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Issue 23

Heartstopper

Heartstopper is a British television show that coming-of-age story about two teenagers who find themselves and each other during a tumultuous time, that is, high school. Based on a graphic novel by Alice Oseman, the show is wholesome, sweet, and heartwarming while also highlighting sensitive and important subjects in a nuanced manner. The show’s protagonist, Charlie Spring, develops a crush on Nick Nelson, and the story is centered around their romance while also navigating friendships, social structures, and emotions that surround them both.  This LGBQT+ story beautifully narrates the anxieties and rushes that arise out of first or new loves. It is a must watch for the ones who loved the graphic novels, and even those who may be unfamiliar with them. 

Heartstopper is available on Netflix. 

Shree Bhattacharyya is a student of English literature and Media Studies at Ashoka University.

Picture Credits: Radio Times

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Categories
Issue 22

The Bold Type

The Bold Type is a story about three young and ambitious women working at a magazine and taking New York City by storm. Across its five seasons, the show follows Jane, Kat, and Sutton navigate their 20-something lives, struggle with their identities, attempt to find love, and manage their friendship. The show brilliantly subverts tropes to create storylines full of substance. Each character faces serious character development, and the show ensures to avoid categorising these three friends into stereotypical roles such as the “smart one” or the “pretty one”. All three of them have their eyes on working up the corporate ladder, and while they may occasionally get involved in romantic relationships, their love lives are just a part of their lives and not the end-all.

While the show is hardly based in reality and has received criticism for oversimplifying working in the media, its beauty lies in the world the creators have constructed, one that we want to be real. With a female-led cast and its focus on meaningful friendships and growing together, something that is vital for survival in adulthood, the show manages to find the perfect balance between heartwarming stories and hard-hitting, taboo subjects. Overall, the show is a fresh take on workplace dramas and is a great comfort watch.

Reya Daya is a third-year student studying psychology and media studies at Ashoka University. Her other interests include writing, photography and music.

Picture credits: UNO Gateway

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).

Categories
Issue 20

Inventing Anna: Everything Is True Except the Parts That Are Fake

New York high society. Art galleries, fashion designers, and gorgeous locations. An influencer heiress eager to make her name in social circles. Netflix’s latest trending release Inventing Anna has all the right elements to keep you hooked until the very last episode. While the setting of the show in upper-class Manhattan is familiar (from shows like Gossip Girl), the show offers a breath of freshness to the city via the lens of faux-heiress Anna Delvey and the people in her life. Based on a 2018 New York Magazine article, the show is successful in portraying the twenty-something from Russia as a brilliant scam artist, rather than as a woman scorned and out to get the men around her. Neither is she represented as a Robin Hood-esque figure, out to help those less wealthy. Anna is inventing herself, and only herself- and boy, does she do a good job. The show instead offers an insightful perspective into the psychology of relationship building and connections, branding oneself as a commodity in a capitalist society, and most importantly, the frivolity of money. 

Jaidev Pant is a student of Psychology and Media Studies at Ashoka University. He is interested in popular culture and its intersections with politics, gender, and behavior. 

Image Source: Netflix

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Categories
Issue 20

A Drink With the Spanish Elite

A thriller series with murder, lies, parties, drugs, and drama, Elite hits all the right spots. The series deals with a high school, Las Encinas, and the elite students who come to study at this palace-like building. The series jumps between timelines in every episode, and adds up the suspense to the point where we are ready to burst. The entire story unfolds in the eighth episode of every season, and the character development and diversity throughout the four seasons is phenomenal. The casting will sweep you away from your feet and you will come back for every episode. The series is available on Netflix and is renewed for season 5 which might drop in the summer of this year. So what are you waiting for, Ready Set Elite!

P.S. (No Spoiler Alert) The writer’s favourite episode is S3E8, where he simply was overwhelmed with the amount of emotions this series made him feel.

Picture Credits: PopBuzz

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).

Categories
Issue 19

The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window

What made me watch Kristen Bell’s latest mini-series on Netflix was the eye-catching title itself – full of complexities and curiosity. As you watch the trailer you are left with tons of unanswered questions and a thirst to find out did Anna (Kristen Bell) really know?

As you traverse across these 8 episodes you see how each one gets more twisted than before, almost leaving you in a blur as bad as Anna’s hallucinations. As she copes with the tragedy of losing her daughter we see her often knowingly gulping wine with medication. The show vividly portrays the impact of grief and loss. Her conscious choices and ways to cope lend insight into the disturbing corners of her mind. The eerie soundtrack by Nami Melumad truly enhances the thrill and suspense. 

Through the series, a very vulnerable Anna is drawn to her next-door neighbour Neil, shortly before she witnesses his girlfriend Lisa being murdered. Anna’s emotional and psychological condition makes her a negligible witness, but she doesn’t stop there. Her faith in what she saw overpowers everything and she takes solving the murder into her own hands. 

The attitudes and reactions of the community and the police really bring to the light how easily one is labelled crazy. It depicts how crazy is often deemed equivalent to guilty and in this case murderer. Anna, although experiencing self-induced hallucinations, faces this wrath of societal impressions. A jarring contrast in behaviour is seen when Anna attends support group sessions where she candidly shares her life with them. The core of this show thus lies in the complexities of Anna’s character.

Each episode brings forth a new suspect, a new perspective but only gets you more tangled than before. This satirical thriller takes you on an outrageous journey full of twists and turns. It carefully tiptoes on the line between unsettling and funny.

Maahira Jain is a third-year student at Ashoka University studying Psychology and Media studies. She is a movie buff and is extremely passionate about writing and travelling.

Picture Credits: Netflix

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis

Categories
Issue 19

Downton Abbey: A Must Watch Regal Drama

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like period dramas? Bridgerton swayed us all away, and we cannot wait for Season 2 to drop. There are, however, many more period dramas out there and one such is Downton Abbey – the regal, elegant, and disciplined house of the Crawley Family, headed by The Earl of Grantham (well actually The Dowager Countess is the one who rules the show). The story spans over six series and fifty-two episodes and a movie, Downton Abbey is a phenomenal work of art. It deals with the stories of characters ranging from the earl’s daughter to maids and chauffeurs. The depth of characters, plot twists, deaths, and Maggie Smith will leave an everlasting impact on anyone who watches it. The series is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Thank me later.

Lakshya Sharma is a first-year undergraduate student at Ashoka University. He is an economics and media studies student. Apart from his academic interests, he has a keen interest in writing and fashion.

Image Credits: Amazon Prime

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).