Holiday season sees a saturation of the cinematic market with an influx of wholesome but cringe-worthy holiday movies. Is it the audience that asks for it or is the industry too used to churning out “tidings of comfort and joy”? Read more to find out.

Be it “Rang Barse” or “Last Christmas”, festivals end up being not just a part of our real lives but also our reel lives. In the 20th century, cinema is not barred to only reflecting reality but rather moves beyond that ambit to build upon our lived realities and create an alternate world as believed by media studies scholar John Mundy. Every festive season is accompanied by an influx of new or repeated holiday cinema against a backdrop of the belief that this is the time when everything is right in the world. 

But can the cinema industry be completely blamed for this saturation of the market during the holidays? In the end, it is only catering to a society that was deeply embedded into the concept of religious festivities and now finds itself dependent upon a highly glamourous, minutely religious rendition of the same traditions. Rather than being restricted to religious beliefs, festivals have been gaining traction as events having aesthetic appeal and a more universal characteristic, the most all-consuming being Christmas.

…being a part of a family that doesn’t really celebrate (Christmas), the day often ends up being a bit disheartening. So, I have made it a tradition to find and watch that perfect Christmas movie every year because it helps bring that sense of joy, comfort, and “Christmas cheer” that I can’t find in my immediate vicinity.”, explains Hitanshi Jain, a first-year student at DCAC.

Psychologists have gone on to distinguish happiness into two types: hedonic and eudaimonic. The former is more transitory and refers to the sensations of pleasure and enjoyment, whereas the latter is a more resonating and long-lasting feeling, rising from experiences that carry a sense of meaning and purpose. Both of these kinds of happiness are considered important for the overall well-being of humans and this is what the cinematic industry has been tapping into: with its humour, traditions, decorations, and backdrops catering to the hedonic approach and the plotline of happiness over misery catering to the eudaimonic.

Most Christmas movies are created around the same storyline: family issues, conflicts, chaos, and negative emotions; all of them getting wrapped up with a happy ending where everyone finds joy and hope occupies the center stage. This craze has not only been fueled by the audience but also by the production companies itself with entities like MarVista Entertainment investing 50% of its development funds on holiday movies alone. When exploring the science of the why behind this, we come upon Christopher Deacy’s statement in his 2016 book “Christmas as Religion” about how Christmas movies act as a “barometer of how we might want to live and how we might see and measure ourselves”, tapping into the feeling of belongingness, familiarity, or the idea of “home”. In the opinion of Penne Restad in her book ‘Christmas in America’, she describes how many movies like ‘Holiday Inn’ (1942) were created from the perspective of providing another line of thought and emotions to the war-stricken atmosphere in America, showcasing a world which “has no dark side”. This notion has extended over the last century into every holiday cinema experience, promoting emotional wealth over materialist or consumerist tendencies and glorifying the essential happiness of humankind while disregarding the misery surrounding it.

The essence of these movies is that they don’t make you feel that you are alone during the holiday season and that you belong somewhere, to someone or to something.”, says Srivarsha Bhukya, a first-year student at LSR.

Each holiday movie ends up being this blank canvas that we know will end up in only the most beautiful colours, barring any possibility of messes, chaos, or disappointment. In a very Dr. Suess accent— these movies make us see that the flawed mirror still reflects that golden light, that the teared-up gift wrappers contained happiness inside, and that everything considered, it’s a wonderful life.


Read also “How to Kill Time Until Reopening” https://dubeat.com/2022/01/how-to-kill-time-until-reopening/


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Manasvi Kadian

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It seems like a Particle Accelerator has exploded on the small screen because – it’s raining Superheroes and Super-villains! The Marvel, DC and the comic universe have come to life like never before and they have something for every fandom! From Gotham and Constantine to The Flash and Daredevil, and not to forget – Supergirl and Jessica Jones, both of which are breaking gender stereotypes; all these shows and more are here to bring all your superhero fantasies to life.

On Indian Television, Superhero craze has just started gaining momentum. It started with Arrow on Star World. Now, Colors Infinity and Zee Café have joined the league with airing Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Gotham and Supergirl! So without further ado, we bring to you a list of some Superhero T.V. shows that you should not miss!

  1. Arrow

For me, it all started with this show. This show is the cornerstone and it has made the Superhero Universe into the landscape that it is today. With a back story of a Billionaire-turned-Superhero when hit by a tragedy, it all sounded pretty Batman-ish to the viewer. Though after watching the first few episodes, any thoughts of comparison flew out of the window and the adventures of the ‘Emerald Knight’ sucked us into its fun and interesting story-line. Oliver Queen became the new hotshot vigilante-billionaire-scarred-hero of the modern times, saving his Starling City by shooting arrows!

Arrow has a solid foundation with season 1 and 2. With an introduction of too many new characters and major deaths, season 3 and 4 have slightly lost focus and become a lot more crowded. However, the show is still promising and one can expect amazing stuff from coming seasons.

Catch season 4 of Arrow from 2nd August, 2016, Monday-Friday on Colors Infinity at 7 PM, in India.

Image Credits: http://www.wpaperhd.com/
Image Credits: http://www.wpaperhd.com/
  1. Supergirl

If you love Superman and his Kryptonian genes then, Supergirl is bound to attract you. This is a show tracing the story of Superman’s younger cousin, Kara Danvers. Mellisa Beniost as the titular Kryptonian, is the best live in action Supergirl ever. Though season one has been a little low, it had its high points with some great villains straight from the deep end of the comic universe and a Flash crossover. Hang onto this show because it’s gaining momentum and has a lot of potential for future seasons with it entering the Arrowverse from season 2!

Catch season 1 of Supergirl, Monday-Friday at 10 PM on Zee Cafe, in India.

Image Credits: http://cdn.playbuzz.com/
Image Credits: http://cdn.playbuzz.com/
  1. Daredevil

Daredevil is Netflix’s first foray into the Superhero Universe. A show which has both shocked and thrilled the audiences with stellar performances by the actors, Daredevil is one show which is unafraid of venturing into the darkness of Marvel Universe. Also, it has created some unforgettable fight scenes and monologues in any superhero TV shows till now!

Moreover, Daredevil has helped to kick off Marvel’s Netflix expanded universe, which includes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and a team-up series – The Defenders. It offers a grounded team of superheroes dealing with more everyday street level problems, and less in the sphere of inter-dimensional alien invasions or metahumans!

Image Credits: http://netflixlife.com/
Image Credits: http://netflixlife.com/
  1. The Flash

The Flash started off as a spin-off of Arrow but it quickly escalated and became the best Superhero show. A show which is totally committed to the most out-of-the-world elements of its comic book universe, The Flash features multiple universes, time travel, and a villainous psychic gorilla and Shark man!

Despite its cheesy, cliché elements and humour, it’s a superhero show to its very core. Flash remarkably tackles the serious themes of grief, loss, pain, separation anxiety and shows us that the almighty Superheroes aren’t bereft of their share of struggles and personal tragedies. The show is unafraid to delve into darkness with events of the murder of Barry’s mother or wrongful conviction of his father but, it resurfaces with hope. Barry retains his humour and humanity amidst all the chaos.

With introduction of multi-universes, the show is more promising with endless possibilities. The adaptation of ‘Flashpoint’, a pivotal ‘Flash’ storyline with Tom Felton joining the show as CSI Julian Dorn in season 3; It seems like this ‘scarlet speedster’ is here to stay and hell-bent on flashing on our screens for long. May the speed force be with The Flash, always!

First Look trailer (Season 3, The Flash): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LGQRbPERaU

Image Credits: https://images7.alphacoders.com
Image Credits: https://images7.alphacoders.com

Further Recommendations: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Carter, Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, Constantine and Jessica Jones.

Feature Image Credits: http://media.comicbook.com/

Nidhi Panchal

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From that blue/black/white/gold dress that might have broken marriages and families over its ambiguous colour, to a certain Saint born to the West and his wife, 2015 has left us ROFLing, face palming and appreciating. In this new series at DU Beat, we bring to you the best and worst of news from the Entertainment world, both from Bollywood and abroad.

1. Music

  • We grooved into 2015 with the Uptown Funk earworm and we’re leaving the year behind wondering why our hotline isn’t blinging anymore. Mid year, Charlie Puth left us teary eyed with See You Again, as Ellie Goulding crooned Love Me Like You Do.
  • Zayn Malik broke a number of hearts when he quit One Direction earlier this year. Rumours of the boy band breaking up have led to a second round of heartbreaks.
Zayn Malik left the boyband One Direction | Source: people.com
  • Sales of Adele‘s third album, 25, soared through the roof, breaking several records, having sold more copies within the first week than any other album. Hello monopolised the position at the top of the charts for four weeks.
Adele in ‘Hello’ music video | Image source: slate.com
  • Well, we’ll soon be saying hello from the other side as, Justin Bieber‘s new album, Purpose, has turned most people into ‘beliebers.’ Deftones frontman, Chino Moreno, coined the term when he admitted to being a fan of the singer. With 17 of the album’s tracks making it to Billboard’s Hot 100 List in a week, Bieber has broken a 51 year record of 14 tracks previously held by The Beatles.
  • You used to call me on my cellphone, late night when you need my love. It’s all right if you are still trying to imitate those moves and failing miserably. No one can do it like Drake can. Except Obama, maybe. The YouTube Channel Barack’s Dubs has been leaving the world in splits with their parody videos of POTUS singing Hotline Bling and matching Drake’s moves.  
Image source: mercurynewsdaily.com

2. Movies

  • Most people spent the year waiting for the force to awaken. And when it did, Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke several box office records. The advanced tickets to the highly anticipated return to that galaxy far far away crossed $6.5 million. The movie is expected to break every box office record as ticket sales may cross the billion mark.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Image Source: theforceawakensblog.com
Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Image Source: theforceawakensblog.com
  • While Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes the cake for 2015, The Peanuts Movie, The Martian, Jurassic World and Furious 7 demand honourable mentions.
  • Indian cinema grew up a little with Angry Indian Goddesses and the furore it created. Similarly, Margarita With a Straw generated all the right kind of buzz. Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo became the highest grossing Bollywood movies for the year, with Baahubali and Dilwale crossing the 100 crore mark as well.
Kalki Koechlin in ‘Margarita With a Straw’ | Source: miaminewtimes.com
  • This year, India also saw its first Broadway-style Disney musical, Beauty and the Beast, being staged.

3. Television

  • At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards this year, two records were broken: the first by Game of Thrones which won a whopping 12 awards: the most ever won by a single show in a year. The second record was set by Viola Davis of How to Get Away with Murder fame, who became the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for best leading actress. Don Draper will be missed as Mad Men came to a close this year with Season 7.
Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy Award in a leading actress category | Source: wordpress.com
  • The year ends with a bang, but not so much for poor Steve Harvey. The American TV host and comedian has been the butt of jokes and memes on the internet ever since he announced the wrong winner at the Miss.Universe pageant, creating quite some embarrassment for all concerned. What’s more the internet had him wishing us a Happy Easter instead of a Merry Christmas on the 25th!

Abhinaya Harigovind
[email protected]

reality-shows-in-indiaREAL FUN!

By Tanya Agarwal

A seventy year old man forced to admit to having slept with a prostitute as his tense wife and daughter look on, Rakhi Sawant fluttering her eyes at the camera and accusing participants in her Swyamvar of playing with her delicate heart, Gauhar Khan bursting into tears and piling all the blame for her bad dancing on her hapless choreographer… if you condemn such harmless, albeit theatrical entertainment and say it debases popular taste, then you’re just a puffed up snob who hasn’t yet tried watching the said shows, conveniently assuming that it’s for those with low intellect and no one but the likes of Udita Goswami to look to for amusement.

The supposedly blatant unreality of reality television creates the most unlikely situations and the reaction of the various pseudo celebrities featured in these shows is pure entertainment. It is precisely this that keeps even the cerebral people glued to shows like ‘Big Boss’ and ‘Sach Ka Saamna’. High brow attitudes are out of vogue and society sees no harm in being entertained by any kind of entertainment at all nowadays. Reality shows are the symbols of the age of mass culture that we live in today.

We are so accustomed to the petty dramas of everyday life that they’re no longer of much interest to us anymore. The lives of people like Manmohan Tiwari and Abhijeet Sawant played out on national television therefore, comes as a refreshing change, presenting us with a peek into a world exotically different from our monotonous, scheduled existence. It is amazing fun to watch celebrities on TV and find out how they actually are in real life and whether they truly live up to their typecast roles. It also funny to hear Anu Malik, the architect of songs like “do me a favour, let’s play holi” and “oonchi hai building”, pretend to be a connoisseur of music and dole out advice to participants. Once in a while, it’s good to just go with the deception and sit back and enjoy.

Reality shows not only keep us entertained but they are also a great platform for those with aptitude and willingness to work hard. These shows can be credited with churning out some pretty great talent, examples being Sunidhi Chauhan and Sonu Nigam – both hugely successful singers.

In the end, we are after all, a democracy. Neither is anyone compelled to participate in these shows, nor is anyone obliged to watch them. So cheers to those who can afford to step down from their high ground and appreciate some mindless fun, and to the rest, live and let live, people!


By Aina Mathew

If on one channel you have old men jumping up and cracking coconuts with their heads in the name of entertainment, on another rival one you get chubby little toothless girls prancing around dressed as bais, all to instigate laughter. While Shah Rukh tackles fifth graders, Salman has roti-making competitions with Mallika Sherawat. At absolutely no time of the day can you channel-surf without coming across at least ten reality shows featuring complete madcap behaviour. The idiot box is truly living up to its name these days.

With the overwhelming number of reality shows flooding our TV screens, you’d think we’d get to see fascinating, inventive programmes with something new being offered each day. On the contrary, almost all these shows are rip-offs of popular western shows. ‘Indian Idol’ is an exact copy of ‘American Idol’; ‘Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao!’ follows in the footsteps of ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’; ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ is modeled exactly along the lines of ‘The Moment of Truth’ and so on and so forth, until originality, much less sense is the last thing you’d associate with Indian television. The format is the same, the rules are the same, and everything is the same except the quality, which falls dreadfully below tolerance levels. Our answer to Simon Cowell’s sharp, witty remarks is the sad shayari of Anu Malik who, by the way, takes up more footage than the participants themselves with his histrionics. While western audiences are left shaken by the candid confessions of participants on The Moment of Truth, we have to contend with the ramblings of retired cricketers. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to such torture?

I fail to understand why the producers of all these nutty programmes classify them under reality TV. Whether it’s a stand up comedy competition or a game show or a singing contest, it all eventually turns into a K-serial anyway. Drama, suspense, romance – name it and you have it. All the elements of an Ekta Kapoor hit are intrinsic to every “reality” show that have graced Indian television sets. More than their singing abilities, endurance levels or dancing skill, the talent that always comes out best among participants is their acting. With every elimination, rivals who couldn’t stand being in the same room without a torrent of beeps renting the air turn into friends for life who drown themselves in tears of remorse. Thanks to “reality” TV, our desi Pamela Anderson has turned into a blushing, demure sati savitri who gets a heart attack every time a potential husband so much as brushes against her little finger. If this is all the reality that TV can offer, I’d rather just revert to the saas bahu serials, thank you very much.

In conclusion, reality TV is a complete waste of time and energy. If anyone gains from these shows, it’s the medicine industry that now has a bigger market for headache pills and those resuscitated stars of yesteryears who can finally stop selling water purifiers and scream at wannabe dancers instead.