★ ★ ★ ★
Lovesick (4 stars): In Lovesick (amusingly formerly titled Scrotal Recall) the show’s protagonist Dylan learns in the opening minutes of the pilot that he has contracted chlamydia. Dylan decides to personally call each of his former lovers to warn them. Being the hopeless romantic that he is, Dylan sees this as an opportunity to reconsider all his past romantic relationships. Typically, each episode will have a flashback to pivotal moments in Dylan’s life. I find it amusing to explain the premise of this series to people but I feel it is important to note that this series is much less crude than you might expect from simply its premise, although it is still undeniably hilarious. I really love this series because of how comforting and sweet it is. I think anyone who watches this show will develop a close attachment with all the characters, particularly the main trio of Dylan, Luke and Evie.
★ ★ ★ ★
This is an esteemed gangster classic – only The Godfather is a more renowned film of this genre. Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, is enamoured with the Mafia almost from birth and soon into his youth he begins to work for them. The film follows the decades he spends involved in the Mafia alongside putrid and sly characters played by Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. If I could summarise this film in one word it would be: crazy. Following the lives of gangsters who show absolutely no remorse for the malicious things they do is a bewildering experience. No character acts as the voice of reason and Scorsese ensures that it is hard to sympathise with anyone on screen. This film might seem like an obvious choice but for someone (like me) who typically leans more towards comedies or domestic dramas, this was a welcome surprise. Goodfellas is really as good as everyone says.
★ ★ ★ ★
Four women are newly employed to Spain’s first national telecommunications company in Madrid. Set in 1928, the series highlights the inequalities Spanish women faced at the time and how they strived to remedy this. In addition, there is plenty of drama to go around. The four main female characters keep many secrets and lies to themselves that inevitably boil up to the surface. It is this aspect of the show that has prompted me to give this show only a three star rating because I do find it too melodramatic at times. But I would still recommend this show because of how thrilling it is. Also I enjoy its unapologetic feminism and its representation of LGBT characters. This inclusion is radical in a period series such as this. Subliminally, it is asserted that people who fall into the LBGT category have always existed, this is not some new phenomenon.
★ ★ ★ ★
A slice of life film about a restless, precarious teenager played impeccably by Saoirse Ronan. Ronan’s Lady Bird makes it her goal to separate herself from her peers with her dyed pink hair and by fashioning a new name for herself. She is determined to leave her small hometown and go to university on the east side, much to her mother’s discontent. There is much to love about this film because it is so easy to relate to. Lady Bird’s outbursts towards her mother are cringe inducing but I would imagine many viewers have been in that position as a teen. Her pursuits after boys are unsuccessful; the relationships that are actually lasting for her (and are most compelling for the viewer) are with her best friend Julie and her mother. I would highly recommend giving this a watch in case you missed it when it had an awards buzz a few years ago.
Brigid Molloy – Film & TV Editor