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Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Jealous kara ja?

Are any of you watching the latest season of Jhalak Dikhla jaa? Don’t you think the point of the whole season is to make us lesser mortals(women) feel horrible about our bodies? What then is the point of having a stunningly beautiful 43-year-old mother of two and a my-body-never-reveals-my-age 37-year-old mother of one, be judges on the show, and having them dance every other episode?

I mean, HAVE YOU SEEN MADHURI AND MALAIKA ON THE SHOW?

The season opener where they showed a clip of 43-year-old Madhuri dancing to her old tunes made me go and take an hour-long walk to burn my heavy dinner off(not that the walk would help). It is not just about how fit and pretty she still is, her thumkas and matkas haven’t diminished one bit, neither has her dazzling smile faded. Everytime I see her, my heart warms at how beautiful yet simple she is, and at the same time I am green with envy. If I even looked 10% as good as she does, now, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

And what chakki ka atta does Malaika eat(or does not eat)? Granted she must have loads of time on her hands to burn her fat off, and the woman dresses more in your face sexy than most of us can tolerate, but I have to give it to her that her body has not changed much from her MTV VJing days(ok maybe she got 2 crow’s feet and 2-3 wrinkles…..).

Someone just bury the man/woman who came up with this brilliant idea of having these women show up week after week, to get us to feel like slobs. Past seasons of Jhalak always compensated for the one stunning judge by throwing in a Farah Khan or a Saroj Khan, but this time they HAD to do this to us!

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Food Network FAIL!

Thanks everyone for commenting on my last post.

I have been watching too much television these days. The kind of television that doesn’t need brains to process or enjoy. The next food network star for example. It was clear from the get go that the network people and the judges simply knew they wanted Aarti Sequeira to be the winner, still they dragged the show on, for 15 weeks, created a false chink in Aarti’s armor and tried to keep us lesser mortals on the edge of our seats. I don’t think it works. Do I like the new Food network star? I don’t know. I watched the premiere of her show, Aatri Party and was underwhelmed. She made a crappy looking sloppy joe with Turkey, only, she Indianized it by adding some Garam Masala, she showed us her masala dabba(the masala dabba made its debut on American Television this week) and made some stupid looking kulfi and she said that she remembers old Bollywood movies where the heroine is eating a kulfi and walking along the water and the hero is trying to woo her. Now, one of you dear readers please tell me what movie is that from? Didn’t she totally make that up? And the most annoying part was she kept saying “we” do this, “we” do that, meaning that Indians do this, Indians do that, etc. I am not even sure what information that gave to the viewers, except that Indians do some things and that Aarti is an Indian! I was so excited at the idea of an Indian themed show on Food Network, with Globalization and so much awareness about international cuisine, it was time for such a show, but Aarti seems like a total phony! Now, had she made ‘real’ Indian food, that people identify, like Samosas, Chat, Butter Chicken or the good old dal(lentils) I would have loved her. This weak attempt at fusion cooking is not working for me, if all fusion means is a dash of jeera and some Garam Masala! Right now, other than the competition type shows, I really don’t like any other shows on the food network. Ina is super annoying with her “Good vanilla” spiel, Paula gives me heart attacks every time she puts a little bit of butter(read 2 sticks) into that biscuit, the Neelys just need a room to themselves, they don’t belong on a food based show, and Rachel Ray is getting so plastic that she will cease being a human soon. The best FN shows right now are Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef and of course Good Eats!

Then I caught up on The Big Bang Theory and all was right with the world again.

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For those of you who know and have watched the TV series 24 in the past or are excited about the new season that started last night, the fact that Anil Kapoor is playing an important role in it will be a treat. I watched the premiere last night and Anil was amazing. That is how you act in movies/TV series with the gora log. Keep your original desi accent and be slow and clear, not completely change it into a British+alien one a la Ms. Rai-Bachchan. Also, you don’t go on shows and repel people by your high-brow attitude. Do you guys remember Anil appearing on morning and late night shows in the US after Slumdog Millionaire was released in the West? He was all bubbly and excited and he said he was nervous and scared and was literally jumping like a little kid in a candy store. A lot of people might have thought he was being naive but that was when I was really impressed by his simplicity and honesty and became a fan. Comparing his appearances to a certain Ms. Rai was like comparing the taste of Pani Puri vs. wet newspapers. Today, watching him on 24 brought out the fan in me. He hasn’t aged a bit. And did you see his hair? I am sure Akshaye Khanna cries khoon ke aasun whenever he sees Anil’s full head of hair.

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Remember the serial Neev that used to air on DD Metro? It first aired in 1990 but I remember the 1994 something reruns that had me hooked. The theme song used to be like this:

Dharti par suraj ki kirne,
rakhe neev ujale ki.
Vidya ke prakash se roshan
neev bane vidayalaya ki
neev agar mazboot ho manav
dharti par aaakash bane
Koi Gandhi, koi nehru
koi veer subhash bane

Dharti par suraj ki kirne,

rakhe neev ujale ki.

Vidya ke prakash se roshan

neev bane vidayalaya ki

neev agar mazboot ho manav

dharti par aaakash bane

Koi Gandhi, koi nehru

koi veer subhash bane

This show was about kids in a boarding school somewhere in Shimla/Panchgani/Dehradoon/Gwalior, I forget. The whole story was about this kid called Anurag Sharma(very very very cute) who joins this residential school and is ragged by the ‘posh’ brigade and is made out to be a loser. The serial ends with him becoming the school head boy and the local heartthrob! Each episode was about some trouble the boys get into and how they extricate themselves. There was a school captain who was as cute as they come, a school geek, complete with spectacles and all, a school petu who was always thinking about food, the empathetic teacher who was the only one who understood the boys, the teacher’s daughter who was the only girl allowed in this boys’ club and the school bullies, some of whom have a change of heart in the later episodes and of course Anurag.

This show made boarding school glamorous for us home babies, and all I wanted in life was to study in a boarding school like the one in Neev. Where the school captain is a hot, smart guy who everyone is in love with, the school geek is your best friend, and all you do is sit and stare at guys and gossip and giggle!

Then came Jo jeeta wohi Sikandar when boarding schools became the epitome of fun in a young school-goer’s life. Oh how much we liked to be a part of the ‘fun’! Who can forget the sweetness of tunna and the innoence of Anjali, the guile of Devika, the petu(there is always a petu in every school show) ghanchu and the strict ways of Ramlal Sharma?

For those too young to remember(argh), Hip Hip Hurray comes close. Although HHH didnt have that honesty and that simplicity that Neev or JJWS did. HHH was more about these rich kids in a top boarding school and language peppered liberally with english swear words! And the girls all wore the shortest of the short skirts and were as fashionable as they get. In contrast, the few girls of Neev were closer to how we were when growing up! My sister used to swear by HHH and it was her mantra growing up, but me, I was a Neev girl through and through. HHH was too modern for my taste!

Growing up has certainly not dulled my view of boarding school life. And do not mistake boarding school to a college hostel, they are poles apart. Only a place that is hip and fun and energetic and happening is called a boarding school, a hostel is a place where there are rules, and everyone follows them, a boarding school is a place where there are rules, and it is fun to break them! No?

PS: thinking about Neev and the old serials of DD has given me a brilliant idea. I am going to scrouge around and find all old serials(ones I grew up on) and make a dvd of all of them and preserve it for my kids to see how my life as growing up. Ones that come to mind are Neev, Arohan, Fauji, Trishna, Nukkad(not the Naya Nukkad), Rajni, Yeh Jo hain Zindagi, Byonkesh Bakshi, Tehkikaat, Reporter, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Udaan. I am sure my kids will grow up with MTV and reality show crap and will definitely miss out on the gems of my generation. What say? Do add to the list!

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Rakhi ka swayamvar

I watched this show for the first time last night on you tube. Nita has penned her thoughts on the show, read her post for analysis that makes more sense than mine.

(I have a humble request to all my readers. Please do not judge me after reading this. I am usually not this vela! And please don’t stop reading my blog after this.)

In this particular episode that I watched, there are 5 suitors left and their respective moms(except the one who lives in Canada) are there to meet Rakhi. Rakhi has exactly 3 expressions on her face(actually they are slightly different versions of the same stock expression). One was love, and she used this for sympathy, soft corner, and to show she was thinking. The other was anger, which she also used for disgust and sadness. There wasn’t a third one, or wait, there was laughter, which wasn’t as animated as it should have been thanks to the much botoxed facial muscles. Other than these three, there was the expressionless face, which was the used for most of the show.

At every scene I was shaking my head and thinking, ‘they are kidding right?’ Since I have so much to say about this one, let me just jump into it, without wasting further time on introductions.

The host of the show is Ram Kapoor. I saw him and I fell off the proverbial chair( because I was sitting on the ground….duh!) Whatever happened to Ram Kapoor? He has blown up like a balloon. Does anyone remember him? He used to be smart and svelte. Now….not any more! (Wait, am I the only loser who knows him?) Hereafter he will be referred to as Balloon Kapoor(BK).

Anyway, coming back to the show, Balloon Kapoor tells the guys that the nashta is ready, but since Rakhi is fasting today(in order to get a good pati parmeshwar, no less), does anyone else want to fast too? All the guys jump at this idea and promptly mouth the required ‘Agar Rakhiji fast karegi tho hum bhi karenge‘ etc! So the day begins like that. Then Balloon Kapoor informs them that ‘someone important’ will be coming to visit them and help Rakhi ‘choose’. No prizes for guessing that the moms are doing the rounds today! All the matayen, as BK calls them, descend on the Haveli(yes it is a haveli) except one. The one guy, who hails from Canada, could not get his mom to visit him because his sister is getting married. He talks to the camera and cries, saying he misses her a lot(sheesh, grow up!) While he is crying, the camera pans to Rakhi to show that she has a soft spot for him(she used her love expression).

The first guy’s mom,let us call her mata1, tells Rakhi that they are very traditional and would expect her to put a pallu over her head after marriage. Rakhi immediately dons a pallu! She is then told that she has to do all the ghar ka kaam to which Rakhi nods and says she can cook everything and will do anything she is asked to. At this point I was thinking if the guy’s family needed a bahu or a kaamvali bai? All this while the guy is watching them both talk and is smiling like a smartass! Finally mata1 says her bahu cannot step out of home to go to work. Now Rakhi gets her anger/disgust expression(remember the 3 expressions?) Seems like this would be the nail in the coffin of this guy. Kya hoga iska? Rakhi then departs after collecting a gift of gangajal from mata1, for man aur tan ki shudhta.

Mata2‘s son is 22 years old and Rakhi is 28 so Rakhi is a little scared to meet this mom. The kid says it is his long-standing ichcha to marry Rakhi and the mom totally understands. For some reason Rakhi’s head is forever jhuka even when she is talking to mata2. mata2 is that perfect saas every girl can ever hope for. After getting a gift of chocolates from her, Rakhi departs to meet the other mothers.

Mata3 and mata 4 are also equally understanding and tell her that no matter what her past life(?) was, they would accept her if she follows the parivar ke reeti rivaaz and Rakhi nods in agreement(with her head still bent.)

Pleasantries and exchanging information with matas done, it is time for Rakhi and the 5 guys to break their fast after looking at the chaand. At this point I am confused, because it wasn’t karva chauth and no one is married to anyone, let alone engaged. But logic has NO PLACE in Rakhi ka swayamvar. The matas feed their respective sons, one of the suitors feeds Rakhi, there is a Rajasthani folk dance and everyone is happy. Finally the matas leave, so Rakhi can decide which idiot to eliminate. Sadly the elimination did not take place today. That will be another show, which I am looking forward to!

Rakhi calls all moms mummyji. WTH, she is not even married yet. And she keeps telling the camera that she is in love with all these guys and is utterly confused. While I understand this is a ‘show’, shouldn’t at least show some discretion in terms of how many people she can say she falls in love with, to make the show a little believe-able? The whole show seems like it is in a time warp. The language is what I have not heard for ages, except in Barjatya movies and Mahabharat!

Coming to the performances of the cast. It seems Rakhi has had copious amounts of botox injected into her face. She tries to smile but all she can manage is a weird movement of her lips! And like I mentioned before, she has a database of 3 expressions of which 2 are used often. None of the suitors can act. But they can cry at the drop of a hat. All of them dress similarly every week. This week was the cotton kurta-pajama week, it seemed like. Balloon Kapoor always wear a blingy suit with a stole(dupatta). He uses shudh hindi and always smiles, which makes up for lack of acting skills. Rakhi wears a blingy saree, bindi, bangles etc. Never seen her in this avatar, it was a shock to see her demurely stand there with her head down and a forced smile(botoxed face, remember?)

Needless to say, I can’t wait to watch the next episode. Yeah, laugh at me people, but let me tell you one thing. Watch it once and you will be hooked!

PS: I was thinking, if all they wanted was a great show which audience goes crazy about, they should have had the audience vote out the suitors one by one, would have been fun!

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Jai Ho?

This is how they danced to Jai Ho last night on ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’

While I appreciate the fact that Hollywood is accepting Bollywood more readily, I did not like this dance all that much. The girl’s dance lacks all finesse that Bollywood has(or rather is supposed to have). It seems more like a hormone charged movement than dance to me. The guy on the other hand, well, that’s a different story!!!!

Do pay special attention to the clip between 23 and 28 seconds. Oh well, don’t bother, the clip just jumps at you at that time, so be careful and hold on to something so you won’t fall.

What do you think?

PS: It may seem like I am criticizing the dancers, but I really have a grouse with the choreographer Nakul Dev Majahan. Last time he choreographed a couple, I thought he did a decent job. See what he did with Dhoom Tana from Om Shanti Om last season:

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