A brunette's babble

Wondrous Westworld


I was bursting for Westworld to start .  I am certain I drove most of my closest circle crazy in the lead up to the air date. I am still hoping my parents will watch it after I broke them down and they watched The Night Of AND OBVIOUSLY they liked it – I mean, what do I have to do to explain that HBO simply don’t produce anything that’s not quality…I digress.

As an avid TV watcher you reach a certain point where you crave something that stimulates the brain, that makes you think. Sure, there are TV shows where I want to tune out to like Scandal and get lost in the romantic dilemmas of Fitz vs Jake and then there are other shows that I want to be a part of it, get lost in the world and piece together the complexities and intricacies of the world and what’s going on.

There is so much to say about this show, the episode,  MANY questions – but there are loads of articles, with paid writers, who can do that articulately for you. I have already argued about the scalp and the maze, and a multitude of theories in the office today!  This is just a bit of dribble…

The second episode excited me somewhat because the fantastic  James Raymond “Jimmi” Simpson was introduced as William. Let’s be honest , I love James Marsden and now another James…well Jimmi, is gracing our screens. (Just in case you needed a purely VISUAL reason to watch Westworld  if the dramatic setting and insanely good looking hosts weren’t doing it for you …)

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Jimmi’s  roles thus far, casted to perfection, he is in interesting shows and plays fascinating characters.. If he seems familiar to you, no you aren’t in a loop or narrative,…he is in a lot of things but notably and in more recent times, The Newsroom and House of Cards in recent times.  I am yet to watch Hap and Leonard but will. Underrated and just a dream – perfect for the James Brolin equivalent character casting.

When we meet William he is rather hesitant and timid in front of his stunning host.  He is told “How far you go is entirely up to you.” aren’t we all immediately wondering what he is capable of? We haven’t had this insight  or privilege with any character to start the park journey with them from the beginning.

Then we are taken to the final detail – a cowboy hat.

A striking and deliberate visual of picking up the white hat?! I hope this hints at his core nature.  The show is intriguing me on this psychological level – I suppose I am waiting to see a characters journey unfold of seeing just how far they will go.

Then we realise we are in a train carriage…. A clever introduction to propel the story forward and reveal more to the viewer and starts to answer the questions we had from episode one –  how do you get there? how do you get the clothes? Do they get any information or an induction package?

So far, he is the only character, where as a viewer, we feel like he is experiencing it from the same POV. We experience the park how he might – taking it all in, asking questions, being curious by the stories the hosts start to tell  – unfortunately his friend Logan, played by another dream boat, Ben Barnes, squashes most of his natural curiosities – a familiar and frequent visitor to the park who has his own agenda.

I have enjoyed the dialogue that hints to reveal more of William’s personality – we are told he works too hard, we see his tender moment with Dolores (the new Teddy) . I can’t help but think he is in the park for the magic and wonderment of it as opposed to the violence and sex like Logan.

If you haven’t famliarised yourself with Jimmi you should! Check out this article… see, he get’s as excited as we would by Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood… humble…normal…. worth watching  🙂


It’s “Easy” to watch…

After a disastrous date day with myself (yes, that’s a thing….someone has to do it so it may as well be me) where I tried to watch a movie but had a couple commentating the entire way through, I decided to swing into the supermarket get some emotional eating/drinking supplies, head home and see what delights were on Netflix – people and noise free.

“Easy” appeared first in my recommended for you list. I also received an email from Netflix earlier that week so thought I would give it a whirl. 7 episodes later, chip crumbs all over me and running dangerously low on diet coke, it would appear that it held my interest. I only have one left to go….

Let me tell you quickly why I enjoyed it so much. I am pretty fussy. I work in TV, I watch an AWFUL lot of it, I try to write about it and play around with scripts so I suppose I am as much of a critic as anyone can be these days. Joe Swanberg is not unknown to me he is an indie genius … he has an extensive list of work to his name ( not familiar with ALL) – but I have seen his more recent works like “Drinking Buddies” and loved the episode he did of “Love”.

The show is about the interactions and various relationship dynamics in Chicago. Each episode is different, with no obvious  or  consistent continuity and I really like it.  Bite size commentary, interesting insighst and a look into the dynamic and ever changing world of people and how they relate to each other. I found it fascinating  – at least from a psychologically point of view. It’s relevant and realistic in terms of the dialogue and behaviours – you will easily be able to identify people like that in your group or wider circles.  Writing in such a seamless/effortless manner is no easy task – but this show captures this and has executed it successfully.

I was reading a review about it  and was also just told by someone today that it was a “mumblecore” genre…and that the Dupalss Bros (who I ADORE) are in this category – sometimes it baffles me how much I DON’T know. That term is defined as such:

mumblecoreˈ     mʌmb(ə)lkɔː/


  1. a style of low-budget film typically characterized by the use of non-professional actors and naturalistic or improvised performances.

“an actor/filmmaker known for his cinematic experimentations with mumblecore”

I suppose that is accurate – ish. The natural flow of this series is fascinating. It may challenge some people who are used to a particular formula and set up of a TV show – just go with the flow is my advice on this one.

I have found myself pondering relationships around me and wondering what on earth it is like out there these days – all triggered from the show. Perhaps the reason why I thoroughly love this so much is that it is, at its core, very real. There are so many layers, stories, people, places, events and interactions that go on in our daily lives and no one has any idea about those complexities or intricacies. I like that this show provides a potential (even if fictional) insight into what else is going on out there outside of your head and social circle. Such a vastness of experiences!

There is something very exciting and unrefined (not in a bad way) about his style and the way he writes and creates. An exceptional talent and one I hope to draw on it for my future dabbling.

Finally, the best thing about “Easy” is that it is easy to watch!

Check the trailer out….

Oh yeah, it also has a killer cast ….and yes, they are all awesome in their roles… Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Jake Johnson, Marc Maron, Dave Franco, Hannibal Buress, Emily Ratajkowski, Michael Chernus, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Aya Cash, Jane Adams, Elizabeth Reaser, Evan Jonigkeit.

oh and episode 6 – MY OH MY.


Openness with Oliver Sykes


tumblr_o0ef6w5zxv1u1ycm9o1_1280“Are we just ladders in a world of snakes. If life is one big fucking game…I don’t want to play.”

It’s a strange universal phenomenon that certain frontmen/women of music groups have such an effect and impact. Perhaps they are completely unaware of this or don’t wish it to happen but the limelight has forced the world to know about it. It’s a powerful aspect when you can empathise, identify and find we can relate to these people. This is going to be about Oliver Skyes, frontman of Bring Me The Horizon and the experience I had witnessing him in Sydney this weekend. Music is such an emotional and transformative force – with healing and cathartic powers. It can take us on the journey of grief and sheer love. It evokes so many feelings within us all. Paired with a lead singer with some spark and personality,enhances the experience – it’s odd. I can’t explain it but something happens where you feel like they are right there in your brain. It’s a certain art – the ability to deeply and profoundly move people. I haven’t had such an experience for many years – that was until of course Sunday night which I will discuss shortly.

This experience of complete identification and immersion with a band/lead singer happened to me with Nine Inch Nails around that fun teenage puberty time. My broken cd on repeat – listening to the lyrics “ wish there was something real, wish there was something true” being unable to formulate my own emotions into words – he had done it for me. Without thought I would sing it over and over like a form of cathartic therapy. Dealing with my first heartbreak, school bullying, dysfunctional family,  lies, rumours and the battle to fit in and then a desire to completely rebel against it. My most important possession during my teens was my portable Sony stereo. I had various stereo incarnations over time …

I think of some of those key people in my music shaping life and this is just A SLICE… probably the most influential was Trent Reznor. Then to rattle off some others of bands/musicians I like look at Kurt Cobain, Robert Smith, Daniel Johns, Marilyn Manson, Michael Hutchence, Steven Tyler, Maynard Keenan, Courtney Love,  Axl Rose, Michael Jackson – and they all have a story and one mostly of adversity. Drugs, addictions, heartache, mental health, abuse. It seems unfortunate that so much pain is the source of their creativity.

I then look at other influential figures like Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Iyanla Vanzant of the more humanitarian spiritual areas and they all had serious events that cracked them wide open.

Maybe these events have to happen it’s all part of embracing who they are, their journey and their artistic ability. If you know any of these people and musicians you know some of their struggle. – If not you can read about Trent Reznor’s there…

I will never forget this one statement when I am wracking my brain in those hellish moments of mental health…. Eckhart Tolle says this statement bothered him – when he was suicidal he expressed that “ I”  hate etc etc “ my self”  – a distinction between I and the self.

On Sunday I went to the BMTH gig. I was introduced when I asked someone for some music to get into – they knew I liked heavier music… so it’s been a fair few years that I have been into them but never had the opportunity to see them live. He, like Trent Reznor, in many ways, really reaches into those deep dark corridors and screams with raw emotional intensity. You can’t fake that stuff. To quote Reznor “ the only way out is through”  Perhaps that’s why they have the following they do. Oli had laryngitis… and still performed. Perhaps not altogether unaware of how appreciative his fans were and the genuine impact he has on educating younger minds about mental health. There was an intro piece before a song called doomed – I could find a very fuzzy video of it here…

A personal journal ultimately –  recorded for all to hear…. It just had such a deep effect on me. When someone tells you their truth, embraces it for all the world to see – it’s not an easy thing to do. He has had a relationship break down, friends deaths and the words were heavy. Grief is a strange thing – it’s like a poison that stops you in its tracks and just when you feel better it can drag you right back under. It was moving and heart wrenching.

It’s courageous and inspiring to have heard him openly talk about depression. Before they played sleepwalking he said he felt sorry for people who hadn’t experienced depression – I agree. Without the dark you don’t know the light and you can’t appreciate those highs. If you know yourself, truly know yourself – all the dirty dark depraved places then I think that’s the healthiest thing you can do when tackling mental health. If you can truly be ok with all facets of your mental health then you know you can ride it out just like a wave.

All the artists I like go to those places… they take you on a journey into those places…. It makes my heart heavy that they often don’t know the sheer impact they have. That their voice, their music can reach so many on so many topics across the globe. In some ways I am envious they have a platform to reach out when they are going through their own nightmares.

As much as we can empathise we will never know someone’s internal world or private universe – everyone feels their pain at 100%.

I just hope that they can breathe in that they are valued and that their music can bring a little bit of relief to many. I hope they can take comfort that their words convey genuine meaning and value to others. We all need to be a little but more like Oli – embracing our truth and creating a sense of openness on so many important topics effecting all of us.

It’s ok to discuss these thing.

Visuel Versailles



Being a bit of a history nerd I do love a good period piece drama. I wouldn’t say I am an expert by any means on King Louis but familiar enough to see how this was told on screen…made by English …and spoken in English…I was curious as to how it would look/feel.  There has been a lot of hype around Versaille so I decided to binge watch 4 eps on SBS demand (always waiting in Australia arghh) to immerse myself completely in it.

My initial emotional reaction was one of immense hair (wig) envy of both colour and loose curls…sigh. Especially Louis –  he has that lovely chocolate brown I struggle to acquire.Then mid diet coke sip I thought just buy wigs!   Even the delightful Alex Vlahos, who plays Philippe Louis’s brother ( a bit of a a lot of a dreamboat actually), has referenced the extravagance of the production stating :

“My wig cost £4,000 and I had three – the set alone cost millions and the scale was massive, bigger than anything I had ever done,” he says. “The sets were so lavish they had recreated the interior of the real Versailles down to the last centimetre.”

Indeed it is is visually stunning to watch. Sure, a 24 million (GBP) budget helps with this in terms of location, set, costumes. An overwhelming sense of grandeur and opulence has been successfully created with no detail spared. An aesthetically pleasing cast too … that are doing this production justice  I had to giggle when the Guardian referred to the very lovely George Blagden as  “Louis the phowarteenth”.  I can confirm is accurate – wonderful, glowing skin and eyes –  radiant indeed as the sun king – definitely using BB cream. The dynamic between Louis and Philippe is fascinating to me and I am enjoying the tension between them and the constant push pull they have.

Here we have the scrumptious George Blagden as Louis and Alex Vhalos as Philippe x

There have been some unfavourable reviews and the series has been referred to as a “stinker” – I think they have missed  the point …where they harp on about the extravagance and sex scenes  –  historically we can obtain that Louis XIV was “intensely, fantastically dramatic” and therefore the setting and cast reflects this element that is at the core of his personality and reign. What I love about this production thus far, is it is explaining the man, his drives, his passions and his relationships – history fills in the rest with facts and war dates, triumphs and accolades, achievements etc . I care about the person – the interpretation of Louis. So many reviewers are just so quick to judge  –  love to see these reviewers make something of this scale! Appreciate it for what it is…  It’s just very romantic how the show has been put together and this insight is not to be overlooked. It is a vital element to the series. Louis to me, was a dreamer, a visionary , idealistic and romantic. Everything that surrounds his world and that is his world must reflect this. Bien joue Simon Mirren and David Wolstencraft and the writer’s Andrew Bampfield and Sasha Halis.

It is hard not to be captivated by the Palace of Versaille that is developing around each episode. I like to think that as the palace grows and expands, so too is Louis and his  mighty  personality and style.

It may not be War and Peace (seriously that book  has 560,000 words ) but it is still enjoyable to watch and truly is  visuellement superbe!  (that’s the best my French will allow for..and just one more non costumed pic for general happiness)


Inexplicable Ivy


It certainly is a struggle at the moment for me to get through the vast amounts of TV that I need and want to watch. Over the weekend I finally watched the BBC drama, Thirteen.  This is just a little sprinkle of thoughts. After hearing murmurings from friends and colleagues as well as being very aware that my Welsh crush, Aneurin Barnard was in it, I knew I had to get stuck into it. Perhaps the very best thing about this is that is is was created and produced entirely by women. I dare say that the tender and more subtle emotional nuances in the show perhaps emerged from this creative ensemble. They have nailed everything from the writing, casting and producing and it’s very encouraging to see in the industry. The pace is great and the plot progresses easily –  with the right balance of action and keeping it tense in all the right spots.

I have always been drawn to the darker topics so was interested in how they would tackle one of the more disturbing subjects on screen. There has been plenty of abduction stories so what would they do? How would they approach it?  It’s an interesting journey we take with all the character’s dealing with the topic of abduction and the many complications both physical and psychological of a capturer / bonder / stockholm syndrome-like scenario. Subtext a plenty and not at all overt, there is a lot left for the audience to gauge and fill in.  Of course there is the usual theme of adjusting to life as it is, everything has changed which is overwhelming on its own but we never really get much insight into the  mental torture and physical abuse Ivy endures nor to the profile of her captor, Mark White.

The different interactions Ivy has with her family , friends and the police is what makes this a compelling drama. Multifaceted and complex, I couldn’t really every get a profile on who Ivy was , her core truth. Those ongoing background questions make for captivating and intellectual viewing.

The only time I think I saw the ‘true’ Ivy was when she was with Tim, her former boyfriend. (Just as a brief aside It was somewhat unsettling to see Anuerin playing a role  in normal clothes, outside a period piece costume and using modern technology. Always a good thing not to be typecast).


Reverting to their teen versions when reunited , there was sacred and soft between them…not requiring spoken words. It was more a deep knowing on a soul level where words become unnecessary. There aren’t many people you can sit in silence with and yet say so much. This is how I would liken their scenes and it set me off into a deep energy releasing cry- athon!

I haven’t even started on the the acting prowess by all, the delightful Richard Rankin and some beautifully shot scenes –  but just watch it and see for yourself!

Ultimately a tale of survival and recovery, perhaps the more realistic side of survival.  I will leave you with an article from the writer, Marnie Dickens, discussing how there is no happily ever after with this type of situation or experience…

American Animal Kingdom

download.jpgAnimal Kingdom is a stand out Australian movie written by David Michod.  I can’t recall a better movie in 2010. From it, some of our amazing local talent got that much needed and well deserved global recognition (think Ben MendelsohnJoel EdgertonGuy PearceJames FrechevilleLuke FordJacki Weaver, and Sullivan Stapleton.)  

It’s beyond dark, it’s gritty and when I read that it was being made into a TV series in the US I was in two minds…. It really could go either way depending on execution, location, character etc.  I was strangely protective of this creation and story – patriotism can manifest in some interesting ways it would seem! Immediately I did my research on who was playing who – I love Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman (Sigh,Ben..Felicity days) and was curious as to how it would look on screen being set out of southern California. I really didn’t want to have a point break feel happening…

I  watched the first episode last night.  I am happy to report that I was immediately uncomfortable.  A sense of disease was present and I felt it set up the same dark and dysfunctional world for “J” to be thrown into. Some wonderful scenes have been constructed to show the co-dependent nature of the children towards their grandmother is particular unsettling. I know a lot of the ground work is from the pre existing text but it is the casting that would ultimately affect this show. The benefit of the TV format is that it can explore different elements and linger where a film can’t go.  I know the Hollywood Reporter didn’t give it a hugely favourable review but we have to try these things, test them, see what the audience wants which is so hard to do these days. I personally love darker stories. The character complexities and consequences of their actions. This 10 episode set up allows for us to go deeper into the interpersonal relationships.

In particular, I think the casting is brilliant. Scott Speedman is likeable as Barry “Baz” Brown. Not a role I  am used to seeing him in but I was pleasantly surprised. Charismatic and seemingly level headed you want to trust him. Physically, he looks clean cut as well which is crucial to his character. More importantly, Barry wants to believe  that he is still separate from the others and seems to have more of a moral compass. I remember watching it all those years ago and you can’t help but hope he is decent at his core. I find myself already embarking on the same journey with this invocation of Baz.


Ellen Barkin brings a whole new level of trashiness to it and I am all for it – yasssssssssssssss it works. She is a dream! Jackie Weaver was the bomb in this role so big shoes to fill. Whilst I am not about comparing ,I do think it’s great to see what somebody else can bring to the character. I was transfixed on her cleavage always being on display and found her interactions with the guys so completely creepy and inappropriate always blurring that line of being  too sexual. She certainly carries the attitude of ferocity with her throughout the episode and we know it simmers beneath that overly protective maternal exterior. This enabling matriarch is consistent with the Jackie Weaver character in this sense – she won’t take any shit.

Anyway, some musings on my part. I will continue watching this series. It can’t be an easy thing to adapt a critically acclaimed movie and split it into tv – different format, audience, elements, budgets etc. I look forward to seeing it spiral out of control and how the characters evolve …OH AND  more Scott Speedman – oh my.

Bad is bred….




Magnanimous & Modish Maggie


I was a little bit hesitant to watch Billions. I knew the show was around, I read the hype but glazed over it. I will confess that it wasn’t on my A list of TV shows to watch… After binge watching it this weekend, I can say I was wrong to assume that.  The main reason for this was simple; I think I am still grieving Tara’s death from Sons of Anarchy which of course, was played by the beautiful and raw Maggie Siff.  Also an avid Homeland fan, the emotional trauma attached to Brody was still circulating in the emotional TV compartment of my brain.  Perhaps I wasn’t ready to see them as other characters just yet… They do say that there is no time limit to grief!

Anyway, the show is definitely worth watching.  There is a great pace to it, continual suspense, the characters, their interactions and dynamics is intriguing to watch unfold.  It is definitely a high stakes drama. Not to mention the ridiculously talented cast; the two alpha males of the show; Damien Lewis nails the role of Bobby Axelrod –  the trendy and “for the people” billionaire and  Paul Giamatti plays the ferocious and unrelenting Chuck Rhoades as  U.S. attorney. But who I really want to talk about is Maggie Siff who plays Wendy. She is Chuck’s wife and works for Bobby Axelrod as their go to for HR/psychology related matters int he office. She has worked for Bobby for years. Hello…! Perfect setup for tension and conflict writing – BOOM! It always plants the question – where does her loyalty ultimately lie…mmmm


Maggie, what a babe.  Wendy, what a character. The best thing about her is she is on par with these men. She has just as much impact, pull, weight as her husband and her boss. I love it! I just love watching her in this role and she is oh so stylish. The wardrobe team on the show have done such a wonderful job here and especially Eric Daman (which did not surprise me at all – his previous work is amazing). I cannot get over the most amazing job he has done to capture her character so accurately!  There is a wonderful article here that goes into the details of her wardrobe and the correlation to character.

Far too often the costume construction  of a character goes under the radar. It is an extension of their character and can say sooooo much. It truly is a team of people from writers, wardrobe and producers/directors etc who see this vision and pull all the elements together.

We now have entire websites dedicates to this such as with the TV show Suits and this which provides exact matches or close matches of outfits and accessories from Billions.

Something that is so appealing about this show is how multifaceted the characters are. There is so much depth and I feel as seasons continue we will be take on this journey with them as they reveal more and more about themselves.  Wendy seems to be an anchor in the show. She  steers both men on the right course, navigates those storms and high risk situations with grace, ease and foresight.303529CD00000578-0-image-m-31_1452912996326.jpg

The kink scenes between Wendy and Chuck are particular interesting to me.  Just as she is comfortable in her work wear and rockin’ it, she is equally comfortable in her dominatrix get up. I am looking forward to understanding in more depth, this relationship – the triggers, what they both get out of it, the background etc – it is so well places within the story that it leaves us wanting more. We become voyeurs seeking a closer, detailed look.  All of this has been brilliantly executed by costume, character and direction.

I just wanted to have a little prattle about this show – how important casting is and all the other hard working departments that create a show that so often get glazed over.

Have a watch and I guarantee you won’t be able to stop.


Ominous Outcast


If you don’t know about this show yet – get excited…or scared.  Another comic book  series developed for TV by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta emerges. Hooray!

The moment the credits started I thought the music sounded like Nine Inch Nails…close… it was Atticus Ross ( the two are often interrelated) . Those low, foreboding tones, immediately put the viewer into a tense  somewhat off balanced state… similar to that of the panic induced, edgy music of Mr Robot.

Main character, Kyle Barnes (yes I do have a mini crush on Patrick Fugit), has struggled with demonic possession, especially during his younger years. We meet him now as a barely functional adult and he can’t help himself be drawn back to Reverend Anderson who is dealing with another situation where a child seems to be taken by ” darker forces”.

I love stories about demonic possession but sometimes find them hard to believe when executed visually on screen. There is a fine line between realistic horror experiences and then the horror that gives you the giggles if it is poorly executed or too dramatic. The only way I can explain that is – imagine watching  Nightmare on Elm Street now – bad , bad 80’s VFX…that just makes you giggle . Outcast doesn’t fail in this area. It assaults you visually. It is violent and volatile. This is raw and real. This is how I envisage demonic possession – brutal, relentless and they have captured this beautifully in the first episode. Clearly they are not afraid to push those dark corners and MY OH MY has it paid off.  If you think the Walking Dead is scary… this touches a whole new level because the psyche is involved. Is it their mental health or are they possessed ? Demons – personal metaphors or reality?

I look forward to experiencing just how dark and confronting the journey is.




Your journey into self love

As we continue on our spiritual path, growth, expansion and shedding ourselves of old thought processes and emotions start to become natural processes that we go through consciously. As we try and …

Source: Your journey into self love

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