Over the last decade streaming has changed the industry, some for the good and some for the bad. But its current model isn’t entirely sustainable.

On 16th February 2012, a show called Lilyhammer was launched on Netflix, becoming the  first original series to stream on the service. Back then the number of subscribers Netflix had was reportedly 23 million. As of the first quarter of 2023, the number had jumped to 232.5 million. An increasing  number of streaming platforms have emerged since then, taking over the industry, like Amazon Prime Video(reported to have more than 200 million subscribers in 2021), Apple TV+ (25 million subscribers as of March 2022) and Disney+ (157.8 million subscribers as in the second quarter of 2023). Now, you didn’t have to for a week to watch the next episode of your favourite at the preordained time of the telecast. You could now watch while travelling to work on a metro or even while taking the dump. And who wouldn’t take that bargain.

This shift within the industry happening for years now was only accelerated by the COVID-19 lockdown, with studios pivoting towards streaming. Hunkered in their houses, all people could go was bake endless loafs of sourdough or binge The Queen’s Gambit(that is when they were not binging any other show with royalty in its title-The Tiger King or The Crown). Even after the reopening of movie-theatres, the focus has remained on streaming, with many films including the The Fabelsman and Glass Onion, getting limited theatrical release before being made available online. It’s effects are a mixture of good and bad for the creatives. While it has gotten harder to commission content, these services do back up projects that perhaps would not have been picked by the traditional networks and studios, including the wide range of foreign-language TV and movie that are starting to get more global attention. This period of rise in streaming also heralded the era of Peak TV, where viewers were inundated with artisanal and critically acclaimed programming. The number of originally scripted stories exploded from 210 in 2009 to 599 in 2022. But it was a bubble that was bound to burst and now has.

In April 2022, Netflix announced that it had lost subscribers. The recent downturn in the media has forced streamers to cut back on the spending and turn a profit. They have thrown out entire series from their libraries and some have even cancelled shows that had finished productions on entire seasons. And the effects on the creative labour has been damaging.

On April 18 this year, 97.8% of the members of the Writers Guild of America voted to go on strike if they failed to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. On May 2, 2023 the members of the guild started picketing at 1:00 pm. The main issues raised in the strike are of diminishing residuals, fewer number of writers in the room and fear of being replaced by AI.

The rise of streaming has led creation of mini-rooms where fewer number of writers are employed for shorter durations, eviscerating chances for writers to make a steady living by working on a show. It has also reduced the opportunities available to younger and newer talent to gain experience. It has alarmed the creatives further with reduction of residuals over the years. As streamers have grown, the residuals have fallen. While they are still paid residuals, they are incomparable to the ones they receive from TV channels. Sean Collins Smith, a writer for Chicago P.D, while talking to NPR said,

“I mean, my show on streaming, if I got a residual check for that-I’m not even kidding-it might be $5, $50, $100 if that.”

Despite it all, streaming also led to some of biggest strides in the industry, giving a platform to diverse and newer voices, that  used to get drowned out by the old status quo. The solution to the problems created by streaming cannot be to go back to old ways despite how much the older established artists might like to throw around the term “back in our day” before regaling about the “glory days”. But the streaming model being followed right now is clearly unsustainable. The writer’s strike has been going on for 2 months now and is showing no sign of stopping. In June, more than 300+ members of SAG-AFTRA, including A-listers such as Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, in a letter to union leadership said that they were ready to strike if a “transformative deal” was reached.

Julie Plec, creator of The Vampire Diaries, told Vulture,

“It’s not like just returning to the old status quo is the answer. We’re at the center of the tornado right now, and it seems like it’s whipping all around us, and I don’t think anybody really understands how to make it stop.”


Read Also: DUB Review: Succession – Bad People Make Good TV

Image Source: The Hindu

Vanshika Ahuja

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 A nerd’s deeply personal take on social media vilification of the nerd archetype across pop-culture . Read on for more. 

Humour is tricky business. Tracing back to the rasa theories of sentiments and emotions, every humour has an origin and the origin of our laughter too can be traced to different causalities. It can either be sourced as a something that makes us laugh through the display of deviance in an attempt to domesticate something that is wrong with society, or in what I wish to term as humour of a low order, it can emerge from a need to make a standing example of a non-conforming entity, who happens to stick out due to a deviance inherent to their character.

Such humouring of identities of “other” often unconsciously result in vilification of archetypes in popular culture which fuels social media content which on the grounds of generating humour to run their dubious algorithms end up putting on sacrificing social responsibility at the altar of parodying the non-conformist – in the case of this article the figure of the nerd. The nerd figure has long been relegated to a realm of marginality in popular imagination, one which has resulted in social media content creators to repeatedly generate humour at their cost. The normalisation of the same has become so exceedingly widespread that the archetype of the nerd figure now borders on the level of almost being a villain despised by one and all.

Take for example the widely popular film from recent years of Indian cinema – 3 Idiots. The supposedly antagonist in the film is the typical nerd figure as seen through the character of Chatur Ramalingam is repeatedly made to be the butt end of jokes due for no fault of his. He simply has a vision of academic achievement which is not in concurrence with that of the protagonist and in order to prove the point of the protagonist the nerd figure is not only made an example of the in the most vile ways possible but also made to take part in one of the most insensitive dramatisations of a rape joke in recent cinema history. Even in a film like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani or something as cult as Kal Ho Na Ho the heroines are nerds who have their hair tied in buns and wear glasses and spend their days engrossed in books and academia. In order for them to be desirable by the hero, they have to shed their persona of the “typical nerd” and have hair flowing, while sequin dresses grace their lithe bodies. There is no room here for appreciation of a life spent behind the pursuit of knowledge – be it out of individual will or out of societal pressure, a deeply pertinent argument which is often relegated to non-existence.

Social media pages dedicated to generating humour based out of educational spaces and the lives of people involved in academia thrive on humour which emerges at the expense of nerd archetypes. Meme carousels take great pride in criticising students who spend hours devoted to studying and suffer from severe bouts of depression and performance anxiety by reducing their issues to the simplistic phrase – they are a topper and they always lie about the preparation. The truth of the after more often than not is different. The idea of the nerd as someone who deliberately gaslights their own readiness in order to feed off the mediocrity of others is a problem which completely exterminates the immense expectations – familial, societal and professional – the students have to cater to. To be someone who chooses to win and internalises winning comes at the cost of knowing that one is consciously ascribing an identity of marginality to oneself – an ascribing which should be free of any sort of shame or stigma.

Such humour further perpetuates a cycle whereby these students not only end up doubting their own self worth but are never allowed to take pride in what they believe to be a philosophy of life that must be adhered to. Humour for the sake of entertainment is of course something that should be and must be encouraged. But humour that is indulged in without realising the exact impact it has on marginal identities in society is something that should be shunned especially in our largely current virtual world where a single meme transcends time and space and more often than not does more harm than good when left unchecked.

Anwesh Banerjee

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On the occasion of Teacher’s Day here is looking at one of the most loved scenes of comedy, from one of the most beloved comedies of our times and asking if we realise the cost of the humour we so amply glorify.

It was genuinely all fun and games.

Every time people, peers, and elders, would sit down to discuss 3 Idiots, the film, invariably the Teacher’s Day speech would come up. Look at how Rancho so smartly explains his point to Raju. Did you see how Chatur was put in place? Serves him right. Love watching Virus being put in his place, it’s such fun!

Growing up around people who revered the now cult classic as a rip-roaring comedy on the farcical nature of our education system and parental expectations from children, aspects of the film ever hardly struck me as odd. Until recently while speaking to one of my high-school teachers I was pleasantly taken aback to hear,

I have no respect for a film that makes such comedy out of a public humiliation of teachers and that too by making them the butt end of rape jokes. It is obscene and crude.

Here was a man, a teacher at that, who disliked what is arguably one of the most impactful and successful films of recent years. Not because it spoke about herd mentality, and emphasised excellence over success, but because of the way it treated it’s teachers in the process of proving a point.

Of course not all teachers deserve to be worshipped on altars. Some are mean, insensitive and just bad at their job. But is it okay to make an entire nation laugh by making your professor the butt end of rape jokes? Think about it.

The scene in question serves a dual purpose in the narrative of the film. It is to explain to Raju the importance of excellence and enjoying your curriculum as opposed to rote learning the same. But at the same time it is yet another widely lauded vilification of the figure of the nerd, who is close to his professors, knows nothing but studying, is socially awkward and of course is the butt end of bullying and abuse. And in the context of the film, this very same stooge of the professor becomes the instrument by which the cool students get back at the professors they hate so much.

My argument is simple. In no way am I endorsing a cut-throat competitive world or a teaching persona who believes your life is of no worth unless you pursue engineering or medicine. My problem is simple and different. How can we, as a society come together to hate b laughing at them and making them the butt end of rape jokes? The perpetrators of the crime literally go on to celebrate the victory of the same in the next scene and by the end of the film are hailed as heroes. The nerd is the one who is made to appear in poor light.

Humour is tricky business. Comedy is purposely designed to critique societal norms and the establishment but if the core purpose of comedy is to relieve through laughter then isn’t it important to question where that humour or laughter is coming from? Really think about it. Sexual harassment and abuse in academia is a widespread problem across the world. Horror stories of students, male and female, being abused by professors and teachers galore. We all have that one friend who confided in us about that one evening, in one empty tuition class, when the teacher they revered for so long transgressed from all acceptable social norms.

Another, easily overlooked aspect of the scene in question is the use of language as a tool of oppression. The student in question, Chatur, grew up in Pondicherry and Uganda and speaks, quite unconvincingly, broken hindi. How is it alright to use this as an excuse to vilify him and the teachers he so deeply adores? As a student of a university as large as Delhi University, every day I see students from distant parts of the country, struggling to convey the most basic of questions. Why? They do not know Hindi and their English is not perfect. But they still try. And even as they try and helplessly request people to not speak in hindi, there are people in abundance who think it fun to reply to their questions in hindi just for the sake of a few laughs. It is 2021 and yet linguistic chauvinism is a tool of abuse in the student community.

In the post-MeToo scenario, films, especially cult classics like the one in question, need to be recognised for their casual humouring of abuse. As an outcast nerd myself, I do not know how long it will take for society to actually come around to stop vilifying us. But that is a different issue altogether. But what we can start off, as students, is to recognise these instances of trivialisation of deeply troubling issues such as abuse in educational spaces. Our teachers are not without their faults and by god we are part of a deeply fundamentally flawed education system. But really our teachers and by large our students deserve better representation than this.

Now that I think, is it really all fun and games?

Anwesh Banerjee

[email protected]

What will you get if you combined “Sex and the City” and “Friends” together? Desperate Housewives! It is a sitcom that ran for 8 seasons covering the lives of 4 female friends and their neighbours at Wisteria Lane in a town called Fairview. Mystery sets in when one of the housewives, Mary Alice commits suicide even though she seemed to be happy in her life. She, as the narrator, unfolds the story of what had happened after she had killed herself. Like any other soap opera, it has the usual characteristics of betrayal, dark secrets, revenge, and manipulation, but combined with the intense bond that Bree, Susan, Lynette and Gabrielle share along with the humour that runs along the show, makes it a completely unique show in itself. If you loved friends, you’ll love this show just as much. Bree Larson is the perfect housewife who will keep her home spic and span and take all measures to hide her family’s secrets. She is very religious and old-fashioned and having a gay son definitely brings about a change in her. By the end of season 4, she learns to trust her friends with her secrets. Susan is a dorky and widowed woman who falls in love with a new neighbour Mike Delfino and ends up marrying him. Lynette is a mother of 4 children who has to leave her success in the workplace to gain success as a mother. Gabrielle, on the other hand, is a runway model-turned-housewife after she married a rich man, Carlos Solis. While the directors and producers might not have a direct progressive ideology, it is subtly liberal and that makes it more consumable. More than housewives, these four women take on the roles of detectives, advisors, organisers, and even hold conventional jobs throughout the show. The enforced stereotypes scattered around the show are funny and parodic commentaries on the concept of traditional households. Moreover, it is relatable to the dis-functionality of a regular Indian household. The humour, sarcasm, and relatability of the show make it a gripping and addictive watch.   Feature Image Credits: The Hollywood Report Varoon Tuteja [email protected]]]>

We live in times of political turmoil and multicultural clashes fuelled by polarising and divisive rhetoric, even as the people of the world become more diverse and their identities less water-tight. This diversity and crossing of cultural, linguistic and other social boundaries is evident in the television most of us watch today – and that’s great news! In today’s context, when there is suspicion surrounding the “other” communities, and when they are being portrayed as external threats to cultural mores and security of nations by the political classes, this representation is not only a statement but also works to normalise the existence of these communities.

The annual Where We Are On TV report by GLAAD, which tracks the representation of LGBTQ+ characters on television, shows promising times ahead for diversity in media. While 2016 was the year of the Brexit, the shootings in Pulse, Orlando, and Trump’s election, it was also the year that television saw the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ series regular characters on broadcast television with respect to popular American TV shows. While there are still harmful tropes and stereotypes surrounding representation of the community, the report by GLAAD notes that there are visible efforts by most platforms to include characters that are also “…LGBTQ+ people of color (who have long been underrepresented), transgender men, characters living with disabilities, and people who live at the intersections of multiple marginalised identities.”

As someone who identifies as a queer woman, I understand the immense satisfaction of having your identity validated by a TV show, or seeing people you relate to making it big in the mainstream media. There has been a notable increase in the number of TV shows with LGBTQ+ characters in recent years, evident by the splashes it makes on social media. In the past few months, I have had the great pleasure of watching several TV productions of diverse genres, in numerous languages, and with LGBTQ+ characters from all walks of life. Skam, a Norwegian TV phenomenon that took the social media by storm in late 2016, was an absolute treat as it portayed a heartfelt coming-of-age of the 17 year old Isak Valtersen who had to come to terms with not just his sexuality but also his troubled relationship with his mentally ill mother. Another major character on the show was the mentally-ill bisexual love interest of Isak. Eyewitness, a USA Network adaptation of a Norwegian show, showed two teenage boys battling internalised homophobia and coming to terms with their relationship, while also embroiled in a police investigation for a triple homicide they witnessed.

 Isak and Even in the third season of Skam
Isak and Even in the third season of Skam


Merlí, a Catalonian show about an unconventional philosophy professor in a high school, has a major plotline involving the relationships between the professor and his gay son, and the relationship of the latter with his best friend. Popular TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Orange is the New Black, Shadowhunters and Supergirl also have major LGBTQ+ characters and plot lines.


Merli, the Catalonian TV about an unconventional philosophy professor
Merli, the Catalonian TV about an unconventional philosophy professor


While it’s important to be conscious of the struggle of marginalised communities for their rights and identities, their increasing representation in mainstream media is most certainly a joyous realisation, and one that will, hopefully, fuel the fight for diversity and soon pervade into other realms of society.

Feature Image Credits: US News

Shubham Kaushik

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What now, once the ordeal is over? Nothing planned? Well take some hints from us, and live a little after the torture of a month.

1. Work/Internship

While mostly applications have to be submitted well-in-advance, you may still be able to find work or pursue an internship after your exams. It is a great opportunity to learn something and add it to your CV, and even a better way to make contacts in the industry.

2. Join a course

There are enough online/offline courses in the market. Go and learn something that helps you in future or maybe just boosts your interest. It does not have to be academic only.

3. Go on a trip

While road trips are the quickest and easiest, even visiting your extended family is not a bad option. A trip or maybe just a change of atmosphere will refresh you, and even give you a new zeal for the term ahead.

4. Binge on TV/Movies/Books

It is the right time to visit or re-visit those characters and their journeys that you patiently waited for all this time. Start reading a new series, after having devoted time to your course for six months. Relax and have the time of your life.

5. Social Service

It is harmless to utilize your time by teaching or volunteering for an NGO. It may just give a purpose to your life. Or just go to an orphanage or old-age home, and spend some quality time with people you don’t know. It will not only make you feel better, but will bring a smile to somebody else’s face.

6. Research

No matter what year you are in, it is never too late or too early to look up the internet. Even if you are sure, what you want to do in life and what your career will be, search options and maybe probable routes to achieve your dreams. Gain some knowledge and be surprised, if not confused!

Finally, sleep. You deserve it.


Ayesha Sareen

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Image credits: http://24.media.tumblr.com/


Game of Thrones has been ranked as one of the most successful HBO shows of all time. It also has the record for the largest number of illegal downloads on the internet. The show that is based on a book series called the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin, has recently caught up with the books. We are hence left at a cliffhanger as the show producers need to fabricate their own story for the upcoming sixth season. Apart from having strong characters living in a feudalistic age in an imaginary world called Westeros, the show also incorporates the use of magic, treachery, murder, nudity that keeps everyone hooked on to it. Here are some predictions and spoilers for the sixth season of Game of Thrones:

  • Jon’s Resurrection – In the books, when Jon Snow is betrayed and murdered by Olly (who isn’t in the books), Ser Alister Thorne and his fellow men of the Night’s Watch, the last words that Jon speaks before dying is ‘Ghost’ (that is the name of Jon Snow’s Direwolf).  Some believe that Jon wargs into Ghost (as wargs often enter their pets bodies when they die, and live a second life) and when the time comes Melissandre will resurrect him like Thoros of Myr often brought Berric Dondarion back  from the dead with the assistance of R’llor (The red God).  However the show does not show Jon saying Ghost’s name. This can mean the show will take a different approach and that approach is based on the next theory.
  • The Tower of Joy Flashback – It has been confirmed that there will be a scene that will cast young Ned Stark, Howland Reed, Ser Arthur Dayne and a few other characters in an epic battle. This scene is believed to be the Tower of Joy Scene where Ned and his companions confront Aeris Targaryen’s King’s Guards . The King’s Gaurds are defeated and Ned is finally reunited with Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister, who was presumably kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar Targaryen. Ned finds her in a pool of blood. However it is believed that in this scene, Lyanna will say that she loved Rhaegar and that she escaped with him willingly. The blood would be from child birth, and the child would be none other than Jon. If this theory is complete then Jon is a Targaryen and with the use of magic a Targaryen cannot be burnt, much like Daenerys.  This also means that the show might project Jon still alive when they burn his body. Melissandre sees Jon in the fire and uses magic to keep him alive.
  • The Battle of the North – There have been confirmations of a scene where all of Stark’s bannermen are fighting a battle against the Boltons. It is believed that Rickon and Osha are at The Last Hearth under the protection of Lord Umber. They are reunited with Sansa somehow. On this reunion there is a plan to win back the North.  So Stark loyalists gather their armies and march on Winterfell to defeat the Boltons. In the middle of the battle they are surprised by the entry of Jon Snow who with an army of Wildlings joins the Stark’s in the battle. There have also been rumours of the Knights of the Vale joining this battle under the command of Lord Petyr Baelish.
  • Arya returns to Westeros – Arya will face a couple of tests given by the Faceless Men. She is blind but she manages to pass all the tests.She regains her eye sight and she is given a misson in Westeros to rid a village off bandits. She does so successfully and she is reunited with Nymeria , whom she had been dreaming about when she was blind.
  • The Kingsmoot in the Iron Islands – Euron Greyjoy, Theon’s uncle, has been cast this season. IN the books he is chosen the ruler of the Iron Islands after Balon Greyjoy mysteriously dies by falling off a bridge.


Ishaan Sengupta

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Image credits: https://i.ytimg.com/