Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Fictional Characters I’d Invite to Christmas Dinner

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It’s so close to Christmas it’s unreal. In 10 days it’ll be Christmas Eve. I think I’ve just about got my presents all sorted but who really knows. I’m not a fan of last minute shopping but I tend to need little stocking fillers as I go through the month. Still, I’m mostly there. As it’s a time of celebration I’m adding a few additional posts this month. Each year I’ve released a Christmas top 10: My Essential Christmas films and My Least Favourite Christmas films. So I’m planning on keeping them as festive as possible but I’m likely to run out of ideas by next week. We’ll see how it goes. For now, I decided to delve into the world of fantasy dinner party and decide who I’d invite to my ultimate Christmas celebration.
Ten: Brienne of Tarth

My main reasoning for including Brienne on this list is simply because it’s kind of a habit to include her on all of fictional character based lists. It’s no secret that she’s my favourite character in both the book and the show. It’s also no secret that I adore Gwendoline Christie. If Brienne came to my Christmas dinner then I’d spend most of the time just starring at her the way Torumund did at Castle Black.

Nine: Belle

Now I’m not talking about the Belle from the upcoming, unnecessary live action Beauty and the Beast as played by the annoying Emma Watson. Nor am I talking about the Belle on the show I’ve tried so hard to enjoy Once Upon a Time. No, I’m talking classic, animated Belle. She’s always been my favourite Disney princess because she loves books as much as I do. There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about books and it’s something I don’t really get to do too often. So, I’d love nothing more than sitting in a post-Turkey daze and discussing my favourite novels with Belle. Unlike friends, she might appreciate the Romantic era fiction that I recommend to her. Of course, being so fucking cynical, I’d find her hopeless romantic thing quite annoying but it would be something we could happily debate on.

Eight: Holtzmann

Another of my latest character obsessions. Jillian Holtzmann is the greatest thing to come out of the Ghostbusters reboot and Kate McKinnon is such a fantastic performer. I’d love the chance to meet the Holtz but worry that she would make dinner a little awkward. Not that I don’t love awkward moments but, as a perfect host, I’d have to think about my guests. Still, I love her so she’s coming.

 Seven: Rob Fleming (High Fidelity)

High Fidelity is one of my favourite books and films. I love it. You may remember Rob was featured on my list of Top 5 Fictional Husbands. As such, I’d love to invite Rob to my Christmas dinner. I mean we both a predilection for making Top 5/10 lists so we could definitely turn it into an amusing dinner table game. He’d also know the best tunes to play before, during, and after dinner to keep us all in the party mood.

 Six: Leslie Knope

Re-watching Parks and Rec recently gave me an all new appreciation of Leslie Knope and what a great person she is. She champions women, loves her friends, and won’t back down in an argument. She’s the kind of person I pretend to be but much nicer and much more successful. I’d love to sit next to her at Christmas dinner because, not only would we have a great in-depth discussion about all things, I think she’d share my childish love of the holiday.

Five: Thor

Thor is my favourite superhero. I love all of the Norse mythology and his Shakespearean qualities. He’s so dramatic and literal about everything. I have to admit it would be kind of cool to have him at my Christmas dinner just so I could say there was a real-life God there. Kinda cool, no? Plus, the arms are always a plus. He also seems that he’d be fun to have at a party. Asgardians are basically Vikings and they were kind of up for a good time. Also, how great an after dinner game would it be to try and lift Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir? You’ve had all the turkey so now let’s find out whose worthy.

Four: Buddy the Elf

I don’t know about you guys but I always feel that Christmas Day is kind of let down after the endless weeks of lead up. I’m not saying I’ve ever had a terrible Christmas Day but we’re always just so exhausted we end up eating and lounging for the entire day. What we really need is an injection of Christmas spirit. And who has the largest supply of that round here? Buddy’s love for the holiday is contagious and he’d have no trouble getting everyone up around the piano for a sing song. With Buddy at your house, every Christmas can be like the ones you see in every American sitcom’s Christmas special. Plus, you know, the candy.

Three: Tyrion Lannister

Despite everything the Bible tries to tell us, Christmas is basically about excess and over-indulgence. It’s about spending too much money, stuffing your face, drinking too much, and basically letting go. Who embraces these ideas more than anyone? Yes, the self-titled “God of tits and wine”. To re-appropriate Ke$ha for a second, the party don’t start til he walks in.

Two: Newt Scamander

Not only would the addition of Newt to the party mean guaranteed Eddie Redmayne but it would also mean some fantastic stories. Newt has travelled all over the wizarding world and met some of the most amazing creatures. He’d be able to fill the time with so many exciting tales. There’s always a boring lull on Christmas Day when you’re eaten too much but there’s a few hours before Doctor Who is on. Newt would be the perfect person to fill the silence. Hell, if we’re lucky he might even get his Niffler out… which, as I’m writing it down, definitely sounds like a euphemism you might come across in the wizard world. Hey, Newt, how’s about you let my play with your Niffler.

One: Sookie St. James

This is the second time this month that Sookie has been in the number 1 spot of my top 10 list. Maybe she’ll be the new Brienne? Anyway, I think Sookie would be a great person to invite to dinner. Not only would she definitely bring something scrumptious to eat but she’s just such lovely human being. Why would you want to spend this holiday with people who were anything but nice? My only doubt would be the fact that she would clearly be silently judging everything that was being cooked for her. It would take about five seconds of her being in the house before she was “fixing” everything that was being made in the kitchen. Still, what a meal we’d get in the end.

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Things I Thought After Watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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In my Sunday Rundown a couple of weeks ago I promised to write about the Netflix Gilmore Girls reboot that week. That was mainly because I’d got my dates mixed up and thought this Top 10 Wen-sday was happening then. Still, in lieu of an actual review, which I figured would be both difficult, gushy, hyperbolic, and really fucking long, I’m setting down my strongest feelings regarding the new four episodes. I don’t know when I first got into Gilmore Girls but it was probably when I was 16. I instantly loved it and have rewatched every epsiode more times than I’d care to remember. So when it was announced that Netflix was bringing it back I was ecstatic. Of course, when I binge watched the new episodes as soon as possible I had a few questions. The most important being: WHY WAS THERE NO KIEFER SUTHERLAND CAMEO? I mean how hard would that have been? He’s on Netflix himself. They could have put it in his contract. What else is he doing? We need a Luke Danes/Kiefer Sutherland spin-off where they go fishing and discuss being shit at baseball. Desperately.

Ten: What is the point of the extended muscial sequence?

It went on too long, it wasn’t that funny, and it didn’t add to the story. This sequence basically sums up the vague feeling you get throughout the episodes (especially the second, third, fourth, etc. time through) that things were dragged out without reason. Random snippets appear for no reason other than to add time. If you can’t fill an hour and a half then don’t make a 90 minute episode. It’s that fucking simple.

Nine: Paris obsessing over Tristan is just absurd

After all this time? Fuck that. Paris is a strong woman who has spent the last few years making herself unstoppable. I get that the writers wanted to make her seem vulnerable and emotional behind the mask but this was a fucking shit way to do it. She wouldn’t have reacted to Tristan like this. She wouldn’t have even remembered him. There are plenty of ways to make Paris seem more human but this was just a disgusting one. It was out of character and worked against everything that had happened in previous seasons.

Eight: Emily’s story is perfect

It was always going to be sad to have reunion without Edward Herrmann playing Richard. He was a fabulous presence on the show and his chemistry with Kelly Bishop was amazing. I think the show tried hard to honour his memory but I think it could have gone futher. The funeral scene gave everyone a chance to grieve but it would have been nice for the 3 Gilmore girls to have a nice family goodbye. Sharing happy memories with each other. Still, Emily’s journey through spousal grief was both heartbreaking and enthralling. It felt so real and Kelly Bishop did a great job. I loved everything about Emily’s storyline and think, under the circumstances, that it was the best goodbye we could have wished for Emily.

 Seven: Why does Amy Sherman-Palladino keep dicking over Lane? 

Lane was always hard done by in the later seasons of the show. She never went to a great college and, aside from a small tour with her band, never saw anything but Stars Hollow. She married young and became a mother straight away. She should have been a rock and roll icon but she had to put her dreams on hold for her family. Which gives the message that women can’t have it all. The series ended with Zac being given the chance to go on tour with a huge band and Lane realising she couldn’t join him. It was her dream to go but she was left stuck at home and working in a diner. Then, years later, she’s still a mother and has to limit herself to band practice and playing drums at the secret bar. What the fuck did she ever do to you Amy? She could have been destined for great things. Why couldn’t she be a successful working mother? A great drummer and a caring mother? It’s bullshit.

 Six: Rory’s Gilmore Girls book narrative is JK Rowling epilogue levels of cringe

I mean a book about their relationship that Lorelai suggests should be called “Gilmore Girls” and not “the Gilmore Girls”. This whole plot line made me want to vomit. It’s supposed to be a cute in-joke but it’s just super cringey. It’s a cheap and awful way to give Rory’s professional life some purpose. It’s also not the ending for her career-wise that we’ve all been waiting for. One her first day at Chilton, Rory stated that she wanted to see things and write about that. This ending shows that she sees nothing but her own past. She deserved a brighter future.

Five: The wedding was perfection

It’s been a long time coming but A Year in the Life finally gave fans the moment they’ve all been waiting for. It took us a while to get there but we eventually got to see Lorelai marry the man she was supposed to be with. The wedding sequence was utterly beautiful and, I have to admit, the fact that it was set to ‘Reflecting Light’ (the song they danced to at Liz’s wedding) brought tears to my eyes. The whole set-up for the wedding was gorgeous and watching the family run through it at night was heart-warming. This moment was only marred by Lorelai’ s insanely uncharacteristic decision to “do Wild”. It’s not something she would have done. It was too selfish and cowardly a decision. I’m just glad she eventually saw sense.

Four: Lorelai’s beahviour at her father’s funeral is bullshit

The worst thing about the return of a much-loved show after any amount of time is the possibility that a character you know really well starts doing things that are out of character. One of the first pieces of information we got was the revelation that a drunken Lorelai started publicly shaming Richard at his wake. I know the two were never the closest of people and Lorelai was always critical of the way she was raised. However, there is nothing about the seasons that preceded this one that suggested that would be how she honoured her father. I mean the idea that at the spur of the moment she couldn’t think of one even remotely nice thing to say about him, even if it was just to please Emily, is fucking insane. I mean there were moments fro the previous seasons that would have worked. Like the time he helped her escape from a blind date Emiy set up or the time she took him shopping for stationary. The time he came to visit Stars Hollow and they had Chinese takeout. There were countless moments she could have picked. What she wouldn’t have done is stand there, in a drunken haze, and talk about how terrible a father he was. No matter what she thought about her childhood, Lorelai loved her father and, when all is said and done, she is still a Gilmore.

Three: The sequence with the Life and Death Brigade is fucking sensational

I mean just look at it. It’s fucking beautifully shot and is just so fun. The song, one of my favourites on the Across the Universe soundtrack, fits the action perfectly. As soon as I heard it I had one of my creative moments and imagined a whole film scenario in my head that was actually pretty similar. Everything about it was sensational. The signs alerting Rory to their presence. the gorilla masks, the smoke, the steampunk, the tango. I just loved every second of it. It captured the spirit of the group and showed that, even after all these years, people hadn’t really changed that much. Also, the Wizard of Oz ending was sheer perfection.

Two: Logan Logan Logan

I’ve always been a Logan fan. I know his relationship with Rory wasn’t always great but he was much better for her than either Dean or Jess. Yes, yes, Jess fans. I know you’ll all be shouting at me that Jess changed over time and became the perfect man. I just don’t think all that shit he put her through when they were younger was too much to get passed. Now, I hear you continue to cry, her affair with Logan didn’t exactly go anywhere to prove that they are made for each other. It wasn’t ideal but there is undeniable passion and love between the two of them. I get that the creators were pushing the idea that Logan is Rory’s Christopher and Jess is her Luke. However, Logan was always good for Rory. He pushed Rory at a time when she was really discovering who she was and who she wanted to be. He helped her take risks and have some fun. He always believed she could make it and, after he really buckled down to work, became a great husband for her. Just look at all the times he came running to her aid without even thinking. Dean made her feel guilty and Jess just left without telling her. I think we know who the better boyfriend is. I like to think the pair will eventually settle down together and raise their baby as a happy couple. Just because Lorelai couldn’t find happiness with Christopher doesn’t mean Rory can’t end up with Logan.

One: Not enough Sookie

I know that Melissa McCarthy is one of the biggest comedy stars around now and barely had the time to do her tiny cameo. I understand that we’re lucky that we had that small glimpse of her. However, I don’t think Sookie’s absence was explained in the correct way. It just didn’t make sense for her character to abandon the inn that she dreamed of helping Lorelai create for years. It didn’t make sense for her to just leave like that. Also, what about Jackson and the kids? We see Jackson in Star’s Hollow so that means Sookie left her family for god knows how long. It’s just not right. There were plenty of other ways to have explained Sookie not being around. She could have gone on a year long retreat to Asia to learn all about some new cooking technique. Or taken the family on a food tour of Europe to bring back classic dishes to the Dragonfly. Fucking anything other than what actually happened. The shitty story that Amy came up with just meant Sookie’s eventual appearance was marred and, quite frankly, rubbish. I mean Melissa was fabulous as always and the multiple cake stuff was full of feels. However, the chemistry wasn’t there. It felt static and uncomfortable.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

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This week saw the return of everyone’s favourite time for violently trying to track down the greatest shopping bargains. Yes, Black Friday has come and gone once again. I still don’t really understand why this American tradition has made it over to the UK but it has. It always gets out of hand and this year in Leeds, where I’m from, a man was actually stabbed whilst trying to stop someone shoplifting. It’s fucking crazy. I’m not one of these people that like to take the day off to try and grab a bargain. Although, I can’t say that I’m immune to the whole thing. As much as I’m annoyed by the constant stream of discount emails I receive in the run up to this weekend I did succumb to a few bargains myself. It’s a great time to get Christmas presents after all. As you may know from previous rundowns I lack a lot of self-control when it comes to spending. I’m trying to get better and I think it’s working. It’s only going to be when I finally stop checking ASOS all day that I know I’m over it, of course. But for now, I’ll embrace my bad habits and wait until the new year to fix myself. It’s nearly Christmas and that is a well-known time for excess.

Currently Reading

  • Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Still not really reading this as much because my other books are much easier to read and I’m in a bit of a lazy literary mood at the moment. As soon as I heard about this book I really wanted to read it but I’m finding it a bit tricky. I’m sure I’ll get there.

  • Not Working by Lisa Owens
Since buying this last week I have been focusing solely on this. It’s a quick and easy read. It’s also interesting to read about someone in a similar position to me.


Recently Purchased
  • Assorted books by Michael Chabon
I’ve had Telegraph Avenue sitting in the “save it for later” section of my Amazon cart for what feels like years. So, after seeing a review of the book on Instagram recently, I decided it was a time to really get to grips with Michael Chabon. So I bought a whole host of his books. It may have got a little out of hand and I’m not going to get round to reading any of thee for years anyway. The titles I added to my collection of unread novels are: Telegraph Avenue; The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man; Wonder Boys; The Yiddish Policemen’s Union; and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. They all sound fantastic in their own way and I’m excited to read them. 

Recently Watched
  • Gilmore Girls
So the new episodes of Gilmore Girls finally arrived on Netflix on Friday and I watched them as soon as I got home from work. I finished them in no time and am still not recovering from it. I have plans to further discuss this in the week. Although, I will say, it was all too brief and I really wish Melissa McCarthy hadn’t been so fucking busy. It’s not the same without Sookie.
  • The BFG (2016 and 1989)
To honour the release of Steven Spielberg’s The BFG this week I reviewed both the new film and the animated film from the 80s. They’re very different films but lovely in their own ways.

MONDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

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So it’s time to apologise. Yesterday I failed to get my weekly rundown out and I honestly have no idea how. I remembered at about 1am when I was lying in bed and I really didn’t fancy getting back up to do it. For the first time since I implemented my new system I have failed to get a post up in time. It’s not even as if it was a busy day yesterday. Saturday I was in York all day for my sister’s hen do but Sunday I was lazing around all day. I’m such a fucking failure. Still, I can get it out now and hope the one day delay has just made people more desperate to find out what I’m reading this week. I mean it’s highly doubtful but I can always pretend. After all, if I go too far down the road  of how many people may actually read this then I’ll probably stop ever getting posts out on time.

Just Finished
  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin
Yes, I know, I’m just as relieved as you are. This book is finally finished. It’s been about a month long task but I’ve reached the end of the first three Dunk and Egg stories. It was hard going but only because it’s been a while since I’ve read any George RR. I still loved it and can’t wait for the rest to be released. Especially with the knowledge we already know about Dunk and Egg’s futures. It’s nice to see where they started from. It’s the greatest bromance to hit Westeros since Sam and Jon. Or Tyrion and Bronn. Or Tyrion and Pod. Or Ned and Robert. Or Davos and Stannis. Okay there have been shit ton of bromances in Westeros but that doesn’t mean Dunk and Egg aren’t noteworthy. If only for the sheer number of times Dunk threatens to smack the future King. The only negative I can take from this book is that I definitely need to reacquaint myself with A Song of Ice and Fire before The Winds of Winter comes out. Otherwise, I’ll be super fucked. 

Currently Reading
  • The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
This book’s cover is beautiful and really fucking bright that it’s been calling to me ever since I bought it. Even whilst A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was dragging on I had decided this was what I was reading next. So far it’s really good. It’s about two neighbours living in South Africa and the conflicts that arise between the two of them. One if white and the other black and the racial tensions that simmer below the surface are just the start of their worries. Omotoso is a great writer and has a great style. It’s an easy read but not in a simplistic way. Looking forward to finishing this one.
  • Bream Gives Me  Hiccups & other stories by Jesse Eisenberg

The other night I was super tired and couldn’t be bothered with trying to get through another full section of The Woman Next Door. I decided to try a few short segments of Jesse Eisenberg’s short story collection because, to be honest, I was interested to see how good he is. I know he’s being hailed for his plays at the moment but it doesn’t necessarily translate into fiction writing. I’m still not sure because the first “story” is a collection of restaurant reviews written from the POV of a nine year old. As such the writing is childish and incredibly simplistic. Still, I like it. It reminds me a bit of Rick Moody’s Hotels of North America: A novel because we learn more about the boy’s life than the restaurants he visits. I’m with Eisenberg for now but we’ll have to see how he handles the different stories. 


Recently Purchased
  • Sexus, Plexus and Nexus by Henry Miller

Those who have been keeping up with my Instagram of late may have seen the gorgeous copies I obtained of Henry Miller’s ‘The Rosy Crucifixion’ trilogy of novels. The novels are semi-autobiographical and presen a fictionalised account of a six year period in Miller’s life. They are also so fucking saucy that they were banned in the United States. As everyone should be encouraged to read banned books and also read books with such gorgeous covers I just couldn’t resist this trio.

  • A Spy in the House of Love by Anaïs Nin
A book that was recommended as I made my purchase of the above three books. It tells the story of Sabrina who has spent her life pursuing her deepest desires. Sleeping with five different men and trying desperately to keep her marriage in tact, Sabrina finally realises that she is made up of several different identities all craving different things. As she tries to live out these different lives and their separate desires, all Sabrina craves is a unity she can’t find. This novel is about desire and self-awareness and I can’t wait to read it. 

Recently Watched
  • Game of Thrones
I’m just about to finish season 2. Something which I’ve been putting off because ‘Blackwater’ is still one of my favourite episodes. I love it so much that I want to put it off as long as possible. You know what I’m talking about. 
  • Gilmore Girls
Seriously, the moment Netflix UK got this series on there I was so fucking pleased. I’ve pretty much spent my whole week off just going through old episodes. Mainly seasons 5-7 because the Luke and Lorelai times are the best. Plus, Rory and Logan will always trump Rory and Dean and Rory and Jess. No matter how many times my friends try to convince me otherwise.