An Actress's Take on All-Things-Screen

Beyond Love Island


It’s finished. It’s over. So dust off your remotes, fluff up your pillows. Get ready to re-enter the world of quality television that doesn’t fry your brain. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I’m better than L.I. At the end of the day they’re the ones on the television currently, not me! And I’ve been watching pretty much every night for 2 months. They got us right where they wanted us. They won. I surrender. (Now, please can someone still get me a water bottle).


But life goes swiftly on. Other television and films rear their beautiful heads. And this non-stop reality invasion fades into the background. Good television shows? Yes please. Funny drama? Decent scripts? Oh, OK then. So I’m here to remind you what you can crack on with watch, enjoy and relax to. Shows that, in turn, might provide you with some longer-lasting nourishment and happiness.


At the weekend, I went to Bristol to visit my boyfriend’s family. On the journey there, I caught up with The Letdown on Netflix. It’s this wonderful Australian show about a new mother and family raising their first child. It’s a story of adapting to a new life, overcoming family hurdles and making new friends. One of my best friends has just had a baby and I was so excited to meet the little fella, Albert. He’s wonderful and gorgeous and I’m so happy that he’s now in the world. The reason I bring this up, is because my other best friend (who is expecting) recommended this to me a while ago. So I decided to give it a go and was completely touched. As you may know, I love Australian shows – their humour, their warmth and their wit. This one didn’t disappoint.


And then there was the latest Mission Impossible film which my boyfriend’s brother, Jack, and his lovely girlfriend, booked in for Saturday night and invited us to. At first, I wasn’t keen. I’ve never seen a M.I film and to be honest it’s not really my thing – fast cars (do love driving them though – I am a bloody good driver in case you hadn’t heard), action sequences and explosions? It’s all a bit generic to me. Hollywood throwing money at something, catchy theme tunes, a predictable cast – yep it’s got it. And still, it never hits me in my soul. It doesn’t speak out to me. What part can I relate to? The inserting poison in the enemy part? Or the pretending to be a spy bit? Might struggle. Give me laughs, nuances and family and friends however – and I’m sold.



But here comes a contradiction because, as it turns out, I loved MI. Well, I didn’t love love it. I loved the circumstances. I loved the fact we went to a wonderful restaurant in Bristol before. I loved that we had espresso martinis and amazing food. I loved that the fam was hanging out. And then, once we made it to the Everyman, everything about it was smile-inducing. The plush sofas, the nice people, the space to shove your feet, the bottle of prosecco I was sharing. The film itself gave me some laughs, had me on the edge of my seat at times, and brought us together. So yeah – I’m all for it.


I occasionally dipped into the odd kids’ film too. Despicable Me 3, The Good Dinosaur, The Boss Baby, Bee Movie. Granted, I wasn’t just having on a bender for the sake of it. Danny’s neice was there. (OK?) I’m well versed in all of them now. And, while I know this isn’t the sort of screen time I normally talk about, I enjoyed the Tour de France highlights and a little bit of Love Island winding down episodes. (You wanted me to be honest, didn’t you?)


On my way back to London, I stumbled across another downloaded programme on my iPad- This is Us. I know, I know. Everyone’s beaten me to it. It’s amazing, I hear you say though. It’s my favourite. It’s brilliant. And I agree. I don’t know why I found it so irritating at first. I thought the hopping between the different stages of their lives would be too jarring. I wasn’t sure about Mandy Moore (I’m so sorry I ever doubted this – Mandy, you are literally amazing and the older version of you reminds me of my Mum and fills me with love). But this train journey forced me into reconnecting with these old characters. And oh god how I love you guys. How brilliant you are. And how I’m looking forward to getting to know you a lot better.


So there we have it. My week in television and film. Beyond the Island that calls itself Love. Not groundbreaking, not earth-shattering. But it made me pretty darn happy. So I think that’s worth a whole lot. Remember to tune in to Sharp Objects on Sky Atlantic too. The Bold Type season 2 is still full steam ahead and bringing me joy and comfort with each episode. Go see Mamma Mia 2 if you haven’t yet already. And so much more. Make good choices.



Your post-Love Island brain will thank you.







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