21.1.14

4 Great TV Show Plot Twists (That Made Their Shows Suck)

Stand up and clap if you're excited about my brand new blog post.


Thank you, you may now sit back down.

Normally this is the part where I explain what prompted me to write this post, or what inspired it. Sometimes I share some news about my life (like how I have an interview with a school this Wednesday -- WISH ME LUCK!), or shamelessly promote my projects (BUY MY BOOK!). Not this time, however. This time I'll go straight to the point.

OK, since you insist, some background info first.

(Qué pesados.)

So, I've had this idea for a while, but my main problem has been that I have only had two shows that really matched it. About a month ago, I shared the idea with my sister, and she came up with entry #3. I was still shy of one entry, however. (I make a point of having at least four categories in list-based posts.) I read a few "Shocking TV Plot Twists!" articles from various entertainment websites and made a list of all the TV shows I've ever watched, trying to come up with a fourth entry... and then, just as I was about to fall asleep on the tube the other morning (it was 6 a.m.), it came to me and I started making notes. So you'd better enjoy this article, because it took a lot of effort. OK?

So, here we go. Spoilers ahead for Alias, Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Skins.




1. Alias - Sydney Takes Down SD-6

The Context: It's Season 2. Sydney has spent the past season and a half trying to take down SD-6, along with every other cell of the Alliance of Twelve, by working as a double agent for the CIA. She has also spent a formidable amount of time flirting with Michael Vaughn, her assigned handler.

(Do you blame her?)*

It feels like a never-ending fight, until Sydney comes across a set of documents revealing a server weakness that could mean that the CIA could invade all twelve SD cells and destroy the Alliance once and for all. After a bit of tech stuff nobody really understands but everyone finds cool, that is exactly what they do. And it is there, among the debris of what used to be SD-6, that Sydney and Michael kiss for the first time. No words. No explanations. Just a long, passionate kiss.

(Bitch.)

The Twist: But wait! Actually, the takedown was orchestrated by Arvin Sloane, the director of SD-6, who was fed up with being The Alliance's bitch and has decided to continue with his crazy Rambaldi mission on his own. So, basically, the rules of the game have changed, the bad guy has a new agenda, and Sydney has to figure out what it is and find him.

Oh, and did I mention that her best friend has been killed and replaced by a spy clone?

(Very few scenes from TV or films have haunted me as much as this one.)

Why it ruined the show: As mentioned above, taking down SD-6 was a game-changer. It was a bold and risky move that gave the show the opportunity to reinvent itself and keep things fresh. Also, Francie as a secret agent was a cool plot which didn't overstay its welcome.

BUT.

(Of course there's a "but".)

First of all, there was no format anymore. Sydney wasn't a double agent anymore; she was just an agent. Which would have been fine, if the writers had any idea what to do next. But you have this cool concept of this woman who works for the enemy while secretly liaising with the CIA, and you take it away to replace it with...

With?

Alias writers...? I'm waiting.

After SD-6's destruction, the focus of the show shifted from Sydney's double life to the Rambaldi prophecy, which became insanely boring as soon as season 3. It's no surprise that Season 5 is considered a relatively good season, considering that the writers tried to return to the basics with the introduction of characters such as what's-her-name (Rachel?),

(This one.)

who was basically Sydney in Season 1. But for the entirety of seasons 3 and 4, the show felt disjointed and aimless. And since season 5 was the final season, it barely managed to find its footing again before it had to wrap things up (with a horribly written finale, but that's a topic for another post).

And then there's the second thing...

With Francie dead and Will gone by season 3, Sydney wasn't even leading a double life anymore. There was no 'hiding' element, no family. Everyone she knew was either a spy or an agent or involved in espionage in one way or another. There were no more normal, everyday people in the show. Friendships and relationships between characters were benched in favour of complicated, illogical sci-fi artifact searches and prophecies. They did try to bring that element back with the introduction of Nadia, Sydney's half-sister, but it felt...awkward. Also, she was involved in espionage as well, so it was completely different. As implausible as it might have been for Sydney to work for SD-6, spy for the CIA and study full-time as well at the university, it was still better than 24-7 CIA stuff.


(At least the opening credits got progressively cooler.)

What pissed me off so much, however, was that this reinvention was not needed. At least not yet. Things were going well as they were, the show was nowhere near the point where everything starts to become predictable. Sure, The Alliance's destruction made the second half of the season twice as cool, but the creative well dried up quickly after that. Would I sacrifice the shock of witnessing that:


...for a little bit more of friendship and double-life stuff?

Actually, I wouldn't, because I've seen LOST and I know J.J. Abrams is just shite at maintaining quality throughout the run of his shows.

*Exclamation: That whole "Michael Vartan is a hottie" was a joke.

I much preferred Bradley Cooper.



2. Dexter - Trinity Kills Rita

For a more detailed report on why the Dexter finale was a pile of crap that the writers shot out of both ends after consuming a full bag of these Haribos, please check here.

The Context: For what must be the gazillionth time, Dexter has found a new best friend he will inevitably have to murder at the end of the season in Arthur Mitchell, a beyond-suspicion family man who is actually a serial killer, dubbed "Trinity".

(Who among us hasn't been in this awkward situation before?)

Trinity has earned his nickname through his M.O., which is to commit his murders in cycles of three, always following the same pattern: first slashing a young woman's wrists while holding her hostage, naked, in a bathtub filled with water until she bleeds out; then, forcing a second woman (always a mother of two) to jump off a rooftop to her death; and then bludgeoning a man with a hammer until his skull cracks.

(Uhm... Everyone's got issues, I guess...?)

So, we have reached the end of the season and, overcoming the few obstacles on his way, Dexter has finally captured Trinity, killed him, and is now on his way to enjoy his honeymoon or whatever with Rita, his lovely wife, and their three children. Just another happy Hollywood ending.

The Twist: Basically, this.




That's Rita, by the way, the aforementioned lovely wife, and their recently born son, who's sitting on the bathroom floor in a pool of his mother's blood and crying loudly.

Trinity got to Rita before Dexter got to him, and he gave her the victim #2-in-his-M.O. treatment.

Fade to black.

Why it ruined the show: I'll be honest: I've rewritten this section at least three times so far. There are too many things I want to mention, such as:

(1) Arthur Mitchell was a creepy, complicated and fascinating villain with a unique backstory and killing pattern that made him genuinely frightening, so the standards the writers set for themselves with his creation were so high that they were doomed to fail.

(2) The season 4 finale broke the show's pattern of wrapping up everything neatly at the end of each season, offering us a grim, haunting cliffhanger instead. Anything that followed would've been disappointing because, again, there were so many expectations.

(3) Rita was an amazing and popular character, so her loss was devastating, even though it was the result of a well-planned and well-executed plot twist.

All of these are true. Except the last one.

(Sorry, Julie. You know I love you.)

But, really, it all boils down to one thing: Dexter's writers were useless.

At least, they were useless when it came to following up on great ideas. I can think of three game-changers that took place throughout the run of the show, and one possible game-changer that was avoided in favour of a half-arsed and pathetic happy ending, and all but one flopped like cakes without flour.

The harsh reality is that Dexter's writers are just not cut out for the big format changes. Which is why Doakes was killed by Lila instead of Dexter, and why LaGuerta's death was followed by a tribute in the form of a bench. It's also why the only thing that changed after Rita died was that her annoying kids were shipped off to their grandparents' house.

(Not really complaining, mind you.)

We should've seen Dexter try to be a single dad (with a teenage daughter and a baby, no less) and a murderer at the same time, damn it. We should've seen someone question Trinity's family and connect the dots between Dexter and that Dexter-resembling Kyle Butler dude who suspiciously entered their lives recently and became pals with the psychopathic dad. We should've seen him go through a phase of solitude, or not killing anymore, or killing continuously and recklessly. Something should have changed. Something.

Instead everything was back to normal, except now Dexter was fucking a different blonde. And then another. (He has a type.) And then he became a lumberjack.

The only time a plot twist in Dexter was followed by a satisfactory depiction of the consequences was when Debra discovered that her brother was a serial killer, and even that, I'm sure, was at least 60% due to Jennifer Carpenter, a.k.a. the woman who should've won enough Emmys to build a giant wicker man and use it to burn Nicholas Cage.


(Can we get this woman her own show already?)

The only good thing I can think of about Dexter post-season 4 is that, at least, it's still better than the books.


Actually, I take that back.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Buffy Sacrifices Herself to Save Her Sister

The Context: Buffy's sister, Dawn, is The Key, a mystical element that can momentarily tear down the walls between all dimensions, allowing anyone to travel between them. She's also a very annoying teenager.

(Sorry, Michelle.)

The Key was turned into a human by the Order of Dagon, a monastic order who wanted to protect it from The Beast, a fabulous god from a hell dimension, banished to our world by her enemies. Glorificus -- shortened to Glory -- wants to use The Key to return home. Unfortunately, the only way for the gates to close once Dawn's blood has been used to open them is for Dawn to die.


So, there is Dawn, up on a tower built by crazy people. Glory has used her to open the gates and now all hell has broken loose, with all sorts of monsters coming through. Buffy has defeated Glory a few minutes too late, and she has arrived at the top of the tower to rescue her sister. Unfortunately, Dawn is doomed. Unless she dies, the walls will not come back up and the world as we know it will be consumed by hell-monsters.

(A win-win situation, if you ask me.)

The Twist: Buffy's blood can also shut the gates.

(Dean is confused.)

I'll quote the show itself, because I'm too lazy to explain:

Monk that Glory tortured: "We had to hide the Key... Gave it form. Molded it flesh. Made it human. And sent it to [Buffy]."

Buffy: "I love you. You're my sister. [...] Look, it's blood. It's Summers blood. It's just like mine."

Buffy again: "She's me. The monks made her out of me. I hold her... and I feel closer to her than... It's not just the memories they built. It's physical. Dawn... is a part of me."

(Yes, you are. You're a whiny, useless crybaby.)

Basically, since the monks made Dawn out of Buffy, the gates between the dimensions could be tricked into thinking that Buffy was the Key, so Buffy's blood could shut them as well. When Buffy figured this out, she made the ultimate sacrifice and jumped into the spot where all the gates had opened in order to close them, saving the world and killing herself in the process.

It was sad.

(Incredibly sad.)

THE END.

Why it ruined the show: Because it should have been THE END.

Despite its shortcomings, The Gift (i.e. the episode when Buffy dies) was a perfectly fitting series finale. Buffy had spent five seasons fighting against villains that got increasingly stronger and more difficult to win against, starting from simple vampires and demons and going all the way up to government experiments and hell gods. Her inevitable death had always been a shadow following her around; as a slayer, she was doomed to a short life. Would she be killed by a vampire in a weak moment? By a demon who would manage to trick her? How would she die, and when? Buffy had always had this thought in the back of her head, throughout the show. Dying on her own terms, to save her sister's life, was the best way to go. Also, it concluded the show in a beautifully tragic way: the world would live on; Buffy's friends and her sister would continue their lives, slowly coming to terms with her passing; a new slayer would arrive in town to replace her and fight against the forces of evil, which would always be around. But Buffy herself? She would be finished. She would have done her duty, and died a hero.

(Many, many tears. Seriously.)

I have to hand it to the writers. Their attempt to make Buffy's resurrection have some sort of lasting effect was admirable. They failed spectacularly, of course, but it was a good attempt. There were all sorts of problems, however.

(a) Since Buffy was depressed about being alive again (she had been in heaven, apparently), the whole show became depressing.

(b) Dawn, no longer being the Key, served absolutely no purpose anymore and became even more useless and irritating than she already was.

(c) In their attempt to make season 6 about the hardships of adulthood, the writers made every single other main character unlikable: Willow became a mind-raping junkie, Xander became an even bigger self-centered arsehole than he already was, and Spike... well, Spike became the new focus of the show (since he was a fan favourite), which made him unbearable.

As for the new Big Bad? It was these guys:


That's right. After fighting against a freaking Hell God, Buffy's new enemy was a bunch of dorks.

I'll be fair: Season 6 was not horrible. Not completely, anyway. But there was a massive decline in quality that tainted the entire show. Some episodes were good, but they were few and far in between. Then season 7 and the Potentials came along and everything went to Quor'toth.

(Sorry, Felicia. I still love you in everything else.)

So, yeah, I wish Buffy had ended with Buffy's death.

And now, on to our final entry...

4. Skins - Everyone Graduates, Effy is Now the Main Character

The Context: Skins was, and I quote Wikipedia, a "British teen drama that follow[ed] the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol [...], through the two years of sixth form." (Sixth form is the final stage of school in the UK, for those of you who don't know.) "Its controversial storylines [...] explored issues such as dysfunctional families, mental illness (such as eating disorders), adolescent sexuality, substance abuse, death and bullying."

Basically, it was an awesome show that featured an excellent cast, if you exclude this guy,



and which included some of the most intriguing teenage characters in the history of TV, anywhere, ever. The first two seasons, following the lives of Tony and his gang, were an absolute delight to watch. But, of course, by the end of season 2, the much-feared potential jump-the-shark moment was just around the corner: Graduation Day.

The Twist: "OK," the writers said. "We clearly can't keep these characters all together in the same town after graduation without sacrificing every bit of credibility that the show has. What can we do?"

"Oh, look, a shiny red button!"


So they decided to reset the show, let the characters graduate and move on, and introduce a new set of characters, with Tony's sister, Effy, whom we already knew, as the new main character.


It was a brilliant idea.

Why it ruined the show: Erm... How do I put this lightly?

THE NEW CHARACTERS SUCKED.

And not in the "they were not as good as the original generation" sense. They sucked in the "Charmed and Glee had more consistent character development" sense. In the "they were less likable than Made in Chelsea actors" sense. In the "I'd rather shower my eyes with bleach and take a bath in a volcano than be forced to watch seasons 3 and beyond again" sense.

Every. Single. One of them. SUCKED.

(Especially this guy. And I'm not sorry, Luke.)

The storylines sucked, too. What used to be fascinating and controversial turned into contrived, nonsensical ideas purely executed for their shock value. And the relationships between the characters? They felt completely natural and real in Generation 1; in Generation 2 it was like all of them were N'Sync in the Bye Bye Bye video, with a mentally challenged person in charge of the strings.

Nothing, and I mean nothing was the way it was anymore. As soon as the first group of characters departed, it was absolute chaos. Even Effy, who used to be an intriguing, silent figure in Tony's life during seasons 1-2, was completely destroyed by season 3, devolving into a manic depressive, manipulative bitch.

(Sorry, Kaya.)

I'm not even sure what went wrong exactly, to be honest. Did the writers change? Did they collectively suffer from a blow to the head that robbed them of their creativity? Did they make a deal with the Devil to write an awesome show and it expired after two years? I don't know. All I know is that, by all means, the reset should have worked. It didn't.

The good thing is that the first generation remained a self-contained story, so even if the show jumped the shark so much that it had a million little shark babies, that story was not tainted.

Except for Cassie's movie in season 7, but we shall not speak of that abomination here. This is a happy blog with happy posts and things that can lead to massive suicides or murder sprees are not allowed.

(I mean it. Don't make me talk about the movie.)

So, there you have it. Four great plot twists, four ruined shows.

Oh, did I mention I published a book that you really really need to buy?

17.12.13

Why Living in London Sucks

So, a funny thing happened the other day. I got an e-mail from Blogger, asking me to approve a comment for a post I wrote more than a year ago. It was from a person I didn't know, and it wasn't spam. I won't lie, I swelled with pride for a second. Then I berated myself for not keeping up with the blog, and then I decided that it was time for a new post.

The thing is, I don't have much to complain about these days. Life is pretty good. I'm constantly tired and in the middle of things, but London hasn't been treating me as horribly as when I first moved here.

So, why a "Living in London Sucks" post?

First of all, it's because of a certain person in my life whose favourite pastime is to complain about London. If nothing else, this post will make him so happy that I expect to be showered with gifts.

(...for the gifts.)

Secondly, I think I've reached that certain point where I can take a step back and see things clearly. When I first arrived here, I had this image in my head of what life in London would be like, and it looked a bit like this:




In my head, London had everything I ever needed. Here I would find the career that would make me rich (straight away), the meaningful relationship I was in search of (straight away), the life that I desperately wanted to lead, complete with the pet, the house, the free time and the parties, the travelling, the success, etc. (straight away).

If I had the opportunity to go back in time now and talk to my 2011 self about his expectations, this is all that I would say:


Maybe I would follow that up with a bitch-slap, just for good measure.

To be clear: I don't hate London. It's a beautiful city, and the past three years have been, despite the bad moments, pretty much great. But, like everything else in the world, London has its downsides. And that's what I want to talk about. Not just for me, but also for the hordes of foreigners who arrive in London every day, expecting to find everything their countries couldn't offer them, handed on a silver plate. So, this is for you, my (mostly Spanish, Italian and Greek) friends. Here are five things about living in London that totally suck.

1. It will change the way you view yourself and everyone else.

I've lived in London for two years now. In these two years, I have witnessed drunk girls stumbling on wet pavements, looking for the high heels they lost somewhere along the way. I have seen guys in tight briefs and red hats in the middle of December, running through central streets for charity. I have met a woman dressed and made up like the Joker on King's Road, and a teenage girl dressed like a Japanese anime character in Canning Town. I have taken the same train as guys in bunny onesies, guys in just their boxer briefs and sneakers, girls bawling their eyes out, Amish families, and well-dressed crazy Christians who spent twenty minutes shouting in the wagon that we are all going to hell.

And I haven't blinked twice in any of those occasions.

(Especially in this one.)*

On one hand, it's sort of exciting to be that free. You realise that you can do anything, and no one will care. An acquaintance of mine once peed against a newsstand in Oxford Street in the middle of a crowd, and no one even noticed. Or if they noticed, they didn't care. (For the sake of accuracy, I'll concede that it was midnight, but Oxford Street was still full of people -- and not all of them were drunk.)

On the other hand, however, it's also kind of sad, because the reason you don't notice these things is exactly because you don't care. After a few months in London, you become a bit jaded -- a bit older on the inside. Big city life makes you grumpy. Sure, the first few times you'll react when you see someone sporting pyjamas in the tube... but after a while, your automatic response will become: "So what?"


This desensitisation, of course, wouldn't be a problem if it didn't manifest in other ways as well. The 8.000.000 other people around you become faceless entities. You become rude to them because you don't think of them as people. You mutter insults when someone blocks you on the pavement by walking slowly in front of you. You chat on your mobile phone loudly on the bus at 7 a.m., not giving a damn about your fellow passengers. You pretend to be focused on the book you're reading when a pregnant woman enters the train after you've finally secured a seat.

London can make you quite cynical, and it's hard to shake this attitude off.

Why do you think I started this blog about two months after I moved here?

(I started this blog to have a platform to shamelessly promote my books? WHO? ME?)

2. You will spend your life on trains and buses.

For more detailed information on why London Underground sucks, please refer to this post.

Since part one was mostly depressing, here's a funny story for you: I have a friend in Athens, let's call her Valerie. Valerie lives on the same train line as my parents (Athens only has three lines, so it's not that big an achievement), but she lives on the opposite end of it. If I were to take the train from my house to her area, it would take me about 40-45 minutes -- which is why, when she asks me if I can go all the way there instead of meeting her somewhere in the middle, my usual response is this:

(I'm using another Hunter Parrish gif because of our striking resemblance.)

If I do have to go all the way to her area up in Marousi, I complain about it, I scoff and stomp my foot like a petulant child, and I make sure to take a novel with me and charge my phone so that I have something to do for the journey.

Now take a wild guess as to how long it takes me to get to work in London.

(Drumroll...)

Yep. 40-45 minutes.

The sort of distance that makes me scoff and complain in Athens is absolutely normal for London. Of course, it makes sense: Athens might be a big city, but it cannot be compared to London, whose population is 3 millions less than the population of Greece. Switching train lines twice in Athens is inconceivable -- I'd rather pay money for a taxi than get stuck waiting for the Blue Line, and then the Red Line, and then the Green Line, etc. In London, I take the Piccadilly, Victoria and District Lines every day that I have to go to work, and instead of being upset, I'm thankful I don't need to take a bus on top of that. I currently volunteer at a school in Middlesex twice a week, and it takes me a mighty 80-85 minutes to get there. And I don't think twice about it.

A friend of mine who used to live in London once calculated how much time she had spent on the tube in one year. I don't remember exactly how much it was, but it was close to two weeks, I think.

Two weeks of her life. In the tube.

And that's normal here.

("Are we in Arnos Grove yet?")

3. You will eat horrible food most of the time.


OK, so this is a bit presumptuous. Living in London doesn't necessarily mean you'll eat horrible food all the time... but it sure as hell isn't easy to have healthy food all the time, either.

First of all, vegetables are so expensive here you'd think they layer them with gold before they put them on the shelves.

Just to explain the point I'm making, here's where you would normally buy fruit and vegetables in Athens:


This is a market. There's one in every single area in Athens, and it's set up on a specific day once a week. For example, where my parents live, there is a street where every Tuesday dozens of stands like the ones in the picture spring up and local residents show up with trolleys to buy the fruit and vegetables they need for the week. But if you forget something, you don't have to fret! You can just pop into the nearest grocery store and you're sure to find your fennel, your tomatoes or your spinach leaves, coming directly from the countryside and the islands.

Now imagine this happening in London. Imagine if large markets like this sprung up once a week in Marble Arch, in Liverpool Street, in Piccadilly Circus, in Leicester Square... We're not talking here and there -- we're talking every. single. area. This is how these people in Athens make their living: they move their stands to different areas, Monday to Friday.

Meanwhile, in London, you have this:

(Mmmm... Yummy.)

It's not London's fault, of course. Like it or not, England's not the best place to grow plants. And as I said, it's not impossible to eat healthily in London. You can find markets like the ones in Athens in some places... You just have to know where to find them, and show up with a stuffed wallet. Eating healthily in London is feasible, but it requires twice the money, twice the effort and twice the time, compared to other cities. But the problem is, you don't have all that. Even if have the money, you probably still won't have the time.

And that brings us to...

4. You won't have time for all the fun things you could be doing.


"Come on, Noel!" I hear you say. "This isn't a London thing, it's an adult life thing!" And you're right. You're absolutely right. Life as an adult consists of work, obligations and some more work, accompanied by some more obligations. Of course, you will go out whenever you can, and you will relax at home whenever you can, and life won't be all about working, but you will spend a respectable amount of your day doing just that: working.

The difference with London is a combination of points #1 and #2.

First of all, if you add the time it takes you to get to work and back home after, you spend a good ten hours away from home, at least. (The certain person in my life I mentioned above, for example, takes 90 minutes to get to work and another 90 to come back -- on a good day.)

Secondly, unless you live in central London or plan to go out there every single night, you can forget about having dinner and grabbing a coffee or a pint after 9 p.m. I live in zone 3, which is not the most central area in London, but it's not considered Greater London either. The closest places to go shopping or drinking are in Wood Green (which is a fucking horrible place) and Muswell Hill. Coffee shops in Muswell Hill close at 7 p.m. Restaurants are empty by 8 p.m. There's only one pub, and it shuts down at 12. While in Athens I could be chatting with a group of friends and having rakomela in a Cretan taverna in Exarchia at 1 a.m. on a Monday night, in London I'd probably be having my third dream by then already.

Let me break it down for you:


My goodness, doesn't that sound like...


Of course, I'm not saying it's impossible to have fun in London -- quite the contrary, there are plenty of things to do every single day, and plenty of places to discover. There are, however, four recurring problems:

(a) Most of your friends will be so busy and/or live so far from you, you will have to make plans far in advance in order to meet.

(b) Everything is fucking expensive.

(c) Most places close way too early.

(d) This is what it looks like at 4 p.m. in the winter in London:


(Coincidentally, this is also the image used in the back cover of my recently published book, Fright Radio!)


And on this very happy note, let's finish you off with:

5. You will learn the true meaning of the word 'goodbye'.


And I mean this. You will say goodbye. A lot.

(And you will cry.)

You see, London is a Metropolitan city and, while this is great because you get to meet all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds and with all sorts of cultures, it also sucks because there's a constant influx and exodus of immigrants. People come to London to study; they come to learn or improve their English; they come to get a job for a few months and gain some experience. They stay here for a few months or years, and then they move on to new pastures or return to their homeland.

(No, not this one.)

Chances are, you will meet those people. You will like those people, then you will love them, and then they will go away.

In the past two years, I've had to say goodbye to more than ten people who left London for good. And it sucked every single time.

Of course, chances are you will be one of those people. But you'll still have to say goodbyes, so the point still stands.

Oh, and before I forget...

6. Yes, the weather sucks!




And what's more, London really doesn't know how to cope with it. (Just wait for your first "severe delays" announcements on the tube. Then you'll experience the fun.)


Just to be clear: as I said before, I don't hate London. I understand that many of these problems are not exclusive to it, and no city is absolutely perfect. But you need to know these things before you embark on a journey towards a brand new life here. You need to know that while London does have a lot of things to offer, it has many downsides as well. These are just some of them, and they are the ones that have annoyed me the most in the past two years.

So, here you have it.

I promise my next post will be funnier than this one. Here's a picture of a penguin to compensate:



*Credits to Giorgia Marchesiani for the picture.