Sunday, September 11, 2016


It's been a very hectic 2 months so here's a quick entry before my life goes haywire again.

Now that Narcos has hit season 2, I can confidently say this is my new favourite TV series of all time. It used to be Dexter but that doesn't even come close anymore.

And the show is winning new converts, as a fellow colleague recently expressed his devotion through binge watching till 5am.

I wish I could do that, but I'm middle-aged and need to sleep in order to function at work haha.

But I generally prefer to digest TV programmes slowly. I find it more enjoyable that way.

Currently, I'm at episode 7, and season 2 is 10 times more explosive ( often literally ). Escobar, having escaped from prison, is on the run and evading everyone, from his rivals, the DEA and the CIA, to the Columbian army and right-wing militants hired to capture him. The plot sounds simple but there's a lot going on at the periphery - shady deals, double-crosses - and you can't help but marvel at Escobar's genius. He might have made an excellent politician if he hadn't been a wanted criminal.

The percentage of Spanish dialogue has increased, but my interest hasn't waned. One of the main reasons I love Narcos so much is its script, which contains no redundancies and is quite often hilarious in spite of the violent nature of the story. The Columbian characters are colourful and memorable, while the Americans navigate their legal options in intriguing ways.

There are numerous moments worth mentioning, but one that really stands out involves the DEA agent visiting the family of a colonel who was executed by Escobar. The colonel was known for his ruthless tactics, including the unsanctioned killing of Escobar underlings, which the DEA agent personally witnessed. However, when the colonel's wife asked if the rumours were true, and her despondent son sat beside her, the DEA agent lied and said her husband never did anything illegal.
It was one of the few quiet scenes in that episode, but resonated with great poignancy and perfectly illustrates the beauty of this show. Because the hunt for Escobar was so intense and prolonged, it completely consumed those who were involved, driving good men to commit crimes themselves.
And in return, the viewer is equally conflicted ( or at least I am ). Where do you draw the line when so many innocent lives are at stake and all other methods have failed?

Something else has become Narcos' trademark - expertly staged combat scenes, easily the best I've seen on television. This happens in every episode in season 2, and feature so many different permutations they make my head spin. It really is amazing how they milk the cat-and-mouse games for maximum effect.

Honestly, after watching this show, I've developed a tonne of respect for the Columbian drug cartels. I don't condone anything they did, of course, but those brains of theirs should be preserved and studied!

Another nice touch is the male cast, a large proportion of which is really good-looking. And everyone is just incredible on the acting scale.

Good luck at the Emmys! I hope you win a few awards, but even if you don't, your fans still love the series and we'll be waiting when season 3 launches next year.

I'm using Blogger's Featured Post functon, so read my 2015 review of season 1 on the upper right hand section of this page.

So far the BEST book I've read this year, I kid you not!

Birthed from the loins of People magazine's executive editor, Kate Coyne, I'm Your Biggest Fan had me hooked from page 1.

A collection of wonderful stories from her life as an entertainment correspondent, Coyne's breezy yet cerebral writing style made this memoir exciting and funny, and kept me up late on many occasions, as I couldn't stop myself from reading the next page.

The number of major celebrities included boggles the mind ( well, my mind at least! ) - from George Michael, Michael Douglas and Neil Patrick Harris, to Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise.

Every encounter is vastly different from the rest, and highly enjoyable.

One of the main reasons I love the book is the spiritual kinship I feel with Ms. Coyne. Like her, I've been a huge fan of pop culture for as long as I can remember. According to my mum, the first words I spoke as a toddler were "Can I watch TV?" ( ask her, she'll verify it! )

Also like her, I love meeting famous people, though I'm a late bloomer by comparison. She met RDJ at an off-Broadway show when she was a teenager, while I met jazz musician Jamie Cullum at a showcase in Singapore when I was 28.

If I hadn't become a doctor, I would've definitely pursued journalism - specifically entertainment news. I would've loved flying around the world covering film festivals and interviewing actors/actresses I admire and know everything about. Granted, it isn't anywhere as noble as saving lives, but considering the amount of verbal abuse healthcare professionals endure on a daily basis nowadays, I'd say medicine is grossly overrated.

So yeah, I lived vicariously through Ms. Coyne's terrific tales, and shared her fangirl emotions as she described her encounters with Mr. Cruise ( yes, the lucky lady had more than one! ).

She's effusive where good experiences are concerned, but also gracious when they're downright unpleasant. I guess it's a smart move since she has to keep dealing with celebrities after this, but once you get a feel for the language she uses, you can tell when she dislikes someone ( Neil Patrick Harris is on that list ).

Absolute sweethearts include RDJ, Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks. OMG Tom Hanks is an angel! I'd love to meet HIM someday!

Highly recommended. Please write a sequel soon!

Not recommended at all - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I read it because I wanted to, but now totally regret doing so. The Harry Potter stories stopped being good after book 5, and I'm glad JK Rowling's going to stop writing them ( or so she claims ).

Although this is formatted as a play rather than a novel, it doesn't fare any better. The dialogue is ludicrous at times and the plot is a letdown.

Fans who caught the preview performances in London kept raving about the show. I guess they had low expectations.

I won't post any spoilers, except to say that a Da Vinci Code-like revelation near the end made me groan. Really? Is that all you've got? Tsk tsk.

No more Harry Potter for me. Ever.

Ending off this post with a brief review of The Secret Life of Pets.

In short, completely insane, at times ridiculous, but also freaking awesome. :)

I can't even describe what goes on in this film, so just trust me and watch it.

Gidget, you rock!

Till next time...