Tag Archives: drama

What To Watch? Killing Eve

We were still watching Orphan Black when my husband came home one day and mentioned ‘Killing Eve.’ He had heard it was a good show. It’s on BBC’s iTV and this means lots of breaks while we wait for the show to load. We usually have about five breaks of 20 seconds in a row and then we have ten minutes of a clear run. But we continued watching it. It really is a good show!

Killing Eve

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Cast

There are two main, female characters in this British drama series. American actress Sandra Oh plays the role of Eve Polastri. I know her from Grey’s Anatomy, and you probably do too. The other woman, Villanelle/Oksana Astankova, is played by English actress Jodie Comer. She’s more a TV-actress than a big screen one. The expressions on her face and intensity in her eyes are fabulous!

Next to these two, we have Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens (also known for her role as Aunt Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter movies), head of the Russia Section at MI6, David Haig as Bill Pargrave, Eve’s MI5 associate who comes with her to MI6, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Elena Felton, Eve’s assistant and who also comes with her to MI6, Darren Boyd as Frank Haleton, Eve’s supervisor at MI5, Owen McDonnell as Niko Polastri, Eve’s Polish husband, a teacher, Sean Delaney as Kenny Stowton, a genius computer expert who has been recruited by MI6, and Kim Bodnia as Konstantin Vasiliev, Villanelle’s handler. These people all play their roles marvellously.

Plot

Eve works for MI5 and is fired when a woman under her protection is assasinated. Eve has a haunch that there is a killer on the loose in Europe and that it is a woman. Carolyn Martens is impressed with her insight and hires her to find this killer. Eve recruits Bill and Elena from MI5 to work with her for MI6.

In the mean time, Villanelle gets one assignment after the other from her handler, Vasiliev, to kill seemingly random people in Europe. Vasiliev mentions Villanelle that Eve has been tasked to find her. During her next assignment, Villanelle mentions that her (undercover) name is Eve Polastri.

What I like about Killing Eve

The show has everything that I like (as does Orphan Black): it has humor, horror, drama, and really tense moments. I’m so glad that it is finally accepted to cross genres in one show!

As I mentioned earlier, Jody Comer’s expressions are hilarious at certain points. The relations that Eve has with her colleagues and her husband are also funny most of the time, dramatic at certain points, always believable. And the show doesn’t stop surprising.

It’s notable that people are attracted to psychopaths on TV. Dexter was a big hit, Hannibal too, and now Killing Eve. Although Hannibal wasn’t as funny, the way these people see the world is eye-opening, and hilarious.

Another thing I liked about the show is the setting. Because Villanelle has to murder all these people on different locations, you get to travel around Europe a bit with her.

What I didn’t like about Killing Eve

So far, nothing yet. Maybe I’m a bit upset that some of the characters gets killed too early, after getting to really like them. A bit of a GoT-effect. Sad, shocking, but oh so entertaining!

Summary

If you’ve had it with Orphan Black (and you can receive BBC iTV), this will be your next binge watch. I do hope your BBC iTV reception is better than mine, though. It is not for the young viewer, I’d say, as there are a lot of adult themes, innuendos, horror, and gore.

What To Watch? One of Us

This weekend we watched One of Us on Netflix. It’s short, but not sweet! A great way to spend an evening or two.

One of Us

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Cast

There are several known actors in this series. The only person I immediately recognized was Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry in GoT. Kate Dickie, a Scottish actress, played Lysa Arryn in GoT and has a minor but important role in One of Us. I know Juliet Stevenson is an award-winning actress. The others are completely new to me. My favorite was Joanna Vanderham (another Scottish actress) as Claire Elliot. It’s nice to see new people on the screen and not say ‘hey, there’s so-and-so from such-and-such!’

Plot

The story is about two Scottish families, the Elliots and the Douglas-es, living on neighboring farms. They get united when the son of one family marries the daughter of the other family. Tragedy strikes when the newly-wed and expecting couple gets murdered in their Edinburgh home. The police soon finds out who committed the crime and try to find him. What they don’t know is that the culprit stole a car and drove to one of the farms where he crashes due to severe weather conditions. After the families take the wounded man inside, they find out he is the killer of the happy couple. The next morning, they find him murdered. One of them is the killer…

What I liked about One of Us

As mentioned before, I like to see new faces on the screen. It was strange to see Gendry in it as his character was completely different from the one he played in GoT. He played it very well, though. I liked it that the plot was unpredictable. Only at the very end did I guess it. There were also several side-stories going on, all very believable, which made it interesting from the beginning to the very end.

What I didn’t like about One of Us

The beginning was a bit slow. It took me the whole first episode to really get into it. At first, it seems like a normal ‘whodunnit,’ but then turns out to be so much more than that.

The people in this series obviously don’t often watch crime series on TV and have no idea about getting rid of evidence 🙂 .

Summary

One of Us is a nice, short (only four episodes) series about the darker side of people. Who can you trust? How far will you go? I’d recommend this for older teenagers and adults due to the subjects in it (violence, drug use, adultery, suicide, murder).

Meet the Author… Sunanda Chatterjee

I’ve had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Sunanda Chatterjee through One Stop Fiction. I began reading her book Fighting for Tara and was immediately swept away with her writing style. Her words take you away to another place. So beautiful, so romantic! So, I didn’t have to think at all which writer to pick for you to meet on Valentine’s Day 🙂

Sunanda J. Chatterjee

Sunanda J. Chatterjee

Why do you write romance?

Thank you for the chance to share my work with your readers. I write both romance and women’s fiction. All my stories feature strong women. Despite what women go through in real life, we have many strengths that are often masked by society and family situations, and which shine through only when the situation is dire. My stories touch upon social issues but have underpinnings of love in all its forms.

Writing romantic stories fulfills me. Indeed, movies or songs about sensitive, romantic love bring me to tears. In addition to romantic love between two consenting adults, what fascinates me is social and family drama. Every family has secrets, relatives who make bad choices, and friends involved in scandals. I enjoy the dynamics that threaten to ruin the unstable equilibrium because these issues make for a great backdrop for family dramas.

In my current romance series called The Wellington Estates, all the stories are based on characters with connections to an exclusive community in the foothills of San Gabriel mountains in Southern California. They are privileged and wealthy, and of course, they fall in love with people who are deemed unacceptable in their social circles, for money, race, or profession. Each family has secrets, vices, scandals, and pasts that prevent the members from leading fulfilling lives.

These stories have a strong romantic element which drives the story. But other characters also get the spotlight and parts of the stories are told from the parents’ or friends’ point of view, a feature not usual in contemporary romance.

I like to call this genre as a romantic saga, bridging romance and women’s fiction.

Romance—including contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic thriller, and other subcategories— is the most popular and highest selling and highest earning genre, especially in the indie world. Some authors churn out a book a month, and readers devour a book a day. There’s a huge demand for romance authors. So if one can find a niche, one can find a following.

How much of your personal life is in your books?

In all my books, there is an anecdote or two featuring something that happened to me, to someone in my family, or to someone I know. I think it brings authenticity to the story. In Shadowed Promise, a young woman adopts her dying cousin’s baby and has to deal with the consequences in her marriage many years later. This happened to one of my friends. In The Blue House in Bishop, a cow dies in the front yard in a traditional Indian community, making the family targets for death threats. That happened to my family. In Jimmy’s Shadow, a short story I published in an anthology, the house, the swimming pool, and the backyard are exact representations of my own house.

What, in your opinion, makes a story a romance?

Romance features amorous love between two consenting adults. The essential elements are as follows: Boy and girl meet. Sparks fly. They deny their attraction for each other for some reason, OR They cannot be together for some reason. A crisis makes them realize that love can triumph. They get together. Happily ever after.

The hero can be an alpha male or a flawed, conflicted, tortured soul. All my heroes have past issues that prevent them from leading fulfilling lives, that is, until they meet the perfect woman. The heroine can be a damsel in distress or a spunky, I-can-do-it-all type. My heroines tend to be self-sufficient, feisty and bold, but with a tender, nurturing instinct, or a haunting past that threatens their future. The hero and heroine both help each other find fulfillment.

Do you write sex scenes and if so, where is your cut-off point?

I do write sex scenes with some descriptions. I write more for the emotional element. Sex is a very intimate and personal experience, and when two people are making love for the first time, the spectrum of emotions that goes through their minds can be beautiful to explore. I don’t mention body parts besides breasts *blush* but I do write the scene euphemistically to tell the reader it happened and how it was for both parties.

Would you write/have you written in another genre?

I write women’s fiction and romantic suspense as well, although lately most of my stories are romance. My book Fighting for Tara is about a child bride in India, whose husband dies and her new husband wants her to drown her baby girl. She runs away from home to save her baby, and a long journey brings her to America, where after a few years, she must fight for her baby’s life once again. There are strong emotional elements in this book, but she does find romantic love.

Which of your books is your favorite and why?

Fighting for Tara is my favorite book because it deals with love in all its forms: mother-daughter, husband-wife, friends, as well as romantic love.

Thank you, Sunanda, for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you want to read an amazing and romantic story this Valentine’s Day, pick one of Ms. Chatterjee’s books!

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You can find all of Sunanda J. Chatterjee’s books on Amazon.

 

Sisterly Love

Sorry, this isn’t a true story! No drama in the family at the moment. Well, there is, but not sisterly love drama. It’s not my drama, so sorry to disappoint you again, can’t tell. Not to worry, though! I wrote a piece for the writers’ club and it was well received, so I’m going to share it with you. I will put it up in the Short Story section for later reference, but to make it easier for you, I’ll just paste it here. As it plays on the Isle of Skye, I’ve written it in UK English. Let me know what you think if it.

Sisterly Love

(Keywords: Spoon, Make-Up artist, Isle of Skye, Envy)

(987 Words)

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There they stood, all happy and shining. My sister and her groom. The wedding of the century they called it. Probably true. Who else was going to get married here, in the middle of fucking nowhere? The Isle of Fucking Skye; God’s place to torment innocent souls. Right now the rain lashed the town hall as if it wanted to break up the wedding reception inside. The wind was driving it on, howling along with it. It was probably crying with me on this worst day of my life.

My aunt, sitting next to me, had told me to suck it up, to get over my envy. She stopped my hand tapping the dessert spoon on the edge of the table. What did she know? Suck it up. My soulless sister had ruined it all, ruined my life, my happiness. Yet everybody was smiling at her, applauding her words as she gave her speech. I bet she didn’t mention how she stole my love away like the conniving bitch that she was. She flashed her pearly white teeth as the lies continued to pour from her mouth. She had always been the pretty one. From when we were toddlers, everybody had always been drawn to her. ‘She’s so cute,’ they’d say. ‘What a pretty smile you’ve got there,’ they’d croon. No one ever saw me standing there; Plane Jane with sleek, mousy-coloured hair and a face you would forget as soon as you blinked. Not her. Everybody remembered her. Was it her sky-blue eyes? The dimples in her cheeks as she smiled?  She was beautiful, I couldn’t deny it. Still, Mum had organised a make-up artist to make her pretty today. As if she needed a fucking make-up artist for her flawless skin. She could make men drool with her looks after she had been boozing all night and having a mother of a hangover. Whatever it was she had, it stole my love from me and she knew it.

It was two years ago that I met him. He was a cousin of the vicar and had come to Skye to help rebuild the church. How handsome he was and how handy with all the tools. We had flirted and teased for weeks. Then, one night after going to the movies, he had kissed me. Me! I had been in seventh heaven. Mum had noticed my happiness and made me spill the beans. I then had to bring him over for dinner of course. That’s when my sister got her evil claws into him.

From the moment he saw her, he could only pay attention to her. After all we had shared, the fun, the flirting, the kiss, I suddenly was nothing, an empty space. He listened to every word she said, commented on every move she made, came to visit her. They were always giggling and laughing, no doubt at the expense of me. Soon he was taking her to the movies, and kissing her.

My aunt looked annoyed at me as I had begun tapping the spoon on the table again. I ignored her. She should know better. She was an old spinster, older sister of my mother, and should know how it felt when your younger sister was getting married before you did. It just wasn’t done. My sister, like my mother, had ignored the old tradition. She had taken no head to my complaints for getting married so soon. And to him. She fucking ignored me. Period. So much for sisterly love. Love. It was all a bunch of lies. It only caused grief and pain. My sister hurt me, deeply, and yet she didn’t give a shit. She had to marry the only man who had looked my way, the only man who had kissed me. And only because she could. She could get a thousand others to fall in love with her, yet she had to have the one that I wanted. She stole him from me just so she could hurt me.

All of a sudden I heard her say, “…and all because of my dear sister.” The words were dripping with honey, oozing with feigned love. They made my blood curl and sent shivers down my spine. The people ooh-ed and aah-ed at her words and turned towards me. They didn’t know that all she had done was hate me from the moment she was born. Nobody knew she had used every single word, action, and thought to hurt me, to make me feel miserable, worthless, and to be pitied. My rage welled up in me like lava in a volcano. No more!

I turned to her, my eyes blazing a fire from hell. I pulled back my hand and threw the spoon in her direction. It hit the dog that my cousin was playing with in front of the happy couple’s table. It yapped in surprise, which made my cousin jump up and fall backwards. He tried to keep his balance by holding on to the table cloth. The wedding cake began shifting as the cloth moved down the table. My love hastened to keep it in place. In his sudden, forceful dive, he slammed down on the edge of the plate holding the cutting knife. The knife flicked up towards his face. He brushed it away with his arm just in time, making it do a somersault high in the air. Lightning reflected off the sharp edge of the blade before it went on its downward course. As if with a purpose, the knife buried itself deep into my sister’s heartless chest. The room went quiet. My sister looked at her chest, then at me. She dropped to the floor with only a swishing of her silk, white dress. My love let go of the wedding cake. His eyes were on me.

Finally, I had his attention again.

Copyrighted (c) by Jacky Dahlhaus

Header image by Peter Clarkson from Unsplash

Wedding image by Luis Tosta from Unsplash

Email list for my re-vamped book

For those of you who are interested in romance, suspense, vampires, action, drama, and/or a bit of horror; you can now sign up for a FREE copy of my re-vamped novel when it’s ready. I’m already half-way re-writing it, so I’m hoping to have it ready in October (before Halloween!). You can find the form on my home page.

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It’s mainly a romance, but with a lot of suspense for those thrill seekers amongst you! As it’s about a virus turning people into vampires (well, sort of) there’s the paranormal/supernatural theme running through it (fangs piercing necks; check!), there’s the bit of horror (vampires do kill for a living, pun intended 🙂 ), guns are involved in multiple scenes (so lots of action), and as there are four love interest (technically speaking) there is enough drama to make a movie out of it (I think so at least 😀 ). Humour is a tricky one, not everybody’s humour is the same. But I’ve made people chuckle, so I’m confident to say there is some humour in it too :).

Anyway, it’s FREE, so why not sign up! I promise it won’t disappoint you 🙂 .