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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Amy Pohler and Tina Fey to host the Golden Globes and other stories

So, we’re going to let you in on a little known fact. We’re huge fans of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler so when we hear they’re going to be hosting the Golden Globes in Jan 2013, well, you know what they say about screaming and jumping and tearing ones hair out. And the pair are doing voices? I mean, this proves that there is a god.

This is not a political forum but that doesn’t mean that we do not grieve when policies lead to things like this. Far be it from us to suggest what the President of the United States should or shouldn’t do, but if a tragic incident like this does not lead to immediate action, we don’t know anything anymore. You know what, we take it back. We do want to tell the President what to do. Get rid of the right to bear arms. No more of the Second amendment. Thanks. Jezebel says it best in their brilliant series of rants entitled Fuck you, week.

Bleh-blehbitty- bleh. When will people stop talking just for the sake of talking? Allison Pearson here has a word or two about what makes Mr. Darcy, the hero in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, so damn fine, if you know what I mean. While we’re big fans of Austen (yes yes, you can break out the Chicks and their Jane Austen joke) we fail to see the point of this essay. Darcy is sexy because we can’t read into what he wants and he has a British accent. Can we start talking about Heathcliff now?

Tattoos are great but when they’re about literature, they’re greater. Oh wait, speaking of tattoos, did DeadMau5, also known as the greatest DJ in the world, propose to Kat Von D on Twitter? How terribly, terribly awesome! The tunes at that wedding will kick ass, just saying. Quick question though. Will he wear the Mouse Head down the aisle? All in favour, say aye.

 

– Sheena

My tumultuous relationship with 30 Rock

My tumultuous relationship with 30 Rock

It was the morning of October 11th in 2006 when I watched the first episode of 30 Rock. It was love at first watch. Everything about the show and Tina Fey was fascinating to me. I loved the intelligent humour, the slapstick comedy, the completely idiotic dialogues and the ridiculous characters – Kenneth the page, Jenna the drama Queen, Grizz and DotCom; Tracy Jordan’s entourage and my personal favourite, Pete Hornberger. I watched, discussed, re-watched and re-discussed every episode excitedly. Jon Hamm’s hook hands; Oh my goodness, Julianne Moore with her Boston accent; Look, Aaron Sorkin doing the walk and talk… Was there anything this show could not do?

Well alas and alack, the sky was not the limit. Sometime at the end of season 4, I got bored. Other sitcoms came into my life and I started resenting 30 Rock. The jokes weren’t as funny any more, Liz Lemon’s life had crossed over to the pathetic zone, the plots became thinner and stupider, not in a this-is-so-silly-oops-I-did-a-spit-take stupid; just plain stupid. And after having twitched, read and talked about it incessantly for four whole years; I just gave up. I stopped watching it entirely. I questioned its funniness. Were the jokes my imagination or hilarious because it was a different time? I was lonely and sad, but I knew it was for the best. It wasn’t me, it really was them.

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Then recently, I read online that they were nearing their finale and Liz was getting married to her boyfriend Chris Cross. Fond memories flooded back and when they took the form of sometimes Alec Baldwin, mostly James Marsden (who plays Chris) in my head, I knew I was in for it. Then two weeks ago, (it was fate I tell you) I was watching Comedy Central and a rerun came on. It was the one where Jack’s mentor dies and leaves him a pet peacock named Argus that tries to mate with Liz Lemon who is on a mission to uncover Jenna’s new boyfriend Paul’s dark secret. Kenneth and Liz manage to convince Jack that the peacock hold’s his mentor’s soul and Paul turns out to be a Jenna Maroney impersonator.

I laughed till there were tears in my eyes, especially at the bit were the peacock tries to mate with lemon’s mouth and the episode ends with two Jennas making out.

Hilarious.  What the hell, you only live once, I said to self, and decidedly downloaded all the episodes I hadn’t seen, starting from Season 5. It’s two weeks later and I am all caught up, right up to season 7 and it has been a rollercoaster. Liz Lemon’s wedding was so badass (Tina Fey’s daughter played a young Liz Lemon), Jack and his marriage to Avery Jessup was so twisted; it pulled me right back in. And I’m here again. Here meaning at that place, where I want to discuss every episode and talk about how funny Tracy Jordan is and how cute Chris is.

When the show finally does leave me, in an hour long special on January 13th, I know that, despite the fact that I almost gave up on it, it pulled through for me heroically. Now I know, I will always love 30 Rock. *sniff*

‘Tis the season

‘Tis the season

Since Christmas is round the corner and I’ve always been a big Christmas fan, I think it’s appropriate that I write a column about Christmas elements in literature. Never mind that an Indian Christmas, the season where there isn’t quite an inch of snow on the ground and stockings by a fireplace, didn’t quite match up, culturally and contextually to the Christmases I read and enjoyed as a girl.

All the Christmases I read about as a little girl were a far cry from the Christmasses I had at home in my third floor apartment with friendly neighbours asking if they could help with the tree. That didn’t make me love them (the books I mean, not the neighbours) any less. There was the Little House series for starters. Pa Ingalls would more often than not go out and shoot the meat the family would eat for Christmas Dinner and there was always things like doughnuts, sour dough biscuits and gravy going around not to mention an obscenely large fire. Of course there wasn’t too much of an emphasis of Christmas presents, so real life won there. Owing to difficult conditions (of the wild wolves right outside your front door variety) the Ingalls made do with knitted socks or a new handkerchief or something. Boring. The only book in the series that made any kind of Christmas sense was Farmer Boy (Lots of cousins and aunts coming over. Yeah, Indian Christmases are all about chaotic, loud extended family and your older cousin slyly stealing your share of cake and fudge.)

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Another writer for whom Christmas was a big ass deal was Louisa May Alcott. Little Women opens with the line “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” and in Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom there is at least a chapter or two dedicated to the preparation of and the actual day in this season of love and goodwill. Of course, in true Alcott style there was always room for a little preachiness. Somehow I couldn’t stand that books like Rose in Bloom had all the answers. Trust me I’m the last person on earth to diss Loiusa May Alcott (she’s awesome) but at some point it was alright, we get it- Christmas is about giving, sharing and loving thy neighbour, we get it- can we have some more cake now please.

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is an absolute dream to read. Right from the characters (Go Tiny Tim) to the narration and even the kind of hilarious future pop culture love they inspired (Eric Cartman quotes from the book in Starvin Marvin), the book is start to finish, a Christmas treat. I love the detail that Dickens goes into. Even today I remember reading about Bob Cratchit’s scarf was extra long so that he had to wrap it around his neck or that Marley had chains and padlocks wrapped all around him for eternity. I mean, come on, that is the stuff.

There was also short fiction that specifically dealt with aaaaaw Christmas messages and you probably read them in a big, bound volume that your grand aunt gave you. The Gift of the magi, was one I remember and of course The Little Match Girl. The best part about Christmas is without a doubt the food, the presents and the family and though I specifically felt short changed in terms of Christmas context, I still loved and continue to love reading books that celebrate the season. God bless us, everyone.

 

Our favourite Christmas episodes

Our favourite Christmas episodes

Studio 60 on the sunset strip: The entire episode was all sharp Sorkin dialogue and hilarity (a Santa that looked like it was giving a nazi salute) but the crux of it was that Matt Alby wanted a show that was “christmasy.” And he delivered. A moving end that had to be heard to be believed and one character finally making a big confession that changed the course of the series. This episode is all kinds of heart-warming.

Friends: We spent a fair amount of Christmases and thankgivings with the gang, but the episode where Chandler has to spend Christmas in Tulsa was our favourite. Of all the flashbacks he goes to, our favourite is of course Phoebe singing her Christmas song with all her friends’ names in it. And Chandler came back in the end. Because he missed his wife so much he couldn’t stand it. Awww.

Modern Family: The Pritchets and the Dunphys always know how to balance funny and sweet, but they outdid themselves at the Christmas episode where they all had to arrange Christmas in a day (December 10th). The clan split up and organised food, presents and decorations, all to the kind of comedy errors that cause you to cry with laughter. The episode ended with them all frolicking in fake snow. Perfection to the end.

Community: Abed’s uncontrollable Christmas is one of those episodes that make your jaw drop at the brilliance of this show. The entire show turns into Claymation as they travel through Abed’s head to a Christmas-themed planet. They sing songs and travel through a dark zone and find the true meaning of Christmas. So so cute.

The Big Bang Theory: Putting one of the most important issues of Christmas at the forefront; Sheldon is struggling to find Penny a gift equal in value to the one she gave him. But of course he fails, when Penny makes a thoughtful gesture and gifts him an autograph of Leonard Nimoy. Anything that has Sheldon Cooper stumped is a wonderful moment by our standards.

New Girl: Although New Girl is relatively new, season one had a rollercoaster of a Christmas episode that involved Paul giving Jess and expensive gift while she plans to break up with him, Nick struggling to make it home, Schmidt being Santa for his boss and Winston forming a bond with a little kid. And when everyone has clearly had a terrible day, the gang drives down to see Christmas lights and manage to wake up an entire street and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Time’s Top 10 lists are out and other stories

Time’s Top 10 lists are out and other stories

It’s that time of the year again; We spent a day poring over Time’s Top 10 everything of 2012 and especially loved the list of best TV episodes. It totally gave us another excuse to gasp, laugh, cry and discuss great shows some more. You’re right. We actually don’t need an excuse to do that. Also, the book list has of course, been bookmarked.

Speaking of top 10 lists; here’s Emily Nassbaum of The New Yorker on why she hates top 10 lists but here’s her list of why 2012 has been a great year for television.

The promo of the second season of Girls is out. This is of course followed by news of Lena Dunham’s book deal that has been bought for 3.7 million dollars by Random House. Gawker has excerpts and quotes here. They seem fun but 3.7 million dollars fun? We are not sure.

We quite enjoyed reading Jon Michaud’s story pointing out, with good reasons, why The Hobbit is better than The Lord of the Rings.

So we’ve always been pretty unashamed of our fan girl love for Amy Pohler. Here’s Buzzfeed telling us 30 lessons we learned from Pohler this year.

Not that it makes any difference to our lives, but Emerald Green is Pantone’s colour of 2013. Just FYI.

 

– Sharanya

Love in the time of texting

Love in the time of texting

I’m not an overly nostalgic person. I don’t dream of being in Paris in 1920 (although Hemingway and I would be great drinking buddies) or the renaissance or wish that I was part of India’s beautiful fight for freedom. I like 2012. I like that I don’t have to kill myself trying to remember little details: For instance, who was the guy who gets into Michel Cera’s car in Nick and Norah’s infinite playlist? Who knows? Wait, I’ll just google it (it’s Seth Meyers by the way). I like that we don’t use twigs and have really awesome flavoured toothpaste to brush our teeth with and I really, really love that a thing like instant soup exists.

And that is why I’m usually in a minority when people say that romance is dying in the digital age. Oh, you kids don’t know about yearning with all your instant messaging and skype-ing. Do I see the beauty in pining and writing long letters? Yes I do. But I also love that you don’t have to miss people and you still can. The most romantic stories I’ve ever read usually involves misunderstandings and lack of communication that could easily be fixed with one text message. Oh, and I love text messages. As a writer, who is not completely in control of her emotions when fighting, that perfectly composed text is a savior. I’m an annoying fighter because instead of using the effective, “Fuck off and please don’t talk to me again,”, I will wield powerful sentences with multiple commas, semi colons and em dashes in them. (I’m a little ashamed to admit but sometimes I will go back and re-read a text fight if only to admire my own work).

Is over information ever a bad thing? Oh, let me know less about this disease I have; let me put all my money in this stock. What is this research thing you speak of? No one ever says that and I don’t see the point in getting to know a boyfriend/girlfriend/date over time. Because really, if there is something gross or fundamentally flawed in a person, I’d like to know that upfront, thank you very much. I don’t want to spend a month with someone and then realise he uses ‘babez’ un-ironically.

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I recently re-watched Amol Palekar’s Choti Si Baat where Palekar, in bell bottom pants and polka dotted shirts stalks a girl around Bombay. Stalking is totally a legit love thing; we just use Facebook now. Facebook stalking is kind of a boon. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Information is power and knowing you’re ex boyfriend/girlfriend is dating someone whose favourite band is Limp Bizkit is extremely empowering.

We take love seriously too. We are not a generation that doesn’t care. In fact, we spend a considerable amount of time ‘researching’ someone before we do and I do not see the problem. There is no charm in a beautiful husband in a suit who drinks scotch and sleeps with his secretaries while you stay at home and make a pot roast (though seriously, if Don Draper was on Facebook, he’d probably have two profiles. One for family and one of him dressed only in bathing trunks).

I wish people would stop talking like idiots sometimes. Stop talking about your relationship like it is a math problem that needs work. Stop talking about how beautiful the concept of dating used to be. Stop talking and wanting. Nostalgia is an indulgence. And I don’t mean that what’s gone is trivial. In fact it’s very well documented and that is why we know about it. You wish you were born in a time when people listened to jazz? Well, guess what? You have the internet to listen to whatever the fuck you want. It is absolutely ok to look at pictures and spend an evening drinking Old Monk and discussing that epic road trip sometimes. But you cannot live there. You are not that person anymore and this is not that time.

We are a generation of people always holding on tightly to a time that made us happy and comfortable. We really need to stop whining all the damn time.

Gushing over The Inbetweeners, because I can

Gushing over The Inbetweeners, because I can

The great thing about writing for your own website is that nothing ever really gets put away. No story is too dated because see, if Small Fry was a publication, I would never have been able to have my little gush about The Inbetweeners, an old show (E4 aired the pilot in 2008) that I recently discovered and loved instantly.

The Inbetweeners follows the misadventures of four teenage boys in some humdrum English town that for some reason reminds me of Pune. The characters are amusing, though they somehow become caricatures of a type. There’s the uptight Will, also the narrator of the show, who wears blazers over his school sweater and is unbelievably pretentious and stuffy. There’s the naive Simon, who somehow gets cuter as he gets more pathetic. There’s the little pervert Jay who’s got plenty of British swagger and who believes he’s irresistible (he’s not) and then Neil, the dumb one, who personifies the adage, ignorance is bliss. The show has incredible tight plots, razor sharp dialogue and thankfully, the teenage angst is kept to a bare minimum. And despite its obviously exaggerated comic sequences, a lot of the banter seems real.

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The boys have all agreed that Will’s mother is “fit” and insist on holding long drawn out conversations involving their fantasies of her in front of Will. It’s this kind of light hearted rubbish that makes the episode easy to digest, but not in a moronic way. After weeks of watching shows like Breaking Bad and Homeland, it feels good to just sit back and laugh. And oh, the way I laughed. I have this theory that things just sound funnier in a British accent and it’s no secret that the more slang a show gives me, the happier I get. Of course, I wouldn’t know if it is legitimate British schoolboy slang, but get this… A party with girls is a “party knee deep in Muff or Cludge.” (Don’t ask), and for some absurd reason being gay is “being bent.” I mean, who cares if it’s realistic?

Also, one character I’m particularly fond of is the irate, bitingly witty, sometimes downright evil head of the Sixth Form, Mr Gilbert. That could be because years of reading the Just William series has given me a certain soft spot for evil school headmasters who viciously pour hate-orade on their students. (Snape did have the funniest lines) Seriously though, out of the million reasons you should watch the Inbetweeners, Gilbert is in the top five. Great unwholesome, laugh till you cry entertainment is number one.

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