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June 20, 2024

TV shows and books to curl up with on the weekend

Schenelle Dsouza
Squid Game is by far one of Netflix’s most popular series ever. Not only did it garner a worldwide audience, but also inspired several trends like the themed outfits for Halloween and the infamous Squid Game honeycomb candy challenge.
While the series was initially expected to be a one-season star, its global success called for another season. While we can’t wait for season 2, Netflix dropped another exciting bomb — a Squid Game Reality Show! That’s right, a lucky handful of 456 people will be chosen from across the world to play the game. While there isn’t a requirement as such, all participating members need to be over 21 and be able to speak English. The contestants will play through challenges and games, some inspired from the show, and a few new and interesting ones.
Seven Kitchens
Photo Courtesy: Netflix
Like the series, contestants will be eliminated after each round. The last player stands.
Aside from the fact that Squid Game is a fan favourite, the last contestant will win a massive prize amount of USD 456 million, the largest sum of money to be offered in any reality show ever. However, it will be long before the series hits the floors. Filming is said to begin early next year and will release somewhere between late 2023 and early 2024.
Reality TV is one of the most popularly watched genres. With barely enough reality, these make for a great weekend binge, especially for those who enjoy the drama, the competition, and well, more drama, depending on what you watch. If this sounds like your cup of tea, here are some power-packed entertainers to binge on over the weekend.
TV Shows
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Photo Courtesy: IMDb
You’re definitely living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the Kardashians. The ‘non-celebrity’ family of celebrities made their name through the famous series, showcasing their everyday lives that are anything but boring. The show which has been running for 13 years showcases some of the most iconic moments in pop culture, from Kim Kardashian’s many marriages to Kendall and Kylie’s transformation from mere pre-schoolers to the successful women that they are today. It’s not a show for geniuses but it’s definitely a good watch for saucy drama. The final season, season 20 which aired last summer was a final goodbye to the 13 year run. Like every episode on the show, the last season saw plenty of drama right from Kim deciding to become a lawyer, Kendall stating her opinion on Scott and Kourtney’s relationship to Kris’ tearful goodbye to Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The show came to a close with a two episode reunion hosted by Andy Cohen, with Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall, Kylie and Kris in attendance.
Watch online on Netflix and Amazon Prime
Koffee With Karan
Koffee With Karan 
Photo Courtesy: Hotstar
Better than any masala Bollywood movie, Koffee with Karan is a show that almost every Indian enjoys, even if they don’t admit it. It’s where celebrities spill their guts about the industry, their peers, their relationships and more. While the earlier seasons were catty and candid, as the season progresses, the episodes get fiery with snide comments and unapologetic statements, that may have been a cause of drama within the industry. Nonetheless, the show is also filled with fun conversations and wise revelations that balance the show, keeping audiences glaring at their screens. While the new season is set to release on July 7, it’s the best time to catch up on the first six seasons and keep up with the who’s who and what’s what of Bollywood drama.
Watch online on Disney+Hotstar 
MasterChef Australia
MasterChef Australia
Photo Courtesy: IMDb
One of the biggest and best cooking competitions on tv, MasterChef Austalia is a must-watch for anyone and everyone, even if you don’t know how to cook. Ironically the majority of MasterChef’s audience are people who don’t cook, just enjoy watching others master the art. While there are other variants of the show: in the US, UK and India, Australia is the most popular one. This can be attributed to the amazing cuisine, the diversity in terms of food and contestants, the guest appearances by some of Tv’s most popular chefs like Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal and Maggie Pierre, and lastly the powerful trio of Gary, Matt, and George. While the trio called it quits after the 11th season in 2019, the show went on with Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen. The show is currently on its 14th season and is filled with new, never seen before challenges with guest appearances by chefs Shannon Bennett, Curtis Stone, Rick Stein and Hugh Allen.
Watch online on Disney+Hotstar 
Project Runway
Project Runway
Photo Courtesy: IMDb
While there’s a host of fashion competitions on tv, Project Runway happens to be the best in the lot, and also the oldest having been on tv since 2004! The show is a hit among many, whether they’re into fashion or not. Project Runway has served as a source of inspiration for many aspiring designers, as well as those who just enjoy the dazzling world of fashion. The show sees a handful of contestants compete in a series of challenges, designing outfits based on very specific themes. While some nail it, others tank it leaving behind one very lucky winner who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their designs at the New York Fashion Week. The last season, season 19 which commenced in October 2021 is full of fun yet intimidating challenges. The challenges? Haunted chic masquerade gowns, avant grade yet comfy fashion and working with striking floral prints, sequins and faux fur to create shining ensembles. The successful series even earned its spin-offs with Project Runway Junior and Project Runway All-Stars, both winners after you finish this one.
Watch online on Amazon Prime 
Photo Courtesy: CBS
Like fashion-centric reality tv shows, survival shows are also among the most popular reality tv entertainers. Survivor is one show that everyone might have heard of, even if they haven’t watched it. The show launched back in 2000 and has since released as many as 40 seasons to date. In each season a selection of contestants are dropped off at a remote location, usually an island or a forest and are left to fend for themselves, which means providing food, water, fire and shelter for themselves, while simultaneously taking part in a series of challenges and win in order to avoid elimination. The last man/woman standing gets a USD 1 million cash prize which is plenty for 26 days in the wild, which used to be 39 before covid happened. For season 42, the show took place Mamanuca Islands in Fiji with eighteen contestants divided into three tribes called Vati, Taku and Ika. Figting for food, shelter and other basic necessities, the new season is full of daring challenges, ulikely alliances and plenty of drama.
Watch online on Hulu
If reality TV is not your thing while stuck at home during the rains dampening your weekend plans, and TV has tired you out, curling up with a good book always seems like a great idea. Given the beautifully chilly monsoon weather, what better than a gripping fiction novel?
Dark Matter – Blake Crouch
Dark Matter
Photo Courtesy: Blake Crouch / Instagram
Thrillers are always a good read. Mix them with science fiction and you get Dark Matter; an intriguing, but enticing novel that is full of well-researched facts and exceptional writing. The books centre a multi-verse theme with romance at the centre of it all. Physics professor Jason Dessen leads a mediocre life devoted to his loving wife and son. All of that takes a startling turn when he is abducted one day. Jason wakes up strapped to a chair with men in hazmat suits welcoming him back to his world. A world where his previous life was non-existent, where he never met his wife and his son was never born. In between the confusion and disorientation, Jason makes up his mind to find his way back to his family, while confronting his dark past and fighting his foes.
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
The Flatshare - Beth O'Leary
Photo Courtesy: Beth O’Leary / Instagram
Calling all the hardcore romantics with a soft spot for cheesy PG-13 romance, with a love for the old-school custom of love letters and handwritten notes, this book is for you. A quirky, romantic novel, The Flatshare follows the story of Tiffany ‘Tiffy’ Moore looking to rent a cheap flat in the city. Upon her friend’s suggestion, Tiffy enters a flat-share situation with Leon Twomey. Despite living in the same one-bedroom apartment, the two have never actually met, since Tiffy occupies the apartment during the night and Leon in the mornings. Throughout their stay, the two leave sweet little notes for each other, which leads them to fall for one another, despite having never met. To make matters worse, it was Leon’s girlfriend who suggested Tiffy live with him, while Tiffy deals with her obsessive, insecure boyfriend. The novel is a perfect dose of drama, with a bucketful of romantic plots, a perfect read for a stormy, rainy day.
The Guest List – Lucy Foley
The Guest List - Lucy Foley
Photo Courtesy: Lucy Foley / Instagram
Another gripping mystery novel, The Guest List is the perfect spooky crime novel, with multiple characters, different points of view and mangled storylines that somehow manage to make sense by the end of the book. The book revolves around power couple Will and Jules preparing for their wedding which takes place on an isolated island in Dublin, Ireland. A major part of the book focuses on the night before the wedding, which is the rehearsal dinner. The book provides unique perspectives from different characters — the bride, the bridesmaid aka the bride’s half-sister, the best man, the wedding planner and the plus one who is the bride’s best friend’s wife. While the book takes off with a slow start, the book builds up to a very good and fitting end.
The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides
Photo Courtesy: Alex Michaelides / Instagram
One of the best psychological thrillers of today, The Silent Patient is a real gripper. So much so, that anyone who’s read it will tell you how it’s impossible to put it down until the very end. A woman named Alicia Berenson is convicted of murdering her husband six years ago and admitted to a mental asylum. Since the murder, Alicia hasn’t uttered a single word to anyone, she hadn’t admitted to the murder but doesn’t deny it either. While most of her doctors give up on her, only one is sure of breaking her silence. Not only is the book filled with some of the best twists, but also makes it impossible to guess who the killer is, and what really happened.
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Schenelle Dsouza


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