I am going to attempt to shed some light to one of the all-time favourite classic TV series ever written, Friends. While the series was an absolute delight for my 17-year-old self, the series was pretty overrated.
The show justifies stereotyping with humour
Rachel, a dumb yet pretty blonde woman who is only of any use when it comes to the fashion industry. Phoebe, another pretty yet dumb blonde who has no idea about the real world whatsoever. Joey, an Italian American misogynist whose character is garnished with humour to help overlook miles of sexism that hides beneath the layers. Ross, the only character in the show with a PhD. But who cares about that? Guys with PhD. are nerds who need 10 years to end up with any woman that is even mildly beautiful because sexy and smart doesn’t go together.
Helped create a culture of toxic humour
All throughout the show, apart from misogyny and lack of diversity, we can also see how the show tried to justify body shamming in a subtle way. We get myriads of flashback episode from the time when Monica was obese and how she had to change herself because she had a crush on Chandler.
In another episode, we get Brad Pitt as a guest star where we find out Rachel’s character used to bully him. At no point did the show endorse body types that were anything other than perfect according to conventional societal standards. And they tried to justify such discrimination by hiding behind a curtain of toxic humour.
Lack of depth for characters
Was “Friends” a funny show? Yes. But is it because the characters were funny? No. If you take any line said by Monica and make Rachel say that line instead, the show would still be funny. If you take one of Joey’s line and make phoebe say it, it would still be equally funny.
While the show had a lot of good jokes, it didn’t have much depth when it came to its character’s character.
The show was targeted to the general mass as a representation of the day to day struggles of a group of friends. The only problem was, it ended up being a story about six straight white adults who are privileged enough to not care about their careers and can still end up living in fancy NYC apartments. Tagging this as “Relatable and Realistic” is just another way to justify white privilege through humour.
I want you to try and imagine a world where Rachel and Ross were never in love, Monica and Chandler didn’t get married with kids, would the whole plotline still make sense and be as touching? No. And this is the biggest problem with the show. The show claims to be about friendship but it refuses to go in-depth about different dimensions of friendship that exists beyond the world of romantic relationships.
I will never try to argue that Friends was not a good TV series because it was. It was iconic.
It was a series that will probably live on for generations to come. That is exactly why it is important for us to recognize the flaws in the series as well. Because if we keep idolizing a series that will live on for ages, if you let our love for the series cloud our judgment, the generation to come will end up with the same misconceptions.
While the hype around Friends is something that can’t go away, and it shouldn’t, but it should also be criticized in the same way that we would for any other TV series. Friends is a good Tv series but it does have its flaws.
TV series usually helps us to waste our time in a productive manner. However, there are a few TV series that we watched while growing up even though we knew that these were not worth our time and energy. Here is a glimpse at such mistakes –
Everyone has been through the Grey’s Anatomy phase during their high school days when watching McDreamy and McSteamy on the screen made them want to join Med school. Weirdly enough, some of us probably even joined med school just for the Grey’s Anatomy experience. But then we grew up, had children, our children went through puberty and are now going through a mid-life crisis but Grey’s Anatomy is still running on tv.
15 seasons of absolute fantasy fiction about the love life of one woman who happens to be a doctor.
We all know that this show wasn’t going anywhere right after the death of most of the major characters. Sadly enough, we are loyal enough fans who have absolutely nothing to do in life than to watch Meredith Grey mess up stories over and over again.
Watching Riverdale was proof of how cool and pop culture aware you are. But that was back in 2015 when the first season of the show was released. The first season was excellent. Totally worthy of the “Netflix and Chill”. But then right after the release of the first episode of the second season, 3 min into the first episode and we all realized that this is a colossal waste of our Netflix subscription. But we refused to let go of the show throughout the black hood tragedy which encouraged the producers to give us a season 3, which was ….. let’s just say the finale of Game of Thrones made more sense than the season 3 of Riverdale
Watching Sam and Dean kill demons and pay a visit to Purgatory every few seconds was fun until Season 5. Then we decided to give them 9 more seasons just so that they can run out of Villans to fight and come up with extremely complicated mythology that makes the plot a giant spider web.
Bojack Horseman, a show about a horse that talks and walks and somedays he feels like he is in love with an owl, somedays he feels like he is in love with a cat and on other days he likes humans and underaged deers. And we have watched this series for 5 whole seasons because somehow we all feel like this horse is a reflection of who we are.
Honorary mention: SplitsVilla
Watching Roadies for an infinite number of seasons can make sense if we imagine ourselves as masochists but even then I can’t make sense as to why we secretly watched 12 seasons of Splitsville.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A cynical person is compelled to relive a certain day in repeat, over and over again and stuck in a time loop.
Of course, you have. Because this is the exact same premise for a whole host of movies and TV series episodes. For example, Groundhog Day, Source Code, Edge of tomorrow and even recent Black Mirror event, Bandersnatch to a certain degree.
So can the same plot, that’s been done so many times over be any good or entertaining? In the case of Netflix’s new comedy-drama “Russian Doll” very much so.
Produced and co-written by Amy Poehler of “Parks and Recreations”, Russian Doll, as the show itself describes itself, “a long story involving multiple deaths.”
Minor Spoilers for the 1st and 2nd
It starts off with Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne), a cynical New Yorker who is seen at her 36th birthday party thrown by two of her closest friend at their apartment.
Nadia happens to be a chain-smoking, alcoholic, video game programmer with a self-destructive nature and pretty bleak outlook on life. After an accident involving a local deli cat, Nadia is run over by a speeding taxi and is killed on the spot on the night of her birthday.
But surprising enough she’s transported back to the where the episode started off. At birthday party her friend threw for her, giving her the worst case of Déjà vu. Although writing it off as her imagination and side-effects of the narcotics she took at the party, she realized that the loop she’s in is very real after she ends up dying a few more times. Nadia is left to figure out how to free herself from this never-ending loop or if it’s even possible to free herself at all.
What makes it binge-worthy
Even with the worn out plot, Russian Doll has a lot going for it in term of making it one the most binge-worthy shows out there. For one, with having just eight episodes and a runtime less than 4 hours, it hits the sweet spot in terms of keeping the audience glued to their screens as the show keeps peeling off its different layers.
On the topic of different layers, the show is very smart right down to its characters. Dark humor and how it portrays it and handles heavy subject matter and even the theory of relativity at one point. The title of the show itself is a reference to depression and mental health which gets more prominent as the story progresses.
The protagonist Nadia Vulvokov is a great reason to watch Russian doll in itself. The deaths were comically hilarious and some hilariously dark but the drama of the show was very genuine and heartfelt. Being funny, brash, cynical, and hedonistic from the beginning to the revelation of her troubled back-story and characters growth, she is the life of the show. Although the show can get a bit confusing and disjointed at times, everything comes together beautifully by the end of the final episode.
Overall, Russian Doll is a solid show to
watch with enough twists and turns and character development to keep the
audience hooked. Although its overused plotline might turn away some initially,
you could do much worse than giving it’s a shot and hopefully love it by the
If those words do not ring any bell to you, chances are you have never watched “That ’70s Show”. For those who are unfamiliar with this sitcom, here is a piece of television history for you. That ’70s Show is an American period sitcom that aired between 1998 and 2006. It ran for 200 episodes, spanning 8 seasons.
If you are a patsy for comedy, now might not be the best of times for you.
The Big Bang Theory is closing its curtain with its twelfth and final season this year. Modern Family will return for its final season in 2020. And I know you have already binged Friends a bazillion times (for some people, HIMYM applies as well). In case you feel void of a great sitcom in your life, here is a cue for you. Go watch That ’70s Show. You will be hooked. By hooked I mean you will not rest easy until you finish all of the 8 seasons. Oh, you are not convinced yet? Fine, let me take the lead then.
The resurgence of retroelements in pop culture is an indication that audiences, mostly millennials are obsessed with nostalgia. We love living in the past. This is why you will fall in love with That ’70s Show. It is set in the bell-bottom era of th mid-’70s, chronicles the lives of 6 high schoolers and interprets the cultural aspects of that period that few shows ever could. Keep in mind that this is a show about living in the ’70s and it was produced in the ’90s.
Without further ado, let’s delve into the cast and settings. The pilot episode opens in a basement of a middle-class house. 6 teenagers are orchestrating their plan to steal beer cans from Eric Forman’s dad. They are all in Eric’s house so Eric is coerced to go upstairs and scavenge the cans for them. We just met our lead cast of the show and most of them are very recognizable actors. Eric (Topher Grace) is a boy desperate to become a man, oftentimes get lectured by his funnily rude dad. Eric has a love interest, named Donna (Laura Prepon) who is not your typical retro chick. Her independent and strong nature is a hint of the burgeoning gender equality of that era.
Jacky and Kelso are an ever quarrelling couple played by real-life sweethearts Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. Jacky does not fit into the group yet sticks with them whereas Kelso is a stupid good looking guy whose greatest challenge in life is to break up with Jacky. Hyde (Danny Masterson) is a nihilist and rebel. He is easily my most favorite character in this show. His Zeppelin t-shirts and love for good old rock and roll makes me like him even more. And last but not least, we have Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), a foreign exchange student who is still recovering from cultural shock. Fez is the heart of this series and he will do anything to steal your girl.
What makes this show an underrated gem
One of the prime focus of this show is the chemistry between Eric and Donna. Their “More than friends but not really in love” affair is something to die for. Kelso-Jackie, the other two lovebirds put on quite a show as well. Ashton Kutcher does a phenomenal job playing Michael Kelso. Mila Kunis who was 14 while filming the pilot, is equally impressive. That ’70s show hilariously showcases the practice of smoking pot which gained notoriety in the ’70s. 4 teens lock themselves up in a basement, smoke pot and trash talk until their shenanigans get hindered by Eric’s dad. One of the most memorable scenes of this show, I can vouch for that.
have met with mixed responses when I argued this is a gem of a show and quite
underrated. Some people disagreed. The reason some people may not enjoy the
jokes and sentiments of this show is because not all of us can relate to the
references that entwines the music, norms and relationships of that time.
Nevertheless, it rests with a special place in my fandomverse.
will love the theme song. Rock, disco and pop reigns throughout the show. The
soundtracks are unmissable, do check ‘em out!
We have all been there: endlessly scrolling away on Netflix to find the next show to binge watch. “Sex Education” may be listed under comedy, but the series holds so much more than that. The show is centred around an awkward teenager Otis (Asa Butterfield), the series shows his journey with Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) the ‘bad girl’ and a social outcast and his gay best friend, Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa).
No spoilers but we have got to talk about it!
The teenagers’ journey is one of solving sexual and personal problems related to high school students’ bodies and sexuality. Being an ‘underground’ sex therapist comes naturally for Otis because his mother, Dr. Jean F Milburn (Gillian Anderson), is a well-known published sex therapist.
However, Otis himself is unable to meet his own sexual desires because he cannot masturbate no matter how much he tries. This irony adds complexity to the character and his actions, keeping the audience interested. What is more riveting is a pact between Otis and Maeve where they start counselling as a sort of ‘business strategy’. They decide that Otis will be the therapist and Maeve will the a ‘manager’ of sorts. The other characters hold an equally important part in the series as they slowly develop and reveal answers to the questions you might have.
Why you should 10/10 binge on this
Laurie Nunn successfully portrayed different angels of sexuality and ideologies in a light-hearted but emotional manner. This was a highlight for the show. The art of portraying such heavy issues and taboo topics in such a way can be tough game but “Sex Education” definitely succeeded and won our hearts.
The unfortunate reality is that most rom-coms or comedy-dramas feel repetitive or similar with cliched plotlines. However, “Sex Education” is one of the most trending series of the year for Netflix, because it tries the genre in a fresh way. The characters, the message and the whole episodes have new twists and turns. Most importantly, the stories are relatable for teenagers navigating their sexuality.
We recommend the show, not only for its storytelling but also because it is important to talk about sex and sexuality and all its messiness.
The show takes a risk by broaching the topic and that pays off. The stale genre of romantic comedies and the content hungry teenage viewers both benefit from shows which explore social topics, in an accessible way.
We all have our ups and downs with our sexuality and it is never easy to talk about it openly. “Sex Education” might just be the ‘push’ we need to break free of sex being a taboo subject. If you have not watched it already, then do it soon because season two will be released soon, delivering the same ‘wow’ as the first.
The land of piracy! As cool as it sounds, believe us it’s not. This is not One Piece. This is the real world. One should not feel proud to call their country a land of piracy. For starters this is illegal and WRONG. Secondly, it is disrespectful to those who make awesome TV shows, Anime, Music, Comic books, books and video games for us. Yet sadly, for those of us who reside in these third world countries have no other option but to use piracy if we want to consume any popular media from countries other than our own.
It’s not just popular entertainment that piracy prevails in. Piracy is intertwined with our businesses too. Just how many companies and homes in these third world countries do you think run genuine windows operating system and Microsoft office software? Not many, that’s for sure.
Before answering that, here is a more important question. DOES IT MATTER?
So what if we pirate all our games? So what if our operating systems are all downloaded from pirate bay? What if all our favorite albums and songs are downloaded from random suspicious looking websites for free? What if all our software and movies are downloaded from TorrentBD? Why does it matter? Why is it wrong or illegal? It’s not like we are stealing money or committing some kind of crime.
Now, imagine for a second that you are one of the writers of your favorite TV show. Put yourself in the shoes of these people for a minute. You have spent months passionately writing a story, writing these characters for this one show. You have poured your heart into every dialogue, every word. Your audience has noticed, and given your show and characters their love and attention. The critics have given you their seal of approval. The pay is great too.
There is just one tiny problem.
Your show isn’t getting any ratings on the TV. So, a few seasons in, your show gets cancelled for something different. All your passion and hard work gone just like that. You are out of job too. It’s time to look for a new job.
How did this happen?
Turns out everyone has been downloading your show from torrent sites.
This might sound like some crazy extreme fictional scenario. But consider this, producer of Hannibal TV series blamed piracy for cancellation of the show. Consider that the band LCD Sound system from United Kingdom begged their fans to not leak their upcoming album. Their plea went unheard. Consider that piracy is the reason that EA implemented very restrictive DRM systems in their games.
Developing, creating anything requires talent, hard work, and time. This is why artists, writers, video game developers, film-makers get paid.
The money we pay to consume art allow the creators to create more for us.
So, what happens when we take money out of the equation and download everything for free? The people who make the things that we enjoy can no longer support themselves and have to stop what they do.
Piracy is pretty much stealing. Every time someone is downloading something for free that has a price tag added, he is depriving the creator of his well-deserved compensation and livelihood.
Why does piracy happen?
So, piracy is morally wrong and its consequences ultimately impact us directly, and negatively. This brings us to our first question again. Why then, do we pirate everything that we can?
The short answer to that question is that, it’s easy. The long answer is a bit more complicated.
Internet hasn’t been around for that long. The world is still adjusting to the huge wave and splash that the Internet has brought along with it. In between all the chaos, innovations, and great leaps forward, the world has lost track of how information can be shared and spread. Now we can easily download a song by Eminem as soon as it comes out without needing to buy it. This would be impossible in a pre-internet world. But, in a post-internet world, where everything is connected, it is expected that pirates will give others access to freely download anything.
Another thing is that these products are simply not available in a lot of third world countries. Even if they are, they are available in very obscure places that most people don’t even know about and they cost a very high amount of money to get. A good example of this would be Japanese anime TV shows and manga in Bangladesh. It’s not like we can not at all find CDs, DVDs of anime shows, and volumes of manga in this country. We can find them if we look and search hard enough. The issues are that it’s not easy to find and the cost is too high. There is also the fact that even if we find what we are looking for, there’s no guarantee that we will be able to find everything of a series and in good enough quality.
“They are necessary for countries like us where you can’t get crunchyroll or Netflix even if you wanted to, since international payments are even an issue.”
-Munazil Rahman, Organiser at Unmad-JCC Comic Con.
This is how we have reached the situation that we are right now. We are all just pirates drifting through the endless sea of the World Wide Web. And we are not even the cool, awesome kind from One Piece or the dangerous, adventurous kind like Blackbeard. We are more of a very large group of bandits riding a worn down boat, unaware of what we are really doing. Some of us are also doing this because we have no other option.
People around us tell us to stay away from all kinds of addiction every day. ‘Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Or take drugs. Stay away from other addicts.’ And so on and on and on. Here’s the thing though, all the while they are telling us these things, they are also telling us, teaching us to get addicted to other things. Things that apparently are not as dangerous. Things that we are supposed to be addicted to. These are some of the things I’ve listed below:
Tea or Coffee:
Sure, keep drinking tea every hour and you will soon find people staring at you with concerned eyes. But think about it. Why is it that something that can kill your liver a part of our everyday life? Every time you go visit your sweet aunt, tea almost always comes up as a part of the hospitality? Why is it everywhere in our workplaces? How is it that something so harmful can be so ubiquitous? For some odd reason, we always overlook our addiction to drinking tea or coffee. We don’t even see it as a problem.
Okay fine. Yes, I’m fear-mongering a bit at this point. I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I understand. Caffeine-related deaths are not as common as many other causes of deaths. Still, you have to wonder, why though?
By the way, I’ve been writing all this with a cup of coffee in my hand. My second one this evening. The irony is not lost on me. But hey, addictions are addictions because they are fun as heck.
I remember when my father and mother used to scold me for watching TV too much. Then they would spend the next three hours watching TV and fall asleep while watching TV. Well, the joke is on them now. I don’t watch TV no more. I only watch quality Youtube videos. Who is laughing now?
Certainly not my grades.
Anyway, TV hasn’t been around for that long in this country. Color TV came to us only very recently in 1980. It may not seem that recent, but in the grand scheme things, it is quite so. In spite of being so new, it has already reached almost every household of the country. There are very few if any, places in Bangladesh right now that doesn’t have a TV and a dish line to provide the people with some sweet Bangla cinema.
Even though I have made conscious efforts to stop watching TV, all I have managed to do is replace one addiction with another. Well, at least I don’t have to get into arguments with my parents about the remote anymore. That’s my little cousin’s job now.|
Let me tell you a story.
I was hard at work. I was typing away furiously at my computer, trying to get this article done in time. My room was dark and silent. Only the sounds of my fan and my keystrokes were around. My whole concentration focused on the words and ideas I slowly forming into coherent paragraphs. Many things were written, then deleted, then rewritten, only to be deleted for good. Many jokes, many ideas, and thoughts swirling away… and…
Sounds of cheering, screaming, and horns shatter all that in a matter of seconds. What happened? Oh, Brazil won a match.
This is some kind of fanaticism. The way we treat sports sometimes seems like borderline insanity. Did you know that a person committed suicide after Argentina losing in the first round? I bet you do. And I bet that if you are a fan of Argentina, you are heartbroken after they lost the chance to progress. But we don’t see sports rehabilitation centers opened up around the country, do we? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Still, it’s a very prevalent addiction in our life.
I support Brazil, in case you are wondering.
This may sound strange to some people. You don’t see that many readers nowadays. But I promise you, they are there, hidden under their comfy blankets, sipping coffee and reading away at a speed that you can’t even imagine, the bookworms are all around us. And I assure you, it is indeed an addiction.
Be wary of books. They hold wonders that can enrich you, but also consume you to your core.
It’s weird because all our life, books have been held up as something that you should indulge yourself in. Do it a bit too much though, and you will be lost in a world from which there is no escape. There was a time when all I had were books. I enjoyed them immensely. My parents were proud of me too. They probably used to brag to other parents about how much books I read.
Then came exam time. These books became their worst enemy then. I wouldn’t study. I would just keep reading the same books again and again because it was fun. That’s what I wanted to do. I was addicted.
Finally, we get here. The apex of socially endorsed addiction. A thing that we are trained from childhood to pursue. A thing that every one of us craves to some extent. That magical thing. Success.
There are a lot of ways I could go about describing how success is an addiction to you. The thing is though, I feel like this aspect of the world has been so talked about by this point that I can add very little to the discussion that hasn’t already been explored in one way or another. So instead, let me tell you another story.
During my HSC exams, I used to study a little bit the night before and then leave early the next morning because the exam center was quite far. At least one of my parents made sure to go with me every day. We would take a CNG. The CNG would drop us off a little bit away from the center and we would walk the rest.
Every morning, I would walk and watch as my fellow examiners would be absorbed into their mobiles, staring at and solving the leaked questions as fast as possible. The questions would leak every day around 30 minutes before the exam and everyone would solve it before going into the exam hall.
Kids don’t know better, but the parents should
The thing is, they would have their parents around while doing all this. Not one of the parents I saw those days seemed to care about what they were doing. They encouraged and helped their children. They fanned their children while the said children went through the question and books to find the best answer.
Look the bottom line is, these things, hobbies they are all good but when you take them to an obsessive level, it’s bad. Even gaming. I will not get to that point because I love life. But you get the point. Nothing should become an obsession. If you see symptoms of getting obsessed with something then it’s high time you stopped or changed to something different. If you don’t, then at some point in your life it cost you a great deal.
Samsung has unveiled their new lineup of TV’s in a ceremony this 9th of September, at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. This new series, called “N” series, is the successor to last year’s popular “M” series TV’s. The lineup consists of basic LED TVs to QLED TVs.
Samsung showed off the new series to the guests at the event. There are many different sub-series’ in the “N” series. To name a few, the Joy Concert TV, billed as a semi-smart TV by executives, Smart Concert TV, a fully smart TV and the Premium UHD TV where shown off in the presentation. We also got to try them out in the experience zone. The best of the bunch was obviously the QLED TV’s, which is the very pinnacle of screen tech right now, according to Samsung. The concert TV boasts 4 separate speakers which can give the user a concert vibe. It comes in a smart variant as well. Joy Concert TV starts at BDT 29,990 while the Smart Concert TV’s start from BDT 36,990.
There was also the Premium UHD TV with its slim metallic design and an impressive 4K resolution. HDR elite enables it to show the user a billion colors. It starts from a whopping 449,900 BDT.
The star of the show was obviously the QLED TV’s. It’s billed as the first and only TV to achieve 100% color volume and features ambient mode, which can turn the turned off screen transparent, an information center, or even a piece of artistic expression. The QLED starts BDT 590,000.
Many executives of Samsung were present at the event. The Managing Director of Samsung Bangladesh, Seungwon Youn, was confident that the Bangladeshi market is prepared to welcome the latest innovations in TV tech. Head of Business (CE & IT) Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Sales and Partner Mangement Saad Bin Hasan and other high officials of the company and many partners and dealers of their products was also present.
Samsung also showed off many other home appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, AC’s, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. They also had gaming monitors present at the event. The ultra-wide QLED gaming monitor was one of the most eye-catching of the products.
The “N” series TV’s and other appliances will be available in all Samsung Bangladesh showrooms and authorized dealers.