A kaleidoscope of entertainment: Movies and shows to watch this June

Jun 09, 2023
The must watch movies and shows for the month of June. Source: Getty

Something old, something new something borrowed and something blue. Not a wedding but a mix of what I’ve been watching and seeing this month.

Firefly Lane (Something new)

The final episodes of Firefly Lane are now streaming and so were my eyes by the end of my binge. Based on the book of the same name by Kristin Hannah, created by Maggie Friedman and starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke as the adult Tully and Kate, this series explores an unbreakable bond of female friendship from teens through to midlife, through good times and bad. Season 1 aired a few years ago then part 1 of season 2 and now finally the remainder.

For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, and resentment. Watch it from the beginning of season 1 to experience the full value. It’s 1974 when Kate and Tully first meet and they, and most of their experiences to date, are as different as possible.  

Kristen Hannah describes her book as, “for anyone who ever drank apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you…and heal you.”

While the series has varied in some surprising ways the ending stayed true to the book. There is a sequel book titled Fly Away but there are no plans at this time from Netflix to continue with a series 3. 

Thoroughly enjoyable, I watched it on Netflix.

Empire of Light (Something blue)

Once in a while, a movie comes along that seems to try to capture everything and whilst the potential and beauty are there, along with some fine performances, the attempt to fit in so much personal and political drama and intertwine leaves you feeling scattered. This was my response to Empire of Light. The movie was directed by Sam Mendes starring Olivia Coleman who gives a near-perfect performance.

Great cast and concept, beautiful scenes and cinematography- all the components are there but it didn’t really gel for me which is such a shame.  I couldn’t decide whether it was a movie about cinema, race relations, Thatcherism and inequality, workplace power relations or mental illness, seemingly it was about them all and there I think is the problem.  It’s still worth a watch and it has had a haunting ability to stay with me so maybe that is where its value lies?


Tina -The Tina Turner Musical (Something borrowed) 

If you are a fan of Tina Turner, you probably already know about the musical which recently opened in Sydney.  Direct from Broadway with a Best Musical Tony Award nomination along with another 35 award nominations the musical tells the story of an amazing life.  

 The Tina Turner Musical is currently on stage at the Theatre Royal Sydney and I went along with similarly aged folk for an impressive display of storytelling through songs, great music and a lead performer who I had to remind myself wasn’t the actual person she was playing!

Some real talent and energy on stage and the story covered her life well.  I did like that there is a note on the advertisement page to remind people that Tina Turner is not appearing and I am not entirely sure that all the audience saw it but by the curtain call encore all reality was suspended and we enjoyed Tina in live performance once again.

I was lucky enough to see the real Tina in concert a few decades ago when she played in Sydney and had read her biography around that time Ruva Ngwenya captures the character she plays so very well with her voice and movements well-studied she replicates her character’s ability to own the stage. Great sound, and a good story, produced in partnership with Tina Turner will have broad appeal but especially to her fans.  

Brides of Christ (Something old) 

Remember the ABC miniseries Brides of Christ from 1991?

I found it on Stan recently and it’s still quite a watchable glimpse into the past, the role of the church in family, politics and society and the social changes that occurred during the 1960s and 70s.

The Australian cast includes Naomi Watts as a schoolgirl and a then-unknown Russell Crowe who appears in an episode as a young man being conscripted and sent to Vietnam. It stars Josephine Byrnes and Lisa Hemsley alongside Sandy Gore (maybe the most luxurious female voice ever) and Brenda Fricker. When it aired on ABC TV it was the most viewed drama ever produced by ABC. Only six episodes and some really valuable viewing. 

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