Monthly Archives: July 2018

Here we go again

Mamma Mia! ten years on, or five if you consider the plot. We’re all ten years older, but we – mostly – don’t look it. Do we? And a person can always have a young self, like they do in the new Mamma Mia! film. I adored the young Harry especially.

So, Donna is dead. Maybe this was for the best, as it left all of us crying, and it meant there was for the most time only two almost identical young women to be confused by. Sophie, and her mother Donna as a young woman, and made more confusing by shifting quickly between the two. Now we know what it was like for Donna and Sophie’s three dads, even if some of the continuity might not actually work. Who cares?

It’s like a family party. You’re just so happy to see everyone again. This time there were fewer old ABBA hits, and possibly less music too, but you’re happy, crying both sad and happy tears, and a film has to be pretty good to achieve that, and I don’t care if the film critics are still a little sniffy about it. Although they learned their lesson ten years ago, and now take Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again much more seriously.

There were the expected cameos from Björn and Benny. I suppose many of the appearances were somewhat cameo-like, really. I love Cher, but am not sure she was the right grandmother for Sophie, even if great. And ABBA songs are less well suited to a deep voice.

Lots of laughter, quite a bit of crying, both from me and Pierce Brosnan, not to mention from Julie Walters. I could watch the film again tomorrow, if only life didn’t need me for other things.

And thanks to Daughter who saw the film in Pasadena 20 hours before me, I knew to stay for the scene after the credits. I waited and I waited and everyone else left and the cleaners came, giving me funny looks, but eventually, there it was; the extra scene. I took a chance on it!

Designated Survivor

After barking up the wrong trees for our holiday small screen entertainment, we have found something that works; Designated Survivor on Netflix. It’s not The Crown and Kiefer Sutherland is no Claire Foy. But as new heads of state, after the deaths of their predecessors, there are similarities.

I was surprised at first to discover that Tom Kirkman, as he is, had no idea what his role as designated survivor actually meant, but he soon finds out when the Capitol is blown to smithereens, with everyone – well almost everyone – inside it dead, and he is sworn in as President of the United States.

Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, ©ABC

Seen as a weak man by most, he struggles, but it seems his inner decency will carry him through, despite all the back-stabbings, despite all those deaths and the need for calm and cooperation.

I have no idea how real this might be, apart from the bombing of the Capitol, but it makes for fascinating viewing. We’ve been without a decent POTUS for too long in real life, so this makes for a nice change. Never having watched the West Wing, I don’t know if this follows in its footsteps, or if Designated Survivor is making its own tracks.

And what a perfectly polite but awful adversary Congresswoman Kimble Hookstraten is. I quite like her.

To begin with I couldn’t see how this series could be so long. I mean, how much time do you need to install a new man as President and start him up? But I could keep watching this. If it weren’t for the deaths of so many innocent people, I’d prescribe this as a good way to proceed.