I am pleased to share that the winter I was whole-heartedly denouncing appears to be fleeting and I hope this is the last I will be seeing of it (at least till next year).
In line with my new year resolution to blog about meaningful and useful subjects, rather than to rant-and-rave, and, also to capture my long withheld thoughts on these tv shows, I am going to write them down here before I scoot down for another evening of binge-watching and binge-eating.
You’re the Worst (YTW)
I found You’re the Worst at a time when I had completed watching Full House and was almost through the first season of Frasier which I found amusing but dry. It didn’t possess the Everybody Loves Raymond brand of humour which had its fair share of episodes which you just wish would end and neither was it adorable like Full House which again went through its own intolerable phase of excruciating cuteness. So, the idea of a young commitment-phobic couple sounded just about right after meandering through Frasier.
I think like life (to hell with it, I am going to get philosophical – it’s my blog!) every tv show has its ebbs and flows, just like every song (albeit the preponderance is greater in pop) has this crescendo that it builds up to leading to this slow tone (totally kills your work-out!) which goes on for about 30 seconds followed by the chorus (yay! let’s go faster on the elliptical). Case in point being Enrique Iglesias. YTW had one horrendous episode – Sunday Funday and a few stupid scenes dealing with the side characters frugally distributed through seasons 1 and 2 implying that it is good tv. I was skeptical of the show because its central male character – an English pseudo-intellectual arsehole with his many weird references was a total let-down but as the character evolved I grew to love him. I love the central female lead because she is as real as it gets but to be sure she has her own flaws. I like the fact that she ate whatever she wanted and was nonchalant about her sexual needs, almost casual but classy.
YTW sets up this perfect storyline about two people who abhor commitment and you believe it till it becomes so utterly predictable that they end up in a committed relationship. It’s a modern take on every romantic comedy ever made yet it stops just short of being a cheesy RomCom. So there isn’t any woo-er and woo-ee, it’s not your candies and flowers but neither is it without the fuss. So, there are times when the protagonists are chilling with cigarettes after sex and trading their respective stories and also times when they are non-stop texting each other without it being cheeseball-worthy. The side-characters – a bunch of dysfunctional (Note: Everybody in the show is dysfunctional at some level.) weirdos are fun without being overwhelming save for the few times when you just can’t take any more of them but they beautifully in their own way balance the show and season 2 adds dashes of brilliance to their otherwise drab stories.
Season 1 was mediocre at best but season 2 takes the show to a whole different level and by the end of it you are knocked out completely. Spoiler alert! Season 2 addresses the female protagonist’s clinical depression and you would half expect the guy to flee but he stays and as cliched RomComs end they express they say the predicable three words. The ending leaves you with a warm fuzzy but surprised feeling but there again you have the same boy-chase-girl-to-protect-and-fix-her routine and diminishes the fierce sense of self-worth of the female character.
Then again, isn’t that how relationships work sometimes? While the entertainment industry – Hollywood and Bollywood churn out fiercely independent and sometimes rigidly feminist characters, ultimately, each such character is a sucker for the romance and fuzz of a boy chasing her and somehow fixing her, be it placating her insecurities or fixing her emotionally from the abuses of her past. I will desist from turning this into an argument on feminism and the independence of a modern-day woman but RomComs are generally built on the premise of a helpless yet strong female. All in all, YTW is worth a watch, you might get irked with the English accent but you learn to live with it. Just steer clear of judging the side characters early on.
One episode down and I just couldn’t deal with the useless good-for-nothing-sex-crazy husband. Yes, the show is about the life a married couple with three children. The husband as described above is utterly sex deprived because his hard-working wife who does practically everything around the house is too tired to fulfill his crazy sexual needs. What can I say, I don’t like weak male characters. It was nice to see Judy Greer back in action (remember, The Wedding Planner?!)
I now love Priyanka Chopra and have this new-found respect for her because the woman is into everything practically – acting and music and a few more things (I think). She is actually a watered down female version of Farhan Akhtar who is so freaking multi-talented and gifted. I love her hectic work schedule and how she posts these airplane photographs on Instagram (yes, I stalk her occasionally) and how at 33 the woman is fit with a waist size of 26 and how she can talk business but the show…I stopped watching it after episode 4 or 5. It’s another thing that I couldn’t stream it but I just lost interest because it was so teen-girlish.
So, you have Alex Parrish – the genius and the invincible FBI agent accused of a terrorist attack who can do no wrong and then you have the blubbering and foolish FBI who can’t nab her. I would seriously love to be in Alex’s shoes because every single character in the show gives her such a huge ego boost and constantly keep telling her things like “you’re the best”. With such a fan following who wouldn’t believe themselves to be the best. And the rest clearly are dunces and fools with some sordid pasts and fallacies like being unable to do push-ups like Alex or being unable to shoot or not being as perceptive as her. I remember this test where the FBI trainees had to figure out the identity of a possible terrorist; while the rest literally jumped to conclusions, Alex has an ah-ha moment and comes up with this brilliant diagnosis that it all depended on who gave them the clues and how it limited their investigation and la-la-la. Everybody is astounded at her brilliance and laud her for being the first FBI agent to have cracked the test. Wait, what? You all can’t be idiots! But, yes, they are!
Besides the background score which I absolutely loved, the new find Johanna Braddy (the woman’s a stick!) and my admiration of Piggy Chops’ work ethic, Quantico failed to impress and interest me. Well, I will google to find out what happens eventually like I did with Scandal but I don’t think I can bear watching the show anymore.
Let me begin my saying just how much I wish I had a mentor like Saul and I wish I was as brilliant as Cary. I loved Homeland! At least until Brody goes to Brazil or someplace, after which, I put my hands up and called it quits. Homeland is about a CIA agent – Cary and her ambition to capture all the terrorists in the world and thwart any attack on American soil having failed to stop 9/11. The words ‘American Soil’ have been used countless number of times through the show and you can’t help but wish it would end at some point.
Not all 45-50 minutes of each episode are great and most of the times you’d rather fast-forward to get to the real action than silently bear through the entire episode. The first few episodes had me thrilled and excited as you sit at the edge of your seat like Cary to figure out Brody and then he just disappoints you. I mean, what is with the Brazil bit?! Brody’s wife -Jessica Brody is the epitome of this perfect wife who is having an affair with Brody’s best friend because Brody was away having been tortured and imprisoned for 8 years. Brody’s kids are screwed up in their own way. Period. Cary thinks Brody is a terrorist and surprise surprise he is! Then he is not because Cary fixes him. Can I again say that I hate weak men?
To be Continued…