Let’s Talk! What TV Shows Would You Recommend to Folks Who Like Indian Film?

Really this is what we do every Wednesday, but I want to pop it out and give it a special space, just for fun, as we get through Ramesh Sippy week when not everyone has something to say. Because surely you can find something to say here!

If you like Indian film, you probably like romances, family issues, and are okay with fantasy and happy endings. What I’m saying is, if we are all here because we like the same kind of movies, we probably like the same kind of TV shows too, so let’s share recommendations!

Let’s see, what can I throw out there?

The new season of Agatha Raisin just hit Acorn TV (a Prime channel). Middle aged successful PR agent Agatha moves to an idyllic small English country town which is, of course, riddled with murder. There’s also a cute retired soldier who moves in next door, and a young cop with a crush on Agatha, and a wealthy impoverished aristocrat who is her old friend. Village humor, middle-aged romance, and happy murder mysteries, if those are your think you can watch this show.

Image result for agatha raisin

Schitt’s Creek, terrible name and very sweet show. A rich family is raided by tax authorities and their only remaining asset is property in a town called “Schitt’s Creek”. 4 rich people interacting with small town folks is a classic comic set up, but this show is a little more than that, it’s just sweet and kind as everyone learns to love each other more and (even harder) how to express that love. If you don’t cry when self-involved actress mother Catherine O’Hara surprises her grown daughter at her high school/GED graduation ceremony you have no SOUL. It’s essentially K3G, but way more loving, and also very lowkey and Canadian. And a comedy.

Image result for schitt's creek

Kim’s Convenience, a great name and a very romantic show. Another family show too, parents run a convenience store and are estranged from their son after he had a few wild years as a teen and put a lot of pressure on their remaining at home daughter who is in art school. Lots of family love and slow breaking through of reserve and hearts mending. But more importantly, the estranged son is hot as the SUN and has this slow burning thing with his awkward female boss. She likes him but he doesn’t like her, then they are friends, then he likes her but she is dating someone else, etc. etc. Very addictive.

Image result for kim's convenience shannon and jung

Queens of Mystery. Acorn TV’s attempt to imitate Agatha Raisin, pretty good. Our sweet police inspector heroine moves home where her work is constantly interrupted by her 3 mystery writing aunts. It’s very magical and surreal, and there are so many tragic romances and slow burning unspoken angst romances, I can’t even describe them all.

Image result for queens of mystery

Gavin and Stacey. This is an old show, and so romantic it should be an Imtiaz Ali movie. And also funny and loving and sweet and stuff. Gavin is a London suburbs guy, Stacey is a sweet girl from a vacation town in Wales, they talk over the phone all the time because of their jobs and finally meet and fall in love, but can they be together if they live in different places? So many swoony romantic moments, plus charmingly funny relatives (his parents like to playact as Charles and Camilla!), and all happy happy happy. And after 10 years away, there was just a Christmas special this year that ended on a cliffhanger so they BETTER be coming back for a full season!

Image result for gavin and stacey

Okay, lay it on me! Wax rhapsodic about your favorite shows! Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, Outlander, other stuff, all here! But not, like the latest dark antihero stabby stabby murder show, because I’m not thinking the DCIB crowd will have much love for it.

39 thoughts on “Let’s Talk! What TV Shows Would You Recommend to Folks Who Like Indian Film?

  1. Four weddings and a funeral, on Hulu

    Poldark, big sweeping post-american-revolutionary-war period romance, BBC 1, reboot of the original masterpiece theater series. It even explores love marriage vs “arranged” marriage, British style.

    Taj Mahal 1989, netflix
    All of my NRI friends in the USA are swooning over this. Love, poetry, academia, and politics in Lucknow 1989. It has a real sense of place and period, with meticulous art direction, clothing, and vernacular. And it has Neeraj Kabi.

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    • Here’s my issue with Poldark, which is really a good thing but I am shallow. I started it, and loved season 1, you are right that the whole arranged versus love is handled beautifully. It also feels a lot like Humsafar or Zindagi Gulzar Hai to me, such a slow build to the relationship. But then looking ahead at the other seasons, they do this interesting thing where they don’t just let the marriage be “happy ending”. The love versus arranged issues are a life long struggle, marriage is always a compromise, and so on and so forth. Very dramatically rich, and very truthful, but also, I want my happy ending! Just let the couple realize they love each other and stay in love!

      Netflix is trying to make me watch Taj Mahal, which of course means I won’t because who is Netflix to tell me what to do???? But I was curious how it was, good to hear good things. And always happy that Neeraj Kabi is working. Although this does mean he won’t be available for the Byomkesh Bakshy sequels that I am the only person who wants but I really REALLy want them.

      On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 12:25 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Poldark is odd for me, because it has everything I love: period drama, unreciprocated and reciprocated love, secret wedding and tall, shaggy haired absolutely gorgeous hero. And still I wasn’t able to finish the first season. I don’t know why.

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        • Also, gorgeous scenery!

          Something about the pacing was off for me. I just felt exhausted by the end of the first season, so much happened and I couldn’t figure out how much time had passed. Similar problem with about half the seasons of Downton. The seasons that are like 2 years I can handle, but the ones that a wildly covering 5 years in like 7 hours are just too much for me.

          On Sat, Feb 22, 2020 at 4:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Now that I think about it I stopped watching when Poldark’s cousin (the one who married Poldark’s girlfriend) became terrible husband and treated his wife very badly. I couldn’t stand that. I also abandoned Downton Abbey when maid Anna has been raped (don’t remember which season it was) It was too depressing.

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  2. Wow, I have never heard of any of these shows and here I thought I was pretty good with pop culture. Never heard of Acorn TV either. Whaaaat? What planet have I been living on?

    My contribution – The Americans. It has a very cool spy vibe which kind of reminds me of the Don series. It has action but it’s mainly a story about an arranged marriage and the resulting children and family from it.

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    • Oh, good one! I think I still have one season to go, and I am saving it for a special treat until I am sick or something. Agree, very good look at arranged marriage and how it works.

      Acorn TV and BritBox are the two competing streaming sources for BBC/Australia/New Zealand stuff. But I think you would only run across them if you searched for something on Prime that was only available through them, and then Prime would give you a little warning that you have to buy an add on subscription. Like ErosNow, only less horrible (becase nothing is as horrible as the ErosNow Prime channel).

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    • Oh yes! That has been on my long term consideration list and I saw it just hit Netflix. If I am remembering the reviews right, also really cute costumes, yes?

      On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 11:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s one of my favorite shows!! I have rewatched it SO many times. It is excellent! The chemistry between Rachel Bilson and Wilson Bethel is electric (pun intended, so now you have to watch it to get the pun). It literally has the most adorable magical characters ever. Every single one of them are charming in their own way.

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        • I don’t know, you’re the person who doesn’t like JHMS, how much can I trust you…..

          But I probably should trust you. I’ll put it on my Netflix watchlist so I don’t forget!

          On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 12:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I was going to start defending myself with I never said I disliked it, I just don’t love it like you do… blah blah blah and then I remembered that you don’t like Band Baaja Baraat, so I feel like we are basically even! Maybe? That’s how logic works, right?!

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          • Yes, that is absolutely how logic works. Also, I am realizing that I have privately labeled you as “Filmikudhi who doesn’t like JHMS” just because you DO like pretty much every other thing I like and vice versa, so I should listen to your recommendations in general. Like, JHMS only sticks out in my mind because it is such an outlier.

            On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yup, the clothes are really great. The setting is picturesque too. Shit happens but never too much. The lead has crackling chemistry with the love interest, who’s the super hot bad boy with a heart of gold. It’s a very light, fun show with lots of humor.

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        • Oh, and it’s filmed in South Carolina! So I can get my sunshine and summer fix during dreary February! Okay, that’s on my personal list, along with Single Parents, as a good “mid winter light weight can watch while doing jigsaw puzzles” option.

          On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • There’s a show on Hulu, Bless this Mess, that has the same kind of fish out of water premise as Schitt’s Creek, only with city hipsters instead of rich people. I found it not quite as funny, but if you get through Schitt’s Creek and need something new to watch it’s worth a try.

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  3. Obviously my first choice is Hart of Dixie. But other than that, I would recommend (1) One Day At A Time: Probably one of the most heartwarming shows I have ever seen showcashing three generations of a Cuban-American family. Also, a show that deals with complicated and sensitive issues in a beautiful way; (2) Shadowhunters: It is based on a young-adult fantasy novel series called Mortal Instruments, which I also recommend. It has lots and lots of wonderful romantic angsty moments and also angels, demons, warewolves, and vampires. (3) Single Parents: A surprisingly charming show with lots of cute children.

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    • One Day at a Time, now on Pop TV! That station you don’t realize you have which also has Schitt’s Creek! I’ve been watching Schitt’s Creek there and they’ve been promoting like crazy that they also picked up One Day at a Time, only I’m not sure how many people know who aren’t already watching Pop TV.

      Thank you for alerting me to Single Parents. The official promos I’ve seen just look terrible and turn me off it utterly. But then I’ve caught the first few minutes, or last few minutes, while watching another show, and it didn’t look bad, so I didn’t know what to think. Answer is, promos are stupid and actual show is charming! Yaaaaay!

      On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Single Parents is pretty fun! It starts off kinda slow but I gave it a chance and it becomes cute and charming by the middle of season one. This is a Liz Meriwether show (she created New Girl) so I think it’s worth checking out.

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        • I binged it all weekend, it was a perfect happy place sitting at home kind of show. And I definitely felt the New Girl vibes, even in the way she structured the characters (fast romantic couple, slow burn couple, random funny disconnected person), which isn’t a bad thing! Makes me think the show knows what it is doing, she is taking what she learned from New Girl and applying it.

          On Mon, Feb 24, 2020 at 10:51 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes, I got a lot of New Girl vibes too! I really hope that the show gets renewed even though it looks like the season 2 ratings are down compared to season 1. I feel like there needs to be more happy tv shows like this one.

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  4. I started watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend AFTER someone shared with me a new show called Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. They had the whole episode for free on YouTube, and nine minutes in there was this amazing dance on the streets of San Francisco (where I lived for year, so fond feelings) with La La Land dancers, and the same choreographer and I was hooked, except it was just one show. So then I looked up comments on it which led me to Crazy Ex Girlfriend which I adore, as I mentioned last Wed. BUT IT IS SO LONG. It is hard enough for me to watch a two hour movie, but four seasons, 13+ episodes a season, and each an hour long! Anyway, the bonus of responding to your post for ME, is that I was going to link to the Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, but they took the first show DOWN, and put up the SECOND SHOW FOR FREE! So now I have something to watch tonight. Actually I’m really excited. I have three boys, and watch additional kids after school, mostly additional GIRLS. And this afternoon two of my boys will be elsewhere so it will be me and TWO GIRLS and my youngest son. GIRLS!!! I know they would want to watch with me, one especially loves dancing, but I feel bad if I show them TV while their parents are paying me to watch them. We’ll probably end up doing an art project that is easier to do with less kids, maybe linoleum prints, but I only have one carving tool, so the child who isn’t carving can watch SRK videos with me!!! Here’s a link to the second Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsQtMnq5YgY

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    • Oh man, a new show? That might get canceled? I can’t risk it! On the other hand, Crazy Ex you are reminding me that I really REALLY need to finish the last season.

      On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 1:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It isn’t getting cancelled. I have now figured out it airs on Sunday on a regular station (I don’t have TV so I have no idea what station that is), and then on Monday they let it stream for free on YouTube, UNTIL the next episode comes out. This works really well for my life style. I have a week to watch an episode. Though I am sad I can no longer see the first one.

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  5. Ooh! I remembered another one – Burn Notice for fans of action-comedy movies with a side of family drama. It’s about an ex-spy who gets forcibly retired to Miami and then has to make a living by helping people & solving crimes with a fiery ex-girlfriend, a boozy best friend, all the while dealing with a nagging but loving mom and a brother who keeps getting into trouble. It’s very stylishly shot and all the characters are immensely likable. And everyone is a badass.

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    • If I remember right from the three episodes I watched a decade ago, also classic brother issues, right? Indian film style older-younger stuff?

      On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 2:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The younger brother comes a bit late in the show. There’s a lot of unspoken stuff between them as they’re both struggling an abusive childhood. But at first it’s Macgyvering around colorful Miami, taking down bad guys with a lot of style and humor. The setting is serious but the treatment is light-hearted, witty but still with genuine emotional beats.

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  6. Romance:
    Outlander (Netflix/Starz)
    Four Weddings and a Funeral (Hulu)

    Family Drama + Music:
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime)
    The Get Down (Netflix)

    Family Comedy:
    Fresh Off the Boat (Hulu)
    Blackish (Hulu)
    Malcolm in the Middle (Hulu)

    Light Escapism with Heart:
    Queer Eye

    Woman-Centered Dark Comedies:
    Fleabag
    Workin’ Moms

    Feel like I’m still forgetting some good ones…

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    • I would just add that your two “women centered dark comedies” are also “comedies that mine material from family drama”, which is very Indian film!

      On Sun, Feb 23, 2020 at 3:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Very true! Couldn’t think of a good name for those, they go together but on the face the topics covered are pretty different.

        BTW, random thought: looking at these lists, Canada punches above its weight in TV. Wonder if there’s a TV comparison to be made along the lines of Canada:US as Pakistan:India?

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        • If we were to draw a comparison, the similarity would be that both countries don’t have a strong film industry, meaning all that talent switches to TV instead. And possibly also that they have been doing things for a long time like this but the new streaming world is suddenly giving them a new audienc.e.

          On Sun, Feb 23, 2020 at 10:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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