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.

Invisibilia Podcast Is Back With A Fifth Season And It’s Better Than Ever

One of my favourite podcasts, Invisibilia, is back with a fifth season and it’s so freaking good. Invisibilia – Latin for invisible things – fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently. It’s all about the unseeable forces that control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions.

Here’s how they describe the new season:

“This moment in our culture can feel fraught. From ‘fake news’ to the opioid crisis, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future. So this season, Invisibilia helps you cure your pain, discern truth from fiction, friend from foe, and find your true love with conviction. It’s your very own Emotional Survival Guide, featuring stories about brave people fighting at the extremes: a weatherman battling a deadly tornado, teenagers dying of Facebook posts, a woman conducting a bizarre dating experiment and a man who cuts off his finger and feels…. nothing. We can’t make life easier, but we can help it make more sense!”

Listen to the trailer.

Listen to NPR’s Invisiblia podcast now and I highly recommend you go back and listen to them all.

Ricky Gervais Will Divide Viewers in Bittersweet ‘After Life’

In desperate need of a palate cleanser after watching Leaving Neverland, Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix comedy series, After Life, delivered on the laughs and also, unexpectedly, on the tears.

Tony (Ricky Gervais) had a happy life and adored his wife, Lisa. But after she dies, Tony doesn’t want to go on living. He decides to say and do whatever he likes because being nice is simply a waste of time and energy, particularly when you don’t plan on living for much longer.

Suicide is a central theme in After Life and Gervais doesn’t hold back when it comes to cracking jokes about it, which will no doubt lead to criticism. But that’s his style so if you haven’t warmed to him through his other shows, you may not find this one amusing.

After Life is a six-part series created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and you’ll recognise much of the cast from other shows he’s starred in. Each episode runs for around 25 minutes.

Watch the trailer for After Life.

It’s on Netflix now.

The Dropout Podcast – The Downfall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos

Fraudster tales have made for excellent entertainment recently. We watched aghast as Billy McFarland brazenly duped cashed up millennials in Fyre and when terrifying Dirty’ John Meehan swindled wealthy Debra Newell out of a good chunk of her funds.

The Dropout podcast tells another jaw-dropping story of greed and deception. It chronicles the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos. Dubbed “the next Steve Jobs”, Holmes set out to revolutionise the healthcare industry and in doing so, became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. But it all well very downhill as she gradually got outed as a fraud.

The extraordinary part of this story is who she took along for the ride. Some wealthy,  powerful and seemingly very smart people got behind Theranos. This account of how Elizabeth Holmes fooled them all takes the old adage of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ to a whole new level.

Episodes are released weekly.

Listen to The Dropout.

Dirty John on Netflix – A Harrowing Real-Life Thriller

Online daters, beware. Netflix’s Dirty John will give you nightmares and could quite possibly contribute to an online dating activity plunge once the show gains traction.

Eric Bana plays “Dirty John” Meehan in this eight-part true crime anthology series. It’s based on the Los Angeles Times podcast of the same name. John is a seemingly charming man who turns out to be dirty in every sense of the word. He preys on vulnerable women through dating sites and wreaks havoc in their lives, stopping at nothing to extort money from them.

He meets cashed up interior designer, Debra Newell (Connie Britton), and within weeks has intertwined himself in her life and driven a wedge between her and her family. What unfolds is horrific.

Eric Bana and Connie Britton are superbly cast and the terror is unrelenting.

Watch the trailer.

Watch Dirty John on Netflix.

Post-Holiday Wrap-Up of Books, TV, Movies, Podcasts and Other Very Good Things

It’s February so there’s no denying the holidays are well and truly over. If you need a little distraction in your day, here are the best books, TV, movies, podcasts and other stuff I got stuck into over summer:

BOOKS
Normal People by Sally Rooney has been dubbed ‘a future classic’
Tin Man by Sarah Winman is about love, loss and loneliness
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love
Putney by Sofka Zinovieff is confronting, timely and beautifully written
Yuval Noah Harari has a knack for making sense of complex issues in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is not new but swept me away. Now an HBO show

TV
The Cry on ABC iView has tension to the max
Sex Education on Netflix will have you in stitches
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime is sweet and easy watching
Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix is wild an almost unbelievable

MOVIES
The Wife on iTunes really should get Glenn Close her first Oscar
Private Life on Netflix is a raw and honest look at infertility struggles
First Man is the best kind of blockbuster
What We Did on Our Holiday on Netflix is seriously funny and the kids steal the show

PODCASTS
Believed covers how Larry Nassar got away with so much for so long. Beyond shocking.
The Daily is a news podcast powered by New York Times journalism. Stand out episodes are 16, 19 November and 4, 5, 10, 11 December

OTHER STUFF
I can’t shut up about how spectacular Lord Howe Island is
Peanut Butter Oat bars are simple, healthy and make the best snack
I loved reading this recent travel article on my hometown of Newcastle – get there now

Netflix’s Fyre Documentary Has Delusion, Ego and Fraud on a Grand Scale

As I watched Netflix’s new documentary, Fyre, I couldn’t stop putting my hands over my eyes. For anyone that’s ever run an event and felt it going a little off the rails, Fyre will be anxiety-inducing. However, watching a complete disaster of this nature unfold is also hilarious and highly entertaining.

The documentary is a behind the scenes look at the infamous unravelling of the Fyre music festival that was created by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. The event was promoted as a luxury festival on a private island in the Bahamas. Millennials who paid outrageous sums of money for tickets were expecting bikini-clad supermodels, an A-List lineup and rockstar amenities. When they arrived the reality was very different.

Look, although it was very sad that many people got financially burnt, my heart really doesn’t bleed for those who willingly forked out up to $250,000 for tickets based on the promos they saw. Comedian, Ron Funches, nailed it when he said: “If you had thousands of dollars to go on a trip to see Blink 182, that’s on you… that is Darwinism at its finest.”

Watch the trailer.

Read a Fyre review.

Watch Fyre on Netflix.

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