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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Malcolm McDowell to appear on Community and other stories

Malcolm McDowell to appear on Community and other stories

There’s more news about Community, there’s more news about Community! Following Dan Harmon’s exit from this kickass show, we have actively tried to repress our fear of what Season 4 will bring. But with October 19th looming pretty close, it’s time to scan the interwebs and look, Malcolm McDowell is coming in for two episodes as a history professor, Cornwallis.  If the previous proffessors are anything to go by (Michael K Williams aka Omar), this might just turn out to be community-level of epic. And lest you’ve forgotten how awesome the actors are, here’s a video of all of Alison Brie’s raps.

We love Jennifer Garner for Juno, Ty Burrell for Modern Family and Olivia Wilde for House MD. And as if to make our dreams come true, they are coming together along with some butter for a new movie. Called Butter. Yup. With so many of our favorite things in one movie, we can’t wait for this movie about butter sculpting and the trailer is absolutely kooky.

This month, with Curiosity sending us pictures of Mars and Neil Armstrong’s death had us thinking of what marvelous space exploration will see in our lifetime. Not being great fans of space technology (or even fiction of that kind), to me, it is amazing in the most basic stupid way, like it would be to a child. We sent real human beings on the moon. The moon. A satellite with no gravity that we can see from Earth. Men have been there. The thought puts so many things in perspective. As Armstrong said, “I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” As a bonus, here’s NBC News declaring ‘Neil Young’ the first man on the moon, dead. RIP Neil Armstrong. And of course, tributes are also in order for AK Hangal, the man who gave us ‘itna sannata kyun hai bhai’ and the ‘he’s still alive?’ jokes. RIP.

If like us you’ve been excited (read jumping up and down like a bunny on crack) about Season 4 of Arrested Development, you must have already seen the pictures from the set and have already started re-watching Season 1 like a true fan.  And you’ve also probably seen these 53 Arrested Development jokes you probably missed, but we are going to share it anyway. Talk about an eye for detail.

– Sharanya

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Why you should watch Bunheads

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Why you should watch Bunheads

Bunheads, a show on ABC Family had its season 1 finale this week and if you haven’t watched it yet, you definitely should. Michelle Simms, a Las Vegas showgirl finally gives in and marries Hubbell, a somewhat boring man, madly in love with her. She moves to his sleepy town called Paradise and starts off sparring with his mother, Fanny who he lives with. As a testament to her terrible luck, Hubbell dies in an accident and Michelle is left to adapt to a whole new life with Fanny, who runs a dance studio and the residents of Paradise.

Come for the dance performances, stay for the writing. Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino of Gilmore Girls, Bunheads has all the charm and humour of the GG. With long-winded dialogues full of pop culture references (including an episode called No one takes the Khaleesi’s dragons), this show is an example of absolutely perfect casting. Broadway star, Sutton Foster plays the unbelievably clumsy and cute Michelle and Kelly Bishop plays the sarcastic Fanny. The incredible chemistry and banter between the two is enough to keep the show running.


When Michelle starts taking dance lessons along with Fanny and becoming friends with the ballet students, all who battle teenage problems (boys, body issues, parental issues) reminiscent of Rory from Gilmore Girls, the show tackles teenage angst with a level of understated brilliance and a sense of humour.

The season finale has a performance of nutcracker that is by far the most ridiculously funny performance I’ve ever seen (a close second is the plastic vs paper performance). Bunheads has a great poise and I love that it isn’t overtly emotional. The characters are still layered but don’t give in to being annoying weepy people but still manage to make me feel for them.

With a season of just 10 episodes, I say, take the weekend off and catch up on Bunheads, you won’t regret it. And tell me if you don’t fall in love with Sutton Foster.

Movie-ception

Movie-ception

How great is the show within a show format? I know you think I’m going to start another I love Studio 60 post, but this time it’s something else. It’s an awestruck love letter to Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the rain. I skedaddled from Bombay this weekend and the moment I touched the green, green grass of home (don’t groan. I’m engineered to reference country western music. I was raised on it) I knew I owed myself a great classic favourite. I chose Singing in the rain and within minutes I was lost in the slapstick comedy, the singing, the tap dances and the genius of Donald O’Connor. I also found myself enthralled by the lengthy musical number from The dueling cavalier.

For those of you who haven’t had the immense pleasure of watching Singing in the rain, it’s plot is set in the time when silent films were just making the transition to the talking picture format. Screen legends Don Lockwood and Nina Lamont find themselves having to convert the film they’re acting in (The dueling cavalier) into a musical with modern dance numbers (for that era, this meant lots of fringe trimmed flapper dresses and those sexy cigarette holders). But how to make a film set in 16th century France more 1920’s and less balcony swordfight-ish? Easy. Just make it about a Broadway aspirant who happens to be reading A tale of two cities and call it The dancing cavalier. It’s genius. I tell you, if The Dancing Cavalier were an actual film, I’d watch that shit in a heartbeat.

It’s the same with all the other stuff I’ve seen on films about films or television series about films. I found everything in Studio 60, (with the exception of that biopic that Harriet was supposed to star in) hilarious and that includes peripheral vision man. In the King and I, the Siam dance drama of Uncle Toms cabin was just amazing and since we’re on the subject what was that movie with Lindsay Lohan where she stars in a play about a modern day Eliza Doolittle? Who cares, but I remember she stars in play about a modern day Eliza Doolittle! They should have given that more screen time. It would have made Lohan’s presence bearable.

Old timey stuff from pop culture we wish we still had

Old timey stuff from pop culture we wish we still had

A slim cigarette holder: The kind “Janet Snakehole” uses in Parks and Rec. And the kind we’ve seen in Mad Men and Breakfast at Tiffanys.

A telephone that has a separate earpiece and a separate mouth piece: Imagine not having to be “available” all the time. People would have to keep all their appointments and be punctual because hey, I’ve already left and there is absolutely no way to reach me.

Typewriters: The ultimate writer fantasy. You aren’t getting distracted by the Internet and then there is the satisfying banging of the keys as you produce that masterpiece and pretend to be Hank Moody.

Iceboxes: Every time I watch Kora Kagaz, I miss the icebox. Sure, we have way better technology now to make ice but imagine how useful an icebox would be in the hot and crowded ladies compartment. Need an immediate brain freeze? Try the icebox! It’s  ice you can use anytime, anywhere.

A village belle that drives horse-drawn tonga: Name of village belle: Basanti. Name of horse: Dhanno. Why? Because why not?

 

Lucy Lawless is Ron Swanson’s new love interest and other stories

Lucy Lawless is Ron Swanson’s new love interest and other stories

We’re changing it up, guys. That’s right. Instead of a tribute apiece every week, Sharanya and I will be doing an incredibly cool round up of what’s been making news the past week, what amazing thing the internet has thrown up and just other things that made us squeal with delight or weep in abject despair. Don’t worry. We’ll still write tributes to our heroes (and trust me, we’ve not even made a dent in the barrel of guys we love), but we’ll just write them as columns. Send us what you think of the new format. Or just continue loving us and sharing our stuff and generally making us feel cool about ourselves.

Exactly one month from now NBC’S Parks and Recreation will return to your television screens- err your laptop. Savour the feel of that for a moment. Are you doing it? Yeah? Okay! Ah Parks and Rec. The super enthusiastic Leslie Knope. The ever-cheerful Chris Tregar. Tom Haverford and his over exfoliated hands. And Ron Swanson. If there’s anyone who I’m dying to meet again it’s the all-male rock star who gave us the Swanson pyramid of greatness, hates government and is so awesomely manly that his toenails have to be sanded down (too strong for clippers). Which is why, I was super kicked to hear that Xena – The Warrier freaking princess, Lucy Lawless is going be Ron’s love interest in the next season. Though the two Tammys made for some fun times, it’s time to move on. Ron needs an all-woman ass kicker. And I have high expectations for the season, you guys. Will Donna Meagle become more than just her Benz? Will Tom and Ann last or will they be Dun-zo? Will they give Jean Ralphio more screen time? High expectations. Really high.

Two words. Pussy Riot. Either you just said, “I knoooooow, that’s terrible.” Or you just shrugged. Or you Googled. I feel the same way. I haven’t listened to their music and I haven’t seen any of their videos, but this is just way canned. Is George Orwell, looking smugly down on all of us? Is someone keeping track over how slowly, so many governing bodies are quietly extinguishing basic human rights?

So, we know that Harry Potter is probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me when I was in my teens. Well, him and the fact that we got an internet connection at home when I was 14. But you know, what do I know? My fan girl-ness extends to gushy blog posts and willing “Accio Maggi cup noodles” to work when I’m too lazy to get dinner. This, right here, is the real deal. As the story suggests, you will either love this table instantly and or you’ll brush it off, and judge people who like it. I’m in the first category. Really. Why don’t fans do fun things like this more often, instead of writing lame best selling BDSM novels? Oh the fame and glory thing. Right.

Sidin Vadukut’s column on the Olympics, is the greatest thing about the games apart from the actual games, cough circus cough, themselves. Yes, it beats Michelle Jeneke’s dance warm up. And by a very small margin, Mary Kom.

What is UP with Star World’s promotions for Grey’s Anatomy? What would Meredith do? Seriously? Seems to me, whatever rubbish is going on in my life, I would always strive to do the exact opposite of whatever Meredith would. I stopped watching Greys Anatomy when every character in the show had at some point or another slept with the other. I don’t ever want it suggested that weepy, annoying Meredith Grey and I may have something in common. Please. Don’t. My life is sad enough as it is.

So apparently, Sarah Palin was a Little House fan when she was a kid. This article uses Palin as a start off point to delve once again into who actually wrote those stories of the pioneering Ingalls family (So, Rose Lane rewrote her mother’s diaries. Big deal). I actually found the story interesting because of the new things I found out. Thing number one; Lane and Ayn Rand were friends? WHUT? Somehow it’s hard to find a connect between Atlas Shrugged and the fact that Pa shot a Christmas turkey about the size of a small cow. Thing number two? Lane was part of the Parisian Jazz age of the twenties. From a farm in Missourie. Talk about taking “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” to the next level.

 

– Sheena

 

Who will cry when you die?

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Who will cry when you die?

In 1984, when Indira Gandhi died, my mother, all of 24, a year older than I am now, burst into tears at her office.

Last month when Rajesh Khanna passed away, my parents listened to his songs for two days non-stop and my father told me stories, with a touch of reverence in his voice, of how he was a great actor and how girls would swoon whenever he came on screen.

In the world of TV, Marilyn Monroe’s death has a bunch of secretaries sniffling in Season two of Mad Men.

I cannot remember a time when the death of any celebrity has made me cry and I really doubt it’s possible. M.F. Hussain, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, all tragic stories, but they had me reaching for my phone to check twitter faster than for a box of tissues.

I worry for us sometimes, I really do.

Does my generation have any heroes that we truly admire and worship? On Small Fry, till last week, we’ve had a tribute column and while we are extremely passionate about J.K. Rowling or Jerry Pinto or Amitav Ghosh, actual tears for them seem ridiculous.

We don’t know them. We admire them, we aspire to be like them, we love them too (enough to start some pretty awful arguments to defend them), yes.

The Death of a popular figure now means RIP hashtags on twitter followed by #toosoon jokes.

At the risk of sounding cold hearted or disrespectful, I have to say, I don’t care enough. I feel a little bad but then I move on to my own problems. Either it’s because we have become really practical (‘C’mon. I didn’t really know this person’) or nobody in recent times has commanded the attention of a nation that way (by that way, I mean a good way. Anna Hazare jokes don’t count).

‘Sensations’ like Madonna or Britney Spears or Oprah; all last for some time. Celebrities come and go, TV shows, movies all end and we find new things to obsess over. And maybe, that is all you can hope for now. A short time in the spotlight, a tribute in New Yorker or a special half an hour slot on a TV channel. No heroes last forever.

What women want: The male character you can have a crush on

What women want: The male character you can have a crush on

This article did two things for me. First it made me aware that somewhere in the world, there’s a legit system where you get to go on a blind date based on the authors both parties like. So like, hmmm, I adore Wodehouse and you like Irvine Welsh. We have such great balance. Let’s get together. That’s a shaadi.com idea in there somewhere.

Second, the premise of the story was a real eye opener. Really? Women don’t really go for the throw-normalcy-to-the-wind-and-take-off Jack Kerouac? Well, when I think of it, why would they? Would you want your boyfriend to up and leave all of a sudden? On the road sexiness stops at the page.

What male character, in books, television and film, is really a sure thing when it comes to a woman’s new and improved imagination? It’s probably getting tougher for writers to come up with a hero that’s complex enough to satisfy girls today. Most times, they have stop themselves from making him an outright romantic hero, because our modern new-age woman-ness would reject that instantly. Everything has to tread a fine line and maintain a balance. You can be a complete, misogynist jerk like House MD and I will swoon like a teenager but overdo it slightly like Harvey Spectre and I’ll actively have to stop myself from punching you in the face.

Jane Austen created Mr. Darcy over a century ago and we’re still using him as a blue-print but that perfect gentleman rescuer deal is getting a little tired. Shameless does a twist on the whole knight in shining armour routine. Jimmy/Steve is always just on the verge of sweeping Fiona off her feet and away from her troubles. Then the plot throws him into situations that force him to bolt. Speaking of Shameless, Lip Gallagher has to be the winner in terms of sexiness, his doped out frog looks, notwithstanding. I can practically hear women the world over sighing whenever he gets fucked over, or giggle at how careless he is about his intelligence.

There are some male characters that never go out of swoon-style (yes I just made that word up) There’s the jerk with a tender twist. There’s slick, confident and rich (Every James Bond ever) and there’s the lovable but always in trouble boy-child. But we’ve seen these guys again and again. We bore easily. Daniel Craig got laid of the line “Would you come in here a minute?” I wish you could hear me pssht.

Bottom line, unless you’re stuck somewhere in mills and boon never never land, you always want more from the characters you read about or watch. Or maybe that’s just me being exacting.

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