The biggest challenge of this lockdown perhaps is to be able to sit down and do nothing. Here’s help when you want to wind down.
So you worked from home, took the 100 Volley Challenge, learnt to make the perfect Okonomiyaki and discovered old photographs at the back of a closet when you were following Marie Kondo’s idea of tidying up. But the biggest challenge of this lockdown perhaps is to be able to sit down and do nothing. Here’s help when you want to wind down.
Despite my great age, I’m happy to be a part of the great BTS Army… Even though I cannot bring myself to watch too much of the Korean teen/romance shows, I do have an alert popping up every time there’s a new Korean cop show. Thanks to the lockdown I have discovered period drama, and am so grateful to the subtitlers that have done such a fabulous job. There is an occasional ‘Why are you wearing your outside robe, your majesty?’ that make you laugh into your tea, but we have howlarious subtitling to regional movies in India, so one strange line in 24 episodes is just fantastic. So what is this Korean period drama that got me hooked for 24 episodes when I gave up on Game Of Thrones rather quickly?
There’s a mythical creature that will mete out justice in ways you never thought. Haechi has made me a believer… It pushed me into watching more Korean period shows, but I loved the power play and the politics of Haechi that keeps you hooked. There’s humour and romance as well. What you will notice in the show is that the really cool characters - the psychopath prince who murders without remorse, the gorgeous king of the streets, the hero crown prince, the soldiers - these are men who wield swords, but they cry quite freely in very emotional moments without looking silly! I watched more period pieces right after but I’m ridiculously tenacious… You should instead move to a very modern investigative show.
I am sure you have watched the basketball legend in the new Netflix show that achieved instant ‘superhit’ status. The Last Dance with Michael Jordan. But I want to keep you in Korea, and help unravel the plot behind a sports scandal. The show is called Distorted (Falsify).
Aren’t we all like these characters in the show? Unhappy when we have to deal with something more urgent than what we set out to do? Annoyed because someone somewhere took advantage of your decency and weakness, took advantage of you, and left you ashamed? Can we go back and find justice in this world that has been created for the rich and the powerful who get away by distorting the truth? This show has 32 episodes on Netflix and it keeps you on an adrenalin high as you desperately want to find out what really happened.
These days, very young people are discovering the sense of right and wrong and defending their friends who are more than family. As a girl who grew up loving Enid Blyton’s stories about boarding schools like Malory Towers and St.Clares, and hating the really ghastly shows of grown-up men in Engineering college hostels, I was surprised to binge-watch a school hostel drama on Amazon Prime. Let me tell you it’s not Student of The Year, but it made me rethink friendships and the love/hate relationships from high school that are still alive via Facebook. The film is called Selah And The Spades. At first glance the film may be predictable (we’ve all been to these schools, eh?), but the young actors make the experience so real.
If you are a parent, then this is one of the ways to understand how rules have changed and yet are the same when your children go to school now. Speaking of school (and work), if you find yourself cursing the next home chef who has posted practically professional foods they are serving up to the family, then this show is for you as you share the tub of cheese drizzled popcorn with your loved one. The trailer got me hooked on her hacks as Nadiya Hussein produces foods that are as practical as they are delicious. A superfan of the food show Ugly Delicious, discovering A Time To Eat was truly fun.
Tell me you didn’t make those egg rolls after you saw how easy they were to make! Now that your tum isn’t growling any more (and no one is ever going to force you into making or eating this lockdown’s most reviled food: banana bread), you can get ready for more from kimchi and soju land. I’m recommending you watch The Royal Gambler. The trailer on Netflix reminds you of the most brilliantly shot Zhang Yimou film called Hero, but the official trailer will let you into the show’s secret. What I loved about the show is the fact that it took me time to take sides.
It would be remiss of me to let go of the opportunity to watch Keanu Reeves. Again. And this time I have an excuse. It was Mother’s Day on May 10, and we owe to mothers of all ages, a feast for their eyes: Keanu Reeves. While they sigh into their pinot in their corner of the sofa, you revel in the action scenes in John Wick. Or wish you had a Mustang which you could drive like him…
I’m happy to continue watching Keanu Reeves, but we shall keep that for his birthday week in September. Right now we’re back to wondering how many of us will survive the day to day living with social distancing, isolation from face to face interactions, yearning for gossip at the coffee machine that mostly offers a tepid brew, and hoping you would not hate too much of the family thing. For those of us, there is a hidden gem in the heart of Amazon Prime. It’s a wonderful tale of very educated minds who go away for a goodbye party and have to confront a man who has kept a secret for thousands of years. A Man From Earth makes for a great viewing when you are home away from your normal life.Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.