“When Everything Feels Like the Movies” by Raziel Reid review

When Everything Feels Like the Movies

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

I found this book under the LGBTQ+ tag on NetGalley, and to be honest I don’t think I would otherwise have known it featured an LGBT character, as the description gives very little away:

“Everyone wanted to break me. But stars aren’t broken, they explode. And I was the ultimate supernova.

My name was Jude. They called me Judy. I was beautiful either way.

School was basically a movie set. We were all just playing our parts. The Crew, the Extras, the Movie Stars. No one was ever real…especially me. I didn’t fit any category.

All the girls watched me – I could walk so much better than them in heels, and my make–up was always flawless.

All the boys wanted to, well, you know… even if they didn’t admit it.

They loved me, they hated me, but they could never ignore me.

I only had eyes for Luke. A red carpet rolled out from my heart towards him and this year, on Valentine’s Day, I was going to walk that carpet and find my mark next to him. It would be like a dream.

But my dream was going to turn into a nightmare.

This is my story.”

 

My first thought after reading that was that it really wasn’t going to be my kind of thing at all – it just came across as too glitzy and girly – but I decided there was no harm in giving it a shot. As much as I found the first few pages a little odd, but altogether okay, I figured it would have to improve. Sadly, I was wrong.

The main character, Jude, is gay and expresses his sexuality often through the way he dresses, and can at times appear quite feminine – a fact which he gets a lot of stick for from classmates. Naturally, a fair amount of transphobic and homophobic slurs were thrown about due to this, and although I can understand trying for some shock value (perhaps to show how easily these words can be dropped into conversation?), this went far beyond shocking – to be honest, a lot of it made me really uncomfortable. The most common slur used is of course “f—-t”, and whilst I appreciate that not everyone takes offence to that, I certainly do and I absolutely hate the word – so much so, I can’t even bring myself to think it, never mind type it out. There’s one quote in particular which just about made me stop reading the book, as I just felt so horrified:

“I loved the sound. F—-t is such a sexy word, it made me horny. That’s what I wanted Zac Efron to call me when he finally took my virginity.”

Safe to say, that’s not at all what I had been expecting when I decided to read this. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few good quotes, my favourites being “having dinner with Satan in a Sunday hat” in reference to going to lunch with is grandmother, and

“I wanted them to hate me; hate was as close to love as I thought I’d ever be.”

There’s something about that quote which I really like; most likely the fact that it realises how similar love and hate can be. Sadly, however, the majority of the book went along in a vein similar to the only slightly offensive (!) quote above, although I found that one to be the worst by far. It was almost repetitive, really – slurs just about every page, drugs and alcohol every second page, and references to “jerking off” at least once a paragraph (I feel like that’s only a little exaggeration). It was not my kind of thing at all, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so uncomfortable reading something in my life.

However, as much as I hated the language used, I did rather like the way in which Jude’s story was told, and seeing things through his eyes. Jude is all about the glamour and making it in Hollywood is his plan – so why not get practicing early and get used to your adoring fans?

“I started to walk off, and he skated after me. The others followed – I guess they wanted autographs too.”

The line, “Cinematography is so crucial”, found in the first chapter, although short, does a pretty good job at showing just how much it means to Jude – even the chapter titles take inspiration from cinematic terms. Often, it can be difficult to discern between what is real, and what isn’t, if we’re only seeing what Jude wants us to. In a way, though, I suppose we are, and although there are some moments where you wonder what’s even going on, I do quite like that way of writing.

Overall, this wasn’t my favourite book and I can’t imagine I’ll go back to it – perhaps if the language weren’t so crude, and certain parts not so rushed (taking the ending, for example), I may have enjoyed it more. As it is, I find it hard to believe that I could ever bring myself to recommend this book to anyone – unless you’re cool with homophobic language and frequent drug use. I’m glad it was a pretty short read (manageable in one sitting), but it was just too much for me and it took a while for me to be able to process and even start this review.

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“One” by Sarah Crossan Review

One.jpg

One is a story about sisters; twins. But not twins as you would normally assume – instead, Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, permanently living side–by–side and sharing more than most.

My attention was initially captured by the gorgeous, and simple cover, and I was left even more intrigued by the inside description – books about, or featuring, twins are all too common, but this was the first fiction novel I’d ever seen about conjoined twins, and it was quickly added to the (ridiculously large!) pile of books I was bringing home from September’s trip to New York and Boston.

Despite being a relatively thick–looking book, I actually found it to be a pretty quick read – due, in part, to the prose style in which it was written – which I have since discovered is called free verse. The layout was similar to that of a poem, with the sentences being very short and staggered over a few lines, like so:

“Normal is the Holy Grail
and only those without it
know its value.”

I like to think it was set out that way to show it was only the story of one sister – as if to say, ‘they may be twins, and conjoined ones at that, but they are really separate girls who have their own stories to tell’. It was almost as if half the page was to be kept for Tippi, despite this being Grace telling their – and in turn, her – story. This may have been unintentional from the author, but I like to think the fact that Grace makes it pretty clear she is the quieter twin who lets Tippi do the talking adds a bit of proof to my theory.

The characters who feature alongside the twins are their parents, younger sister “Dragon”, and their grandmother – as well as new friends who appear on the scene when they finally, aged 16, attend school, after year of being home–schooled by their mother. The way different characters (including other school pupils) interact with the girls, and vice versa, is written really well and all seem like accurate and plausible reactions – nothing feels fake or unbelievable, as was a risk of happening when writing about a not–often covered topic.

Trying not to give much away is proving more difficult than I had initially anticipated, but I will say that One sends you away feeling a whole host of emotions – whilst it’s not hugely complex, there are certainly some moment which make you think, as well as a fair few quips worth a laugh or to at least bring a smile to your face! Don’t get me wrong, it has its fair share of sad parts too, a lot of which aren’t overly expected – I first read this waiting at the airport for the flight back home, and it was pretty difficult to hold back tears at some points.

Overall, One is a book well worth reading, and I don’t think I could recommend it more.

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“I’ll Give You The Sun” by Jandy Nelson review

I'll Give you The Sun

“Winner of a Stonewall Book Award Honor” declares the back of this book – and that was me sold. I just can’t seem to get enough of LGBT+ related books, if my recent Barnes & Noble and Amazon book–buying sprees are anything to go by.

I’ll Give You The Sun is told from the perspectives of Jude and her twin brother, Noah, with Noah’s story being told when they were 13, and Jude’s story at age 16. The whole book was beautifully written, but Noah’s chapters are just phenomenal. It’s made clear straight away how artistic he is, and his story is told with an abundance of imagery. You don’t see other characters and events in the same way “normal” people might; instead you read about how Noah’s dad speaks to him “like I’m some kind of broken umbrella”, or his mind painting of one of the boys chasing after him at the start of the book:

“His coconut suntan lotion’s filling my nose, my whole head – the strong smell of the ocean too, like he’s carrying it on his back… Zephyr dragging the tide along like a blanket behind him… That would be good, that would be it (PORTRAIT: The Boy Who Walked Off with the Sea) – but not now, Noah, so not the time to mind–paint this cretin.”

The mind–paintings are one of my favourite things about Noah’s chapters, as some of the titles are just fantastic and you can really envision these works of art. Even if you only get the title of a piece, with no real description of the colours, or how it looks, I could still imagine them so clearly in my mind – something I often struggle to do, as I have all the artistic talent of a stick.

Jude’s chapters, on the other hand, are different. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still very well written, there just seemed to be something lacking – especially after hearing from Noah, which I think spoiled me a little with its beauty! However, a huge event happened in the time between them being 13 and 16, which has impacted them as individuals – and, I feel, has greatly affected Jude in particular. Given the circumstances, Jude’s character is most definitely written appropriately and she comes across as a very real character. Whilst I disagree with a lot of her actions, I do empathise with her and for the most part I love her character. Although she is written very differently from Noah, many of her lines and descriptions are just as wonderful.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this book won a Stonewall award, and I really like finding new LGBT+ novels. Well, I want to be clear: this is not a purely romantic novel. The main relationship is that of the twins, which is shown brilliantly through their individual monologues. But Noah is also following in love with the boy next door, and it’s not hard to see why: he’s charismatic, enthusiastic, and he treats Noah like a real person – something he never really got from others. Everything the two boys have to face constantly throws me into turmoil, but of course there are good points in their relationship too. One thing I love about it is that although Noah starts developing this crush, the progression of their friendship isn’t just abandoned to focus on romance.

Although the relationship between Noah and Jude, and Noah and the boy next door, are the main focuses of the novel, there are many others covered throughout too: the twins’ relationship with their parents; Jude’s relationship with a mysterious boy, the slightly crazy Guillermo Garcia, and with herself; and of course, Noah’s relationship with his art. The book is far more complex than I had first expected (I had assumed from the cover it would be some kind of cutesy, plot–deprived thing), and dotted with far more sudden twists – some shocking, others less so – than I had imagined.

The description on the inside cover claims “This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award–wining author of ‘The Sky is Everywhere’ will leave you breathless and teary and laughing – often all at once” – but really, how many books try to say this? Yet I’ll Give You the Sun pulls it off. For the majority of the time, I was in tears – and not the kind where you’re only crying a little due to some mild sadness; no, I was pretty much all–out sobbing. Then I was suddenly laughing through my slowly clearing tears, and two pages later, something was said that had me crying all over again! I honestly can’t think of any other book which has made me anywhere near as upset.

My only complaint is that the ending wasn’t quite as resolved as I would have liked – although I suppose I can (grudgingly) understand why. As much as I would have appreciated a little continuation with some of the relationships, it would have dragged the story out unnecessarily and possibly ruined it somewhat.

I promise I’ll stop banging on about how wonderfully written it was in a minute, but I’d like to finish by saying that I really loved that the twins’ chapters were done interchangeably so the story was pieced together bit by bit, instead of learning some things all at once, and having nothing really be a surprise anymore.

All in all, this was an absolutely fantastic book, and I can’t recommend it enough – it’s well worth a read.

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Who Am I? Delving into the Difficult Depths of Gender

Who am I? I’m Eilidh. I’m 18. I was born female. But I know I’m not – at least, not JUST female. I don’t want to put a label on myself; I don’t want to limit myself to thinking I identify only as a female, or only as a male, or even to identify as both. And I don’t want to feel I have to conform to any of these, either. I don’t want to be looking into terms like gender-fluid, bi-gender, or non-binary and think “Well, I think this is what I am, but maybe I need to be a bit more like this for it to be acceptable/accurate”.

I love being mistaken for a guy. It’s happened to me for years, ever since I first got my hair cut short, and it amuses me and actually makes me happy – which some people, myself included, struggle to understand. Why does being called “son” or “boy”, or hearing a young child say to her brother that I “don’t look like a lady” make my day? I don’t have a clue, but I DO know that I like it, and I do know that nobody needs to get offended on my behalf, as has happened a couple of times. I used to absolutely hate being referred to as a girl; the very thought of it made me feel physically sick and angry, but at that time I didn’t really know what transgender was; I didn’t really have an understanding of gender outside of “male” and “female”. So I resigned myself to the fact that there was nothing I could do about it – I was a girl, I was going to be called a girl, and that was that. I had the feeling that if I asked my parents to stop referring to me as “their wee girl” or as a female in general, I would be either be laughed at and ridiculed, or told that it was just a phase.

In the years that have passed, I have often wondered what it would be like to be a guy, and I know it’s something I would prefer; it’s always seemed to me that being a guy would be, simply, easier and better. Even knowing that, though, I’ve never done anything about it – I never really thought that I could. Sure, I wear clothes that are maybe a little more masculine (certainly stereotypically so!), my hair is short, and I really dislike wearing make–up, but I’ve never tried to think too much about if I could be Trans, gender–fluid, or really anything other than the girl that I was born. Lately, however, it’s been playing on my mind a lot. I spent days on end doing online research and trying to look into all the terminology – although that nearly left me just as confused – and I realised that I’m not a cisgender female. I just can’t identify with that, and I don’t want to identify as that either.

How, then, do I identify? Well, that I still don’t know. Part of the not knowing stems from struggling to understand, and get to grips with, some of the terms and work out the differences between, say, gender fluid and bi–gender – they seem really similar to me. I’m trying not to think on it too much, as I’m sure over time I will work out how I identify, but at the same time I just want to know. I want to know if I’m bi–gender; I want to know if I may even be Trans (which seems more likely the more I think on it) so that I can start coming to terms with that and not spend my time worrying “Am I this? Am I just over–thinking things?”.

My ideal image of my self is generally pretty masculine, but at the same time I can’t imagine people actually referring to me as “he” – but that may be because the only times that has happened, have been accidental and misunderstandings. I’d feel awkward asking people to refer to me as “he”, too, because I don’t know how they would take it, especially if they’ve known me as “she” for so long. I’ve considered the use of “they” before too, but again it doesn’t sound quite right to me – but that’s just in my head, and in reality either “he” or “they” (or, indeed, any number of pronouns I’ve not even considered) could sound just right when used out loud by someone other than myself.

What I need to do is not try and put a label on how I feel – I don’t want to feel I have to try and match up to certain “criteria” in order to realise who I really am. I know I need to give myself time and the opportunity to explore my feelings; to experiment. I’ve ordered a couple of binders and some new shirts, and I’m getting my hair cut into what will hopefully be a slightly more masculine style – they’re not huge steps, but they’re a start, and hopefully they’ll help me realise how I feel most comfortable. I’m even at the stage where I’ve started to consider a small selection of both gender–neutral and masculine names, if it should get to the point where I want to change mine. Perhaps that’s me jumping into things unnecessarily, but putting a little thought into it and seeing how they may fit with how I want to express myself isn’t going to hurt.

I’ve also recently joined the forum Empty Closets, which is designed for LGBTQ+ people and their families/friends for any questions and discussions relating to things such as Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation. I’ve not posted on it terribly often yet, but I have been reading other threads that I feel myself associating with and some have been really helpful so far – it’s definitely a site I recommend for anyone who perhaps doesn’t have anyone they can talk to comfortably, or would like information or help on a range of subjects. In fact, this post was inspired by a response to the thread I made regarding my gender, in which I was urged to think about the questions “Who am I?” and “Who do I want people to see me as?” – and I like to think I’ve made a start in that. I’m lucky to have people I can speak to about all of this, whether they’re online or friends I see often, as I know that is often not the case, but to anyone who is questioning their own gender/orientation/etc., I hope you know you’re not alone in that – and remember, there is always someone willing to listen, even if it doesn’t always feel that way 🙂

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Edinburgh Pride 2015

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Yesterday (the 20th of June) was the Pride festival in Edinburgh, and it was a great thing to be part of. It also marked 20 years of Pride in Scotland, so having this be my first Pride experience was that bit more special and I’m so glad that I could take part.

As much as I had been regularly checking the Pride Edinburgh website, and reading other bits and pieces on Pride, I still had no real idea as to what to expect so although I was excited going into Edinburgh, I couldn’t help but feel apprehensive at the same time. That said, it was really something to be sitting in a coffee shop with my friend and watching people start heading down to the Scottish Parliament, adorned with various LGBT+ flags, t-shirts, and an amazing fashion sense from all.

When it was time to start getting together at Parliament, I was slightly amazed at how many people were already gathered there and I must admit that I did feel quite out of place – I almost had no idea what I was doing there, as everyone I saw seemed so comfortable and confident, and there I was utterly convinced I was sticking out like a sore thumb. I wasn’t, of course, and after managing to find a friend of mine by chance, I lost any feelings of nerves or awkwardness, and started to really look forward to the march.

The walk up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile was quite surreal, as a good few people were around watching and taking photos, and it was wonderful being able to walk along surrounded by so many people all marching to celebrate being who they are. About halfway up the Mile, a big cheer went up from people in front of us, and it turns out we were walking past a (straight) couple who were just married, and the bride had taken one of the rainbow Nando’s “Worth coming out for!” flags that many of us held as we walked along, so that was very nice to see.

We stopped outside the City Chambers at the top of the Mile for speeches, and again I wasn’t sure what to expect from them. It turns out they were from members of the various political parties here in the UK, and I actually found them to be pretty interesting – I was also somewhat amazed that they (for the most part) managed to leave political matters and party jibes out of it. I have to say, my favourite moment from all of the speeches was when the member of the Green Party (I think) came out with “Give me a P! Give me an R! Give me an I! Give me a D! What have we got?!”, at which point my group and I almost yelled back “Pride!”, and then realised we only had…Prid. I’m still wondering how quickly it took for her to realise her error; nonetheless it was pretty damn funny for us, and was referenced a LOT throughout the day.

After the march ended, we wandered round a few of the stalls, where I was handed a couple of leaflets on fire safety (clearly they could just tell what a hazard I am!) and picked up the odd leaflet and Visi-BI-lity badge, as well as a “Some people are BI. Get over it” sticker, which I really love. We also paid a visit to the main arena, where they had the LGBT+ Youth Space and various other things going on, although it was a bit too crowded to really move freely and not get in anyone’s way. However, one thing I noticed throughout the march, and am thinking about again just now, is how diverse an age range there was. There was a lot of older people, and then on the other end of the scale a lot of young people – and I was almost surprised as to how young. I noticed a few people out with their young children, and it was lovely to see them getting so involved. From what I could see, the majority of people were made up of those of us aged 16-25, which was again really good to see as I hadn’t been too sure how likely young people would be to attend.

One thing that really jumped out at me was especially prevalent in the speeches, which is that a large part of the focus was on the LG parts of LGBT+. A couple mentioned transgender and intersex rights, and one at least mentioned bisexuals (only once, mind), but there was no mention at all of asexuality or anything else – and sexuality was definitely the main feature, with gender becoming a seemingly non–existent concept. It made me realise that although things have definitely changed over the years, so much more has to happen in terms of awareness. Just as gender doesn’t stop with “male and female”, sexuality doesn’t stop at “heterosexual and homosexual”. People identify as so many different things, and it’s important to be aware and inclusive to the best of your ability. In the speeches we heard at Pride, they all mentioned being lesbian or gay, and as I said only a few included bisexuality, transgender, and intersex, and I believe some did use the LGBT acronym too – but as my friend pointed out, “how hard would it be to say LGBT+? It’s only an extra syllable”. And I feel she made a very valid point; to some it may just be an extra syllable and so no big deal, but to others it could be a way to feel more accepted and less alone – and surely that can only be seen as a good thing?

All in all, I had a great first experience at Pride, and as well as being good fun it also really made you think; though perhaps not very coherently if the above paragraph is anything to go by! I’m looking forward to many more years of Pride, and I would urge people to go to any local ones if they ever get the opportunity.

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Teens Can Write, Too: May Blog Chain

What is your greatest weakness as a writer? What’s your greatest strength?

Okay, I have GOT to stop signing up for these things, then realising the day before/day of my post being due that I have absolutely no idea how to answer – it’s becoming an increasingly bad habit. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking part and finding out what the prompts are, but my goodness am I good at forgetting all about it, or leaving it until the last minute.

This leads me to one of my weaknesses: my ability to procrastinate. It’s currently 23:10, so I have 50 minutes until my day for posting is technically past, and this is me trying to write my post now – and what am I spending most of my time doing? Playing Mario Kart on my DS. Not a bad use of my time, mind, it’s just not exactly what I’m supposed to be doing – it certainly isn’t going to get this post written for me at any rate. At the start of the month, I was adamant that I would start writing my post about the middle of the month, maybe (at a push) the week before it was due to be posted, but before I knew it, it was the 25th of May – sure, I’d thought about writing it, but that’s not quite the same as actually doing it, is it?

I don’t just get like this when it comes to TCWT posts though; unfortunately it’s a bit of a recurring theme for me. I was taking a look through my unfinished book reviews folder the other day, and came across one that I started this time last year. Last. YEAR. I don’t know what happened; I’ve written a few posts since then, but that one just seemed to be pushed away and forgotten about. I can tell myself “I will finish it soon” all I like, but nothing happens, and it’s ridiculous. I’ve yet to meet my goals with either NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo, because yet again I get too distracted to actually do anything. I want to blame it on work (which is actually fair enough; it takes up too much of my time now), but at the same time I need to do a bit better with my time management, even if it involves sitting myself down and forcing myself to write something – with no distractions!

Another of my weaknesses is my lack of faith in my writing. I’m by no means spectacular, and I often struggle to keep an idea going (see above paragraph!), but I have very little faith – any praise I get from others is often met with a shrug and an “it’s not great, really…” which really hinders me. I’m nearly at a point where I want to ask myself, is it really worth trying to write anything if I just can’t do it? But I know it takes practice, and I know I’ll improve – when I compare some of my recent blog posts to my very first ones, I can see some improvements. Not many, granted, as I still cringe when I read over any of them, but I like to think I’m getting there – baby steps and all that?!

Typically it’s coming up with a strength where I REALLY start to struggle, but I like to think that my ideas (when they strike!) are pretty damn good – it’s just the execution that’s the problem! There are a few stories that I’ve started for NaNoWriMo that I’m hoping to continue with, as I’m really interested in seeing where they may go, especially as some I haven’t written in a very long time. Okay, they’re not totally brilliant and worthy of awards, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything like (some) of them before – yes, I admit, some are pretty generic, but when you put the right twist on it, it has the potential to become something great! At least, that’s what I’m trying to tell myself…!

It’s now 23:49, and I’m going to have to start wrapping this up – here’s hoping I’ll be more prepared for the next blog chain!

Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:

5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t

6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer

8th — Galloping Free

9th — Miriam Joy Writes

10th — The Ramblings of Aravis

13th — Light and Shadows

15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel

16th — The World of the Writer

19th — Butterflies of the Imagination

20th — Introspection Creative

22nd — Spellbound

24th — Unikke Lyfe

25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl

27th — Against the Shadows

29th — Teens Can Write, Too (We’ll announce the topic for June’s chain!)

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“Thunderbirds Are Go!” Episode 1 Review

Thunderbirds Are Go

When I first heard, last year, that Thunderbirds was being re–made, I was sure it would be a disaster. And when, a mere few months later, I saw the first picture of the all new, CGI-overloaded characters, I was absolutely convinced it would be a total disaster. I think my heart was just about in my mouth when I saw this picture; I couldn’t form a coherent sentence, or even thought, for a long time. My cousins (10 and 5) think the old puppets are creepy, and consider this as passable – “great”, even. Yet I could quite happily say the puppets, strings and all, are much more normal looking than that disaster – Lady Penelope was even worse.

I read the other day that the first episode of the new series was debuting today, the 4th of April, so out of curiosity I looked up the trailer. Honestly, it was as bad and ridiculous as I expected it to be, but at the same time it made me really intrigued – and so I decide I would watch the first episode. I watched Thunderbirds a LOT when I was young, and I went to see the live–action film with all the girls in my class for my 8th birthday (over 10 years ago!), which I personally enjoyed but I know many hated it. But watching the new trailer brought back a lot of memories of the old episodes, which my brother and I owned on video, and just yesterday I went and bought myself the original soundtrack – a huge nostalgia kick! I knew that the new series would be nothing like the original, and I went into it with very low expectations.

And yet, strangely enough, I kind of enjoyed it. Of course it was exceptionally cringe–worthy at times, and the dialogue often fell flat, but at the same time there was something good about it – good enough to have me saying “sit down, Finlay! Sit down!” to my younger cousin many times whilst watching it; he would stand right in the middle of the screen, preventing me from seeing what was happening. I’m pretty sure that wanting to see it all is a good sign, though, because if I hadn’t cared about only seeing half a screen, then what on earth would that have said about the show? Admittedly, I was a little uninterested in the opening scene, but when they started to play the intro, I was just about dancing where I sat. Sure, it was a variation of it, and not totally the original theme, but it’s always been one of my favourite things about the programme – it’s such a recognisable theme, but my favourite part (without doubt) is the part with “5…4…3…2…1… Thunderbirds are go”. I love how they zoom in on the number of each Thunderbird, then pull back to show the full ship, and the bare minimum of sound effects, then BAM! You’re straight into that wonderful tune. I’ve been sitting for the past half an hour replaying the intro over and over again; I love it so much. I can’t describe just how great it is, so take my word for it – and listen to see (hear?) for yourself!

Despite the episode being an hour long (well, that’s a lie; with the advert breaks it was more like 45 minutes), it did seem a little rushed and like they wanted to introduce every single character, old and new, to us at once. Take Lady Penelope and Parker, for instance: I swear they did just about nothing of note in this episode, but they were there anyway. They may have played a minor role, but I certainly can’t remember it. And Kayo (essentially Tin–Tin, but under a new name), well I suppose it was fair enough to involve her, but I’m not keen on the fact that she essentially appears to be becoming a new member of the Thunderbirds. You’re allowed to be Head of Security, that’s acceptable, but Thunderbird ships are reserved only for those bearing the Tracy name! …Wait, I bet she’ll get married to Alan or someone, and then she’ll officially be a Tracy… As long as The Hood doesn’t reveal her secret first!

Speaking of The Hood, he reminds me quite a bit of Ben Kingsley’s incarnation of him in the 2004 film, which (unless I’m just imagining it) was a nice wee nod there. However, he is another character I think was thrown at us a little too quickly – again, I think that’s to do with the episode length. Perhaps if it had been half an hour, there’d have been more of a build up to him, but at the same time I can understand them not wanting to make the first episode into a two–parter. Some of the things he was saying (I’m not quoting, so as to give nothing away… because people are totally going to watch it…) did make me anticipate the next few episodes – okay, the rest of the series – because I really want to know how a rather big event in the Tracy brother’s life actually happened. What with this only being the first episode, we’ve not quite got a feel for the characters yet, but the one I know I can’t stand at the moment is the grandmother. Everything about her is annoying me so far: her ridiculous outfit, her voice, her dialogue. She’s a bit wooden at times too, and so far I’m not a fan – maybe that will change with time, but right now she’s right at the bottom of my list of favourites.

Even though I only watched the episode a few hours ago, I can’t remember terribly much about what actually happened; lots of little things, leading up to them foiling The Hood’s plan (that was unexpected!) and not terribly much else, it has to be said. Hopefully in the next episode, we’ll get some more character development from everyone, and I’m rather looking forward to watching more – I’ve certainly got my Saturday morning viewing sorted, at any rate!

The show certainly has many flaws, which I expected from minute I heard it was being remade, and it’s not a patch on the original – and the CGI is really just atrocious, it has be said, but at the same time I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll make of it (the show, not the CGI – there’s no hope for that). As previously mentioned, one of my favourite parts was the intro being almost the same, but what I didn’t mention is that the launch sequences are nearly identical too. The launch sequence for Thunderbird 2 was always my favourite, as T2 was clearly the best Thunderbird, so seeing it in an updated, and potentially totally different, form was a bit of a worry. But it’s okay, because it’s pretty identical, if sped up somewhat, and with a few changes. IT’S STILL SO COOL THOUGH:

I wish I could say I think this series will be F.A.B, but I don’t yet have high hopes for that – maybe I’ll be surprised! We shall see…

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