Issue #11: The calm after the hiatus

Another issue, another list

Hi,

Welcome back to Continue Watching! As you may have noticed, the wait for our 11th issue was longer than usual, because we didn’t send out an issue on the 15th of this month. It was an unplanned hiatus, one we took because the first few weeks of January were very hard for us. We had made a promise to you, and to each other, to write this newsletter twice a month, so it wasn’t an easy decision, but a necessary one. We wanted to stop before we crashed. Even as both of us assuaged each other’s guilt at what we considered abandoning this newsletter, we rested and recovered and are now feeling much better. We hope that if you’re ever in a similar situation, where you’re so mentally exhausted that you need to press pause on even your most favourite thing, you’re able to do what we did.

We wanted this issue to be a lighter, easier one, which is also what we want from 2021. You know by now that television is our favourite and most effective coping mechanism, so as we get ready to take on February, we have put together a list of shows we are excited to watch in the next few months. We already know that these shows will do a lot of the heavy lifting for us emotionally, so our expectations are quite high.

But before we get to that list, have you seen this?


This Indian adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, Trishna was on Doordarshan before we were born! Shahana sent this link to her mother and got a super excited response from her. You can find all the episodes on YouTube, and something tells us this nostalgia trip will soothe many a soul in this winter (is it winter where you are? We are FREEZING our butts off in Delhi and Gurgaon).

Three shows that we LOVE - Insecure, Shrill, and The Bold Type - have announced that they are returning in 2021 for their final seasons. As sad as this makes us, we respect the self-awareness of wanting to go out on a high. We talk about all these shows, and more, in our 2021 list below, but before that, let’s get to our fave section.

CURRENTLY WATCHING

Kashika

The Sinner: I’d watched the first season of The Sinner when it had come out, and while it was compelling, I didn’t watch the seasons that followed. I was dealing with some major disappointments in January, and the listlessness trickled over into my TV watching. While scrolling through Netflix trying to figure out what to watch to take my mind off my misery, I started the second season of The Sinner, which begins with a 13-year-old murdering his parents. It is just the right amount of insane for me, plus it features a cult. What’s not to like? Streaming on Netflix.

Still 17: In my head, I am still 17. I am stuck in the third-last year of my teenage, which was tragic and amazing, and unforgettable. I started this K-drama just for the name. Still 17 is about a woman who wakes up from a 13-year coma thinking that she’s 17, when she’s actually 30. We follow her as she tries to piece together what happened to her, looks for the people she lost, and comes to terms with being 30, the age I am for exactly two more days. Korean shows tend to use plain language (or at least the translation is very simple) to say life-changing things, and this drama is no exception. I’m very happy that I am watching it. Streaming on Netflix.

Shahana

I Hate Suzie: Starring Doctor Who’s Billie Piper, I Hate Suzie revolves around a popstar and actor whose phone is hacked and compromising photos are leaked, and her efforts to keep her family together through the fallout of the leak. Each episode is meant to be structured around the different stages of grief, and it’s supposed to be a dark comedy. I’m only two episodes in and Suzie’s at the Denial stage, and she’s spiralling SO HARD, so I want to see how on earth she’s going to get to Acceptance, if at all. Not streaming anywhere.

Dickinson: Season two is here! Listen, I read an Emily Dickinson poem when I was very young, and I fell in love with this recluse who once wrote “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church/I keep it, staying at Home.” Dickinson is a delightful show about the life of American poet Emily Dickinson, but modernises the show in a way that makes it really entertaining. The characters talk like us, the music is contemporary and the needle drops are superb, and the poetry is woven in so naturally and seamlessly that it doesn’t feel too heavy (trust me, you’ll enjoy it and get it even if you’re not a lover or reader of poetry). This season has Emily questioning the nature of fame and the whole concept of who one’s art is for, which is so universal. Genius poets, they’re just like us. Streaming on Apple TV+. 

This may not be how we planned on kicking off 2021 for Continue Watching, but we’re not as married to our plans as we would have been pre-2020. We hope you enjoy this issue and continue to support us in making TV watching a richer experience for you. Happy weekend!

Continue Watching (and reading!),

Kashika and Shahana

Shows We Cannot Wait To Watch in 2021

Kashika’s list

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: I have absolutely no idea what this show is about - kids, ice hockey, some grumpy dude who used to be a legend? - but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that it stars my TV goddess Lauren Graham in the lead role, so I will watch the shit out of it. Also, Shahana loves these movies (I didn’t even know there were movies), so it can’t be bad at all.

Will stream on Disney+ Hotstar.

Qubool Hai 2.0: I wish I had more Hindi shows on this list, but the only one I have is the reboot of Qubool Hai, a show that started as a love story between the insufferably abrasive Asad and the insufferably chirpy Zoya and ended as some sort of a supernatural shitshow with daayans and vampires. Regardless, I loved the couples of the first two seasons and much of the OG cast is back for this reboot, so I’m cautiously excited about it.

Will stream on Zee5.

The Dropout: I’m obsessed with scam artists, which explains why I followed Caroline Calloway for months. The Dropout stars Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford to launch a healthcare technology company, Theranos, that claimed to revolutionize blood testing. Everyone thought she was a genius and the saviour of humankind until she was exposed as a fraud and people figured out that, among other things, she was faking her voice????? Like I said, fascinating stuff.

Might have to get creative to find it.

Inventing Anna: Another show, another scam artist. Created and produced by Shonda Rhimes, this show is inspired by the brilliant New York Magazine article, How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People written by Jessica Pressler, who also wrote the article that inspired the movie Hustlers. It stars Julia Garner in the lead role of a Russian-born con artist who created the fake identity of Anna and pretended to be a wealthy German heiress. I have been looking forward to this show for a while, but after the disaster that was Bridgerton, I’m a little bit skeptical. Shahana, a fellow scammer lover, has ALSO been really excited about it, but her list is much longer than mine so I made her delete it from there.

Will stream on Netflix. 

Firefly Lane: Before Dr. Izzie Stevens became the lamest person possible, she was a pretty kickass character on Grey’s Anatomy, due in no small part to how Katherine Heigl played her. This is the only reason I want to watch this show, which stars two former TV doctors, Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, about the decades-long friendship between these two women.

Will stream on Netflix. 

Ginny & Georgia: This show, with its alliteration and everything, is basically Gilmore Girls meets Little Fires Everywhere, except the mom seems a lot more annoying than Lorelai and the kid seems a lot less annoying than Rory. Plus it has Jason Street from Friday Night Lights. Come on, how I can not be excited about this! 

Will stream on Netflix. 

Shrill (Season 3): As a woman who weighs more or less as much as Aidy Bryant, something about Hulu’s comedy about a fat person owning and accepting her body doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s the fact that everything in her life, every single storyline, is coloured by her weight, maybe it’s something else. I can’t put my finger on it. Nonetheless, I enjoy watching Shrill, and I’m excited to see how they end it. 

Might have to get creative to find it. 

Insecure (Season 5): At the end of season 4, BFFs Molly and Issa were in a worse place than before, and while Insecure has a lot of hot men, the only relationship I care about is the friendship. As mentioned earlier, this is also the last season of the show, and I have full faith in Issa Rae that she will make it worth our while.

Will stream on Disney+ Hotstar.

Dawson’s Creek: This is obviously a SUPER old show, but one I haven’t seen before. As a self-proclaimed scholar of American teen dramas, that’s just unacceptable. Now that it’s on Netflix, I’m saving it for a rainy day. I just hope that after watching stuff like Euphoria and PLL, this doesn’t feel too vanilla for me.

Streaming on Netflix.

Too Hot To Handle: This batshit reality show has been renewed for two more seasons, and while it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever watched, it’s also endlessly watchable. Honestly, can’t wait.

Will stream on Netflix.

Shahana’s list

Everything from the MCU: At the time of writing this, the fourth episode of WandaVision (what a delight this show is turning out to be) has dropped, and I’m racing to finish this issue so I can go watch it because it’s supposed to finally explain what’s going on. I also cannot wait for The Falcon and Winter Soldier, Loki, Ms. Marvel (OMG OMG!) and Hawkeye (especially Hawkeye, because I think it’s based on the Matt Fraction run of the Hawkeye comics and I legit love it). I’m not explaining them because there’s a decade’s worth of stories and plots I’ll have to give you, so... no.

Will stream on Disney+ Hotstar.

Clarice: Yup, the Clarice from The Silence of the Lambs. The show is set a year after the events of Silence, and delves into FBI agent Clarice Starling’s life.

Might have to get creative to find it. 

Gossip Girl: Yeah, the reboot’s releasing this year. I didn’t even finish the original Gossip Girl, so who knows if I’ll watch this in its entirety? But I did watch every single ridiculous episode of Pretty Little Liars and continue to stay hooked on every bonkers episode of Riverdale, so I don’t see why I wouldn’t stick with this.

Will stream on Netflix.

The Handmaid's Tale (Season 4): The first season of this show was terrifying and painful, and was the first piece of TV writing Kashika and I did together! And we hated it, because that season will dredge up every fear you’ve ever had a woman! Every single one! The show kinds went off its rails in season three, but I hate myself, so of course I’m going to torture myself with the new season too!

Seasons 1-3 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video. No clue if they’ll stream Season 4 at the same time, so you might have to get creative to find it.

The Nevers: The only thing I know about this is its description: An epic science-fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world. I’m sold.

Will stream on Disney+ Hotstar (I think).

Nine Perfect Strangers: Big Little Lies fans, assemble! Another adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s books, NPS stars Nicole Kidman as the mysterious director of a wellness resort where nine strangers check in for a retreat that promises to heal them both physically and emotionally. Obviously things go haywire.

No clue where it’ll stream yet, so you might have to get creative to find it. 

Pose (Season 3): For those not in the know, Pose follows New York City's African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming drag ball culture scene. Pose is truly groundbreaking TV, and I really urge you to watch it.

Will stream on Disney+ Hotstar, where you can find previous seasons as well.

Succession (Season 3): Succession follows the lives of the uber-rich Roy family, whose money comes from the media and entertainment conglomerate they own. Every single person on this show is an asshole, and you’ll find yourself whispering “eat the fucking rich” so many times, it’s not funny. A huge and unexpected bomb dropped at the end of Season 2 which rattles the entire family, so I’m waiting to see how and if they’ll survive this. Knowing how much the rich get away with in real life, I’m willing to bet the Roys will survive.

Will stream on Disney+ Hotstar, where you can find previous seasons as well.

Shadow and Bone: I love a good YA fantasy adaptation, and this one, based on Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology, should be good. A young woman discovers powers she didn’t know she had, and she must use them to save her home from a powerful, dark force. There’s magic, monsters, the powers of love and good and evil, and hopefully, a good production budget.

Will stream on Netflix.

Only Murders in the Building: Stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as a group of true-crime fans who find themselves embroiled in one. Yup, I’m sold.

Might have to get creative to find this.

The Underground Railroad: Based on the Colson Whitehead book of the same name, the show follows a network of abolitionists who navigate hidden underground routes and safe houses that allowed Black American slaves to escape to freedom in the early to mid-1800s.

Will stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Impeachment: American Crime Story: Part of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story anthology series, this one follows the Bill Clinton impeachment story, and stars Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, Clive Owen as Bill Clinton, and Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp. It’ll be nice to remember that Americans once impeached a President for sexual harassment in the workplace but are refusing to do so to a man who literally instigated a coup. Also a reminder to us all that Bill Clinton did not have an affair--he sexually harassed a woman in the workplace and basically got away with a slap on the wrist. Aah men, they just never fail to disappoint me.

Will probably stream on Disney+ Hotstar.

Honourable mentions:

  • American Gods (Season 3) on Amazon Prime Video

  • Stranger Things (Season 4) on Netflix

  • The Witcher (Season 2) on Netflix

  • You (Season 3) on Netflix.

  • The Morning Show (Season 2) on Apple TV+

  • Pen15 (Season 2 - II) 

  • Snowpiercer (Season 2) on Netflix

  • Peaky Blinders (Season 6) on Netflix

Recommendations

We get so many requests for TV show recs from friends, so we’ll get to them here in every issue.

Work is driving me nuts, and I need a distraction. I want a show that doesn’t turn me obsessive enough that I can’t stop watching it, but something that’ll interest me enough for the 45-odd minutes that I watch. An episode every few days kind of show, you know what I mean? I’m partial to fantasy stuffmagic, vampires, werewolves, that sort of thing is preferable.

Watch A Discovery of Witches. Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, the show follows Diana Bishop, a historian and witch who hates using magic and an enigmatic vampire (aren’t they all mysterious and enigmatic?) named Matthew Clairmont. Diana finds a strange and magical book while doing research at Oxford which draws a bunch of magical creatures to her, and she doesn't know why. There's something off about Diana's magical abilities as well, and she teams up with Matthew to figure out what it is, while they find themselves falling in love. Star-crossed love, magical creatures, high stakes, mysteries—you'll find all of it here. It's a pleasant watch, nothing that'll force you to binge through the entire series, but one you can savour over a long week or two.

Streaming on SonyLiv. 

Shout-Outs

Kashika

SATC is officially coming back without Samantha and with a ridiculous new name, And Just Like That…, and when this was announced, I read a lot of articles about it. The one that takes the cake is this Vulture timeline of the decades-long Sex and the City feud, which is both juicy and hilarious.

Shahana

After years of trying and failing, there will finally be a television adaptation of Sandman, so now I can just tell people to watch it instead of reading this nearly-80 issue comic book series. Here’s all the news about the TV adaptation, and the most exciting part—Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie is playing Lucifer!

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Links and resources to understand what’s happening around us, and what you can do to make a difference. If you want us to feature a particular cause or endeavour in this section, please email us.

There are over 10,000 protesting farmers camping at the Tikri Border and over 18,000 at Singhu border in Delhi and their numbers are constantly growing as the resistance remains long and arduous. Sanitation remains a major unsolved challenge which puts the farmers, especially women and senior citizens, at increased health and safety risk amidst the pandemic. Hence, the installation of safe, comfortable and accessible toilets is an urgent humanitarian and social justice need. 

BasicShit is a collective with the goal to develop accessible toilet units from waste recycling. One dry toilet unit is made of 120kg of plastic trash equivalent to 8740 bottles and costs Rs. 60,000. Help them create treasure from trash! After successfully installing a few toilets at the Singhu border, BasicShit is now going to cover both the protest sites.

Help BasicShit reach their fundraiser goal by donating here


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!