I’ve been watching Black Mirror, a TV series created by Charlie Brooker. If you’ve read Brooker’s Guardian columns, then you know he’s a very funny writer. Black Mirror, however, is not comic by a long shot. It is deeply twisted and absolutely brilliant. It’s also conclusive evidence that television is where the really inventive ideas are at the moment. So that’s what this piece is about and I managed to sneak in a reference to Black Mirror even though it’s actually about Thor: The Dark World.
If you really want to mess with your mental wellbeing, you could watch an episode of Trinny and Susannah Makeover Mission India before or after watching Black Mirror. In my case, it led to yet another sputterance and the conviction that I never want to turn on cable TV ever again. I know Trinny and Susannah’s USP is that they don’t shy away from being rude to their victims, but they were just outstandingly idiotic and judgmental in the episode I saw. It was appalling. I’m not even getting into the mystery of how anyone can take fashion advice from two women who are so oddly-dressed themselves.
Finally, since one movie has been squatting in pretty much every theatre in the country, I wrote a piece on Chennai Express, much like every other person who writes on films in India. The movie is precisely as crappy and as much of a hit as you’d expect it to be. What I did find interesting was the fact that it was all about Shah Rukh Khan. The film totally drew on Khan’s past work, the publicity trained its focus on Khan the person — and that’s pretty bold considering the man’s personal life has been the topic of much gossip of late. I wrote a piece that looked at how Chennai Express tried to create and mine from the myth of Shah Rukh Khan Superstar.