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85 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST DEVOURING THE GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 FINALE

1. I never get tired of seeing the Stark banner over Winterfell
2. Please don’t let the Stark sisters kill each other.
3. The juxtaposition of unsullied alongside Dothraki is pleasing
4. Tyrion on Kings Landing’: ‘the brothels are far superior’ season 1 flashbacks.
5. The Hound baiting the trapped ice zombie is giving me Walking Dead vibes
6. A dragon arena? Why have we never heard of this before?
7. Presumably because there were no more dragons.
8. Now only 2 *sob*
9. A Tyrion, Pod and Bronn reunion!


10. And Brienne and The Hound! All the feels. Look at them discussing Arya like proud parents.
11. Oooh will Bronn defect to Tyrion, or is he all brotherly with Jamie now?
12. They are all in one place and my brain can’t cope
13. So why isn’t Dany here? Sorry – Daenerys.
14. Is she still mourning Viscerion? I know I am.
15. Cleganebowl teaser: ‘ you know who’s coming for you, you’ve always known’. Grab some chicken people.
16. DRAGON ALERT!
17. Just in case they forgot who she was and all. Dragon Queen, Mother of Dragons etc etc.
18. Cersei’s expression is pricesless – they’ve lost before they have even begun
19. Dany’s hair is intricately on point as always this season.
20. ‘My apologies’ translation: ‘I have never been less sorry’


21. Euron stop interrupting – he is the rude drunk uncle at a family gathering who everyone pretends not to know.
22 ‘We are a group of people who does not like one another’ understatement of the year.
23. Jon really has improved his public speaking.
24. Enter the Hound with an early christmas present for them all this winter…
25. Why isn’t it moving? They don’t die surely?
26. There we go – zombie city
27. Even Jamie froze at the monster made flesh. Rotting flesh but still.
28. Of course Qyburn wants an undead hand.
29. Cersei is just letting Euron run away scared? WHAAAT?
30.She’s agreeing to a truce? That easily?
31. No, of course not. Trying to force Jon to be neutral. Good luck with that.
32. ‘I ask it only of Ned Stark’s son’ Yep just namedrop the father you murdered.
33. Plus he ISN’T Ned’s son, but I digress…


34.’I cannot serve two queens ‘ you tell her Jon. Daenerys looks equally frustrated and adoring.
35. ‘Have you every considered learning how to lie? Oh Tyrion its like you don’t know Jon at all
36. ‘When enough people make false promised word’s stop meaning anything’ Well said Jon. You listening Donald?
37.. Is Tyrion going to trade his life for their allegiance? By the old gods and the new I hope not.
38.’ I don’t want to destroy our family I never have’ really Tyrion? Because your new queen might have something to say about that.
39. ‘Put an end to me’ you are standing in front of your murderous sister asking her to kill you, really not a great plan…
40.The axe does not fall. Does she hate him less that we thought?
41. They do both share a love of wine


42. And so Cersei’s pregnancy is discovered. That must be why she didn’t touch the wine
43. Jon and Dany are falling more in love with every passing second: ’has it occurred to you she might not have been a reliable source of information’ the witch who murdered my husband? Nah she seems legit. Good point Snow, good point.
44. ‘I will march my armies North to fight alongside you’ surely not? I know she wants her unborn child to live, but this is a rather pleasant outcome considering,well, her.
45. Back at Winterfell Littlefinger is breeding more discontent
46. Oh Sansa don’t fall for it. He wants you alone and unprotected. To use your pain for his advantage
47. However I do believe that Arya could kill Sansa. She has threatened as much after all.
48. Arya never wanted to be ‘Lady of Winterfell’ that I do know. However she is perfectly capable of killing a sister she believes ‘betrayed’ the family. judgemental much little Stark? #teamsansa


49. I love seeing Jon and Daenerys working together, it gives me goosebumps: ‘I am not coming to conquer the north, I am coming to save the north’.
50. Oh poor Theon, what a miracle you are still alive
51 ‘You always knew what was right’ and just like that he and Jon are brothers back at Winterfell. My heart is sore
52. ‘You’re a Greyjoy, and your a Stark’ WILL. NOT. CRY.
53. Theon is finding the hero’s clothes rather suit him after all.
54. His grin when the insubordinate sailor fails to knee him in his (non-existent) manhood is a beautiful, blood-covered picture.
55. Sansa is brooding back in the north. This can’t be good. Please don’t let the sisters kill each other Please please please.
56. ‘How do you answer these charges…LORD BAELISH!!!!!’
57. Can’t type – doing a happy dance!!! YES YES YES YES.
58. Did I mention YES.


59. ‘Which charges confuse you’ Sansa is FIERCE
60. ‘None of your were there’ – are we forgetting the three eyed raven formerly known as Bran?
61. I’m so happy right now I even like Bran
62. The student has become the master ‘ sometimes I play a little game…I’m a slow learner, but I learn.’
63. Killed with his own dagger. Revenge is sweet. Helps to have an assassin as a sister and an all-seeing brother.
64. Ah so Cersei’s true colours are revealed once more. No deal. Just more lies. Should have known.
65. ‘Let the monsters kill each other’ including you Cersei?
66. She has bought mercenaries with ELEPHANTS? I look forward to seeing that
67. Euron DIDN’T flee? Curveball.
68. She is threatening to kill JAMIE? She really has gone mad.


69. And so the Oathkeeper finally leaves his Queen Well done Jamie. Well done.
70. Sam finally returned North.
71. Sam is all of us in this moment: ‘I remember everything’ *smiles nicely and pretends to understand*
72. And now the true parentage is finally said OUT LOUD.
73. R+L=J
74. You wouldn’t be forgetting who drew your attention to this secret marriage of Jon’s parents which changes everything, would you Sam? WOULD YOU?
75.. We know the truth Gilly
76. Shame Rhaegar has Viscerys wig, but otherwise a beautiful wedding
77. Jon’s name is AEGON????
78.. This is a lot to take in, especially while watching him make love to his aunt


79. I can’t help but be pleased for them. Is that wrong?
80. Of course we can’t end happily, so we return to Eastwatch.
81. The dead have come. And they brought a dragon
82. Oh Viscerion how you’ve changed. *cries into laptop*


83. RUN TORMUND RUN
84. The wall has fallen, and the dead march on. Roll on Season 8. VALAR MORGHULIS
85. But if Dany dies we riot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7 – THE GOOD AND THE BAD – FROM ARYA TO TYRION

We are now halfway through Season 7 (where did the weeks go?), and so the time is ripe for a recap. Read on for the best and worst the season has offered so far to our friends (and enemies) in the seven kingdoms.

 

Arya

THE GOOD
The best season opener BY A MILE. Wiping the Freys off the Westerosi map once and for all was a long awaited masterstroke.

THE BAD
That Ed Sheeran scene was just embarrasing.

 

Bran

THE GOOD
Not applicable. Does not compute. Although if he keeps making Littlefinger freak out I may change my mind.

THE BAD
No remorse for killing Hodor and Summer, no real gratitude to Meera for dragging him home nearly single-handed…Oh and then once emo Bran re-entered his childhood halls he reminded his long lost sister of that time she was raped. Someone needs a lesson in brotherly love (not from Jaime though).

 

Brienne

THE GOOD
That battle with Arya! The Westerosi women are FIERCE.

THE BAD
Not enough of her so far, More of the lady knight please!

 

Cersei

THE GOOD
She has a brand new black-centric wardrobe and excellent taste in floor murals.

THE BAD
She has gone FULL DISNEY VILLAIN. So far she has killed three main characters and betrothed herself to a crazed pirate king, But she does it all with such style…

 

Daenerys

THE GOOD
She. Has, Finally. Reached. Westeros!
She has met Jon Snow!
THAT Dragon battle!

THE BAD
She has lost pretty must all of her allies, and Mr Snow is not keen on knee bending. Plus her Targaryen fierceness could very easily become despotic behaviour…don’t fly to the dark side Khaleesi!

 

Davos

THE GOOD
He seems pretty happy with his new King. He even cracked a grammar joke – Stannis would be proud.

THE BAD
While I like to see the Onion Knight smiling for a change, I kind of miss gruff Davos. Is that wrong? Plus he seriously needs to work on his King’s introduction.

 

Jaime

THE GOOD
Apart from Bronn’s friendship (which he pays for) and the occasional night with his sister (ew) Jaime’s life is spiralling in a downward direction what with his children’s murders, sister’s madness, kingdom at war etc…

THE BAD
Finding out his sister framed his brother.
And trying to kill the mother of dragons in front of her FULLY GROWN DRAGON. Smart Jamie. Really smart.

 

Jon

THE GOOD
He is still the King in the North and he hasn’t died (again). Plus Dani allowed him to mine for dragonglass, which makes him ever so slightly more prepared for impending doom.

THE BAD
Aforementioned impending doom in the form of white walkers.
Plus he and Sansa aren’t exactly best friends.
Oh, and the Mother of Dragons is insisting he BEND THE KNEE.
A walk in the park, eh Jon?

 

Sansa

THE GOOD
Jon left her in charge of Winterfell – finally Sansa has some power!
And she is proving a dab hand at performing her duties as Lady Stark.
And let’s not forget the STARK REUNION.
THERE ARE THREE STARKS IN WINTERFELL!!!! BE STILL MY BEATING HEART

THE BAD
Littlefinger.
And that reunion with Bran was pretty traumatic, making her relive her wedding night rape. Screw you Bran.
Finally there is the rather irksome point that one sibling is king in the north, one is a ninja warrior and one is a psychic-raven-thing. Sibling rivalry is tough.

 

Tyrion

THE GOOD
He is the Hand of the Queen! And the reunion with Jon was a thing of beauty.

THE BAD
Alllll of his plans have gone wrong. Ooops.

 

To end on a bright note, we can all now look forward to a sand snake free season – so that’s a relied for everyone right?

VALAR MORGHULIS.

JON SNOW’S TOP 5 MOMENTS OF SEASON 6 – GAME OF THRONES COUNTDOWN

Rally the realm – only 2 days to go until we return to the bloody shores of Westeros, where the gods are old and new, where fear cuts deeper than swords, and where, inevitably, all men must die.

To celebrate the start of season 7, on each of the 7 days (see what I’m doing here) leading up to our return to the 7 kingdoms I will recap a character’s best bits of season 6 – a year when kings died, fire reigned and a girl was definitely someone.

*Season 6 spoilers – obviously*

Here are JON SNOW’S TOP 5 MOMENTS of season 6

JON LIVES OK?

We all cried at the end of season 5. We all thought he HAD to come back. They all lied through their teeth for a year. And then this happened…

JON’S JUSTICE

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. I truly believe if Olly had shown the slightest sign of repentance Jon would have shown mercy, but the short sighted killers had to go, and Jon conducted his duty with his own sword, as his father had taught him.

JON’S BATTLE

This battle of the bastards. Good against evil. Snow against Snow. RIP Wun Wun. Notice the use of the Mormont shield, and that Sansa only has to look at Jon for him to stay his fists and leave the Bastard of Bolton to be dealt with at her hands. The hunted Starks become the victorious residents of Winterfell once more.

JON’S IDENTITY

R+L=J

JON’S KINGSHIP

Listen to Lyanna Mormont. She is wise. All hail the King in the North! (Sorry Robb).

ARYA’S TOP 5 SEASON 6 MOMENTS – GAME OF THRONES COUNTDOWN

Rally the realm – only 4 days to go until we return to the bloody shores of Westeros, where the gods are old and new, where fear cuts deeper than swords, and where, inevitably, all men must die.

To celebrate the start of season 7, on each of the 7 days (see what I’m doing here) leading up to our return to the 7 kingdoms I will recap a character’s best bits of season 6 – a year when kings died, fire reigned and a girl was definitely someone.

*Season 6 spoilers – obviously*

Here are ARYA STARK’S TOP 5 MOMENTS of season 6

ARYA’S TRAINING

Fear cuts deeper than swords, although eyesight would help. Not to worry – a girl still has her list and is adapting rather nicely to the dark…

ARYA’S TEST

A girl is not no one, and can’t kill just anyone. They need to deserve it – hence the list. Get with the programme Jaquen.

ARYA’S FRIEND

This is Arya’s first real friend since she and Gendry parted ways ( not including ‘The Hound’ as that one is a little complicated. Sure this friendship doesn’t last long due to – seemingly inevitable – murder, but it is still a nice change to see Arya receive some kindness, rather than being beaten with a stick/stabbed in the stomach.

 

ARYA V THE WAIF

She had it coming.

ARYA THE ASSASSIN

As did he. Pie anyone?

CERSEI’S TOP 5 SEASON 6 MOMENTS

Rally the realm – only one week to go until we return to the bloody shores of Westeros, where the gods are old and new, where fear cuts deeper than swords, and where, inevitably, all men must die.

To celebrate the start of season 7, on each of the 7 days (see what I’m doing here) leading up to our return to the 7 kingdoms I will recap a character’s best bits of season 6 – a year when kings died, fire reigned and a girl was definitely someone.

*Season 6 spoilers – obviously*

 

Here are CERSEI LANNISTER’S TOP 5 MOMENTS of season 6

YES most of these are from the final episode. NO I have no SHAME (nudge nudge) because that episode was EPIC for the Lannister Lioness.

 

CERSEI CHOOSES

After the events of of last season she – wisely – decides to stay the hell away from the sparrow and his minions, and enlists her handy friend Franken-Mountain to really hammer the point home – the lady is not for shaming.

CERSEI HAS A CUNNING PLAN

Tommen really is a brat. He has everything, fights for nothing, then turns on his – admittedly difficult – mother by outlawing her one viable escape from the sparrows – SHAME TOMMEN. Luckily Cersei isn’t out of of options because unlike Tommen she has a mind of her own. A rather bloodthirsty one, perhaps, but still.

CERSEI PLAYS WITH FIRE

RIP Margaery…and HALF THE CITY. If at first you don’t succeed – bring the house down. Apparently. The music and direction of this sequence is stunning. They say Nero drank while Rome burned – you a fan Ms Lannister?

CERSEI > SHAME

I would feel sorry for the Septa, were it not patently obvious she enjoys tormenting her ‘sinful charges’. As it is I’m rather team Cersei on this one. Though I would be the first to scream if left in a room with the zombie Mountain from the black lagoon. What is under that helmet? Do we want to know? Probably not.

CERSEI RULES OK?

She has no more children left to love. Her cheekbones must now be her only redeeming feature. That and her thirst for power at any cost – Cersei dons her very best ‘Disney Villain’ attitude and takes the throne.

SANSA’S TOP 5 SEASON 6 MOMENTS – GAME OF THRONES COUNTDOWN

Rally the realm – only one week to go until we return to the bloody shores of Westeros, where the gods are old and new, where fear cuts deeper than swords, and where, inevitably, all men must die.

To celebrate the start of season 7, on each of the 7 days (see what I’m doing here) leading up to our return to the 7 kingdoms I will recap a character’s best bits of season 6 – a year when kings died, fire reigned and a girl was definitely someone.

*Season 6 spoilers – obviously*

 

Here are SANSA STARK’S TOP 5 MOMENTS of season 6.

Sansa and the Knight in Shining Armour

I’m not ashamed to admit this made me cry. So many echoes of her mother are present in this moment. She is remembering the lady she used to be, while retaining the steeling inner core honed through years of  hell. All hail Lady Stark, and the LADY that saves her! It feels rather fitting that after being abused by men for five seasons it was a woman who set her free. Valar Morghulis.

Sansa and Snow

I honestly thought this day might never come. A Stark reunion has so often been teased but then cruelly thwarted at the last moment. I may have jumped up and down. A lot.

Sansa Shuts Down the Mockingbird

This was beautifully played. I am choosing to ignore the hints that Littlefinger will turn Snow and Stark on each other, because firstly I think she knows better than to trust his words, and secondly I CANNOT COPE WITH THAT. Her icy rejection of his excuses, apologies and overtures of friendship are incredibly satisfying because she is right – either he threw her into Ramsey’s clutches knowingly (VILLAIN) or he didn’t know (STUPID FOOL). Ether way that is one pretty big hole to dig your way out of…

Sansa Slays

Yes I know it’s gruesome but it is oh so satisfying. Poetic too, that the sadistic psychotic hunter is killed but his own hounds. From hunter to hunted, eh Ramsey?

Sansa + Snow = Winter (Naturally)

I’m not all that sure she needs to apologise for saving the day, especially when she offered her help and he turned it down (grrrr). However the brother/sister (or should that be cousin) bonding is heartwarming, and poor old dead Ned did promise Winter, so that’s one thing the Starks got right.

GAME OF THRONES – WHO WILL SURVIVE SEASON 7?

All Men Must Die – this we have learned season upon season in the realms of Westeros. From poor old dead Ned to the deep fried Queen Margaery we have lost some true gems of the seven kingdoms. Of course we have also seen some well deserved gruesome exits – who can blame Sansa for smiling as the hounds turned on their master? And is if it is wrong to cheer when a sadistic king who tortures whores for fun is poisoned at his own wedding, well then I don’t want to be right. The question, now that Season 7 is approaching at dragon speed, is who will survive the the year, and who will die before the credits roll?

Here are my predictions for the survivors and casualties of the upcoming season.

 

MOST LIKELY TO DIE IN TRULY GRUESOME GOT STYLE

1.Cersei

Because once you go full Disney villain you don’t get a happy ending.

2.Grey Worm and/or Missandei

Because it would be oh so Romeo and Juliet, except for, you know, the eunuch problem.

3.Brienne

Because someone we adore is bound to die, and she is just as noble as Eddard – and look how well things turned out there.

4. The Mountain

Clegane Bowl. It’s gotta happen. And we all know who’s gotta win – pass him a chicken. No! Make that two…

5. Littlefinger

Because Sansa is pretty badass now, and he has played her one too many times. Plus he is trying to divide the Starks – and if we have established one thing, its that Jon Snow doesn’t suffer fools. Hear that Olly?!

 

MOST LIKELY TO SURVIVE THE SEASON

1.Jon Snow

Because he can’t die twice. He isn’t Buffy Summers for crying out loud.

2.Daenerys

Because dragons.

3. Tyrion

Because we would riot. Plus I think he will die saving everyone next season *sob*.

4. Jorah

Because Dani told him not to die. And he would rather disembowel himself that disobey her. Plus now that he has greyscale his death would be way too predictable

5. Melisandre

Because the night is dark and full of terrors, and her mysterious story doesn’t even feel half told. She will have a chance to redeem herself in the war to come.

Here end my predictions. Valar Morghulis fellow Thrones fans. We meet again when winter has come – in July.

THE 10 MOST ANNOYING GAME OF THRONES CHARACTERS

In just a few short months the world of Westeros will once again grace our screens.

What the war to come will bring we cannot tell …except that many beloved and hated characters will surely die in increasingly grisly ways – it is known.

Beloved heroes such as good old dead Ned fall victim to George R R Martin, but then so do deliciously evil dogs like the late and not-so-great Bastard of Bolton.

To celebrate our much anticipated return to the seven kingdoms here is my definitive list of the ten MOST ANNOYING inhabitants of the realm. Not necessarily the villains of the piece in every instance, but certainly protagonists for whom the god of death would be wise to hurry the hell up, if he hasn’t called already.

Robyn Arryn

The breastfeeding brat from the Vale. Lover of moon doors, Littlefinger, and most of all, himself. He couldn’t make the bad man fly (praise the gods), but he could display bad judgement at every turn, and a wilful disregard for snow sculpture. The cad.

Joffrey

As well as being a psychotic spoilt brat (I’m sensing a theme here – parenting skills must be pretty dire in Westeros) Joffrey boasted: lack of empathy, sadism and an arrogant entitlement, which sever to render him the most slappable resident of King’s Landing – which explains why not only did our beloved imp sock it to his royal highness once, but twice. On behalf of each an everyone of us, I thank you sir.

Shae

Oh Tyrion. You are afraid your despotic daddy will kill me ? Just because he is all powerful and has said repeatedly that he will? Don’t worry my lion, I will kill them all through sheer wishful thinking and my collection of floaty dresses. And if he does come for us? I will willfully misunderstand your attempts to save my life and sleep with your beloved papa. Because that’s how Shae rolls.

 

Stannis

I applaud the man’s appreciation of grammar, but COME ON. You have Davos on one hand, and a red witch on the other. It’s pretty obvious who you should be listening to. But no. You burn your own daughter alive on the advice of a lady in red .Not exactly majestic behaviour my liege, and your sorry end could have been avoided had you applied your not inconsiderable intelligence to matters of life and death instead of semantics. Just a suggestion

The Sand Snakes

I am including Ellaria in this, because lets face it with their lack of characterisation in the series they are all pretty interchangable. in the books these women are enigmatic ninjas. In the show they are foolish b-movie porno wannabes. Thank the lord Olenna showed up to get them in line. Oh and killing Oberyn’s brother because he didn’t wanted to slaughter an innocent girl? Waaaaaay too far guys. Not cool.

Game of Thrones game of thrones hbo ellaria sand indira varma GIF

Olly

What the hell Olly?! Your family is killed so you turn on the man who took you in and tried to make peace in the land? No child was ever so hated. By the old gods and the new, your ending was deserved.

Loras Tyrell

Apparently all the Tyrell brains go to the women of the clan. Margaery becomes Queen and warns brother to be more subtle in his illicit trysts but no, he plays right into Cersei’s hands. Without his weapons the captive knight of the flowers is merely a wilted rose for Margaery to tiredly rescue from the Sparrow’s clutches even as she too is in the talons of the faith militant due to his failure to heed her warnings. Not the brightest torch in the castle then.

The Waif

What in seven hells is her problem? From the very first she marks Arya as a target, waxing lyrical on how a girl is not up to the challenge. Then she giddily rushes off to assassinate her rival, whom she had been PROMISED she could kill, meaning she has asked in advance for this extra special treat? A girl is not amused.


Tommen

The boy’s lack of spine is infuriating. He won’t stand up to anyone. Not even a crown upon his his little head gives him the power to rescue his beloved wife, or to stand up to his own mother, or even to stand up FOR his mother after mr faith militant himself parades her naked through the streets! As a king the boy wonder is dead flop (pun intended – too soon?). Margaery has more gumption in her little finger.

Bran

Hold the door

Hold it yourself you disobedient entitled lordling *sob*

Technically a hero of the piece, so this choice is perhaps controversial, but hear me out. If he hadn’t climbed the wall against his mum’s wishes he wouldn’t have fallen. If he hadn’t sent Rickon away he might have lived. If he hadn’t disobeyed the three eyed raven then his most loyal protectors, Summer and Hodor, would still be growling and Hodoring respectively.  In fact Hodor would have retained all his marbles and still be named Willis. FOR SHAME BRAN.


Here ends the official record of ye moste irritating inhabitants of yonder seven kingdoms.

Valar Morghulis. All men must die, but some deserve their fate more than others.

5 REASONS WHY BIG LITTLE LIES WAS UNMISSABLE

I did not expect to like this show, let alone to be so gripped by it that come the finale I was glued to my screen clutching a glass of red with my nails bitten to the quick.  I was prejudiced by the ‘Girly’ (how I hate that word) book covers, and assumed the show would be sugary sweet and a tad sickening.

Boy was I wrong.

Here are 5 reasons why the show was, in fact, hide-behind-the-sofa scream-at-the-screen incredible:

1 The focus on female friendships

The women are the storytellers here, and the narratives are revealed by them, as and when they choose. Why do Celeste and Madeline so readily embrace Jane into their elite friendship group? Simply because Jane stopped her car upon seeing another woman in difficulty. A chance encounter is the start of their friendship, and the instrinsic feeling we have sometimes upon meeting a fellow human being that this is person is a friend. It can’t be explained, and no one tries to here. Madeline decides that Jane=friend and embraces her whole-heartedly, defending her from the wolves at the school gates. The dissection of the day over coffee (or something stronger) may seem self indulgent to the outside world, but in fact it is a strong coping mechanism. A problem shared becoming less of a problem, and more of a plan. The friendships here are gutsy and devoted – think less Gilmore Girls and more amazons armed with sharp tongues and chardonnay. And the odd gun.

2. The music

The moment I knew for sure that this was something truly special was when the credits of the first episode rolled and a PJ Harvey track blasted out of my speakers. Music sets the tone (quite literally) for the drama itself, and the soundtrack for this series has always been on point. It is like invisible theatrical scenery, heightening all the unsaid thoughts and feelings week by week.

3. The cast

Stars of subastance:

Nicole Kidman’s strong Celeste beaten down to the quiet fragile flower that blooms in public but cowers behind closed doors.

Resse Witherspoon’s perfectionist woman scorned determined to fight the good fight and only cry when no one can see

Shailene Woodley’s troubled secret-keeper, desperate for confidants but scared of secrets she needs to share.

A cast of superwomen. I should have known this would be something special when I saw their names on the posters . Someone give them all Emmys for crying out loud.

4. Hard-hitting issues

The problems these women share are not small . This is not a schmaltzy happy ever after small town drama.

Jane is dealing with the aftermath of a brutal rape,  and fears that her son, the product of the rape, could be guilty of the violent accusations levied at him by other mothers, because of his genetic code.

Madeline’s first love left her and her baby to fend for themselves, then 16 years later moved back to town with his young, bohemian beautiful wife (the impeccable Zoe Kravitz) and their new new child, who JUST HAPPENS to be the same age as her first child with her new husband. And yet he can’t understand why she is so upset whenever she sees him. Th past back to haunt her in human form.

Finally Celeste’s happy marriage is a lie, with domestic violence rife at the root. This is dealt with the delicately and is never over simplified. Is there love in their marriage? Sure. Does she fight back? Yes. But the extent of the physical and emotional abuse is drip-fed to the viewer until we are screaming at her to run for her life.

5. The finale

So many times you invest body and soul (and many hours of your life) into a TV series, only for the ending to be a damp predictable squib barely worthy of air time. The butler did it. It was all a dream. Or in the case of LOST: ‘we never had a plot – eat that suckers’.  So as I made myself comfortable for the series conclusion it was with a fair amount of trepidation that it would not live up to it’s own high standards of storytelling. I needn’t have worried.

*spoilers following – you have been warned*

I had guessed that one of Celeste’s cherubic twins would be for Amabella’s abuser – if a child witnesses abuse it becomes normalised so it was not far-fetched for at least one of the husband-from-hell’s progeny to emulate the behaviour so regularly displayed by his father.

I  had also predicted that Perry would prove to be Jane’s rapist. We knew from her tale that the perpetrator was a groomed professional who switched from nice as pie to psychopath next door in less than 60 seconds. Add that clue to the fact that he and Jane had NEVER BEEN IN THE SAME ROOM TOGETHER and it looked certain. I loved that this truth was never spoken aloud. Jane’s face upon meeting him again said everything the women needed to know, and it seemed fitting that it was the women that took him down en masse.

The only plot point I could not foresee before the big reveal was the identity of the murder victim.  I wanted it to be Perry – no one deserved the gruesome end more after all! But I was scared that Celeste or Jane would be in the body bag, as so many abuse victims are only free from their abusers in death. I was so relieved to be wrong on this count, and oddly satisfied that Bonnie gave the final push. Defending the women that scorned her for her husband’s actions showed her goodness and worthiness more than any dinner party ever could. When push came to shove she was one of them.

Even though I guessed 2 out of the 3 big reveals, I was left satisfied rather than disappointed. I had not guessed the answers because they were spelled out, but because they made sense. This was not a dumbed-down ending, but a finale for which the foundations had already been  laid, as far back as episode one.

The show may be called ‘Big Little Lies’ but at it’s heart it was about stone cold truths, and the friendships that allow them to be revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

WHY WE NEED MORE GIRLS IN TV GALAXIES

Everyone was telling me I would love it. It seemed to come up in conversation, and people couldn’t believe that I hadn’t added it to my science fiction binge list already.

So finally I caved, like the weak-willed TV addict I am, and decided to give ‘The Expanse’ a go.

On paper it looked like the perfect show for me: intellectually stimulating sci-fi, heavy on the politics and less concerned with prosthetics-based aliens. IMDB describes it as sci-fi meets detective novel meets conspiracy drama.

I managed two episodes.

Surprised? So was I. But while intellectually and visually stimulating, this futuristic show was incredibly backward in one very important way: women.

In the very first episode it becomes clear both the main characters are male, which I have no issue with. Some main characters are men, some are women, that isn’t the issue. My problem is not with the gender of the protagonists, but with the scarcity of women in the show, and how the few that are present are depicted.

Of the two (yes count them, TWO) female characters we  meet , one is merely a sexual partner for our wayward hero (and is unlikely to be making further appearances in the series based on the narrative) and one is the tough-cookie chief engineer (so far, so Voyager) who wastes little time before criticising her sole fellow female crew-mate. Pretty sure this soundly fails the Bechdel test.

Now things might improve in the following episodes – maybe the female villain we glimpse on occasion will become of greater importance, and maybe the beautiful errant daughter we have not met yet will be more than just arm candy for the heroes of the tale, but the point is by the end of episode 2 I didn’t care. I was already alienated (pardon the pun).

I had thought we were past this – with shows like Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse (anything by Joss Whedon) evening the gender divide in science fiction, and fantasy shows expanding the female reach in lands unknown. But maybe we haven’t come as far as I had thought.

When I was a mini geek girl glued to every Star Trek franchise going I had very few heroines to choose from, and allied myself with every Deanna Troi or Jadzia Dax going, eager to follow the narratives of people like me, to see my own gender included, even if only in a small way. The Expanse gave me that same desperate feeling.

Now there is no problem in having all-male shows, don’t get me wrong. But science fiction has been male-centric since its inception, and I don’t think it is asking too much to include women in the vastness of the space they inhabit. Think of the stories that could be told if women were more than pawns, sex toys or 2D villains.

But for now at least, it seems for every Buffy the Vampire Slayer, their is still a girl getting bitten. For every Cersei Lannister, there is still a Deanna Troi, sipping hot chocolate and begging to be called upon.

Maybe, next time the apocalypse comes, take a leaf out of Whedon’s book, and beep HER instead of HIM.