Must Watch TV Shows of 2013

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It would not border on exaggeration when said that 2013 was one of the most creative and thrilling years that television has seen in a long time. There are a number of shows that are not only promising, but also mind boggling, catering to intelligent audiences that seek drama, thrill, and logical explanations all wrapped up in a neat little bow. Some of the do-not-miss-unless-you-are-dead shows of the previous year are:

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Orphan Black

Genre: Drama, Sic-fi, Thriller

Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Kevin Hanchard

It will not be amiss to say that 2013 has set a whole new benchmark or the sic-fic and fantasy genre, and my personal favourite is Orphan Black. Imagine you are at a train station, and suddenly you witness someone who looks exactly like you, down to that tiny little mole you have over your left eyebrow, jump in front of a moving train. Wouldn’t that scare the living daylights out of you? This is what happens to Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), and within micro seconds she is sucked into this world where she comes to terms with the fact that she and the jumper are a part of a scheme that is bigger than she could ever imagine in her wildest dreams. With a compelling performance by Maslany, Orphan Black is one show that simply must not be missed.

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Hannibal

Genre: Horror, Crime, Drama

Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen

There have been a number of explorations based on Thomas Harris’s brilliant, yet bat shit crazy psychiatrist, Hannibal Lector. So I was a little sceptical about this show when I first heard of it. However, being a firm believer in giving everything a fair chance I did watch the pilot, and I am compelled to admit that Hannibal is nothing but pure excellence. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is a criminal profiler for the FBI with the unique ability to empathise with the murderers. Who else to help him retain his sanity after a hard day of field work but the charming and elusive Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen)? Fair warning, this show is not for the weak of heart, or the squeamish audience, as it gets quite graphic. Hannibal will reach its fingers in through your eyes, reach up into your brain, and caress the deep recesses of your personal unexplored psychopathic tendencies that have remained dormant for too long. You have been warned.

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House of Cards

Genre: Political Drama

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright 

House of Cards is by far one of the most gripping political dramas that I have come across. Not for nothing is it one of the biggest hits of the year 2014. If you love Homeland, you will gobble up House of Cards like a junkie fresh out of crack. Come for the thrills; stay for the back-door deals, the manipulative yet admirable characters, and unbeatable performances. Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is by no means a likeable man, and yet when he is betrayed by the ones he trusted, he makes it a mission to rebuild his fort no matter what the cost.

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Broadchurch

Genre: Drama, Crime

Starring: David Tennant, Olivia Colman 

The predominant reason I started watching Broadchurch is because David Tennant played the role of DI Alec Hardy, a shady detective who has all but given up on the world. I was pleasantly surprised that the show grew on me as anything that has anything to do with human nature or psychology. The storyline revolves around the murder of a little boy in a sleepy town by the name Broadchurch, and how this attracts the attention of the media which proves to threaten the once friendly community of seemingly ‘perfect’ people. Broadchurch’s writer Chris Chinball explores the ideology behind the ‘ideal human’, portraying its characters with such depth that is relatable, and astonishing at the same time.

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Almost human

Genre: Action, Crime, Comedy

Starring: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy

Classy, sassy, and a bit smart-assy! That’s the entire extent of introduction that Almost Human requires, however, I shall elaborate for your sake. I was excited about this show because J.J. Abrams was one of its creators, and anyone who has watched Star Trek, or Fringe will follow him to the end of the universe itself just in the hope to catch a glimpse of his brilliance that lights up the Sic-fi world. Almost human explores a future set in the year 2048, and the crime rate has increased astonishingly, to deal with this the police force has sanctioned robots with a minimal level of human intelligence to pair up with human cops and fight crime. With exceedingly brilliant chemistry between the leads, Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban), and his nearly human companion Dorian (Michael Ealy), Almost Human is a feast to those of us who love to peek into the future and see the high-techie world that could be awaiting us.

We Are The Fandoms United

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It all began one lazy Sunday afternoon, I was merely having a quite lunch at a cafe, and in came Matt Smith with his ancient tweed jacket, that oh so bright bowtie, and the inevitable suspenders. Well, of course it wasn’t really Matt, but a fan in a cosplay. Heart thudding, I approached her, and viola, the rest is history. 

Immediately I was sucked into (quite pleasantly, I assure you) this alternate reality that is the Doctor Who Group, India, and later the Fandoms United India, where everyone is just as much into various fandoms as I am. People take insults to their fandoms quite seriously, something for which I had been mocked for my entire life! Finally, a decade after having been hit by the magic wand that introduced me to Harry Potter, I had a found a place where I belong.

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Here, age is irrelevant, and so is your geographical location, so long as you are passionate about the things that automatically render you socially inept, you are more than welcome. Any and every fandom is offered equal face time (unless you are a fan of the Twilight series, then you will be dragged into a dark alley and be politely beaten up with words that will hurt more than sticks and stones ever will). The only requirements to be a part of the Fandoms United is to be fun, geeky, passionate, bat shit crazy, and of course intellect.

For the first time, you may have more friends than you can count on both your hands (WIN). We come off as normal, with our fancy professional degrees, and our calm demeanour, but dare you bad mouth the characters we worship, and the force shall be with you, and not in a good way. We know what it is like to stay up until late into the night and obsess over things that can so easily be trivialised, and wake up early the next morning only to continue where we left off the previous night even before we have had our first cup of coffee. 

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There are things about us that can be categorised as weird or borderline OCD. Like say for example, crying every time our Doctor regenerates or suffers a major loss, rejoicing at the possibility of a deadly and evil villain being alive, reading a book into the night just cos our favourite character is in a fix, or waiting out in a long queue at the doors of a bookstore braving all kinds of climatic conditions when a new book in the series is about to be released. We laugh reminiscing about something geeky at completely inappropriate times, and we are so, so not sorry about it *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.

We urge you to come and join us, so long as you do not spam our timeline, bore us with nonsense, and are genuinely geeky, for there is finally a place for you to belong. Signing off, Allons-y, Mischief Managed, Geronimo, Live Long and Prosper, You Shall Pass!

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Movie review: Frozen

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If you are looking for a completely new spin on the age-old concept of ‘true love’, then Frozen is the way to go. With a simple yet brilliant storyline, Frozen conveys in a span of mere one hour and twenty five minutes all that is wrong with the way we perceive love, relationships and everything in between.

Set in a land called Arendelle, Frozen is about two princess sisters, Elsa and Anna. Elsa is born with the gift to create ice and snow, a fact that the king and the queen have tried to suppress and keep secret from the entire kingdom, including her younger sister Anna after a tragic accident that almost costs Anna her life. Elsa is made to keep away from her beloved sister, as per her parent’s wishes. However, a secret this gigantic in proportions is impossible to hide, and soon Arendelle is in a tragic state, with Elsa and Anna at the centre of the storm. It is up to Anna to leave behind her inhibitions and save the one thing that matters the most to her: Elsa.

Frozen sends across a strong message across to one and all. It teaches parents to quit trying to constantly make their children ‘fit in’, and instead encourages them to revive in the quirks that make them stand apart without being afraid. In this time and age when women are women’s worst enemy, Frozen shows us the irrevocable bond that can exist between two women, despite a long period of estrangement. Frozen brings about a whole new perspective on what true, selfless love is, and guess what? It’s not always about a kiss!

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Movie review: The Wolf of Wall Street

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This review is long overdue, since my writing streak has been eluding me lately. By now the Torrents are probably raging full force, number of screenings at a multiplex reduced. However, if you are yet to watch this fantastic adaptation of Jordan Belford’s memoir, it is not a tiny feat that can be devoured in a space of a couple of hours. The Wolf of Wall Street is an expansive movie, colourful and massive in all its glory.

Jordan Belford (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fresh faced newly married enthusiastic young man, who wishes to make it big, thus taking up the job of a stockbroker at a Wall Street firm. With obscenities flying about left, right and center, Jordan feels right at home, but not for long. The firm falls through owing to Black Monday, forcing Jordan to move to Long Island with his wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) boiler room where penny stocks are traded. With his skillful pitching style, he soon amasses a minor fortune, and decides to create his own brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont along with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), and a number of other friends who are in reality petty yet experienced weed dealers in order to fry ‘bigger fish’ and get richer by the minute.

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Soon enough, Forbes magazine proclaims Jordan to be the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, and the name sticks leading to fame and immense fortune. With this, step in the drugs, the endless parties, and of course the sex. It is at one of these extravagant parties that Jordan spots Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and out goes his wife Teresa. Well, who can blame him? One look at Naomi and anyone person would go, “Teresa who?”

But of course all this too good to be true, and eventually all the fame and drugs are bound to go to anyone’s head, and that is exactly what happens with Jordan, leading to the FBI and the Securities Exchange Commission to land on his case. What follows is a classic and obviously hilarious cat and mouse chase, where Jordan bests both these agencies time and time again.

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The Wolf of Wall Street is quite well presented, and the humour and the constant twists make up for the length of the movie. There are moments when you want to leap off of your seat and cheer along with Jordan at his success, as despite all of his flaws he is unmistakable adorable and his charm infectious. When he makes the ‘rich-man-poor-man’ speech, you want to cry from joy and yell out, “Give him his Oscar already!” Jonah Hill does a brilliant job as the supporting actor, and comes off as the kind of friend you would want by you through high and low (read: drug induced and not-very-drug-induced-state).

Leonardo DiCaprio has out done himself this time, just as he does every time, and maybe there is a tiny hope (fingers crossed) that The Wolf of Wall Street would be his break at the Academy Awards, as this is the kind of movie you want to watch after having had a b!t@h of a day at work. It will make you howl with laughter, and also humble you to the inner turmoil that Jordan faces when it comes to saving his friends and the company he has built from the ground up.

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