TV Reviews: SVU 21.12. SVU 21.13. Grey’s Anatomy 16.10. Grey’s Anatomy 16.11. Grey’s Anatomy 16.12. Station 19 3.01. Station 19 3.02. Station 19 3.03. Carol’s Second Act 1.13. Carol’s Second Act 1.14. Schooled 2.13. The Goldbergs 7.13

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Netflix’s ‘Soundtrack’ starring Madeleine Stowe has been cancelled and The Good Place has ended. 2019 brought a lot of interesting miniseries, so I think it’s safe to say I won’t have 50 series to follow this year. Shameless is now officially on a break until next year when It comes back for 11th and final season. It’s an excellent show and I will miss it dearly. It’s my third favourite show that’s still on air and 2021 will be sad without it. American Horror Story has officially been renewed for 3 more seasons and I just really hope Sarah Paulson comes back for good. When Calls the Heart and One Day at A Time return later this month. A few shows including American Horror Story won’t be back till September. 911 and How To Get Away With Murder won’t be back until April. I still haven’t caught up on This is Us, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Riverdale, Killing Eve, Absentia and The Good Fight. I’m also excited to see Netflix’s version of Snowpiercer. Killing Eve has been renewed for season 4, but I still haven’t fully caught up on season 2.

Shows I’ll follow this midseason or summertime:

Greys
Law and Order SVU
Fuller House
How To Get Away with Murder
Carol’s Second Act
Modern Family
The Goldbergs
Schooled
Station 19
This is Us
The Resident
Riverdale
13 Reasons Why
Good Girls
Ozark
The Simpsons
Killing Eve
The Good Fight
911
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Absentia
The Handmaid’s Tale
One Day at a Time
F For Family
Younger
Dead To Me
The Society

SVU 21.12

Three coppers shoot themselves in this episode including one we know very well. Olivia’s old friend from academy is the first one. Benson and the team later find out she was raped on the job by someone from her old team, VICE. Olivia’s old shrink comes back to treat the entire department and is also a witness to the second copper’s death. We learn that Tucker, Olivia’s ex and Elliot’s least favourite person, has cancer and that’s why he didn’t remember the first victim. We learn Olivia regrets leaving him and clearly still loves him. Tucker recently got married and decides not to be a burden on his new wife. This leaves Olivia devastated.

You just did something you never did when we were dating.
What?
You lied to my face.
She accused your partner.
Her career would have been ruined.
It was ruined anyway. She fell apart.
It sounds like she was slut shamed into keeping her mouth shut.
My old sergeant, he killed himself. Two hours after we talked to him.
Why didn’t her get the help he needed.
You heard his final words.
Ed, are you saying you covered up a rape to protect your friend?
No, I would never. He told me he had an affair with Rachel, and when he broke it off she cried rape and I stupidly believed him.
I’m sorry for the way I ended things.
What I wish I had and what I wish we had is more time.
We’ll always have Paris. You know, I’ve always wanted to say that.
He took his life with his old 38. I just don’t know what to do with that.
There’s nothing you can do with it, it just is.
He had brain cancer.
It’s suffering Liv, it’s not how we want to be remembered.
I know, I know. It’s just a lot of rain in one place.

10/10

SVU 21.13

Cat’s been taking boxing lessons and suspects one of fellow boxers is getting abused by the trainer.

Telling your story isn’t weak. And whatever happened to you doesn’t define you.
He gets stuffed, doesn’t he?
That’s all men actually.
Maybe you got too close.
Jesus. That’s what whispered when he crawled into my bed.
Your father?
At night I heard his footsteps and that’s how I knew he was coming for me. He’d get under my covers, move on top of me, hold me down.
I should have protected her.
Like you should have protected your sister? Your father got to her too?
I raised you alone, I had needs.

6/10

greys

Greys 16.10

Teddy and Owen, my second favourite pairing after Calzona, are engaged! Amelia is not going to tell Link that the little boy she’s carrying could be Owen’s! Owen and Jackson learn that Korasik is actually a sensitive guy. Maggie is getting sued by her long lost family for not being able to save her cousin’s life. I am glad they haven’t killed Helm off, because we’ll all gladly follow her storyline. So far all we know about her is that she’s gay and has a major crush on Meredith.

10/10

Greys 16.11

Why do US doctors call the ER the pit? I would certainly like to know that just as much as the new Irish doctor. Amelia finally tells Link the baby may not be his. Teddy loses the engagement ring she got from Owen last week, and as we later learn, Leo swallowed it. Korascik is slowly becoming one of my favourite characters. Catherine wants to separate from Richard.

Are you calling the ER, the pit? Why?
I don’t know.
I honestly worry for your entire genre sometimes.
What was the doctors name?
Dr Yang.
Let’s talk about it after you’ve had something to eat.
When someone shows you who they are, you’re supposed to believe them.

4/10

Greys 16.12

Schmidt visits his dying uncle and when he comes out to him, the uncle dies. Catherine and Richard host an Anniversary party and when they’re about to tell Maggie and Jackson about the separation, firefighters show up. Peter Strauss from Rich Man, Poor Man guest stars as Levy Schmidt’s uncle’s boyfriend. Schmidt moves out of his mom basement, because she didn’t tell anyone in their family he’s gay. Richard and Karev offer Maggie a job and she accepts it whereas Catherine is thinking of buying Karev’s hospital.

I killed him. I killed him with my gayness.
When you started ‘rolling around together’.
Apologies don’t have the word but in them.
I would have married him, I would have, but I didn’t know how to live with someone who didn’t love himself.
He was ashamed of himself, every day.
You have the freedom that he never gave himself.
We’re separating.
How long has this been going on for?
Who cares?!
You’re super Jewish now?
Now, but I am super gay, and you telling me that you accept me, yet refusing to tell any member of our family, that’snot accepting me. That’s not being proud of me and I can’t do it anymore. I won’t.
I’m not going to wait until I’m at an old age home with croshade blankets surrounded by people who never got to love me the way I deserved.
I’m moving out.

8/10

Station 19 3.01

Every time there is another catastrophe on Greys, there’s gonna be a Greys/Station 19 crossover. Helm, the gay intern, who’s in love with Meredith is injured. It’s sad that due to the Meredith going to jail storyline, no one from Greys threw Bailey a baby shower, whereas Station 19 characters did? They break into the house of two of the victims to feed their dog. Herrera tells his daughter Andrea off for sleeping around with co-workers.

8/10

Station 19 3.02

Andy finds a neighbour after she’s accidentally slit her wrist on a wine glass. Meanwhile the team are called into a clothing store. Customers make sure to steal clothes before evacuating. A teenager is scared of shootings. Herrera now runs an ambulance service? They showed us Warren’s past. Warren goes into fire without his helmet. Ben goes to visit a friend who was put on life support after Ben dared him to do something stupid. Ben comes to a realisation that him changing his careers, first being an anaesthesiologist, then a surgeon, and now a fire fighter were all his ways to try and save his friend. He also says he wanted to name his child Danny after his friend, but now that Miranda’s miscarried and they’re both in their late 40s, that’s probably not going to happen. Ryan tells Andy he’s still in love with her. Ben convinces his boss to create a physician response team, and he wants to become a field surgeon, surgeon first on the scene. A little boy finds his mom’s gun and shoots Ryan.

He looks like a sex offender.
Cop, not sex offender.
You’re the surgeon.
I am, I was.
Can I move in with you when I get fired?
I just called him a sex offender.
Shots fired.
It’s fireworks.
Officer, I want to report my husband for criminal stupidity.
Please don’t shoot me.
I see shootings on the news every day. And at school the lockdown drills, lock the doors, lights out, stay quiet. I always knew I would be in one of these eventually. I knew it, my brother always told me it’s statistically unlikely, but I know. I don’t even go to the movies anymore. Every time I go to the grocery store, I check for all the exits, I didn’t even want to come here to try on this suit, but my sister is getting married, so I had to get a suit. No I guess If I die, they’ll bury me in this suit.
Bishop’s kinda got a stick up her fine ass.
Bishop’s a lieutenant, watch your mouth.
The news you watch every day is designed to terrify you, because if it terrifies you, you drink more, you smoke more, you take more prescription drugs, and that financially benefits the same people who program the news. And yes, there are bad people with crazy amount of guns, but there are good people too. Kind people, people who fight for justice, and take care of your neighbours, and build houses, plant trees and ignore the few angry, or rise above it. So don’t waste your energy worrying you’re gonna get shot, use it to fight for the world you wanna be a part of. Use all that energy to make your fully functional legs, lift you up out of this pee stained suit and march to the world you wanna live in.
You should run for office or something.
I like my job.
I am surgeon who’s also a first responder.

8/10

Station 3.03

I am shocked they actually killed Ryan. He and Andrea were end game. Maya is promoted to Captain over Herrera. Herrera Senior was the one who asked Ryan to join Andy in Seattle as he’s worried he only has a year or so left to live. Greys cast guest stars including Korasik, Avery and Schmidt’s boyfriend.

4/10

Carol’s Second Act 1.13

Lexie stays at Carol’s after a gas leak at her apartment. They finally showed us Carol’s house and it’s nothing like Patricia’s The Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond houses. I liked the other ones much more. Carol realises her neighbour has a crush on her and she hasn’t seen it because after 22 years of marriage she is still wearing marriage glasses. Kyle McLachlan’s character complemented Frankie, yet It’s not clear whether they’ll be together or not, but then again, why else would Kyle agree to do this little show? My family and I are re-watching Desperate Housewives, we’re in the middle of season 2 and I just cannot wait for Orson to show up in three or four episodes. Patricia Heaton has just announced she’s written another book, this one will be called The Second Act and just like with her cook book, I’ll purchase it.

What should we do first, binge a TV show?
Carol with her hair down.
He wants to get into your gutters.
Welcome to Carol’s Great Opening!
I want to tell the whole world that I love you! I planted that lemon tree just for you.
Just FYI I would have been home in like 45 minutes.
I’d prefer if the grey-haired doctor did everything from now on.
Last night he chopped down the lemon tree.

5/10

Carol’s Second Act 1.14

Carol has noticed the group is starting to grow apart. Lexie didn’t tell anyone she’s a stand up comedian and (I almost typed Frankie instead of Carol, haha – I miss the Hecks). Carol gets everyone to turn up by telling them they’re the core of the group. Lexie jokes about Jen and Daniel dating which infuriates Carol.

Because you’ll the elder?
Because I’m the core.
Last time I was at a comedy club, I was still with your dad. The joke’s on me.
I keep thinking about how easy it would be to kidnap him.
There’s this old doctor, Carol.
I actually went on a date with them.
This is how I would react. Are you kidding me?!

3/10

Schooled 2.13

The episode revolves around Titanic and Lanie and CB argue about what anyone that’s seen the film argues about, that there was more than enough room for both Rose and Jack on that door. Lanie sees Titanic 30 times and how have I not realised Karan Bran from Jessie has joined the cast? Wilma confronts CB about his love of Lanie and Lanie finally realises she’s the girl CB is in love with.

Oh my God, I’m the girl. I’m the girl!

4/10

The Goldbergs 7.13

Adam watches the Oscars and later doubts himself when he learns the other Adam Goldberg didn’t make it in Hollywood.

As an aspiring filmmaker…
In that moment, my mom did something I never could have imagined. She gave me a highlight reel of every movie I’ve ever made. Maybe they weren’t all award winners. But thanks to her, I realised making movies wasn’t about succeeding in Hollywood, it was about creating something special with the people I loved and If I could do that for the rest of my life, I’d be living the dream.
These movies remind me that you are joyful and creative and one of a kind. And if you never give up, I just know you’re gonna make it.

8/10

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 1.01. The Simpsons 31.11. Carol’s Second Act 1.11. Grace and Frankie 6.01-6.06. When We Rise 1.03-1.05. Modern Family 11.11. Modern Family 11.12. The Goldbergs 7.11. The Goldbergs 7.12

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New year, same old me. My family and I are rewatching Desperate Housewives and I’m honestly so happy. This show has been a part of my life for so many years, and this refresher was just much needed. It will probably take us 6 months to watch it all and I cannot wait for these Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Back when it was still on air, my favourite characters were Lynette, Bree, Edie, Katherine, and Andie. We’ve only rewatched season 1 so far, but I seem to like Bree more than Lynette now? It’s been 9 years, which is more than enough perspective and even though my goals haven’t really changed, I have learned a lot about myself in those 9 years, I now know what I want from life, and I know what makes me happy. I’m also healthier, and as a result, happier, which is the most important thing in the world.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist 1.01

Gilmore Girls’s Lauren Graham and Suburgatory’s Jane Levy are back on my TV in this musical comedy. Lauren’s character’s name is Joan and action takes place in my favourite city,  San Francisco, so I’m sold. Lauren and Jane work at a start up and Jane is hoping Lauren’s character promotes her to a managerial role. One of the characters is going through a rough patch, and sings ‘Mad World’. The main character’s dad had a stroke and cannot communicate or react to anything that’s going on around him. It’s quite predictable, as her gift lets her know what her dad is feeling. It’s hard to rate this episode, because I…cried through the entire thing? The depression and dad’s health issues storylines moved me.

Why are you singing to me?
Child, I’m completely baked. I got nothing going on in my head now.
The song he sang only to you may have been his cry for help.
We live in a really mad world, but if you open up and express what you’re feeling to others then it’s gotta be better than what you’re doing now. Living you whole life in your head, like this prison my dad is in now, it’s torture.

6/10

The Simpsons 31.11

I have watched all 31 seasons, and it struggles to find new storylines and be funny at this point. In this episode, Marge’s ex-boyfriend emerges and builds a robot that looks exactly like her and then attempts to marry her.

Don’t you see why I hate this?
Because you hate everything?

1/10

Carol’s Second Act 1.11

I was really disappointed to learn there’s no episode this week. This episode wasn’t the show’s best though.

They don’t just care, they care intensively.

3/10

Grace and Frankie 6.01

Grace has secretly gotten married and is moving out.

If it helps, I’m giving you away now.

5/10

Grace and Frankie 6.02

Stuffed Grace and Frankie? Grace cannot get up from anything. Frankie’s smile when she saw Grace’s name come up on her phone. Frankie getting Grace off the toilet is ultimate friendship goals.

Give me a hug.
Hi Mom!
I don’t even let my kids call me that.
Tell me why we should keep this Happy Meal toy from 1988?
It’s a collector’s item.
What about these welding woman magazines from the 1970s? Do you weld?
Not as much.
Where would be a good place for it?
The floor? But I know that’s not right.
How many necklaces do you need?
Some of them are belts.
If you were a good teacher, you would know every child learns differently.

6.5/10

Grace and Frankie 6.03

Death row inmates are entitled to their last meal.

5/10

Grace and Frankie 6.04

Princess stuck on the can.
The bottoms up.
Designed to gently lift you with a single touch of a button.

5/10

Grace and Frankie 6.05

I told you Ii’m not gonna do a sex podcast with you.
I wouldn’t know, you won’t let me see you perform.

5/10

Grace and Frankie 6.06

The response from customers at Costco.
Where is the chicken in that place?
Shitter beat toilet.

5/10

When We Rise 1.03

Rachel Griffiths and Mary-Louise Parker star as grown up versions of the main characters. When Parenthood’s Sam Jaeger’s character dies, his family kicks his partner out of the house. The third main character looks after a baby, and when he wants to foster him, social workers find his HIV medication and take the baby away.

I am proud of my son and his friends.
The president and Mrs Clinton.
You sir can end this.
We’re lesbians.
We support students of all backgrounds.
When did we become such dykes.
We were always dykes.
His wife took him this morning.
We have to take this baby.

8/10

When We Rise 1.04

Did you travel abroad?
I traveled with a broad.
Take a lap around this ward.
We were in love. The kind of love that makes people cross the oceans, have babies and grow old together. And if we were straight, we would have designed our entire lives around that. But two women, then, we had no words for it, no paradime, nothing and you’re right. It’s my lack of vision that’s kept me from having this, a family. The truth is we’re not done yet.

6/10

When We Rise 1.05

This generation has grew up with Ellen and Will and Grace.

10/10

Modern Family 11.11

Finally a fantastic episode. This show is so much better without Phil and Claire’s kids. Phil’s dad dies and he never met his great grnd children.

All this childhood memorbilia.
But there’s no room for my baby teeth.
When all the dogs get back their income tax return.
I just came through the unsecure back door.
They call me peeper.
These are my blessings.
BJ – Blue Jeans.
I see light. Should I go towards it?
I was ready to bite my own arm off.
I still have the tooth you lost to a marshmallow.
Oh so that one you kept.
Your mother could have been a competitive eater. No foof ever expired in our house.
Guys I just saw a ghost.
Oh, girls, grab your things, we’re going.
11 year old Manny would feel disgusted by me.
Well now you know how 12 year old Lily feels.
A swooper.
A swooper? Lily grab your things. Not a smoke demon that terroroses farm children.
Back up, back up. Keep going.
Joe save up 6 months allowance and donated it all to charity. It’s one of those rare moments as a dad when you realise you really dropped the ball.
How you survived the golden age of bullying I will never understand.
I can get into this CSI train.
Locating my diary from ’83.
Everybody warned me this would happen.
Hi Cam.
You wish.
I never even saw Gloria go into the dressing room.
Maybe you should try the dress on that lady’s wearing.
You paid the speech specialist to shame it out of me.
Not the hot one.
Will you throw in a puppy?
It’s a miracle you didn’t need police escort to school every day.

10/10

Modern Family 11.12

And…. we’re back to mediocrity.

I came in here to die.
He’s making plans for the future.
That’s why you have rivals, it’s something to live for.
Hold on, let me write this down.

1.5/10

The Goldbergs 7.11

Murray learns he’s actually a year younger than he thought he was and celebrates his 50th birthday, once more. Surprisingly good, the show hasn’t had a good episode in a while, so this was a nice surprise.

10/10

The Goldbergs 7.12

And we’re back to it being bad again. I didn’t even write anything down about Schooled, because it’s not memorable at all.

Jodie Foster?

0.5/10

Film Reviews: Jojo Rabbit. The Irishman. Cats. Burn, Burn, Burn. Katie Says Goodbye

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jojo irish cattts burn

Jojo Rabbit

It’s a story of a 10 year old boy, of Hitler youth who, just like his classmates, buys into the Nazi propaganda. He is wounded while training to be a soldier which keeps him from joining Hitler’s army. Jojo, suddenly having a lot of time on his hands, finds out his mother’s greatest secret. A teenage Jewish girl, hiding in the attic. Thomasin McKenzie goes from hiding in the woods in ‘Leave No Trace’ to hiding in Scarlett Johansson’s attic. The first half of the film is intentionally offensive and may be sickening to some, but please try to look past it. At my screening, a few people in the audience were outraged, sighed at the sight of Hitler and one shouted ‘I thought this was a family film!’, but please give it a chance.

‘You’re not a Nazi, Jojo. You’re a ten-year-old kid who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be part of a club.’

8/10

The Irishman

Can’t believe no one wanted to buy it and they told Scorsese no one would watch ‘another gangster film’ of his in 2019, and only Neflix offered to buy it? The film turned out to be another Scorsese masterpiece. De Niro’s contacts are a little distracting, but I can look past that, because it’s one of the best films of the year. I keep asking people in my surroundings whether they’ve seen it and most don’t even know haven’t even heard of the film. They don’t really care for films or Scorsese for some reason? Both break my heart. Even though DeNiro doesn’t seem to be at his best, Al Pacino certainly is. I was pleased to see Ray Romano star in this too, he doesn’t act enough anymore. Some of my favourite scenes are the ones where Robert de Niro ‘paints the walls’.

9/10

Cats

I’ve chatted with this 70 year old lady after the screening and she said she had seen a few stage productions of Cats and she liked this one best because the story was much clearer as opposed to just cats singing. We’ve had a bunch of pre-teen girls laughing through the entire thing, even during Jennifer Hudson’s performace of the famous song. 20 minutes in, one of the girls shouted ‘Wait! It’s a musical?!’ They only shut up when Jennifer got off the ground and began to hit all those high notes that left the entire audience with goosebumps. Don’t forget to bow to your cat when you address them tonight. This is a good example of the trailer being better than the film itself. I teared up when the main character said ‘Are you going to try for a different life?’ Taylor Swift doesn’t perform the beautiful song she co-wrote with Cats creator Andrew Lloyd Webber, it’s experienced and accomplished ballerina and acting newcomer Francesca Hayward who sings it in the film. Taylor performs ‘Macavity’ about the film villain played by Idris Elba.

3/10

Burn Burn Burn

A story of two friends who embark on a ‘Thelma and Louise’- like journey around the UK, a last wish their deceased best mate had. One of the friends is desperate to get out of a loveless relationship and the other’s girlfriend cheats on her. They travel around England spreading their mate’s ashes and then encounter an elderly hitchhiker running from an abusive husband. They feel there’s something is wrong and offer to take her all the way to her son in Scotland. They can see the lady is scared of someone, but it isn’t until later on when she reveals the husband was going to kill her. The film stars Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael.

7/10

katsayg

Katie Says Goodbye

A story of a young adult from a small town in the middle of nowhere, who dreams of moving to San Francisco. She works at a diner, while her unreliable mother sits at home, drinks and goes out with men. On her lunch breaks, Katie, played by Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke, has sex with men stopping by the dinner. She makes a steady income from it, collecting only $11 dollars from her regulars. She finds a boyfriend, and doesn’t tell him what she does, when he finally, he stays with her at first but treats her badly. She refuses to sleep with two locals, but they don’t take no for an answer. I really wish they went into why she thought selling her body was a good way to earn money and showed us how she came up with this idea. Was sex with random people just another everyday activity to her? Was she abused by one of her mother’s boyfriends? She had a stable job, the owner seemed understanding, she surely could have asked for extra hours. Mireille Enos has a very little supporting role here, they really should have given her more to do. I like the simplistic scenography and costumes, most of the scenes were shot in the desert while Olivia Cooke is wearing the exact same clothes, her waitress uniform, in every scene. I am personaly familiar with a loved one taking all your money, so this twist, however predictable, was something I related to.

6/10

TV Shows of 2019

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This year I’ve given up a few shows. I was struggling to find time to watch them, I wasn’t head over heels about the characters, so I’ve made an executive decision to cut down my loses. Shows I followed last year, but don’t anymore: The Rookie, Seal Team, The Good Doctor and Mr. Mercedes.

To see my review of 2018, click on the following link: https://joanneholly.com/2018/12/30/tv-shows-of-2018/

Last year I followed 41 shows, this year, 50.

Below are the 50 TV shows I followed this year:

1. Grey’s Anatomy

I am still sad about Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew being written off. I have mixed feelings about the show allegedly ending after season 17. Greys hasn’t been ‘Greys good’ since Season 9 and yet it’s still my favourite and it will always stay that way. Season 16 so far focuses on the crime Meredith commited last season, the insurance fraud. It’s quite surprising how this storyline mirrors the Varsity Blues scandal. Mer has done a lot of community hours and has spent a night in jail. From the looks of the midseason finale, that’s all behind us now. They have sent Betty away at the end of season 15 and she hasn’t been back to visit since. I am glad Teddy is back and I hope she never leaves. Avery is slowly becoming the most annoying character, changing his mind when it comes to relationships. Still no development on Helm and her crush on Meredith, we’ll see where they go with this. Is Helm going to be with Karina by the end of the season? I am not a fan of splitting the staff between Grey Sloan and the second hospital, but I’m guessing Grey Sloan will buy the new undeveloped one and then merge the two?

2. SVU

Season 21 and we’re making history! I just love this show. Carissi is now an ADA, and we have a new detective I’m not fond off. Fall season ended on a cliffhanger featuring Amanda and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

3. Shameless

Shameless started quite late this year, and without Emmy Rossum. Ian is back and the show is still the same, and still as exciting as ever. I’m really disappointed with how Debbie is spending the 50 grand she got from Fiona and how Frank messed it all up for her. I really thought she would ensure the money lasts them a year or two. I’m happy with how the rest of the Gallagher’s lifes are going, including the fact that Lip is now a dad!

4. Fuller House

I’m sad it’s the show’s last season. The nostalgia Fuller House brought in 2014, was something I never thought I needed. 2019 wasn’t a good year for this Full House fan. If I wasn’t a Full House fan, I wouldn’t be going through a heartbreak this year. Aunt Becky was why I got so invested in the show. Season 1 wasn’t really a family show, the three main characters kept sleeping around and other than two or three episodes, the show was boring. From the minute Aunt Becky showed up, the show got interesting. Years later, as a teenager, I watched The New Kids, and became a Lori Loughlin fan and followed every single one of her projects.

5. Carol’s Second Act

Patricia Heaton is back on my TV screen, so everything’s going to be okay. I miss The Middle, and I think my mum misses it even more. It also stars Twin Peak’s Kyle MacLachlan. Carol’s Second Act is a sitcom, and even though it’s nowhere near as good as The Middle, or Everybody Loves Raymond, it’s still a funny show and a great way to spend the 20 minutes a week.

6. American Horror Story

Sarah Paulson wasn’t back for this awful season, at least she’s shooting another two Ryan Murphy shows, Ratched and season 3 of American Crime Story, so at least there’s something to look out for. American Horror Story used to be one of my favourite shows, but sadly this season is extremely weak, everyone was dead by episode 5 and everyone was a ghost by episode 5 as well! I liked the aerobic sequences in the very first episode. I really thought it would be a Friday the 13th type of slasher like the promos suggested.

7. Crikey it’s the Irwins

This show is a delight! Nothing will stop me from revisiting Australia Zoo every time I go to Australia on a holiday. As a vegan of 9 years, I should stand against all zoos, but this series proves all the good zoos do for animal conservation. Even though guests visit, Australia Zoo is really a giant sanctuary. In the second season the Irwins are preparing for Australia Zoo’s 50th anniversary, by renovating the croc enclousure. In order to get the contractors in, they need to move all the crocs, including the biggest and the most aggressive crocs in the zoo. A beloved zebra from season 1 needs to be put down, and Terri goes back to her hometown Oregon to visit a wildlife sanctuary were her cougar Malina spent her final years. Bindi gets engaged and I just hope they show us the wedding when the show comes back for season 3. I also wish there were more episodes in the season.

8. Orange is the New Black

It ended and there will never be a show so raw and brilliant. I cannot even begin to explain what an important place this show has in my heart. Every time I hear someone say they don’t like the show because it mainly has women in it or when they say they’re not going to watch the show because of all the gay characters, I feel personally offended. I am still tearing up thinking of Dockett’s tragic end. I also hate what they’ve done to Red, Lorna and Maritza. Some pars of the ending made me happy though, for example the fact that Alex is back with her crew. I still wish they had shown us more of Big Boo and other original characters.

9. When Calls the Heart

I will never get over the fact that Abigail is not coming back. And Cody, the Culkin lookalike was taken off the show because of the Lori Loughlin scandal too. I will keep watching as long as Rosemary is there. I’ve watched 2 episodes of When the Heart Calls, the web series spin off about the orphanage a few towns from Hope Valley, but I didn’t like it at all. I’ve gotten used to the two new male characters. I doubt Netflix will add the new season to its selection, as they’ve always done it around October time.

10. Station 19

Season two was alright, but season 3 was delayed until 2020. The show’s creator left to pursue something else, which is quite odd as she’s only done 2 seasons, so from next year the show will be ran by Krista Vernoff who has been running Grey’s Anatomy, after Shonda Rhimes’s departure. One of the characters is now a quest star on Greys.

11. The Handmaid’s Tale

I even got my mom into this show! And Christopher Meloni was in 2 or 3 episodes, playing a role completely opposite from his SVU’s Elliott Stabler, a rapist! Alexis Bledel’s character got a satisfying ending, and the scene where Canadian border police officers ask her whether she’s going to be in danger if she was to be sent back to her country and she says yes, this is simply my favourite scene of the entire 2019.

12. One Day At a Time

After a quite boring season 3, and Netflix’s cancellation, the show was saved by POP and will be returning in 2020! I am still not a fan of the annoying girlfriend, but everything this shows says about immigration, PTSD and LGTBQ issues is on point.

13. The Insatiable

Season 2 differed from season 1 in the most important way, it focused on the main character, Patty’s binge eating disorder. Patty joins Overeaters Anonymous and learns the cause of her addiction to food. Yes, it’s still crazy when it comes to her psychotic behaviour resulting in murdering people, but most of the season is about her BED, and that makes it interesting.

14. The Unbelievable

A TV show about a girl who thinks she’s been raped, comes forward, and then revokes her statement, 5 times. Then two lady cops try to solve a series of rapes and eventually come across the main character’s statement. Netflix’s best show of 2019, it’s just amazing and Short Term 12 and Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever delivers a beautiful performance.

15. Big Little Lies

The show came back after 2 years, to finish what it started, it was better than season 1 because we didn’t have to sit through hours of sex and abuse.

16. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

This show was a hit for me. I’ve only learned about it in February, and watched all 3 seasons in two weeks. I’ve since read Leah Remini’s book ‘Troublemaker’. I am really sad to see this show go, it’s extremely informative and brings hope to victims of Scientology. It’s my favourite discovery of 2019.

17. The Goldbergs

It’s still good, but it feels like they have run out of nostalgic 80s memorbilia last season.

18. Schooled

Lanie’s spin off is now in its second season. It’s not as good as The Goldbergs, but It’s only 20 minutes a week, which makes it watchable. AJ and Aly Michalka released a single last summer, that was undoubtedly my song of summer 2019. It’s called Church and it’s amazing.

19. How to Get Away with Murder

Thank goodness it’s the last season. The first 3 seasons were great, but anything from season 4 has been bad. Someone’s killed Annalise? What was the point of the series then?

20. Killing Eve

I still haven’t caught up with season 2 fully, but I’ve been a fan of Jodie Colmer since ‘Thirteen’.

21. Ozark

My dad’s favourite show. Julia Garner is killing it every single episode. Where’s season 3?

22. Good Girls

Beth and the dealer hooked up, and Season 2 was quite different, but still entertaining.

23. Thirteen Reasons Why

I loved the first 2 seasons, but this was a mess. Why introduce a new character, and give them ALL screen time?

24. This is Us

3 more seasons yes please! I am just not okay with the writers telling us about Rebecca’s death so early in the series.

25. 911

Never disappoints with the drama, I mean the freaking tsunami blew my mind!

26. The Resident

I think I am okay with whom they killed off in the first episode, but this season introduced us to a new doctor that’s an even more arrogant copy of the new doctor they introduced last season.

27. Modern Family

Final season is here and it’s just as mediocre as everything else after season 3.

28. For the People

Sadly this Shondaland show starring Britt Robertson has been cancelled. I feel like I was the only one watching it.

29. Chernobyl

A mini docuseries from HBO everyone loves, and rightfully so.

30. Riverdale

I’m just not into it anymore. I liked season 1 and that’s it. I liked the Luke Perry tribute, but I haven’t had the time to watch all of it.

31. The Simpsons

Awesome as always. Sixty seasons should be enough for me.

32. The Good Fight

I still haven’t caught up.

33. The Good Place

They keep resetting the afterlife and it’s all the same at this point.

34. Veronica Mars

I’m just happy they didn’t kill Keith Mars, and I like the noir aspects of this season.

35. Absentia

I still haven’t fully caught up, I will update once I do.

36. F For Family

It’s a funny show and I cannot wait for season 4. I wish the main character still worked at the airport, all this vending machine business wasn’t very entertaining.

37. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I like it when it’s darker, but I just cannot stand Kiernan’s wig.

38. Divorce

The Sarah Jessica Parker show has ended and the ending surprised me. I will miss the dark humour.

39. Younger

The secret is out, Liza’s secret was exposed and she no longer has to hide. I’m a fan of Liza and Charles, but this wasn’t a good season. Kelsey makes a dumb social media mistake and gets demoted from publisher back to editor. Diana gets married. The Irish girlfriend’s baby storyline doesn’t give immigrants a good rep.

40. When They See Us

I watched it for Vera Farmiga and I knew about this case from Law and Order: Special Vicitms Unit.

41. Looking For Alaska

I used to know this girl who was obssesed with this book and always said Looking For Alaska is John Green’s best work. I haven’t read the book, so I can just rate the story for what the show is. As a child of immigrants, who don’t speak the language, I related to one of the characters. Sometimes the pressure of your family’s livelihood depending on you is too much. I know it’s got to me a few times when I had to figure out what to do in stressful situations I wouldn’t have been in had i known my family was safe and happy among their own. Acting as a translator for your family can have damaging effects on you, when your family’s health andlivelihood is at stake.

42. Dead to Me

‘Married With Children’ ‘s Christina Applegate and ‘Freaks and Geek’s Linda Cardelini return to TV in this dramedy about a woman who befriends her hit and run victim’s wife. Great acting from both, I’m really sad Linda didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination for her prformance.

43. Soundtrack

Madeleine Stowe is back! I remember when she retired back in the early 2000s and I kept checking up on her non existent projects while she was retired on her Texas ranch. Thankfully she returned to acting and starred in Revenge, portraying one of the best characters on television. When Revenge ended in 2015 I thought, well that’s it, she’s gonna go back to her retirement, but she didn’t! She just took a 4 year break and now she’s back! It looks like Madeleine’s husband, Dream On and Private Practice’s Brian Benben is currently on a break himself. Anyway, I’m a huge fan, and could talk about Madeleine’s filmography for hours.

Soundtrack, originally called Mixtape, is a new Netflix show about stars Madeleine Stowe, Jenna Dewan (is this why she left The Resident?) and Gradfathered’s Christina Millian.

The pilot episode has a depressing ‘This is Us’ twist. Jenna Dewan’s character’s name is Joanna (heck yes!) and she’s a dancer. Above I mention how watching season 2 of The Resident made me think of Step Up every single episode. To see Jenna’s character’s dance audition sequence to a Kelly Clarkson song of all artists, satisfied my 2006 Step Up obsession, and she dances in this show, a lot. The show features a lot of cool mash ups, and includes songs from Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Duffy, Demi Lovato to so many different genres and I will be rewatching the dance sequences a lot.

There’s going to be a similar show starting next month, starring Jane Lewy and Lauren Graham, that I just cannot wait to start watching.

‘Every song is a love song’.

‘This is breathtaking, why would you ever give this up?’

44. The Politician

You know I’ll watch anything from the Murphy/Falchuk duo. It’s an average show, my least favourite from them, even lower on my list than Scream Queens. I don’t like how they used a porodied version of Gypsy Blanchard’s story in the show. We’ve seen in in The Act this year and The Act is not only an incredible mini series, but it’s also respectful and true to the story. The Politician’s secret weapon is, same as with American Horror Story, the marvelous Jessica Lange, so you know I’m gonna watch it. Speaking of the Murphy/Falchuk universe, I cannot believe we need to wait until September 2020 for American Crime Story to return.

45. The Act

A beautiful mini series about the tragic Gypsy Blanchard story with incredible performances from Joey King and Patricia Arquette. It’s my second favourite mini series of the year and eagerly waited for next episode every week.

46. The Morning Show

This Apple show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston focuses on a made up news show, and the behind the scenes sexual harassment. It’s clearly inspired by the Fox scandal, but it’s different from The Loudest Voice. In the last episode Jennifer’s character loses it and exposes everything, it’s a superb episode I’m happy there’s going to be season 2.

47. The Society

A modern Lord of the Flies meets Lost. I enjoyed this show the minute Kathryn Newton’s character executed one of the other characters.

48. Light as a Feather

I have been following Liana Liberato’s career since ‘Trust’. It’s not a good series, but it’s eight 20 minute episodes, and there are worse ways to spend your weekend.

49. Grace and Frankie

A brilliant show from the creators of Friends. I’ve been watching it since it came out back in 2016 and can’t get enough of it! Can’t wait for January when the show’s back!

50. The Loudest Voice

No way Bombshell is going to be half this good. Best friends Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts ended up playing the same character this year, Gretchen Carlson. Showtime’s The Loudest Voice is a 7 episode series about the Fox News sexual harassment.

Shows I need to catch up on (to some extent):

How to Get Away With Murder
Killing Eve
This is Us
Riverdale
Absentia
The Good Fight
Gentleman Jack
I Am the Night

I think Hollywood Darlings has been cancelled? There’s no news online, but there were no episodes released this year and Jodie Sweetin is now doing this podcast I don’t listen to.

I hope you enjoyed this post. One of my resolutions for 2020 is to go back to reviewing TV shows on a weekly basis, because I’ve caught myself a few times trying to remember the episode something happened in and had to google it every time. Had I stuck to reviewing episodes week by week, I would have quickly looked it up here.

Have a wonderful 2020!
Jo

Film Reviews: Judy. Knives Out. After the Wedding. Le Mans ’66 aka Ford v Ferrari. Parasite. Doctor Sleep. At Eternity’s Gate. Abominable. Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil. Countdown. The Adams Family. Mrs Lowry and Son

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judy knives out after the wedding

Judy

A tragic story of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ star. The portrayal of Judy’s eating disorder is what I’ve found the most disturbing. According to the film, Judy’s diet consisted of alcohol, cigarettes, amphetamine-based appetite suppressants and sleeping pills. The last two since before her Dorothy days. Teenage Judy, played by young actress Darci Shaw, complaints about being overworked, being forced to starve herself, not having a normal life and having to work up to 18h a day. There’s even a snippet of an example of sexual harassment she endured working for MGM, director Rupert Goold shows the audience a suggestive scene of Louis B. Mayer caressing 16 year old Garland’s chest. There are scenes from Judy’s personal life, interactions with children, including Liza Minelli, and Judy’s life post divorcing her 4th husband. Judy’s poor diet and medication addiction eventually lead to her early death by overdose at 47, 6 months after the events of this film. You cannot deny Zellweger’s talent as she sings Garland’s famous songs and simply shines in this biopic. I wish Goold mentioned Judy’s relationship with her older sisters and focused on Garland’s 20+ suicide attempts. While I think you should watch ‘Judy’, I’m certain Showtime’s upcoming ‘Sid & Judy’ documentary will be even better.

‘I just want what everybody wants. I seem to have a harder time getting it.’

7/10

Knives Out

A family gathers for their patriarch’s 85th birthday. The family wake up the day after to find someone has died. A private detective doesn’t believe the death to be suicide and as the trailer hints, ‘suspects foul play’. It’s a comedy and mystery in one and it stars Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Colette and it’s simply one of the best films of 2019. I doubt you’ll figure this one out in the first half, but give it a go, it really is worth the hype.

‘I suspect foul play. I have eliminated no suspects.’

10/10

After the Wedding

A manager of an orphanage in India is forced to visit the US to look for a benefactor for the orphanage she works in. To her surprise, the benefactor’s husband and her share history. There are a few big twists and you may not be ready for all of them. It’s my favourite film from Bart Freundlich so far. It has amazing performances from Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams. I desperately need to see the original this was based on.

10/10

ford parasite docs

Le Mans ’66 aka Ford v Ferrari

A tragic true story of race car driver Ken Miles. You’ll love it even if you’re not into cars. Christian Bale is fantastic in it and will surely fight with Phoenix over that Oscar. I wasn’t expecting the tragic ending, because I clearly don’t know enough about cars.

9/10

Parasite

A family lies to get work and the way they do it is brilliant. This film is a comment on class hierarchy as lower and upper class clash. Parasite truly is a masterpiece and this year’s best film. I keep recommeding this film to everyone I know. My school friends already knew about this film, one of them as it turns out has seen it before me and loved it and another one really wants to see it. Sadly most of people I see every day weren’t interested, I lost them at ‘South Korean’ or ‘foreign’, which just shows, sadly I am not were I should be in my life. It’s also the 600th new film I watched this year, and as I type this, I have now seen 660 films.

10/10

Doctor Sleep

Stanley Kubrick would be satisfied, if not proud. For years The Shining used to be my favourite film, so the third act felt like coming home.

‘The world’s a hungry place. A dark place. I’ve only met two or three people like us. They died. When I was a kid, I bumped into these things. I don’t know about magic. I, I always called it ‘the shining’.’

9/10

at eter abomi maleficent 22

At Eternity’s Gate

Oil painting was my favourite medium in my advanced Visual Arts class in high school and one of the very few I was quite good at. I haven’t painted in years and I miss it greatly. I still draw though. I really hope one day I’ll stop being lazy, take out one of my easels and turpentine and get back to it, because I really miss the person I was back then. The film could have used a faster pace, but Willem Dafoe is superb as Vincent van Gogh. If you’re an artist, this is a must see. If you can relate to any of the quotes below, watch it.

‘Maybe God made me a painter for people who aren’t born yet. It is said, Life is for sowing. The harvest is not here.’

‘Are all the painters crazy?’
‘Maybe just the good ones.’

‘I can make people feel what it’s like to be alive.’

‘There’s a lot of destruction and failure at the door of a successful picture. I find joy in sorrow. And sorrow is greater than laughter. You know, an angel is not far from those who are sad, and illness can sometimes heal us’

‘I’d like to find a new light for paintings that we haven’t yet seen.’

‘Without painting, I can’t live’

‘But these flowers will wither and fade. All flowers do.’
‘I know. Everybody knows that.’
‘But mine will resist.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘At least they’ll have a chance.’

‘What do you paint’
‘Sunlight.’

‘I’ve spent all my life alone, in a room. I need to go out and work to forget myself. I want to be out of control. I need to be in a feverish state. It’s called the act of painting for a reason.’

‘I paint, as a matter of fact, to stop thinking. I stop thinking, and I feel that I’m a part of everything outside and inside of me.’

‘I wanted so much to share what I see. Now I just think about my relationship to eternity.’

‘I am my paintings. ‘

‘Sometimes they say I’m mad, but a grain of madness is the best of art.’

‘I paint with my qualities and faults.’

‘Paintings have to be done in one clear gesture. Paintings have to be painted fast. The painters I like all paint fast in one clear gesture, each stroke. You’ve heard of a stroke of genius? Well, that’s what it means.’

‘If I couldn’t paint, I would murder someone.

‘Because painted reality is its own reality.

‘Maybe what you are saying is that your gift to the world is painting.’
‘If not, what good is an artist?’

‘Why do you say you are a painter?’
‘Because I paint. I love painting. I have to paint. Always been a painter, that I know of.’

‘I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but don’t you see that this painting is, how can I say, unpleasant? Ugly?’
‘Why would God give me a gift to paint ugly and disturbing things?’

8/10

Abominable

This year we’ve had Smallfoot, Missing Link and now Abomidable. What is it with 2019 and all the Yetis? Sadly I liked the previous two more, because they were as realistic as a Big Foot film for children can be, and I really didn’t buy into the Yeti magic here.

5/10

Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil

Usually I’m disappointed with 3D effects, but not here! I know that Angelina has semi-retired from acting and she’s been directing meaningful films that I love, but I really wish she still acted regularly on the side.

‘There are many who prey on the innocent. I’m sure your kind would agree.’
‘If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were making a threat.’
‘Well, do you?’
‘Do I?’
‘Know better?’

8/10

count adams mrs

Countdown

Back in 2007 there was this website that would tell you when you’ll die and everyone in my school was obsessed with it. The app could easily be manipulated, you changed your weight and added yourself a couple of years. 12 years later someone stole this idea, modernised it by changing the website into an app and made it into an average horror. The highlight of my viewing experience was when this 20 year old two seats from me shouted ‘That’s Axl from The Middle’ when Charlie McDermott showed up.

5/10

The Addams Family

This would have been so much better in the hands of Tim Burton. The animated Addams Family is nowhere need as good as the TV show or the films starring Angelica Huston and Christina Ricci. It was so average I fell asleep. I felt like all it was about was the Addams’s extended family coming to the multiple parties they seemed to keep having.

5/10

Mrs Lowry and Son

Acting is not everything. Mrs Lowry & Son, filmed mostly in one room, feels more like a play, not a feature film. Timothy Spall is outstanding in it though.

4/10

30 Best Films Watched in Cinemas in 2019

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I’ve copied this list from my Letterboxd and thought I’d post it in here. Some of these have been reviewed on here throughout the year, I think I even reviewed The Favourite twice? I watched most of these at Odeon, 91 films in total, and again, The Favourite twice. If you’d like me to review any of them or any other film, please leave the title in the comments.

30 best seen in theatres in 201930 best seen in theatres in 2019 2