Not iconically known as a Christmas film, but more of a romcom set around the holidays. Wow i just got that! Was the title always a pun?…. Anyway, mixed with two American and two UK actors, this film presents a light-hearted romance and a festive flick. 4 stars.
Similar to The Holiday, Love, Actually is another romcom festive flick that centers around more main characters that weave into each others lives in some way and presents different stories of relationships over the Christmas period. 5 stars.
Hilariously funny, and an instant Christmas fave. ELF follows Buddy, a human who climbed into Santa’s sack and was taken to the north pole where he was raised as an ELF, until he goes on a search for his real father in our society. 5 stars.
“History has it’s eyes on you”… Hamilton is my favourite musical ever I think. I first discovered it 5 years ago and listened to the whole soundtrack in one day whilst sorting through the clutter in my room via Marie Kondo methods. Lin-Manuel Miranda really is a talent. Now, 5 years later and I have finally been able to see the Original Broadway version and Cast performance as Hamilton has recently been released on Disney Plus, a great way to celebrate the ease of the current Lockdown. I have also seen the West End version of the show for my 18th birthday a few weeks before I found out I was going to New York for the first time. And of course in New York I had to get picture outside of the Richard Rogers theatre where Hamilton has been playing on Broadway. Bringing together elements of history and knowledge whilst also embellishing and fictionalising through rap and hip hop style of music, Hamilton is a must listen to for any musical theatre fan.
Song Recommendation- ‘Satisfied”
2. Wicked 🧹
When I went to New York for my 18th birthday, me and my mum were able to snag some tickets to see Wicked on one of our last days there. Even after many years on Broadway, Wicked is still as popular as it ever was, and therefore the only seats left for the show were in the front left hand corner. Despite having an obstructed view for only a few moments, being able to say that I have seen a Broadway show sat front row in New York City, it probably has to be one of my favourite moments from the trip. We were able to see all of the details on stage, every action, movement, mannerism, facial expression and twitch in body language, the type of things you wouldn’t be able to see sat all the way up in the gods tier. As well as being able to see the details of makeup on their face and the spit come out of their mouth as they sang, it was quite the experience. And how could I not mention that the very attractive actor playing Fiyero smiled at me, so there was that. 😉
Song Recommendation- “Defying Gravity”.
3. Les Miserables 🧥
So, I still haven’t seen Les Mis in a musical theatre show. I know?! What am I playing at? I really need to get on that. And actually I was going to, I was planning on perhaps going with a friend to see Les Mis this summer, but due to Coronavirus and Lockdown that hasn’t been possible. Though as soon as theatre do start reopening in the future, this is the first musical I will want to see. I have seen the film of Les Mis and the 50th anniversary concert, but still yet to see the musical itself. I’m interested to see if Cosette is as annoying as she is in the other versions I’ve seen. Can’t we all agree, that Eponine and Fantine are the better female characters? Maybe I can just relate to Eponine more. Despite being a highly depressing musical, the music and history surrounding it are extraordinary and I look forward to the first time I can experience it in person.
Song Recommendation- “On My Own”.
4. Waitress 🥧
Continuing the now birthday musical tradition, after seeing Hamilton in 2018, I then saw Waitress in 2019. This was a really amazing show to see live and the character of Dawn was so relatable. Unfortunately, it has finished it’s run at the West End, but is doing a tour around the UK, so if you get a chance to see it at some point I highly recommend. Based on the film of the same name and with all of the songs written by Sara Bareilles, it really is a great modern musical.
Song Recommendation- “She Used To Be Mine”.
5. Dear Evan Hansen 👕
I have not been able to see Dear Evan Hansen yet. Again, I was planning on seeing it at some point this year, however, due to Lockdown that has proved to not be possible. I’m not sure if it will be coming back to the West End next year, but hopefully it will. The songs of this musical are really inspiring and I relate to the lyrics on a deep level. This musical can really relate to anyone who have ever felt alone or an outsider, or felt like they didn’t have anyone to talk to, no one who really understands them, listen to You Will Be Found to remind you that you aren’t alone, there are people out there that care about you. The book written based on the musical is really good as well, if you haven’t seen the musical yet I would give that a read.
Song Recommendation- “You Will Be Found’.
6. Pretty Woman 👗
Pretty Woman is one of my mum’s favourite films, so I booked tickets for her birthday in December. This show started out on Broadway with Samantha Barks as Vivian- who played Eponine in the film version of Les Mis. Then it came to the West End in the UK for Valentines day and me and my mum saw it on march the 7th a few weeks just before Lockdown really took effect. Looking back perhaps it was risky for us to go but worth it as it was our swan song before we all got trapped inside out houses for 4 months. Great show with all music written by Bryan Adams, so even better.
Song Recommendation- ” Anywhere But Here”.
7. Heathers 💣
Unfortunately, I never got to see Carrie Hope Fletcher’s version of the Heathers musical at the West End as it was only out for a few months and I was a little late to the party. But from the clips I’ve seen recorded from the show on YouTube it did look like a really amazing show. And the soundtrack is incredible. Maybe one day it will come back to the West End and I will be able to see it somehow.
Song Recommendation- “Seventeen”.
8. Six 👑
I really hope to see this musical soon, somehow. I’ve always been a bit of a history buff anyway, me and my mum have watched all the historical drama TV shows out there- everything from Downton Abbey, to Poldark. So this musical is really great for bringing together actual history of past Queens of England and modern rap, hip hop and pop music for a musical of female empowerment and energy. Just from the album on Spotify alone, I can highly recommend.
Song Recommendation- “Ex Wives”.
9. Dream Girls 🎤
I love love love the film version of Dream Girls as well as the time period of the story. They couldn’t have gotten better than Jennifer Hudson as Effie and Beyonce as Deena. I would love to see the musical version of this story one day. Such songs as Listen, And I Am Telling You and It’s Over have became Home Alone Singing Favourites.
Song Recommendation- “And I Am Telling You”.
10. Hairspray 💇🏻♀️
I first became really obsessed with Hairspray a few years ago when we were doing a performance from the show in dance class along with Grease and Mamma Mia. whilst the performance was cringy as hell and its something I’d rather forget, it still made Hairspray become one of my faves, a classic among musicals.
Song Recommendation- “You Can’t Stop The Beat”.
Hope you enjoyed my list of some of my favourite musicals,
In the town of Greendale, it always feels like it is Halloween. And as her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina Spellman must choose between the witch world of her family or the human world of her friends…
Bringing together the comics and the past Sabrina TV show, CAOS on Netflix inspires a very Halloween-y thriller take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch along with her friends she navigates her way through heaven and hell when monsters and secrets come to light. A very addictive show with interesting events and storylines.
Best Character- Zelda Spellman. Best Season- Season 1.
12. THE CROWN ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 2016- … 3 Seasons. 41 Episodes. “It is a duty”…
The Crown follows the real life rivalries both political and personal, of Queen Elizabeth II’s early reign and the rest of her royal family as they live through events that shaped the 2nd half of the 21st century…
This show is probably the most interesting one to me on this list, as I learnt more about the past of my own country, that my school never taught me. Such tragedies like Aberfan, I had never heard before watching the show, I was enlightened on how recently the country has changed to the one I was born into. With the show following stories of politics, romance, scandals, disasters, personal triumph and failure, it is one you do not want to miss.
Best Character- Princess Margaret. Best Season- Season 2.
13. YOU ⭐⭐⭐⭐2018- … 2 Seasons. 21 Episodes. “Hello, You”…
A dangerously charming Joe Goldberg becomes obsessed when he meets Guinevere Beck and he soon becomes transfixed on inserting himself into her life with dangerous consequences…
Like the concept of the show, YOU is a dangerously addictive and obsessive show that will have you anticipating the next episode in shock with compelling cliffhangers. I watched Season 1 of the show across one week watching about 2 episodes a day, I couldn’t watch anymore than that as it’s a bit of a mind game. With the show seen through Joe’s eyes, it creates a conflicting view for the audience as it blurs the lines between who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist. It is essentially from the villain’s perspective, you see everything through his mind and your hear his inner thoughts. I found it crazy how quickly you get sucked into the show and Joe Goldberg’s way of thinking…
Best Character- Joe Goldberg. Best Season- Season 1.
14. FREE REIN ⭐⭐⭐2017- … 3 Seasons. 32 Episodes.“This place has got it all”…
After befriending a mysterious horse named Raven, American Zoe is set to get more than the relaxing summer holiday she planned for, on an island just off the coast of England…
This show really takes me back to my childhood days. I don’t know about you but didn’t most girls go through a horse phase? I know that after I had seen the film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (highly recommend) about 1,000 times, I went through a bit of an obsessive horse phase. I had books about horses, clothes with horses on, cushions, bags, lunchboxes… You name it, I had it with a picture of a horse on. So, this was a nice ‘find’ when I stumbled across this show about 2 years ago. Whilst more typically for younger early teens, the show reminds me of old Pop Girl TV shows of The Saddle Club and The Sleepover Club that I watched when I was younger. It’s simple, yet entertaining and very nostalgic for anyone who went through a horse phase. Despite being slightly immature, cheesy and cliche, it’s also a light, easy viewing that makes a change from the drama and intensity of some of the other shows on this list.
Best Character- Pin. Best Season- Season 2.
15. ONCE UPON A TIME ⭐⭐⭐⭐2011-2018. 7 Seasons. 156 Episodes. “They are all fairy-tale characters”…
On the night of her 28th birthday, Emma Swan’s life is forever changed when her son Henry, who she gave up for adoption 10 years ago, shows up and tells her that she is the saviour for a town called Storybrooke where fictional fairy tale characters are real but have been frozen in time by the Evil Queen…
OUAT hosts one of my favourite ships ever- CaptainSwan- so soo good! Season 3 is probably the best season of this show as the first half of the season is Neverland inspired with Peter Pan as a villain and Captain Hook as a hero- which is a nice twist as that wasn’t the story that we all grew up with. And then the second half of the season is Wicked inspired with the good witch and the bad. Future seasons also take on Merlin, Frozen, different takes on Beauty and the Beast and more. This show really is great for fans of Disney and old fairytales as it takes classics and turns new spins on them to make the stories we know and love, fresh and modern with twisted tales and complex characters. Even though the CGI and green screens can sometimes be a little iffy.
Best Character- Regina Mills. Best Season- Season 3.
16. 13 REASONS WHY ⭐⭐⭐ 2017-2020. 4 Seasons. 49 Episodes. “You’re one of the reasons why”…
Clay Jensen’s life completely changes when his friend, crush and classmate, Hannah Baker commits suicide. However, she left behind cassette tapes explaining the 13 reasons why she killed herself. The tapes are to be passed around each person on the tapes, to be listened to and passed on to the next. They all must do this or else the tapes will be released along with all of the secrets, lies and betrayals that the tapes reveal about Hannah and the people with whom they are about…
I don’t know how to make this show not sound depressing as hell, because it is. So, you should be prepared for that. It’s not a happy show in the least. However, I do think this show is really important, especially the first season. Most people have seen the first season as it became really popular when it first came out on Netflix and really iconic. The show deals with a lot of important issues such as drug addiction, rape and sexual assault, harassment, bullying, among others. However, it has been criticised for it’s portrayal of these particular issues set in high school and whether the show goes about the right way of showing viewers how to deal with these issues. As there is the possible idea of Life Imitating Art or whether Art imitates Life, which is an interesting concept to consider with this particular show. Though, I do still think it is an important show in raising awareness on some of these issues in society especially with the politics of high schools. I for one know of many things that happened around high schools where I live that many of the teachers and adults didn’t know about, though not as extreme as some of the issues in this show. So this show is quite scary in it’s depiction of real life and what teenagers have to deal with these days. Although, the show kind of goes too far at some points and loses its way in later seasons, the 1st season at least is a must watch.
Best Character- Clay Jensen (though they are all somewhat dis-likeable, especially by season 4). Best Season- Season 1.
17. THE BIG BANG THEORY ⭐⭐2007- 2019. 12 Seasons. 281 Episodes. “Bazinga!”.
Penny moves in across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon, two socially awkward physicists also labelled ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds’. A lighthearted sitcom unfolds along with other friends, Howard, Amy, Raj and Bernadette…
Honestly, looking at this show, it’s surprising that it got as many seasons as it did. Ending last year the show had a total of 12 seasons, although it probably definitely didn’t need that many. I found the show, like others on this list, had few likeable characters. The male characters seem to portray moments of toxic geek masculinity but the female characters aren’t much better either- they constantly bully the boys for their hobbies and undermine the masculinity. Overall toxicity runs through the show as offensive jokes are constantly used, those of a racist and sexist nature. This show slightly redeems itself by the funny moments where it’s not offensive. Perhaps showing something with sitcoms these days, they think that you can’t be funny anymore without upsetting someone, so they just do it anyway. Although there are funny shows out there that are funny without being mean. However, this show is entertaining nonetheless- but there are cringy moments where I find myself thinking if a joke like that was really necessary. When I know this show was capable of being funny without being offensive, it’s hard to see why they ended up having offensive jokes stuck in there as well.
Best Character- Raj Koothrapoli Best Season- Season 4 onwards.
18. RIVERDALE ⭐⭐ 2017- … 4 Seasons. 77 Episodes. “Riverdale was, at it’s heart, a Wicked Town”...
The quiet town of Riverdale is rocked by the death of Jason Blossom. Betty, Archie, Jughead and Veronica begin to navigate the typical troubles of teens- romance, high school, family and friends whilst also playing detectives with investigating murder, gangs, drugs and crimes as the town of Riverdale is spilled with secrets as bigger drama, suspense and action unfold…
First off, this is probably the messiest show I have ever seen in my life. With storylines that are so random, so unexpected, there’s never a dull moment with Riverdale.
However, it does get so confusing and the characters become so dis-likeable. With the show having just finished it’s 4th season, I’m not sure there is even one character that I even like anymore. Season one was great – it flowed, had a great story line that made sense with interesting characters with room for foreseeable future development. And by the finale episode, all the puzzle pieces fitted together.
But then season 2 happened. Honestly, it just seemed like Riverdale started throwing stuff at the wall to see what stuck and whatever did stick they rolled with and turned it even bigger. Then, the stuff that slid of the wall in the writers room becomes the ghost of Riverdale past, never to be spoken about again, forgotten for all time. Until the writers decide to bring it back for conveniences of a new story line.
Riverdale has lost its way so much that I don’t see any redemption or hope for it being a ‘good’ show again. So, why do I still watch it? Well it’s entertaining- it’s as simple as that. Even to the point where I just watch it to make me laugh now- I continue to watch it just to see how much further it can fall, and for the most part it hasn’t failed me yet. I doubt anything can happen in the future of this show that could surprise me but I guess we’ll see as it’s been renewed for another season…
Best Character- Jughead Jones. Best Season- Season 1.
19. GLEE ⭐⭐2009- 2015. 6 Seasons. 121 Episodes. “Here’s what you missed on Glee”…
New teacher William Schuester forms a Glee club for ambitious, talented misfits in a high school in Ohio. As they sing their way through Sectionals, Regionals and hopefully Nationals, this group of teenagers find that music can always be the answer, no matter the question or circumstance…
Starting with something positive, great music and amazing covers of songs have come from the six seasons of Glee. Sometimes they take a song and do a completely different spin on it, I listen to my Glee faves constantly. They also do different genres of music and styles, every now and then having a special themed episode of genre or particular artist, such as Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Madonna. However, there is much controversy over the show with the portrayal of it’s characters, it’s filled with offensive jokes and once again most of the characters ARE NOT LIKEABLE. I mean what is the point in investing time into a show if the characters just piss you off?!
I completely missed the Glee Train when it was airing years ago and many of my friends were watching it. I only started watching it last summer when it was added to Netflix and felt conflicted by the amazing music, sometimes iconic-ness of the show but then also it isn’t ‘written’ the best and there have also been controversy around the actual actors in the show recently. It seems like Glee is a bit of a cursed show, or just like that student you knew in high school who had a bit of a Rep.
RIP Cory Monteith. – I’d watch it all over again just for him and his talent though.
Best Character- Finn Hudson. Best Season- Season 3.
My next post will be on my Top 10 Fave Musicals, so check back for that.