We walked into the theatres with high expectation from the newest installment from the Conjuring – Annabelle universe. The first installment had it’s share of scares & was a good watch. The latest one is the prequel to the first Annabelle movie.\
The story begins with The Mullins – residents of a small town in America, who lose their child at an early age. The story then fast forwards to a group of orphans who are looked after by sister Charlotte & are welcomed to stay at the Mullins home, 12 years post the death of their daughter. What follows is a series of horrifying incidents. Although the first half has a good storyline, it has limited scares. Whereas, the second half is full of horrifying moments.
Director David Sandberg- who directed the spine chilling – Lights Out does a decent job with the movie. He manages to extract decent performances from his cast. But for an avid horror movie buff, Annabelle Creation falls short of expectations, especially considering the level of other movies from the universe namely The Conjuring 1 & 2, and even its predecessor. The movie is not as scary as it should have been!
We wouldn’t count ourselves as people who would be interested in Women’s wrestling. But two episodes & we were hooked. Netflix must be commended for coming up with an interesting storyline around women’s wrestling. The show revolves around Alison Brie’s character – Ruth – an out of work struggling actress in 1970’s America, who dreams with her eyes open. The show will keep you engrossed as you trace Ruth & her best friend turned foe – Debbie Eagan, played by the busty Betty Gilpin transforming themselves into professional wrestlers.
The show is funny & will keep you glued to your seats. Credit must be given to the writers for this terrific script. Although you know, how the show will unfold & the fact that it is on the lines of Chak De or Lagaan – the journey of Ruth & Debbie will keep you intrigued. The supporting characters too are perfect in their roles. Take a bow team Netflix.
Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Better Call Saul, Orange is the New Black, Narcos, Dexter, House of Cards, 13 Reasons Why, Suits, The Mentalist, The Blacklist, Marvel series, Veep, Fargo etc are shows that every urban Indian knows about. Even though they may have not seen them all, they are aware of these shows. But, there are several award winning shows on Netflix, Hotstar & Amazon Prime, that barely get mentioned in spite of being awesome & just as good, if not better than the popular shows & movies.
The Opinionated Indian lists out the hidden gems available on online streaming apps
Broadchurch (Netflix): Easily the most under rated show available in India right now. This show had us hooked from day one. This British whodunit, will keep you at the edge of your seats & make you binge on it, till the last episode. The twists & turns manage to hold your attention throughout. One can forgive them for getting way too melodramatic at times. The series boasts of an ensemble cast & great acting. At no point did we feel that, the show is dragging. The show has had a run of two seasons & we just can wait for the third season.
Goliath (Amazon Prime): Although an Emmy award winning show in the US, the show barely gets any coverage in India. As expected, brilliant acting by Billy Bob Thornton, who plays the Goliathesque lawyer. He plays the drunk, ex top lawyer, who is now living out of a motel & carries the show on his skinny shoulders. His acting is never OTT. The supporting cast is spectacular, the characters are well scripted & the story line is gripping. If you are a sucker, for the underdog who takes on the big guys sorta shows/movies, Goliath – as the name suggests is just the show for you.
Bojack Horseman (Netflix): We had our reservations watching a animated show. But, a few episodes of this funny show & we were hooked. The story about a not so good hearted washed out TV star is entertaining. The writers need to be commended for their out of the box thinking. Scenes like the one where a cow, who is a waitress just puts a glass inside her blouse, & then pumped her breasts to give a glass of milk cracked us up. Every animal in the show can communicate like humans, but do retain their traits. With every episode barely 25 mins long, you will end up watching all the 5 seasons before you even realize.
The Newsroom (Hotstar): One of the most brutal & honest shows on American Television. This show is a breath of fresh air. The shows give the viewers an insight about how a news organisation functions & how various people keep pulling strings which ends up impacting the news presented to us. it may seem like a gritty drama, but at heart is a love story. Do watch this one!
Red Oaks (Amazon Prime): Red Oaks gives us a peek into the lives of wealthy American club members in the 70’s that of the club staffers. The show revolves around a young undergrad who is caught between the love of two women, his passion for acting, photography & his father’s advice to become an accountant.It is a trip down memory lane. Viewers will be able to relate to the story & reminisce about incidents from their days growing up. The show keeps you entertained throughout & is a fun watch. Do keep some popcorn handy & put your feet up while watching this one
The Night Of (Hotstar): One of HBO’s best written & under rated shows, The Night Of is a whodunit. The show revolves around a Pakistani – the son of a Pakistani immigrant cab driver, who is accused of murdering a white woman post spending the night with her. Very well written, the show keeps viewers guessing till the end. The show does touch upon racism, terrorism, jail violence. The supporting cast including Poorna Jagannathan is good.
Transparent (Amazon Prime): Another good show on Amazon Prime. This sitcom is a pleasant surprise. The story revolves around a dysfunctional family. The family patriarch is a woman trapped in a man’s body & attracted to women! The oldest daughter is a married woman who cheats on her husband with a woman! The son is a womanizer who then has a change of heart, The youngest daughter is sexually active woman who discovers the joys of lesbianism. The show has enough twists & turns to keep you excited for the first two seasons. We couldn’t get ourselves to watch beyond season two though. The show gets boring & repetitive post the first two seasons.
Get Me Roger Stone (Netflix): The only documentary on our list. We love Netflix for its amazing collection of documentaries & would have loved to include some more documentaries on the list. But, none of them is as deserving as Get Me Roger Stone. It gives us a closer look at Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s key campaigners during the presidential election. The film gives us a peek into the mind of campaign managers, who relentlessly strive to make their candidate win “at all costs”. The film lists out the rules of political campaigning as mentioned by Roger Stone. The film also delves into the various controversies that Roger Stone has been involved, right from Nixon’s campaign to Ronald Reagan’s to Donald Trump’s campaign.
American Playboy (Amazon Prime): Easily the most exciting title on the list, American Playboy is a excellent show documenting the meteoric rise, popularity, struggles & crises that Hugh Heffner went through. The show includes interviews of various people who played a part in building the Playboy brand right from its inception in the 1950’s, people who were witness to major events in the life of Hugh Heffner, his kids, his numerous exes & Hugh Heffner himself. The show has ample nudity & hitherto unseen footage of Heff with his bunnies.
Black Mirror (Netflix): This show is slightly more mentioned as compared to other names on the list, barring The Night Of, but is still highly under rated. Each of the 3 seasons consist of 3 unrelated episodes depicting the ill effects of technology in the future. This British series is highly engrossing & will keep the audiences begging for more. The cast includes some well known faces from Brit TV. The writers of the show should pat their backs for their vivid imagination & storytelling. Never a dull moment in this one.
The People Vs O.J Simpson (Netflix, Hotstar): We have saved the best for the last. The Opinionated Indian is shocked that despite the show being based on a true story of an ex football star charged with the murder of his ex-wife, boasting of an ensemble cast including John Travolta & Cuba Gooding Jr., this show is not getting the kind of mileage in mainstream media as much as it should. The story & characters are very well researched. A google search of the characters will make you want to hug the cast, producers & directors of the show for the uncanny resemblance of the reel life & real life characters & the script. The show covers issues ranging from racism, celeb leniency, celeb culture & the American judiciary. Go watch it, if you haven’t already!
Please do write to us, if you think there are some other eligible contenders who deserve to be on this list.