TV show


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.

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Read Also: Film Criticism: Of Subjectivity and Stars

Bhavya Nayak

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Lily’s words from the grand finale of one of the most successful TV shows of all time accurately describe what every HIMYM fan is going through right now. But for how the finale episode unfolded and what it held, Lily’s exclamation is not my favourite quote from it.

“Do you know who the gang is to me, Lily? Here’s what the gang is: The gang is a married couple who I never see anymore about to have a third kid, it’s my ex-husband hitting on slutty cops right in front of me and it’s the guy I probably should have ended up with, with the beautiful mother of his child. Who in their right mind would call that group of people ‘the gang’?”

If anyone could punch realisation on our faces as hard as it did, it had to be Robin. For years, the gang remained a not-so-happening affair. Robin was cornered in the show for years because of her frequent travels. Are these 5 really the 5 we knew? How did they get from sharing their happiest moments together at MacLaren’s Pub to this?

The viewers of How I Met Your Mother have all fallen major victims to the what we wish could be called the most cruel April Fool’s joke ever. The wedding, Barney and Robin’s wedding, around which the entire of the final season was woven, ended in a divorce. The mother of Ted’s children, ‘the one’, the beautiful woman everyone was crazy about with the yellow umbrella, died.

We all know how much can happen in just one year with this gang, don’t we? What happened in the 3 years Barney and Robin were married? How could Robin choose her job at WWN over her wedding? What happened in the 6 years between Tracy’s demise and the time Ted showed up at Robin’s house with the blue French horn? Nothing? That’d be one hell of an awkward show-up! The creators promise to release more video in the DVD.


One character I specifically feel sad about, apart from Tracy (the mother), is Barney Stinson. Robin had earlier betrayed him when she was dating Kevin in Season 7 and had promised Barney to come clean in front of Kevin about her having feelings for Barney, under the impression of which Barney broke up with Nora. Robin didn’t do so. In the series finale, Barney can be continuously seen cringing at the name or sight of Robin because of their failed marriage, which was revealed early in the episode. “Look, I know there was a time when it seemed like I was capable of going the distance, but if it wasn’t gonna happen with Robin, then it’s just not gonna happen with anyone.”  Among all the loose ends the creators of How I Met Your Mother have left, why Barney’s romantic life was the only one that did not end well, is the most maddening one.

All in all, the series had had all of us laughing, crying, taking sides and also taking dating lessons from Barney over 200 times ever since the show premiered in 2005. It has taught us to value friendship over every other thing because it’s what keeps us going. It has become a cultural phenomenon. For the Playbook, Ted’s driving gloves, the Bro Code, Robin Sparkles, the 8 slaps, Robin’s locket, the mystery of Barney’s occupation, Linus’ Kennedy package,  the yellow umbrella, the blue French horn, Ted being left at the altar and the shattered bottles of Glenn McKenna, let’s all raise one final toast!


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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.

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Switched at Birth is a television teen/family drama series by ABC Family. Created by Lizzy Weiss, the  one-hour scripted drama revolves around two teenagers who were switched at birth and grew up in very different environments. It is the first mainstream television series to have multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing series regulars and scenes shot entirely in American Sign Language.

The story is intriguing, the script is spectacular and the on-screen display of talented star cast is just awesome. Talking about the storyline, Bay Kennish is an artistic teenager being raised by her stay-at-home mother Kathryn and former professional baseball player father John in the wealthy Kansas City suburb, along with her older brother Toby . After genetic testing that confirms Bay is not biologically related to her parents, the family discovers that the hospital mistakenly switched Bay with another newborn, Daphne Vasquez , a deaf teen who lost her hearing as a result of meningitis, living with her struggling single mother, Regina in the low-income neighborhood of East Riverside .When the two families meet, the girls struggle with their identities as Bay relates to Regina’s artistic abilities and Daphne is drawn to John’s athletic skills and to Kathryn’s cooking abilities. The new living situation forces the girls, along with both families, to understand their differences and embrace their similarities.

The series’ debut was the highest-rated show debut for ABC Family till date. Through some creative writing, brilliant planning and equally brilliant execution, this show has managed to create a unique audience for itself and is a must watch if you like this genre. Currently, the show, which is over 50 episodes old, is in it’s third season and growing stronger with each new episode.

Switched at Birth is known for its emotional episodes and inspiring messages.As a viewer and a fan , one is guaranteed to get all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings while watching this one-of-a-kind TV series, thanks to Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne’s (Katie Leclerc) always-endearing chemistry. Tune out the rest of the world and let this one sink in!

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WRITTEN BY: Kenji Kamiyama
DIRECTED BY: Kenji Kamiyama
PRODUCTION: Production I.G
GENRE: Cyber-punk, Action

 The year is 2030. It is the decade of the greatest cybernetic advancement in the history of mankind, where the mind is no longer bound to the vessel of the flesh. Imagine the possibilities if your brain could be cyberized and your thoughts digitized into the vast global network. After all, what is a human thought but a simple form of electrical energy? Imagine a world with no physical illness as your consciousness can be transferred to a fully prosthetic body, sculptured in the likes of the Gods themselves.

Kenji Kamiyama’s Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is set in this very future where technological leaps have given rise to a whole new breed of crime. And as a response the government of Japan forms a special branch of unconventional covert operatives known as Section 9 that specializes in solving cyber crimes.

The main protagonist is a woman operative in Section 9 named Motoko Kusunagi, often referred to by her rank ‘Major’. Although her mysterious past is kept in the shadows one can notice the ease with which she can handle herself and her team when put in a tough spot. Her cool under fire and her genius hacking makes her a well respected leader and an indispensible asset to the agency. Her team members (and the other protagonist) include Bato, a former ranger who is the only one who can fight in equal footing with the Major, Togusa, a former police officer, family man and the only fully human member of the team, Saito, an eagle eyed sniper, Pazu, a former yakuza turned investigator, Borma and Ishikawa, information gatherers and lastly the head of the entire Section 9 – Daisuke Aramaki, an old man with limitless resources and equally abundant wits who is the main brain behind the entire team. His influence and political manoeuvring has often gotten the team out of sticky situations. The characters are richly varied but yet a cohesive unit. Their camaraderie displayed by their trust for each other and a few jokes to relieve tensions of a gun fight.

The plot follows the usual exploits of Section 9 as they go about their day to day business as any other secret agency – secretly. But the daily redundancies are suddenly broken by the re-appearance of the infamous hacker dubbed ‘The Laughing man’, due to the stylized logo he uses. He is a super wizard level hacker who had created a nationwide sensation when he accused the Japanese government of withholding vital information for their own profit at the cost of human lives. But after his first appearance (which occurred several years before the start of the story) the Laughing Man had vanished and many other criminals, inspired by his persona- committed crime. Section 9 is put into a wild game of cat and mouse as they try to segregate facts from reality, even harder still when all forms of information can now be altered and deleted, even the human memory.

The story requires a bit of patience from the audience as they are directly dropped into the middle of a vast new world. The technological advancement in the series is awe inspiring yet believable and better still is the new society that creates itself around it. As the thin line between man and machine begins to disappear the characters begin to engage in brief yet thought provoking dialogue on modern philosophy such as the definition of a human being. The story telling is bold; it does not shy away from presenting the world as it is – corrupted and diseased. Human passion begins to go beyond flesh and the series gives us the repulsive view of the most humane spectacles – sins. Kenji Kamiyama’s Japan is not just a world of towering sky scrapers and well to do bourgeois, but also diseased slums and shanty towns. The GITS series give us glimpses of both sides of the coin.

The artwork and its curious mix of CGI are amazing. And the music scores by Yokko Kanno fits perfectly with the moments on scene: a sombre music accompanying a crime scene investigation, a pulse setting beat during an intense gun fight or a striking revelation emphasized by eerie background music. Many critics have praised the work of Yokko Kanno and rightfully so.

The series is recommended for a mature audience as it involves a little more than just profanity. But it is a necessity as the story explores the deepest pits of human shallowness. A few unrequired instances may put some of the audience a little off but in a Japanese anime who could expect anything else? Its uncensored gore, fascinating plot and incredible storytelling makes it a must watch. Even to those who believe that cartoons are meant for kids alone. I assure you, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex will make you reconsider your presupposition and make you want to watch entire seasons again and again.

12 regenerations, 2 hearts, millions of Whovians.

Not only the world’s longest running, but also the most successful sci-fi show, Doctor Who, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a special episode called ‘The Day of the Doctor’ to be aired on the 23rd of November. For those of you who are not familiar with the phenomenon that Doctor Who is, (side note: 1,05,00,00,000 Google results compared to a measly 28,10,00,000 for HIMYM) it is a BBC TV show chronicling the adventures of a time-travelling Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey in his police booth-resembling TARDIS. Trust him, ‘it’s bigger on the inside.’

This humanoid alien, armed with wit, charm, and a sonic screw driver, is the last surviving member of his race. On his journeys through space and time, the Doctor’s companions help keep him safe and sane. From the sassy Englishwoman Donna to the witty robotic dog K-9, each companion has added an extra element to the show in their own way. As the self appointed protector of mankind, the Doctor has come across some pretty interesting adversaries. The Daleks (EXTERMINATE!) and the Cybermen are some familiar names on the Doctor Who villain circuit. Then there is Silence, an enemy so chilling, one practically quivers at the very name, and my personal favourite, the Weeping Angels. ‘Whatever you do, do not blink.’

Started in 1963, Doctor Who has become a full- blown cult in its own right today. It has been the recipient of 128 awards with 230 nominations, including the BAFTAs, People’s Choice Awards, SFX awards and Scream awards among many others. Subtle references to Doctor Who can be found in many popular TV shows like The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, Leverage, CSI: New York and even Rugrats. If you’re not a huge telly fan, they also have novels as magical as the real thing. One episode or chapter and you’re hooked. It is impossible to dislike this eccentric alien. He is, after all, a madman with a box.

“Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!”


“This isn’t a story about forgiveness; this is a story of revenge”

I would say the title of a movie could have aptly been named Revenge, but when a T.V show has a name like that, one wonders how many people the protagonist has, to take out her vengeance! It has to be exhaustive and the series can’t stretch infinitely.


The story is loosely based on Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo and revolves around a beguiling young woman Emily Thorne who moves to Hamptons to stay in the much sought after beach house in the neighborhood of the Grayson Global CEO Conrad Grayson and his socialite wife Victoria. But soon we know that the alluring Emily Thorne has a motive entirely different and a past rather dark. She was once known as Amanda Clarke, the daughter of David Clarke who was framed supposedly by the real culprits Graysons for bringing down a commercial airliner by supporting a terrorist organization. The plot thickens when Emily finds out that Graysons were responsible for murdering her father too. So our protagonist and her only accomplice Nolan Ross set out to destroy the lives of everyone even remotely related with her father’s downfall, especially Victoria Grayson, whose treachery had shaken the very roots of her father’s existence.


For a series like Revenge, the story line can get very predictable and monotonous but the creator Mike Kelley is successful in maintaining the suspense all through. The female protagonist portrays a strong character, one who is devoid of all emotions except hate. She will probably remind you of one of Sidney Sheldon’s creation with both beauty and intelligence as her weapons. The ways she employs in annihilating her victims is ingenious and the best part of all the episodes.

Backing the story line is the exquisite performance of its actors. Emily Van Camp is perfect for the role as she plays the mask of a charming lady with a serpent inside with ease. Victoria is played by Madeleine Stowe who again is flawless and beautiful in delivering her part of a woman who had to fight against her conscience and lose everything she once loved. The character of the unconventionally sexy Nolan Ross who is Emily’s side kick and his friendship and loyalty to Emily is as enticing as his sly and sarcastic dialogues.