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Saturday, 23 June 2018

My Top 5 Cancelled TV Shows!


Every now and then you come across a TV series that you fall head over heels in love with and then for no reason it is whipped away and cancelled by the very network that first gave it life, this can be so incredibly frustrating, especially if the TV show is given a  forced and ultimately rushed ending that by no means gives it the justice and send off it deserves, here is my list of my top 5 cancelled TV shows and why! 


1) Joan of Arcadia



Back in 2003 this quirky TV series aired with Amber Tamblyn playing the titular character, 16 year old Joan Girardi, who starts seeing and conversing with God, God often appearing to Joan in the guise of regular every day people giving her tasks to complete that at the time seem inconsequential to Joan but often play a part in a overall larger scale plan. 

The series plays out through Joan's eyes, she's just a regular teenager doing regular teenage things who is suddenly tasked with all sorts of things by God himself, often leading Joan into tricky situations, she keeps her conversations with God to herself and never shares the truth with her over bearing parents. 

The series it's self was actually quite thought provoking but unfortunately was cancelled after it's 2nd series in 2005. No real ending was put in place and the finale had you scratching your head in frustration, however I'd still suggest checking it out, it's worth a watch I promise. 




2) Eureka



July 2006 saw the premier of A Town Called Eureka (later changed to Eureka) an often funny and quirky science fiction series set in the fictional American town of Eureka. Colin Ferguson plays Jack Carter a US Marshall who reluctantly becomes Sheriff of Eureka. Eureka isn't your average town, it is full to the brim of the worlds top scientific minds and cloaked by an Electromagnetic shield to stop outsiders from entering. The series was brilliant, it was humorous and action packed, often quite heart felt and full of characters that you actually cared about, it ran for 5 seasons, although the fifth and final season was shortened to just 13 episodes they did film a proper ending in which the characters story arcs where all tied up neatly.
 It was such a shame that this series was cancelled, it crossed over with SyFy's other science fiction show Warehouse 13 and so many more stories could have been told, however 5 seasons isn't a bad run in all fairness and at least it got a suitable ending. 



3) Warehouse 13



Warehouse 13 premiered on SyFy in 2009, the series centered around two US Secret Service Agents who get assigned to Warehouse 13, a secret base full of fantastical artifacts throughout history. The show was again often quirky and humourous with plenty of action and characters you actually cared about, each episode was pretty thrilling to be honest as the pair were racing around trying to get aritfacts out of the clutches of the wrong people. The partnership between the US Secret Service Agents Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer was often hilarious and natural. From season 2 onwards the fabulous Jaime Murray joined the cast as HG Wells,it's well worth watching for her outstandingly devilish performance. The series crossed over with Eureka and the two worked incredibly well side by side. 

Unfortunately despite it's cult following Warehouse 13 was ultimately cancelled in 2014 after it's 6 episode fifth season. Thankfully SyFy did give it a beautifully written ending that tied it all up neatly in a bow. I advise you to binge watch this immediately! 





4)  Angel



Angel aired from 1999 to 2004, it was the spin off from cult clasic Buffy The Vampire Slayer and starred David Boreanaz as Angel, the brooding vampire with a soul. After the events of Buffy season 3 Angel moves to LA and sets up his own Private Investigator firm. Charisma Carpenter returns as Cordelia Chase from BTVS. Angel was by far a more grown up version of Buffy and saw Angel vow to 'Help the helpless, Defeat evil demons and to save the souls of those who have lost hope'. The show saw Angel not just dealing with the lost souls around him but also his own demonic nature. The show held so much potential and could have run for more than its five seasons, however the network decided to cancel Angel near the end of it's 5th season meaning Joss Whedon had to rethink the final episode in order to give it some form of conclusion. The episode ended on a deliberate cliffhanger with the gates to hell quite literally wide open and all sorts of dark spawn taking over LA,Angel and comrades are stood in the pouring rain, weapons ready and as the creatures descend Angel simply looks at the camera and smiling says "Lets go to work"

It's an epic finale for an all out epic show and definitely one to watch. 




5)  Tru Calling



Tru Calling stars Eliza Dushku as 22 year old Tru Davies, a trainee medical student who takes a job as a morgue assistant. Tru starts reliving days when the dead ask her to help them. The show revolves around Tru trying juggle her life around reliving days and helping the dead live again. It's an exciting show with soap opera elements here and there. However Eliza Dushku brings Tru to life and though she turned down a Faith spinoff from BTVS to star in this series I feel it ultimately paid off despite its short life. True calling aired for 2 seasons between 2003 and 2005. The 2nd and final season really upped the ante and saw Tru trying to figure out if what she was doing was the right thing when a man turns up claiming that she's messing with the natural order of life and it's his job to return things to how they should be...It's a brilliant show and has a lovely little cult following plus the incredibly talented Eliza Dushku, what more could you ask for...oh yeah and actual ending would be nice! 
The series ends with more questions than answers and is a bit of a disappointment in all honesty, however don't let it deter you from watching this cool little show which by the way also has an absolutely banging theme tune called 'Somebody help me' by Full Blown Rose. 



So, there we have it, my top 5 cancelled TV shows and my reasons why you should check them out...let me know what your top cancelled TV shows :)



My Top 5 Male Singer/Songwriters!


Ok the last post I did about my Top 5 Female Singer/Songwriters (http://amixedupmummy.blogspot.com/2018/02/my-top-5-female-singersongwriters.html) proved to be pretty popular, so here is my roundup of my all time top 5 favourite Male singer/songwriters and why, enjoy!


1) Chester Bennington from Linkin Park




Chester Bennington hit the Nu Metal scene big time back in 2000 as frontman for the incredible band 'Linkin Park', they came out at a time when 13 year old me was in a complex stage of grief, I turned to music, in particular Nu Metal and Rock to help me get through each day. Throughout the years Chester became an true icon of bravery, speaking out about his own drug and alcohol addictions,the   sexual abuse he suffered as a boy and his mental health issues and the journey he was on. 

Sadly Chester took his own life on July the 20th 2017 aged just 41 years old. 
(Here's the link to a previous blog post: http://amixedupmummy.blogspot.com/2017/07/music-and-mental-health.html) His demons that he'd tried so hard to denounce eventually got the better of him, his wife Talinda has since set up the '320 Changes Direction' programme to help those who need it. 

Chester was and will always be a true rock and roll icon and the world is a much darker place without this wonderful man in it. However his music will live on and continue to pave the way for the Nu Metal artists of the future.   

My one regret is never getting the chance to see him perform live and witnessing his raw vocals in person. 

My two all time favourite tracks by Linkin Park that I seriously suggest listening too are 'Crawling' and 'Numb'


Crawling:


Numb:




2) Corey Taylor from Slipknot



Corey Taylor is the 44 year old lead singer of 'Slipknot' and 'Stone Sour'. He was raised by his single mother and introduced to the world of Rock N Roll and horror movies at an early age, By the time he reached 15 he'd developed a serious drug addiction and overdosed twice,he eventually moved in with his grandmother who aided him in buying musical equipment so he could live out his dream. In the early 90's Corey formed the band Stone Sour, in 1997 he decided to join the band Slipknot and in 1999 they finally got their well deserved big break with the debut of their first full length self titled album. Stone Sour was reformed in 2000 with Corey taking a break from Slipknot to pursue other things. In 2013 Corey went on to star in not one but two horror films, 'Fear Clinic' and 'Bullied' 

There's no denying that Corey has a set of pipes on him and his troubled youth has most definitely had an impact on his music. His stage persona and raw vocals are enigmatic.

My all time favourite Slipknot song has got to be 'Wait and Bleed' and 'Bother' by Stone Sour is just incredible, seriously go check them out. 

Wait and Bleed:


Bother:



3) Marilyn Manson



Marilyn Manson's real name is Brian Hugh Warner, he is best known for his outrageous stage persona as well as his stage outfits and art. In the 90's he was very prominent in the Metal scene with the release of 'Antichrist Superstar' and his revelation that his stage name is made up from two pop culture icons of the 60's...Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. He started off his career as a Musical Journalist, he initially interviewed the musicians who he went on to create 'Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids' with, later they would go on the shorten it just to 'Marilyn Manson' 

He is a self proclaimed shock rocker and has been heralded as a pop culture icon, in his 90's and early 00's heyday he was often found on the wrong side of the media and various religious organisations due to his appearance and lyrics, despite this he was cited as being one of the most influential,iconic and controversial men in metal music history. 

He's also a very talented artist and owns an Art Gallery called 'Celebritarian Corporation' 

Love him or hate him it's still guaranteed that you've heard of him. He's the master of reinvention, with each new album we get the gift of a whole new Manson. 

If I had to pick two songs to show case his talent and vision then it would have to be 'The Dope Show' and 'Say10'

The Dope Show:


Say10:




4)  David Bowie


I wasn't even born when David Bowie rose to fame in the 70's but I was raised listening to his incredible music in the 80's, he was a pure visionary and paved the way for the glam rock scene. He had an androgynous style in the form of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust and his innovative songs and sounds spearheaded him as one of the all time greatest men in music. He sadly passed away from Cancer aged 69  in January 2016,just two days after the release of his final album 'Blackstar' 

His real name was David Robert Jones, hew was born in London in 1947, in 1963 he pursued a musical career and the rest is as they say history.

I adored this man not just because of his influential music but also for his appearance in my all time favourite film 'Labyrinth' where he portrayed Jareth the Goblin King...my 4th and final child Ripley has Jareth as a middle name, he was born January the 28th 2016, 2 weeks after David Bowie passed away. 

There isn't a single song of his that isn't incredible, that doesn't resonate within you, but I think for me personally my two top tracks of Bowie's are 'Starman' and 'The Man Who Wold The World'

Starman:

 

The Man Who Sold The World:





5) Adam Ant from Adam and the Ants



Adam Ant born Stuart Leslie Goddard is the lead singer of 80's band Adam and the Ants, once again I wasn't even born when he found fame with hits such as 'Stand and Deliver' and 'Ant Music' however I was raised listening to his flamboyant songs and watching their equally flamboyant music videos. 

In his 80's heyday he was the literal charming prince of all things pop rock. After the success of his band he went solo and had  various hits as well as securing acting gigs too. However in 2003 he suffered a mental break and was eventually sectioned under the mental heath act after several public offences caused concern for his welfare. He was then finally diagnosed with having Bi-Polar disorder. 

However since 2010 he has picked himself up and dusted himself off and returned to the music scene, not just releasing new music but also embarking on several sold out tours. 

I find myself drawn to him not just because of his quite frankly fantastic music but also because this is a man who has struggled, who has faced his demons and has ultimately come out the other side stronger than before. Mental health is a bloody hard thing to live with let alone speak out about, so I truly commend him.

My two all time favourite tracks are 'Stand and Deliver' and his solo track 'Puss in Boots' 

Stand and Deliver:


Puss in Boots:



  
So, there we have it folks...Tell me your all time top 5 Male singer/songwriters <3


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Suicide Facts & Figures **Trigger Warning**


**TRIGGER WARNING**


I've been trying hard over the last few days to get this post written but I was struggling to find the right words. I've lost two lovely friends in the past year to suicide, both male and both gone far too soon, one of which sadly took his own life just last week.



I'm no stranger to Mental Health issues or indeed Suicide, I'm 31 and have tried to end my own life twice, once when I was 16 and again when I was 21. I'm incredibly grateful that I failed and that I got to live another day, in both instances I regretted my actions as soon as I took them.



I've noticed in the news and on social media that suicide rates in men are on the rise and it got me thinking as to why this is. Our society as a whole tends to view Mental Health as this big taboo that we shouldn't open up about, especially not if you're male. Men I guess grow up with the belief that they're supposed to be strong, they aren't meant to cry and good god they should definitely not talk about their feelings. Sadly I can't help but wish my lovely friend had reached out and openly talked about his struggles before hanging himself.


DID YOU KNOW: 

  • There are roughly more than 6,000 suicides in the UK each year
  • Suicide is the main cause of death in people aged between 20 and 34 in the UK
  • Those that are at a higher risk are Men aged between 40 and 44 years old
  • Statistics show that 72% of people who had committed suicide between 2002 and 2012 had not been in touch with their GP in regards to how they were feeling.
  • Men are more likely to commit suicide as they are less likely to seek help in regards to how they are feeling compared to Women. 
  • These insights simply show that more needs to be done to end the stigma attached to Mental Health issues.
For a deeper look at the above facts click on the following link: 




I think  more needs to be done in ending the stigma surrounding Mental Health and perhaps then people wouldn't feel the need to hide their pain away and turn it inwards on themselves.

The 'Time To Change' movement run by 'Mind' and 'Rethink Mental Illness' has been working tirelessly since 2007 to bridge the gap between sufferers of Mental Illness and their friends/family/co workers. Their current campaign entitled 'It's The Small Things' is trying to encourage people to share the little things they've done to help or support friends or family suffering from a mental health condition.   Follow the link below for more information.


Obviously there are hundreds of different factors that can lead to someone wanting to end their own life, however the main one is linked to underlying mental health issues. 


 If you're worried about a loved one and you fear that they may try to end their lives then I urge you to reach out to them, show them that you care, that you will listen to them, help them to understand that they aren't alone and that life can and will get better. The following link is to an incredibly insightful list of Suicide warning signs from the Health Guidance website. A couple of things to look out for are previous Suicide attempts and a change in their behaviour. 


And, if you are someone who is debating whether or not to continue living then please seek help, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or reach out to a friend or family member, you may feel hopelessly alone but I promise you that there are people out there who love you. Hold on. Please.

In loving memory of Andy and Jamie....
Rest Easy.