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Reviews TV TV Reviews

You Should Know About: Broad City

broad-city If someone came up to you and said ‘Yo, you should totally check out this new series that I’ve seen on Comedy Central about two girls living it up in New York’ you’d automatically draw some fairly obvious conclusions: one, that there’s going to be some sort of influence from the Grand Dames of Feminism Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two, there must be some similarities between this and 2 Broke Girls because obviously, and three, why is this man who is clearly getting paid by Comedy Central harrassing me? But scary Comedy Central enthusiasts aside, Broad City could be one of the strongest outputs from the channel and it’s incredibly easy to see why.

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Reviews TV TV Reviews

Inside Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer S01 1080p WEB-DL AAC2 0 H 264-HKD

Don’t know who Amy Schumer is? Don’t be surprised; she doesn’t know who you are either, but whereas she doesn’t really have any reason to know who you are, you have been ample opportunities to be aware of her semi-greatness. Actress, stand up comedian, woman, Amy Schumer is like the white noise of showbusiness. Popping up once in a while and pricking a memory about seeing her in something else before but can’t quite remember from where. If this was a British actress, the chances that she once appeared in Larkrise To Candleford as ‘Plucky Apple Wench #1’ would be quite high. As lists of things go, having 30 Rock, Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Girls on ‘Things What I Have Appeared In’ is a pretty good one. Imagine having actually spoke to Tina Fey. And for her to like you instead of just pretending to be Jenna Maroney.

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Reviews TV TV Reviews

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable-Kimmy

I’ve just sat through six hours of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s really early on Mother’s Day and to be honest I’m either too tired or buzzed to celebrate it. I’m too tired or buzzed because I’ve finally found what my heart has been missing since 30 Rock – the GREATEST comedy ever created – finished. And my new love? Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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Food Reviews Reviews Writing Commissions

Scran On The Tyne: Tyneside Bar Café – A Culinary Blockbuster

Some things in life are very hard. Trying to understand how “Carry On…” films should be viewed in our modern society, for example, is very tricky. Just like trying to learn how to tie your laces. Our lives are filled, from cradle to tomb, with some very difficult problems. So any small help, in whatever form, can be eagerly anticipated.

I suppose this is one of the reasons that this very good website was created, to help you lot find the very best places to eat without having a massive meltdown in the middle of Northumberland Street. But what helps us help you is when we turn up to places, not sure what to expect, and we’re given great food, in great surroundings, with a minimum of fuss and effort. And this is precisely where Tyneside Bar Café stands out.

Read the full article at Scran On The Tyne…

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Food Reviews Reviews Writing Commissions

Scran On The Tyne: Great Burgers At The Central Bar Gateshead… Who Knew?!

Situated, some might say snuggly, just underneath a railway bridge, The Central Bar Gateshead, helmed by the guys and gals at the burgeoning Head Of Steam, is a sight for sore eyes. Just a quick walk from the Sage and the Quayside, and repurposing the abandoned building that it is situated in, Central Bar could be your new home from home; if you don’t mind washing in a sink and never having a bed.

The Central Bar takes up three floors; function rooms at the top, as well as a terrace for when the weather isn’t totally shit. The homely and back to basics set up has enough additional tricks and treats that you’d find in more established, ‘fakey’ bars like wooden clipboards with menus on, flavoured mayonnaises and free copies of Vice to digest, which keep the business up to date, vibrant and interesting. The food itself, basic standards of any restaurant (burgers, vegetarian selections, nibbles and Sunday lunches) are pushed to the extremes of what people might order. Of course there’s the inclusion of the standard salted beef burger, but there’s more than that. There are flavours from around the globe to help make your life that little bit harder.

Read the full article at Scran On The Tyne…

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Music Music Reviews Reviews

George Michael Releases A Song; It’s Not As Good As Even The Worst Wham song

When George Michael revealed that the rumours of an imminent Wham revival were nothing more than Careless Whispers, he instead insisted that he would still be releasing a song to commemorate his 30 years in the music business.

Underwhelming isn’t even the word. It’s like being promised Christmas but instead getting a disappointing Eastenders cliffhanger; something to do with Lola perhaps?

But dodgy New Order cover aside, it’s good that George Michael is trying. He has managed to forge a legacy in pop music, and car shaped dents in Supa Snaps, and should do something nice to celebrate it.

‘White Lights’ probably isn’t going to be that. The whole song seems to be lazy and a little safe.

It needs a good Poppers O’Clock remix.

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Reviews TV TV Reviews

Psychobitches; An Excuse To Remind Ourselves How Great Rebecca Front is

How would you feel if someone said this sentence to you?

Dear Commissioning Editor. I want to write a one off comedy psychoanalysing some of the most important female figures in history. And I want to have some of the best women of drama and comedy to star in it.

Needless to say you’d be over the frigging moon wouldn’t you? It’s such a clever idea that we should all feel pretty stupid, like Jodie Marsh level stupid, that one of us hasn’t come up with it before now. Who do we have to thank for this? Only the saviour of Tiger Aspect and Endemol, Ben Cavey. He’s the person sort of responsible for Benidorm, Grandma’s House, as well as whatever comedy Harry Enfield is saying he’s doing this week.

Using his trademark Lasso of Awesome, he’s brought in Rebecca Front and Samantha Spiro from Grandma’s House, Sheila Reid from Benidorm and Catherine Tate from almost everything at one point, to play some of the greatest female influences from the farthest places of history. Ever wanted to see a petulant teenage Joan of Arc blame everything she does on God? Or a vaguely schizophrenic Beatrix Potter who thinks that pigs are dirty bastards? Or even a romantically misguided Eva Braun? Well now you can, and have a good old laugh at their expense when maybe we should feel a bit sorry for them.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the steely and focused psychoanalyst played by Rebecca Front. Between keeping a Judy Garland in check between impromptu performances of  ‘Clang Clang Clang Went The Trolley’ and dancing to a morose Queen Victoria, or listening to all the things that Edith Piaf actually regrets (“both the hit and runs” is probably my favourite line of the year), Front keeps things from being too slapstick and unbelievable, despite the fact that we’re listening to how Eva Braun think that she’s met Mr. Right. Being the straight gal that doesn’t detract from the humour and even adds to the impeccable timing isn’t something that everyone can do, and it’s used to excellent effect.

With additional stars that includes a foul mouthed Mother Theresa, an Frida Kahlo completely unaware of her facial hair, and Sarah, the bragging wife of religious Alpha Dog Abraham, Psychobitches is something that you either have to see, or regret not seeing for the rest of your life.

Psychobitches might be on your Virgin On Demand or whatever Sky are limping to the finish line with.

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Movie Reviews Movies Reviews

Prometheus Might Not Have Been As Bad As It Seemed

It’s like a hug in a mug

If, like me, you thought that Prometheus was as glorious as a thousand suns but had a plot that had more holes than Kurt Cobain’s favourite jumper, then don’t feel too bad. Not because a better version of Prometheus is getting released any time soon, but because gradually, like sand in an hourglass, or the urine of an elderly gentleman, deleted scenes and extra information is getting released very slowly.

This time, it’s coming from Creatures Inc, who create the prosthetics and suits for The Engineers and their Facebook page.

Instead of the first scene in the film, with all that fancy CSI dissolving, there’s more of a ritual feel to it, with Elder Engineers accompanying the sacrifice that seeded that planet with life.

What does this mean in the long term? Probably nothing, but we wouldn’t be clamouring over minuscule information if Prometheus wasn’t that bad would we Ridley Scott?

Will there be more juicy information lying on the cutting room floor? Probably, And I’ll hold out hope for the scene where they like up Elizabeth Shaw to Ellen Ripley via an amorous Replicant.

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Reviews TV TV Reviews

The Snipist – an exercise in AWESOME @mrholness @skyarts #thesnipist

When Sky announced that they were going to show a series of short plays with massive stars in them, I felt a little disheartened. Apart from a slice of Russell Tovey and Alison Steadman getting her end away with Tom Jones, nothing really stood out for me. Call me a philistine if you want, but I’m not a massive fan of plays on TV – I’m not even a fan of plays in theatre. Plays are for people who thinks Eastenders is for idiots and frequently use the word “peons” and “peasants,” and know about this whole Greece economy thing. But when I saw someone tweet that Matthew Holness (creator of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) was involved in one of them, you could consider my interest piqued. It was more than piqued actually, if my interest was underwear, there would’ve been a little sexy dot on the crotch.

The Snipist is a brilliant way to spend 30 minutes of your life in tense silence, watching things get progressively worse for the main character, only to not only have the carpet pulled from under you, but the three piece, Lax table from Ikea and that throw that you’ve been meaning to throw away but haven’t got round to doing yet.

Heavily influenced by Tales Of The Unexpected (of which I have been enjoying lots of; again being shown on Sky Arts) but mixed in with the dystopian horrors of Threads and 1984 (John Hurt even stars as The Voice of The Ministry as well), The Snipist shows us a future where one dog infected with rabies has been smuggled into the country and infected everyone else, humans included, to the extent that there’s only one human left free of disease, except it obviously isn’t going to be that easy is it? It never is when it comes to post Apocalyptic dramas.

Deliciously tense, with just enough information being dangled in front of you to keep you going, Douglas Henshall’s haunted Harker carries us through the story really hating his situation and the inevitable choice that he has to make; potentially killing another human, being plagued with nightmares of past events and horrid futures.

It’s difficult to say much about The Snipist without giving too much of the plot away, but if you can stick with it until the closing minutes you’ll experience one if the biggest WTF moments since Coronation Street decided that rehiring Jimmi Harkashan was a good idea. Simply put, The Snipist will make you feel incredibly uncertain; for the World created before your eyes, as well as Harker’s eventual fate, but at the same time you’ll probably marvel that an idea this brilliant can be summed up in just under 30 minutes.

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Reviews TV TV Reviews

What I Watched Last Night – Bob’s Burgers, E4, Midnight

I can take loads of time to explain how brilliant how Bob’s Burgers is, or convince you all that you should set your DVR to record it with immediate effect. But I’m not really that forceful. If you insist on not listening to me by now, then you’re going to die with lots of regrets.

So, instead of drawling on with long words like ‘rationalism’ and ‘justification’ and ‘anthropomorphism’ I’ll sum it up by a quick thirty second video.