ITV has made a trailer for the new series of Downton Abbey. And guess what?…it looks uh-mazing! Do I sounds like a crazy person who is obsessed with Downton? Beacuase I’m not. Well, not really. Ok, maybe a little bit. Or a lot. I just want to share the Downton love.
Category Archives: Entertainment
Just a short post to express my delight for the new series of Downton Abbey, which will be starting in the next month or so on ITV1. More info/pictures to come, but for now have a look at the ITV site, where there is a short video and stills of the second series. I’m interested to see how Downton will cope with the outbreak of World War I, with characters such as Matthew Crawley (heir apparent, played by Dan Stevens) taking to the trenches to fight for his country. And, judging by the picture below, it looks like Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) will stepping up as a wartime nurse. ITV have claimed that there will also be a Christmas special. I can’t hardly breathe for all the excitement!
Rumours have been flying for the last three years or so that a third Bridget Jones film is on the horizon. Now, it seems, the rumours have materialised into truth, as it has been reported by Entertainment Weekly that Bridget Jones will be brought back to life once more by the British production company Working Title Films! So so so so so excited by this! What is there not to love about Bridget? Colin Firth alluded to the plot in an interview to Access Hollywood, he said:
“I can tell you that Bridget and Mark can’t have children, I think that’s the way it goes on [...] So then she makes the huge mistake of going back to Daniel Cleaver [Hugh Grant's character] for long enough to get pregnant. And I think he dumps her, and she’s left stranded, and guess who comes back to rescue her?”
After the second book, Helen Fielding carried on the story as a column in The Independent newspaper, and as a lover of all things Bridget, I followed this online. Whilst I still found Bridget hilarious in every way, the storyline seemed to go a bit haywire: Bridget broke up with Mark and fell pregnant by Daniel Cleaver after a drunken one-night-stand, Mark subsequently offered to adopt the baby and Daniel Cleaver was spurred into some sense of responsibility by his offer. Finally, the column stopped because Bridget was said to be too busy taking care of her newborn baby. A rather tangled and exhausting plot. I just couldn’t understand why Fielding broke Bridget and Mark Darcy up. After all, he is supposed to be to her what Mr. Darcy is to Elizabeth Bennet. An archive of the columns can be found online here, they are well worth a read in my opinion for their hilarity alone. Plot weaknesses aside, Fielding seems to write effortlessly as Miss Jones, and for me, the language of Bridget’s Diary has always been consistent – so funny, so honest, so Bridget.
Anyway, Fielding is apparently also writing a third book, does this mean the column entries are now void? Will she re-write them to suit a novel form, or pick up where they left off? She is said to be also helping with the third film, as well as writing the third book, and apparently is unsure as to whether they will both follow the same plot.
The good news is that Renee Zellweger – possibly the most spectacularly named actress in Hollywood – will be returning. The same cannot be said for Hugh Grant, however, as he seems to be unsure as to whether he will make a third appearance. I did hear on the radio that Renee, instead of putting on weight to play Bridge, will wear a fat suit. God I hope not! In that case you might as well call the film Little Britain Does Bridget Jones. Not a good idea.
Today, the 7th July 2011, it all ends. There will be no more searching for pictures on the internet of the next Potter film being made. No more camping in Leicester Square in the rain to get a glimpse of the best of British acting all crammed on to one red carpet. No more eagerly awaiting the release of another trailer. No more midnight viewings of the new films. The Harry Potter film phenomenon is no more.
Actually, there is a little bit more to come, but I stress that the best part, i.e. the films, is over!
So, what exactly can we look forward to now? Well, producer David Heyman revealed that there will be a documentary, hurrah! I do love a good documentary. Heyman claimed that the entire Potter process was filmed behind-the-scenes, from start to finish. Clever eh?
Secondly, there is Pottermore, a strange new HP networking/ gaming/ I’m not really sure what it does website. This prospect has thrilled some, and left others dissatisfied.
Thirdly, there is the DVD! So we can all watch the film at least three times in the space of 24 hours, in the comfort of our own homes.
And fourthly, there is the box set of DVDs (I’m scraping the barrell a little now) for those unusual beings who will insist on buying another copy of all the films, just to be a proud owner of the box set – hardcore fans, or weirdos? You decide.
Fifthly, I read that the HP film set in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, will be opened for tours. Now that is exciting, I shall be first in line!
And now I’m out of ideas. All of this doesn’t really compare to the excitement one feels when a new film is released. I’m struggling to see how life will go on.
I recently hastily downloaded Ed Sheeran’s new single ‘The A Team’ from iTunes after hearing Fearne Cotton praising and playing the song on Radio One. Since this moment, I have been hooked on all things Sheeran. I even looked on his rather swish website to find out where the singer will be gigging this summer, thinking I could base my decision of which festival to go to on where he’ll be.
But wait a minute, I thought to myself after seeing a picture of Ed online, I’ve definately seen that face before. Then I realised, Ed was Example’s co-improviser in the hilarious ‘Nando’s Skank’ video I had been shown by a friend on YouTube. I remembered thinking at the time that he had a great voice, and an alarming talent for free-styling about chicken. Well, when it comes to Nando’s some people are pretty passionate, myself included.
There are too many reasons to love Ed Sheeran. To begin with, he recently performed at Glastonbury, headlining the BBC Introducting Stage; his amazing set included a fantastic acapella song that really showed off his powerful vocals, coverage can be seen online. Secondly, in case you haven’t gathered yet, his voice is beautiful, I could listen to him repeatedly; his new single went straight in to the chart at number 3. Thirdly, he is full of personality and has turned many well-known heads, including Elton John, and Jamie Foxx, who invited him to stay at his house after seeing him perform in LA. Fourthly, as previously mentioned, he took part in the hilarious ‘Nando’s Skank’ with Example as seen by many on YouTube. Fifthly, he put on a free show at the Barfly in Camden for fans in April this year. Sixthly, he is great at mash-ups. And finally, he is what many of us would call a fit ginger!
Anyone in agreement? Leave a comment.
I find Zane Lowe exceedingly annoying. He is a big fat music snob, who revels in anything anti-pop, and is full of his own self importance. So what if he has his own Radio 1 show, it comes on at 7, which is after most people have stopped listening anyway. In fact, when Zane Lowe hits the air that is my cue to turn the radio off. During the BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury last night Zane was less than enthusiastic about Beyonce’s magnificent headline act. The presenter claimed that Beyonce’s act was ‘entertaining, that’s what it was’, then broke down in laughter after co-presenter Lauren Laverne asked him what he thought. He eventually replied ‘I went to watch Queens of the Stone Age’. Today rumours have been flying, linking Zane Lowe’s hasty exit from the festival with his possible firing from the BBC. This is unlikely, but wouldn’t it be great?
The fact remains that last night was a momentous occasion. Beyonce is the first woman to ever headline Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, and thus made history with her dazzling, energetic, show-stopping set. The Queen of pop played for over an hour and a half and did all the hits anyone could have hoped for. Just when I was fearing that she would miss one of my favourites, ‘Irreplaceable’, the recognisable ‘to the left, to the left’ met my ears, and filled my heart with happiness. The set even included a Destiny’s Child medley, as well as a cover of The Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’.
Wearing only a gold sparkling blazer, black pants, and killer heels, Beyonce commanded not only the stage, but the 175,00 strong audience that appeared to go on for miles. Hubby Jay-Z and friend Gwyneth Paltrow watched from the pit as the singer proved herself to be a cut above the rest; not many female pop acts can dance the way Beyonce does, whilst maintaining those powerful and perfectly pitched vocals.
I woke up this morning to an array of facebook statuses praising the goddess that is Beyonce. My only wish is that I could have been at Glasto to experience history being made for myself. Nevertheless, watching it on TV was still fantastic. Check out BBC iPlayer for the coverage.
Each day we get closer to the end of the biggest film franchise the world has ever seen – Harry Potter. With only twenty days until lift-off, the eighth film is sitting on producer David Heyman’s stove, boiling furiously like a beef stew ready to devoured by the world. The exceedingly patient fans sit at their places round the dinner table ravenous for what will be the meal of a lifetime.
My own brain feels fit to explode with pure excitement. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II will be the crescendo of what has been a ten year project, having started in 2001 with the release of The Philosopher’s Stone. Over the decade the films have grown in every single way: the characters have obviously matured, but so has the plot line, and the increasing darkness of the series has made for some very thrilling later films.
This week Jo Rowling treated fans to a new website called Pottermore, a unique online networking, gaming, reading, and buying opportunity – essentially everything you could want that is related to Harry Potter in a website. As well as this, the HP Warner Bros. website has been recently updated, and upon entrance presents a new trailer for the film which made me, and no doubt millions of others, squeal at the top of my voice at a pitch only dogs could hear.
The facebook page for HP is also very useful for all things related to potter. Countless new TV spots have recently been posted, as well as links to interviews with the stars as they discuss saying goodbye to their characters. Perhaps the best piece of publicity recently seen is Emma Watson’s magnificent cover shoot with US Vogue, which will turn many heads as it sits on the shelves of newsagents across the globe.
So, It’s T-20 for the Potter series. If I could jump in my time machine now and skip ahead twenty days I would, but I can’t help feeling with the climax of the series will come sadness also; what will there be to get excited about when its all over? Don’t say Twilight, because it doesn’t even come close.
First of all, apologies for the lack of updates in recent weeks… it’s been stressful times!
Anyway, on with the blog, and my mission for this week, which is to shed some light on a fantastic American TV series that is currently skirting around what I would call the popular centre of British television; it is watched by some, but is yet to hit the mainstream. The show is called Fringe. To sum it up in three statements: it is a sci-fi serial drama, it is the new X-Files, it is totally brilliant.
Currently about to finish its third season in the UK, the series focuses on a branch of the FBI known as ‘Fringe Division’, which is responsible for investigating paranormal activity, or unusual occurrences that are related to ‘Fringe Science’. Common themes include anything related to theoretical physics, and characters can be seen to walk through walls, spontaneously combust, interrogate the dead, and much more. It is far-fetched, but not to the extent that it becomes unwatchable. This is due to the fact that Fringe Science is grounded in truth – it is tenuous theory put into practice. Thus, the show requires a level of brain power, and does not simply spoon-feed the mind. As the series has progressed it has come to light that all unusual activity monitored by Fringe Division is related to the existence of parallel universes, and one in particular that is in danger of colliding with our own.
The characters are what really makes the series great. Working in his lab at Harvard University, and assisting Fringe Division in all their investigations is the fantastic Walter Bishop, an archetypal ‘mad scientist’ who has taken a spell in a mental asylum and is subsequently a little quirky and very forgetful. Played by John Noble, Walter enjoys sugary snacks, taking recreational drugs for research purposes (he claims), and tending to his in-lab cow, Jean. In season three, when asked if he is making chocolate milk for the cow, he replies that he is in fact ‘trying to make the cow make chocolate milk’. Walter is a hilarious yet complicated character, and his past actions throw light on his slightly twisted sense of morality.
Surrounding Walter are the remaining stock characters: Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), the fiesty FBI agent and protector of our universe, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), son of Walter and general quick-thinker with a very mysterious past, Broyles (Lance Reddick) the boss of Fringe Division, and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) the sharp-minded, gentle agent working as Walter’s assistant whose name he can never quite remember, variations include Astro, Asterix and many more.
Created by the people who made Lost, Fringe is just keeps on giving. It is fast-paced and intelligent, and will keep you on the edge of your sofa.
We all want to look beautiful, and apparently a clip on fringe is the way to achieve this…even if it doesn’t match the rest of your hair colour. This week’s task saw the teams flogging beauty treatments and products to innocent and unsuspecting shoppers in Birmingham. Felicity’s team lost, having made a loss. Zoe’s team on the other hand won, having made a profit…a tiny, pathetic, not-even-worth-the-effort profit. So really, neither team succeeded.
As the owner of a company in the beauty industry, an industry Lord Allan himself is covetous of due to it’s MASSIVE profit margins, Susan unrelentingly pushed her team to buy double the amount of products they did. At the end of the day they had products left over. Good call Susan.
Some say Susan was a good team leader on the previous challenge, a fact that I disagree with, as she unthinkingly went to some of the most exclusive areas of London looking for bargains. To me, she is childish and immature, and when criticised for her lack of good advice re: how many beauty products to buy, she turned into a sulky little girl. Both annoying and unprofessional. Leon, on the other hand, with no previous experience in the beauty industry sold his little ‘I don’t want to spray tan a man because I’m not gay’ heart out, drawing customers in with his little finger (literally), and pushing the products like mad. He ran circles round the apparently-experienced Susan.
On the other team Felicity attempted to sell fake hair pieces, and one customer was even kindly reminded that despite the fact that a big blonde plait didn’t match her brown hair, it didn’t matter, because it still looked good! A questionable sales technique in my opinion. Nail varnish and big pink bows of hair were sold as Lady Gaga accessories, and all the while the treatment room, whereby profits of up to 90% could be made, was left empty. So bored were Ellie and Melody having not provided any treatments, that they carried out treatments on each other.
It’s no surprise that Felicity’s team lost, and Felicity herself was fired. It was one of those episodes where, excluding Susan, no one really made any glaring mistakes, and so Fliss had to go! Personally, my favourite character was Ellie, she’s not a ‘girly-girl’ as she reminded us several times in her thick Yorkshire accent, and she even made Lord Sugar himself laugh in the Boardroom having claimed she only said Felicity was a good team leader previously ‘because everyone else did’ – in truth, she thought she was s***!
Last night the television BAFTAs were shown on BBC One, and I for one was left sorely disappointed. I just can’t understand why Downton Abbey, one of the most watched programmes this year which drew audiences of 12 million was so poorly represented. Downton was nominated for best drama and the YouTube audience award, as well as a few others that weren’t shown. I can understand why Sherlock, a brilliant three-part series, took the prize for best drama, and The Only Way is Essex scooping the audience award is understandable considering its popularity.
However, what I’m shocked about is the lack of acting nominations for Downton. Brendan Coyle, who plays Bates in the series, was nominated for best supporting actor, but that was the limit of the acting recognitions.
No best supporting actress -what about Jessica Brown Findlay, or Laura Carmichael who play sisters Sybil and Edith?
No best supporting actor – hello, Hugh Bonneville, Lord Grantham himself!
No best supporting actress – do I really have to say it…Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Michelle Dockery as Lady Grantham or Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Mary Crawford. Shocking in my opinion. Truly shocking.
Oh well, 12 million viewers and I look forward to the new series starting this Autumn. Screw BAFTA. Maybe the Americans will like it, and give it a Grammy.