Louis Theroux: Altered States; Love Without Limits.

lifestyle

Last night saw the return of my absolute favourite documentary filmmaker and broadcaster, Louis Theroux, as the first of his brand new three part series aired on bbc two.

The episode began with a visit to Portland in Oregon, America, where Louis met various Polyamorists, for those that are unsure of what that means, it’s people having relationships with multiple sexual and romantic partners and encouraging their own partners to do likewise. Louis was introduced to Heidi and Jerry, a couple who had been together and married for 16 years, they openly spoke about how 12 years ago they took on the decision to open up their marriage, where by Heidi is now engaged to another man called Joe. Joe is a married man to a woman named Gretchen and the couple have two children. Heidi and Joe have sex both in Heidi and Jerry’s marital bed, and in Joe and Gretchens marital bed. Are you confused? That’s nothing. Jerry, who is Heidi’s husband speaks about how he is fully satisfied and happy with knowing his wife is having this sexual and romantic relationship with another man of which he supports. When Louis challenged this, asking whether he would prefer his wife to be only sexual with him, Jerry stood by the fact he is just happy that his wife is happy and if that involves sleeping with another man then so be it. Weird right? We then saw Louis having breakfast at Gretchen and Joe’s house, Gretchen explained how there is a private room in the basement of her house where Joe and Heidi have sexual relations, and that she is absolutely fine with this taking place in her family home. Louis often said throughout that he was struggling to understand it, and wondered whether this would not cause unnecessary insecurities, jealousy and loneliness within the marriage. All parties of course said it works for them and they feel nothing but happiness and satisfaction knowing their partners are fulfilled sexually by other people as well as them.

Mind boggled much? This is why I love Louis Theroux, he meets people of all walks of life and he manages to get things out of them by the way he almost interrogates them without sounding too rude or invasive. If you’ve watched some of Louis’s early documentaries, such as weird weekends where he met pornstars and swingers etc, you will notice that this brand new three part series follows in exactly the same format. He is straight talking and asks the questions we, as viewers are all thinking.

For me personally, I have never heard much about Polyamory either in the media and especially in my day to day life, so this documentary was eye opening to me to say the least. I’m still left with questions, loads of them.. can two people who are fully in love with each other, married, spent years of their lives with each other, honestly decide one day that they want to have sex with other people, together and separately and still claim they are just as in love and happy as they once were? Can both parties honestly not feel jealous or insecure seeing the person they love have sex with somebody else? I don’t understand it, I don’t agree with it, it’s not something I’d ever be able to really see being anything other than a slow sure beginning of divorce. I don’t believe a person can truly be in love with two people at the same time, and I don’t believe partners can honestly watch the ones they love fall in love with somebody else and say it is making them happy and satisfied. How it that healthy? It mind boggles me, but with documentaries like this, it’s somehow strangely working for people, and that’s the part I really don’t get. I’d love to know if there are people out there who maybe see this differently to me, and what your views are, what’s your take on polyamory? Did you watch the show? Let me know your thoughts as always.

Find me elsewhere: Twitter | Instagram

Advertisements

Making A Murderer Season 2.

lifestyle

** Spoiler Alert **

8am yesterday morning 19/10/18 I was awake, teeth brushed, face washed, ready and waiting to press PLAY on the first episode of the second season of making a murderer. It had been a painful and long 3 years since the first season, and although I had googled updates during that time, I was excited to see what new evidence had come to light in both Brendan and Stevens case and what progress if any had been made.

So I spent 10 hours binge watching ALL of season 2. I don’t think there’s many people in the UK who can say that today, just 24 hours after Netflix dropped the brand new collection of episodes. When I’m engrossed into a series, it fully has all of my attention and I don’t do anything half heartedly. There was the odd toilet break and trips to the kitchen to make more tea and get more biscuits, there was also a very brief pause mid afternoon to listen to James Arthur’s new song (I’m still undecided about it) and order pizza, but by 8:30pm ish, we were done, all 10 episodes had been watched, notes had been taken, and opinions made (not that mine changed at all!)

So here’s everything you need to know,

Where can you watch?

Both seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix.

Recap on season 1:

Okay so for those who haven’t actually heard of or seen making a murderer, let me do my best to fill you in on where we got up to on season 1. Steven Avery is a man who was wrongfully convicted of the rape of a woman and served 18 years for a crime he did not commit. Eventually after years and years of being behind bars, new evidence was tested where by the DNA results found from a pubic hair resulted in the release of Steven. After his release from prison and the start of beginning to get his life back, Steven filed a law suit against the police for taking 18 years of his life for a crime he simply did not commit. Just before he was about to receive millions of pounds from the state, a woman was murdered and Steven was arrested immediately on suspicion of murder. The woman, was a photographer who had been to Stevens property that day to photograph his vehicle for autotrader. Steven from day 1 maintained his innocence, his nephew Brendan Dassey was also arrested for the murderer of her as well, with the prosecution saying the pair of them raped and murdered her and then burnt her in the fire that Steven had on his property that night. Stevens defence team argued that the police planted evidence in Stevens house, such as blood, remains of her bones in the fire, a bullet from a gun in his garage etc. The entire season 1 shows the trial of both Steven and Brendan, and shows how both the defence and prosecution worked, as well as interviews with Steven and Brendan and their family members too. It was intriguing and gripping, it was full of creating an opinion on what you believed to be true from both sides of the story. From day 1 I believed Steven to be innocent, I saw him as an innocent man, targeted by the corruption of the police, and his nephew Brendan to be coursed into making a false confession, and taken advantage of as a vulnerable, 16 year old boy with probable learning difficulties. Season 1 absolutely gripped the world, with everyone having an opinion on whether they thought Steven was guilty or innocent and it started conversations amongst everyone, both in the media and public,

Is Season 2 as good as season 1?

A question I’ve been asked a few times since I finished season 2 last night.. my answer? Yes and no. Season 1 was more a mystery, it was intriguing, I’d never heard of this case before so it was all new to me, it was mind boggling and confusing. Season 2 was more evidence based, new strategies, updates and checking in on people we had seen and heard from in season 1.

Season 2 Episode list:

Episode 1 – Number 18

Episode 2 – Words and words only

Episode 3 – A legal miracle

Episode 4 – Welcome to Wisconsin

Episode 5 – What + Why = Who

Episode 6 – Everything takes time

Episode 7 – Item FL

Episode 8 – Special Care

Episode 9 – Friday nite

Episode 10 – Trust no one

Season 2 & my opinion:

I found Season 2 to be really different to the first season, although it was a continuation from what we had seen 3 years ago, both parties now have different defence lawyers and are both serving life inprisonment for the murder and rape of Teresa Hallbach. Brendan who is now 29 years old, is still behind bars, and a lot of season 2 was focused around how his lawyers are fighting to get his conviction overturned so he can be released. Their theory was that Brendan was forced into giving a false confession at 16 years old, with referring several times to the video interview we saw in season 1, in it you can clearly see the police who are interviewing Brendan pushing and pushing for answers out of a vulnerable 16 year old boy. They almost put words into his mouth so that he had no choice but to go along with it, not to mention how the police had promised him that if he complied with them he would soon be going home and this would all be over. We hear from the Avery family a lot, like we did in season 1, but I think the real difference this season is Stevens new lawyer Kathleen Zellner. She’s the straight talking, no bullshit, straight to business lawyer taking on Stevens case, determined to get his sentence revoked and conviction overturned. There’s no stops she’s not pulling out and she’s prepared to do whatever needs to be done in order to get justice. I thought she was brilliant and the way her mind works in order to uncover unfound evidence that the previous defence team missed, is simply astonishing. We see her and her team test various pieces of evidence again such as the blood found in Teresa Hallbachs car, the remains of the bones found in the fire, the DNA of sweat belonging to Steven in the hood of Teresa’s car, and various other things. We hear her theory as to what she thinks really happened on the night Teresa was murdered, and it really does make you think so much was missed and slipped through the net when this case first went to trial all those years ago. Unfortunately the ending after 10 hours of watching, wasn’t what I was hoping for, nor what I wanted, as we see both Brendan and Stevens lawyers requests for appeals and retrials denied by the supreme courts, despite both defence teams standing by the fact they will continue to work on getting justice for both men no matter how long it takes. I think that’s the saddest part of all though, just how long it is taking. I believe Steven Avery to be a completely innocent man who is a victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice, and the product of a corrupt police system, who have made it their mission to take this mans life. Steven is now 56 years old and spent over 30 of those years behind bars for crimes I believe he simply did not commit. If and when he ever gets out, will he be able to live a relatively normal life? His parents are both in their 80’s and his mother is in poor health, will they still be alive? What kind of world do we live in where innocent people are locked up for such serious crimes they didn’t commit whilst the real criminals are still out there reoffending and getting away with it? As much as making a murderer was a huge successes on Netflix, and I’m sure season 2 will go on to be equally as popular, I kind of hope there isn’t a season 3, because I hate to think of both Steven and Brendan locked up for that long.

I know making a murderer has divided opinions all around the world, with some still not sure as to whether they think these two men are innocent or not, but surely one thing we can all agree on is that justice should be served and the truth always comes out in the end.

Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life.

lifestyle

So just browsing through Netflix like I do from time to time.. and CHRIS BROWN comes up! Like what the hell? When? How did I not know about this? A full on documentary, about his life. I didn’t need to give it a second thought, it was getting watched right that second.

Chris Brown is and always has been my favourite male artist, I don’t think there’s any songs of his I don’t like, but I do have my favourites. I remember his early stuff when I was 15/16 years old, and it literally has just got progressively better over time. Over the years I have mentioned his music on twitter and I’d get the odd reply here and there from haters, saying he can’t possibly produce any good music after the whole Rihanna allegations 🙄 but I’ll go into that later..

Obviously I didn’t know anything about this documentary before watching it, I didn’t even know there was a documentary so I had no idea what to expect. It starts with interviews from Chris Browns mother Joyce talking about how Chris was first discovered, which was interesting to me because it’s something I didn’t know. He was 13 years old, and a record label guy came into the gas station his dad was working at, and said he was looking to sign up a new artist. The rest followed. His mum explained how the fame happened quite literally overnight, how she raised Chris as a single mom for many years, how she tried to keep him grounded in the early days when it all took off and how proud she was of him. The documentary shows lots of never seen before footage of Chris as a teenager and when he first got signed. Interviews with him then, and now. Usher was interviewed as well as various other artists including Rita Ora, Jamie Foxx, music producers, Tyga and even JLO. It states in the documentary quite early on, that Michael Jackson was thought to be the one who introduced Usher into the music business and Usher then went on to do the same for Chris Brown. Lots of his music was played throughout the documentary too which I loved, some I had forgot about which obviously were added straight back on to my Spotify!

Chris Brown speaks openly about being at the top of his career at such a young age, being 16/17 years old and performing at the VMA’s, the fact he could get whatever he wanted, and how blessed he was to have had the fame and the fortune that came so quickly to him. He also went into detail how that all came crashing down when he was arrested for domestic violence against Rihanna. I was shocked hearing him reveal information that I hadn’t read online or in the media before, it was quite refreshing to hear him explain it in his own words, as in the media, I think we have only really ever heard Rihanna’s side of things, I remember when she did that huge Oprah special and spoke all about what she went through with Chris Brown, so yeah it was nice to hear his version of events. He said how he was 15 when he first met Rihanna, how they were friends for years but always had a “thing” between them, but never made it official until moments before the pair went on stage together for their VMA performance, they were backstage and Chris told Rihanna he wanted to be official and be with her properly. Weeks later they were in a car driving somewhere and Rihanna went through Chris’s messages on his phone and found one that said some girl wanted to meet him at an after party, and she flipped. Chris tried to reassure her it was nothing but Rihanna wasn’t having any of it, and that’s where the two of them got into a physical fight. Chris talks openly and honestly about this, I quite liked the fact he left all the bullshit at the door and held his hands up and admitted what he’d done. It was extremely emotional when you hear him say, in that moment when he punched Rihanna, gave her a split lip and then started biting her, he viewed himself as a monster and all he could see was his step dad, who he had grown up witnessing beat his mother. In his own words, he said this was the one thing he had spent his adult life running from, but later realised he became. During this part of the documentary you hear interviews from family members, Chris Browns lawyer, other musicians and celebrities, and get their perspective on what they thought about the whole Rihanna relationship and domestic violence charges. After this all happened, Chris explains how his life quite literally spiralled out of control, he felt suicidal, worthless and that he was becoming somebody he wasn’t. He talks about his album F.A.M.E that came out not long after his split from Rihanna, and that it stood for “forgiving all my enemies” – again, something I didn’t know until watching the Netflix documentary.

I also got really emotional during the part where he performed a tribute to Michael Jackson 1 year after his death, you see Chris Brown break down on stage and you can see his pain, and that was moving to watch. He talks about checking in to rehab following his charges, but how he was soon asked to leave rehab following false allegations that he began a sexual relationship with a member of staff from the rehab facility, his community service and finally his 3 month prison sentence and how during his time in solidarity confinement he would draw on the walls and read the bible. All of which was facinating to me as I felt like I was getting to know a part of him that I did not know, as a fan of his music for so many years.

After prison, Chris Brown decided to turn his life around and focus on his music, he began a new relationship with Karrueche, but admitted he was still in love with Rihanna and battled between loving two people at the same time. It was around this time, he found out he was a father to a daughter he didn’t know anything about. He explains in the documentary about the first time he met his 9 month old daughter Royalty, and how he knew instantly that she was his, and god had created her for him. It’s very clear to see in the documentary his love for his daughter and that now everything he does is for her. Karrueche left him when she found out that Chris had a child she knew nothing about, and Chris talks about his too.

All I know was that I was utterly gripped throughout watching this on Netflix, and when I’m gripped on something without even checking my phone, that’s when you know its really really good. I had a couple of people tell me not long after I’d watched the documentary that they always saw Chris Brown as a twat after what they heard happened with Rihanna, but do you know what? In my personal opinion, whatever crimes he commits in his personal life, does not define him as a person. To say you don’t like or don’t listen to someone’s music just because they punched someone in their teenage years, however wrong it was, is beyond pathetic I’m afraid. His music, his song writing and his presence when on stage is beyond talented. Chris Brown is the Michael Jackson of our generation, and there quite literally is nobody like him.

If you like his music, you will absolutely love the documentary, and if you don’t really know if you like him or his music, still give it a watch because I think you’ll be extremely surprised, and come away from this Netflix documentary feeling like you now know a little bit about Chris Brown, his life and his career.

I absolutely LOVED it. Now I’m just waiting for him to tour the U.K., because Tazmyn and I will be first in line to get tickets!