Category Archives: Stuff I Dig

Truly Oddly Deeply

*Drag Race spoilers*

While Drag Race doesn’t always pack the punch it used to (IMHO), I am always fully on board. I mean, it’s still extremely addictive television and more fun than most things, even at its least inspiring (and sometimes problematic).

Season 11 hasn’t been too bad so far and has a couple of standouts for me, including larger-than-life Silky and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Vaaaaaaanjie!).

I’m quite relieved Ra’Jah O’Hara has gone now (even though she was interesting to watch) but I’m disappointed we didn’t get more from Scarlet Envy (booted out in Episode 6). But honestly, this season is allllll about one queen for me and that is the wonderfully strange, gorgeous and controversial gob-shite… Yvie Oddly.

I always love the arty oddballs and Yvie is no exception. Here are just a few reasons she’s set to become one of my all time faves:

Drama Llama

Yvie so far has been involved in the most drama due to her inability to sugarcoat the tee. Most likely to call it like it is, she maintains she was brought up by parents who were brutally honest with her and has grown up with the same quality.

“You think being safe every week is going to get you somewhere?” ~ to Silky

While she is what she is, she has more than once claimed to be working on her delivery and it’s when she shows these flashes of vulnerability that I fall for her more and more.

Doing s*it you could not dream of

My queen lives with a condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 3 which affects the tissue in her skin and bones. She has hyper flexibility as a result (which she uses to its full potential on the stage) but joints can pop out-of-place and cause a lot of serious pain. This has come up in the competition when Yvie has hurt herself during some of the tasks.

“I’ll dance circles around your ass.” ~ to Silky

But do you think this has kept her down? Yvie uses her body in an incredibly effective way and her long limbs throw shapes nobody else can. She’s a trouper who takes umbrage to being told she should leave because she’s hurt or that she can’t do what the others can. And that my friends, is badass as Hell.

A for Authentic

Yvie is also authentic AF (a word thrown around the work room A LOT) and true to who she is – working her uniqueness into even the most broad of categories – e.g. Sequins on the Runway. She’s shown time and again that she can turn it up AND keep her freak flag flapping – and I love her for it.

“I am Denver’s commodity of drag oddity.”

Genuinely, I just want to see what she’s going to wear every week and when she’s on the stage, I don’t care about anyone else. She has been mostly consistent in the quality she brings to the tasks and the runway, with the exception of The Snatch Game (eek!) – and I am backing her all the way.

So there it is – Yvie Oddly is my favourite from this season and puts me in mind in some ways of a young Acid Betty.

She might not have the polish of my ultimate queen Kim Chi but she does have the sense of humour to join her in Christa’s DR Hall of Fame (along with AB and Detox) – so even if she doesn’t win, Yvie will always have that.

Who’s your favourite?

The Category is… Live. Werk. Pose.

Pose is set in the world of 1987 and “looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world.”

*Minor spoilers*

I’m fashionably late to the Pose party but I’m so glad I made it. Based around the 1980’s NYC ballroom scene, it focuses on new house-mother Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) and the freshly formed House of Evangelista.

Having just received bad health news, Blanca has decided to start really living before it’s too late. This means leaving the bosom of her own house-mother, the ferocious Elektra Abundance (Dominique Jackson) and going out on her own. Well, not on her own.

Since her house vows to be there for the kids in need, she soon gains her own children in the form of Angel, Damon and Lil Papi – and the rivalry between Evangelista and the House of Abundance rages on.

Yassss Queen

Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain) has been kicked out by his parents and is living on a park bench when Blanca finds him. She takes him in with the insistence that he get an education while under her roof. Things start to look up when he’s accepted into an exclusive dance school but will his new friend Ricky bring trouble with him?

(I’m only three episodes in, so I don’t know these answers either).

And the category is… Stone Cold FACE.

ICE cold

Angel (Indya Moore) meanwhile, has fallen for businessman Stan (Evan Peters), a rising star who just can’t get enough of her exotic beauty. While he balances the pressures of work and family life, he puts her up in her own condo to keep her off the streets and his life.

TBH I don’t really care so much about Stan’s story arc. I care about our central characters – including mean Queen Elektra who is about to embark on gender reassignment surgery – and ballroom MC, Pray Tell (Billy Porter).

Pray Tell is going to break me, I just know it.

The scene is stunning, the costumes insanely beautiful and the series opener is absolutely breathtaking. I care about these characters and I want to spend time with them all. I’ve already cried through the first episode (Damon’s audition is so lovely).

Yassss Queen Part II

Plus not one Jeffrey Tambor playing a trans character in sight – and that is amazing. The only thing that pisses me off is that Peters, Kate Mara (as Stan’s wife) and James Van Der Beek get top billing in the credits and that is frankly appalling.

Get on it stat – especially if you’re a fan of the stunning Paris is Burning (1990) and its unofficial sequel Kiki (2016).

What are you watching?

Fleabag

*Minor spoilers*

Woooooo, Fleabag is back for a second series and I’m absolutely delighted! Written and starring the amazing Phoebe Waller-Bridge – the complex titular character Fleabag returns with new issues including a mammoth crush on a priest (Andrew Scott). Which is super hot, I won’t lie.

Fleabag is brilliant because it’s touching, relate-able (remember when I had my own crush on a priest? LOL) and devastating. Examining grief, guilt – the feeling of being completely inadequate – lust – it covers all angles. Even the constant breaking of the fourth wall doesn’t put me off (but only just because in series two it gets really SMUG).

Fleabag’s sister Claire (Sian Clifford) is struggling with her own feelings of resentment towards Flea, following the events of series one (I won’t spoiler, you just need to watch it).

Hot Priests R Us

Claire’s also commuting to and from Finland and dealing with pregnancy/relationship issues of her own. The best bits in many ways are the scenes between the sisters because they’re so bitchy and delicious. And there’s a hair emergency which had me screaming.

Flea also laments the current status of her friendship with Boo (Jenny Rainsford) which is very sad – and there’s a scene in which Flea ‘confesses’ to The Priest about how scared she feels all the time which realllly resonates with me. Olivia Colman is Godmother and soon-to-be Stepmother to the girls and she’s such a glorious bitch that all her scenes are the absolute best.

We’ve all been there…

My Sunday plans are to absolutely rinse the six-part series with copious amounts of tea and no regrets.

What are you watching?

Cool Things on the Internet #1

Welcome to my new series of cool things I have recently found/seen/read on the internet. I don’t suppose we need anymore introduction than that, do we? Continue reading

Spooky Podcasts

The other night I stayed behind at work to do some overtime. I was seeing a movie with Glynn at 8.30 anyway, so it made sense just to stay at work until I could go and meet him, and get paid for the privilege.

Well, throughout the afternoon we’d been talking (my team mates and I) about the best ghost stories we’ve ever heard. Heather told a story about a gypsy stalking a woman via google maps and I nearly shit my pants. By the time they left me alone for the day, my skin was crawling so I thought I’d treat myself while I worked the remainder of the shift.

I put on the Evolution of Horror podcast and skipped to the Slender Man episode. SM is one of my favourite folk tales and I often fall down a rabbit hole reading stories about him on Creepypasta, so it was a no brainer. As the episode unfolded I learned more about a web series called Marble Hornets that tells the story of a couple of protagonists being stalked by a Slender-like figure.

My friend Matt has recently been watching it and trying to get me in on it. As it started to get darker and darker in the office, with all the lights around my pod automatically going off , I started to freak myself the fuck out. Every small noise became the footsteps of Slender Man walking towards me. Every slight chill was his breath on the back of my neck.

God, I love that feeling.

So to my favourite creepy podcasts for those times you just need to feel scared. In no particular order, a couple of fitting little listens to enjoy in the lead up to Halloween.

Evolution of Horror

Presenter Mike examines the way horror films have changed and evolved over the last hundred years – with a little help from his guests. I’m new to this podcast but I bloody love it. This week I’ve been working my way steadily through the folk horror episodes but there are also ghosts and slasher movies in the back catalog to look forward to. Rumour has it zombie movies are next. Basically this is a must-listen for any horror fan which will give you a new appreciation for the films you already love and inspire you to get on to the ones you haven’t.

Best episodes to far: Folk Pt. 11: Kill List (2011), Sightseers (2012) & A Field in England (2013), Folk Pt. 13: Slender Man (2018) & Viral Folk Horror

You can find Evolution of Horror on any podcast app, just type in the name and GO.

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The Last Podcast on the Left

This one is heavy on the jokes and at times that can take you out of the episode. The rapport of the three presenters (Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski) is fun but can also be jarring for that reason. However, they do examine truly interesting subject matter, from fairies to the suicide of Kurt Cobain, to the ongoing feud and subsequent deaths of Biggie & Tupac. Pretty much everything you can think of has been covered and if it hasn’t, you can be confident it will probably crop up at some point.

Best episodes so far: Episodes 279 & 280: The Enfield Poltergeist (fucking TERRIFYING)

Sword & Scale

This is the best true crime podcast I’ve heard so far with stories that go in deep on horrible crimes committed by ‘ordinary’ people. The tag line “The worst monsters are real” has never rung truer.

Best episodes so far: All of them

What are you listening to?

Autumn TV Recommendation: The Haunting of Hill House

It’s no secret that this girl (me) loves TV. Sue me. I particularly love good television to enjoy during the darker evenings and luckily for me, Netflix has delivered another interesting prospect in the shape of this Gothic beauty.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it. Based on the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

I love this show so much. It’s genuinely one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been frantically messaging my friend Matt throughout to compare notes – I think that’s made me love it even more.

While it focuses on the Crain family and their experiences at Hill House, it flits between past and present day, giving us an insight into the effect everything has had on its troubled members. Dad Hugh has a deeply damaged relationship with his children Nell, Shirley, Luke, Theodora and Steve. Their sense of distrust and anger toward him stems from the dramatic night they all fled the house in the middle of the night. The same night they lost their beloved mother Olivia.

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Each has their own demon and as we find out, is haunted by different things. Nell (Victoria Pedretti) has grown up haunted by the continuous appearance of the bent neck lady. Her twin brother Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) sees a tall man in a bowler hat and has a history of substance abuse brought on no doubt by his experiences.

Theodora, Shirley and Steve each have their own cross to bear too. Eldest brother Steve (Michiel Huisman) has cashed in on their childhood by writing a book about Hill House and enjoyed medium success as a writer. This has set him apart from his siblings, particularly Shirley who refuses to take his ‘blood money’ and resents him exploiting the others’ experiences.

As the show progresses we get all the answers we need about what precisely happened at Hill House and to Olivia Crain (Carla Gugino), who we visit in flashbacks and also see from time to time in present day.

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I’m not going to spend any more time on the narrative because I want everyone to watch this and love it as much as I do. It’s tinged with so much sadness and grief but it’s beautifully paced, genuinely frightening in places and perhaps most importantly, gives us well-rounded, flawed characters to fall in love with.

While the whole concept of the haunted house is not a new one, the way this series looks at PTSD, addiction and fractious familial relationships makes it feel really rich and satisfying. As the last episode wrapped up, I cried like a baby. It’s so beautiful with an amazing cast.

Get on it ASAP.

What are you watching?

Autumn TV Recommendation: The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

UGH. I’m completely obsessed with this woman – and now, this show. I woke up early (ish) this morning and have mainlined a handful of episodes in one sitting, while supping tea and being thankful for no work for another day.

This is my favourite month hands down and it’s because of little gems like this.

The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Inside the cooking lab of Christine McConnell, who has attracted hundreds of thousands of social media followers with her creepy edible creations.

Christine McConnell is a very clever woman (model, actress, baker and photographer), making unbelievably detailed baked goods and dishes with a heavy Gothic edge. Spiders, monsters, Ouija boards and eyeballs all feature heavily but really there is no limit to her imagination or skill.

While I suppose this is technically a baking show, it doesn’t stop there. Produced by The Jim Henson Company, Christine is joined by a band of weird and wonderful creatures who terrorise the neighbourhood with their beastly goings on – so it’s part Sabrina the Teenage Witch (particularly Rankle the Sphynx cat who’s been to Salem Acting School), part sitcom, part cookery show.

And it’s all brilliant.

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NBD, just an exact replica of her own house made out of biscuit…

Dita Von Teese even joins Christine as Vivian the enchanted mirror – and it’s so camp I just love every minute. So far (in the handful of episodes I’ve wolfed down as I type this), Christine has built a biscuit replica of her own creepy mansion, made chocolate chip eyeball cookies, peanut butter and white chocolate bones, constructed an entire tea set out of dark chocolate – and even made a chicken-shaped chicken pot pie.

All this while looking like a Queen and she still has time to romance Norman, the man she met at her grandmother’s graveside (is there more to Norman that meets the eye, I wonder? Of course there is!). While Christine’s creations are definitely inspiring, the show seems to be aware that not very many people would have the time or inclination to whip up their own so it doesn’t spend too much time going in on the recipes – it’s directive but doesn’t pretend that the whole process is easy or quick.

At one point Christine puts the biscuit mansion in the ‘chiller’ and I had to lament my lack of fridge space at home. A couple of jars of pickled onions and ours is packed. No room for a giant cake/and or an octopus called Millie, sadly.

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Dog days are over

I would say, even if you’re not into cookery shows (and I’m not really), there might be something here for you. Christine also makes candles and decorative pieces for the home and in one episode, even gives us a brief sewing lesson.

She rocks a lovely vintage look and is one of those women I absolutely admire, the ones who never seem to succumb to a jogging bottom or bedhead (there’s one of them in my office). It’s a total and utter dedication to her brand that I could never achieve but wish I could. She’s very cool and even though it’s all so tongue in cheek, the Tim Burton-lover in me adores the dark tones.

At one point, Christine’s live-in companions Rose (raccoon), Rankle (cat) and Edgar (beast) kidnap and plot to murder their busy body neighbour, until Christine opts to kill him with kindness (and cocoa) instead.

curious-creations-of-christine-mcconnell

I just want to watch this for the rest of the day (and my life) and eat candy-hued goods while I do it. Cancel all my meetings. Check it out for yourself on UK Netflix now.

You can follow Christine on Instagram here.

What are you watching?