Tag Archives: TV

The Five Animated Shows YOU Need To Watch In 2019!

Animation has always been a funky medium, the cartoons of today are all varied and different with many stand outs amongst the crowd. While we may have only just reached the half way point of this year, 2019 looks set to be a goldmine for those shows that will give you entertainment over the 12 months of that year. While we have many shows confirmed from the new year and beyond, here are the five shows you need to watch!

Castlevania – Season 3

At the time of writing this, season 2 hadn’t yet debuted on Netflix, but we have been promised that the show will continue into next year after the ball was dropped by star Richard Armitage. It’s no secret that Castlevania was indeed popular and it’s short 4 episode debut was barely enough to whet the appetite of its viewers. With a promised 8 episode drop coming this Halloween, 2019 will certainly be exciting for fans of this gripping video game adaptation.

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Carmen Sandiego

Netflix again for this next entry, and this one will be exciting for many. First of all, Gina Rodriguez (The star of Jane The Virgin, not the other Gina Rodriguez that appears when you type the name into Wikipedia) is set to take the title role in this 20-part series for the streaming service. If a series wasn’t enough, Rodriguez will also be playing the role in a live-action film for Netflix too! Educational as well as entertaining, this will be one for kids and parents next year!

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MOOMIN

Moomin (or Moominvalley) is an upcoming show based on the works of Tove Jansson and will see a blend of 2D and 3D animation techniques coming together. An all star cast including Taron Egerton, Kate Winslet, Richard Ayoade and many more come to voice the white hippo creatures and the other inhabitants of this world we will be visiting. Originally crowdfunded through Indiegogo, the project blew up exponentially and will be anticipated by many in 2019!

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Young Justice: Outsiders

2010 saw the debut of Young Justice, an animated DC show which featured many sidekicks to the superhero roster and saw Robin, Miss Martian, Kid Flash and others make themselves stand out as heroes in their own right. While Teen Titans established the lesser known characters could be intriguing, Young Justice saw them really stand out and even steal the limelight from mainstays such as Batman and Wonder Woman. If any Superhero show needed to come back, it was this one!

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Rick and Morty Season Four

The bad news: Rick and Morty will not be on in 2018! It is a fact we need to live with. But there is some good news as the show will be coming back for a 70 episode order! Season four looks set to debut in the later half of next year and will see the show firmly place itself back where it belongs as one of the most important animated series in years! Just be prepared for a long wait and a handsome reward!

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Which of these TV shows are you looking forward to? Is there any other animated delights that take your interest?

Let me know in the comments

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Rick and Morty – Season 3 Episode 6 REVIEW!

‘Rest and Ricklaxation’

*Some Spoilers Ahead*

Maybe avoid the alien spa in the future!

Imagine there was a place where you could get rid of all the toxic thoughts, ideas and feelings of yourself and shove it somewhere else. Well, this is what happens. After Rick and Morty narrowly avoid death on their latest 20 minute six day adventure, Rick insists that he and his grandson go for some much needed rest.

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For the majority of the episode, we have the “healthy” version of the characters and the “toxic” versions as they realise that they work best when together. Rick clearly needs the darker side to help keep him competent, but Morty tries to carry on without having his darker side. Without his fears, doubts and insecurities, we get a Morty who is clearly confident and almost uncaring of those who react to him.

When we find out that the “toxic” versions of the characters are wanting to destroy their counterparts, the best sequences then come to life. With the usual stab at religion being played in a throwaway gag and the all-out fight between the two versions of the characters definitely make this episode fun and funny.

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It is an episode which strips back on the recurring arcs, the divorce of Beth and Jerry and even other supporting characters as we get right into the minds of our main duo. We learn a lot more about these two in this 22 minutes than we did in the last season. After 27 episodes, I didn’t realise there was still so much to learn. Speaking of learn, what does this episode mean for the show and for it to continue?

We know Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are not afraid of tackling matters which comedy might usually be absent from, even showing that being “healthy” doesn’t necessarily mean good. Also, is it right to say that Rick was actually less of a dick than usual? We see him actually trying to do the right thing and its Morty who actually puts himself on a course to something horrifying by trying to kill part of himself. Plus, could you imagine The Wolf Of Wall Street with Morty instead of Leonardo DiCaprio? It should be done!

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Anyone familiar with theories on this show may be aware that people think Rick and Morty are THE SAME PERSON! I still don’t believe this to be true, but Morty is beginning to show a dark side to himself, something that actually scares his grandfather. But if one thing is for certain, the young Smith will continue to fight for the affections of Jessica (and it means he no longer needs to remember the safe word “Sea Cucumber”).

Passing the half-way point, the show continues to produce some eye-opening ideas and the development of our two main characters has been great so far. My only wish is that we get more Beth, Summer and JERRY! But, I think this may be the best episode so far, between this and ‘Pickle Rick’.

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Episode 7 is coming a bit later on 10th September on Adult Swim.

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Rick And Morty Is Officially Back…July 30th!

After all the waiting, Rick and Morty will make its return in just a matter of weeks. We will soon see Rick, Morty, Summer and the rest of the gang back on our screens for more fantastic adventures! There has been a few details given out coming up towards its return, so let’s see what we are getting!

THE TRAILER

First, we have our real first look at the season ahead. Using Dizzee Rascal’s hit ‘Bonkers’, it perfectly sums up the “darkest year” of Rick and Morty…

EPISODE COUNT

10 episodes will air for Season Three. Though this is the same as the last season, this is short on the 14 that was commissioned back in 2015. Though they may form part of a potential Season Four and hopefully not make it such a great stretch to wait for episodes after this year!

WHEN CAN YOU WATCH?

Sunday 30th July on Adult Swim in the US is the first place to watch, hopefully dates for other places (including the UK) will be announced very soon.

THE FUTURE

The word is that Harmon and Roiland want to focus on this season first and get it out before Season Four is even touched, but I hope that we have got a few episodes in the can already and then Season Four will be out in 2018. This show is just so popular and I know I am impatient and want to keep seeing this show, but I am happy to wait as long as the quality stays high!

Rick and Morty returns for Season Three on Sunday 30th July 2017 on Adult Swim in the US. FOX in the UK, you better not leave this too long!

PICKLE RICK!!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The 12 Best TV Characters Of The Past Year

TV has once again gone all out to entertain us all. This year has shown more great revelations, some gripping edge-of-your-seat moments and the most baffling of all, the renewal of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a fifth season (WHY!!!!!!!!!!!). But, we know that after the writing for the shows, it all comes down to the actors and actresses who bring our favourite characters to life. I am happy to share with you the characters who have stuck out for me in the last year, and who I think make these shows so good!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan – Negan on The Walking Dead

How could I not put this guy on the list? Jeffrey Dean Morgan managed to not only become a fan favourite within minutes, he took out two full time characters with thanks to Lucille in his first full episode. Negan has spent most of season seven being the one man you don’t f**k with. Morgan showcases a new kind of charisma and installs a fear which hasn’t been seen on the show previously. With season eight promising to be one very tense showdown, look forward to seeing Negan front and centre of this list next year!

Pearl Mackie – Bill on Doctor Who

It was going to be tough to get someone who could fit into the shoes of Jenna Coleman’s Clara, but then we didn’t know what Pearl Mackie was going to bring. With Bill, we got a great new companion who is clued up and ready to challenge everything. There was a lot of focus on Bill being a lesbian, but this is hardly scratching the surface. Even though the series hasn’t finished yet, Bill looks to be one of the best new companions of all time!

Tom Hardy – James Keziah Delaney on Taboo

Tom Hardy is indeed able to make almost any character he plays a fantastic one to watch, and James Delaney is no exception. Given Hardy co-created the show, he manages to make Delaney a great person that you would be happy to have on your side, and will never be able to turn your back if you ever cross him. He has survived years in a wild land, being shot and…long enough to make it to season two! I…CAN’T…WAIT!

Ian McShane – Mr Wednesday on American Gods

American Gods was a show I waited to see for years. Based on my favourite ever novel, the series focuses on an ex-convict Shadow who is caught up in a battle between the old gods and the new. While Ricky Whittle plays Shadow well, it’s Ian McShane who steals the show as the man who can out-con even the most experienced scam artist. Mr. Wednesday is one of the most unique characters in the show, he manages to shine in every scene and provides plenty of laughs amongst the gritty and bloody moments of this awesome show!

Bryce Dallas Howard – Lacie Pound on Black Mirror ‘Nosedive’

There are a lot of great characters in Season 3 of Black Mirror, it was hard to narrow it down to one. Where I really enjoyed Jerome Flynn and Alex Lawther in ‘Shut Up and Dance’ and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in ‘San Junipero’, it was Bryce who really got under my skin and won me over. She is hungry for attention and the Instagram-like app that takes over the lives of so many in this episode is one that many can relate to. To see her flying so high to suddenly crashing into obscurity was a sight to behold. ‘Nosedive’ may not be the best episode, but it had the best character.

Grant Gustin – Barry Allen/The Flash on The Flash

OK, I am sure I have placed Grant Gustin on a list previously, but he does deserve a lot of recognition this year. Season Three may not have been an overall strong series, but there was plenty to applaud from Barry Allen. In this series, he had to fight the “god” Savitar, find a way to stop his fiancée Iris from being killed and then face off with himself in the future and in the present. We see someone who lives with the pain of creating Flashpoint and basically changing the Arrowverse forever in a way where it will never be the same again. Also, we need that cliffhanger solved!

Jessica Henwick – Colleen Wing on Iron Fist

Before anyone says anything, I do really like Iron Fist. It doesn’t compare to Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but it is enjoyable and a worthy addition to the line-up. While I am sure Finn Jones will shine more in The Defenders, it is Jessica Henwick who really stands out in this series. This girl can handle her own in a fight and shows she isn’t a damsel in distress. Also, we know her fight scenes in that cage were some of the best the show offered! Please keep Colleen in this universe!

Grace Gummer – Dominique DiPierro on Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is one of them shows that I got hooked on, I remember binge-watching the show during the summer and I couldn’t get enough of it. While the first season got us to learn about Elliot, Darlene, Angela and Mr. Robot, the second season gave us someone who wants to take them down! Grace Gummer is an actress I have never really seen before, but she made Dominique DiPierro one of the most engaging characters the show has had so far. She is shown at her most vulnerable and we become so familiar with her that we hope she will succeed at the end of the day!

Justin Roiland – Rick Sanchez on Rick and Morty

Ok, only one episode has been shown of Season Three, but how bloody good was it? To see Rick and Morty back was a great delight and Justin Roiland has been missed very much. While Morty and Summer both do really well, it is Rick who gets the nod as we are believed to be seeing his life before he became the twisted genius that we now know. ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption’ has us laughing, gasping and lapping up every moment. It’s not everyday you can outshine Nathan Fillion, but you did it!

Dan Mintz – Tina Belcher on Bob’s Burgers

I love Bob’s Burgers. It is easily the best animated show from Fox at the moment (The Simpsons and Family Guy really need to pick their game up!). All the characters are so fun and give a lot to us in each episode, but my choice is Tina for one reason, you can’t help but love her. She lives like any teenager, but maybe is a bit more odd than what you may have been like. She’s eaten cat food (watch and you will understand), worked to get her own phone and even made some rather humorous fan-fiction. However you see her, Tina is truly the heart of the show and it would not be the same without her!

Sian Gibson – Kayleigh on Peter Kay’s Car Share

I have said before how much I love this show and I would say Kayleigh is probably the main reason. She is adorable, naïve, silly and fun. You fall in love with her just seeing her interactions in that car with her buddy John. In series two, we get to see the duo reunite and their “friendship” is getting a lot of people talking, you really want them to come closer. Then you have that last scene of the series, where you think John has finally sweeped Kayleigh off her feet and admitted his feelings…then it turns out to be a dream! PLEASE PLEASE PETER KAY, DON’T LET IT END THIS WAY!

Bob Odenkirk – Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul

When it first began, I honestly thought Better Call Saul was going to suffer as a show. Following Breaking Bad was never going to be easy, but luckily enough, the writing and the character portrayals have managed to almost make this its own entity even though you know how it must all end. While there are so many to choose from, the lead is definitely the strongest this time. He has done all he can to keep out of jail, prove his Brother is a deceptive scumbag and he continues his journey to becoming the criminal lawyer we know and somehow like to see!

OK, I said 12, but there is one more I want to mention!

Alanna Masterson – Tara Chambler on The Walking Dead

I find it sad that many wanted to bully or moan at this actress. Alanna is a lovely human being who truly shows her worth in this show! Tara begins this season away from the group with Heath on a supply run when Negan deals with the rest of the gang. During this time, we see Tara go on her own adventure when she ends up at Oceanside, a community that has only women after all their men were killed by the saviors. Tara not only has to deal with the group (who nearly kills her too) but she also becomes key to helping Alexandria prepare for a war with Negan. Also, she is a little bit of light in a show where many characters have shown or now live in their dark side. I don’t care what anyone says, Tara is a superb character and deserves more recognition and for those who bully Alanna online either for her portrayal or physical look (she looks fine, she just had a baby and that does not affect her acting, trolls need to get a life and f**k off!) you need to grow up! I look forward to see what Alanna does next on the show!

What do you think of this list? Is there anyone who you would put on here? Let me know!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who: Thin Ice “You know what happens if you don’t move on? More people will die”

Sarah Dollard wrote one of the best New Who episodes in 2015 with ‘Face The Raven’, and I can honestly say ‘Thin Ice’ is another fantastic effort from the writer. Plus, we also get a reminder of The Doctor’s constant companion…DEATH!

Starting where the last episode abruptly finished, The Doctor and Bill find themselves in London in 1814 for the Frost Fest. After The Doctor explains that the TARDIS likes to make its own way around the universe, he comes to the conclusion there must be something they need to do. It doesn’t take long for us to learn about the creature in the Thames.

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The first steps onto the ice is the start to their investigation. Bill begins to notice there are lights coming from under their feet, and then we find out exactly what the lights are doing. From this, we get reacquainted with the ways that The Doctor operates and the way he seemingly cares nothing for those who die around him. Pearl Mackie again shows great emotional depth as she questions The Doctor and wants to know the kind of person he really is.

There were some great uses of the sonic screwdriver in this episode. In some episodes, I am sure it is just a cheap way to get out of a sticky situation (yet, I am not aware of any time The Doctor actually uses it to put up a shelf). The screwdriver does come into play a number of times and I do enjoy seeing it used as a distraction device than a tool.

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The villain is a bit…well…pants! I know that the villain isn’t exactly the key to this episode, it is the remainder of the supporting cast. This episode gets to showcase some great young talent. The young gang and the way they interact with the TARDIS crew and fit into 19th century London was great to see. The highlight being Asiatu Koroma as Kitty; This girl is set to be something special, showing some great acting chops against the more experienced cast.

Speaking of the cast, it was another great week for our TARDIS duo (it is a shame that Nardole is relegated to the end of the episode). Peter Capaldi does continue to impress in his final series and Pearl Mackie is slowly becoming a favourite in the show. Bill Potts in indeed the everyman (or woman) that the show needed. The writing reflects Bill’s progression to this point where she now has to think about her time with The Doctor and what could possibly happen on these adventures.

With the “thing” in the vault seemingly restless (is it The Master? Or Missy? Maybe both?), we know this is something that will be continually teased for some time. Overall, a great episode with some real depth (Was that a pun?). The winning part of this story is clearly Sarah Dollard’s writing and we can only hope she continues to contribute to the show.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

NEXT WEEK: We get a ‘Knock Knock’ from David Suchet!

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 3: Draggily Ever After (SPOILER FREE)

By Joanna Cosgrove

After last week’s elimination of the beautiful and bubbly Jaymes Mansfield, everyone’s eyes are open – but sadly, everyone was not surprised to see her sweet self sashay away.

After the first elimination, everyone’s eyes are open. It’s a real competition, and it’s another week of watching every queen in that work room scratch their way up that little step closer to the winner spot (especially the newly determined Trinity Taylor).

Baby queen Valentina, who unexpectedly won last week’s main challenge, is keeping her head up high and is hoping for a successful streak in this competition. I would suggest for her to stay that little bit humble; at the point of entering the competition, Valentina had only been doing drag professionally for 10 months, so she is going to still make some mistakes. I want to make sure she knows she still has a long way to go – think of her as a new Shangela. She’s amazing but she could still flop. Sorry!

Ru’s entrance is all animal (I love the leopard print suit) but the challenge is anything but real. This week’s main challenge? Designing an outfit for a fairy-tale character! These queens have to be princesses, and as a new design challenge, let’s analyse the interaction and the – yes – panics.

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Not having the easiest time really, Farrah Moan and Kimora Blac are performing the classic drag sin: they don’t sew! I hate Kimora’s view of sewing her own outfit, if I’m honest; she said she pays people to make her outfits, she never makes them herself. It’s a classic skill, and as a drag queen who has been doing the art form for ten years, you would expect Kimora to have some idea of using a needle and thread. Someone send her to a tailoring class (and English, while we’re at it – you’ll see why).

Everyone’s ideas for princesses are different, and their inspiration are incredibly varied! Eureka’s idea, for example, really does stand out (as pointed out by Kimora) and you will see later on how she really is a different kind of princess.

Queens like Aja, Farrah and Valentina are using the elements of nature in their concepts, such as ice and fire, and these are stable and useful and broad enough to manipulate, but will they be executed without any stress? It’s Drag Race, it’s not that easy!

Again, special mention of Farrah Moan, who is compared to a crying child by her obvious expressions of pain and fear because she is lacking the fundamental skills of making clothes – pray, girl. Pray.

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As the girls prepare, making themselves up, things get personal and this talk is personal and tear-jerking, as the topic of conversation move to the Pulse nightclub shooting from Orlando, Florida last summer. Trinity shares her history of working at the club and how she performed as soon as the weekend before the shooting took place.

Returning queen Cynthia Lee Fontaine shared her losses during the tragic attack, as she knew people who worked at the club and knew a couple of people who had their lives taken. Discussing this event brings almost all the queens to tears, and they all embrace before showtime.

Let’s move on to the runway, where the princesses are introduced – along with their animal and non-animal sidekicks – and shake their royal stuff.

Special shout-out to Charlie Hides, who once more rocked her outfit 110% (and her ‘Lady in Waiting’ made me laugh quite a bit). At this point, it seems there is no bad Charlie can do! I am hoping more and more for her to be the winner!

Alexis Michelle, also, made me giggle. The look was unique, and I loved how it looked, but her sidekick was what won me over (mainly because of the low English accent and the uncanny resemblance to Season 6’s Ornacia).

Every queen had such different looks, from one to another to another; it did highlight the diversity of these queens (although one queen almost burned herself to the ground in a not-too-clear outfit).

A repeat for the bottom two, and another obvious choice from the queens, are chosen to fight for their right to stay in the competition through the Bonnie Tyler hit “Holding Out For A Hero”.

One queen is killing it, using every second of opportunity to move and twirl and give the power you need to; the other, I’m afraid, is showing everyone she is going home. You cannot match up to that power when you aren’t using your whole body as your weapon to win. I was waving from mid-song, saying “sashay away” myself.

RuPaul confirmed it all with those two words herself, and I smile because she wasn’t prepared for the struggles of this contest.

Looking back, the season is going strong and I believe the judgements are as fair as always (but I’m still not over last week’s first elimination for my own reasons). If anything, the episodes need to possibly slow down in its pace slightly, because the first viewing of it (I watch it at least twice before reviewing), I thought it was on and over in no time.

Slow the episode down, let us see more of these queens before they possibly leave.

But overall, I am looking forward to seeing where this contest goes.

Rating: 7/10

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 2: She Done Already Done Brought It On (SPOILER FREE)

By Joanna Cosgrove

As a reviewer, I need to not be biased but in my opinion, this episode ended terribly!

Now let’s get on with the rest of the review.

No time, no intro, and the whole internet knew the answer to last week’s question anyway: who is the 14th queen? I’ll give you a hint. I was “CuCu” to think she wasn’t the returning queen! But yep, she’s here and it’s as if she never went home. But thank goodness she did, because she had gone through one hellish year and she happily made it back on stage, healthy as ever!

But as there always is with a returning queen from a previous season, there are some unsure murmurs (remember how everyone was with Shangela’s return/s?), especially the idea that she knows the competition and she knows how to play the game better than these new queens. But that does not specifically mean she’ll last longer than the rest of them!

Let’s move on to coming to the work room, where in walks RuPaul – AND sitcom sweetie Lisa Kudrow. First Gaga, now Lisa Kudrow, but if I’m honest, Lisa’s appearance didn’t come as naturally as Gaga’s. I mean, it was appreciated and the queens loved seeing her, but her appearance felt forced. As if it was ‘to keep up’ with the introductory guest Lady Gaga.

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But now onto the main challenge, which is – in true feminine fashion – a two-group challenge. This challenge is that the two teams compete in the draggiest of athletics: cheerleading! The captains are the new return, and Gaga challenge winner Nina Bo’nina Brown, leading teams representing RuPaul and representing guest judges The B-52s – and let’s go go go!

One team has struggles through practices, and their plans even involve switching the roles of two queens – but despite this change, it’s all for the best, as one member claims. I have all the hope in the world that this team wins, and cheer their little sweet hearts out!

And if learning the lines and chants are tough, the actual athletic side of things would be too troublesome – I feared a queen was gonna fall during the stunting and break a bone! Especially when one was seasoned queen Charlie Hides, whose commentary sounded fearful and stunned that she did it perfectly. I have faith in you, girl!

As always, work room conversations get deep and personal, and this was Peppermint’s turn to share a tough tale from her high school days. But this story had a happy ending, where she said she felt she had a “circle of love” from the other students. Peppermint, hands down, is one of the most inspirational queens in the history of Drag Race; not only for competing as a transgender woman, but for surviving and sharing stories like she did in this story.

The returning queen takes a moment to share the story of her cancer battle, which was only around a year before this season was filmed. She said it was hard, and she was breaking down, but she got over it and she’s in remission, and believe me, the warm reception from the other queens was more than astounding. RuPaul was right: everyone on Drag Race is a large ever-growing family.

Let’s move onto the runway!

The queens are ready, and they brought it on alright! The characters are unique, and most – not all – of the queens got their acts perfect for the descriptions given.

The competition starts and the athletics are amazing; these queens are fierce and confident – even if there was a tumble here and a fumble there. I gasped at some moments with these girls, because wow, can they move!

But there were a few of them lost in their groups. They could have done a little more to sparkle as bright as their studded uniforms. However, special mention to Trinity Taylor for keeping in youthful character when stunting and being launched into the air. I could re-watch those seconds for hours!

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The runway looks are “White Party” – so white. All white, most white, but some even manage to get lost on ‘white’ as a tip for the runway (I’ll let you see who).

Special mention on these outfits to Jaymes Mansfield, who gave me “Marilyn Monroe on a winter morning” (it was beautiful); and Valentina, because she looked so elegant that she could make any man commit (whoa!). Sadly, though, this time around, everyone is NOT safe and someone has to go home – dang – and my heart broke when I saw who was on the bottom two (only one of them; the other one, I knew she would be there).

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I’ll say this now: it was the first, and as I’ve seen, one of the most controversial in terms of who stayed and who left. When it’s camp queen versus showgirl queen, one gets an advantage based on the song – the lip-synch for this was B-52’s “Love Shack”, which is so a song for the camp queens to perform because when it comes to those classic hits, they have to be funny! They have to be played up! And this lovely camp queen played it up well, and that’s not the bias speaking. I have many who agree. But who ended up leaving the competition?

That’s one creative campy queen out first (my heart is still breaking!) and that leaves 13 – again. Good luck to them all, but still, I believe that was the wrong judgement.

I’m sorry, Ru. You sent the wrong queen home.

Rating: 8/10

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 1: Oh. My. Gaga! (SPOILER FREE)

By Joanna Cosgrove

It’s back and it’s bigger (and brighter) than ever!

Yes, I didn’t need to wait another week – or two – or it could’ve been like six – to begin the newest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, because the beauties at Netflix are streaming all episodes from season 9 right after they air in America. Awesome! So what did I do? I woke up early, repeatedly checked Netflix until I saw the “New episodes” banner and click-click-clicked my way in!

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The first queen to walk in is the herstory-making Peppermint, who won me because of the simple yet stunning outfit with some long beautiful braids. I knew from then this season was going to be a big one for eleganza.

Then the red-hot Valentina – the ‘drag baby’ of this season’s selection – follows, sweet and petite. She has that glint in her eye, telling us all that she could Shangela her way through (compete with little drag experience and make a strong impact).

Every queen makes a dramatic entrance – as expected. Then in comes Eureka (this season’s big and beautiful queen), Charlie Hides (the oldest queen in Drag Race history who doesn’t look it!), Farrah Moan, Sasha Velour (with the vocal talent of Yoko Ono), Alexis Michelle, Shea Coulee, Trinity Taylor (the Coco Montrese to Eureka’s Alyssa Edwards – you’ll see), Kimora Blac, Jaymes Mansfield (MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE), Nina Bo’nina Brown and Aja. That should be all of them, right?

Oh, forgot a queen: Lady Gaga! In her trademark drag look, Gaga storms in and the girls lose it! One queen has a personal moment with Gaga and straight then, I can see there is emotion here and let this squash all the rumours saying she is rude, vain, self-centred, because she isn’t.

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As soon as RuPaul enters, he welcomes his queens (in person, and not through a video message – wow!) and announces the first challenge: it’s a pageant! And all the pageant queens are cheering and squealing on the inside.

After their formal introductions, the main challenge is to honour the music legend before them in copying a famous outfit from Lady Gaga.

While the girls de-drag and re-drag, we get a look into the queens’ personalities. We see some shade already being thrown, and have a sneak peek into their talents as drag performers. Some shock, some do not, and you’ll have to check out who does which – but believe me, it follows straightaway with most first impressions when they strut their stuff on the runway.

In my honest opinion, I enjoyed the Gaga outfits more than the pageant ones. Maybe it’s because I love Gaga to death myself, but they hit the mark and made me incredibly happy! My favourite of these outfits go to British-American Gaga impersonator Charlie Hides, who decided to take on a Brit Awards style (I promise, there is no bias), because it made me go “oh Gaga!”

As we conclude and the winner is crowned, RuPaul halts the celebrations: “The real competition is just about to begin!”

She brings in a new queen. A 14th queen! And she’s a returner!

Who? Who? WHO?!

All will be revealed next week – DAMN! The suspense will kill me, and if you’re as big of a fan as me, it’ll kill you too. Let us get killed together until next Friday/Saturday, when the second episode airs.

Altogether, this is a strong start and as the game changes, I get drawn in more and more. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds for us.

And to end, I just want to say: go Jaymes Mansfield!

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Rating: 10/10

Iron Fist: Season One Episode 1-3 review

Am I the only one who has enjoyed this show so far? I am not one to really read others reviews before I write my own, but some people have really slammed this show for a number of reasons. Whether it is down to the casting of Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, the supposed uninspired fight scenes or even just…well everything. But, I have actually enjoyed the show so far. I will avoid as much on the spoiler territory as I can.

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Let us start with the casting, and I must say I quite like Finn Jones as lead character Danny Rand. I think there are a few issues with him in these opening episodes, but I can’t pin them on the actor. Finn does make us enjoy our time with Danny without making us feel bad for him, except for episode 3 when he confronts Joy and Ward. I can honestly say that this adaptation is probably one of the most faithful, while still taking a few twists to the original story in a satisfying way. Even having the classic iPod was a nice touch, I do enjoy some Outkast on a TV show. In other casting points, I am enjoying David Wenham as Harold Meachum. He is definitely building himself up to be yet another great villain in the Marvel/Netflix setting. I also do like seeing Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing, she takes no shit from anyone. An attitude I think the people behind this show should adopt.

In regards to the racial casting, do these critics read comics or know about its original concept? Danny Rand has always been a white man. Would I have minded if an Asian actor was cast as Danny? No, of course not. I don’t necessarily see it as a bad idea. Would it have really made a major difference to the show? No! I for one am all for diverse casting. Carrie Anne Moss was cast as Jeri Hogarth for the connected world, who in the comics was originally a man! But, this probably actually made the character better. But, that is enough on the cast.

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In terms of action, the first few episodes have a number of moments that does bring in some action. There have been no major fight scenes above a few fists being thrown, but I have witnessed a few uses of the legendary Iron Fist (which does have a Dragonball-esque look to it). The best fight so far has come from Jessica Henwick, which I am sure will have ripples in the upcoming episodes of the show. In terms of development, it does definitely slot itself in to the universe with many hints to the shows past and future. Plus, the appearance of Jeri Hogarth and another pre-established character helps bring this new cast into what we already have and know. The writing on the other hand…it’s ok. I think the whole Danny is mad bit was played wrong, but I did enjoy his buddy who helps him in the mental hospital. Though where episode 3 ends, it is truly making me want to watch more (I would have watched it all anyway).

To conclude, I know this was more an analysis and airing some thoughts rather than a review. I have enjoyed this show, it does offer some great moments and the human element is very strong. I do feel Daredevil and Jessica Jones had the better starts, it is worth noting the dynamic on this begins much better than any of the shows that precede this. I feel there will be a real formulaic set up coming soon in regards to the reason the Rand family crashed in the Himalayas. I am enjoying Iron Fist’s arc, but I also really enjoy seeing where Colleen is going. The Meachum family are a bit whiney, but I am sure that like Luke Cage (*spoilers incoming*) I reckon the Hand will fulfil the antagonist side for the show into its second half. Let’s see what episodes 4-8 bring and see where we stand from that point.

Final rating: 8/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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RuPaul’s Drag Race: Top 10 Drag Queens To Ever Grace The Runway

By Joanna Cosgrove

More relevant now than ever, especially with its popularity on Netflix, it’s an understatement to say RuPaul’s Drag Race is becoming very influential in mainstream media – especially as this year, the world’s most fabulous reality show won its first Emmy.

If you have watched this show, from its early beginnings in 2009 to its eighth season that finished this year, you will be aware that 100 – yes, 100 – drag queens have walked into that work room with the same dream: to become America’s Next Drag Superstar. Including All Stars, there have been 10 winners of that crown so far; but not every fan loves the winning queen. Many queens, from season to season, win over our hearts with their beauty and their touching life stories.

In this list, I will rate my personal favourite 10 drag queens and believe me, it’s tough to narrow down 100 into 10. If things are necessary, another top 10 will be written up – until then, here are my first top 10.

 

  1. Adore Delano (Season 6)

We all love a bitch – well, if you watch Drag Race, at least.

Adore came in with grace (sorta) and throughout her long-term run in season 6, she was always there to cause drama, anger others, and give us some entertainment. But let’s not forget some of her winning styles!

I knew she was going to succeed in the season when I saw her come in, turquoise wig on and red outfit rocked, she was going to make her outfits stand out. Whether that’s in a good or bad way, that’s not up to me to decide. All I can say is, her face is all you remember. Her made-up, naturally bitchy face.

Favourite quote: “Party!”

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  1. Chad Michaels (Season 4)

Don’t get confused. I promise, this queen is not Cher. But damn close!

From the start of the season, Chad was honest and said she has one specialty: impersonating the one and only Cher. I mean, going as far as having surgical procedures to look like the iconic star. As crazy as that sounds, it really really pays off because she is as Cher as, well, Cher.

But unlike other drag impersonators, Chad did not stick to the Cher shtick. She was able to show various characters, show herself, and that is not the easiest for a drag queen who is known for one personality on stage.

Being one of the older queens who have competed, I give her all my love and respect. And just to finish: I love her pimp character!

Favourite quote: “I’m Cher, bitch!”

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  1. Ivy Winters (Season 5)

True Drag Race fans, I know you just read this name out loud!

Ivy Winters (pronounced “Ivyyyyyyy Winteeeeeeers!”) was definitely one of the more memorable queens, even years after her competing on season 5. I know, every queen is basically memorable, but Ivy had a difference. With Ivy, I never felt spite, and that’s saying something when it comes to season 5.

For those who have no clue what I mean: in season 5, many queens were turning on Jinkx Monsoon (who fortunately ended up winning the season) and not in the sassy drag queen way. I meant, in the rude and spiteful way; in a way that made her feel out of place and break down in front of the others at times. Who was Jinkx’s one friend: Ivy.

An honest angel, Ivy was the definite Miss Congeniality as if it wasn’t Jinkx winning that crown, it sure as hell should’ve been her!

Favourite quote: “Hey ladies!”

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  1. Detox (Season 5)

Detox can be summed up in one word: lips.

As I spoke about earlier with Chad Michaels, some queens have surgery to change their looks and possibly help their career in drag; that is too true for Detox. Throughout the season, she gets the usual cosmetic surgery jokes – along with some chicken comparisons – but like any charismatic queen, she laughs along and puts all her effort into the challenges.

Now to her lips. What gets her the giggles? What saves her in lip-syncs? Those lips. Yes, her lips have had work done also, but you should see how they dance. They shake, bounce, stutter, and you know it’s something unique and talented that Detox should use to her advantage.

(And let’s not forget her brilliant musical work with Willam and Vicky Vox!)

Favourite quote: “I’ve HAD IT!”

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  1. Katya Zamolodchikova (Season 7)

Her name is Eкатерина Петровна Замолодчикова – but don’t worry, you can call her Katya.

Our only season 7 queen on this list, Katya brought some dirty good humour to the screen – even if it’s not a new thing on this show – and she made the show that little happier to watch. But as we discuss these past queens, we can talk about their success on Drag Race, and discuss what they’ve been up to since they appeared.

What I love Katya for most is her long-running web series UNHhhhh with fellow season 7 queen Trixie Mattel (who just about missed out on this top 10), because more than on Drag Race, we can see the filthy optimism that makes Katya that “Russian bisexual transvestite hooker” she promised to be on her first day on the reality show.

Favourite quote: “When in doubt, show them you’re a**hole”

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  1. Sharon Needles (Season 4)

Hell is on Earth – and its name is Sharon Needles.

From the introducing episode of season 4, we all knew something new was rocking the Drag Race world. That something is gothic wonder Sharon Needles. When every queen was glamour, or comedy, she stormed in with that edge that her fellow contestants honestly thought would put her at an advantage – but there is no one way to drag (despite what some queens say). Sharon was also, at her time of competing, one half of a drag couple; her partner was season 5 contestant Alaska and she was even mentioned on Drag Race before she was brought on to compete. All because Sharon wanted to win a cruise for her. She definitely did one better – and all while grossing out the girls!

Favourite quote: “When in doubt, freak ‘em out”

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  1. Shangela Laquifa Wadley (Season 2/3)

Where do we start with Miss Shangela?

Being the only queen to ever compete in two main seasons of Drag Race, Shangela was catapulted to fame quickly because she was one hell of a queen!

With a whole lotta glamour, glitter and hollering, Shangela Laquifa Wadley quickly became a favourite with Ru – maybe not with her fellow contestants (both sets of them) but oh well. I personally scream whenever I see her gorgeous self jump onto the TV screen because she has that humour and beauty which is a winning score when it comes to drag queens. Shangela is 10/10, would watch again – and again – and again.

Come back soon, Shangela!

Favourite quote: “Halleloo, ladies!”

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  1. Latrice Royale (Season 4)

Larger than life. Large and in charge. That is Latrice!

One of the bigger queens in Drag Race her-story (I had to), Latrice won us over one one-liner at a time, and it was never planned. She is a natural comedy queen, but at the same time can bring the house down with her perfect makeup and drop-dead gorgeous fashion.

Formerly convicted, Latrice Royale saw a new life in drag performance, and thank god she did! She’s good at what she does, and on-screen has proven herself to be one professionally appearing actor, dancer, and lip-syncher (personally, Latrice should’ve stayed! She should’ve won the lip-sync!)

Since Drag Race, similar to the previous entry Shangela, she has made the occasional return to set the challenges for the contestants and outside of the television world, has been touring and taking part in musicals and stage shows.

Looks like that biscuit Jesus really did a number on Latrice!

Favourite quote: “Get those nuts away from my face!”

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  1. Bianca Del Rio (Season 6)

We had comedy queens. Now here’s the queen of comedy… Queens.

Bianca Del Rio made her entrance on the second first episode of season 6 (for those who are a little confused: watch season 6), as she walked in, elegant as ever. But that elegant walk was from a rough-voiced, foul-mouthed, over-eyelashed comedian who took “all T, no shade” to a whole different level.

Bianca and her “Rolodex of hate” ended up winning, but that was after a whole season of one-liners and slams that will make you laugh your head off, then sit back and think “damn, was that okay to laugh at?”

Similar to season 4 winner Sharon Needles, Bianca did not have that usual glamour look (did I mention her eyelashes?!) but hell, she stayed true to the drag art that she enjoys and she does better than anything else. Need a reference? Watch the Drag Queens of Comedy challenge! Or see her Judge Judy impersonation! Or just watch the whole damn season!

Favourite quote: “Not today, Satan”

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  1. Jinkx Monsoon (Season 5)

This is it! This is my number one queen!

Jinkx Monsoon is literally the most inspirational queen to ever walk onto Drag Race, because even I, who has personally watched season 5 about four times in full, cannot think of any queen more deserving of her crown.

Throughout her season, Jinkx was pushed to the ground for simply being very different. She was insulted for taking different approaches to challenges, for her narcolepsy (which we see her struggle with throughout the season), and especially for her comedic take on acting challenges. She had one honest heart, and she showed more raw emotion than any other contestant on that season. She even made me cry more than I would wish to tell you.

Jinkx fought through all her criticisms and with her humour, glamour, and loveable personality, she won! One of the most deserving queens to ever win a crown.

Now, post-Drag Race, Jinkx goes around the world acting, performing, doing everything she loves to do.

I’m currently saving my money up for her return to the UK because I would do anything to see my queen.

Favourite quote: “Water off a duck’s back”

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