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Posts Tagged ‘Stranger Things’

  1. Twin Peaks: This could have gone so wrong.  Revisiting a TV show from quarter of a century ago with a combination of the original and a new cast.  The results were amazing, with one mind-bending episode in particular standing out.  Why did I ever doubt David Lynch.Twin Peaks
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale: I read Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian satire back in the early 90’s and loved it.  There was a film version in 1990 that wasn’t bad.  Why is this version so good? Is it because it is frighteningly relevant today, because Elisabeth Moss is so good in the lead role, or that its just really well written well made television? Probably all three!The Handmaid's Tale
  3. Mindhunter: You could call it Manhunter/Silence of the Lambs Year 0.  Set in the mid/late 1970’s and telling the story of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit in the early days of criminal psychology and profiling.  It’s a very talky show, so don’t expect lots of action, but if that’s your thing you will love it.Mindhunter
  4. Godless: A seven part mini-series set in the American west in the 1880’s.  While it contains all the archetypes of the genre you would expect, and yet it feels strangely authentic.  A well constructed piece with flashbacks to tell back stories dropped in at just the right moment, it is more like a seven hour movie than a TV show.  The cast are all fantastic.Godless
  5. American Gods: Based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name.  The conflict between the old gods of mythology and the new gods of the modern consumer age told from the point of view of a mortal man.  Blending mythology and pop culture in a visually stunning way often trippy to a trippy effect.  You don’t always who what is going on but it kind of all pulls together in the end.American Gods
  6. Alias Grace: The second Margaret Atwood adaptation on the list, this time written for the screen by Sarah Polley.  Based on a fictionalized version of a murder in 19th-century Canada.  The story of female oppression feels sadly relevant today, but also works as a historical drama.Alias Grace
  7. Game of Thrones: The first returning show on the list (unless you count Twin Peaks), the penultimate series gives exactly what you expect of the show to date.  Taken on its own merits it would be higher up the list, as it is, it loses a few places for reasons of familiarity.Game of Thrones
  8. Taboo: A strange and dark tale that seems a little bold for prime time BBC.  What started out looking like a strange otherworldly tale quickly settled into a far darker tale; one of commerce, and a (real life) multinational corporation trying to survive at any cost to the society around it.  Tom Hardy is excellent as ever.Taboo
  9. Peaky Blinders: Steven Knight, also responsible for Taboo, returns with a fourth season of his Birmingham based organised crime/ gang series.  It was hard to see after the last season what there was left to say.  The new storyline is excellent as are the new characters but the standout is still Helen McCrory.Peaky Blinders
  10. Star Trek Discovery: Discovery has done the impossible, it is everything you expect from Star Trek, and nothing live Star Trek as you expect it.  The boldest move is to make a character other then the captain the shows lead character.  Sonequa Martin-Green is excellent in the lead, Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca is the most interesting character.Lethe

Also recommended:

Glow, The Punisher, Stranger Things, Preacher, 13 Reasons Why, Into the Badlands

Shows That have seen recommended to me, but I haven’t seen yet:

Big Little Lies, The Good Place, Legion, Feud, The Deuce

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Following my last post inspired by Stranger Things and featuring my favourite movies of 1984, here are my favourite albums of 1984.  The criteria, I only picked actual albums not compilations or best of albums.  And most importantly, I only picked albums that I own.

Bon JoviBon Jovi

Bon Jovi – Like most people, I didn’t go back to discover Bon Jovi’s debut album until two years later when Slippery When Wet was a huge hit.  Standout track: Runaway

Born In the U.S.A.  Born In the USA

Bruce Springsteen – You couldn’t turn on a radio in the mid 80’s without hearing a track from this album.  Seven of the twelve tracks were released as singles.  There isn’t a bad track on the album making it hard to pick out a standout track, the title track is one of the most recognisable records of all time, I would go for either: Glory Days or Dancing in the Dark.

Like a Virgin Like a Virgin

Madona – I haven’t listened to this album for over twenty years but had to include it as it was the first record I purchased on CD.  Standout track: Material Girl

Private DancerPrivate Dancer

Tina Turner – I recently picked this album up on vinyl from a charity shop, it still sounds great, Standout track: The title track, Private Dancer written by Mark Knopfler.

Purple RainPurple Rain

Prince – I didn’t like Prince or listen to this album until I saw the movie Purple Rain a couple of years later.  Standout Track: When Doves Cry.

RecklessReckless

Brian Adams – Another one I haven’t listened to for about twenty years, but earns it place because of the amount I played it back in the day.  Standout track: Run to You or Summer of 69.

Ride The LightningRide The Lightning

Metallica – I didn’t start listening to Metallica until their fourth album …And Justice for All in 1988,  by the time their massively popular self titled album came out in 1991 I had purchased the first three albums including the excellent Ride The Lightning.  Standout track: For Whom the Bell Tolls.

She’s So UnusualShe_s So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper – Fantastic debut album from Cyndi Lauper.  The first single Girls Just Want to Have Fun is probably the best know, but for me, the standout track is: Time After Time.

The Unforgettable FireThe Unforgettable Fire

U2 – Having made the debut in 1980 with Boy, this was U2’s fourth album and a slight change in style.  Standout track: Pride (In The Name Of Love).

Various PositionsVarious Positions

Leonard Cohen – Cohen’s seventh studio album, and a new direction with a modern synth sound and backing singer.  The most famous (and covered track) is Hallelujah, but for me the standout track is: Dance Me to the End of Love.

Bonus selection.  As I said I have not included any compilations or best of albums, but had to mention Dire Straits fantastic live album Alchemy and the standout track, having first appeared on the 1982 album Love over Gold, the epic: Telegraph RoadAlchemy

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