By Karthi Vijayakumar (B.Tech, Information Technology, 2018-2022) and Rahul Anand R (M.Sc Theoretical Computer Science, 2017- 2022)
It’s been a while now and we’re all aware that colleges, theatres, restaurants and other public places have been shut down. All major movie releases have been postponed. Major sporting leagues like the IPL, EPL, La Liga, NBA, F1, among others, have either delayed or cancelled the ongoing season. Nearly everyone is taking up new hobbies like cooking, painting, reading, etc. and is finding solace in it. Some have ticked off their watchlist by watching more TV than they have done in the last 2 years. With streaming giants coming out with new shows left, right and centre, we are spoilt for choice. Personally, it has been quite the task to decide on one among them, considering various parameters like the amount of time we need to spend on it and the release schedule of the next season. If you are looking for that one show which doesn’t take too much out of you, but is also worth watching, here is a watchlist which doesn’t take more than a week.
- RICK AND MORTY
Rick and Morty follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez, a sociopath and a scientist and his grandson, Morty Smith. They travel through different dimensions seeking adventures involving an array of dark, funny and certainly weird plotlines with a fair share of philosophical thoughts sprinkled throughout. This is a show that makes you think while also telling you not to. With a range of well-developed characters, this show is written with multiple layers to it which reveal a unique take on addiction, anxiety and depression, all under the veil of dark humour and sci-fi elements. Jerry and Beth’s failed marriage, Rick’s fear of expressing his feelings and many other anecdotes add a sense of realness to the show, which sets it apart from most others that are out there now.
- ATTACK ON TITAN
Attack on Titan is a fantasy-horror anime show whose plot revolves around people who live within three massive concentric walls to protect themselves from the cannibalistic Titans. The story follows the initial peaceful times and what happens once the outermost of the concentric walls are breached. You could draw a parallel between the popular series Game Of Thrones and this, except in an animated form. The show has numerous plot twists and the story is told brilliantly. Each twist adds a new and deeper layer to the story and depicts how the characters develop alongside consequences. The quality of animation is top notch and the musical score compliments the story effectively. The show doesn’t just describe warfare but also the philosophical and political difference between the two groups and also the aimlessness of infighting among humans.
- THE BOYS
The Boys is the perfect show for those who are bored with the age-old superhero genre of movies. It is a dark take on their kind, who are controlled by a corporation. Ever imagined a world where superheroes sell their merchandise and attend the premiere of their movies? Well, this show has it all. The evil side of power is portrayed perfectly. Well-written character arcs and an appreciable performance by the actors – especially Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, makes the show an interesting watch. Overall, The Boys gives us a story that breaks the generic superhero stereotypes and also does a good job of it. PS: If you liked Brightburn, this definitely is a show for you.
- COWBOY BEBOP
Cowboy Bebop is a western-themed space-bounty hunter story set in 2071, where a major chunk of humanity is colonized in the rocky planets of the solar system. The series follows the lives of the protagonists who are bounty hunters working from the spaceship called Bebop. Each episode is a story, disconnected from one another, which in our opinion, might be its selling point. Following a different emotional theme in each story, the viewer is taken through the journey of these characters in space wherein we slowly learn about their lives. The music plays a perfect fiddle to the story without being overpowering, whether it be the action scenes or the emotional scenes. Cowboy Bebop makes you rethink what life means and what pushes us to move forward. This is a timeless piece of art that one shouldn’t miss. It’s a bummer though that the series was cancelled after just 26 episodes.
With so many Indian web series getting acknowledged and appreciated in recent times, one show that caught our attention was Pushpavalli, brought to life by the hilarious and insanely talented Sumukhi Suresh. The story revolves around Pushpavalli, played by Sumukhi herself and how she stalks a man who she meets at a conference, which ultimately brings about terrible consequences for her to tackle. The show is filled with clever humour throughout and is presented to us via a plotline that keeps us hooked on to it. Pushpavalli makes you laugh, bite your nails in anxiety and also go “Why Pushpavalli, why?” A special mention must be given to Naveen Richard, who is one of the writers on the show and also has an interesting role to play, that of Pankaj whom everyone inevitably falls in love with. If you are someone who follows the Indian comedy scene ardently, this show is a must-watch!
An incompetent politician in power who is nothing short of ambition fighting her way up to secure more power – no, we are not describing the current political situation in India, this is Veep. HBO has an impeccable eye for identifying comedies that touch upon reality without many filters (like Silicon Valley) and this hits the mark perfectly. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as the titular Veep and mediocrity personified Selina Meyer, who is struggling to become the President of the USA. She is supported by a spectacularly funny cast of intelligent characters who are no more than “yes men” (still not describing Indian politics). This show is a perfect archetype of the “they are so bad that this show is so good” type. Beware – the jokes keep coming at a rate that you can barely keep up with.
This show is so hard to describe. This is a comedy, a commentary about comedies, also a self aware parody of comedies while also being a parodical commentary of a satirical comedy. If this level of meta interests you, you will have your mind blown by this funny little show. All the characters, from the leads to the supporting cast (which includes John Oliver as a really funny British psychiatrist and Ken Jeong as a Spanish teacher) and one time appearances, everybody is so in sync that there is not one dull moment in the first four seasons. After that, the show went downhill due to writer changes among other reasons, but the first four seasons are solid gold comedy .
- 30 ROCK
This is another slightly meta show on the list. It is about a writer writing a show for NBC (the show also aired on NBC in real life) and her exhausting experiences while doing so. Tina Fey wrote the show and also played the writer in the show (she also plays a writer turned actor in a show, in an episode of the show). Full of wholesome interactions between the characters, this still remains as one of the very few shows that has neither disappointed the fans nor the critics during its entire run.
Amid the constant schedule of online classes and taunting deadlines for assignments, television is a great diversion during a break. And a pro tip to derive the most out of the breaks – do not feel guilty about it. You’ve earned it! Anyway, in the words of Morty Smith himself,
“Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. We’re all going to die. Come watch TV.”
If your plans involve binge watching series, exchanging trivia, attending random quizzes, listening to anime soundtracks and watching penguins play, count me in!
You’ll find me somewhere in between Agam and AC/DC.
Featured Image by StockSnap, Pixabay
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