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177: Alone

27 Jun

A’s at work and I find myself alone at home, and with myself, after a good 26 days. That’s a long, long time. I don’t know what to do with myself, to be honest. I still have a few days of summer break left and I’d love to cash in on them as much as I can. However, wherever I look, there’s a house that’s screaming to be cleaned and looked after. The one thing I despise is unpacking and resetting my life to its routine. If I know myself, I will let the bags be till I really need to keep them away or till I can’t stand the sight of them anymore; whichever happens first. I suffer from a not so rare form of laziness that just does not permit me to act swiftly in these matters. The sight of an unkempt house irks me no end, however the inertia to do anything about it is always greater than this feeling. Therefore I do the inevitable – turn a blind eye towards the suitcase and the bags that are lying in an almost askance fashion, right.in.my.living.room.

UGH.

But heyyyy tv shows and tandoori chicken, I’ve missed youuuu.

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157: It’s A Feeling

6 Jun

…that of ordering sundaes from Corner House, and settling back into our respective couches to catch up on episodes of The Crown, which btw, we’re completely hooked on to.

From what I gauge, and from what is in fact the way of the world, all that glitters isn’t gold, and the grass always somehow looks greener on the other side.

Having said that, I will also maintain that I’ve always wanted to live like royalty, even if it was for just a day. Okay two. :P

110: Girls

20 Apr

I’ve never associated more with a tv show than I have with Girls, especially this time around. Not that I count either this show or me to be excessively and overpoweringly aligned with this twisted concept of feminism, but there’s no rounding just how powerful its impact has been. It’s been my show to savour, to save, to keep right for when I’m really in the mood to indulge myself – because each season has an unfortunate total of just 10 episodes each.

I love the complexity and girliness of it in its entirety. Be it about trying to find my feet, catch a breath, find a breather, make a space for my own self in my own self, maintain my relationships…I found myself feeding off of it more than I have before. Perhaps it’s just the honesty, unashamed, naked, and stark realness of it which speaks to me; which I find easier to associate with.

And let’s not even talk about just how emotionally powerful it has been – watching it has brought me to tears on multiple occasions, which took me by surprise to be honest. Sometimes when I’m in the mood to wallow in my own thoughts, it’s been quite a support to turn to. And it makes me sad to have to wait – for the show to get clearance for another season, and then of course for it to begin again.

For now, I’m swimming in this, which has stuck on with me.

 

The best feeling, in rotation with feeling loved, is that of knowing you’re not alone. It’s the removal of that stopper which magically makes everything feel better in an instant. And this is what the show gave me, in bundles. :)

106: Ostrich Situation, Again

16 Apr

It’s Sunday, and I’m trying not to mourn the loss of a beautifully perfect weekend. There was relaxation, food, laughter, games of cards, music, soft lights, cold drinks on ice, gardening, eating, sleeping, and wrapping up the loose ends of the week that was. It was perfection like most things seldom are; not that seeking perfection is an ideal or even a goal.

Thoughts about tomorrow do make sneaky appearances into my mind’s space from time to time; thoughts which I drown by sticking my head into things that’ll help speed their disappearance. They pry their way when I’m prepping for the upcoming week or when I’ve chosen to watch just another episode of DS instead of finishing what’s at hand.

And it’d be a shame to allow this to ruin an otherwise magical weekend, wouldn’t it?

23: When KWK Inspired Me

23 Jan

I just watched the KWK episode with Priyanka Chopra, and I think I’ve found a new role model to add to my list. Oh well, my notes, because I don’t have a list. I’ll admit to never really having liked her, not as an actor because I think she can act, but because she was everywhere, and in a way, that was annoying, and something I didn’t want in my face constantly. But some good has come from this couch show, and I think it’s that in all these years, and through all the things that have been said and not said about her, it was a breath of fresh air to hear her talk.

She made me realise so much that I’d either chosen not to see or missed seeing or was simply latent in me. It also got me thinking about the impact that portrayals can have on our perceptions. By that I mean, not once in all these years of her crossing the seas and breaking concrete, did I get to see from her words, her voice, her thoughts, or even in her silence, a glimpse of her reality. This noise so far, has only been that – noise. And perhaps it was a different kind of noise thing, because maybe that’s how it is abroad. We Indians are super noisy about a lot of stuff too, but in different mannerisms. But I’m not here to talk about cultural differences or white noise or even noise. What I saw on television, and keeping in mind that it was indeed a television show, I felt more realness speak than I’ve ever seen. She is yet another woman who is par strengths that so many of us dream to possess or realise we own.

Watching her on television today made me feel so good, and so proud, all together. How can a person, especially a woman, not feel good about seeing another out there, achieving things that, let’s admit, we at some point have wanted to do for ourselves? I won’t take the liberty to speak for anyone but myself, and I will confess quite matter-of-factly, that she has what I dream of having. And in that identification, I found inspiration. I aspire for goals that are my own, but which come from that same universal dream of getting there, being successful, and owning that success. Who doesn’t want that, after all? I fear failing, and I hate losing. Bumpy roads bring the demons out in me, as much as the awareness that most often success ironically mandates standing out, and therefore standing alone. Thinking of these things scare me, and therefore I do not allow these thoughts to gain strength or even a voice. I don’t think I’ve ever been so really moved and prodded by an episode on tv, except that gratitude/thanksgiving one on Oprah those many years ago.

The Priyanka Chopra I saw today, brought forth the many things I idolise in my world view, and maybe even reminded me to never put them on the back-burner, like I have in some cases.

Be busy working hard, and smart. Make no room for thoughts that debilitate this effort.
Never show the world the chink in your armour. Remember that you’re not perfect, and move on.
What is an obstacle now, will in time, and with experience, be water off your back. (I love this one!)
Each of us has our demons, which in turn have their own voices. Know when to let them talk, and when to silence them.
The world will always talk, irrespective. Keep walking. (I follow this, and believe in it a 100%)
In versatility lies the key of progression, just as change is always constant.
Boundaries are definitive in maintaining best health.
Silence is gold, even when it’s most tempting to give away.

Of course she’s said a lot of things and I’m clearly, but unapologetically bowled over. Enough inspiration and influence for one day, no? :)

Grey’s Anatomy

27 Mar

I’m not even sure when this show first made its appearance to the world…it’s that old and it’s gone on that long. But of course it hasn’t beaten the likes of Bold and the Beautiful yet and never will, in many, many ways (and I hope it never will go down that obnoxious path). When it was first released, I was back in college (I remember that much) and was quite unmoved by it…disinterested, rather. Besides, it featured medicine, doctors and hospitals on more than just a regular basis (heck, the show revolved around these components) and it wasn’t something very appealing to me…how could one watch such a show for entertainment’s sake, I thought. Of course, this wouldn’t ever be mild and likeable lovable like Doogie Howser was and I’d never really dove into the likes of ER (sorry, Mr. Clooney!) so all my thoughts naturally led me to believe that this show wasn’t meant for me. And I never watched it…

…until many years later when I was on the line to submit my Master’s thesis to my professor and figured it was more important to have all-nighters focused on a television show I never really was interested in, over and above what needed my attention, time and effort more than anything else. If you’ve been a reader ever since I started blogging or if you know me or you may have guessed by now, I am indeed the self-confessed procrastinator. Call it being arrogant or presumptuous or lazy or uncaring or just being someone who works best when under pressure (clearly less than a week’s time to draft, write, seek approvals and print an entire thesis is a lot of time to really feel the pressure), but it was just then when my interests and fascination for the show rooted themselves rather firmly into my being. And there’s been no looking back ever since.

The show has, of course, come a very long way since when it first started out, what with all the twists, turns, ups and downs, entries and exits, mergers and murders accidental deaths it has seen throughout. Every fan of this show has cried gallons of tears, felt emotional on cue and braved every dramatic storm after storm, year after year. It is stressful to watch this show (though Homeland takes that cake, for me!). There came a point when I had even decided to stop watching it…when Christina left…when Derek died…that had to be it…it was getting too much…and with only Meredith and Alex left, what was it worth anyway, right?

But I’m still watching it. In fact, I just did catch up on all the episodes I’d missed thanks to a cranky laptop that only wanted to crash and burn. There is something about this show, as promiscuous and unending as its characters and story is…everybody is (almost) seeing somebody from the same hospital…a rather convenient la-dee-da benefit, if I may say so, for these hard working doctors who have no social life except with each other.

There’s a magnetism about the show which surpasses the stress, the deaths, the drama, the promiscuity and Meredith’s timely martyrdom. The one thing that has made me stick to this show has been its screenplay, its writing, its themes and most of all, its direction (in a non-cinematic way). Oh, and the dancing! I’m one of those suckers who almost always has something to learn and take away from its episodes from time to time. I love how Shonda Rhimes speaks through her show. I marvel at whoever writes these episodes. I am amazed at just how much depth there is in this show and how it isn’t just another television show to me. Be it the music she chooses to employ when words fail her characters or be it the words that steal the show; I’m always left wanting more. And let’s not get into the show’s ability to make me cry. You cry watching it too, right?

I think I watch it and come back for more because the bottom line is that it feels more real than fake, more raw than made up, more human than televised… so much so, that is has the power to haunt your mind and thoughts. Of course, this is only if a show like this appeals to you, naturally. Besides, I think it may have even made me more open to doctors…to the fact that they are human beings and not aliens in white coats out there to hurt me, poke me, cut right into me. Never mind. I think I’m a goner, anyway. But you know what I’m talking about, yes? You feel it too, right? Great, that makes me feel a little better about myself. Thank you.

To share, here’s something that’s caught my fancy…a few of the many, many tracks featured on this show that have blown my socks off.

 

 

Learning: TV shows talk beyond the screen too. Always have. Always will.

Learning 2: Dance. Even when it seems impossible or ridiculous.

Sinful Saturday

16 Mar

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Adrak chai (ginger milk tea) on a Friday and Saturday are much savoured by the over sensitive caffeine me. It’s something I look forward to minus the worry of having to toss and turn in bed for most of the night. But, as much as I love the idea of it, I think the turn in weather has brought about some changes as well. It’s slowly time to keep them hot beverages aside for a summer afternoon and reign in that blessed cold coffee. Well, that is what I’ve been craving for, for a bit now.

In between catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Downton Abbey, the craving made me head all the way to the grocery store in order to get whatever I needed my dose of weekend cold coffee to have. It was sumptuous and a tad bit sinful as well. I’m not complaining. I never really complain about sinning over food, really. What can I say, I’ve been converted and have moved over to the other side before I even knew it.

So there it was, and it was quite the welcome break from that cup of hot tea. Of course, this can only ever be a weekend affair thanks to that over-sensitivity I was talking about. Also, I don’t think I can afford to sin on an everyday basis. :D Plus it was pasghetti time again this weekend, so it was sin written all over my Saturday. Sumptuous sinning. :)

The visit to the grocery store also had me pick up this new series of ice cream bars called Magnum that I’ve been hearing the rounds of. Have you had them before? They’re supposed to be more chocolatey and rich, is what I heard. I gave them a try. And I don’t think I’ll be trying them anytime soon again. For one, a single bar cost me 85 bucks. It was a chocobar. After having paid anywhere between 5-25 bucks on a chocobar all my life, I think this was too rude a shock to me. Why was it 85 bucks? Because the chocolate coating around the vanilla bar is thicker, for sure. Also, the vanilla bar in itself is so much more rich and creamier and therefore, thicker.

My brother tried the chocolate truffle one and said it was all chocolate and lots of it. If that’s your bar of chocolate, then go for it. Having grown up on chocobar and having so many associations with it, I wouldn’t rate this one too high. It’s like paying excessively for something you’re so fond of, except it isn’t really the thing you’re so fond of. Toying with a consumer’s idea of associations and concept of brand is quite a tricky lane to go down on. For the company that tried doing it, I hope it works for them because really, nothing for me could ever beat a simple chocobar. I really could do without the richness. I’d save that for a more sumptuous dessert than a bar of ice cream. Besides, the vanilla bar inside tasted more milky than vanilla-y to me. Fail.

Give it a try. Maybe I ought to try the other flavours as well. But if the simplest of them all made me feel this burdened with unnecessary richness in a time when I would like lighter dessert options, I’m a bit wary of trying the more decadent ones. After all, chocobars and their other counterparts always bring back memories of waiting to hear the ringing bell of the mobile ice cream cart on your street, of running over to the ice cream guy and buying whatever your mind fancied, even if it was that orange/mango iced candy bar that so sealed the deal almost every summer afternoon. It’s hard for anyone to replace that which is so etched in one’s memories of something as deeply set as childhood.

6 Degrees

4 Apr

I came across a tweet about this show yesterday.
I decided to give it a try irrespective of the fact that it gives off a slightly feminist undertone when you first hear the title.
On an ordinary day, I wouldn’t indulge in a TV show or piece of entertainment that was named the name it has. However, it turns out that a tweet can indeed go a long way sometimes.
I started watching it today. I’m watching this.

GirlsI’m already 3 episodes down and I think I’m gonna go all the way and see this series through.
The last scene of the 3rd episode ‘All Adventurous Women Do’ where Hannah and Marnie, 2 best friends, dance in their bedroom led me to hunt for the song they were dancing to.
The search led me to TuneFind which is a pretty cool site. It helps duds like me find songs faster than even try and rattle off names of songs from the top of my head.

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And even though I did get all the songs played in the entire episode, I wanted the song the 2 girls dance to.
So I found the track.
And I love it.
It’s catchy, it’s something that hits the spot for me and it’s something I can connect to.
I’m sharing it because it would be lovely if you heard it too.

What did this song make me do?

It brought me here to write about how brilliant this world is. I love how we’re all connected in some weird way. I love how one thing leads to the other and how sometimes strange things in this world make your life feel normal and how these random pieces fall into place and fit.

It makes me want to write about how we’re all living in this world, doing our own thing, lost most often but going somewhere nonetheless. I love how we bump into people, things, occurrences and experiences along the way. I love how we’re meant to bump into all these things sometimes. I love how exhilarating the surprise around the corner can make someone who doesn’t like change much, feel. I love the thought that there’s always going to be some thing or someone even when we feel we’re all alone in a vacuum.

6 degree of separation much? I think it’s awesome because the element of not being in control of everything makes life a little more exciting. It gives me the option to let go and not be so hard on myself for things that didn’t go according to plan. I guess it’s the world’s way of giving us all a leeway; a break to just perhaps dance on your own, as it were.

Also, it just reaffirms how much a TV show can impact me. I cannot imagine being in a world without them. I love them, I love all the ones I watch (du-h me!). I love everything that’s said on Grey’s Anatomy, I love the reality and hope of Ugly Betty, I love the exclusivity of The Big Bang Theory, I love the power of Scandal, I love the naturalness of FRIENDS, I love it all. Also, I love Jackson Avery’s eyes, Alex’s bad boy-ness, Hunt’s rawness, Shepherd’s calmness, Christina’s drive, Bailey’s groundedness, Richard’s fatherliness, Sheldon’s psychoticness, Olivia’s resilience, Betty’s attitude, Hilda’s fiery-ness and of course Daniel’s awesomeness. Yes, I find Daniel Meade awesome. Unabashedly so. Also, I love my TV shows. I love them all. I love the characters and shows I haven’t mentioned too.

TV makes sense and always will. Who said we don’t need an idiot to throw light our way. :)

B-I-N-G-E

30 Dec

I feel like a blob; a blob that’s lost sight of control, very clearly. Here’s why.

The past few days have turned my life topsy turvy. Out went my daily routine and in came a barrage of everything that symbolizes a holiday spent by a blob who has no self-control. When you work from home, it’s awesome. Just sometimes of course. There was binging on food, sleep and TV of course. And because my life revolves so much around food, I shall begin with that.

It’s quite the occupational hazard when your free-reign kitchen is just 2 steps away when you work from home. Every breakfast you’ve fathomed and drooled gorging over when at office comes to life and becomes a possibility. Well, not every breakfast, but still. Either way, the binge consciously began when I randomly figured we needed cake. So a breakfast banana cake it was. Only because ma likes cake with her tea in the morning and in general. I think I told you some parts of her are almost English. And because the aforementioned dream of a work-breakfast kept haunting me, a batch of scrambled eggs, mash, sausages, buttered toast and of course kettles full of adrak chai happened. It’s a different thing that the nuthead me didn’t click breakfast pictures, but well, there are some that will follow.

As if that wasn’t enough, here’s what happened next.

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Chocolate Ganache Tart. Yeah, it happens when you go around eating at restaurants and want to wake up to more. This was another chocolate experiment that I put together in my head while thinking about hotel names (because my job sometimes requires me to think about hotels). I must say I was stoked. It was quite a beauty and quite a darling to devour. Also, when you play around with something like chocolate which results in something like that, you feel pretty darn close to being like Nigella Lawson. It’s weird but it’s true. I feel that a lot. And I’m not even kiddin’!

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The joy! And because there was joy all around (and swooning noises) and company, the binging led to this.

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More happiness. And the world has its ways. Sometimes there’s just good all around. And more good happened when a random phone call led to a sudden meeting over laughter, one hot boy and some warm comfort food.

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Macaroni casseroles and sizzlers make for ideal dinners on December nights. White sauce, cheese, butter and all. It’s just a done thing. Seriously.

And somewhere along the way you catch up with your girlfriends and end up *waitforit* eating again. Here’s what our favourite order is and has been at HRC – Nachos. We order a big plate of veg ones so that everyone can dig in together and it’s perhaps the only dish all of us can eat together without the veg/non-veg dilemma. So it’s more a tradition than anything else. And it’s a God-awesome one. Try it sometime if you haven’t. Also recommend other vegetarian options we can include the next time we go.

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Call it winter binge-eating or the lack of proper sunlight during winters or the general tendency to eat more during the “holidays” or stupid excuse making tactics, but it never just stops at one dish or one starter. Like I said, there is no limit, no control, no shame.

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There will always be junk. Junk takes over. Junk rules. Junk makes you feel happy and warm. Junk makes the cells in your brain, body and being bloom, blossom and sing. Junk makes you forget about everything else. Junk helps you live a life you should lead at regular intervals. Junk also very rudely reminds you that you can’t keep carrying on the lewd relationship you wish to share with it. Sigh.

Having said that, there’s been a lot and more of junk that has taken over. Therefore there’s been an over-binge (if there is something like that) on sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been binging/tripping on this.

homeland

Can I just say that this is a completely insane show in such a mind blowing way? The suspense keeps me rooted in bed, hiding behind my quilt while trying to simultaneously catch what’s happening. It makes me grab something to eat every single time! It makes me stress-eat. This show primarily revolves around a Marine officer, Sgt. Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) who is suspected by a CIA agent, Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) to be a turned terrorist while he was captured and trapped by radical Islamic groups for over 8 years. It’s the story of his homecoming, of his being a war hero and of becoming America’s next poster boy while being questioned and suspected by the awesomely feisty Matheson. It definitely is a show to watch. What freaks me out about it is that it really stands so close to what our reality is today, that there are so many out there fighting battles at every religious, political and personal front. Also, it keeps you wound up and hooked till you’ve sat at a stretch and watched episode after episode unfold.

There’s no wonder I’ve been sleeping at the time I usually wake up at and eating more than I usually do and sleeping more than I could possibly imagine. Binged out? Hell yeah! And I somehow have room for more.

Saturday TV

25 Aug

Saturdays are synonymous with lazing around in bed and spending the day very languorously engrossed in a book or watching re-runs of the week’s TV shows.  I try to spend at least one Saturday in the month doing absolutely nothing. Dolce far niente as Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love, says – is how I would describe these Saturdays. Today is one of those days too.

I wallow in laziness. It does wonders to one’s soul. Try it if you haven’t already. For someone who has as organized a day as can be with timings, schedules and to-do lists, it’s something I relish because I can actually afford to let all that structure fall apart minus any liability on this one day. And because I don’t generally watch TV anymore, I can’t really catch up on show re-runs either. Which reminds me, I need to get hold of the latest Masterchef season. So in times like these, I turn to the marvelous world of the web and dive into TV shows I think I’ll like. And I must say that I’m thrilled with what I’ve discovered.

It all started with Grey’s Anatomy. I never thought I’d watch the show. Medical dramas are never my type. I have a phobia towards all things medical (doctors included) and it didn’t take me anything at all to dismiss this show when it released back in  2005. While everyone raved, gasped and swooned about it and Dr. McDreamy, I stuck on to my usual dose of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, etc. But I realized that things changed drastically when I spent nights catching up on all the seasons of GA that I had missed instead of finishing up on reading and completing my thesis. I spent all-nighters engrossed in the plot, screenplay and the amazing dialogues of GA complete with all the waterworks I could muster. And that’s how I watched 5 seasons in one go. Simply super. I’m an absolute sucker for words and dialogues and man, has Shonda Rhimes delivered or has she delivered. I’m always left speechless. I wish I could write like that. I wish I could think like that sometimes. I love it. I watched it all in one go and had nothing else to watch.

And then Facebook told me about Shonda Rhimes’ new show – Scandal. I had to, had to give it a try even though politics and political dramas aren’t really my thing. (I judge very quickly, I realize). This show revolves around this super-awesome, super-sexy, super-knowledgeable and super-uber-cool ‘gladiator’ Olivia. She takes you by surprise at every turn and you’re left in awe as the show unveils, episode by episode. I’m so in awe of her genius, her power, her character altogether. Even though the show centers the President of the United States and his political bandwagon, she steals the show away every time. Couple that with Shonda Rhimes’ style and dialogues yet again and it’s a sure winner for me. Give it a try if you haven’t. It takes 2 episodes to figure what’s going on, but that’s worth a try. I only wish the first season had more episodes.

From Scandal, I went on to Mad Men. This one’s got the backdrop of the 1960s and revolves around the world of advertising, set in Madison Avenue. Fabulous. It is much slower than the previous two but watching the sheer genius of Don Draper makes up for everything else. It reminds me of what it is like to work in such a field and the struggles and hard work one has to put up with. Beautifully set, beautifully made and wonderfully crafted through and through. It’s amazing how things haven’t really changed in the world. You get a glimpse of all that and more when you watch this one.

Somewhere in between watching Mad Men, I latched on to Revenge. It has you at go. You’re immediately absorbed in the world of Amanda Clarke and Emily Thorne. Again, I marvel her character. Strong women is what the world needs. You name it and she knows it. Super smart, uber cool and loaded – she has the Hamptons at her fingertips. And the more you watch, the deeper you’re sucked into it. You don’t have a choice. You just watch it. There’s no stopping yourself. Dive into this when you think you can spare more than just 5 hours at a stretch, or more! :) A must watch, nonetheless.

After zipping through Revenge, breathless and all, I was recommended by the brother to watch Sherlock. This isn’t as new as I thought. But again, another show jam packed with genius and brilliance. You’re drawn to the new-age world of Sherlock ‘sexy’ Holmes in no time. Intelligence and smartness and genius is sexy to me. Not many episodes with just 3 in each season, but each heavily laden to blow your mind away. I’m still in the midst of this one. Another super, super show to occupy your senses with. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thoroughly watchable, even for those who don’t care much for murder mysteries and detectives.

So, dolce far niente? You so bet!