Flowers, a quiet comedy with the feel of a melancholy fairytale, is strikingly brilliant

flowers fairytale pagan mystical heritage will sharpe olivia colman sofia di martino julian barratt daniel rigby channel 4 seeso mental health

The second series of Flowers, a piece which is very much in conversation with its predecessor, continues to evoke the feel of a fairytale – approaching it, however, from a different aesthetic. As writer and director Will Sharpe (who also plays Shun, the Flowers’ live-in illustrator) noted, Flowers draws on “a pagan and mystical heritage”, and that’s something the second series really emphasises. Broader in scope than series 1, moving its focus from Maurice to his daughter Amy, Flowers series 2 builds itself around the aesthetic of the aforementioned “pagan and mystical heritage”. There’s a new, warmer colour palette, in keeping with the summer setting; it’s evocative of the world of faerie, positioning mental health issues within that liminal space.

As a result, there’s a different energy to Flowers’ second series – it’s now less a haunting reverie and more of a wild rush. Indeed, something that’s worth remarking on about Flowers, and is perhaps less often spoken about, is the editing; much of Flowers comes down to the experience of watching it, the feeling of that wild rush, and that’s created in no small part by Selina Macarthur’s editing. The show masters tone such that it is, in some respects, less a television series and more of an experience –  the texture and the feel of the show is, arguably, one of the most impactful things about it.

This one, admittedly, I think I messed up.

So, I was running late with this piece, for various boring reasons we’ll call “personal problems” (in that they pertain to problems with me as a person) which put me under some time constraints when it came to actually writing it. You can perhaps tell, I think, because the second half of the article (typically the close focus/second idea aspect, insofar as I ever stick to the relatively loose structure I try and use) is a broader, more general “things that are good about the show” section, which is usually though not always a sign that I’ve struggled to get the piece to work. Possibly I shouldn’t have revealed the trick. Whoops.

Anyway, a day or two later, with some more though, I realised what I would have liked to write for the second half of the article, because it (hopefully) would have actually advanced all those ideas about fairytales and pagan mysticism I put forward in the first half. Essentially, the character Shun is kind of at a remove from the rest of the characters, right? On a couple of levels, really; there’s just the fact that the character is at a bit of a loose end sometimes, not a member of the family, whatever, but there’s also the metatextual level – Shun is played by Will Sharpe, who created it and writes it and directs it. He’s more of an observer for a lot of it, and we also know he’s the creator.

Also notable, though: Shun is the only one who ever interacts with these magical realism elements. He has that moment with his family (is that significant because of like, forests and the dead in both English and Japanese culture?) at the end of s1, and – eliding spoilers – s2 has an ending similarly shaped around Shun. Well, similar in that he’s important. Anyway, what does that say about the show?

Not a clue, but I felt like I’d stumbled onto something really important but didn’t have the time to actually let it develop into anything. That felt like a particular shame, because I really loved Flowers, and it’s always a bit of a point of personal disappointment when it feels like I’ve not done a show justice with my writing. Ah well. One to revisit one day, maybe.

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Is a sequel to The Night Manager a good idea?

the night manager tom hiddleston hugh laurie olivia colman tom hollander elizabeth debicki bbc one hd john le carre

For one thing, one has to consider the integrity of the piece – given the ending of the first series, what reason is there to reunite our three leads again? It’s obvious that this is happening because of the success of the first series, and it’d be churlish to denigrate the follow-up on that basis – but the question as to whether it’s the only reason for a sequel is worth asking nonetheless.

Perhaps I’m just biased – after all, I was one of the few people who didn’t love The Night Manager, or even particularly like it. From the nasty fridging as the show began, to the thin writing and poor characterisation of Tom Hiddleston’s Jonathon Pine, there were quite a few flaws to the show that stood in the way of my enjoyment of it. And, indeed, they continue to stand in the way of my interest in a sequel.

Short answer: Probably not.

Long answer? Well…

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These 10 actors would be perfect as the next Doctor Who

doctor who ten actors who could be the next doctor mathew baynton olivia colman zawe ashton phoebe waller bridge kyle soller

Peter Capaldi revealed last night that the upcoming 10th series of Doctor Who is set to be his last as the Time Lord. The Christmas 2017 special will see him hand over the TARDIS keys to a new actor, just in time for Chris Chibnall’s first series as showrunner. The 12th Doctor was a fantastic character that Capaldi really made his own. If he’d decided to stay on just a little bit longer, no one would have complained.

And yet, the time has come for a new actor to take on the role. People are already trying to guess who the next Doctor might be and making all sorts of suggestions as to who it should be. 

Here then, are 10 actors who could play the next incarnation of the famous Time Lord.

Here’s a list of ten people who could, perhaps, play the next Doctor. I was suitably aghast when I realised I’d chosen someone who should never play the Doctor, because the Doctor simply isn’t that type of person – but then, maybe it wouldn’t be so awful for an American to play the role? Hahaha. Anyway. My personal preference would be Phoebe Waller-Bridge, I think; previously I’ve said Natalie Dormer, but since watching Fleabag, Phoebe was my main choice.

In fact, I’m pretty much convinced that I was the first person to suggest her for the role on a big platform like this? While I doubt the subsequent storm was down to me, I do take a little hipster pride in it all.

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