Review: The Sinner

Film, TV & Books

Since starting at Kudos I have been told by about 5 different people to watch the series The Sinner. Now I don’t know about anyone else or if this is just me and my stubborn ways, but when someone tells me to watch something I am actually less likely to do it? Weird huh. But last weekend I finally bit the bullet and tried it out.

Unsurprisingly because of the persuasion I had to watch it, it was amazing; I watched all 8 episodes in no more than 24 hours.

What I love most about this series is that it is so niche. The basic story-line gravitates around a seemingly ordinary woman and her family, a mysterious act of violence and the past behind it all. Rather than being the classic ‘who-dunnit’ it is the journey of finding out why she did what she did.

From the first episode it is undoubtedly gripping. In the first 5 minutes you believe that Cora Tanetti is a loving mother, wife and more importantly – sane. Until a family beach trip turns sour and she murders a man. From this point onward, you know the show is going to be a roller coaster. I mean, it literally went from 0 to 100 in approximately 5 minutes.

The protagonists are Cora Tanetti and the detective looking into her case, Harry Ambrose. She instantly pleads guilty to avoid a trial which seems fitting considering we literally witnessed her kill a man in cold hard blood, but the detective won’t give up without finding an explanation for her actions. Meanwhile, Cora would rather spend the rest of her life in prison than examine what has happened to her to make her so troubled. Because she has no idea why she did it, she lies about her motivation until Harry forces her to relay her past to find the truth.

This is where another aspect of the show comes in. We see Cora’s young self whilst looking into her flashbacks as she tries to understand what she has done. We meet her perplexing parents and ill younger sister, and see her challenging childhood, battle with drug problems and a lot of sex.

Unlike a lot of other shows, the flashbacks don’t feel like void fillers. Each and every one plays a vital part in the reason for Cora’s burst of beach-side rage, adding a piece to the puzzle. And when you do finally see the whole picture, let me tell you it does not disappoint. The reveal is not only unpredictable, but genuinely jaw dropping.

The Sinner makes you feel sympathetic, disoriented and uncomfortable all at the same time. The only way it could get better is with a second season.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Review: Girl Boss

Film, TV & Books

So after a long time of having this blog I am finally writing a TV show review; it seems appropriate with everything going on in my life right now. I kind of expected most of my TV posts to be about Parks and Recreation because as I may have mentioned, I am obsessed. And now I’m working at Kudos I am likely to be posting a ton of posts ranting and raving about how good their shows are.

Anyway, if you know Netflix you know it can be a real challenge to find a good TV show to binge watch that isn’t overly dark and depressing. I mean this totally as a compliment because usually shows about conspiracies and murder are right up my street, but sometimes I want to watch a show that doesn’t make me feel on edge for 3 weeks afterwards. I really feel like I found that in Girl Boss.

There are a lot of programmes on Netflix that are slept upon and this is definitely one of them so you’re likely not to have heard of it. Girl Boss is loosely based on the Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso – Britt Robertson – a rebellious, broke misfit struggling to find her way in the world. After discovering a passion for fashion, she becomes an unlikely businesswoman through selling vintage clothing online. The story depicts how Nasty Gal grew into a multi-million dollar fashion empire and what Sophia has to go through in order to cope with the difficulties of life as her own boss alongside the struggle of growing up.

I personally love all of Britt Robertson’s films and TV shoes. She always plays characters that I feel as though I can connect with on both an emotional and humorous level. In the first few episodes of Girl Boss she plays a really stuck up, stubborn, selfish character which can admittedly get a little annoying. But if you give it enough time, you start to understand why Sophia is the way she is and like all people, there is more to her than meets the eye. Watching her grow as a person alongside her business is fascinating and the fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more inspiring. The story shows that you can go from being completely lost – which a lot of people in our generation feel like nowadays – to turning your life around and doing something amazing. A lot of us tend to take things so seriously with all the pressure of having a lavish lifestyle and being successful so the comedic aspect of the show is super nice too watch. Despite being a little ridiculous, the comedy actually makes you think about things. For example, when Sophia says: “no matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.” I think this is something that everyone in this day and age should consider.

Granted, the show can be a little up and down so I can understand why a lot of people haven’t got on board with it. But personally, I find the slightly annoying and narcissistic nature of the main character and story line to be a really accurate portrayal of society today.

Whilst researching for this post I found that Girl Boss has actually been cancelled by Netflix and there won’t be another season ☹️. I thought I would still post it because I still thought it was a good watch and I wanted to know what you guys think!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

Chapter 1: My Career in Television

Film, TV & Books, Lifestyle

This post is supposed to be an explanation into how I got into television, both for future reference for myself and also to help anyone else out there that might be struggling to find their way into the industry. I didn’t really want it to be a ‘so the moral of the story’ post but it definitely will be so here we go…

If any of you guys read one of my first ever blog posts, you will know that in Spring this year I went to This Morning Live, an exhibition in Birmingham based on the daytime television show. Whilst I was there, I met the editor of This Morning, Martin Frizell. Me being the upfront person I am unashamedly went up to him, told him my life story and asked how on earth I was supposed to get into television – my dream career since I was about 10 years old. It turns out that my confidence paid off as 7 months later I have an actual job in actual television!

My first opportunity came about after Martin gave me his email address and told me to contact him with my CV. He was kind enough to help me get onto the ITV insight programme where I completed a 2 week work placement at the ITV studios on the Southbank in London working with the production team on This Morning. This was a dream come true considering I had never done anything in television before so my first experience was in a huge live TV programme where I got to see exactly how things work. I met some really awesome people whilst I was there, both celebrities and people that work on the show who were so welcoming and really tried to help me with my career path.

I happened to get talking to some of the girls in the fashion department and they asked if I would like to intern with them. This is the main reason I moved to London; I was going to be spending 5 weeks here anyway so I thought why the heck not just move for good? I wasn’t getting paid for the internship so I had to get a part time job in order to pay for my rent and well… to live. I got a job at Brandy Melville in the Oxford Street Topshop meaning I was working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. I can honestly say those 5 weeks nearly destroyed me. There were many breakdowns and numerous teary phone calls back home but I got through it. I completed my internship with the fashion department at This Morning and quit my horrendously painful job at Brandy in order to focus solely on a career in television.

My perseverance and also knowing I wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep if I didn’t get a job made me determined to work as hard as possible in order to find a production company that would take me on with my small amount of experience. I spent hours writing and sending emails to individual production companies knowing that there was only a slim chance of getting a reply let alone any actual work. After sending what must have been a hundred emails, I got a phone call from someone at a production company called Kudos.

Kudos are producers of TV drama such as Broadchurch, Grantchester, Humans, Life on Mars and MI High (any of my main CBBC watchers out there remember that?) They produce incredibly successful content for broadcasters as big as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Atlantic. After going into their head office for an interview, I got invited to do a 3 day trial with them for an office runner role. On my first day I immediately knew I had to get the job. The people were lovely, the job was so much fun and I was finally where I wanted to be.

…My first day was 4 weeks ago and I haven’t left since. Yesterday, I officially signed my contract to be an office runner/receptionist at Kudos Film and Television.

Looking back to this time last year, living in London with a job that could potentially lead to my dream job was a fantasy so wild I could barely even imagine it. Just over 12 months ago I was completely lost, I had dropped out of school and I was fighting a mental illness that very nearly got the better of me. I now get paid to be in an environment I love with people I admire.

So the moral of the story is that you can gain something from every experience in life, whether they are good or bad. If it wasn’t for the experiences I have been through, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Without leaving school due to mental health issues I  wouldn’t have worked at House of Fraser to earn money that is allowing me to live in London. Without working at House of Fraser I wouldn’t have got the time off to go to TM Live where I met Martin Frizell and without the thick skin that my past has given me, I wouldn’t have the determination I have today to pursue my dreams.

Whatever it is you want to achieve, you can do it.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

Books for Bad Days

Film, TV & Books

Hello! I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite feel good books for when I’m not feeling so fabulous. These books sure aren’t miracle workers but they always manage to make me feel some kind of way even on the darkest of days! There’s so many cool books out there that help with positivity and mindfulness so if you have any please share them with me!

10,000 Things to be Happy About

So I have to admit, I did only buy this book because it was all over tumblr, it’s extremely aesthetically pleasing and I thought it would look cute in my bedroom; I didn’t really intend on reading it. I guess there is kind of a story behind how it did start helping me on bad days. A couple of years ago my family was going through a really hard time, in order to piece ourselves back together we decided we needed to spend more time as a family. One day, we decided to go to the zoo – a ridiculous idea considering it was mid February, the majority of animals were kept indoors and it was absolutely freezing. But anyway, we had a lovely day and it really helped us to realise what’s important. A few days later, I decided to open the book and the first thing I read from a page full of words was ‘going to the zoo in winter’. I don’t really believe in fate but this was way too much of a coincidence so I have loved the book ever since. It’s not really something you can read as such, but it’s really nice when you feel a bit low to open the book to a random page and read the simple things we take for granted. It’s similar to the technique of saying what you’re grateful for but everything is written for you which I find a lot easier.

Tony Robbins: A Note from a Friend

I was given this book by family friends after they took me to my first ever Tony Robbins seminar in London. At first I had no idea who this guy was. I expected the seminar to be formal and boring. But if you know anything about Tony Robbins you’ll know I was completely wrong. That seminar turned out to be a real turning point in my life. This book reinforces everything he said on that day. It’s really about how Tony became the successful man he is but the book is written in such a concise and easy-to-understand guided style that teaches you about life changing tools and principles. A lot of people may not understand how one person and a book can genuinely help you to live a better life; I was once one of those people. I urge you to try it though! Because this book has really inspired me and it puts everything into perspective. After reading his story about the obstacles he’s had to face before being as successful as he is, it always makes me feel better – these dark days won’t last forever.

The Little Book of Mindfulness 

This book was actually a gift from my therapist, she bought it for me because I had never really looked into mindfulness so she thought it could help with my anxiety. This makes the book special in itself because I know a lot of thought has gone into it and it shows that people do care! I find it’s good to put in my bag so if I start to feel a little rough I can just flick through it to calm myself down. I don’t even need to do the mindfulness tasks usually, it just puts my mind at ease knowing there are things to make me feel better! It’s also a nice book to read in the morning to get me prepared for the day. At the moment, my favourite passage is from the Accept and Respond section which states simple mindfulness practices engage the mind and the body, helping you let go and slowly bringing you back to a sense of equanimity and peace. Unlike the majority of the book, it is a poem called ‘The Guest House’ written by Jalal Al-Din Rumi (picture of poem below). I love it because of the metaphorical implication; it’s a really warming comparison which makes your feelings seem simple and easy to cope with.

the guest house

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie

XO