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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!

In which I jump excitedly and bite my nails about Homeland

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In which I jump excitedly and bite my nails about Homeland

I spent this entire week racking my brains about what I wanted to write my column on. It was this tough because the only thing on my mind for the past week is Homeland. If you haven’t seen it already, you definitely should. Also, you might not want to read this, it may or may not be filled with spoilers.

What makes a good show great is the acting and what makes a great show spectacular is the writing.  Homeland employs all the basics of a good thriller; intrigue, suspense, forbidden love and the threat of a terrorist attack that will destroy the world (The USA mostly) as we know it.

At the beginning of the new season, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) was having pretty terrible luck. Fired from the CIA because of the man she was in love with while constantly suspecting that he was a terrorist and having to resort to shock treatment. But four episodes in, and things are looking pretty damn good for her. (If you count escaping bullets and a failed suicide attempt good).

The first few episodes of a season are a pretty good indication of what’s coming. Carrie got her “I was right” moment when Saul showed her Brody’s video (which was followed by a superb crying scene that Danes is such an expert at, replete with a trembling chin) which proved that Saul was not a mole and that unfortunate polygraph incident was just a mistake and now that the CIA was on to Brody, the season would be spent watching him and manipulating him into finding Abu Nazir’s plans. The rhythm and the narrative of any show is almost predictable if you’ve watched enough television.

But, nope. You can’t be predicting anything with Homeland. You think we are going left? Ok, then we are going to turn right to the south of the west and turn around halfway and head to the northeast. Episode four, New Car Smell was an absolute game changer. I bit my nails and almost shut my eyes when Carrie had a drink with Brody in his hotel and might have passed out from stress when she knocks on his door. It was an episode worth a season finale. But it’s only episode four!

But here’s the part that baffles me the most. What do we do now? What, if not proving Brody has been turned, is this season going to be about. Will he confess? Will he talk about Isa? Will he give up Roya (this might be fun considering Estes went on a date with her)? Speaking of which, doesn’t Estes seem a bit suspicious to you guys? Who is the new guy and what’s his role going to be? Did Brody give the blade to his old guard? Something is up with that Max guy, isn’t it? Will Dana and the Vice-president’s boy hook up now, when the world finds out the truth about Brody? Will Mike and Lauder figure out the truth too? What will Abu Nazir do to save Brody? Or does he want to?

So many questions. Not a single prediction.

Five television mashups we would love to watch

Five television mashups we would love to watch

Boss meets The Wire:

What the city of Baltimore might be under the tightly controlled reigns of mayor Tom Kane? We can only wonder. But if The Wire ever met Boss, we’d pay good money to see this show. Especially, the epic showdown scene between Stringer Bell and him.

Southpark meets Archer:

A secret mission where super spies Archer and Lana set out to foul the evil plans of the Russians. Enter Eric Cartman and some of his token destruction. Plan foiled! Godammit Cartman! Also, more scope to kill Kenny in ways more violent? Bring it.

Modern family meets Full House:

First of all when DJ, Stephanie, Michelle and Uncle Jesse’s twins get together with Haley, Alex, Luke, Manny, Lily, you don’t just get a Full House, you get a house that bursts at the seams. Also we get the feeling that if Stephanie Tanner got into contact with the destruction minister Luke, she’d probably “how rude” herself to death. Come to think of it, Kimmie Gibler would fit right in with the Dunphy Gang. Maybe they could adopt her and take her away from the Tanners. Gibbler doesn’t deserve that kind of life, the poor thing.

30 Rock meets Parks and Rec:

The ultimate women in comedy, the crazy and borderline gross, Liz Lemon meets the ambitious nut job, Leslie Knope. Ron Swanson meets Jack Donaghy. Donna Meagle meets Tracy Jordon. Tom Haverford meets Jenna. Chris Tregar meets Kenneth Parcel. Boom! Boom!

Breaking Bad meets Arrested Development:

The Bluth family can achieve what no one can. Our bet is Walter White shoots himself out of sheer frustration of dealing with the crazy family. Although, it would be great fun to see Jesse and Gob do their magic.

All you need is love

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All you need is love

The quest for love sure is one of life’s biggest priorities. Unless you’re on television; then it’s pretty much your entire life and being. Television is full of optimistic, angsty and hopeless romantics that jump from relationship to relationship with funny and creepy results but they power through. Yes, they do.

They are almost all about 30 and their life comprises of endless hours spent at the neighborhood bar discussing their ever-changing love life with their friends.

The most recent ones to join the list is Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project. A doctor by profession, she lives on a standard fare of romantic comedies and believes she will find “The One” as long as she looks hard enough. The critics are pretty torn about this rom-com but three episodes in, I quite like it. It’s a bit typical what with the playboy who has a deeper side, the mean coworker who we secretly hope Mindy will end up with but there is room for good intelligent comedy and I can feel it coming. Also, I absolutely adore Mindy Kaling and will watch anything she’s in. And this show is produced, created, written and stars Kaling.

One of the most popular hopeless romantic of course is, Ted Mosby of How I met your mother that we have been watching since they invented the computers and let people write terribly lengthy scripts on. Mosby bravely (and stupidly) continues on his quest for love while drawing up a long list of what she’ll be like “oh, she has to love my lame jokes”, “oh, she must be a fan of my constant neediness and tears”.

Now, this elusive “one” leaves in its wake a bunch of really nice, pretty and normal people who seem to be dumped because of these character’s delusions.

Finding love and being happy forever? B-o-o-ring. But the constant hunt for one that starts with optimism followed by a disaster date that involves crap like she smiles weirdly, she doesn’t like hummus or she talks about killing her cats all the time and ends with a shrug and ‘eh, the one is still out there’ and more damn optimism.

If I went on as many dates as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, I’m pretty sure I’d probably run out people in Mumbai. Plus, be very broke (anyone notices how this writer never reads and never picks a guy who reads? C’mon, make out with Mr. Big and then discuss Hemingway. That would be hot! Also, I’m quoting Newsroom here, but I know Carrie must’ve made boatloads writing her eight-hundred-word column for a newspaper no one’s ever heard of).

All of these lovelorn characters have jobs that they barely pay any attention to, how can you when you spend half your day running into pretty men at the bakery and the other half obsessing over what she meant when she said “we need to talk”. You’d think after about a billion failed relationships, they’d know better.

My problem isn’t that these are unrealistic, it is television after all, but I’m tired of all of them being clones of each other. The idealistic talk of “all encompassing, unconditional love”, the stupid insights on love….the works. It’s always the same. Surely, the cynics who understand deadlines and dwindling bank balances also find love. Yup, they do. They just don’t spend as much time talking about it and crying on their friend’s shoulders at 3 am on weekday.

Six faceless characters we would love to see

Six faceless characters we would love to see

Mrs. Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory

We’ve heard so much of and about her; we assume she is an obese woman with too much body hair and some serious boundary issues. You can’t help but feel bad for the creepy Howard. But here’s what she looks like in real life.

Ms Sara Bellum from the Powerpuff Girls

We know a lot about Sara Bellum. She has shapely legs that go upto there and curves that would make Beyonce sign up for self esteem therapy. What’s more, we suspect she’s the brain behind the happy but useless mayor, how could she not be with that smart pun in her name. We have never seen her face. The only time we come close is when she attends the carnival, but…oh, what’s that…a bunch of balloons have covered her face.

Wilson from Home Improvement

Oh, the times I’ve spent wondering why nobody ever says, “Hey, Wilson, come over for dinner would you?” So we could finally see his face. Born out of the Tim Allen’s childhood when he couldn’t see his neighbor’s face over the fence, Wilson was Tim’s go-to guy for all kinds of advice.

Charlie from Charlie’s Angels:

After all the approving “Good work angels!” We expected to at least see the damn guy at some damn point. Charlie from Charlie’s angels has to be the most faceless presense on television.

Ugly naked guy from Friends:

He’s caused plenty of hilarity, he killed a cat (poor thing never saw that big butt coming), Ross stripped to the bone in order to curry favour with him…So many fond memories and yet we never end up seeing the guy or hearing him speak. Maybe because he was ugly. And naked.

Sitcom cliches we could do without

Sitcom cliches we could do without

A dramatic wedding 

Every wedding episode has to have some element of drama, whether it’s the bride or the groom getting cold feet and going missing or there’s an old love that pops up out of nowhere. Or they may even be a little pre-marital tiff.

A flashback episode 

Where the characters are all made to look exaggeratedly dorky and at the end of which, their present day versions remember “what’s important” in life.

“Oh my god! I think my water just broke.” 

Yep. Seen that one.

 “I love you” “Thank you” 

Every sitcom has at least one version of the surprised thank you to an I love you. Followed by a retelling of this story to their friends. Thank you.

The Be Yourself speech

One advice fits all. Nervous about the school play? Be yourself! Don’t know how to ask Stephanie for the prom? Be yourself! The class is making fun of you? Be yourself!

Manic pixie dream bitches

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Manic pixie dream bitches

Aww, silly Jess look she just fell over the couch and showed her pink underwear to a bunch of important people at a fancy party. Whoops. How cute is that?

Ohnonono, poor Rebecca. She just opened her mouth and said something silly to a big shot man in a suit. What is she going to do? Ohmaagood, he loved her idea and though she was cute. Oh, well…giggle.

I’m fucking tired of these girls. I’m not saying all manic pixie dream girls are annoying. Some of them, I actually like. Because they are fun and a little crazy and mostly, they aren’t trying really hard to be. Jess of New Girl is the most recent character to make my blood boil. The thick rimmed glasses and the cute summer dresses and the incessant jabbering and the clumsiness. And they all look the same right down to the bangs and the nervous hand twitching. How can that be anything but adorable?

Well there is absolutely nothing cute about being a klutz. I know, because I am one, and I wish everyday that I would wake up and not hurt myself with the pointy edges of my bed, the hard meter in that rickshaw, stub my toe against the table or scrape my knee. If you know me in real life and have never seen me fall down a flight of stairs or bleed from a wound I got from that drawer handle, please comment and let me know. I have marks and bruises all over and it is not cute. Can’t really wear flowery little summer dresses when you’ve got a large scab on you ankle can you? And from experience, I can say that summer dresses when you know you’re going to be drinking is just heresy. (It’s a long story and it involves alcohol and me screaming “Propeller blades” and twirling around, arms to the sides.)

It is not cute to be embarrassed all the time; it is not cute to have broken so many glasses that you only use steel ones to drink water. It is not cute when there are actual stories starting with “Remember that time when Sharanya banged her head against something/fell of the bed.”

And that fact that television and movies think it’s cute for a girl to hurt herself and make an ass out herself and always get a man who finds all these little idiosyncrasies of her lovable pisses me off. Is it because a helpless little silly girl is what guys want? So, they can take care of her? Is a girl who has no control over her body and mouth endearing?

I do not get it. I just don’t.

 

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