Stories about TV

The market for conspiracy theories

What was limited to marginal audiences in the past has now transformed into a huge commodity. Following every ‘big’ incident in any part of the world, it sells the most – conspiracy theory. In Pakistan, conspiracies theories are constantly evolving. You can get to any conclusion whatsoever, and come up with any analysis on a given situation. It will sell, provided you have a platform to market your theory. The favourite platform for a conspiracy theorist is a television talk show. The real disseminators of such theories, however, are local language newspapers. Deriving their credibility from the conspiracy-theory-based talk shows, the vernacular ...

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Rio: Fly, but not too high

Pixar has spoiled me. Because, this studio continuously raises its own bar, I have come to associate digitally animated films with well written characters, poignant, heartfelt dialogue and nuanced story telling. Perhaps I should lower my standards, because Rio does not measure up. It is not a family movie that appeals to children and adults on different levels. It is a movie for children and as such it’s not bad. Watching this movie in the theatre was fairly enjoyable. The bright colors, 3D effects, caramel popcorn and people passing out Rio cookies (what a clever advertising campaign that just fell in to ...

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The A to Z of the world’s sexiest women

Men dream about them and women dream of looking like them. Beauty may be skin deep, but sexiness goes a long way.This list counts down some of the world’s most attractive celebrities who are captivating, charismatic and often virtually ageless. Although many have had work done (from fillers and rhinoplasty to hair extensions), it’s not as extreme as some of their contemporaries. From starlets, thespians, royalty and models, whether Euro, Hollywood, Latina, Bollywood or Pakistani, there’s enough collective allure on this list of 50 to knock down a billion men: Amanda Seyfried, 25 – Hollywood actress who shot to fame with Mamma ...

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Mukhtaran Mai case: Mubashar Luqman’s big mistake

The Supreme Court (SC) judgement of Mukhtaran Mai’s case was a great disappointment, but the insensitivity displayed by some elements of the media, was shocking. Many elements in the media treated the judgement as they treat every other issue – adding a lot of masala, controversy and sensationalism to it. While I think that no issue deserves this sort of juvenile treatment, there should be a limit to the coverage of sensitive topics like this one. The decision of the SC has been a big setback for the women of Pakistan. Most decent people in Pakistan, and the rest of the world, think ...

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With Moin Akhtar, a piece of my childhood dies

Those who remember the 80s well will also be familiar with the brilliance that existed on Pakistan Television (PTV) at that time. In days of severe censorship and fear of the government, PTV (especially its Karachi centre) always found ways of subverting the system and poking fun at the dictator and his lackeys. There were three names, Anwar Maqsood, Bushra Ansari and Moin Akhtar, who were the mainstay of such satire where things had to be said subtly in order pass through the censor board. In a rather twisted bit of irony, PTV’s golden days of comedy died with Ziaul ...

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Moin Akhtar: Laughter through genius

Making people laugh is serious business. Moin Akhtar taught me that when I was six-years-old. He was performing live at a family wedding I was being forced to attend (at that age you are forced to do pretty much everything). I remember being quite thrilled that the man who makes me laugh on TV was there in real life, performing on stage. Positioning myself right in front, I got to watch him transform from character to character with just a well aimed hunch of the shoulder or lilt of the accent, all with rapid fire ability. His big closer for the ...

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Five things I hated about the Pakistan vs India match

My love-hate relationship with cricket began a few weeks before the fateful World Cup of 1999, and ever since that horrendous final match that had me and all Pakistanis pulling their hair out, I kept my distance with the sport. However, this year was different. But I confess that I caught this cricket fever again. While we lost the “historic match”, there were a few things that bugged me while I was actually watching the game (besides the result). Here are five somewhat irrelevant things that continued to irritate me as I watched the big match tonight: Cheering for the Pakistani team with ...

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Why your daughter should watch Disney cartoons while she’s still four

Disney films will always hold a special place in the lives of those born in the 90s: we were the ones who would cry and clutch our fathers lest they go jump into a stampede a la Mufasa in The Lion King. So, recently, some friends and I decided to revisit our favourite Disney film — Mulan. Mulan is just your average Chinese girl who impersonates a man so she can join the army instead of her father. ‘Two thumbs up!’ promised the back of the DVD cover, and we sat down with popcorn and played the film. When it finished, there was ...

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Are Pakistanis really getting dumber?

A friend told me how miffed he was on being told by his editor that his blog had not been shared online because it wasn’t “share friendly” or “reader friendly”. He was told it was a great write up, but it wouldn’t appeal to the average reader because it was above his or her IQ level. The incident made me think: is our society in danger of being a victim of stupidity? Cyber warriors ahoy! Reading comments posted by cyber warriors makes one realise how our society is being slowly and inexorably sucked into the vortex of stupidity. The polarization of views in ...

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Raymond Davis and uncontrollable social media

I realised the impact of social media on Wednesday when the news of Raymond Davis’ release was announced on news channels. I am a journalist, but I wasn’t as quick to disseminate information as social network websites like Facebook and Twitter were. The ‘breaking news’ had barely hit the airwaves when my phone, email inbox and Facebook were flooded with messages. People were looking for confirmation of the news, personal opinions and, of course, were venting anger against the government. Less than an hour later, as more information was revealed, discussions and debates began to emerge. I took a keen interest and silently ...

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