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I’m Mole!

I’m Mole!

You guys, I’m Mole. From the Wind in the Willows. I’ve only just realised it and had to weep to someone because who wants to be personality-less Mole? He hid himself underground till he was sick of it and then he attached himself to Rat and embraced a new life, but he was never as cool as Rat, though he always tried. I’ll probably never be as cool as Rat. It’s so creepy when an author or scriptwriter creates some sort of version of you that he totally dreamed up out of nowhere. It’s worse when its an animal. Hands up if you identify with at least two of the weirdest creatures from Alice in Wonderland (For me, it’s the flamingo at the croquet game, and in my incompetent days, Bill the Lizard, Jury Member from the Trial scene). I wonder if the writers know they’re doing it. It’s pretty damn annoying regardless.

As far as characters go I always like the ones that are not like me. If a character in a book or film, is too close to the real me for comfort, I’ll immediately back away. For instance, if I were to be completely honest, as a kid I was like the shy and timid Beth March but I avoided this absolute truth because I wanted to be feisty like Jo. In films too, I have to aspire to the personality types of characters, or I’ll hate them right off the bat. I’d rather be happy-go-lucky and risk taking Kumar than the uptight, paranoid play by the rules Harold but I suspect that the opposite is true. I totally want to be House MD, witty and brilliant, but I’m so completely Wilson – seemingly well-adjusted and easily manipulated.

So anyway, since I’m on this whole self-actualisation trip, I might as well come clean. These are three characters that I’d want to think I’m like, against the one’s I’m actually like.

What I want to be: Bobbie Wickham and/or Stiffy Byng from the Jeeves series. Spontaneous, quick on their feet and inventor of hare-brained schemes that never end up working.

What I’m actually like: Florence Craye, pseudo-intellectual and little formidable and scary. “The root of the trouble was that she was one of those intellectual girls, steeped to the gills in serious purpose, who are unable to see a male soul without wanting to get behind it and shove.” Bertie Wooster, Joy in the morning. Sigh. It’s kind of true.

What I want to be: Kima Greggs from the Wire. Capable, smart and quick.

What I am: The Bunk. Good at his job, but undeniably lazy and disgruntled with everything.

What I want to be: House MD. Witty, sexy, confident, brilliant, self-assured and downright amazing.

What I am: Wilson. Sidekick to awesomeness.

What I want to be: Stan from Southpark. Chilled out and cool. He even has a girlfriend until he went goth. (“They’re all a bunch of conformist bastards.”)

What I am: Tweak. I can panic on demand. My philosophy is “If there’s a reason, even a small one, to flip out like a pancake, do it and don’t think twice.” A lot of people think Tweak’s character was over the top. Not so. I’m like that. I even twitch when I’m nervous.

Okay that’s enough honesty for today. I still want you guys to like me after all (another reason why I’m like Wilson) and I don’t want you’ll to walk away saying “she’s the crazy half of this project.” That’ll just be sad.

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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.

The best men on TV

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The best men on TV

It’s that time of that year again when most of my shows are on break and I’m trying to watch and get interested in the midseason shows (Girls, Veep).

But mostly I watch reruns and make lists. Here is one of my 10 favourite men on Television.

Steven Hyde from That 70s’ show

Curly hair, sideburns and boots; Steven Hyde is the epitome of Zen. His life’s philosophy is “whatever”. He has a streak of anti-establishment that makes him utterly hot.

P.S – Jackie and Hyde forever!

Dr John Dorian from Scrubs

JD is an insecure, compassionate and validation-seeking doctor with dreamy eyes. He has a constant inner monologue and frequently creates dream scenarios to make real life more like TV. No, I don’t identify with him at all. What do you mean?

Also, try getting this brilliant ode to Zach Braff out of your head (I don’t care what you say, in a non gay way, I love Zach Braff, Zach Braff).

Marshall Eriksen from How I met your mother

What kind of cold-hearted bitchasaurus rex would not love a grown man who believes in monsters, ghosts and calls the Loch ness monster, “Nessy”? He has a good job, he is funny, he wants to save the environment, he can fight when he has to, he makes adorable songs (Lily made some crème brulelelelele, you just got slapped woahohohoho); Marshal Eriksen is the perfect husband.

Dr Gregory House from House MD

Oh, Dr House is so manly. He is brash, he is in pain and he handles it like a man. An angry, crazy man. House is so hot; I want to cut my arm off so I can meet him. I want to be closed and intriguing so he wants to know me. I want to sit on his lap. I want to be Wilson so he can be best friends with me. (Just to clarify, I know he is fictional)

Matt Albie from Studio 60 on the sunset strip

Matt is the head writer of Studio 60. He is incredibly witty, smart and intelligent. He is an award-winning writer but his struggles with writing, depression, addiction and religion is so endearing, you just want to give him a hug. He is also incredibly hilarious.

 

Don Draper from Mad Men

I have only seen half of one Mad Men season (yes, yes, I should be hunted down and my head should be shaved) but that’s enough to fall in love with Don Draper. He is a smoker, drinker, womanizer and suit wearer and his eyes can cut though ice. I don’t think I’d really survive in 1960 (dresses that end tightly below your knees are uncomfortable) but Draper is a man that will stay hot in every decade.

Troy Barnes from Community

You know what’s great about Troy Barnes? He likes no-no juice, he can pop and lock like a champ, he has a talent in plumbing, he is distracted by shiny things and cries very easily. Also, he is the best friend anyone can ever find.

Stringer Bell from The Wire

Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell is the second-in-command of Avon Barksdale’s drug organisation. He is intelligent, ruthless, he has rock-hard abs, he takes business classes and owns a copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Rock-hard abs. Rock. Hard.

Phil Dunphy from Modern Family

“I’m cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face?”

– Phil Dunphy, ex-cheerleader, peerent.

Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreaction

“The less I know about other people’s affairs, the happier I am. I’m not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.”

As much as I’m in love with Ben Wyatt, Ron Swanson is THE man on television. He eats meat, he drinks scotch, he is a woodworker, he hates the government and he has the bushiest moustache in the world. He is also secretly a jazz player, Duke Silver.

Trivia: Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson is married to Megan Mullaly who plays Ron’s crazy ex-wife Tammy 2. 

Other Contenders: 

Ben Wyatt and Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation, Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock, Blaine Anderson from Glee, Neil Caffery ranfrom White Collar, Steely Booth From Bones, Richard Castle from Castle, Cameron from Modern Family, Omar from The Wire, Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock, Jeff winger and Abed Nadir from Community, Mark Sloane from Grey’s Anatomy.

From Everybody lies to Everybody dies: A tribute to Hugh Laurie

From Everybody lies to Everybody dies: A tribute to Hugh Laurie

But mostly just to House.

I’m still reeling from the fact that House MD, a show I have followed for the past eight years, has ended. Show finales are tricky; they have to be so many things. Keeping aside the fact that the series finale of House wasn’t the greatest (the best finale I have ever seen is Scrubs; perfect amount of tears and laughter. But then they decided to start season 9 with a new cast and completely screwed everything up. But that’s a whole new column), I have to admit; I will miss Hugh Laurie immensely.

No one could have played Gregory House MD better than Hugh Laurie.  He gets the accent right, his hand gestures are perfect, his pain is believable and his sarcasm is spot on. From the character of Gregory House I have learned that you’d be surprised what you can live with, Humanity is overrated, everybody lies and it’s never lupus. All important life lessons, imbibed in my most formative years and all because Hugh Laurie gave his everything to a character that became a phenomenon in television history.

But enough about House. Laurie was incredibly funny in Fry and Laurie, in real life, his songs are genius, he’s also an expert oarsman, he cooks like an angel and he looks great in a bow tie. What more could you want from a man!

Wait, I can’t say ‘enough about House’, what was I thinking. (It’s still too soon. ) House MD is a show written by David Shore and usually follows a pretty simple format. Patient comes in. House is disinterested. Patient develops an outrageous symptom. House is back in. A parallel story with an other character, mostly Wilson, usually gives him an idea. And bam, case solved. With a purposeful walk down the hospital corridors thrown in. Of course there are small twists and a bunch of great characters like Eric Foreman (what?), Lisa Cuddy, 13, Darryl Nolan and Chi Park.  My favorite episode by far has been season six, episode 1, Broken. I kept an hour aside on the morning of my first BMM board exam to watch it. I didn’t know it was an extended episode but it was so brilliant, I had to watch the whole thing. And I got late for my board exam.  (I’m super punctual, so instead of reaching my center an hour before the exam as I like to, I reached 10 minutes before. But it was still quite badass, ok?)

The point of all this is that as an actor, Hugh Laurie has done his bit. He has effectively brought a character to life in a way that no one else could.

While I will mourn the end of House for a while, here is some good news. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie will reunite to work on a mystery project.

– Sharanya

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