The watch list – Ray Donovan

What’s it all about then, who is this Ray Donovan character, and why should You be spending your valuable time watching season 1 of this show?

Well as per usual lets go to IMDB for the plot :

Ray Donovan, a professional “fixer” for the rich and famous in LA, can make anyone’s problems disappear except those created by his own family. — IMDb Plot: Ray Donovan (2013)

Now I have to be totally honest with you, I was extremely reluctant to watch this series. I wasn’t so much a fan of Liev Schreiber who plays the fixer Ray Donovan, well up until I saw the first couple of episodes and I was hooked.

The story itself revolves around Ray Donovan a fixer who can almost fix and resolve problems for the rich, famous and often undeserving. From the outset Ray comes across as a strong, very put together, smart and calculating protagonist. But the more you watch the more you realise he’s not as put together as he seems. The story itself sets a dark tone from the beginning, even if it is based in the land of milk and honey, the glittering and luxurious surroundings of Los Angeles there is an underlying tone of darkness and filth

Ray Donovan centres around control and manipulation, the reins of control firmly in Rays hands, well up until his father mickey played by Jon Voight gets early release from prison.

As well as being a fixer, Ray is a father, husband and brother. We have the usual medley of problems that tag along with some of these relationships the school problems, teen angst and marriage issues.

The main focus is upon Rays relationship with his brothers, Terry a former boxer dealing with his injuries from being in the ring and Bunchy a disturbed individual suffering from addiction and sexual abuse

And it is this abuse that haunts this band of brothers, a past shared by all three being revealed as the show progresses. this past sprouting further problems that Ray tries to control.

These problems seem to amplify when their estranged father Mickey makes a
Surprise visit, causing a bit of a power battle between Ray and Mickey. The arrival of mickey unlocking a wave of bad memories and a horrible past

In essence the show can be categorised as a thrilling drama, a brilliant cast with some outstanding performances.

So is this worth a watch ? It is indeed, with a whole of stars, twists and drama I’d recommend this to most people who want to see the sleazy side of fame and fortune in LA.

Pros: good story, great cast with some good well rounded performances

Cons: some characters could have been developed a little more

9 out of 10

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The watch list – Ray Donovan

Parents Evening… And Strops

So it’s nearly half term, the mentalist I’d say has pretty much settled into the school routine. Saying that her crankiness levels seem to be hitting new highs, there are a lot of tears and sulking if she doesn’t get her own way. This tends to include the whole falling to her knees and screaming ‘daddddyyyy’! To which I calmly respond with ‘yes dear’ again to which she replies with ‘stop calling me ‘thaaaaa *sob* aaaaaaat!!’

But i think that’s more down to her being tired after a long day at school. I have noticed a few changes in her though, not anything too drastic but she tends to show off her little achievements. Like things she’s drawn or created ( which usually consists of random pieces of paper stuck onto another piece of coloured A4 paper), I often try to instigate conversation with her in order to find out what she did at school on that particular day or ask what she’s eaten. To which 90% of the time I get a smile and a shrug of the shoulders to which I incredulously reply ‘what?! You didn’t eat today?’ To which she giggles and tries to recall what she’s had and what she’s done , which usually results in her stopping mid sentence and running off.

So, the first term of school is over and it’s that time of the year where they call the parents in and give you a view of how your child is doing …. Yes the evening catered to parents, the eve of parents, most of you will also know this eve as the parents evening (*queue dramatic music*). So I stroll in, pleasantly greeted at the door by various teachers, the odd tables littered with drinks and biscuits that people are wary to touch. I tend to go straight for these tables as during most evenings that’s probably the first time I get to eat anything, besides I tend to get there quite early. So after I’ve helped myself to some biscuits and cordial. I look at the time and it’s time to see the teacher, this is aspect of the eve I think is where the nerves start kicking in. Will I get a glowing report? Or will i get the whole, your child is probably one of the most disruptive pupils I have ever encountered in my 39 years in teaching, and let me tell you Mr Jacobs I’ve seen it all!

I sit across from the teacher with bated breath, she smiles and puts me at ease. To my surprise it’s not such a bad evaluation, most of the things she tells me I’m well aware of. Things like her attention span, I know she has a short one and i get told about her addiction to playdoh (which again I am we’ll aware of). Other than that, I get told shes very well behaved and a pleasant member of the class. Which I do hope she is, I do try and instill a sense of being polite and respectful. So I’m glad she’s taken most of it on board.

Coming away from the evening, I do think to myself. Should I be reading so much into this? She’s only 4, she’s still growing, maturing, still trying to understand the big bad world. Personally as important as her development is, I personally feel being the age she is. It’s still a little too early to be worried about things like a short attention span and things. She’s happy, healthy, looks forward to going school, learning and embracing new things.

What more can a proud father ask for?

This is Mr J signing out


Parents Evening… And Strops

Men at work ? Or are they working you?

Lately I’ve been neglecting a few things, things like writing, the gym, having a nosy at other people’s blogs. It seems the DIY aspect of my life has taken over lately, hence the recent lack of tweets or blogs, only after three years I’ve finally managed to have my drive finished. Saying that, I still haven’t finished my landscaping..

So what’s taken me so long? Why have I taken my time ? Why has it taken me three years?

Well there’s the financial aspect of it all, saying that though I did initially budget for it during the initial planning stages. The main reason it’s taken me so long is the lack of skilled workers, or reliable workers should I say. I feel like I’ve gone through so many workers, builders and landscapers that there are none left, well that and it’s diminished my trust in any workmen. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been a handful that have been absolutely brilliant, they’ve met and exceeded my expectations, done what they said they will! Which in turn is a big thing.

At the moment in time I do feel like I’ve gone through every possible scenario. Which in turn causes a variety of stressful situations to arise, foll

What do my experiences involve? Here’s a small list …
– Hiring and firing workmen that falsified references
– Workers who have been hired one day and disappeared the next in order to earn a bigger wage packet
– shoddy workmanship, work that has been carried out and ripped out again in order to start from scratch

The list carries on in much the same vain, so how do you avoid such pitfalls, perils and disappointment? I’m not going to preach or tell you what to do, consider this list a starting point to what hopes to be a blissful and smooth endeavour into the forays of DIY and workmen

– set a budget, stick to it as much as you can. Allowing for a certain percentage of exceeding the spend limit
– when hiring, as well as having and viewing their references. Go visit a previous job they have completed, if you can, talk to the previous client. And have a look at the workmanship (something I wish I would have done early on in my DIY endeavours )
– write a list of things to be completed, and have the work men/builder sign it
– do your research depending what your job is, a quick google will more or less tell you what will be involved in carrying out your job. So when shopping for quotes just ask your work man/builder the question … So what is it exactly you will do, talk me through it? The answer you receive will give you a better idea of whether they know what they are doing and whether they will do it correctly
– When the job starts, be on hand to watch over the various aspects of the job to ensure they will do what they said they would
– Create a payment schedule, don’t hand over everything at once. Give a small percentage of the payment as and when you reach a milestone
– And most importantly ensure you have some sort of guarantee in place

I think that about covers most of it, please feel free to add anymore suggestions in the comment section below.

This is Mr J signing out


Men at work ? Or are they working you?