Giant Thoughts

I am terrible for worrying over everything and having build up so much that I break down, which was something I attempted to address in my silly little limerick  which I wrote in response to the poetry challenge (which I am horribly behind on by the way), I was thinking about how I need to be looking at being more forgiving to myself. There was a good response to this and it made me think about how I should be implementing the moral lesson in that poem in my life.

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Intro to Poetry Day 5: Imperfect Limerick

There was once a person who wasn’t perfect

And thought that her life wasn’t worth it

She cried and cried

And then realised

Life is only the journey you make it.


(I could do with listening to this one to be honest)

The Rocky Horror Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (Ortega, Fox, 2016) – Why has it missed the mark?

The sheer volumes of 1-star reviews for the ‘new’ Rocky Horror Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again is astounding. The highest rating I saw was a four despite Fox’s efforts to pull out all the stops, in this post, I want to consider why this might be and why a new remake of a cult classic will never, ever win.


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Face: The Forced Smile

A very quick response to today’s challenge on the Introduction to Poetry Course. The goal was to use alliteration and the prompt was Face – I wanted something short with experimentation of different sounds, a mixture of sibilance and plosive sounds to show the strained aspect of the smile. This isn’t my most cheerful one…


Eyes that ache

From forceful smile

Strained struggle steers tears streaming

Lips twitch trained to stay wide

Teeth shine with saliva –

It makes others uncomfortable to see.

But, I guarantee,

they are not nearly as uncomfortable as me.


The truth is this:

We smile to make others happy

Not ourselves.

21/10/16, SnarkyOverload

Who I am and Why I’m here


Hi, I’m Jess.

As a challenge to myself last new year I said I wanted to write a blog, once a week for one year – and I’m halfway there!

At the time, I had no major plans over what the content should be – I tried beauty blogging (not for me), I tried blogging about my life (very boring). At the moment I seem to be forming some compromise between all of my interests, and, after writing some articles for my student newspaper, I discovered that I like to write reviews and opinion pieces, and I like to write them on anything that strikes my fancy.

So right now, I’m just blogging about things that interest me. My background is in Film studies, so I write a lot about films, but I’m interested in video games, literature, heritage and culture, yoga, and, occasionally, makeup. Welcome to my smorgasbord. Grab a bite of everything while you’re here.

Going forward, I hope to make my blog something that people actually read and comment on (big goals, man), hopefully to make some friends and, ultimately, to find my voice some more.

What are your goals with blogging? What made you start?

ITV’s Victoria: Every Inch a Good TV Series?

Jenna Coleman as Victoria

Victoria (Daisy Goodwin, Rebecca Eaton, ITV, 2016) finished last Sunday with the promise of a second series after a very promising first run. The series which premiered on ITV at 9 o’clock, in direct competition to Poldark genuinely impressed me, and seemed to be competitive in the ratings for the BBC equivalent. This is really the first time in a long time that ITV has given the BBC a run for their money with Period dramas, as they have been the king of the genre ever since Mr Darcy dove into the lake in 1995 (Pride and Prejudice).  When all is said and done, Victoria did actually beat Poldark for ratings, which is, for ITV a major feat.

So after watching the series, here are the major things that stood out to me: Continue reading

Male Nudity in TV Period Dramas – Are we taking it too far?

I read an interview with Tom Hughes in the Sunday Times magazine (link below), in which the interviewer came across as a total witch. She basically said that Hughes refused to reveal anything about his personal life (fair enough to him I say) and that his only appeal was his good looks, marketed through direct competition with Poldark’s Aiden Turner and the ‘sexiness’ of the two battling Period Dramas.

Tom Hughes as Prince Albert in Victoria

I do not deny that he is good looking, but that seems unimaginably rude and, frankly, you couldn’t say that about women without a huge backlash. So why can we say it about male TV stars? Why has it become ok for their bodies to be openly objectified without censure in a way that no longer exists for women’s bodies – trashy mags still talk objectify the female body, but the word ‘trashy’ is key. We censor this kind of talk and assign it to lowbrow journalism, but male nudity seems to exist outside of this realm of the ‘trashy’ and in the normative.

A lake-drenched Mr Darcy – the start of it all?

Male nudity of TV seems to have become a necessary phenomenon for selling television to the ‘yummy mummies’ and watchers of period dramas, ever since Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) dove into the lake in BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (1995). This was a phenomenon at the time, and has progressed excessively since – we never see Mr Darcy’s bare chest but through a glimpse of his wet shirt. Since the enthusiastic response to this scene, male nudity in the Period Drama has become more and more essential to their success. Sexuality has always been a key selling factor of fiction, especially when reimagining period dramas (Bodice Ripper!). But what is new, I think, is the difference in the way we discuss it for men and women.

Poldark (seen below) is the key example for this. The infamous sything scene has sparked many debates on the appropriation of the male body in film and the creation of a female gaze. The latest ‘reports’ say that Aiden Turner (Poldark) has had enough of shirtless scenes – perhaps due to this media obsession. Honestly, who can blame him? He has been objectified constantly, and whilst it has boosted his career, it isn’t the only thing about him. This is where objectifying, both men and women, becomes a problem – we are more than just our skin.

The infamous scythe scene

Perhaps the difference is this: we see men’s chests all the time. Men seem to walk around shirtless at the mildest bit of sunshine. It becomes commonplace and appropriated by the mass – no one cares if you see men’s nipples, right? However, if a woman wears revealing clothes she becomes associated with a stereotype; the result of this is that the female body remains as something that can only be revealed if the woman is willing to bear that stereotype. In Film, to avoid this stereotype the fully nude female body, (crucially, the main signifier of nude: the nipple) belongs to either High Art or Pornography.

The last Hollywood film where the whole breast is bared was Carol (Haynes, 2015) and the whole style of the film, and the content is about high art – it’s not a pornographic lesbian film, it is reinventing the lesbian film into a genuine love story in the style of classic Hollywood. The ‘art film’ style allows for female nudity – an excuse, if you will – what interests me is that male nudity is excluded from these binaries.

So the male body has become the easy way of showing nudity, and of attracting the elusive ‘yummy mummy’ market – but have we crossed the line by implying that male actors are only good for ratings if they are shirtless, as the woman in the Tom Hughes article says. I don’t think this is a fair assessment, nor do I think it is the case, but if this is a common thought does that mean everyone should remain clothed on television or do we just need to change our attitude?

Articles that inspired this post: