Truth is far from reality (TV) in My Unorthodox Life

My Unorthodox Life, the latest reality docu-drama miniseries from Netflix, could have very well been a TedTalk. Instead, it chose to occupy 9 episodes of manufactured drama to tell a story. You’d wonder, how good of a story could it be?

Julia Haart, the matriarch, is a force to reckon with. She quit on her Jewish fundamentalist community and family and extrapolated herself from the frum (orthodox Jewish coterie) to build herself an empire, singlehandedly, and further elevate all their lives to bring them a step closer to living, breathing, eating, sleeping, gestating fashion and sex-positivity. She now leads an…


You’re not the only one watching Sex/Life for the “plot”.

In episode 3 of Sex/Life on Netflix, we witness Cooper Connelly (Mike Vogel) obsess over his wife Billie’s ex-lover Brad Simon (Adam Demos) to the extent of signing up for a gym membership. In the process, he finds himself sharing the shower space with the man himself.

At 19:55 we see a well-hung full frontal from the point of view of a man who feels cuckolded after reading his wife’s journal entries about this very gentleman, supposedly a sex god and a freak in bed who brings out the best in his wife.

If you’re wondering when does the write-up…


Let’s talk about (television) sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me.

I am boldly unapologetic that the listing of “Sex and the City” on Indian television introduced the word “sex” to my dictionary. As a South Asian born and raised in India in the 90s, I confess, I learned more about sex-ed from television than from biology lessons in school. Opening up the Indian economy and allowing the private networks to broadcast popular dramas on Indian television ensured that there was uncensored access to international television and pop culture in the late 1990s, which impacted many of the social and cultural lives of many.

Between the Sex and the City (SATC)…


An introduction to the auteur for the binge audience? Sign me up.

The thing about consuming art in the form of moving images is that you’re constantly dick measuring inspired works against that of originals by stalwarts. It doesn’t help the case when the said work is inspired from the works of one of the greatest auteurs of all times — Satyajit Ray.

Netflix India’s latest anthology, Ray (2021), has garnered all kinds of attention — good, bad, ugly. …


Yes, I am recommending a film starring Arjun and Parineeti and no COVID-19 hasn’t wrecked my taste.

There are a lot of reasons to fixate on Dibakar Banerjee’s artistic sensibilities. You have to appreciate the guts of the man who opted for Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra as lead cast in his film. Extracting fine acting out of that duo is no easy task by any means, a fact I corroborate after having seen Sardar Ka Grandson (2021) and The Girl On The Train (2021) in the last 90 days. On top of that gamble, making a memorable work of art out of Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar calls for all the accolades for the filmmaker here.

If…


When was the last time you heard characters on a TV show talk about yeast infection in excruciating detail?

A little over a month ago, when I was on oxygen support at the hospital, I found myself streaming The Bold Type on a tiny phone screen. Despite being able to focus very little, I would stream half an episode over breakfast, daily, before my injection routine could start. It was the only thing, besides Abbas-Mustan’s filmography there, that breathed life into me. I managed to stream the first few episodes there, but binged real hard in the last month at home, as I found myself getting back to watching things.

If you’ve been feeling hopeful about your life, then…


Pagglait nearly gets things right. Nearly.

There is something about films that tug at the heartstrings of being somewhat real and somewhat believable. While I’m a big fan of suspension of disbelief and hot cinematic sex (a la his highness the Duke of Hastings), I also find myself enjoying cinematic moments which are nothing but painfully raw and real. If I had a Bombay cinema fantasy league team, it would include the waiter from Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!


As a Formula One fan and a new media scholar, DTS 3 is as good as a wet dream may look for me.

It is not live television, it is not reality television, and it is also not a wholly dramatized series; Drive To Survive (DTS) is a unique television experience. A round-up of a season of Formula One, with some heart; it’s a bit of everything, but more than anything else, it is a show with some sense of self-awareness. …


Charles Sobhraj is a man who wanted to be known. There’s no better place to start than The Serpent to take that bait.

The first time I decided to travel to Thailand on an advance notice of 9 hours to my family, I contacted the only person I had known — an old friend who had spent her childhood and late teen years in the country. Among the other handy information she parted, she asked me in loud and clear words to stay the fuck away from anyone who tried to talk to me, especially if that individual looked like they’re from the Indian subcontinent and/or offered to sell me gems. …


Gratitude is an attitude. Thank you for not making a mess out of the first televised discourse on #MeToo

There’s something interesting at play with the way the Indian OTT originals and the hosting platforms are conceptualizing our lives for the screen. I would put emphasis on “Indian women” but I know #MenLivesMatter and all that. Plus, women’s day is over and so is our token 24 hours window to feel good on social media (also, nobody got me a single chocolate — the disadvantages of being self-employed).

If Alt-Balaji is going down with transgression (Dev DD, Gandii Baat) — a self-righteous follow-up from their years of Baniya Goth television and representation of women in India, and Hotstar is…

Anisha Saigal

Purveyor of OTT Originals// custodian of cringe// entertainment and culture writer

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