When in Norway – A Look at A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #fridayschoice. 

This Friday is a very special Friday because I am talking about a play that I love, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, but not only am I talking about a play that I love by a Norwegian playwright, I am in Norway. 

I shared my November news earlier in the week which is that I am in Oslo this weekend. I couldn’t be happier. Oslo is such a beautiful city and there are so many wonderful connections to literature so make sure to follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), because I will be posting the highlights of this weekend on to my stories and on to my grid. 

It’s been the best day, I have thoroughly enjoyed strolling around the city. I had the pleasure of stopping by the Ibsen Museum which has been one of the highlights of my trip. I saw the National Theatre, the Opera House, and I’ve even had drinks in a pub called Dr. Jekyll’s which is of course a reference to the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. 

I talked about the musical Jekyll & Hyde in another Friday’s Choice a few weeks ago as part of my spooky season here on Katelovesliterature.com. I absolutely love the story so you can imagine my excitement when I got to visit this pub. It was so cool. The best part of my day was walking through a bookcase. I have added a new goal to my bucket list and it is that one day I would like to have a bookcase that is secretly a door to another room in my house. It is an out-there goal but one can dream. 

A Doll’s House was originally published in 1879. 

It is a three-act play and it is a very significant play because of the reaction it caused when it first premiered. Ibsen was determined to write a feminist play and A Doll’s House highlighted the issues that women faced in a male dominated society. 

The play’s main protagonist is Nora. She is married to the very controlling Helmer. The play is about her plight because she borrowed money behind her husband’s back, and in order to keep her marriage intact he must never find out. Nora’s actions are that of a scared woman who had no other option. Her husband was sick, he would not accept help, her father was sick, she had no real life skills because she was raised to be extremely sheltered and naive. Nora spent her entire youth dependent on her father and then when she married she was entirely dependent on her husband, and he liked it that way. When her husband was sick and would not accept help, Nora was afraid of what would happen if she were to lose him because of his pride. So she goes behind his back, she borrows the money they need to help him recover. Nora had nothing but good intentions even though she may have gone about things the wrong way, and now all of her past actions are coming to haunt her in the present. Her secrets will be exposed and Nora is terrified of her life crumbling before her eyes. In all of this, Nora comes to learn about herself. She reflects upon her sheltered upbringing, she reflects upon the fact that she has never shared her opinions, or argued with her father or her husband, she has never acted for herself because she has never been allowed to, and as time goes on she realises that her secret being revealed may not be as terrible as she thinks. 

I will not ruin the play, and there are characters and plot points that I have purposely left out of this discussion. I think that A Doll’s House is a play that everyone should read and it is a play that I would love to see in a theatre someday. I studied this play for the first time when I was doing my Leaving Certificate, the second time was when I was doing a Leinster School of Music and Drama exam, and then I studied this play again in college when I was working towards getting my BA in English Literature, so it is safe to say that it is a work that I am very familiar with. It is a work that I really enjoy. It is a work that I find something different in every time I read it. It is a work that I think everyone should read at least once. 

The story is layered and compelling. The themes are so important. Nora is one of the most nuanced and complicated characters that I have studied. I absolutely love her character. I think she is a difficult one to play because she can so easily be misunderstood. I think she is a very poignant figure and a very powerful one. 

I actually really enjoy reading scripts because I like the way that I can envision the show taking place on a stage. When a piece is written for the stage it is very different to a piece that is just meant to be read as it is, and I really enjoy thinking about how the written word will translate onstage. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you seen or read A Doll’s House

Have you read any of Ibsen’s works, and if so, I’d love to know which one is your favourite. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

Short Stories: The Yellow Wallpaper.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. Here’s to the weekend, welcome to another #fridayschoice. 

Today I am talking about a short story entitled The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This short story was published in 1892. 

I really like short stories because I like reading narratives that are contained within a short space of time. The interesting thing about short stories is that very often, they give us a snippet of time or we can get a contained story that doesn’t have too much of a wider context, but it could. I think a sign of a good short story is when the tale leaves us wanting more, we get the impression that there is more happening, but we’ve just been given a snippet. 

I also think that short stories are great if you want to read something short and sweet. I think that reading is very relaxing but sometimes after a long day if I don’t feel like opening a longer novel, a short story is a really great alternative. 

I have studied this short story in great detail in college. It is a text that I really enjoyed, and it is a text that is regarded as very significant because of the way it portrays attitudes towards mental health. I think that mental health is being talked about much more openly in 2021, which is fantastic, and I think that this text is a really good teaching tool when discussing attitudes of the past. 

The story is narrated in the first person, and it is also an example of epistolary form as the story is written down in journal entries. The plot follows a woman who is writing about her time spent in a house that her husband rented. Her husband is a doctor, and he doesn’t want her to work or write or do anything as she is recovering from “hysterical tendencies.” 

I think that this is a really powerful, very poignant story and I think it is a piece that everyone should read at least once. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

Movies vs TV Shows.

Hello everyone and welcome to another #fridayschoice. I hope you all had a good week. 

Today I’ve decided to talk about why I love movies and tv, even though the two mediums are very different. 

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of tv, and so I decided to think about why I love tv vs why I love movies. Overall I would have to say that I prefer movies, but I love when the right series comes along and I get invested. 

The idea that I would put forward is that the main difference between a movie and a tv series is time. When we watch a movie, we know that the narrative is going to be contained within two hours. The plot has to go through a beginning, middle, and end in the space of those two hours. There will always be exceptions, an example would be if a movie ends on a cliffhanger or asks more questions than it answers because there is going to be a sequel, but usually, a movie’s message and the main character’s arc is contained within a certain time frame. 

When we are watching a tv series, if there are several series of one show, it means that the characters have more time to grow and develop and change. I think that tv shows have great potential to explore many different aspects of a character or a theme, because tv shows have the opportunity to be more episodic, meaning that each episode will have it’s own contained story and usually when this happens it means that you could watch the episodes out of order as there isn’t an overarching theme, but tv shows could also decide that each season will have a focused plot, and there will be an overarching theme or storyline that spans over several episodes. When this is the case, the episodes really should be watched in order so that plot points are not missed, but even with an overarching storyline, the characters still have more time to deviate and do other things, whereas in a movie it’s hard to keep the balance between the main plot and the subplot, because if there are too many things going on in a movie, it can feel sloppy and it can leave audiences feeling like too many things started that weren’t finished in a satisfying way. 

I love sitting down to watch a movie. I find it relaxing. I love the art of film, I really enjoy seeing how someone chooses to tell a story through film, and so when I watch a movie, I pay close attention to the style, the shots, the score, and I do like seeing how a character’s arc is achieved within a timeframe. I think that’s very interesting. Storytelling with a time limit means that some things may have to be left out, and I also think that just like there are things in books that don’t always translate well onscreen, there are things that movies can do that tv series can’t and vice verse. 

When it comes to a tv series, I do like the fact that we have more time with characters, and over the series, a character can grow and change and do many things. It keeps things interesting because the show can take on different directions whereas a movie can’t really do that. With that being said, I also think it’s important to make sure that certain storylines don’t drag on for too long because then they run the risk of becoming repetitive. I also think that some series can go on for too long, and then when the quality of the show starts decreasing, one wonders if perhaps the series should have quit while it was ahead. I can think of a few examples of shows where I think that there were a few more seasons than there needed to be, but I also know that if a show is popular and getting good ratings, then show runners will want to keep that show on the air. 

I think that ultimately I prefer movies over tv shows because I like the bigger story that can be presented. Yes the narrative has to be contained within two hours or so, but I like the fact that so much can be done within two hours whereas sometimes a show can have twenty episodes in a season and unless I’m extremely invested in the story, I’m just not going to be too excited about watching it. Personally I think that movies grab my attention much more quickly than a tv show does. When a tv series does catch my attention, it is the best because I become invested, I want to watch the next episode, I really enjoy watching it, and when that happens, it is fantastic because it means that I thoroughly enjoy a series, but I’ve noticed that only a few shows do this, whereas I find myself captivated by movies much more quickly and much more often. 

Both mediums are wonderful forms of expression, and I do think that different stories lend themselves to different mediums. There are some stories that will lend themselves to tv, while others lend themselves to movies, and I think this is because, as I’ve said above, movies and tv shows have different strengths and they can do different things, so depending on what the story needs, one medium will likely work better than the other. I think that would be an interesting topic to discuss in the future. Perhaps at some point I will pick a move and discuss why I think it wouldn’t have worked as a tv show, or I will pick a tv show and discuss why I think it would or wouldn’t translate well on the big screen. 

Keep an eye out on my Instagram stories (@katelovesliterature), because I am currently watching the sixth series of Shetland, and I am also watching Angela Black, and I will be posting my #tvthoughts to my stories, just like I did when I watching Only Murders In The Building.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Tell me do you prefer tv or movies? I’d love to know. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

A Poem For November.

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s #fridayschoice. The first week of November is nearly behind us. Happy Friday, I hope you all had a great week, and I hope you all enjoy the weekend. 

Today’s Friday’s Choice is short and sweet. I’m talking about a poem that I really love.

The poem is entitled November Night, and it was written by Adelaide Crapsey. 

This poem can be found on poetryfoundation.org.

This poem is short. It is only five lines. The poem is about leaves falling to the ground on a crisp November night. Many of Crapsey’s poems feature themes of death, and one could assume this was because she suffered from a terminal illness. Many of her poems are also about autumn or winter, so the scenes she describes are a wonderful mix of bleak yet beautiful. 

I think there is something really beautiful about the poem November Night. I think this is a lovely poem to read aloud because of the assonance and the onomatopoeia that Crapsey uses. I especially like the last two lines, “The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees/, And fall.” (Crapsey, November Night, lines 4/5). 

I like these final two lines because I like the image they create of a delicate, frosty leaf breaking away from the the tree and falling to the ground. I think that the leaves on the ground, in all of their various colours, red, orange, brown, and gold, are a true indicator that autumn is turning into winter and I think there is beauty in this change of season. 

I also think that if one was to analyse this poem on a deeper level, then they could recognise a minor theme of loss and death, and the leaves falling to the ground could be suggested to be a metaphor for one’s failing health, and autumn is a time where things die. 

Sometimes it is the simple poems that stand out the most, and this poem has been on my mind since the start of the week because I always think of this poem at this time of year. 

Go and read it if you get the chance, I would highly recommend it. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. 

I hope you all have a great weekend. 

Kate xo. 

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. Today is the last Friday in October, the month has flown by. This Sunday is Halloween and my #bookofthemonth discussion all about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will be published, and that will be my last Halloween/horror/gothic themed discussion for a while. Content choices will become more varied again in November before we move into the festive month of December.

Today I am talking about Sweeney Todd, and I am referring to both the movie and the musical.

If you are familiar with the tale of Sweeney Todd, then it may sound surprising when someone who says they don’t love horror turns around and says they love Sweeney Todd.

I remember the first time I saw this movie. I was fifteen. My best friend loved it, and I remember hiding behind a cushion because I could not stand the sight of the blood.

Warning – There is a lot of blood.

Time passed. I did not watch the movie again, I had no desire to. Fast forward to 2018, and I am studying film theory in one of my college classes. I am studying German Expressionism and the impact it has had on the film noir genre and how it has inspired contemporary directors such as Tim Burton – If you are not familiar with what German Expressionism is, don’t worry. I will be talking about it in further detail on #theorythursday at some point in the future.

I love the class, I love the topic, I love Tim Burton, and I love Stephen Sondheim the composer – so I decided to watch Sweeney Todd.

I loved it. I still could not look at the blood, but luckily I knew when to hide my eyes, but I loved the story.

For those of you who don’t know, Sweeney Todd tells the tragic tale of Benjamin Barker who lost everything he loved because of a cruel and jealous corrupt judge. This injustice turned Benjamin Barker into a hardened man, and he is determined to get revenge on all of those who wronged him.

It is a horror story, and yet it is so complex that I would argue it is also a revenge tragedy. The story is dark, gritty, and gory, and it presents such layered themes about love, loss, corruption and revenge. The story explores class differences, and how those in power can abuse it. The story highlights what happens to the innocents who get caught in the middle. The story demonstrates what can happen when someone loses everything they love so unfairly, and it shows how truly dangerous someone who is desperate for revenge can become. The story is not all doom and gloom though, there are moments of hope and love in there too. I don’t want to discuss the plot or the characters too much because I will talk about the movie on a #moviemonday in the future.

I have not seen the musical live onstage, but I would love to because I adore the score, and I actually think that this piece would be incredible onstage. It would be dark, and gory, and a spectacle, but in the best way. This is one of those tales where I would say that the story goes beyond horror. This story makes a statement, and I think it is a piece that stays with you for a few days after you watch it. Stephen Sondheim is an impressively talented composer. The score is intricate, and fast, and yet there are some absolutely stunning emotional melodies that weave and wind through this story, so musically, I love this score without even seeing the movie or the musical. I would listen to the score of Sweeney Todd by itself because the score tells the story beautifully.

The score is the other factor that drove me to finally face my fear and watch this movie again, because I had been listening to the score, and I fell in love with it and then I was so fascinated by my film theory class that I decided I could watch the movie and just close my eyes during the gory parts. Doing this is what led to my revelation that I have been mentioning throughout the entire month of October, which is that I don’t hate horror, I just hate blood. Horror still is not, and will never be my favourite genre, and if you know me in real life then you know I am so jumpy, but there are aspects of horror that I do enjoy.

When it comes to Sweeney Todd, I love the story. I love the characters and how well fleshed out their backstories and motivations are. I love the very dark and complex themes that this story presents, and I adore the score.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Friday Everyone. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Kate xo.

Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. Welcome back to another #fridayschoice.

Today I am talking about a musical that I love, so musical lovers tune in!

Let’s talk about Jekyll & Hyde The Musical.

I am going to start off by saying that I really like all versions of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I love the premise. If you don’t know the story, a very short summary is that Dr. Jekyll wishes to find a way to separate the evil parts of ourselves from the good, because his idea is that if we can all rid ourselves of our inner evils then there will be no more evil in the world. It sounds like a really straightforward idea, but Dr. Jekyll soon learns that good and evil are not as straightforward as one might think, and separating the good from the bad can actually have dangerous consequences.

I really like the story of Jekyll & Hyde because I think it is a very thought provoking one. I think that this story makes us think about who we are and the world we live in, and we learn that no one is just good or just evil, but that people are actually a complex, and nuanced mix of the two. We all have good and bad aspects of ourselves, and some who appear good are in fact not, and others who we may assume are bad can turn out to be good. I think that a story such as this makes us reflect upon the type of person that we are, it makes us think about the way we perceive and judge others. It demonstrates that appearances are not everything, and ultimately I think this story highlights how much hypocrisy exists in the world.

I really like the musical version, even though I know that not everyone enjoyed it. It is a show that I hope to see live onstage again someday. The music is by Frank Wildhorn, and I am a fan of his work. I will be talking about his work in Bonnie & Clyde The Musical at some point in the future. I think it is fair to say that Jekyll & Hyde The Musical is an underrated piece. I don’t know too many people who have heard about it, and I don’t wish to make any sweeping statements, but I don’t think the show is talked about as much as it perhaps should be.

Is it perfect? No. There are aspects of it that I don’t love, and I think there are certain aspects that should be done in a more subtle, tasteful way however I think that it is a musical that presents some very complex themes in an artistic way, and some of the songs are stunning.

I would have to say that I think the song Facade sums up the show very nicely. Everything is a facade. We are not one person, but two. There is good and evil in all of us, and just because someone is in a respected position, it does not mean that they are automatically good and beyond reproach. ‘There are teachers who lie, there are liars who teach.”

I think that this musical depicts a really interesting tension between instincts and self control. We all have good instincts and bad ones. We all have things that we want to do but cannot, because we know we shouldn’t. When Dr. Jekyll discovers a way to temporarily separate the evil part of himself form the good, we see that his evil counterpart is simply him operating at his most basic desires. Mr. Hyde is instinct walking. He has no conscience, he does think about how his actions will impact others. He does not have morals or self control. Mr. Hyde does what he wants, when he wants, and he does things that will hurt others because this brings him pleasure. Interestingly though, Mr. Hyde highlights the hypocrisy that exists in the upper classes of his society. He points out when people who are respected secretly abuse their positions of power, and do things that they condemn people of lower classes for when they do the same thing. Mr. Hyde points out how money and status don’t mean that someone is not a bad person, but money and status makes it easier for them to hide or get away with the fact that they have done bad things and so even though Mr. Hyde is a character who is made up of entirely the bad parts of someone, he does make some valid points and so there is a certain sense in his quest for revenge. What I am saying here is that while I don’t agree with Hyde, I understand Hyde when he rightly points out the cracks in the facade of others, and this is one of the reasons why I love this story and this musical. It is layered and thought provoking.

One of my favourite characters in the musical is Lucy. Lucy is a whore who works in the Red Rat bar and brothel. She believes that good and evil are intertwined, and although she is poor, and penniless, and repeatedly looked down upon by those of the upper classes, it is her who teaches Dr. Jekyll a lot about life. She inspires him. Lucy has a hard life. She is considered ‘bad’ according to those of higher status because of her job, but it does not stop those of higher status coming to the brothel to enjoy her work. Lucy demonstrates that luck plays a big part in things. Lucy was not born wealthy. She has no family, very little education, and so she is forced to do what she can to survive. She is mistreated at work but she has no other options. Many people would dismiss her based on her status, and by doing so they will never learn that she is kind, brave, and honest.

Lucy’s character and the way people treat her demonstrates how society can treat those who are considered ‘bad’ or unimportant. When Lucy is badly hurt, Dr. Jekyll is horrified, and even more horrified when he learns that things like this happen on a regular basis, and he is shocked when he learns that the man who hurt her was considered a gentleman for how could a respected gentleman do something so violent? You can imagine Dr. Jekyll’s horror when Lucy tells him that the man who hurt her was named Hyde. Dr. Jekyll must accept that the evil side of himself did this. He was capable of such violence when he had no good side to tame the bad. He cannot believe that he could have done something like this but Hyde did, and Hyde is simply Jekyll with no conscience or morals. As I said before, Hyde does what he wants, when he wants, and he does not care who he hurts.

Jekyll and Hyde The Musical, while imperfect, is a layered, complex musical that depicts some very interesting and intense themes. The musical depicts the tension between good and evil, desire and control, and it scathingly highlights the hypocrisy that exists in the world.

It is also extremely gothic, which is why I decided to talk about it during the month of October. The inner struggle that Dr. Jekyll experiences, the philosophical questions that he tackles about good and bad, the struggle between science and the ‘natural’ way of things – all of these are highly gothic elements.

At some point in the future I may choose the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde as my #bookofthemonth, but this month’s #bookofthemonth is the gothic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and I am looking forward to discussing this book. I may even draw some comparisons to the story of Jekyll & Hyde because I think that both gothic novels share similar themes but they are explored in very different ways.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you heard of Jekyll & Hyde The Musical? What do you think of the story of Jekyll & Hyde in general? I’d love to know.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kate xo.

Embracing the Absurd: The Addams Family.

Hello everyone and welcome to #fridayschoice. 

Today I am taking a break from horrors, but I am still staying in the realm of #spookyseason. 

Today I am going to be talking about The Addams Family. 

I have previously talked about The Addams Family Musical on Katelovesliterature.com, but today I am referring to the 1991 movie version, and the 1964 sitcom. 

I have been a fan of The Addams Family since I was very young, and it is probably because my Mam loved the movie, so I grew up watching it. 

The Addams Family was created by cartoonist Charles Addams. The family was designed to be a satirical version of the idealised 20th century American family. Gomez and Morticia are the couple at the centre of this delightfully bizarre household. The members of the Addams family are fun, eccentric, macabre loving people. They are a close knit family unit, and they don’t care how odd or strange anyone else thinks they are, in fact I don’t think they even notice when other people are baffled by their gloomy, gothic household. 

I have to say that although I love the movie, and the musical, my favourite version of The Addams Family is without a doubt the 1964 sitcom. Carolyn Jones will always be my favourite Morticia. She is beautiful, she is elegant, she is funny, and she delivers her lines in the most charming yet original way. Morticia is a very loving mother, and a very loving wife, she adores her family more than anything, and she is firm in her beliefs. 

I have seen people argue that Gomez and Morticia are the perfect couple, and while I very rarely call fictional people “goals”, I do think that Gomez and Morticia are one of the best fictional couples to exist. They are passionately in love, they adore being in one another’s company, they make each other laugh, they would do anything for each other, they love their children more than anything and enjoy spending time with them, but I think the best thing about Gomez and Morticia is that they completely understand each other. Neither of them has to dull down parts of their personality or hide their eccentric nature. They are both weirdly wonderful, and they adore each other for it. I think that Gomez and Morticia are the definition of loving someone completely as they are, and they only add to each other’s quirks instead of attempting to stifle them. 

I think that another reason I have always loved The Addams Family is that I love the family motto, which is essentially, to embrace the absurd. So much of what I study goes back to this idea of embracing wonder, curiosity, and the absurd. So much of literature, particularly children’s literature, explores the tension between having to grow up and mature, but without completely losing our childhood sense of wonder. When I discuss Frankenstein at the end of the month, I will be talking about literature in the Age of Enlightenment, compared to literature in the Romantic Age, because there is a tension between logic and feeling. Enlightenment thinking puts forward the idea that anything and everything can be measured and explained with logic, but romantic thinking puts forward the idea that we shouldn’t measure everything because some things can’t and shouldn’t be measured. In the Addams Family home, nothing makes sense. Nothing can be measured. Everything is eccentric, and odd, and delightfully confusing. The Addams Family home is a place where the absurd is embraced and celebrated. Curiosity is encouraged. The imagination can run wild in the Addams Family home.   

Everyone can be exactly who they are, and unapologetically so. The children’s interests are never belittled. Gomez and Morticia never try to dampen who their children are, in fact they celebrate the individuals that their children are. Wednesday is quite an iconic character due to her morose nature. I think Morticia and Wednesday have always been my favourite characters, because while all of the characters are funny, and I enjoy the humour overall, I feel that Morticia and Wednesday could be argued to have the funniest, most often quoted lines. 

If you don’t like horror but would like to get into the Halloween, spooky season spirit, then I would definitely recommend The Addams Family. It is not scary, it is simply weirdly wonderful. It is different, it is so witty, and funny, and the characters are fantastic. Anyone I’ve recommended it to in the past has come back to me and said they’ve really enjoyed it, so if you’ve never seen it before, or it’s been a while, then why not? 

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This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you all enjoyed it. I hope you’re all having a good month. It won’t be long before October is behind us as time is flying. Happy Friday everyone, I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

How To Enjoy Horrors.

Hello everyone and welcome to another #fridayschoice.

Today I am going to be talking about how I enjoy horror films even though I am a very squeamish person. I thought that this would be the perfect topic for the first Friday of October because we are in spooky season after all, and for the next few weeks there will be horror movies everywhere.

I will start off by saying that I never really enjoyed horror movies. I never understood the appeal of being scared. I never got that thrill. I hate blood, and I hate gore, and I am so jumpy that any jump scares would have me hiding behind a cushion.

I have slowly started to enjoy horror movies. I think this development has come from studying films in college. I have always enjoyed watching movies since I was young, but in the last three years I have really developed an appreciation for the art of films. I love looking at behind-the-scenes specials. I love analysing shots, and different film techniques. I love comparing one director’s style to another’s. I think doing all of this allowed me to look beyond the blood and gore and actually begin to enjoy horror movies.

Now I’m still squeamish. I think I always will be, but lately I have had a realisation. I used to say ‘I hate horror movies.’, but I have come to realise that I don’t hate horror movies. There are many movies that I love the plot of, the premise of, I mentioned in this week’s #moviemonday how much I love the score of Sleepy Hollow, I love Tim Burton’s nod to German Expressionism in Sweeney Todd, I love the score of that movie too, I love the complex, layered, nuanced story of Sweeney Todd. I love the characters. This is just one example of a horror movie that I have really come to love. What do I hate? The blood. The sight of blood still makes me feel sick, and it most likely always will but I don’t actually hate horror movies, I just hate the blood. Knowing this, I am able to watch a movie like Sweeney Todd, and I have watched it enough times now to know when I should look away, and now I can enjoy this movie for it’s many other wonderful aspects, and I simply look away for the really bloody parts.

Here’s some tips on how to enjoy horror even if you’re squeamish like me, so you don’t miss out on all the Halloween horror fun.

Look up the parental guidance review. This review should tell you how scary other people found the movie to be, and it will usually tell you how many instances of violence occur in the movie, it will tell you how many times certain language is used etc. So if you see that a movie only has two or three instances of blood and gore, then you’ll know there may be only two scenes that you don’t want to look at as opposed to missing the whole movie.

Watch a horror movie with a friend who has already seen it. I am so lucky because I have really good friends who know the sight of blood turns my stomach, but they also know what a movie lover I am so there are times when they might say to me ‘I think you’ll really enjoy this movie, and I’ll tell you when to shut your eyes.’ So that is what we do, we watch the movie, and they’ll tell me when to look away, and then they’ll tell me when to look again, and most of the time when we do this, I end up really enjoying the movie and I’m glad I only looked away for a few minutes rather than not watch it at all.

Not all horrors are bloody. If you say you don’t like horror movies, you may be like me and only dislike one aspect of a horror movie. So ask yourself, if it was not for this one thing, would I enjoy this? For me it was blood. I used to say that I would love this movie or that movie because the story is really interesting but I just can’t watch blood, and now I have a way around that, when those moments play out onscreen, I simply don’t look. Figure out whether you don’t like horror or whether you don’t like an aspect of horror because if you can overcome the one detail you don’t like, you may really enjoy the movie.

Don’t feel pressured to see the movie in the cinema. If you don’t love horrors but all your friends are going to see one, don’t feel bad if you sit the movie out. You can always meet your friends afterwards. It is important to remember that seeing a movie in the cinema is different to watching it at home. At home you can pause it, leave the room, lower the volume down, and leave the lights on. The cinema is dark, and you’ll also be seeing something for the first time with a group of people who are also seeing it for the first time, so no one can tell you when to look away. I think that if you’re trying your hand at horror movies and you already know that you don’t love them, it is better to watch something for the first time in the comfort of your own home, so that way if you want to turn it off you can – and there is nothing wrong with that.

I am very happy that I have found ways to be able to watch horror movies with my friends and enjoy them. It means that I can be involved in spooky season, and lean into the fun of Halloween. Now that I have figured out what I do and don’t enjoy, I am able to watch a horror movie, and now that there are aspects of horror that I enjoy, I can now understand the fun of watching a horror movie. I like to be intrigued, I like to be curious, I like to be a little unsettled. I love an eerie atmosphere. I just don’t like blood – so if you’re squeamish like me then maybe this #fridayschoice will help you this Halloween.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you love horror or hate it? Do you love the thrill? Are you squeamish like me? Let me know.

Kate xo.

Shows I Streamed in September.

Hello everyone and welcome back to Friday’s Choice. Today I am going to be talking about five shows that I streamed this month. I have really been enjoying these shows and as we move into late autumn and winter, which means longer, darker evenings, I think it’s always a good idea to have a list of shows to watch. 

So let’s dive into #fridayschoice. 

I’m going to be talking about these five shows in no particular order. So let’s start with Annika. I mentioned this show in my Ten Crime Shows That I Binge Watched list. At the time I wrote that list, Annika had just started airing on Alibi. The first season of the show is now complete, and I really hope there is a second season because I thoroughly enjoyed season one. Annika is a detective series. Each episode had its own investigation. I really loved the small ensemble of characters. The story is told from the point of view of Annika, I mentioned before how she breaks the fourth fall and addresses the audience directly. I said how I really liked this as it was something new and different, and I hadn’t seen this done in a crime show before. Now that the season is complete, I will say that I really enjoyed this style throughout each episode. The moments where Annika addressed the audience directly were clever, witty, and her monologues often made me laugh. I also really enjoyed how in each episode, she would reference a literary work, an Ibsen play, or a Greek tragedy etc. It made for a unique approach to a crime drama, and so as I have said already, I really hope that there is a season two. 

The next show that I watched and would highly recommend is Mare of Easttown. Kate Winslet was absolutely brilliant in this show, as was the rest of the cast. There were only seven episodes of this series, and if I were to describe this show in one word, I would call it gripping. It is not an extremely new story. A detective is searching for a missing girl who has been missing for over a year, and more and more young girls are being found dead. This isn’t a revolutionary new plot that has never been done before, but it is done incredibly well. The characters are intriguing, the show is filled with twists and turns, and the story is utterly compelling. It is one of the best shows I’ve watched in a long time. I can’t recommend it enough. 

Up next is ClickBait on Netflix. I started this show after I finished watching Mare of Easttown, which was a hard act to follow. I started off thinking that while this show was good, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I had enjoyed Mare of Easttown however as each episode went on, I was becoming more and more invested. I would call this show a slow-burn because while it didn’t grip me straight away, I would say that by episode three I was very intrigued, and the last few episodes were definitely stronger than the first few. I felt that this show was really relevant as it featured a lot of the dangers that can occur due to social media. It really is amazing, and scary seeing what can be done in just a few clicks, and again this was another show that was filled with twists and turns, especially in the final few episodes. 

If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you will have seen from my stories that just last weekend I started watching Vigil. I loved it so much that I watched all six episodes in one night. It was brilliant. There is a trend here as all of these shows have a common denominator – they all are filled with twists and turns. A major theme of this show is corruption, and it was done so well. The cast was fantastic, particularly Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie. I thought that these two actresses were brilliant, and in my opinion they led the show. The premise was really fascinating, I don’t want to spoil anything but what I will say is that I enjoy when characters are limited to certain settings because I feel it’s more interesting. When there are only so many places a person can go, it means that the narrative is challenged to operate within that space, and when an investigation is occurring in limited space, it means that there’s only so many places where evidence can be hidden. I would have to say Vigil is my second favourite show in this list, as it follows Mare of Easttown. 

The last show I’m going to mention is Only Murders in the Building on Disney plus. There are only five episodes of this show so far, and I’m very excited to see the next one. I absolutely love Steve Martin and Martin Short. I think these two actors are a brilliantly witty duo, and Selena Gomez joining them makes for a very funny, sarcastic trio. I think that this show has a great premise. It’s something that true crime fans will enjoy. It’s funny, it’s witty, I would say it’s satirical. There are moments that do seem nonsensical, but I am able to suspend my disbelief and go with it because it is a satire and it’s cleverly done. Despite the satirical nature of the show, the mystery is still very intriguing, and I am very curious to see what happens next. So if you want something that’s lighthearted, different, but still mysterious, I would say to watch this show. 

So this has been Friday’s Choice. These have been five shows that I streamed in the month of September. Have you seen any of these shows? What did you think? Do you binge watch shows the way I do? 

I am very excited because starting Monday, it is spooky season here on Katelovesliterature.com, and I am going to be embracing horror, and thrillers, and ghoulish galore in the run up to Halloween. Stay tuned. 

Kate xo. 

Theatre Is Back!

Hello everyone and welcome to another Friday’s Choice. 

Another week has flown by and thankfully this week was a great one. 

Today’s #fridayschoice is all about the fact that theatre is back and I couldn’t be more excited about it. 

I like to think that my Friday’s Choice posts are a little bit more informal. I like to talk about shows that I’m enjoying, or poems that I’ve read recently. I share snaps of theatres or of my programme collection sometimes. I share all of the literature mementoes that I’ve accumulated over the years. Every week is different. I am really looking forward to October because there is going to be so much to discuss here on katelovesliterature.com and I feel like because October is spooky season and there is so much literature that is suited to this time of year, my Friday’s Choice posts are going to be spilling over with variety. 

Before we move into spooky season though, I want to talk about how it feels like we are in a new season of theatre. Shows are opening. Musicals are touring again. The Dublin Theatre Festival is happening. There are so many wonderful shows happening. I feel like my Instagram feed is constantly full of actors, directors, crew members, etc., all heading to work because there is a show happening again finally. Theatre is back and I couldn’t be happier about it. 

If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you will know that I was very excited because last week I purchased tickets to go and see The Lion King. The amazing musical will be in the Bord Gáis from December, and I cannot wait to see it. I’ve seen it once before but it’s been a long time so I am thrilled that I will get the opportunity to see it again. 

The first show that I will be going to see after all this time is Rocky Horror. October can’t come fast enough. I just know that when I get to the theatre I will be so excited, and so happy to be there, and so appreciative of the fact that I can go to theatre again that I just might cry. I usually always shed a few tears in the theatre, and that is usually because there will always be a moment in a show that moves me so much that I well up. Theatre is so powerful. It resonates in a way that is so hard to properly describe and that feeling of being in the theatre and watching a live performance, that electricity, that atmosphere, it is one of the best feelings there is. 

I have other shows lined up for 2022 including Les Mis and Beauty and the Beast. 

I’m sure that I will add more shows to my calendar as time goes on but these four are a really good start. I’m very lucky to able to attend so many shows. I’m very fortunate that I live so close to so many wonderful theatres because it means that I have access to some really incredible performances, and I love seeing people’s ideas, and creativity explored onstage. 

I don’t only attend musicals. I really enjoy plays too and I’m hoping to go and see some new and exciting plays as time goes on. There have been some really interesting, new plays being put on in theatres and I’ve spoken a few times here on Katelovesliterature.com and over on my Instagram (@katelovesliterature), about how I think it’s wonderful that some performances such as those put on recently in the Abbey Theatre, were made available for streaming. I think that this is something that should be done more often because not everyone is able to physically access a theatre and I think that having the option to experience literature, creativity, new ideas, and touching stories from home is remarkable. I do think that buzz of being in the theatre is very hard to replicate however if I was watching a show from home, which I have done and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing so, I would rather see the show and create a new atmosphere at home than not see it at all. 

I’m really looking forward to seeing what plays I will hopefully be able to add to my “going to see that” list. It can be challenging sometimes, especially when the schedule is busy but now that more and more shows can go ahead, I’m so excited to start being in the audience again. 

This has been Friday’s Choice and it really is just a very happy, appreciation post all about how delighted I am that theatre is back. Theatres had to close their doors for a time, and I know for certain that I will never take seeing a show for granted again. 

Are you a theatre nerd like me? Have you got shows lined up? What’s next on your “to see” list? Drop me a comment because I’d love to know. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo.