The latest

  • What Kim’s watching: You People
    Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill as future father-in-law and son-in-law in You People. (Photo credit: Netflix).

    As a Black author married to a white Swede and who writes about the cultural differences and hiccups that can pop up, I’m always interested in books and movies that portray interracial relationships. I’ve lived in Sweden since 1995 – when Stockholm was having a *huge* problem with Nazi skinheads everywhere and many parents wanted to brush it aside as “a phase” their teenage sons were going through. Flash forward to 2023: those asshole teenage sons are now members of SD (Sverigedemokraterna) – a political party with it roots in the Neo-Nazi movement, even though their party leader would love to have us all forget that.

    Unfortunately, too many Swedes seem to have forgotten it since so many of them voted for these racist misogynists… but I digress. That’s a story for another day.

    When I first heard about You People, I knew I had to keep it on my radar.

    I still remember when I told my own parents about the Swedish guy I was bringing home. I’d had white boyfriends before (and my parents had met them), but the Swede was the first one who was really serious.

    Amira and Ezra in You People (Photo credit: Netflix).

    So, anyway, on Friday afternoon, I watched You People and I could totally relate to Amira and Ezra‘s path to love. It didn’t matter that neither of my parents were members of the Nation of Islam, as Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and Fatima (Nia Long) were or devoutly Jewish as Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Arnold (David Duchovny) were. I could still empathise with Amira and Ezra wanting to have a relationship without the baggage brought on by their parents’ beliefs. They connect, they love each other, they think this will be enough.

    But this is 2023 in America and we know, unfortunately, that love isn’t always enough. We have to factor in society, systemic racism, white privilege, unconscious bias, prejudice…you name it. All the things that can destroy love. Especially when you have an interracial couple jut trying to love each other…but their parents are being complete assholes without realising it (or maybe they do realise it and just don’t care?).

    Original trailer for “Something New,” starring Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker (Credit: Youtube).

    If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Something New (starring Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker) is one of my favourite movies. However, one of my main complaints about Something New – no matter how much I love it – is that we never see Brian (Simon Baker)’s friends or his parents. We never find out how they react to his relationship with Kenya (Sanaa Lathan). We only see her family’s reaction. One of the things that I really enjoyed about You People is that we see *both* families’ reactions.

    And it’s not pretty on either side.

    Both sets of parents have their own biases that end up affecting the couple – no matter how hard Amira and Ezra try to stay focused on their love.

    Does love win out in the end? Well, you’ll have to watch You People to find out, but I can say that I really enjoyed it.

    Have you seen it yet? Drop me a line and let me know!

  • My unpopular opinion: I’m so tired of reboots and superhero films

    Is it just me or is anyone else getting sick and tired of TV shows and movies about zombies or superheroes?

    Maybe it’s just me. Everyone else seems to love discussing the pros and cons of Marvel versus DC (big yawn for me). I don’t get excited about yet another superhero reboot. Or any reboot, for that matter. In fact, I am so damn sick of them.

    What I want is a good original drama that sucks me in, with flawed characters who infuriate me at the same time as I fall in love with them. I don’t care about another Superman or Batman movie.

    Darius and Nina from Love Jones (Photo: the Criterion Collection)

    Maybe it’s because I fell in love with films like Letter to Brezhnev, Cinema Paradiso, Bladerunner, Something New or Love Jones. And all of those films had what the writer in me loved: character development, a journey to follow, and something mysterious and beautiful that kept you hooked from start to finish. And I just don’t get that same joy from all of these reboots. I want something original. I want something that makes me think and feel. I want all the feels and I don’t get it from Marvel, DC or yet another zombie show or movie.

    No zombie, no cry

    Richonne and Rick – the only reason I kept watching The Walking Dead. (Photo: AMC)

    The only reason I continued watching The Walking Dead was Richonne and Rick. Once they were gone, I stopped watching. And, as much as I love Pedro Pascal, I lost interest in The Last of Us after his daughter died in the first episode.

    Can’t turn off my my suspension of disbelief

    One of the few zombie films I can tolerate: 28 Days Later.

    I can’t turn off my suspension of disbelief to get into zombie movies. The last zombie film I enjoyed was 28 Days Later.

    I used to love them.

    Now? Nope…not so much.

    If you give me something like Children of Men, Belle, or Twelve Years a Slave, you’ve got me hooked.

    I just have no interest in superheroes these days. Which is a bit sad, considering I used to love them.

    Give me flaws, people who fuck up

    Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb as Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungeon in Alex Cox’s Sid & Nancy

    So, yeah…if you want me to fall in love with your film, please give me something that is NOT a reboot or a Marvel versus DC thing or even something from the Star Wars universe – unless we continue John Boyega‘s character’s story and find out what actually happened to him and how he grew. I want an original story. And I want characters that think, feel and grow. Give me someone like Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy.

    Idris Elba as Luther in the BBC series Luther. (Credit: BBC)

    Or Christian Bale in pretty much *any* role he plays. I can even tolerate him as Batman. Or Idris Elba as Luther because, no matter how awful he may be at the time, he makes you feel something.

    Well…one man’s meat is another man’s poison. If you like superhero and zombie films and shows, great.


    All I know is that I am tired of them.

  • What Kim’s reading and watching

    Crappy weather

    The weather here in IKEAtown (also known as Älmhult) has NOT been conducive to wanting to be outside. According to my pensioner buddies at the local café, we’ve had 14+ days of rain. Which would explain why I have felt like a zombie most of the time.

    So while the weather has been BLAH, I’ve been reading and watching TV (with the occasional bout of going to the gym) to keep me busy. Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching.

    What Kim’s reading: Spare by Prince Harry and J.R. Moehringer

    For six+ years, I’ve been following how the British tabloids vilified him and his wife, Meghan. None of the stories ever made sense and it was obvious how so many of them were steeped in racist tropes and misogynoir aimed at Meghan. Unlike many people, I’ve chosen to ignore the UK tabloids and so-called royal rota. Better to find out straight from the real source, namely Prince Harry.

    Spare has its share of heartbreaking moments , especially when Harry shares how he found out about his mother’s death and the fantasy he came up with to deal with his grief. As someone who’s recently lost several people who meant a lot to me, I can relate. You don’t want to believe that they’re really gone. And, even when going through grief counselling, you try to deny at times that the people you love are no longer with you. Like Kate Bush in “Running Up That Hill,” you think you can make a deal with God to swap places or change everything so it’s not the truth.

    Spare certainly delivers, and it’s obvious that Harry has the receipts to back up everything he claims, regardless of the current spin to continue vilifying him and his wife. If you’ve already watching Harry & Meghan on Netflix, then reading Spare will show you enough of what he went through following his mother’s death and how his life has not been the fairytale that we’ve been led to believe it was.

    What Kim’s reading: Hey, Lover by DL White

    I’ve been reading and loving DL White’s books for a while. She writes amazing women’s fiction and romance featuring Black main characters, and the stories are *always* page turners. Of course, Hey, Lover does NOT disappoint.

    Here’s the blurb:

    Struggle isn’t love.

    At least, that’s what a broken Malik Hines told himself when he walked away from the love of his life, just as her career was on the rise. With any luck, he would have time and space to dig himself out of a dark hole. Healing, rebuilding, launching his Game Studio and writing his premier game took time. Suddenly, it had been nearly a decade since they last spoke.
    Seeing her in the media stirs up a long harbored desire to reconnect, and Malik takes the biggest chance of his life. Could that door open again?

    After taking over her father’s company, India Parker is on the hunt for the next big thing to push her company forward. In the background of her success, there is loneliness. Longing. And the feeling that there’s a large part of her life that has been on pause.

    When a surprise gift arrives at her office, it reminds her of the man she used to love and would like to love again. The choice to open that door and press play…is hers.

    Hey, Lover is a contemporary love story about getting a second chance with your soulmate.

    Mind you, I should warm you that Hey Lover comes with trigger warnings: mentions of cancer, treatment for cancer, depression, faux relationships, infidelity.

    If these topics are deal-breakers for you, then keep moving. You probably won’t enjoy it. But you’ll be missing out on a wonderful story.

    What Kim’s watching: Ginny & Georgia – Season 2

    Back in 2021, I found myself getting hooked on Ginny & Georgia on Netflix. I was in between projects at work and it quickly became my favorite guilty pleasure.

    If you haven’t watched it, Ginny & Georgia follows Georgia Miller, a white single mom to her biracial daughter, Ginny, and her white son, Austin, who moves her family to Massachusetts as she tries to give them the life and security she never had. On the surface, Georgia seems to have it all together – but she’s got a not so savoury past and she’ll do anything to protect her kids and herself. And her past is catching up with her.

    Anyway, I loved the first season, so I was looking forward to the continuation of it. Season 2 debuted on Netflix on January 5 and I have been treating myself to one episode per day…okay, sometimes it’s been two episodes… and loving it.

    This season, we get to see more about how Georgia’s rash actions affect her children and the people around her. I hope we won’t have to wait too long for Season 3.

    What Kim’s watching: The Good Place

    How is it that I never watched The Good Place before it ended up on Netflix? Actually, that’s not true. I remember watching one or two episodes of it with my mom when I was visiting the US, but I don’t remember it being in Swedish TV. Whatever, the Swede and I are hooked and we end up watching two episodes per night.

    For the uninitiated, Kristen Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, an amoral woman who wakes up in the afterlife being welcomed by Michael (Ted Danson) in “The Good Place” – but it’s obvious that there’s been a mistake…she’s not supposed to be there. After being introduced to her soulmate, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), she convinces him to help her be a better and more ethical person so that she can stay in the Good Place. And, of course, many hijinks follow.

    I love the complexity and originality of The Good Place. There’s so much character development in it and it often leaves you guessing (and laughing) at what will happen next. So glad that I discovered it now…even if I am way behind everyone else.

    What Kim’s watching: The Pale Blue Eye

    I’m a huge Christian Bale fan, so tonight I will watch The Pale Blue Eye on Netflix. Time and again, he’s proven that he’s a brilliant actor. Whether it was as “Jim” in Empire of the Sun, his turn as “Laurie” in the 1994 version of Little Women, “Alfred Borden” in The Prestige, or as “Bruce Wayne” in Batman Begins or the Dark Knight.

    Here’s the blurb:

    Veteran detective Augustus Landor investigates a series of grisly murders at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York with the help of a young cadet who will eventually go on to become the world-famous author Edgar Allan Poe.

    I have loved Edgar Allan Poe stories for as long as I can remember. And I love a good murder mystery, so this is right up my alley. I’ll let you know what I think ASAP.

    So tell me – what are YOU reading and watching this month? I’d love to know! Drop a line in the comments and tell me what you think is worth watching and reading.

  • Join the January HEA Collective auhor chat + What I’m watching on Netflix

    Join the January HEA Collective Author Chat

    Then you’d better mark your calendars for the live chat with Samanthe Beck, Asa Maria Bradley, Lucy Lennox and me on Jan. 11 at 8 PM EST! You don’t want to miss out on this!

    Exclusive only for Happily Ever After Collective patrons. 

    So what are you waiting for?

    Join us to sate your curiosity and discover what’s next for all of us!

    What Kim’s watching – Kaleidoscope on Netflix

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of Giancarlo Esposito. The Swede and I are Generation X, so we remember him as “Adonis Jackson” in Miami Vice, “Yoyo” in Night on Earth and “Buggin’ Out” in Do the Right Thing.

    But if you’re Generation Z, you’ll recognize him from Kaleidoscope, the heist limited-run series on Netflix. I am hooked on this show. Why? Of course, because of Giancarlo Espositio, but also because I can watch the episodes in any order that I like. Every episode is so damn good. Just watch it. You won’t be disappointed. Make sure you check it out!

    What are you watching?

    Group image of Giancarlo Esposito and the other actors in Kaleidoscope against at striped background.
  • It’s a new year and I’ve got something for you

    It’s January, so that can only mean one thing – my birthday is on the third! Well, yes, that is true. But I’ve got some fun news: this month, my novella Marry Me is one of four exclusive novellas available from the Happily Ever After Collective.

    January’s featured trope: marriage of convenience stories. (Photo: The Happily Ever After Collective)

    Join the Happily Ever After Collective Patreon and choose your subscription level to download one or all of the stories.

    Help me celebrate my birthday by supporting a good cause

    On Janaury 2, 2019, the day before my birthday, my younger brother Sean died due to complications with diabetes. Today is the fourth anniversary of his homegoing.

    To honor him, I will be making a donation to the American Diabetes Association. Their mission is helping people with diabetes thrive as well as trying to find a cure for the disease.

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