There are many phases in my life. Among them these are the few:
- Chennai Bottlenecked Existence Experience
- First time outside home Singapore Experience
- Are you kidding? Am I in a US Graduate Program Stupor Experience?
- Back to Chennai At Last Warm Sun Experience
- Seriously, When Will I Get Serious Experience
So, why are the listed existential worries important for this blog article? I will get there do not worry. Well, it gives you a map of what was entertainment for me and how the equations have changed over the years. But the habit of researching a show or sampling episode has not gone away.
These days I will not buy into any story and first episode gets me or not.
Early Days of DD, Cable and Set-Top-Box!
During the DD days, my mother rationed my TV viewership as a kind of reward system for motivation. I was one step ahead and demanded specific time to watch and tried to pick shows. So, my early days shows were:
- Shirley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre (Fairy Tales Grimm Brothers’)
- Wednesday Chitrahaar (Hindi Songs)
- Friday Oliyum Oliyum (Tamil Songs)
- Random watch of Hindi Comedy Shows if homework done.
- Tuesday Tamil Drama
- Sunday’s Cartoon till 9-10 am
- Sunday’s Mahabharata
- Sunday Spiderman
- Evening Ramayana
Sometime for fun I had watched Vaylum Vazhvum which was an Agriculture program for farmers. Until my tenth public exam we only were having DD Channels (Regional and National channels)
During the Cable TV days, my sister was doing her Tenth class so we would pick specific Star TV series and watch it. The singular show that we watched together was:
- Remington Steele
Later in my undergrad days, I would watch the following shows:
- Oprah Winfrey Talk Show
- MTV & Channel V Music Show (Indie Pop was my all-time favorite)
- Sometimes Movies in Star Movies, HBO
- Consumed Discovery Channel and National Geographical Channel Programs
Even though in college days there was full permission to watch anything, if I stayed at home under my mother’s supervision. On hindsight really this situation meant her poor ears got an ear full of variety of songs with drum beat that would give her a headache.
Mind you my mother learned classical Carnatic music and she did not get fusion. But then she was not allowing me to go out and hang out with friends. Despite that there have been few songs that my mother also enjoyed.
After I graduated from college viewership were:
- HBO Original Stories
- Star Movies films
Songs were shifted to my small tape recorder which was portable to places where I crashed to write my journal or work on creative stories.
Singapore | First Time Away from Home
In September 2004, I reached Singapore post marriage. I was completely clueless. But I knew that I was going to get my library card and start borrowing books to read once I settle in.
So, shows that I saw were:
- Vasantham Central (for new Tamil words for Current day Words like Computer | Kannini)
- Chinese Traditional Theatre watching when not in Yishun Community Library
- On Sundays it was joint viewership of some random Mainstream Tamil Movie
Back then, I would have all the Tamil soap running as I went about my business cooking, cleaning, washing, and other household activity.
I do not like to see any of these soaps because it had a lot of irritation factor in them and I disliked them. Television ran because there were voices of people.
Of course, when I shifted to Woodlands from Yishun, I was settling down to a soundless house. But then life never felt settled at all emotionally.
Changing Faces of Cable TV, But No Interest or Energy to Watch
Having delegated to return home from Singapore after having failed in relationship, I was not interested in anything. I was almost a kill joy. So, I would mindlessly watch the drama that my parents were slowly became regulars at appointed time for their viewership pleasure.
Philip’s Music system kept playing the songs and FM channel shows became my favorite hangout. Music was always my partner in life. All kinds of hardship could be overcome with music.
Back in 2008-9 I was in the US as visitor for my Sister’s 4th trimester and to help her post-childbirth. My parents and I had felt such joy in the company of the little one.
Of course, my nephew took up all the time so watching a movie here or there was erratic since I was busy wish he would wake up mid-nap.
On Weekend the family would find sometime to watch a specific old, new, or art movie.
Of course, there was watching MGM movies for TOEFL preparation. I never believed that I could cross 60 points in the TOEFL iBT in the first place.
TOEFL is more about speed and familiarizing the testing environment nothing more.
If there were Grammar test, then I would have flunked the paper. For the world of me, I do not get Grammar and its rules at all.
By the way, boycott Grammar is a rule for all languages without exception!! 😊
Epic Channel 2015 Needs a Special Mention
Between 2013 – 2015, I had spend the early morning at 5 am listening to Sri Velukkudi Krishnan discourses and in the afternoon on weekends I would watch National Geographic channel when Pappji went off for his afternoon post-lunch nap.
I had found Epic Channel during one of those lazy afternoon. Raja, Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan and Culture Machine. I was completely taken. I saw almost varied Travel account and couch travelled non-stop since my college days.
I loved to watch Epic channel was found it exceptional for many reasons, one of them was it connected me to my roots.
My First Korean Drama and I Was Hooked
ESL course set me up in a student hostel and after the day ends, I would use the Wi-Fi to browse around. So, I came across You’re Beautiful and it was about cross dressing.
I was taken in and there began my interest for Korean dramas.
- You’re Beautiful
- My Princess
- Princess Hours
- Lie to Me
- Princess Ja Myung
- Fated to Me (Thai)
- Full House
- A few forgotten titles
These were all the shows that I saw between 2010 to 2012 by the end of 2012 I was able to understand few Korean words.
I could not call myself a true fan. I remember watching a Spanish soap with my Apartment manager. I was clueless of the language and action was the only way I could know what is happening. Of course, Maria kept a commentary of what was happening.
Since I knew third grader French, I could just about make out the dialogues. I would happily fix the context. So, I think drama from any language can be understood if you have the sister language in your recognition.
Back in India, Chennai Open Arm Welcome to Sun
When I returned to December 2012 to Chennai, my laptop was my only source of entertainment. I would occasionally join my parents to watch what they are seeing.
I searched around for DramaFever to watch from the channel, but they were not allowed in India.
From 2013 to 2015 my entertainment was music and writing for the personal blogs. By 2015 my blogging articles became more regular. So, in 2015 after my parents shifted to US my singular interest were:
- Siya Ke Ram (Star Plus) (Mon-Fri)
- Dance Plus (Remo D’Souza Judged Reality Show in Star Plus) (Sunday)
- Naagin (Color) (Sunday 8 pm)
This became my regular watchlist and all my tuition classes were arranged around the series which was telecast at 8 pm IST. It was new perspective of Rama belonging to Sita. Nice twist in the familiar plot and Ram was a human version to relate to.
This interest continued from 2015 to 2018, then was unwell for a while. During that time, I was mostly listening to music videos. Naagin season were still something that I loved watching in the supernatural genre.
In 2019, I spent a lot of time reading up books and blogging with template style. After November 2019, I was busy with Samskrutham that I had no time for watching any show.
Covid-19 and Magically Rakuten Viki Account
When the lockdown happened, I had found a YouTube channel Yo Yo English Channel which brought out Chinese drama with English Subtitles.
From there I was searching for a Korean streaming channel and found Viki.com. I made a split-second decision to subscribe for a basic pass since have been enjoying dramas from Korea, Japan, and Taiwanese.
Then I discovered Asiaflix and the list of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Taiwanese drama opened the world of drama from all over.
Seriously, the addiction is too much! I have seen so many dramas that I feel overwhelmed now. Today I took a break from watching any show and settled down to write for a change. Few dramas that I loved watching are:
- Begin Again
- I am not a Robot
- Descendent of the Sun
- Be a Meal (on going)
It may feel great to watch shows in binge mode, but I would advice against it. But some stories are compelling and worth watching. Anyway, I am happy to step-back to get a break while I research on my next show.
By the way, on the background BTS is singing “Life Goes On,” of course, in loop repeat mode. 😊