Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I'm Still Here! 2016 Round-up

Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell in Victoria on PBS/ITV

Sorry I haven't been posting lately but my day job has been demanding too much time. So I have a bit of catching up to do. And thanks to Rabia, a concerned reader who wanted to make sure I was ok as my blog had gone quiet. So sweet and thoughtful of you Rabia. This post is for you!

I hope you all have been enjoying Victoria either on PBS or when it came out last year on ITV in the UK. I know they spiced up the Victoria/Lord Melbourne relationship a bit but when Rufus Sewell is playing Lord M...I am all for it! Jenna Coleman (Dr. Who, Death Comes to Pemberley) is adorable as the young Victoria. We'll never know what Victoria was really like but it seems there was enough material from her copious diaries for writer Daisy Goodwin to fill in the juicy bits.

Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes in Victoria on PBS/ITV
And the appearance of Tom Hughes as a rather hunky Prince Albert is not bad at all either. Yes, we know they were none of them this attractive, but at least they don't all have blow-dried hair like in The Tudors! :)

The Crown on Netflix

At least as splendiferous is The Crown on Netflix. When Victoria is over, I am going to go back and watch this again. My husband (known as The Squire on this blog) started binge watching this while I was away for the weekend and I had to catch up 3 episodes when I got back. So it has some universal appeal especially for a history buff. It is fascinating to take a peek behind the curtain of the lives of royals who are either still living (Clair Foy as QEII and Matt Smith as Prince Philip) or are in recent memory (Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret and Victoria Hamilton as The Queen Mum). John Lithgow is pretty amazing as Winston Churchill...I love the bath spilling episode!

Now, a quick catch up on other films I have enjoyed since last posting! Hidden Figures...just wonderful. Again, this is one my hubby really enjoyed as well. The audience was cheering and jeering at the screen. Awesome! 3 ladies with fabulous scientific minds that we should know about and an entertaining film to boot. I want to read the book as well. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.  How is that for a book title?

I know, 1986 does not really qualify for a historical period film but LION is great. I was sobbing at the a really great way. The little guy who plays Saroo as a boy (Sunny Pawar) is heart-breakingly adorable. The story of a lost child in India, adopted to Tasmania, Australia by a loving couple who subsequently finds his way back as an adult via Google Earth. Dev Patel as adult Saroo was fab as was Nicole Kidman as his Australian mum. I am not a big Nicole Kidman fan but she really did a great job with this one. And this one also is adapted from a book, again a true story, A Long Way Home.

Again, Sci-Fi is not my usual genre, and yet Arrival is one that I believe my readers would truly enjoy. It is about communication with aliens and will have you on the edge of your seat. No explosions and car chases, but lots of really different drama. Good different!

Sing Street is a real gem about a teenager in 1980s Ireland who starts a band to impress a girl. We caught this one on Netflix and both of my twenty-something sons sat down and watched it with us. "Where did you find out about this film Mom?"... Enough said.

Ron Howard's The Beatles: Eight Days a Week is a fabulous film. Only if you are a Beatles fan, but if you are this one is great!

Florence Foster Jenkins! I absolutely loved this one! Meryl Streep disappears into this over the top character and gives a really fun and yet tender portrayal of a fascinating lady. Hugh Grant shows some real acting chops and Simon Helberg (from Big Bang Theory) steals the show as her bewildered accompanist.

A few others worth mentioning were The Man Who Knew Infinity with Dev Patel as an Indian Mathematician in 1914 who makes his way to Cambridge England. You don't have to be an academic to appreciate this one but it is a well told and interesting story. On Netflix.

Shetland is a classic British murder mystery television series set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Not for everyone as it can be gruesome, but this one gripped me. Also on Netflix.

The Detectorists is a much lighter, quirky British show about metal detectorists in England. You have to like quirky for this one so of course I loved it!

On PBS, The Durrells in Corfu and Grantchester are both really good, and I have to catch up on Poldark as I haven't seen all of those. I still enjoy Call the Midwife, and there is a new season of Homefires coming to PBS along with To Walk Invisible about the Bronte Sisters.

There are many more that I want to see (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Jackie, Fences, Queen of Katwe).

Anyway, I better post this or it will be another month before I get back to the blog! Thanks again to Rabia for checking up on me! :)


  1. I too was getting worried. I've been busy moving my family back to south western Ontario so I hadn't checked your blog for sometime. When I saw August was your last post, I was concerned. Especially with the wonderful Crown and Victoria on TV! Welcome back and thanks for the suggestions.

  2. So glad to see a post. I've missed you. I LOVE Victoria and Crown. I'm dying to see Hidden Figures, Lion, and Arrival.

  3. Love the post! Netflix is in India! Can't wait to watch The Crown & Victoria. And Call The Midwife.And many more. Will try to get to the other suggestions as well.

  4. Welcome back--I've missed your posts! Yes, Crown was amazingly good and the casting was brilliant. Loving Victoria--I agree with all your points.

    Detectorists is wonderful--so quirky and charming and fun.

    Poldark was rough going, but I'm going to tune in for the next season.

    Can't wait for the latest Call the Midwife to be aired in the U.S.

    Any word on the next season of Outlander?

    I assume you'll be watching To Walk Alone about the Brontes.

  5. Hi Jenny, I'm glad you are well. I too loved Victoria and I really love Sally Wainwright's To Walk Invisible! I'm going to a talk with Sally Wainwright and Ann Disdale (Bronte Parsonage's curator) about how To Walk Invisible came to life. The talk is in Ilkley which isn't too far from where I live. Can't wait to see Sally again talking about the Brontes on the 19th April! Hope you enjoy To Walk Invisible! Let me know what you think of it. :)

  6. nice article great post comment information thanks for sharing

  7. Hi there Jenny! Hope you're well! Just thought I'd drop you a line to see if you had seen Doctor Thorne (Julian Fellowes presents) on Amazon Prime. I enjoyed it very much and think you would too. Thanks for the many wonderful posts :)

  8. I really enjoyed your 2016 round-up! It's always fascinating to see how Jane Austen adaptations continue to inspire and entertain.

  9. Your blog is a treasure trove of knowledge. I appreciate the depth of research and the clarity of your writing. Keep it up!

  10. Your writing is consistently top-notch. This post was informative, well-researched, and thoroughly enjoyable to read. Keep up the excellent work!




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