TV Show Recommendations – If You Like Jane The Virgin…

TV series’ like Jane The Virgin are full of feels. They bag the family drama, romance and self-growth aspects like a pro! JTV, in particular, is one of my all time favourites. Not just because Jane’s character is super easy to relate to, but because of how well Gina Rodriguez brings that character to life and makes you want to be a part of her family. Watching the three (extremely short for my liking) seasons was a journey full of retrospection and wistful musings, for a TV show junkie like me. The manner in which her attitude towards life, passions, morals have been delineated allows us to believe in the power of perseverance and unity. It mirrors the success she ultimately experiences, while teaching us how wonderful it is to aspire. Hell, she doesn’t even let an unplanned insemination get in the way of her becoming an author! You couldn’t possibly have a better excuse than hers.

Here are some other television shows that grant us our daily dose of dramatic goodness, while urging us to follow our dreams:

  • The Carrie Diaries- Carrie Bradshaw knows how to take risks. When her law internship appears bleak in comparison to the job next door at Interview magazine, she jumps at the chance. With her charm, diligence and wit, she persuades Larissa, the editor to give her a full time job. Living the high life in Manhattan, Carrie comes to terms with making difficult choices with regards to education, friendship, love and family. The Carrie Diaries makes you fall in love with life all over again.


  • Younger – This is an endearing story of 40 going on 20. Liza, a divorced mother, realizes that while she was living her life as a wife and a mother, her career slipped out of her grasp. Now that she is ready to resume work in the publishing field, nobody wants to hire a 40 year old. So what does she do? She rebuilds her identity as a 26 year old, trying to fit into a world she had left behind. Her zeal for life is magically renewed donning this “younger” skin. Younger is a hearty TV series that explores the publishing industry through the eyes of Liza’s double persona.

  • Girlboss- Sophia is an eccentric character, barely surviving on her own. She has cut off all ties with family and friends alike, keeping only Annie (her bestfriend) by her side. She lucks out when a thrift shopping episode opens her eyes to the world of vintage fashion. After much deliberation, struggle and self-doubt, her eBay store gains momentum, with her refurbishing and selling vintage clothes. In the span of the 13 part series, we see Sophia unfurl and become a much better version of herself. She is a testament to what dedication to one’s job looks like. There’s a good deal of humor, sass and fashion in this show to make you want to binge watch.

  • Famous in Love – Paige, an ambitious college student, swings by a movie audition simply because her bestfriend insisted. Now, she has landed the lead role in the movie and has no idea how to juggle between her normal life and the one behind all the glitz and glamor. Friendships fall through the roof as new ones reserve a spot in her life. Does following one’s heart have to be so expensive?


  • The Bold Type – Three bestfriends, Jane, Sutton and Kat work for Scarlet magazine as an article writer, social media manager and fashion aspirant respectively. In a highly competitive and talent-driven world, these women experience the highs and lows of baring their soul to the society. You see, the devil may always come to collect his prize, but the social media trolls make life in hell look like a vacation. Filled with work woes, swoon-worthy relationships and mesmerizing shots of NYC, The Bold Type is quickly making its way up my favourites list.

There’s more than two months left for Jane The Virgin’s next season; enough time to indulge in the above mentioned lovelies. They are overflowing with empowered women and drool-inducing career paths. As a media graduate, writer and avid reader, these shows are my calling; their locations are undoubtedly made of Siren songs. Let me know if I’ve missed out any other TV shows that inspire you to give your absolute best each day. We all need such feel-good, quality content!

Korean Drama Review — Nail Shop Paris

Disclaimer – All the images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of them.

When amateur novelist Hong Yeo Joo, unable to churn creative novel ideas, stumbles upon a nail artist – Alex- she decides to make him her protagonist. Soon, she realizes that the Nail Shop he works at only staffs men. In order to continue being inspired, she disguises herself as a male, budding nail artist named Bunny. While she puts forth as manly an outward appearance as she can, as a women, she becomes smitten by Alex. The drama wraps up in 10 episodes and chronicles the difficulties of gender bending (love triangles included) while playing on one’s imagination with the use of a mythological creature popularly known as Gumiho.

This drama is very typical in almost every aspect. It has the love at first sight, unrequited love, love triangles, broken dreams, otherworldly creature to rescue and all that jazz. Parts of it are enjoyable but parts of it are so draggy that I had put the drama on hold for over a year before I finally decided to finish it. I found some of the dialogues to be lackluster and more often than not, I was wondering what is unique about this drama. As a gender bender, some of the scenes were definitely funny but nothing very gripping. The drama definitely showcased some rather extravagant nail art. Do people really wear chunky rhinestones on their nails? One of the things that, while it seemed unexpected, I liked about the drama was that it sends out a good social message in terms of helping those in need. Some of the customers of Nail Shop Paris had personal problems which the staff of the shop managed to solve with great persistence and affection. These parts were admirable and conveys how openly friendly their culture is.

Yeo Joo’s bestfriend Kim Ji Soo falls for Jin, one of the nail artists. There relationship too goes through rocky terrain when Ji Soo is unable to make up her mind between Jin and another man. Whereas Kay (another nail artist) begins to question his sexuality when he realizes that he has feelings for Bunny. Little did he know that Bunny was indeed a woman. There is a time leap at the end and the ending was unpredictable, so I’d give the show brownie points for that. And that ending was one of the few things which was different about this drama. Over all, it wasn’t great. It explores several concepts in the span of few episodes. I just wish that some sections of the plot had been differently done, probably then it would have turned out to be an intriguing drama. Maybe you could give it a try, but I don’t guarantee 10 hours of pure enjoyment.

Ratings – 5.5 stars on 10

Meera

Korean Drama Review — Oh My Venus

Disclaimer – The images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of the images. 

Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub starrer Oh My Venus is a Korean romcom drama that explores the importance of outward appearances and perseverance as a determinant of success and confidence. Kang Joo Eun has always been the center of attention during her high school years. Aspiring to be a lawyer, Joo Eun grows up only to realize that her life isn’t turning out to be the way she had hoped. Having gained tons of weight, Joo Eun not only faces the stress of being an overworked lawyer struggling to find justice in the tangles of rigid laws but also is dumped by her boyfriend of 15 years. Nevertheless, luck is on her side and she chances upon world famous trainer John Kim. Together they persevere to solve their respective problems and somehow end up on the same path to recovery and bliss. Kim Yeong Ho is the next in line to take over his family business, but word is that Yeong Ho’s passions are a tad bit different from what his family expects of him. With a dark past and an even drier future, how will he manage the best of both worlds?

Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub together in a drama? As main leads? Check and check. What more could I want out of a kdrama, especially when the plot is as heartwarming as this one. One could assume that the drama seems to advocate good looks as being essential to finding love (especially when Im Woo Sik breaks up with Joo Eun) or attaining success in one’s job but I think it places emphasis on the need for exercising and staying fit. It is a given that the two leads are meant to be but they got together rather quickly in the series and so you are left to wonder what more is in store for them. I was very apprehensive of the fact that their relationship may become draggy and extremely cheesy. But the conflicts that were introduced in the drama kept it going at a good pace and there were times when I was rooted to the spot, waiting to see what would happen. The drama has a good proportion of humor in the sense that some of the scenes are legit LOL-worthy.

The drama is an example of what motivation and support can do for a person. It proves to us that with the right dedication, one can overcome even the greatest of difficulties. Jang Joon Sung too deals with a troublesome childhood. But with the help of Yeong Ho, he goes onto become a boxing champion. Their brotherhood is shown to be unconditional. Woo Sik and Soo Jin’s relationship is very lovable. They complement each other well. Even though Soo Jin plays the anti-heroine, causing problems for Joo Eun, she is actually very sensitive. The end to Woo Sik & Soo Jin’s story was apt and I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up things. One of the other things that stood out in this drama was Kim Ji Woong’s chirpy nature. His constant “Ma’am, Ma’am” was an absolute delight. The soundtrack of the show is too good and it mixes well with the scene to enhance the sentiments being enacted. This drama is simply amazing and has become one of my all time favorites. I would definitely recommend it to all.

Ratings – 10 stars on 10

Meera

Korean Drama Review — Pinocchio

Disclaimer – All images in this post have been obtained from Google. I do not own any of the images.

Pinocchio, aired on SBS channel, is a drama about the underlying corruption and discrimination that rules the media firms in today’s time. Albeit being set in Korea, it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that it mirrors the problems faced by reporters and producers around the world. In this case, the protagonist Choi In Ha (played by Park Shin Hye) has the Pinocchio Syndrome wherein she hiccups uncontrollably if she lies. Since childhood, In Ha has been craving to meet her mother who left her and her father to pursue her career as a reporter. Naive and innocent, In Ha believes that her mother would accept her when they meet in the future and so for thirteen years In Ha sends her mother text messages about her daily life. However, her mother leaves behind her phone at the house of a large department store owner. Seo Bum Jo (played by Kim Young Kwang) who is the son of the owner, intercepts these messages and as the years pass, grows to love In Ha. He is determined to meet her and so auditions to become a reporter at YGN.

Ki Ha Myung (played by Lee Jong Suk) is the son of a fireman who was accused of causing the death of his fellow firemen. As the reporters propel the case out of proportion, his father flees and is never heard of again. Humiliated and isolated in society, Ha Myung and his mother commit suicide. The only living member, the elder broth Ki Jae Myung is devastated and vows to right the wrongs of the reporters who pushed the family to take such drastic measures.

This drama was a treat from the start. The pain felt by Ki Ha Myung’s family is vividly portrayed and so exceptionally done that you feel for them. The plot isn’t as simple as it appears and there are so many layers to the story, each of which is peeled off one by one as the story progresses. The cutthroat environment that is created by rivaling broadcast companies is played out for the viewers to understand the functioning of news channels and the crooked tactics that they sometimes employ to obtain a story. While the character of Song Cha Ok is very detestable, Jin Kyung does a wonderful job of acting. She is so convincing in her role that even though I hated her for most of the drama, towards the end I was very glad for her. Her character development would be one of the best for the show. I also liked how In Ha and Ha Myung got to know each other and the entire process from them being friends to a couple was rather adorable.

Even though the Pinocchio Syndrome that was used in the drama is fictional, it proved to be integral to the storyline. Initially In Ha faces a lot of flak for not being able to lie, which is somehow “important” to become a reporter. As the drama draws to a close, we see how she becomes an  exemplary model of a reporter and teaches the others ideals and values to be upheld as a reporter. Being a media student myself, I loved this drama for its content and the morals that it showcased. While In Ha and Ha Myung were meant to be, I wished that Seo Bum Jo was given some importance. In fact he does serve a vital purpose in the drama and things do get resolved all due to him. But he is left behind with this unrequited love and for some reason I always wish that the main leads would pick the secondary characters. Moreover, I felt that In Ha’s behavior towards him was a little cold and she wasn’t as considerate of his as he was of her. Anyhow, the drama has been put together very well and some of the characters like Hwang Gyo Dong, Ahn Chan So were very endearing. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the drama and would recommend it to all.

Ratings – 8.5 stars on 10

Meera

Actually Indian?

Image Courtesy – Google. No claims of ownership.

Gone are the times when grandmother’s tales and Doordarshan were the quintessential depictions of Indian sensibilities. Now people look forward to Bollywood and news channels to discover the new qualities of an Indian. And why not? Media is supposed to represent our society. So if the big screen tells you that an Indian dons sarees, you do it! But how much of this media representation stands affirmative? Does anyone bother tracing back the origins of some of these nonsensical expectations?

A certain cement ad features very fashionably made up men and women carrying cement sacks and working at a construction site. Is this the image our construction workers send across? They work hard hours trying to ensure two meals for their family and themselves. They don’t get the freedom of expression (through their attire or otherwise) that others do. But this ad, despite being about engineering, chooses to focus on these modelesque people as they swagger back and forth in flowing gowns and buffed up bodies.  If only these worker’s profession was viewed in the magnificent light as portrayed by the advertisement.

Moreover, who gets to decide where Indianness ends and Western cognitions begin? The saas-bahu TV shows? Or the individuals who blame indecent attire for atrocities committed? I could be wearing shorts throughout the year and still be very Indian in my thoughts, mannerisms. There are people who sensationalize “item” songs and scrunch up their nose at the sight of a couple being overly affectionate in public. In fact, scrunching their nose is the least they could do; one has to be grateful for not being beaten up by random strangers for acting “out of line” and “not Indian”.

Don’t shun people for living their lives in a happy bubble. Don’t drag out and arrest couples from private rooms in hotels for wanting to be together. In fact don’t arrest people for wanting to have a say about their country or their culture. It would be nice if media representations of an Indian focused on what an Indian actually goes through rather than highlight a paragraph that speaks a contradictory story. We don’t all run around in gowns in palatial houses trying to tease a guy/girl by the scent of our body soaps. Neither do we eat chocolate sloppily so that we get kissed by someone. Its understandable that advertisements try to capitalize on our desires to be modern and open minded. Money is of the essence. But why not do it by actually incorporating what India is today or who an Indian is today. We have progressed so much since the olden times. Why still try to compete with notions that are not really ours? And if we do wish to imbibe those notions, why fight against its manifestation in reality?

Think on it.

Cheers 🙂

– Meera

Korean Drama Review – Personal Taste

Hey you!
I’m back with another drama review. This one is also  a Lee MinHo starrer with Son YeJin as his co-actor and the leading lady. It has a rather unique plot and I was immediately hooked onto it. Its known as Personal Taste or Personal Preference. This show revolves around the 2 characters, JinHo and GaeIn. JinHo is an architect and GaeIn is a furniture designer. They both stumble into each other, one fine morning. But as fate would have it, they get off on the wrong foot. Later when JinHo realizes that GaeIn is the key to his  success, he decides to reconcile. He pretends to be gay in order to rent a room at GaeIn’s house.
On the other hand, our protagonist here, is dealing with a bad breakup. In her depressed and pitiful state, albeit a little hesitantly, she agrees to lease the room to JinHo. Oblivious to JinHo’s ulterior motive, GaeIn begins to get comfortable with him.  When JinHo (somewhat drawn to her) decides to help get revenge on Chang Ryul (her ex) she agrees. Amidst all the scheming and the etiquette lessons (that GaeIn obviously needs to transform into a swan),  the obvious happens. They begin to have feelings for each other. What will happen when they finally acknowledge their feelings? How long will JinHo be able to keep up the gay pretence?

I grew really fond of this drama since the first episode. It was hilarious from the beginning. There is no beating around the bush or dragging out scenes. The first few times they meet, their constant bickering was really amusing to watch. GaeIn is a clumsy, tomboyish, sensitive and innocent person. She forms strong bonds and gets attached to people  easily. And so when JinHo is even a little late coming back from work, she gets all tensed and worked up. Pacing in the house, sitting out on the steps. And a typical JinHo would snub her for being so “weak hearted and clingy”. But we all know, secretly he was quite pleased that a girl would do all this for him. He can’t hide that from us viewers and die-hard fans 😉

On to the other characters, we have Han Chang Ryul played by Kim Ji Seok. He appears to have a very charming personality apart from the fact that he dumps GaeIn for her bestfriend. Yet I somehow sympathise with him (idk why..). Maybe it has something to do with the super sweet smile of his. In the drama, he seems to be the kind of well brought up, mannered gentleman. So let’s set aside his mistakes for awhile 😀
Then we have Kim In Hee (Wang Ji Hye), a very very very bad person! I strongly detest that character. Cause more than a hundred times, I’ve wanted to yank her hair  for being so evil-queen like. The way she manipulates her words to get what she wants is just UN-BELIEVABLE! :O She’s the character that obviously causes all the trouble throughout the season. Butting into matters that don’t involve her and just simply being mean down to the core. 

Anyhow it is a drama DEFINITELY worth watching atleast once! You MUST! 😀 I believe I’m a little late for saying that. Probably the whole world has seen it and I’m the last person? 😛 Anyone out there? Not seen it yet? 😀

Ratings – 8.5/10

Mia

May Photo A Day – Fave thing to do on a Sunday

I have a bunch of things I like to do on Sundays which includes waking up late, reading till my hearts content, watching episode after episode of tv-shows I missed during the week. In other words I fully utilise my day, every second of it, do to what I’ve been yearning to do throughout the week.

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That’s  a snap of my tab (as you can all see) which has lived through countless fantasies and thrillers and accompanied me along joyous rides of the literary world. It is second to oxygen for me 😀

Mia