Written by: Isabel Cattermole
After watching the mini-film Boiling Point, from which I am still recovering, I rapidly binge-watched the TV series in a manic stress-induced rush of adrenaline. Boiling Point follows the kitchen and front-of-house staff in an up-and-coming swanky restaurant. It provides the viewer with a peek behind the kitchen door, showing how every hospitality worker can be pushed to their own boiling point. Carly (Vinette Robinson), the new head chef, delivers a bitterly real performance, which makes it easy to sympathise with her. Carly has the impossible task of balancing the management of her staff, keeping the restaurant, and her unwell mother, afloat. Another performance that deserves praise is Emily (Hannah Walters), the mother-hen of the kitchen. Walters’ performance serves as an emotional watch with a spoonful of humour that continues throughout the four-part series. However, before dipping into the show, it’s important to note that the series is not afraid to walk on eggshells, as it contains early themes of casual drug-taking, self-harm, and alcoholism. Although all the ingredients that go into creating Boiling Point can be worrying, it’s much better for it! The raw topics explored and the pressure-cooker atmosphere is unlike any series I’ve watched before. This should definitely be on your must-watch list for this year.
Written by: Jack Mayfield
2023 saw the release of the final season of Succession and it was a fine conclusion to an incredible show. The comedy-drama series surrounds the Roy family and their media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo. The head of which, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), must decide who will eventually succeed him as CEO. The eldest son Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) was the obvious choice back in 2018 during the pilot; however, he now faces competition from the likes of his siblings Siobhan Roy (Sarah Snook) and Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin). Despite this, the run time is devoted to more than this.
To me, Succession is a show about interpersonal relationships; we get to really know and understand these characters presented to us in a way few modern TV series do. Both serious and hilarious, the front and centre being Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Tom Wambsgans’ (Matthew Macfadyen) interactions throughout the four seasons. Last year, I watched Succession from beginning to end and can now call it one of my all-time favourite TV shows. Featuring stunning visuals and a beautiful score throughout, this is not something to miss out on. Add Succession to your 2024 watchlist if you haven’t already.
Written by: Bonnie Hull
“I still don’t understand the play?” “Doesn’t matter. Just keep telling the story.” This quote from Asteroid City should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds when taking in this film. We are all well aware of the Wes Anderson trend that circulated on TikTok in 2023. Alongside the creation of our own Wes Anderson productions, he released his own. Despite sparking extensive discussions since its release, I consider Asteroid City to be one of Anderson’s most sincere works. Based in 1955, he takes us to a small town in an American desert, which is hosting a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention. An extraterrestrial visitor interrupts the convention which puts the whole event on lockdown. Asteroid City includes Wes Anderson’s signature long takes, prevalent symmetry and iconic colour theory. There is also a typical lack of protagonists or antagonists; rather, each individual contributes to the collective narrative with their unique stories and morals. Similarly seen in The French Dispatch, where Anderson weaves a multiplicity of stories around each character’s individual mission in the film. Asteroid City stands as a notable film from 2023 in my view, as I rarely witness films which can make me feel impassioned whilst Jeff Golblum dressed as an alien stares blankly at me through the screen. This film is silly, yet highly thought-provoking and I admire that. Asteroid City presents the impact of human connection; it embraces uncertainty and abnormality and remoulds them into this beautiful and abstract work, filled with surreal imagery and existentialist rabbit holes. Initially slow and perplexing, Anderson encourages embracing non-linear storytelling; clarity is not always a prerequisite for significance.