Category Archives: Television Shows

The Haunting of Hill House (TV Series Review: Season 1, Episodes 1-5)

Think of your favourite horror movie. The Haunting of Hill House is like that… but on crack. I have no idea how this series is actually going to end but I have some theories. The Haunting of Hill House reminded me of The Babadook: a family who is grieving the loss of a father so hard, their grief takes up the form of a monster.

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I think that The Haunting of Hill House isn’t directly based on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name but was inspired by it.  The series follows a family of seven (The Crains) living in Hill House, a creepy, gothic mansion. I loved how atmospheric the entire production was. It roped me right in! So, the story shifts from past and present, and kids to adults dealing with what happened on their last night at Hill House and losing their mother.

The eldest child Steven is a successful horror writer, the eldest daughter Shirley owns a funeral home business, Theo is a child psychologist and has special powers in her palms, the youngest children are the twins Luke and Nell who are, in my opinion, struggling the most. Luke is a drug addict and Nell suffers from sleep paralysis. They deal with their ghosts in different ways.

A ghost can be a lot of things. A memory, a daydream, a secret. Grief, anger, guilt. But in my experience… most times they’re just what we want to see.

Until Episode five, there’s a lot of character development to cover for a family of seven. I’m patiently waiting for when we get to see the parent’s side of the story and the families that lived before them in Hill House. This is the perfect series for Halloween: eerie, slow-paced, melancholic, and dark. Get your favourite cup of tea, light a scented candle, and watch this series when there’s still daylight out… ☕️

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Television Shows in the tradition of ‘The Female Gaze’

1. Fleabag (Season 1)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge created, wrote and starred in this quirky comedy drama set in London that is like Bridget Jones but not that glamorous and more depressing. I love everything about this show – its awkwardness, the hamster themed cafe (winning), and the fourth wall breaking dialogue. Her life is in shambles and the people around her are a mess but Fleabag is clever, heart breaking and not afraid to get real.

2. Chewing Gum (Season 1 +2)

This is another show set in London but its main character, Tracey (Michaela Coel), lives in a housing estate, where there are a maelstrom of characters. Michaela Coel is also the writer of Chewing Gum: is anyone sensing a theme here? Tracey grows up with a conservative and über-religious African mom and her little sister. With losing her virginity as the number one agenda, Tracey is a rebel cum laude (or she tries to be), Chewing Gum is heartwarming, funny and hilariously awkward.

Michaela Coel interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQPCyb4HoEk

3. Insecure (Season 1 +2)

Insecure (aptly titled) follows the lives of two African-American women who are navigating modern life in Los Angeles. I adore this show so much! Issa and Molly are in their late 20s and have successful careers but they provide a roadmap of ‘how not to fuck up your love life.’ Side note: the men in this show are exceptionally good-looking (*sips tea*).

4. I Love Dick (Season 1)

ILD is what provided inspiration for this post. This is the only show on this list that is based on a novel (of the same name by Chris Kraus). This is intellectualism meet feminism meet art meet relatable & awkward female protagonist. And it somehow worked! Set in Marfa, Texas, Chris, a filmmaker, accompanies Sylvère her husband who is a research fellow at the art institute. Chaos ensues after she is madly infatuated with Dick – the guy who sponsored her husband. ILD really made me think about the male gaze, objectification of bodies, originality (in life, in art, in thought) and is a wonderfully confusing and stimulating piece of work.