Continue Watching turns one today! Can you believe this? We certainly can’t. A project that started between two friends when they were bored, disillusioned, and scared in the middle of a pandemic has brought us so much joy that it’s hard to describe it in words (and yet, one of us has written over 500 words about it).
We’re not writing essays this time because we have too many feelings of gratitude and wonder to work through, so what you’re getting are two wildly different notes. Kashika, as usual, starts with a story about her childhood and then talks about how she was certain she would not be able to commit to the newsletter. Shahana, who claims to be bad at feelings but isn’t, writes a succinct note that hopefully captures how she’s really feeling. The disparity between the two notes is all you need to know about how different our voices are and yet, in the newsletter, it works.
So, before you read what we have to say, once again, THANK YOU for subscribing and reading. You’re the reason we have so much fun doing this!
Lots of love,
Kashika and Shahana
A NOTE FROM KASHIKA
I have never stayed committed to a side project for anything close to a year, so this is new territory for me. I take things up and move on from them very quickly, no matter how much I like doing them. When I was younger, fuelled by my parents’ desire to make me learn every skill that ever existed, I took a new class every summer and never got good enough at anything. Swimming—I won’t drown in a pool but I am not a swimmer. Horseback riding—I don’t even remember the name of my horse. Synthesiser—I can still play the national anthem and Yeh Sheher Hai Aman Ka (the banger from Raaz) but nothing else. Skating—I can play the female lead in a movie where the couple goes on a skating date and the dude has to hold the girl’s hands every second while she’s skating. Tennis—my backhand is weirdly better than my forehand and I mostly only remember the boy I was crushing on all summer, who was a much better player than me. French—let’s just say I can’t watch even Emily In Paris without subtitles because I quit the moment I broke up with a classmate and he kept starting drama in every class. Dance—I have started and quit so many classes I don’t have enough fingers to count. You get the drift.
So, when Shahana wanted to write a TV newsletter with me, I knew I was going to disappoint her. Somehow, magically, I haven’t. I have kept at it, through two waves of this pandemic, shuffling back and forth between Gurgaon and Jaipur, a merger and acquisition situation at work, and several mental breakdowns. We took a couple of unavoidable breaks, but we always came back to this space, which over the last one year has become so much more than just a TV newsletter. I have often treated it like a personal diary, which I was initially worried about, but after realising that I literally cannot write one paragraph without inserting myself in it (see first paragraph above), I made peace with it. Good thing I’m not a reporter anymore.
The last one year has had many, many lows for me, but this newsletter has always been a high. Whether it was hitting 50 subscribers, then 100, then getting a shoutout in Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s newsletter, being talked about on Twitter, every milestone has felt humongous and humbling and exciting. I am proud of what we’re trying to do here and proud of myself for sticking to it, even when it gets difficult and I have to somehow write 2000 words in 30 minutes. It has brought me and Shahana much closer and given us a reason (before BTS) to talk every other day. It has given me a space to talk about my obsessive opinions on TV and work through the damage done by Indian television. And, most importantly, it has made me a writer again. I am so grateful to every single one of you who reads, comments, emails, subscribes and shares this newsletter. We started out not knowing if there is an audience for Continue Watching, and ended up with the best one.
Keep reading (and watching!),
A NOTE FROM SHAHANA
This note will be short, but please believe me when I tell you I’ve really struggled with writing it. Continue Watching was started as a space meant for Kashika and me to use all the feelings we had about the countless TV shows we watched and channel it into something other people might want to read. Like most things that grow out of love, Continue Watching frustrates us just as much as it completes us, and my earnest wish for it is that you have as much fun from reading it as we do while we write it. I hope we’ve helped you find good television to watch and bad television to avoid; that in us you’ve found someone who felt and thought the same thing you did when you watched something, and someone you can come to when you’ve watched something ridiculous or amazing and feel like you absolutely must talk about it or you’ll burst (we’re really intense about it too, trust me). As Continue Watching completes a year, here’s me wishing bigger and better things for it—to more people finding us, to watching more television (good and bad), and to still be doing it 10 years later.
Keep reading (and watching!),
We hope you enjoyed reading this issue as much as we loved writing it. Please write to us if you have any feedback. We look forward to your emails, comments, tweets, and DMs with requests, criticism, recommendations, and anything else that you want to tell us. You can also follow us on Instagram here. And if you haven’t already, do subscribe!