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Showing posts with label TV Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Series. Show all posts

Monday, 20 September 2021

'You're a #feminist icon, Rafael.' - #MyFriendAlexa #MondayBlogs

September 20, 2021 20 Comments


I started watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after reading Piu’s post about her favourite TV shows. And once I started watching, I was hooked!

SVU, as the name suggests, is about special victims and mostly known as the sex crimes unit. In the first season we find out that it is a unit made up of agents who join it voluntarily. Once you know that, and watch a few of the episodes, you have a certain amount of respect for the agents who work there. It is not easy to handle the cases that they handle and then go back to normal life. It is no wonder that most of the agents who work there are single. After the kind of crimes, they deal with every day – the fact that some of them still believe in decent humans is nothing but a wonder to me.

As the seasons’ progressed, I collected quite a few favourite characters. Olivia Benson, the face of the series, is an amazing character. The amount of compassion she has for each victim, the way she turns up at her job day after day with all heart is really amazing! There’s Odafin ‘Fin’ Tutuola who his just there, every day, doing his job and a background that he doesn’t talk much about. Then there is Dominick Carisi who enters the scenes with an attitude that has Olivia Benson asking, ‘Carisi, remind me why you're SVU, again?’

Carisi’s response was:

I worked Homicide, couple years. It's the women who get you. I mean, they're dead, but their hair's clean, they're nicely dressed, they're made up. And that means their husbands, or their boyfriends did it. It's like they knew. They knew it was coming. They don't even look surprised.


And the way he says it – it surprises you and he grows as the show progresses.



But the one character that will stay with me even after the show is over is Rafael Barba, Assistant District Attorney. Barba is introduced to the audience in Season 14 as a recurring character and then becomes a part of the main cast till Season 19.

When Barba first shows up, he is almost ruthless – with the reputation as someone who will take on the toughest cases, even the ones that no one else will touch. He slowly warms up to the SVU and develops a good friendship with Olivia Benson. He is ruthless – he pushes the members of the SVU, the suspects and sometimes even the victims to get the results that we want. At the same time, he can also be calm and composed in the courtroom. Some of my favourite scenes involves him being extremely quiet and calm when the defence attorneys are ripping the witnesses apart and using the dirtiest tricks in the book. 

I liked him from almost the beginning, but as the show progressed his character arc grew by leaps and bounds. Everyone on SVU do their best to make the world a better place by placing their faith in the victims and then fighting to put the perpetrators behind the bars. But then Barba doesn’t just do his own job but goes one step further!

In Flight Risk (Season 19, Episode 11), a flight attendant is raped by the pilot, and the company not only covers it up but forces the flight attendant to continue working with him in close quarters despite promising her otherwise. Once SVU manages to put the pilot away for rape – this is a (slightly paraphrased – as much as I can remember) discussion that Olivia Benson and Barba has shortly after:


Benson: Putting away a single pilot rapist isn’t enough?
Barba: No, it's not. The whole culture has to change. All the people who enabled Captain Carter should be in that cell with him.
Benson: Yes, they should. But unfortunately, being sexist, misogynistic pigs isn't a crime.
Barba: It should be.


Barba goes on to hold a grand jury  to charge the airline company with grand larceny. It is his way of trying to make a difference - by trying to change the law that lets people look away and pretend that nothing is wrong. He knows that it is a long shot; that he can only try and probably not be able to make such a huge change in his lifetime, yet he fights for it anyway.


So, when Olivia Benson says,
'You're a feminist icon, Rafael', I could only agree enthusiastically and applaud 'Rafa' in front of the screen.

Knowing that someone like him is a part of the judicial system would bring hope to everyone and I’d love to have someone like him in my life.

But Alas! He is just a fictional character!!






I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Monday, 26 July 2021

My Favourite Shows

July 26, 2021 0 Comments

If one can get paid to watch TV shows (not daily saas-bahu shows), I would be a multi-millionaire. This love affair started with Vampire Diaries; we are still passionate lovers even after 10 years. 

Disclaimer Alert: I am in no way claiming these are the best shows ever made or other shows are not good. All I want to say is that these are my favourites.

Without any delay, let’s talk about my favourite TV Series:


Modern Family: Modern Family is about three families from California trying to deal with their kids, quirky spouses, and jobs in their own unique ways.

It was a summer evening around 7 years back and I was lazily surfing the internet and came across this show. And voila; I am was in love right from the first episode of the first season. 

My most favourite episode is the Punkin Chunkin from season 3. 

And the most favorite quote from the show is….


“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You'd think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun.”


Person of Interest: Former CIA agent Reese, now presumed dead; and billionaire software genius Finch join forces as a vigilante crime-fighting team. 

Though this show was started in 2011 and ended in 2016, I saw it in 2019. And to my surprise, I loved it so much that I binged watched 103 episodes. There are very few shows where all the seasons are well made, this is one of them. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

"Maybe it's up to me to do what the good people can't. Or maybe there are no good people. Maybe there are only good decisions."


Law & Order: SUV: A special victims unit of NYPD detectives solve sexual assault, child abuse, and rape cases based on real crimes. 

This show is on its 22nd season and I have seen all the episodes of all 22 seasons. This is one of the shows which is still able to hold its good storyline even after so many episodes. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“Some things, you can put them behind you…but they do change you.”


Evil: Psychologist Kristen Bouchard reluctantly works together with David Acosta, a priest in training, to investigate and find a logical explanation for every supernatural occurrence within the Church.

This show gives an X-Files vibe and I love the grey area it’s exploring. And I love Mike Colter. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“There’s no such thing as good and evil, black and white. There’s only gray. There’s only what a man can stand.”


Billions: This Showtime drama pits billionaire hedge-fund manager Bobby opposite the U.S. Attorney for New York. 

This show is a character study. All the characters are very well written and well developed. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“Get good at letting go, which is a different kind of freedom.”


Hannibal: Based on the Thomas Harris novels “Red Dragon” and “Hannibal,” brilliant forensic psychologist/cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

This show portrays serial killing like art and I simply loved it (FYI, I am not a serial killer, not even one in making).

My favourite quote from the show is….

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is a normal behaviour.”


Mindhunter: This crime drama follows two FBI agents who essentially write the book on criminal profiling in the late 1970s by interviewing serial killers. 

Well, I am fascinated by serial killers and this show is brilliant, to say the least. This show is based on a time when the “Serial Killer” term was not even coined.

My favourite quote from the show is….

"We're All Our Own Prisons. We Are Each Our Own Wardens. We Do Our Own Time. Prison Is In Your Mind."


Honorable Mentions: 

The Handmaid's Tale, Prison Break, 24, Mad Men, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Family Man, Dark, House of Cards, Paatal Lok, American Crime Story, Ted Lasso, Sherlock, The Americans, and many more. 


Happy Watching




Tuesday, 5 May 2020

A Widower and a Sad Afternoon

May 05, 2020 14 Comments


It was just another Wednesday afternoon during the lockdown. I was about to finish cooking and start cleaning the house. I was sweaty, irritated, and hungry when my husband decided to call me at the top of his voice. I responded to him with the normal frustration and he told me Irfan Khan has passed away. I was not expecting this. My first reaction was that this must be fake news. But to my utter disappointment, it was not, and I felt so gloomy for the rest of the day. 


Later in the afternoon, I was watching one of his old interviews where someone asked him about his most difficult acting jobs and Irfan Khan mentioned two names: Life of Pi and In Treatment. I had never heard of “In Treatment” TV series and started watching it immediately (what better way to honor his memory other than watching what he considered one of his most difficult acting jobs). 

In Treatment is an American HBO drama which was produced and developed by Rodrigo Garcia. It is about a psychotherapist, 50-something Paul Weston, his weekly sessions with patients, as well as those with his own therapist at the end of the week. The series debuted in January 28, 2008. 



I have only watched the part in season 3 where Irfan khan played a 52-year-old widower Sunil,  who was transported to New York from Calcutta following the death of his wife. His new life entailed him living with his son, daughter-in-law and their two young children. 

Sunil is not only depressed by his wife’s death, but he is also deeply wounded by his son’s decision to marry an American woman and angry at what he sees as his daughter-in-law's insensitivity. He is extremely disappointed with his son’s American lifestyle and thought process where he chooses his personal happiness over family respect and pride by marrying an American woman. 

I cannot express how much I got affected by this. Saying 'brilliant' would be an understatement. 

Sunil’s (Irfan Khan) son Arun/Aaron and his wife guides him to see a psychologist since he is finding it difficult adjusting to his new life in America. Sunil refuses to take a bath or eat, and doesn’t maintain proper personal hygiene. Sunil also displayed deeply resentful behavior towards his daughter-in-law and probably has some unresolved sexual tension towards her. 

As the series progresses, we learn more about Sunil, his lost love, a tragic suicide, and an unborn child. The series is portrayed as a mystery drama, where you can say for sure something is hidden but can’t exactly figure out what it is. The ending of the series is unpredictable and leaves you with a heartache. 

Irfan Khan portrayed the character of Sunil with so much ease that it seems like the audience is witnessing a real counseling session. On the surface when the audiences see Irfan’s character, he comes across as depressed. However, as we get to know more about him, there is an undertone of anger (second stage of grief), sexual tension, and huge guilt building up over time. 

Sunil is an extremely complex character. He was probably brought up by narcissistic parents who hammered a false sense of family pride before anything. For him, putting his family's pride before his happiness is a sign of a disciplined life. As such he resents his son for marrying someone he loves instead of the girl Sunil and his wife choose for him. In reality, he resents himself for not fighting for his own love; he didn’t even think of fighting and accepted the fact that marrying someone from his caste is the best thing to do. As a result, he was responsible for a death. 

All these issues from his childhood and past combined with his recent loss of his wife and moving to America became an unbearable situation for him. 

What will he do to resolve this? The story offers an answer in the end.


While watching, I saw Sunil, (not Irfan Khan) a middle-aged Bengali, his struggle, hopes, dreams, and an endless quest for a disciplined life. And that is the brilliance of Irfan Khan’s acting. You don’t see him; you see the character he is playing. That is the true nature of an Actor.


I will miss him, as will the film industry and people all over the world. I want to finish this with a dialogue from his movie ‘Life of Pie’: 

"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye".