Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

THE AWESOME TV SHOW EP 2: GoT Battle of the Bastards + 5 Great Shows #FILMCOMPANION

Note: This video was written & hosted by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoonfor Film Companion. Check it out on YouTube here: https://goo.gl/CIR3kc

From June 2016, I have been hosting a YouTube Show called The Awesome TV Show for Anupama Chopra’s YouTube Channel, Film Companion. In the fortnightly show (mostly), I recommend awesome television shows to watch, recap and review new episodes of some of the best ones and gives loads of lists on what to watch and where.

In Episode 2,  I recommend 5 more great shows of 2016 and recap the Game of Thrones episode, ‘Battle of the Bastards’.

NOTE: Watch the playlist of ALL episodes of The Awesome TV Show so far here: https://goo.gl/t59b7b

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Note: This video first appeared on the Film Companion YouTube channel on June 22, 2016.
Link: https://goo.gl/CIR3kc
Picture courtesy: Film Companion. 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.


– Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoonfor The Sunday Guardian

The Emmys are here and with True Detective debuting and Breaking Bad bowing out in the same year, this is one of the toughest years in a long time. My famous show this last season was Fargo (even though I LOVE Breaking Bad and REALLY liked True Detective), so I’ll be cheering for the Miniseries category like I was employed by the IPL. I’m also a little sad that in its final season, How I Met Your Mother didn’t even get a shoutout (here’s my goodbye ode to #HIMYM: http://goo.gl/VfkZmj)For the rest, here’s my take on who should win… and is usually the case, who will.


Breaking Bad | Downton Abbey | Game of Thrones | House of Cards | Mad Men | True Detective

Should win: In a year when three outstanding shows (The Americans, Masters of Sex and The Good Wife) couldn’t even make the nominations, you’d imagine Emmy voters purging each other to help their favourite show win. But it really comes down to a choice between the outstanding first season of True Detective and the EARTHSHATTERINGMINDBLOWINFANTASTICOMGAWESOME final season of Breaking Bad. Yup, you know who we support here.
Will win: Unless Emmy voters are as high as Rust Cohle, Breaking Bad’s got this, b**ch.
Would win in another category: Downton Abbey and Mad Men tied for ‘Best TV series that aren’t *really* the best, y’know?’

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) | Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) | Jon Hamm (Mad Men) | Woody Harrelson (True Detective) | Matthew McConaughey (True Detective) | Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

Should win: Jon Hamm will someday win an Emmy for Mad Men, but that day isn’t today. There also aren’t likely to be any shocks or surprises this time (Hey Jeff Daniels Imma let you finish but EVERYONE was better than you last year). It’s going to get right down to the wire between McConaughey and Cranston though, and our hearts are with Cranston because, you know, Mister White!
Will win: This is McConaughey’s moment and he’s going to win this, if only for spouting more philosophies than even our own Mahesh Bhatt does. But it’ll be reallllly close.
Would win in another category: Woody Harrelson for ‘Best Supporting Actor Nominated as Lead’

Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) | Claire Danes (Homeland)| Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) | Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) | Kerry Washington (Scandal) | Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Should win: You know who should win this? TATIANA MASLANY. NO, those aren’t words that we just made up because YOLO, but the name of the actress who’s fronting the best female-led TV series in years: Orphan Black (WATCH IT). Keri Russell (The Americans) would’ve been a fantastic choice too, but we’ll just do with the fact that the phenomenal (and haawwwt) Caplan made it in the noms and we’ll do a victory dance if she actually wins this – because she should.
Will win: Margulies in all probability because The Good Wife in its fifth season killed most television shows this year by just being THE BEST, unless Robin Wright gets this for being Robin Wright.

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) | Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) | Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) | Josh Charles (The Good Wife) | Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) | Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)

Will win: You know that it’s been a good TV year when Carter, Voight and Patinkin are nominated in the same awards category and they are far from favourites (Patinkin would’ve won hands down if it was Most Sexy Award for that beard). Charles would’ve won this in an easier year, but Dinklage pretty much ensured himself a win with that insane speech and the WTF climax in this season’s GOT. Search ‘Epic Tyrion speech’ on Youtube and we dare you to have another favourite! (P.S. Dean Norris, you are missed)
Should win: It’s really 50-50 between Tyrion (Dinklage) and Jesse Pinkman (Paul) but since the hearts of Emmy voters are made of stone, Dinklage will mostly win this in Breaking Bad’s goodbye year.
Would win in another category: (*Spoilers*) Josh Charles in ‘Best OMGWHYDIDYOUDIE!!!!!!!! Award’

Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) | Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) | Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) | Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) | Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) | Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)

Should win: Lena Headey, hands down. Cersei’s range of emotions each season, from helpless mother to vicious queen to overall b**ch is amazing in itself, but with this year’s much-talked about abuse storyline, and the shock death (let’s just call them deaths now because it will be a shock if no one dies on GOT), anyone with half a brain should vote for her.
Will win: Anna Gunn, hands down.  For the super performance and Breaking Bad’s final year.
Would win in another category: Maggie Smith in ‘Most Badass in a single person Award’



The Big Bang Theory | Louie | Modern Family | Orange Is the New Black | Silicon Valley | Veep
Should win: Veep is easily the funniest f**king show on TV and also the one with most f**king swear words than all other stupid f**king shows on air combined (see what I did there?). But if we could give an award from the little money journalism pays us to a comedy, it would be to Silicon Valley, for being the most original, refreshing and hilarious new comedy since, well, Veep (and for featuring the best dick joke of all time – Youtube it).
Will win: Veep should finally break Modern Family’s unbelievable four wins (the show’s not funny anymore!) and if it loses, it can only be to Orange is the New Black because a) it’s a great show and b) it deserves brownie points for choosing to fight in the Comedy categories than the Drama ones.
Would win in another category: The Big Bang Theory for ‘Best Comedy that stopped being funny lightyears ago’

Louis C.K (Louie) | 
Don Cheadle (House of Lies) |Ricky Gervais (Derek) | Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) | William H. Macy (Shameless) | Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Should win: Somebody PLEASE give Louis C.K. an award already! What more does that man have to do! He is only the most famous brilliant comedian on the planet right now, he is easily the smartest funnyman on television each year, even his interviews go viral on the net! Just GIVE THIS TO HIM. GIVE IT.
Will win: If any category can spring a surprise this year, it should be this one: Good ol’ Bill Macy could win this for being good and ol’. Ricky Gervais can win this for being the exact opposite of that. But it will mostly be Parsons again.
Would win in another category: Jim Parsons for ‘Best WILL YOU STOP GIVING ME THIS AWARD EACH YEAR LIKE IT’S AN IIFA? Award’

Lena Dunham (Girls) | Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) | Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) | Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) | Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) | Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black)
Should win: Somebody PLEASE give Amy Poehler an award already! (Actually just read the Louis C.K. rant above and apply it to Poehler and you’ll get the picture, pretty much).
Will win: It’s between Louis-Dreyfus for the third time for being so f**king funny (did it again!) and Schilling for the best dramatic actress in a comedy category (also because she’s brilliant).
Would win in another category: Melissa McCarthy for ‘Best Who needs a TV win, I’m a movie star, bitches Award’

Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) | 
Adam Driver (Girls) |Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) | Ty Burrell (Modern Family) | Fred Armisen (Portlandia) | Tony Hale (Veep)

Should win: This is a toughie. Even our loyalties are divided between the fantastic Braugher who’s the most deadpan poker-faced black gay cop in the history of deadpan, black and gay comedy portrayals; Hale because he’s so consistently brilliant and Driver, because he’s the most watchable actor in a show called  Girls.
Will win: Hale will probably win this a second time in a row (and deservingly so) because, considering Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s solo nomination, Emmy probably doesn’t think it’s funny.
Would win in another category: Fred Armison for ‘Best Wait, Peeps know my show exists? Whaaaaaat? Award’

Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) | Julie Bowen (Modern Family) | Allison Janney (Mom) | Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is the New Black) | Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) | Anna Chlumsky (Veep)

Should win: The only thing funny about The Big Bang Theory these days is how Mayim Bialik is being nominated for a third time in a row and is still not a favourite. If anyone else deserves it this year, it’s probably Mulgrew, because Orange is the New Black. We love Chlumsky but she’s got the nom because she’s the only supporting actress on Veep.
Will win: Janey is the hot favourite because she won the Guest Actress Emmy last week, for her role in Masters of Sex, and because she generally is the hot favourite in any awards category.
Would win in another category: All of the above in ‘Best Who are these people, bruh?! Award’



These awards usually less relevant than the Drama and Comedy categories because, you know, it’s Miniseries or TV Movie, lulz. But this year, there are big names in the running in its categories: American Horror Story is running again, because it practically owns the category, and so are Brit shows Sherlock and Luther, both of which are on par with any show anywhere in the world, except in number of episodes (three each). There’s also The Normal Heart, the heart-wrenching take on the HIV crisis amongst the gay community in New York in the ‘80s, starring a star cast that starts Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo, and end at Jim Parsons and Alfred Molina.

But if there’s one show that validates these awards this year, it is the best new show this year besides True Detective: FX’s Fargo. With a star cast that includes Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks and scene stealing Allison Tomlan, and a quality on par with the best dramas of any year, we’re rooting for the show to do a clean sweep of all the categories. Watch the show and you’ll know why.


Note: An edited version of this article first appeared in The Sunday Guardian on August 24, 2014
Link: http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/emmys-predictions-who-should-win-a-who-shouldnt

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.

Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoon, on Twitter:@tanejamainhoon, on Instagram: @tanejamainhoon, on Youtube:/tanejamainhoon

What to watch after True Detective & Breaking Bad #SundayGuardian #TVRecos

The World Cup of TV: What to watch during the Football World Cup, if you do not watch football

– Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoonfor The Sunday Guardian

Not everyone watches football. If that’s a truth about you that your friends are struggling to process, and have turned you into a social outcast, here’s how you can get some mojo and shove it into their faces. Spend the nights your friends are up watching football, watching these highly addictive television recommendations from all over the world below, of outstanding, under-the-radar TV series, and you can get some massive street cred: you’d have watched the cult shows before they become cult in India!

The Returned (France) – Even as HBO and the rest of American cable TV take giant strides in storytelling, there’s been some remarkable dramas being churned out of Europe year-on-year. A recent example is one of the creepiest and most terrific shows you’d have ever seen. The Returned turns the zombie phenomenon on its head: the story is about a town whose dead start turning up again, but alive, with no recollections of how and when they died. Strange things happen within the show, but the strangest is how you cannot stop watching it once you start.

Forbrydelsen (Denmark) – Dear fans of 24, Homeland, Dexter, and generic crime thrillers on TV, if you haven’t seen Denmark’s Forbrydelsen (that was remade in the US as The Killing), you have no idea what a crime thriller can possibly be. Because each 20-episode season of this Danish show has redefined the boundaries of what constitutes the genre itself. The show about a detective, Sarah Lund (real name, I swear), who has to juggle the maze of police bureaucracy, media attention and manipulative politicians, as she tries to go about solving an emotionally devastating case, is the perfect example of how much life can offer, if only we embrace subtitles.

Luther (UK) – Memorize this name: Idris Elba. Because the 6’3 British actor, who you may only know from Thor as the gatekeeper of Asgard, is soon going to reach (Benedict) Cumberbatch-level heights because of another Brit detective show that’s just as addictive as Sherlock, but with a garnish of noir. If Sherlock is Iron Man, Luther is The Dark Knight: both are equally awesome, but the latter is shot a lot more at night (because of all the darkness).

Black Mirror (UK) – Created by Charlie Brooker, who’s married to British TV presenter Konnie Huq (google her… you’re welcome), Black Mirror is a genius anthology series with hour-long films about the dark future that lies ahead of us if we continue to live our lives obsessed with technology, voyeurism and our own selves. The series is so insanely well-written that if I were the President of the world, I’d pass a law to make it compulsory viewing to everyone who takes selfies or has watched a reality show.

Dates (UK) – Created by Bryan Elsley, who is best known for creating the controversial British teen show Skins, Dates is possibly one of the best arguments for the importance of dialogue in the visual medium. A 9-episode series, where each episode is about the first date between two people who met on a dating website; the series builds humour, suspense, thrill, romance and drama entirely from brilliantly-scripted conversations.  The cast includes some interesting faces like Oona Chaplin (Talisa from Game of Thrones) and Andrew Scott (Moriarty from Sherlock), making it a must-watch.

Masters of Sex (USA) – Disclaimer: Not porn. In fact, Masters of Sex does not even have as much gratuitous sex as a Game of Thrones or Spartacus (you are going to check this one out now, aren’t you?) Masters of Sex is a show about how sex, as we know it, came to be; it is the story of how two sexologists – Dr. William Masters (Martin Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (the stunning Lizzy Caplan) – brought about the dawn of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, through their experiments on sex. So yes, the show is about sex – but the genius of the show is that sex is always about everything but sex, isn’t it?

The Americans (USA) – A spy series on USA’s FX channel about two undercover Soviet KGB officers where you root and sympathise with the Soviet spies and hope the CIA is never able to catch them is akin to a show on Colors about ISI spies where you root… THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, OBVIOUSLY.  The absurd levels of maturity of American television creators and audiences aside, the reason to watch the show is a fantastic plot: The undercover agents in the show pose as a married couple who now have teenage children, and have to spy for the Soviet Union but also protect their very American family. Bonus reason? Rahul Khanna makes his American TV debut.

An edited version of this article first appeared in The Sunday Guardian on July 5, 2014
Link: http://www.sunday-guardian.com/young-restless/on-the-binge-what-to-watch-over-the-next-few-weeks-if-football-isnt-your-game

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.

Follow Nikhil Taneja on FB: /tanejamainhoon, on Twitter: @tanejamainhoon, on Instagram: @tanejamainhoon, on Youtube: /tanejamainhoon

A Beginner’s Guide: Game of Thrones #TheJuice #TV

Written by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoon) for The Juice.

A storm of swords is brewing. The Khaleesi and her dragons are going strength to strength in the East, the Lannisters are now reunited and pose a potent threat to anyone who tries to take over King’s Landing, Arya Stark has come of age and is looking for vengeance in the Riverlands, but there is a more dangerous enemy lurking in the shadows beyond the wall. Will the war for the Iron Throne be put on hold to counter the white walkers and the wildlings, even if Stannis Baratheon and his black magic mistress are the only ones taking caution? Or should we be prepared for the ominous forewarning of the season 4 trailer of The Game of Thrones: ‘All men must die’?

If these sentences don’t make any sense to you, I urge you to break free of whatever television prison you have locked yourself in, and WATCH GAME OF THRONES NOW! Because this is the only television series in history that has the words ‘throne’, ‘war’, ‘black magic’, ‘zombies’ and ‘dragons’ in the same synopsis. And if that sounds like the description of a B-film, you only need to experience the show to believe it.

Created by DB Weiss and David Benioff for HBO, and based on the George RR Martin’s bestselling series, a Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones isn’t merely an ambitious television show, it is a concerted effort in trying to change the landscape of what conventional television is. Think the production, scale and quality of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and episode-by-episode drama on the level of a Sopranos or The Wire. And the themes that the show tackles, from honour and justice to greed and jealousy to vengeance, give the series a humanity that goes hand in hand with the grandeur, instead of conflicting with it. Also, there is plenty of gratituous nudity, and that can’t hurt, right (if you are into that sort of a thing, *ahem*)?

So here’s a handy guide to the world of Game of Thrones, to entice you into watching, what is possibly the greatest event TV series ever made by man:

THE SETTING: The world of Game of Thrones essentially revolves around Westeros, which contains the Seven Kingdoms, each belonging to a different ‘house’ but ruled by one king, as well as the region beyond a great wall constructed to keep out whatever the hell resides beyond it (think an unpleasant cocktail of zombies, ghosts, wildlings and unheard-of animals). The seat of power in Westeros resides in the Crownlands, whose capital city King’s Landing is home to The Iron Throne, which, basically, everyone in the seven kingdoms want to get hold of.

HOUSE STARK: The quintessential heroes are House Stark – the rulers of The North, led by Lord Eddard Stark, and his family, that consists of the most honourable people on celluloid since The Fellowship of Lord of the Rings (Think of Lord Stark as Aragorn). But as we soon come to realize, being good is of no good in Westeros, where everyone has the propensity to be killed at an alarming rate.

HOUSE BARATHEON: At the beginning of the series, Robert Baratheon is the King of Westeros, and Lord Stark, his liege. But as events unfold in the world of the Seven Kingdoms, we realize his family, the Baratheons, which rules from The Stormlands, may want to claim the throne to themselves, particularly Stannis Baratheon, Robert’s elder brother, who is supported in his cause by the sexy priestess (never thought I’d say this), Melisandre, who practices some insane black magic.

HOUSE LANNISTER: Undoubtedly the most interesting family in the history of celluloid families, House Lannister is ruled by Lord Tywin Lannister, the richest man in the seven kingdoms, and also the most powerful because his daughter, Cersei is married to Robert Baratheon, who *may* be more than just a sister to her dashing brother, Jamie Lannister, and whose son, Joffery Bratheon, *may* be a Lannister, if you know what I mean. Yes, it’s a twisted family. The smartest Lannister, Tyrion, born a dwarf to Lord Tywin, is almost an outcast to his family, but if there was a single reason to watch Game of Thrones, it would be Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion. Possibly my favourite TV character of all time!

HOUSE TARGARYEN: The rulers of the Iron Throne before Robert Baratheon took over, whatever’s left of House Targaryen after a war in the past – Viserys Targareyn and his sister, Daenerys – now resides in Essos, the landmass across the narrow sea, inhabited mostly by barbarians like the Dothraki people. Danaerys is married off to the Khal of the Dothraki, and becomes ‘The Khaleesi’, but Danaerys is more than just an ordinary human being – she is the mother of dragons. Yes, real, huge-ass, fire-spitting, multi-coloured dragons!

OTHERS: Apart from these four houses, the major houses are also House Tyrell, that rules The Reach, and that may have soon have a bigger role in the story than we think and House Greyjoy, who rule the Iron Islands, and who’ve never for a moment stopped thinking of the throne for themselves. But possibly the group of people more important than all the houses themselves are the Night’s Watch, who guard the Wall, and protect the seven kingdoms from the creepiness beyond it.

SO, BASICALLY: A war for the Iron Throne is raging in the seven kingdoms between the different kings, and each has his/her own reason to claim the throne – the most important being vengeance. The ‘others’ beyond the wall are suddenly coming back to life after years of being undead, and so are the dragons who everyone thought were extinct, and Danaerys  is not going to be shy to use them to get the throne herself. In short, the baap of all TV series, Game of Throne is NOT TO BE MISSED!



  1. HOUSE OF CARDS: Think the struggle for power, the deceit, the greed and the drama of Game of Thrones, set in modern day, in the White House no less, and you get House of Cards. Starring Kevin Spacey and executive produced by David Fincher, this show will have you addicted.
  2. THE WALKING DEAD: An event series that not only matches GOT in production quality and scale, but also in non stop action and nail biting drama, The Walking Dead is based in a post apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over and a group of humans are trying their best to survive. Created by The Shawshank Redemption’s, Frank Darabont.
  3. BOARDWALK EMPIRE: Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire is a slow burning period drama about the rise of mob culture and the mafia, during the prohibition era. Starring Steve Buscemi, the show concocts a fictional narrative around real life historical figures, from Al Capone to J. Edgar Hoover.
  4. THE RETURNED: A creepy, haunting and surprisingly touching French horror Television series, The Returned is about a set in a town where the dead suddenly come back to life, but not as zombies. They are their own selves, and have no recollection of ever having been dead. One of the most accomplished supernatural dramas in recent times.
  5. MOST SHOWS ON HBO: The truth is HBO is responsible for upping the ante and pushing the boundaries of what television is supposed to be. So whether it was Sopranos, the mob drama that started the revolution, or the western Deadwood, or The Wire, arguably the best TV show of its genre, or Rome, True Blood, Band of Brothers and the recent True Detective, if intelligent and fantastic dramas are what you seek, try the HBO library, and you shall be occupied for months!

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Note: An edited version of this article first appeared in The Juice in the April issue.
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.