Are Reality Shows Dead in The Water?

For years I’ve been a huge fan of reality TV shows. From Big Brother, to MIC and Geordie Shore. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the tackier the better.  It’s dramality not reality, the tide has now turned. I feel like I have seen it all now and they’re just gone stale. #bored.

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Why the sudden change?

Gateway to Fame

Gone are the good old days when contestants were interesting and proper characters. Now it is a long line of fame hungry, attention seeking and ‘do anything’ wannabees. Don’t get me wrong we need a few of these types to keep it interesting. It just gets tiring when they’re all like that. Before, people went on these shows for the experience, now it’s for a spread in Hello and public appearances in grotty nightclubs.

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The Shock Factor

Leave your feelings, dignity and morals at the door. I remember blushing watching a show years ago with a bit of heavy petting in it. Now we don’t blink at full sex over the sheets, racist remarks or bullying. You haven’t lived unless you have shat yourself on TV. It doesn’t leave much room for us to go from here.

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Ten a Penny

‘This town is not big enough for both of us’! MIC, TOWIE, I’m a Celeb, Big Brother, Geordie Shore, The Valleys, Celeb Big Brother, Love Island, Teen Mom, Ex On The Beach, Real Housewives, KUWTK, Strictly, Toddlers and Tiaras and X Factor. I’m out of breath from reaming these off, most are in their ‘one season too many’ run. Less is more.

I think we need to go back to basics, less chavs and more interesting people. Let me know what you think? Make sure to follow me on Instagram @alantcawley.

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Hidden Gems on Netflix!

We all know how hard it is to pick a movie out on Netflix. I have been guilty of taking an hour, getting so frustrated that I turn it off and watch some shite on television. If you are struggling, stick to the below list of my hidden Netflix gems. Would I ever send you wrong?!

Frozen Ground

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This is by far the best movie Nicolas Cage has done. Hey plays a cop who is hunting Alaska’s most notorious serial killer played by John Cusack. Vanessa Hudgens plays a prostitute who managed to escape the clutches of the killer. While it can border slightly on the tacky thriller side, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting is great and keep an eye out for 50 Cent.

Precious

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Precious is a powerful drama set in 80’s Harlem, NYC. It is a tale of triumph over mental, physical and sexual abuse. The powerful female lead leaves you wanting to stand up for something. It follows ‘Precious’, played by Sidibe, as she makes her way through life. Expect strong performances from Mo’Nique and Mariah Carey. It is an very inspirational story. #Tear.

Labyrinth

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Everyone will probably remember this 80’s classic from their younger years. 16 year old Sarah is raging to find that her baby brother has vanished after she wished he would. The goblin king, played by the late David Bowie, gives her 13 hours to solve a labyrinth before her brother is turned into a goblin. This fantasy will transport you into another world and is well worth the revisit.

Hush

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This is such an underrated horror/thriller.I just happened to stumble across this film having heard nothing of it before. The plot centres around a deaf writer who has moved to the countryside to finish her book. She is prayed upon by a psycho killer. She has to fight for her life in silence. We see it through her eyes and for parts there is no sound – you feel you are right there with her. Five stars from me.

Defiance

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The stellar cast alone should be enough to get you to watch with Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Liev Schreiber. Set in Belarussia in World War Two it follows Jewish brothers as they escape the Nazis into the forest and join the Russians to fight back.

This should be enough to keep you going for a while. Check out the trailers below and make sure to follow me on Instagram @alantcawley

Soppy Netflix Picks for Valentines!

A lot of us hate Valentines, both single and in relationships, but still can get caught up in the whole buzz of it. Some are waiting for the big proposal (any minute now) while others are tipping 30 and desperate to get out of singledom. There’s no better weekend to check out these loved-up flicks all on Netflix.

Love, Rosie

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Based on Cecelia Ahern’s bestselling novel “Where Rainbows End”, LOVE, ROSIE is a sassy, heart-warming, and utterly modern comedy-of-errors tale posing the ultimate question: Do we really only get one shot at true love?

The Best of Me

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Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend.

Lost in Translation

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Two lost souls visiting Tokyo – the neglected wife of a photographer and a washed up movie star – find solace in each other’s company.  Stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson

About Time

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When Tim learns that the men in his family can travel in time and change their own lives, he decides to go back and win the woman of his dreams.  Stars Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams

Ghost

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Sam is killed by a mugger, but his love for his girlfriend, Molly endures beyond the grave as Sam’s spirit tries to warn Molly that she is in danger.  Stars Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore & Whoopi Goldberg.

The Big Wedding

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A long divorced couple feigns years of wedding bliss to please a special guest at their son’s nuptials, his birth mother.   Stars Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl and Diane Keaton.

Check me out on Twitter here @alantcawley

Thanks to http://www.netflix.com for all info.

The Best Irish TV Shows Ever!

As a nation we have the capacity to make a lot of muck TV but we have also made a lot of gems too. I am proud to be Irish and I’m also proud that the below list is Irish too. Here are my favourite Irish TV shows.

Father Ted

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What can I say? I think I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t love Father Ted. Filmed for Channel Four back in 1995 it was a hit straight away. The goings on in the parish house on Craggy Island were comedy gold. The late Dermot Morgan as Father Ted is one of my favourite characters ever. Hands down the best episode is with Pat Mustard. Check out a clip here;

 

Love/Hate

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Ah it’s the lads Fran, Darren, Nidge & Tommy. Many a Sunday night was spent sweating watching this while trying to put up a funny tweet about the show. The pressure! It has been one of the most watched Irish shows on TV and caused outrage when a cat was shot on screen. It made for tricky viewing with your parents watching Debbie give a blow job on screen. The mother awkwardly rushes to put the kettle on.

 

Glenroe

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Glenroe epitomises many an Irish childhood. Sunday evenings meant homework, Glenroe, bath and then bed. Miley & Biddy are the most nostalgic of Irish TV couples. We all remember that famous scene of Miley having an affair in the hay stacks -raunchy for RTE then. They don’t make them like they used to.

Pure Mule

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Pure Mule was the gritty Irish drama set in County Offaly. It sparked the career of Charlene McKenna (above) who has become a household name over the years. It was great to hear proper bogger accents on screen. Think affairs, money troubles, binge drinking and a threesome on RTE. Can you imagine. All the auld ones chocking on their tea. 

Fade Street

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I loved it. Not ashamed. TV genius. Think a mix between Made in Chelsea, Fair City and Podge & Rodge. Who can forget Paul from Wexford – Danni’s boyfriend. The cringey moment when they had a row down in Oxygen. If you didn’t catch it first time round let it be your guilty online pleasure. After porn of course. 

Paisean Faisean

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This programme was pure gas. TG4 have come up with quite a good few formats over the years. The Irish language dating show saw three lads battle out for the affection of one woman. All she had to go on were the outfits they picked out for her. You should see some of the dire rig outs the put together. 

Other programmes of note are Bosco, RedRock, Amber and The Clinic. 

Let me know your favourite on Twitter here @alantcawley.

 

 

Singing Talent Shows – It’s a No From Me

For years I was the biggest fan of shows like The X Factor, Popstars The Rivals, Pop Idol, You’re a Star, The Voice etc. Now there are too many of them, formats are tired, sob stories take over and as a result we are harder to please. I am just tuning in now for the sake of it and for having FOMO!

Bring back the years of Brendan Kilkenny high kicking his way around all the talent shows and Nadine ‘Nuhdeen’ Coyle lying about her age in The Irish Popstarts – ‘What date of birth did I say’?

 

X Factor seems to be on it’s last legs with rumours that it won’t go ahead next year. The Voice UK is leaving The BBC and moving to ITV. American Idol is wrapping up for their last ever season. The Voice of Ireland is still tipping along but has seemed to have lost more of it’s younger audience. What is the future of these talent shows? I think we need a few years rest from them and it is time Simon Cowell hangs up his boots for good. He sickens me. Far too smug.

What do you think? Let me know on Twitter @alantcawley

 

 

Four Things to Watch This Week…

The weather forecast is grim for this week so it’s time to plant your arse on the couch and watch some good TV. Is anyone else sick of the obsession with Making a Murderer? I’ll admit it is good but there is far too much hype around it and it was too dragged out. Anyway if you are at a loss for a series to get into here are my suggestions for this week.

Bridget & Eamon

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This is Irish comedy done well! Bridget & Eamon is a successful spin off from RTE2’s Republic of Telly. It taps into the Irish humour of the 1980s Irish parents. Think TK red lemonade, ‘the good room’ and being threatened with the wooden spoon etc. Jennifer Maguire and Bernard O’Shea excel in these roles. Make sure to tune in this Monday, 1st of Feb, at 10pm on RTE2. Check out this clip to see what you’re in for;

 

The Bridge Season 3

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The Bridge is my favourite Nordic series. Sadly we do not have Martin for the third installment. However Saga Noren, the female lead cop, is enough to keep me coming back. If you have not started The Bridge get on Season 1 & 2 on Netflix now. It is in my top 3 best TV shows ever. The current series starts off, like the others, with a bizarre murder scene which hooks you in straight away. Catch it on TG4 Thursday nights at 11:15pm. The first 4 episodes are available on TG4 Player.

Celebrity Big Brother

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Love it or loathe it, this year’s Celebrity BB has been the most drama filled series yet. From knicker gate to Megan’s meltdown to Tiffany thinking David Guest had died in the house, I have been glued to it. It has been uncomfortable watching Steph doing the dirt on her boyfriend with Jeremy. Gemma Collins is the biggest diva ever. The Final is this Friday night at 9pm on TV3. At this stage I don’t really want any of them to win apart from maybe Tiffany. Who do you want to win? Watch Megan’s meltdown here for a laugh;

 

Doctor Foster

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I was recently on a long haul flight and i came across this series on the home entertainment system. This has been the most gripping and gritty dramas I have ever watched. Suranne Jones plays the lead – a doctor who finds out her husband is cheating. We know this in the first 15 minutes of the episode. It is how Doctor Foster handles this news which makes for very uncomfortable viewing. The series cleaned up at the NTA’s with Suranne getting the nod for best actress. It is only five episodes long so it isn’t too daunting a series for us time poor folk. Catch it online or watch it on RTE Thursday nights. Quick trailer here;

 

With about 300 TV channels, Netflix and the internet at our disposal it is hard to chose what to watch these days. There is also a lot of shite out there too. I hope at least one of these tickle your fancy. Let me know what you think on Twitter @alantcawley.

 

TV’s Best Female Villains

There are a lot of ingredients that make good TV and a scheming cow is definitely top of my list. We have never had so much viewing choice with Netflix’s increasing popularity, people streaming US shows and more TV channels being added by the week. I find less and less shows are relying on the TV bitch to bring in ratings. We need this to change. I am going to pay homage to some of the best female TV villains over the years to whet your appetite.

Tanya Turner Footballers’ Wives

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Tanya is my favourite TV bitch. Married three times with each of her husbands having an untimely end. Cold and ruthless she made for great TV viewing.

Janine Butcher Eastenders

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Janine is Walford’s best bitch. Over the years she has turned to prostitution, drugs, married for money, killed two husbands, had affairs and ruined lives. Just your typical soap bitch I guess.

Victoria Grayson Revenge

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Victoria is the queen of plotting. She will stop at nothing to protect her family and social status. She is not afraid to get blood on her hands having killed adversaries who got in her way. This is all done while looking pristine in an expensive bandage dress.

Alexis Carrington Colby Dynasty

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Alexis was the original queen bitch on TV. Always seen swigging out of a drink, ciggie in hand and massive shoulder pads. She was the ultimate GAL.

Tracy Barlow Coronation Street

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Tracy brings the right amount of bitch to the cobbles. From murder to selling her baby there is not much that she wouldn’t do. She did seem to have a soft spot for her late gran Blanche – who was also well able to give anyone a good tongue lashing.

Shell Dockley Bad Girls

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Shell was top dog at Larkhall Prison which is no mean feat. She is probably the most unhinged on this list. She had affairs with prison officers and eventually stabbed one of them, Fenner, to death. Don’t mess with Shell.

Who is your favourite? Let me know on Twitter @alantcawley