Recommendations For Thinkers

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I love a good book, movie or tv show that makes me think. I love depth. Soap operas are not for me, thanks. Don't get me wrong, I love a popcorn flick too, and animation, action adventure, Gothic mystery... Although it seems, sometimes, that the thought provoking stuff is few and far between. So here I recommend entertainment for those who like to think. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments!

Tv

Westworld - Mind blowing. Seriously, the most well written, well acted, well made show I think I have ever seen. Based on the 80s film of the same name, written by Michael Crichton (who wrote Jurassic Park), Westworld is a futuristic theme park set in the American West, full of cowboys and gunshoots.

Instead of real actors, the characters in the park are sophisticated robots who are indecipherable from humans. They have an incredibly amazing AI and are available for visitors to do with as they wish. Murder, abuse, befriend or jump into bed with, it's up to you. Visitors decide to play either a goody (white hat) or baddie (black hat). You can live out your wildest fantasies, no matter how evil.

That is, until the hosts' AI evolves and they begin to fight back against the visitors and those who run the park. It's a show that has many intricate story lines, revelations you won't see coming, and a mix of both horrible and loveable characters, including some fantastically strong women. It's phenomenal, and makes you think about freewill, good & evil, social constructs and humanity itself. And the Shakespeare references are the icing on the cake. An absolute must watch.

(Contains graphic violence, nudity and sex. I usually avoid those things but in Westworld it's not gratuitous, nor is it done to titillate the viewer - it's done seriously and with intent).

The Mentalist - A cop show with a loveable lead and a sense of humour. Patrick Jane is an ex-psychic who conned grieving customers with his performances. Until his wife and daughter were murdered by a serial killer, RedJohn. Now Patrick works with the CBI to solve murders and hunt down RedJohn. He's a mentallist, good at working people with observation and insinuations. He's also cocky and a bit of a joker. The show is dramatic, touching and funny. It's impossible not to love Patrick, and the supporting characters lend variety. There's some strong female roles. With 7 series to watch, this one will keep you going.

Gotham - A prequel to the Batman stories, Gotham tells the backstories of the best villains: Penguin, The Riddler, The Joker and more. It also follows young Bruce Wayne through childhood, his relationships with Alfred and Catwoman, and his fellowship with Jim Gordon.

I'm not a comic book fan. I'm not into Batman. But I adore Gotham. It's visually brilliant, has fabulous acting (Robin Lord Taylor is fantastic as Penguin, and Cameron Monaghan is the best Joker there's ever been, even beating Heath Ledger imo), and twists and turns aplenty. It's an excellent insight into what makes a villain, and yet has a great sense of humour too. It's all inclusive with racial diversity and lgbt relationships. Give this one a go even if you aren't into comic books.

 Give this one a go even if you aren't into comic books

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