Category Archives for TV

Amazon Prime Day Don’t Miss It.

Amazon Prime Day 

 

You’ve heard of Black Friday, yeah? The name that was given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving in the USA. More recently they’ve added Cyber Monday where the electronics and electricals are sold cheap. Well, the good news is you can buy plenty of Christmas gifts and birthday presents earlier in the year.

 

When Is Amazon Prime Day This Year?

 

One way to find out is to ask your friend; “Alexa, when is Prime Day?” Prime Day is the middle of July, so for 2019, these dates fall on 15th & 16th July. What most people don’t understand is there are also offers available beforehand. These Pre-prime deals are also available just for Prime Members. You can even use the search engines, just type in ‘ when is prime day and hopefully the correct answer comes back.

 

How Do You Get These Offers?

Prime Day starts with signing up for AmazonPrime, believe it or not. Yes, it really is that simple. Just sign up!

There are some great savings to be had, some good savings and there are also a few quite average discounts. Keep in mind though, these are being offered with the free delivery, so that is an extra bonus.

 

There are other advantages with Prime, we really enjoy the video and tv services. There’s great viewing with some Prime Original series, which are only available to watch as a Prime customer.

We covered the tv and film aspect here briefly, but there are plenty of great series, shows, and films. Literally, something for all the family to enjoy.

 

Premier League Football On Prime

I bet you weren’t aware of this? Well, you can watch 20 Premier League games live & exclusive on Prime Video this December.  No better way to recover from the Christmas Day festivities, than spend a day watching all the Boxing Day Premiership games. Now might be the time to grab the new TV you’ve been promising yourself and get sat down to enjoy great viewing.

Prime Day Shopping

Try Prime Video

Never experienced this service? Get your Free Trial of Prime Video Here and you can enjoy the following;

Enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
Watch anywhere, anytime with unlimited access throughout the UK
Download movies and TV to their mobile or tablet to watch offline
Watch Amazon Originals in HDR on living room devices
Watch exclusive hit TV shows before they air on British TV
Get unlimited, FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items
Borrow books from a choice of over 500,000 titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
Secure unlimited photo storage with anywhere access
Listen to over 2 million songs on Prime Music

 

It’s enough to make The Fat Lad as happy as a pig in muck.

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A New Life In The Sun With Dumb & Dumber

” Disaster strikes again as Bill and Betty have 24 guests arriving in 45 minutes and they still have to build the second bedroom”

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind watching a bit of tv from time to time and this is a show that I enjoyed the first series. What seems to have happened now though is the majority of the people in this show couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.

” With guests arriving tomorrow, Sandra decides to try the shower and sinks in the gite, to ensure the water is connected”. Shock, horror although they have owned the place 8 months, they haven’t bothered to check the water or the electrics work in the gite, they’ve just decorated and built up a new bed from IKEA. No running water, but the curtains look pretty!

A New Life In The Sun The Carry On Film Version

” Claudia has rented this stunning 9 bedroom villa in Southern Spain for a whopping £3k a month on a 24 month lease and wants to open a yoga retreat. She needs this to work as she has tied all her money up in this new venture”

Maybe Claudia should have asked that one, all-important question prior to signing her life away with this 2-year lease. The question being;     ‘Is this property totally legal for me to run a business here’

Clearly asking this would save the heartache and embarrassment of finding you cannot run any business nor use it for any type of business, because it’s an illegal build. Not to worry, instead of charging your £500 a week ( excluding flights ) for your yoga retreat spa breaks, you can go to the market to sell your cheap and cheerful yoga pants instead.

Spain – Andalusia – Marbella

 

Described as – Series following intrepid expats as they chase a dream life in the sun. It’s more like watching Mission Impossible at times. yeah Fat Freddy who has supped 20 pints a week in his local, decides to sell up and move to Benidorm because he wants to open a British themed pub there. He’s never run a pub, nor even worked behind the bar but that’s not stopping him.

Next on the list is Maria, who after getting a divorce has decided to move abroad and set up as a hairdresser in Marbella. She’s going to work from home to save on costs and operate as a mobile hairstylist to the ex-pat community. She’s bringing across her 5 kids and 3 dogs, coming in her trusty 2003 Nissan minibus.

Finally, in this episode we drop into the French countryside to check out the new B&B operation run by Michael and his husband also called Michael. They both left high flying corporate jobs and have opened this business under a new name, after buying it as a going concern from the previous owners. Despite both Micheals never running any form of hotel or B&B, neither being a chef, never worked in hospitality and neither speaking a word of French, they decided to move to France for a new way of life. As funds are tight, they have decided not to employ staff but do all the jobs themselves and also rely on Google translate.

 

As they’ve no bookings they have decided to have an open day and invite all the locals round to visit their new business. Luckily one of their new neighbours speaks a little English and has offered to help promote the event. This will give the boys a chance to show off their culinary skills, by laying out some cold meat, cheese, pieces of cut up bread, a couple of dishes of nibbles and of course copious amounts of wine.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love new ideas, I love that people want to leave dull, boring jobs in the grey, cold and wet of the UK. Yes, it’s fucking fantastic to be sat outdoors at 7am, enjoying the sunshine, enjoying the freshly squeezed orange juice and having a coffee for 9 months of the year. If you have a trade under your belt, such as a plumber then go for it. The ex-pat areas are always looking for jobs doing, repairs to their homes. Hey, it’s easier to deal with a guy who speaks the same lingo as you, rather than risk getting lost in translation.

What I’d say though is use your common sense. Why try to open a British Bar in the middle of Benidorm, to compete with the other 100 down the same street. They all offer Sky tv for sport, Boddingtons on draught and a full English fry up. All you’re doing here is competing on price. Ever ask yourself why these bars are easy and cheap to buy? Because the previous 10 tenants have lost a fortune, found it too hard and packed up and gone. Do something different!

 

What Is Different?

Run a B&B in France or in Spain but add value. If you’re in the middle of a cycling or motorbiking tourist route, then cater for these people. If you have a large enough plot, look at running a campsite or caravan pitches. If fishing is your thing, buy a place with a lake and offer fishing holiday. People want more than a square box shaped room, so a nice French Gite or a rustic Spanish Cortijo is a better choice to buy. If you’re able to offer something more, then this gives you additional revenue streams. Cooking classes, pottery making, glass blowing, cycling holidays, bird watching or the fishing lake setting.

 

Take inspiration and ideas from the show, but please do your homework first. Remember it’s fine going to Lloret de Mar each year for 2 weeks of laying in the sun, drinking 5 pints every night and doing sweet FA for your time there. Life’s much different living and more importantly working in the sun. 40 degrees during the day in July and August is energy sapping. learn about different places in Spain, take time to visit them. It’s even worth taking a month off and doing a rental in the area you’re interested in or doing a 3 week road trip, visiting several different resorts or areas and getting a feel for the places. Same applies to France, check out the different areas and regions by researching, then go and visit them.

 

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Suits Season 9

Yes, it’s been confirmed that Suits Season 9 will be happening however, this will be the last series ( so they say ).

I have to admit when Suits first came out, I overheard someone in a bar explaining in detail how naff it was, how it was quite boring and just a newer version of LA Law. They went on to say Boston Legal was so much better. As someone who has chuckled at Boston Legal, that kind of made my mind up.

So fast forward 3 1/2 years and I’m flicking about on Amazon Prime Video and saw Suits, so I decided to give it a whirl. I grabbed a can of beer, got the tv set up and jumped on the couch. Was it any good? I watched all 12 episodes of series 1, in one sitting. The next day I watched half of season 2, again all in one session.

Seriously if you’ve never seen it, I suggest you get watching it, starting here at season one.

Main Characters

 

SUITS — Season:5 — Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen, Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt — (Photo by: Nigel Parry/USA Network)

Harvey Specter;

High flying, determined, hardworking and to some self-centred and arrogant. Driven by a desire to win, wears $12k suits, looks good and is an intelligent Senior Partner at the Manhattan law firm of Pearson Hardman. As one of their flamboyant corporate lawyers, his office is a record collectors dream and is littered with sporting memorabilia, from his clients such as Michael Jordan.

 

Donna Paulsen;

What she doesn’t know about office comings and goings, isn’t worth knowing. Previously worked with Harvey when he was an assistant district attorney prior to coming to work for the firm. She knows Harvey inside and out, can read him like a book and knows him better than everyone else.
Smart, sassy, yet very protective of him, Donna is the perfect wingman in the role as his PA.

 

Louis Litt;

Comes across as an insecure person. Loves to laud his authority over the first and second year associates. Really felt his nose pushed out when Harvey was made Senior Partner ahead of him. Louis made the mistake of welcoming back a disgraced former partner Daniel Hardman, who promoted Louis to Senior Partner in an effort to rock the boat in an ongoing battle with Managing Partner Jessica Pearson ( played by Gina Torres ). Louis went from a loathsome, nasty piece of work to someone who the view could feel sorry for. He’s the sad, lonely, workaholic type, who has no friends in or out of the office. His good feature is he is a profit generating machine,who brings in the most billable hours out of all the attornies in the company.

Mike Ross;

Fell on his feet by getting hired in the most unusual situation. A super intelligent conman who was selling weed, but is blessed with a photographic memory. Harvey hires him, despite knowing he’s never passed any exams to be a lawyer. This double team work together and make a great pairing. Harvey is Mikes mentor and there’s a kind of bond which highlights how Mike is protected from interference in the workplace by Harvey, to the extent when Jessica tells him to fire Mike, he basically informs her if Mike goes then he goes too. Mike also has a very on and off relationship/friendship with Rachel Zane ( played by the now very famous Meghan Markle).

 

Other Characters Of Interest.

Daniel Hardman;

Founding partner who was found to be stealing money, but when caught claimed it was for his dying wifes cancer treatment. He left the firm but made a comeback to try to oust Jessica as the Managing Partner. Played impressively by the wonderful David Costabile ( who I think is great as Wags in Billions ), this role is suited ( no pun intended ) for him as Daniel, the scheming, conniving backstabbing chap.

SUITS — “He’s Back” Episode 214 — Pictured: David Costabile as Daniel Hardman — (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

 

Jessica Pearson;

She’s the boss and people know it. A fine lawyer in her own right, she runs Pearson Hardman and is determined that Daniel will not regain control. She frowns upon Harvey’s tricks and stunts, but deep down these are the type of tactics she’d have pulled herself to get what she wanted. Not one to take prisoners, feisty is one word to describe the character played by Gina Torres.

SUITS — Season: 2 — Pictured: Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson — (Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank)

 

What Else?

Over the 8 series, there have been guest appearances by several well-known actors, such as Dulé Hill who I first saw as Charlie Hill in the West Wing. Wendell Pierce who I prefer in Suits to his part in the tv series of Jack Ryan, where he plays James Greer. Here in Suits, he plays Robert Zane the father of Rachel Zane, who is another determined and successful lawyer in his own right. We also see in 3 episodes Titus Welliver, who plays Harry Bosch in the tv series of the same name. Bruce McGill who played Daniel Simpson Day in the 1979 movie Animal House ( one of my all time favourite films ) appears in 3 episodes in series 7.

Series 8 was great in itself, so will Suits Season 9 top it off? Time will tell.

 

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The Looming Tower

Bored with Homeland? I wanted something else to get my teeth into, same sort of subject matter but less about some nutjob and her child custody battles. I don’t watch much in the way of television, but instead, we tend to watch some of the Amazon prime shows and came across this great 10 part mini-series called The Looming Tower and loved it! Gripping, engaging, entertaining all in one. If this is a subject that interests you or just want to watch something good, give this a try.

Based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, this adaptation looks at how the infamous rivalry between the CIA and FBI affected America. The lack of sharing intelligence especially at the Alec Station, highlights how some people thought their egos were bigger and more important than the national security issues. The FBI with the  I-49 Squad in New York and the Washington based CIA Alec Station are the main focus with intelligence gathering and also butting of heads.

Think of this as Homeland but more focused on 9/11 and Bin Laden. Jeff Daniels plays an FBI Special Agent, who inbetween fucking behind his wifes back, running up huge expense account bills and fighting an intelligence sharing war with  CIA analyst Martin Schmid ( played to a tee by Peter Sarsgaard ) is the FBI counter-terrorism expert who has boots on the ground. After the bomb blast in Nairobi wipes out the American Embassy, he sends his FBI investigators to the scene, while the CIA are pushing the Administration to launch several strikes against suspected terrorist camps.

THE LOOMING TOWER — John O’Neill (Jeff Daniels), shown. (Photo by: Marco Grob/Hulu)

 

This is a well present miniseries, showing how the American intelligence people missed vital information as they were not willing to share with colleagues from different agencies. With the Clinton-Lewinsky saga in the news, the backdrop to this series shows footage from news clips and this adds to the realism of this show. The decision to launch 2 retaliatory strikes though, codenamed Operation Infinite Reach, instead of finishing off the terrorists, actually made them step up their efforts. The scene where you see young lads paying out in the camp one evening, then there are bright lights in the sky, as they point and stare – blissfully unaware of the approaching carnage on route to them. Diane Marsh is another CIA operative, who is blindly loyal to her station chief Schmidt.

 

 

Why The Looming Tower ?

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the title also refers to a quote used from the Koran. The rise of Al-Qaeda and radicals across the globe, who went from quite unknown to become an entity capable of planning such devastating attacks on American soil. The influence a small group of masterminds could exert to ‘soldiers’ willing to die for their faith in suicide attacks.

“wherever you are, death will find you, even if you are in lofty towers” – which was quoted by Osama bin Laden before the attacks of 9/11 give the title for the book.  What was surprising though was at the time, the huge resources of the FBI only had 8 (yes, you are reading this correctly – eight) members of staff who were Arabic speaking.

The Looming Tower reviewed

The action is broken up by the viewers been taken to the official inquiry as the 2004 Senate Commission interviewed Schmidt, Soufan and Clarke in an effort to find out not so much why the attack happened but also to discover who knew it could possibly happen and why those who saw it coming didn’t share the intel. Could the attacks have been avoided if the CIA had managed to pressure the White House into earlier airstrikes? Maybe better information access between agencies could have helped. Were some of the senior figures still looking at the Cold War as the main threat? There are so many questions that could be asked here and also plenty of answers that didn’t address what needed looking at. This is an enjoyable, slightly gritty series without glossing over the important parts. Yes, there’s the usual handful of bedroom scenes, had O’Neill had any more lovers his wedding ring would have worn away with how often he removed it then replaced it.

Diane Marsh

Plenty of female characters, but one who stood out was Diane Marsh, who reminded me of the character Maya on the film Zero Dark Thirty. ( if you’ve not watched Zero Dark Thirty, shame on you).  A stronger and more thoughtful personality than say Carrie from Homeland, it’s easy to see how Diane sees her patriotic duties as the must be everything. Do people like these still exist today? Without a doubt, but most stay in the shadows.

If you want to read the book it’s available to order. Please note; if you’re in the UK, the link will take you to Amazon UK.

Sale
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
  • Great product!
  • Lawrence Wright
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Edition no. 0 (08/21/2007)
  • Paperback: 540 pages
Sale
The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State
  • Lawrence Wright
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Edition no. 0 (07/25/2017)
  • Paperback: 464 pages

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Fat Lad Does The Inbetweeners 2018

Fat Lads Says;
There should be a follow up series of 1 off tv shows each of about 30 minutes in length detailing the career paths of the main characters from the InBetweeners. Without further ado, here’s what I think happened to the characters.

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