The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Media

The Golden Globes digested: your catch-up viewing

9 Jan 2017

Hollywood’s awards season kicked off last night with the Golden Globes, celebrating the best in TV and movies. I don’t know about you but when I scan the lists of nominees and winners for these things (after I’ve gawped at the red carpet frocks), I make a mental list of cultural catch-up viewing. Too much brilliant stuff to watch, not enough time, so I’ve made it easy for us all – here are my top Golden Globes picks and where to find them.

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FIRST LOOK: The John Lewis Christmas ad!

10 Nov 2016

It’s easy to feel manipulated with the glut of carefully packaged Christmas TV ads that come our way through November and December, and lordy knows my own cynical gene is horrifically overdeveloped. But hats off to John Lewis, early deliverers of the Christmas message of ‘gifts for everyone’ – the company has delivered a clever, lighthearted TV campaign that I’ve already watched twice with a smile on my face.

Yes it has the inevitable hashtags ready and waiting to exploit any social media buzz, and I don’t doubt or a second that John Lewis has its range of cuddly toy boxer dogs, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and rabbits primed and ready to roll nationwide.

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Watch this: Spike Jonze’s ground-breaking Kenzo ad

1 Sep 2016

Do you have a spare three minutes? Well, you might want to make the time to see this. It’s a perfume advert from Japanese brand Kenzo, but it’s seriously unlike any you’ve seen before – about as polar opposite to the breathy, randy escapism that we’re so often expected to put up with – a delirious Natalie Portman, high on Chanel, getting jiggy in that helicopter; a pouting Charlize Theron ascending a Dior silk rope wrapped erotically around those leggy legs.

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A brilliant piece of advice

16 Aug 2016


There are two things that get me by on Muddy – coffee and Spotify, both on drip feed all day. Up popped Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen on Spotify a few minutes ago it was just so fab everyone in the office stopped and listened, nodded sagely and decided to change their lives, so this is it. Sorry everyone, I’m quitting blogging to follow my dream and become a fire eater in Phuket.

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WATCH THIS: A cool sanitary pad advert (*thud*)

11 Aug 2016

It’s not often I’m compelled to write about sanitary pads, but let it not be said that your intrepid correspondent won’t try anything once –  just ask Mr Muddy (JOKE!). Anway, here people, is the first ever decent sanitary pad advert. No laughing women in floaty white dresses clinking glasses with impossibly smug amours. No close ups of purple liquid being poured onto pristine pads of joy.

The ad, for Bodyform, is called Blood and taps into the same can-do girl-powery vibe as This Girl Can.

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WATCH THIS: The best Olympics ad EVER

18 Jul 2016

With Wimbledon and Euros out the way and bad news all the way on TV at the mo, I’m starting to itch for the feelgood of the Olympics, all those tales of sacrifice, the sobs on the podium, that wonderful feeling of being British and proud of it, that feeling from London if we can replicate it  of ‘oh-my-god-we’re-actually-winning!’

There will no doubt be gazillions of Olympics ads coming through in the next few weeks but you will absolutely, definitely, categorically want to see this one, made to advertise the UK Paralympians but massively uplifting and challenging to anyone whose perceptions of disabled people in general are stuck in the Seventies.

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What Girls Really Really Want

11 Jul 2016

I’m a bit slow off the mark with this – hats off to Lou, editor of Muddy Cornwall who spotted it waaaaay before me (*sniff*) – but if you haven’t already seen it, it’s definitely worth a gander.

It’s a vid featuring global female artists (none of whom I recognise but there you go,  that’s middle age for you) taking The Spice Girls’ Wannabee and grabbing the hashtag #WhatIReallyReallyWant by the scruff of its neck and flinging into the future.

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WATCH THIS: Hilarious vid of Euro 2016!

13 Jun 2016

When a video makes me weep with laughter, I figure it’s worth sharing.

This classic from comedian Aldrig Kede Sig reached Mr Muddy’s Facebook feed last night, made it across the sofa to me, and I’m still finding it funny today. It features DJ David Guetta at the opening ceremony of the Euros 2016 and is incredibly silly and puerile – just the way I like it!

Finding it hard to embed this vid for some reason so we’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way with this link.

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Get your daughters to watch this

3 Jun 2016

When I was nine years old I thought I was a boy. I wore swimming trunks on holiday, had short hair, was of course flat as a board on my chest, and thought absolutely nothing about mucking in with my brother’s friends. I can truthfully say that I didn’t think twice about my body, or how I looked until I was about 12, and my tennis coach mentioned one day that I’d ‘stretched out’.

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The Ab-Fab trailer – it’s actually funny!

30 Apr 2016

I’d heard that Ab Fab the movie was awash with star cameos and immediately pictured horrifically self-referencing fashion types who were in it to validate their lives. Well, admittedly there are some of those, but who cares? Because unlike the fun vacuum of Pret a Porter or more recently Zoolander 2, Ab Fab looks very, very funny. And – here, dip your finger deep into the icing –  Jon Hamm is in it too.

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