Absolutely Everything About Nina Sosanya Isn’t Very Much – Updated

Many people want to know more about Nina Sosanya. It’s hard to learn much about her. Nina Sosanya is either illusive or not interested in fame. Whatever her reasons for being shy about seeking the spotlight, information on her is hard to find.  Continue reading “Absolutely Everything About Nina Sosanya Isn’t Very Much – Updated”

Review: Unforgiven

Unforgiven, the Unforgiven I’m talking about, is not a Western. It’s a 3 part drama from 2009 and the BBC starring Suranne Jones. I wandered into a conversation about it on Twitter with @gingesbecray and learned that not only does it star Suranne Jones – really all the recommendation a series needs – but it was written by Sally Wainwright.  Continue reading “Review: Unforgiven”

Reflections on Series 2 of Happy Valley

Series 2 of Happy Valley is over on BBC One, and has been available on Netflix and iTunes for several days. I assume those interested in the show have taken the time needed to watch all 6 episodes either in the UK or in the US.

I wanted to share some overall thoughts and things I didn’t get into the individual episode reviews about series 2. Continue reading “Reflections on Series 2 of Happy Valley”

Guest Post: A Last Tango in Halifax Fan Speaks Out

[Recently I wrote that after such a long delay between season 3 and 4 of Last Tango in Halifax, I thought Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) might be ready to move on to a new relationship. The lesbian fan base I thought would respond to this idea did respond – they hated it! After several lengthy comments telling me why my idea that Kate (Nina Sosanya) could be replaced was wrongheaded, I asked one of the commenters to write a guest post explaining her position in detail. Meet guest writer Drea, who describes herself by saying, “I’m just an outspoken person who hates injustice in all of its forms and I refuse to be quiet about it.”
– Virginia
] Continue reading “Guest Post: A Last Tango in Halifax Fan Speaks Out”

How Last Tango in Halifax Can Atone to Its Lesbian Fan Base

Last Tango in Halifax offended its lesbian fan base mightily when the character Kate (Nina Sosanya) was killed in series 3. The latest word on when a 4th series might air is: a helluva long time from now. But there will be a 2 hour Christmas special this year, which begins filming September. Continue reading “How Last Tango in Halifax Can Atone to Its Lesbian Fan Base”

Happy Valley Discoveries with Close Captions On

I watched season 1 of Happy Valley several times. I even wrote recaps of every episode. I decided to watch it all again this week with close captions on and found I had missed at least half of it. I thought my ear for a Yorkshire accent was getting pretty good, but I was wrong. Continue reading “Happy Valley Discoveries with Close Captions On”

The Old Ain’t Dead Top 10 of 2015

Old Ain’t Dead just me, watching whatever looks good. To me. I don’t watch everything. I don’t have a “best of 2015” list because I don’t have a clue as to what most of 2015 had to offer, much less what the best of all that would be.

Yet here we are, at the end of the year, and a top 10 list is in order. So how about an Old Ain’t Dead top 10 for 2015? I present my favorites in no particular order.

I admit to being a little fast and loose with the 2015 part. Some of these things were made before 2015, but I saw them in 2015. Just go with it.

I cheated just a bit, too, because at the end I threw in a few extra mentions of things too good to ignore.

Continue reading “The Old Ain’t Dead Top 10 of 2015”

Last Tango in Halifax Lands 4th Series: 6 Things I Hope to See

Straight from the mouth of the BBC.

Let’s talk about what we want to see in season 4 of Last Tango in Halifax. Continue reading “Last Tango in Halifax Lands 4th Series: 6 Things I Hope to See”

Nicola Walker in Two British Dramas Airing Now

There’s a great article in The Daily Mail titled “Why the stars of our best TV dramas are suddenly all middle-aged women: At long last, this is grown-up television” that talks about many of my favorite actresses and shows – including Nicola Walker.

Nicola Walker is my particular topic today. Walker is currently starring in two British dramas showing in the UK. She plays a police officer in both. One is River from BBC One, which will be on Netflix internationally starting November 18. The other is Unforgotten. It’s currently on iTV. I don’t know if it will be brought across the pond. If I hear anything, I’ll let you know.

River

Nicola Walker

Let’s start with River. The 6 part series stars Stellan Skarsgård and Nicola Walker. Skarsgård is a melancholy, grieving cop named River. Walker is his former partner DS Jackie “Stevie” Stevenson. Former partner (spoiler alert) in this case meaning Stevie is dead and gone. She’s gone for everyone but River, who sees her and other characters he’s investigating. River interacts with these “manifestations” as if they were there.

Real life Stevie was sassy and saucy and bright. River carries on conversations with her, listens to her sing, but seems insane to those around him. Most people would consider him insane. The only reason he’s still with the police is his 80% rate of closing crimes.

River was written by Abi Morgan.

Here’s the trailer.

Unforgotten

In Unforgotten, Walker is the lead character, a compassionate police officer who lives with her father. She’s investigating a decades old crime in which the bones of a young man are found under a demolished house. Sanjeev Bhaskar is her partner. Chris Lang is the creator of this 6 part drama.

NIcola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar

As DCI Cassie Stuart, Walker plays a character who is quiet and thoughtful. She runs her department with calm, rewarding good work with generous praise and sending officers to investigate with a minimum of fuss. We see her relationship with her father develop through the episodes, especially when her father reveals some long hidden secrets about her mother.

The 4 main suspects in the crime range through all aspects of British society. This series has a big cast with many faces you will probably recognize including Gemma Jones and Tom Courtenay.

Here’s the preview for Unforgotten.

Other than the fact that Nicola Walker does brilliant work in both series, the two stories have little in common. Well, she’s a cop in both series. I heartily recommend you watch them both if you get a chance.

Many people know Nicola Walker from her role as Ruth in MI5. She’s also been in recent favorites including Scott & Bailey and Last Tango in Halifax.

Is the Badass Female Only the Female with a Gun?

I love the badass characters. I enjoy the badass female leads in Quantico and Blindspot, to name a couple of examples from this fall’s TV season.

But I wish the badass qualities I love didn’t have to involve guns and violence. Is the standard audition practice these days to ask a woman to draw a weapon from a holster on her belt as quickly as she can?

I know we live in a violent world. I know we need FBI agents and other sentinels like them to protect us all.

But is gun-wielding female the only badass female character?

I want someone to write more badass characters like Erin Brockovich or Texas Senator Wendy Davis. (Oh, hey, someone is doing that! Yes!) I want more lifesavers like Dr. Leanne Rorish on Code Black or adventurers like Phryne Fisher from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries or tractor-driving farmers like Gillian from Last Tango in Halifax or system-fighting women like Laurel Hester from Freeheld.

We define badass as something like Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road when we should be thinking that badass is Lily Tomlin in Grandma. I think we glorify the violent. We create drama around guns, killing, revenge, retribution. Then we uplift those characters to represent the best in the culture.

In reality, violence is the worst part of our culture. There is plenty of drama to be had in ordinary existence. Just living provides ample struggle. We can redefine badass to be something that represents the good in us, can we not? We are using pop culture to redefine the attitude toward LGBT individuals, toward all kinds of inclusion. Why not redefine the attitude toward badass?

I plan to start mentioning it on social media and here on the blog when I find a character that I can define as badass who is also uplifting and nonviolent in her greatness.

I hope you’ll join me in mentioning such characters when you find examples.