5 Things We Expect from The 12th Doctor

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With the 8th season and a brand new Doctor set to premier less than 3 weeks from now, it is not completely unrealistic to set a few expectations for the 13th Doctor. However, given that Moffat is still the show runner *sigh*, I highly doubt any of them are actually going to be met. But that doesn’t prevent me from taking a stab at it, now does it? So here goes!

Less flirting, more adventures: SERIOUSLY! Please stop behaving like Casanova on Viagra and actually try to quit ‘fancying’ pretty, young Earthlings, and use your time having some breathtaking adventures for crying out loud. You have a TARDIS for fuck’s sake, do you have the slightest clue what regular people would give to be able to travel in her? So please do get your act together and take us to see scary planets and not-so-friendly aliens, pretty please.

Don’t make it all about yourself: Yeah, we get it, you have some extremely loyal companions who would go to any lengths to save your ass, but really, how much sense does it make when Earthlings who’s age is a minute fraction of yours, are able to save your sorry nether region? Aren’t you supposed to be super smart and a wiseass? Might I remind you that you’re the Doctor, you go about saving planets, and races, and species, don’t belittle yourself by behaving like a hapless ninny!

Visit Donna: Can I stress this point enough? She was your best friend, and the coolest companion you have has in the past couple of lives, and yet you find it so hard to go back for a bit and see how she’s doing. Why? You don’t have to explain who you are, cos we all know how that would end *shivers*, but you can drop by and pretend to be a mere stranger, waving to her from across the street, or offering here a seat on the tube, or SOMETHING! Don’t you miss THIS: 

Revisit Leonardo Da Vinci: You have spoken about it enough, but can’t you visit him for once while we are peeping into your daily adventures? He is after all the most profoundly gifted person in the history of the human race and we deserve a glimpse into his day-to-day life. We aren’t asking you to drop in when he is painting the Mona Lisa, which would be a bit much to ask; I suppose a regular day in the life of Leonardo Da Vinci would be a good enough treat, wouldn’t it?

A more mature, less clownish persona: It’s not that you’re not adorable that way, but I think we have had enough of tomfoolery to last at least a couple of your future lives. Also, now that you know that you haven’t obliterated your entire home planet and your race, I think you could give the childish persona that you had adopted to keep the pain and the guilt at bay, and instead behave like the 1000-something year old Time Lord that you are. Is that too much to ask?

 

Hannibal Too REAL for Emmy?

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With the Emmy nominations out, there is a lot of gung-ho about the two brilliant series that have been left out, or should I say SHUT OUT of the nominations. Orphan Black and Hannibal are two absolute GEMS that premiered in the year 2013, and have changed the way the horror/thriller/psychological drama genre has been perceived ever since. Orphan Black was possibly left out because it is a Canadian series, and everyone knows anything made in Canada is immediately discounted to be of no consequence by America even if it is BETTER than some of the BEST shows in the US. Yes, you read that right.

So what’s the reason behind Hannibal receiving the figurative axe from the Emmy? In an age where fictional television is getting lamer by the minute, and reality television has lost any remote semblance it had to the word ‘real’, Hannibal came along and swept the ground from under our respective feet. It is gory, scary, and turbulent, not because of ghosts, or supernatural elements, but because it depicts just how terrifying and sick a human mind can be. And trust me, there is no greater horror in the world than watching the appalling things that humans are capable of putting other human beings through.

Television is supposed to make is forget our ever so crappy lives, and make us feel better about ourselves. Instead, Hannibal deals in everything that’s ugly and crass about the human nature. With stunning and mind-wrinkling performances by the main cast, Hannibal is nothing if not a piece of art, a jarring symphony, that shall remain long after your crappy awards have lost their sheen, Emmy, I assure you of that.

Does that scare you, Emmy? Too real, is it? Do you feel like you have no category that could do justice to Hannibal? Here, I have a number of suggestions as to which category Hannibal would best fit into:

I-have-extra-wrinkles-on-my-brain-cos-of-this-show Category

Bryan-Fuller-is-the-shit Category

FOOD-FOOD-FOOD Category

Best-shit-on-TV-till-date Category

And if these didn’t fit onto you uptight, archaic, and extremely ‘limited’ spectrum, then why didn’t you nominate at least ONE of these:

 

PS: I don’t care a hoot anymore about whom you award what to, so screw you, Emmy! Also, get OVER The Big Bang Theory, it’s just not funny anymore. 

Dracula Untold: How It All Began

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Bram Stoker’s timeless character Dracula gets an origin story that’s gonna be EPIC, if the trailer is to be believed. It shows a young Dracula trying to protect his wife and child from forces bigger than himself. This makes him turn to the dark side himself, and thus begins the bloodline that has intensified the very foundations of the mystery/horror/drama genre. Take a look for yourself!

PS: Doesn’t it look like they have taken a leaf out of the stack of The Dark Knight trilogy posters when designing Dracula Untold’s poster? *nudge, nudge, wink wink*

Dracula Untold is scheduled to release on 17th October, 2014

Series Premier Review: Tyrant

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After 24 and Homeland, its Tyrant for producer Howard Gordon. Undoubtedly, the Arab world has become a hot topic not just for the media, but also for TV series producers looking for a lucrative yet engaging plot, with a message. Only this time, the show runners have created a fictitious country of Abbudin, with a history and political scenario much like any Arab country that you may come across in your newspaper’s headlines.

Bassam ‘Barry’ Al Fayeed (Adam Rayner) is the son of the leader/dictator/king/president (phew!) of Abbudin. However, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and family, due to ‘issues’ with his father for almost two decades. Seems like daddy issues don’t just mess up hot strippers and bottle blonds! Anyhow, his nephew’s wedding beckons, and Barry takes a much detested trip back home on the insistence of his wife and son, and much to the chagrin of his daughter. Everything isn’t hunky-dory back home, protests and attacks are rampant, even threatening his nephew’s wedding. Things take a turn for the worst when… wait, no spoilers! 

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Tyrant seems legitimate enough, with the dusky and sandy streets of Abbudin, and you constantly have that prickly feeling at the back of your neck and in the bottom of your stomach that things are going to turn nasty soon. The show runners obviously want to keep away from naming names and at the same time be as accurate as possible, taking cues from past and current global events.

The only issue I had was with the costumes and the lack of ethnic wear, even during the wedding. Having been brought up in the Middle East I know for a fact that they would not constantly wear tuxedoes and gowns, at least not to a royal wedding; that’s just not how they roll, honey!

Tyrant is a far cry from Homeland, with the obvious glamour and fictitious settings. I am not completely sold on the show after viewing the premier, let’s wait and watch.

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3 Brilliant, Geeky Shows Premiering This Fall

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It is basically going to be Christmas this fall for DC Comics, with some of its better characters and stories being retold on TV. With Arrow doing so well, and three hopefully amazing and highly anticipated shows set to premier this fall, DC Comics is back in the game and how! Here is a slight yet breathtaking preview of these exciting shows:

Gotham:

After The Mentalist, Bruno Heller is back in business with Gotham. This is undoubtedly going to be one stunning show, as its set to depict the story of Gotham in its early days, before the Batman. Detective James Gordon is going to be the central character played by Ben McKenzie, and the show will also revolve around the stories of Bruce Wayne, Riddler, Catwoman, Joker, Two-Face, Penguine, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy before they became the people they grew up to be.

Constantine:

Fans of the comic Hellblazer, listen up! John Constantine played by Matt Ryan is soon to light your television set on fire, or at least the monsters in it. This is also going a treat for fans of the show Supernatural, as the concept of fighting the unknown and the ‘supernatural’ is predominant in Constantine as well, only, there is going to be magic involved!

The Flash:

Even though The Flash is a spin-off series to the already hit show Arrow, this doesn’t prevent the fans from rooting for the show with all their might. Barry Allen, who portrays The Flash has already been spotted on Arrow, where he has been struck by lightning. What is it that they say about what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger?!

6 Reasons Why Everyone MUST Watch the Show ‘Once Upon a Time’

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When I started watching Once Upon a Time, I was fully prepared for it to be one of those guilty pleasure shows that I would soon tire of and give up on it even before the end of the first season. What with all the fairytale links and pretty princesses, I presumed the show would be one to please the air-headed masses. Alas, I was oh so wrong. Till date, Once Upon a Time is one of the most inspiring, teaching, and well-depicted show I’ve ever come across. If there was ever a show that reminded you of your childhood and yet gave you a dose of reality in an in-your-face manner, then this is it! Here are some of the reasons I think this show MUST be watched EVERYONE who is human; hell, even get your dog to watch it, if possible!

Strong Female Characters: When you hear that this show is a cross between fairytales and the real world, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that there would be cute little princesses, with innocent, docile smiles, and a demure attitude. Well you thought wrong! All, I repeat, all the female characters in Once Upon a Time are not in the least bit docile. If I had a penny for all the times Snow White saved Prince Charming’s nether regions, I would be a rich gal indeed! And its not just Snow, its every woman on the show, they just wont sit around in their ivory towers waiting for princes to rescue them. Instead, they fight, for themselves, for people they care for, for the general good for everyone; sometimes even to serve themselves, but what’s a good story without a good old-fashioned villain, right?! Its such a strong message for all the girls and women out there, to take charge of their own lives, and to all the people who say Disney princesses set a bad example, go home! 

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Real-life Lessons in the Fairytale World: Once Upon a Time is full of invaluable lessons that make so much sense even when applied to our real world. If you only open your eyes and ears, there is so much that you could learn. Its a show you can watch with your kids without having to endure explicit and unsuitable scenes. The most important thing I have picked up from this show is that good intensions don’t always make for good results. Sometimes, even when you have the purest of intent in your heart, you could end up doing immeasurable harm to someone, without meaning to. 

Parenting 101: There are some interesting takes on parenting in the show- it depicts how kids tend to bring out the best in their parents, even when the entire world has given up on them. Its about teaching your kids the importance of being their own person, even when society, media, and the entire world says otherwise. And sometimes, your kids can make you aware of things that you had no idea you were capable of. 

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Round Characters: In literature, the term ‘round characters’ means characters who start off with a specific personality, and then change as the story proceeds, influenced by circumstances. Here, characters like the Evil Queen who is inherently bad, and spiteful, along with Rumpelstiltskin, who is equally cunning and manipulative, change for the better, owing to a number of factors. There is a sliver of good, however tiny, in everyone if only we attempt to find it. Despite all the things that once went wrong, all we need at the end of the day is someone willing to bring that sliver out and turn it into a full-blown rainbow of goodness.

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Hope and Cynicism Wrapped Up in a Neat Lil’ Bow: Just because the show is all about fairytales and magic, doesn’t mean that its always hunky dory. The characters have real problems, and experience times of despair that make it so much more relatable, that you will surely find at least one character who’s experiences you will associate with. This keeps things real and so much more interesting than it would have if it was always sunshine and daises all year long.

Brilliant Plot, Casting, and Sets: Once Upon a Time brings back to life all the fairytales that you once adored, with style! The casting is so brilliant, it seems like the entire universe conspired to bring these amazing people together in this enigmatic show to portray their respective characters. Its an absolute pleasure to watch the Enchanted Forest and Storybrook so carefully created, keeping the tiniest details in mind.

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Review: Hannibal Season 2 Finale

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43 minutes and 12 seconds is all it takes Bryan Fuller to deliver irreversible trauma and emotional scarring that shall be engraved onto your psyche for the rest of your life. Well, to be fair, it gradually happens over a course of two seasons; but that doesn’t discount the fact that the season 2 finale of Hannibal is the ultimate blow to your emotional and psychological health.

A fan of psychological thrillers, are you? Have devoured every episode of Dexter, Homeland, Criminal Minds and the likes? Well, news flash, honey- they are all merely baby formula compared to this intestine-churning, heart-squeezing, brain-wrinkling equivalent of a TV show.

Within the first few minutes of the finale, you know it isn’t going to be a smooth ride, not like you were expecting one, and so you have braced yourself. When Will seems to be having the same conversation with Hannibal and Jack at the same time, each asking him if he thinks he is ready to do what is required, your heart thumps in sync with the beats of the background score (and if that didn’t happen, it is probably because you haven’t got one anymore, and you have already been served up at Hannibal’s dining table).

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that George R.R. Martin has lost his throne as the mass-murderer/shock-deliverer to Bryan Fuller, as the latter manages to wipe off three quarters of the main cast without so much as a wince. Behold, the original psychopath of all time and age! 

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The most shocking of all revelations is of course the fact that Abigail Hobbs is still alive. But what an existence that must have been like, I shudder to think, with the master manipulator constantly in your head and having developed the Stockholm syndrome. Why else would she push Alana Bloom off of the window? However, the most heartbreaking of it all was Jack trying to get in touch with Bella (fingers crossed about them not being his last moments), I admit, I did tear up a bit at that time.

After all the planning and the scheming, all the double-crossing, who goes scot-free? Hannibal, of course! The moment he realised that Will was about to double-cross him, he didn’t merely escape; he made a grand exit, one that all his foes paid for with their lives. Calmly sipping champagne, he takes off with Dr. Du Maurier to, I am guessing, France.

When Hannibal leaves Will and Abigail bleeding on the floor, you cannot help but experience a déjà vu moment with Will trying to slow down the blood flow from Abigail’s throat. That is one image that shall be imprinted in the deep, dark recesses of every fan’s mind, until the very end of time.

Can we please have a rehab facility made up for the fans of Hannibal, cos right now we would like nothing better than to be dressed in pyjamas, wrapped up in a cosy robe, and walk around like dazed zombies waiting to feast on Bryan Fuller’s brains. 

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Since The Last Time We Met

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“Since the last time we met, you have been looking so much prettier, they said

A few inches off the waist, more angular is your face, and my! Looks like you haven’t been tipping the scales!” they asked.

“That’s not all, I’ve also read a number of books since the last time we met; have been honing my brain without much rest,

Do you wish to know of all the new things I have learnt?” She said.

“Oh no, that’s alright, we are merely content at your pleasing sight, what lies within doesn’t matter!”

 

“Since the last time we met, your skin looks so much brighter, almost spotless and a delighter,

Tell us the secret, oh please do,” they said.

“That’s because I have found a new passion, there is a 903 year old alien who has become my latest obsession! May I tell you more about it?” she asked.

“Oh no, that’s alright, we are merely content at your pleasing sight, what lies within doesn’t matter!”

 

“Since the last time we met, your eyes seem so luminous, filled with amusement and so humorous

Do tell us how you have accomplished that,” they said

“I have found new friends, some just as playful and joyous as myself; they rarely sleep, and do constantly fret over the fate of various fictional characters. Do you wish to know more about them?”

“Oh no, that’s alright, we are merely content at your pleasing sight, what lies within doesn’t matter!”

 

She thought to herself- Then why do you ask, if knowing the real me seems like such an abhorrent task? Go on, merely examine me from without, and dare not delve within my mind since its many worlds and layers may relieve you of your pretentious concern and your constant need to dwell on appearances. And then where will you be, if not judging someone from without? Life will lose all meaning to you when one day when you will no longer be able to gauge a person’s worth based on their weight.

And off she went, back to her many worlds, and her endless obsessions, for the boy who lived nor the Doctor ever judged her for anything beyond her mental competence. 

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.

Batman or Iron Man? The Question that MUST be Answered

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Since a while now I have been brooding over this very question: Batman or Iron Man? Who is the ultimate .., wait, what really are they? They aren’t superheroes, they have no super powers of their own. All of their abilities stem from being brilliant billionaires who have figured out how to use science and technology to their own advantages in order to help humanity. In many ways they are more similar than different, and maybe that is why the Geekverse has always been obsessed with trying to figure out who is the mightier of them both, or at least I have been.

After hours or rather days of mulling over this question I have concluded that I have to side with Batman. Mind you, I do adore Iron Man, and there is nothing but undying admiration for him, but somehow Batman tops him by at least a couple of notches. 

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To begin with, Batman has the classic troubled childhood which leads to him being traumatised in a way that created Batman. His need to fight crime and make Gotham city safe so that no child is left an orphan in a back alley ever again tugs at your heartstrings in a way that makes it difficult to not feel a little more for him. His cause is nothing if not noble and selfless, which has to count for something. Agreed, Iron Man created his ‘suit’ under dire circumstances when he was kidnapped and stuck in a cave somewhere deep in a hostile environment, but that story is not as heartfelt as Batman’s is.

Another notch in Batman’s favour can be described in one word: Batmobile. Man, have you seen the things that magnificent vehicle can do? Yes, I know, it is still cannot fly or reach outer space like Iron Man’s suit can, but isn’t this very aspect of the suit that lead to Iron Man suffering from PTSD as a result of the encounter with the ‘black hole’ in New York? And of course, Batman can fly; short distances, yes, but he still can without the help of something that has to have back-up battery to function properly. 

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Batman functions in secrecy, he has trust issues, and that is why he has no one but his trusted butler who has known him since before he was born. Whereas, Iron Man has A.I. for a butler, has complete disregard for his safety, and goes about blurting out his home address to the world. I am not mocking him in any way; in fact I do believe that Iron Man is quite noble himself as he created the Iron Soldier for the US army. That is proof of his selflessness; however, he does have a penchant for nursing his borderline narcissistic personality.

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Iron Man is of course Marvel’s undisputed knight in shining armour (quite literally) and he deserves being so, however, there are some things that dark and secretive does better than shinny and in-your-face. And that is why Batman wins in comparison to Iron Man; by a small margin, but he does! 

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