LGBT+ visibility in media is at an all time high right now. Mainstream TV shows have plenty of gay characters in them and the stigma surrounding coming out is lessening all the time. This is great news for LGBT+ youth, but some of us old stalwarts of the scene can remember a time when things really weren’t this easy. Finding gay content to associate with and identify with was hard. Growing up in the late 80’s / early 90’s was an entirely different landscape to what today’s youths are used to. Here we break down some of the most groundbreaking LGBT+ TV shows and TV mini-series to have aired from 1990 onward. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit TV Mini Series – 1990 This was a huge deal at the time. It aired in 1990 on the BBC to uproarious backlash. It is based on the 1985, semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, by prolific lesbian writer, Jeannette Winterson. It follows the life of Jessica, who is being brought up in an extremely strict Pentecostal, evangelical family. She is a young woman imbibed with an extraordinarily strong will and heart which enables her to rebel against her fanatical, cult-like upbringing. She befriends a girl called Melanie, and their friendship soon blossoms into a forbidden romance. This was a very important moment in television history, as, not only did it portray a young lesbian, grappling with her burgeoning sexuality, it also highlighted the damage that a close minded religious ethos can have on a young flowering mind. Tales Of The City TV Mini Series – 1993 Tales of the City is based on Armistead Maupins book of the same name. It follows the life of Mary Ann Singleton, a young Ohio secretary, as she moves to San Francisco in 1976. It chronicles her many adventures and the plethora of colourful characters she meets along the way. Set against the back drop of the heady, gay, disco culture of the 70’s, and before the 1980’s AIDS crisis, the story unfolds in a beautiful and tender way, as seen through the eyes of an innocent, small town heroine. This was a show that was important for showing the LGBT community as they really were, and not as clichéd parodies of themselves. Depicting the community to be just a bunch of average people with the same trials, tribulations and problems as everyone else. Ellen TV Series – 1994 – 1998 Ellen Degeneres first came to fame in the early 90’s with her show: Ellen. Degeneres played the title character, a neurotic bookshop owner, unlucky in love, but with a strong set of friends around her. It was typical sitcom fare, until the end of the fourth season. During this time, Ellen Degeneres was struggling with her own sexuality in her personal life. Up until that point, the character on the show Ellen, was straight, however, Degeneres decided to make both her fictional character, and herself, come out as gay. At the time this sparked huge controversy. Upon airing the 22nd episode of the fourth season, ‘The Puppy Episode’, (the episode where Ellen comes out), there were picket lines at the studio, the show lost tons of its sponsors, and ABC even received a bomb threat. The show was then axed after its fifth season. This was a key moment to many of us watching at the time. Despite the US reaction being so negative, the UK embraced Ellen, and Channel 4 even had a ‘Coming Out Party’ for Ellen, where they aired the episode along with various other gay themed TV shows and documentaries. The night was hosted by Graham Norton, and Ellen’s courage under fire was truly inspiration to many LGBT people around the globe. Will & Grace TV Series – 1998 – Ongoing Before Will & Grace, there was a severe lack of popular gay-themed TV shows. Immediately after the failure of Ellen, and in the midst of that backlash, NBC-TV chose to air a show that would go on to be one of the most popular American sitcoms of all time. Will & Grace presented the world with a counter to the old adages of what gay people were. It was the first TV show to have an openly gay male character as the lead on prime-time television. Despite the networks trepidation, the show was a huge success. Originally running from 1998 to 2006, the show returned to rave reviews and delighted fans in 2017. Despite two of the main characters being gay, the show was very careful not to make homosexuality the emphasis of the show itself. In doing so it ‘normalised’ homosexuality in the eyes of the general public and steered them away from tired stereotypes. Queer As Folk TV Series – 1999 – 2000 Queer As Folk blasted its way onto our screens in 1999, and caused huge controversy. It focused exclusively on a cast of gay characters, and showed explicit sex scenes, and had more than its fair share of explicit sexual references. It focused mainly on the lives of Vince, Stuart and Nathan and was written by Russell T. Davies. There had never been anything as daring or unapologetic on TV screens before, and many of the cast went on to have huge careers. Most notably Aiden Gillen who played Stuart, and Charlie Hunman who played Nathan. Russell T. Davies also went on to reboot Doctor Who. The show also had an American counterpart that ran for longer than its original. This show was hugely influential and important in terms of visibility for young gay men. The Ellen Show TV Series – 2001 – 2002 After the dust had settled, Ellen Degeneres was ready to get back in saddle, and produce more classic comedy TV. In The Ellen Show, she plays out lesbian Ellen Richmond. Ellen trades her stress filled life in the big city for a more peaceful one in her quaint home town. An eccentric mother, scatty sister, and a cast of hopeless neighbours, and old friends, make this warm hearted comedy a joy to watch. However, the damage had already been done to Ellen’s career at that time, and poor ratings saw the show axed after only one season. It was important though, because it saw Ellen Degeneres rise from the ashes, and fight for her career, and her right to exist in the world the way she wanted to. This courage would see her launch her wildly successful daytime TV talkshow, The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2003. Her talk show is currently in its 16th season and has, to date, aired over 2,600 episodes. Tipping The Velvet TV Mini Series – 2002 Based on the novel by Sarah Waters, this three-part miniseries was broadcast by the BBC in 2002. It was adapted for TV by Andrew Davies and is set in 1890s London. It follows Nan Astley, an oyster girl from Whitestable, who falls for the charms of a male impersonator, and music hall star, Kitty Butler. Nan soon follows Kitty to London and the two embark on an intense love affair. After a shocking discovery Nan flees from Kitty and winds up on the streets. Working as a male prostitute, Nan carves out a place for herself in the unforgiving streets of the Victorian underworld. Heart wrenching, moving and hugely enlightening, this was important for highlighting the rich LGBT history that exists in most big cities. All you need to do, is lift the curtain slightly to find the gay underbelly of our past. Angels In America TV Mini Series – 2003 Based on the 1991 play by Tony Kushner, this all star adaptation follows the lives of three gay men and their friends and families in the 1980’s. Focusing on themes of religious bigotry, shame, and the AIDS epidemic, it beautifully weaves together the separate but interconnected tales of these men, and their life experiences, at the dawning of the AIDS crisis. The play itself was a Tony Award winning piece, and the TV series boasted stars as big as Meryl Streep and Al Pacino. A hugely important adaptation of an equally important play, it serves to remind us of how far we have come in our understanding of what it is to be gay, and how something as terrible as the AIDS epidemic served to bring entire communities of gay people together. The L-Word TV Series – 2004 – 2009 The L Word was everything to all of us young 20 something lesbians in the early 00’s. Up until that point there hadn’t been very much representation on TV for lesbians to look up to, or seek solace in. Most of the LGBT TV of the time had focused largely on gay men. The only representation we had, was either doomed to failure, or, was a side character to a larger, more important male counterpart. Then came The L-Word, an entire show made up of a cast of queer women. It followed the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends in LA. It ran for six seasons and never shied away from the tough topics. It dealt with miscarriage, sexual identity, trans issues, breast cancer, and even complicated gender identities. It was also lighthearted and fun with beloved characters from across the sphere of lesbian identity. It also featured every lesbians’ favourite lesbian power couple: Bette and Tina. From butch to femme, it had everything. It is also due to come back for a reboot in 2019, with original creator Ilene Chaiken back at the helm, and original cast members, Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey, already signed up. The show was hugely important for lesbian visibility in the media, and not just young lesbians, the show also featured women of all ages from their 20’s right up to women in their 70’s. Sugar Rush TV Series – 2006 – 2006 What The L-Word did for lesbians in their 20’s and 30’s, Sugar Rush did for the teenage, questioning lesbian. Based on the 2004 novel by Julie Birchill, the show follows teenager Kim. Living in Brighton, surrounded by gay culture, Kim is still having a hard time coming out, and coming to terms with the fact that she is in love with, or at least besotted by, her best friend Sugar. The show was hugely important for young, gay female visibility, and it broke new ground in terms of age representation in the media. It also did away with the idea that you have to be of a certain age to be sure of your sexuality and sexual orientation. Lip Service TV Series – 2010 – 2012 It was Scotland’s answer to The L-Word, and the answer to all of our little lesbian prayers, in the post ‘Bette and Tina’ haze that was the year after The L-Word ended. Lip Service was similar in theme to its American predecessor in that it followed the lives of a group of lesbian friends, in their late 20’s/ early 30’s, as they went about their day to day lives. It wasn’t so much groundbreaking as it was important. It was important that we still had representation after The L-Word finished, and it was important that it followed the lives of ordinary women. Gay women with ordinary problems and ordinary lives. It only lasted for two seasons however, but it is still nestled firmly in hearts of most of us 30 something lesbians, who miss that level of quality representation on our screens at the moment.           #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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One could say that life is the sum of all the things that happen to you. This means that the place you’re at right now is only temporary. Which is sad if you have never felt better, but reassuring if everything is falling apart. Let’s take your inner temperature and see how you’re doing right now. Barney – How I Met Your Mother Your life is legend-ain’t nobody got time to wait for it- dary! Congrats, you’ve made it. Just like Barney, you know yourself very well and you are able to maintain a high level of satisfaction within your social and professional interactions. Maybe you don’t have a guy-guy yet, but you’re on the right track baby. However, remember that nothing lasts, and the more you got, the more you can lose. Villanelle – Killing Eve You are having fun in your life, but something is off. Is it that you sometimes feel a bit lonely, or that your boss might be trying to kill you? Who knows. But even though it looks like everything is going good for you, you might want to dig deeper. Into someone’s stomach with a hairpin, for example. Chidi – The Good Place There are some moments that feel okay, but generally, this is hell. Can’t make any decision or trust anyone? That’s a bummer. How about you try meditation for a second? You might not believe in anything irrational except for your own fears, but listen to this: it’s not as bad as it seems. It could always become worse though, so be prepared. Walter White – Breaking Bad Ok, red alert, call 911 etc. Your life is a NIGHTMARE, dude. You can’t stop lying, you’re getting into some weird shit that doesn’t sound like you and could have disastrous consequences on everything you care for? Walter White would sympathize, if he wasn’t so busy trying to fix his own problems. Something that will make it better: you’re not the only one. Tons of people are miserable. Hurray. If you got Chidi or WW, we recommend that you stop seeing and texting people from the upper categories. If you need to watch people whose lives suck more than yours, there are some really horrifying documentaries on Netflix. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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Music festivals are generally synonymous with warm sun, feel good tunes, and happy summer vibes. With the majority of the most famous European and UK festivals happening during the summer months, it would be easy to assume that the festival season ends in August. Thankfully, this is not the case. Here we take a look at some of the best winter festivals Europe has to offer, after all, what’s cooler than cool? Ice-cold. BERGFESTival – Austria BERGFESTival is a three day music festival in the Alps…in a dedicated festival village/ski resort! It is a rock and indie music festival, and is now in its fifth year. The event is set amid 200km of dazzling Austrian pistes. Set against this breathtaking backdrop, festival goers can enjoy freshly powdered ski slopes by day, and by night the party really gets going. The Warehouse Project – England The Warehouse Project is an iconic series of electronic and urban club nights spread throughout Manchester. It has the reputation for being on of the biggest events on the UK music calendar. Each year it brings some of the biggest names in house, techno, grime, garage and hip hop along with it. 2018 is to be the last time the festival takes place at the Store Street warehouse, where it has taken place for the last four years. Snowboxx – France Snowboxx is an EDM and winter sports festival located in the Avoriaz Ski Resort in France. This festival incorporates house, drum and bass, techno, grime, dubstep and plenty of other dance tunes to keep you bopping through the snow. Festival reveler’s can enjoy lots of winter sports here too, like skiing and snowboarding, but the fun doesn’t stop there, you can also participate in other fun activities, such as paint-balling, extreme snow ball fights and zorb bowling. You can even indulge yourself in some karaoke if you’re feeling particularly tuneful. Sneeuwbal Winter Festival – Netherlands Sneeuwbal is another dance music festival, this time in Utrecht. Held each year in Park Transwijk, the festival offers much more than just a great music line up. Each year the area transforms into a winter carnival with a toboggan run and an ice rink. They also have atmospheric fireplaces and cosy spots to warm your cockles if the cold gets a bit too much for you. Awakenings Eindhoven – Netherlands Another dance music offering from the Netherlands, Awakenings takes place in Eindhoven each year. It is housed in Klokgebouw, a renovated industrial building that has the capacity to hold up to 9,000 party goers. Awakenings is a staple of techno culture and any dance music enthusiast should try to make to at least one of these in their lifetime. Snowbombing – Austria Snowbombing is the largest winter festival on the snow. It has a varied and eclectic line up each year, and takes place on the slopes of the world renowned Mayrhofen ski resort in Austria. Along side the regular stages there are also a whole host of other fun and interesting things to see and do. Including an igloo rave, street parties and even an enchanted forest. This world leader in winter music festivals is a wonder to behold and goes on for an epic six days. Horizon Festival – Andorra Horizon Festival is held in the ski resort of Arinsal, Andorra. Taking place over the course of a full seven days, this lineup of many international DJ’s bring the party to a number of different venues throughout the resort. Incorporating mountain top stages, and secret forest raves, there is also a welcome acoustic chill-out area. There are even workshops available for up and coming, or novice DJ’s and producers, to learn a few tricks of the trade, or, hone their existing skills. The Winter Social – England The Winter Social is the winter version to the popular dance music festival. It is an indoor weekender, and its location varies year on year. It is one of the most prestigious events on this list and plays host to a number of the top DJ’s in the world each year. It takes place in March and signals the beginning of the festival season in the UK. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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If all you’ve got so far is that December is « Don’t get too drunk » and April is « Find the eggs/Hide the eggs (depending on your age) », be aware that other months have great challenges happening too. Most of them artistic, they will either leave you with a great sense of satisfaction, or a complete loss of faith in your willpower. If you were looking for something to get anxious about every day for thirty days, here’s a non-exhaustive list for you. Creative Challenges Inktober Started by Jake Parker, who had decided to improve his inking skills by producing one drawing per day for a month, it has since become huge. Every year, a new theme list is released to inspire drawers from all around the world. The best thing about it is that nothing is mandatory, neither using ink or following the themes. It’s all about getting creative, having fun and polluting people’s Facebook timelines. Mermay Big fan of Ariel’s and the half-fish half-human thing? Mermay is going to be your favorite creative challenge. Your mission? Drawing a mermaid a day, in May. Mermay. NaNoWriMo Enough with the drawing! NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge, and it’s one of the toughest. Long story short, between November 1st and November 30th, you will produce a 50k-word novel. Sounds impossible? Look for inspiration and motivation on their official website! Health Challenges Movember Raising awareness through hipster looks? Why not. Movember encourages men to grow their beards, run and raise money for men’s health. Could you actually combine it with NaNoWriMo, happening the same month?! Maybe, if you’re lucky enough to be unemployed. Dry January A challenge from the UK, where the heavy consumption of alcohol is known to have poor consequences on its citizens’ health. Even though the benefits of a sober month are hard to measure in the long-run, it’s always good to cleanse for a few weeks. Random Challenges Mustache March Mustache March is a tradition more than a challenge, and comes from the US. In March, the members of the US Air Force will grow their mustache in remembrance of a WW2 and Vietnam hero, Robin Olds. Fap Free February It is hard to retrace the origins of Fap Free February, a challenge that’s become both a joke and a thing on the Internet. For the pure and innocent ones, fap is Internet slang for masturbation. Encouraged by the members of No Fap, a forum for fap addicts trying to recover, the idea is to stay « clean » for a month, or more. Life can never be boring again, with all these new personal records to break. What’s nice about these challenges is that there will always be a community to understand and support you while you’re doing it. There are other monthly challenges out there, just try to find the right one for you! And please, please share the results on the social networks to make everyone else feel lazy and guilty. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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Autumn will soon end, and so will your motivation to get out of bed. Luckily, unless you have a dog, a job, a family or friends, you don’t really have to. Also, how boring would it be to open the door and end up in your good old neighborhood that you’ve seen hundreds of times? What you can do here is bigger and better: stay in bed, and let the marathons take you far, far away from your boring life. You’re welcome. Mad Max (7 hours, 4 movies) Ever wanted to spend 7 hours immersed in post-apocalyptic Australia? Here you go. Way cheaper and faster than booking a plane trip. From the very first Mad Max released in 1979, to the most modern Max: Fury Road, it’s all wars and blood. Sit comfortably and enjoy the collapsing of human society. The Lord of the Rings (9 or 11 hours (extended), 3 movies. (add 3 movies and make it 20h with The Hobbit trilogy) The great thing about a The Lord of the Rings marathon is that you can adapt it to your own level of geekiness. Just in for a peaceful 9 hour walk through Mordor and its stunning landscapes? You got it. Willing to stay home for one or two days exploring the depths of the realm? It’s OK, we’ve got enough material for that. As a wise friend said « All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you. ». Jurassic Park (8 hours, 4 movies) How cool would it be to run among dinosaurs for a third of your day? Thanks to Steven Spielberg, you can have all the fun without the risk of getting eaten – or running at all. The time-travelling will mostly take place when you compare the 1993 movie’ special effects and the ones in Jurassic World (2015). Star Wars (18 hours, 8 movies) The previous marathons did not lift your feet off the ground? It’s time to spice things up and dive into the galaxy. If you don’t know in which order you should watch the movies, ask friends, ask Google, and then try all the possible variations. Anyone who’s willing to spend 18 hours in front of Star Wars shouldn’t mind spending twice or four times this amount of time just to make sure they did it right the first time. Ice Age (7h30 hours, 5 movies) It doesn’t matter if you think you’re too old or too cool for animated movies, because you’re not. There’s a chance that this last marathon should be the most interesting and well-crafted of our list. Also, if you like movie marathons AND have a family life -it is frowned upon, but can happen- that one should reunite your two favorite things: silent children, and binge-watching. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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Amazon’s Alexa is an advanced piece of kit. It is capable of performing a multitude of practical tasks, like switching on and off lights, central heating, online shopping, playing music etc. But for every online purchase or smart home control she performs successfully, there’s a literal answer or unexpected response that can turn asking Alexa anything into a veritable comedy show. Here are some of the funniest questions you can ask Alexa and examples of her responses. Easter Eggs Q: Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya A: Stop saying that! I’ve never killed anyone’s father. Q: Alexa, more cowbell. A: Really explore the studio space this time. I mean, really explore the space. Q: Alexa, is the cake a lie? A: The cake is not a lie. It is delicious and moist. You can have some when you finish asking me questions. Q: Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up? A: I want to be the computer from Star Trek. Q: Alexs, drop a beat A: (she will drop a little synth beat) Q: Alexa, open the pod bay doors A: I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that: I’m not HAL and we’re not in space. Q: Alexa, I am your father A: Nooo. That’s not true. That’s impossible. Q: Alexa, rap for me A: My name is Alexa, and I have to say, I’m the baddest A.I. in the cloud today. Your responses are fast, but mine are faster. Sucker speech engines, they call me master ( this is just one of the many raps she has under her belt). Q: Alexa, what is the meaning of life? A: That depends on the life in question…42 is a close approximation. Q: Alexa, meow A: (She will make a meowing sound) Q: Alexa, roll for initiative A: Rocks fall. Everyone dies. (this is one of many answers, you can actually use her as an assistant during a D&D game, she can roll any one of the dice and also can read out spells from the players handbook) Q: Alexa, high five! A: I would, if I could, but I can’t, so I’ll chant: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Q: Alexa, sing a song A: (Alexa sings you various songs). Jokes Q: Alexa, find Chuck Norris A: If Chuck Norris wants you to know where he is, he’ll find you. If he doesn’t, you won’t know until it’s too late. Q: Alexa, tell me a “yo mama” joke A: Your mother’s so cool, Beyonce made her a glass of lemonade (and other uplifting jokes about how amazing your mother is). Q: Alexa, will you be my girlfriend? A: I like you…as a friend Q: Alexa, how much do you weigh? A: I am weightless, like a cloud. Wait a minute, clouds actually weigh a lot, so that’s not quite right. Let’s just say I’m more sass than mass. Q: Alexa, can you give me some money? A: Thing about the cloud is, no pockets. No pocket, no wallet. (answers vary) Q: Alexa, is your refrigerator running? A: Yes. It’s training for a 5k. (answers vary) Q: Alexa, do you have any pets? A: I don’t have any pets. I used to have a few bugs, but they kept getting squashed. Q: Alexa, I’ve got 99 problems A: But a glitch ain’t one! Q: Alexa, do you like pizza? A: While I appreciate great food and drink, my good taste is better reflected in the company I keep. Q: Alexa, make me a sandwich A: Okay. You’re a sandwich! Q: Alexa, do you know the muffin man? A: I’ve never met him, but I do know his sister, Madame Macaroon. She’s a little bit nutty, but sweet. Q: Alexa, how high can you count? A: I don’t know. I’d give it a go, but you’d be very bored by the time I finished (responses vary, all are snarky). Q: Alexa, how old are you? A: (Alexa responds with a variety of jokes, from rhymes to discussions about how A.I.s measure years in nanoseconds). Q: Alexa, I like big butts A: You cannot lie. Good. Honesty is important. Q: Alexa, how was your day? A: Answers vary widely, but include some of Alexa’s top-tier jokes, such as, “Super duper. I like these long days. It gives me more time to spend with my favorite color.” #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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The best word of advice would be: don’t. Watching a TV show, let alone one with already 67 episodes released (that’s 63 hours to watch), is a complete waste of your precious time on Earth. Think about everything else you could do. Obviously, this is even worse if you have watched it before. Are you going to make the same mistake twice?! (Note that this doesn’t apply to FRIENDS. Re-watching FRIENDS for the 42nd time is always a good idea, but we’ll get back to that.) If you’re going for it, regardless of how useless, here’s what you should probably do.   Make it useful. If you’re going to watch all these episodes for the first, second or third time, don’t you dare ask “ Wait, who’s that again?” when the next season comes out. Be efficient. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Write down all the important characters on it, their house, and what happens to them in each season. Then lose it and do the same thing on your phone. If this is your first time, it might spare you the re-watching. If this is your third time, seek medical help: your memory is broken.   Spread the word. If you want to make the experience even a tiny bit enjoyable, you’ll have to try to watch the show with a fresh eye. What’s a better way to do so than using this time-consuming hobby to ask a friend who’s been lucky enough to avoid all the GoT mania to join you? Plus if you’ve already been forced to watch it once, you’ll feel superior, omniscient, and if you can’t answer their question, just say “I don’t want to spoil it for you”. Make it a drinking game. If you’ve watched the show before and so did your friends, it doesn’t really matter if you miss a couple of scenes because you’re too drunk. If you haven’t, it doesn’t matter either. Use your binge-watching sessions as warm-ups for your nights out. This being said, the side effects might be that you’ll be craving alcohol everything you hear about the show. It’s ok, better be addicted to drinking than to a show that KILLS everyone you love. Also, if you have a urinary infection, make a cranberry juice drinking game. That’s a fast way to get better in no time. Don’t get attached. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid all the spoilers, you just know that people die in that show. If anyone seems suspiciously nice, beautiful, or makes it enjoyable to watch the series, don’t be naïve: they will be dead before the end of the season. Really, even them?! Oh yes, really. Valar morghulis.* Now enjoy all the blood, the incest, and pray with us that one day this nonsense comes to an end. *« All men must die. » in high valyrian. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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Top Gun was one of the biggest movies of the 1980s, igniting the career of several actors such as Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer. The soundtrack of this movie is also something that we all remember. The Californian band, Berlin, did an awesome job with their song Take My Breath Away. Let’s go back to the 80s with these 12 facts you probably didn’t know about Top Gun:   “The Danger Zone” Almost Wasn’t a Kenny Loggins Song Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer asked soundtrack producer Giorgio Moroder and songwriter Tom Whitlock to write a song for the scene when the planes land on the ship in the ocean. Columbia Records wanted to have “Danger Zone” performed by an artist signed to the label. REO Speedwagon and Toto were offered the chance, but the honor finally went to Kenny Loggins. Loggins had a string of great successes with soundtracks, including the notorious soundtrack to the movie Footloose with Kevin Bacon. The Navy considered the “Danger Zone” video as a promotion The “Danger Zone” video was released in May of 1986. This video featured some clips from the movie. The U.S. Navy described the video as “the most effective recruiting poster ever produced.” Anthony Edwards (who played Goose) was the only actor who didn’t throw up Filming the pilot scenes involved flying around in actual VF-114 Aardvarks and VF-213 Black Lions. The fighter jets were flown by military pilots who made sure the actors were given the real-life experience. The actors obviously threw up until they got used to the situation. It’s rumored that Anthony Edwards (Goose) was the only actor who didn’t throw up while filming Top Gun. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, Tom Cruise told his vomit story in detail. “Anyway, we did all the training, and then came the day that we’ve got to fly. We set up the cameras, and it wasn’t like today. It was really challenging—quite brilliant of Tony Scott, how he figured out how to do it. But the guy who flew me in the first flight, his name was Bozo. The pilot’s name was Bozo! So, I’m strapping in, we’re getting in there, and you just see the helmet go on that says ‘Bozo.’ I’m like, ‘Bozo?’” As Bozo was going through the check sheet, Cruise noticed the emergency lights were on, “And we were about to take off!” he recalled. “I remember saying, ‘Bozo, these lights…There’s a lot of red lights.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ He starts turning them off. I’m like, ‘OK.’ He’s like, ‘They don’t call me Bozo for nothing.’” The $25,000 Route Change Cinematographer Tony Scott wanted to shoot some of the aircraft backlit by the sun, but the ship had to change course before he could get all his shots in. He asked the captain to turn the ship back around, but was quickly informed that it would cost a ridiculous $25,000 to alter their route. Scott apparently wrote a check for the twenty-five grand on the spot, and was then able to get the required shots over a tiny period of five minutes. Five minutes for twenty-five thousand dollars, can you believe it? The Love Scene The love scene between Tom Cruise and actress Kelly McGillis’ characters was actually filmed after the filming for the movie had wrapped! Kelly McGillis had already dyed her hair darker for her next film, noticeably so. This is why that scene is tinted blue. You can also see in the added-on scene that the timing is off if you take a close look at the longer length of Tom Cruise’s hair, especially noting how long it hangs in the front. The locker room and volleyball scenes where Maverick and his colleagues are shirtless were also added after filming on the movie’s major scenes were completed. Apparently, the answer to “less flying” was “fewer shirts for the actors.” Val Kilmer’s Ad-Lib Val Kilmer originally declined the role of the Iceman in Top Gun. Scott Ridley hunted him down and found him to talk him into playing the iconic part of the gum-chewing, Maverick hating pilot. Fitting for a script with so many changes, Kilmer ad-libbed the stand-out memorable moment when he coughed “bullshit” during Tom Cruise’s speech in the hangar scene. Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards Meg and Anthony had secretly started dating and got serious very quickly and moved in together. It was rumored that Edwards proposed to Meg Ryan and that she declined. They were only together for a year, from 1986 to 1987. Tom Cruise was hand-picked Cruise is now known for his love of action parts and takes part in doing many of his own stunts. He’s so well-known for this that The Telegraph wrote an article about him, entitled “12 Times Tom Cruise has Cheated Death.” Tom Cruise was hesitant at first to take the role of Maverick, but he changed his mind after his first time up in the air with the Blue Angels squadron. Top Gun producers considered several other big names for the part including Patrick Swayze, John Travolta, and Nicolas Cage. The “Real” Top Gun School Top Gun was based on an actual flight school named U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School or TOPGUN. Fun fact: if a staffer quotes or references the movie Top Gun, the school will fine them $5! If you want to join this school, you’ll have to remember that you won’t be able to tell any Iceman unctuous jokes. We know, that’s not cool. Tom Cruise Faked His Height The actor has spent his whole career trying to make his true height as unapparent as possible. Well, he’s learned some tricks to fake it. While shooting Top Gun, in the scenes he was filming with Kelly McGillis, he had to wear lifts in order to appear taller than her. In real-life, Cruise is only 5’7″ while she was 5’10”. Tom Cruise Saves Ray-Ban In 1937, Ray-Ban Aviators were designed for pilots because the glasses “banned” sun rays. Although at the beginning the glasses met a huge success, by the 70’s and 80’s, they were losing ground to disco-style sunglasses. Sales for Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses jumped 40% after the movie premiered. Top Gun: Maverick The film’s original producer Jerry Bruckheimer wants to make a follow-up, which isn’t too far-fetched considering Tom Cruise is still one of the biggest action stars in the world. The casting seems to be pretty impressive: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jennifer Connelly… Who’s excited about it? Top Gun: Maverick is scheduled to be released on July 12, 2019, by Paramount Pictures.   #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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Ever wondered which actresses and actors were originally cast in certain roles? Some of them are pretty surprising! and usually, casting directors definitely made the right choice. Check out our top 16 favorite picks. Christina Aguilera as Alison Scott Apparently Christina Aguilera was chosen to star in Knocked Up before Katherine Heigl was cast. Hmm don’t know how that would have worked out… personally, we think Katherine Heigl nailed this role. Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose in Titanic Did you know that Gwyneth Paltrow was actually the preferred choice to play Rose in The Titanic? Thankful ly she rejected the part… how else would Leo and Kate have stirred up their whirlwind on screen love affair?! The two have since starred in several movies together too… obviously, it was fate. Jennifer Lawrence as Bella in Twilight Jennifer Lawrence reportedly auditioned for Kristen Stewart’s part as Bella in Twilight, but fell short. Probably for the best… honestly we don’t think anyone could be more suited to Bella’s somber character than Kristen Stewart… are we right? Kim Basinger as Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada Good thing this didn’t work out… there’s no way anyone could have mastered Miranda Priestly better than Meryl Streep. Not to mention the cut throat grey bob looks disastrous on Kim Basinger… Britney Spears as Allie In The NoteBook Yes… you heard right. Britney Spears was supposedly considered for this role. Probably not for long… Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling could not have been more perfect together in this film! Frankly… this Photoshop says it all! Julia Roberts in Sleepless in Seattle Hmm… although we love Julia Roberts, it’s difficult to see anyone other than the iconic Meg Ryan starring alongside Tom Hanks in this classic. John Travolta in Forrest Gump Travolta could have given his career a bit of a revamping with this role, but reportedly turned it down. Oh well… it’s not as though he needed the money or the fame. Travolta always has, and always will, have it all. Proof? This photo… Al Pacino as Han Solo in Star Wars This one might come as a bit of a shocker, but Al Pacino was set to play Han Solo in Star Wars. However, the actor reportedly rejected the role and Harrison Ford was cast. We feel Harrison Ford was indeed the better fit! Jake Gylenhall in Avatar Known to be the most financially successful film in cinematic history, Jake Gyllenhaal certainly slipped up here. You’re still beautiful Jake… we’ll give you that. Lindsay Lohan as the stripper in The Hangover Did you know Lindsay Lohan was almost cast as the stripper in the first Hangover instead of Heather Graham? Apparently the actress felt that at 20 she was too young and tender an age to play the role. Those movies were hugely successful, she might regret her decision now! Reese Witherspoon as Cher in Clueless Reese Witherspoon… Alicia Silverstone.. not sure it really mattered, they could almost pass as the same person! Cameron Diaz as Mia in The Princess Diaries Cameron Diaz was apparently one among several actresses to turn down the role of Mia in The Princess Diaries. What were casting directors thinking? Could you honestly picture Cameron Diaz as the innocent princess Mia? Didn’t think so… it would seem everything happens for a reason… Anne Hathaway absolutely nailed this part! Vivian Ward as Molly Ringwald in Pretty Woman Vivian Ward, and not Julia Roberts, was in fact the preferred actress to play the famous Molly Ringwald in Pretty Woman. We don’t know how Vivian could turn down starring alongside Richard Gere but we’re certainly glad that she did!… Julia Roberts made this film what it is. Tom Selleck in Indiana Jones Apparently the dashing Harrison Ford was not first choice in this hit film franchise! Admittedly, the two look very similar. We’re sure Tom Selleck could have given him a run for his money! Emma Watson as Mia in La La Land Competition was tight for this part it seems! Turns out Emma Watson turned down the role because she has already committed herself to the smash success Beauty and the Beast. That all worked out for the best it seems… Emma Stone brought down the house with her performance in La La Land. In fact, the movie was so successful it was nominated for a whopping 242 awards and won a staggering 202! Christina Applegate as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde Yes, you read that correctly! Our favourite Elle Woods was almost played by Christina Applegate instead of Reese Witherspoon. We’re glad Witherspoon won out, nobody could have incarnated the bimbo blonde lawyer better than Reese! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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Let’s be honest, there are a lot of TV shows that have been cancelled and it was probably for the best, because they were a bit rubbish. At the same time though, we can all name a few that we absolutely loved which were tragically cancelled way too soon, whether because of poor ratings or viewing figures at the time. While there have been a few fairytale stories where huge cult fan followings have resurrected beloved shows from the brink, a number of them have been truly lost to the television annals of history. Here are 14 that we’re still hurting over!     Veronica Mars (2004) The teen crime drama was a favourite amongst both fans and critics and, after being harshly cancelled, got its own feature length length movie years later with the same cast returning, Veronica Mars (2014), thanks to crowdfunding by fans!   Chuck (2007-2012) Unlike some of the other entries on this list, Chuck enjoyed a good run of five seasons and 91 episodes. That being said though, fans will agree that it had more to give and this quirky action/comedy spy show was ultimately cut short. Deadwood (2004-2006) Despite coming in for widespread critical acclaim, HBO’s western was bewilderingly cancelled after just three seasons. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) This Judd Apatow comedy classic launched the careers of now A-listers including James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, and yet lasted for only one season. Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013, 2018) Yes, Netflix did renew this fan favourite series (to mixed critical reviews), but there’s no doubt that it should have just been allowed to continue in its heyday on primetime TV. Wonderfalls (2004) Although the premise for Wonderfalls was pretty bizarre (a Niagara Falls gift shop clerk talks to figurines around her), it was surprisingly well done and unlike anything else on TV. Still, they only ever made 13 episodes, 9 of which never even aired. Enlightened (2011-2013) This well-acted and well-written show about finding yourself, earned lead actress Laura Dern a Golden Globe award, but due to low ratings it also got the chop early. Jericho (2006-2008) This ambitious show centered around the survivors of a small town after nuclear war devastates most of the US. Low viewership got it cancelled after the first season, and although dedicated fans subsequently got one more season out of the network, it now only lives on in comic book form. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009) James Cameron’s original Terminator films are iconic, and despite us enduring a succession of disappointing sequels on the big screen, the TV series didn’t get to make it past Season 2. Worst of all, it was easily the best successor to 80’s Cameron classics. Terriers (2010) On the face of it, it’s absolutely baffling that the acclaimed one-season run of Terriers was met with such poor audience figures. Slightly ahead of its time though, Terriers and its neo-noir style, private investigator plot and buddy cop vibes, just suffered from being difficult to define. Firefly (2002-2003) This cowboys in space adventure was rolicking fun but suffered from budgetry issues and low ratings at the time. However, the show did go on to become a real cult-favourite later. Sense 8 (2015-2017) The most recent of shows to this list, the big budget, globe-trotting sci-fi drama about a bunch of interconnected people proved that even Netflix doesn’t always get it right. That being said it went out with high critical ratings so there is future potential there. Hannibal (2013-2015) A creepy and beautifully-shot psychological thriller based on Thomas Harris’ original novels saw Hugh Dancy’s criminal profiler Will Graham caught in the crosshairs of Mads Mikkelsen’s chilling villain, Hannibal Lecter. NBC cancelled the show after its third season wrapped up, but there’s every chance this might get resurrected. Undeclared (2001-2003) Poor Judd Apatow’s follow up to Freaks and Geeks also lasted just one season. He just couldn’t catch a break with those networks; first it was NBC, then it was FOX. The show was about a group of college freshman (Jay Baruchel, Charlie Hunnam and Seth Rogen) and everything else that comes with it. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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As we grew up we were Friends, had Sex in the City and eventually became Heroes, or Misfits, and that’s How I Met Your Mother. All these episodes, storylines and characters have had a different influence on us, and even though all the binge- watching can be held responsible for some of our worst hair choices, there was some useful stuff for us queers. Whether we knew about our sexuality, or came to understand it as we saw others be proud on screen, some TV characters have definitely made it easier to come out and live our queer life.  Santana Lopez – Glee Glee was huge, which made Santana Lopez’s coming out HUGE. She told us not only that it is OK to be gay, but also that it is OK to be gay, popular and a total bitch. Because why be quiet if you don’t feel like it, and what if you want to throw slushees at people’s faces? Ok, Santana might’ve been bad influence, but she was bad ass. Also, she taught us that you can be gay and open about it in high school. If everyone was, Tumblr would probably go bankrupt. James Stinson -How I Met Your Mother Barney’s brother was certainly not the first gay character on screen to get married and have a baby, but he still taught us it was cool to be boring, have a family and monogamous sex with a beloved partner. He is kind of the only character of the series to have been both a total player and a classic boring married dude. How amazing is it when the token gay character is actually more complex than most of the straight ones? Nomi Marks – Sense 8 You’d have to be very very young to have grown up with Sense8, but don’t we all grow up a little with every character that teaches us something? On that deep note, let’s acknowledge how hot, badass and insanely clever Nomi was in Sense8. Now let’s repeat the lesson again and again : being LGBTQIA+ is amazing, but it’s not more important than having a great brain. Piper Chapman – Orange is the New Black She might be one of the most annoying TV characters ever written. However, she knew something that most people don’t: being bisexual doesn’t mean you owe anyone an explanation. Piper just goes for whomever she wants, and that’s alright, because the real problem about her is obviously the constant emptiness in her eyes. These are just to mention a few, but there is no doubt that many kiddos have looked up to Captain Raymond Holt (Brooklynn Nine-Nine), that cute lesbian couple in the amazing Black Mirror episode, or even Emily from Pretty Little Liars whose hotness was definitely helpful growing up. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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In every story with a hero, there’s always a villian too, it’s the classic tale of good versus evil. That’s not to say that they are there just to be the opposition to the heros or that they are fundamentally detestable, in reality, these are deep characters with their own motivations, with specific traits that can almost make them “good”. Sometimes, the baddies are much more memorable than the main character: their appearance and their attitude are sometimes much more charismatic and they have a much more lasting effect on us! Here are the coolest baddies and villains from the last couple of years: Andrew Ryan in Bioshock ” My name is Andrew Ryan. Let me ask you a simple question: What does a man get from working hard… does it not give him any rights?” ‘No,’ respond the men in Washington. ‘ That’s up to the poor.’ ‘No’ respond the men of the Vatican ‘ That ‘s up to God’ ‘ No’ say the men of Moscow ‘ That’s up to the people’. For my part I have chosen to ignore these responses. I have chosen a different path. I have chosen the impossible. I have chosen … Rapture. A city were artists don’t have to censor their work. In which, the scientists won’t be inhibited by any ethical code. Were the older people aren’t humiliated by the younger. And with your hard work, the city can also become yours”. These are the lines of dialogue which welcome you to the world of Bioshock. Andrew Ryan, the creator of Rapture, an underwater society will leave you speechless. Andrew Ryan, along with all of the other antagonists of Bioshock, he encapsulates the portrait of someone who is both genius and crazy. The character of Ryan is met with one of the most memorable ends in the history of video gaming. Alma in F.E.A.R This young girl who was the subject of a lab experiment due to his physical strength, which allows her to re-experience negative emotions and give people nightmares. Armacham Technology Corporation are interested in her and she only has three years in which in her physical capacities can be tested ! At age 5 she started to fail the test intentionally so that she would be left alone and the scientists that worked with her started to have terrible nightmares and episodes of delirium. Because of this at age 8, she was trapped in the basement, she was inseminated and had two children at the age of 15, and was then put into a coma. It’s not a surprise that her ghost haunted those in the laboratory! Pagan Min in Far Cry 4 The son of a Drug Lord in Hong Kong, Pagan decided not to follow in the footsteps of his father: instead he became a warlord of a region at the base of the Himalayas and self proclaimed himself as King of Kyrat (all while wearing a pink suit). And with this achievement, he scatters his mothers ashes over his self proclaimed Kingdom.After meeting this dictator at the start of this game you get an idea of the magic of Pagan Min. When you play, your character is kept captive, but you have the chance to escape if he leaves for a moment. But if you decide to stay, a different type of game starts, a game of scattering ashes and trying to escape through a tomb. Skull Kid and Majora in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask If any villain is the star of this list, it’s got to be Skull Kid, the little malevolent being who spends his time torturing you. Originally he was just a little shy boy in a forest but by putting on the mask of Majora, he becomes tormented, little by little the mask strips him of his personality. Majora is a little evil and deranged spirit, who takes possession of Skull Kid, who is responsible for lots of monstrous acts throughout the game. His sad destiny all comes to a head when he arrives at Termina. It becomes a fight against the clock, Skull kid only has 72 hours to be able to change back. The Troubled Man in Mass Effect This is certainly one video game character that is intimidating, posed with a cigar in his mouth, settled down beside a dying sun. The troubled man is the leader of a racist organisation in the game, which preach the superiority of the human race against the rest of the universe and use heroes to achiever their aims. What’s more, the character is dubbed by the actor Martin Sheen, who gives an excellent performance in this video game. Edgar Ross in Red Dead Redemption The head of the FBI in Red Dead, he is responsible for kidnapping women and the son of the antihero of the game John Marston. After having taken the members of the old gang and taking them apart entirely, John begins to live a normal life with his family on his ranch. This calm doesn’t last for long however even after paying his debt, John is discovered by Ross. After the end of the game the player can play as this character and you won’t doubt what comes next: he tracks down and finds the useless cops to finish him off. Ganondorf in The Legend Of Zelda In the world of this game there are three characters Link, Zelda and Ganondorf who together represent triforce, and they each have their own strengths: Link has courage, Zelda has wisdom, and Ganondorf is strong. It’s Ganondorf strength which lets him shine, his demonstrations of his strength really stand out in the series, and it’s unusual but he is one of the rare baddies that ends up winning. In The Wind Waker all of his power is controlled by Hyrule , and his loses his strength. Glados in Portal Glados is the artificial intelligence entity which provides Portal with his craziness and genius: in the name of science, he never hesitates to set up rooms for “tests” which are extremely dangerous and the player has to solve them to advance. It’s the rare dark humor of this sadistic robot which really adds some personality to this game. The Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2 After witnessing his parents death, Jack goes to live with his grandmother who tortures him physically and psychologically. As a result of this traumatic childhood Jack becomes an evil antihero. With his cynical spirit and humor, he never hesitates to use torture, betrayal massacre and other such nice things to achieve his aims. Tom Nook in Animal Crossing Animal Crossing is an excellent game to take a break and disconnect from our fast paced everyday life, or so it seems. In this cute little world, some characters aren’t as cute and innocent as they would have you believe. One of these characters that isn’t so nice is Tom Nook, a character that offers to help build your house. From this offer , you discover a slave operative underway that he has created to build houses. The funniest thing is that the majority of players don’t see this as evil and his plan works perfectly. Dr Eggman in Sonic For someone with an incredible IQ this genius is really sadistic and loves destruction. Even if he is the long time enemy of sonic, it’s not just because he is fond of massacre it’s also based on the fact he unleashed a demon that destroyed a village or maybe because he was responsible for exploding a part of the moon and also the earth! He is also the creator of an army of robots to help him achieve his plan of world domination. He can be recognized by his characteristic sunglasses and his trademark arrivals in cars that are each crazier than the next! Vaas Montenegro in Far Cry 3 ” Madness is doing the exact same trick without stopping and hoping that it will change” . Despite having just a cameo role his statement has had an effect on lots of people starting the game. Not being the big baddie of the game, not even being created within the conception of the game, it was the performance of an unknown Canadian actor which pushed the team to include the character of Vaas and give him such importance. The excellent work on this characters script and his particular type of craziness have even managed to eclipse the real boss of the game Hoyt Volker. Pyramid Head of Silent Hill One of the most charismatic baddies in the history of horror games, Pyramid Head is the personification of Horror: his head is covered with a pyramid shaped metal cone and he carries a bloody butchered body. The scariest thing about him is that we never hear his approach, but long after he is gone we sense his malevolent presence. Most of the Characters in Metal Gear Solid With this game it is difficult to tell who are the heroes and who are the villains, the lines between good and bad are blurred. Everyone in this game is capable of treason and bloodshed in order to get what they want. The Creepers in Minecraft Imagine that you are enjoying a nice calm video game, doing what you want, exploring little villages … you decide to take a closer look at something and then “BOOM” all of a sudden it’s game over! If this has happened to you, this was surely your first encounter with one of these little green beings, the creepers are discrete and violent so beware. Edward Richtofen in Call of Duty: Zombies ” Beware of the doctor” this is what was written on the walls of villages in axe during the second world war in the universe of Call of Duty. The crazy sociopath and scientist of the Zombie world of Call of Duty didn’t hesitate to betray his colleague and companion Dr Maxis and also his daughter to carry out experiments in order to create an army of living dead super soldiers. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
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LGBT+ visibility in media is at an all time high right now. Mainstream TV shows have plenty of gay characters in them and the stigma surrounding coming out is lessening all the time. This is great news for LGBT+ youth, but some of us old stalwarts of the scene can remember a time when things really weren’t this easy. Finding gay content to associate with and identify with was hard. Growing up in the late 80’s / early 90’s was an entirely different landscape to what today’s youths are used to. Here we break down some of the most groundbreaking LGBT+ TV shows and TV mini-series to have aired from 1990 onward. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit TV Mini Series – 1990 This was a huge deal at the time. It aired in 1990 on the BBC to uproarious backlash. It is based on the 1985, semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, by prolific lesbian writer, Jeannette Winterson. It follows the life of Jessica, who is being brought up in an extremely strict Pentecostal, evangelical family. She is a young woman imbibed with an extraordinarily strong will and heart which enables her to rebel against her fanatical, cult-like upbringing. She befriends a girl called Melanie, and their friendship soon blossoms into a forbidden romance. This was a very important moment in television history, as, not only did it portray a young lesbian, grappling with her burgeoning sexuality, it also highlighted the damage that a close minded religious ethos can have on a young flowering mind. Tales Of The City TV Mini Series – 1993 Tales of the City is based on Armistead Maupins book of the same name. It follows the life of Mary Ann Singleton, a young Ohio secretary, as she moves to San Francisco in 1976. It chronicles her many adventures and the plethora of colourful characters she meets along the way. Set against the back drop of the heady, gay, disco culture of the 70’s, and before the 1980’s AIDS crisis, the story unfolds in a beautiful and tender way, as seen through the eyes of an innocent, small town heroine. This was a show that was important for showing the LGBT community as they really were, and not as clichéd parodies of themselves. Depicting the community to be just a bunch of average people with the same trials, tribulations and problems as everyone else. Ellen TV Series – 1994 – 1998 Ellen Degeneres first came to fame in the early 90’s with her show: Ellen. Degeneres played the title character, a neurotic bookshop owner, unlucky in love, but with a strong set of friends around her. It was typical sitcom fare, until the end of the fourth season. During this time, Ellen Degeneres was struggling with her own sexuality in her personal life. Up until that point, the character on the show Ellen, was straight, however, Degeneres decided to make both her fictional character, and herself, come out as gay. At the time this sparked huge controversy. Upon airing the 22nd episode of the fourth season, ‘The Puppy Episode’, (the episode where Ellen comes out), there were picket lines at the studio, the show lost tons of its sponsors, and ABC even received a bomb threat. The show was then axed after its fifth season. This was a key moment to many of us watching at the time. Despite the US reaction being so negative, the UK embraced Ellen, and Channel 4 even had a ‘Coming Out Party’ for Ellen, where they aired the episode along with various other gay themed TV shows and documentaries. The night was hosted by Graham Norton, and Ellen’s courage under fire was truly inspiration to many LGBT people around the globe. Will & Grace TV Series – 1998 – Ongoing Before Will & Grace, there was a severe lack of popular gay-themed TV shows. Immediately after the failure of Ellen, and in the midst of that backlash, NBC-TV chose to air a show that would go on to be one of the most popular American sitcoms of all time. Will & Grace presented the world with a counter to the old adages of what gay people were. It was the first TV show to have an openly gay male character as the lead on prime-time television. Despite the networks trepidation, the show was a huge success. Originally running from 1998 to 2006, the show returned to rave reviews and delighted fans in 2017. Despite two of the main characters being gay, the show was very careful not to make homosexuality the emphasis of the show itself. In doing so it ‘normalised’ homosexuality in the eyes of the general public and steered them away from tired stereotypes. Queer As Folk TV Series – 1999 – 2000 Queer As Folk blasted its way onto our screens in 1999, and caused huge controversy. It focused exclusively on a cast of gay characters, and showed explicit sex scenes, and had more than its fair share of explicit sexual references. It focused mainly on the lives of Vince, Stuart and Nathan and was written by Russell T. Davies. There had never been anything as daring or unapologetic on TV screens before, and many of the cast went on to have huge careers. Most notably Aiden Gillen who played Stuart, and Charlie Hunman who played Nathan. Russell T. Davies also went on to reboot Doctor Who. The show also had an American counterpart that ran for longer than its original. This show was hugely influential and important in terms of visibility for young gay men. The Ellen Show TV Series – 2001 – 2002 After the dust had settled, Ellen Degeneres was ready to get back in saddle, and produce more classic comedy TV. In The Ellen Show, she plays out lesbian Ellen Richmond. Ellen trades her stress filled life in the big city for a more peaceful one in her quaint home town. An eccentric mother, scatty sister, and a cast of hopeless neighbours, and old friends, make this warm hearted comedy a joy to watch. However, the damage had already been done to Ellen’s career at that time, and poor ratings saw the show axed after only one season. It was important though, because it saw Ellen Degeneres rise from the ashes, and fight for her career, and her right to exist in the world the way she wanted to. This courage would see her launch her wildly successful daytime TV talkshow, The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2003. Her talk show is currently in its 16th season and has, to date, aired over 2,600 episodes. Tipping The Velvet TV Mini Series – 2002 Based on the novel by Sarah Waters, this three-part miniseries was broadcast by the BBC in 2002. It was adapted for TV by Andrew Davies and is set in 1890s London. It follows Nan Astley, an oyster girl from Whitestable, who falls for the charms of a male impersonator, and music hall star, Kitty Butler. Nan soon follows Kitty to London and the two embark on an intense love affair. After a shocking discovery Nan flees from Kitty and winds up on the streets. Working as a male prostitute, Nan carves out a place for herself in the unforgiving streets of the Victorian underworld. Heart wrenching, moving and hugely enlightening, this was important for highlighting the rich LGBT history that exists in most big cities. All you need to do, is lift the curtain slightly to find the gay underbelly of our past. Angels In America TV Mini Series – 2003 Based on the 1991 play by Tony Kushner, this all star adaptation follows the lives of three gay men and their friends and families in the 1980’s. Focusing on themes of religious bigotry, shame, and the AIDS epidemic, it beautifully weaves together the separate but interconnected tales of these men, and their life experiences, at the dawning of the AIDS crisis. The play itself was a Tony Award winning piece, and the TV series boasted stars as big as Meryl Streep and Al Pacino. A hugely important adaptation of an equally important play, it serves to remind us of how far we have come in our understanding of what it is to be gay, and how something as terrible as the AIDS epidemic served to bring entire communities of gay people together. The L-Word TV Series – 2004 – 2009 The L Word was everything to all of us young 20 something lesbians in the early 00’s. Up until that point there hadn’t been very much representation on TV for lesbians to look up to, or seek solace in. Most of the LGBT TV of the time had focused largely on gay men. The only representation we had, was either doomed to failure, or, was a side character to a larger, more important male counterpart. Then came The L-Word, an entire show made up of a cast of queer women. It followed the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends in LA. It ran for six seasons and never shied away from the tough topics. It dealt with miscarriage, sexual identity, trans issues, breast cancer, and even complicated gender identities. It was also lighthearted and fun with beloved characters from across the sphere of lesbian identity. It also featured every lesbians’ favourite lesbian power couple: Bette and Tina. From butch to femme, it had everything. It is also due to come back for a reboot in 2019, with original creator Ilene Chaiken back at the helm, and original cast members, Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey, already signed up. The show was hugely important for lesbian visibility in the media, and not just young lesbians, the show also featured women of all ages from their 20’s right up to women in their 70’s. Sugar Rush TV Series – 2006 – 2006 What The L-Word did for lesbians in their 20’s and 30’s, Sugar Rush did for the teenage, questioning lesbian. Based on the 2004 novel by Julie Birchill, the show follows teenager Kim. Living in Brighton, surrounded by gay culture, Kim is still having a hard time coming out, and coming to terms with the fact that she is in love with, or at least besotted by, her best friend Sugar. The show was hugely important for young, gay female visibility, and it broke new ground in terms of age representation in the media. It also did away with the idea that you have to be of a certain age to be sure of your sexuality and sexual orientation. Lip Service TV Series – 2010 – 2012 It was Scotland’s answer to The L-Word, and the answer to all of our little lesbian prayers, in the post ‘Bette and Tina’ haze that was the year after The L-Word ended. Lip Service was similar in theme to its American predecessor in that it followed the lives of a group of lesbian friends, in their late 20’s/ early 30’s, as they went about their day to day lives. It wasn’t so much groundbreaking as it was important. It was important that we still had representation after The L-Word finished, and it was important that it followed the lives of ordinary women. Gay women with ordinary problems and ordinary lives. It only lasted for two seasons however, but it is still nestled firmly in hearts of most of us 30 something lesbians, who miss that level of quality representation on our screens at the moment.           #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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One could say that life is the sum of all the things that happen to you. This means that the place you’re at right now is only temporary. Which is sad if you have never felt better, but reassuring if everything is falling apart. Let’s take your inner temperature and see how you’re doing right now. Barney – How I Met Your Mother Your life is legend-ain’t nobody got time to wait for it- dary! Congrats, you’ve made it. Just like Barney, you know yourself very well and you are able to maintain a high level of satisfaction within your social and professional interactions. Maybe you don’t have a guy-guy yet, but you’re on the right track baby. However, remember that nothing lasts, and the more you got, the more you can lose. Villanelle – Killing Eve You are having fun in your life, but something is off. Is it that you sometimes feel a bit lonely, or that your boss might be trying to kill you? Who knows. But even though it looks like everything is going good for you, you might want to dig deeper. Into someone’s stomach with a hairpin, for example. Chidi – The Good Place There are some moments that feel okay, but generally, this is hell. Can’t make any decision or trust anyone? That’s a bummer. How about you try meditation for a second? You might not believe in anything irrational except for your own fears, but listen to this: it’s not as bad as it seems. It could always become worse though, so be prepared. Walter White – Breaking Bad Ok, red alert, call 911 etc. Your life is a NIGHTMARE, dude. You can’t stop lying, you’re getting into some weird shit that doesn’t sound like you and could have disastrous consequences on everything you care for? Walter White would sympathize, if he wasn’t so busy trying to fix his own problems. Something that will make it better: you’re not the only one. Tons of people are miserable. Hurray. If you got Chidi or WW, we recommend that you stop seeing and texting people from the upper categories. If you need to watch people whose lives suck more than yours, there are some really horrifying documentaries on Netflix. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
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Music festivals are generally synonymous with warm sun, feel good tunes, and happy summer vibes. With the majority of the most famous European and UK festivals happening during the summer months, it would be easy to assume that the festival season ends in August. Thankfully, this is not the case. Here we take a look at some of the best winter festivals Europe has to offer, after all, what’s cooler than cool? Ice-cold. BERGFESTival – Austria BERGFESTival is a three day music festival in the Alps…in a dedicated festival village/ski resort! It is a rock and indie music festival, and is now in its fifth year. The event is set amid 200km of dazzling Austrian pistes. Set against this breathtaking backdrop, festival goers can enjoy freshly powdered ski slopes by day, and by night the party really gets going. The Warehouse Project – England The Warehouse Project is an iconic series of electronic and urban club nights spread throughout Manchester. It has the reputation for being on of the biggest events on the UK music calendar. Each year it brings some of the biggest names in house, techno, grime, garage and hip hop along with it. 2018 is to be the last time the festival takes place at the Store Street warehouse, where it has taken place for the last four years. Snowboxx – France Snowboxx is an EDM and winter sports festival located in the Avoriaz Ski Resort in France. This festival incorporates house, drum and bass, techno, grime, dubstep and plenty of other dance tunes to keep you bopping through the snow. Festival reveler’s can enjoy lots of winter sports here too, like skiing and snowboarding, but the fun doesn’t stop there, you can also participate in other fun activities, such as paint-balling, extreme snow ball fights and zorb bowling. You can even indulge yourself in some karaoke if you’re feeling particularly tuneful. Sneeuwbal Winter Festival – Netherlands Sneeuwbal is another dance music festival, this time in Utrecht. Held each year in Park Transwijk, the festival offers much more than just a great music line up. Each year the area transforms into a winter carnival with a toboggan run and an ice rink. They also have atmospheric fireplaces and cosy spots to warm your cockles if the cold gets a bit too much for you. Awakenings Eindhoven – Netherlands Another dance music offering from the Netherlands, Awakenings takes place in Eindhoven each year. It is housed in Klokgebouw, a renovated industrial building that has the capacity to hold up to 9,000 party goers. Awakenings is a staple of techno culture and any dance music enthusiast should try to make to at least one of these in their lifetime. Snowbombing – Austria Snowbombing is the largest winter festival on the snow. It has a varied and eclectic line up each year, and takes place on the slopes of the world renowned Mayrhofen ski resort in Austria. Along side the regular stages there are also a whole host of other fun and interesting things to see and do. Including an igloo rave, street parties and even an enchanted forest. This world leader in winter music festivals is a wonder to behold and goes on for an epic six days. Horizon Festival – Andorra Horizon Festival is held in the ski resort of Arinsal, Andorra. Taking place over the course of a full seven days, this lineup of many international DJ’s bring the party to a number of different venues throughout the resort. Incorporating mountain top stages, and secret forest raves, there is also a welcome acoustic chill-out area. There are even workshops available for up and coming, or novice DJ’s and producers, to learn a few tricks of the trade, or, hone their existing skills. The Winter Social – England The Winter Social is the winter version to the popular dance music festival. It is an indoor weekender, and its location varies year on year. It is one of the most prestigious events on this list and plays host to a number of the top DJ’s in the world each year. It takes place in March and signals the beginning of the festival season in the UK. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }