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Thursday, February 10, 2011

To Sitcom or Not to Sitcom

Sitcoms: I didn’t even know TV serial were called that! I belong to the generation who make fun on their mothers who dedicatedly switch the channel from a documentary on the Inside story on 9/11 (Nat Geo) to her soap operas on Star Plus. This incident is repeated every night till the Friday Night. I remember how my Brother and I used to wait for weekends to come; to watch movies on HBO and World Movies.

But Soap Operas are not sitcoms. They are epic sagas – an almost replica and definitely, an exaggeration of the everyday lives of the people in joint families. If I think of a longest running sitcom (post checking the dictionary meaning of it!), it has to be FRIENDS. “I will be there for you” – my computer screen would start singing – well, yes – I had Seasons and seasons (1 2 3 4 5… I stopped counting) of it. 

The other sitcom I remember watching was Will and Grace – and well, I was hooked on to it for quite a while. The alchemy of Will (the Gay Lawyer) and Grace (The Jewish Woman) appealed to me, since I was friends with a few of them.

Then a lot of sitcoms came and went by. Along came Band of Brothers , a HBO  was a 2001 ten-part war series based on the experiences of E Company ("Easy Company") of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division of the U S Army. The characters were extremely genuine and believable, as against the histrionics of an Indian Family Epic.

This one has to feature in this blog: South Park, an American animated sitcom meant for a ‘mature audience’; even though the characters are four lousy (yet, adorable) boys, fool proofed with expletives, prepared to fight against the atrocities of the world – with a vengeance. Sorry Simpsons, I haven’t watched you! And yes, I am THAT ignorant.

I was going to write about “Why I don’t watch Sitcoms” But now, I realize that there are a handful that have been/are not just worthy of the 30-minute of your time, but quite an addiction if you take a little break from the movies (An hour and hour break is all I am asking!)

Written by Guest Writer Shubhra Rishi

Sunday, January 30, 2011 , here I come ..

If you can live life believing in yourself , you can do almost anything. 

For the rest of us , here's a little inspiration from none other than His Highness , Mr. Awesome ( aka Legendary )

This Week's Recommendation : Modern Family

We do not wish to influence your experience of this show in way of words.

Twain believed : The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. 

So go ahead , and make up your mind about this one. No , do not Wiki or IMDB it. We all virtual savvy people sometimes need to experience things first hand. 

How I Met Your Mother' Review: Is Tragedy a Good Thing?

It's always a delicate situation when comedies delve into tragedy. During its six seasons, How I Met Your Mother has never gone into genuine tragedy, but all that changed last night.

HIMYM has had plenty of sad moments, but they've all circled around romantic relationships, from Marshall and Lily's break-up to Stella leaving Ted. But in "Bad News," after a rather enjoyable episode, tragedy struck when Marshall learned that his father had died suddenly.

The tonal shift came out of nowhere despite a running countdown throughout the episode (numbers appeared on various props in descending order leading up to the revelation). I like it when sitcoms add emotional depth, but only if it makes sense within the context of the show. But after six seasons of light-hearted romantic comedy, I wasn't prepared for Marshall's dad to die out of the blue.

Still, I'm willing to hold off judgment. My first inclination is to be mortified that HIMYM would manipulate me into sadness with a random tragedy, but then I remembered what show I'm watching. Nothing happens by accident, so I can only assume that the death of Marshall's father will play a larger role in the show's mythology.

However, the episode wasn't all tragedy and it would be foolish to only review the last 30 seconds. There were also plenty of references to the show's deep mythology. Robin's old co-anchor Sandy Rivers (played by Alyson Hannigan's real-life husband Alexis Denisof) returned as did a montage of Robin's greatest hits, from "Let's Go to the Mall" to her falling into manure. But as entertaining as it was, I was painfully distracted by Robin's glasses which made her look like Tina Fey's identical cousin.

We also met the actual fifth doppelganger, a fertility specialist who looks exactly like Barney. His appearance was supposed to be a sign for Marshall and Lily to have a child, but instead it served as a portent of death. Much like the Slap Bet, the appearance of the doppelgangers has been a great addition toHIMYM and I hope they will come back at some point. I think we'd all like to know what Lesbian Robin is up to.

Overall, I'm still uneasy about this episode. I enjoyed everything up until Marshall's father died, but it's hard to see anything beyond that moment. Hopefully HIMYM will use this tragedy to get back on track.

Barn ( wait for it ) ey !

Read up on my Idol!

Hey guys, hope your enjoying the blog (as much of it as is on till now!). Just thought that if we’re putting up stuff abt HIMYM (that’s what avid fans know How I Met Your Mother) it would only be appropriate to guide you people to another brilliant webpage which is a must visit for everyone with a sense of humour. Yes, I am talking about Barney Stinson’s blog!!

For those of you who haven’t already visited it, or don’t watch the series, I urge you to just go through the blog posts.. (it’d make one hell of a Sunday afternoon read)

There are many online, but these two are by far the funniest ones. Take time to go through both.

That’s all for the moment.. Oh n like he always says,

Im Awesome! ;)


Bazinga 4 Life!

What would come to your mind first upon hearing things like "The Einstein Approximation," "The Financial Permeability," or "The Peanut Reaction"? Physics? Finance? Medicine? You know what I'm thinking? I’m thinking The Big Bang Theory on CBS. In case you ever felt like a nerd, welcome to your new homeplace.

The Premise of CBS’s Comedy TV Show 

The Big Bang Theory is the latest and most stellar discovery in the universe of TV comedy. Created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, the sitcom starring Roseanne’s Johnny Galecki, actor Jim Parsons, and Kaley Cuoco, aired in the fall of 2007 and has been bestowing fits of hysterical laughter on a worldwide audience ever since.The show's premise is based on the dichotomy of "brainy meets ... well, not-so-brainy," to put it mildly. The character of Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a stereotypical blond who aspires to become a – surprise, surprise! – actress, moves from Nebraska to an apartment in Pasadena, California. As it turns out, her neighbors are the most trenchant, possible counterpart of her: two geeks who add an entirely new level to the definition of 'nerd.' 

The Big Bang Theory is a TV sitcom which proves that the # 1 mantra for writing successful comedies is indeed: simple is beautiful. Its humor is based on the fundamental gap between average, simple people and people who are anything but; physicists who are super-intelligent but have next to no people skills whatsoever. The show is not about worlds that collide, it is about the clash of entire universes.It is a given that the lion share of the show's success is due to Sheldon Cooper, one of the most unusual and intriguing characters to appear on American television in years. What with all his inability to cope with irony and sarcasm and the ensuing running gags, the viewer is bound to fall in love with this cranky eccentric. It is thus no coincidence that Jim Parsons recently won the 2010 Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. 

Even though the show does apply the usual taped laughter from a live audience, there would be not a single dry eye in the house without them. The Big Bang Theory, in essence, represents the science of good entertainment and fun. And I’m not talking funny-ha ha here. I’m talking laugh-out-loud funny, quirky, off-the-wall humor, like you wouldn’t believe. 

The three main actors (Galecki, Parsons and Cuolo), by the way, recently renewed their contracts for yet another four seasons, meaning there is a lot of Bazinga! to come and look forward to. Yay.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homer Wisdom 

  • "Remember as far as anyone knows, we're a nice normal family."
  • "I know what you're saying, Bart. When I was young, I wanted an electric football machine more than anything else in the world, and my parents bought it for me, and it was the happiest day of my life. Well, goodnight." 
  • "Your lives are in the hands of men no smarter than you or I, many of them incompetent boobs. I know this because I worked alongside them, gone bowling with them, watched them pass me over for promotions time and again. And I say... This stinks!"
  • "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!"
  • "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'." 
  • "God bless those pagans."
  • "I'm in a place where I don't know where I am!" 
  • "I am so smart, I am so smart, s-m-r-t....I mean s-m-A-r-t." 
  • "Oh, everything's too damned expensive these days. This Bible cost 15 bucks! And talk about a preachy book! Everybody's a sinner! Except this guy." 
  • "Ha ha! Look at this country! ? U R Gay!? Ha ha!" (looking at Uruguay on the globe). 
  • "Don't mess with the dead, boy, they have eerie powers."
  • "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"
  • "Relax. What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind!" 
  • "Good drink... good meat... good God, let's eat!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

(In)Despicable Me

She said to me, "Go steady on me.

Won't you tell me what the Wise Men said?

When they came down from Heaven,

Smoked nine 'til seven,
All the shit that they could find,
But they couldn't escape from you,
Couldn't be free of you,
And now they know there's no way out,
And they're really sorry now for what they've done,
They were three Wise Men just trying to have some fun."

James Blunt - Three Wise Men 

What is it that intrigues women, makes them swoon, go weak in the knees and want to tame the “bad boy”?
He is suave, he is smooth and he doesn’t care. Unless he does. If he spots you and his hawk-eyes pin you as the next prey, beware. He will get you the moon if he has to, to get his one-night stand (in rare situations, he might extend it to a few days, weeks ,...stop. Haven’t you understood yet? There are no months in this calendar). However, he won’t have to try so hard. He has been blessed with charm enough to last him a lifetime.

Gentlemen, I'm sure we can sort this out amicably. Look at it this way: if you could do what I could do, you'd do it too! But you can't. I can. And I have. And I'll do it again. So you should be happy for me, just a little tiny bit, don't you think?
—David Tennant as Casanova in the 2005 BBC adaptation

Funny thing. When I read this,my brain wired me: "well said". Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stintson is first and foremost a total casanova on television’s hit show, How I Met Your Mother. He prides himself on his women-wooing and “bedding” record, he maintains a book and video records his conquests. Gross, you’d think! He loves playing laser tag and falls in love with Robin.

Explaining his strategy for Halloween parties: “Every Halloween, I bring a spare costume, in case I strike out with the hottest girl at the party. That way, I have a second chance to make a first impression.”

Charlie Harper of Two and a half men.Makes no bones about the nitwit “bimbo” blondes he brings back home. Mindless, meaningless gratification of a physical need. He has no idea of how the Internet and web pages work (Ha,I can write a blog !) and falls in love with Mia.

Berta: End of era, huh charlie?

Charlie: Yep. From now on, no brother, no nephew. Just the sounds of the ocean punctuated by the soft voices of prostitutes lying about the enormity of my sexual organ.

Berta: You do know how to paint a picture

Charlie: What can I say, i have the heart of a poet.
Berta: Unfortunately the rest of you is a drunken scumbag

Joey Tribbiani. Ask me once more “How I’m doing” and I’ll hit you right across the face”,is what women should have said. But even those who should have known better, are susceptible to this childman. He doesn’t like sharing food and falls in love with Rachael.

Joey: It's never taken me more than a week to get over a relationship.

Monica: It's never taken you more than a shower to get over a relationship

Now that we know them a little, let’s be objective in our approach.
Specimen: Man with strong predator instincts and a multiple partner system (Yea, that’s an invented theory. I’m not taking questions now, we’ll discuss this later)
History: Could have had possible anal issues (that’s all Freud), rejection from parents, bullied by siblings, and that sort.
Trigger: That one unrequited love
Solution: All you need is love (add a few vices every now and then to maintain balance)

These men in suits /shorts holding their scotch and being so impressive. We would like to believe there’s more to them than meets the eye, that they are not shallow. Like all 3 of them, they will fall in love.
What if we are wrong? What if they are the ones living up to their own standards and dreams. No promises, no societal norms followed or boundaries set. Is it necessary to be defined by the kind of relationships we form? It comes so easily to us to stereotype men like these as the “bad” or “wrong” guys. Isn’t it stunning that they aren’t scared of being alone, like most of us? And they do not feel compelled to form relationships for the fear of getting lonely.
Well, that’s something to chew on, eh? So long.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Episode "Wise"

I am going to try and put into words what most of us know already (hopefully) about sitcoms. Here's something I'd like to start with : 

Friends Season Seven-The One With Chandler and Monica’s Wedding

Ross: (To Chandler)I need to talk to you about something.
Chandler: What’s up?
Ross: Well this uh, this may be a little awkward.
Chandler: Listen, if you want to borrow money, its kind of a bad time. I’m buying dinner for 128 people tomorrow night.
Ross: No, its…Its not that. Umm, now what I’m going to say to you, I’m not saying as your friend. Okay? I’m-I’m saying as it as Monica’s older brother.
Chandler: But you’re still my friend?
Ross: Not for the next few minutes.
Chandler: During this time…are you, are you still my best man?
Ross: Nope.
Chandler: Do I still call you Ross?
Ross: Okay! You guys are getting married tomorrow and-and I couldn’t be more thrilled for both of you, but as Monica’s older brother I-I have to tell you this. If you ever hurt my little sister, if you ever cause her any unhappiness of any kind, I will hunt you down and kick your ass! (Chandler laughs.) What? I’m-I’m-I’m serious! (Chandler laughs harder.) Come—Hey! Dude! Stop it! Okay? I’m-I’m not kidding here!
Chandler: (smiling) Hey, I hear what your saying, okay? And, thanks for the warning.
Ross: No problem.
Chandler: So are we…friends again?
Ross: Yeah.
Chandler: Okay. (Pause) You won’t believe what Monica’s older brother just said to me!

This is one of the best examples of what a sitcom does. The “sit” being important here, it creates a situation.In this scene, it is a brother talking to his best friend who is engaged to his sister. What keeps the audience hooked on (besides well timed and well placed humor) is the connection they feel with the situations and characters involved .We start to relate to the characters, look forward to knowing how their situation turns out. On the flip side, if the situation drags on, wham! Bored. Next.

Another situation that always works in keeping the audience right there:a romantic one. Throw in all the stages: awkward glances, high school tension or secret rendezvous, the proposal, break up. Most of us have been there and we want to know what this guy / girl is going to do next. Is her heart going to break? With “just-right” background tracks you are right there feeling that emotion. We have a Ted, Barney and a Marshall. Take your pick and be anyone of them and right there you have a friend. Now,lay back and have a good laugh as you experience and learn. Yup, that's another thing. In case your feeling guilty about missing your date with let's say an actual date ( I mean you're reading a blog on sitcoms so not sure if that happens often) or an assignment date because you could not stop watching these addictive sitcoms , Don't.You are learning some important lessons of life without actually making those mistakes.

The other kind of sitcom is the Simpsons , the longest-running American sitcom .What gives? It questions and mocks all of us. Seen the episode of Lisa’s obsession over a particular brand of gadgets named after a fruit? Yup, it helps you laugh at yourself and see the futility of things we fuss over and worry about. With idioms and words from the show included in the Oxford Dictionary, this one has a long way to go.

To sum it up, this little preachy session was essential to substantiate the existence of this blog.Next, we plan to dissect the irresistible charm of the baddies: Charlie Sheen and his tribe. Stay tuned.