I’ve only just realised that I haven’t posted on my blog for six months, which I’m so ashamed of, but what better way to return by discussing my favourite subject – television! I think that 2017 has been a great year of TV, mostly new shows or new series, but also for slightly older shows that I’ve binge watched on amazon prime. Here I’m talking about what I’ve been watching recently…
There are lots of shows which I will watch every year without fail. This year, Strictly was at its best with Paralympian Jonnie Peacock stealing my heart, whilst The X Factor was at its absolute worst with a terrible judging panel and ‘revamped’ format, and the only saving grace of the series for me personally in the form of a talented duo named Jack and Joel. The Voice, now on ITV, was rather forgettable, but introduced me to Into The Ark, an incredible South Wales duo who are local to me, and who managed to clinch second place. The Apprentice was entertaining as always, with stand out characters in Elizabeth and Michaela, but not even Lord Sugar’s shock decision to invest in both Sarah and James was enough to save the final from being the most boring in recent years. My favourite panel show, Would I Lie To You?, has been brilliant as always, and the fact that Lee and David seemingly have no more interesting stories left has seemingly not affected the classic dynamic between Mack, Mitchell and host Rob Brydon. The future of GBBO was uncertain after the move to Channel 4 and the loss of Mel, Sue and Mary, but I believe the genius addition of Noel Fielding made this series as good as it’s ever been.
The soap that I watch, Coronation Street, has been quite hit and miss this year, but it’s many hits have been reminders of why it is simply the best: Rob Donovan’s return, the reveal of Phelan’s kidnap of Andy, the eventful double wedding and Carla Connor’s recent return to name but a few. But perhaps the biggest shock of all this year came from the latest series of I’m A Celeb. What started as an average series became a camp full of toxic masculinity that made for extremely uncomfortable viewing at times. Toff was probably the very worthy winner in the end, as a result of her kindness and constant positivity, but the best part for me was becoming aware of Iain Lee, who bucked the trend of a stereotypical male and who did an excellent job of raising awareness of mental health in society, despite constant abuse from others in the jungle. Since he returned, I haven’t missed a single episode of his incredible daily radio show on TalkRadio with Katherine Boyle and I truly have found a new role model.
These are a few other shows that I’ve watched this year:
– UnReal – I finished watching this show in the summer and I think this almost made it into my top 5, because UnReal is everything I love in a tv show! The two leads in Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer make the series what it is and, especially for a Lifetime show, it truly is first class viewing. UnReal really is the best show you’ve never heard of, and I’m so excited for the third series early next year.
– Trust Me – I thoroughly enjoyed this mini series in which Jodie Whittaker plays a struggling nurse who poses as a top doctor – ironically, in her first role since she was announced as Peter Capaldi’s successor. Jodie’s performance was amazing, and I remember this show being extremely intense and stressful!
– Doctor Foster – The second series aired this year but just before this, I watched the first series as well and I thought it was incredible! I completely understand Surrane Jones’s praise because she was truly exceptional. Nothing will ever beat THAT dinner party scene and, overall, I think that the second series was slightly weaker, but although lots of people were disappointed with the ending, I thought it was very clever and extremely thought provoking.
– Eden – I had to include this show as it definitely impacted me, but this really was a disturbing watch. The reality show to see if a group of people could survive for a year and create a sustainable life on a remote island was a social experiment gone wrong, and if anything, it proved that sexism still plays an alamingly large part in our world.
– The State – This was a mini series on Channel 4 exploring the journeys and experiences of various characters who have chosen to join ISIS. I think I remember that people had issues with the accuracy of the programme, but I thought it was very harrowing and it stayed with me for a long time.
– The Middle – It has been one of my favourite comedies for so many years, therefore it is so bittersweet that we are currently about halfway through the ninth and final season of The Middle. It is so rare that a show can stay consistently on top of its game and if anything, get better as it goes on, and it really is painfully underrated. Definitely my favourite ever family comedy and I’ll miss it so much!
– Ackley Bridge – I really loved this show! It was both very hard hitting, dealing with relevant societal issues, and lots of fun, plus I love the entire cast. It was a good watch and I’m interested to see which direction the show goes in for series 2.
– Dance Moms – Ah, Dance Moms. I’ve watched and loved this show for so long, but it recently became unwatchable and I skipped the whole of season 6, after becoming tired of the drama overshadowing the talented girls. But then I heard that season 7 would be the last, and then I heard that Chloe was coming back, and it drew me back in. Until the very end, I still hated the drama that was obviously manufactured and manipulated by the producers. But my love for the girls surpasses anything, especially for my original babies Nia and Chloe, and also Kalani. I’m not ashamed to say that I sobbed my way through the final episode, simply because I found it difficult to say goodbye to the show that has inspired me to dance and has consequently seen me through my entire dance journey – for that I will forever be grateful for Dance Moms.
– So Sharp – This show was on every Monday, straight after Dance Moms, and it quickly became my guilty pleasure tv show. It follows a university dance team as they attempt to win nationals, and the drama that ensues amongst the girls and tough coach Todd Sharp. This was so much fun to watch and I hope that it gets a second season!
– Love Island – Speaking of guilty pleasures… I ended up being completely obsessed with Love Island this year, perhaps as some light relief after I finished my exams. A lot of it was definitely rubbish but I immediately rooted for Camilla, who was so different to your average reality tv contestant. I loved following her journey and I was so happy that she found happiness at the end.
– The Replacement – This was a great drama! I was unfortunately so disappointed with the end of this miniseries, but I thought the plot was so interesting, there was so much intensity, and the combination of Vicky McClure and Morven Christie at the forefront was a stroke of genius.
– The Last Leg – There isn’t a lot more to say about this show except that I believe it remains one of the most important programmes on TV. Adam, Josh and Alex are brilliant as always and The Last Leg is forever the highlight of my Fridays.
– Inside No. 9 – I haven’t finished all of the episodes of Inside No. 9, a show which is often compared to Black Mirror but which instead follows a different story each episode of a situation that takes place within a building of house number 9. All the episodes that I have watched have been incredible, my favourite probably being ‘The Bill’, and Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton are absolute geniuses, writing and starring in each episode. I cannot wait to watch series 4 which starts on 2nd January.
– Back – After the brilliant Peep Show, I was slightly nervous about Mitchell and Webb’s new sitcom, Back. But I needn’t have worried, because I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was properly funny. Mitchell and Webb are superb as unlikely brothers, but they are also supported by a fantastic cast, including Sherlock’s Louise Brealey. I can’t wait for the second series!
– Castle – There is no doubt that Castle would be in my top 5 shows of the year if I hadn’t only started watching it on amazon prime a couple of weeks ago and if I hadn’t only watched two seasons as of yet. But wow, I LOVE this show. I needed a new tv show to become obsessed with, and wow I am obsessed with Castle. I love the relationship between Castle and Beckett so so much, and then I love the addictive blend of crime thriller (a murder each episode!) and comedy. I’m so happy that I have six more seasons to watch!
In my next post, I’ll count down my top 5 tv shows of 2017…