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?