If you can’t join ‘em, laugh at ‘em

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TO Goodness BBC Goodness Gracious Me

FEW MEN will admit to watching a soap opera, let alone being fans, but a few studies suggest more and more are succumbing to its charms.

The addiction, like all questionable habits, starts innocently enough. A quick glance at the screen as some or other actress/eye-candy saunters around in her lingerie. A perfectly reasonable response as events take an unexpected turn, usually brushed off with an agitated glare, forcing you to watch and find your own answers. It’s akin to her asking who’s playing during a cup final, or who’s winning on the first day of a cricket Test match. Soon, the inevitable cliffhanger at the end of each episode feeds into the curiosity building up inside you. Perhaps you’ll just take a peek tomorrow. And then, you’re hooked.

As with your favourite sports team, this can become a lifelong obsession. And so, if you’re new to the game (soapie fans are loyal), what better way to indulge your new fix than with a continent-crossing saga that spans eras, culture-clashes and forbidden love.

India: A Love Story is an Emmy award-winning telenovela and one of the most-watched TV shows in Brazil. Like the World Cup that just played out in that country, expect surprising twists and high drama, stunning locations, and a cast of fetching actors.

At the heart of the story are a young Indian couple, Raj and Maya, who are forced into an arranged marriage. Both are, however, already in love with other people. Raj, a jet-setting businessman, has fallen for a Brazilian woman, while Maya is smitten with a man from a lower caste. Realising that they have no choice but to make their marriage work, Raj and Maya slowly start to fall in love with each other, but the secrets of their past threaten their newfound happiness.

• India: A Love Story, Monday to Thursday at 9pm on Glow TV on the OpenView HD format.

TO India 1 India: A Love Story .

IT’S just as easy to get hooked on good British humour, which is what Goodness Gracious Me certainly is.

This comedy sketch show is a laugh-a-minute insight into the quirks of Asian expats in Britain.

Blessed with a star-studded cast featuring Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars at No 42) and Meera Syal, as well as Dave Lamb (better known as the sarky voice-over guy on Come Dine With Me), Goodness Gracious Me plays on the changing nuances of culture in a foreign setting with a host of entertaining characters.

Characters like Chunky Lafunga – a Bollywood superstar who tries to make it in the West, but manages to turn every production into a Bollywood musical; Mr Everything Comes From India, who in quite delightful detail, manages to explain why Santa Claus, and even Superman, are Indian.

Don’t be put off by the decidedly Eastern flavour: if the exploits of Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and The Fast Show ensemble rate highly on your list of favourite comedies, Goodness Gracious Me will seriously tickle your funny bone.

• Goodness Gracious Me airs every Thursday on Glow TV at 7.30pm.


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