Ever feel like relaxing on the couch and turning off the world? Yeah,me too.
This is my pick of escapist media-porn from 2021. Okay, so it’s not actually porn, but sometimes there is sex, or good looking bods. And there’s almost always action and adventure, because that’s my jam.
Here’s the list (in no particular order of) TV, Movies and Books. Enjoy!
1. TV Series
Henry Cavill in tight pants. Swords. Intelligent scripts, great characters, amazing world building. Humour. Oh, and Henry Cavill. There’s two seasons now. If you haven’t seen it yet, go and binge watch it immediately.
Great premise, the title tells you all you need to know! In this TV series you’ll find a secret order of warrior nuns, sworn to protect an angel’s halo. Here’s the description from Wikipedia: Ava Silva, a quadriplegic orphan, discovers she now has supernatural powers which force her to join an ancient order of warrior nuns. They shot the series in Spain, so the setting is gorgeous, and the plot speeds along with lots of satisfying twists. Second season coming soon.
The Foundation (TV Series)
This series is based on the Asimov series of the same name, but it’s a lot more interesting in than the book (yes, I actually said that). For a start, there are females in the plot, and the cast is diverse. The scope is epic, with a premise that the Galactic Empire is fading, and only the Foundation, a creation of psycho-historian Hari Seldon, can prevent the inevitable slide into chaos. The costumes are amazing, and there’s a good podcast that goes with it (only available on apple media, so sorry if you’re on android), but don’t listen to the podcast until you’ve watched the series, because: spoilers!
A strange yet appealing series, staring Alan Tudyk (Wash, from Firefly), an alien sent to wipe out humanity who crash-lands on Earth before he can fulfil his mission. Able to shape change, he becomes the town’s pathologist. The story is about the moral dilemma of failing to complete his mission, solving murders, dealing with a nine-year-old boy who can see who he really is, while trying to blend into this strange, inexplicable world of the humans. It’s funny and thought-provoking, and great entertainment.
I’ve been a huge fan of Dune since I first read the series as a teenager. This movie doesn’t disappoint. True to the book (but not as good as, of course), Dune relays the tale of Paul, heir to the Atriedes dukedom, transported to the desert-planet of Dune. Dune, where Spice, the most valuable substance in the universe, is found. This epic, multilayered adventure is great watching, but it is only the first half of the novel. I’m looking forward to the second movie.
This is a great popcorn movie. Bright, funny, staring Ryan Reynolds as an NPC character in a game (I didn’t know the premise when I went to see it, which made it even funnier), who wants a better life for him and his friends. It’s not deep or meaningful (okay, it is, but only a bit), but it’s heaps of fun.
I’ve had a dearth of reading this year. I’ve found it really hard to get my hands on books that are exciting, intelligent, not sexist, and funny. That’s why there’s only a few books here, which is a little embarrassing, because it looks like all I’ve done this year is watch TV. Although, thinking about it, that is pretty much true!
I’ve linked these books to their Amazon pages, so you can check them out for yourself. Full disclosure: These links are affiliate links, so I may earn a (very tiny) commission if you click on them.
Kate Daniels series – by Illona Andrews.
Set in a futuristic fantasy Atlanta, Kate Daniels is a mercenary who fights monsters and saves the day. Oh, and falls in love with a hunky shape-changer. This is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but better.
Thorn Jack – Katherine Harbour
This YA gothic fantasy has a beautiful setting and intriguing characters. Serafina Sullivan, haunted by her sister’s suicide, moves to Fair Hollow, an old-moneyed town in upstate NY. At her new college she meets the enigmatic Jack, and the ageless, scarily beautiful Reiko. The book reads like a Tim Burton movie: lots of gothic vibes and extraordinary clothes. I loved it – I read it while in hospital, and it was a fantastic escape.
Okay, so DreamScapes is my own book, but hey, I edited the final version of this short story collection this year, and fell in love with the stories all over again. I hadn’t read them for some time, so the re-reading became a welcome escape. My favorite story in this collection is Blessed Creature – a dark tale starring Jenny, a magic-worker with magical tattoos, a monobrow and serious mother-in-law issues.
Crown of Bones – A. K. Wilder
I stumbled onto Crown of Bones via the author’s twitter page, and man, I’m so pleased that I did. Crown of Bones is an epic YA(ish) fantasy, set in the world of Amarissa, where savants raise phantoms (creatures with magical powers), and non-savants are the underclass. The story follows Ash, non-savant scribe, sailor Kaylin with a secret past and Marcus, a prince and Ash’s best friend. It’s a fantastic read, full of excitement and danger, and I really loved the writing, especially how Wilder wrote in the first person for all three characters. The details of the world-building were outstanding and I highly recommend it. The second in the series is due Oct 22.