My Top 10 Favourite TV Shows of the Year!

Hello! Thought for my final post of the year I would post about my top 10 tv shows of the year!

10.Tiger King – This was released near the start of the first UK lockdown this year and seemed to be what everyone was watching at one point! The series quickly made house hold names of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin. Even though there was a lot of hype around this show, I do have to say it is probably one of the most entertaining documentary series I have ever watched just for sheer amount of craziness. This show definitely proves that sometimes reality really is stranger than fiction.

9. Ratched – I’ve long been a fan of Ryan Murphy’s work and this year we saw many of his new projects drop on Netflix including Ratched. Sarah Paulson stars in this prequel series based around the character of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as American Horror Story it was still and enjoyable binge watch and Sarah Paulson is pretty much good in everything.

8. The Boys – I found the second series of The Boys even better than the first and Stormfront makes a great villain for the second season alongside other big bad Homelander. Also who doesn’t love some Billy Joel?

7. The Haunting of Bly Manor -The people that brought us The Haunting Of Hill House in 2018 returned with another offering from The Haunting anthology. I was sceptical at first as I loved Hill House so much but when I accepted Bly Manor was a different beast and not Hill House 2, I really enjoyed it. I especially liked the love story between Dani and Jamie and that ending still hurts!

6. This Country – Final season of BBC Three’s cotswold comedy This Country was another highlight of the year for me, in a year where a great comedy show is needed most! I am sad that this is the last outing for Kerry and Kurtan but hopefully there will be more some time in the future. Living in and around the cotswolds most of my life I have found that this show really captures the area very well.

5. Umbrella Academy – The second season of the Umbrella Academy saw the main characters scattered through time to different years of the 60s. It’s been a while since I saw the first season but I do think this season was better, I got through the episodes very fast which is a good sign. I’m interested to see where they go next after that finale!

4. I May Destroy You – This comedy/drama from Michaela Coel follows author Arabella who is trying to finish up writing her second book while also dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault. The show definitely goes into some very dark territory, but also has some great comedic moments too. I enjoyed how the show played around with the format of story telling eg flashing back to different moments from Arabella’s past in some episodes and the twisty but clever finale. A sign of a great show is being left with a feeling of wanting more and this show definitely left me wanting more, even though I think it really works as a limited series.

3. Dark – The final season of this mind bending, time travel, scifi thriller came to a very satisfying conclusion this year. I have to be honest, I don’t always understand what is going on in Dark as their are so many things happening! You’ve got the stories going on different time lines and this season introduced an alternate dimension so it is hard to keep up. But that being said there is so much attention to detail, the story is pretty air tight. I recommend non-german speakers watch with subtitles rather than the dubbed version which Netflix loves to default to for some reason!

2. Schitt’s Creek – Another final season of one of my favourites. I will have to do a Schitt’s Creek post at some point as I love this show so much and very deserving of all the awards it won this year. This show had just got better and better throughout its run and was given a fitting farewell. If you haven’t binged this series yet, do yourself a favour! (All seasons are on Netflix UK) – Moira spinoff anyone?

1. The Queen’s Gambit – Who knew a show about chess could be so emotional, exciting and also addictive? The Queen’s Gambit feels like a long movie (in the best way) we follow chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s life from child to young adult. This series is a perfect example of what a limited series should be, satisfying but also doesn’t over stay its welcome. Like I said a story about set around Chess doesn’t seem like it should work but it really does! Anya Taylor-Joy does a great job of portraying Beth Harmon as do Isla Johnston and Annabeth Kelly who play younger versions of the character. Overall a extremely solid series which I can see being on the top of many best of lists this year!

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Some of my latest binge-watches

Hello and happy Halloween month! I thought I’d post about some of my recent binge watches…


I have recently binged S2 and S3 of Aggretsuko on Netflix. You know the show with the cute red panda office worker with anger issues. Oh and is secretly a death metal singer! With episodes running for 15-20 mins long, I’m unsure why I took so long to tune in again. I love that this show is aimed at adults but doesn’t tone down the cute style. Adults can like cute things too you know!! Retsuko portrays the typical overworked office worker, with a great coping mechanism, imagining her death metal persona during moments of high stress. After work Retsuko regularly unleashes her death metal persona in the Karaoke bar. This is a very cute and easy watch and recommend for anyone who needs a nice positive distraction! Also OTM Girls song from S3 ‘Viral Star’ is a total BOP.


This new netflix show follows character Nurse Mildred Ratched from the Book/film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Sarah Paulson plays a younger incarnation of Ratched in this prequel series. Admittedly I have not seen the original film or read the book prior to this series, but decided to check out the series due to Paulson and it being a Ryan Murphy production. I liked that they added some LGBTQ content which apparently wasn’t in the original story. The cinematography is fantastic as are the various outfits of Nurse Ratched. Overall a fun binge watch, though not for the squeamish/feint hearted!

Selling Sunset

Who knew a reality show about a Beverly Hills estate agents could be so fun! I like many others binged watched this show after the 3rd season landed in August. The overdramatic soapy drama mixed with beautiful shots of Million dollar properties make for great viewing! Also you know you’ve been watching too much of this series when they show a $2M house and think “that’s cheap, what a bargain!”.

Hoping to get another blog post out soon with the help of my partner! So watch this space…

P.S. I have recently received some lovely reviews on my Etsy shop, which feel great to receive as a small business owner. It really makes my day when I receive a positive review! 🙂

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Netflix Documentary ‘Disclosure’ is essential viewing

I recently watched Netflix documentary Disclosure which details the history of Trans representation in TV and Film and the impact on society. The film features many trans stars including Laverne Cox, Bianca Leigh Jen Richards, Lilly Wachowski, Brian Michael Smith, Sandra Caldwell, Chaz Bono and many more.

This documentary is essential viewing especially in times of the Black Lives Matter movement and the planned rolling back of Trans rights by the UK government and celebrities such as JK Rowling making their transphobia known. I know JK is only one person but she has a a lot of power, Harry Potter is a behemoth of a franchise. The comments she has made completely baffle me after she wrote a whole series based around the virtues of accepting others, especially those that differ to you. That being said I don’t wish her any hate or ill will,  but it is a great shame and hope she changes her thinking on trans issues, since many LGBTQ people will have found solace in her stories.

… Anyway back to Disclosure!

“I think for a very long time the ways in which trans people have been represented on screen have suggested that we are not real, have suggested that we are mentally ill, that we don’t exist. And yet, here I am. Yet here we are, and we’ve always been here.” – Laverne Cox says  just before the titles roll perfectly setting up the rest of the documentary.

The documentary details the first trans portrayals in film, transphobic film tropes and various other topics.  I found the part about Cis actors playing trans characters very interesting. Where Jared Leto and Eddie Redmayne may do a decent job of playing trans women it reduces the roles to being costume like e.g. Jared Leto playing a Trans woman in Dallas Byers Club and later receiving the Oscar looking unrecognisable to the character he portrayed. But when trans women are cast in a trans role like Laverne Cox playing Sophia in Orange is The New Black this creates positive representation. Cox is not just representing a transwoman on the show she is also representing herself as a transwoman in real life which is great for trans youth to see.

Jen Richards relays coming out to a good friend as trans. The friend then asking if being trans is like Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill as in the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs who makes a dress out of women he has murdered … Richard’s reassures us that her friend is more understanding now and didn’t mean offence by her comment. But it’s scary that trans representation was/is so scarce that this was someones first frame of reference.

I also found Sandra Caldwell’s story very interesting, Caldwell had a long career starring in films like The Cheetah Girls and Serendipity before coming out more recently as a transwoman. Chaz Bono also shares his experience of being the first trans contestant on Dancing With The Stars.

I highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t watched Disclosure to check it out! 


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It sounds like OA – Six Fanarts and Free Quarantine Cards

In my blog post before last, I posted about my contribution to the #SixFanarts challenge and mentioned that I would create an edition based on The OA. I’ve now finished The OA edition which you can view below.

This as, with the first #SixFanarts challenge was a lot of fun, giving me an opportunity to experiment with my style a bit. Also good practice as I usually draw animal characters so drawing 6 humans was slightly out of my comfort zone!

I also this week decided I’m going to work on a set of Quarantine inspired designs which I will be posting for free on this blog once I have finished. These cards will focus on LGBTQ couples and positive messages, while we are in this weird time in the world.

Below is the first of the quarantine designs – which is based on my previous card design A Whole Otter Love!

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5 Things to do While Self-Isolating

Hi, The world has changed quite a bit since my last post, we find ourselves living in a very strange time, Oh how I long for the days of constant GDPR emails instead of these COVID-19 ones! I decided to self isolate last week and I’m now doing my main job from home. I thought that as most us are currently isolated/quarantining I would compile a short list of things to do while we are in this situation, I hope you find it useful.

1.Keeping in touch with loved ones via technology

Whether it is via text,call,video chat or social media, technology allows us to remain in touch with the people closest to us. Free video conferencing app Zoom is very popular at the moment, people have been hosting house parties, game nights and even virtual pubs via the free app.

2. Reading

Now is the perfect time to read a new book, I’m currently reading ‘The Beast Within’ by Serena Valentino the second of of series of books which slightly twists the tales of various Disney villains. They are a fun read and would recommend for any Disney fans out there. I have also recently finish Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ a hybrid memoir and self help book for those dealing with depression. This is great book with good tips for coping with these stressful and uncertain times. If you have a library card many libraries offer downloads on their website of e-books and audiobooks to read/listen to.

3. Watching TV

Whether you prefer streaming a good film or binge watching a boxset there is a plenty of content out there to watch while being isolated. As I always would recommend The OA (Netflix) its not only great escapism but also a story full of hope and people joining together. If you are looking for something a bit more gentle and light hearted recommend another of my favourites Steven Universe (Netflix,Now Kids, Amazon), a lovely animation with quirky and lovable characters. Like I said there is so much choice out there, most of the shows I mentioned in my top 10 TV Shows of the decade list are available to stream. With so many streaming services out there Netflix, Prime Video, Now TV and the recently launched in the UK, Disney +, you really are spoilt for choice!

4. Dancing

My partner recently bought me Just Dance for Christmas and I absolutely love it! Not only is it great fun, you also get a good workout out of it which is great especially if you are confined to your home. Alternatively there are dance videos on Youtube you can dance along to and also live dance parties online, dancer Mark Kanemura has been hosting live dance parties on Instagram (link below)

5. Being Creative

I love drawing whenever I’m going through a stressful time, I find it very therapeutic and sometimes even find the stress fuels my creativity. So I encourage everyone to express themselves at this very odd time in our existence, to draw, write, make music, sew, crochet, or participate in any other creative outlet you have.

Remember we will get through this and by staying home we are saving lives. Stay Safe everyone.

See you on the next blog post – Josh 🙂

P.S below is a recent Wedding card design I created,

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Leave Your Door Open For The OA

*SPOILER ALERT – contains some spoilers for the first season of The OA*

In December 2016, Netflix dropped the first season of The OA, brought to us by the creative minds of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij. After Netflix brought us the widely popular,acclaimed show Stranger Things in the summer of 2016, I was expecting The OA to be made from a similar mould. I soon realised when i started watching The OA that the shows were in fact very different, the shows do have some similarities with their sci-fi elements but tonally and storytelling wise they are worlds apart. (Absolutely no shade to Stranger Things!)

The OA revolves around main protagonist Prairie (played by Brit Marling) who arrives back home after being missing for 7 years. Prior to Prairie’s disappearance she was blind. So it is shock to everyone in her home town when they find out that her sight has also returned. Prairie (who know goes by the name ‘The OA’) doesn’t feel comfortable discussing the events of the past 7 years with her parents, instead she seeks solace in 5 strangers.

The 5 recruits (The Crestwood 5) chosen by The OA, leave their houses, leaving their front door’s open and meet at the abandoned house as per their instructions. It is here that the The OA begins her story. It is unknown if there is another reason for the ‘open doors’ aside some sort of trust exercise/showing their openness to believe in The OA. The ‘open doors’ work well as a metaphor for the show itself, as you have to go into the show with an open mind, you have allow yourself to go with the flow and see where the story takes you.

The OA recounts her kidnapping and the ensuing events, with the Crestwood 5 returning day after day to the unfinished house to get the next instalment. Eventually The OA teaches them about the movements, a succession of strange dance moves, there are six movements and if performed simultaneously with 5 other people, it will allow them to travel to another dimension! The movements might seem a little strange at first but you soon get used to them, the movements were created by choreographer Ryan Heffington, who previously did the choreography for Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Elastic Heart’ Music videos.

‘The OA’ has a fair few mysteries/unanswered questions which leave the viewer wanting to re-watch the show to look for clues or things they have missed. With the big question of season 1 being is The OA telling the truth or not? Has she just made this elaborate story up as a way of dealing with her trauma? Leaving the viewer and the Crestwood 5 both trying to answer the question of whether this character is telling the truth or if she has completely fabricated this fantastical story. Unlike other shows though ‘The OA’ does answer some of the mysteries along the way and S2 does answer some of the big questions of S1 which is much more satisfying for fans and viewers of the show than just piling on mystery after mystery with no answers in sight. (I’m looking at you ‘Lost’!)

‘The OA’ has a great cast with a lot of interesting and multi layered characters. My favourite characters have to be The OA and Betty Broderick Allen AKA BBA (Phyllis Smith), as felt like I could personally connect with these two characters most, BBA is also great at adding some comedic relief to the show! It also great to see ‘Buck’, a young trans character, played by trans actor Ian Alexander. Jason Isaacs plays the wicked but ever so intriguing to watch ‘Hap’, his scenes with The OA have to be some of my favourite in the series with their cat and mouse dynamic.

Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij have created something special with ‘The OA’, the kind of story that stays with you long after you have experienced it.

I encourage you to watch The OA if you haven’t already and to go into the show with your metaphorical door open!

PS The S2 finale broke my mind!

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