obviously everyone should watch all the shows on this list but everyone should watch this show

Let's talk about 13 Reasons Why for a moment (MOSTLY SPOILER-FREE FRIENDLY DISCUSSION)

Firstly, a show has never given me more emotions. From joy, to sadness, to fear, to anxiety, to confusion, to anger, to relief, to frustration, to utter sadness… the list honestly does not end. So in terms of entertaining, A+. These actors are so talented. How many crying scenes did almost every character have, and they nailed it every time. That’s talent.

The writers accurately represented high school. In MY high school experience, no one got raped but that sure as hell obviously doesn’t mean it doesn’t go on. They got the bitchiness so damn right and I loved watching the Hannah/Jessica/Alex friendship break apart because gosh, that shit happens in real life. The writing on the walls in the bathroom and the categorising of people into “lists” (best ass, funniest, etc) happened at my school. The list was stuck on walls all over my school and to this day we don’t know who wrote it. People get away with this stuff! Even though most of the stuff across the 13 episodes didn’t happen in my experience, of course they’re still ongoing issues but it’s the overall theme to be taken away: high school can be hell. Quote of the series: “you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life”.

Entertaining, yes, but I think it lacked so much on promoting that people going through what Hannah was, actually have options, and suicide should not be one of them. Hannah sought help in the final episode, and whilst the counsellor definitely cared and tried to help her, he was definitely responding inappropriately considering Hanna was reporting feeling “empty” and that she wants life to stop. (That scene… gosh. Speechless. So accurate.) No counsellor would ever let their patient walk out the doors that easily if they’re reporting intense feelings like that. I’ve seen people say that Hannah had high expectations for the counsellor to chase her out the door, but I disagree. He should have. He should not have let her go.

So, I feel like the show really went wrong with promoting options for getting help. I feel like showing a counsellor being useless actually might tell people that therapy/counselling is not worth the time and effort of speaking up, so don’t bother with it. That’s a really bad message. But also in general - I feel like there should’ve been at least ONE character who sought help for their personal issues. EVERYONE was shutting out their parents, EVERYONE was keeping secrets, no one was seeing the counsellor, no one saw a psychiatrist for medication, etc. No one sought help, which, I think, kind of came across like “be quiet, don’t speak, you’re in this alone”. Definitely not true. I got so excited when Clay slowly started telling his mum what’s happening, but he didn’t tell her the whole truth, which frustrated me and I think the show would’ve benefited if at least one character took at least one step to seeking help.

One thing critics are saying is that the show glorified suicide. Where?? How?? That was the hardest (most disturbing) scene I’ve ever watched, in any TV show, period. And the whole show in general served the purpose of showing the repercussions of suicide… which as we saw across 13 episodes there definitely were no positive repercussions, let alone the suicide being glorified. My heart absolutely broke for Hannah when she said something along the lines of “I know what I need to do now”.

The overall concept of getting answers (through tapes) as to why someone committed suicide is unrealistic. And I get that - at the end of the day it is a show trying to entertain. But, I think it’s important to highlight that the family and friends of someone who committed suicide generally will not get FULL closure as to why, because, well, not everyone leaves behind tapes or notes or messages.

I hope there is no second season. I feel like it needs to stop there. It was called “13 Reasons Why” and we know the 13 reasons now. Sure, there are some loose ends, such as why that person in the last episode did what they did to themselves, but I think that touches on my previous point: we don’t always get answers to this stuff. Sometimes we never find out why someone hurt them self and that’s realism. A second season may give closure on that and not having closure is realistic. Definitely hard, but realistic.

To summarise the show: damn entertaining, as a TV show has never given me that quantity of emotions to feel in a single hour. The show was very realistic in showing the current issues in society, however it lacked in promoting options for support. I don’t agree with critics that suicide was glorified, as not one part of me was saying “yes, good choice Hannah, suicide is the answer to ending it all!” Instead, my heart broke, saying “please don’t do this, it can and will get better if you get help”. I thought Hannah was making the WRONG choice, rather than the right choice to shut it all out. But I think the interpretation of Hannah’s suicide scene will vary across every individual.

Let me know what you thought, I think this is a very interesting topic! I’m so happy a show like this exists.

Some arthurian movies and tv shows

Sometimes I receive a message wondering about where to start with arthurian legends : D and yesterday for the first time someone asked me also about movies, comics, cartoons etc. instead of just books. So I compiled a list of movies with links and I saved it to post it publicy here.

Sadly arthuriana seems to be lacking of real masterpieces in this field, I’ll never understand why. Maybe it’s because everyone tries to make a movie about all the story and they tend to focus always on the same themes instead of changing characters and episodes. These are the most famous ones and also my favourite ones.

The links are not mine, I randomly found them on youtube. If you’d like to buy the dvds or watch the movies you can go on amazon.com instant video and RENT or BUY them (or buy dvds on amazon.com or co.uk).

  • Mists of Avalon (here on youtube) is probably the best one. It has some great actors and Julianna Margulies is as amazing as always, it is also less harsh about religion than the books.
  • Merlin 1998 is also quite good and one of my favourite ones too (watch here). Obviously it focus on Merlin describing his life and his love for Nimue. It has some original twist plot with Galahad too which is probably my favourite thing in the movie/series.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (watch here) is without any doubt the funniest movie I know and very arthurian accurate (Spamalot is the musical version of it). I has a special place in my heart because I think this is how an arthurian movie should be done now, taking the characters without any presentation from the beginning (don’t we all know that Arthur is the king of the round table and Guinevere seems to have an affair with Lancelot?).
  • My favourite adaptation ever is Camelot the musical. It’s a musical and I know that not everyone love musicals but I think it brings really well to life the drama of Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur. There are different filmed versions, this one is act I and act II of the 1967 movie one while this is act I and act II of the 1982 stage version. The movie version doesn’t have all the songs but it has a wondeful Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere.
  • Sword of Lancelot is clearly not the best movie, but it has some fun parts. (watch here) Again, this is about Lancelot and Guinevere.
  • The knights of the round table is a great classic also if, in my opinion, a bit slow in some parts but if you are a fan of Lancelot and Guinevere and some Elaine it’s your cup of tea. It was actually quite good to see Elaine in a movie because she is usually simply ignored (watch it here).
  • Excalibur 1981 (which everyone knows and I find a bit overrated).
  • King Arthur
  • Guinevere (1994) is a movie vaguely inspired by Persia Woolley’s novels and which goes quite heavy on the pagan vs Christian thing, rich with pagan queen Guinevere, strangely teen age boy Arthur and pagan lady of the lake Morgana.
  • The First Knight yes well, I think it is still a cute movie, Julia Ormond is a great Guinevere and very human. I know, it’s a bit cheesy.
  • King Arthur, Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984), well I wound’t call this a good movie but you should watch it. For fun. Really. So you can suffer as I did.
  • Merlin and the Book of Beasts (watch here) It’s about Arthur’s daughter against Mordred.
  • Merlin and the War of Dragons. Don’t expect too much from this movie, it’s cute, it has a nice Igraine and the Vivian / Nimue story is interesting but nothing more.
  • Merlin and the Sword it’s a very strange movie and a sort of variation on Mark Twain’s story. A tourist woman gets dragged in Merlin’s cave where the magician is trapped with Nimue. There she hears the story of Lancelot, Guinevere, Arthur and Morgana. This is a humorous fanmade trailer. It has also the m erit of bringing to tv for the first time the story of Gawain and Ragnelle (changing it’s main sense, but, well, that’s another matter).
  • There are also an amazingly long number of movies of Mark Twain’s book A connecticut yankee in King Arthur’s court. I wrote something about them here.

About tv shows I think Camelot starz (with Eva Green) is the best one also if it has been canceled (only 10 episodes) and it has some faults (for example I didn’t like too much the character of Arthur and his story with Guinevere seemed to make it slower and more confused instead of giving it drama).

I am also extremely fond of the tv show The adventures of sir Lancelot (some episodes here) because even if I am not a Lancelot fan it is enjoyable and funny without the drama that I am usually used to associate to arthurian legends. And sometimes funny is good :)
Arthur of the Britons is also a good series, very different from the others because it tries to be as historical accurate as possible and it has only Arthur, Ector and Kay as arthurian characters. The tv show has two seasons and a movie (here).
There is also a quite nice webseries about Mordred in french with subtitles (at least the first episodes).
Ah and we shouldn’t forget about Kaamelott! Unfortunately the first three series are only in French, but the next ones are subbed in English on dvds.
I don’t think I even need to talk about Merlin BBC!

Some good documentaries:
Quest for King Arthur (2004)
In search of Myths and Heroes: King Arthur (2005)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2009)
The making of king Arthur (2010)

About the cartoons the best one is also the most famous one: Sword in the Stone.
About the other anime and cartoons the best one is without any doubts The legend of Prince Valiant.
Also the movie Merlin and Arthur the lion king is quite cute.

Day 7: How to get into and enjoy Classic Who

I thought a lot about what I could do for the free day.  There’s plenty of meta to talk about and I’m pretty sure I still have my Big Finish Rec list somewhere.  But part of appreciating is being open to encouraging others to also appreciate, and Classic Who can be very, very daunting to get into, and that’s without mentioning the Extended Universe.  So while this might not be overly useful to most people participating in this fest, I figure there’s still plenty of friends you’ve all been dying to get them into Classic Who.  XD  These are just some suggestions that are mostly geared to New Who fans who are interested in delving deeper, but feel free to ignore or disregard part or all of it.

So without further ado, a How to for Classic Who for those that are looking to start the old series.

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Hope for Zade!

Alright guys listen up! Hart of Dixie is on the list of shows undetermined to be picked up for another season (shocker). I completely understand why the show is losing viewers, because Zoe and Wade have not been together for such a long period of time and the show has really gone to shit (and due to other factors as well). However, I really think that we should continue watching the show despite how bored and frustrated we are. Even though it doesn’t seem like it now, I really believe that the writers have this plan to get Zoe and Wade back together, but not until next season.Here are some things to keep in mind:

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