Rejoice TV nerds: The time has come. After yet another year of incredible impatience (well done, by the way), the new fall TV season (September to December) is finally upon us. Now comes the bigger challenge: Sifting through all the noise and finding the perfect show to binge on. But not to worry, we've compiled a list of the most exciting shows of the new season.

    There are already too many shows being produced these days. Sure, it's the new golden age but there are literally hundreds of programmes vying for your attention.

    We're all aware of Priyanka Chopra's Quantico. Only a year after Nimrat Kaur gave a great performance in the worst season of Homeland, Chopra is taking it a step further. She's starring in her own show about a group of young agents in the FBI's Quantico facility, complete with soap-opera level drama and an iffy American accent.

    For the purpose of this preview, we're mostly ignoring regular network television because we all know that golden age has bypassed networks and that they're producing mostly rubbish (we're looking at you Gotham). We also won't be including any returning series (now we're looking at you X-Files). It's all about the fresh stuff here.

    Cable and streaming on the other hand is showing no signs of slowing down. And that's where the best storytelling is happening and where the best talent is headed. So here goes.


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    Narcos
    The puply, violent and extremely entertaining story of the world's most infamous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, a man who used to earn a reported $60 million a day at his peak and the cops tasked to track him down. More than anything else, what this show will do is make your entire life's ambition to get yelled at by the great Wagner Moura. Want even better news? The show's already streaming on Netflix.

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    Moonbeam City

    Sample the cast: Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara and Will Forte. Now sample the setting: A 1980's cop show with neon pink visuals and a synth-infused score. Oh, and did we mention it's a cartoon? The show premieres on Comedy Central on September 16.

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    Into the Badlands
    Remember that really cool martial arts show that you were binge-watching all those years ago? That's right, neither do we. Why didn't anyone think of this before? The show's loosely based on the Chinese tale The Journey to the West, about the epic journey undertaken by a warrior and a young boy across a violent feudal land. It's another attempt by AMC to luck out in the post Breaking Bad/Mad Men age. It premieres on November 15.

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    Scream Queens
    This holds sentimental value, especially with the great Wes Craven's death still fresh in our minds. Although it's another in Ryan Murphy's (Glee, American Horror Story) never ending output, the cast kind of sells it. Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and the original scream queen herself Jamie Lee Curtis. You can safely chalk this down in the guilty pleasure category and contemplate whether Neve Campbell making a cameo is asking for too much. Look out for a September 22nd debut on Fox.

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    Flesh and Bone
    From ex-Breaking Bad alum Moira Walley-Beckett and visionary Aussie director David Michod (Animal Kingdom) comes an exciting miniseries set in the world of professional ballet. "Like Black Swan?" we hear you ask. Well, yes. Even the trailers look eerily similar to that great Darren Aronofsky movie. But ask yourself this: Is that really a bad thing? The show premieres on Starz on November 8.

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    Fargo
    We're going to cheat a bit here. Yes, we know this is technically a returning show and we promised not to include any of them here. But it's also an anthology, featuring a young Lou Solverson played by Patrick Wilson. Yes, we know how True Detective season 2 panned out. But while that show's overly grim tone killed it, this looks like a return to the darkly humourous universe we've come to love. FX has set a premiere date of October 12.

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    Hand of God
    Ron Perlman stars as a corrupt judge who, after suffering a breakdown starts thinking that God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice. Think Preacher meets Judge Dredd. With a pilot directed by World War Z's Marc Forster, this looks like another great entry in the Amazon Studios roster. All episodes premiere on September 4.

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    Red Oaks
    Another Amazon Studios show. This one boasts the incredible behind-the-scenes team of director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) Gregory Jacobs (Magic Mike XXL) and Steven Soderbergh (who's changing the game with his Clive Owen-starrer The Knick). Craig Roberts (Submarine) plays a tennis player who takes a temp job at the high-end Red Oaks Country Club in the 1980's. Amazon's other dramedies Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle were both brilliant, and this looks like it will live up to that high benchmark. All episodes stream on October 12.

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    The Bastard Executioner
    Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) returns with his new show. But this time there aren't any hairy bikers. There are however, lots of hairy medieval guys. On the surface this looks like a cheap cash-in on the Game of Thrones wave. But Sutter is running the show and it's set intriguingly during the Welsh rebellion. Oh, and Ed Sheeran has a recurring role. FX will premiere all the episodes on September 15.

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    Wicked City
    This is the sole network programme on the list so it must be extra special. It's set in '80s LA on the Sunset Strip featuring two LAPD cops on the hunt for a romantically-linked serial killer couple. Think Dexter meets that great Brad Pitt movie Kalifornia. There's something really enticing about a good old-fashioned noir drama. The show will premiere on ABC on October 27.

    The author tweets @NaaharRohan

A hundred years of devotion

Delhi’s oldest Durga Puja, better known as the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja, celebrates its centenary this year. A hundred years is always an important milestone and in this case, it’s evidence — if any were needed — that Bengalis have a long, long association with Delhi.

In a lot of ways, the history of this puja is the history of the Bengali community in Delhi. The Kashmere Gate (the organisers stick to the anglicised spelling) began in 1909, two years before the British shifted the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. Presumably, the first lot of Bengalis accompanied this historic shifting.

There was no idol at this puja held at the Roshanpura Temple in the Chandni Chowk area, only a mangal ghat — a pot filled with Ganga jal — signifying the goddess. The idol worship started in 1912, when the deity had to be brought in a boat from Varanasi.

The history of the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja also goes hand-in-hand with two similarly old institutions. One, the Bengali Boys School in the Civil Lines area started in 1894, where the puja is now held; and two, the Bengali Club, going back to 1925, from whose ranks the organisers, the Delhi Durga Puja Samiti (DDPS), are drawn.

Unlike the smarter, more popular pujas of south Delhi, the Kashmere Gate puja is known for its traditional fervour. “In all the 50-years or so that I have been associated with the puja, very little has changed,” says Barun Mukherjee, who looks after the religious rites.

The idol is the traditional ek-chaal, that is, all five deities, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik, are staged on the same pedestal. On Dashami, it’s taken for immersion in a old bullock cart to the nearby Gita ghat.

No rock bands or film stars figure in the cultural events held every evening — only Rabindrasangeet and plays and jatras. This year too, the organisers have lined up similar fare, with some ‘stars’ from Kolkata like singers Shivaji Chattopadhyay and Arundhuti Hom; actors Ksharaj Mukherjee and Manoj Mitra, and a Bangladeshi troupe, Chena Mukh (Known Face).

Also the same will be the biriyani, the korma and shammi kebabs — a huge attraction at this puja — which has, for the past 25 years, been prepared by Mohammed Yasin of Chitle Kabar, Chandni Chowk. For around 25 years before this, his father Bhoopi Mian, had made the biriyani.

But there will be one important break with tradition — “This year’s puja will be ‘green’,” says Dipayan Mazumdar, vice-president of the DDPS. So the idol will be built with fast-dissolving ‘khuris’ (clay cups); all the dieties’ ornaments will be removed before immersion; and vegetable dyes used as colour. Even the flowers used in the puja will be given to an NGO to be recycled into organic colour.

 

 

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