If you’re not watching Black Sails out of some distaste for period dramas, pirate-related TV and movies, or Starz, you’re wrong. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been sick of the whole pirate schtick since before the third Pirates of the Caribbean film debuted in theaters, but I’m glad I gave Black Sails the benefit of the doubt. It’s become one of my favorite new shows on television and I look forward to a new episode every week. Written as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Black Sails is a mixture of history and fiction. The series takes place in the Golden Age of Piracy as everyone fights to maintain their way of life on New Providence Island. Much of the plot of the show focuses on the ins and outs of the island. There’s trade, there are pirate camps, there are brothels, and plenty of business mixed with pleasure.
Photo via the NY Post.
However, it’s the people who populate the island that keep me tuning in every week. Many of the characters are drawn either from Stevenson’s novel–Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), John Silver (Luke Arnold), and Billy Bones (Tom Hopper)–or were historically known pirates–Charles Vane (Zach McGowan), Jack Rackham (Toby Schmitz), and Anne Bonney (Clara Paget). Plus there are many original characters in Black Sails who command the screen: Eleanor Guthrie (Hanna New), Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Mr. Scott (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), and Mrs. Barlow (Louise Barnes). I enjoy Black Sails because it’s gritty, it takes some risks with the characters, and doesn’t shy away from any aspects of the pirate life. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the cast is made up of fantastic actors, or that they’re not hard on the eyes. But if you’re not already convinced, these are some more reasons to check out Black Sails.
One more sleep! After almost exactly a year off air–the first season finale aired Feb. 18, 2013–E4’s teen drama series My Mad Fat Diary is back tomorrow! Before I even finished the pilot of My Mad Fat Diary I was convinced it had become my new favorite show (well, it’s currently fighting with MTV’s Teen Wolf for that honor) or at least, the best new series of 2013. By the end of the year, after I had watched countless pilots and older series I had never seen, I was confident no other show surpassed My Mad Fat Diary. The show is easily relatable to anyone, the music is fantastic, and the cast is amazing. (They’re also adorable, have you seen their Instagram photos?) It’s hard not to love My Mad Fat Diary; in fact, I don’t know anyone who has seen it that hasn’t become obsessed with it.
Photo via ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ on Facebook
Since the second season premieres tomorrow with the episode “Alarm,” it’s time to take a look back at the loose lends left by season one (for those who don’t have time for a complete rewatch of the series). When last we left the gang, Rae (Sharon Rooney) had come out as a total mental case to her friends at her mother’s wedding reception–she also reconciled with her best friend Chloe (Jodie Comer). Chop (Jordan Murphy) finally admitted his feelings for Izzy (Ciara Baxendale) and the two got together. Archie (Dan Cohen) almost admitted he was gay. Finn (Nico Mirallegro) told Rae how he felt about her–though there is some speculation among fans whether he said he loved her or he liked her. Additionally, Rae is back on good terms with her mum, Linda (Claire Rushbrook) and her mum’s new husband, Karim (Bamshad Abedi-Amin), as well as her therapist, Dr. Kester (Ian Hart). But Rae and the gang aren’t going to live happily ever after; in season two they must go back to school, which proves to be a bit of a struggle.
On Dec. 10 ABC’s Nashville and Big Machine Records released the first soundtrack from the show’s second season:The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 1. The season two soundtrack didn’t do as well on the charts–only reaching number four on Billboard’s US Soundtracks–but that might be a result of the show’s diminished focus on music. In season two Nashville has become less concerned with cramming 4-7 songs into a single episode and has paid more attention to the plotlines of the series, which I’m totally okay with.
Photo via EW
Midway through the first season of ABC’s Nashville, I counted down my top five favorite songs so far in the season. Now that we’re more than halfway through the second season of Nashville, I figured it’s time to take a look back at some of the music from the show. Despite recording and releasing fewer tracks in the second season, I’ve found that I like the music on Nashville just as much–maybe even more.
Photo via Wet Paint
As far as trends within my favorite songs, I’ve noticed I really enjoy the younger artists from the show like Will Lexington and Scarlett O’Connor rather than Rayna James–who isn’t on here at all, sorry Rayna fans! The music this season has also been spread out amongst the artists rather than having Rayna and Juliette Barnes sing all the songs. I’ve been disappointed by the lack of duets between Scarlett and Gunnar Scott–though that’s to be expected after they broke up last season. However, I’m excited to see more from Scarlett as she begins working with Liam McGuinnis (Michiel Huisman) on her first album. I’d also like to see more from Scarlett’s on-again, off-again best friend Zoey Dalton, who has had one single this season and a duet with Gunnar. Perhaps in the coming episodes we’ll get even more great music, but for now, these are my ten favorite songs of season two.