Katching up on Koffee: Aamir! In a Very Bland Episode

Well, that was boring.  It’s been a boring season in general, but this one was particularly energyless. Aamir really needs someone with him, I loved him last year with the two actresses, and his Kiran episode is adorable, but this was mostly just bleh.

First things first, Karan is wearing ANOTHER floral jacket! And black shirt.  Which would make me suspect all these episodes were filmed in a row and he just changed the jacket, except that some of the content of this episode shows it must have been filmed much later.  I guess he just has a style system this year, black pants and shirt, and bright jacket.

His opening monologue this week is pretty weak, he says he has a “confession” and it could have been another one of his clever teases about coming out of the closet, but it isn’t worded quite as cleverly as it could be and so I know it isn’t that and I am just waiting for whatever boring non-confession it will be.  Turns out, he is confessing to “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out), how he always has to do everything and be everywhere so he won’t miss it.  The one interesting thing in the monologue is that he casually refers to his best friend Aditya Chopra who is the complete opposite and says he wishes he could be him and just stay home and not care for a while.  It’s the “best friend” that I find interesting, thanks to Adi’s habit of always staying inside it is hard to get a grasp on how close he is too people, Karan naming him that way is a big thing.

And then he moves on to introducing Aamir, describes him as the man who made Hindi cinema better.  Which is interesting, not talking about him as a great actor but as someone who sort of drove the whole industry forward.  He did, of course, but it puts him on a different level from the other guests, an industry wide influence not just “hit film this year” kind of influence.

Aamir comes out dressed funky, casual plaid pants and black shirt, soft brown cardigan/jacket and glasses.  The whole look says “I’m casual, I’m smart, I don’t care what I look like.”  Well, except for the shoes.  Which have the usual 3 inch heels on them.  Oh Aamir!  I see what you did there!  No shade, he knew he would be standing next to Karan for part of the show and it’s just courteous to the cameraman to make the difference less.  But, on the other hand, you can’t quite pull off “I just wear whatever because I am above clothes” as your style when you also are trying to hide your height (or lack there of).

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The first question Karan puts is just sort of clearing the decks, straight up asking Aamir why he comes on Koffee.  Because it does seem a little beneath him and unlike him, so we are all wondering.  Aamir handles it smoothly, says of course it is very fun, and also he has a movie coming out.  So, fine, we can believe Aamir is sincerely enjoying himself, but he is also upfront about his movie.

Karan takes the hint and starts talking up Thugs on three talking points, it will be BIG, it will be fun, and it will have Aamir and Amitabh together.  He also sort of angles towards a comment on how Thugs will be different from Aamir’s other movies because there is no obvious social message.

Aamir ducks that, which is odd.  Because, I mean, NO DUH all his films have a social message.  But no no, he says, he doesn’t care about society, he just picks based on the scripts.  He isn’t lying necessarily, a strong social message is generally part of a strong script (you need a universal talking point).  But it’s a little obvious how he is avoiding that box in his effort to get us in to see Thugs after Secret Superstar semi-flopped (did great in China, but then they aren’t watching Koffee, this show has to sell Aamir to the Indian and diaspora audience that is a little turned off).  “Don’t worry folks! I’m just an entertainer! This is just a fun movie!”

There is one little moment I found interesting, Aamir says he picked Thugs in particular just for his role, that the character was so interesting he couldn’t resist.  He promises us someone totally amoral that we won’t be rooting for but will enjoy watching.  Which, hmmm.  That’s what the trailer is promising as well, only from the most recent song teaser, it looks like his “hero” will end up fighting with Amitabh after all.  Which makes me think the amorality and stuff is just another tease.  Oh, the other thing I found interesting is that Aamir mentions how unusual it is for him to take a movie just for the role and Karan immediately murmurs “Rangeela” and Aamir says something like “yes, but this one..”  What I find interesting is that they don’t even need to have a real conversation about it, they are both so familiar with the dynamics of film and film history that Karan can just say the title and Aamir can fill in the rest of the argument.

 

Movie promo over with, Karan awkwardly segues into the next section, Aamir’s family.  There are three topics they cover in this opening and it feels SO SCRIPTED.  Not down to the exact words, but clearly Karan and Aamir worked out in advance what topics to cover and both figured out the general tone of their remarks.  First Aamir wanted to talk about his movie and tipped Karan off to the buzzwords needed (Amitabh, BIG, fun, this will come up again and again).  And then Karan bargained for something a little personal and a little revealing and Aamir agreed and planned what it would be.  So now it is time for Karan to say that Aamir is “progressive” both in films and in life and toss out an opening for him to talk about his relationship with his ex-wife.  Which is interesting, because it is something we see but Aamir doesn’t talk about much.

Aamir, of course, gives the perfect answer.  He says they were married 16 years and it was traumatic for everyone when it was over, but he still respects her very much, cares for her, even loves Reena.  They were very young when they married and grew up together, he was lucky to have her in his life.  Karan hints towards how impressive it is that Reena and Kiran seem to get along, and Aamir says that was all Reena, she is so warm and good, she reached out to Kiran, the two women have a relationship without him in the middle.

So, that’s just what you want him to say!  He defines his first marriage not as a mistake but a wonderful thing that he was sad when it ended.  But he also hints towards how they grew up and grew apart at the same time.  Most importantly, he avoids any indication of himself as the dominating husband forcing the two women to get along in some sort of ugly Amitabh-casting-Silsila way, their relationship is between them and it is a good thing.  And all of this is very “progressive” and nice, but also kind of an echo of the traditional way first-second wives worked in polygamous marriages, the whole idea of the first wife being the strong one who helps the husband grow up and so on while also mentoring the second wife.  It’s just the faintest whiff of it, but it’s smart, makes us all relax and go “oh, okay, divorce and remarriage isn’t that strange”.  Helped a lot of course by the fact that Aamir has remarried but Reena hasn’t.  I want to hear Shahid give a similar speech about how he handled BOTH his parents remarrying.

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And then Aamir moves on to his kids and, frankly, this is a bit awkward.  He gets a pass from me, but I am a bit irritated that he will also get a pass from everyone else and I don’t think he deserves it if you accept the basic premise that nepotism is bad.  Karan leads Aamir to talking about his kids and nepotism, he says Junaid wants to be an actor, but clarifies that he will tell him if he is no good, because he doesn’t think it is fair to the films he might work on in future if Aamir helps him and he is no good.  So it’s kind of addressing nepotism, Aamir saying “it’s unfair for an untalented person to get a job just because he is related to me”.  But not really, because the complaint isn’t that Junaid is untalented, it’s that if he is talented, Aamir or someone else will be giving him a job that could have gone to someone else who is EVEN MORE talented.  Now, personally, I don’t mind this because I don’t care about nepotism.  But Aamir is spinning it as this “I am objective and perfect and good” when really all he is saying is “if he’s no good, I’ll tell him, but if he’s good, I’ll help him” which is still nepotism.

And then the exciting topic!  Topic 3! #MeToo !

Which brings up the question of when was this filmed?  Because none of the other episodes have dealt with it at all.  But at the same time, this episode seems to be a bit old (comments about how Thugs still isn’t coming out for several weeks).  So I guess it was right at the start of things.  Kind of cocky, assuming nothing would change drastically in the 2-3 week gap before the episode aired.  Although, that might also explain why they spoke in such generalities.

Both Karan and Aamir go back and forth saying variations of 2 points: 1. This happens everywhere in society, it is not a film problem  2. It is good that the film industry is getting this clean-up and clear out

I think those are both really good points and also good spins on the issue.  The worst case scenario for the film industry is if this turns into a storyline of the dissolute horrible film industry that needs to be burned to the ground.  Which would also be a bad (not worst case, but bad) scenario for women, because burning down the film industry doesn’t actually solve anything.  So Karan and Aamir repeating many times in many ways that this is just a reflection of the rot at the center of Indian society everywhere is good.

The spin of “good that we are cleaning house” is also nice, because it leads into the possibility of the film industry eventually being the BEST version of Indian society, if they are reacting and cleaning house while no one else has really looked at themselves yet.  Honestly, I also think this is true.  The Hindi industry has reacted very aggressively and quickly to everything, and it is also the place where accusers are most likely to be listened to (because everyone reads stories about film people and no one will be offended if you accuse them).  So I would still feel safer on an Indian film set than many other places in India.

But then Aamir nods towards another point and I get mad at him.  He takes responsibility for his own part in this, sort of.  He says he was part of films that he looks back on and sees that they encouraged objectification.  Which, WAY TO BE STUPID, AAMIR!!!!  First, wasn’t exactly your fault that you were in films that objectified women, you weren’t all powerful Aamir back then, you were just an actor, don’t buy into the premise of this argument.  And second, objectification is not exactly the major issue with your films.  Oh, and third, maybe instead of picking out examples from way way early in your career you want to look at something a little later and take responsibility for when you actually had responsibility?

The example he uses is the “Khambe Jaise” song from Dil.  Which, huh?  It’s a fun song that has his character teasing and chasing Madhuri on campus.  Not the most exploitative song in the world.  More importantly, Dil has the major attempted rape plot point, that is what he should be apologizing for.  Who cares about a catchy song with a boys versus girls choreography!  You wanna talk about the rape scene there?  Or maybe the rape song in Tum Mere Hai?  Oh, or how about Ishq?  When you forcably kiss Juhi and it makes her fall in love with you and meanwhile in real life Juhi stopped talking to you after the shoot?  Oh, and you also pretend to rape her later in the same film?

Aamir is either being really stupid about the actual toxic elements of society (the overall messages that reinforce the patriarchy and rape culture, not a song here and there) or he is being smart and avoiding them because it is way easier to apologize and be forgiven for some song you did when you were 25 than for multiple movies that have rape and sexual assault as a major plot point that help you win the heart of the woman who says she doesn’t love you but really does.

Karan and Aamir are both confident in their sort of generalities at the start of the conversation but then get a little believably lost and confused when talking about specifics.  Karan mentions that Aamir took the lead in taking a stand, by dropping that movie with Subhash Kapoor.  And Aamir, sincerely, talks about what I talked about in my first post, without any criminal cases being filed in these situations, then you have to take a personal stand because it is the only stand left.  But it’s agonizing, because he made that decision and he ended a man’s career and he could have been wrong.  And I believe that he is agonized.  And I also believe Karan when he responds with his own challenges.

Karan mentions the issue of all the technicians and people he sells rights to and so on.  And I get what he means, Dharma is a big company but most of the people Karan “employs” are still going to be contract project to project types.  He can’t call them up to his HR department, he can’t fire them, all he can do is never hire them again and spread the word for no one else to hire them either.  But he has to do that without an investigation, the police aren’t investigating most of these accusations (because no charges are filed) or even the unions (because no complaint is filed).  And you can’t have your HR department look into things because the accused doesn’t work for you on a regular basis and neither does the accuser.  So you are left with the option of a) ignoring the whole thing, b) choosing not to work with this person again, or c) not working them and making sure no one else does either.  And the real issue is that it is almost impossible to do B) without doing C) if you are in Karan’s situation.  If it’s an assistant cameraman or a casting agent or something who worked on a Dharma production and Dharma isn’t willing to hire them again or give them a reference, that essentially ends their career.  Karan can’t just make the decision for himself, he is making the decision for the whole industry because that is the kind of power he has.  And he is making it for dozens of people, wholesale, because that is the number of people he works with.

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(Big big company)

The other thing that feels sincere is both of them saying, in different ways, that they had no idea this was happening and it is scary.  Aamir puts it as “we all think people are like ourselves”.  And I know what he means, when you are in a conversation with someone and they say “I like this actress, you should hire her”, if you are Aamir you translate “like” to “she is talented and smart”.  If you are Karan, you translate “like” to “she is cute and fun to hang out with”.  But the person they are talking to could have meant “I am sleeping with her”.  And it’s scary, to realize that all those little translations you always made could be wrong, the world could be very different than you think.  Karan puts it as “you think you know someone, but you realize you just know them professionally not personally, you have no idea”.  And it’s the same thing, you work long hours with someone, joke with them on set, trust their business judgement, and don’t think about it.  And then you discover this darkness inside and it makes you think “do I really know anyone I work with?  Do I really know anyone at all?”

And then there is a commercial break and everyone takes a breath and comes back for a complete change of topic.  Which is too bad, that was the one part of the episode where I really felt like the two of them were connecting a little and Aamir was opening up a bit.  But this is the Thugs episode and it is supposed to be “fun”, so we can’t have too much social message.

 

Back from Break, Karan moves on to two more talking points, one for Aamir and one for him.  The first is Amitabh, talking about their relationship to help promote Thugs.  Aamir says the first time he talked to Amitji was while filming Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander in Ooty, there was a message at the hotel and he thought it was a joke.  And then Amitabh called again and talked to him, it was about trying to get him to join a show in London.  So, I guess that is mildly interesting, that once again it was the shows and non-film stuff that lead to the industry connections.  Oh, and it’s also mildly interesting that Karan and Aamir both agree that when you are talking to Amitabh on the phone, you stand up, just naturally.  It’s only mildly interesting because I’ve heard that before and it feels a bit like a retread.

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(This might be a photo from that tour, Amitabh and Salman and Sridevi and Aamir and Neelam)

Karan then tries to get in his bit, to get Aamir to talk about that instagram party, but Aamir doesn’t really have anything interesting to say, Karan gives him openings, mentioning how he was so reluctant to come and then stayed the latest.  Aamir says “yeah, well, I was working” which isn’t very interesting.  And Karan asks Aamir if he acts different with Ranbir-Ranveer versus Shahrukh because they are different generations and Aamir says “no”.  Fascinating Aamir (sarcasm)!

Karan tries a new game then, has Aamir call 3 numbers he gives him of non-industry friends of Karan to see if they will believe it is him calling.  It’s not a great game.  The problem is, the numbers were pre-selected and we hear all of them.  So, it’s people who already know Karan, you can’t say they are truly non-industry folks, they aren’t going to get super excited or unbelieving like I would.  And second, there is no weeding out and editing.  When radio shows do stuff like this, they find the really fun phone calls and play them over and over.  But if it is just 3 calls and we see them all live, there is no editing and it’s kind of dull.  It’s also pretty obviously just because Aamir wouldn’t do the “Hi Karan it’s me….” game that has worked really well on the other two episodes.  Either because it’s no good without a competitor or because Aamir doesn’t know anyone, or because he just refused.

And then Karan has the first game that he plays with Aamir.  And that doesn’t work either.  You really really need the Karan and two guests format!!!!!  Karan can be there making the snarky comments and faces, and the guests can turn on him when they need a shared enemy, and it is just more fun.  So they do “coffee shots”, which is to take a drink if you have done something.  But Karan is both moderating, reading the questions, and drinking.  The rhythm is off and there’s no conversation of “what an unfair question” or anything like that.  Just dull.

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Although it does bring out the only mildly interesting personal things Aamir says.  One is “have you ever worn make-up to cover a hickey” to which Aamir says “I don’t cover my hickeys” with a mildly naughty smile.  He also says he takes joint showers with Kiran all the time, but in a matter of fact way that makes it kind of dull.  The big one, that if Karan were moderating he would have underlined and picked up on, is that Aamir says yes he has cheated and two-timed.  Which, no duh!  His (maybe) secret white baby was (possibly) born before his first marriage was fully over.  Plus the whole era between Reena and Kiran seems a bit murky and messy.  But Karan is playing not moderating, so we don’t really dig into that and it just slides by.

And then Malaika Arora Khan is brought out to moderate the rapid fire round and there is a little bit of energy added.  She is fun!  But not fun enough to fully wake up this episode.

Aamir’s guilty pleasure-poker.  Boring!  The trend he doesn’t understand is people caring about trolls instead of ignoring them. Also boring!  What would SRK and Salman borrow from his house?  SRK would borrow cigarettes, Salman would just walk in and take (I think that’s what he said).  Boring!  That was a great opening for something like “my box office skills” or “my cool fashion”, and instead it just went with dull dull options.  The only one that came close is him saying that Amitabh would borrow his height, only he doesn’t phrase it right and both Malaika and Karan are like “wha?”  Again, on a different episode this would have been an opening for some mild teasing about a failed joke, but here instead they just wait for Aamir to explain and go “oh, okay”.

Aamir given the choice between food or sex, will pick both.  Which is a lie, he never eats and with the showering with Kiran, I assume he has good sex.  When asked to finish the sentence “I dance like” he says “like someone swatting a fly”, which is pretty good.  Also kind of interesting when asked by he is on social media, says because Amitabh made him, years ago they were together at some show in New York or London and Amitabh asked if he was on twitter, he said no, so Amitabh tweeted out “I am with Aamir and he is about to join twitter” and then he had to.  That doesn’t feel like an inserted Thugs promo story, that feels sincere.  One of the few moments that does.  And maybe that’s why he loosens up and says something actually clever in his next answer, would he push Shahrukh or Salman out of a boat, “Salman, because Bhai will never sink”.  And then he pulls back again with a series of “who would you rather act with?” “who has the brighter future?” questions and he just completely passes, refusing to rank or pick one over the other.  Even with simple stuff like if Shahrukh or Salman is a better friend when we KNOW it is Salman.  Not that he hates SRK, but there’s two decades of evidence that Aamir and Salman know each other and hang out socially more than Shahrukh and Aamir.

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And then it’s time for Karan to do rapid fire for the first time ever.  And he is also, mostly, very very dull.  Asked if he would want a lot of friends or to make a film masterpiece, picks film masterpiece.  Shopping versus gossip, which would he give up?  Picks shopping.  Again, if he had a good co-player or if he was moderating, there would be little teasing remarks in response to these answers, but instead they just land and die sadly on the ground.

There were a couple of things I found interest.  He is asked who is best friend is and he says “Aditya Chopra” which picks up on his opening monologue.  Everyone looks slightly surprised but doesn’t say anything.  I believe him, because I think he thinks of Shahrukh and his family as family, something beyond friendship, and Adi right behind that.  But it’s kind of weird Adi came up twice in one episode, I am going to assume it is because Thugs made YRF and therefore Aditya come to his mind.  Similarly, when asked who he is closer too Kareena or Twinkle, he picks Kareena.  And then explains that Twinkle is his oldest childhood friend, but Kareena is the woman he would have married “if things were different”.  Makes total sense to me, again Twinkle is kind of beyond friendship and closeness because they have that childhood connection, but Kareena is someone he is close to now.  Also, while I am very very glad Karan did not feel the need to get married and therefore destroy two lives, I am also just the slightest bit disappointed that we missed out on the Kareena-Karan power couple.

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And then the final thing, which kind of goes back to the #MeToo and the Junaid conversation, Karan is asked to choice between three directors, all of them Dharma in house talent and passes saying “I can’t choose between my children”.  See, Aamir and Karan are devastated and confused by all these people in their circle who they thought they knew.  But the flipside of that is someone like Junaid or these directors Karan handpicked and mentored.  They really truly do KNOW these people. That’s why “nepotism” works and started and continued.  If you want to be sure you can trust someone and know them, really really, then you need to know them personally and not just professionally.  And if something bad does come out, then you can be much more sure about your reaction.  Either absolutely knowing it could not be true, or being able to find out it is true very easily (like Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl, it was his behavior at a wedding outside of work which made Anurag truly know he was no good.  He knew him professionally and personally and could see it).

And then there is the final game, a simple game where a computer gives you something and you have to come up with three of that thing and the challenge is how many you can answer within 3 minutes.  This is just a terrible game.  There is no wit to it and no surprise.  Nothing even worth making notes about.  Plus, Karan has to stand there with headphones on so he can’t hear in order to be able to play after Aamir, so we don’t even get his reaction to the answers.  It is a sort of okay ad for Google Home (the main reason it was included) since the google home speaker gets to control things since Karan can’t moderate.  Aamir does his turn, then Karan does his, and then the show sort of ends with a whimper instead of a bang.  It’s just not a good episode!!!!

Actually, thus whole season so far has been kind of bland.  I blame the new set, it’s all sleek and darkly lit and stuff, doesn’t bring up your energy and make you feel relaxed but competitive the way the brighter more comfortable sets did.  Needs a softer couch and more throw pillows and stuff.

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56 thoughts on “Katching up on Koffee: Aamir! In a Very Bland Episode

  1. I have a few comments and a questions. First as to Aditya being his best friend: that has always always been his answer. They are friends since childhood and since I suspect both were odd and not popular it is an even more important “equation”. Next everyone probably knows that he left Reema for Kirin and so praising Reema is the only way to go. It was probably a very ugly episode. Have you ever seen the Rendezvous with Simi Garewal episode with Amir and Reema when they were still married. It is so so sad. You can see the seeds of destruction there already. But, you are right. Even with all that it was dull. Though, I have never heard Amir speak so much English at once.
    Now a question: Ritesh Dehmukh has postponed his Marathi film to make room for Zero and Shah Rukh thanked him on twitter. The comments were all about how it was really a rebuke to Kjo for not moving Simmba away from Zero’s second weekend, therefore very obviously hurting it. Do you agree that Karan is doing a wrong thing? Do you think this will actually cause a rift? OR as “big brother” Shah Rukh has to pretend its all okay.

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    • The official version I’ve heard is that Aamir met Kiran on the Lagaan set, but she was dating someone and he was married, it wasn’t until a couple years later after his divorce that he got her number from someone and called her up. I believe that, sort of. I generally believe that Aamir and Kiran didn’t get together until post-divorce just because the timeline matches with when they started being seen together and talked about as a couple and finally getting married. Plus, I am a firm believer in “you probably won’t marry the one you are cheating with”. But if Aamir was noticing the cute little AD on set enough that he remembered her name, found out if she was dating anyone, and tracked her down once she was single, that tells me he wasn’t exactly being faithful to his marriage. And probably there were other cute little ADs who weren’t dating anyone who he might have started a thing with before the divorce was final.

      But yeah, even with all that coming up plus the admission that he had cheated in the Koffee round (which either means during his first marriage or right after because he didn’t date anyone before Reena), it was still a super boring episode!

      I don’t think Shahrukh cares about Simmba, I could be wrong but I don’t think so. Feels like invented controversy to me. If Zero is going to be as big as they think it is (blockbuster all ages hit), then Simmba won’t make a big difference (fun manly action film, not set to be a groundbreaking blockbuster ambitious thing). And the dates for both films were announced ages ago, this isn’t anything last minute, surely they would have talked it over before now and be happy about it. Plus, opening weekend is getting more and more important, especially on a holiday weekend, releasing something the same weekend is much worse than just waiting a week. And Shahrukh already made that distinction with JHMS, he chose to move it back a week from Independence Day, that was enough to just have the one week buffer between his film and Akshay’s film.

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 12:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I kind of liked this episode. I always find off-screen Aamir quite soothing and sometimes a bit cheeky and dorky. Sometimes makes me sad I don’t appreciate him more on-screen. I have to respect how averse he is to all the celebrity hoopla.

    I love your point about him not going far enough in calling out the loads of sexist plots that he enacted in his early career. It’s not just about an objectifying song lyric like he said. I liked Dil a lot in context but that whole rape plot line is inexcusable and should have been then, as well. But I guess I’m the one who also just said I found a problematic scene kind of sexy in a film from 1980. Humans are complex.

    I was almost more offended by the lost opportunity when he was asked during rapid fire who he wanted to work with more…I think it was Katrina, Deepika, and Alia? I would love to hear an actor from his generation say that he would love to do a film with Juhi, Madhuri, or Kajol again and maybe Alia could be his daughter in his next film! He mostly gets a pass because of Dangal and generally not being as gross as SRK and Salman about the age difference, but still…way to miss an opportunity, dude!

    Karan’s comments about wanting to direct a masterpiece are interesting. He’s really going there with Takht, I think. Despite how much it’s going to be compared to SLB’s films. I wonder if Kareena popped in to his head for bestie right now because he’s super excited about working with her again. I’m most excited about the potential of her performance of that character in the film, too!

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    • The previous two episodes really highlighted what Aamir has said about himself (and others said about him), that he is super competitive in games. I liked the kind of dorky and kind of sweet talking sections at the beginning, but the games just dragged like crazy without someone for him to play against. I would have been happier watching a whole episode talking about #MeToo and family and stuff than trying to force that crazy fun game play that just wasn’t happening.

      Humans are indeed complex! But that’s also an argument for why the objectification song is okay, it’s a complicated issue that depends on the circumstances surrounding it and who is making the judgement. It’s just a bad example that leads to more bad examples and lazy thinking and ignoring of the real problem. Especially since he was just talking about how it is an issue with a patriarchal society, and then instead of digging into the true patriarchal messages (how about Madhuri being ready to kill herself because she gave up her mangalsutra, also in Dil?), he does some kind of bland easy to point out and solve thing.

      That rapid fire answer stuck out a little for me too, more because I was expecting him to say Dips or the other one, in order to avoid Alia. That’s usually what people do, they choose the more age appropriate answer instead of just passing. But the way he did it, he left it open to work with Alia which is just creepy, without specifying “as my daughter”. Not that I necessarily expect more, Dangal was good but in Thugs he is going to be paired up with Kat again, he was with Anushka in PK, and then Kat again back in Dhoom 3.

      Good point! I forgot Karan’s next film is Takht. You’re right, that’s what he’s looking for.

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 12:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • No idea! It would have made so much sense for him to be on with Katrina or Amitabh or Fatima again. I can come up with theories for them all, maybe Katrina wouldn’t do it because post Alia-Ranbir she and Karan have had a falling out, maybe Amitabh wouldn’t do it because Aamir is coming on his show too and he didn’t want to compete, maybe Fatima wouldn’t do it because they don’t want to give more fuel to the fire of the affair rumors between them. But still, Aamir is there to promote a big multi-starrer, really weird that none of his co-stars came on with him. And that Karan didn’t drag up someone else to come on with him, Aamir and Ranveer or Ranbir might have been fun. Or Kajol or Juhi or anyone!

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 1:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ranbir is coming with SRK for the finale.

        I’m guessing the guests are not that well thought out or anything. Seems like a seats of the pants operation. Whoever has time to film together at the same time ends up doing it. For Aamir it was important to get it filmed early because he wanted it to air right before Thugs as promotion. Nobody else must have been available so it was a solo episode.

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        • Karan seems like he usually does a little bit of a better job putting together folks that he know will create fun conversations, like Dips and Alia who had no logical reason to come on together but ended up being really fun and friendly together.

          Guessing you’re right though, with the rush to get Aamir in before Thugs, there was no time to think about who might be a good mix with him and arrange the combo. It may not always be the best mix, but Karan usually makes an effort to shake out his bag of connections and find someone in there to come on with the guest. Plus, with Aamir, they probably figured there was no need for a second guest just for promo purposes. Even Shahrukh, he’s a big big name, but he’s been on so much, I don’t think a solo episode would draw much audience. But Aamir, he’s only been on twice before and he never does interviews, his name alone could have been good enough to sell advertising.

          But I wonder if Karan will ever make this mistake again? Bringing on a solo guest? Sounds like the reviews were pretty much universally the same as mine, “boring”.

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  3. First, I disagree about people not marrying the person they cheated with; sady, I can name you many examples. But who knows about Amir….
    I think he was alone cause no one else is promoting right now and he probably prefers it.
    I also disagree about Simmba. If rumors are to be believed, it has grabbed all the single screens that first weekend, Zero’s second. Zero needs the single screens to be the hit it needs to be.

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    • I found an old quote from Rohit Shetty about the clash, saying he and Shahrukh and Karan sat down together and agreed to move Simmba a week. Could be a total lie of course, but what really interested me is that it is from back in September, so people were wondering what as happening with this even that long ago: https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/rohit-shetty-simmba-zero-clash-release-date-5369421/

      Or of course maybe they agreed to the week split with the understanding that Simmba wouldn’t be greedy about locking in theaters in case Zero hit and the owners wanted to run it a second week, and now that agreement has failed.

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 1:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Rohit Shetty is a producer now and Simba is coproduced by him and Karan. Rohit was adamant about releasing on Christmas and had been talking about it. I’m guessing Karan as coproducer was able to sway him into releasing it a week later but he doesn’t have unlimited power to just move it wherever he wants. I guess SRK understands that Karan himself is in a dilemma too and he did the best he could as a friend. They both seem to be getting along fine so I don’t think it’s an issue between them.

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  4. Love your KWK write ups! Been refreshing since the episode aired waiting for it! 😀

    I might just be really dumb but…i’m not getting the joke about Salman not sinking! D:
    Is it because he’s so active and fit that’ll he’ll be able to swim?
    I’m just really confused 😦 and it’s the first one thats a contender for the answer of the season!

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    • It confused me too! I am assuming it was just another big dramatic “Salman is the best” statement, of the kind of all those memes and stuff. But to me it wasn’t that great, felt like they jumped on it just because it was the only mildly interesting thing Aamir said.

      And I am so glad you like my write-ups! They are a lot of work for me, taking notes while watching and then writing the whole thing, so I am glad they are appreciated.

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 1:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thanks for the reply! I kinda get it now…don’t find it particularly witty or anything though…|:

        I do love them! They reflect alot of what i also think when watching but could never put into words 😀
        And you mention alot of other things that i wouldn’t even think of!
        I appreciate the detailed analysis…shoutout to the ouftit breakdowns 🙂

        Just found your blog recently so working through the last season’s KWK write ups too 😛

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        • Yaaay, new readers! Last season I was pretty good with detailed coverage, but when it got to the middle episodes with the less famous people I started skipping. I’m hoping this season is just shorter, we don’t need filler episodes with Aditya Roy Kapur and Jacqueline Fernandez, just give us the good stuff.

          And yes, if nothing else I am the brave soul willing to point out Aamir’s whole “I don’t care what I wear” look goes along with high heel boots because he really really does care.

          On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 2:33 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Years ago my sister was talking with a friend who casually referred to “you know the kind of academic conference where everyone is wearing geometric glasses?” So, that kind of a look.

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          • Can’t reply farther down… The exact quote was “architectural glasses”, which I think is even better. And doesn’t Aamir dress like the movie version of an architect?

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          • I still haven’t recovered from the realization that his humble historical straw sandels in Lagaan had massive un-historical heels attached to them.

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    • It means that Salman’s career is so rock solid he will never sink at the box office as compared to shahrukhs so he doesn’t need to be saved in the boat. It was a tongue in cheek comment.

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    • I didn’t get the joke either. I honestly thought it’s because Salman is so bloated that he would automatically float. But I guess he means that Salman can never fail? Aamir anyway has no sense of humor so it’s not surprising that his jokes don’t work.

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  5. Imran Khan has publicly said that everyone knew something was going on, even if they didn’t understand how terrible it was, so that’s a pretty disingenuous answer from Aamir and Karan. I’m sure it’s because Aamir doesn’t want to generate huge controversy before the Thugs release or open up all sorts of questions about his own conduct or failure to do anything to stop abuse in the past.

    The thing with his ex-wife doesn’t bother me. I think it speaks well of all three folks involved that they get along and that Reema has an active role in Aamir’s non-profit activities. Presumably she could do her own thing wholly separate from Aamir if she wanted to, especially since their children are grown.

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    • I like Aamir and his ex-wife and Kiran’s relationship, Saif and Amrita too. And also that Kiran seems to get on so well with her stepkids. Kareena doesn’t seem to have that with her stepkids, which is fine (they were older when Saif and Kareena got married, maybe over the years they will get closer), but it makes me appreciate how nice Kiran’s relationship is a little more.

      I can still believe Aamir and Karan’s answers, at least in recent times. They are the powerful ones in the room now, they set the tone. Imraan’s stories seem like they came up because he was powerless, people said things in front of him without thinking. On the other hand, back in the 90s at least Aamir must have seen and known some STUFF. Karan maybe not, since he always worked for his Dad. But Aamir FOR SURE. For instance, he never worked with RGV again after that one film. Maybe he should talk about that?

      Although they are also speaking in the context of being surprised and wondering what to do. If every one knows about RGV, then that’s not the same “I thought he was nice and didn’t know” sort of emotion as with some others. Anyway, mostly yes you are right, they are being very fuzzy and illogical in what they are saying and I definitely get the sense that they know things could be completely different 3 weeks from now when this episode airs and they don’t want to rock the boat too much. Plus, Thugs.

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    • Just that Ajay Devgan and Aamir ganged up on her on the Ishq set and played a lot of practical jokes and she got furious and stopped talking/working with him. And then they worked out their differences and are friends again.

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  6. “totally amoral that we won’t be rooting for but will enjoy watching”

    Sounds like Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. Trying to start their own homegrown POTC franchise?

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    • think so! Only, amoral heroes traditionally don’t do well in Hindi films. I strongly suspect a last minute twist that reveals he is actually good.

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  7. A few observations.

    1. aamir is the only person who can come on kwk and blatantly promote his film.
    He inserted his dangal co stars for the last one .
    I don’t remember any other actor who can do so to kAran.
    I think kAran feels getting air is a casting coup for him so he indulges him.

    2.i believe aamir when he says that he will tell junais if he is not working with the audience.we have a example of imran khan who disappeared after a few flops.aamir could have easily used his influences to resurrect his career.
    Same can’t be said about kjo.evsn after knowing that Sid malhotras is not working he is still giving him films to try to resurrect him.

    3. I felt that the whole metoo segment was shot later and inserted into the show.it felt too scripted and a proper script was written for the same and rehearsed and spoken.
    Kjo was being called out a lot for not speaking about metoo inspite of being a leader of industry and for the bland superficial first 2 episodes of kwk and who better than aamir for the same.

    4. I really like Adi and kjo friendship.
    Totally opposite in nature bit still there is an inherent respect and trust.

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    • Interesting idea about the #MeToo segment! It does lift right out, could have easily been put in at a later date. Or done differently somehow than the rest of the show. And you are completely right about Karan letting Aamir so completely promote his film. Everyone promotes a little, but usually more in a natural way, like having Alia and Shahrukh on and of course they would talk about what it was like to work together, but they weren’t actually selling the film like Aamir saying “it’s fun, it will surprise you” and so on.

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  8. The episode was boring but it was worth watching for this one moment when Aamir tells Karan : “You don’t have shopping sense anyway. I don’t understand why you go shopping”.

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  9. Karan should have paired Aamir with ShahRukh…both have big films coming out…they could have cracked jokes about “thug” and “Zero”…there would have been even more undercurrent sense in the boat- question answer and they both would have competitive fun with the games…
    Well, missed opportunity. (now speculating a bit in my mind why Aamir had a – rather boring – single show…)

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    • Karan is playing his Shahrukh episode a bit close to the chest this season. Maybe they are just sick of the angst over it, after it was big news when Shahrukh was the closer instead of the opener for the first time, and then didn’t appear at all. I think last year they snuck him in towards the middle of the season?

      Anyway, I saw the rumors that it would be Shahrukh and Ranbir, which would be an interesting combo, but I’m not believing it until it’s announced. Maybe they are holding off until the last minute to make the announcement and broadcast the show? That’s what they did with Aamir, riding the Thugs momentum at the high point. So maybe they will wait until mid-December to release the details of the SRK episode and the episode itself.

      On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 11:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • No, SRK was the opening episode last season. He came with Alia to promote Dear Zindagi. He is supposedly doing the finale this year with Ranbir. But it’s Indian media news so take it with a grain of salt.

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        • Yeah, I’m not believing it until Karan announces it. Although that would be a fun combo, I know they socialize together a lot but they haven’t really done a joint interview before.

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    • Aamir is neither funny nor witty. He wouldn’t come with SRK because SRK’s personality takes over the interview. It’s not a good look for you if you’re trying to promote a movie but the attention goes to someone else.

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      • We were talking in some other post about how Shahrukh’s gentlemanliness can sometimes look like man-splaining in interviews (when he leaps in to help his heroine present her best face or parry a question). But now that I think about it, he may be less overbearing with women than he is with men.

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  10. I’m seeing something else here wrt fashion.
    First, Malaika’s dress was truly, truly atrocious – way way too much going on, way too many ideas thrown into a single concoction. Fit great, and the core idea was fine, but simply ruined by 100 too many added touches. I would wear this as a halloween costume of “10 worst dressed celebrities of 2018 combined into one”.
    Next was the complete opposite, Karan. Black on black + statement jacket = the “statement piece” school of fashion = fine if you’ve just taken a Fashion 1A college course, but this man sits front row at europe’s haute-est fashion shows, he’s beyond this. It almost looks like he’s given up.
    Finally, Aamir’s outfit is everything… he dresses like my daughter, which is to match your pieces in such a way that no one realizes that you are matching your pieces, and also to wear 2 seemingly incongruous colour sillhouettes in a completely congruous way. I think I spent a good ten minutes examining and marveling at this truly sophisticated outfit. inner sillouhette (sp?) of all cool tones, outer sillhouette/accessories all warm tones. the glasses and the jacket were the same color but not the same tone, though the same tone family. inner combo were opposites (light grey – dark grey) but outer combo were the same color (maroon). mixing patterns of herringbone (jacket), stripes (tee), plaid/checks (pants), with the inner herringbone color matching the darker stripe of the tee and the darker check of the plaid. I don’t know if Aamir attends the euro fashion shows, but he truly has a sense of colour and design and aesthetics. His is really a GenX style aesthetic – wearing separates that don’t look expensive (but are), put together in a way that doesn’t look thought through (but is), and veering toward muted colours and patterns, yet mixing them together in an unobtrusive way. Completely creative without a hint of being in your face, almost the exact opposite of the other two (K & M). Almost an FU to BW glamour-on-steroids of the past 10 years. In twenty years, Ranveers fashion sense will settle into this.

    Also, WTH at neither Karan nor Malaika getting the Amitabh would borrow “my height” joke?? Yes it was a dry ironic deadpan witt kind of joke but not so far off the chart that a 5th grader wouldn’t get it. And then ROFL at both of them attempting to help Aamir understand that he didn’t get the question (“height isn’t a commodity that you can borrow”).. Facepalm @ both of them. What happened to BW IQ levels?

    Finally, yes to Aamir’s choice of shoving Salman off the boat. Whether its killing white bucks, running over the homeless, beating up his gfs including Miss Worlds, or almost his every movie over the past 10 years doing blockbuster sales, you cannot sink that guy.. And again, K & M needed the answer explained to them. Facepalm! In another interview, when asked who is the true BW superstar, Aamir said his movies only do well if the story, script, acting, and production are also good, but Salman just needs to show up, so clearly Salman is the true BW superstar.

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    • Oh right, Malaika’s dress! I didn’t even cover that. Yes, it was horrible. But fit perfectly. So odd, I would have thought if it was expensive and custom made enough to fit then it should have felt so random and uninteresting. Could be whoever made it just had bad taste, or maybe she has an off-the-rack body?

      Excellent points about Karan and Aamir. I would add that Aamir’s clothes fit better than Karan’s too. In that casual fit kind of way, but the shoulder seams hit exactly on his shoulders and so on. Karan’s jacket was a little loose.

      Totally agree about the Amitabh joke! Maybe it’s the way it was delivered? Aamir didn’t exactly have a punchline tone to his voice, more just sort of casual. But it’s the classic rapid fire one-liner, answering the question with a witty little jab that was based on a well-known fact about the person. Why should it surprise them?

      Best answer: they accidentally replaced the coffee with decaf and everyone was just a little sleepy.

      On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 6:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • They all have professional stylists which they give a brief to about what type of look and image they are going for. Aamir wants to project himself like a Brooklyn hipster – the types that wear fake glasses even if they have perfect eyesight. It’s about looking as if you’re too intellectual to care about clothes (but you totally care about clothes). Putting in a lot of effort to look effortless and classic.

      SRK clearly goes for the “major movie star” aesthetic. He walks into a room and you know someone important has walked in. Not the understated college professor look Aamir likes but not the crazy lunatic looks of Ranveer or Karan Johar either.

      I think Salman is the one that truly doesn’t care. He roams around in different colored Being Human shirts and the same outdated chunky black boots he’s been wearing for 20 years. He is not stylish at all and he couldn’t care less. His fans still like it.

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      • I wanted to say, Shahrukh’s look is so smart! He wears black suits or t-shirts and jeans. And that’s it, never tries to experiment or surprise. And he’s been wearing the same style for, what, 15 years now? 20? Aamir is perfectly on trend, but we kind of know it isn’t “really” him because it’s the total opposite of what he was wearing 10 years ago when it wasn’t on trend. Although I do think the hipster look is good for him, works well with his small frame and lowkey attitude. Maybe he should just keep wearing it even after it is no longer perfectly on trend?

        Agree about Salman. Every once in a while you will tell he is wearing a new suit, a tailored suit, and suddenly he looks like a whole different person.

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  11. Aren’t these shows always bland and boring though, good timepass but hardly memorable? I didn’t find this Aamir episode to be much different. The first 1-2 seasons were fresh, so they were inherently fun due to their newness. After that, honestly the only episodes I can recall as being interesting or rewatchable are deepika-sonam, mahesh-emraan, and freida-nargis… so basically either newcomers or outsiders. Which are your most memorable episodes?

    Karan can freshen up the show by evolving his list of guests, as well as his lists of guests that he talks about. He’s stuck in the 2000-2015 era, and the crop of actors is being overhauled as we speak, as it should be. In last year’s Alia SRK KwK episode last season, when Karan asked Alia to rank his list of actors, Alia’s organic reaction was (paraphrasing) “omg, please stop asking me to rank the same actors over and over again, there are so many new people now”. His obsession with the same stars he was obssesed with in KWK season 1 makes a then-fresh show feel dated and a retread.

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    • I’d say Karan also does well when he reaches further back. The Juhi-Madhuri episode was memorably partly because they had both been off the scene so long that they had never done this kind of casual interview before. Or when he reaches kind of to the side, getting Ayan and Kajol on together was brilliant, and so was Twinkle and Akshay. Dips and Alia was okay, but Alia and her father or Alia and her mother would have been amazing. Or Dips and Amitabh. Or Dips and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Mixing together the same old crowd with their less famous friends and connections, or the formally famous, or the future famous.

      He’s been throwing in Vicky, Ayushmann, Nawazuddin a lot this year in his questions, I hope he can get them on, I would love to see an interview with Vicky. Although with his father’s problems right now, that might not be possible. Ayushmann and his wife would be a blockbuster, she’s a delight from her instagram posts and I don’t think she has given an interview before.

      I have to say, all the Shahrukh episodes are entertaining, but I think that’s not just because I am an SRK fan, and not because Shahrukh is so famous or anything, he’s just a really good interview and always has been. Karan maybe should start having people on more for that than for any level of fame or anything. The ones who are just super fun to watch.

      On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 7:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Vicky and Ayushmann are coming together this year. And also Rajkummar and Bhumi are coming and I think they haven’t been on the show before either?

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        • Yaaaaay! That’s great. But boy, Ayushmann’s wife has cancer and Vicky’s father is accused of sexual harassment. Awkward time to do a lightweight interview show. I could see handling one or the other in the opening conversation part, but how are you going to combine both? My guess is, drop the sexual harassment entirely and just skate past Ayushmann’s wife with a reference to her being “ill” and then straight into funny stories about being married.

          Rajkummar and Bhumi don’t have any scandals that I know of, but what are they going to talk about? They just started filming together, right? did they even know each other before that?

          On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 7:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Wait, Vicky and Ayushmann haven’t worked together either have they?

            Are Rajkummar and Bhumi doing a movie together? I didn’t know that. I remember they did an Anupama Chopra interview along with Ayushmann for Film Companion. Ayushmann seemed to be the only connection between them but it seemed like they were friends. The only reason I remember that interview is because both Bhumi and Rajkummar very subtly called out Varun for doing Judwaa 2 and that got a bunch of Varun’s fans upset.

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          • I think Rajkummar and Bhumi are rumored to be cast in some movie together but now I can’t remember what it is.

            At least with Vicky and Ayushmann they have both been around for a while and done various things so I could believe they overlapped somewhere unofficially, worked together in some workshop or something. It doesn’t feel like Bhumi has really done anything besides her few movies. although I guess I have seen her in party photos and stuff? I don’t know, it’s just odd connections. Which I guess will get me to watch the episodes, so mission accomplished!

            On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 8:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t think the guests are the issue. The big problem is that Karan has gotten lazy and it’s the same old questions for the 50th time. He needs to come up with new stuff but the new stuff he’s found is terrible. That part about calling people and telling them to say hi to Karan — um why? Why would this be of interest to anyone? The dumb phone calls he made Aamir do were pathetic. I totally cringed hearing about Aamir’s cheating (with NO follow-up) and the showering answer. Are there people who wanted to know this?

        Why does everything have to revolve around gossip and rating other people? There are other fun questions that can be asked.

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        • I don’t know if you guys have seen AIB’s podcast. It’s a free wheeling but fun interview and it’s so well done. No gossip or saying mean things about people and yet it’s still really fun. The SRK episode was in 2 parts and absolutely hilarious. You get to hear the oddest things like what happens when they go to dance at weddings or how poorly concerts used to be set up in the 90s. Better than anything I’ve ever seen on KWK.

          If you haven’t seen it, here are the SRK links. They have done episodes with Ranbir and others too.

          Part one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LFdcZe7WW4

          Part two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmCfiqW0Y0I

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        • You’re so right! Just changing it up a little, like asking someone “rank these films” instead of “rank these actors”. You could pick up the big flops of the year or the big hits and see how people put them. Or even some nostalgic hits, Judwaa versus Dil To Pagal Hai versus Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, something like that. “Describe in one word” and have it be things like “Pinkvilla” and “Twitter” and “MeToo”. I don’t want to see it totally leave the fun film realm, but there are other areas.

          He also needs to tailor things more to the guests. The last episode he did that a little, putting in an acting challenge because Ranveer and Akshay are so physical, and doing a quiz that slanted strongly towards 90 films because Ranveer is obviously a fan. But there could have been more. And this episode it was just dreadful, nothing really Aamir slanted. Give him a general knowledge quiz with some element of competition and he could be great fun, but slow moving games that are just about witty answers are no good.

          Plus, most of all, I HATE the google home stuff! It slows everything right down that he has to pause and tell google to do stuff instead of just, like, doing it.

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          • The instagram stuff is terrible too. Wasting so much time flashing pictures on screen. Who even cares? Karan is just coasting along because he has no competition because there are no shows like his.

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          • The instagram stuff worked for me with Dips because he had a point there, to show how she is so open on social media but so closed on regular media. But it doesn’t work for the other guests. Another area he could manage to do a little tailoring instead of one size fits all. Akshay isn’t on instagram, but he’s done some interesting stuff on twitter to promote his films, maybe look at twitter for him. Or heck, candid photos of him going out with his family from photographers. You could do a fun “what’s happening here?” section with tons of old news photos of him over the years doing odd things with odd people.

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        • I couldn’t agree more. I have already said it after first episode aired, that this show reminds some high school party where teenagers talk who is the cutest boy in their (very restricted) circle, and then call random people just for fun.
          And yes for showering question! I don’t want to know that.

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