins, pulling Margot along for the ride.

If there’s one thing every book-lover adores, it’s a book that’s unputdownable. Every so often, a paperback will come along that will completely absorb you, capture your attention, and won’t let you leave until it’s finished with you. Dear Amy is one of these books.

I’ll admit that I picked this book up and bought it based on a mild interest in the blurb – I tend to stray away from crime/mystery fiction and if I do delve into that world, I usually stick to Christie. However, what a book it turned out to be. I read this book in two days and, I’m sorry to admit, feigned sickness in order to bail on socialising and carry on reading.

This book is packed full of twists and turns that I definitely didn’t suspect. Like every good mystery novel, each chapter ended on a cliffhanger that was intriguing enough for me to keep turning the pages.

Something I wasn’t expecting, though fully welcomed, was the time given to mental illness and how a history of mental illness affects a person and impacts how that person is treated by others.

So, there must be some drawbacks. Well, yes. While the novel certainly had me on the edge of my seat, the events were a little far-fetched at times. The characteristics of Margot changed considerably throughout – she went from agony aunt to action hero which seemed a little out of character for our protagonist. Of course, the revelations uncovered in the course of the plot might explain this change in behaviour, but it feels a little too convenient at times.

Nevertheless, coming from someone who tends to stick with whodunits, I highly recommend this book if you’re at all interested in thrillers/mysteries with twists and turns. I found Dear Amy fast-paced, unputdownable, and unpredictable. If you’re as gullible as me, you won’t see the twist coming.

A

From Me to You

How Do You Do

Hello, world (and by that I mean the possibility of a single person reading yet another random blog on the internet). It’s nice of you to stop by.

So, what is this? Why such a random name? Why am I doing this?

All very excellent questions, to which there are very simple answers:

  1. This is a blog. With a little bit of everything. Book reviews, film reviews, musings, thoughts, and general generic blog type stuff.
  2. Naming a blog is difficult – especially when you don’t really have a particular niche in mind for said blog. I looked at countless “how to choose a blog name” articles and, if anything, that made it worse. Sunny Side Up, Buttered Side Down. Sunny Side Up, Buttered Side Down. Yes, I agree. It is rather random. But I quite like it. Sunny side up eggs are nice, toast landing buttered side down isn’t. It’s a nice middle ground. With a touch of quirkiness.
  3. Honestly, I don’t really know. Because I felt like it. I don’t expect many, if any, people to read this blog. But I’m quite content to just type away by myself.

So there you go. It would be nice of you to stick around or come and visit once in a while, but there’s no pressure to.

I’ll see you around,

A