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Our predictions and hopes for 2013

Breaking Bad: Skyler jumps off a cliff and or Walt puts a gun to her head and pulls the trigger out of sheer frustration. Walt and Hank Shreader become cohorts or better, Hank shoots Walt and takes over as Heisenberg. Jesse finds love and settles down. He buys a house that’s filled floor to ceiling with magnets. Yeah, magnets bitches. (Although, we demand at least one scene of him crying this season). Breaking Bad goes down in history as one of the best shows ever.

Mad men: The show takes a leaf out of Ekta Kapoor’s book and takes a generation leap. Joan’s baby and Sally now run their own advertising agency. Or Roger and Joan hook up. Betty gets fatter. Sally gets smarter. Peggy decides she’s into girls. Megan poisons Don. Or Don dies in an unexplained way and continues to be an unpredictable enigma even in his death.

After being nominated and losing the Emmy for five consecutive years, Jon Hamm stabs Damien Lewis and Bryan Cranston on the red carpet.

Homeland: Dana dies in a tragic car accident; Saul becomes head of the CIA (because clearly there are just 2 people left in the entire CIA). Carrie continues to be a wine-gulping maniac and she makes it her life’s mission to clear Brody’s name…then something else blows up. (Side note: it would be lovely if she attended some classes and actually learned to play the trumpet. Our ears would be eternally gratefully)

Arrested development comes back and gives meaning to our lives again.

Carries Diaries either becomes our greatest guilty pleasure or humanity’s doom from an overdose of all things SATC.

Community:  Season 4 completely sucks or kicks ass. Either way, we can’t wait for some more of Troy and Abed on our T-V!

How I met you….oh who cares?

The Golden Globes kick so much ass that Hollywood decided to give up. It cannot possibly get better hosts than Amy Pohler and Tina Fey and from here on out, actors pick up the awards in a Baltimore back alley while a homeless guy plays the guitar.

Arnab Goswami invites Jerry Pinto for a debate. It’s a screaming match like no other.

Sachin Tendulkar joins Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. It’s seems like a real possibility.

The makers of Sherlock take pity on us addicts and decide to give us season three this year instead of 2014.

Kimye’s new little bundle of blinged up, swagged out style gets his own little reality TVshow. Where he squabbles with his blankie, has a fall out with his teddy bear and plans little tea parties in his room where dad gets the tunes and mommy runs around looking important.

Shah Rukh Khan retires. Well we can hope, can’t we?

When this interview was taken in 2009 the tentative release date for sequel to A suitable boy was 2013. Huzzah! The novel, titled A suitable girl is the story of finding a match for Lata’s grandson. The only thing is: deadlines mean nothing to Seth. He’s a literary version of George RR Martin, so readers may just find themselves dealing with the crushing disappointment of having to wait another whole year for the book to be released.

Ranbir Kapoor has an existential crisis. Could it be that he’s gone through every woman in Bollywood in the span of two years? He wants to drink himself to death but then thinks that would be a waste of pretty. He starts dating himself.

People realise they actually can eat food without instagramming it first.

Kittens get ousted and cute little lemurs take over the internet.

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Television’s whiny wives

Television’s whiny wives

Skyler White from Breaking Bad:

First of all, oh my goodness that jaw. Secondly, we never really understood the word bellyaching till we became acquainted with Mrs White. Nag about this, threaten about that, stick jaw out upto Canada for the other…..Geez. It’s a wonder Walter didn’t start doing meth already. Let him be the bad ass he was always destined to be, you stupid woman.

Jessica Brody from Homeland:

At first, we really liked the svelte Mrs Brody. She had our sympathy in the first half of season one but her descent into society Congress wife really irked us. And sorry, her speech at the fundraiser wasn’t all that great. We all know they clapped because she was hot. She also managed to show her supreme ignorance when she advised Brody to “tell the CIA to back off”. It’s the CIA, lady! Not a classroom bully.

Marla Daniels from The Wire:

For the first two seasons, Marla lived vicariously through her husband’s life because she didn’t have one of her own. “Oh honey, take the bar, screw all this police shit.” Don’t you get that he’s the best lieutenant in all of Baltimore? Then finally, when she decides to get her own career, suddenly he has to pander to her ridiculous husband and wife play acting? Bitch alert.

Betty Draper from Mad Men:

So pretty and so damn annoying. Betty Draper is a classic whiny women who doesn’t know what she wants and when she does, throws a fit about it. She suspects her husband of having affairs but can’t stand up to him about it and usually just ends up yelling at her kids instead. Although we are glad she finally leaves Don, (who leaves Don Draper, who?) her shrill squeak is something we can never get rid off.

Carrie from King of Queens:

Most family-based sitcoms have crazy wives (Modern Family, Everybody loves Raymond, My wife and kids) and husbands who stand by them and love them anyway. But Carrie is a downright bitch. She is mean, awful and super bossy with Doug and it defintely stems from the fact that she thinks she is way out of his league. Just one of these days, I would love to see Doug pick her up and snap her into two.

The wives on Desperate Housewives:

While we have lost track of this show and who’s married to who and who’s having an affair with who, they were all pretty damn bossy, self-centered and needy wives (except Lynette. Felicity Huffman 4 eva) which is of course what led to the aforementioned affairs.

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.

Mad moments from Mad Men

Mad moments from Mad Men

You know what we don’t talk about enough? Mad men. It’s a great show and we still only mention it in passing. Well, yesterday, I realised that would have to change. If you haven’t watched up till season five, this post may contain spoilers.

I am all caught up with the series now and though I’m a little late to this party I allowed myself to be swept up in a decade of great fashion, old timey advertising, office politics and great, nuanced characters. Seemingly against my will, I found myself disliking some characters at first and then slowly growing to respect them (Hello Megan Calvet Draper). Through these five seasons I have laughing out loud, cried and actually come to terms with all the mainstream fuss about how Don Draper is the sexiest man in shoe leather (see what I did there, with that old timey phrase?)

Here, according to me are the best moments in the series:


How Roger and Draper met. The story is pure back handed humour. Oh Don, you crafty old dog you. Its great how the writers show that the young Don still had that kind of steel edged ruthlessness to him, though it always presents itself cloaked in charm and manners,

Joan Holloway Harris playing the accordion for her douche husbands doctor friends. Zou bisou be damned. If I had to pick musical highlights, this one wins hands down.

The boy Dick Whitman and his conversation with a passing tramp.

Betty Draper taking a shotgun out into the garden and cigarette firmly in mouth, aiming at her neighbours birds.

Pete and Trudy Campbell doing the Charleston.

Every single thing that ever came out of Roger Sterling’s mouth.

Peggy Olsen being adventurous, whether it was with her sexual identity or her lifestyle.

That moment when Don and Megan announce their engagement and the phone rings. “I’ll get it,” she says after there’s a huge pause where no one knows what to do. AWKWARD.

The way Don breaks up with people.

The way Don hooks up with people.

Roger’s LSD trip. How great is it, that an orchestra plays every time he opens a bottle.

The way the writers mixed up the timelines in season five. Example: Far away places.

Megan Draper angry. Now now, there’s no need to throw the plate at the wa…oh. well, that’s that I suppose.

Supporting actors that kick ass

Supporting actors that kick ass

Leo from That 70’s show: We have never seen a more spaced-out, clueless, weed- happy, hippy loser in all of television. Leo, proud owner of the Foto hut where Hyde works, is full of little gems of brilliance. Sample this: Leo: You drive. I can’t since my licence got suspended. Hyde: What for? Leo: It fell into my glass of soda. And it just hung there. Suspended.

Roger Sterling from Mad Men: While every character on Mad Men is nuanced enough to inspire their own show, it’s Roger Sterling, that slim silver haired genius, that we are especially fond off. Maybe it’s because he’s never seen without a drink in his hand or the fact that he has mad game. It could also be his dry, witty humour.

Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec: We totally love Ron Swanson, but we pick Tom Haverford for his pure ingenuity. He has kickass business ideas, kickass made up names for every thing (eggs are pre birds or future birds), his house is a dream, he makes up songs on the spot, he’s weird, he’s a freak, he’s friends with Jean Ralphio, he invents drinks, he invents perfumes, he’s a cashmere, velvet, cashmere candy cane…we could go on you know.

Sheela from Shameless: She’s weird but she’s strong. She’s crazy but she means well and she’s a right old bleeding heart. We would totally call her a saint if it weren’t for her ideas of a good time in bed.

Jack McFarland from Will and Grace: Why this show wasn’t just called Jack and Karen is truly a mystery. Jack McFarland deserves his own show for so many reasons, his love for Cher, his singing, owning his own tiny café in the hallway but mostly for his kickass dancing skills he picked up as part of JLo and Janet Jackson’s troupe. Jack hands!

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

Here comes the wedding post

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Here comes the wedding post

After I spent last week ranting about lovelorn romantics on television, this week, I thought about another of my favourite television staples: the big wedding. Oh what fresh hell is this one going to bring? Ruined gown, groom getting cold feet, father of the bride drunk and boisterous? Television’s approach to weddings is usually pretty damn predictable, whether it’s Full House where Jessie lands in jail or Carrie from Sex and the City who puts a bird on her head only to be abandoned at the alter. But there are some, of course, that make me cock my head to one side and go “Aww, I also want.”

This week, I watched a lot of wedding scenes, some because they restore my faith in love and unicorns and some because they remind me of a car crash where I just can’t stop looking.

My viewing started off with one of my favourites; Lily and Marshall on How I met your mother. What makes this wedding so utterly believable is that I can totally imagine this happening to me. Getting carried away by the grandeur of that perfect wedding and then just going for an ‘intimate outdoor wedding; just close friends and an acoustic guitar’. In the follow up to the big day, they make a list of wedding clichés to avoid (slideshow of pictures set to Green Day’s Time of your life, Conga line, the Corinthians) and decide to spend nights away and fail, which of course introduces us to the super cute Night night Lily. Everything goes wrong, Marshall shaves his head, the harpist goes into labour but true love and champagne trumps everything.

The next one is the real life wedding on Keeping up with the Kardashians. There is a perverse joy in watching this episode because listening to them talk about how much they love each other makes me giggle and scream “72 days you guys!” at the TV screen. You just have to register the epic size of this wedding (and Kim’s chest in that wedding gown!) and it’s easy to see why preparations make the bride insane. I mean more insane than usual, of course. Our diva turns so super controlling that Kris starts feeling left out and has to remind himself that he IS on a show where the spotlight will always be on her. It always amazes me that weddings are a license for women to go nuts and men are supposed to be the cool ones. They don’t care about the details; the most they can do is show up. I call bullshit.

Next up; Turk and Carla from Scrubs. The wedding that gets delayed because the groom is stuck in surgery which he opted for so he could get two extra days off for his honeymoon. Though the wedding episode was funny, the dress rehearsal was where it all went down. Turk can’t seem to write his vows and ends up reading the speech from when Harry met Sally (Carla’s evil brother tricks him into it). He saves the day, of course by delivering a beautiful love speech in the end, JD tells Elliot he doesn’t love her any more and all hell breaks loose. Of course, the highlight of the episode (apart from all the love and Kelso calling him Turk Turkelton) is Scott Foley’s entrance.

Of all the things to go wrong and turn your wedding into the most awkward one, nothing beats Margaret Sterling’s wedding in Mad Men. It is absolutely the worst thing for a wedding to be cancelled after all that preparation (like Phoebe and Mike’s almost does in Friends) but to go ahead with it on the day President John F. Kennedy is assassinated? Terrible, terrible move, Margaret. Your dad’s new young wife getting wobble-on-your-high-heels-drunk at the wedding is just a speck of the awfully embarrassing things to happen to you on that day.

I am not the biggest fan of Monica or Courtney Cox but I have such immense love for Matthew Perry and his character Chandler on Friends, that I have watched this wedding episode more times than any couple has had to change their seating arrangements. Predictably of course, Chandler takes off, Rachel lets everyone believe Monica is the one pregnant and Joey shows up late to officiate. I always hope that if this happens to any of my friends, I’d be able to lie better than Rachel’s “ooops, I’ve fallen down” delaying tactic. Of course, they do end up married and in a super follow up episode Chandler loses all the pictures and creates new one’s at a stranger’s wedding. A classic wedding episode, if there ever was one.

The best wedding episode I have seen on television so far, is April and Andy’s on Parks and Rec. A party-turned-wedding with absolutely no thought whatsoever (“I can’t emphasize how little we thought about this.”), this wedding is part hilarious and part super-duper-makes-you-want-to-dance cute. Andy makes everyone his best man and the soundtrack is Simon and Garfunkel. Andy’s speech is beautiful (April you are the most awesome person I have ever known in my entire life. I vow to protect you. From danger. And I don’t care if I have to fight an ultimate fighter, or a bear, or him. Your mom. I would take them down. I’m getting mad right now even telling you) and April is unabashedly sentimental (I guess I kinda hate most things. But I never really seemed to hate you.” So I wanna spend the rest of my life with you, is that cool?). There are dead pigeons, a creepy goth wedding guest that everyone avoids and Jean Ralphio. April’s sister gives an emotional speech, which ends with “Has anyone seen my grey hoodie?” Everything about this episode is so unexpected and not dramatic like you would expect a wedding episode to be; it stays true to the characters and it is the most sweetest and coolest wedding.

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