Monday, 17 March 2014

Brit Babes Special Guest - Ashley Lister

Please join the Brit Babes in welcoming our very first guest, the wonderful Ashley Lister. Amongst many things Ashley is the author of 'How to Write Erotic Fiction and Sex Scenes' and also a great pal of ours. We were thrilled to spend time with him at Eroticon 2014 - attending his brilliant writing workshop and then chatting over dinner - and we're over the moon that he's agreed to stop by our blog for a chat. Take it away, Ashley…



Hi - My name is Ashley Lister and I’m here to ask for help with a problem. 

One of my students recently told me that, with my beard and bald head, I looked like Walter White from Breaking Bad. She’s going to do well. It won’t matter what drivel she submits for her end of term paper. She compared me to the greatest TV hero of all time and that’s enough to earn her a distinction in my book.

I mention this because I was discussing Breaking Bad with Lily Harlem at Eroticon in Bristol. The Brit Babes had been kind enough to invite me to join them for a meal after the first day of the conference. We went to a pizzeria and cider house on the banks of Bristol’s floating harbour. Because I always enjoy discussing narratives (an obsession with story is one of the banes of being a writer and someone who teaches writing) we’d ended up talking American TV shows. There are currently some great American TV series.

Earlier in the day Tabitha Rayne and I had been arguing about who was the sexiest character in the show. Tabitha said it was Gustavo Fring: something about his blend of menace and gentleness. I didn’t hear her rationale properly because I was shaking my head and telling her it was Walt.

But there’s a problem with Breaking Bad. It’s not the script or the acting. Those were first rate. It’s not the concept: cancer-diagnosed science teacher starts cooking crystal meth to help pay his hospital bills. That was a symbiotic blend of pathos and humour. It’s not even the warped values that it condones: such as the notion that it’s OK to use of flip phones. 

No. The problem with Breaking Bad is that it was too good. Every show I’ve tried to watch since has seemed dull in comparison. My appetite has now been spoilt.

I’ve developed my taste-buds for TV on a diet of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. I’ve gorged myself on Lost, Dexter and Deadwood. I tried the first season of Bates Motel and I found it innovative and compelling. I’m currently following Game of Thrones. It’s annoying that Game of Thrones isn’t remaining true to the storyline of the books, but I realise the relationship between page and screen can only go far. 

But I’ve always been a glutton for good storytelling and now I want more. 

So, if anyone reading this can recommend what I should watch next – something intelligent, exciting and able to help soothe the cravings of my Breaking Bad addiction – it would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks, Ashley, Breaking Bad is thought-provoking and addictive and we hope you'll come back and visit us again soon.

The Brit Babes x

19 comments:

  1. Ashley, first of all thank you for stopping by the Brit Babes blog! We are delighted to have you.

    I too devoured Breaking Bad, I loved almost everything about it. Have you tried Homeland? That was edgy with a plot I couldn't always predict.

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    1. Homeland? I shall give it a shot. Thank you for the suggesting.

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  2. Thanks for blogging for us Ash!! I have to confess, I have never seen Breaking Bad. I am chuckling at the fact that you have been compared to one of the characters- must tell my husband- as you look a lot like him as well!! Kay xx

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    1. Kay, as soon as you watch Breaking Bad you'll be rushing out to buy your husband the Walter White underpants :-)

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    2. Oh good grief- really??? Was going to watch I, but then saw one of the lead actors doing an interview- he was so arrogant he put me right off!! But if underpants are involved I may need to rethink... Kxx

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  3. So thrilled to have you here! And I've not seen Breaking Bad either, there's not enough hours in the day.

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    1. Victoria - it's one of those wonderful pieces of storytelling that works for writers. It's a dark idea and it just keeps getting darker and darker. You'd have a giggle with it.

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  4. There's always 'Thw Wire' but I presume that's already been mentioned... by everyone... forever.

    If you're ok with sci-fi Babylon 5 is pretty good (although it takes a season and a half to get going). I'd also recommend Neon Genesis Evangelion... because I'm mean like that.

    Sons of Anarchy showed potential (Hamlet on Motorbikes) but I was bored by the end of the first season.

    Also (I know this is controversail) but the second half of the first season of Marvel agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is actually getting pretty good (I can only presume the company stopped interferring and started letting Wheddon do what he does best).

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    1. One of my students recommended Bablyon 5 the other day. That's now moved up the list.

      Sons of Anchovy didn't move me. I watched the first episode and thought it was dullsville.

      However, agents of SHIELD does sound good. I'm a huge Whedon fan.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

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    2. Evangelion? Definitely mean! I was also going to suggest The Wire but was beaten to it.

      I loved the West Wing (obsessively), although am not a political animal in any way, and am English.

      People also keep telling me to watch House of Cards.

      Or you could just rewatch Firefly, now that's not so bad an idea...

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    3. I've heard good things about House of Cards but rewatching Firefly does sound like a brilliant idea. Maybe followed by another viewing of Serenity...

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  5. Ahhhh, I've gone all gooey over Mr Pollo - AKA Gus... he's so smooth!
    Thanks for this fab post Ashley and bringing it all back.
    Nothing compares. Nothing. Though Hannibal is showing promise?
    SHIELD - will give it a go!

    Or... you could write us a series Mister L?
    x x x :D

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  6. Gus was a wonderful character - menacing and gentle in equal measures. Hannibal didn't do a lot for me when I tried it a couple of months back.

    That said, I've always fancied writing a TV series. I've got a pilot episode for a comedy sitting on my hard drive that's full of vampires. I might get back to that when I've met a couple of the deadlines I'm currently cowering from.

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  7. I always find it amazing when someone loves something I didn't. It makes me ask myself *why* I didn't like it. I might be one of the very few who thought BB was boring. I didn't make it past the second episode. It didn't grab me at all! There were times when it was on while I read or wrote. I'd turn to see the TV, hoping it would grab me. Nope! And I still want to try it again to see if I can make myself like it. LOL.

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    1. Emmy - this is how I feel about football and Tolkien. Everyone keeps telling me that both these subjects are absorbing and wonderful and interesting and I just think it's a case of the emperor's new clothes.

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  8. I have to admit, Jesse was my favourite! <3

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    1. Thanks Samantha - I got this same comment from Mrs Lister. Every. Single. Episode. :-)

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  9. I really loved True Detective, it was really well made, I thought, And Matthew McConnaughey was a bit of a dream. I wish I'd got in on that conversation, I just adored BB. Obsessively!

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    1. It's a good job we didn't get started talking BB - we'd still be in Bristol arguing about best episodes.
      True Detective is now on my download list. Thank you.

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