‘Feed me, Seymour’ – Little Shop of Horrors, 1986/2012

Hello again. I know it’s been a little while, but now I am no longer on my summer holidays and I am back at work now, so I am back!

Anyway, last night I was at a book release for Daisy Butcher’s new book Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Botanical Gothic which is part of the British Library Tales of the Weird collection. Part of this release was to see the Director’s cut of Little Shop of Horrors which sticks to the main plot of the musical, rather than the happy ending that we have all originally seen. This cut was released in 2012, nearly 30 years after the original release. Let’s just say… it’s REALLY different.

That smile… doesn’t anyone want to feed Audrey II? – Little Shop of Horrors, Warner Bros, 1986/2012


So why a director’s cut? Apparently, during production, the director (Frank Oz) shot a 23-minute ending based on the off-Broadway musical’s ending. Unfortunately, after audiences at the preview screenings did not react positively to it, the ending had to be rewritten and re-shot for the theatrical release with a happier ending. Therefore, the Director’s cut is scarier than the original cut. For one, people die. I won’t say which people. But people. Audrey II is much more evil than she… he… it? was before. In fact, and if you’ve seen the play version this will be no surprise, Audrey II duplicates. A lot. Let’s put it this way – humanity does not win. According to Oz and Warner Bros. this is the intended ending of the movie. I’d love to know why audiences needed the happy ending. This ending made much more sense to me. It was 23 minutes of footage I had never seen, which honestly brought the movie to life even more. There’s no way we could currently win against Audrey II, especially Seymour and Audrey (the original) who have no powers to defeat it.

You can find Little Shop of Horrors on Prime Video, and you can find Daisy’s book here (for a discounted price at the moment!).

Have you seen the original or director’s cut of Little Shop of Horrors? Which do you prefer? Leave a comment down below!

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‘I am a match for any man’ – The White Queen, 2013

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope we all got over ‘Blue Monday’ (the 3rd Monday in January – apparently it’s the most depressing day of the year) and didn’t have too much snow during the week! I’ve had an up and down week, but I am back to feeling better! Hooray!
This week’s tele came around a little differently than normal. I saw a trailer for the new STARZ tv show The Spanish Princess

The Trailer for The Spanish Princess – The Spanish Princess, STARZ, 2019

… and then remembered that there were other STARZ shows in the vein of Reign (semi-historical romance dramas – right up my street!) So I went out of my way to find copies of The White Queen (this weeks review) and The White Princess (a future review). Without further ado, let me tell you about The White Queen!

King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth, expecting another child. Was it a girl? – The White Queen, BBC/STARZ, 2013

The White Queen is set in the War of the Roses – a time when Britain was divided by two houses both vying for power. It revolves around the women who were influential in it; Elizabeth Woodville of York – who marries Edward to become Queen, Margaret Beaufort of Lancaster – Mother to Henry Tudor, and Anne Neville, who changed sides from York, to Lancaster, to York – wife of Richard III – each manipulating things to go their own way. Although the series is called The White Queen, it adapts 3 of Phillipa Gregory’s books – The White Queen (focused on Elizabeth), The Red Queen (focused on Margaret) and The Kingmaker’s Daughter (focused on Anne Neville). It begins in 1464, 9 years after the beginning of the war, and finishes in 1485. With no spoilers to be wary of, as it’s actual history please find a brief recap of the history here.


King Richard III and his wife Queen Anne Neville – The White Queen, BBC/STARZ, 2013

People should know by now, I love a good historical drama. See my reviews of shows like Outlander. Give me a period outfit, with corset and braided hair any day!
I love the conflict in them, and kind of feel like I’m learning stuff all at the same time. As with a lot of these shows, things move through time quite quickly, and the adults don’t age – so their children end up looking the same age as they do. The acting is quite good, and I do feel immersed. I never find that STARZ shows have ‘bad’ acting. Sometimes eye-rolling plot, but the actors are never the reason for that. I am excited to watch the sequel, The White Princess and The Spanish Princess after that!

Have you seen The White Queen? What did you think Are you as into period dramas as I am?

Seb’s Top 10 of 2017/2018

Hi guys, the Man on the Silver Mountain here once again, this time I’m throwing something your way that’s a little different from when I usually turn up to help out the Librarian. As I’m sure she’s told you she’s been busy and more than a little sick.
I offered to help and she suggested I do something a little different with you; a top ten. Apparently you guys like me showing up occasionally enough that she thought maybe you’d like to know what I’ve been watching and enjoying over the end of last year and beginning of this one.

To preface the list, I was originally thinking of kicking off with best five and worst five but whilst I had loads of things I’ve enjoyed the only negatives I could really produce were Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Trek: Discovery, two of my favourite franchises historically that have been let down by lack lustre recent additions in my opinion, as a result though this turned into a much more positive top ten, listed below in no particular order.

Black Mirror

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Black Mirror, Channel 4/Netflix, 2011 – Present

I’m sure a load of you have already been watching Black Mirror. It’s an anthology show in the same vein as the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits from ages ago and that’s already a big plus in my book as I do love me some varied storytelling. More to the point though I like shows that have depth to them, either in terms of the subject matter they’re examining, subtext and secrets for fans to theorise on, or otherwise just a really solid plot to invest in; Black Mirror covers all three better than probably any other entry on this list purely thanks to its anthology format. Definitely worth a watch in my book if you haven’t already.

The Good Place

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The Good Place, NBC/Netflix, 2016 – Present

I love philosophy! I even considered heading to university as a mature student to study it. So when you’ve got a show like The Good Place, that pulls all of the philosophy I’ve enjoyed reading plus some more that I was only tangentially aware of, together as part of a hilarious and concrete plot it’s an instant win for me. Worth watching if you want to be entertained into learning something.

Librarian’s side note – Seb wouldn’t know about this one if I didn’t suggest one day we watch it. I’m so glad we did because we both love it to bits! Sometimes (!) I have good TV suggestions! 

Lucifer

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Lucifer, Fox/Amazon, 2016 – Present

I’m not at all religious but I find the various myths, legends and stories of religions fascinating, especially when re-worked intelligently into stories that use the resonant core of what made those religions so influential in their times, even up to the present in some cases, but can use that core to tell a different but no less engaging story. This is where Lucifer pops up on my radar, it’s smart, funny and balances the supernatural of the main character literally being the biblical Devil and the mundanity of the individuals he’s surrounded by. I especially enjoy this show for the thought that’s gone into considering angelic and demonic impressions of the universe; they know that there’s more beyond the mortal coil but they still have no real idea about what’s going on as God remains aloof and hidden even from them for the most part. Worth taking a look in my opinion if you want something light-hearted that may give you some stuff to think about afterwards.

My Hero Academia

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My Hero Academia, Funimation, 2016 – Present 

Now, I’m not really a huge anime fan. I can’t really say whether it’s the art style, the differences between the culture I’ve grown up in and the culture of the creators of most anime, or if it’s just something completely nebulous that will remain forever undefined, but I’ve just found that most anime just doesn’t hold my attention all that well even if more traditionally Western cartoons and animations aren’t a problem for me to sit and binge through. My Hero Academia though kept me hooked from beginning of season one through to the end of season two easily. The characters have depth, the plot examines some really interesting questions like “What does it mean to be a real hero?” or “How would society cope if 80% of the population were superhuman?”, and the pacing of the show seemed really good (unlike old school Dragon Balls Z one fight doesn’t take half a season to conclude). If you’re into anime and haven’t gotten around to watching this yet, or if like me you aren’t an anime fan, I’d suggest checking out My Hero Academia as I feel it has something for almost anyone whilst not forgetting what it is.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, BBC America/Netflix, 2016 – Present

Ah, Douglas Adams, the man who famously wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and who unfortunately passed away in May 2001, left us with more than just that one piece of well-known work. One particular piece was Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a tale about individuals granted with particular gifts by the universe for reasons no one can really understand. Enter Dirk Gently, one of these special individuals whose gift is to stumble through life solving problems whether he likes it or not. With a great cast including Elijah Wood and a very well-written and consistent script in spite it being written about the innately chaotic nature of the universe, my biggest complaint about this show was that there wasn’t more of it straight away. If you like Douglas Adams or otherwise just want something fun and quirky to watch this is what you’ve been waiting for.

The Expanse

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The Expanse, Syfy/Netflix, 2015 – Present

Who likes their really hard sci-fi? I do, and The Expanse is a great way to indulge my want for it. Set in our solar system a bit of a way into the future after humanity has colonised out as far as the asteroid belt, we follow three individuals as they traverse the difficult landscape of a solar system on the brink of collapse and chaos. I particularly how season one sees the characters we follow slowly find one another and how then the second season has a lot of fun with these well developed and fleshed out characters that we’ve been watching in isolation up until then. It tackles issues around class, political control, corporate interests vs those of the people and many others but does it in a way that’s neither particularly heavy handed nor so easy as to treat the viewer like a moron. If you like your more realistic zero-G scenes and like your solar system-spanning conspiracies this one’s for you.

Altered Carbon

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Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018

I love the cyberpunk end of sci-fi. Blade Runner is in my top five movies alongside movies like Cloud Atlas as well that has its cyberpunk moments in it too. I’m excited for more news on Cyberpunk 2077 and apparently so are a lot of others too. I haven’t seen the new Blade Runner sequel yet something I NEED to do but just haven’t had the time to get around to it just yet. So whilst I wait for an opportune moment to find my way back to Blade Runner how best to fill my time that with another sci-fi/cyberpunk show that gives us a grim but potentially possible vision of the future where human bodies are interchangeable, death is no longer an issue and rich corporations and their owners basically run the galaxy? There isn’t one; that question was purely rhetorical. With a great cast, a great looking world, an AI run, Edgar Allan Poe themed hotel, lots of nudity, violence and dystopian future vibes this is one that anyone can find something to enjoy in whilst the engaging murder-mystery-with-a-twist unravels before you at a good pace whilst establishing the universe and setting up for season two easily.

 

Rick and Morty

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Rick and Morty, Adult Swim/Netflix/Comedy Central, 2013 – Present

I have no doubt that most of you have watched this, I know the Librarian has talked to you guys about Rick and Morty before too, but I couldn’t escape adding this one on here. Considering this started out as a weird, satirical rip-off of Back to the Future, kicking off with a lot of cheap and shocking gags that were perfectly delivered, this show’s grown after season three into a much more cohesive story but without losing much of what it gained from season one and two. I know some people didn’t like the lack of certainty in the show from season one and season two where things seemed a little disjointed due to the universe-hopping nature of the show but especially after some of the big reveals and events in season three, I’d recommend going back and sticking with season one and two to get to season three as it all starts to fit together a bit more interestingly now. Otherwise, if you’re already into the show I’m preaching to the choir.

Sense8

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Sense8, Netflix, 2015 – 2018

The show from the Wachowskis that Netflix cancelled due to costs and lack of engagement on its second season despite it being so good and wrapping up so many things from the first season. Set in the modern day with a very limited sci-fi element in terms of the sensates themselves (individuals who are psychically linked as a cluster, able to communicate and share experiences over any distance) this is a show that contains a collection of stories from many perspectives all elegantly intertwined around a main, conspiracy plot. Considering that after the backlash from the fans over the shows cancellation we’re going to be getting a feature-length episode to tie off the remaining story arcs from season two, now’s a great time to go and watch the first two seasons.

Thor: Ragnarok

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Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2017

The only movie on this list because I don’t usually find myself watching movies, I don’t tend to have time to dedicate up to three hours or so compared to an hour for an episode of a TV show. I had to include the most recent Thor on this list though because the Thor sub-franchise within the MCU has had a rough time. Thor was an origin story, it did its job but wasn’t anything particularly special. Thor: The Dark World was mostly connective tissue for both the Avengers movies and as something to play with on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show for an episode or so. So with that said Thor needed some care and attention and he got it in spades from director Taika Waititi. Humourous throughout but still allowing for a plot built more around the vulnerabilities and humanity of the characters involved rather than the purely godly, super powerful nature of the characters AND still including all the connective tissue required for Avengers: Infinity War and beyond this movie was very well crafted. If you’re a fan of the MCU and haven’t seen this yet, aren’t really a fan of the MCU but want a superhero themed laugh, or if you’re somewhere in between I would recommend Thor: Ragnarok as a movie to have a fun couple of hours watching.

And that’s my list, I could go into honourable mentions but I think this list is long enough already. What are your opinions on the things I’ve been watching? Part of the fun of watching stuff like this is having a chat afterwards and I know your Librarian would love to know your thoughts.

In the meantime though if you’ve enjoyed going through the list, and maybe even watching some of my suggestions, I’d love to hear and if you’d like more from me find me on YouTube. Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from the Librarian if you guys enjoyed any of my suggestions.

What have you loved watching recently? Hated any of Seb’s picks? Loved each and every one? Leave a comment down below! 

What I’m Watching at the Moment – Autumn 2017

Hi boys and girls, just a quick one today as I’m having some laptop issues, so I’m having to try out my new tablet – someone remind me to get IT to come help me!
I’m watching a whole load of different series at the moment, so I thought I would give you guys a (very) brief insight into my thoughts for them all. Autumn is the time for new shows to come out, so I am so excited to wrap up warm, turn on the (fake) fire and sit with a ‘Soya Chai Latte’ to watch Netflix/Amazon/Sky etc.

Outlander, Season 3

Droughtlander is over and we finally have new Outlander. I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, the first half of this season has been slow. I am not the biggest fan of Brianna, though I love Roger, and feel like 20 years was way too far ahead to jump. I know the book fans will chastise me for saying it but creative lisense is a thing they’ve used before, and I think it was a missed opportunity to use it here. Catriona Balfe and Sam Heughan barely look a day over 30, so I don’t know how they’ll pull off them being in their 50s. I am also sad to see that Joe will no longer be in it, I thought he was a good character. Perhaps he can traverse the stones too.

Man in the High Castle, Season 2

I’m late to the party with this one, but I love Man in the High Castle. It’s an alt-history of WWII; What if Hitler had won the war? Season 1 ended with us finding out that the reality that Juliana etc. are from is not the “true reality” (our reality). It’s a real indepth look into History, and I really enjoy it. I am only one episode into Season 2, and really hope to finish it before Season 3 comes out, or I will be running from spoilers left, right and center!

Riverdale, Season 2

Holy crap, what an entrance! Finishing last season on the HUGE cliffhanger of ‘Will Fred Andrews make it?’, episode 1 of Riverdale Season 2 has not failed to deliver the goods. It’s still as dark as ever, Jughead still might become a Southside Serpent, Archie still might have a complete break down, and now there’s a mass murder on the loose? I’m so excited for what this Season brings us, and I am so happy that it came out way before a year – which is what happens with other shows usually – I just couldn’t wait that long! Plus… I needed my weekly fix of Cole Sprouse… Don’t judge me!

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 1

I am watching the new Star Trek as someone who watched little of the old ones; my excuse being I was too young when they came out, or they were way before my time. I have watched the Picard movies (Insurrection will always be my favourite) and I have also seen the new Star Treks by J.J. Abrams. I do feel like this is a step away from the usual Star Trek that we’re used to. I really like Jason Issacs, the big water bear and Slyvia Tilly but currently that’s about it.

The Gifted, Season 1

Oh Em Gee, this is amazing! I loved Logan, as seen in another review, and this is set in the same world (not 100% for sure on it, but it feels very much like the gritty Logan-verse.) I love Stephen Moyer, and have done since True Blood, when he played Vampire Bill! He plays a good protective character in TV shows. I am excited to see where this show goes, I love me a good X-Men anything, my ringtone is the 90s theme tune (Just like Eclipse in the show!)

That’s all I can think I’m watching (that’s interesting to you guys at any rate.) Perhaps I’ll make this a seasonally segment!

Have you seen any of these shows? What did you think of any of them – love or hate? I would love to know! Leave a comment down below!


‘Maybe we’ll all get to watch her slam her head into a five tonne slab of granite’ – Outlander Season 1 and 2

Firstly, let me apologise for being a day late with the post! My only excuse is that I have been so tired from binge watching Outlander – I just HAD to get it finished.
Yes, folks, you heard me correctly. I have been learning all about the Jacobite revolution! I have learnt a surprising amount about the Jacobites, and I actually wished it was taught in schools.
Now I can’t do this post without spoilers, so SPOILER ALERT!

 

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Claire and Frank Randall on their 2nd honeymoon to Scotland. – Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present

Outlander is a British-American adaptation of a series with the same name, based around a woman named Claire from the 1940’s who mysteriously travels back in time through the stone circle at Craigh na Dun. She’s on a 2nd honeymoon with her husband, Frank, getting to know him again after being separated during WWII. Travelling back in time obviously takes a huge toll on Claire, who has no idea where she is nor fits in at all – her clothes, her accent, her mannerisms all give away her 20th century-ness. Good thing that none of the men from the 18th century have any idea about that! They just think she’s a very weird woman.

 

 

 

Outlander 2014

Claire and Jamie, plus their ring (which I love!) They’re almost like star crossed lovers – Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present

Claire is forced to marry Jamie, to save herself from being handed over to the evil Black Jack Randall, a man who is an ancestor of Frank Randall, Claire’s 20th century husband. The only downside to her new marriage? She falls head over heels in love with Jamie. Which makes me happy, because I am ‘Team Jamie’!

 

Claire is tried as a witch, and Jamie (in an attempt to save her life) he tries to put her through the stones again. But she doesn’t go, because she loves Jamie more than she ever loved Frank. Their love spawns not one but two children, one whom unfortunately dies (as do lots of 18th century children) and one who is born in the 20th century, which sounds very confusing – you’ll just have to watch the 29 episodes and find out what on earth I’m on about!

Catch the trailer for Season 3 down below! – 

 

Have you seen Outlander? What did you think? Feel sorry for Frank or are you team Jamie 100%? Looking forward to the 10/11th of September for Season 3? Leave a comment down below! 

(Header Image: Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present)