Most memorable television moments in 2019 that got us talking

‘Russian Doll’ was billed as a comedy-drama. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 December 2019

Most memorable television moments in 2019 that got us talking

  • From Mind Flayer to Night-King slayer, 2019’s most memorable TV moments (Spoilers ahead)

‘Game of Thrones’

Let’s begin with an ending. The ending. “Game of Thrones” was the biggest TV show of the decade, and even though it may not have gone out with the bang everyone was hoping for (largely due to the fact that the two preceding seasons had dragged out certain plotlines for far too long, leaving way too much to cram into this final season), there were still some stellar scenes.  Foremost among them was Arya’s last-gasp leap out of the Winterfell night sky to bring down the Night King and shatter (literally) his undead army. Even the most cynical viewer must have let out a cheer. 

‘Watchmen’

Set in the alternate history laid out in the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore (but years on from the events of the source material, and with different characters), Damon Lindelof’s show was complex, layered, sometimes confusing, but ultimately rewarding. Like Lindelof’s first hit, “Lost,” viewers were often required to bend their minds around some pretty major leaps of logic to follow this tale of masked police officers tackling masked vigilantes who are treated as outlaws. Along the way, the provocative, visually dazzling show also made some intense observations about race relations.

‘Chernobyl’

Aside from being a brilliant and revelatory ‘true-story’ miniseries, this often-gruesome, always-gripping retelling of the April 1986 meltdown of a nuclear reactor in Pripyat, Ukraine was also an incredibly timely reminder (in the UK and US particularly) of the lengths that individuals and institutions will go to, and the lies they will tell, to hold on to power. The inhumanity of those in charge was strikingly juxtaposed against the humanity and courage of those most at physical risk.

‘Succession’

Jesse Armstrong’s dark comedy-drama will top many people’s list of 2019’s best shows — and deservedly so. Its second season continued to develop the sharp-tongued in-fighting of the contemptible-but-enthralling Roy family as Connor, Kendall, Siobhan and Roman all fought for prominence in ailing patriarch Logan’s media conglomerate. At its best, “Succession” is like “Dynasty” meets “Arrested Development” meets Shakespeare. 

‘Jinn’

Bear with us here. We’re not suggesting “Jinn” was a great TV show. It demonstrably wasn’t. But Netflix’s first Arabic original series was the year’s most-discussed show produced in the Arab world, by some distance — nothing else came close. Granted, the vast majority of that discussion centered around the negative feedback created by how upset some people got about seeing teenagers acting like, well, teenagers. But negative publicity is still publicity. And once the dust has settled, this story of a group of high-school kids who encounter a malicious spirit on a school trip to Petra might just prove to be a milestone in the development of TV shows that actually address the youth of the Arab world. 

‘When They See Us’

Ava DuVernay’s exceptional four-part miniseries — based on the true story of the unimaginably unfair prosecution and eventual exoneration of five teenage African-American boys convicted of the rape and assault of a white woman in New York’s Central Park in 1989 was a magnificent dissection of institutionalized racism that remains relevant today — and not just in the US. Beautifully shot, with powerful performances from its ensemble cast (including the villains of the piece), this was harrowing, heartbreaking, and important storytelling.

‘Stranger Things’

The third season of the Duffer Brothers’ Eighties-nostalgia-fest sci-fi horror was broad, funny and freaky in equal measure. It’s gone well beyond a cult smash now, and the showrunners seem to have realized that — staging some breathtaking set-piece showdowns not just between the Mind Flayer and Eleven, but between Russian agents and Sherriff Hopper. The whole season nailed the fine balance between the geeky cuteness of the show’s first outing and the darker, more dangerous vibe of the second.

‘Russian Doll’

Natasha Lyonne’s show might have been the year’s most left-field small-screen success. It was billed as a comedy-drama, and it’s hard to remember a show that has balanced the two quite so well. Lyonne plays Nadia — a cynical and not-that-easy-to-like videogame designer — stuck in a time loop in which she repeatedly dies. She respawns in the same spot, on the same night (her birthday party) every time, and sets about trying to resolve the loop. 


Georges Chakra politicizes couture in an ode to Lebanon

Georges Chakra continuously unveils his aesthetic concepts through his couture shows during fashion weeks. (Supplied)
Updated 21 January 2020

Georges Chakra politicizes couture in an ode to Lebanon

  • The 47-piece offering was an extravagant ode to the Beirut-born designer’s home country of Lebanon, where nation-wide protests have been ongoing for the past couple of months

PARIS: Lebanese Georges Chakra presented his Spring 2020 couture collection at Paris’ Petit Palace on Monday. The 47-piece offering was an extravagant ode to the Beirut-born designer’s home country of Lebanon, where nation-wide protests have been ongoing for the past couple of months.

Lebanese Georges Chakra presented his Spring 2020 couture collection at Paris’ Petit Palace. (Supplied)

Placed on each of the guest’s seats along with the show notes was a synthetic white rose accompanied by a note that read “un rose pour la liberte,” which translates to “one rose for freedom.”

Placed on each of the guest’s seats along with the show notes was a synthetic white rose which read “one rose for freedom.” (Supplied)

The message? Fashion is an act of resistance. Chakra wanted to create the real-life looks that reflected the sophisticated and rebellious nature of Lebanese women. These included a show-stopping lineup of striking eveningwear in a burst of white, hot pink and blue color palettes.

Chakra’s brand signature combines elaborate and intricate back details coupled with modern and bold fabrics. (Supplied)

The glimmer-creating Japanese app Kirakira, which turns anything sparkly into a disco ball–like reflection of shine and shimmer, was the preferred medium for capturing Chakra’s runway today — and rightly so. There were plenty of crystal and sequin embellished pieces on the runway that will surely hit the red carpet soon. 

There were plenty of crystal and sequin embellished pieces on the runway that will surely hit the red carpet soon. (Supplied)

Standout looks included a pink, strapless satin duchesse dress that was short at the front and long at the back and boasted a violet floral print, an asymmetrical gown that featured dashes of sequins in varying hues of green, an icy blue sheath dress with an organza train and a hand-painted blue-grey gazar dress with a fan shaped neckline.

Chakra wanted to create the real-life looks that reflected the sophisticated and rebellious nature of Lebanese women. (Supplied)

You can picture his longtime client US actress Janina Gavankar looking devastating on the red carpet wearing the bright pink slit dress with a criss-cross neckline and long train. Or his new client, actress Nina Kiri, who wore one of his creations to the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 20, in the strapless, aquamarine satin dress with a high slit.

Chakra began his work in a war-clad Beirut, after he graduated from Canada. (Supplied)

As is customary, the last look was the bridal look. The off-the-shoulder wedding dress was accessorized with a glittering emerald and diamond necklace made by Lebanese jeweler Fawaz Gruosi. In addition to the striking sartorial lineup, the necklace will also be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to Beirut’s Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon and scholarships at the Ecole Saint Vincent de Paul.