HASAN MINHAJ: HOMECOMING KING

homecoming king hasan minhaj

Hasan Minhaj is a writer, comedian, actor but is mainly known for his political satire.

He is a senior correspondent on  “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and recently hosted the White House Correspondent’s Dinner (WHCD) for which he got much applause since it was a hard gig to pull off without the presence of the President himself.

Homecoming King is his first stand-up special aired on Netflix,  in which he mainly talks about what it is like to be an immigrant in America. The show is the story of his life, lit with photos and seasoned with Urdu/Hindi phrases which makes it more entertaining.

From pressures of immigrant parents to being bullied at school, to the aftermath of 9/11 and so on and so forth, this is one comedy which is totally relatable to anyone belonging to the South Asian Belt. I totally understand that it might not seem funny to people who don’t share the same cultural background but it will be interesting and educational for them.

The main reason why I really enjoyed the show was that it wasn’t full of the typical desi style humor or simply talking in a different accent. Hasan covers harsh topics like racism, bullying, effects of 9/11 on immigrants in a light tone.

The stories are simple and to be honest not something unheard of, but what sets him aside is the impeccable timing, dialogue delivery and the way he keeps the audience smiling by either squeezing in a joke here and there or by showing photos which make it personal. Yes, there are times when the show falls flat but overall as a first time comedy special, Hasan has done a good job.

Head over to Netflix to watch the special.

 

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13 REASONS WHY

“13 REASONS WHY” is a Netflix Miniseries based on the bestseller by Jay Asher.

13 reasons why netflix

The first time I saw the billboard of the series was while driving to LAX. The tagline

“IF YOU’RE LISTENING, YOU’RE TOO LATE”

was attractive enough for me to watch the show. But I had to wait for a few weeks for its release and I completely forgot about it, till the first week of April when people left and right were talking about it. So finally I got a chance to binge-watch it.

13 Reasons Why is the story of a high school student Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tapes each specific to a certain person who contributed to her death.

Now onto my review…..

My views kept on changing after each episode. Yes, it is that kind of show.

The plot is very interesting and you will somehow be sucked into knowing and more and soon as possible. It is disturbing, provoking, saddening….a show which slowly creeps upon you.

The soundtrack is really worth listening and I found myself listening to a few songs over and over again.

I really enjoyed seeing both sides of the characters. The acting was honest and convincing and each actor did justice to their character. Sometimes the good guys aren’t good at all and vice versa. Watching Hannah’s parents going through the pain will break your heart. Is Clay good or bad??At times you will be pissed on judging the character wrong 🙁

Unfortunately you will have to watch all 13 episodes to find out why and sometimes you will find yourself wishing that the protagonist would listen to all of them in one sitting but hey, then it won’t be a series will it?

Also the crimes of all the 13 people were not equal and that bugged me a little. Yes, there were some horrible people who deserved what they got,  but for others I felt just a mention of their name would have done it. Making a whole tape about them meant they contributed equally to the big offenders which I think was wrong. And why was Tony (my favorite) there at all?

Lastly I really wished they had shed more light on what Hannah went through emotionally leading to her suicide. Showing her pain, her loneliness, what she was fighting inside of her would have earned her more compassion. When I ended the series, it felt more like a revenge story than one of compassion. Also one feels like the last episode has too much going on and it would have been better to spread it over two episodes.

Yes, there are some major loopholes and there will be times where you will reach for the remote. In the end the person I felt really sad for was Jessica and once you watch it, you will know why.

The show brings awareness to the topic of Suicide and Bullying and opens major discussions. It doesn’t matter whether you end up loving it or hating it, reaching out to someone in need at the right moment is the takeaway. It will change your outlook over a lot of things. How a single remark meaning nothing by the sayer can wreak havoc to the sayee. How a single hurtful remark can end up messing up one’s personality. This series unlike a lot of reviews out there does not glorify suicide instead shows how negatively it can affect the community.

With all that being said, I would still highly suggest that you watch this show and if you do, let me know what you thought about it.

Watch the trailer of the show here:

 

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NEAL BRENNAN: 3 MICS

neal brennan 3 mics

A month ago when I opened my Netflix app the homepage displayed a picture of a nerdy looking guy and the title read Netflix Original: NEAL BRENNAN-3 MICS.

I had never seen or heard of this guy and you can imagine what followed….Of course….a google search on who is this guy.

Stand- Up Comedian, Writer, Director, Actor, Producer…..Hmm…is there anything this guy is not??? And still I don’t know him???

Further research showed that he was the co-creator and co-writer of Dave Chapelle Show…A show unfortunately I never saw.

So with not much expectation and nothing more interesting to watch I started watching the show.

3 mics….One liners…..Emotional Stuff….Stand-up Comedy….

 

neal brennan 3 mics

5 minutes into the show I was laughing so hard that tears were running down my legs 🙂

Incredibly funny, Extremely Raw, Brutally Honest, Amazingly Special are only some of the words I can use to describe my experience.

This is hands down of the best stand-up comedy show I have seen in a long time. Most of the comedy shows these days are full of filth and are hard to watch but not this one.  Full of raw comedy and emotional stuff you will be crying and laughing at the same time.

While delivering bouts of laughter and happiness he delves deep into his personal journey of depression and presents it in such a way which emotionally moves you. Who knew that one would learn a heartfelt lesson while enjoying comedy.

I highly recommend watching this show. Punchy 1 liners and fresh standup comedy will make your day….or night and the relationship with his dad and friends and how he dealt with his depression will make you emotional and teary.

 

 

 

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THIS IS US (TV SERIES)

THIS IS US is an American TV series airing on NBC Channel. It is created by  Dan Fogelman, American television producer and screenwriter known for Crazy, Stupid, Love….Cars…..Tangled and a number of various TV series.  The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley and many more.

This is US (NBC)
(NBC)

This is Us, is a refreshing break from the typical murder mysteries,  or the hospital romances. It is a warm, comforting, brutally honest show which fills the gap “Parenthood” left us with.

This is Us, celebrates life. It is a sentimental drama  where tragedy and happiness entwine. It is about family…..about life……how it connects us and how people who share the same birthday are different and alike.

I had been wanting to watch this series ever since the billboards were put up waay back in July and 7 episodes in, I am completely hooked.

You will be laughing and crying and the same moment. The acting is spot-on, the dialogues could not have been better and the twists choke you. Every episode ends with a twist or a reveal, satisfying and leaving you with wanting to see more at the same time.

It is a heart-warming, honest, shattering, beautiful series which makes you realize that we all are connected some way. Do keep a box of tissues nearby or get ready to blame the allergies for making your eyes watery, but trust me that every episode will make you feel happy in the end.

Do watch the Pilot episode and decide for yourself and if you do get hooked on liked me, let me know so we can sigh together and lets hope that it continues to deliver such sentimental moments.

With a rating of 8.8 on IMDB, 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.6 on TV.com this is one series, you don’t wanna miss. You can also watch it on Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, Vudu and Google Play.

(P.S – I think Gerald McRaney deserves an Emmy for his role ALREADY!!!)

 

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DEEPWATER HORIZON

On April 20, 2010 eleven men died when the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded making it the worst oil disaster in U.S History. This event happened 41 miles southeast of Louisiana Coast. The spilling continued for 87 days. The details of this disaster can be read on Encyclopedia Britannica

Peter Berg’s “Deepwater Horizon” movie, recreates this horrific catastrophe in the most realistic way. Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez ,John Malkovich give stellar performances and add depth to the movie.

The movie shows the events leading to the monstrous explosion and the unfortunate tragedy, but focuses mainly on the survival aspects. On one side you see this huge explosion, smoke, fire, calamity and on the other side are the people trying to escape, trying to make it out alive. Imagine for once, in the chaos, struggling to escape while witnessing the demon of fire engulfing your fellow crew members.

A must watch not only due to the heart pounding, thrilling action but the scare of the huge price we have to pay for a single negligence when working with nature and finally a feeling of gratitude for the everyday unsung heroes……..

 

Here is the trailer:

 

 

Here are some actual pictures from the oil  spill:

 

Deepwater Horizon Rig in flames
Deepwater Horizon Rig in flames  (via google)

 

 

 

Pelicans covered in oil
Pelicans covered in oil       (via google)

 

 

 

Satellite Imagery of the Oil Spill
Satellite Imagery of the Oil Spill     (via google)

 

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COOKED (TV Mini Series)

COOKED (Mini-Series)

 

cooked mini series

 

We are all soo busy with everything going on in our lives that for a lot of people cooking has become a tedious chore. When I was young, the kitchen was the most happening place of the house. The stoves were always busy and there were dishes always ready to be washed, the kitchen….a mess.  Separate dishes were cooked for lunch and for dinner. Cooking was not considered a hard chore, rather a form of art where the cook would display their remarkable skills.

Contrary to my childhood, recently I have been in houses where the kitchen is the most cleanest part of the house and the host would tell you with pride that it is hardly used. “We are soo busy that we don’t have time to cook. Most days we do take outs or live on freezer meals.

Cooked is a refreshing series which brings back the love of cooking. The episodes are based on 4 elements, Earth, Fire, Wind, Water. Michael Pollan, the author and host of the series talks in detail what food meant to humans throughout the history and how it brought people together. In the series he becomes the apprentice himself and cooks alongside culinary masters taking us along on this journey.

The message of the series is to return to the kitchen and reclaim the lost traditions of cooking. Watching the series will definitely make you hungry and you will, for sure, appreciate the art of cooking and will want to head to the kitchen to bring out your lost culinary skills.

The series is available for free streaming on Netflix, so check it out tonight.

Here is the trailer:

 

 

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Best Fiends

BEST FIENDS

Best Fiends

 

 

Mobile Game of the Year……Top 10 iPhone Game…..Best WebGame…..Editors Choice and the list of awards goes on.

ADDICTIVE.…This one word sums it up. Super easy, fun to play, you must give this game a try and trust me you will forget Candy Crush. I am on almost on level 40 and so far I didn’t need to ask a friend for lives or had to buy any stuff which is pretty cool. Good thing is that you can play it offline too…Yippeee

Best Fiends is completely free match 3 puzzle game. It’s free to download and play but some game items may be purchased for real money. To disable this, turn off the in-app purchases in your device’s settings.

From their website the story is as follows:

From the Green Glades to the foothills of Mount Boom, the small creatures of Minutia lived in harmony, until the night the meteor struck…

The meteor smashed into Mount Boom, bringing with it a strange force that transformed the Slugs who lived there into an army of greedy, greenery-gobbling pests.

Now, the Slugs are taking over the world, munching a path through Minutia and sliming up everything they touch!

But a brave band of heroes is fighting back! Left behind when the Slugs captured their families, these unlikely champions are on an epic quest to save their parents and beat back the Slug advance.

To get to Mount Boom, they’ll need to become… the Best Fiends.

 

Best_Fiends_Screenshots_1_1536x2048-768x1024 Best_Fiends_Screenshots_5_1536x2048-768x1024 best-fiends-270_1

 Apple Users: CLICK HERE!

Android Users: CLICK HERE!

Facebook : CLICK HERE!

 

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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Book Cover Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Ben Fountain
Fiction
Ecco
February 26, 2013
320

 

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

There are some books with an unforgettable haunting melody which stays with you for a long time. Billy Lynn’s long Halftime walk is one such book. It is pure, eye-opening, humorous yet sad but above all gives you a chance to view the war heroes from a new lens…..a bitter realistic one!

It is a satire set in Texas during the Iraq War. Billy Lynn, a 19-year-old bona fide war hero along with seven members of  his bravo company are about to be honored at the  Dallas Cowboys’ Halftime Thanksgiving home game for their bravery which was captured & uploaded by a journalist and has become viral. The story takes place in a single day, following the squad as they make their way into the stadium in the morning and ends at night with their departure. On one hand Billy and his company members are struggling to accept what happened back in Iraq and feel like they are being honored on the worst day of their lives and on the other hand we see how the show must go on and how a Hollywood producer is trying to get a movie deal out of it.

It is not a typical story of Iraq War, in fact the tables are turned and this time the focus is on the American people. The book shows the disconnect between the military and the civilians in today’s modern world. People have no idea what happens overseas during war and they don’t even care. Through the eyes of Billy we realize that everyone wants to shake hands with a war hero and encourage them to keep on fighting as long as they are comfortably watching it from the comfort of their homes. It is frustrating to see the bitter reality how the war heroes are treated compared to professional athletes or celebrities in terms of money  and attention.

I think Ben Fountain has done a magnificent job considering this is his debut novel. It is an amazing must-read anti-war novel with characters which will touch your soul especially Billy and will force you to find better ways to support the troops then just shaking hands and saying we are so proud of you.

Do read this novel before it hits the theatres on 11th November 2016. Here is a sneak peak —-> BILLY LYNN’s LONG HALF TIME WALK MOVIE TRAILER.

Till then,

Happy Reading!!!

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