Swansea Bay Sunset

Image: Swansea Bay Sunset. This photo is available to licence on EyeEm.

#139

Friday, December 28, 2018

In This Edition:
Favourite TV shows, movies, albums, podcasts of 2018, IPCC Climate Change report, Frankie Boyle's review of 2018 and Repeal the 8th

Christmas greetings from the land of food comas. In a break from the usual weekly reporting, this edition features a roundup of my favourite things from 2018. From a photography point of view, 2018 for me was the year of sunsets! This Summer and Autum we were treated to some amazing sunsets in Swansea (like the one above), and I captured as many as I could (you can view some here). Hopefully there will be plenty more to come next year! :-)

I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2019!

My Favourite TV Shows of 2018

Timeless

Timeless is a sci-fi show about a historian, a soldier and a software developer travelling in a time machine trying to protect the timeline from a former colleague with another time machine who goes on a rampage through time seeking revenge against a secret world order society named Rittenhouse. It sounds far fetched, but as the show progresses through to Season 2, enough character development and plot lines are developed, mixed with lots of quantum leap style historical locations and dilemmas, to make the show very compelling.

I was late to the party with Timeless, which meant I could binge-watch the 2 seasons and wait nervously for the news of renewal. Sadly the renewal never came but thanks to a massive online fan movement, a two-hour finale was commissioned to finish the show. The finale was aired last week, which I haven't watched yet, but given the finite nature of it, I'm looking forward to a well rounded ending without a cliffhanger in sight, perhaps that's wishful thinking!

 

Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil season 3 returned to Netflix in the aftermath of Matt Murdoch's apparent death during the finale of Defenders. Given the defeat of The Hand during that finale, the villainscape was left wanting and ripe for some brand new evil. Lucky for us, Kingpin was waiting on hold in prison, ready to be activated. The season was a back to basics season for me and felt much more like an original hero villain comic book story adapted for the somewhat high production small screen, what Netflix have done so well over the past few years. As the season progressed, not only were we treated to the inevitable Daredevil Vs Kingpin culmination, but the show expertly introduced many new high-profile secondary characters such as FBI agent Nadeem and infamous agent Poindexter aka Bullseye.

The first two seasons of Daredevil included some amazing fight sequences as well as spectacular one-shots and season 3 continues to deliver. The Bullseye dressed as Daredevil against Daredevil fight scene in the offices of the paper was top-notch and included plenty of cliché Bullseye attack moves realised in a modern context. For me though, the scene of the season is the one-shot sequence set during the prison riot as the camera follows Matt's escape from the prison. Sadly, Daredevil has joined its Netflix contemporaries Iron Fist and Luke Cage in being cancelled by Netflix, but as a 3 season run, I think it introduced and re-ignited the character into the zeitgeist.

 

She-Ra and The Princesses of Power

In the later-half of 2018, Netflix released its She-Ra reboot, this time with added Princesses and, for want of a better or more fun description, girl power! The new series reimagines the origins of She-Ra with light-hearted pre-teen humour mixed with mature themes of friendship, power, revenge and war. The animation is top notch and the development of the extended character roster is paced and well executed. The show isn't as heavy or enthralling as Voltron, but is perfect for some easy short episode watching with a sprinkling of 80's nostalgia and plenty of mould-breaking female empowerment.

 

Big Mouth

In a complete u-turn in tone from She-Ra, this year I discovered Netflix's Big Mouth. The very adult orientation animated drama follows a group of mid-pubescent teens dealing with their newly found raging hormones, represented as hormone monster characters, from all sides of the gender divides. This show is really excellent and manages to deal with very complicated and divisive taboos with lashings of comic relief and cringe-humour, and sometimes songs and catch-phrases. You de'man Steve.

 

Bodyguard

The BBC released a big budget blockbuster series this year called Bodyguard. The show introduces the barely recognisable Rob Stark (Richard Madden) as PC David Budd, going about his life bringing his kids back for the weekend on the train when he all of a sudden has to talk down a middle-eastern suicide bomber with vest in place. If that was not traumatic enough for poor Budd, his bravery is rewarded with a new protection detail, protecting the controversial Home secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). Spoiler alert, unable to resist each other, a secret affair between the two ends quiet badly with the home secretary being blown up on Budd's watch. Add in some security services mystery meddling, an attempted political coup, a gangland criminal organisation, internal police corruption, a failed marriage and some by the book detectives that smell a rat, mix them all together with very generous portions of plotline clichés and character tropes, sprinkle with excellent character actors and serve with an old-school week by week suspenseful release timeline and you get a thrilling show ready to watch. Joking aside, this is an enjoyable show and by the end you are rooting for poor old Budd, as long as you can turn a blind eye to some of the plot holes and slight western propaganda.

 

Lost In Space

Netflix hit a home run in the reboot leagues this year with Lost In Space. The sci-fi classic is expertly re-imagined, complete with a family of Robinson's to root for, a Dr. Smith that easily makes you want to throw something at the TV and a fantastic new Robinson's robot. Danger Will Robinson was never so relevant!

The Young Offenders

The Cork based dynamic duo Con & Jock return in a redevelopment of their movie in the Young Offenders TV show, produced for BBC and RTÉ. The mischievousness and innocence of the two lads that was ever-preset in the movie is fantastically transferred to the small screen. The expansion of the character roster while at the same time solidifying the roles of the existing supporting characters like Con's mother (Hilary Rose) makes for a vibrant storyline landscape, which the first season delivers with great Cork enthusiasm (with added Frank and Walters). The show was rewarded for its success with the commissioning of a Christmas Special this year too.

 

 

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My Favourite Movies of 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

Without a doubt, my favourite film of 2018 was Bohemian Rhapsody. I'm a big fan of Queen's music having grown up listening to them, but I also thought the portrayal of Freddie Mercury's musical life was excellent and heart-wrenching. The culmination of the plot in the Live Aid performance had me in tears. If you don't like Queen, or maybe weren't around or didn't listen to them in the 80's, then perhaps this film may not appeal to you as much. For me though, it turned the nostalgia up to 11 and hit me right in the feelings. Goodbye everybody, I've got to go...

 

Tag

Comedy film of the year for me was Tag. A group of friends play a giant game of tag with eachother for the entire month of May every year, for the past 35 years! On top of that, one of them has never been tagged, perhaps this is the year! The film includes some hilarious "action" scenes centered around Jeremy Renner's character, combined with the nostalgia hometown homecoming theme of a Christmas movie and good quality comedic interactions between all the characters. An added bonus is that the film is based on the true life story of a group of friends that have been playing tag for years and alot of the scenes in the film are inspired by their real world antics, as shown at the end of the film. Pro-tip, watch all the way to the end of the credits! Once, there was this girl who....

 

I Am Not An Easy Man

I Am Not An Easy Man is a fantastic French film with English subtitles on Netflix that follows a womaniser who hits his head and wakes up in a world where women are the dominant sex and men are forced by society to change their clothes, wear make-up and put up with sexist and abusive behaviour, among other things. The premise sounds funny and for much of the film is portrayed in a comedic manner, but in actual fact is a cutting indictment of our patriarchal society's treatment of women. Feminism in some places is a word and a movement dismissed as annoying and attention seeking, but the table-turning landscape in this film does enough in my opinion to seperate and distance feminism and equality from existing societal biases long enough to see how oppressive our treatment of women can be. For me, perhaps it is because it is easier for me as a man to identify with the plight of a male protagonist, but this film has fully converted me to feminism and continued to keep me thinking well after watching it. Je ne suis pas un homme facile.

 

 

 

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My Favourite Albums of 2018

Villagers - The Art of Pretending to Swim

Villagers fifth album, The Art of Pretending to Swim was a fantastic late release for 2018. I love the supporting musical arrangement to Conor O'Brien's fanstastic vocals. Trick of the Light is my favourite track on the album.

Muse - Simulation Theory

Muse are back with another great late 2018 release in Simulation Theory. The super-cheesy 80's synths are fantastic on their eighth studio album, coupled with the standard anti-establishment themes and lyrics. It's tough to pick a favourite track but Something Human is in the running.

Jenn Kirby - Quirks and Artifacts

I would be remiss not to include my wife's debut album Quirks and Artifacts on the list of best albums of 2018, but in truth, it is great. The album mixes contemporary classical tracks with upbeat almost mainstream songs, such as Sing In The Shower, Gluten Free and theres Something About It.

 

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My Favourite Podcasts of 2018

2018 for me was the year of podcasts! I've included many of them in previous editions which you can view here, but my standout ones are The Blindboy Podcast and Baz and Andrew's House of Rugby.

The Blindboy Podcast is providing a service to society with his podcast, that covers every topic under the sun in a manner in which only he can. Many a time, topics of national importance such as mental health, direct provision and cognitive psychology are covered and discussed. His podcast hug episodes are interspersed with some of the most amazing live interview podcasts you will hear, such as his interview with Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.

Baz and Andrew's House of Rugby started late this season as a relaunch of The Hard Yards podcast by Joe but quickly carved a unique niche for itself in the rugby podcastosphere. The banter and craic between Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble makes you want to have them as your mates to watch rugby with. Their experience and insider perspective translates to genuine and interesting rugby analysis and their inside access to a lot of current rugby players, coupled with their relaxed interview style, results in very engaging podcast material that is so far removed from the regular media soundbites that most players are forced to give before or after a game. Party on lads.

 

 

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IPCC Climate Change Report

For me, irregardless of any Brexit machinations or Trump controversies, the IPCC Climate change report was the most important piece of "news" this year, if not this decade. We have 12 years to stop catastrophic climate change.
1.5 > 2

Frankie Boyle's Review of 2018

Image: The Guardian

Frankie Boyle has being playing a blinder on Twitter all year, but his review of 2018 in The Guardian is truly fantastic and well worth a read. It is just unfortunate that the content with which he has to work with is so disheartening.

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Tá / Yes

On a positive note, among the many wonderful things that happened in 2018, one of my favourite was when 66.4% of Ireland voted to repeal the 8th amendment to the constitution on May 26, 2018, and has since been passed into law. I could not have been more proud to be Irish this year.

See you next week!

See you next week :-)

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About Found This Week

Found This Week is a curated blog of interesting posts, articles, links and stories in the world of technology, science and life in general.
Each edition is curated by Daryl Feehely every Friday and highlights cool stuff found each week.
The first 104 editions were published on Medium before this site was created, check out the archive here.

Daryl Feehely

I’m a web consultant, contract web developer, technical project manager & photographer originally from Cork, now based in Swansea. I offer my clients strategy, planning & technical delivery services, remotely & in person. I also offer freelance CTO services to companies in need of technical bootstrapping or reinvention. If you think I can help you in your business, check out my details on http://darylfeehely.com