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Patrick Melrose, 1983, The Haunting of Hill House – 5 must watch shows on the web!

Abhishek Srivastava picks his favourites from those web series which have not got the attention they deserve.

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When it comes to TV series, the general discourse through the year has only revolved around the big tickets. Stranger Things, Narcos, Sacred Games, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel hogged both, the limelight and dinner table conversations. But hidden amidst them were plenty of gems which failed to initiate conversation, and in the absence of any promotion, remained confined to the heaps of content on various platforms. Here are five gems which remain largely unexplored but make for a riveting watch.

The Haunting of Hill House

(The Haunting of Hill House is streaming currently on Netflix)

Most of the series on Netflix often carry some sort of noise and hoopla around them. It’s strange that when The Haunting of Hill House landed on Netflix, most did not have a clue. The appeal of Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel from 1959 lies in its old world charm which has virtually disappeared from the horizon, and has now been replaced by slasher and gory horror. The series deals with a family which is torn apart by a supernatural presence in their house, which takes a toll on each individual member. The novel on which this series is based is considered by many as a benchmark in the haunted house genre. According to Stephen King, the only two novels worthy of being dubbed ‘great’ in the supernatural realm in the past 100 years are The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House. It’s recommended that this non-linear series should not be watched alone at night!

1983

(1983 is streaming currently on Netflix)

Though Joshua Long is the showrunner of 1983, two episodes of the series have been directed by Agnieszka Holland, a revered figure in Polish film circles who was also nominated for an Oscar in the category of best writing and screenplay for her Europa Europa. Though Agnieszka has directed only two episodes out of the eight, the finesse and her stamp is evident in the entire series. The series is dystopian and imagines a Poland in which communism never fell. The very theme and the premise is eerie to say the least. The series is set in 2003 and begins with a terrorist attack that took place 20 years back. The Cold War never ended in the series. 1983 is a riveting watch and the Polish language should not be a deterrence. If you are fond of past international events, it’s a disturbing show to say the least.

Patrick Melrose

(Patrick Melrose is streaming currently on Hotstar Premium)

Benedict Cumberbatch delivers his career’s best performance in Patrick Melrose. Based on the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward Aubyn, the mini-series is a terrific watch. The first episode deals with two days in the life of Patrick in 1982, with flashes of his wretched childhood. Cumberbatch is so immersed in the character that by the time you are done with episode one, you can imagine no one except him playing the character. David Nicholls who has penned films like One Day, Starters for 10 and Far from the Madding Crowd in the past, has turned Aubyn’s creation into a disturbing and poignant character. The corruption in the British upper class too has been captured perfectly. If nothing that’s mentioned here appeals to you, watch it for the sheer brilliance of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Better Call Saul

(Better Call Saul is streaming currently on Netflix)

Some might find it strange to see Better Call Saul as part of this list, as the prequel to Breaking Bad has just got over with its fourth season. Though the series has been gathering all the love since the time it started airing, Indian audiences have somehow maintained a distance from it. Better Call Saul might not appeal to those in the audience who are looking for pace. The appeal of Jimmy McGill’s antics is a slow burner and therein lies the series’ appeal. The ease with which the series navigates between the past and the present is never inconsistent and every character is well crafted. It’s a pity that Bob Odenkirk was nominated for three consecutive years at the Golden Globes in the category of Best Performance By An Actor In A TV Series, but remained unlucky everytime. (Spoiler ahead) The series deals with the transformation of Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman – and this happening only at the end of season four, says a lot about the pace of the series! Better Call Saul is closest to what defines a perfect series.

Escape at Dannemora

(Escape at Dannemora is streaming currently on Hotstar Premium)

One single reason to watch the show could solely be its star cast. Benicio Del Toro, Paul Dano and Patricia Arquette headline the series. The mini-series is based on a true prison break story that hogged the limelight in American newspapers in 2015. Arquette plays Tilly Mitchell, a married prison worker who falls in love with two inmates and helps them escape the confines of the prison. The pace of Escape at Dannemora might put off many but the patience is bound to yield fruits. Del Toro as Richard Matt for whom painting is a passion, is riveting, and so is Arquette. It’s a thrilling ride that’s guaranteed to slowly suck you in.

 

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Jeetendra and Jaya Prada show off their dance moves in Super Dancer 3

Jeetendra and Jaya Prada grooved to their iconic songs and performed with the contestants on Super Dancer 3

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This week on Super Dancer 3, we saw some amazing, passion fuelled performances from the contestants. But the highlight of the latest episode was the fact that Jeetendra and Jaya Prada came together on the show and joined the three judges – Shetty Kundra, Anurag Basu and Geeta Kapoor. The legendary actors, who have worked together in more than 20 films, not only graced the show but also set the stage on fire. Yes, you heard that right. The duo took the centre stage and danced on their iconic song which left everyone awe struck including the judges. Apart from that, a lot happened on the episode. Read on the know all the details.

1) Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Jaya Prada sizzle on stage

Shilpa Shetty and Jaya ji set the stage on fire by dancing on Nau Lakh Ka Haar and Jayaji remembered all her moves. She danced with so much passion and elegance that Shilpa had to stop and watch her graceful moves.

2) The Rickshawala’s of Mumbai come to support Akshit

It was an emotional moment for the Bhandari family as a group of rickshawalas came together and showed support for Akshit. They even acknowledged the fact that he has worked really hard to reach where he wanted to. Also, in full support was his mum who got teary eyed while watching her son perform.

3) Jeetendra and Jaya Prada dance to their iconic song

The veteran actors danced on their iconic song Taufa Taufa Taufa, Laya Laya Laya and got everyone starstruck with their moves. They of course received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges.

4) Jaya Prada gifts a lovely saree to Akshit’s mother

The veteran actress-turned-politician was really touched by the fact that Akshit’s mother had made several sacrifices for her son to get on the show. Jayaji gifted Akshit’s mother a pretty pink saree and she was obviously gobsmacked by the gesture. On being gifted the saree, Akshit’s mother bawled and rushed to touch Jayaji’s feet.

5) Jaya Prada performs with Rupsa and Dafli Waale

Rupsa was privileged enough to perform with Jayaji on the hit dance number Dafli Waale. It was one of the sweetest moments to witness on stage as Jaya ji wooed the audience by performing with the younger contestants of the show. Rupsa, in fact, matched the dance steps with Jayaji.

Keep reading CineBlitz for more Bollywood updates.

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Randeep Hooda takes part in horse riding league despite suffering an ankle injury

Apart from acting, Randeep Hooda is one determined horse rider

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Randeep Hooda is not just an amazing actor who has proved his mettle onscreen but did you know that he is a great horse-rider as well? Yes, that’s right. Randeep was busy shooting for Dhaka in Thailand with Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth but he returned to India recently. He then took part in the National Equestrian League in Mumbai but unfortunately, the actor suffered an ankle injury. Although, he’s in a state of recovery and rest, it has not stopped him from participating in another league that will take place next month. This is what we love about Randeep – his Passion! Despite having his ankle sprained, he is determined to do what he loves and is also keen to recover as soon as possible.

Talking about his participation, Randeep said, “The Regional Equestrian League is happening in Mumbai after 33 years at the Mahalaxmi Race Course this year. The club was keen that I participate”. He also said that he was a little out of practice. Further, he added, “As a rule, if you fall off the horse, you are disqualified. Unfortunately, during the race, my horse stopped mid-way. In my bid to hold on to it, I had to exert a lot of pressure on my ankle, and ended up with a sprain.”

The actor, inspite of the injury, took part in the second qualifying round that was held on Monday (18 February). He said that he had been taking painkillers for a quick recovery and revealed that since his next race was on February 25 he still had a chance but till then, will be taking ample amount of rest. Work wise, apart from Dhaka, Randeep also has one more film on his plate and that is the historical drama The Battle of Saragarhi. Keep reading CinéBlitz for more Bollywood news.

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Salman Khan shares an emotional moment with Sooraj Barjatya at Raj Kumar Barjatya’s prayer meet and it will melt your hearts

Salman Khan attended the prayer meet with several other Bollywood stars.

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We lost yet another exceptionally talented producer Raj Kumar Barjatya on Thursday (February 21) and the news of his demise shocked everyone. A host of celebrities attended the funeral and the prayer meeting that held today (February 23) in his memory. Swara Bhasker, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Soni Razdaan, Bhagyashree to name a few were in attendance at the prayer meet. Salman Khan also arrived at the venue and paid his condolences to the family. Later, our cameras even spotted the Being Human superstar sharing an emotional moment with his close friend and filmmaker Sooraj Barjatya.

Talking about the picture, we can see Khan holding Sooraj Barjatya’s hands and talking to him about something. The two are standing near a stage and one can see Raj Kumar Barjatya picture as well. Dressed in an all-black outfit, Salman made sure that he was present with the Barjatya family during their loss. Anupam Kher, on the other hand, took to social media and paid his tribute. He wrote” Deeply saddened to know about the demise of #RajKumarBarjatya ji. Had known him since my 1st film #Saaransh. Most humble & amazingly knowledgable human being. Had a childlike curiosity. I loved speaking to him for hours about goodness. He practiced it. Will miss him. #OmShanti.” Anyway, Check out Salman and Sooraj’s picture right here.

Salman Khan with Sooraj Barjatya at Raj Kumar Barjatya's prayer meet

For those who are unaware, Salman shared a special bond with both Sooraj Barjatya and his late father Raj Kumar Barjatya throughout his career. Under their direction and home banner Rajshri Productions, Salman has delivered blockbuster films like Maine Pyaar Kiya Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Hum Aapke Hia Kaun and many more. Raj Kumar Barjatya’s father Tarachand Barjatya gave he birth of this famous and successful banner. Their production house has even produced many critically-acclaimed films such as Dosti, Tapasya, and Saaransh to name a few. Raj Kumar Barjatya passed away after suffering from a cardiac arrest on Thursday morning. He was 75. We wish his soul rest in peace.

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