All posts by abbiosbiston

Hi, I’m Abbi. I grew up in South Africa and moved to London in 2004 because I didn't have anything better to do. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I live in Essex with my long-suffering British husband, Mr O and our smaller human, Little O. I divide up my life between my day job as a Digital Product Owner, trying to get my head around mummery, experimenting in the kitchen, reviewing random crap and spending too much time on Instagram.

TV REVIEW: The Fall – Season 2

Season two of The Fall picks up so seamlessly from season one that in my binge-watch I didn’t immediately realise that I had moved onto a new season. While the first season was focused on the murders and Gibson (Gillian Anderson) discovering the connection between them, this season sees a game of cat and mouse develop between Gibson and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).

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TV REVIEW: The Crown – Season 4

Season 4 of British Royal famly drama, The Crown, focuses largely on Prince Charles’ (Josh O’Connor) early marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales (Emma Corrin) and Margaret Thatcher’s (Gillian Anderson) time as Prime Minister.

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TV REVIEW: The Queen’s Gambit – Limited Series

The Queen’s Gambit follows the trials and tribulations of Beth Harmon (Isla Johnston/Annabeth Kelly/Anya Taylor-Joy) as she makes a bid to become the greatest chess player in the world.

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2020 review in pictures

It’s time for my slightly belated review of 2020 in pictures and also a few words.

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TV REVIEW: The Fall – Season 1

After the daughter of a prominent Northern Irish developer is murdered, Senior Investigator, Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is called in to do an enquiry into the case. It doesn’t take her long to connect the case to a series of killings of professional women in Belfast, all of whom look similar. Is there a serial killer on the loose.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Last Christmas (2019)

After aspiring singer, Kate’s (Emilia Clarke) latest scrape gets her kicked out of her temporary accommodation she is forced to move back in with her parents (Emma Thompson and Boris Isakovic) just before Christmas. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s stuck working as a sales assistant in a Christmas shop in Covent Garden when she constantly clashes with the owner, “Santa” (Michelle Yeoh).

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TV REVIEW: Criminal: UK (Season 2)

Last year Netflix treated us to Criminal a collection of three part mini-series that focused on crime suspects being interviewed in connection with a crime. The original version featured interviews taking place in the UK, France, Spain and Germany each with their own nuances and procedures. Earlier this year Criminal came back with a second edition of the UK version, this time featuring four interviews.

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TV REVIEW: Dear White People – Volume 3

The third volume of Dear White People sees Sam (Logan Brown) returning to campus disillusioned after her meeting with Rikki Carter. And she’s not the only one. Lionel (DeRon Horton) is writing fiction under a pen name and exploring the LGBTQ scene on campus with D’Unte (Griffin Matthews), Troy (Brandon P. Bell) is immersed in Pastiche and Reggie (Marque Richardson) is reforming his life around his new mentor. As the group try to come to terms with their evolving identities and relationships with each other, things are as complex as ever.

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TV REVIEW: Dead to Me – Season 2

Season two of Dead to Me kicks off with Jen (Christina Applegate) reeling after Steve’s demise and lying to Judy (Linda Cardellini) about the exact details of the incident.

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TV REVIEW: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – Limited Series

Turning to scary stuff of the more real variety, today’s Halloween week review looks at I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, a recent miniseries from HBO (available on Sky/NowTV in the UK).

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TV REVIEW: The Haunting of Bly Manor

It’s the spookiest time of the year so when I saw that The Haunting of Bly Manor had appeared on Netflix a couple of weeks ago it seemed like perfect timing.

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TV REVIEW: How to Get Away With Murder – Season 1

Every year unconventional Criminal Law professor, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) chooses five students to be her interns. In exchange for this opportunity they must work for free for her law firm alongside her two assistants, Frank (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie (Liza Weil), doing whatever it takes to win cases.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Abominable (2019)

It’s rare for Little O to be up for watching a full film at home. He has a short attention span and home has many interesting toys to get distracted by. When we saw Abominable come up on our movie subscription package we decided to give it a go as a family and see if us all watching something together and really engaged would work.

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TV REVIEW: Dear White People – Volume 2

Season 2 of Dear White People picks up after the dramatic conclusion of season one. Sam (Logan Browning) and Gabe (John Patrick Amedori) are apart and at war, Troy (Brandon P. Bell) has ruined the future political career his father dreamed of for him and Reggie (Marque Richardson) is struggling with the trauma of being held at gunpoint. Meanwhile Sam and Lionel (DeRon Horton) are chasing down a mysterious Secret Society while Sam is plagued by a Right Wing troll.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Trolls World Tour (2020)

After six months away from the cinema, Little O and I decide to venture out when our local one reopened to watch the “new” Trolls film. Little O is a massive Trolls fan and even insisted on a Trolls birthday cake this year. We have had access to this film to watch at home but for me it was my full actual end to end viewing. As many of you will know, watching a film at home with a four year old is never a straightforward experience.

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TV REVIEW: Dear White People – Volume 1

Set at a fictional Ivy League college called Winchester, Dear White People, takes the film of the same name and turns it into a series exploring the lives of a handful of its Black and Biracial students.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Goldfinch (2019)

On an outing to the Met, thirteen year old Theo Decker’s (Oakes Fegley/Ansel Engelort) mother is killed during an explosion. Confused and disoriented, Theo is convinced by Welty (Robert Joy), a fatally injured elderly man to take and hide a priceless painting called The Goldfinch.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

I love Eurovision. I know it is absolute silly trash but that is why I love it. It’s simultaneously ridiculous and awesome and camp and over the top and I live for it. I guess it’s the same reason I live for Drag. This year because of Coronavirus there was no Eurovision Song Contest and hence I was sad. Roll on Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, there to fill the gap for everyone who missed out on seeing Moldovans in crazy hats singing about cheese while glitter canons went off this May.

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BOOK REVIEW: Black British History: Black Influences on British Culture (1948 – 2018) by Robin Walker, Vanika Marshall, Paula Perry, Anthony Vaughan

As most of you will know, I didn’t grow up in the UK and attended school in my home country, South Africa. The history I was taught was very focused on World Wars and American history for one half of the curriculum. The other half was much about what is known as “The Struggle”, which is the history of the architecture of Apartheid and how it was dismantled. I will admit that at the time I wasn’t aware enough to be able to assess how accurate and unbiased it was. I also can’t remember a lot of the detail because I graduate high school 22 years ago.

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TV REVIEW: Normal People – Limited Series

Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) are in the same class but they live in different worlds. Marianne’s home life is one of privilege and in school she is seen as an odd ball, know it all snob. Connell’s mother cleans Marianne’s house and Connell is part of the popular in-crowd. What they do have in common is an undeniable attraction to each other. They begin a relationship that Connell wants to keep secret, which kicks off a cycle of them appearing in and out of each others’ lives as they attempt to leave their hometown of Sligo and grow up.

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