2015 TV ROUNDUP: WILL INTERNET BE THE NEW TV? #SCHOLASTICYEARBOOK

Note: This piece was written by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoonfor Scholastic Yearbook 2015. The book can be bought here: https://goo.gl/JX06qa

At the fag end of September 2015, the top rated shows on Indian television were: Saath Nibhana Saathiya, Ye Hai Mohabbatein and Diya aur Baati (Star Plus), Sasural Simar Ka, Swaragini and Udaan (Colors TV), Kumkum Bhagya and Jamai Raja (Zee TV), and Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (Sab TV). Sound familiar?

Yes, if 2014 shows like Abhinay Deo’s 24, Anurag Kashyap’s Yudh and Vipul Shah’s Pukaar were hinting towards exciting times ahead for Indian television, 2015 showed that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Indian television circled back to the same old formula of women-led soap operas, even as international television seemed to be at a watershed moment in its history.

Because September 2015 was also the month American TV honoured the very best in television at its flagship Primetime Emmy Awards. And for the first time in the history of its 67 years, the biggest winners were cable and streaming TV, instead of good old network television. Cable network HBO swept the awards with a grand total of 43 Emmys, whereas streaming networks like Netflix and Amazon also took home a few big ones.

To give some context: this would be like YouTube comedy groups AIB and TVF or the newly launched digital platform Hotstar.com taking home the biggest awards over Star Plus, Colors and Zee TV at an Indian Television Awards night!

And for all you know, in the next couple of years, that may just happen. Because if there was one major development in Indian television in 2015, it was the prospect of internet being the new TV. With the rise of internet collectives like The Viral Fever, whose original fiction series Pitchers, has over 1.5 million views on each of its six episodes, and the launch of streaming mobile and digital platforms like hotstar, which has both announced huge plans for original content, ‘television’ viewing may be all set to change. In fact, HotStar’s first series is a best of both worlds, with comedy group All India Bakchod teaming up with them for a news-based series.

Both TV and film studios are also joining the race to be the next ‘Netflix’ – and there are plans for the original Netflix to come to India too – so we’re up for some fun times ahead. ErosNow, the streaming platform from Eros International, has announced three big-budget TV series, with filmmakers like Rohan Sippy and actors like Bipasha Basu associated with them.  Yash Raj Films, on the other hand, has already launched its first original series, Man’s World, through its youth division, Y Films, while Balaji Telefilms, not to be left behind, has promised ‘edgy’ content too, to exploit the fact that there’s no censorship on the internet.

By next year, it is all too likely that television may want to change its programming to keep up with all the exciting things happening on the digital front, but at the moment, just like the audiences, television network heads prefer to wait and watch.

Five Indian Television Highlights:

One more English channel – There has never been a better to time to be a fan of English-language entertainment in India. There are already about 10 channels providing the same in India, Star World being the biggest, but Viacom18 has extended its Colors’ brand to start yet another GEC, Colors Infinity. With Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt curating the programming, and original English-language shows lined up, it remains to be seen whether it or not it will be a gamechanger.

Two Food Channels – If the popularity of Masterchef India, Junior Masterchef India, Farah Ki Dawat, Sanjeev Kapoor, and food in general, it was only time before more channels dedicated to food popped up. Food Food has already been doing well, and now, with Living Foodz entering the segment with English and Hindi language shows, it looks like too many cooks aren’t spoiling any broths at the moment.

Three Sports Leagues – The Indian Premiere League may be guilty on many counts, like Lalit Modi and reducing the ‘gentleman’s game’ to Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma’am entertainment, but it’s certainly done great wonders for other sports in the country. The idea of ‘Sports Leagues’ has caught on and how, proven by the smashing, celebrity-driven seasons of The Pro Kabaddi League, The Indian Super League, and the Indian Badminton League.

Four New and Improved Reality Shows – Dance, Music, Comedy and Adventure based reality shows are proven hits in India. This year too, a new entrant in each genre – Dance Plus in Dance, The Voice in Music, Comedy Nights Bachao in Comedy and the upcoming ‘I Can Do That in Adventure – has upped the excitement about each.

Five Fresh Ideas That Made An Impact – The official remake of Everybody Loves Raymond, Sumit Sambhal Lega, was appreciated for re-versioning Indian sitcoms; Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat’s fresh treatment of the show made it a big success, Reporters, was a novel idea that got a lot of love, Stories by Rabindranath Tagore was a stimulating piece of work by Anurag Basu, and TVF’s Pitchers was the first big internet series that proved that the audiences are ready for many more fresh ideas.

Five International Television Highlights:

One Indian star on an American TV show: At the time of publishing, Priyanka Chopra-starrer American TV show Quantico had just opened – to glowing reviews – but it was left to be seen how it would do ratings-wise. But if there’s anything that months of outstanding promotions with Chopra’s face plastered across billboards in New York and LA proved, it’s that American TV probably has its first big Bollywood star.

Two super hit network shows:  Empire and How to Get Away with Murder, as two shows that wore their diversity (behind the scenes and in front of the camera) on their sleeves, proved to critics that network TV isn’t going to go away anytime soon, but the trick is fresh voices, diverse faces, and dramatic content.

Three ends of eras – David Letterman retired from The Late Show after 22 years, Jon Stewart moved on from The Daily Show after 19 years and Mad Men ended after 8 years. American pop culture as a whole will never be the same again after 2015.

Four superheroes on the small screen – The big war between Marvel and DC comics spilled from the big screen to the small, with both DC Entertainment and Marvel Studios making a push to take over the television landscape. While DC’s big wins came through The Flash and Gotham, Marvel’s Daredevil and Agent Carter proved that the TV crown is still up for the taking.

Five shows to prove Netflix is here to stay – With the debut seasons of three big-budget and big-casted shows with big ambitions, Narcos, Sense8 and Bloodline, and two ace follow up seasons of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix has proved this year that it wasn’t only on HBO’s trail… it may just have surpassed it.


Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,

on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Liked/disliked the piece? Leave your comments below!
Note: This piece first appeared in The Scholastic Yearbook 2015.
Link: http://www.amazon.in/Scholastic-Yearbook-2015-No/dp/9351036588?ie=UTF8&keywords=scholastic%20yearbook%202015&qid=1477772519&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

The 75 Most Awaited TV Series of 2016

Note: This piece was written by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoonfor Huffington Post. An edited version of the piece can be found here: https://goo.gl/Eol0aX
2015 gave us the peak of what is being called ‘Peak TV’ with more great TV shows to watch than we could ever find time to, with streaming media like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu jumping into the mix that was already being dominated by cable TV channels like HBO, Showtime, AMC, FX and Starz (even as network TV struggled to make an impact). Even Indian creators (like TVF) and studios (like Y-Films) jumped on to the series bandwagon and gave us some fun shows to watch on the internet – and for free!

But the greatest thing about 2016 is that not only are we going to get more great *new* shows from all the above platforms, but we’ll also get more exciting new seasons of returning shows that blew our minds in 2015. Except for Fargo and Master of None (my favourite Drama and Comedy each in 2015), most of last year’s exciting shows are coming back so this may just turn out to be the greatest TV year EVER.

So here’s the ultimate guide to the 75 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016 (Fiction). If you agree/disagree with the list or the order of the list or still think there are shows I missed out (although there are some that have been left out on purpose) do give a shout out in the comments. In any case, I’d love to know what your order is. Check ’em out:

THE 30 MOST AWAITED NEW SERIES OF 2016

  1. ROADIES: Because Cameron Crowe is writing and directing this TV series for Showtime and it is produced by JJ Abrams and it stars Luke Wilson and IT NEEDS TO RELEASE ALREADY.
  2. THE UNTITLED WOODY ALLEN SERIES: Because obviously.
  3. VINYL: Because HBO has got Martin Scorsese and Terrence Winter together to make a show about sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
  4. THE NIGHT MANAGER: Because TOM HIDDLESTON and HUGH LAURIE are coming together in a spy series adapted from a John Le Carre novel… I repeat, TOM HIDDLESTON AND HUGH LAURIE!
  5. LOVE: Because Judd Apatow is getting back to his TV roots with this show about modern love on Netflix and it’s going to be amazing.
  6. LEGION: Because the creator of Fargo, Noah Hawley, has been tapped into for creating an X-Men side-quel so this is obviously going to be better than any other superhero TV series out there.
  7. THE GET DOWN: Because Baz Luhrmann is making a Netflix musical show about rap in the Bronx in the ‘70s!
  8. AMERICAN GODS: Because Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller has come on board to adapt this fan favourite Neil Gaiman novel for Starz and it promises to be epic.
  9. PREACHER: Because Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have adapted this badass comic book and one can only hope it’s not anything like The Green Hornet because it stars Dominic Cooper.
  10. TABOO: Because Tom Hardy is starring in and producing this drama series set in the 1800s and it is being made by his frequent collaborator Steven Knight (who directed him in Locke).
  11. THE DEUCE: Because David Simon, of The Wire fame, is making a drama about the porn industry in the ‘70s starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco so get ready for some Boogie Nights.
  12. WESTWORLD: Because it’s an HBO show created by Jonathan Nolan and JJ Abrams and has a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood!
  13. BASKETS: Because Louis CK is producing a show that stars Zach Galifianakis.
  14. ATLANTA: Because Donald Glover is coming back with a comedy after Community about the rap scene.
  15. LUKE CAGE: Because after Dardevil and especially Jessica Jones, just really cannot wait for this.
  16. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: Because before The Defenders come together for Netflix, a superhero-ish team up’s happening over at DC with Arrow and The Flash heroes and villians including Firestorm, The Atom, White Canary, Heat Wave, Captain Cold and more joining hands!
  17. 11/22/63: Because JJ Abrams is producing this Stephen King adaptation about an alternate history plot where James Franco goes back to prevent the assassination of JFK!
  18. SON OF ZORN: Because Phil Lord and Chris Miller are back at Fox again after The Last Man on Earth with a new live action/animated hybrid comedy starring Jason Sudeikis.
  19. AMERICAN CRIME STORY: Because it’s about the OJ Simpson trial and Cuba Gooding Jr plays OJ and John Travolta plays Robert Shapiro and DAVID SCHWIMMER plays Robert Kardashian!!
  20. FULLER HOUSE: Because nostalgia.
  21. LUCKY MAN: Because Stan Lee has created this Brit superhero TV series and it stars James Nesbitt as a man who can control ‘luck’.
  22. BILLIONS: Because if Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti are coming together for a Showtime series, you know it’s going to be brilliant.
  23. ANGIE TRIBECA: Because Steve Carell has created and is producing this cop comedy and it stars Rashida Jones, who is back on TV again after Parks and Recreations.
  24. STRANGER THINGS: Because Winona Ryder is making a comeback with a Twin Peak-esque psychological thriller for Neflix.
  25. SCHOOL OF ROCK: Because even though it’s for Nicklodean, Richard Linklater has created it so I’m going to watch it.
  26. INSECURE: Because the star of the blockbuster internet series, The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae, has created this for HBO, so Lena Dunham better expect competition.
  27. THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE: Because Steven Soderbergh has shown that he can create the heck out of a TV series with The Knick and he’s adapting his own movie here so it promises to be super.
  28. THE YOUNG POPE: Because Paolo Sorrentino is making a TV series (!) and it stars Jude Law and it has something to do with ‘Youth’.
  29. CLASS: Because Doctor Who is getting a YA spin off and Steven Moffat is return as producer!
  30. EMERALD CITY: Because Tarsem Singh is directing a NBC series that promises to give a dark twist to the world of ‘Wizard of Oz’ and no one could have thought of all those words in the same sentence.

 

 

THE 25 MOST AWAITED RETURNING DRAMA SERIES OF 2016

  1. NARCOS: Because there has never been any other show with such scale and ambition attempted so far, and the makers of Narcos pulled it off in Season One like only the cartels could!
  2. ROBOT: Because with this show, which won the Best TV Drama at the recent Golden Globe Awards, creators Sam Esmail gave us the ultimate f**k you to this generation’s obsession with technology, in a twisted, warped, incredibly gripping way.
  3. THE AMERICANS: Because as the most consistently outstanding and most criminally underrated TV show of the last three years, the cold war spy drama is a cable TV classic that should not be missed.
  4. GAME OF THRONES: Because somehow, every year, the show manages to raise the stakes and manages to beat every expectation the millions of fans have around the world.
  5. MANHATTAN: Because as the second most criminally underrated show of the last couple of years, Manhattan is just as consistent in being brilliant as The Americans is, and is about an even more intriguing plotline: the making of the atomic bomb.
  6. BETTER CALL SAUL: Because not only did the Breaking Bad showrunners get back Saul Goodman in this spinoff, they also got back Mike Ehrmantaut and that gave us 2015’s most inimitable friendship.
  7. AGENT CARTER: Because where Marvel’s other TV shows are tonally reminiscent to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Agent Carter has been a refreshingly sassy hero, who is, for once, a heroine.
  8. THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE: Because the alternate history world that the show resides in paints a truly compelling – and frightening – picture of how our lives could have been had WWII been lost.
  9. SENSE8: Because with Sense8, the Wachowski siblings pulled off the world’s first truly global TV series, spanning four continents, trying to address the question of ‘identity’ across each.
  10. FORTITUDE: Because as Christopher Nolan had shown us with Insomnia, there is no better way to do a psychological thriller than to set it in the cold, dark, isolated Scandinavian setting.
  11. FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Because the show’s season one proved there is more to fear when the world is on the verge of losing (to zombies) than when it’s already lost.
  12. MARCO POLO: Because it is one of Netflix’s most vivid, visually arresting, epic and criminally underrated shows, rivaling Game of Thrones in scope and spirit both.
  13. DAREDEVIL: Because the show gave us Marvel’s first thumping TV win and laid the foundation for the gritty Hell’s Kitchen setting that’s more DC than Marvel.
  14. HUMANS: Because just like Black Mirror predicted, even in the future it’s not robots we need to be afraid of, but humans.
  15. THE FLASH: Because neither Marvel nor DC have managed to make a superhero show that’s as much fun as this is – this show is what ‘comic’ books had intended their adaptations to be.
  16. SUITS: Because even in its fifth season, Suits managed to be just as exciting and entertaining as its initial run… and perhaps making Harvey Specter more human could be the arc to watch out for.
  17. BATES MOTEL: Because before there was Wayward Pines, there was – and is – Bates Motel, the origin story of Pyscho’s Norman Bates, which is just as creepy, atmospheric and unpredictable in tone and as good in writing.
  18. THE LEFTOVERS: Because no one writes about life and loss like Lost writer, Damon Lindelof.
  19. THE KNICK: Because if TV is an art, no one can paint it like Steven Soderbergh can and that’s the most compelling reason to watch this show.
  20. THE LAST KINGDOM: Because while the ‘UK’s sprawling series about Brits vs Nordics may not be its answer to Game of Thrones, it was still immensely watchable TV all the same in its season one.
  21. TRANSPARENT: Because Jeffrey Tambor.
  22. WAYWARD PINES: Because this is the first thing after The Sixth Sense that Manoj N. Shyamalan produced where he actually gave answers, which happened to be creepier than the question.
  23. DEUTSCHLAND 83: Because German citizens got the short end of the stick at the end of WWII and this cold war spy coming of age took us into their world that we never knew of.
  24. BLOODLINE: Because Ben Mendhelson is this generation’s most watchable character actor.
  25. EMPIRE: Because besides the heavy hitters in its cast, this show has had more plot in every episode of its two seasons than Mad Men had over 8 seasons… it’s a true network achievement!

 

 

THE 15 MOST AWAITED RETURNING COMEDY SERIES OF 2016

  1. MOZART IN THE JUNGLE: Because in this Golden Globe-winning comedy, Jason Schwartzmann and Roman Coppola have cast Gael Garcia Bernal and indie sensation Lola Kirke to make an ode to New York through the world of symphony orchestras.
  2. CASUAL: Because Jason Reitman is the only director today whose understanding and critique of modern love is just as sharp as Aziz Ansari’s in Master of None (which is yet to be renewed for season 2, unfortunately).
  3. RED OAKS: Because David Gordon Green has recreated the world of John Hughes through this teenage coming-of-age in the ‘80s throwback show.
  4. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH: Because Will Forte has teamed up with Chris Miller and Philip Lord (of 21 and 22 Jump Street Fame) for a post-apocalyptic comedy so how could it not be gold?
  5. CATASTROPHE: Because though season two proved to be a dampener, there is enough to like in the adult romantic comedy for couples who don’t look like Brangelina.
  6. TOGETHERNESS: Because just like all things by Duplass Brothers, this indie dysfunctional family comedy is also lovely as it’s about everything and nothing.
  7. BALLERS: Because it is from the guys behind Entourage and it looks, feels, walks and talks like Entourage but in sports and it stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
  8. SILICON VALLEY: Because if the Big Bang Theory made geeks cool, Silicon Valley made the nerds hot… property.
  9. MARRIED: Because in its second season, the comedy showed that you don’t necessarily need to be adults to be married, or at all, really.
  10. YOU’RE THE WORST: Because in its season two, handling a tricky topic like depression in such a superlative manner proved that the best laughs come from the darkest situations.
  11. VEEP: Because there are more memorable one-lines in Veep than there are comedy shows on TV.
  12. SURVIVOR’S REMORSE: Because it is not ‘Sports Entourage’ but ‘Sports Fast and Furious’ – it’s all about family, at the end of the day.
  13. FRESH OFF THE BOAT: Because as an Asian ‘Malcolm in the Middle’, FOTB is a fresh take on fitting in even when you stand out.
  14. BROAD CITY: Because girls can be ‘bros’ too, and if there ever was a show for girl bros, this is it.
  15. NEW GIRL: Because no matter how the good or bad the writing gets in different episodes, that cast is the craziest comic ensemble on TV right now.

 

THE 5 MOST AWAITED RETURNING INDIAN SERIES

  1. PERMANENT ROOMMATES: Because the first Indian fiction series on the internet and also the most popular has announced its season two with a ‘Cooooool’ poster. Sumeet Vyas’ Mikesh and Nidhi Singh’s Tanya return in what promises to be an even funnier season with quirkier characters, with Biswapati Sarkar’s brilliant writing.
  2. BANG BAAJA BAARAAT: Because the most popular Y-Films original series of 2015 directed by Anand Tiwari and counting Sumeet Vyas (Mikesh!) among its writers, about a mental wedding of Ali Fazal’s Pawan with Angira Dhar’s Shahana, and a cast that comprised theater and film legends, has also put out a teaser at the beginning of the year promising a season 2 but with no date announced. (Though I obviously know *exactly* what is happening here since I’m, *ahem*, the Associate Producer of the series #selfplug)
  3. PITCHERS: Because though there is no news yet about plans for Pitchers Season 2, there is no doubt that it will return with another season, seeing how ‘Tu Beer Hai’ has become the stuff of legend and Naveen Kasturia’s famous speech has gone viral on YouTube… and because we are yet to be told what exactly is going to happen with Naveen’s startup!
  4. BAKED: Because Delhi University Shenanigans have never been depicted in such a fun, ‘misadventurous’ way than what the three mad flatmates managed to show with their late night delivery service and it’s about time we find out what else the show has to deliver in its season two (though no date has been announced).
  5. MAN’S WORLD: Because though Man’s World season one was a complete season in itself, its theme of gender equality got it many laurels and love from the internet and it remains to be seen whether it will flip the world again in its season two. (Please note: There is no other exciting original fiction series out there so far – and even by viewcount – and hence I have had to #selfplug twice. Hopefully 2016 will have MOAR work by everyone and from everywhere!)

 

Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,

on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Liked/disliked the piece? Leave your comments below!
Note: This interview first appeared in Huffington Post on January 21, 2016
Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/nikhil-taneja-/the-75-most-awaited-tv-series-of-2016/
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

FRESH ON THE BLOG!

Here’s the list of the most recent articles on the blog. Please click the article name to go to the article, or simply scroll below :

FEATURED
1. ‘DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE’: MY TEDX TALK: I got the opportunity to give a TEDx Talk at TEDxSRCC in October 2015 and I spoke about a topic very close to my heart, Kindness. Check it out 🙂
2. DARR 2.0 TEASER: I am writing the next Y-Films series, Darr 2.0, an official reboot of Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic thriller, Darr. The series will launch in 2017.
3. THE AWESOME TV SHOWCheck out my YouTube Show, The Awesome TV Show for Anupama Chopra’s YouTube Channel, Film Companion. where I recommend awesome television shows to watch.
4. INDIA KE HUNGER KI BAJAO CAMPAIGN
A TVC I wrote and creative produced for YRF & Ching’s Secret, starring Ranveer Singh.
5. INTERVIEW INDEX: Check out an exhaustive (but incomplete) list of most of the over 300+ interviews I have taken so far.

RECENT INTERVIEWS
1. MIRA NAIR (PROFILE): Through her new film, Queen of Katwe, Mira Nair aims to have the conversation going on inclusivity, diversity, humanity and ‘queening’. 
2. NEERAJ PANDEY (PROFILE):  MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, a big budget feature film on India’s most successful captain is a different kind of thriller for Neeraj Pandey.
3. DAVID HARBOUR (VIDEO QnA):  
An all-India exclusive interview with David Harbour, who plays Detective Jim Hopper on Stranger Things for my show, The Awesome TV Show.
4. RAHUL KHANNA (PROFILE): The crossover star of the 90s, Rahul Khanna plays a Pakistani intelligence officer in an Emmy-nominated drama and becomes the internet’s latest boyfriend.
5. MANEESH SHARMA (QnA): 
In an in-depth chat, Maneesh Sharma opens up about Fan, its genesis and his long association with YRF.

RECENT ARTICLES

1. WHAT BOLLYWOOD CAN PICK UP FROM THE DIGITAL CONTENT REVOLUTIONAs the Indian internet explodes with superior content, are there learnings that Bollywood can take from it? I write for Super Cinema’s October 2016 issue.
2. WHY GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY IS THE BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE OF ALL TIME: My ode to what I think is the best superhero movie ever made, and my reasons why, for VoxPop Blog.
3. TELL YOUR STORY, MAKE A FILM: This is the best time to be a creative person in India and there is literally no excuse to not be telling your stories. I write for the Edutainment Show Handbook.
4. OSCARS SO WHITE… AND DULL: I write about the most controversial Academy Awards in recent times, the Oscars 2016, which was plagued by a whitewashing controversy, for Open Magazine.
5. THE RISE OF THE PRESTIGE DOCUMENTARY: Non-fiction, particularly true crime docu dramas are getting huge on television. I list the best of the lot for Man’s World.

FAVOURITES
1. SHAH RUKH KHAN INTERVIEW: 
Shah Rukh Khan dissects fame and success and confesses that many chapters of his life remain closed to all.
2. JOSH RADNOR INTERVIEW: Josh Radnor, one of my favourite directors (of Liberal Arts and Happythankyoumoreplease), best known as Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother in an exclusive interview for The Huffington Post.
3. MARTA KAUFFMAN & DAVID CRANE INTERVIEW: An exclusive interview with the greatest sitcom writers on earth – the creators of FRIENDS, for The Sunday Guardian.
4. RICHARD LINKLATER INTERVIEW: An exclusive interview with one of my favourite directors of all time, the legend Richard Linkater, for Open Magazine.
5. WHY WE CANNOT LET THE INTERNET KILL BOMBAY VELVET How I loved Bombay Velvet but everyone’s already decided what they feel about it… this article went viral on the internet.
Like/dislike this blog or particularly any of the articles? Do leave your favourites in the comments below 🙂
Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,

on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015 (DRAMA & COMEDY)

#ICYMI:
THE 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015: http://goo.gl/xfRuOk
THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/Z796RR
THE 100 MOST AWAITED FILMS OF 2016: http://goo.gl/KLHbTP
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c


2015 was a landmark year in what has come to be known as ‘Peak TV’. There was SO much TV and SO much of it was outstanding that I ended up watching over 100 TV shows through the year (out of which 70 were full seasons), and had to reduce my movie watching for the same reason. I’ve compiled below the list of the best new shows (drama and comedy) and the best returning shows (drama and comedy) of 2015. So this becomes a handy guide on what TV shows to look out for in their second seasons in 2016!

THE 10 BEST NEW DRAMAS OF 2015

  1. NARCOS: Because there has never been any other show with such scale and ambition attempted so far, and the makers of Narcos have pulled it off like only the cartels could!
  2. MAKING A MURDERER: Because watching the show is like living in a nightmare that you can’t wake up from.. ever.
  3. MR. ROBOT: Because with this show, Sam Esmail has given us the ultimate f**k you to this generation’s obsession with technology, in a twisted, warped, incredibly gripping way.
  4. JESSICA JONES: Because this show has given the Marvel Universe (yes, the entire MCU) its first great villain outside of Loki: David Tennant’s Kilgrave (another Brit baddies, surprise!).
  5. THE JINX: Because before Making a Murderer came along, this show was the true-life crime documentary the world was obsessed with, and its climax is *the* pop culture moment of the year.
  6. AGENT CARTER: Because where Netflix’s other TV shows are tonally reminiscent to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Agent Carter is a refreshingly sassy hero, who is, for once, a heroine.
  7. BETTER CALL SAUL: Because not only did they get back Saul Goodman, they also got back Mike Ehrmantaut and that gave us the year’s most inimitable friendship.
  8. SENSE8: Because with Sense8, the Wachowski siblings may have pulled up the world’s first truly global TV series, spanning four continents, and trying to address the question of ‘identity’ across each.
  9. THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE: Because the alternate history world that the show resides in paints a truly compelling – and frightening – picture of how our lives could have been had WWII been lost.
  10. FORTITUDE: Because as Christopher Nolan had shown us with Insomnia, there is no better way to do a psychological thriller than to set it in the cold, dark, isolated Scandinavian setting.
  11. FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Because the show proves there is more to fear when the world is on the verge of losing than when it’s already lost.
  12. MARCO POLO: Because it is one of the most vivid, visually arresting, epic shows and criminally underrated of our times, rivaling Game of Thrones in scope and spirit both.
  13. DAREDEVIL: Because the show gave us Marvel’s first thumping TV win and laid the foundation for the gritty Hell’s Kitchen setting that’s more DC than Marvel.
  14. THE LAST KINGDOM: Because while the ‘UK’s sprawling series about Brits vs Nordics may not be its answer to Game of Thrones, it’s still immensely watchable TV all the same.
  15. HUMANS: Because just like Black Mirror predicted, even in the future it’s not robots we need to be afraid of, but humans.
  16. AMERICAN CRIME: Because the kind of writing 12 Years a Slave writer, John Ridley, has brought to the small screen, has never been seen before on network TV.
  17. WAYWARD PINES: Because this is the first thing after The Sixth Sense that Manoj N. Shyamalan has produced where he gives answers and they happen to be creepier than the question.
  18. DEUTSCHLAND 83: Because German citizens got the short end of the stick at the end of WWII and this cold war spy coming of age will take you into their world that we never knew of.
  19. BLOODLINE: Because Ben Mendhelson is this generation’s most watchable character actor.
  20. EMPIRE: Because besides the heavy hitters in its cast, this show has more plot in every episode than Mad Men had over 8 seasons… it’s a true network achievement!


THE 10 BEST RETURNING DRAMAS OF 2015

  1. FARGO: Because it’s easily Breaking Bad’s successor as the best TV show of today, and where I stand, Noah Hawley can do Coen Brothers better than Coen Brothers can – in fact Fargo is the reason why TV today is better than cinema, and is the shining example of the great times we live in called ‘Peak TV’.
  2. THE AMERICANS: Because as the most consistently outstanding and most criminally underrated TV show of the last three years, the cold war spy drama is a cable TV classic that should not be missed.
  3. GAME OF THRONES: Because somehow, every year, the show manages to raise the stakes and manages to beat every expectation the millions of fans have around the world.
  4. MANHATTAN: Because as the second most criminally underrated show of the last couple of years, Manhattan is just as consistent in being brilliant as The Americans is, and is about an even more intriguing plotline: the making of the atomic bomb.
  5. THE FLASH: Because neither Marvel nor DC have managed to make a superhero show that’s as much fun as this is – this show is what ‘comic’ books had intended their adaptations to be.
  6. MAD MEN: Because we may not ever be fully able to measure the impact of Mad Men on what we wear, but the series finale had a singular impact on how we think: that this was a show that defined the golden age of TV.
  7. SUITS: Because even in its fifth season, Suits manages to be just as exciting and entertaining as its initial run… and perhaps making Harvey Specter more human could have something to do with it.
  8. BATES MOTEL: Because before there was Wayward Pines, there was – and is – Bates Motel, the origin story of Pyscho’s Norman Bates, which is just as creepy, atmospheric and unpredictable in tone and as good in writing.
  9. THE LEFTOVERS: Because no one writes about life and loss like Damon Lindelof.
  10. THE KNICK: Because if TV is an art, no one can paint it like Steven Soderbergh can and that’s the most compelling reason to watch this show.


THE 10 BEST NEW COMEDIES OF 2015

  1. MASTER OF NONE: Because Aziz Ansari has created, written and stars in this show about modern love and there is no greater reason to watch anything more than this.
  2. CASUAL: Because Jason Reitman is the only director today whose understanding and critique of modern love is just as sharp as Aziz Ansari’s.
  3. MOZART IN THE JUNGLE: Because Jason Schwartzmann and Roman Coppola have cast Gael Garcia Bernal and indie sensation Lola Kirke to make an ode to New York through the world of symphony orchestras.
  4. BIG TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, FL: Because if there was ever a stoner version of Fargo, this is it.. the best unseen show of 2015.
  5. RED OAKS: Because David Gordon Green has recreated the world of John Hughes through this teenage coming-of-age in the ‘80s throwback show.
  6. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH: Because Will Forte has teamed up with Chris Miller and Philip Lord (of 21 and 22 Jump Street Fame) for a post apocalyptic comedy so how could it not be gold?
  7. CATASTROPHE: Because though season two proved to be a dampener, there is enough to like in the adult romantic comedy for couples who don’t look like Brangelina.
  8. HAPPYISH: Because if you hate social media, technology, capitalism, consumerism, and umm, people in general, this show will validate you.
  9. TOGETHERNESS: Because just like all things by Duplass Brothers, this indie dysfunctional family comedy is also lovely as it’s about everything and nothing.
  10. BALLERS: Because it is from the guys behind Entourage and it looks, feels, walks and talks like Entourage but in sports and it stars The Rock.


THE 10 BEST RETURNING COMEDIES OF 2015

  1. ABOUT A BOY: Because most underrated comedy on TV came to an end but not before making us feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside.
  2. SILICON VALLEY: Because if the Big Bang Theory made geeks cool, Silicon Valley makes the nerds hot… property.
  3. THE WRONG MANS: Because few people have managed to get the comic thriller space right on TV or films, and this show is hilarious and badass at the same time.
  4. MARRIED: Because in its season season, the comedy showed that you don’t necessarily need to be adults to be married, or at all, really.
  5. YOU’RE THE WORST: Because handling a tricky topic like depression in such a superlative manner shows that the best laughs come from the darkest situations.
  6. Veep: Because there are more memorable one-lines in Veep than there are comedy shows on TV.
  7. SURVIVOR’S REMORSE: Because this is not ‘Sports Entourage’ but ‘Sports Fast and Furious’ – it’s all about family, at the end of the day.
  8. FRESH OFF THE BOAT: Because as an Asian ‘Malcolm in the Middle’, FOTB is a fresh take on fitting in even when you stand out.
  9. BROAD CITY: Because girls can be ‘bros’ too, and if there ever was a show for girl bros, this is it.
  10. NEW GIRL: Because no matter how the good or bad the writing gets in subsequent episodes, that cast is the craziest comic ensemble on TV right now.


#ICYMI:
THE 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015: http://goo.gl/xfRuOk
THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/Z796RR
THE 100 MOST AWAITED FILMS OF 2016: http://goo.gl/KLHbTP
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c


Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,
on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Liked/disliked the piece? Think I’ve left out some fantastic shows? Think I’m awesome or really, really not? Leave your comments below 🙂
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

The 30 Best Indies of 2015

#ICYMI:
THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/exsraC
THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/Z796RR
THE 100 MOST AWAITED FILMS OF 2016: http://goo.gl/KLHbTP
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c


I love indie films and I especially love happy, feel-good, uplifting indie films, which are my favourite of all kinds of films. In 2015, I didn’t nearly see as many Indies as I’d have liked to but there are many that stayed with me. Here’s a list of 30 of my favourites; 20 of them happy and 10 others that are dark/edgy:

20 BEST HAPPY INDIES OF 2015

  1. SPRING: Because the film is about love at its purest and it made me want to write: Spring Movie Recommendation.
  2. ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL: Because ‘death’ as a coming of age device has never been captured so poignantly (with such a perfect comic tone).
  3. COMET: Because the creator of Mr. Robot, Sam Esmail, is just as good a director as he’s a showrunner (and this scifi romance is a must watch).
  4. AMIRA AND SAM: Because Martin Starr is an underrated indie rockstar and this is the year’s most unexpectedly awesome romcom for me.
  5. DOPE: Because it’ll be tough to find a better ode to hip hop culture of the ‘90s than this refreshing comic of age comedy.
  6. PRIDE: Because no one can make you smile and cry at the same time like the Brits (and this ode to the LGBT community will lift your spirits!).
  7. PAPER TOWNS: Because whatever Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber write is solid gold and this ode to teenage friendship is just that.
  8. MISTRESS AMERICA: Because Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach know something about today’s young urban 20-somethings that no one else does.
  9. HECTOR & THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS: Because it’s a Simon Pegg starring travel comedy about happiness and that’s SUCH an epic throughline.
  10. TOP FIVE: Because Chris Rock’s back and he gives us a spanking, fresh, all check-boxes ticked romcom that’s a blast in every scene.
  11. STANDBY: Because while Ireland’s Before Sunrise may be a long way away from reaching that level, but has enough charm to keep you smiling through its runtime.
  12. SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE: Because in the garb of a mainstream commercial romcom, Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie give you a beautiful, thoughtful love story about sex.
  13. THE REWRITE: Because Hugh Grant never gets old and this romcom, though totally missed by everyone, will take you to the genre’s good ol’ 90s.
  14. MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT: Because it’s got Emma Stone and Colin Firth and is directed by Woody Allen and do you need any more reason than that?
  15. NIGHT OWLS: Because there is something admirable about Adam Pally’s blabbermouth routine and Rosa Salazar is a firecracker on screen, which makes this is a great ‘night-in’ romcom.
  16. INFINITELY POLAR BEAR: Because Mark Ruffalo is such a fucking fantastic actor and he really needs to be in everything, so this lovely portrayal of bipolar disorder by him will make your heart swell.
  17. THE END OF THE TOUR: Because James Ponsoldt can make you feel for a stone if he wanted, so this five-days-in-the-life-of David Foster Wallace is stuffed with the feels.
  18. DEAR WHITE PEOPLE: Because a smart and funny satire about campus race relations is a refreshingly cool way of tackling the issue!
  19. WHILE WE’RE YOUNG: Because Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach know something about today’s not-so-young urban 30-somethings that no one else does.
  20. HAPPY CHRISTMAS: Because Joe Swanberg directs Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick and Melanie Lysnkey and the result is indielicious.

 

10 BEST DARK INDIES OF 2015

  1. JOHN WICK: Because this is Keanuissance (Reevaissance?) at its kickass, brutal, violent, head-smashing, bone-breaking, batshit crazy best in a full blown action classic.
  2. EX-MACHINA: Because when three of the greatest young actors of today, Oscar Issac, Domnhall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, come together for one scifi film, you know it’s going to be fantastic.
  3. ’71: Because the period of The Troubles always makes for gripping cinema and with Jack O’Conner and Richard Dormer leading the cast, it makes for thrilling cinema too.
  4. IRRATIONAL MAN: Because when Woody Allen does dark comedy he does it like no one else and when Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone team up, it’s a match like none else too.
  5. COP CAR: Because there is a reason Jon Watts got handpicked to direct the next Spiderman and it is all too clear in this terrific road thriller.
  6. THE GUEST: Because Dan Stevens breaking out of his Downton Abbey nice-guy routine is a how-to on ‘playing against type’ in this action thriller.
  7. CHI-RAQ: Because when Spike Lee gets it right, he gets it right and how, and this satire on Chicago street violence is his best work in a while.
  8. IT FOLLOWS: Because indie horror is a tough genre to get noticed in so when a movie manages to creep out of nowhere to creep you out, it instantly becomes memorable.
  9. THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT: Because the sheer number of young talent in this film is enough of a reason to watch it, and the film tops it up by being an uneasy, uncomfortable watch.
  10. BIG GAME: Because the Scandinavians know how to get their thrillers right and this low-budget actioner starring Samuel L. Jackson and a kid is a throwback to the good ol’ ‘80s.


#ICYMI:

THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/exsraC
THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/Z796RR
THE 100 MOST AWAITED FILMS OF 2016: http://goo.gl/KLHbTP
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c


Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,
on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Liked/disliked the piece? Think I’m awesome or really, really not? Leave your comments below 🙂
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015

#ICYMI:
THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/exsraC
THE 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015: http://goo.gl/xfRuOk
THE 100 MOST AWAITED FILMS OF 2016: http://goo.gl/KLHbTP
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c

I have already made a list of the 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015, but I also wanted to put together a list of my favourite Summer Films, Hindi Films and ‘Good Films’ (Dramas/Comedies). Please note that this is a list of MY 35 Favourite Films of 2015 and if there are films missing from here, trust me, they’ve been left out on purpose (for eg. I didn’t feel too much for Piku or Spectre, etc). Anyway, here are my lists below:


THE 15 BEST HINDI FILMS

  1. TALVAR: Because Irrfan Khan and Neeraj Kabi and Gajraj Rao and Konkana Sen Sharma and Vishal Bharadwaj and Meghna Gulzar.
  2. DUM LAGAKE HAISHA: Because this could well be India’s first indie romcom by a big studio.
  3. MASAAN: Because it made me want to write: On Masaan.
  4. BABY: Because Neeraj Pandey is to thrillers what Raju Hirani is to feel good cinema. Here’s my piece on it: On Baby.
  5. DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY!: Because Dibakar Banerjee is a star and this film got the short end of the stick. My piece on it: On Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
  6. TAMASHA: Because Imtiaz Ali has the power to make you feel feelings that no other Indian director does.
  7. DIL DHADAKNE DO: Because Anil Kapoor!!
  8. TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS: Because two Kangana Ranaut is even better than one Kangana Ranaut.
  9. BOMBAY VELVET: Because it was a GOOD film and my thoughts on it are well documented: On Bombay Velvet.
  10. NH10: Because we haven’t managed to pull off a road thriller so well ever before and hats off to Anushka Sharma for debuting as a producer with this.
  11. TITLI: Because this was the most hard-hitting Indian film I’ve seen in ages.
  12. COURT: Because it captured class divide and ‘India’ of the towns and of the shanties like very few could have.
  13. PYAAR KA PUNCHNAMA: Because let’s admit it, even with its misogyny, it was freaking hilarious.
  14. ANGRY INDIAN GODESSES: Because in spite of the filmy ending, this is a Dil Chahta Hai for women.
  15. BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN: Because Salman Khan did a good film and I still can’t believe it.


THE 10 BEST SUMMER FILMS

  1. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION: Because what a perfect, perfect screenplay and what a perfect, perfect Tom Cruise.
  2. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD: Because this was not really a Mad Max film and we know it – it was a Furiosa film and that’s why we love it.
  3. JURASSIC WORLD: Because this was a throwback to the good ol’ family blockbusters of the ‘90s and Chris Pratt is the ‘hero’ we’ve been waiting for.
  4. THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.: Because Guy Ritchie makes action films like no one makes action films and Guy Ritchie is my Tarantino.
  5. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: Because it was great trip back in time but as an independent film it could have been so much more.
  6. SPY: Because who knew Jason Statham could be SO FREAKING FUNNY!
  7. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON: Because it was Joss Whedon’s last superhero film (as we know it) but otherwise it could have been so much more.
  8. FURIOUS 7: Because they showed ALL THEIR ACTION PIECES in trailers and there was nothing left to watch in the film.
  9. PITCH PERFECT: Because Anna Kendrick is acc-awesome.
  10. THE INTERVIEW: Because it was hilarious and I don’t know why critics found it vile and unfunny – the James Franco-Kim Jong Un friendship scenes were ROFL!


THE 10 BEST DRAMAS/COMEDIES

  1. BIRDMAN: Because OH MY GOD, what a film.
  2. STEVE JOBS: Because the greatest writer of the 21st century, Aaron Sorkin, wrote a film about the greatest mind of the 21st century, Steve Jobs, and it was perfect.
  3. WHIPLASH: Because this movie *is* my tempo.
  4. CREED: Because THIS is how you do a reboot, and hell, Ryan Coogler, you are a master of the art of screenwriting and storytelling – what a perfect film this was.
  5. THE INTERN: Because who knew a Robert DeNiro-Anne Hathaway film could be the feel good film of the year and charm the socks off you?
  6. TRAINWRECK: Because Amy Schumer’s hilarious big screen writing-acting debut has redefined the raunchy female comedy.
  7. THE MARTIAN: Because this was Ridley Scott’s happiest film ever and if getting back Matt Damon is such a fun time, he should get in these situations more!
  8. INSIDE OUT: Because no Hollywood film gave you as many feel as this one.
  9. SICARIO: Because Dennis Villeneuve can do no wrong and looks like even Emily Blunt can’t.
  10. TOMORROWLAND: Because it was an original film that had the right intentions even if it failed a bit in putting them across.

#ICYMI:
THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/exsraC
THE 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015: http://goo.gl/xfRuOk
THE 100 MOST AWAITED FILMS OF 2016: http://goo.gl/KLHbTP
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c


Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,
on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Liked/disliked the piece? Think I’ve left out some fantastic films? Think I’m awesome or really, really not? Leave your comments below 🙂
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

The 100 Most Awaited 2016 Movies

#ICYMI:
THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/exsraC
THE 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015: http://goo.gl/xfRuOk
THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/Z796RR
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c

Note: This piece was written by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoonfor Huffington Post. An edited version of the piece can be found here: https://goo.gl/04ZsS6
2016 is going to be an unbelievable year at the movies. There’s SO MUCH HAPPENING! DC, Marvel, Scorsese, Linklater, Kashyap, Bharadwaj and SO MUCH MORE. I have put together a list of MY most awaited 100 films below. There are movies I have left out on purpose because I may not be excited about them and movies that I have put in because I may be more excited about them than others. So having given the disclaimer that this is a list of films ‘I’ am most excited about, check out my 100 below:

THE 25 MOST ANTICIPATED HOLLYWOOD FILMS

  1. DEADPOOL: Because Ryan Reynolds and that trailer! Time to make the chimi-fucking-changas!
  2. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE: Because BATMAN V SUPERMAN WHAT PART OF THAT DOES NOT EXCITE YOU!
  3. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME: Because Richard Linklater is back with a ‘spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused and I WANTS SOME.
  4. FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: Because JK Rowling! And magic! And wizardry! Accio Release Date!
  5. THE NICE GUYS: Because the guy who made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang teams up with the guy who was in LA Confidential and the guy who was in Drive and this looks like it will be one of my all time favourites.
  6. SUICIDE SQUAD: Because, to quote David Ayer, ‘Enough of Good vs Evil, it’s time for Bad vs Evil.’ Also, JOKER + HARLEY QUINN = WIN!!
  7. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Because Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke and Peter Sarsgaard and Matt Bomer and Vince D’Onofrio in this remake!! WHYISTHISNOTMAKINGMORENEWS?!
  8. DOCTOR STRANGE: Because Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange and that’s the only reason I forgive Marvel for not casting Keanu Reeves in it.
  9. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR: Because it should have been the most exciting movie of the year but the trailer didn’t live up but I still have hopes because WARRRRRRR.
  10. X-MEN: APOCALYPSE: Because though I’m not a Bryan Singer fan, Oscar Isaac as the villain is SUCH FANTASTIC NEWS.
  11. KUNG FU PANDA 3: Because GET, SET, PO!!!
  12. BOURNE 5: Because Matt Damon is back! Paul Greengrass is back! Julia Stiles is back! I can’t stop with the exclamations!
  13. THE JUNGLE BOOK: Because even though I’m looking forward to Jungle Book: Origins more (because Andy Serkis), Bill Murray and Idris Elba on this makes it unmissable.
  14. WARCRAFT: Because though I haven’t played the game, Duncan Jones helming it makes me think that this will probably be better than anyone’s expecting this to be.
  15. THE CIRCLE: Because James Ponsoldt, an international treasure where I’m concerned, directs Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega. How are more people not dying to see this!
  16. GAMBIT: Because Channing Tatum as a superhero is dope, yo.
  17. THE GREAT WALL: Because Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal star in a film directed by Yimou Zhang and this could totally be the event movie of the year.
  18. ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE: Because this is my favourite animated series of all time (yes, of ALL TIME).
  19. LA LA LAND: Because Whiplash director returns with a jazz musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and there is no way he could have topped himself on paper.
  20. PASSENGERS: Because America’s sweethearts Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star so this better be the movie of the year.
  21. ZOOLANDER NO. 2: Because BLUE STEEL FACE (And that Benedict Cumberbatch cameo!).
  22. ASSASSIN’S CREED: Because Michael Fassbender stars and there is no reason greater than that.
  23. ARMS AND THE DUDES: Because Jonah Hill and Miles Teller together in a Todd Philips movie is bound to be the dude movie of the year.
  24. STAR TREK BEYOND: Because they should have ended with the last one but with Justin Lin attached, the series could Live Long and Prosper.
  25. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY: Because Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was one of the worst blockbusters I’ve ever seen so I have no idea how this will turn out.


THE 15 MOST ANTICIPATED INDIAN FILMS

(NOTE: The most anticipated Indian film for me would be BANK CHOR since that’s the first film I’ve worked on as a Creative Producer and that releases SOON :D. The list below is movies besides Bank Chor, of course.)

  1. RANGOON: Because Vishal Bharadwaj is making a ‘Casablanca’ like love story featuring Kangana Ranaut along with Shahid ‘Kaminey’ Kapoor and Saif Ali ‘Langda Tyagi’ Khan.
  2. DANGAL: Because Aamir Khan.
  3. RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0: Because Anurag Kashyap is going back to his indie thriller roots with this one.
  4. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL: Because Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma come together for a Karan Johar Film so this better be the romcom of the decade.
  5. FAN: Because have you seen Shah Rukh Khan’s Gaurav? I mean!!!!
  6. KAPOOR & SONS: Because Shakun Batra’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is one of my favourite Hindi films of the last five years and this one has Alia Bhatt so it will be a cracker.
  7. UDTA PUNJAB: Because Abhishek Chaubey has pulled in a stellar starcast in Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and KAREENA KAPOOR, set against the backdrop of the drug trade in Punjab.
  8. RAEES: Because SRK looks like a badass and him facing off against Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Farhan Akhtar is going to be a treat.
  9. KI & KA: Because the first stills look absolutely amazing and Balki looks set to charm the hell out of us.
  10. DHONI: Because Neeraj Pandey has not set a foot wrong so far and Sushant Singh Rajput is going to play Dhoni like a champ.
  11. MANMARZIYAN: Because I loved Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and I can’t wiat to watch Ayushmann-Bhumi again on screen.
  12. MOHENJADARO: Because Ashutosh Gowarikar directs Hrithik Roshan again and hopefully this film will not be as long as the time between that age and ours.
  13. MIRZIYA: Because Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is a fantastic director and from everything I’ve read about Harshvardan Kapoor, his sensibilities seem on point (he assisted Anurag Kashyap!).
  14. DINESH VIJAN’S UNTITLED FILM: Because after Dinesh Vijan broke up with Saif Ali Khan, the first two things he produced independently (Badlapur and Finding Fanny) were better than anything else he’s done before so I give him the benefit of doubt.
  15. BAAR BAAR DEKHO: Because even though this film has Katrina Kaif and that probably means it will end up sucking, it’s an Excel film by the writer of Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do, so I have my hopes high.


THE 10 MOST ANTICIPATED HOLLYWOOD DRAMAS

  1. SILENCE: Because Martin Scorsese directs Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson in this historical drama.
  2. THE BFG: Because Steven Spielberg is making a family film after ages and this one’s adapted from a Roald Dahl book!
  3. STORY OF YOUR LIFE: Because Denis Villeneuve (of being amazing fame) directs Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Michael Stuhlbarg in a sci fi drama about aliens landing on earth.
  4. THE FREE STATE OF JONES: Because Matthew McConaughey is starring in this civil war drama from the writer of Big and Seabiscuit.
  5. BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK: Because Ang Lee directs a script from Simon Beaufoy that stars a cast featuring Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart.
  6. THE ACCOUNTANT: Because the director of Warrior directs Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick in an action thriller and that’s all we need to know.
  7. DEMOLITION: Because the ever-dependable Jake Gyllenhaal costars with the ever-dependable Naomi Watts in a drama by Jean-Marc Vallee.
  8. SULLY: Because Clint Eastwood is still going strong at 85 and this time directs an autobiographical film starring Tom Hanks about a pilot who landed a plane on water, saving lives.
  9. MONEY MONSTER: Because Jodie Foster directs, George Clooney and Julia Roberts star, and it is a political thriller.
  10. SNOWDEN: Because it is a biographical drama from the king of biographical dramas, Oliver Stone, about Edward Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


THE 10 MOST ANTICIPATED ‘SUMMER’ FILMS

  1. JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK: Because although not a summer release, Tom Cruise reunites with Edward Zwick after The Last Samurai… actually just because Tom Cruise.
  2. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Because I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment so let’s hope there’s more Cowabunga, Dude!
  3. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: Because what a bloody insane cast with Matt Smith, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Lena Headey, Sam Riley, and Lily James and what a crazy ass idea.
  4. THE HUNTSMAN – WINTER’S WAR: Because even though the first part sucked, this one has Emily Blunt (and Jessica Chastain!) and we all know Emily Blunt can do no wrong now.
  5. INFERNO: Because screw Dan Brown, anything Tom Hanks does is immensely watchable plus this has Irrfan Khan too.
  6. INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE: Because even though I’m sorely disappointed that this has no Will Smith, it’s got the same director and well, Jeff Goldblum again, so fingers crossed.
  7. THE LEGEND OF TARZAN: Because Margot Robbie as Jane!!!
  8. JUMANJI: Because our childhoods are back!
  9. NOW YOU SEE ME 2: Because basically they’ve got Daniel Radcliffe to star in another movie about magic and that deserves nothing but respect.
  10. BEN-HUR: Because in spite of zero buzz, Jack Huston as Ben-Hur is fascinating casting, and there’s also Morgan Freeman and Toby Kebell, so let’s hope it’s ‘epic’.


THE 10 MOST ANTICIPATED HOLLYWOOD THRILLERS

  1. HIGH-RISE: Because Ben Wheatley directs Tom Hiddlestone and Elisabeth Moss and a fantastic concept of class war in a high rise and I simply cannot wait.
  2. JOHN WICK 2: Because come on!
  3. TRIPLE 9: Because another fabulous trailer, Lawless director John Hillcoat at its helm and a crazy ass cast in Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus and Kate Winslet!
  4. MIDNIGHT SPECIAL: Because Jeff Nichols is special and when he teams up with Michael Shannon for a scifi thriller again it will be even more special and when the cast has Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton and and Kirsten Dunst, you know this is going to be a must watch.
  5. GREEN ROOM: Because it’s from the director of Blue Ruin, it’s got enormous festive buzz and because Patrick Stewart fights off Neo Nazis!
  6. FREE FIRE: Because there will be one more Ben Wheatley crime thriller this year with another amazing cast that includes Sharlto Copey, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy.
  7. THE WITCH: Because it’s got better reviews than any other horror film in recent history.
  8. THE PURGE 3: Because this film has been my guilty pleasure for two installments now and I can bet part three will not let me down either.
  9. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN: Because the novel’s supposed to be as good as Gone Girl and this one stars Emily Blunt (who can do no wrong) and Rebecca Forguson of MI5 so this could be gooood.
  10. THE NEON DEMON: Because Nicolas Winding Refn directs Keanu Reeves in a thriller shot at 60 fps, are you kidding me!


THE 10 MOST ANTICIPATED HOLLYWOOD COMEDIES

  1. LIFE ON THE ROAD: Because Ricky Gervais’ David Brent is back and is on the road with a band so this will be AMAZING!!
  2. GHOSTBUSTERS: Because Paul Feig directs Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig again so this is obviously going to be a comedy classic.
  3. THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY: Because Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong play estranged brothers one of whom becomes a spy and the other remains a village idiot and then they meet again and this is just going to be hilarious amiright?
  4. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE: Because The Rock and Kevin Hart come together in an action comedy and I repeat: THE ROCK and KEVIN HART come together in an ACTION COMEDY!!
  5. KEANU: Because Key and Peele make their big screen debut so how are you not jumping with joy already?
  6. CONNER4REAL: Because The Lonely Island are writing and starring in this movie and there is no information about it except the certainty that it will be hilarious.
  7. RIDE ALONG 2: Because I loved part one and Kevin Hart and Ice Cube is the best buddy cop duo since Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon.
  8. KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES: Because Greg Mottola of Superbad fame directs a spy comedy starring Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot!
  9. BAD MOMS: Because the guys who wrote The Hangover are making their debut movie and it stars Mila Kunis and Christina Applegate and Kristen Bell as bad moms so this could just be mean girls but with women.
  10. NEIGHBORS 2: Because even though Bad Santa 2 is also releasing this year and I’m personally looking forward to that more, Seth Rogen needs representation in a list like this and so he will get it!


THE 10 MOST ANTICIPATED HOLLYWOOD DRAMEDIES/ROMCOMS/INDIES

  1. HAIL, CEASOR: Because this is the final part of the ‘Numbskull’ trilogy feat. George Clooney by the Coen Brothers and to top that, it has Scarlett Johannson, Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin and Jonah Hill too!
  2. ME BEFORE YOU: Because my favourite screenwriters of this generation, Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter and writing this romantic drama and I have no doubt it will turn out amazing.
  3. GOING IN STYLE: Because Zach Braff directs a bank heist comedy featuring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin!
  4. EDDIE THE EAGLE: Because Dexter Fletcher is an underrated gem of a Brit director (check out Wild Bill if you haven’t) and this may just be the feel good film of the year.
  5. WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT: Because Tina Fey is producing this war comedy that she is also starring in, plus it’s got Martin Freeman and Margot Robbie and Billy Bob Thornton!
  6. THE BRONZE: Because this raunchy sex comedy got tremendous reviews at Sundance last year and is the directorial debut of The Big Bang Theory’s Bernadette (Melissa Rausch)
  7. BRIDGET JONES’ BABY: Because Renee Zewelleger and Colin Firth are back again and let’s admit it, this is going to be a trip down good ol’ memory lane.
  8. MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2: Because Nia Vardalos and John Corbett are back again and let’s admit it, this is going to be a trip down good ol’ memory lane.
  9. TUMBLEDOWN: Because Jason Sudeikis has proved with his recent choices that he’s a capable leading man and this film has a lovely logline about love and death, and also stars the lovely Rebecca Hall.
  10. MASTERMINDS: Because though this film has been going through release hell, it’s got a crazy cast in Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig so can’t wait!


THE 10 MOST ANTICIPATED HOLLYWOOD ANIMATED FILMS

  1. FINDING DORY: Because Finding Nemo.
  2. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE: Because Angry Birds Movie!
  3. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS: Because great teaser.
  4. SAUSAGE PARTY: Because first animated film by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg!
  5. STORKS: Because voices by Key and Peele and Andy Samberg and Kelsey Grammar.
  6. KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS: Because what animation movie has the cast of Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and George Takei!
  7. TROLLS: Because Anna Kendrick leads this and Anna Kendrick is the best.
  8. SING: Because it’s a music animated comedy featuring Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johannson and Reese Witherspoon (what!).
  9. MOANA: Because THE ROCK makes his animated debut.
  10. PETE’S DRAGON: Because it’s the remake of a much loved animated classic.


#ICYMI:

THE 35 MOST AWAITED TV SERIES OF 2016: http://goo.gl/b20Hr7
THE 50 BEST TV SHOWS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/exsraC
THE 30 BEST INDIES OF 2015: http://goo.gl/xfRuOk
THE 35 BEST FILMS OF 2015: http://goo.gl/Z796RR
THE COMPLETE POP CULTURE CALENDAR OF 2016 (WITH RELEASE DATES): http://goo.gl/JMWW7c

 

Follow the blog on your left and like The Tanejamainhoon Page on FB: /tanejamainhoonpage
Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoonon Twitter:
@tanejamainhoonon Instagram:@tanejamainhoon,
on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

Liked/disliked the piece? Think I’ve left out some films? Think my list is shit? Think I’m awesome or really, really not? Leave your comments below 🙂
Note: This piece first appeared in Huffington Post on January 14, 2016
Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/nikhil-taneja-/the-100-most-awaited-movies-of-2016/

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.