Watching Lately #3

1. Celeste & Jesse Forever
I hadn’t really heard anything about this film before watching it, so with the likes of Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg in the leading roles, I thought it was safe to assume that it would be a straightforward comedy film. Whilst there were definitely lots of funny bits, I’d describe this as more of a romantic drama. Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Samberg) are high school sweethearts who, although in the process of getting divorced, have remained good friends and still act very much like a couple. Their friends find it weird that they still live together and go on ‘dates’ even though they’ve been separated for several months. Jesse is reluctant to start dating again as he’s convinced that Celeste (who initially broke it off) will change her mind and they’ll get back together, but his friend Skillz (Will McCormack) encourages him to see other people. Jesse throws a spanner in the works a couple of weeks later when he announces that his new girlfriend Veronica (Rebecca Dayan) is pregnant and he wants to make it work with her. Celeste, who was sure she didn’t want to be with him anymore, suddenly sees a different side to Jesse and the roles are reversed when she decides she wants to get back together. The story is mostly told from Celeste’s perspective, and it gives a bit more of a realistic view of life than your average romcom. There is quite a bit of will-they-won’t-they, but the film doesn’t have a typical ending which was nice to see although it also may have made me cry a tiny bit (okay, a lot). I really enjoyed this film and I’d definitely recommend it.

2. Breaking Bad
I’m sure Breaking Bad needs no introduction, but here’s a quick summary anyway. After being diagnosed with cancer, high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) begins cooking meth along with ex-student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in order to provide for his family. Throughout the five series, Walt and Jesse have gone from amateur, small-time cooks to practically the biggest drug lords in New Mexico. This series is the final one and, with only a couple of episodes left, the tension is well and truly palpable. Jesse has always been my favourite character and I really like how in this series he has been battling his demons and struggling with his conscience (I just want to give him a cuddle :'( oh Jesse bbz), in contrast to Walt who has become ruthless and manipulative in order to protect himself. If you’ve never watched Breaking Bad before, I’d definitely suggest you start right away – it’s the BEST. Whilst the earlier seasons did have a bit of comic relief in them, as the show has developed it has become much more dark and intense, and pretty much every episode ends on an excellent cliffhanger. I’m going to be sad when it finishes, but I think it’s definitely better to go out with a bang rather than drag it on for a few more seasons whilst it loses momentum.

3. Louis Theroux Documentaries
Netflix recently added the third series of Weird Weekends as well as lots of the stand-alone documentaries, so I’ve been watching all of them. I’d already seen a lot of these when they were on TV, but it was quite a while since I last watched them and I love documentaries like this so decided to work my way through them all again. I think Louis Theroux is a great documentarian and does well at both light-hearted comical stuff (the UFOs episode of Weird Weekends is probably my favourite, or the Demolition Derby one where he makes pals with the derby guys) as well as the more hard-hitting documentaries like the one about San Quentin prison. Equal parts entertaining and shocking, all the documentaries are worth a watch, and I love Theroux’s awkward style of interviewing, especially in the earlier episodes. Although all the documentaries are factual (obviously), it often doesn’t feel like you’re watching a factual programme; both because it’s really entertaining and also because it can be hard to imagine that some of the people being interviewed are actually real people.

4. Modern Family
I’d heard a few people mention Modern Family, but I never bothered to watch it as I thought it just sounded like your average American sitcom that’s not very funny and gets repeated on E4 six times a day. But I was SO wrong, Modern Family is hilarious and definitely my favourite thing to watch at the moment. I only started watching about 2 weeks ago, and have already raced through three 24-episode series, ooooops. The show centres around an extended family and their everyday exploits; Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill) heads up the family along with new young Colombian wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara), plus there’s grown-up daughter Claire (Julie Bowen) and her family, and son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his boyfriend and new baby. My favourite character is definitely Claire’s husband, Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell), he has such a dad-ish sense of humour and I love his little made up curse words (“sweeeeeet potato fries!”, “chicken in a BASKET!”). The format of the show is kind of like The Office, with the characters being filmed throughout their day, interspersed with little to-camera pieces and interviews. It has been really well cast and well written, and was definitely an unexpected surprise for me. Having had a quick flick through the IMDB reviews just now, I’ve seen quite a few comparisons to Arrested Development, and whilst I wouldn’t go quite that far it definitely is a very funny, witty and clever programme centred around a dysfunctional but lovable family.

What have you been watching lately?

Gillian x

Gillian

Freelance social media and digital marketing consultant with a penchant for writing blog posts, drinking sickly sweet cocktails and exploring the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.

7 Comments

  • janine says:

    ive been obsessed with breaking bad and louis theroux too! god bless netflix. i love jesse too but REALLY love watching walt's descent into criminality. it's really brave of a show to have such a morally questionable protagonist, so much more interesting than most series. dexter was another show which started so promising, but as the series progressed it's definitely lost what made it special. excited for the final series of breaking bad!

    celeste and jesse looked promising from trailers from what i remember, will definitely add that to my watchlist 🙂

    ive also been working my way through films by wes anderson, i think you might like him. his films are really bittersweet, the cinematography is completely gorgeous, and the characters are always fascinating. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a particular favourite of mine.

  • rebekah. says:

    I haven't been watching anything lately as I'm in the last week of dissertation hell but Breaking Bad is top of my list to get started on this time next week! I'm also really interested in watching Celeste and Jesse Forever now; I really like Rashida Jones.
    My favourite ever TV show is The Wire, I can't recommend it enough if you need something to fill the Breaking Bad void in the next few weeks xx

  • Unknown says:

    Latest tv shows my boyfriend and I have been watching, have been, Game of Thrones (got hooked and are so devastated that we have to wait for the 4th season!), Dexter (amazing, you have to watch it!), Cat planet cuties (anime), Death Note (anime), Oblivion (movie). I think we mostly watch TV shows and I will have to download the first season of Breaking Bad to see what all the fuss is about 😛
    Love these series posts.
    Paris x

  • Hayley says:

    Oh I really want to watch Breaking Bad. I swear I'm always the last on the bandwagon.
    Hayley
    Water Painted Dreams
    xxx

  • Zoe says:

    I really want to get back into Breaking Bad, i starting watching it and then forgot which episode(and season!) i was on. I recently watched the whole 8(i think!) seasons of Dexter and thought it was amazing, took me a few episodes to get into it but it really pulled me in. I've also watched a few seasons of the series Weeds lately and quite enjoyed that!

    zozeze.com x

  • Maria Fallon says:

    I have just started watching Breaking Bad again and I find it SO stressful!

    Maria xxx

  • P says:

    People are always talking about Breaking Bad so I feel like I'm missing out and should probably give it a shot. I've not heard of Celeste & Jesse Forever before, but it sounds really good from your description of it. I think I'll have to check it out.

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