Girl crush: Sloan Sabbith

sloan-sabbith-1024Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom has given me a brand new and hot girl crush. Olivia Munn, who plays Sloan Sabbith, the resident economic whiz and socially awkward, completely nerdy and gorgeous news reporter and presenter, is a treat to watch. Everything is said in a matter of fact tone, she has no clue how attractive she really is, and her romantic overtures to a colleague are amateurish, childish and so, so adorable. So when Salon.com called her The Newsroom’s “bright spot”, I couldn’t have agreed more. The show, which I think is a bit too preachy and too “trying to be smart”, is at many times, watchable thanks to Munn’s spaced out characterization of Sloan. Vulture.com said that Munn and Sloan both deserve a better show to flaunt their charm, but I disagree, maybe because I am so selfish. I want her on the show, I need her on that show – till she gets her own. Let’s all hope. 

Mad Men: How I sort of don’t hate Don now (Spoiler alert)

I have watched Mad Men very reluctantly at times. It depresses me, and I am confounded by the lack of values, family, love, ethics — As my husband says, in the world of Mad Men, nothing matters. It’s true, except money, sex, and some strange need for gratification and self worth all the time. As I slowly went through the seasons, I started hating Don — first for controlling Betty, then abandoning Faye Miller, and to finally cheating on Megan as well. I hated him for taking peggy for granted, and for being a selfish jerk at work, who only thinks about himself. Whenever he walks out from a meeting, I am stunned. Then this season, I hated him for ridiculing Ted Chaough every chance he got. Why Don, why? Especially when he makes Ted feel bad about his feelings for Peggy. At least he loves Peggy, you freak of a man!

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Anyway, I was all set to write him off forever, and then I saw the last episode. He is going deeper into depression thanks to the fact that Sally saw him doing the deed with the weird neighbour lady. And then after he finally is honest about who he is and where he comes from, the firm decides to let him go on indefinite leave. He was fine till he was parading around like a somebody, but it ain’t cool as soon as he shows sign of being human? At least, Joan could have decided to not be a part of that ambush but, no, Joan sat alongside and gave a judgment. What really made me look at Don in a new way was that he looked stoic as ever and even though you know he is dying inside, he was still standing tall. When he takes Sally and the brothers to the brothel where he grew up, and as father and daughter exchange a look that seems to say “dad, how did you do this?”, I felt tears well up. Oh Don, maybe you can be a normal person after all, who feels things that are natural to other human beings — maybe there is hope for you. It would be so great to see him turn a new leaf, but would it then be less interesting to watch him? It’s a tough question — are the best characters always the most flawed? Is normal boring, and abnormal super freaking interesting? Hmm…it seems like it. No one wants to watch a show about me, after all?

I also did feel so bad for my favourite Pete and his mom. Bob Benson, something really bad is gonne happen to you very soon. But who i truly loved this season was Betty — who made love to Don like a man, and then went back to her husband like a lady. You go girl.

But special mention for Peggy and Ted, whose love story was one I really wanted to see come true. But maybe it’s better if it didn’t. It remains so painfully sweet.

We need these mad men to return soon. Even though they are completely dysfunctional. It’s a vicious circle. PS. did I mention my second fav characters are Trudy and Ken Cosgrove. So normal and yet my heart lies with them.

New New: Books, tv show and movies

So it’s that time of the week again, when I look for the new music, book or movie. I love this exercise as it so keeps me updated. Also, it’s just so much fun to compile.

So in Books, I came across Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I have only read one of Gaiman’s earlier works whcih was Good Omens, in collaboration with Terry Pratchett, but as I started reading up about him, I really think I am going to love him. Supernatural is so my favourite genre. The new book is all about what happens when a young boy stumbles over his neighbours’ supernatural secret. Chicago Tribune said this of the book, “[W]ry and freaky and finally sad. . . . This is how Gaiman works his charms. . . . He crafts his stories with one eye on the old world, on Irish folktales and Robin Hood and Camelot, and the other on particle physics and dark matter.” You have to read it now. I have also ordered one of his earlier books called Coraline, where a young girl finds a completely new world behind a locked door in her house. But the inhabitants of that world want her to stay back…forever. Will she? Forever is such a scary word, right?
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On the Indian scene, Sachin Garg’s Come on Inner Peace! looks interesting. It’s about 3 completely different people looking for 3 completely different things to make their lives complete. Will it happen? That too in an ashram in Rishikesh. I already see a movie in the making. Sachin and I are friends and i am in awe of his focus and talent. This is going to be a hit for sure. Order it here

In movies, i discovered the trailor About Time, which is made my the same people who made Notting Hill and Love Actually and it seems adorable. What if you could relive a moment till it was perfect? Awww…

And this fall, coming to TV is Dracula, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is going to play the man who wants to bring science to London, but can’t help but take revenge from the ones who wronged him. I can’t wait for one.

And since i couldn’t really find a song I wanted to recommend, here is an old favourite. Mike Posner is singing Please don’t go. You are so going to love this.

Jaan Pehchaan ho!

Yesterday as I watched Gumnaam, I had fun listening to a song called Jaan Pehchaan ho sung by Mohammed Rafi. It’s a fun 60s number with the dancers dressed in gold flapper dresses flailing the bodies about in that 60s fashion. I already need, want that dress. But it seems like it was not only me who was fascinated with the song. 2001’s Ghostworld, starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson, opening credits start with the song, with Thora trying to dance like our dancer.

Also, there is a damn cute Heineken ad called The Date which has the same song. You are gonne love this

Why I love Pete Campbell and other mysteries

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A few days ago, over drinks at WTF, some friends and I were having a conversation about our favourite Mad Men characters. I couldn’t understand why they described Pete Campbell as sleazy and they couldn’t understand why I actually loved Pete Campbell. Often the pop culture characters we like reflect how we feel about society in general or a lot about us. But did liking Pete mean I actually encouraged the kind of behaviour he indulges in – like asking Joan to sleep with somebody to get an account? I like Pete because he reminds me of people who can’t hide who they are – their ambitions, their likes and dislikes, and their prejudices. And the fact that they are douche bags. But what Pete, and I, can’t get is that if everyone around is also a jerk and sleaze ball, why does he get singled out? Roger Sterling is a selfish jerk who only thinks of himself, so is Don Draper who doesn’t follow any rules, but has them for everyone else. Remember him chiding Pete for sleeping with a hooker? What’s the difference between Sterling, Draper and Campbell – just that Pete isn’t charming or good looking enough to carry that jerkiness with aplomb. He is a jerk and he looks like a jerk. He cheats on his perfect wife because as he says he wanted to “feel handsome again”. He is human after all, and somewhere gets too attached with his flings as well. He works hard, is a go getter, and is not trying to hide it. What if he did make an indecent proposal to Joan? The rest of them – including Bert Cooper and Sterling (who had a thing with Joan) didn’t have an objection either. Yes, what happened with him and Peggy was sad, but Peggy is a big girl and I don’t think Pete should be blamed in entirety. I like Pete, just because he is an honest jerk. Also he believes in racial equality and he really won my heart in that episode. As Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete, said in an interview to M magazine, ““I’m really doing my best by Pete Campbell. I don’t think Pete is going out with the intention of being a bad guy. He’s not an evil guy—he does evil acts. You might hate him, and that’s your right, but he’s not the guy with the cat on his lap planning world domination. The guy is loyal. He’s loyal to the agency and he’s loyal to Don. His principles might be lacking, and his morals, too, but he believes in the firm and he’s ready to die for it.” He also says, “There are a lot of situations where I’ve done things in my life and I realize, ‘That was not of high character, what I just did.’ I try to realize that it doesn’t make me a bad person or a useless person. Human beings are flawed, and we sin, and we make mistakes, and we do things that are terrible sometimes, and oftentimes things that are just not great. Not terrible, not great, but just selfish. So you realize that about yourself and you can do those things as a character and realize it doesn’t make the character bad. It just means he’s human.”

Maybe liking Pete is my way of saying that I like people who are themselves with me. Be your worst with me and you are my friend for life. But don’t be nice to me, and be selfish behind my back when I trust you. I would not mind having Pete as a friend, as there would be no surprises then.

Pop culture icons often do say a lot about us – I LOVED carrie on sex and the city but I adored Samantha – maybe because I wished I could be less like Carrie and more like Samantha. Yes, I loved being all creative and forlorn over my heartbreaks but to know who you are and love that person completely, despite whatever people may say, is brilliant. Samantha doesn’t sleep with men to feel better about herself or to get an ego boost, but because she loves sex and that’s who she is. I guess I wished I could be more “free” like her. My favourite Harry Potter character had to be Dumbledore, because he was a fatherly figure who just made everything seem right. My father is my Dumbledore in real life. It could be a the same reason I like Dean Winchester on Supernatural, because he would take care of me – not in a fatherly way of course! But because he’s a man and that is just so attractive. Same reason I like Mikael Blomkvist in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – a man’s man, who is detached and attached at the same time. I was thrilled that they got Daniel Craig to play him, who took a leaf out of his Bond book – both men are so different yet so similar. Game of Thrones is harder to decode – people change and that makes them harder to like or hate. I hated Jamie Lannister, but I have grown to like him a lot, as his moral arc changes and he learns his lesson. I feel bad for Theon Grayjoy, and despite him being a cold monster, I like Tywin Lannister, because like I said, I like manly men who take charge. But my favourite is Tyrion Lannister, who is so flawed, yet kind and a man who doesn’t want to do unnecessary harm. You feel for him, at the same time, you don’t pity him. You wish everyone was like him. What my choices say about me – I like being taken care of by alpha men who like to brood, and I am a sucker for anyone who will be sweet to me. Also, I would like to embrace my sexuality like Samantha. Okay, then — a lot to think about. 

New, new: The Devil returns and the Newsroom too

Here’s what new in books, music, movies and tv. You don’t want to miss this

Books: The Devil that loves wearing Prada is back. Lauren Weisberger returns with the Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns. Andy and her arch-enemy Emily now join forces to start their own magazine – a hi-end bridal tome. It’s called the Plunge and it’s doing fabulously well. Andy is also getting married. But the Devil never lets sleeping dogs lie and when Andy meets the devil again, it won’t be pretty. I am so looking forward to this one – even though I never read the first one – only watched the movie. But I so wish they rope in Meryl Streep again – that woman is a goddess. But no Anne Hathaway please. Yes, I am one of those haters. Don’t know why though. Will think about it and do a blogpost. It’s available on Flipkart.
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Music
Harlem by New Politics, a band from Denmark. It’s a happy song with a happy video, You can’t help but smile.

and then though it’s not new, do listen to Parachute’s Kiss me Slowly. It’s a beautiful love song, and the boy singing it is just so delicious, I had to post it. I love his hair and eyes. Gosh aren’t I such a teenager!

There is also the new song from Once Upon a Time in Mumbai again and it’s quite melodious in that sufi style.

Fashion: There is an interesting article on NYT about Kylie Minogue trying to get famous in the US by posturing as a fashion icon. do read here
And here is my favourite Kylie song just based on the way it is styled. It’s called Slow

TV: The Newsroom is going to return next month. Yippee. Even though it’s a bit preachy, I can’t wait to see Jeff Daniels again. Well you can’t blame me – Game of Thrones just finished and Don is behaving like an arse on Mad Men. And my favourite Supernatural won’t be back till September. A girl needs her TV.

Movies: Chennai Express launched its trailer and I already don’t want to see it. Deepika’s accent sucks and SRK really needs to retire now. But just maybe, it may be fun. You never know

Watching Rachel Zoe

I have to admit it, watching the Rachel Zoe project is my guilty pleasure. The celeb stylist is so maj (major, that’s how she says it) and so fun. There have been thousands of pieces written about how she has forced her clients to lose weight (read nicole ritchie), but if a person is ready to do that, that’s their problem. In the show Zoe deals with day to day pressure of dressing a celeb for the Oscars, golden globes or any other appearance along with magazine shoots as well. Her husband Roger is always at hand and i do like him. There was also Brad, her assistant who quit her after a huff and now has his own show!! But what i love about the show the most is the clothes i get to see. Rachel often travels to fashion weeks across the globes and there is a big showing of all the clothes. It’s fashion heaven. watch the trailer and don’t think too much if you decide to get addicted to it. It’s all in good fun

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