February 2017: Immigration, The Grand Tour, Wentworth & more…

I’ve been watching The Grand Tour on Amazon. It’s good. It’s better than the reboot of Top Gear. However, it’s got some big problems. The biggest problem is that everything feels unnatural and the three presenters are often working from a script. While this happened during their Top Gear days, it was far less noticeable. The scripts they’re working from also aren’t as funny as they could be. There’s also a problem with the budget & a lack of limitations. With a huge budget & free reign, the presenters often overindulge in pointless moments and segments that add next to nothing to the show. Celebrity brain crash, for example, is pointless and not that funny, they’ve simply hired a known name for the hell of it.

What I do like about The Grand Tour is the touring concept. Each location brings a fresh feel to the show & the tent sets are great. It’s also good when the presenters present a car show, which isn’t that often.

As an Amazon Prime subscriber and a Kindle owner, one of the benefits I have is the ability to read a book one month early, for free. The book in question is called The Winter Over. I really didn’t like it. If started off promisingly, it did a good job of introducing the characters and establishing the location but there’s very little story. At about halfway through the book, the mystery is solved and the answers provided are really unsatisfactory. The answers given almost completely take the book into a new direction and perhaps even change its genre. There’s also the big problem, none of the characters are likable and they get very little development.

I recently finished reading Dragonfly in Amber, the second novel in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It’s good. I like the characters and their goal but it’s often bogged down by unnecessary facts & details. Now, I’m debating whether or not to read the next book because I don’t know if I should read it before or after the next series of Outlander. I prefer the TV show to the books, and I saw the show before having read the books. That’s why I’m having to think on things. I don’t want the books to ruin the show for me.

If you’re not watching Outlander, get on it. It’s undoubtedly one of the best things on TV right now.

I’ve also been watching Shameless (US). I love it. It’s funny and dramatic in equal amounts and I really like the characters. I’ve never seen the original UK show because it never appealed to me. As such, I’m not sure how it compares.

I tried watching the film, Deepwater Horizon. It wasn’t for me. It took far too long for things to get going, when they did, it just wasn’t interesting or exciting enough. I liked the cast though, they did a good job, even if their dialogue wasn’t that good & their characters were boring.

This month I also received my end of treatment CT scan, to see if my cancer was well and truly gone. I thought I was supposed to be getting a PET scan, but I’m guessing that the hospital was trying to cut costs by giving me a quicker, easier and probably cheaper scan. Because it’s the end of my 2 years of treatment, I’d have liked to have had a more comprehensive PET scan, just to make sure everything is okay, but I’m not complaining, I got a scan.
Usually these CT scans can be a bit of a chore. You end up waiting for an hour or so, you sometimes have to drink a large solution flavoured with orange juice and then you get a 5-10min scan. Strangely, I was in and out of the hospital in less than 40mins! That’s quite remarkable. I don’t think I’ve ever been in hospital for such a short amount of time before.

If you’re wondering, the scan was all clear. There were no signs of cancer!

News broke that the Deus Ex video game franchise has been put on hiatus. I found this to be very disappointing because I really liked the recent game, Mankind Divided. It was one of my favourite games of 2016. The only good news to come from this is that we’re getting an Avengers video game and maybe an additional Guardians of the Galaxy game (in addition to the telltale game). It’s about time Marvel ventured out and made a triple A game, but it’s far too early to say much else about this.

I’m also writing something. Something creative and fictional. I’m not going to say what it is yet, because it’s still early on, but I like the idea and I’m sticking with it. One of the problems I’m having as a writer, is that I’m writing quite a bit, but also having no luck getting published. I’m still trying to get my novel published as well as a short story I wrote. I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting my time, or that I’m simply not good enough. Considering I’ve spent the past 5/6 years trying to become a screenwriter, I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I didn’t actually achieve it.

In an ideal world I’d resort to crowd funding. There are plenty of ways to do it. I’m not going to kid myself though, I don’t have a huge following nor do I have a large amount of friends. Getting the funds for publishing would therefore be very challenging.

They say that the first hundred days of a newly elected US President are the most important or interesting, and Donald Trump is certainly making an impact. I’m of course talking about the immigration ban. On the surface, the ban looks very selective and discriminatory. He’s essentially punishing entire countries, people, races, religions and cultures because of a select few. That’s not right in my books. I’m glad the courts have prevented the act from being carried out (as of writing). There are no doubt better ways to handle immigration problems as well as the threat of terrorism.

Pamela Rabe in Wentworth (Prison)

When I first started watching Wentworth, the Australian prison drama, I had mixed feelings. It was a tad stereotypical and too similar to one of my favourite shows of all time, Orange is the New Black. Rather suddenly, Wentworth becomes a great show at the start of season 2 and doesn’t look back. I particularly like the character of Joan Ferguson, who is played brilliantly by Pamela Rabe. She’s not only a great, sympathetic villain, I think she’s one of the greatest villains in TV history. I might be overreacting, just a bit. I’m currently starting season 4 and I now love the show.



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