The scheming Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish (Aiden Gillen) in the phenomenally successful Game of Thrones (2011 -). Based on the novels by George R R Martin, the series tells of the many violent campaigns taking place to secure the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
Vivian Mitchell: Despite what you may think, I have nothing against y’all. Dorothy Vaughan: I know… I know you probably believe that.
Kirsten Dunst and Octavia Spencer in the truly inspirational Hidden Figures (2016). Based on the true story as told in the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, the film tells of three black women who served a vital role in the early period of the Space Race. Highlighting that heroes can be found in all places, it reminds us of the outrageous racist prejudice that existed at the time and the grace, effort and ingenuity needed to overcome it.
I remember that I stood on the library steps holding my books and looking for a minute at the soft hinted green in the branches against the sky and wishing, as I always did, that I could walk home across the sky instead of through the village.
The novella masterpiece We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962) by Gothic writer Shirley Jackson, who also wrote one of the finest short stories with The Lottery (1948). As told by the unreliable narrator Mary Katherine ‘Merrikat’ Blackwood, it tells of a family’s ostracising in a small town after a poisoning incident that killed four members of the family.
Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) in the much loved romantic drama Dirty Dancing (1987). Made for a low budget and with modest expectations, the film was a phenomenal financial success, had a hugely popular soundtrack, featured an iconic dance lift and led to numerous spin offs on stage and TV.
When Melhman went out into the “real world” beyond Seinfeld’s office walls, he found that everyone wanted in television wanted the “next Seinfeld”, but they didn’t want to take the risks necessary to make such a thing. They wanted Seinfeld money, but they seemed to resent Seinfeld itself for breaking the rules of television. He would go in to pitch ideas to executives and hear, over and over, “That character’s not very likeable.” He’d thought Seinfeld had done away with likeability.
An anecdote by Peter Melhman as written by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong in her book Seinfeldia (2015). The book tells of the fascinating history of how a sitcom frequently voted the best ever came to be made, its impact on popular culture and how it shook up the rules of comedy. I’ve written quite a few posts on the show including an outline of the show and some of its most memorable quotes by its eponymous protagonist, Jerry Seinfeld.
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.
The very famous Monty Python quote from John Cleese (in the scene with Michael Palin) who was conned into buying a dead parrot. It was inspired by Palin’s experience with a car salesman “who had an excuse for everything”. You can find the memorable Argument Room sketch here and the oft-referenced Roman achievements here.
She may have been described as “overrated” by the 45th President of the USA Donald Trump recently, but Meryl Streep has long been considered one of the greatest actors ever. I haven’t done an actor-themed quiz for a while so thought why not do one for of the most versatile and decorated stars in the industry, who has been nominated 19 times for an Oscar, with 3 wins. How many of the films below do you recognise? Do you have a favourite?