What to watch this month: Dear White People, A Very British Scandal and more…

Are you close to finishing your latest TV show binge? Looking for something new to watch at a leisurely place? Here’s my suggestions for the best way to satisfy your TV needs this month with some of the most anticipated shows of the moment.

Dear White People (Season 2) | Netflix | 4 May 2018

The first season of Dear White People launched to success last year, though not the headline grabber as some other Netflix originals such as 13 Reasons Why and Orange Is The New Black, it certainly deserved its recommission it received for a second season. Season 2 continues to explore racial tensions and the struggle for identity in the white and upper class dominated environments of elite universities. Also this season, the show will be exploring the struggle of black people and homosexuality through fan favourite Lionel. Having already started this series, it’s once again laugh out loud funny while addressing serious racial issues and the impact and pressure of social media for many young people today. Dear White People is streaming now in full on Netflix.

Innocent | ITV | from 14 May 2018

Airing over four consecutive nights from 14 May on ITV is their new drama “Innocent”.

David (Lee Ingleby) has spent 7 years in prison for the murder of his wife. However, when he is released on a technicality, a cloud of suspicion stills hang over his head. How is he going to rebuild the life he lost? Who should he trust? And above all – is he truly innocent?

13 Reasons Why | Netflix | 18 May 2018

The Netflix hit drama is back for a second season and will be released in full on 18 May. Many critics have questioned whether it was appropriate for 13 Reasons Why to have a second season as the first very much wrapped up the main plot line of Hannah Baker’s tapes. However, we set into a brave new world this season. The tapes are no more and the story continues. Indications suggest the focus of the new season will be on Jessica’s rape ordeal and bringing justice for both her and Hannah as we delve deeper into how Hannah Baker died. Season 1 was fascinating and sensational. Have Netflix jumped the gun by commissioning a second run? We will find out this month.

A Very British Scandal | BBC One | from 20 May 2018

In 1967, Jeremy becomes the leader of the Liberal Party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, but as long as his ex-lover Norman is around, his brilliant career is at risk. Behind the oak-panelled doors of Parliament, Jeremy turns to his friends for decisive action. He can see only one way to silence him for good.

The BBC’s much hyped and awaited dramatisation of the Jeremy Thorpe scandal stars heavyweights Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw in the leading roles. With a stellar supporting cast and well-known political scandal, this is surely going to be a recipe for success at the BBC. The story will be told over three episodes on Sunday nights at 9pm beginning on 20 May. It’s set to be a much needed blockbuster event drama for BBC One this month.

Rita Ora releases new single “Girls” with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX to online backlash

Rita Ora is back with her latest single “Girls” featuring rapper of the moment, Cardi B and fellow popstars Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha. “Girls” is a fun and carefree pop banger but it’s causing quite a stir amongst the LGBTQ+ community.

After her four consecutive top 10 hits over the past year, anticipation has been high for Rita Ora’s next single. “Girls” is described by Rita Ora as being a celebration of her love for women. On being questioned whether it should be considered as a bisexual anthem, Rita Ora answered “it’s not actually that deep. It really is just about that. It’s a free message, and for me, really fun. It’s just a fun record.” But is it carefree to the point of it being harmful to bisexuality?

The song’s lyrics have come under fire from the likes of Kehlani, Hayley Kiyoko and Katie Gavin from MUNA for being harmful to the perception of bisexuality and reinforcing stereotypes. We only have to look back to 2008 and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” to see a pop song that was considered as care free and fun at the time but has since become pretty frowned upon. “Girls” does operate in a similar vein to “I Kissed A Girl”. Both are playing on the idea of the curiosity of women in certain situations, i.e. under the influence of alcohol (playing on the idea of “lesbian until graduation”). However, the key distinction is that “I Kissed A Girl” is very regretful and almost apologetic in tone. It feels like we’re being let in on her dirty secret. Whereas, “Girls” feels more celebratory. It’s a shame the lyrics have been slightly careless – the reference to drugs and alcohol seemingly being the cause was perhaps unnecessary and Rita and the other writers should have foreseen a level of backlash to this.

The upshot is, this is just a pop song that will, like “I Kissed A Girl” be confined to its tiny portion of history whether or not its a huge hit. It’s easy to delve into song meanings and make them feel deeper than they actually are. I think at lot of this debate of whether or not “Girls” is harmful for the LGBTQ+ community is probably just academic in the long term. “Girls” will likely find itself confined to the depths of history before too long and I struggle to see this having a lasting impact on the general public’s perception of that community. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Rita, Charli, Bebe and Cardi in the same position of regret Katy Perry finds herself in today within the next couple of years over some of the lyrical choices.

 

 

Britain and Russia: May has looked like a Prime Minister for the first time

 

Theresa May is the woman no one expected or particularly wanted to be Prime Minister. May is the uneasy compromise between the Tories personified into a “leader”, who through the willingness on both sides for this uneasy compromise to remain in place, has survived some pretty awful scandals that would be sure to end another PM’s career. And following an pretty turbulent and weak 18 months or so for Theresa May, she may have actually just looked like a Prime Minister for the first time in the escalation between Britain and Russia.

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Best songs of Q1 2018: Jorja Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Camila Cabello and more…

We are just three months into 2018 and yet we’ve seen some incredible new song releases from both those already established in the world of pop and some newcomers too. There’s been some great songs, such as “IDGAF” and “Finesse” that were on 2017 albums and ruled the charts in 2018. However, for those purely new songs here’s the best 2018 has offered us in Q1 according to me.

Jorja Smith ft. Stormzy – Let Me Down

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Theresa May has announced plans for a snap election in June – but why?

This morning, with no prior warning or leaks, Theresa May stunned the political sphere by announcing a snap election for 8 June 2017. Despite repeatedly insisting there would be no election until the planned one in May 2020, May and the Tories have made a massive u-turn. However, the shock factor is created by May’s own actions rather than the circumstances.

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Is this a new era of “woke pop”?

The term “woke” has been coined on social media as being the state of realising the current political state that has developed in 2016. The rise of “woke pop” appears to be starting with recent releases from Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Skip Marley. But is it a genuine revolution in popular culture or something that will be short-lived? Just how impactful has this been so far?

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TV Review: The Man In The High Castle Season 2

Last Friday, after 12 months of anticipation, Amazon’s original series “The Man In The High Castle” returned for a second season of 10 episodes. There was a mammoth task this season to answer all of the unexplained questions of Season 1, including that shocking cliffhanger in which the Trade Minister found himself in an alternate reality – one which looks like our own.

For those who are not familiar, the basic premises of the series imagines an alternative history in which the Axis Powers – Germany, Japan and Italy – were victorious in World War 2. The series is set in the former United States of America, which has been divided between Japan (“the Pacific States”) and Germany (“The American Reich”), as well as a neutral zone in the middle, with no overall control by either power. Much of Season 1 is driven by Juliana Crane’s discovery of the Resistance and a mission involving films that appear to show different realities. Season 1 culminated in Juliana allowing Nazi agent, Joe Blake, to escape the Resistance with a much desired film.

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Artists to watch in 2017

It’s the time of year when the likes of the BRIT Awards, MTV and BBC begin their shortlists for the Artists to look out for in 2017. There’s been some real underrated talents this year who I hope will make it big in 2017 and I’ve created my own top 5 of those to watch out for!

05. Raye

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