Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching and Listening to the Last Week of November?

Happy Wednesday! My back is finally cure! Yaaaaaaay!!! Turns out, the Miracle Cure is Rest and Time. How very very boring. Anyway, I’m hoping for a slow work day so I can do the cleaning and organizing I have been putting off.

I’ll start!

Reading: My sister sent me a nice People magazine link, remember Gabourey Sidibe? Very charming and delightful, nominated for an Oscar for her first role, and then just doing this and that since them? Anyway, she is engaged and her fiance is adorable: https://people.com/movies/gabourey-sidibe-reveals-shes-engaged-to-brandon-frankel-the-sweetest-human-to-exist/

In other People magazine news, they picked Michael B Jordan as Sexiest Man Alive this year. I am okay with that. Some years I have deep deep concerns about their choices, but this year is fine.

Michael B. Jordan named People's Sexiest Man Alive 2020 | GMA

Thinking: Every year I am surprised by my order of work in December. The end goal is Christmas morning, decorated apartment, lots of wrapped presents, Happiness. But to get there, I have to first re-organize the apartment, then do deep cleaning, then do the decorating, then do the making of presents, then do the the wrapping, and then relax. The organizing is what killed my back, now today I do the cleaning, and then as soon as Thanksgiving is over, ALL THE DECORATING!!!! And then once decorating is done, ALL THE PRESENT PREP!!!!

Watching: Continuing my true crime deep dive. Watched the Aaron Hernandez documentary, and there are way too many issues in one story is what I think. Sexuality, child abuse, football injuries, so much. Also watched a thing on the daycare hysteria of the 1980s, people be crazy.

Listening: Enjoying my last gasp of secular music before the annual Christmas Binge, I still love this song:

Okay, that’s it for me! What’s up with you? Christmas prep started yet?

46 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching and Listening to the Last Week of November?

  1. I am not feeling Christmassy at all yet, I have to go out and buy a tree in a week or so before it gets super busy but uuughghghhghg. I don’t WANT to decorate.

    I got my Zee5 subscription and should watch some stuff on it, but also ughgchghgh.

    In other news, I told you it would happen: https://deadline.com/2020/11/netflix-acquisition-a-suitable-boy-sparks-police-complaint-in-india-1234621185/

    Of course, it’s for a series I thought was too conservative.

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    • Every year I don’t want to decorate and I have no interest, and then my internal alarm goes off and suddenly it is all I can think about as soon as we get to Thanksgiving. Really, the American Thanksgiving schedule is genius! We are all programmed to feel Christmassy as soon as Thanksgiving gets close.

      I have a ton of fake Xmas trees, but this year I decided I wanted a real one. And then to be extra fancy, I decided I wanted a live one in a pot. So that’s on order and I can pick it up on Friday, yaaaaay!

      On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 9:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Are you in one of those cool places where the 12 days of Christmas are a thing? In America, it’s 100% the 25th, and then nothing. which seems stupid, this big build up and then it is all over in a day. I like the idea of a week and a half of celebrations.

          On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 10:34 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Way better! Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and What Else?

            On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 10:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I wouldn’t say it’s 100% the 25th in USA. There are a lot of folks who do Three King’s Day (El Día de Reyes — Epiphany) or similar deal. But, they are kind of under the radar.

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          • Three Kings Day is a nice holiday, but it does mean that you get through Christmas Eve (big family affair), Christmas Day (presents, family leftovers), and New Year’s Eve (more big family meal) and New Year’s Day, and you’re still not done. Christmas is on for another week, you probably still have gifts to buy. It’s always felt like too much to me, but then I didn’t grow up with it. I like waking up on New Year’s Day and being done with the holiday excess and ready to enter the new year.

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          • I hadn’t thought about it like that, that does seem like a lot. I guess ideally I would want Christmas to run from the 20th to the 1st, peaking at the 25th. Parties, gift exchanges, family events, all smooshed in there, and then done after New Years.

            On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 11:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Middle Class Melodies on Amazon is getting good reviews and the movie is really good Anand Devarakonda and Varsha Bollamma are the leads but the supporting cast are the real stars of the movie. It is slice of life drama/comedy with nothing that is unbelievable.

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  3. My area of NYC is an orange zone so I’m staying in with Indian movies and making turkey thighs for me and the dog. I told the kids to chill, there’ll be another holiday season next year, god willing.

    I see where Popka has her Zee 5 subscription. Can I get that in the US? Does it come with subtitles? I want to watch Yaara (Amit and Vydyut, what could be better?) plus a few other films not on Netflix, Amazon, or Eros (which by the way, used to be okay but is lousy now).

    And Margaret, remember what you wrote a few blogs ago. You’re no longer going to feel pressured to write long reviews of films you didn’t care to watch in the first place. You may want to do everything on your TO DO list above but YOU DON’T HAVE TO. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    • My grandma did a thanksgiving like that one year after my grandpa died. Not because of a pandemic, just because she thought it would be nice. And it was really nice, she made herself a chicken and read a book and was happy.

      Zee5 is NOT available in the US which is SUPER FRUSTRATING. The issue is, they have already purchased the US streaming rights for a big library. But they haven’t launched their platform yet. So it’s like a video store with a huge collection, and a lock on the door and a “closed” sign. So all the Zee5 movies, we in America can’t watch on Zee5 or anywhere else. What I have heard from my Europeans is that it’s not that great of a platform, not a lot of subtitles, but at least they have access to it.

      Awwww, thanks for the reminder! I am trying. But I do really need to clean my apartment, it is gross, so that’s a minimum. But decorations this year might just be my fancy live Christmas tree and nothing else. And Christmas dinner is almost definitely going to be pizza.

      On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 10:45 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Don’t get it even if you can! I wanted to support Taish and it has a bunch of rare Govinda and Shashi movies, but only one of the ones I want to watch has subtitles. So I will be canceling it after next week.

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      • What I found the most annoying on Zee5 is that they tell you the movie has subtitles, but it’s not true. I had checked some movies before I subscribed and there was cleary wrtitten: “Subtitles: English” only when I already paid and started watching I realized most of the films I was interested in doesn’t have any subs. It’s a scam. I wouldn’t pay if I knew the movie is not subtitled.

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  4. I’m currently watching Mismatched (based on When Dimple met Rishi) on Netflix. I was disappointed at the decision to change the characters from Indian-American to Indian, but the story barely seems to follow the novel.

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  5. Watching: I made a valiant attempt to watch Miss India on Netflix. My first Telugu film. I was interested for the first hour and then I was just a annoyed by her overly self-confident with no actual emotion expression. I didn’t care anymore what happened with the chai company and I turned it off with 40-ish minutes to go with no remorse. I do regret having spent 1:30 on that film that I can never get back.

    Also: The Crown. Finished second episode and loving season 4 so far. I have always instinctually hated Charles but the whole series humanizes him in a way that I really appreciate. I think that’s the biggest revelation of the series for me.

    Thinking: Why did I even agree to host TG with our little family bubble of 7? Safe and all, and usually this holiday is my JAM. I look forward to it all year. This year, I’m annoyed, my feet hurt today from standing in the kitchen and that makes me feel old. I’ll tell Rishi Jr you said hi.

    Reading: nothing fun, mostly the how-to on everything related to drop shipping and holiday sales. Note: check TeamSRK holiday items at https://www.teamsrkus.com/collections/holiday-2020. We had to pivot hard from the live show we were supposed to do and postpone to next Nov so I’m running an SRK American fan club to make sure we can keep the business open during this odd time. But fun! We have Bollywood ornaments, fleece plush blankets and other fun stuff.

    Listening: SRK-Deepika playlists to get me in the Pathan mood. I know, Margaret, you’re not buying any of this until HE says it but I’m going all in.

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    • Thank you for checking out Miss India. I was considering watching but that character seemed like she might annoy me. Sounds like it can safely be passed over. If you want to give Telugu another try, my favorite is Sai Pallavi. Fidaa (pure romance) or MCA (masala) are both on Prime.

      Fingers crossed for Pathan…

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      • Thank you for the recos, Emily. I will give Telugu another go. Those sound like great choices. Yup, if I could go back in time Miss India would be on the ‘No Watch’ list.

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    • Is it too late to invoice Madhur Jaffrey? I feel like she could solve a lot of your problems.

      On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 6:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Miss India is not a good choice for the very first Telugu movie. I have seen the reviews and all people hate it. Not that I care about the reviews but if all are bad, there must be a reason ( I feel strangly attracted to this movie now, because I want to check if it’s really that bad and illogical).
      In my opinion from Telugu industry one should watch or big movies with charismatic heroes and cool fights or little cute rom-coms. All in between can be very annoying especially those family dramas about middle class life superiority.

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  6. Yay, Michael B. Jordan! He tore my heart out on the Wire and so every time I see him in a big movie it makes me feel like Wallace got revenge. (In case you have not seen it, it did not go well for his character).

    Yay, also, Lijo Jose Pellissery! I haven’t seen the movie that got nominated, have you? On the strength of City of God, I’m happy to have him be India’s Oscar candidate.

    All I did was finish Dev D. I think this is my favorite of Anurag’s so far. It was absolutely gorgeous; seedy Delhi is just as beautiful, in it’s own way, as Bhansali’s Devdas. I liked the arc; most Devdases don’t have one which I think is what makes it frustrating. Kalki I’m not sure about, but it was her first movie.

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    • I’m all “Yay, Michael B Jordan” because of Friday Night Lights. I didn’t even see him in that, but I remember when he was introduced the reviewers were so amazed at his performance, and simultaneously so sad that this talented actor was going to fade into nothing because there just weren’t going to be roles for him outside of TV. And then, look at that, the world shifted towards justice and now he is the Sexiest Man Alive.

      I assume Lijo was nominated for Julayi? The movie about the bull? It’s amazing, very dark, very metaphorical, very powerful to watch. I would not recommend it if you are looking for a good time.

      I think of the point of the Devdas character being that he doesn’t have an arc. He just gets stuck, half grown up, and never gets passed it. But I also adore Dev D largely because Anurag got the essence of the Dev character, and then figured out a way he could have a happy ending without betraying that essence. Dev is always going to sink into addiction, Dev is always going to destroy his relationship with Paro, but what if he somehow managed to survive long enough to grow up a bit?

      On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 9:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I’m with Miss Braganza in the yay, Michael B. Jordan! camp. He was amazing as Killmonger but he won my heart as Creed. NJ claims him as its own, even though he wasn’t born here. He still goes back to visit his old school in Newark. He seems like one of the good guys. He was so cute in the video talking about his mom.

    https://people.com/movies/michael-b-jordan-people-sexiest-man-alive-2020/

    Watching: just finished Ludo, I’ll head over to that post to comment. It was sweet, though not quite the sweep me away movie I’ve been craving. ARK, though, phew. That’s quite a cast, and he’s the only one whose character really stuck with me.

    I’ve also been making my way through Race in bite sized chunks. It’s just so late by the time I get the TV to myself, and at this point in the year it’s been dark for like six hours, I keep falling asleep. Not the movie’s fault.

    Thinking: We were commenting in my house on the divide between the true soccer-playing countries of the world, who were talking about nothing today but Diego Maradona’s sudden death, and the US, where soccer only started being shown on TV in the 90s. I had a hunch, given SRK’s upbringing and age, and sure enough.

    Glad to hear your back is feeling better! Please take it easy with the cleaning. Be gentle and ice after if you think you might have overdone it.

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    • I love him as Creed! I knew about him from reading reviews of Friday Night Lights, and then Fruitvale Station, but I think Creed was the first time I actually saw him onscreen. So talented, so charming, you just like him immediately.

      Yaaaaay, Ludo! Yes, I was very proud of our little ARK. With Rajkummar and Pankaj and even Abhi it would be easy for him to get lost, and he still made an impact. Partly with abs, but also acting.

      How do you keep track of what is happening in Race if you are watching in bits? It’s such a complicated film, I could barely follow it watching straight through, doing it in bits would be hopeless.

      That is interesting! I’m so used to American sports which are really just American (football, baseball, even basketball to a large degree), the idea of an athlete dying having an international impact alone is surprising to me.

      I did not take it easy, I did not relax and ice my back, and today it is only a little sore. HA! I’m still young!

      On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 11:43 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I forgot to comment about Aaron Hernandez documentary – I also felt there were too many things they were talking about. Especially when the ex friend said they had sex and I was like: WHAAAAT???
    But the thing I hate was how they talked about Aaron’s father. At first everybody was like: He was such a good citizen and father etc, and later we discover he beat his wife and was abusive and toxic!

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    • I mean, I’ve seen enough true crime documentaries by now that I totally expected a “saint to the outside, devil at home” twist. But it was a bit confusing. There’s just so much there! I don’t know if it is about football or sexuality or abusive fathers or what. And did you catch that the killer and victim were dating sisters who ended up on opposite sides?

      On Sat, Nov 28, 2020 at 12:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yeah, the “saint to the outside, devil at home” is common but here seems everybody knew he is violent but still he was called a good father and man. WTF?
        And yes the killer and the victim dated sisters, and Aaron’s mother stole husband for from his cousin. This family was a total mess even without the murders.

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        • Maybe what we need is a 6 episode series on just the family dynamics. Like, what was up with Aaron’s brother? We barely heard from him! And you know he’s gotta have some mess in his life too.

          On Sun, Nov 29, 2020 at 2:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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