Actor-creator Sumeet Vyas lists his five favourite TV shows and discusses how they’ve influenced his work as an actor and writer.
This is Us
What I really liked most about the show that it made you feel things without really trying very hard. It wasn’t trying to make you cry, but you just couldn’t help feel overwhelmed with love. It’s that one emotion that everyone relates to. There’s a story for all of us in that show. It was such a an old-school narrative of a modern family. And you can’t help but fall in love with the father, Jack. He’s one character that appeals to everyone. If I could play any role from the show it would be Jack. Aside from that, it’s very different when actors watch content than the general audience because we get ticked off on some very odd things. I would watch the show with my wife and I’d end up choking on sequences that are not supposed to be emotional, or it’s smaller things like how they use BGM and silences which are very important to me.
The show has some incredible writing. It’s fantastic, it’s fun, it’s fast, it’s entertaining and it’s warm. And everyone has done a fantastic job in terms of performances. I love the father and step mother’s characters, they’re so good. The pace of the show is also so nicely done. Each episode is only 20 minutes and there’s only 12 episodes in total. It’s always nicer to have a story where you want more rather than getting so much that you’re done with it. This is the thing about writers, we always want to always break the grammar and try different things. It doesn’t always work, but in this it worked and how.
It’s just such a well made show. Everybody knew what happened with that incident. If anything, people knew more than they should have, which is why I was curious to see what are they are going to show us that we don’t already know. The fact that they cantered it from the perspective of a female cop who was investigating the whole thing was so well done. Even Rajesh Tailang’s character was so good and well fleshed out in terms of showing his struggles with and little conflicts while trying to solve this case. It’s also a show that’s written by someone who has a deep understanding of different classes. But I think more than anything, it’s down to Shefali Shah’s performance, I’ve always been a fan of her work and she’s so good in it.
Fargo Season 1
I absolutely fell in love with the pace of the show. It was slow, yet they were able to maintain the tension and create this unforgettable mood. Throughout the show everything is so slow and cut off and cold. It’s like when people from Bombay go to a small town and don’t know why time moves so slow. I also loved the action, it was so refreshing for the time. I was also so intrigued by it’s narrative style which was so different to what we’ve already seen.
House of Cards
The fact that so many people across the world were able to relate to the show even though it’s very specifically about American politics shows you how incredible the writing was. Our political structure is different. We don’t have Democrats and Republicans. But in spite of that detailing, we were able to connect with it and that’s the victory of that story. Also, the performances are like an acting school for any actor. Kevin Spacey is such a fantastic actor. I don’t know many people who noticed it, but between Season 1 and Season 3, when he becomes the president, his speech pattern changed. When he was a hustler, his speech pattern was slightly casual and when he became president, his speech pattern was slightly formal. The first time I heard him after he became president, I felt like I was listening to an old TV recording. This is where the actor’s hard work comes in.