Review: The Guest (2014)

the-guest-movie-review-2014It’s happening again, you guys. I can feel a new obsession coming on, and this time it’s in the form of Dan Stevens. I spotted The Guest on a monthly recap list another blogger wrote recently (I can’t remember who – sorry!) and it sounded like my cup of tea. The fact that Dan Stevens played the lead was intriguing, I’d so far seen him as a big furry beast and a messed up X-Men Mutant, so I was interested to see him in another role. I’ve got to say though, how does he managed to look so much like Bradley Cooper in this poster? It’s weird!

Anyway, the plot is simple enough. Dan Stevens plays David, a soldier who introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their Son who died in action. However, this isn’t a airy fairy drama where David reconnects a broken family or anything like that. Instead, a whole pile a seemingly accidental deaths take place, and things start to turn a bit weird.

I don’t even know how to describe the tone of this movie, it might be different for everyone. For me it was a cross between Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love! It had those moody, dark scenes, a stand out soundtrack, but also some outrageously funny mentoring scenes and sex appeal. I’m not kidding about that last part! I had to send my friend Steph (she understands me) a screenshot of Dan Stevens stood seductively, knowing full well what he looked like, wet after a shower and naked except for a towel that was dangerously low. *cough* Is anyone else warm?

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If I tried to be a real blogger rather than a fangirl, I’d tell you that the pacing is completely off in parts, and that the final third is somewhat confusing and a bit of a cop out. It also feels quite long considering the reasonable runtime. I read though that around 20 minutes of footage got cut before the release, which explains the confusion at least. Nonetheless, it’s a movie well worth watching as it’s something a little bit different! Plus Dan Stevens. Did I mention how blue his eyes are?

So where do I go next? I really, REALLY don’t want to watch Downton Abbey (it’s not my cup of tea) and so before I start the downward spiral of working my way through his entire filmography, can any of your recommend me some good Dan Stevens movies? I’m off to see Colossal tomorrow night which I think he’s in, although in a minor role.

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But anyway, I do recommend The Guest, but only if there’s nothing big at the top of your watchlist. It’s a bit of fun, and it’s something both guys and gals will enjoy.

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Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

alien-covenant-movie-review-2017Take this post with a pinch of salt and good humour. I’m not a Horror connoisseur, and I’ve watched approximately 2 and a half movies in the Alien franchise to date. They are the original Alien (actually kind of loved it), half of Aliens (it was on TV late at night, I’ll finish it someday) and Prometheus (saw it at the cinema, can’t remember anything). You’re probably wondering how I wound up at the cinema in the first place to see Alien: Covenant, right? It’s the husbands fault, despite being a wuss like me he loves the Alien series, and we’d both goaded each other into watching something scary together.

Here’s the plot, as I understand it. A ship bound for a faraway planet holds a small crew and a couple thousand frozen people ready to start a new colony (I’m not talking about Passengers I promise). Their ship is damaged and during repairs, one of the crew members’ helmet picks up a transmission from a much closer planet seemingly just as habitable as their original destination.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. What ruins this movie is the fact that not one member of this crew seems to have watched a Horror movie before. This is 2 hours of dumb people doing dumb things. Here’s mistake numero uno: Months, if not years of research into this new planet must have taken place, and yet the crew change course on a whim, simply because none of them particularly want to go back into space sleep again.

Why not, do you ask? To tell you would ruin the surprise, but you know how much I can’t stand James Franco? I LOVE HIM in this movie. Best role he’s ever done, officially.

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While I’m at it, here’s some other stupid stuff that happens:
– Far too many people go off to investigate solo. Guys come on, you know that means you’re gonna die.
– Oh, you’ve managed to contain an alien in a locked room? Best open the door then!
– I dread to think how much all this tech cost, but apparently everyone’s shoes have the same grip as old Converse. Blood seems to be even more slippery than banana peel.
– What’s this creepy, squishy, giant alien egg here? Best stick my face in it!

I guess common sense isn’t a prerequisite for space travel, huh.

The movie’s highlight has to be Michael Fassbender, who just never puts in a bad performance. He’s in Covenant twice, because I completely forgot that he was also in Prometheus, and so we’re treated to double the Fassbender-robot action. Speaking of which…I simply can’t ignore the weirdly erotic flute playing scene where Fassbender-bot kisses himself…and talks about fingering…*cough*. It all got very awkward in that dark cinema room for a few minutes.

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Finally, movie makers, if I see your plot twist coming a mile off, you didn’t do a very good job. Although, thanks for making me feel smart, I had the most gleeful face when I got to call it before my husband did. He’s the kind of guy to call a plot twist during an opening sequence, and even though sometimes I think it’s luck and he’s just being an ass, I’m never 100% sure. He might have weird powers.

Who’s in for Prometheus 3 in a couple of years then? You can count me in, this piece of trash was hella fun! 2.5 out of 5 erotic bone flutes from me, that might be enough to share out with the remaining crew. You blow, and I’ll do the fingering. I can’t even type it without feeling the shame!

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Review: A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

a-dogs-purpose-movie-review-2017As a movie blogger, I feel the need to have a ‘never say never’ kind of attitude when it comes to actually watching movies. I tell all my friends and family “If there’s ever something you want to see at the cinema and no-one will go with you, I will!”. That’s how I found myself watching Fast & Furious 5 with Jenna (having watched none in the series prior) and The Monuments Men with my husband (still haven’t forgiven him). It’s also how I wound up at the cinema last week with my Mum to see A Dog’s Purpose.

Why do we do this to ourselves? That’s what we asked each other while queuing for a cup of tea. We know this movie is going to make us cry, and yet we just can’t help ourselves. I don’t know whether to be thankful for the fact that the screen was fairly busy (more people crying to make me feel better) or full of shame because my Mum likes to choose the quiet moment to blow her nose.

If you don’t know already, A Dog’s Purpose is one dog’s story about trying to find meaning in his life. Or should I say lives, because in this world, when a dog dies he is brought back to life as a new born puppy. Say it with me now, ‘awww’.

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The dog we get to follow is called Bailey, and we hear his thoughts through the ever entertaining Olaf LeFou Josh Gad. I’ve got to admit, anyone with a deep love for their own pet will find a lot of humour in Bailey’s commentary, especially if you’ve ever had an actual conversation with your dog, cat, parrot, or whatever you have.

Of course it made me cry. It would make even those with the coldest hearts tear up just slightly. I wasn’t timing it or anything, but I’m fairly sure there were 2 dog deaths within the first 10 minutes of the movie. If that’s not enough to get you, there’s a healthy dose of angst, domestic abuse and alcoholism that might tug on those heartstrings instead.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the whole movie, sadly. Bailey has a few other lives that are saved for the big screen itself, but the middle section of the movie is all just filler, leaving you waiting for the big reunion moment that you know is coming. It’s not a masterpiece movie, but it knows what it wants from it’s audience and it succeeds in that, so what more can you say!

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I’ll tell you one last thing though, I’m fairly certain my Mum and I both went home and hugged our pets extra tight that night. It didn’t stop me from cursing my cats with every bad word invented when they hid a live bird from me of course, but for that evening, they were my favourite things in the world. In fact, can we have A Cat’s Purpose next year? Just follow the same principle, but make it an hour and a half of cats being a******s instead. I’ll watch that.

3 out of 5 bottles of Baileys from me. It’s clever, because that’s the dog’s name, but it also makes me sad because I haven’t touched alcohol since Christmas.

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Book Review: Velcro: The Ninja Kat by Chris Widdop

Today’s book review is a really exciting one for me to write. I don’t think I’m quite into the swing of how to actually review a book yet (heck, 3 years in and I’m not sure how to properly review a movie either) but when you’re blogging about something created by someone you actually know, that’s a pretty big deal!

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I may not know Chris Widdop, author of Velcro: The Ninja Kat personally, but I’ve been a follower of his blog ‘This is Madness!‘ for at least a couple of years now, and when you read someone’s views and thoughts for that amount of time, you definitely feel like you know them. I was over the moon when Chris emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing his novel, and he was kind enough to gift me the whole trilogy!

Set in the fictional Country of Widows, a military organisation called the Devil Corps aren’t what they seem, and are waging war against the citizens they swore to protect. Only the Ninja Kat is aware of this, and has been fighting against them for some time now, solo. To some, the Ninja Kat is a criminal, and the book throws us right into the action where the Ninja Kat is ambushed and injured by those who perceive the Kat as evil.

The Kat’s journey leads to a small village of hamsters who have been deeply affected by the Devil Corps. Their village has been destroyed, and several of the villagers have been kidnapped. On the Kat’s journey to rescue the hamster villagers, we as readers learn much more about this fictional world, the history of the Devil Corps, and the tragic history of the Ninja Kat, with plenty of twists and turns throughout.

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It’s amazing that Chris fit so much action into a relatively small novel, in fact, the pace never lets up. It’s a blessing and a curse, because I never managed to find a good point to stop, so I burned through the pages much faster than I normally would! The world that Chris has created is fascinating, and the characters all being animals opens up a great opportunity for creativity, which was seized at every opportunity. It’s a serious read, but I chuckled to myself when I read about the hamster’s style of armour, and the Kat’s reaction to bees.

I’m so glad now that Chris gifted me the whole trilogy, because although the first book has a very satisfying end, it also made me want to pick up book 2 straight away!

What I love the most about this opportunity is that The Ninja Kat isn’t the kind of book I would automatically pick up from a shelf, but I enjoyed every single page. So thanks Chris, both for giving me the opportunity to read your work and for opening my eyes to a totally new genre!

If you want to give the book a read yourself, I know it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats, but Chris Widdop himself can be contacted through his official website http://www.velcrotheninjakat.com if you wanted to find out more.

P.S. Chris – your cat is gorgeous!

Going Off Topic (#4) I fell off the blogging wagon and landed in Disneyland Paris

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I’ve been for a while, and I’m so sorry! Turns out being pregnant kind of sucks sometimes. Between all the sleeping, nausea, bathroom breaks and panicking, I wasn’t leaving myself with much time to actually watch anything, let alone blog about it. I’m into the second trimester now though, and feeling more lively, which was good timing as I’ve just got back from Disneyland Paris!

It was a trip I’ve had booked for a long time now with my husband and 4 of our friends. In fact, it’s the first holiday we’ve been on as a group of friends! We had the best time and got far too much shopping done, but we couldn’t resist the pins and a couple of outfits for our baby girl! That’s right! We had an elective gender scan booked the night before we traveled, and we’re having a girl. I’m over the moon!

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Although I haven’t been watching much, I’ve got some reading done over the last few weeks. I read the first book in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy, Mr. Mercedes (LOVED it) and I’m actually over halfway in to the second book now, Finders Keepers. In between those books, a blogging friend of mine, Chris Widdop emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reading one of his novels, Velcro: The Ninja Kat. I jumped at the opportunity and Chris kindly gifted me the whole trilogy. I’ll have my review posted soon! Chris, you’re a talented guy.

I watched the first episode of Fargo: Season 3 before flying to Paris. I’m a huge fan of Season 1, and I thought Season 2 was pretty good too, but half way into the first episode of Season 3 I almost gave up. Too many characters were being introduced with no hint of a real plot, but I’m glad I stuck it out because I was hooked by the end. I’m really interested to see where this leads.

Also on my radar is 13 Reasons Why. This seems to be the show on everyone’s minds right now and I’m trying to stay away from reviews until I can watch it myself. I get the gist of what it’s about and the news of a Season 2 has confused me, but I won’t look into it any further. I have a feeling this show won’t take me long to get through!

I’ve been avoiding talking about movies because of how terribly I’ve done. I’ve watched 3 movies in 2 weeks! How bad is that! I watched Aladdin with my husband before our Disney trip because he hadn’t seen it since he was little, and I forgot how much I love that movie. Adam Driver’s SNL sketch of ‘A Whole New World’ has ruined that scene for me though. No, no, that’s a bad choice of wording. I’d actually prefer Adam Driver’s version slotted in to the original movie!

I FINALLY got to watch Get Out, after feeling like the only person in the world who hadn’t seen it. I went in virtually blind as many of you recommended, and I enjoyed it. I wish I loved it though, but I think the hype killed it for me a bit. It was fascinating, and funny in a ‘should I be laughing at this’ kind of way but the twists weren’t so shocking to me. That ending was absolutely genius though, I’ll give it that!

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on opening night at our nearest IMAX, and it was hella fun. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love Rocket any more than I already did, but I just fell for that little trash panda! I still prefer the original, but I knew more of the soundtrack in that one, and I’m a sucker for an origin story. Unless it’s Batman. I’m so fed up of his origin story.

So, I’ve been playing catch up on everyone else’s blogs, but here are some of my favourite posts that I read today:

The Punk Theory shared 5 of her Favourite Shows from when she was little.

The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger reviews my all-time favourite romcom, Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Rambling Film reminded me that Odd Thomas needs to be pushed to the top of my watch list.

Epileptic Moondancer reviews Get Out perfectly!

Two Dollar Cinema reviews my favourite trashy movie of the moment, Collateral Beauty.

Movie Confessions Blogathon

Two weeks ago I asked all you lovely bloggers to send me your movie related confessions. You delivered, big time, and boy oh boy did you shock me along the way! Let’s get straight to it, shall we?

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Firstly, there’s a heck of a lot of ‘must see’ movies that you haven’t seen. In fact, I hold you all personally responsible for making me sit through The Godfather a couple of years ago, because I thought I’d be a blogging fraud if I couldn’t hold a conversation about it.

“As of this blogathon, I have not seen any Studio Ghibli film.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“As of this blogathon, I have not seen any Terminator movie outside of short clips.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I’ve never watched any of the Godfather films. I know they exist and that they are excellent, but they just keep passing me by. One day I’ll manage.
And neither have I watched Forrest Gump. To be honest, unless it just happens to be showing on TV, I doubt I’ll actively seek it out. It has just never appealed enough to get me to watch it. Despite hearing all the wonderful reviews. And, if I watch it I’ll probably wonder why it took me so long.
…Or Shawshank Redemption. Or Silence of the Lambs.” – Thoughts All Sorts

“I have not actually yet seen Citizen Kane, nor The Godfather films for that matter.” – This Is Madness!

Shocking, guys. Shocking. You also had a lot of love to share, some guilty pleasures, and some movies that just deserve more love all round!

“I love Dirty Dancing so so much, as well as Grease, Mean Girls, Napoleon Dynamite, Wayne’s World 1 and 2, the Bridget Jones trilogy and Miss Congeniality. If any of these movies are on TV and I happen to be flicking the channels, I just have to watch them.” – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

“My friend and I became obsessed with Suite Francaise and we saw it three times at the cinema. I thought it we saw it enough times, the ending would have been happier.” – She Likes Movies

“In my opinion, the X-Men franchise beats the MCU any day of the week. Any. Day.” – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

“I prefer George Lucas’ Star Wars (prequels included) over Disney’s Star Wars.” – This Is Madness!

“When Garfield the movie came out, I made my aunt take me to see it. There was only 4 other people there. I absolutely loved the film, mostly because of Bill Murray but I know it’s a most hated film. My aunt has never forgiven me for making her go.” – She Likes Movies

Realweegiemidget has so many guilty pleasures that they sent me a whole list! Read it here.

I’m getting a warm, fuzzy feeling from all this love right now. Oh wait, I just left my fan heater on behind my desk. My bad! Hold on tight, things are about to get rough now as we head into the things you find completely overrated.

“I find many best picture Oscar nominated movies to be overrated.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I think Meryl Streep is overrated. She’s not a terrible actress, but a bulk of her greatest performances were at the beginning of her career. Her roles since Out of Africa or Sophie’s Choice are just okay. She doesn’t wow me like everyone else seems to be…” – Anonymous

“All the ‘hype’ around La La Land has actually put me off the movie. The Trailer didn’t help catch my attention either.” – Thoughts All Sorts

“I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t enjoy Moonlight and was saddened when it won Best Picture this year.” – Movie Rob

Ouch! It’s not getting any better from here, folks. Here’s what you absolutely hated. Fans of Birdman, beware…

“I really didn’t enjoy Terence Malick films. I value a very strong plot/screenplay in a film, and I feel that he focuses too much on the cinematography and visuals for my taste.! – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews 

“I really hated Birdman.” – Life of This City Girl

“I strongly disliked Birdman. I just couldn’t connect with it. I really enjoyed what is considered to be one of the worst Best Picture winners of all-time, The Greatest Show on Earth. Who would want to miss seeing Jimmy Stewart in a clown costume?.” – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

“I absolutely hate the James Bond series. And in fact, it is the only series of films that I refuse to watch, no matter how good everyone says certain entries are.” – This Is Madness!

Can someone go check to see if Michael Keaton is okay, please? These next few don’t fit into any particular category, but they’re still great. My apologies go out to Katie at She Likes Movies because I’m still laughing at her Back to the Future confession, even though that movie is probably ruined forever for her.

“I was really disturbed by Inland Empire so when I had an argument with a close friend of mine, about films, when we sorta made up, I said she could have my copy, thinking it was a punishment as I was still angry with her.” – She Likes Movies

“My blogging friends know more about my movie ‘addiction’ than my friends and family in the real world do.” – Movie Rob

“I feel like I have overactive tear ducts, so if there is any kind of emotional scene in a movie, I will at the very least get watery eyes.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I once had an awkward encounter while Back  to the Future was on in the background. Things ended so badly with the guy that I couldn’t watch the film until years after. And I love Back to the Future.” – She Likes Movies

Last, but by no means least, one of my all time favourite bloggers, known as Lady Sati over at Cinematic Corner had so much to confess (seriously girl, how did you have anything left?) that she needed her own section. Are you ready for this?

“1. Big Little Lies is overhyped as hell. Spoilers – the idea in this day and age Jane didn’t know what her friend’s husband looks like and that he would lose his cool so bad and just started beating those women up buried the show. And Vallee music video filmmaking style is fine in 2h movie but it was a nightmare to get through when I saw the 7 episodes in one sitting.”

“2. I judge people who tell me they like Chris Pratt. All you need to do is google the chihuahua him and his wife abandoned or the cat he gave up on twitter because he knocked his wife up. I wish these two never worked in Hollywood or anywhere else again.”

“3. I think Amy Adams is the most overrated actress on the planet and if she wasn’t there every single Oscar season doing tons of interviews and round tables no one would nominate her on merit of her performance. Gary Oldman is 100x better than her but he doesn’t do award circuit promo thing. He has one nomination, she has 5 and everyone cries that she didn’t get a 6th one this year. It’s ridiculous.”

“4. I think people who doubt how Jennifer Lawrence went from doing indie films to doing big profile movies over night even after they saw her casting couch photos are naive.”

“5. I never saw Citizen Kane and I don’t think I will. The idea you need to sit through some old, boring movie – from all accounts I heard – just because you are a movie fan is stupid.”

“6. I have The Heat in my top 100 and Logan in my top 25 and yes they are both higher than Psycho. Because when I come home and want to see something to entertain me – the film that does a better job at that is gonna be higher on my favorite movies list than a better/more acclaimed film.”

“7. Seeing how Hugh Jackman on his own makes Les Miserables watchable makes the fact the Academy chose to give overrated DDL his third Oscar for mediocre performance in Lincoln even more ridiculous.”

“8. And finally I have little respect for people who 1. take the money 2. lose weight/do crazy things/put their health at risk 3. ramble on during talk shows how much they suffered when not only did they not do those things for free, out of their own free will but usually they get awards for it which leads to more roles and more money. If you ate a carrot a day, it’s because you chose to. No one forced you. Now please, shut up about it.”

“Oh and one more! 9. Meryl Streep gave a standing ovation to a rapist Roman Polanski. Praising her for her ‘anti-Trump speech’ during Globes was so cringe-worthy. She stood up and clapped for a rapist. She has no moral authority over anyone.”

Everyone, I can’t thank you enough for taking part and spreading the word! I thought I would have to pad this post out with my own confessions but you’ve outdone all of my expectations! I’m thinking we’re going to have to make this a yearly tradition.

TV Rambles: Big Little Lies, Legion & Girls

Is it just me or are having a really slow few weeks for movie releases? I’ve been struggling to find something to watch lately, which has led me to watch a fair bit of TV, which I guess is never a bad thing!

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Big Little Lies (2017)

Big Little Lies seems to be on everyone’s minds (and screens) lately. Based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty, and not to be confused with the similar sounding Pretty Little Liars, this is a 1 season, dramatic story with a murder mystery lying underneath. It also hosts one of the most incredible casts I’ve ever seen on TV, with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley & Alexander Skarsgard to name a few.

I’ve only read 1 novel by Liane Moriarty so far and I kind of hated it (Truly Madly Guilty) so I was worried about starting Big Little Lies, but the hype dragged me in and I couldn’t help myself. I needn’t have, this show caught me instantly and I binge watched the hell out of it in the end. I actually got so absorbed into these characters’ lives that I forgot about the mystery it was building up to.

That’s my advice if you want to give the show a go, just relax and enjoy every episode for what it is, rather than try and play detective. The final episode absolutely blew me away, but if I tried to over analyse everything I saw it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. It definitely lives up to the hype!

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Legion (2017 – )

I hadn’t seen much advertising at all for Legion, but it was recommended by my husband’s friends who had got hooked so we decided to give it a try. Guys – this is the weirdest TV show I have ever had the joy of witnessing. It’s produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television, set in the X-Men Universe. Dan Stevens plays the main character, David Haller, a man with incredible abilities that he’s unaware of, thanks to the fact he’s been in a psychiatric hospital for years to treat his apparent schizophrenia.

Seriously, I’m not messing around when I say how weird it all is. Prepare yourself to be shocked by mysterious characters not being who you thought they were, and for a giant, fat scary man to show up out of the blue. There’s also a children’s book called ‘The World’s Angriest Boy in the World’ so you know…there’s that. Honestly? I would have quite happily given up after the first episode, but it gets so much better. It’s one of those shows where every episode seems to end on a ‘WTF’ moment.

The only thing that really bugged me by the end of the season was David’s love interest, Syd. She had her uses in the first few episodes but after that she just came across as whiny and needy. She has powers too of course, but doesn’t even want to use them, and yet she somehow holds enough merit to be part of the main squad? It doesn’t sit with me, sister.

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Girls (2012 – 2017)

Okay, I realise I’m the only person in the world who likes Girls (or so it seems) but it seemed to make sense to make this post a triple whammy, and the final season has just finished! I started watching this show just before Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out so I could get to know Adam Driver better, and ended up falling in love with the show and spiraling into an Adam Driver obsession. Sigh. Why do I do this to myself?

This final season has been so full of highs and lows. I was all in for Hannah (Lena Dunham) to finally grow up and raise a child, I could have cried for joy when Adam (Adam Driver) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) to realise they’re the worst couple ever, and right now I’m just about ready to campaign for Elijah (Andrew Rannells) to have his own show.

I guess at the back of my mind though I always saw Hannah and Adam as end game. I’m hopeless I know, they were terrible for each other sometimes, but I felt like Adam was the only one to ever call Hannah out on her crap, and Hannah made Adam seem like a normal human being. As normal as Adam could ever be at least. I’ll hand it to Lena, it all ended realistically, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. I can always rewatch the first few seasons I guess.

So, that’s left me with a huge TV-shaped hole in my life! Are there any new shows out there that I have to try? Fargo starts tonight doesn’t it? Yaaaaaaas!