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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Cooking meth with Mickey Mouse?

Poonam Saxena, Hindustan Times   July 20, 2013
First Published: 00:06 IST(20/7/2013) | Last Updated: 00:08 IST(20/7/2013)

The celebrated, award-winning American TV show, Breaking Bad, finally makes its appearance on Indian TV after a five-year wait. (This is a little unusual; these days, we do end up seeing many foreign shows quite soon after they premiere abroad). However, at least it’s here, and looks good from the first episode itself.

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We are introduced to Walter White, an ordinary, somewhat beleaguered high school chemistry teacher saddled with a class full of the usual badly-behaved, insolent American teens. His wife dreams of being a writer, his son is disabled and the butt of insensitive comments from other badly-behaved, insolent American teens.

Life takes a dramatic turn when White discovers he has lung cancer and not very long to live.

He decides to secure his family’s financial future, and, along with a former drug-dealing student of his, begins making crystal meth in a makeshift lab — since there is big money to be made by selling the drug. But almost as soon as he embarks on this dangerous course of action, he has a scary run-in with some local drug hoods.

All this happens in the very first episode. For those viewers who haven’t already seen the show, there is immediate curiosity as to where White’s journey will eventually take him (definitely four more seasons).

I was quite riveted by the first episode, though White in an apron and not much else (that’s what he wears when making the meth) is not the prettiest sight in the world.

Also, apart from the now familiar beeping out of cuss words and perfectly innocuous ones too, the channel (Star World) puts out a disclaimer every time the show returns after an ad break — that this is a fictional show and the channel doesn’t endorse drugs etc etc.

Why do we have to be subjected to this kind of mindless censorship and these silly disclaimers? Because there are crazy people out there who are offended by everything? Because the government panders to these people instead of ignoring them?

Which brings me to Game of Thrones. The show has just finished its third season abroad and as anyone who follows TV probably knows, is based on American writer George RR Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice And Fire.

It is a grand, mesmerising show, which truly falls into the ‘not-to-be-missed’ category. The first two seasons were shown on HBO India but oddly enough, didn’t create much of an impact.

On second thoughts, it’s probably not odd at all, because what we were shown here was such a heavily censored version that I doubt if anyone even followed the story properly (especially since there so many characters and so many sensational plot twists that you can get quite out of breath just keeping up with what’s happening on screen).

Game of Thrones has a fair amount of violence and nudity, so perish the thought that you will ever get to see season 3 in its entirety. Probably the only shows you can see in their entirety currently are Mickey Mouse cartoons.

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