An ultra-rich backdrop, razor sharp dialogue, and stellar acting is what makes Succession the gold standard for television right now.
Jesse Armstrong’s multiple-Emmy winning series has a deceptively simple premise – the patriarch of media conglomerate Waystar RoyCo is ageing and must choose an heir to his business empire. Thus, the stage is set for an endless game of musical chairs between his children for the throne – power-hungry Kendall, derisive Roman, politically-savvy Shiv and estranged oldest son Connor. Power-struggles, corporate backstabbing and constant plotting ensues between the siblings and a host of well-fleshed out and complicated side characters who form the heart of the show throughout its four-season run.
Succession’s portrayal of the wealthy and influential is both captivating and horrifying. ‘Multi-faceted’ is one way to describe the narcissistic and money-obsessed characters who reek of upper-class privilege and can manipulate the course of the nation as per their whims and fancies. Yet, despite the absolutely vile character arcs, it is impossible not to root for them in their achingly-tender moments of humanity. This is a testament to the masterclass in acting done by the ensemble of actors who deliver the show’s signature sharp and biting dialogue to perfection. There is something revolting yet fascinating in the obscene, and hilariously vulgar lines.
Besides the personal narratives of each character, the show also provides insightful commentary on wider social issues such as influence of media and technology on society, politics, culture, and identity. It calls out the power-mongering and under the table lifestyle of the luxurious. Familial influences and power structures dictate the living of the top 1%. This adds a fresh layer of analysis to the already complex individual storylines, making the show a wonderful mix of satire and insight on capitalism and American corporatism.
Exceptional locations, cinematography, background scores and production value – the hits keep coming. The glorious theme song (this plays in my head 24/7 on repeat) and opening credits hook you in for a wildly funny, tragic and jaw-dropping ride. The music perfectly captures the mood of the show – sinister, dark and greedy but whimsical when need be. Another standout is the work of the costumes department. The lack of ostentatious displays of wealthy but quiet luxury at its finest where a single cap costs millions of dollars is an absolute stroke of genius. The symbols of wealth like the fleet of black SUVs, the helicopters, the elaborate real estate and the constant entourage just add to the sensory delight of the show.
Succession is a much watch for fans of pitch-black comedy and suspense. It is a gift that keeps giving and the fascinating character-driven plot keeps you hooked despite your utter disgust for the characters. After all, the ultimate question remains – who shall be the successor and nab the top job?
Come for the family and corporate intrigue, stay for the absolute finest filmmaking seen in recent times. Be right back, going to make Nicholas Britell’s Succession theme song my new ringtone.
The second season of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ started another uproar for the critically acclaimed portrayal and characterization of the titular Mrs. Maisel. But what makes Midge Maisel the poster-girl of making a stand-up position in the hearts of the audience? What is different about this ‘smart, funny, and beautiful’ woman of the 1950s?
In an episode where a drunk man heckles Miriam Maisel while she is performing on stage, he says, “Women aren’t funny,” and the marvelous Mrs. Maisel laughs her signature laugh while telling the man that his wife must have a sense of humour because she sees him naked every night. Then, he calls her a “dumb bitch” and she amuses him, and the audience, by asking, “Who told you?” The fashion in which Mrs. Maisel handles her heckler is a revelation, an out-there-message for the viewers in the real world, and her audience in the Midge-verse that she is not scared or intimidated in a man’s world.
There is an undeniable air of hostility around women who engage in humour. For instance, women in India in the twenty-first century sit around and witness their fathers joke about alcohol, cigarettes, and women with their sons, even in seemingly progressive households. Yet there is silence- an unsaid usher of understanding- about making the same jokes with the daughters. Daughters and wives are not allowed the leniency to joke about the same thing, because good girls are not supposed to know enough to joke. Their piousness is confined to their closed legs, closed mouths, and closed minds.
So, in the 1950s, a woman telling off men by amusing their stereotypes is not only unconventional, it is also a sign of raging strength. But is that all Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel is about? The courageous, unconventional, overlooked wife shining after the foil of her husband leaves her for good; this is not a story summing up the theatrical complexities of Miriam’s womanhood in the mid-decade of the twentieth century. When a booker refuses to pay Midge and locks her manager, Susie, in an attempt to dismiss her because she is a woman comedienne fighting it in what he sees as a man’s territory, Midge does not hesitate to ring her former husband. She tells Susie that one needs a man to navigate in a man’s world some times.
Michelle Obama, in her book, Becoming, wrote of her experience in the classroom while she was pursuing her undergraduate degree, stating that many men who dominated the debates and discussions had a false sense of self. She wrote that they believed themselves to be smarter than her and some other women but were “simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history never told them anything different.” Midge Maisel is the person whose smarts gain her husband slots for his stand-up performances, and he tells her that she does not know the way the world of comedy functions. Her identity as the missus of Joel Maisel is not an affirmation of her qualities as an individual, the series iterates, but it is a mask Joel constantly hides behind to escape his own inefficiency.
Then, the right way to assess Midge Maisel is not as a paragon of rebellious, empowering values. In fact, Midge Maisel is not straight-edge, and she is more than willing to weasel her way in by playing the stereotype to her advantage. This is what makes her stand out. We are accustomed to looking at women characters as archetypes. To assert power, for instance, women must be like Claire Underwood- ruthless, uncaring, and willing to go to all lengths that a moral soul would question. To make us love them, women must be all saints, always trying to do the moral, the ethical thing so that they deserve our sympathies. The categorization of our women is not a new trait, and it is absolutely not one reeking of modern feminism.
The series shows Midge Maisel as a human being, treading not dubiously on the path of the virtuous and the more virtuous, but struggling and cutting lanes to make it big. The final stamp of approval for the portrayal comes when one thinks of Serena Williams and Virat Kohli in the present-day light. Williams, a far more experienced and accomplished player in the world of sports, became a ‘bitch’ overnight for her outburst while Kohli’s anger issues on the field, rebuked by the umpire, are accompanied by “but he is the best batsman”. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is not the story fighting for women’s rights, but it is the story of a woman using her rights to fight her way towards her goal. On the way, she makes people angry, she makes people proud, but her individuality is not something she owes to their pride, their ego, or their anger.
The final episode of the second season makes the point, loud and clear, as Mrs. Maisel goes to her former husband, Joel, to have one last fling with the man “who loves her”, for she knows the cost of her dreams in the real world. She recognizes that she may not have people or love in the passenger seat of the marvelous ride, but she actively wants to enjoy the journey- opinions be damned.
Image Courtesy: Mashable
Image Caption: Miriam struggles to make it big, instead of winning the limelight by giving uncanny rants and speeches which do not work in the real world.
Anushree Joshi[email protected]]]>
Hasn’t this season given us the perfect welcome with the death of Joffrey Baratheon? At last, the debt has been paid! Though it would only be fair to praise Jack Gleeson for his flawless depiction of one of the most notorious characters ever created by George R.R. Martin in his medieval fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire! It must be remembered that Joffrey wasn’t intentionally or ambitiously evil. Book readers would know of his confused upbringing, courtesy a drunk ‘father’ who spent most of his time in brothels or hunting and him secretly being an incestuous child. Fans of the TV show will surely remember him. (Remember him? Yes. Miss him? Definitely not!)
DU Beat brings you a detailed review of the 7 episodes of the fourth season of Game of Thrones that have been aired till now.
This season has swung in all directions, from giving us the best moment of our lives with the death of Joffrey Baratheon early in the season, to almost making us cry when Tyrion Lannister is tried for the same murder. His little speech at the trial is surely worthy of a second Emmy Award for the actor Peter Dinklage!
But let’s begin with the beginning. The season began with Tywin Lannister melting a sword, made of Valyrian steel, to make two swords for Jaime and Joffrey. The scene went quite unexplained, so for those who didn’t understand, that was the ancestral Stark sword taken from Ned Stark when he was announced a traitor in season one. In that same episode, Arya is depicted as a rising character when she melodramatically kills Polliver (who was responsible for killing her friend Lommy) and gets her own horse amidst some majestic Game of Thrones background music.
The season progresses to Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding, also called The Purple Wedding, which ends when King Joffrey dies of poisoning. Cercei accuses Tyrion of the murder, since the two never got on well (not that anyone got along particularly well with Joffrey!) The half-man had imparted a couple of slaps across Joffrey’s face in the past. The real culprits however, are later revealed to be Olenna Tyrell and Petyr Baelish.
At the trial of Tyrion, many testify against him. But the biggest disappointment was Shae’s betrayal. Shae is a prostitute Tyrion fell in love with, but because matters in King’s Landing had started turning dangerous, Tyrion wanted Shae to stay away from the city. He told Podrick, his squire, the same and he adhered. Shae was persistent on staying, compelling Tyrion to insult her as a ‘whore’ just to make her go away to a safer place. She returns and, possibly on the persuasion of Cercei, testifies against Tyrion and lies, saying that to please Sansa Stark, Tyrion had promised to kill King Joffrey. When Tyrion cries to her to stop lying, she replies, “I am a whore, remember?”
This has undoubtedly been the lowest moment of the season. It was followed by an outburst of Tyrion as he reminds the court that it was him who saved the city from being sacked at the war fought at Blackwater Bay. He says he’s not on trial for a murder, but on trial for being a dwarf. Finally, he demands a trial by combat, to the shock of everyone present.
One character who has started to turn out more important to the story than we ever expected him to be is Lord Petyr Baelish. Lysa Arryn discloses that she had poisoned her husband Jon Arryn on the request of her love, Petyr. He also reveals to Sansa that it was him who murdered Joffrey. At the end of the seventh episode, Petyr kisses the young Sansa on her lips telling her she is more beautiful than her mother and pushes a heartbroken Lysa out of the gaping Moon Door as she played an uninvited witness to the moment after telling her that the only woman he has ever loved is Sansa’s mother Catelyn Stark. Just your typical, happens-all-the-time, GOT drama.
Hopes are high for episode eight as the new entrant of the series, Oberyn Martell a.k.a. The Viper, has volunteered to be Tyrion’s champion in the trial by combat, for which Cercei plans to introduce Gregor Clegane a.k.a.
(and very rightfully so) The Mountain. Gregor is responsible for raping and murdering Oberyn’s sister Elia 15 years before the beginning of the series, for which Oberyn is vengeful. Who knows what will happen next; well, except for the ones who’ve read the books! The rest of us can treat ourselves to the following blessing of the internet.
Yes. It has happened. Ten seasons. Innumerable magical moments. Life long memories. And Sandra Oh has bid the final adieus to Grey’s Anatomy and her on screen shade – Doctor Cristina Yang.
As fans across the world cope with the departure of one of the strongest characters of television and the GA fans wait for the next installment of show starting from September 25th,2014 here is the journey of Cristina Yang’s life and her friendship with Meredith Grey in twelve highlights.
1. The getting along of the ‘Twisted Sisters’
The beautiful relationship of Meredith Grey & Cristina Yang that went through all phases of happiness, gloom, success, failures, irrevocable personal losses and proud professional highs has had to its credit an equally dramatic start. Both of them, as interns at Seattle Grace Hospital, were working upon the same case. Grey got to be the intern who performed the surgery which Yang longed for. However, the professional competitiveness soon subdued, for the relation had to thrive.
Cristina – “We don’t have to do that thing, where you know, I say something, and then you say something, and somebody cries, and there’s like a moment…”
Meredith – “Yuck”
2. My person, my soul mate, my sole partner in crime
As Meredith drowns in a lake while rescuing a patient in an outstation medical emergency, Cristina gets worried over her sudden disappearance. Cristina, on being questioned about her anxiousness by her husband to be Dr. Preston Burke says, “She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.”
3. All they could do, was to keep breathing!
Dressed in a white wedding gown, Cristina Yang is all set to get married to Preston Burke. The man she loved, for whom she got her eyebrows plucked and the person for whom she performed dozens of extra ordinary Cardiothoracic procedures she wasn’t authorized to, left her at the altar on their wedding day. Yang gets overwhelmed and Meredith consoles her and gets her out of the wedding gown. However, this incident inspires Yang to stand up, for all she says after she retains her composure is, ” He is gone, I am free, Meredith.”
4. Have some fire and be unstoppable!
Cristina who had been the significant pillar for Preston Burke when his hand injury had rendered him incapable of performing surgeries, got no mention when the latter won the prestigious Harper Avery award. This along with her disturbed personal life, made her grow ruder day by day. On being questioned about her well being by a fellow, she said what became, one of the most famous quotes of the show.
Lexie Grey: “Are you okay?”
Cristina Yang: “Don’t ask me if I’m okay. Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks. There are no teams here, no buddies. You’re on your own. Be on your own.”
5. The ‘Cro-wen’ Paradox
Cristina Yang gradually falls in love again with a trauma surgeon, Dr. Owen Hunt who joins work at hospital after a tough life as a surgeon in the army. The spark between the two is amazing, the love is bold and passionate. However, their life isn’t that easy, courtesy Owen’s initial aggressive flashbacks and their different desires from and meaning of life.
6. Had I known how to save a life!
As a shooter enters the premises of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital in a bid to murder all the surgeons to avenge his wife’s death, Dr. Derek Shepherd is shot in chest. To save the life of her friend’s husband Cristina performs a surgery with gun at her temple with amazing grit and smartness. This by far continues to be, one of the strongest moments of the show.
7. I know she likes the trauma
The act of shooting and operating at gun point leaves Dr. Yang traumatized for months. Not being able to come to terms with the excruciating pressure, she gives up medical practice and finds alternative employment, including bar-tending at Joe’s bar. However, as Derek takes her off on a fishing spree, she catches a giant one. As she feels the taste of success and rush of adrenaline again, she realizes what is missing from her life after giving up surgery. That moment of tears of happiness from Cristina Yang’s eyes, priceless!
8. The continuous consuming interrogation by Teddy Altman
After months of training under cardiac surgeon Dr. Teddy Altman, Yang has to perform an emergency surgery on Altman’s husband due to her pre-occupation. Cristina puts the best of her medical skills to test, but the patient dies. When informed about Henry’s death, she asks Cristina to repeat the procedure followed time and again to evaluate it. She says, “You did all what I would have done in that OR, Don’t be sorry.”
One of the most emotional scenes of the series, it shows the actress’s talent of conveying most in the minimal words.
8. Seattle Grace Mercy ‘Death’, the place where bad things happen
Post the plane crash that claims the lives of two major doctors of the hospital and with terrorist attacks and shootings in backdrop, Cristina Yang gets sick of the place replete with deaths, dearths and disorders and decides to leave the hospital for a job elsewhere. However, her tuning with Meredith is the same, relationship is no where strained, they stay in touch. The catch phrase “You’re my person” comes up again, Yang gradually overcomes the fear of planes and ultimately gets back to her parent hospital to revive it from a financial crisis. ( now called the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.)
9. Somebody that I used to know!
Competition, jealousy and ego can ruin all relations. The same happened in the relation of ‘the twisted sisters’. As Meredith became a family woman, Cristina’s career scaled new heights. Consequently, there were things said and interpreted, all of which envisaged a cold war. However, soon came a face off, where in things got cleared.
10. If love could be ‘enough’ to keep people together!
Cristina and Owen were deeply in love, but sadly there wasn’t a way in which both of their lives could run in parallel without making the compromises that would alter their individual definitions and existence. Hence, Cristina found that the best way was to let it go.
11. Tall towers, false shadows: The Harper Avery fiasco
One of the most hyped and prestigious awards in medicine, the Harper Avery Award – 2014 had Cristina Yang as a nominee, she being one of the five forerunners. However, the internal politics at the Harper Avery Board and Board’s relation with the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital screwed up the chances of Yang winning the award, even though her 3D conduits had the jury’s vote.
12. This is not the end, this is not the beginning!
While addressing a conference about her 3D conduits in Zurich, Yang meets Preston Burke again, the man who once left her at the altar, offers Yang to takeover for him at a research hospital in Switzerland. Yang knows this is the next step for her, gradually finishes over her work and dealings at Seattle and shifts her base of operation to Switzerland bidding adieus to her companions of over ten years with some ‘stay in touch’ promises, compassionate hugs,pieces of advice, emotional goodbyes and the last ‘Cristina -Meredith’ 30 seconds dance party.
It is rather magical how both of the friends have been there for one another in all times, despite of difference of opinions, attitudes and cultures. Even though the television saga would continue to go on without her, but for sure, both the friends would continue to influence each other’s lives for ever. For that’s what friendship means, to be together, even if not physically around.
Thank you Sandra Oh for the beautiful, motivating and unforgettable portrayal of Dr. Cristina Yang.
You’ll be always remembered and thoroughly missed!
Happy friendship day to all our readers and Grey’s Anatomy fans!
Featured Image Credits: Meredith Grey Quotes ( Facebook Page)
March 31st, 2014 would certainly be a ‘red letter day’ in the history of American sitcoms. While one legen-wait for it-dary show went off air forever and its famous characters bid their adieus to their fans, another show that might be the new ‘apple of all eyes’ in the years to come kick started its journey. The much talked about show ‘Friends with Better Lives’ premiered just after the series finale of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ which had left some fans heartbroken, dissatisfied and wanting for more. The much talked about show is written by the writers of famous American show ‘Friends’ and is being successfully promoted on the established brand value of same.
FWBL revolves around six friends, thirty something of age, all at different stages of life, each of whom thinks that the other has it better. Talking about the leads, Bobby and Andi– the happily married couple and parents of a toddler, Will – a divorcee, Kate – a single career oriented woman who has not found the right match yet and the ‘just engaged’ couple – Jules and Lowell.
The pilot episode is woven around characters of Bobby, Will and Kate played by Entourage fame Kevin Connolly, James Van Der Beek and Zoe Lister Jones, known for their amazing comic timing as they never miss a beat to entertain and tickle the audiences. Being on spot with his dialogue delivery, Kevin Connolly has delivered an excellent performance. The pilot belongs to Zoe Lister Jones who plays Kate, the single unlucky with dating woman, who is the highlight of the episode and might be the person around whom this show could revolve.
The show yet again revolves around three men and three women, and so far looks like it talks about their personal relations, ups& downs. From the comic perspective the show looks promising, but the storyline looks like ‘old wine in new bottle.’ There isn’t a catchy theme song introduced yet, that can be the USP of the show like ‘I’ll be there for you’ for Friends & the HIMYM theme tune.
Sitcoms do not usually garner much of positive response in their pilots because of the sheer disability of the people to understand and recognize the characters and their relations. FWBL needs to have more character development in the next few episodes for audiences to be able to relate to and care for. The show can overcome the familiar story line challenge and and could become something special if the group solidifies,strengthens into a strong dynamic where viewers begin to identify with the characters and relate them to people in real life.
The Overall View
Watch the show as an independent comedy, not drawing comparisons from any of the classics and you will certainly not be disappointed. Another reason to watch it would be the amazing star cast The channel CBS has not been quite successful with their new shows but FWBL with some excellent writing and by not going for the obvious jokes and gags, could be the next big thing.
The Official Trailer of ‘Friends with better lives’
Guest post by Abhinn Khanna Abhinn Khanna is a fourth semester Commerce student at Delhi college of Arts & Commerce and an avid TV series and movies buff.
The new crime series by HBO is an addition to the league of detective shows which makes an amazing dramatic entry. The lead role is being played by popular Hollywood actor Mathew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, a TV veteran who seems to bring every bit of confidence, skill and charisma to ‘True Detective’.
On a bizarre Louisiana murder case,Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson) were detective partners in 1995. Seventeen years later, when a similar case leads to an investigation of the ’95 murder, Cohle and Hart are questioned by a new set of detectives. Then they separately recount the story of the case and their lives, with constant flashbacks handled with genius style by director Cary Joji Fukunaga.
As we skip back and forth into different time periods, we see characters evolving along with time. Besides hair loss, Hart seems little-changed since the events of 1995, whereas Cohle seems much worse for wear. As the tale of “True Detective” unfolds, it becomes clear that the nonlinear story has many layers yet to be unfolded. The mystery becomes less about who committed the murder being investigated and more about what drove these two men to change so completely from the past to the present day.
McConaughey’s acting in particular is riveting as raw nerve while Rust Cohle, a guy whose unorthodox thoughts and troubled history make him an uneasy fit in the show’s Louisiana setting. Both McConaughey and Harrelson are playing slightly against type, and it’s clear how much both actors enjoy getting to do something different. Finally, the series features the direction of Cary Joji Fukunaga, who most recently directed a thrilling feature adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre’.
“True Detective” seems to be more about detectives than about crime solving. As Hart and Cohle follow leads, the show is really focused on their personal predicaments. The show is meant to be a deeper and more ruminative exploration of the crime procedural.
Perception is an American crime drama television series created by Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman. The series stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a schizophrenic neuropsychiatric who assists the FBI on some of their most complex cases. Pierce has an intimate knowledge of human behavior and a masterful understanding of the way the mind works. He also has an uncanny ability to see patterns and look past people’s conscious emotions to see what lies beneath.
Dr. Pierce works closely with Kate Moretti played by Rachael Leigh Cook, a former student who recruited him to work with the FBI. Unlike her colleagues, Kate is willing to look past Daniel’s peculiarities. Also in Daniel’s life is Max Lewicki (Arjay Smith), who serves as his teaching assistant. His primary job is to keep Pierce in line and on task, whether that means grading midterms or laying out Pierce’s wardrobe for the day. And Natalie Vincent (Kelly Rowan) is Daniel’s best friend and every bit his intellectual equal. In addition, award-winning actor LeVar Burton play a recurring role as Paul Haley, a dean at the university and Pierce’s friend.
The show is engaging for the audience who like these kind of TV shows wherein extraordinary individuals use their talent for a greater good.
Episodes typically begin with a scene of Pierce giving a lecture to his students about an aspect of the human brain; one that becomes significant within the plot of the episode. They also typically end with observations to students about the paradoxes of human perception. Daniel’s mental condition and offbeat manner make it difficult for him to achieve the close friendships and intimate relationships he craves. He’s in his element when solving an intricate puzzle or a coded message. But in unfamiliar situations, he can quickly become overwhelmed, and only his favorite music and a crossword puzzle have the power to make things right again.
Eric McCormack’s talent with dialogue and emotions is well portrayed in this series which will soon enter it’s third season. The show is well written with a wonderful theme and definitely worth watching atleast once.
“Relax. It’s only your first marriage. Those are like the practice ones”
Enter Eva Longoria’s alternate version of family. Mother up is an adult animated show centered on Rudi Wilson, a high-ranking executive in a booming music company when a personal scandal (or so to speak- she was caught on tape hunting small children for sport using ‘tranquilizer darts’, or so she claims) gets her fired. The pompous Wilson decides to take time off and be the amazing mother she knew she could always be. She shifts to the suburbs with her two children, Apple and Dick, and so begins the adventure she was least prepared for.
The narcissistic Wilson isn’t just facing the challenge of raising two children, whose names she’s unsure of, but also dealing with the over bearing, hypocritical suburban mothers who populate every corner of suburbia. Packed with flashes of some genuinely funny moments, Rudi may not manage to catch your imagination in the first instant but sure manages to make an impression. Longoria’s voice is at her expressive best and you start to relate to her voice more than any of the characters themselves.
The pilot episode first aired on November 6, 2013, in the States. The show opened to largely negative reviews with excessive criticism for uncanny resemblance to Family Guy. It drew further criticism for trying too hard to be funny.
Although the criticism isn’t entirely unwarranted, what it fails to mention is that the show is spiced with some very laughable moments and isn’t half bad in it’s execution. As an adult animated show, Mother Up! isn’t entirely disappointing.Eva Longoria manages to string along a loosely knitted script. It may have had a mediocre start, but it shows promise.
“Oh. Don’t be all judgy. I am not the first mother in history who has left a witch doll in charge of her kids.”