Dhruv Sehgal On His Five Favourite TV Shows , Film Companion
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Dhruv Sehgal – the actor, writer and creator known for the Little Things in life – discusses his five favourite TV shows and how they’ve shaped his unique perspective on writing and creating.

True Detective: Season 1

Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar Premium

When I first watched it, I remember thinking I’d never seen anything like it. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen a lot of thrillers, so they could be better examples of the genre. It’s a show which is so layered.  It talks about philosophy. It talks about what it is to be a good man. It talks about the corruption in the whole nexus of religion, politics and the police. Yet it’s a story about hope and how, despite the brutalities that are all around us, we can do something and how powerful and powerless we are. I was also so sucked in by the mood that the show created. And you really feel that there is a life, history and dignity to each and every character. I think it’s a very, very good show which talks about where the world is right now. 

The Sopranos

Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar Premium

I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life to be very honest. It is so universal and so accessible. Every theme that the show touches upon is so beautifully rounded. Whether it’s about the sexual tension of a couple fading or the relationship between Tony and his mother, or him and the psychiatrist or most of all, the relationship of Tony with himself which is probably the best relationship in the history of TV writing. Everything is so beautifully rounded without trying to be smart. I get goosebumps just thinking about it because when we think of a clever idea, we also want to say it in the most clever way. The Sopranos doesn’t do that. They still believe in the simplicity of a conversation. They still believe that everything heavy and deep should be conveyed in a simple way. They really made a masterpiece, but in the language that everyone understands. I think that’s skill. That’s the mastery of the writer and The Sopranos does it so beautifully.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Series

Streaming On: Netflix

The show is set in Japan and I think anything and everything from Japan has some sense of uniqueness. It’s also the only show where I don’t skip the intro because it is so meditative. It puts you into the mood and headspace of the show. It’s almost like you are having Miso soup before having some big meal. The show just talks about modern life, the busy lives of everyday people and just that one moment of peace at the end of a long day which it just magnifies and stretches out. It’s also a sad day show. I find my refuge in certain shows and Midnight Diner is at the top of the list.  It is a very gentle show. To craft something gentle like that is very difficult. 

TXDRMY

Streaming On: YouTube

My biggest reason to like TXDRMY is that it came out at a time when the whole digital space or the whole web series was just beginning to get popular in India. People were still exploring and experimenting, and when this came out, it just gave me the feeling that there is so much of ambition with this medium. There are so many possibilities. It was pure excitement for someone having had the chance and the skill to create something in just a single studio. How can somebody achieve this, and if this is where we are headed, then the webspace or the digital space is just going to be the most exciting storytelling industry in India. Unfortunately I haven’t really felt that way with many projects in the digital space since.

I May Destroy You

Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar Premium

This is one show that really made me shut up and just think. It made me realize how brutal things can be and the cost of damage. We talk about the damage that the parents do, we talk about the damage that the country does, but here is a different kind of damage that is so prolonged. I also love how personality-driven the show is. Much like Fleabag, the show has the stamp of the creator on it and in bold ink in how real she’s trying to go and how much she’s pushing the envelope. Watching is pretty much like being in a boxing match and just being knocked out time and again because you really feel for her. It’s a brave show which great storytelling that really makes you think about consent in modern relationships. 

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