If season one of Hulu’s Harlots hooked us on the scandalous nature of 18th century London, season 2 turned us into ravenous addicts. The Mutineer and I watched season 2 in about two days, and they were the wildest two days of my life. I contemplated putting ten gifs of someone screaming to capture the essence of how I felt about the show, but I decided in the end to put my literature degree to use and give a thoughtful critique of the show’s social commentary, because, like I wrote last year, 18th century London is my jam. 

Today is my precious cinnamon roll Tom Hiddleston‘s 35th birthday! So naturally, instead of writing my recap of The 100, I’m here fangirling.

via Giphy
Little cheeseball. via Giphy

Tom has had a busy few years, and the list speaks for itself. In celebration of his birthday, monumental talent, and astonishingly perfect face, let’s take a look at what he has coming to screens near you.

For those of our readers interested in having a visit across the Pond, some of the most British things to do are to take a wander through one of London’s many beautiful parks or sit and have a chat with friends in a comfortable pub. So without any ado, here are a few of the Collected Mutineer’s and my favourite spots in jolly ole London town. -The Collectress

Gunnersbury Park

The Collectress and I discovered this park completely by accident while on an excursion to find lactose-free ice cream. (It’s a long story.) Although the trek ultimately proved meaningless, we liked this park so much that we returned a few times—we even took some pictures for Gishwhes there!

Gunnersbury, which is located just between Brentford and Acton (i.e. in Greater London), has a long and interesting history, which can still be glimpsed today. While several manors have been built on that land, the most famous was owned by Princess Amelia in the latter half of the 18th century. Although that house was eventually torn down, two new mansions took its place in the early 19th century. The larger of the two currently serves as the Gunnersbury Park Museum. The park also boasts a community garden, a children’s play area, an 18th century “temple” and a boathouse built in the Gothic style. -CM

Tom Hiddleston - British Actor - Thor - Warhorse
The Quarterly photoshoot by Martin Perry and Jamie Baker

It’s no secret that I love Tom Hiddleston. We’re obviously meant for each other.  I’ve been crushing on him since Return to Cranford (that’s right, I’m a pre-Thor Tom hipster), and I haven’t looked back since.

Tom has quite a few exciting projects coming up, including the long-awaited gothic romance Crimson Peak, the Hank Williams biopic I Saw The LightHigh Rise, and The Night Manager (co-starring Hugh Laurie). He will also begin filming for Kong: Skull Island soon, and I can’t say I’ve ever looked forward to anything starring a giant gorilla until now.

At any rate, no matter where he is filming, what he is promoting, or what premiere he is attending, Tom always finds a way to melt my heart or make me squee (usually both at the same time).

theory of everything posterWith the 2015 Oscars less than three weeks away, we here at the Collective blog have decided to review the eight films nominated in the Best Picture category. We (unknowingly) kicked this off with a review of The Imitation Game back in November, so it seems only fair to follow suit with its biggest competitor: The Theory of Everything (2014). 

Based on the book Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything tells the story of renowned theoretical physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his first wife (Felicity Jones). The film begins in 1963—about 21 years old, Stephen is a new Ph.D. candidate at Cambridge. He is energetic and spry, a student who is as active physically as he is mentally. We see him racing his bicycle to school, and later as part of the rowing team. It is almost painful to watch, knowing that soon all his bodily capabilities will be stolen from him.