Would You Change Your Online Self?

Image from Channel 4 website

I don’t know about you, but I have been glued to The Circle on Channel 4!

If you don’t watch it or know what it is, The Circle is a reality TV show where a group of people are living in the same building, but are only allowed to communicate through a specially created social media platform, and because they never see each other, they can choose to be whoever they want to be, with the aim of the game being to be popular. Some people are being themselves, some are hiding or changing certain aspects of their lives/personalities, and some are being completely different people altogether. Every few days, players rate each other, and the most popular players get to choose who out of the least popular players get ‘blocked’ and have to leave the show.

As well as obviously being entertaining, I’m finding it fascinating. We, the viewers, obviously get to see exactly who these people really are, and see what they actually do, say, think and act like when they know the other players can’t see, and it is really interesting to see what goes on behind the screen.

Being a person who does put so much of myself online, I know of course that I don’t share everything, and I would hope that most people know that. I don’t share all the bad stuff, and I often don’t share all the good but mundane stuff that happens in my day to day life, but personality wise, I am completely myself. But this show got me thinking: would I ever change myself in order to be more liked?

Well, without wanting to sound big-headed, I like to think that I’m not disliked online, or at least if I am its by people who aren’t vocal about it, or who are mature enough to just unfollow me and be done with it. Equally, I could probably be more popular. I could have tens of thousands of followers who all think I’m amazing, but I can’t help but think what or who would I have to become to do that? I like who I am (for the most part), and I don’t actually know what I would need to do to become more popular. Would I be more liked if I was the same person, but prettier? Do I need to change my personality to be more liked? Its so hard to say, but when I think about it, if I was anyone but myself, they wouldn’t be liking me for who I really am, and I don’t want that.

Comparing myself to players in The Circle, I definitely think I’m most like Kate. I try to be nice to everyone, and I do prefer to keep some opinions to myself rather than stirring the pot, choosing instead to confide to my close friends rather than openly bashing the beliefs or opinions of others that I don’t agree with. I personally don’t think any of these things make me a bad person, and these traits are what made Kate so popular for the first few ratings, but now a lot of players are finding her niceness annoying, which makes me worry a little bit whether everyone thinks I’m annoying. Its interesting and terrifying at the same time!

So I put this to you, people of the internet, would you ever portray yourself differently online, just so people liked you more?

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Reasons Love Island Isn’t Total Trash

We’re now a few weeks into what is either considered the most important 8 weeks of summer telly, or the least important, and no, I’m not talking about the World Cup (mansplainers, I don’t care if my football statements are wrong).

Love Island completely splits the nation into those who are in front of ITV2 at 9pm every single evening for weeks on the trot, and those who couldn’t give two figs about who’s grafting who and think a melt is a term for a type of toasted sandwich. And d’you know what? That’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their opinions about the show, and even I, a watcher, still think its total trash, but whether you like it or loathe it, here are a bunch of great things about the show that you might not have thought about.

It creates a community

Last year was the first year that I watched Love Island, after a number of people on my team at work talked my ear off about how good it was, and getting into it opened me up to a whole world of conversations that I would have otherwise been left out of. I’m now in a Love Island group chat with work people, plus almost the whole of my Twitter feed is full of people gossiping about the goings on of the villa. Even my boyfriend, who last year wouldn’t be caught dead watching it, has been watching it with me so he can keep up with all the talk with the people he works with.

There’s no slut shaming

Of course the environment in the villa is not at all organic, and in any other situation most of the islanders would probably act very differently, but when things start to heat up, there isn’t a smidge of judgement from the other contestants, or even the viewers. I’ve not once seen a slut-shaming comment from a genuine viewer, and there’s not a bad thing said by the islanders about any antics that do occur.

Power is in everyone’s hands

Girls pick, boys pick, girls dump, boys dump; it might alternate a little bit but everyone gets their turn at the controls.

It makes people think about serious dating and relationship issues

Unfortunately, we have to see it to start talking about it, but actions of the islanders can raise some serious discussions about toxic relationships, gaslighting and so much more.

There are some incredible characters

Just looking at this season alone, you’ve got Jack who will inevitably leave the island and become a comedy act doing impressions, Alex who is the purest little soul and we’re only two weeks into getting to know them!

What are your thoughts on the island?

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What I’ve Watched Lately

Since going back to a 9-5 job, rather than the 8-8 shifts I was working before, I’ve definitely found that I’ve had more time to enjoy some of the simpler things in life, like just spending an evening watching TV, taking advantage of my Odeon Limitless card, or binge watching things over a weekend; its been great.

Over the last few weeks especially, I feel like I’ve watched a lot of pretty great things, and so I figured I’d share some of them with you!

TV

Hunted

I know it was the third season this year, but up until now I had never seen any of the Channel 4 programme. Well, my parents started watching it and were hooked, so Matthew and I decided to give it a spin too – although Matthew had seen some of a previous series. Well, we also ended up pretty obsessed too. Not only did we catch up to my parents in the current series, but I also went back and watched the entire first season in a few sittings, and am now getting started on season 2 – its just so more-ish! I really thought that I wouldn’t get sucked into it but wow..

Death in Paradise

I love a good murder mystery, and despite having watched Death in Paradise on BBC since the show first started, they’ve just released the earlier series on Netflix, so now I’m going back and rewatching it from the start as well as waiting for each new episode on Thursday evenings. Its so unrealistic in terms of the number of murders occurring on a small Caribbean island, but also just so entertaining, and what’s great about re-watching it is I can’t remember who did it from the first time round!

Movies

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

If I didn’t have Odeon Limitless, this would not have been a film that I would have bothered paying for as I wasn’t massively interested in it at first, but I actually thought it was brilliant! The storyline was always going to be just a little far-fetched, but the cast were amazing – I mean, The Rock, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, it was never not going to be funny. If you’re on the fence, just watch it, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

The Circle

This is a Netflix original movie, and one that I have scrolled past time and time again while looking for things to watch, but Matthew actually bothered to read its little synopsis and so we decided to try it out because let’s face it, Tom Hanks is great in everything, right? Well its another one that really surprised me. From the first 15 minutes or so it doesn’t feel like its going to be much, but from then onwards I was pretty glued to the screen. For a fairly low budget film, its got a cracking cast, an interesting story and I was actually pretty upset when it was finished because I wanted more.

Black Panther

This movie was all the reviews had it cracked up to be and then some. I’m not going to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it yet but Marvel are gonna find it hard to beat. The casting, the costumes, the cinematography, the underlying message of the film, it was all completely spot on and I think it deserves every accolade coming its way.

Have you watched anything good lately?

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Random Thoughts I’ve Had During Pretty Little Liars

Finishing a tv series might not seem like a significant achievement to some, but after battling with Pretty Little Liars for years now, and being very late to the game in the first place, I AM FINALLY FINISHED.

Not unlike many other viewers, I still have a lot of questions, but I’m not one for sharing spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet finished, or anyone who might want to get into it, so instead I’m going to pick apart some of the silly little things that I’ve never understood..

  • Why are the girls parents NEVER around?
  • And what kind of setting spray are these girls using for their makeup?
  • It was a victory if I put on a dress for high school, why does everyone look like they’ve just stepped out of a fashion shoot?
  • And why has there never been a repeated outfit?!
  • For a small town, a hell of a lot of stuff goes down
  • But also, a hell of a lot of people go unnoticed, which isn’t very small town
  • How do these girls afford everything when they never seem to be going to work
  • And seriously, WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS?
  • I’m all for being stubborn and trying to fix my own problems, but why would you not involve the police in some of these situations
  • How on earth can they go from a murder one night to totally fine the next day?
  • And how on earth did Aria’s parents just accept the fact that she was dating her teacher without too much of a fuss?
  • Why do some characters just suddenly disappear from the programme? And not because its part of the plot..
  • How do they have access to all this ridiculous technology?
  • And is it even possible to text from a blocked number?
  • Who even builds these crazy hidden rooms and lairs etc?
  • The only real difference in the last series is that they sit around drinking wine rather than coffee
  • I know this is just a story, but how could anything be so twisted and far-fetched?

Have you made it to the end of Pretty Little Liars?

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Series I Still Haven’t Finished

In an age of Netflix and on demand, does anyone actually wait to watch shows once a week for however long a series lasts anymore? Technology has spoiled us, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t as guilty as the next person for ending up 3 series deep in a programme without remembering exactly how I got there.

I do, however, have a bit of a commitment problem with some programmes; I get so far and then suddenly I can’t bring myself to go any further. This can be in the middle of a series, or while waiting for a new series to begin, it just happens randomly and suddenly – even the series that the rest of the world watch obsessively, I just lose all interest.

Game of Thrones

I didn’t have any interest in Game of Thrones when it first hit the scene, but my ex insisted I watch it and although I was confused the whole time, I smashed through the first 3 series so we could watch the 4th series when it came out. I was pretty addicted at the time, but post-breakup I didn’t have access to Sky and I couldn’t be bothered to try and remember all the characters names anymore.

Pretty Little Liars

I was late to the PLL party and left early too. I made it as far as the first few episodes of season 5 before I had to stop watching it for reasons best explained in this post. Last week I have gone back in an attempt to make it to the end, given that it all over now.

Teen Wolf

Twice I’ve got into Teen Wolf and then dropped the ball and given up. This one I can’t really explain, it just loses its appeal every now and then.

Once Upon A Time

For a series that I fell in love with so quickly, I just can’t bring myself to go any further than the point I’m at now. Maybe because I’m worried about it getting even more convoluted than it is, maybe its because I don’t want it to be over..

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I watched the whole of season 1 in a day, but the newest series has just held zero appeal to me..

Aside from a few, I genuinely can commit to a good series, so if you have any recommendations then drop me a comment!

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Things I Didn’t Like About The Gilmore Girls Revival

There are a few spoilers here

Things I Didn't Like about Gilmore Girls

Its been two weeks since the Netflix release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and I’ve been struggling over what to write ever since.

I’ve always been a huge Gilmore Girls fan, so this revival was a huge thing for me. I watched all four episodes back to back on the day of release, and was left with my mouth hanging open at that cliffhanger ending (which I had no idea was coming, despite the fact that my mum wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised). I had mixed feelings about the whole thing; there was a lot that I loved about it, but there were also some aspects that I really didn’t, and while I like to keep myself positive, its much easier to write about the things that I didn’t like, so here goes!

Rory’s attitude to guys

I was really surprised to discover Rory had a boyfriend, but what surprised me more was her attitude to him. We’ve always watched Rory 100% commit to her relationships, so for her to have a guy that not only was she not really into in the slightest, but also frequently forgot about and strung along the way she did really bothered me.

Also, I know that Rory has been the ‘other woman’ before, in the case of Dean and Lindsay, I didn’t like that she ran back to Logan, despite his engagement. I know she called it off herself in the end, but I still lost a little respect for her.

Lorelai’s scene after the funeral

I know its a reason for Lorelai and Emily to fall out, but the way that Lorelai acted after her father’s funeral was just not ok. I didn’t find it funny or necessary, and they could have found another reason to add in the scene at the end of the whole ‘Wild’ moment.

Stars Hollow The Musical

The idea was cute, but the show itself was way drawn out..

The unnecessary cameos

Don’t get me wrong, I loved that they included so many original characters, but they didn’t need to fit in everyone, and when they couldn’t book Chad Micheal Murray, they could have cut the Tristan bit, instead of showing the back of some random guys head from a distance..

Weird musical numbers

Stars Hollow The Musical aside, I didn’t really see the point of any of the long soundtrack scenes. Take the Life and Death Brigade bit for example: yes, I liked the fact that they brought the guys in and spent a night doing goofy stuff, but the blaring background music did nothing for me and I thought the whole thing was way longer than it needed to be.

A lack of Sookie

Because she was featured in the teaser trailer, I was fully expecting Sookie to be present throughout all the episodes. Now I get that Melissa McCarthy is a much bigger star than she was when the series began, but she was really integral and it made for all those bizarre ‘pop up chef’ scenes.

The ending

That cliffhanger had me in shock, and I ran around the house freaking out because it was such a huge announcement. But the more I’ve had time to think about it, the more I think I wish they hadn’t done that. We all know it must be Logan’s, but if the whole ‘full circle’ idea continues, he won’t be around – I mean, he’s engaged and all. The only vaguely rectifying thing is that I hope that Jess becomes Rory’s Luke, and those two finally end up together. I’ve always been Team Jess.

Despite this outburst of negetivity, I did like the revival, but not as much as I always loved the original show. I really hope they don’t just leave it as it is and that they do pick it up for more Stars Hollow madness, but I don’t think I’m gonna be pining for it too much.

What did you think?

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My Love of Gilmore Girls

My Love of Gilmore Girls

With its recent release on Netflix, and the upcoming re-visit to Stars Hollow coming to our screens soon, the world has suddenly become obsessed with Gilmore Girls. I couldn’t be more happy about this for two reasons. Firstly, I can now binge-watch one of my all time favourite tv programmes – yay! – but more importantly, because now the internet is full of people I can talk to about it.

I first started watching Gilmore Girls when I was 14. It used to be on E4 during weekdays and I stumbled across it during a school holiday once, and quickly became hooked, needing to record two episodes a day, 5 days a week once I was back at school. I joined the programme midway through an early season; somewhere between Rory and Dean and Rory and Jess, so some of the history and earlier references were a little lost on me, but after months and months of ticking through to the end of season 7, the rotation started again, and I could finally fill in the missing pieces of the story.

Through the years since then, I’ve caught various snippets of the show as it made appearances on other tv channels, and it never got old. It goes without saying the Lorelai and Rory are two of the funniest, most relateable characters to have graced our screens, and their lives having provided endless entertainment for me, and as the Twittersphere is finally getting in on this brilliant thing, I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts from throughout the show.

I always rooted for Rory and Jess

I remember one time Jess made an appearance in a later series, and I actually squealed with excitement when Milo Ventimiglia popped up in the opening credits. Even when Logan was on the scene, and I did like him, there will always be a little part of me wishing that things with Jess had worked out.

There are no characters that I hate

You know how in every series on tv, there’s that one character where you’re like ‘ugh, get off my screen’? I DON’T HAVE ONE.

I identify with Rory more than Lorelai

I know some people feel very Lorelai, but I’m Rory all over.

I felt a little let down when Lorelai and Christopher got married

Its not uncommon opinion that Chris was never really the guy for Lorelai, but when they actually got married I kinda lost a little faith in her. I mean why..?

Paul Anka is the best

I mean, everyone who’s had a dog knows that they all have weird little quirks, and while they may not be a fear of key lime pie, they can be super strange and we all pander to them. Even the dog is relateable!

I just love this show..

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