Grey’s Anatomy turns 300

Last night in America, Grey’s Anatomy aired their 300th episode… 300, can you even begin to contextualise how many episodes that is? How many nights’s the cast stayed up to shoot? How many times each actor’s scrub costume was washed? How many times Shonda sat in the editing suit trying to figure out the best way to piece her artwork together? It is remarkable how this show has gone on to create 300 episodes. 300 episodes does not only mean that the cast, crew and creative teams were able to create this work but it means the fans, You and I, wanted 300 episodes. We demanded 300 episodes and we deserve 300 more episodes. Because Grey’s Anatomy is not part of our lives and how can it not be? After 300 episodes, 14 seasons, 12 years and countless tears later this show, world, story, is part of our lives. We have earned 300 episodes.

Personal feelings aside, one has to admire the brains behind such a revolution. Shonda Rhimes. Creator, queen, producer, queen. Without her 300 episodes would never have been possible. She revolutionized TV. She created a world where doctors had lives and patients mattered and everyone had feelings which were and are expressed through her story. Her world, Grey Sloan memorial Clinic, is home to some of our worst fears, our greatest memories and our future goals.  She did this. Her imagination created a place that helps audiences work through some of their most difficult times. I know just how much Grey’s Anatomy has helped me and I am positive I am not the only one.

Shonda wrote a beautiful essay on her website about how she feels about this massive Grey’s Anatomy milestone and I thought it would be appropriate to share some of it with you all. She speaks about the first scene she ever filmed with the cast and the impression that it made on her. She speaks about how she feels that this dream of hers became a reality and she speaks about how the essence of the show lies within not only the strong characters she has created but within the strong women that carry this world to new heights constantly.

“I’ll tell you a secret. That’s me in that show. Not literally but… yeah, kinda literally. Season after season, pieces of my life are on that screen. I wrote myself into every character. I wrote my own histories. My heartbreaks. My loves. My family and my friends. My victories and my disasters. My life is in every episode. Who I am is in every episode. For me, the show is sort of a diary — I can watch it and know exactly what was going on in my real life when an episode was written.Writing “Grey’s” gave me a way to make sense of my life, to put order to it. To work out problems. To imagine. To grieve and to dream and to rejoice. I kept waiting for it to end. For people to be over it. To be done. But… fans are an extraordinary group of people.” [Shonda, 2017]

The truth is, we, the fans are extraordinary because we not only appreciate how much effort goes into creating the show but because we also see ourselves within the show. I see myself in the show. I see some of the best parts of me in the show and I also see some of my worst attributes in the show. It is why I connect so strongly with the show.  I could go on for hours about how much Grey’s Anatomy means to me however I will end off by saying this. Congratulations to the entire team who work day in and day out to bring us entertainment. Your work is brilliant and I am grateful for it…. to 300 more… ❤

For the full essay written by Shonda Rhimes go to: Shondaland

xxx

Shondaland. (2017). Three Hundred Episodes Later… . [online] Available at: http://www.shondaland.com/inspire/by-shonda/a13455587/greys-anatomy-three-hundred-episodes-shonda-rhimes/ [Accessed 10 Nov. 2017].

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One Love Manchester

On the 22nd of May 2017 a horrific suicide bombing took place at Manchester Arena right after Ariana Grande’s concert. Lives were lost, lives were changed and a city was suddenly brought together by tragedy. There are no words to describe how terrible this incident was. Not only for the city of Manchester but for the world.  As a human race we need to stand together and fight back with the goodness that does still exist in this world. Love, respect and happiness can trump evil and this is what Ariana Grande realized when she organised a benefit concert to both honour the victims of the attack and fundraise money for victims and families who were affected by the attack.

On the 4th of June 2017, Ariana returned to Manchester for the concert of a lifetime. At first the concert was just going to be Ariana and her unbelievable voice, but then it become an event to showcase compassion and kindness and artists like Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Robbie Williams decided to take part in the event. The 3-hour spectacular was full of high profile artists, emotional moments and a set list full of positivity, love and inspiration.

I think this was such a perfect way to honour the victims of such a horrendous attack. Of course it will not take away the pain or fear caused by the attack but it was such a wonderful way to bring about some happiness during such a difficult and dark time. I am in such awe of Ariana for putting together such an event. I think she showed such maturity and strength with this event that I cannot do anything else but respect her. She showed people that in dark times they need to be strong and stay positive. Light overcomes darkness.

As strong as Ariana seemed to the public, I think this benefit also staged as a very important part in her own healing. I am sure it must be terrifying to leave the stage and hear the commotion of the bombing. To know that your fans, who have travelled and invested time and money to see you perform, have been victims of such an incident must be a terrible thought. I can only imagine how scared she must have been to return to the stage in Manchester and I send her so much love and respect for doing so.

The event was live streamed on numerous networks and social media sights including Facebook. The event was live streamed world wide because the artists did not want any fan to be left out of the event and she felt it was important for people all over the world to stand together and celebrate Love through music. The power of music and limitless and this benefit was testimony to that.

The full set list from the benefit:

Marcus Mumford – Timshel

Take That – Shine, Giants, Rule The World

Robbie Williams – Strong, Angels

Pharrell Williams feat. Marcus Mumford – Get Lucky

Pharrell Williams feat Miley Cyrus – Happy

Miley Cyrus – Inspired

Niall Horan – Slow Hands, This Town

Ariana Grande – Be Alright, Break Free

Little Mix – Wings

Ariana Grande and Victoria Monet – Better Days

Black Eyed Peas feat Ariana Grande – Where Is The Love

Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek

Ariana Grande and Mac Miller – The Way, Dang!

Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus – Don’t Dream It’s Over

Ariana Grande – Side To Side

Katy Perry – Part Of Me, Roar

Justin Bieber – Love Yourself, Cold Water

Ariana Grande – Love Me Harder

Coldplay feat Ariana Grande – Don’t Look Back In Anger

Coldplay – Fix You, Viva La Vida, Something Just Like This

Liam Gallagher – Rock And Roll Star, Wall Of Glass

Liam Gallagher feat Chris Martin – Live Forever

Ariana Grande – One Last Time, Somewhere Over The Rainbow

What an increadible event…

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

Collateral Beauty (2017)

Hi everyone,

So last night I got the chance to see a preview screening of the film ‘Collateral Beauty’. I was really excited to see the film even though I had heard some mixed feedback about it. Online, people were saying how sad it was. How much they cried. Other people were saying it had ‘weak’ performances. However, I went in with an open mind…

For starters, the cast is brilliant. Will Smith, Kiera Knightly, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren to name a few. You can’t really get a better cast than that! Is this a nice film- not really. Is this a good film- yes! Reason being is that the movie is sad. The film is about Howard (Will Smith) who has suffered a tragedy and to try and deal with his feelings he writes letters to Time, Love and Death. It sounds kind of cheesy right, but the twists within the narrative are wonderful and give the film a much-needed lift since the theme is rather intense.

I thought that Will Smith was brilliant in the film. His performance was so intense and you could feel how deeply he connected with the character however it wasn’t overbearing. He had just the right amount of emotion and I didn’t get frustrated at his hesitance, it worked. Helen Mirren’s character (Death) added a touch of comedic value to the film. Her character was deep as it was intended, but there were moments when the irony of the ‘thing’ she was playing was funny. I enjoyed her scenes a lot.

I actually enjoyed all the actor’s performances. Kiera Knightly was perfectly cast as Love and Edward Norton was a convincing best friend to Howard. The only criticism I have is that I felt Kate Winslet’s American accent was a bit forced. Maybe this was because I am so used to her speaking voice that I wasn’t used to it but something felt disjointed for me. However, this didn’t stop me from being drawn into the film.

I do however feel that it was the narrative that kept my attention rather than the cinematic elements. The film takes place in New York and although there were certain moments where the scenery of New York was beautiful, I didn’t feel like they were ‘IN’ New York. Maybe it had to do with the colour palette of the film. The creative team used duller colours and it felt like the grade for the film was used to make the colours look even duller. Maybe this was to mimic the emotion of the main character, which would then make sense? I understand that this is traditional when it comes to the Genre of Drama but I felt it was too emphasised.

There was an interesting element of the creative side of the film was the contrast of time and place. The film takes place over the holiday season. But the cheer of the holidays is contrasted against the inner turmoil of Howard. I found this to be interesting and it really showed off the idea that life goes on. The protagonist was going through this awful tragedy and yet, the world around him was still turning. He was suffering but the people around him were taking part in the annual holiday traditions.

Overall, this film is exceptionally thought provoking. I do not want to give away the ending but I will say this; If you find yourself losing interest towards the middle of the film, stick with it! The ending makes it worth it. There is a wonderful twist that to some may seem obvious but to others will be a lovely surprise. This film makes you want to hug the people you love and it makes you miss the people you have lost. It is a journey through every emotion. Love, happiness, sadness, anger but most of all it leaves you wanting to notice the Collateral Beauty…

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

 

Michael Buble is back!

Hi guys,

OK, so VERY exciting news! The one and only Mr (wonderful) Michael Buble just released a brand new song off of his new album which is due to be released on October 19th! How exciting is that? Nobody but me was released today and having already listened to it at least 6 times, all I can say is.. I love this man!

I have grown up listening and adoring Michale Buble and have been fortunate enough to see him live twice. I have watched every Christmas special he has done and I have been glued to my screen for all of his facebook live chats. He closed his last tour right here in South Africa and I was lucky enough to attend his final concert of his ‘To be loved’ tour. He brought his entire team, including his wife, onto the stage and announced he was taking some time off to concentrate on his family and his music.

Now he is making his return and I am so excited. His new single which was released today on the radio is called Nobody but me. It is an upbeat, happy song that gets your feet tapping from the moment you hear the first bar.

There is not much news about his new album out yet but we know that it will be landing on the 19th of October so keep an eye out and I can’t wait to share my thoughts about this new album when it is released!

😀

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

 

 

The 70th Annual Tony awards

Hi guys,

So, anyone who knows me know that I am a broadway FANATIC! I love all things broadway. I am constantly researching what is happening in the broadway community and I watch pretty much every video I can find about the subject. I especially love musicals and am constantly inspired by how music moves people. Some people think musicals are silly and cliche but I know that musicals change people.

James Cordon hosted this years Tony show. (If you have not yet stumbled upon a carpool karaoke video of his then you are really missing out. They are HILARIOUS.) I was very excited about it because I find him very funny and its apparent how much he appreciates his job and the industry that he is in. He opened the show with a very emotional tribute to the Chicago terrorist attack victims. He said “You are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, embraced and is loved. Hate will never win” While watching this monologue I could feel the emotion and truthfulness in what he was saying. This was one of many moving moments that happened throughout the night.

His opening number was also fantastic. In the number he expresses his love for theater and how it has been apart of him since he was a little boy. The song had funny moments and some touching ones. Towards the end of the song all the musical performance nominees were brought on stage and everyone sang about how anyone can make their theater dreams come true. It was a really great moment.

I find that any awards show is about so much more than just the awards. The Emmy’s celebrate TV, the Oscars celebrate film and the Tony’s celebrate theater and it truly is something that deserves celebrating. I think that it must have been extremely difficult to choose the winners this year because there were so many moving plays and musicals that have taken place throughout the year. Theater rarely means nothing anymore. The stories that people are choosing to tell are all so powerful and all hold such special meaning.

Hamilton won BIG time this year. They made history by being nominated for 16 tony awards. They won 11 Tony awards which is an amazing accomplishment. After watching their performance and listening to Lin-Manual give his acceptance sonnet I understand why the musical has made such an impact. Combining a history story with hip hop music really is a new and exciting idea. It makes the story accessible for the youth. Many young people will say they do not enjoy history because it is boring. Well with music and choreography like this, Hamilton could never be boring!

Besides for Hamilton, there were 2 performances that stood out for me. ‘Waitress’ and ‘Bright star.’

Waitress is based on a film of the same title that follows the story about an extraordinary pie baker who works in a Diner. Stuck in a unhappy marriage she learns that she deserves to be happy and gains the courage to chase after what she truly wants. The music for the broadway musical was written and composed by Sarah Bereilles, an extremely talented artist with a unique sound. Together with the equally as talented Jessie Mueller, they manage to bring the story and music to life. I am obsessed with the song “She used to be mine” from the musical and can’t help but cry every time I hear it. The lyrics are so truthful and the melody is so beautiful. It is the PERFECT combination. The performance at the Tony’s was no exception. Sarah appeared on stage and sang the beginning of the song and Jessie finished it off with an extremely emotional performance. it was beautiful.

Bright Star is about a true story that took place during the early 1940s in North Carolina. The musical was written by Steve Martin and he also composed the music. I didn’t know much about the play until I watched the performance at the Tony’s. I was completely taken aback by how good it was. The music was so moving. It is not your typical musical theater kind of music. It was deep and heart wrenching. I absolutely loved it. I was sad to find out that the show set a closing date for the end of the month. I feel like the show did not get as much praise as it so clearly deserved. I wish I could have seen this show live because if it managed to touch me from over the internet I can only imagine the impact it must have live.

I feel like this years Tony awards show was filled with so much heart and happiness even though it was dedicated to the terrible tragedy that was the Orlando attack. Every Tony winner mentioned how lucky they felt to be apart of such an inclusive, accepting, creative and loving community. It goes to show that in a world with so much evil there are still good people and that is the strongest message possible. Some one or some people wanted to hurt a group of people for being different and they succeeded. Many people lost loved ones because of the hate. However, on the same day a different group of people tried to comfort those hurt by reassuring them that there is a place where everyone is accepted. No matter who you are. That place is the theater.

Natalia

xxx