While everyone was going crazy over Avengers: Endgame being the last film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s current phase, others were signing petitions demanding a new ending to Game of Thrones season 8, and then there you were not caring 3000.

Before I am mistaken for someone who is against fandoms, let me clarify that I am not. One of the biggest obstacles that people belonging to this community that follows or likes the same entity of pop culture face is the tag of being “childish” or “mainstream”. These labels, I believe, are extremely unfair and slightly hypocritical. I, for one, am in the This Is Us fandom.

Fandoms arise because a book, movie, tv series or comic had something with which people could connect and relate. Marvel and DC comics or films gave that little 10-year-old hope, that good can defeat the evil or how superheroes exist, maybe inside all of us. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was able to make many people laugh and happy after they had hit a low. Harry Potter series was more than just Wizardry and Witchcraft, for  it was as much about courage, goodness and friendship. The memes on adults surrounded by children in movie halls for Toy Story 4 is a testament to how these are a connect with our childhood.

The most popular ones suffer because they are always seen as mainstream, people doubting them for only “trying to be cool” and accusing them of following it because “everyone is watching this nowadays”.

But when Hannah Gatsby said, “I identify as tired”, we could all relate.

Not belonging to these fandoms does not make you a bad person or a person with lesser taste, in any way.

Some people simply watch these shows or films for the mere pleasure that comes out of it. Not knowing plot lines or details is not considered to be the biggest sin for us. I will reiterate, we all have our fangirling/ fanboying elements activated by different stimuli, but our passions vary in intensity. While legendary shows went on for many years, non-fandom people tend to find starting such shows daunting. The level of commitment and energy that is involved in watching 14 seasons of Supernatural, the whole Star Wars series, 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy among many, many more of “this is amazing, you should watch it”: very intimidating.

On speaking to such people, I realised, these group of people are simply Legen-wait for it-LAZY. On seeing that passionate friend of yours reiterating and trying to express how amazing something is, on the inside non-fandomers feel sorry for the effort wasted. It is not the absence of awareness or even questioning of the abilities of what writers can create. But simply having full insight and realising what does not appeal to you.

Maitreyi Pandey of Kamala Nehru College, who has never watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S. commented, “So, I believe a show or an association with a fandom is a very personal thing. Though, at times, I do feel annoyed when people keep on discussing about the one show over and over again and keep on pushing you to watch it. However, I never have felt the need to join the bandwagon, because if I don’t connect to the show, no matter how good it might be, I will not watch it.”

Whether it is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. versus How I Met Your Mother, Marvel vs DC, Hunger Games vs Divergent—for these people, the debate goes on. Unless someone brings up Brooklyn Nine-Nine, in which case there is no competition.

With the good comes the evil. Similarly, this new idea of “real” fan and “fake” fan has arisen. For those who have never seen or experienced this, you have been very privileged because the level of social bashing one can receive over the smallest of errors is on an all-time high. I remember how someone I know had mistakenly written John Snow, instead of Jon Snow. A wave of social bashing hit her before she even understood where she went wrong. Similarly, despite my really enjoying GoT (Game of Thrones), this statement will always be seen with suspicion till I can name the whole family tree correctly. So, when someone says to me, “You know nothing…”, I am okay with it.

If you binge every show on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Hulu and whichever new platform has come up, or even if you simply are too lazy or uninterested, either path is okay. With these platforms having left television far behind, we can see that the quality of story lines, plot twists, character developments and other tricks up a writer’s sleeve are endless.

I can only reflect on a time when GoT was to me the best show ever made, but This Is Us changed my mind, and frankly tomorrow night Chernobyl might. Each story competing with the others, and writers, creators and directors being challenged, we can learn to appreciate where we have come from only Sciences and STEM being applauded, as now even the artistic capabilities are seen with awe. All is well till we remember that compulsion is an illusion.

So, while some people googled which house the Sorting Hat will put them in, others chose not to, does that not sound like a fandom of its own?

Feature Image Credits: Geeks on Coffee

Shivani Dadhwal

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine, with its diverse cast and representation of marginalised communities, is taking the world by storm. It’ss hilarity and breaking of negative stereotypes is something never seen before. The show is about to start with its sixth season and the fans can’t seem to wait!

Have you always been a fan of off-beat comedies like Parks and Recreation and The Office? Do the characters make you love the weird people you encounter in your everyday, melancholic life? Then, hold your horses because Brooklyn Nine-Nine is here. This American television series revolves around a team of detectives based in New York of the 99th precinct.

Jake Peralta is a goofy, mischievous, immature, and an intelligent detective whose favourite movie is Die Hard. His sidekick and best friend, Charles Boyle is the loyal, people-pleaser connoisseur whose vocabulary is not really great. Rosa Diaz is the badass detective who doesn’t believe in showing feelings and emotions and is extra secretive about her life. Amy Santiago is the workaholic, type- A personality who respects her captain more than anyone else. Lieutenant Terry Jeffords is the soft- hearted, muscular, yogurt-loving man who absolutely adores his twin baby girls. Captain Raymond Holt is serious and stern whose one-liners and lack of facial expressions would make you scratch your head. Gina Linetti is the hilariously self-centred administrator who loves to dance and practically every B99 fan’s spirit animal. Hitchcock and Scully are the two dim-witted veterans of the precinct who just love to sit and eat.

So, what makes this show so unique and a must-watch? Well, the list is endless. The ensemble cast is terrific and lovable. Apart from that, it is one of the most ethnically diverse casts on television. The main leads have two black men, along with two Latina women. The show has LGBT characters where Captain Raymond Holt is a happily married gay man and Detective Rosa Diaz is a bisexual woman. It doesn’t promote stereotypical personalities and doesn’t make a big deal about it. The show doesn’t shy away from discussing social issues like feminism, racism, police brutality, and sexism at the workplace and never makes the marginalised groups the butt of jokes.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine doesn’t stress on romantic relationship, needless drama. The relationships it presents are non-toxic and non-abusive where the emphasis is on healthy communication. It prioritises friendships where the detectives respect and appreciate each other for their hard work and talent. Many sitcoms show women characters where they are always at war with each other but in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, they do not tear each other down. They might be different but they always look out for each other no matter what. It doesn’t show toxic masculinity and ‘angry, tough, and heartless man’ as the ideal. It promptly breaks the notion that ‘nice guy gets the girl’. It highlights how men should handle rejection and back off if the women do not show interest instead of pestering them.

The show is a perfect balance of drama and comedy. It has wackiness with an amazing comedic timing. Its multi-dimensional characters and memorable one-liners are out of the world and worth a mic-drop.  The heart- warming scenes would make you smile ear to ear. Jake’s evergreen ‘title of your sex tape’, ‘cool cool cool cool, no doubt no doubt no doubt’, ‘noice’ and ‘smort’ are weirdly funny and of course Gina Linetti is the self-proclaimed human form of 100 emoji whose quirkiness and absurdness takes the show to another level. So, instead of watching hardcore police dramas like Criminal Minds and NCIS, give Brooklyn Nine-Nine a shot.


Feature Image Credits: Her

Disha Saxena

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Filled to the brim with gossip, scandal, and confessions, “Koffee With Karan” recently made a comeback. Our correspondent tells you why we’re all so drawn to the iconic show.

The year 2016 marked the return of Karan Johar’s very popular “Koffee with Karan”, a show that occupies the holy hour on the family television screen every Sunday evening. As a rational nineteen-year-old, I believe I am above all the pettiness, gossip and drama that is synonymous with Bollywood. The sad part, however, is that even I am prey to Karan’s wiliness, and every Sunday from 9pm-10pm, I am racked with guilt, yet blissfully unaware of my surroundings, rooting for my favourite star and eagerly awaiting the results of the rapid fire.

The one question that evades me is – How does he do it? How does he manage to rope in individuals from all age groups? How does he manage to capture our attention for an entire hour? Inspiration struck when I saw my friend watching a particular episode for the third time. Karan Johar uses the same tactic that most international talk shows do, he packs all the drama and pettiness under a cover of “flair and air”, substituting the local cutting chai for the suave cup of coffee. The average Indian cannot resist the daily charcha, especially if it comes with glamorous actors and high-profile drama. On this, Johar delivers to the T.

Essentially, the programme focuses on digging dirt and bringing the personal lives of celebrities into the limelight. Karan does all of this unabashedly and shamelessly – a quality that ironically attracts Indian audiences instead of repelling them. A show containing all the gossip, awkwardness and insane drama that we need in our everyday, mundane lives, “Koffee with Karan” ticks all the right boxes, even for rational folks like me!

Image Credits: biggboss10.com

Anahita Sahu

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DU Beat recently got a chance to interact with television’s new dance sensation and a DU alumnus, Ryan Martyr, who is currently showcasing his dance moves on the dance reality show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. A contemporary dancer by profession, he wants to build a tree house and organise a buffet for dogs if he wins the dance reality show. Excerpts:

DUB: As an alumnus of a popular DU College like Sri Venkateswara, is there any anecdote you’d like to share with us that you can recall from your days as a member of Verve, the Western Dance Society of Venky? What is your take on DU’s dance circuit in general? 

Ryan Martyr (RM): I earlier wanted to become a footballer. But when I got into college, I “just for fun” auditioned for the western dance society. Surprisingly, everyone loved me and instantly started to believe that I had the potential to be a professional dancer. That’s how I began dancing. My take on DU’s dance circuit is that I feel it gives a budding artist multiple opportunities to showcase his/her potential. The competition and the whole vibe pushes you to grow exponentially. Its absolutely wonderful.

DUB: As a member of a dance society, you must have attended quite a lot of fests at DU. Which college was your favourite to perform at during fests and why?

RM: My favourite college to perform in was Venky itself. The reason being that performing in front of your own college and home crowd gives you a high like none other. The cheering before and after the performance makes you want to push for greatness and definitely brings out the best in you.

DUB: Looking at your immense experience at such a young age, who is that one person/personality that keeps you motivated or whom you admire the most and why?

RM: The one dancer who inspires me a lot is Travis wall from So You Think You Can Dance, America. He began as a dancer on the show, then moved on to being a choreographer, then to a judge on the same show and now he is an Emmy winning choreographer. And in fact, I received a shoutout from Travis wall in my first round on SYTYCD India which was definitely one of the happiest moments of my life till date.


DUB: How did the idea of entering a dance reality show crop up in your mind? What is the larger goal you wish to achieve by performing at a platform of such a mammoth nature? 

RM: Honestly, I never wanted to enter any reality show. I just did because So You Think You Can Dance was the only reason I began dancing and as a young dancer, I always wanted to become a dancer of the same quality and so since the opportunity came knocking, I had to answer it. My larger purpose is to inspire people to follow their dreams and live life whole-heartedly. Hopefully, by dancing my heart out on this show I can achieve this.

DUB: Today the youth is driven by money, fame and the limelight that reality TV has in store. What is your take on the increasing commercial interest that has penetrated a creative industry like dance? Do you think this hampers true talent from coming to the forefront?

RM: I believe that before exposing yourself to fame & money, its very important to develop your art first. There is no point in selling stale art. Once your art is ready there is no harm in exposing it to the world. In fact by doing so, you can inspire millions.


“I believe that before exposing yourself to fame & money, its very important to develop your art first. There is no point in selling stale art.” 

DUB: To choose dance as a career option definitely mustn’t have been a smooth sailing for you, given the larger societal scepticism surrounding it in India. What did it take you to convince your parents and family to let you choose your passion as your career?
RM: Choosing dance was easy. I just had to follow my calling. I knew it the day I felt it, that Dance was for me. Convincing my parents was easy because I was convinced and was showing positive results from day one. I was so dedicated to dance that my parents never felt the need to question my decision. But yes, I have gone through many ups and downs which has just made me stronger.
DUB: Apart from Contemporary, which other dance forms do you enjoy performing?

RM: I love doing hip hop and dancehall. Like honestly, at times I feel I am a better club dancer!

DUB: You have participated at the prestigious Britain’s Got Talent too. How was the experience there different from your experience performing on the Indian National Television? 

RM: I got selected for Britain’s Got Talent too, yes, but I could not participate on the show because I was on a tourist visa. But yes, to showcase my raw soul in a country like England where every dancer is so perfect was quite special.

DUB: Would you like to share something about your ‘guru’? Any memories of any college faculty leaving an impact on you in any way?

RM: I honestly have no guru. I learn and get inspired from almost everyone I meet. I am learning every minute. Wherever I am, I find someone or the other to get inspired from.

DUB: You have become a very exemplary figure among the youngsters as is evident from your growing online support. Any message or mantra you would want to convey to the students who wish to pursue a career in dance?

RM: Keep it simple. Keep it true. Make sure everything you do is full of yourself. Live life like you would never ever live it again. And love yourself!

DUB: If you do win the show, what do you intend to do post your big victory? Any specific goals?

RM: If I do win the show, I want to build myself a tree house. And use some money to publish my book, and definitely make a few songs. Probably have a buffet for all street dogs! I just want everyone to believe that Dreams Do Come True. Just work for it. Live a life people would love to read about.

“I want to build myself a tree house. And use some money to publish my book, and definitely make a few songs. Probably have a buffet for all street dogs!”

Image credits: Allan Martyr and Sandeep Chhabra

Interviewed by Riya Chhibber for DU Beat

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