6 TV Shows to Binge Now

Image made by and belongs to Sophiesedit.com

If you haven’t already gathered I am a lover of TV. It gives you short bursts of entertainment and education whenever you want. Leaving you inspired, needing more or, on the one off occasion, ready to turn off your TV from fear or disgust. TV brings a range of emotions and even the oldest of shows brings about the fondest of memories.

Today I am going to share 6 of my favourite TV shows which will most likely grip you in your seats and, I apologise in advance, leave you stuck in your bed/couch for a good few hours.

Greys Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy can be found on Amazon Prime (Season’s 1-15) and is soon to arrive on Netflix UK.

As they say, this is an Oldie but a Goldie. After only recently starting it, I’ve managed to get through 6 seasons in only a matter of weeks. Filled with trauma, drama, relationships and some extremely gory injuries, this series will leave you unable to switch the television off. Not only that but a lot of famous faces fill the screen, whether that is through the main characters like Christina, played by Sandra Oh (most notable for currently playing Eve in Killing Eve) or Izzy Stevens (played by Katherine Heigl who starred in Suits). Or, through their patients which have often been young actors in the early days of their careers for example Elizabeth Moss and Dylan Minnette. It really is a feast for the eyes (both literally and figuratively).

Selling Sunset

3 Seasons are now available on Netflix.

Now if you like reality TV and fancy viewing homes selling at ridiculous prices, this is a show you need to watch. I have never been an avid watcher of reality shows however I love interior design and (like I imagine a lot of people) love to see the inside of homes that on a normal day I probably would never encounter. It follows the Oppenheim Group, owned by twin brothers Jason and Brett, who are in charge of 7 (on the show) agents battling it out to sell the most expensive properties in LA.

This show, like many reality programmes includes; intense stakes, extreme emotions and a lot of arguing but it adds to the whole experience and in the end makes it a show you can’t resist.

Normal People

Normal People, is available on both Hulu and BBC iPlayer.

Now I am aware I have banged on about this A LOT. However, I couldn’t write a post like this and not include it. If you still haven’t watched it, then please do. Based on Sally Rooney’s best selling novel, the show follows Marianne and Connell on their journey to adulthood, including their exploration of the relationship they constantly find themselves in and out of. I’ve written a review of the show if you want to read it (available here) or if you want to read with me, I’ve done a post on the novel as well, here.

Both central actors have propelled themselves into the starlight after the show, so if you want to get to know the actors who will most likely be appearing on your screens more often, then give it a watch.

Jessica Jones

3 seasons available on Netflix.

A Netflix Original, following one of the Marvel comic characters.

If you like Superheroes with an edge then this is the show for you. Jessica Jones is not a conventional ‘superhero’, she is full of grit, determination and well, alcohol. The show follows her life as a private detective with a tricky past and condition which makes her have super strength and the ability to jump to insane heights. You’ll end up being tense with anticipation the whole way through.


This mixed genre show (crime, thriller and superhero drama, to name a few) complements the main character and allows you to get attached to not only the over arching storyline but also the crimes that she is encountering in each episode.

Luther

All 5 seasons are available on BBC iPlayer.

Another oldie but one of the best crime TV shows to grace the BBC, this is a thrilling must-watch. DCI John Luther, played by the incredible Idris Elba, has won numerous awards for the portrayal of the iconic character. Luther is an incredibly complex character who often gets violent and possessive in his fight for justice.

Not only this but the show documents his relationship with Alice Morgan, without spoiling it, someone he should not be engaged with. If you like crime shows that are both captivating and thrilling then this is one you need to give a watch.

Sex Education

All 2 seasons are available on Netflix.

This iconic show, which has become a staple on Netflix, is one of my favourites to watch for some lighthearted relief. The comedy drama stars Asa Butterfield who plays an insecure teenager that battles with his mothers job as a sex therapist (played by Gillian Anderson). Asa’s character Otis finds himself in the tricky position of taking on his mothers role in school, secretly giving out advice around love, relationships and sex (without his mothers permission). Which notably he has very little experience in.

As I mention this show, I have to mention the incredible Ncuti Gatwa, a Scottish-Rwandan actor who plays Eric, Otis’ best friend. He is utterly fabulous and leaves me laughing at every possibly opportunity. But this is not a letter of admiration for him, so please just watch it and see what I mean.


I hope this covers a lot of bases when it comes to TV and different genres. Don’t be put off by the length of some of the shows, the fact the post is called binge worthy, really hints to the fact that no matter the length it probably won’t last too long.

Let me know if you have any TV shows you recommend below and if you end up watching one let me know!

Much love,

Sophie x


Review: Little Fires Everywhere.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An Exploration of Motherhood, Subliminal Racism and Internal Struggles.

In this eight-part adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 novel, we see the series start out with the burning of Elena Richardson’s (Reese Witherspoon) perfect suburban house in Shaker Heights, Ohio. This opens the rest of the series to explore who is to blame for the fire and why it happened.

Starring; Kerry Washington (Mia Warren), Reese Witherspoon (as mentioned above as Elena Richardson), Joshua Jackson (Bill Richardson), Lexi Underwood (Pearl Warren), Megan Scott (Izzy Richardson), Jade Pettyjohn (Lexie Richardson), Jordan Elsass (Trip Richardson) and Gavin Lewis (Moody Richardson), they each give a stellar performance in this show. I don’t usually name more than two or three of the central characters but in a show like this, it would be a disservice not to name them.

Facts on the Show

  • Available on: Amazon Prime, originally released on Hulu.
  • Episodes: 8
  • Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington were producers on the show
  • The ending of the show is different to the book because Reese and the creators wanted the reasoning behind the fire to be less obvious and more confusing to the viewer.

Set in the 1990’s the show explores a myriad of themes from motherhood, colour blindness, sexuality, interracial couples, racism and jealousy (to name a few). It is within this that some critics have said a few [of the themes] have failed to ‘land’ when it comes to highlighting them effectively. In my opinion, the show accurately portrays, in its short eight, one hour episodes, the turbulent atmosphere in such a picturesque town. To put it blatantly Shaker Heights takes on the classic trope of a horror film where such dark secrets are kept within what seems a picture perfect scene. Appearing at first that no one can do anything wrong, especially the Richardsons.

I must admit the show took a while to get going, in that my attention was not gripped until the final 4 episodes. In saying that, once you reach these final episodes everything clicks into place and the ‘evidence’ placed in front of you at the start all makes sense.

It is hard to write a review on such a complex story, in that I truly don’t know where to start. Do I begin with the blatant racism and colour blindness that Mia and Pearl have to face, or the struggles of Izzy and her sexuality alongside her negative relationship with her mother, or the court case about the rights to May Ling Chow (alongside the coverage of economic hardship on adoption and the reasons for giving up a child, the rights to be a mother and xenophobia). Then there is the relationship between mother and child which encompasses everyone in the show alongside abortion, interracial couples, lies and their consequences and honestly the list goes on.

However, it is at the mercy of the creator Liz Tigelaar, the directors; Lynn Shelton, Nzingha Stewart and Michael Weaver, the writers and producers that they managed to pull off all of these sentiments in such a short space of time. In fact, the way they were interwoven made the whole show extremely interesting and important. In my opinion, I don’t think this show could be released at a better time.

It is important to appreciate in this eight-part series the use of art as symbolism. The importance of Mia expressing her true self through her art was something so heartwarming and without realising it, it gave you so much more than just a picture. It gave you description, pain, suffering and information without it being spoken. To add to this the art with the combination of fire made it, even for those who struggle to appreciate art, a sight for the eyes. Without spoiling anything, the final piece of art was enough to convey a whirlwind of emotions; if that does not intensify or justify the appreciation of the art in the show I do not know what will.

To partially comment on the acting in such a series without dragging my heels and going on for too long, I have to mention both Lexi Underwood (who played Pearl) and Megan Scott (who played Izzy). Both being characters who had troubled relationships with their mothers, both for different reasons, Izzy’s arguably worse. The fact both children sought solace in each others mothers perfectly presented the blindness each had to the people that were comforting them. It both confused and manipulated the viewer into hating (particularly Elena) but appreciating them at the same time. Of course both had completely different outcomes, and rightly so.

Underwood created (I say this in the sense of her performance) a character who was, in parts, unaware of the struggles she was going to face because of the societal injustices put upon her because of her race. This allowed the viewer to grow with her as the curtain dropped from her eyes in such a short space of time. It was not just an important, well thought out performance on her part, but a character who taught the audience (from a white females perspective) a lot about subliminal racism in schools and the way her upbringing was dramatically different because of the colour of her skin.

On the other hand Megan Scott’s performance was, without sounding too harsh, a surprise. Her character grows on you from the beginning but the way it is portrayed means you are constantly battling whether to like her or not. Like a lot of other cases in the series she fights a mental battle which is only unravelled towards the end of the series. Every piece of frustration, anger and sadness comes across as genuine and it is only as the series moves forward that you begin to appreciate the way she is and why she is like that.

Izzy Richardson

If you couldn’t tell Little Fires Everywhere highlights the hardships each and every character faces in the series. The way each character is interlinked, while their struggles are not necessarily always touching the person next to them, perfectly showcases how secrets and hardships faced by one person is not always known by the person sitting next to them. What simply looks perfect from the outside is not what it seems on the inside. In fact those with what looks like an ‘imperfect’ life, is what should be the most desirable, because it is filled with love.

The only reason I can not give the show 5 stars is because I don’t think a lot of people could sit through the first 4 episodes without losing their concentration on it. Which makes me sad to think someone is missing out because I promise it is worth the watch.

If you’ve watched the show let me know what you think, if not I hope I’ve encouraged you to give it a try.

Much love,

Sophie x


Review: ‘Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Miss C.J. Walker’

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Miss C.J.Walker (available on Netflix) documents the real life story of an African American self-made millionaire (one of the first) and her invention of hair care products for hair loss and curls, predominately for African women. She was not only known for being one of the first African American female millionaires but was also known for her Philanthropic endeavours, especially her donation towards the making of the Indianapolis YMCA.

If you couldn’t tell this was one amazing woman! However, her past was not without hardship; she was born on a cotton plantation in 1867, with her parents being recently freed from slavery. One of five children, she was the first to be born into a life of freedom.

The programme sees Sarah (Miss C.J.Walker), played by the wonderful Octavia Spencer, grow into a business woman. It details the hardships, competition, sexism, racism and jealousy that she faces to get to the top. Not only this, the programme accurately details that money does not eradicate any of these problems, in fact, in many cases it makes them a lot worse.

Miss C.J. Walker

As a female it was refreshing and interesting to see the hardships she faced to build a business and how she did not let any of her setbacks get in the way of her success. More importantly, it is great to see an African American business women represented, especially in such a large institution like Netflix. I must admit I did not know about her story before watching the show. That in itself perfectly describes how important the show is.

Family plays an integral role to the life of Madam C.J Walker, with her husband Charles Joseph Walker, or C.J (played by Blair Underwood), having an illustrious affair with one of Sarah’s employees. On the other hand there is her daughter A’Lelia (played by Tiffany Haddish) who is secretly a lesbian and finds her true self in Harlem, New York. It is hard to say whether the lesbian affair or the ‘wounded pride’ of her husband is purely there for dramatic affect. A’Lelia did host extravagant queer parties in her lifetime but it is never once spoken about that she was queer. In fact her descendant who wrote the biography that the show is based on is planning writing one on A’Lelia, so perhaps we will find out more about her extravagant yet hazy past.

It must be said that I was rather surprised when doing research after watching the show that there wasn’t more emphasis on Sarah’s philanthropic endeavours, for example her involvement with the anti-lynching movement. Conversely, like Mike Hale said in his review, it was a shame there wasn’t more emphasis on the earlier experiences she had at trying to build the business from the ground up. For example, she was married three times and started experiencing hair loss because of the extreme labour and stress she faced. I think it is here that we would have seen a more raw and endearing performance from Octavia Spencer.

It appears that they missed out two really important parts of her life, parts which could have made the show a lot more impactful and true to her life story. I understand that focusing in on one particular element will dilute what can be mentioned, its just a shame that such large parts were skimmed over.

It is not to say that it is not important to watch the story of such an inspiring woman. I just wish that the important issues of racism and sexism were dealt with in more depth and that such a woman was highlighted as not just a businesswoman with a problematic husband, a lesbian daughter and a conniving, jealous competitor. She had a rich history and a rich future who dealt with issues far beyond her business.

Unfortunately the show appeared more like something that suited the stage rather than the screen. At points I was actually surprised it didn’t break out into song – something quite disappointing when I believe the story deserves more than the apprehension of whether music is going to fill my ears.

Please watch the show and form your own opinion. However, at the very least, research the strong woman behind such a company and what she did for African Americans, particularly women.

Much love,

Sophie x


Have You Watched ‘Normal People’? Because You Should.

Photo by Enda Bowe / Hulu

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Yes I am sitting here writing another post to add to the already insane amount that has circulated the internet about this awesome show. Yet I am extremely okay with that, because it deserves it.

The internet has become inundated with memes, reviews, instagram accounts (hello @connellschain) and women everywhere getting hot in the head about Connell Waldron, played by Irish actor Paul Mescal. Originally released by Hulu, it graced BBC 3 in April and amassed over 16.2 million views in its first week. The largest amount BBC 3 has ever received.

“Relationships are complex and they should be portrayed like that.”

When I say you ‘should’ watch it. I mean you have to watch it. It is the first show, in a while, that I’ve been totally gripped to – I finished it in a matter of days (which for some of you will be disappointing seeing they are only 29 minutes long but I do have a life outside TV – until that shrivels up the longer lockdown keeps on going).

The chemistry, as you might have heard, between Marianne (Daisy-Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) is immeasurable and captivates your attention from the start. As a 20 year old it was refreshing to see a late-teen couple on TV who had issues and weren’t absolutely perfect. Yes the show is very racy (I don’t think I’d like to watch it with my parents) but the perfection of the shots and the acting takes the awkwardness out of it. Instead it just feels real.

Apart from the important issue of consent and sexual abuse, I really appreciated how they showcased someone who wasn’t completely comfortable at uni. Connell felt like he didn’t belong in his classroom, felt very undervalued and not good enough. A thought I highly resonated with. Just because you’re not the talk of the class does not mean you don’t deserve a seat at the table.

I applaud the cast and crew of this programme for not glorifying any aspect of life as a teenager/young adult. Relationships are complex and they should be portrayed like that. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a second season.

Finally, to Sally Rooney, the author of such a world, I think I need to read the books now. Thank you!

The show is available now on BBC iPlayer or Hulu.

If you have watched the show I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree? Or was it too racy for your liking?

Much love,

Sophie x