TEAM ZOELLA JULY 7, 2021

Our Top Rated TV and Movies We’ve Watched in 2021

Whilst England's place in the Euros remains to be seen, at the very least we know it's coming home for tv and film this year.

The football’s on, we’ve coupled up with Love Island again and cinema is back, ah sweet normality, it’s good to see you again. Whilst England’s place in the Euros remains to be seen, at the very least we know it’s coming home for tv and film.

From The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, the police dramas we only just got round to watching nearly a decade later (mother of god) and this summer’s cinematic must-sees, here’s a recap of the latest tv shows and movies we’ve been watching on the big screen and the medium screen, as a reward for how shit the tiny screen makes us feel.

Nothing strips down your entire existence quite so ruthlessly as a family of glowing rectangles, does it? Here’s what we’ve been cancelling all social plans to watch lately.

Larrese’s Picks

Line of Duty

Mother of god, I’m embarrassingly late to the police drama party but when season 6 was trending a few months back, I thought I may as well see what all the fuss is about once and for all, so I got fully acquainted with the AC12 gang. I don’t know what kept me all these years. I’d seen snippets and some spoilers on Goggle Box (mainly the Trump cameo) so I knew the main premise of the series but not enough for it to ruin the show for me. The cast are brilliant together – Hastings, Kate and Arnott have my heart. I recently discovered Martin Compston is Scottish which blew my mind and made me fancy him even more. His London accent is ridiculously good. PS I’ll never misspell definitely ever again.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

No YOU went to the cinema the day it opened on your own to watch a children’s film. I don’t think I appreciated how much I loved going to the cinema before the pandemic. It’s the only way to get me to sit and actually watch a film. If I’m at home, I’m on my phone replying to emails or mindlessly scrolling, so the cinema is the perfect place to force me to sit still, switch off from the small screen and treat myself to the pure uninterrupted joy of the big screen. Admittedly, there wasn’t a great deal of choice so I was forced to watch Peter Rabbit 2, really (cough, liar, cough), and I loved it, not quite as much as the first one – that was a bit more cottagecore fluff, this one was a little more action bunny, but wholesome viewing nonetheless.

Anne With An E

The perfect tv comfort food for a rainy day. The Netflix original is an adaptation inspired by the Anne of Green Gables book series by L.M. Montgomery. It’s a coming-of-age story about a young fearless Canadian orphan trying to find her place in the world. She’s mistakingly sent to live with siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, where she transforms the lives of everyone she meets with her exuberance and wild imagination. Actress Amybeth McNulty is perfectly cast as the spirited anti-heroine, Anne Shirley. Her talent alone makes the series impossible not to binge, as does the stunning backdrop of Prince Edward Island. I feel a trip to Canada coming on… when we’re allowed.

Mare of Easttown

Adding this in as a tv series I’m currently trying to get into but can’t promise I’ll finish… does it get better, guys?! I’ve heard great things about it and Kate Winslet is in it so it’s gotta be worth a watch, surely? But the first episode just didn’t rock my world. Something’s not quite reeling me in so, I’ll probably finish watching it on my deathbed along with all the other iconic films and tv shows I’ve missed. RIP Grey’s Anatomy.

The Bold Type

Forever wishing I’m a Sutton, completely gutted that I’m a Tiny Jane through and through. I loved everything about this show. Even Pinstripe. Fancied him in a major way – I don’t make the rules. The alchemy between the three characters, Kat, Sutton and Jane is what saves this show from veering into the glossy, media gal rom-com archetype. Yes, it’s wildly unrealistic – Jane writes one article a week, always takes a lunch break and reports directly to her Editor in chief who cancels Beyonce to be a shoulder for Tiny Jane and is a treadmill marching angel – but the love story shared between these three gal pals is what kept my subscription to Scarlet magazine going strong.

Danielle’s Picks

The Handmaids Tale – Season 4

Even though I’m only 3 episodes into the latest season I had to put this series in my choices as I’ve been gagging for it to come out for months! I always used to think the premise of this show sounded too depressing and macabre but as soon as I gave it a go I was hooked. The women portrayed in this show whether you love them or hate them are f***ing epic, every performance is so ridiculously good. The new season is a refreshing step change from the previous 3 (I don’t want to give away any spoilers) but it feels like it could go in any direction right now and it’s SO exciting.

Loki

I’m always a sucker for a Marvel series, especially as it’s something I can enjoy with my partner Harry. We watched WandaVision and loved it, they’re like watching a 6-hour movie dedicated to one character. Anything Marvel produces is usually packed full of humour, twists & turns, easter eggs, and great storylines and Loki is no different. The series takes place after Loki steals the tesseract in End Game and he’s brought to the TVA (Time Variance Authority) after an alternate version of Loki created a new timeline. Owen Wilson stars in the new series and he’s as lovable as ever. Definitely recommend giving it a go if you’re into the ol’ MCU.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6

It’s back, back, back, back, back again! Obviously, I’ve smashed the series 13, the UK series 2 and Down Under already this year but you best believe but All-Stars has my heart. I love seeing queens come back and show how much they’ve improved, with elevated looks and vibes. The challenges are top tier, and I love the format of the queens voting each other off. If you’ve never watched RuPaul’s Drag Race what the hell are you doing with your life? This series I’m rooting for Raja O’hara, I love everything she’s shown so far and I’m glad she’s getting that redemption after being too caught up in the competitiveness of her season.

Bo Burnham: Inside

Wow, what a masterpiece. Bo Burnham creates genius musical comedy specials and has done for years but this one hits different. Bo wrote, directed, filmed, and edited the whole thing from a tiny apartment over the year we all has to stay inside. it touches on his mental health over the course of the year, as well as his feelings doing stand up before the pandemic, the dangers of how addictive digital is for all of us especially young adults, and of course Jeff Bezos and his mighty wealth. This special really holds a mirror up to society and points out so many ugly truths we’re just not talking enough about, but it also pokes light-hearted fun at topics like sexting and ‘white women’s Instagram’ accounts (yes I felt very attacked). Urge you to give this one a watch!

Charlotte’s Picks

Cruella

This was my first cinema trip since Christmas when I managed to squeeze a visit in between lockdowns and boy oh boy was I excited. I managed to see Cruella just before it left cinemas and I so wish I had been sooner because it was one of those films I could easily have gone and watched again the next day. I love both Emma Stone and Emma Thompson (special mentions to The Amazing Spiderman and Love Actually) at the best of times so seeing them be the boss ass b*tches they are on screen together was such a joy. The plot was imaginative, surprising and sprinkled with plenty of humour, wit and simply everything I hoped for and more. I always love admiring the costume department of any film I watch and the emphasis on fashion in Cruella wasn’t something I was really anticipating but really blew me away. As a fashion graduate I loved the rivalry between Cruella and the Baroness who gave me total Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada vibes. 10/10 recommend and will be watching again soon on Disney+!

Love Island

You either love it or you love to hate it but I for one am overjoyed to have this trashy, addictiveness back on my screen! I think I was in the minority of loving winter Love Island so I had my fix more recently than those who skipped out that season, but I am still thrilled that it is FINALLY back. It really needs no introductions but I am already living for the memes, TikToks and group chats popping off every episode- the country is united and it’s all thanks to terrible flirting and cringe chat ups lines on ITV2- who would have thought it?!

Too Hot To Handle

I’ve got love on the brain and also live in a house of 4 girls so of course Netflix hit THTH has been on our TV at every given opportunity. I don’t know how I feel about this show, despite how much I’d heard about it, and mostly find the combination of Americans and Brits mixing (amongst other nationalities too) extremely jarring for some reason, ha. I also just find the whole concept so odd- like, if some of these people genuinely can’t go even one day without kissing or sleeping together then surely that’s a major problem?? It feels so bizarre to me, and I know a lot of it is probably put on for the cameras but seriously I would be so annoyed as a contestant who could easily stick to the rules when money is involved to have others throw it away for the sake of some heavy petting in a bedroom surrounded by strangers. Get a grip people!

Darcey’s Picks

Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

(TW sexual assault) If you like a true-crime documentary, this is really one to sink your teeth in. Based on true events, it relives the kidnapping of Lisa McVey who narrowly escapes her kidnapper. However, and this is the big twist in the story, no one initially believed her. They said she must have been making it up because her story was too detailed (wtf?). I find films and series based on true events fascinating, and I massively admired the bravery of such a young girl who had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted. It’s an uncomfortable watch at times, but you are glued to the screen as she slowly convinces the people around her that this happened and fights to get who did it bought to justice. There’s a big twist too, which again is mind-blowing to think this is true and if she hadn’t persevered to get him caught he would have stayed on the streets hurting more and more women. Would absolutely recommend to any fellow true-crime lovers.

Sweet Tooth

I loved this series so much! Sometimes felt a bit close to home as it centres around a virus that made everyone sick (we are all potentially over this narrative now ha, although it is based of a comic from 2009), however this series is all about the ‘hybrid’ children that were born from this, who are half human and half animal. This series follows Gus who is a hybrid with a deer, so he has very cute antlers but also possesses abilities deers have like night vision etc! I don’t want to give too much away but I really enjoyed this series, I felt so many emotions while watching this and was really rooting for little Gus and his quest. It’s an easy watch and perfect for a Sunday snuggled in bed!

The Pact

SO BLOODY GOOD! Honestly I had kind of given up on BBC series after they have discontinued some of my favourite (Doctor Foster you will forever be in my heart). Also, 6 episodes a series? BBC we want MORE. Although actually, I feel this series was perfectly summed up in 6 episodes, but I think we could off stretched it to 8, just saying. This series follows a group of women who one night leave a co-worker in a forrest as a practical joke, I know even from that you know it’s going terribly wrong. Let’s just say they end up with an unexplained death and the women are now in a pact to vow to stick together in order to not go down for it. Would highly recommend and if you are anything like me you’ll be finished in a day.

Workin’ Moms

This pains me to say it, it really does, but I didn’t love this last series. I have been waiting for the new series for what feels like forever, but it kinda flopped? I am so sad to say this but I’ve been watching it for years and always so excited when the new episodes are released, but I just didn’t like the plot of the last series! Without giving too much away for people who haven’t yet watched it, but I think it’s because the moms aren’t all together, with Anne living in a new city. Also, Jenny is hardly in this series and just has some strange storyline running alongside the others, where she’s in some weird relationship with her boss? It just didn’t add up to me, Hopefully, the next series hits better!

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 11, 2021

All the Thoughts and Feelings We Had Whilst Watching Bridgerton

Dearest reader, here are all the thoughts, feelings and anonymous musings we had whilst watching the brilliant Bridgerton.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (wouldn’t blame you), you’re probably hyper aware of a certain chiselled Duke’s arrival on Netflix – aka Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the Byronic Bridgerton royal you didn’t know your life was missing.

Based on Julia Quinn’s eponymous book series, the first season of the binge-worthy Bridgerton has ruffled more than a few feathers, or should we say Featheringtons, with its sex, scandal and high society papers. The plot follows the powerful Bridgerton family, as they ballroom dance and bonk their way through Regency London seeking various hedonistic highs and marriage-minded pursuits.

It could be likened to Downton Abbey with hints of Gossip Girl, only with unabashed sass & spunk by the horse-drawn carriage load, so probs avoid watching it with the parents unless you want to make 110 cups of tea to avoid sitting through eight episodes of ribald Regency romps, pretending to look at anything but the Duke’s incomparable arse cheeks. We’ve never investigated the ageing patina of our ceiling so much.

Dearest reader, here are all the thoughts, feelings and anonymous musings we had whilst watching the brilliant Bridgerton.

Disclaimer: contains spoilers, so look away if you haven’t made it to the grand crescendo yet.

Straight in with a tree shag, foreplay wasn’t invented yet then

I must follow all the actors and actresses on Instagram immediately

No way, Daphne is Sally from Coronation Street’s daughter?!

Reckon Queen Charlotte’s orgy of pearls is a sign of things to come? Ahem.

Sounds like classical music but it’s not, what IS that pop bop?

Screams ‘Thank You Next!’ in the middle of the night, startling all the dogs and neighbours within a 5-mile radius

Lots of longing looks, stolen glances, dancing and breathy sighs so far. It’s like TOWIE circa 1813

The Duke of Hastings hath arrived and I too am positively parched, Daphne

His smile, the symmetry, the way he holds himself in a riding boot and crushed velvet suit jacket… (Fans self with a leftover fajita wrap)

Didn’t have him down as a gooseberry pie kinda man, mind you

Isn’t that Christopher Robin? And Tracy Beaker’s mum!

Can’t wait for the next time I get to call a f*ckboy an uncatchable rake

Nah, not Nigel Berbrooke. Anyone but Nig.

Pretend to form an attachment? Already done that Si, don’t you worry about that. We’re 10 steps ahead

Lady Danbury is a MOOD

Lady Bridgerton’s always right, ‘there is only the Duke’

Can’t. Handle. His. Tragic. Backstory. Though.

This slow-mo dance scene is everything, look at them. It’s like watching a perfectly choreographed mating ritual

I wonder how many local men I’d have to promenade with from a respectable 2m distance to inherit a large ancestral home

Not all spoons are created equal…

I didn’t know I could be aroused by a spoon but here we are. They’re posh and I’m poor but we’re ALL desperately horny and trapped in this twisted cutlery threesome together

Daphne snort laughing in front of the Prince of Prussia – it me

He’s mansplaining masturbation but whatever, we can move past that

“and that should help you…come” huwe#afhoaiwm!? The sound we believe our burning loins would make if they could speak

The scriptwriting is chef’s kiss

Yep, this scene is going to need all eyes on a swift exit if watching with ya dad

I’d love a night out with this iconic duo tbh

Lord Rutledge asking to see Miss Thompson’s teeth will haunt us forevermore

There’s something very Rose Dawson about Daphne in the panting garden scene, namely because it feels like it’s been 84 years since we last saw the Duke naked

Wait, a duel? NO. I will not hear of it.

Cannot or will not have children? Lady Whistledown will surely spilleth the TEA

Benedict is having all kinds of second son fun. Good for him.

“To meet a beautiful woman is one thing but to meet your best friend and the most beautiful of women is something entirely apart” BAWLING

If she’s getting cold feet, stand ASIDE

First a spoon, now a glove, show me an inanimate object he can’t arouse us with

In a twist of 2021 fate, my perineum – it appears to be… pulsating

I haven’t been this invested in silverware since Connell’s chain

Every time he raises his brow, a little part of my virtue opens its legs

Even the wisteria is well hung in Regency London

This is it. The big flooding the fields in Autumn moment.

He burns for her but in doing so, he burns me

Yes, that’s more like it Simon, sack off the pig’s head and asparagus platter, have carnal pleasure for dinner instead

That achingly beautiful string quartet is serenading my clitoris right about now

Ngl, it feels a lot like it’s dancing

How does one apply to be an intimacy coordinator, exactly? Asking for a friend

All that rain and the writhing bodies on a stone folly. It’s like The Notebook on viagra

What an ingenious use for a ladder…

Safe to say, your Grace is not tongue-tied any more

Mentally, I am one half of the most talked about couples in the Ton at this point

My Instagram will be a Duke of Hastings stan account hereafter

Oh Daph, a wretched means to an end indeed

Observation: when the Duke does his angry whispering thing to Anthony, he sounds a bit like Mufasa

Death bed, marriage bed – where does my bed come into all of this? Answer me that

Filing the passive aggressive note I’ve just received from the neighbour under sh*t I won’t stand for in 2021. I’m not the one having all the sex – raise it with THE DUKE!

The portrait is not the only thing that’s drenched

“Just because something is not perfect, does not make it any less worthy of love” SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE AT THE BACK

Ok Netflix, I am one sex scene away from being served my eviction notice

Meanwhile the spoon scene lives on in my mind rent free

I KNEW it was Pen, short for Penelope but also ya know, a WRITING utensil. Pen Name. The Easter eggs were there all along.

The Duke holding the baby that could have been ours… be still my beating heart

What has that meddling bee got to do with it all?

May as well watch it again. Treat myself to a subtitled version.

Look at this ‘what’s your Bridgerton name’ doing the rounds, this could be fun. First letter of first name… D: Duchess, first letter of last name: H: Hastings. That’s it. I’m the Duchess of Hastings

MAKE HASTE SEASON 2!

Have you completed Bridgerton, yet? Let us know if you were as hooked as us!

Get it while it's hot!

Sign up to receive our email, delivering the latest stories straight to your inbox.