Monday, September 18, 2006

Now showing...

Before I get to this post, let me point readers to the conversation on an earlier post and my response to it (for sake of clarifying).

Its been a while since I deliberately watched TV. Passing by the screen on your way to the wash basin or similar activities forgotten in the drudgery of the day, are not counted as watching TV. The past few days found me returning to the TV nearly after a 2-3 year hiatus. I wonder how long this would last! I wanted to share a couple of things that I enjoyed.

Friday night presented "Shadows in the sun" starring Joshua Jackson, Claire Forlani and Harvey Keitel (in the order of appearance). Copyright 2006 The New York Times CompanyThe story had 2 things very appealing to me: it was about the travails of a writer in self-doubt(though not much was discussed about that) and it was set in (ummmmaaaaa) Italy! One thing disappointing was that there was very little of Ms. Forlani (isn't she pretty? And her eyes always seem to laugh whether her lovely lips give her away or not). Whatever there was, was of her in very short shirts and mostly bouncing away on her horses. I liked the lightly paced story and the very convincing portrayal rendered by Harvey Keitel (as the ex-writer Weldon Parish). Joshua is very cute and with that unshaven face, does appear quite sexy (if I may say so). The end was straight out of a fairy tale and goes as predictable as most movie endings go nowadays (am I becoming cynical?). I enjoyed the sunny settings and the very Italian way of living life (I still to find sufficient argument against my opinion that the best of life is packed in the boot shaped land). There are some light moments (like Joshua being thrown into the lake) but it was the dialogue towards the end that I liked (not all of them!). At one point, Weldon Parish says: "You don't choose an art, art chooses you." I liked it because I belong to the old school of thought. :-) I also liked the quite elegant way in which a father doesn't get possessive of his daughter and enjoys her move towards a man (as if that is the one of the most important things for which a daughter is raised).

What is it about standup comedy serials nowadays? Is it just me or are they all getting so predictable? Friends, Seinfeld, Caroline in the City... you name it. The dialogues and jokes are getting so awfully predictable that I fail to laugh anymore. No, seriously, study the dialogues (I realise that studying standup is not really an interesting task) and you will find a pattern: do something, and then do just the opposite to make it appear funny. The typical "What can go wrong now?" prod that humour writers use is starkly visible. I can effortlessly predict the nature of the next shot (maybe not the exact dialogue) and the whole joke is lost. Compare these with pure fun like Tom and Jerry or Calvin and Hobbes. When tom runs around a corner, and Jerry is waiting there with a flat wooden plank to knock him, can you say what will happen? Do you know that Tom will be smacked into the shape of a coffee table with his face as the top? Did you know that he would fly off in the shape of a baseball? Did you expect that his butt and tail would stay stuck to the plank while the top and feet kept running? The possibilities are infinite and hence the novelty of the shows. I don't know, these comedy shows are not really that anymore to me.

© 2006 NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.Discovery Travel and Living is the best of channels I have ever watched. Nearly each and every show is spectacular, but there was one that caught my eye recently. I hate these American Idol, Indian Icon, Popstar of the Year kinda shows. It is outrightly annoying and such a sham. But this show on D-T&L called The Runway, is very interesting. For one it is about fashion designing and two, the judges are knowledgeable and clear in their decisions (unlike some judges on some shows who stick to being nasty and stupid and think that that is cool). They explain their judging criteria and methodology and I find that very impressive. Since I enjoy designing, I was able to follow the activities of the contestants and was able to reach a judgment on my own before the judges announced theirs. Our judgments matched and that made it appealing to my sensibilities. Its all about theme, stitch, cut, pattern and design. In short, its about work and not people's attitudes and how they respond when they fail and all that bullcrap. Very enjoyable show.

Steamboat. Photo by Ian Wallace (© Viking–Penguin/ABC Books).Cookery shows excite me like no woman does (sorry about that, ladies). The sheer colour, settings and the aroma (what? you can't smell it? :-O ) send me on a high. The shows on D-T&L take the cake but other shows (Zee and Star) are interesting too. I like the sets in which Kylie Kwong cooks. It is so correct for the dish that she prepares and you know she is passionate about the food that she cooks. Unfortunately a lot of it is non-veg, but is sufficient to roll me on my own adventures in the kitchen. One thing that these shows seem to tell me: Never cook by following instructions; let your heart flow. Works well with me! :-)


  1. # Star Movies and HBO are blacked out here in Bombay and I am the loser. Maybe sometime later, when the movie is shown again I will be prompt enough to grab the time and the inclination to watch it

    #If you want actual stand up comedy albeit in hindi, watch Star One at 1030pm from monday to wednesday - simply perfect is one Mr Raju Srivastava. Anyone who misses him loses enjoying a great talent. Also watch another show on star plus at 9pm on fridays. Very creative people from mostly UP, MP and Pakistan too do their stuff of stand up comedy; and each can be said to be of quite good quality. Quite enjoyable, and immensely funny, and what you seem to appreciate most: highly original too, by and large.

    # Cooking : I would give anything to efface this art from the map of the world :). Whereas eating is a joy of course. Obviously, I see that each cannot exist without the other, but wish that they could..

    But then, cookery shows are very entertaining, especially if they make dishes that I already know how to make - like aviyal and paruppu usili and other friendly southindian dishes. Madhur Jaffreys show endeared because it was for an international audience, by an international personality, but on Indian foods.

  2. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Well ...that link in your post pointed me to your view:)
    Good that you mentioned - Kite Runner
    TV ?...
    Have loads of things to do than sit in front of it.:) for cooking...if you happened to see Andy Garcia teaching his lady love how to prepare italian pasta [Fettuccine/Rigatoni/Conchiglioni] would know why i say that there's lot of romance to it :)

    well i wont say that a man doesnt excite me any more/less...but am an excellent cook:)

    Just a thought...more later


  3. an incorrigible optimist6:22 AM

    btw the my previous feather seemes to have drifted away!!



  4. Dear P,
    Will surely try to watch that show! Cooking is meditation! :-)

    Dear Anon-U,
    You sound really busy! TV helps me to travel from my armchair and feeds me with ideas. I do agree with you. Cooking is romance. You seem to like Italian. Do find time to read "Food is home" by Sarjano. Exotic, brilliant, passionate... so Italian. I would prefer cooking Italian and eating Italian to many other cuisines. No previous feather drifted anywhere... Glad you stopped by... :-)