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Thanks for all the fish

Thanks for all the fish

This past week, everything on the internet was about turkeys and thanksgiving. And though we don’t do thanksgiving here in India (except for a few people on Twitter), it IS November and that signals the end of year. The  Guardian already has a list of the best books of 2012, so this is my list of things I’m thankful for this year.

The writers of Community, The Newsroom, Mad Men and Homeland:

Personally, I haven’t had the best year. But as always I find distraction and solace in television and books. And I have to thank Community, The Newsroom, Mad Men and Homeland for getting me through it without going batshit insane, growing dreadlocks and living in a tree. It’s probably not the healthiest thing to do; being so invested in fictional characters but it just makes me feel so…so alive and so…you know, I’m just going to give my hard drive a big hug right now.

Books that find you:

As you might have gathered, my life decisions don’t always lend itself to a well-fed bank account. But that’s what second hand bookstores, sales and friends are for. This year I have read borrowed books, books I picked up for Rs 50 at a sale, and books that I abandoned or never got around to reading. And I have been consistently surprised and happy. They have been books I have picked up grudgingly because I was too broke to buy what I wanted. But the good ones just found me. In many ways, I’m an old lady who is afraid of new things. I like finding my comfort zone and sticking to it and sometimes have a closed mind. I don’t want to listen to your new favourite band; I don’t want to read an author I’ve never heard of before. But almost every time I have done it, I have been rewarded. I’ve read a great deal of books this year, even signed up for a post graduation course in literature (not made a dent in that list yet though) and I do hope the next pay cheque is big enough to do some splurging. But till then, there is always my Flipkart wishlist to check and sigh everyday.

Amy Pohler:

Amy Pohler is not only television’s funniest woman, she is also the personification of woman power and an example for girls all over the world. Along with being the super ambitious and funny Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec; she also has her own youtube channel. Called, Smart girls at the party, it encourages young talented girls to be themselves and be proud of it (the last episode had a Sikh girl explain her religion and what her culture entails).  I imagine Pohler in real life to be something of a superwoman. Incredibly talented, funny, confident and amazing. Even if she isn’t, I’m just glad she’s on one of the best sitcoms I’ve seen this year.

The interwebz:

On a regular day, I spend about nine to ten hours on my laptop. I can find and read this on Wednesday, laugh till my ribs hurt at this the next day and watch this on the weekend. And I can sit here in Mumbai and read the New Yorker and The Slate and The Guardian and Flavorwire. I can spend hours looking at cat videos and I can also spend hours talking to a friend in San Francisco. We talk about dependence, we talk about how the internet has us by the balls (metaphoric ones) but I don’t see the problem. The good things outweigh the bad, a million times over. The internet is filled with vile and disgusting things offset by art. Beautiful art in the form of music, videos, literature and so much more.

2012

What a great time to live, I think sometimes when I’m standing inside a matchbox sized room and listening to the Bombay Bicycle club or when I feel gooseflesh on my arm from watching The manganiyar seduction on stage. I think about the lives my parents must have led when they were my age and I can’t believe my luck. International artists aren’t just those mythical creatures forever stuck on records (or iTunes library) any more. India isn’t just a far, exotic land of elephants and snake charmers anymore and every month we hear announcements of international artists performing here, international films being screened, international brands setting shop and we are here to witness this. It fills me with such a rush to realise that we are part of a turning point of sorts, for this country in the cultural field.

Yes, the world is still listening to Justin Beiber and One Direction, but you know what, fuck that. Every small singer, songwriter and trumpet player now has opportunity. Opportunity to reach out and make themselves heard (whether they’re good or not decides how far they go) and that’s as good as it gets. A million music, art, theatre and literature festivals have sprung up. Can’t find an audience there? Put your work online and somebody in a tiny town in Brazil may just become your fan.

I can tell my very tambhram family that I want to be a writer and they don’t automatically assume that all is lost. Just that much is great. I live in a time when I don’t have to mind my manners, wear corsets that cause asphyxia or be ‘married off’ when I turn 18. I don’t have to rebel. I know, most people don’t see the appeal in that and find rebelling against society and their parents very cool but really it’s not. We have been born in a time when it’s not rebellious to cut your hair real short and come home at 5am. It’s normal. It’s great that we don’t have to fight these tiny battles because the previous generation already paved the way for us. They fought to break out and now it’s up to us to take that chance and go as high and as far as we can. We owe it to so many, many people.

Louis CK to appear on SNL and other stories

Louis CK to appear on SNL and other stories

Louis CK, aka AWESOME KING OF COMEDY, (the caps lock was intentional to indicate roaring) will be hosting Saturday night live for the first time ever. Apparently, it’s because his show Louie, is taking a bit of a breather. We’re not complaining (we are complaining a little bit. Get Louie back!). Louis CK on the worlds craziest sketch show? Gimme!

Ever since Joan Holloway sashayed into the Sterling Cooper office (Oh, the good old days of season one) she made every other woman on Mad Men look like a steaming heap of horse manure. Well, with the possible exception of Betty Dra- wait no, I take it back. Joan, played by Christina Hendricks is a lovely all woman mass of lovely loveliness, enough to make me forget how to be articulate. If I had a body like that I’d probably make a statue of myself at first and worship it, but no, Hendricks would rather get miffed at someone who called her full-figured. It was a compliment, Joan.

Speaking of Mad Men, here are some beautiful pictures of John Hamm and Jessica Pare shooting for Season 6 in Hawaii.

Ohhhhhh nooooo. Chevy Chase, why do you always fuck up? Apparently, the Community star got all up in the writers shit, about how Pierce Hawthorne’s racism is not cool anymore. Of course his rant would have held more weight if he didn’t just go around saying words that shouldn’t see the light of day. Here, you should just read the initial report. I mean, Damn son!

Quick, what’s more depressing than the depressing life of Amy Winehouse? Answer: A dramatic production of the depressing life of Amy Winehouse. We should have seen this coming – The life of Amy Winehouse on stage at last. Let’s think about the last celebrity who’s short life spiralled downward into a tragic substance induced end. Elvis of course, then Marilyn, Whitney Houston….This is a play I won’t recommend.

What wouldn’t I give to be a fly on the wall, when Omar met Marlo stanfield in a Brooklyn restaurant? No, it actually happened! Micheal Williams who plays Omar on legendary television show The Wire was with Anthony Bourdain who was eating out for an upcoming episode of No Reservations when Jamie Hector who plays Marlo came up to say hi.

– Sheena

The Emmy winners are out and other stories

The Emmy winners are out and other stories

The Emmy winners were announced today and we are very excited and a little bit annoyed. Firstly, what? How much cooler and funnier must Parks and Rec, Community and Louie be to be nominated for an Emmy? And hasn’t 30 Rock really run past its expiration date? What kind of world do we live in where Ron Swanson and Abed Nadir don’t even get a nomination for their brilliant performances? Huh?

But yay for Modern Family winning for the third consecutive year and hurrah for Louis CK and Homeland and Aaron Paul and Claire Danes.

Yes, it was a bit tiring that the men on Modern Family monopolize the Supporting Comedy Actor section every year. Which is why I was rooting for Schmidt (played by Max Green field in New Girl) but oh well, Cameron is great too. Ho hum.

Also, Amy Pohler was robbed! Again! And so were Bryan Cranston and Mad Men. Boooo.

P.S – How amazing was Aziz Ansari?! Fish n chips!

Speaking of Bryan Cranston, the meth-cook-in-tighty-whities is directing an episode of Modern Family. Having already directed a few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle as well as Breaking Bad, we know this guy has some serious directing chops. We can’t wait for Modern Family to be back, September 26th is almost here. Also, it’s kind of unnerving to see Heisenberg chilling in a suburban home looking way too normal for comfort.

Fanfiction and its tremendous rise in the past few years is a trend really worth observing. From Harry Potter and Twilight to Desperate Housewives and Friends, writers and fans all over the world are creating incredible plot twists and spinning stories for a large audience that seems to lap them up. Some of them are written beautifully and makes you wonder why these guys aren’t creating their own original work of fiction (Readymade characters with already set personalities are quirks are easier to write about then creating characters of your own and breathing life into them is my opinion). But, most or a large amount of fanfiction is sexual. Character pairings like Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter who get it on in the forbidden forest or incestual relations between Ross and Monica are all over the internet. In this story by Supriya Nair, she explores sexual fanfiction in the world of classic literature and reviews Jane Eyre Laid Bare about, well as you can tell from the title, Jane Eyre’s explicit sex life. Though it is doubtful this will make Charlotte Bronte roll over in her grave considering Jane Eyre is already full of sex, we sure want to know what she would think.

If you are active on Facebook, you might have already seen this link doing the rounds with ‘awwws’ and ‘sooo cutes’. Buzzfeed’s 50 most romantic photographs of all times may or may not have made us weep.

– Sharanya

Television’s non-skinny women that are totally awesome

Television’s non-skinny women that are totally awesome

Mercedes from Glee: With a voice so big, she leaves Beyonce behind Mercedes is absolutely kickass. Her life decisions are hers and hers alone and you’ll never find her being a typical high-school girl. And she the only one who can carry those amazing notes at the end of every Regionals performance.

Donna Meagle from Parks and Rec: Donna Meagle gets plenty of action, she has a Benz, she’s first cousins with Genuwine, she gets invited to Venenzuela on account of her sexiness and if Robert Pattinson had an hour with her, he’d forget all about Skinny-legs McGee, we’ll tell you that much. Donna Meagle!

Shirley Bennet from Community: The saccharine Christian mother who has an obsessive baking compulsion, was a badass in school, successfully overcame her fear of public speaking and started her own sandwich shop on campus? Yeah, we love her.

Hannah Horvath from Girls: She is nowhere as close to the size of the other women on this list but Hannah is a slightly big girl and while one of the big problems about her life are about her weight, she is still an super, albeit whiny women who deals with her problems the best way we know, by eating cupcakes.

Yes, we could only thing are only four. Says a lot doesn’t it? Maybe you can come up with some.

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