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  • Writer's pictureJen

Show Recs, and General Thoughts About Twitter

Updated: Jul 1

Being back on Twitter for the first time in four years has been interesting so far. There's loads of great stuff, of course, like the many new writers I've heard about and whose work I'm enjoying, the new fiction markets that have popped up in the last few years, and loads of publishing success stories being Tweeted every day by writers from different cultures and genres (which is heartening and helps energise me to keep writing!).

But it wouldn't be fair to say that everything on my following feed has been pleasant. I've seen authors fighting with one another, readers fighting with authors, people being attacked for expressing themselves, and certain writing styles or entire genres being disparaged. It makes me far less likely to ever talk about my personal life, beliefs or views.

This is just an observation, but I can see why so many people need to take breaks from social media.

Anyway, enough of that. One way I like to relax between my day job and writing and illustrating and gaming (ha), is by watching shows. And oh my word, there have been so many TV shows in recent years that I've loved (and revisited already for re-watches). Here's a handful of them:

The Sandman (Netflix) - Based on a Neil Gaiman graphic novel, it's a dark fantasy about Dream -- or Morpheus -- the personification of dreams and nightmares and how he gets his mojo back after being captured and imprisoned. This show is dark in places, and I mean really dark and might be hard to stomach for some. But I think that it's handled deftly and is worth a watch if you're even vaguely interested in fantasy.

Lovecraft Country (Amazon Prime) - This dark fantasy horror is based on a book by Matt Ruff, and was unfortunately cancelled after just one season (boo!). There is so much to say about this show, but it's far easier to quote the summary from Wikipedia:

"Atticus Freeman as he joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback."

The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix) - Based on the Shirley Jackson novel, this is at surface level a ghost story, but it's also a story about family, exploring the themes of mental health, trauma, sorrow and resolution. All of the characters are complex and have their own plot threads that often intertwine throughout. If you want something that is dripping with atmosphere, this is for you.

My Mad Fat Diary (Netflix) - I don't know why I've never watched this until recently. Teen life in the 90s in England, the music, the feels, the traumas. It's raw, sometimes irreverent, but it's heartwarming in so many ways. I wish this show had been around when I was sixteen. Also: Jodie Comer.

Midnight Mass (Netflix) - I found this show incredibly chilling in its portrayal of blind faith. A supernatural horror, it's more of a slow burner, unfolding through the lives of multiple characters living on a small, isolated island off the mainland. This is the first thing I've seen Hamish Linklater in and I was utterly blown-away by his performance. The man has some serious charisma. To be honest I'd watch it again just for his scenes.

The Exorcist (Amazon Prime) - So this is another show that got cancelled, after just two seasons, which is a great shame because I thought it was really creepy and well-done. Season one is a direct sequel to the original book The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (and its 1973 movie adaption) and follows what happened to the demon Pazuzu after the events of that story. It helps if you're familiar with the original source material but you could probably still enjoy this on its own merit. Season two feels less like a sequel and more like its own self-contained story and can be watched without seeing season one.

Sex Education (Netflix) - This one is absolutely NSFW but it's so funny and clever and awkward that I couldn't help but love it. It deals with many issues faced by young adults and adults today (sex, sexuality, body image, disability, assault, to name a few), and while it's often handled in a more tongue-in-cheek way, there is an underlying seriousness calling attention to these real-world issues. Also: Gillian Anderson.

Love, Death + Robots (Netflix) - This is a brilliant anthology show featuring individual and original stories in each episode, all of them animated by different studios from around the world.

Honourable mentions:

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

Stranger Things (Netflix)

Queen's Gambit (Netflix)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Netflix).

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