The Awful & Awesome Entertainment Wrap

Jul 31 2020 49 mins 408

A weekly wrap up of consumable and non-consumable entertainment curated, especially for the internet age. Hosted by Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen. Click here to support Newslaundry: See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 173: Raat Akeli Hai, Three Identical Strangers, and more
Aug 07 2020 50 mins  
While talking about Raat Akeli Hai:Rajyasree: I would not recommend it but if you all have time, you all should watch. What else is everyone doing? You’re sitting at home. Watch it.Abhinandan: You know only you are! Everybody is working by the way.Rajyasree: I’m working. I do three things...Abhinandan: Then why do you assume...“Since all of you are sitting home doing nothing. Abhinandan, you don’t watch anything, you’re sitting and doing nothing.” Why do you assume everybody’s sitting and doing nothing?Rajyasree: Why? I’m assuming people manage their time like I do. I cater, I do a full-time job, and I do this podcast and some other things.Abhinandan: Rajyasree, I think on January 26 you should get to ride on the elephant with the bahadur bachhas of India who salute the President.Rajyasree: You should make an elephant, na? Make a little statue over here. Abhinandan: Yeah, you can do that. Then you can congratulate yourself.Rajyasree: Nobody is congratulating me, I might as well congratulate myself.Rajyasree and Abhinandan burst out laughing.This and a whole lot of other stuff awful and awesome as Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss the films Raat Akeli Hai and Lootcase, Netflix documentary Three Identical Strangers, Roger Federer’s new commercial for Barilla, and Nike ad You Can’t Stop Us.Tune in!Timecodes00:08: Introduction02:36: Three Identical Strangers10:21: Letters from listeners14:39: Raat Akeli Hai22:29: Letters from listeners27:30: Nike Ad30:17: Lootcase42:39: Barilla Ad See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 131: #MerePyarePrimeMinister, #ElCamino and more
Oct 17 2019 63 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by two of our subscribers, Ekta Gulyani and Abinash Chakraborty. The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap has been nominated for the Best Podcast award at the Asia Podcast Awards. Please click on the link ( to ensure the podcast that YOU have helped us create wins.They begin with a discussion on Mere Pyare Prime Minister, which is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Ekta says, “There are very amazing elements of niceness and humanity which we don’t see in city life.” She adds later that it is a feelgood film despite being about such a dark topic. On Oppo drawing flak for its ads, Abinash says he wonders why Caucasian actors were chosen for the ads when the Chinese company has a huge market in India and China. Abinash then talks about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. He says although the movie is good, the sequel was a long time coming. “There are inside references or jokes that I rarely remember,” he says, adding that the film is meant for a small audience.They also delve into the similarities in the trailers of upcoming movies, Bala and Ujda Chaman. Wondering why men are so self-conscious about their receding hairline, Abhinandan remarks, “I think it’s because deep down hair is a sign of virility. And this is why it is so deeply etched in the subconscious of men.” See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 130: #Joker, Cadbury ad, #TheFamilyMan, and more
Oct 10 2019 58 mins  
This episode brings you not only the usual dose of entertainment but some exciting news as well. The Awful & Awesome Entertainment Wrap has been nominated for the Best Podcast award at the Asia Podcast Awards. Please click on this link( to ensure the podcast that YOU have helped us create wins. Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen, as usual, talk about ads, series, and movies. Discussing the new Cadbury Dark Milk ad starring Aishwarya Rai, Rajyasree says, “I can’t see whether the ad is that good or not as the chocolate, although she is looking very good.” They talk about the Netflix series Bard of Blood, a spy thriller which Rajyasree thinks is “just very very bad”. The Family Man on Amazon Prime is much better, she adds. “Watch it because they have managed to string the whole thing together very well. I’m impressed that Amazon Prime has a better original series than Netflix does.”The recent release Joker has garnered a lot of attention. But Abhinandan thinks the director didn’t do justice to the film and the character of Joker as the quintessential villain. Rajyasree adds, “This character has nothing. Neither do you feel bad nor does he scare you. You just wish he died.”They also discuss China’s ban on South Park and its creators’ apology to Beijing, Ram Gopal Varma’s latest offering, Beautiful, and much more.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 128: #TheSpy, #TheSkyisPink, PalPalDilKePaas and more
Sep 12 2019 62 mins  
In this episode of Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Abhinandan Sekri and Rajyasree Sen talk about the Netflix miniseries, The Spy, trailer for the upcoming movie The Sky is Pink, Bollywood newbie Karan Deol and his movie Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas.They begin the podcast with Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Spy. Rajyasree notes, “It's not particularly gripping,” however, she also adds, “Watch it to see Sacha.” Abhinandan also talks about another series ‘Fauda’ which he doesn't like much as he says, “It’s not that great, it's okay.”They move on to discuss the ad campaigns by Absolut Vodka and Samsung. Rajyasree while talking about the Samsung ad says, “I understand the thought is very good and noble but the ad is over the top.” Abhinandan, on the other hand, appreciates the ad and the concept of the App and jokingly adds, “Felt that lump in the throat feeling or maybe it was the Delhi pollution.”They talk about the trailer of The Sky is Pink, lauding the change in air in Bollywood. Talking about the same, Abhinandan says, “It makes you want to watch the film.” They also talk about sexual harassers and the larger debate of excluding the art from the artist. In this context, they also talk about Roman Polanski and Amir’s decision to work with Subhash Kapoor. The podcast ends with Abhnandan’s quintessential Punjabi song recommendation which Rajyasree warns you to refrain from hearing. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 127: Fevicol, Kumbalangi Nights, Dave Chappelle and more
Sep 04 2019 68 mins  
In this episode of Awful and Awesome, Rajyasree and Abhinandan engage in a conversation about advertisements, beginning with the Fevicol and Fevikwik ad. Rajyasree talks about the Malayalam movie Kumbalangi Nights, the Mumbai Metro ad and the controversy surrounding the Brooke Bond Red Label Ad. They also review an award-winning short-film Banoffee Pie, the new Star Wars trailer, David Chappelle’s stand-up Sticks and Stones, Season 2 of Succession followed by more ads.The podcast starts with the two talking about the Fevicol ad. Rajyasree felt it was like watching a short film, while Abhinandan tries to figure out the meaning of ‘Bangali Kirmit’. The second ad they talk about is the Fevikwik ad. Abhinandan thinks it has a feminist perspective. He says “There is a feminist point, the kabadi is a woman as opposed to a man; most kabadis are men”. Rajyasree jokingly adds, “I felt that the girl is the person who believes in the NRC and the kabadi-wali is the one who wants everyone to be a part of India.”Rajyasree then goes on to review the Malayalam film Kumbalangi Nights. She says the movie is set in the backwaters and covers the story of four brothers. By and large, she was not very impressed with either the movies or its reviews. She says, “When I finished the film, it made zero impact on me.” They also talk about the depiction of male characters in Malayalam and Bengali movies, Abhinandan says, “Lots have shown how Bengali and Mallu men are lazy.” Rajyasree concludes by saying that people need to watch better movies if this is their idea of good cinema.Finally, the episode wraps up with Abhinandan’s Punjabi song recommendation.For this and much more, tune in. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 126: Sacred Games, Mindhunter and more
Aug 21 2019 56 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about the second season of Sacred Games, the trailer of Laal Kaptaan, season two of Mindhunter, OkCupid's new ad campaign, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood and Euphoria's new song.The podcast kicks off with the latest season of Sacred Games, featuring a stellar star cast. According to Abhinandan, the directors left the end hanging. He says the first episode was the weakest but adds: "I didn’t think it was as good as Season 1 but at the same time, it was better than anything India has ever produced!" Rajyasree says, "I felt that it was too stretched, as in it was not plausible." Abhinandan wonders how Sartaj, the character played by Saif Ali Khan, ties his pagdi since he loses his left thumb in the first season. He also discusses the level of writing the series' writers will have to pursue for the third season in order to lure him back, since all the characters have been fully developed and there's not much to add to the plot.They go on to talk about Once Upon a Time In Hollywood starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo di Caprio. Abhinandan says, "I think every movie of Quentin Tarantino is a celebration of cinema." Rajyasree says the movie is a "riot". "It's really a fun ride, almost." Moving on to discuss dating apps, Abhinandan assures Rajyasree that he'll contemplate signing up on OkCupid, Tinder and similar platforms and then share his experience in the next podcast.Finally, Abhinandan expresses his thoughts on Vande Mataram, Euphoria's new song, saying this is just an attempt to cash in on the wave of patriotism. The duo also talks about disaster-themed films like The Meg.This and a lot more, so tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 125: Man vs Wild, Priyanka Chopra and more
Aug 16 2019 74 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about an episode of Man vs Wild featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Netflix series The Family, a controversy which involves Priyanka Chopra, Due Date, and an interview Abhinandan conducts with Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, author of The Making of Star India.The podcast kicks off with the Man vs Wild episode featuring Narendra Modi. Rajyasree thinks it's the tamest episode of Man vs Wild ever. She says, “The episode should not have been shot in Corbett National Park since the others were shot in the wild, not in the tame parts of the wild.” Up next is the film Due Date starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. Abhinandan says: “The film has a promising start and had its moments but wasn’t very funny. So I was a little disappointed and was not thrilled with the film.”Abhinandan then interviews Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, a media specialist who tracks the entertainment business. They discuss Vanita's book The Making of Star India which is about the gripping story of the company that shaped the Indian media and entertainment business. Abhinandan says, “What Star has done for Indian television entertainment is like what Michael Jackson did for music television.”Rajyasree then recommends two Hollywood-inspired Hindi films, Khoon Bhari Maang and Masoom, while Abhinandan recommends a Punjabi song. This and much more, so tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 122: The Lion King, Top Gun: Maverick and more
Jul 25 2019 42 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri cover Netflix series Typewriter, the new Lion King movie, Top Gun: Maverick, a controversy involving Priyanka Chopra, and more.Kicking off with Typewriter, Rajyasree says she's especially impressed with Kanwaljit Singh’s performance in the show. However, she adds: “There was nothing scary in it.” Abhinandan comments, “This is no Stranger Things.”Rajyasree and Abhinandan discuss their love for the original Lion King movie and how the new photorealistic remake fails to live up to the original, despite excellent visual elements. What stole the show for Abhinandan was John Oliver’s character Zazu, who he felt was fantastic. Rajyasree adds that the Hindi version’s trailer was “unimpressive”.Up next is Top Gun: Maverick. Despite not being a huge fan of Tom Cruise, Abhinandan says his reaction upon watching the trailer was “bete ye toh deknhi padegi”. He talks about the iconic nature of the original Top Gun and how the new one could be better or worse. Bringing up the iconic love song in the original movie, he lists other excellent "lovemaking" songs. (Hint: there’s a surprise here!)Finally, the podcast moves to the controversy surrounding the three Masterchef Australia judges quitting the show. The hosts discuss charges of non-payment to workers surrounding one of the judges, and the reasons that led to all three leaving. They also debate whether the show can survive without them.For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 121: Stranger Things 3, Rubaru Roshni & more
Jul 18 2019 55 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri cover Stranger Things season 3, the Ambani family’s birthday video for Shloka Ambani, Danny Boyle’s Yesterday and more.Since Abhinandan finally watched Stranger Things, the duo discusses the latest season. Abhinandan shares his admiration for Winona Ryder, saying, “When I was a young boy, she was the love of my life." They talk about the casting and the acting, calling it “brilliant across the board”. When asked which season she liked best, Rajyasree said: “Season 1 was nice, but season 2 didn’t do anything for me."Up next was the film Yesterday. Rajyasree felt the lead actor wasn’t “very good looking” and Kunal Nayyar from the Big Bang Theory would have been a better-looking fit. Although, she did love his acting. They also discuss the premise of the film and its relation with The Beatles. The duo shares their love for The Beatles and how they hummed along to the songs in the movie. Abhinandan also felt that “if you’re making a film about The Beatles, the film better be as legendary as the band”.Next, the duo discusses Amir Khan production’s Rubaru Roshni and the stories that it brings to light. Abhinandan felt that “it is really well-made” but was disappointed with the music choices.Finally, they move to the legendary video put out by the Ambani family on the occasion of daughter-in-law Shloka’s birthday. Rajyasree strongly felt that “the only natural person there was Mukesh bhai”. Abhinandan asks a poignant question: “What do you give to someone who already has everything?”. (Hint: the answer is the video) See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 119: #Article15, The Office India, Mad magazine & more
Jul 06 2019 68 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, host Rajyasree Sen speaks to guest Meghnad S. They speak about Article 15, The Office’s Indian remake, Fleabag, an advertisement from Subway, Meghnad’s new book Parliamental and much more.The discussion kicks off with a weird Subway advertisement—that made no sense to Meghnad. The duo also talks about Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag, the Indian remake of The Office and more. Meghnad, who loves the US version, talks about the differences and similarities between the two versions. He says that they’ve literally translated the US version line to line but there are some uniquely Indian nuances. Later, commenting on the UK version, Meghnad notes: “The original UK version is like a meme, you can just take it and put it anywhere. It's like Shakespeare." To which Rajyasree responds: “Shakespeare just died, again."Rajyasree and Meghnad then discuss Ayushmann Khurrana’s Article 15. Rajyasree is surprised that the film was even allowed to release considering it's not flattering to the government and wonders “if the person who gave it the certificate understood the film”. They talk about how the movie deals with caste and its impact on the Indian audience. Further, the duo talks about the closing down of Mad magazine. They share their childhood memories of reading the magazine.For this and much more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 118: When They See Us, Kabir Singh and more
Jun 27 2019 59 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about online series When They See Us, Charité at War and Season 5 of Black Mirror, Telugu movie Arjun Reddy and its Hindi remake Kabir Singh, a Vice movie on musicians from marginalised communities, and much more. The duo starts off by talking about the latest Pond’s commercial. Rajyasree says, “Nowadays commercials aren’t just ads, you have to have a hashtag”. Abhinandan says he found the campaign to be a "sweet thought", adding that it's a great concept though he thinks the boxing shown in the video could have been much better. Discussing the docu-series When They See Us, Abhinandan explains it's a documentation of a famous 1989 case on "the Central Park Five", considered the most high-profile example of miscarriage of justice. He says he found the show "mind-blowing" and that he hasn't watched a show this good in a very long time. Rajyasree says, "How well these boys have come out ... [they] have changed their lives and been able to make something of their lives, it's very uplifting to see."Moving on to Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh, Rajyasree says: "Arjun Reddy is three hours too long and Kabir Singh is three-and-a-half hours too long." She's sceptical of the reaction of feminists to Kabir Singh, comparing Alia Bhatt's character in Gully Boy to Shahid Kapoor's character in Kabir Singh and saying both were wrong. In the context of the glorification of problematic behaviour, Abhinandan argues that you can have shows where a woman is perfectly happy to go back to her husband who's a problematic person, but the show has to be set in a warped society. He says it only becomes problematic when it's portrayed as normal. This and a lot more, so tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 116: Aziz Ansari, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and more
May 30 2019 57 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri cover Aziz Ansari’s set (part of the Road to Nowhere show), Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota, the trailer of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Lisa Ray’s book Close to the Bone, and much more.Kicking off with Aziz Ansari’s stand up show, Rajyasree explains that this is Ansari’s comeback tour since claims of sexual harassment popped up against him. She remarks that the show is “not haha-laugh-out-loud, which would be odd”, and finds his decision to reference celebrities like R Kelly “interesting as a content choice”. Abhinandan thinks Ansari is “lazy” and the show was “pretty ordinary”. He ends his review with a PSA to the millennial audience: viewers come out to watch the performer and not “their fashion show”.The duo reviews the trailer of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1969 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. Abhinandan appreciates the “spectacularly cut trailer” and pegs Tarantino as the “finest filmmaker of his generation”. Rajyasree expresses her fear that the film will be heavily censored before its release in India. Even so, they both intend to catch the film when it hits theatres.Moving to the movie Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota, Abhinandan says he loved it, and his biggest regret is that he could not catch the movie in the theatre. He calls Abhimanyu Dasani a “great performer” and appreciates the plot for its nuances and pop culture references. Rajyasree appreciates the action sequences for being on par with international movies and thinks the film was excellent. They attribute the average performance of the movie to terrible distribution.Rajyasree reviews the book Close to the Bone written by actress Lisa Ray. While the book comes across as “well-written”, Rajyasree quips that Ray’s life is “not very interesting” to read about because it smacks of privilege. Abhinandan interjects that a non-dramatic story can be made interesting if one “can tell the story well”, citing the example of actor Pankaj Tripathi.For this and much more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 114: Wine Country, The Kings, Kanhaiya Kumar's campaign song & more
May 16 2019 50 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful & Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri talk about car advertisements, new trailers, Kanhaiya Kumar’s campaign song, Amy Poehler-directed Wine Country and more.Reviewing Poehler’s directorial debut, Wine Country, Rajyasree says the film doesn’t work despite the fantastic cast. She says, “They keep trying to put in funny lines, sometimes you should just let it (be). But it’s really impressive to see this line-up of really funny women come together for this film." Moving on, the hosts talk about the Datsun redi-Go advertisement. Rajyasree found the idea of the ad quite heart-warming. She also added that it was strange that the car was parked in the middle of the road while the participants were resolving their fight. According to Abhinandan, it was completely realistic for a Delhi road, but he disagrees with the message that the ad puts out.The duo also talks about The Kings, an Indian dance troupe, which won NBC’s World of Dance competition this year. They discuss Suresh Mukund and his 14-member troupe’s journey and performances. Abhinandan finds their routine and performances to be fantastic. He says, “The kind of acrobatics and the physical ability and dexterity of his team, and the strength, is phenomenal.”Talking about movie trailers, Abhinandan finds the trailer of De De Pyaar De, starring Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Rakul Preet Singh, to be quite funny. What impressed Rajyasree the most was the age-gap between Bollywood actors and actresses who often romance each other and how it has been directly addressed in this case. They also discuss the trailer of It: Chapter Two. The hosts discuss their takeaways from the first film, which was based on a novel by Stephen King, and how they look forward to the new film after this brilliantly produced trailer.The panel also discusses a short film called Tyson, Kanhaiya Kumar’s election song, and more.Listen in to find out! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 113: #MetGala2019, Sacred Games 2, Street Food & more
May 10 2019 59 mins  
In this new episode of the Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri talk about the 2019 Met Gala, the trailer of Sacred Games 2, two election music videos, and more.From tracking the history of the Met Gala to deciding whether or not Abhinandan’s taste in sneakers is "Camp" or not, the duo discussed the “the party of the year” in details. This time, the theme was—Camp: Notes on Fashion. In Rajyasree’s opinion, “the frizzy hair” look of Priyanka Chopra made her look like the Hollywood actress Helena Bonham Carter, who Abhinandan thinks always “looks a little off”. However, he thought that Deepika Padukone looked magnificent!The duo also discusses the new Pan Bahar advertisement, which they find incredulous. Although they agree that it is “as crappy as an ad can get”. Rajyasree says, “This is how India will overpower the world.” Abhinandan said this ad will help inspire people to join the para-commandos.The next ad they discuss is one put out by Surf Excel. According to Rajyasree, it is a short, compassionate, well-made ad. In fact, one of the best ads she has seen recently. Speaking about the cast of Sacred Games 2, Abhinandan says that he is excited for it as he really enjoyed the first part that was written by Varun Grover.Two new songs that they talk about are Raftaar - Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar and Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad Campaign Song. The former between the two matches the funk of Congress’ Ab Hoga Nyay song, according to Rajyasree.The panel also discusses Netflix’s new nine-part series Street Food and the popular MCU film Avengers: Endgame.Listen in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 112: Taylor Swift, Aisi Taisi Democracy, Veep and more
Apr 30 2019 53 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss the film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, television show Veep, political satire stand-up comedy show Aisi Taisi Democracy: The Aazaadi Tour, and music videos by Taylor Swift and Madonna. They also break down the new Pepsi commercial-cum-music video Har Ghoont Me Swag and critique the Election Commission’s new radio commercial.The podcast kicks off with Rajyasree talking about the film that she could bear only 45 minutes of—Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, starring Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Sonam Kapoor, and Rajkummar Rao. She believes it severely lacks conviction and fails to push the envelope given the potential of its lesbian-centric storyline.The panel then discusses two music videos by artists generations apart from one another. The first is Madonna’s Medellín that Abhinandan believes is “very slick” but wishes “there was a better song to go with it”. He compares it to Taylor Swift’s latest single, Me, and observes that while both videos were cinematically phenomenal, Swift's song embodies the generation it caters to, while Madonna’s "toe-sucking" scene in the video just seems like she's trying too hard.Although both hosts cringe at Pepsi’s new tagline, Har Ghoont Me Swag, they laud the video’s attempts to push the boundaries. On the other hand, the Election Commission’s radio commercial urging transgenders to vote is subject to far more criticism since both hosts thought it reeks of political incorrectness.The conversation then steers towards the stand-up comedy performance, Aisi Taisi Democracy: The Aazaadi Tour, and the panel discusses its cutting and insightful level of comedy. Rajyasree also talks about the political satire TV show Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, saying she believes it's brilliantly scripted and well worth a watch.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 111: The Music Teacher, Akshay Kumar-Modi interview & more
Apr 25 2019 55 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss the 64th Filmfare Awards, The Music Teacher, Selection Day season 2, Bharat's trailer and Akshay Kumar’s interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on a Netflix movie, The Music Teacher. Rajyasree says, “While there is a poignancy to it, it’s very stretched out." Despite being a movie based on music, the dubbing of the songs and its lip syncing by the actors is extremely poor. Abhinandan says, “For a film about music and music teachers, they couldn’t get the singing right which is ridiculous.” However, Abhinandan praises the frame of the film as it is shot in the hills of Shimla. The hosts then discuss the trailer of Bharat. In awe of Salman Khan, Rajyasree thinks that the movie is going to be a blockbuster. She says, “To pack so much into a trailer is also a skill in itself.” The film encapsulates documentary evidence of Jawaharlal Nehru’s passing. Abhinandan says, “What they have said is something along the lines of Forrest Gump because they use documentary evidence of Nehru’s passing.”The discussion moves on to Akshay Kumar’s interview with Modi. According to Rajyasree, the choice of Akshay Kumar as the interviewer was fabulous in terms of the stance on social issues and politics that he has in general. But on a whole, the hosts condemn the idea of this interview itself. Abhinandan says, “I thought it was a complete PR exercise, it’s a disgrace that all television channels are carrying it. It’s a disgrace for ANI that it did something like this, it is clearly to avoid the Election Commission cracking down on them...” Also, he takes a dig on what Modi speaks about his chat with Obama and regards it as completely nonsensical.Stay tuned for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 110: Game Of Thrones, Reason and more
Apr 18 2019 55 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss Reason, Game Of Thones, some political songs and ad campaigns, and a lot more.They start off with Anand Patwardhan’s Reason, a documentary split into eight parts, which they conclude is to attract a digital audience. The documentary is about the hate spread by Hindu organisations and how they're responsible for the murders of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and Gauri Lankesh. Abhinandan says the film looks like it was made in the 1980s and calls it "boring". But he adds: "What I like about this is that I had followed the Dr Dabholkar murder, you see a lot of footage of him which I haven’t seen on television … what was a revelation for me was what a brilliant and articulate man he was and how beautifully he debunked godmen and stuff.”Moving to Game Of Thrones, Rajyasree gives a sneak peek into the first episode of Season 8. She says, "All the characters were pretty much shown in the first episode." She also found it a little disappointing, considering the long wait for its release.The discussion moves to BBC's documentary podcast Mumbai Mirror, which is on the life and work of a newspaper before the elections. Both think it was very well put together. Rajyasree says it captured both feel and flavour, adding: "It's not just about election reporting ... it's mainly about the running of this newspaper."The conversation shifts to political music videos and ad campaigns like #MyFirstVoteForModi, Chunega Kya and Acche Din Blues. Both Abhinandan and Rajyasree intensely disliked #MyFirstVoteForModi—which is intended to reach out to young voters—and call it "terrible". On the flip side, Abhinandan praises Chunega Kya and Acche Din Blues in terms of their production value. On the latter, he says, "'s an excellent piece of audiovisual communication, an excellent piece of cinema, the singing/narration is amazing."For this and a lot more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 109: Criminal Justice, campaign songs and more
Apr 11 2019 51 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss Criminal Justice, Traitors, the trailer of Joker, and the political campaign songs of the Congress and BJP during election season.The podcast kicks off with Rajyasree telling us about a new Hotstar series, Criminal Justice, which she feels is suspenseful but also unrealistic and implausible in parts. She says the actors are good, except "doped-out Jackie Shroff".Our hosts talk about the newly-released trailer of Joker. They agree that Joaquin Phoenix is one of those actors who really becomes a character. While Rajyasree appreciates the trailer as it gives nothing away, Abhinandan finds it to be a case of tedious repetition, saying "they're all the same”.They move on to discuss the campaign songs of the Congress and BJP. Rajyasree says that Congress’s song Ab Hoga Nyay is a "well-made music video and a catchy song”. Abhinandan thinks the Congress's production value was higher, though "the BJP has more money". In the BJP's song Main Bhi Chowkidar, he says he's disappointed with the line "yeh ek a kela nikal panda main iski katar hun". He says, “When you’re making a music video … in any mass communication exercise, there should be the sense of 'team'. Not ‘you are king, I am your dust’.” He says the AAP started the concept of catchy political songs, even though they had very little money. Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 108: Vice, Us, The Favourite, Nani and more
Apr 03 2019 43 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss the latest How To Train Your Dragon, Vice, Us, A Star is Born, The Favourite and much more.The podcast kicks off with Abhinandan and Rajyasree discussing animated movies, particularly the How To Train Your Dragon series. Though Abhinandan liked the earlier parts, the latest offering didn't captivate him. Rajyasree, who's not passionate about animated movies, moves on to the Oscar-nominated movie Vice, a comic-biopic on former US Vice President Dick Cheney. She says the movie captures the nature of politics at the time, Cheney’s relationship with Donal Rumsfeld, and the charismatic interactions and motivations of the wives of prominent political leaders.Abhinandan expresses his dissatisfaction with Jordan Peele’s movie Us (2019) which may also stem from his dislike of horror films in general. He says he predicted the plot minutes into the movie. Rajyasree says she enjoys most of Peele's work. "Everything is a commentary with Jordan Peele.” She recommends Get Out by the same director. Moving on to the movie A Star is Born, Rajyasree says the actors' performances and the movie in general were adequate, but not challenging. Abhinandan remarks that with musicals, there are often two kinds of reviews: those who like the movie too much, and those who didn't. He says: "A Star is Born, like La La Land, had two kinds of reviews. There were the La La Land haters and there were people who said it was just the most amazing film ever. Same thing with A Star is Born.”Rajyasree then gives a brief synopsis of the movie The Favourite, saying she enjoyed watching it and found it funny. Abhinandan seems to lose interest just from its description. Rajyasree then says she found the mini-series A Very English Scandal extremely intriguing and amusing, and a wonderful commentary of the time. "It's very funny because it's British, right?" she says. Abhinandan agrees that British humour is very good.The discussion also spans Akshay Kumar's new advertisement for Suthol and Madhur Jaffrey's music video Nani. Rajyasree and Abhinandan also plan on watching the upcoming movies PM Narendra Modi and The Tashkent Files—notwithstanding their dread.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 107: Hasan Minhaj on Indian elections, Cricket Fever and more
Mar 22 2019 60 mins  
On this week's episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri cover the Patriot Act episode by Hasan Minhaj on India's elections, Netflix shows Delhi Crime and Cricket Fever, a short film, and a lot more. Holding the conversation baton, Abhinandan kicks off with a rant on the quality of short films being made, saying: "Short films are an indulgent filmmaker’s time pass.” They then discuss Cricket Fever, which is a sneak peek into the lives and dressing rooms of players and officials, spiced with how efficient and decisive Akash Ambani is as a leader. Abhinandan narrows the discussion down, saying: "So it's basically positioning Akash Ambani as a genius taking our country to a different level of success.”Next up is Hasan Minhaj's India episode of Patriot Act, where the hosts discuss how Minhaj simplified the idea of India's elections without taking any sides and presented a neutral show. They mention how Minhaj not only talked about Yogi Adityanath but also questioned Shashi Tharoor about his own controversies. Rajyasree points out the hurdles Hasan faces, saying: "He’s Indian, he’s Muslim, he’s brown. It’s not easy for him.” Abhinandan says he found the show a bit "plain". They then discuss the latest ad films by Mothers Recipe, specifically their idea of unrealistic cooking timeframes. Referring to a play, Rajyasree decodes this mystery of fast cooking: "Maybe they have a hidden Ramu who does all the cooking for them." For this and a lot more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 106: Captain Marvel, Leaving Neverland and more
Mar 14 2019 64 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss Captain Marvel, Surf Excel’s advertisement #RangLaayeSang, Leaving Neverland and more.The podcast kicks off with Abhinandan who, though a Marvel Universe enthusiast, wasn't convinced by their latest offering Captain Marvel. Rajyasree expresses her lack of interest in watching the movie. She then discusses Ricky Gervais’s Netflix series After Life, saying: “It is one of the finest shows that he’s created in a while.” Abhinandan chimes in, mentioning Gervais’s endearing performance that accompanies his dark humour.The conversation moves to the Surf Excel ad #RangLaayeSang which, contrary to its intentions, invoked some amount of communal disharmony. Both Abhinandan and Rajyasree think the ad managed to convey its message and express their dissatisfaction with the kind of responses that have popped up on social media.The duo then discusses the documentary Leaving Neverland. Talking about the documentary's format, Abhinandan says it's a compelling watch. Rajyasree praises the extensive detailing of facts to allow viewers to reach their own conclusions. Abhinandan tries to dissect Micheal Jackson’s position while emphasising that it shouldn't be taken as a justification. He says, "I believe Micheal Jackson was insane … on a different wavelength … I think he was coming from a place of love and not damage ... he truly believed this love was genuine love.” Rajyasree disagrees, citing examples of warped love and sexual grooming.This and a lot more, so tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 104- Gully Boy, Period, the Oscars and more
Mar 09 2019 42 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Ankur Pathak, entertainment editor at Huffington Post. They discuss Gully Boy, Period. End of Sentence., the Oscar awards and more.They start off with Gully Boy, with Abhinandan asking Ankur what worked for him in the movie. Ankur says: “I just felt that Zoya is basically ... fighting for your right to dream fearlessly.” He feels Zoya Akhtar made interesting points about the relevance of art. Abhinandan thinks films made with Western cultural references are usually very self-conscious and contrived, but for Gully Boy, he says, "It was comfortably cool, although rap and hip hop is not an Indian thing … it seems very authentic.”The discussion moves to Period. End of Sentence., a 25-minute documentary based in India which recently won an Academy Award. Both Abhinandan and Ankur liked it immensely. Abhinandan says, "Its message was more profound or impressive than crafting … storytelling.” They also thought it did have its weak points and think it takes much more to merit an Oscar win.Speaking of the Oscars, they talk about the award ceremony this year, which was accused of being more about "wokeness" than craft. They also criticise the Academy for, among other things, its choice for Best Picture this year, stating BlacKkKlansman and Roma were better options in this category.For this and much more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 102- Oscars, Grammys, World Radio Day & More
Mar 09 2019 62 mins  
In this episode of Awful and Awesome, Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss the Oscar line-up (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Green Book), the Grammys, state of radio in India, Mere Pyaare Prime Minister and more.The duo first talk about The Wife. Rajyasree gives a spoiler-free review of the film, “You have to watch the film to see this relationship. There is a mystery, there is a twist. It’s not a relationship film, but it is extremely well done.”Abhinandan then brings up Green Book. He expresses his liking for the film, but also adds that there were parts which were too simple. Rajyasree praises the performances in Can You Ever Forgive Me? but critiques the pace, “I really like slow films, but I felt somewhere it loses the momentum...Your interests fails a little.” The last film discussed is Bohemian Rhapsody. Rajyasree says in praise that she realised “how well they make biopics in the States...they show the characters with their greys and blacks.”On the occasion of World Radio Day, Abhinandan talks about the dismal state of FM radio in our country. He says, “For all the political incorrectness and the wildness that finds its way into television and community of presenters is as dumb, ignorant and unknowingly offensive as radio jockeys.”Rajyasree then speaks about the Grammys, which she found to be excruciatingly long. For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 101- Dalit Lit Fest, Soni, The Good Place And More
Mar 09 2019 57 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Shubham Bhatia, a journalist with Patriot, and Adhiraj Singh, head writer at VICE India. The trio discusses the Netflix film Soni, the Dalit Lit Fest, The Good Place and more.Abhinandan asks Adhiraj about the workings of VICE, saying he's curious about how VICE produces high budget non-fiction content. Adhiraj explains, “VICE in India and in general does a lot of branded and sponsored content as well. Which is where I come in ... where more client-based editorialising is needed.” As an example of sponsored content bringing in funding, he cites VICE’s क Se Crime series which was done as part of the promotion for Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur.Shubham talks about the Dalit Lit Fest held at Kirori Mal College, highlighting the lack of interest among Delhi University students for the event. “Where the fest was happening, you couldn't see many college students. I felt this disinterest from the students ... no one is really interested in even hearing about Dalit issues, which was the whole point of the fest.”The discussion movies to Soni. Adhiraj approves of the film, saying, "I liked that it did not end on some grand climactic fight.” Abhinandan says: “But it still ended on hope with that last scene.” He adds, "If we had not been instructed by our subscribers to watch it, I would have given up.”This and much more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 100- Thackeray, JLF And More
Mar 09 2019 51 mins  
In the 100th episode of Awful and Awesome, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen go live to talk about the best and worst of pop-culture. They discussed Thackeray, the new Firstpost advertisement, Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Jaipur Literature Festival and a lot more.The conversation begins with Thackeray, which Abhinandan describes as a metaphor for the Shiv Sena. "Simplistic, endorses violence, made by morons, for morons,” he says. Rajyasree quipped about the costume design of the film saying, “It casts Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and his nose, his prosthetic nose.” Later she also dismisses Manto saying, “I think Nawazuddin needs to stop acting as real people.”The duo then discusses the new Firstpost ad for the publication’s new weekly newspaper. Rajyasree pointed out the lack of humility in the fact that the paper claims itself to be “the last word in news”. Abhinandan further criticizes, “It is a flawed idea to have the last word in news, there ain’t no last word in news.”Rajyashree then brings up the new Amazon series Four More Shots Please!. She describes it as “India’s answer to Sex in the City.” Adding her scathing review, she says, “I watched four episodes, which I thought was far too many.” She also deems it an inaccurate portrayal of female interactions remarking that “he dialogue is so stilted, women do not talk to each other like that”.Abhinandan then brings up JLF. He says, “There’s one bunch of people trashing JLF, there’s some who love it, but I haven’t seen anyone aggressively defend it,” as he goes on to aggressively defend JLF. He argues, “What it offers is’s very easy to shit on it because of the Suhel Seths, but for every Suhel Seth there is a Ben Okri.”Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 99- Fyre, Uri, The Nineties And More
Mar 09 2019 32 mins  
In the latest episode, Abhinandan Sekhri co-hosts with Samar Khan—director, producer and former journalist based in Mumbai. The duo discuss the portrayal of the Indian forces in cinema, the rise of TV and change in cinema in the Nineties, the Netflix documentary Fyre and more.Samar has worked on Shaurya, The Test Case and has attended the NDA. Abhinandan asks him: “Is it a coincidence that most of the things that you have created have to do with the forces?” Samar says, “That’s what interests me the most. I think there are so many stories to be told about the men in uniform which are just not war stories ... There are other stories that happen in the Army.”The hosts moved on to discuss the 1990s. Samar points out cultural changes marked by Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: “[DDLJ] was the first film to talk to an urban audience. It was also the birth of a new director … It was almost like a changing of the guard." He says that was a time when you'd see a lot of movies influenced by the West, when a new generation of directors had taken over.Abhinandan then talks about the Netflix documentary Fyre. He says, “It’s a great commentary, other than the specific fraud it is on. It's also a comment on millenials and how social media can influence what we think.” Moving on to the movie Uri: The Surgical Strike, Samar says: “There are always fictional elements added which make you laugh. If you are the ‘janta’ audience then the humour works for you ... But if you are a military buff, you look at it and say ‘What the fuck? This can never happen'.”Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 98- The Accidental Prime Minister, Uri & More
Mar 09 2019 51 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan is in conversation with Mayank Shekhar, entertainment head at Mid Day. The duo reviews The Accidental Prime Minister, Uri: The Surgical Strike and Gillette's latest commercial. They also discuss the portrayal of politics in Indian films, the evolution of film production in India and more. Mayank and Abhinandan also look back at the quality of last year’s films. “I genuinely believe that 2018 was the best year that I have had as a film reviewer watching films,” Mayank said.Speaking about a new genre of movies, Mayank said, “They are propaganda films...there is a new genre called pre-election films.” On The Accidental Prime Minister, he said, “What really suffers the most is the production design...the prime minister’s office looks like a shaadi hall in the movie.” Abhinandan added, “I have heard that it does not look like a story, there are just scenes that are unconnected, it does not flow like a’s just a bunch of scenes put together.”Explaining the lack of a storyline, Mayak said, “It is hard enough to adapt from non-fiction to begin would take competence of another kind to turn [Sanjay Baru’s book] into a coherent screenplay. Abhinandan also points out the difference between Uri and The Accidental Prime Minister. He said, "I have heard this one is pretty well-made.” Mayank agrees. He said, “I was stunned by it because my expectations were hugely low, as they should be because again you are walking in thinking ‘oh this is that pre-election propaganda film'."About the Gillette commercial, Abhinandan said, “It is appealing to the right values...I do not know what is wrong with that...overall I think it is a fantastic kind of communication from a brand that is so associated with machismo to come out with.” Discussing the backlash against the ad, Mayank talked about the people who criticised the ad. “I think a lot of opinion formation and dissemination has a lot to do with the fact that they call attention to themselves,” he said.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 97- The Mule, Golden Globes, Gully Boy And More
Mar 09 2019 49 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss BCCI’s notice to Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their appearance on Koffee with Karan, the Golden Globes, the new Uber Eats advertisement, The Mule, the Gully Boy trailer, and Backstreet Boys being back—again!The discussion begins with a quick tussle between our hosts over Rajyasree’s accusation that Koffee with Karan is a Graham Norton Show rip-off. Rajyasree also points out the irony of BCCI being the moral police in light of the complaints against BCCI’s CEO. Both agree that the degree of reaction to Pandya’s alleged misogyny is unwarranted and that it's more important to call out Karan Johar’s “infantile humour”.Rajyasree then talks about Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, based on the true story of Leo Sharp. They praise the cast, especially Eastwood and his “grasp on cinema”, nominating him for a lifetime achievement award at age 90. Abhinandan was put off by the “easiness” of the film and the “goody-goodiness of the resolution” despite being greatly impressed by Eastwood.The conversation moves to the Golden Globes. Abhinandan and Rajyasree praise Christian Bale and Glenn Close’s speeches, the former for his humour and the latter for bringing to the fore the struggle of women to be accepted both as mothers and professionals. They then discuss the Uber Eats ad, “Alia’s Tinda Moment”. Rajyasree says the ad was cute but not very compelling. Abhinandan expresses his problem with Alia Bhatt—though he thinks “she is the best actor of her generation”, because of her “child’s face”, her sexuality on screen makes him feel “queasy”.Abhinandan isn't very excited about Gully Boy because he believes hip-hop is very culturally specific to the US so it cannot be entirely transposed to Bombay. He is more excited about the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Sonchiraiya, which is “a Paan Singh Tomar marries Bandit Queen and gives birth to a Gangs of Wasseypur kind of thing”.Finally, our hosts do not see the point of the Backstreet Boys' mushy comeback. They discuss how the main message of their latest video is that family is the most important thing in life. Featuring the Backstreet Boys with their wives and children, it promotes a heteronormative idea of family. “Yeh music video wagera unke bas ka raha nahin (this music video stuff is not in their league any more),” Abhinandan remarks.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 96- Bandersnatch, Bird Box And More
Mar 09 2019 54 mins  
It's the first episode of 2019, and our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss the Saudi Arabia-centric episode of Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act, Netflix series Selection Day, and the Netflix special of Black Mirror's Bandersnatch, among other things.Rajyasree recommends the controversial Saudi Arabia of Patriot Act for its wit and timing. Both hosts disapprove of Netflix pulling the episode down in Saudi Arabia after a complaint from authorities. “It is a shame because rather than more information reaching places that were behind and Iron Curtained, it seems that the Iron Curtain is extending to places that didn’t have one earlier,” says Abhinandan.They talk about the Netflix series Selection Day, based on a book by the same name by Aravind Adiga. Rajyasree summarises the plot and says she recommends it because you could probably watch the entire thing in a single sitting. She does however think the story was somewhat underdeveloped.Discussing the episode Bandersnatch from the Black Mirror series, Abhinandan is stridently against the concept, though Rajyasree found it entertaining. He says he doesn't endorse the episode's USP, which is the "cheap thrill" of being able to choose where the story goes. He says it seems to solely cater to video game fanatics, which is “a hell of a subset". He adds, "It was a lot of content consumption to cater to a gimmick.”Next, the pair review the Netflix thriller Bird Box, which had a record viewership in the first week of its release. “Watch it for the gruesomeness,” says Rajyshree, "if you’re into that sort of thing." She says while she enjoyed the "graphic" cinematography, the film can be slightly unrealistic and tiresome with its overused dystopian-world, single-parent-protecting-the-children shindig.Moving away from the Netflix universe, Abhinandan and Rajyasree discuss Rajeev Masand’s Actresses Roundtable 2018. They unanimously condemn Rani Mukherjee, saying she comes across as an under-informed, overly opinionated person who is self-aware of her superiority being “Aditya Chopra’s wife, so she rules the roost,” says Rajyasree.Our hosts also talk about the recent passing of two artists: Kader Khan, whom Abhinandan calls “crass, but prolific” and praises him for being self-made, and filmmaker Mrinal Sen, of whose work Rajyasree has mixed views.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 95- Relatable, Thackeray And More
Mar 09 2019 53 mins  
This week’s episode brings you an action-packed discussion with our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen on Relatable, season 2 of Making A Murderer, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Kareena Kapoor’s What Women Want, Honey Singh’s Makhna, the trailer of Thackeray and three commercials.Rajyasree and Abhinandan start by exchanging views on Ellen DeGeneres’s Relatable and how she’s hitting hard on the social stereotype against lesbians. They talk about the payment of $20 million Ellen received for the 68-minute show. Moving on, they discuss the Netflix series Making A Murderer Season 2, written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. They discuss the American phenomenon of making celebrities out of criminals, to which Rajyasree says, “Although in America, I feel they are a little off, so they don’t have much happening in their own lives. So they get sucked into these kind of things.”The discussion moves on to Kareena Kapoor Khan’s radio show What Women Want on Ishq: 104.8, which is also a video show. They talk about how, unlike a radio show, the show sounds scripted. Abhinandan adds, “Radio is only compelling because it’s a conversation that’s unfiltered and unrehearsed. That’s what makes good talk radio”.Abhinandan and Rajyasree then discuss the trailer of the upcoming movie Thackeray, directed by Abhijit Panse. Abhinandan expresses his curiosity, saying, “The good thing about such films is that now there will be filmmakers getting into political commentary through their cinema. Which is fantastic! And then you’ll have a counter-narrative.”This and more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 94- Roma, Detour, The Innocent Man, Brexit And More
Mar 09 2019 49 mins  
This week’s episode of Awful and Awesome brings you an action-packed discussion with our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen on the short film Detour, the new Brexit trailer, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and two commercials.Rajyasree and Abhinandan start the podcast with the semi-autobiographical film Roma, written, directed and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. Rajyasree notes that the movie is set in 1971 Mexico and tells the story of characters that are usually ignored by cinema and society. Appreciating the director’s work, Abhinandan says, "There are two things that make cinema survive—the stars and the craftsmen who crafts cinema", and Cuarón is one of those craftsmen who’s keeping it alive. Rayasree believes Roma is all set to win an Oscar.The discussions moves to a Netflix documentary, The Innocent Man, based John Grisham’s book—which Rajyasree notes is Grisham's only non-fiction book—and how the movie portrays the criminal justice system in America in relation to sending people to jail. They then talk about the trailer of the upcoming HBO film Brexit starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch plays Dominic Cummings, the man known to be the architect of Brexit, and how he used social media to bring out the most unlikely outcome. Abhinandan expresses his excitement for the movie but also says, “In the interest of making a compelling narrative, writers and podcast makers are overstating what social media interventions do.”Moving on, Abhinandan and Rajyasree talk about the new Baggit commercial starring Shraddha Kapoor where she promotes the hashtag #PutItOnTheTable. They think it doesn’t resemble a feminist campaign. Abhinandan says, “If this is what a feminism campaign looks like, then good luck, feminism.”Tune in to listen to more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 93- 'Bad Sex’ Award, Simmba, Rogan Josh And More
Mar 09 2019 42 mins  
This episode of The Awful and Awesome brings you an action-packed week with our hosts—Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen—both of whom discuss everything from a political documentary to a very strange award category.The duo begins by talking about the "Bad Sex award" which is awarded by Literary Review to "an author who has produced an outstandingly bad sexual description in an otherwise good novel". Rajyasree says Japanese author Haruki Murakami also made it to this year’s list, while Abhinandan adds that an Indian author called Anirudh Behl was also part of the same list in 2003.Moving on, they talk about something that’s even more ridiculous in a pop-culture context: the trailer of Rohit Shetty's Simmba, which is a sequel to the Ajay Devgan-starrer Singham. Rajyasree says the trailer does not have a cliffhanger and instead gives away the entire plot. "We should warn you, if any of you go watch the film, then you should be ashamed of yourself,” adds Abhinandan.The hosts then talk about a short film starring Naseeruddin Shah called Rogan Josh, which also features Avantika Akerkar and Shishir Sharma. The duo discusses how this film—which commemorates the anniversary of the terror attacks in Mumbai—is conceptually strong. Both of them agree that the problem of the film is a universal problem in Hindi films, i.e. they over-explain.The discussion then moves towards a political documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9, directed by Michael Moore. Rajyasree says though the film is primarily about American president Donald Trump, it's also about the Flint water crisis, Michael Moore’s connection to Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, the Parkland school shooting, Obama, Hillary Clinton and more. This overload of information is what is the problem with the film, according to her. “The film, which is about everything, becomes a film about nothing,” she points out.The anchors conclude by talking about Priyanka Chopra’s wedding. Rajyasree says it's ironic that "three truckloads of firecrackers" had been burst at her wedding, even though Chopra endorses an ad that is about asthma. Talking further on Indian weddings, Abhinandan says, “Indian weddings have become an excuse for people who could never make it to showbiz. Aaj mauka mila hai, captive audience mili hai, aaj main nach kar dikhaunga, chahe nachna aata ho ya na aata ho.”Tune in to find out more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 92- The Manyavar Ad, Mirzapur And More
Mar 09 2019 45 mins  
After a hiatus of two weeks, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekri are back with an episode packed with opinions on several advertisements both from India and around the world, a web series and a film trailer.The duo starts with a discussion on popular advertisements in the Indian media including the Manyavar advertisement, which has Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma engaging in "playful banter". Rajyasree comments: “If you plan on having a romantic relationship with anyone or any sort of relationship built on some meeting of the minds: don’t talk like this to each other. It’s the end of that relationship, for sure!”The discussion moves on to the new Swiggy ad which centres on our tendency to not address people in the service industry by their names. Talking about the conceptualisation and production quality of Indian advertisements, Abhinandan says, “I am amazed at the level of creativity of Indian advertisements. (I think) They are second only to the US or even at par with the US.” They also talk about Dolce & Gabbana’s ad which offended many people in China. Both Rajyasree and Abhinandan agree this advertisement can reduce Dolce & Gabbana's brand value.Rajyasree then takes the discussion forward with Amazon Prime’s new show Mirzapur, which is produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani and stars Pankaj Tripathi, Rasika Dugal, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Vikrant Massey and more. She says it’s a well-made show with many characters and dynamics at play. But at the same time, she's disappointed with how the show ends. “I think they get dynamics of the way relationships play out, the different kinds of romantic relationships you can have, the way we hear about it a lot but hopefully we don’t experience it in our milieu. A father-in-law wanting to sleep with his daughter-in-law, the wife not getting sexually satisfied by her husband sleeps with the cook. So there are all sorts of things happening,” she adds.Towards the end of podcast, they talk about the teaser of Disney’s upcoming film The Lion King and the trend of remaking films that is being followed both in India and abroad. They discuss how producers are willing to put money into stories and scripts that have worked in the past. Abhinandan says, “If you want to make a big film, you bet that money on a film that is remade, say a Jungle Book, a Sholay or a Don. This is why all superhero films are the biggest releases of the year. The characters have worked in the past and they will work in future. Nobody creates a new character!”Tune in to listen to this and more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 91- The '#MeToo Bag', BlackkKlansman And More
Mar 09 2019 42 mins  
In this episode of The Awful & Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about the “viral videos” made around the Diwali season and some movies.Rajyasree starts off the discussion by talking about the "#MeToo bag" which has been designed by Priyanka Vachhani and which the designer says can also be used for self-defence. She explains how the #MeToo movement has been used in the fashion business and how the ad that was put out was cringe-worthy. The discussion moves on to HP’s recent Diwali ad titled "#GoLocal" which Abhinandan and Rajyasree think is overly emotionalised.The hosts then talk about the Hollywood movie BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee and released earlier this year. The movie is a true story about the first Black-American cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. The consensus is that our subscribers should watch this fun-packed and well-shot movie, which Abhinandan says is a political statement by the director against Trump. Abhinandan also briefly talks about a 1993 western action thriller called Tombstone.Abhinandan then moves on to romantic comedy-drama Crazy Rich Asians directed by Jon M Chu which released earlier this year. He says it's a classic love story but also reinforces some stereotypes. Rajyasree talks about a commercial by Ghadi Detergent, which steers the discussion into the stereotypes and set standards of gender and class in the Indian community. They discuss a special Karwa Chauth commercial by Nykaa titled "Qaid", featuring India’s first transsexual model Nikkiey Chawla. Abhinandan and Rajyasree ask the same question: “Why has Karwa Chauth been unnecessarily brought in to convey such an emotion?” They agree it's a good commercial, but Rajyasree says it's still a marketing gimmick.This and more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 90- The Twice - Born, Red Bird, Patriot Act & More
Mar 09 2019 36 mins  
In its 90th episode, The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap takes you on an entertaining ride of some of the worst and best developments of the week. Our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about two novels, latest shows on Netflix and an awful short film recommended for the mufatkhors!The Twice-Born: Life and Death on the Ganges is a novel written by Aatish Taseer whom Abhinandan calls one of the finest writers of his time. The book is about the Brahmin mind, Benaras, and modern politics. Another book discussed in this episode is Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif. The book is about America's war politics and its victims. Both books are highly recommended by our hosts.Taking a dive from a very highbrow discussion, Rajyasree takes us to Eros Now's latest drama series Smoke. A drama set in Goa and revolving around drugs, Rajyasree says Smoke is one of the most well-shot series and has a Narcos feel to it. The cast of this crime drama includes Tom Alter, Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin and Jim Sarbh. Sen also thinks the series is as good as Sacred Games and has an Anurag Kashyap vibe to it.Moving on, we discuss Hasan Minhaj's latest series on Netflix, Patriot Act. Abhinandan and Rajyasree believe Hasan's style of stand-up comedy is different but quite predictable, unlike comedians like Stephen Colbert. With only two episodes out, maybe it's too early to judge what Patriot Act has in store but it's a remarkable feat for an American-Indian to have his own show on Netflix.Another recommendation coming from Netflix is BBC series Bodyguard starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes. They also discuss the latest trailer of Kedarnath starring Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput and how it was successful in piquing viewers' interest.The podcast also talks about a short film, The Playboy Mr Sawhney, which turned out to be a torturous watch. Listen to the full podcast to know why it's been highly recommended for our mufatkhors. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 89- Koffee With Karan, Badhaai Ho, And More
Mar 09 2019 53 mins  
On this week’s episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss everything ranging from the first episode of the latest season’s Koffee with Karan, to the recently released movie Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra.The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch, a book written by Pakistani journalist Sanam Maher, the television show Styled by Neha, as well as two popular advertisements released recently during the festive season, are also spoken about.The episode kicks off with a discussion on Satam Maher’s book The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch, based on the life of a Pakistani model and actress who was killed by her brother. “It’s an interesting read—especially during this #MeToo movement,” says Abhinandan.Rajyasree then weighs in on two television shows that are trending all over the commercial media space: they are Koffee with Karan and Styled by Neha. The sixth season of Koffee with Karan aired on Sunday night, and its first episode featured actresses Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone, who go on to discuss a lot of things—including their personal experiences with Ranbir Kapoor. Styled by Neha, a new show by Fox featuring former Miss India pageant Neha Dhupia, stylist and model Diva Dhawan, and celebrity make-up artist Elton Fernandez, is criticised by Rajyasree.Both hosts then talk about the recently released movie Badhaai Ho which deals with problems faced by a middle-class family when a mid-aged woman gets pregnant. “It is definitely worth a watch!,” said Rajyasree, and Abhinandan agrees with her.Moving on, Abhinandan and Rajyasree review two advertisements that have received a lot of limelight during this festive season; they are the Diwali special ad of Saregama Carvaan and Fortune Food’s controversial Durga Pooja advertisement.The discussion then shifts to the recent #MeToo allegations against Anu Malik, Sajid Khan and Chetan Bhagat, where our hosts take up different stances.Tune in to find out more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 87- Tanushree Dutta,’Ask The Sexpert,’ And More
Mar 09 2019 57 mins  
The latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap brings you all-that-happened in the past week. Hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri talk about an advertisement on ‘Kerala Tourism’ by Samsonite, on the occasion of World Tourism Day. Both hosts were impressed by the message sent across by the ad and recommended that everyone give it a watch. “I love that it is sensitive and woke on gender,” expressed Abhinandan.The conversation then moves towards Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment controversy where both our hosts discuss the issue. They debate whether #MeToo will work even in the realm of Bollywood, and discuss the reasons whether it will or will not work. Rajyasree expresses that “No A-list star has spoken” and that even women weren’t coming forward to speak up. Abhinandan says: “The stakes in showbiz are so high that if you make it, I mean just the power of the star is so huge that you don’t want to compromise.”Moving on from women in Indian Cinema to Farhan Akhtar’s Rearview Mirror, both our hosts were disappointed with the single from Farhan’s upcoming album called “Echoes.”Both hosts then talk about a documentary movie called Asked the Sexpert, directed by Vaishali Sinha. It is about a sex advice columnist who gains popularity after a school bans sex education. Abhinandan says: “I thought there were a couple of bloopers, the background score, the music was outstanding, perfect not in your face….”Rajyasree moves on to Shilpa Shetty’s new reality show called “Hear me, Love me,” which is the remake of an Italian reality dating show, and expresses how she detests it. Abhinandan talks about the trailer of Thugs of Hindostan which is a Hindi remake of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Joker.Tune in to listen to more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 85- Emmy, Manmarziyaan, #BigBoss And More
Mar 09 2019 50 mins  
After the hiatus last week, The Awful and Awesome Entertainment wrap is back with a bang, along with our hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri. The conversation starts with Rajyasree’s review on the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards; she found all of the 60-minute show boring, and shares the things that were talked about at the awards: Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage—who is known to play Tyrion Lannister in the series—won the 'sexiest dwarf' award. Netflix had many nominations and both hosts discuss how the media-service provider makes its money. Abhinandan goes on to tell us about a Time Magazine article review on the Emmy Awards and his opinion about the show.The conversation then moves towards Big Boss. “I have always felt that Big Boss, in the larger picture, is a commentary on the lowest that is in us as performers, as producers, as viewers and also as advertisers,” said Abhinandan. Rajyasree informs us that this is the last season of Big brother (UK). She then talks about how, apart from Anup Jalota, she had no idea who the other people were in Big Boss 12. Both hosts have a nice laugh at Anup Jalota, his girlfriend who is also his student, and their ‘Vichitr Jodi.’Abhinandan sheds light on the movie called Manmarziyaan, directed by one of his favourite Indian Director Anurag Kashyap. Its cast includes Vicky Kaushal, Taapsee Pannu, and Abhishek Bachchan. Abhinandan expresses his admiration for the film’s music, composed by Amit Trivedi, with Shelly on lyrics—especially the song ‘Hallah’. He also thinks that Jr. Bachchan is one of the worst actors in Indian cinema, whereas, on the other hand, Vicky Kaushal did a brilliant job. Rajyasree says: “I felt that the film had potential but then the potential was not achieved.”Rajyasree goes on to review a movie called I Tonya based on the true story of a talented figure skater—Tonya Harding—and her life, which goes down the drain after an attack on a beautiful figure skater named Nancy Kerrigan. According to Rajyasree, it is a dark-humoured movie, and she was amazed at Margo Robbie’s performance in it.Our hosts then discuss Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Rajyasree insists on giving this movie, starring Annet Bening and based on a memoir by Peter Turner, a shot. She also highly recommends The Killing of Scared Deer for all the mystery aficionados out there. Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell play lead characters in the movie, making it worth a watch.The new trailer of Captain Marvel also released and it did not impress Abhinandan at all, whereas Rajyasree thought that the trailer did just fine. She mentions that as a child, she grew up watching superhero films. Abhinandan, then expresses his views on the new phenomenon of releasing a book along with a TV series type of trailer, something started by Indian authors Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi. Both hosts discuss the new trailer of Chetan Bhagat’s The Girl in Room 105 and more.Tune in to listen to the entire episode. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 84- Garbage, Stree, Once Again, The Front Runner And More
Mar 09 2019 48 mins  
In this issue of The Awful and Awesome podcast, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyashree Sen join us with a list of fresh things to explore—and some not-so-exciting things that could wait to be explored.The discussion starts with Quashik Mukherjee’s movie called Garbage. Rajyashree sounds fairly disappointed with the movie but also suggests that Q—as a director—is very impressive since his movies are mainly provocative and about things we don’t usually see in Indian cinema. She explains the storyline in detail and explains why, according to her, the plot was weak, and what went wrong.Abhinandan talks about Stree, the Horror Comedy directed by Amar Kaushik and written by Sumit Arora. He also mentions that this one of the best Hindi movies he has watched in several months. He points out that “Rajkumar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi are a boon to Indian Cinema.” Both hosts agree on the messages conveyed through the movie, like the subtle commentary on politics, discussion about independent women, sexual liberation, and so on.Moving on with the discussion, Rajyashree sheds light on a movie called Once again, released on Netflix. The cast has Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi and resembles Lunch Box. According to her, it was a sweet movie—which at times didn’t make any sense.Rajyashree and Abhinandan shed some light on the trailer of an upcoming movie starring Hugh Jackman called The Front Runner. The movie takes us back in time to the set of 1988 which is also based on a 2014 book called All the Truth is out. Abhinandan expresses that it is “a very compelling trailer and it really makes you want to watch the film.”Another trailer which both our hosts review was Andhadhun, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte, and Tabu. The film is about a blind pianist, and both hosts were thrilled with the trailer and are looking forward to watching it.Rajyashree also tells us about The New Yorker Festival and the Steve Bannon interview controversy and she and Abhinandan put out their views on the subject.Tune in to listen to more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 83- VMA, Kalki's My Indian Life, Ghoul, Alpha And More.
Mar 09 2019 55 mins  
This episode of The Awful and Awesome brings you an action-packed week with our hosts—Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyashree Sen—both of whom have a lot to share.The conversation kicks off with a discussion on the new podcast ‘Kalki Presents: My Indian Life’ by BBC World Service, hosted by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. Abhinandan points out that although Kalki is a good presenter, a much more apt title for the podcast would have been “Conversation with Kalki” instead of “Kalki Presents: My Indian Life.” He adds that he doesn’t see any evolution to the stories in the podcast, and concludes that the tone of the podcast is more like an interview with artists and celebrities. He also mentions that a Karan Johar interview would be more entertaining than this podcast.Rajyashree talks about the Video Music Awards and mentions her craze for all the scandals, controversies and mind-blowing performances that take place during the VMAs. But none of that happened except for the VMA Van Guard Award, which was given to Jennifer Lopez, and the tribute paid to Aretha Franklin by Madonna. Both Rajyashree and Abhinandan discussed the tribute given by Madonna even though it was more about herself.They move on to discuss the new Netflix original series called Ghoul, directed and written by Patrick Graham, and starring Radhika Apte. Rajyashree was not really pleased to watch this three-episode series and thought it was like Quantico with Radhika Apte and a demon, whereas Abhinandan really appreciated the production and sound design. Heads-up: the conversation contains a few spoilers.Rajyashree recommends everyone to watch a Persian movie called Under the Shadow and shares a quick review of the movie.She goes on to share her views on another new movie called Alpha and pointed out that the movie is visually appealing, with good cinematography and a unique language.Abhinandan talks about the Twitter threat by Nishant Kaushik and his horrible experience of the Indian Idol, followed by Rajyashree discussing Mini Mathur’s tweet. Tune in to find out more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 78- Netflix's Sacred Games, Advertisements And More
Mar 09 2019 70 mins  
This episode opens with a discussion on the 'No Scars cream' advertisement sent in by a listener. Rajyasree describes her experience of watching the advertisement as, “No Scars is a whitening cream, and darkness is like a scar. I just found it bizarre, and it’s so badly written, this ad.”Then, a chat about the government’s new PSA on mosquitoes. “Whoever’s made that ad either loves mosquitoes or hates children," says Abhinandan.Next, a discussion on Netflix’s first original Indian series, Sacred Games. “The production quality, the scripting, the acting, they’ve just nailed it," remarks Rajyasree. “There are very few things that one could say is wrong with this series," Abhinandan adds.On the use of voiceover and file footage as commentary for Indian pop culture of the time, Abhinandan remarks, “I think it works because it had political context, but sometimes, I felt it was a bit forced.”Varun Grover, a co-writer of the show, joins the panel. On the source material, he says, “There are some characters we have removed from the book…because we wanted to focus on the religion and the thriller element, and the war of civilizations in a way.”Then, a glimpse into the writing process: “We started meeting in August 2016, and discussing the ideas, themes, and characters. After 3 months, we started fleshing out the thing into a major season arc. Third stage came in January 2017 when we started writing the episode outlines, putting together all the character arcs, and putting them under the POV of Sartaj or Gaintonde.” This was followed by a year of writing episodes.Grover also discusses working with the source material’s author. “Vikram Chandra has been very generous and open to new ideas. When we shared it with him the first time, he never asked us ‘why did you drop this’….he just accepted it and start giving ideas on how to improve it.”For more on this, RJs giving love advice, and the trailer of Fanney Khan, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 77- Sanju, Karan Johar's Dhadak, Soorma And More
Mar 09 2019 54 mins  
Abhinandan and Rajyasree discuss the latest biopic in town, Sanju, with Samar Khan from Mumbai. Khan, who is a former journalist, says, “It is a well-made film. It follows Rajkumar Hirani's theory, where he finds good in everything that is bad with the world."Rajyasree is not as much a fan of the film and says, “I thought the film was quite badly made. It is not a fictional film, considering all of Rajkumar’s films have been fictional films. This is a biopic, that has been promoted as a biopic. I understand if you present some facts, especially about a person you have worked with successfully, with a rose-tinted view. This entire thing about hoisting all responsibility of all of Sanjay Dutt’s actions on other people, he took drugs because of someone else who tricked him into it."In response to Rajyasree's comments, Abhinandan says, “In a biopic, you see shades of grey in everybody. However, in this case, he just came across as a caricature villain from a fictional film.” Talking about Anushka Sharma’s character, he says, “I don’t know if there is one such writer who starts crying every time Sanjay Dutt tells a story. It was a completely ridiculous character.”Sen also discusses the criticism of Karan Johar for trying to remake Sairat. “There has been a lot of criticism for Karan Johar because he is making this film called Dhadak, which is starring Sridevi’s daughter and Ishaan Khatar, and I could not understand why he is getting trashed because when I saw the trailer and then the promos and songs, it looks like a Karan Johar film.”Talking about the nature of biopics, Abhinandan says, “After you watch a biopic, it says based on true events, but the next line is that similarities are coincidental. I don’t understand that. If you are making a biopic, then every character and every event should be true in that. Now, there is this new convention that the central character will be real, the rest we’ll make shit up as we go along.”Talking about another film based on a real person, Rajyasree says, “Soorma is the story of this hockey player called Sandeep Singh who made a comeback after he gets shot and he’s put in a wheelchair and how he makes a comeback. I quite liked the trailer, and I quite liked Daljit Dosanjh." In response, Abhinandan says, “Daljit looks the part, but the thing that is of concern to me is the whole ‘based on true events’. That means that probably one event was true, but the rest will be nonsense. These are the kinds of things that piss me off. Either you say that the film is a figment of my imagination and I’ll enjoy it."Rajyasree also discusses Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 by saying, “Tigmanshu Dhulia is directing it for the third time. I felt the trailer was like the first two films. I can’t make out the difference. And Jimmy Shergill has to stop playing a villain. Even he has to be tired of it.” And then there’s the new biopic of Jaggi Vasudev which will be directed by Shashank Ghosh and produced by Rhea Kapoor, and of course, approved by Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation.Abhinandan closes by talking about an Everest Masala ad with Amitabh Bachchan. “It has this little boy and his mother…I thought that ad was really good.” There’s this and more. Listen up. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 76- #Hereditary, Incredibles 2, Nanette And More
Mar 09 2019 48 mins  
This week’s Awful and Awesome is loaded with reviews from all spheres of entertainment. As a die-hard fan of horror movies, Rajyasree talks about her spooky weekend screening -- Hereditary and Under the Show, which is also available on Netflix. Abhinandan shares his love for animated films and talks about The Incredibles 2. India Today’s “new celebrity interview series” along with Times Network’s campaign are discussed. Netflix special Nanette has got everyone talking about Hannah Gadsby so why should our hosts be left behind?Rajyasree talks about Hereditary for which she had heard grand reviews claiming it to be the “scariest movie of the year”. The Ari Aster-directed movie left Rajyasree very disappointed. She says, “The first 2o minutes held a lot of promise." However, she adds, “There is no way this film can scare you." Abhinandan mentions, “I found Sixth Sense very spooky”.Under the Shadow, a Persian film set during the Iran-Iraq war also claimed to be “one of the scariest films”. Rajyasree confesses, “The film had some moments though, I have to say.” Even though it didn't really live up to its expectations of being a scary-enough horror film, she adds.Abhinandan gushes a little over his love for “animation films and children” and how that prompted him to watch The Incredibles 2. However, he doesn't seem very happy with his decision. He says, “I was disappointed." He mentions, “The plot is that superheroes have been made illegal…and how this family of superheroes does not know what do." He goes onto talk about the importance of political correctness in animation films. He disapprovingly adds, “I really struggled through it.”Netflix original Lust Stories featuring movies directed by four big names in the Bollywood received its share of criticism from Lata Mangeshkar’s family. Rajyasree informs about a scene in the movie which shows “a woman using a vibrator in front of her family” with the backdrop of Lataji’s voice. The ‘inappropriate usage’ of the such a prestigious voice has got Lata Mangeshkar’s family very upset. Rajyasree makes a rational argument while talking about the ownership of the song. Abhinandan talks about the orthodox thinking amongst their family and adds, “I don't think they know we are in 2018.”Rajyasree is thoroughly “surprised” by Senator Ted Cruz’s sense of humour. She talks about the twitter spite between Jimmy Kimmel, a popular talk show host, and Cruz where Kimmel has trashed the Senator for his weight and his unwarranted loyalty to Donald Trump. She adds, “Ted Cruz took it really sportingly." Abhinandan disagrees and says, “I wouldn't be so charitable towards him…he’s such a slimy miserable man." The crux of the matter is well condensed by Rajyasree who uses this example to convey to people to “just be a sport about things” instead of taking every comment personally and offensively.AirBnB’s new commercial starring Rajyasree’s favourite, Saif Ali Khan and Karishma Kapoor, has left Abhinandan disappointed. He says, “It's an ainvayi commercial”. Rajyasree maintains her loyalty to Saif and adds, “I really like Saif so I think most of what he does is wonderful."Times Network launched a new campaign in an ‘attempt’ to promote the importance of female news anchors. Rajyasree expresses her cynicism towards the campaign and mentions, “The copywriter has blown my mind…good job Times Network, as usual." Indian Today TV has started a new series called India Today, India tomorrow. The show is being hosted by Rajdeep Sardesai and has celebrities from two different generations come together. Rajyasree informs “they've said it's a new this thing,” in terms of the concept of the show. She informs the series debuted with Gulzar and Meghna Gulzar (his daughter). Abhinandan feels, “Rajdeep is one of the an anchor, he is just the worst." Rajyasree brushes off the topic by adding, “it wasn't bad”. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 75- #Gold, Lust Stories, #FIFAWorldCup2018 And More
Mar 09 2019 51 mins  
On this podcast, Abhinandan and Rajyasree discuss celebrities, controversies, review the promo of Gold starring Akshay Kumar and Netflix's Lust Stories.Rajyasree felt that Atul Kochhar’s reaction to Quantico was extreme, to put it mildly. She also comments, “He’s a bit of a fool also because he’s sitting in Dubai, an Islamic country and you’re trash talking Muslims without thinking that there’ll be some repercussions.” Abhinandan adds, “Not only is he a bigot, he's also an idiot!”Rajyasree recaps the whole episode of Virat Kohli’s video post of his girlfriend Anushka Sharma rebuking a person for littering the road. As an experienced A/V professional, Abhinandan says, “Even when you consume video you must always question when you see a video what happened exactly fifteen seconds before this and what happened fifteen seconds after this.” He proceeds to explain his point by recreating a hypothetical dialogue. He concludes, “In this whole episode, no one comes out looking good. So next time, you have to do a good deed, do it and shut up.”Rajyasree talks about The Graham Norton Show episode in which Rihanna was light-heartedly called a ‘wine glass thief’. The episode quickly became a meal for media houses in India who ran it with horrible headlines, and the duo discusses the merit of the media coverage.Abhinandan describes the promo release of the film Gold. The duo finds the promo utterly bad.They talk about the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in which Robbie Williams who performed, showed his ‘middle-finger’ on air.Expressing dissatisfaction on his short appearance, Rajyasree says, “I thought it was blah...He just sang four songs and he left.”Rajyasree also talks about how Robbie Williams once fit one of the ‘Spice Girls’ - his then-girlfriend in a suitcase to evade media.Speaking of the World Cup anthem, Abhinandan says, “It’s a shit World Cup song.”They discuss the new Netflix film-series, Lust Stories. Abhinandan says, “Either the directors did not get the brief, that this is lust stories or they made four films on whatever the fuck you want and then Netflix said let's club them together and call them Lust Stories.” He adds, “Putting in a random sex scene in an otherwise complicated relationship kind of defining film does not become a lust story. If you’re calling something Lust Stories you should explore lust.” He proceeds to enumerate his observations on the film and delivers a rant on Karan Johar.Rajyasree speaks about the fact that after 32 years of operation, Pixar Animation Productions has finally released a short film directed by a woman. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 74- Kaala, #VeereDeWedding, #WorldCup And More
Mar 09 2019 55 mins  
This week’s Awful & Awesome has our hosts reviewing Rajnikanth-starrer Kaala and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Rajyasree talks about the Netflix series, The Staircase, which is a documentary on a murder investigation spanning 16 years. Abhinandan has some thoughts to share about the latest World Cup anthem. Rajyasree also discusses, “ABC sticking their neck out” for Priyanka Chopra in the latest Quantico controversy.Abhinandan seems to be a little late to the Veere De Wedding party but can't resist sharing his views on it. He says, “I enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was great and I didn’t get knocked out." He mentions the weakness of the film being that “it's made by a guy, so it is his kind of view” about women. He adds, “While it set out to be Dil Chahta Hai, it ended up being Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara."Getting to the films, Rajyasree states, “This is the first Rajinikanth film I have was surprisingly understated." Abhinandan sheds light on the plot of the film and says, "There is a character Kaala, who is the head of a slum, Dharavi, the largest slum...and his battle against a powerful politician/ builder." Rajyasree lauds the director for his explicit politics portrayed in the film. Abhinandan agrees that it is a “very brave film to make”.Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is next on the list. Abhinandan is definitely unimpressed. He calls it a “really crappy film” that “sucked like a vacuum cleaner”. Abhinandan talks about the Jurassic Park concept that moulded itself into a movie in 1993 and how the portrayal of the same thing has worn out the content and the audience. He adds, “Now its just a money-making thing."The suicide of chef Anthony Bourdain has left both Rajyasree and Abhinandan stunned. Abhinandan talks about Bourdain's life on the road and the possibilities of that contributing to his depression. He adds, "(It is) lonely being on the road." Rajyasree informs us that “he had referred to his depression” in an interview before. She mentions, “He was a very intense man.”The release of the new World Cup anthem, ‘Live it up’ sung by Nicky Jam, Will Smith and Era Istrefi hasn't impressed Abhinandan much. Rajyasree says, “I only remember Shakira and Ricky Martin had sung one." Abhinandan informs, “World Cup anthems, there is no system for them to be chosen." He also adds, “If your song gets picked, the whole fucking world knows you." Rajyasree fangirls over Will Smith. She also talks about ‘Soccer Aid’ started by Robbie Williams in 2006 through which “they raise money for UNICEF…these players play for free”. Abhinandan says, “Football does so much good in the world”.Netflix series, The Staircase has got Rajyasree raving over how good it is! According to her, the documentary “has been shot over 16 years….first 8 episodes were originally aired in 2004”. Like other murder mysteries, this also doesn't really have a conclusion” but it is “spectacular the way they follow the family and the case, Rajyasree says. Abhinandan talks about the nature of documentaries and what adds to their credibility. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 73- Review Of Veere Di Wedding, First Period Ad And More
Mar 09 2019 49 mins  
Abhinandan and Rajyasree are back this week to bring you the latest from the world of pop culture.Rajyasree reviews Veere Di Wedding, starring Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania. She says, “In the first half of the film, it’s like none of them have bothered to read the script or learn their lines.”On asking why, she says, “Because they’re acting so terribly. It’s just horrible acting.”But what irritated Rajyasree most was the ridiculous product placement.“There’s Amul ice cream! These ‘rail thin’ women other than poor Shikha Talsania are shown as eating lots of Amul ice cream,” she adds.Abhinandan speaks about his experience dealing with clients as a filmmaker. He says that clients keep wanting the product placement to be ‘seamless’.Rajyasree talks about the film Get Out (2017) that won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and is finally available for viewing in India - but only on HBO. And she’s able to convince Abhinandan to watch it.The duo discuss a recent advertisement on menstrual hygiene - “First Period”. Rajyasree informs us that the advertisement was released on World Menstrual Hygiene Day. Abhinandan says, “Acting is terrible…I don’t understand the message.” Rajyasree talks about mansplaining and how the director, Mozez Singh takes the concept to a “different level”. She adds, “I do feel it’s a bit much for a man, who has never had his period…to tell me, a woman, why my mother did not do something.”Abhinandan is clearly amused by the video of the “dancing uncle”. The video features Professor Srivastava, who teaches electronics in Bhopal. Prof Srivastava “may be teaching electronic but his moves are electric”. Rajyasree adds, “his head movement is very good”. Abhinandan and Rajyasree discuss what makes a video go viral in the digital space.The duo also discuss Salman Khan’s Dus Ka Dum, which is back on air after nine years. Rajyasree says, “Such a rubbish concept according to me…very braindead.” She talks about Salman Khan himself issuing a disclaimer and stating, “This is not an intelligent show”. The conversation turns to gym freaks on Instagram. Abhinandan says, “Dus Ka Dum is a shit show and Instagram is a shit concept”. And, Rajyasree definitely does not want to see you all in your gym clothes. Listen up. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 72- Deadpool 2, Race 3 Trailer, Royal Wedding And More
Mar 09 2019 55 mins  
This week’s Awful and Awesome has Abhinandan and Rajyasree finally lavishing some praise on a film. There are a few trailers, an online series and a commercial to wrap up this episode, and Rajyasree talks about the “grandest wedding in town” as well.Deadpool 2 replaces the otherwise promised review of High Jack (sorry listeners!) Directed by David Leitch and starring Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2 is a superhero movie “for adults” that hit the cinemas this week.Abhinandan says: “I was curious to see what is a superhero film for adults”. He feels it is “brilliantly written”. Rajyasree, while admiring Reynolds, talks about the quirkiness of Deadpool 2 which comes from the “cracks about superheroes” in the movie itself. Abhinandan adds that the “opening credits were hysterically funny”. Rajyasree “loved the music in Deadpool”, while Abhinandan recommends it and calls it a “most satisfying film”.Next up, the trailer of Race 3 gets hysterical reception from Abhinandan and Rajyasree. Directed by Remo D'Souza, the movie will star Bobby Deol, among others. Rajyasree sounds almost petrified when she says, “Bobby Deol is back and he is bare-chested!” Abhinandan feels it is the “shittiest trailer… I hope they make Rs 20”.Moving on “from the sublime to the ridiculous and back to the normal”, the trailer of Bohemian Rhapsody seems promising. The film is a biography of Queen singer Freddie Mercury and stars Rami Malek. Rajyasree says: “It’s amazing how much they’ve made him look like Freddie Mercury.” Abhinandan mentions, “Growing up, I have loved Queen’s music, but no I've not been a fan of Freddie Mercury… I was underwhelmed by the trailer”.Another trailer that Rajyasree really likes is of Bhavesh Joshi: Superhero starring Anil Kapoor’s son, Harsh Vardhan Kapoor, who made his debut in Mirziya. It is a “vigilante drama” revolving around a group of boys “who keep seeing things happening around them” and finally decide to take the law into their own hands.Abhinandan approves of the trailer and says “definitely makes you want to watch the film”. Rajyasree adds, “it does look like a cool film”. While she seems impressed by Harsh Vardhan, Abhinandan comments, “every time he opens his mouth, he says something so stupid… just pipe down ya”.The trailer of Mowgli by Andy Serkis wins praise from both Abhinandan and Rajaysree. Abhinandan thinks “it was spectacular” while Rajyasree talks about Serkis' intention to make a dark version of The Jungle Book. Rajyasree adds that it's “spectacularly shot”. Abhinandan, however, talks about how The Jungle Book has “worked in every avatar of its making” and that Hollywood remakes on the original story could jeopardise this film. Moving on to what’s new on Netflix, 13 Reasons Why (Season 2) has been aired. The show revolves around Hannah Baker who commits suicide because she is bullied in school. Rajyasree informs us that it is a “very popular show, based on a book by Jay Asher”.The great "Royal Wedding" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle caught Rajyasree’s attention over the weekend. She says: “More than 29 million Americans tuned in to watch them getting married”. She also joked about the large number of security personnel present at the wedding. “If a terrorist attack had happened, they would have been able to get rid of half of the British entertainment industry and Oprah Winfrey and the others,” she adds.Finally, a “spectacular commercial” called “Who stole the cup” concludes the agenda of the day. Rajaysree says “it’s a UK production” starring the legends of football. The ad is about a betting site, which Rajyasree could not figure out. Abhinandan asks her: “You didn’t know about the product watching the ad, does that mean it’s a good ad or a shit ad?”All this and much more. Listen up. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 71- Raazi, Mother’s Day Ads, RJ Naved’s Prank And More
Mar 09 2019 71 mins  
This week’s Awful and Awesome episode with Rajyasree is loaded with entertainment and a little bit of gossip. Abhinandan and Rajyasree talk about Raazi, Mother’s Day ads, and Rajyasree talks to Abhinandan about the celebrity wedding and engagement that flooded everyone’s social media feed, and lots more.The podcast starts with Abhinandan interviewing Meghna Gulzar, where she talks about her new film as a Director and Writer, Raazi. On being asked about the kind of positive reviews the film is getting and does it matter to her, Meghna says: "They will never not matter because you’re creating something to put out there for the people to opine on. That opinion will always be relevant and important. So yes, it is overwhelming because there’s been complete approval across the board barring one or two here and there. The numbers, the way the film is performing at the theatre, are still really growing so there’s a word of mouth. There’s an acceptance from the people. Then you come across messages which people are sending and forwarding, which say we were watching it in this theatre, the audience stood up and clapped at the end. That is my biggest payoff."Then she goes on to talk about her first film Filhaal, problems during the shoot of Raazi, nepotism and more.Abhinandan and Rajyasree then discuss the film that stars Alia Bhatt. While Rajyasree says “I didn’t think Alia acted well”, she also adds, “All the actors were very well cast… I just find it really nice that a mother and daughter played a mother and daughter on celluloid also”.Abhinandan, in agreement with Rajyasree, says, “All the reviews had built it up so much for me” and adds that “I really liked its politics… it kept me hooked throughout”. Rajyasree shares trivia about Hansal Mehta’s films Shahid and Omerta before moving on to the trailer of The Spy Who Dumped Me. Abhinandan comments on it, saying “very ordinary trailer… montage of funny moments”. However, he acknowledges that the movie has a “spectacular cast”, the kind that “will pull you in the cinema”.The Susanna Fogel movie starring Mila Kunis, Justin Theroux and Hasan Minhaj among others will definitely be “very funny”, according to Rajyasree.Chef Vikas Khanna makes his directorial debut with the film The Last Colour, starring Nina Gupta. Rajyasree says “the plot revolves around the Supreme Court order against the age-old tradition of not allowing widows in Vrindavan to play Holi”, which was apparently not obvious in the trailer. She feels the trailer was more of an ad for “Exotic India” and the movie is “highly avoidable”. Abhinandan says the “film is going to be below average”.Rajyasree talks about the “weddings we virtually attended” - of Sonam Kapoor with Anand Ahuja and the engagement of Isha Ambani to the “Piramal boy”. Rajyasree talks about the “romantic” engagement in the temple and Abhinandan talks about how these weddings and engagements went viral on social media.“Every third thing on that day was ‘watch the viral video of Nita Ambani dancing’,” he says. Mother’s Day celebrations catch Rajyasree and Abhinandan’s attention, with ads released by Mother Dairy and Kotak Silk. Rajyasree feels the first ad has a “nice concept” focusing on not just the mother, but “a galaxy of women that bring you up”. Abhinandan, however, calls it “too goody, goody nice acting”.Rajyasree confirms “they are very loving, these mothers I have to say… nobody has a natural reaction”. Abhinandan adds “there should be some reality to these ads”.The Google Assistant ad is the last on the agenda. Rajyasree talks about what is happening and “technology which makes you think you’re talking to a human” and how this feature may be the “beginning of the end of humanity”. Abhinandan agrees and says, “artificial intelligence has gone to a different level”. Lastly, they discuss RJ Naved’s latest prank and what's funny and what's not funny with such pranks. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 70- Madhuri, Omerta, Junot Diaz, Avengers And More
Mar 09 2019 55 mins  
This week’s Awful and Awesome episode ends the trauma of having “nothing good to watch or read”.Abhinandan’s favourite actress, Madhuri Dixit, takes the spotlight with the trailer of her upcoming Marathi film Bucket List. While Rajyasree says “she’s pretty much playing her age… her face moves”, Abhinandan comments on the issue of "dramatic" acting by “80s’ actresses when they act in 2018” and also says “this trailer is a really good trailer… although it seems like a regular, feel-good film, the plot seems interesting. There seem to be some really good humour points”.Rajyasree doesn't seem too impressed by Veere Di Wedding starring Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania. Abhinandan says “it seems like a more fun version of Angry Indian Goddesses”. He talks about the “first-half comedy and second-half tragedy” approach used in Bollywood. Rajyasree talks more about Bollywood “moving away from the stereotype of portraying leading women as ‘good girls’”.Rajyasree gushes over Saif Ali Khan in his upcoming Netflix TV series Sacred Games, based on the book by Vikram Chandra “Not from NDTV, to be clear”. The story revolves around the two characters from the Bombay underworld and the Maharashtra Police.Next on the agenda is the Rajkumar Rao-starrer Omerta, in which the actor plays the criminal mastermind behind several major terrorist attacks around the world - Omar Sheikh. Abhinandan praises the works of director Hansal Mehta and Anurag Kashyap, but says, “kept (the movie) me hooked… it was really flat but wouldn’t want anyone else making it". Rajyasree feels Omerta is worth watching simply because Sheikh's is an “interesting ‘life”.Avengers: Infinity Wars makes it to this episode, having clocked a billion dollars in its opening week. While the world is going crazy over the movie, Abhinandan says it's “not my favourite”. Moving on to the world of literature, Rajyasree discusses the sexual harassment charges against author Junot Diaz. Rajyasree talks about the #MeToo movement and how it has helped people gather the courage to speak up. Abhinandan comments on how the “Nobel Literature Prize will not be given this year because of similar reasons”.Finally, Priyanka Chopra makes the news of the day with her comments on the controversy around the character “Apu" from The Simpsons. The controversy was triggered by a documentary released by Hari Kondavola addressing the issue.Rajyasree says: “Priyanka Chopra is doing the rounds of the talk shows and so on” for her upcoming season of Quantico. She talks about the actress coming from a privileged background and feels “her trauma is something I have not been able to wrap my head around".Abhinandan dwells more on stereotypes reinforced in Bollywood and the extent of political correctness. And then comes the advice that everyone should take into consideration – “If you’re so offended by Apu, then get a life”. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 53(Archive)- Abhinandan In Conversation With Sabrina Dhawan
Mar 09 2019 15 mins  
On Awful and Awesome this week, we bring to you from the archives Abhinandan in conversation with Sabrina Dhawan, who has written Monsoon Wedding, co-written Kaminey, Ishqiya and Rangoon and been a consultant for Haider. She also teaches screenwriting at New York University. The movie Monsoon Wedding shot her to stardom at a very young age in her career.They talk about the factors that make a film successful, what works and what does not.Films like Kaminey and Ishqiya did well at the box office while Rangoon didn't. Abhinandan questions what could be the reason behind a film's fall and success. Sabrina says: "Unlike writing a book, a film is an intensely collaborative medium. So the writing is one part of it. Even the directing is one part of it. Any one element can sink a film. Eventually, it is a good story that is well told. Because you can have a good idea but if it isn't well told, then that doesn't work. That said, even a great script is not director-proof, it's not casting-proof."Furthermore, she says it is a "miracle" if a movie does well because that means everything came together.Talking about the screenwriting course that she teaches at New York University, she discusses how screenwriting is a "craft" similar to carpentry or plumbing. She acknowledges that one needs to have stories to tell, nobody can teach you that. "What I am teaching them is how you actually craft your idea, a lot of it is also teaching them how to externalise or dramatise something because unlike a book, a script is a story told in pictures."Regarding Monsoon Wedding, she recalls the time when she pitched the idea to a bunch of executives. Her idea was appreciated but the executives felt the movie wouldn't be commercially viable."But we made that film, super low-budget and it ended up finding audiences throughout the world. This taught me a really important lesson, that it's really important to write the story you want to write and write it as truthfully and authentically as possible,” she adds.Abhinandan asks about her challenges when she rewrote the script of Monsoon Wedding from film to theatre. Initially, she thought that since the film is a musical, it would only be a change in formatting because a film and play have different formats. "But it doesn't work like that at all. Going from screen to stage, the fact that you don't have a camera changes everything. You can't cut to location. Of course with sets and production like how many transitions and how do you transition, you can't just keep coming back to the location."Sabrina mentions her love for Zoya Akhtar’s film Luck By Chance. "I thought it was brave and incredibly compassionate. It had this great look and was very satirical and very dark. And the fact that it was made by someone who is an insider in that world and to look into the perspective of an outsider is incredible.”Other films lined up in her list of favourites are Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Deewar.Tune into Awful and Awesome for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 69- Hush A Bye Baby, Kohinoor Condom Ad And More
Mar 09 2019 57 mins  
On Awful and Awesome this week, Abhinandan and Rajyasree are joined by our very own Deepanjana Pal (DJ). This time, she's back as a guest to talk about her first novel Hush a Bye Baby, a thriller about a gynaecologist, Dr Nandita Rai, who is accused of conducting sex-selective abortions.Sekhri and Sen question DJ about her choice of genre. In response to which, Pal says, “So, at a very basic level, I think it’s fair to say that Hush a Bye Baby is kind of in the middle of many genres. It is a thriller, I hope. But it is also a social drama like you’re describing. It does have a lot to do with the society in which all of this is taking place. It isn’t a conventional murder mystery which is what most thrillers tend to be. There are no dead bodies in this. In many ways, it’s a little bit of a cross-genre kind of a thing.”After having discussed the novel extensively, and DJ’s view on abortions and a woman’s autonomy over her own body, Sekhri and Sen move on to discuss the bizarre, shocking, and extremely disappointing comments made by Bollywood celebrities on rapes in India.The greatest superstar of the country, Amitabh Bachchan, also the brand ambassador of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, when asked to comment on the Kathua rape case, said: “‘Don’t bring up this issue, it is terrible to even talk about it.”While it is a disgusting incident, that doesn’t mean you don’t comment on it. As Sekhri commented: “He is a superstar and we respect him but he is like every other uncle.”Next in line is Saroj Khan, who had something to say about the existence of the casting couch in the industry: “Tum film industry ke peeche kyu pade ho. Woh kamse kam roti toh dedeti hai. Rape karke chorh toh nai deti”. To Sen, the justification that she is making is hardly some salvation.While Bachchan’s and Saroj Khan’s old age can be held up as an excuse for making such statements, what reason does Ranbir Kapoor have? Speaking about the casting couch, the Rockstar actor said: "I don’t know if it exists. I have never been expected to do it” and then laughed!Sen had a very obvious remark to make to that, “For everyone who comes from a level of privilege in their sphere of life, to say I’ve never seen this deprivation is ridiculous.”Moving on, the duo discusses the teaser of Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanju, produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Both are highly impressed by the actor’s uncanny resemblance to Sanjay Dutt, but the teaser fails to make a mark on them.According to Sen, “I didn’t think much of the teaser. I thought it was a bit farcical. Like they had just slapped it together. And for some reason, I got the feeling that it was making a hero out of Sanjay Dutt’s stupidities. Because I do think he’s a silly man. He came from the lap of privilege and went wayward. That has been made into a virtue.”Sekhri, however, is less harsh in his opinion on the teaser, “What they’ve attempted is very clever. His life is more tragic than comic. But rather than make the trailer tragic, they attempted to make it almost farcical. I don’t think it works. But it was a clever thing to have tried.”Next, the new Durex Kohinoor Meetha Pan condom ad is reviewed. For Sekhri, the ad is "wrong in all sorts of ways". He also adds, “Ever since Pooja Bedi’s Kamasutra ad, nobody has come up with a classy condom ad. All condom ads have been sleazy.”Talking of advertisements, the next topic of discussion is a print ad commissioned by the ministry of health, to promote healthy eating and being slim. But of course, it’s only directed at women. No surprises there.Sekhri brings out the fallacies that this ad, which shows two women of different sizes, displays.Lastly, Sen talks about an Amazon original that she watched, written and acted in by Sumukhi Suresh, called ‘Pushpavalli’. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 68- A Quiet Place, October, Beyonce & More
Mar 08 2019 50 mins  
The Awful and Awesome is back this week to give you a dose of the latest pop cultural updates. Rajyasree and Abhinandan take you through three Hollywood trailers, two films (A Quiet Place and October), the National Awards and Beyonce’s performance at Coachella.Starting with ‘A Quiet Place’, the duo believed it wasn’t half as good as the trailer promised. Regardless, both Sen and Sekhri did appreciate the skill required to direct and act in a horror film with minimum dialogue. Abhinandan says, “I won’t say I hated it but when you take up such a difficult job, you have got to be super brilliant to pull it off.”Then we have Sen reviewing Shoojit Sircar’s ‘October’ alone because Abhinandan has pledged to not watch a Varun Dhawan film again (the last Dhawan film he watched was ‘Judwaa 2’, that must explain it). Sircar’s direction and Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing is back after Piku in this film. Dhawan plays a grumpy and disgruntled hotel trainee, Dan. When one of his fellow trainees goes into a coma after an accident, he suddenly finds a purpose in life. Sen finds it difficult to relate to this unusual obsession but liked the way Sircar portrays Delhi. Commenting on Varun’s acting, she says, “He has acted better than he has acted before.”Rajyasree and Abhinandan also discuss the National awards, which started off with understandable awardees such as Newton for best Hindi film and Baahubali for best action, direction and special effect. But Sridevi getting the best actor female award for Mom, according to the two, reeked of sentimentality.Moving on, both our reviewers were highly impressed with the trailers of ‘The Wife’ starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, and ‘Can you ever forgive me?’ starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant. For the former, Sekhri says, “It is one of the most compelling trailers I have seen in a long time. Think it is going to be great. I hope it is not like ‘A Quiet Place’ where the trailer was 20,000 times better than the film.”However, the two were quite unhappy with the trailer of ‘Solo’, next in the series of Star Wars. A new Star Wars film every year is a ‘money-making machine for Disney’, feels Sekhri.Sen then discusses Beyonce's performance at Coachella and how this was the first time since 1999 that a black woman had headlined the fest. But that wasn’t the only reason why Coachella was making news. Philip Anschutz, the owner of Coachella’s parent company, is, in fact, a Republican donor and a huge supporter of anti-LGBT groups. Which has been all over the news lately. Regardless, Beyonce’s two-hour-long power-packed performance, in which she went through five outfit changes (and also nail polish changes), was definitely worth a watch.Listen up now for all this and more at The Awful and Awesome, and as Sen rightly said, “Pay for free news and better jokes”. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 67- Seema Goswami, IPL, Missing, Salman Khan & More
Mar 08 2019 61 mins  
The Awful and Awesome has a lot in store this week. A special treat for all book lovers is Rajyasree Sen’s interaction with Seema Goswami, author of ‘Race Course Road’, followed by a discussion on the IPL, Salman Khan, ‘Missing’, and Russell Crowe’s genius.Starting off with the book, Goswami’s past work experience with ABP and Sunday Magazine is reflected in her approach towards politics in this fictional political thriller, which starts off with the assassination of Prime Minister Birendra Pratap Singh, and goes on to answer the questions -- Who was behind it? Who will become the next PM?Although fictional, Rajyasree finds the characters mirroring many Indian politicians and doesn’t hesitate in naming them. According to her, these characters are obviously inspired by real-life personalities -- there’s an Arnab, a Barkha Dutt, and there is definitely, definitely a Mamata Banerjee. Sen feels that the book surpasses other thrillers by dealing with themes like the invasion of privacy, the treatment of women in politics, and the role of media.Moving on, we have our dear own Abhinandan Sekhri joining Sen. The ‘Awful and Awesome’ duo makes it a point to discuss as much of ‘awful’ as ‘awesome’ and comments on the glamorisation and commercialisation of cricket, which Sekhri does not even consider a sport (thank you, IPL!). The grand opening ceremony with performances by Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandes, and Mika Singh are not spared, with Hrithik Roshan being the only one praised by our hard-to-please reviewers. If all this isn’t enough, there are two awards -- ‘the most stylish player award’ (Gautam Gambhir seemed as disgusted receiving it as Sen and Sekhri felt discussing it), and the ‘Star Plus nayi soch award’ (what does that even mean?). Abhinandan had one answer to all this, “We just fuck up everything.”Further, Sen and Sekhri have both had their own shares of torture this week, watching ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Missing’ respectively. The former has nothing to offer except a cliché teen story where nothing bad happens. The latter, on the other hand, is a disappointing psychological thriller about a child who goes missing during a family ‘business trip’ to Mauritius. As Sen says, Missing can easily go ‘missing from the halls’.Next, they go on to discuss the new iPad advertisement that shows the gadget's use in homework for children -- much to Abhinandan’s distaste, and the commonwealth film by Edelweiss Group, which again fails to impress Mr Sekhri due to its ‘terrible writing’.Of course, this week had to have a discussion on the media coverage of the conviction of our beloved Bhai. It was, as Sekhri puts it, ‘news as entertainment about an entertainment superstar’. Apart from Khan’s non-discrimination among species and colour of skin, unnecessary details (his popularity in China, his earnings from Big Boss) given by the media are discussed. Priya Gupta, co-producer of movies like Blackmail, gets a special mention for her defences given for the superstar.Sen goes on to enlighten us about the innovative method that Russell Crowe has come up with to pay his divorce alimony of 20 million dollars by an auction called the ‘Art of Divorce’, that, ironically, he opened on the day of his wedding anniversary.All in all, the awful and awesome will take you through all this and more, including books, movies, advertisements, and mastering the art of divorcing your wife in style. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Ep 66- Call Me By Your Name, Nude, Dundee & More
Mar 08 2019 43 mins  
In this episode, we bring you a full dose of entertainment and cinema. Rajyasree discloses her illegal access to cinema, while Abhinandan’s habit of name- and place-dropping is pointed out by Aditi, our Awful & Awesome enthusiast.Sekhri and Sen review Call Me By Your Name, which was banned from being shown at the Beijing Film Festival for no good reason. And they discuss James Ivory’s comment on the lack of full frontal nudity and normal sex scenes in the film.According to Sen, “The film stars a very beautiful man called Armie Hammer whom we’ve seen play the Winklevoss twins in the Facebook film, it also stars Timothée Chalamet, whom we saw in Lady Bird as the rebel boyfriend." She also gives us a sneak peek of the plot, “Timothée Chalamet plays a boy called Elio whose father is a professor. Armie Hammer plays Oliver, is a graduate student of Elio’s father...It’s about the love affair that starts between both of them” and is an “extremely well scripted, beautiful film”. Sekhri and Sen also discuss the significance of the year 1983, which the movie is set in.There’s also talk of why the trailer of Nude was in the news and why it was pulled from the International Film Festival Of India in November. According to our Awesome & Awful duo, the film has a “spectacular trailer”. Sekhri says, "It makes you watch the film. The plot unfolds with a brilliant cast, it’s beautifully shot with perfect lighting. It has a promise to make a political statement but not an in your face sort of political statement.”There’s a little insight about the trailer of the film, Dundee, with Sekhri giving millennials a bit of context about Crocodile Dundee which was a pop culture phenomenon when he was in school (in the Dark Ages).Then, of course, there’s the man for all seasons, Salman Khan’s Being Human summer campaign – Look Good Do Good - where he promotes people who are trying to change the world by doing noble things. Sekhri says, “Salman Khan is ‘looking good’ and others are ‘doing good’”…The purpose of this campaign is to change Salman’s image.”Unsurprisingly, Tetley’s green tea advertisement starring Deepika Padukone is Sekhri’s favourite campaign of the week. There’s an interesting anecdote from Sekhri about Tea and Egypt!There’s also Anurag Kadhyap’s Karta, a short film presented by Kashyap and directed by Randeep Jha – which Sen quite enjoyed. The pièce de résistance though, is a musical rendition of a Punjabi song by Sekhri, while commenting on Punjab government’s proposal to set up a committee to eradicate vulgarity from Punjabi songs. And there’s Sen’s question with an un-Googleable answer (or so she hopes) at the end.Much to look forward to this time. See for privacy and opt-out information.

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