TV: Eurovision 2014 Live Commentary

“Eurovision! Eurovision! Eurovision! Are you ready?!”

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Refresh every few minutes for updating comments!

20:00

Eurovision begins.

20:02

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Featuring a short video by Emily, the previous winner. Showing different ways of travelling to the Eurovision set.

20:04

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Dancing with the competing flags.

20:07

Introduction of all the eurovision entrants.

20:11

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Introduction of the hosts. More than 18 million people are watching this show, including those outside Europe.

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TV: BBC Horrible Histories Series 1-5 DVD Box Set (UK Edition)

“The best thing since cave-men!”

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Studio: BBC

Genre: Comedy, Historical, Age: 5+

Released: October 2013  (UK version)

Horrible Histories, for those that don’t know, are an insanely popular series of factual-comedic books made for children. They are pretty old, considering I read them in school, and are filled with facts that seem ridiculous, but are actually true. There have been many productions based off the books, from broadway shows, to animated series, but the 2009 series is easily the best one, being made for all age groups, not just children.

The whole box set is around 30 hours long, and includes all episodes from the five series. The first 12 episodes of each series has sketches, fake historical ads, historical parodies of modern-day reality and chat shows, songs, and quizes. Episode 13, the last of every series, has a compilation of the best songs from the series, and a few extended sketches.

The series groups ancient and modern history into categories titled like Rotten Romans, Awful Egyptians, and Terrible Tudors. Although the show starts off with mainly British related history, it does branch out into significant American and some European history.

Each member of the main cast plays a plethora of characters. As time grows on, you can immediately recognise them and their acting style, and the familiarity makes the comedy even more hilarious.

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(Featuring Ancient Beauty Tips from our experts)

I personally find it impossible to pick a favourite person from the cast, because even when they are not in the starring role, they bring a lot of charm and charisma to the sketch, and are great in their supporting roles.

Each cast member has plays many characters, but my favourite roles are Jim’s Shouty Man, Matt’s King Charles II of England, Simon’s Robert Dudley, Martha’s Queen Elizabeth I of England, Larry’s Bob Hale, and Ben’s King Henry VIII of England.

More information and videos below:

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TV: Star-Crossed – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Roman, Roman, where for art thou..”

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(“You know, those aliens are pretty good looking….”)

Airing on: Sky

Genre: Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi, Aliens, Age: 13+

Released: 4th April 2014 – onwards

Aliens called Atrians have landed on earth in September 2014, and immediately face hostilities. Emery Whitehall finds a young Atrian boy hiding in her shed, close to where the alien ship has landed. She takes care of the frightened young boy, however the military finds him and shoots him in front of Emery.

Ten years later, and Emery is beginning her first day of high school after spending the last few years in hospital. She and her friend Julia watch as young Atrians are beginning the same school; a program to integrate them into the same society as humans. If this program is successful, it could mean the start of cohabitation by humans and Atrians, but high school is never easy.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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TV: My Jihad – BBC Three Original Drama Short – Episode 2 Summary + Review

“Jihad: the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.”

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(“You live with your parents…?”)

Airing on: BBC iPlayer Exclusive

Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy Age: All ages

Released: March 2014

At first it was the title that caught my eye. I was thinking about how someone has managed to drag the media-buzzword “Jihad” into yet another production, but happily this is a drama about a young Muslim man called Nazir who is looking for a wife.

At a speed-dating event, Nazir (Hamza Jeetooa) is being wrung out by the various attendees about his lack of finances. Fahmida (Anjli Mohindra), who is chaperoning her friend at this event, gives Nazir a particularly hard time. The are immediately at odds, but a chance meeting on a bus opens up a conversation, and they are able to look at each other in a favourable light.

This is one of the standalone BBC Three Original Drama Shorts that are available to watch on BBC iPlayer. The premise is to celebrate the new talent joining the BBC, and each episode is less than 20 minutes.

Warning! May Contain Spoilers!

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Musings: The direction of “Things” and Commitment

“Where are we going now..?”

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It’s been a while since I’ve openly discussed the direction of this blog. What’s new, what’s in the works, and how updates will be arranged?

It’s been my lifelong ambition to Stick With Things. I think, I let a lot of opportunities go by, because I didn’t commit to it for long enough, or I just let my standards fall, or let things drift away.

Well, I am quite proud that I have stuck by this review blog for almost two years. I started  this blog at the beginning of 2012 (back when I got zero views), and yet by some miracle, it’s still going, and has daily visitors.

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Thankyou, for that.

As conceited as I can be, I originally put up reviews to share my opinions with the rest of the internet. I never dreamed that people would actually follow this blog, or check back daily, or even leave a comment.

Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I am glad that people treat this site as a source of information. It’s a real honour.

There’s no dark side to this post. It’s actually very positive (albeit fumbling) in a way, that I am trying to say that I will commit to this blog, that there will be updates.

Updates, updates… Anime

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I’m not sure if I want to finish the reviews for Sukitte ii na yo/Say “I Love You”, and Tonari ni Kaibutsu-kun/My Little Mosnter. You see, the manga of those two series are being released in the UK soon, and I would actually prefer to read the story. Especially since I finished watching Say “I Love You”‘s anime, and it didn’t strike me as amazing, but seems like good material for manga. A lot of pacing issues in slower anime tend to not be as obvious in the manga, because it depends on your reading speed.

And then in direct contrast to that, I would love, love to review all of Noragami, even though the anime is being is released. And Inari, Kokon Koi Iroha struck a chord in me that an anime hadn’t done for a while.

Books

I have recently finished (re-re-re-)reading the Old Kingdom Trilogy/Abhorsen Trilogy, which are the three books by Garth Nix: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorson. Reading an old favourite rejuvenated me. It was great to read something “perfect” instead of diving into yet another new fantasy world, and wondering if the author will let me down.

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I previously reviewed A Confusion of Princes, another book  by Garth Nix, which was okay but not as good as the Old Kingdom Trilogy. Most people will know his work from the Trilogy.

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I also want to put up my thoughts on the rather brilliant The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling. It will be a review of my second reading, the first time, I didn’t feel like I’d gotten to grips with the characters enough. It’s an unfair advantage Rowling has, to have readers not discredit her work straight away. I’m aware that other authors wouldn’t get the same treatment. On the other hand, I feel that bias is part of having opinions, so it’s okay.

Pictures of stuff…

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And lastly, I really enjoyed waffling through endless of descriptions of packaging. I don’t know how much people pay attention to packaging of anime, but I feel like this area needs to be criticised. Besides, when you buy overpriced anime stuff, you deserve to analyse every inch of it.

Anime: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“There’s a deity in my local shrine…”

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(“Please don’t poop on me… please…”)

Studio: Production IMS

Genre: Romantic, Comdey, Fantasy, Supernatural Age: 13+

Released: January 2014 – onwards

Inari is a middle school student, who is sweet and clumsy, and loved by her two best best friends Keiko and Chika. On the way to school Inari rescues a “puppy” from the river bank, but her friends believe that Inari fell into the river due to her clumsiness.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Anime: Noragami – Episode 2 Summary + Review

“How to live with a tail…”

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(“Oh no! How am I going to get home without my body!”)

Studio: Bones

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Comedy Age: 13+

Released: January 2014 – onwards

From the previous episode, Hiyori is carrying on with her normal school life, but her body and spirit are still seperating at unpredictable moments. Her spirit senses have been getting stronger, and she can see the small phantoms that surround everyone’s daily lives.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Anime: Noragami – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Who you gonna call? Yatogami!”

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(Bullies target the only blonde girl in school)

Studio: Bones

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Comedy Age: 13+

Released: January 2014 – onwards

Bad feelings cause phantoms to appear in the world, and there isn’t a worse time than during exams. Yato, an unknown and poor god, helps out a girl being bullied by her classmates. Tackling the phantom seems to be one step too far for his Divine Weapon (who is also a woman). She decides to quit, leaving Yato not only dirt poor (he doesn’t get much business) but also defenseless against the phantoms.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Anime: Sword Art Online – Episode 25 Series Finale Summary + Review

“End of the virtual road?”

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(Kirito plays a dangerous game of tag with Sugou)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Game, MMO, Fantasy, Sc-Fi, Age: 13+

Released: 6th July 2012 – onwards

From the previous episode, Asuna has woken up from the hospital and Kirito is on his way to see her. Danger is lurking the hospital carpark in the shape of Sugou, who was killed by Kirito in Alfheim Online.

Kirito is stabbed, and has to fend off a knife that could end his life before he has a chance to see Asuna in the real world.

Sugou has finally lost his mind, and although Kirito eventually beats him, Kirito chooses to spare Suguo’s life.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Anime: Sword Art Online – Episode 24 Summary + Review

“Let me make things gruesome”

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(“Yo! Secret Epic Fairy Bro-fist, sucka!”)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Game, MMO, Fantasy, Sc-Fi, Age: 13+

Released: 6th July 2012 – onwards

From the previous episode, Yui has opened the gate to the top of the World Tree, and Kirito is just baby steps away from rescuing Asuna.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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