If I were to ask you to pick your best scene ever in all of American television in the drama space, a lot of you would be tempted to either go with something from Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. Some of you might go for The Sopranos, The Wire, or Mad Men. Others may pick a scene from Homeland or The Americans and so on. But, in my opinion, it’s really difficult to find a finer moment in the history of American television than when Jack Daniel’s American news anchor character Will McAvoy launches a lamenting tirade about the United States in the first season pilot episode of the 2012 HBO series The Newsroom, a monologue that he ends by declaring that “America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.” Of course, it’s brilliantly written by one of the greatest American screenwriters Aaron Sorkin but it’s how Jeff Daniels delivers it that makes it so impactful and unforgettable. In the new Showtime series (available in India on Voot Select), Jeff Daniels is back in his element, this time playing the part of the former FBI Director James Comey who got fired by Donald J. Trump just five months after his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America.
A two-part event series based on Comey’s book ‘A Higher Loyalty’, The Comey Rule is both adapted and directed by Oscarnominated screenwriter Billy Ray. It stars another Emmy winning actor, Brendan Gleeson as President Trump. Now, its first part focuses on Comey’s appointment as the FBI Director by President Barrack Obama in 2014. Two years into his tenure, the FBI is plunged into two highly controversial cases. Comey’s decisions on both these cases would have a long-lasting impact on not just his career but also the course of history.
The second episode mostly deals with the months that Comey serves as the FBI Director under President Trump. After Trump wins the US presidential election, a large section of Hillary Clinton’s supporters blame Comey for unjustly tipping the balance in Trump’s favour. Even as Comey deals with this, he must also find a way to work with Trump who demands “loyalty” from him. While Comey wants to maintain the neutrality his position demands, Trump wants him to be flexible in his dealings. This sets the two men on a collision course that ends with Comey’s ouster from the bureau. The series ends with a rather alarming note: “US Intelligence Agencies have now concluded that Russia is actively interfering with the 2020 US election, just as it did in 2016. The President has yet to acknowledge this finding.”
The Comey Rule is both timely and combustible. It presents a riveting account the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath. It shouldn’t be seen as a biopic of one man, for it tells the story of two powerful and diagonally opposite personalities. However, it’s important to highlight that the series doesn’t take an objective point of view on the turn of events as it’s told from Comey’s point of view who from the word go was suspicious of Trump whose very company made him feel a little uneasy. And despite trying his best to be accommodative, he ultimately failed to live up to his standards of loyalty and got sacked unceremoniously. Gleeson brilliantly succeeds in bringing Trump’s domineering personality and peremptory nature to the fore. Every dialogue he delivers feels like a piercing needle. Daniels, on the other hand, is grit and grace personified as Comey. One can feel the weight he carries on his shoulders. The scenes he shares with Gleeson are some of the finest that you will see on television this year. The Comey Rule offers a gritty, realistic take on an insider’s journey through the corridors of power, where decisions capable of changing the course of lives of millions are taken within seconds, simply to open up possibilities that can yield political gains or negate the gains made by the adversaries.
It’s all a game of one-upmanship where the likes of Comey act as pawns that get frequently sacrificed by those in seats of high power. With the 2020 presidential elections now just a couple of months away, the series can serve as a veritable primer on US politics for the uninitiated. Also, it proves to be a strong reminder of how small slipups can lead to major upsets in politics and so there are some important lessons to be learnt here for other democracies also.
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LOCKDOWN DOESN’T MEAN GIVING UP ON FITNESS: KAREENA
NEW DELHI: New mom Kareena Kapoor shared an inspiring post on Instagram, giving importance on the necessity to stay fit during the lockdown. On Sunday, the 40-year-old actress shared a photograph which showed that she walked 5,605 steps (5.11 km) within a few hours.
Kareena’s fitness mantra was loud and clear: “Lockdown doesn›t mean giving up,» she wrote in her caption. Kareena›s sister-in-law Saba Ali Khan commented on her post. She wrote: “Motivation… Now to try movement! Wish me luck! LOL. Stay safe and fit.”
Kareena and Saif Ali Khan welcomed a son on 21 February. “We have been blessed with a baby boy. Mom and baby are safe and healthy. Thank you to our well-wishers for their love and support,” Saif said in a statement.
Kareena and Saif married in 2012 after dating for a few years. They announced their second pregnancy last August. They are co-stars of films like Omkara, Agent Vinod, Kurbaan and Tashan. The actress announced her pregnancy memoir titled The Kareena Kapoor Khan Pregnancy Bible, on Taimur’s fourth birthday in December last year.
KANGANA RANAUT CELEBRATES PARENTS’ WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
NEW DELHI: Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut, on Monday, celebrated her parents’ wedding anniversary by sharing a picture of them on her social media and narrating the story of how they met.
The ‘Queen’ actor took to her Twitter handle and shared a rare throwback picture of her parents from their wedding day along with a heartfelt note that read, “Today is the wedding anniversary of my parents, growing up they lied to us that it was a conventional arranged marriage it’s only much later nani told us they had a raging affair, papa saw mom at a bus stand returning from college, took that bus every day till she noticed him.”
Narrating her parents, Asha Ranaut and Amardeep Ranaut’s love story, in a subsequent tweet she elaborated, “Papa saw mom at a bus stand returning from college, took that bus every day till she noticed him. When papa sent proposal, Nana ji (grandfather) brutally rejected cos papa didn’t have good reputation. Nana had selected a groom with government job for mom. She was his favourite and lovingly called her Guddi but mom fought all odds and convinced Nana. Thanks for that, happy anniversary.”
HUMA QURESHI RECALLS FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH ZACK SNYDER
NEW DELHI: Bollywood star Huma Qureshi, who will soon be making her Hollywood debut with the upcoming movie ‘Army of the Dead’, recently recalled her first encounter with the film’s director Zack Snyder.
During a recent special panel on YouTube, which hosted the female star cast of the upcoming Netflix movie, Huma, an avid admirer of Snyder recalled meeting him for the first time and said, “He was wearing a white shirt and had his camera on and I am like the white shirt is going to get dirty.” She recollected that it was a dream come true opportunity for Huma when while visiting the US, she gave an audition for some other work but instead got a chance to work with the legend himself.
Snyders ‘Army of the Dead’ takes place following a zombie outbreak that leaves Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. When Scott Ward, a former zombie war hero, who is now flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka, with the ultimate proposition to break into the zombie-infested quarantined zone and retrieve USD 200 million, that is sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours.
BHUMI TURNS ‘COVID WARRIOR’, OFFERS HELP TO THOSE IN ‘GENUINE NEED’
NEW DELHI: After recently recovering from the novel coronavirus, Bollywood star Bhumi Pednekar on Monday took up the mantle of a “COVID warrior” and extended support to her fans and followers on social media.
The ‘Bala’ actor took to her Instagram handle and asked her fans to DM her if they are in genuine need of medical supply. Sharing a statement Bhumi wrote, “#COVIDWARRIOR Dear All, As we move into the second wave of COVID-19 across India, I have created a highlight where I will be identifying resources to enable facilitation & access to medical supplies, plasma request and donors as the case may be.”
She asked fans to support her and continued, “While I am trying my level best to verify the numbers/contacts which are shared with me on a rampant & daily basis, there might be some numbers which may turn out to be fake. In the event that you find any information here not helpful/fake, please do let me know & I will immediately remove the same.”
Instilling the people with hope, she added, “This initiative is my small contribution to the huge battle that lies ahead to us. Please be patient & don’t lose hope! We’re in this together. Love, Bhumi.”
Bhumi had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 5 and was under home quarantine until she finally tested negative on April 17. The second wave has infected many people, and the number of positive cases has been rapidly rising.
IT’S A SCHEDULE WRAP FOR KRITI SANON FOR ‘BHEDIYA’
NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan, on Monday, announced Kriti Sanon’s schedule wrap for their upcoming horror-comedy flick ‘Bhediya’ while bidding adieu to the Ziro shooting set of the movie.
Varun hopped on to his Instagram handle and shared two adorable BTS pictures featuring him with Kriti at the exquisite location of their shoot set. While the first picture sees the lead hero holding her heroine on his back, the second one shows them flashing their big smiles for the camera. To address Kriti, Varun used the lyric of the song ‘Kya lagti hai haye Rabba’ from 1998 Govinda’s rom-com film ‘Dulhe Raja’ in the caption.
Continuing with it, he added, “Bahut maaza ayaa apka saath @kritisanon (Had a lot of fun with you) #wolfpack. It’s a sched wrap for kriti on #BHEDIYA as we say bye to ziro. Will miss you both”.
The horror-comedy drama ‘Bhediya’ will mark the ‘Badlapur’ star and ‘Heropanti’ star’s third collaboration with each other after sharing screen spaces in 2015 rom-com ‘Dilwale’ and 2019 ‘Kalank’.
The film which went on floors earlier in March at Arunachal Pradesh will bring together the dynamic duo of producer Dinesh Vijan and director Amar Kaushik, who also helmed the 2018 blockbuster movie ‘Stree’.
Starring Kriti Sanon, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerjee, and Deepak Dobriyal, the story is written by National Award Winner, Niren Bhatt who also wrote intriguing scripts for ‘Bala’, ‘Made In China’, ‘Wrong Side Raju’. The film is slated to release in cinemas on April 14, 2022.
PARIS HILTON REVEALS SEX TAPE EXPERIENCE GAVE HER PTSD
WASHINGTON: American media personality Paris Hilton opened up about her infamous sex tape in a chat shot and revealed that the aftermath of the video has left her with ‘PTSD’ (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
According to Page Six, the former reality star said during a Vanity Fair Cocktail Hour, Live! chat on Thursday, “That will always be something that will hurt me for the rest of my life.” “When it happened, people were so mean about it to me. The way that I was spoken about on nightly talk shows, to see things with my family was just heartbreaking. I would be in tears every single day, I felt like my life was over.” Page Six reported that the tape was released by Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, poker player Rick Salomon in 2004. Titled ‘1 Night in Paris,’ it showed footage of the pair having sex in 2001 . The socialite said, “It was a private experience between two people. You love someone, you trust someone and to have your trust betrayed like that and for the whole world to be watching and laughing . It was even more hurtful to me to have these people think that I did this on purpose. It still gives me post-traumatic stress disorder to talk about it.”
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