Unbelievable on Netflix is an Outstanding Crime Drama Series

After a young woman is accused of lying about a rape, two female detectives investigate a spate of eerily similar attacks in the new eight-part series on Netflix, Unbelievable.

This exceptional crime drama is inspired by true events and stars Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever.

It’s a shocking and close up look at the difference it can make to a woman’s life when a reported sexual assault is treated with compassion and understanding rather than doubt.

Warning: there are some terrifying scenes that most women could identify as being the stuff of nightmares.

Watch the trailer.

Watch it on Netflix now.

Read a review.

The Memoir ‘Once More We Saw Stars’ by Jayson Greene

I listened to Jayson Greene on a podcast a while ago and noted to one day read his memoir, Once More We Saw Stars. With young children, it’s not the type of book I’d usually put on my reading list but there was something in the way he spoke about his experience that made me want to push past my discomfort and read it.

When the story begins, two-year-old Greta Greene is sitting with her grandmother on a park bench in Manhattan when a brick crumbled from a windowsill overhead, striking her. She’s rushed to hospital but dies shortly after, leading Greene and his wife Stacy into the unimaginable.

I found it unbearable at times but also felt a strange sense of commitment – if he could put such honesty and rawness out there, I had an obligation to read it. It’s a story about grief, loss, hope, healing, love, and the fragility of life.

As he tells The Guardian: “Trauma is a rip in your understanding of the universe… The idea that you can prepare for trauma is wrong. You can’t. Trauma is the unforeseen and the terrible. I think people are drawn to stories in which terrible things happen because in some ways they are one of the most proven mechanisms we have in making sense of the world and making sense of our emotions.”

Read a review of Once More We Saw Stars.

Buy it wherever you get good books.

Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein

Untouchable is the inside story of the spectacular rise and fall of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In the 90 minute documentary, former employees, friends, reporters, and a handful of his accusers detail how Weinstein rose to power and then exploited it over decades.

It’s a chilling account of a man who stopped at nothing to get what he wanted and how his grotesque ways were common knowledge to those in the industry.

Watch the trailer.

Read a review of Untouchable.

Watch it on Hulu or BBC Two.

‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ by Taffy Brodesser-Akner – A Book That Nails Modern Love and Marriage

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner‘s is the hilarious, powerful and brilliantly observed book I’m recommending to all my friends.

Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and this is her first novel (she’s well-known for her celebrity profiles).

It’s a satirical novel about marriage, divorce, and modern love. Maria Semple describes it best: “From its opening pages, Fleishman is in Trouble is shrewdly observed, brimming with wisdom and utterly of this moment. Not until its explosive final pages are you fully aware of its cunning ferocity. Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page-turner with heft.”

Try and avoid reading too much detail about it as there will no doubt be spoilers.

Read a review of Fleishman is in Trouble and buy it where you get good books.

Parents and Teens Will Find Common Viewing Interest with ‘The Hunting’

Looking for a way to connect with your moody teen? Sit down together for some rather confronting family time viewing with The Hunting, a compelling Australian drama that follows the lives of four teenagers and their teachers and families in the aftermath of a nude teen photo scandal.

Starring Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh, this four-part series expertly tackles themes of misogyny, online exploitation, sexuality, and sexualisation.

I hope there are more shows to help me navigate this kind of thing when my now (mostly) sweet and innocent young children hit their tween/teen years.

The Hunting is on SBS Thursdays at 8.30pm or you can watch on SBS On Demand.

The Sleepwalkers Podcast Forces Your Eyes Wide Open

I’m about halfway through the Sleepwalkers podcast and loving it, though it’s quite terrifying. It’s is about the effect of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology on all aspects of human life – from dating to health, creativity, deflecting potential terrorists, and more.

Hosted by Emmy and Peabody Award winner Oz Woloshyn and co-hosted by Karah Preiss, former host of The Huffington Post science show “Talk Nerdy To Me”, the podcast reveals the fundamental implications of AI and how we can leverage it without letting it take over completely.

Woloshyn interviews top tech executives, politicians and authors to unpack the advantages, challenges and surprises associated with today’s AI revolution.

Listen to the Sleepwalkers trailer and download all the episodes wherever you get your podcasts.

The Bold Type Season 3 is Female, Frivolous and Fun

The upside of spending a few days indoors feeling like crap is that I got to watch back-to-back episodes of The Bold Type.

Dubbed as a Sex and the City for a new (woke) generation, it is light entertainment – there were many raised eyebrows from my husband who repeatedly asked ‘What on earth are you watching?’ – but it also has some substance.

The Bold Type follows the lives of three twentysomething best friends who work at a glossy women’s magazine, Scarlet. While the series has been acknowledged for tackling issues like racism, sexuality, fertility and #MeToo, the characters live in a shiny and unrealistic world, wear beautiful clothes, always look fresh, and don’t seem to do much work, but that’s what makes it fun and sometimes, that’s all we need in a show.

This article about the most unrealistic parts of the series made me laugh out loud.

Watch The Bold Type on Stan.

All Australians Need to Watch the Adam Goodes Documentary ‘The Final Quarter’

The Final Quarter documentary about retired Sydney Swans footballer and Indigenous leader, Adam Goodes, shines a much-needed light on racism in Australia.

Goodes became a lightning rod for heated public debate and widespread media commentary that divided the nation during the final three years of his playing career. He publicly called out racism, was named Australian of the Year, was accused of staging for free kicks, and performed an on-field war dance celebration. The cheers became boos as AFL crowds turned on him.

The genius behind this documentary is that it is all archival footage – what you see is what was aired at the time so leaves little room for interpretation/excuses. Watch it and weep.

The Final Quarter is directed by Ian Darling and you can watch it now on 10play.

A Backlog of Books, Podcasts, TV, Movies, and Food

Well, the year is half over and I’ve set myself a new financial year resolution (though not related to finance) to keep on top of Very Good Things. Here are a few highlights since my last, long ago post in March:

BOOKS
Conversations with Friends
by Sally Rooney – her second book, Normal People, swept me away so I had to read her first book. I didn’t want it to end.
Becoming by Michelle Obama – this was a book club pick and wasn’t on my personal list to read but I loved it and became quite teary by the end to think who has taken their place in the White House.
Can’t wait to read Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, available in July in Australia.

PODCASTS
Clementine Ford on Wilosophy – she’s warm, open and intelligent and he really struggles with this interview but credit to him, he openly admits it.
Fresh Air with Terry Gross – the queen of interviews talks with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (13 May) and Christina Applegate (5 June).

TV
Chernobyl
– HBO’s five-part series is chilling.
The Letdown season 2 – the Barossa episode is hilarious.
Fleabag season 2 – just when I thought nothing could top the first season, along comes a second and it’s perfect. Waller-Bridge is also a writer on the brilliant Killing Eve.
Easy season 3 – I particularly loved the episodes about the couple who are navigating an open marriage.
I’m currently watching the second season of Big Little Lies and could possibly be enjoying it more than the first.

MOVIES
Free Solo – a documentary that will have you picking your jaw up off the floor.
Always Be My Maybe – after Chernobyl, light comedy was in order and this was funny, sweet and easy viewing. Worth watching just for Keanu.

FOOD
Everything on Fad Free Kitchen – a shameless plug for a site I do with my dietitian friend that’s all about quick and healthy food using versatile, everyday ingredients, but honestly, I rarely cook from anywhere else.
Kindred restaurant in Darlington – order the cabbage with pine nuts, currant, pecorino and buttermilk dressing to go with your pick of their excellent pastas.

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