poetry

Break Free

when you break free from your shackles

first you will walk,

then you will run

until you set flight

and then –

you will soar

where the stars reside.

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Theories

First Impressions – Should They Really Count?

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So today I want to discuss a famous expression and belief that many hold dear to their heart (or head) – first impressions.

I recently got into a huge debate with a friend about first impressions (although her sister called it arguing … Purely because I didn’t take her side 🙄). If there’s anything my friends know, it’s that I love debating … 99% of the time just for the sake of it. I’ll even debate my own arguments I’ve put forward and think about it at night and then think about it ALL night but it’s usually not so much a cohesive train of thought.

My friends opinion: first impressions are everything. You either get along with someone or you don’t and/or the first impression you get lasts. Now this debate originated from a recent date that she had which was arranged by two relatives of hers (modern arranged marriage process, guys). She’s more of a go-getter, corporate type and he is a shy teacher. (I was going to say introverted but being shy and introverted are not one and the same thing). Apparently he was a little overwhelmed by her bold and direct attitude from what she said about how the date went, although my other friend (incidentally her ex) said it was probably due to the fact that this wasn’t just a date for him, it was a potential marriage so therefore he was bricking it. Anyway, end result, she decided not to see him again because she felt they didn’t have a connection and his family was not as united as her family is and that that is her biggest priority in a marriage. Now the latter is fine, she’s very family oriented so she naturally would be looking for the same quality in a husband – even though, in an Asian culture, that attitude won’t always necessarily include the daughter-in-law as an actual member of the family and that anyone can create a false first impression of a big, happy family and once you get married, you realise that it was all an act (honestly, this does happen in some cases in Asian cultures, I’ve seen it happen to a former friends sister!). So ultimately it still goes back to not allowing first impressions to override actually getting to know the person better before deciding to pass any judgement on them. Unless they’re a sociopath, you’ll need some serious sort of Machiavelli detector shit to pick up on that or a therapist, I don’t know.

My other argument is that sometimes you might simply catch someone on a bad day and that doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person, it just makes them a human being. However, she said even if she was able to capture two first impressions – one on a good day and one on a bad day – the bad impression would override the good impression as its a preview of how the person will behave under stressful circumstances. For me, I believe that’s a more ‘it’s all relative’ counter-argument because there are way too many types of ways a person can react to a bad situation and different degrees to what constitutes ‘bad’ and only a narcissist would believe they’re exempt from bad behaviour. As long as the person is not raping, abusing, unjustifiably murdering someone (if it’s not absolutely necessary self-defence), even being a bystander to these actions or harming another person then it shouldn’t matter. However, the last behaviour listed can be considered quite shaky as I’m sure we’ve all harmed someone in some way, whether intentionally or not, at least at one point in our lives. A person can genuinely redeem them-self, feel remorse and change their behaviour but if we let that first impression count as our overall impression we probably won’t be able to stick around to see how they change that behaviour and overall become a better person (provided they didn’t commit either of the first series of crimes that is, excluding the latter).

An example of a first impression gone terribly wrong for me and a few others was during college when I first met this charming, bubbly and gorgeous girl. I think pretty much everyone was taken by her, men and women alike, and we all thought ‘aw, what a nice girl.’ And behold.. I’m sure you know what exactly went down. This is what Machiavelli informed us about – charming behaviour that is nothing but tricks and illusions, consolidating why charm is synonymous to bewitching. There’s a difference between being charming and genuinely nice – you say what you really mean as opposed to what you’re expected to say by society in order to please people. Anyway, she went and did some terribly questionable things that I simply can’t be arsed to go into. P.s my friend from the early paragraph was also friends with her too. This just goes to show how deceptive first impressions can be, it doesn’t take a lot to deceive people.

Anyway, overall (trying to make use of my English Literature and Language education) I don’t believe in wholly relying on first impressions. Yes sometimes we intuitively know just by looking at someone exactly what they’re thinking (well I don’t know about you but I certainly do 🤓, just kidding… Not at all) it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is this person overall. We’re human beings, we’re complex, we’re layered and we are not just a first impression. I want to draw a parting science analogy: when we perform a scientific experiment, sample size is important and why is that? Because it needs to be tested in different conditions, to test the strengths and weaknesses of the subject … And then we can create an average, overall opinion. I also think ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is also fitting even though the expression is based on physical appearances. You’ve just the read the cover, not the entire book. (Well that might take a while, at least sample a chapter or two).

Side note – why am I so sarcastic?

Anyways… Let me know your thoughts and opinions. 🎈✌🏽️

Life

Deliveroo Offered Me A £1 Refund For A £4.95 Item

Yesterday, my family and I went to visit my aunt at the hospital as she had given birth to a beautiful, teeny, tiny baby girl who smiled whenever I touched her cheek. As the kids were coming back to my other aunt’s house to stay over, I thought I’d order dessert for the family because what better way to celebrate, right? So, I placed an order on Deliveroo for some Creams dessert which cost £38. I ordered some apple pie with custard for myself as I hadn’t indulged in proper dessert in a long while. However, once the order was delivered, I discovered that my custard was missing!

Now, you must be thinking what is the big deal? It’s just custard. But the only way I was going to eat apple pie was with some freaking delicious custard. The only naked apple pie I will eat is McDonalds which is perfectly understandable because it’s reliably good. And principles are principles. When you make an order, both the restaurant and customer agree on the items to be delivered. It’s a basic contract.

Naturally, I called Creams and informed them that my custard was missing and that I would like it delivered. Their response went along the lines of: “This happens sometimes. Sometimes the driver misplaces the order. We cannot deliver you the custard because it doesn’t meet the £10 delivery fee.” They would barely let me talk and made it clear the conversation was over (I mean the call lasted a minute).

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What struck me as ridiculous was that this could not have been the case. The order was accepted at 6:45pm and arrived at 7.05pm. I don’t believe there were any other orders there to be misplaced. My relatives saw that the Deliveroo driver had only one bag (blue and red) and the only orders inside were our ones. Therefore, there were no orders to misplace. The restaurant failed to deliver the custard (prepare and/or place it in the bag) and blamed it on the poor Deliveroo driver. Therefore, Creams Restaurant LIED.

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Then, I called Deliveroo customer service; a phone call that lasted 39 MINUTES and I had to be put on hold for what seems like half that time. Their response?

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D: We’re so sorry. We can only offer you a refund of £1.

Me: No, you are not. I have explained to you what happened, the restaurant (Creams) is at fault. They didn’t deliver the custard, they blamed it on the driver when it was clearly their fault. Therefore, it is their responsibility and they should deliver the custard and waive any potential delivery fee. If you really are sorry, you would acknowledge their failure to meet the terms of the contract. You would deliver the order, and/or you would refund the item.

(After a long while of Deliveroo still insisting they can only refund £1 as I remained persistent. By the way, I am a long-time customer of Deliveroo and have been using their service since early days and I pressed that point. They didn’t care).

Me: But for the custard I would not have placed the order for the apple pie. When I made that order, there was an explicit intention specified by the menu itself that the apple pie would be served with custard and as Creams accepted the order, they therefore agreed to the terms of the contract. Therefore, this means I paid £4.95 on an item and you are refunding only £1.

(The supervisor, at this point, FINALLY checks the menu. He discovers that it explicitly states that the apple pie is served with hot custard.)

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And now, finally, the supervisor comes to the realisation, that YES, that a full refund of £4.95 should be issued. However, as you can see I am not satisfied. The custard should have been delivered. That was the dessert I ordered for myself. I paid £38, bought dessert for EIGHT people including me and they couldn’t deliver a simple custard. Are you serious? It is your (Creams) fault that you didn’t deliver the custard, the least you could do was deliver it when you were informed that it was missing. When I order from JustEat and they forget an item, do you know what they do? They apologise and then DELIVER the item. I mean, your service is called ‘Deliveroo,’ the very least you can do is deliver! Deliveroo: we do don’t do deliveries.

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Here’s a link to another drama that happened recently with Deliveroo: Deliveroo asks for disgruntled customer’s forgiveness instead of refunding ‘stone cold’ pizza

 

 

 

 

Rapid Book Reviews

Sons And Lovers – Rapid Book Review

Author: D. H. Lawrence

Genre: Autobiographical fiction

Pages: 423

Goodreads Rating: 3.6

My Rating: 2.5

The marriage of Gertrude and Walter Morel has become a battleground. Repelled by her uneducated and sometimes violent husband, delicate Gertrude devotes her life to her children, especially to her sons, William and Paul – determined they will not follow their father into working down the coal mines. But conflict is evitable when Paul seeks to escape his mother’s suffocating grasp through relationships with women his own age. Set in Lawrence’s native Nottinghamshire, Sons and Lovers is a highly autobiographical and compelling portrayal of childhood, adolescence and the clash of generations.”

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Sons And Lovers? A more apt title would have been Sons and Mothers and their Oedipus complex. I mean, at one point he “kissed her passionately.” BUCKET, PLEASE. I was originally going to do a long and full review but honestly, I have nothing but hate for the book. But at least hate is better than indifference. When I say hate, I mean that I have nothing but hate for Paul Morel (son) and Gertrude Morel (mother).

Poor Mrs loses her eldest and most favoured son and begins pinning all her hopes and dreams onto Paul instead in the hopes of living vicariously through him. You know, instead of letting Paul decide what he wants to do. Woman, this isn’t The Sims. Sister Annie/Anne count yourself lucky, you just escaped a life of mental and emotional torture! I feel for Paul nonetheless, his closeness with his mother(‘s c***blocking) damages his ability to form any healthy and stable relationship with any other woman. He seems to believe that love is inextricably linked with hatred. No, it isn’t. Moron. Clara sees sense eventually unlike Miriam. Oh, Miriam, come on. Do better. Do better than Paul Morel.

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The pacing is rather jumbled, at once slow and then suddenly rushing. The dialogue is pretty good but prevalent with beating around the bush as most of the characters cannot be honest about what they want… because they don’t know what they want. It’s a book of people not knowing what they want and when they do, which is rarely, they can’t seem to be honest about it. Or their hypocritical mother is there to sabotage it. *Sighs.* If I wanted this kind of drama then I would have watched every show on Star Plus.

Having said all thatttttt… I would still recommend it. It is better that a book evoke a feeling(s) than none at all and I do wish I had someone to rant with about both Gertrude and Paul’s unhealthy coping mechanisms.

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Feels great to have written a book review after ages. I’m still currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I’m quite enjoying it now that I’ve approached the twist that I did not see coming (after that slow start)! I’m balancing that alongside learning a new language but I won’t tell you as you never know when you might get a “Valyrian is my mother tongue” moment.

Related:

The Other Boleyn Girl Book Review

Into The Water and The Impossible Fortress Book Review

Rapid Book Review: Six of Crows, The Great Explorer, Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved, My Cousin Rachel

The Handmaid’s Tale Book Review

Rapid Book Reviews: Yes Please, Go Set A Watchman, My Name Is Lucy Barton, The Essex Serpent, The Girls, High Fidelity, I Capture The Castle, Luckiest Girl Alive, A Little Life, All The Bright Places

Howard’s End Book Review

My Top Female Characters In Literature

I didn’t do a yearly wrap-up so I, er, thought I’ve over-compensate now. And yep, I did a rapid book review challenge, that I created myself, of TEN BOOKS.


Connect with me:

Instagram: @sophismaax 

Goodreads: Sophia Ismaa

That’s all from me. Sopshki out.

 

 

 

Life

Experimental Workouts

Being the person that I am, I can never stick to just specific functional workouts as I always tend to branch out and experiment with my workouts. The one mode I stay consistent with is Pilates as it does wonders for the core, especially for my upper abs and for my lower abs… well, I’m sure it’ll get better when I stop junking on the junk (I have an unhealthy obsession with dessert) (no, seriously, last year I had dessert/chocolate almost every day, that includes mocha)!

But having said all that, as much as I love variety, I love scheduled variety even more. I’ve created my own schedule containing different types of workouts with the help of my favourite YouTube channels.

1) The first month focuses strictly on Pilates and I follow efit30 (YouTube channel). One of my favourites is dynamic Pilates and I believe the instructor is named… Katie? (You’d think I’d remember the name by now…) Her workouts work with longer reps focusing on core, glutes, legs and arms. However, I’m doing the workouts with a different instructor (Elizabeth Wilson) at the moment and she’s pretty amazing! They include exercises that are not only creative, different but super fun too! Efit30’s cardio workouts are also really good and the difficulty setting is quite normal, even for a beginner!

2A)My second month focuses on a variety of workouts from different channels/instructors. The first channel is FitnessBlender. This is, at the moment, the first workout of the week. Once I’m finished with FitnessBlender, I will move on to another of the YouTube channels I follow which will probably be after a couple of years considering the amount of workouts they have and I’m doing playlists based on years. What I like about FitnessBlender are the reps and a variety of workouts including Pilates, yoga, functional training and cardio. So take your pick of poison!

2B) The second workout of the week is Pilates following Jessica Valant Pilates. After I’ve completed her series, I’ll move on to a different channel that focuses on Pilates. Her workouts are not too intimidating and fairly doable. The next workout from JV is the prenatal workout (I’m not even pregnant) but I thought why not, it should be fun!

2C) The final workout of the week is from none other than Blogilates (Cassey Ho). Cassey focuses on Pilates, functional Pilates and cardio. I love her workouts mostly due to Cassey’s enthusiasm, chattiness and encouragement. Plus, you’ve got to admire her entrepreneurial spirit! Fair warning though, as no reps are included, man it can be a struggle because I’m no way up to Cassey’s level and flexibility. So, you basically do the sets until you feel exhaustion creeping up on the area you’re building on, which is what you want anyway.

2D) Finally, for this month, I include stretching before and after the workouts. I follow Blogilates stretching workouts. I especially love the good morning stretch as it really wakes up your body.

3) In my third month, I focus solely on glutes. Yes, a whole month on glutes alone. And again… I’m following Blogilates! She has a playlist focusing wholly on glutes and areas relevant to the glutes.

4) Now this is going to sound strange. Because it is. The final month… I… do… nothing. Yep, no workouts! I did tell you I like to experiment. This is so I can relax and see what my efforts have produced. However, because I do like to experiment, I was wondering if I should maybe just do yoga? And not difficult yoga where my legs and arms end up in places I didn’t know they could go but yoga that feels more like easy, simple stretching. If I do, then I’ll follow Efit30 once again. There is an instructor who has a short series of the most relaxing yoga workouts I’ve ever experienced. See below to see exactly how relaxing it is:

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And that’s it! This is how I schedule my workouts. The only almost constant factor is Pilates. I like to workout 3 days a week, repeating workouts when necessary. Personally, cardio is a lot easier to do than Pilates as Pilates requires more controlled movement and a high focus on form and quality. I can, also, happily say that after last weeks workout, after 3 days, I’m starting to be able to feel my legs, butts and abs once again. Yay.

Sophia Ismaa

Life

My Only New Year’s Resolution

I don’t usually participate in New Year’s resolutions. They’re usually unrealistic and abandoned within the first month. However, this year I am taking on one resolution courtesy of Philippa Gregory.

Last year, I read The Other Boleyn Girl and it reignited my love for historical fiction. I don’t remember much about the Tudor’s other than Henry the VII and his six wives. I had no idea that the wives themselves were so interesting, not just Anne Boleyn.

So, this year, I would love to read more Philippa Gregory books. This is realistic as I went on a book haul and bought as many of her books I could find. After I read Homer, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Habibi (the first graphic novel I plan on reading since my childhood days… well, I say that but it was more comics like Asterix and Obelisk and The Bean), I will begin my 2018 historical fiction journey. What I’m also looking forward to is the fact that all these books have a narrative steered by women, one of my favourite kind to read. Here are the books I bought:

I would also like to read Alison Weir’s biography on Queen Elizabeth I. I am absolutely enthralled by Good Queen Bess and I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Another resolution, relevant to this resolution, is to visit the Tower of London. As I live pretty nearby I therefore qualify for the £1 visit (yes, only a £1, eeeeeeek!). I hope I get to stop by at Paul for lunch, their tuna nicoise is by far one of my all-time favourite dishes. It’s not only healthy, the quality is amazing and the portion size of each ingredient is just right (there’s no excess anything) paired with French dressing.

If you know any amazing pieces of historical fiction, particularly on monarchs, then get recommending!

Wish you all a wonderful 2018!

Sophia Ismaa

quotes · Theories

To My Fellow Muslims & Human Beings: Sabr (Patience) Does Not Mean Putting Up With Abuse

“Dear teachers and scholars, please stop teaching women that patience (sabr) means putting up with abuse. Our Messenger (PBUH) said if we see something wrong, we should try to change it. Not be passive. And this is part of Iman (faith).”

-Yasmin Mogahed

How many of us Muslims have you seen being a bystander to the abuses we witness? How free are we? How free are we to act and prevent these injustices? While the courageous #metoo campaign is empowering the West to act, I don’t believe it has reached the East as I hoped it would have and that includes those of us who represent both East and West, us, British Muslims.

The question is: what is preventing them from acting? What is preventing them from going to the police? The answer is glaringly obvious to only us; the adage that frequently motivates our actions and inactions: “What will people say?”

So what is “What will people say?” It’s a fear that a certain action will cause a scandal. This includes informing people outside the family of what goes on indoors. But what if the people that you live with are monsters? Are you supposed to stay quiet forever and hold the peace? This is not peace. This is a crime and as not only a law-abiding citizen and member of society it is your duty to contribute and improve the life of yourself and others. You are bound to serve.

Fortunately, I am no longer bound to this irrelevant adage, it is an anchor that weights you deep under into the sea of irrationality.  It is not only a burden but inconsistent with our religion. It a cultural creation and not a religious principle and as Muslims, religion should trump culture.

There are many things that cultural Muslims (yes, that is what I am calling them) believe will occur should we speak up and defend ourselves and others. And they are right, they will occur. A) People will gossip about you. They are right, they will gossip. B) They will think badly of you. They will (but we will get on to that soon). C) If you are unmarried, potential suitors will no longer be interested in you because of this violation. Now let’s address these points. People will talk and I, for one, would be glad for that because at least people will be talking about these taboo subjects that are important subjects! If they talk badly, then they are speaking badly of a victim who has rights, a human right to live a life free of abuse. If potential suitors are no longer interested then you are better off. Do you really need someone who will not support you and encourage you to claim your rights? And finally, the most important point of all: what kind of people are they that they do not want anything to do with you because you dared to do the right thing? That you spoke up because in doing so you make the world a better place? What kind of people are they that they condemn you for wanting to make the world a better place? Which, also, by the by, is your religious duty too.

“What will people say?” is outdated and invalid. Unless your action will genuinely and unjustifiably hurt a person, then this question is null. I say unjustifiably because an action will justifiably have a negative effect on the perpetrator of the crime in the short-term. Not only will it prevent the perpetrator from re-offending, if the prison system is effective in any way, it would ideally rehabilitate him.

Above all, British Muslims who are bound to culture, before anything, do not forget that we are Muslims (and human beings). And as Muslims and decent beings we should do the right thing. I’ve seen elders in the Muslim community privately condemn abuse but refuse to press charges knowing full well that this will potentially lead to the perpetrator re-offending. In some instances, they do believe that they will not abuse again and there are some occasions when they will not but for the more serious crimes, when you don’t report it, you give the abusers the green light to do it again because condemnation doesn’t equate action, it equates a telling-off. What I would love to see is prominent Muslim scholars raising the topic of abuse, so this important information becomes more accessible. So far, I have only seen Yasmin Mogahed and Omar Suleiman speaking up on this topic and this needs to get better. Abuse starts at home and it won’t stop unless we act against it.

I’ve seen educated women with educated parents washing their hands off friends who have been victims of serious crimes because of “what will people say?” I’ve even seen people decry abuse on social media but refrain from acting in real life. There is no point in us campaigning against abuse if, in real life, we do nothing against it. Merely hating it in your heart is the weakest part of faith. We can change this. All we need to do is act. It will be difficult at first and then it’ll get better like all new things are. We can be the agents of change. We can leave the world a better place if we just try.

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

Events

The Big Detail I Missed When I Planned A Party

Earlier this year, I decided to organise an Eid party for my family. I love family gatherings, they are one of the things I really, truly live for. Our family is a rowdy, loud and opinionated bunch with absolutely zero filter. You can imagine why I love them. This is the stuff of dreams. For some, anyway.

Over the past few years, our families had become quite fragmented and visits were few. We all missed them and we all longed for them. So, I decided that I would take it upon myself to plan an Eid party.

I called up my cousins and aunts and uncles and told them to call up the other not-so-close-that-I-have-their-number relatives. I set the time at 3pm onwards. Realistically, since Eid is a holiday, we all tend to wake up late and take our time to get dressed. Except for the men and boys as they need to attend Eid prayer. I mean, we go all out with our make-up and clothes (especially if you’re wearing a sari) thus naturally it takes a lot longer. I decided to wear a red number, a long dress split from the waist with flared trousers that are the likes of which you haven’t seen since Kareena Kapoor in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum. (I love to wear something different or tailor/design it in a way that’s different to what others are wearing. No, I’m no narcissist, I just get bored of seeing the same things over and over again).

So, the time and my outfit were sorted as were the invitations. Now, here’s the problem. I let everyone know that the party would be taking place at my aunts’ house in Stratford as it would be easier for everyone to get there. The only person I didn’t tell is … my AUNT HERSELF (Oh, Sophski). For some reason, I already thought I had asked her or simply assumed she had known. And then, my mum and my cousin alerted me to the fact that I hadn’t asked her at all. But the worst part? I realised this big detail a day or two before Eid. Yeesh. So, I called up my poor aunt and, guiltily, told her what I had done and finally asked. Now, I have to count myself very lucky that my aunt loves parties too, so she was more than happy to have the party at her house. But now, she had the unfortunate task of preparing a dozen dishes because we have a very large family. In fact, one of my uncles has sixteen children – he didn’t come, thank God. But she somehow managed to pull off this impossible feat (the beef/chicken pilaf rice and salad were amazing).

The day arrived, and the day was spectacular. The food was great, my family were great, and the conversations and debates were great. At one point, my aunts were so impressed with the car my brother had hired that they decided to pose for the camera in front of the car itself like the undercover gangsters that they are (pose ad for a beamer). My brother allowed my cousin and I to take a ride in his car and boy, did I regret it because my brother drove that car like he stole it… I flew from the end of my seat to the entire other end, my head very luckily hitting my cousins lap instead. I had to hold on to the back of the seat for support, if Ross was in my place he would have multiple panic attacks.

So, even though I forgot to inform my aunt until the day before that the party was taking place at her house and ask her permission, it was a huge success! Everyone had fun and I had effectively reunited many family members who hadn’t seen each other for Eid in a long while. I look forward to organising more family gatherings in the future!

Let me know about any party fiascos you’ve dealt with in the comments section. It feels so great to be blogging again after the busy week and a half I have had where that last half was spent being miserable with the flu. I had a pretty fun-packed week before that and I should hopefully write a blog on it soon.


Connect with me on:

 * Goodreads *

Sophia Ismaa

 

TV

My All-Time Favourite Comedy Shows

You know something that never gets old? Comedy. And memes (never forget that we live in the age of memes). Anyway, I thought I’d do something different today. Whenever I want to relax, to truly relax, I put on the telly and watch endless comedy shows. What’s the point of all that work if you don’t get to laugh at the end of the day? So, if you’re looking for a new series to watch or simply reminisce the good old classics, sit down and let’s countdown to my favourite comedy shows of all time!

Friends

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IMDB description:

‘Follows the personal and professional lives of six 20 to 30-something-year-old friends living in Manhattan.’

Oh my, what a shocker (!). Well… of course this was going to be on the list. Friends throughout its ten seasons has been consistently funny. The USP is its lovable cast of characters and their genuine friendship. I can tune into Comedy Central and whichever episode is showing, there will be undeniable laughter on my end, it is reliable funny. For those of us who watch it and love it, believe we all share a history and bond with the show. Maybe you’re a fan of Chandler’s witty sarcasm, Monica’s people-pleasing, strength and neuroticism, Rachel’s charming, bold and positive nature, Phoebe’s endless quirks, Joey’s, uh, naivety and good-naturedness or Ross’s… let’s call it strangeness e.g. PIVOT!  There’s something in it for most.

My favourite character is Phoebe whom Mike perfectly describes as “wonderfully weird.” Sadly, I don’t think I fully relate to any of the characters on the show, perhaps I’m a mix of Chandler and Phoebe but Monica when I play Monopoly (I’m not competitive… I’m passionate). My favourite episode is ‘The One With The Unagi’ and any other episode where Phoebe is dancing (I mean it is a treat for the eyes, you better believe).

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And for the record… they were on a break. But Ross should not have slept with the copy girl.

How I Met Your Mother

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IMDB description:

‘A father recounts to his children, through a series of flashbacks, the journey he and his four best friends took leading up to him meeting their mother.’

Right, I love How I Met Your Mother and I’m honest enough to admit that it isn’t always the funniest. Regardless, it is my all-time favourite show. Do you know why? Because it has Ted Mosby. And darn Ted Mosby for instilling unrealistic expectations in love for me because there aren’t a lot of Teds’ out there. For me, this show is ruthlessly honest and doesn’t cater to the audience’s expectations of what should happen, instead it shows what really happens through all nine seasons. But if you want comedy, Barney’s enactment of his outrageous playbook will serve laughter.

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(I mean this is sorta genius).

Although, I think Robin’s the funniest simply because she shares the same sense of humour as me. Hello first relatable female character in a comedy show! I love Lily too and she’s the kind of friend every girl should have in her life.

Am I team ‘blue French horn’ or ‘yellow umbrella?’ Well, I’m both. Robin accurately states that “if you have chemistry, then you only need one other thing: timing.” And I believe that timing worked out well for them because they all got what they wanted in life because they were honest about what they wanted.

My favourite episodes: ‘Last Forever Part 2,’ ‘Platonish,’ ‘The Final Page’ and ‘Symphony of Illumination.’

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And here are some helpful tips in life Ted has for us:

Thanks to How I Met Your Mother for teaching me so much over the years.

Modern Family

modern family

IMDB description:

“Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.”

Okay, this isn’t my faaaaaaaavourite show but I still like it a lot, thanks to Gloria, Jay and little Jay! What I love about this show is due to the enormity of the cast of characters, you get a lot of variety in the characters and situations. I wish it would slow down a little in some parts because it can be rushed at times. What I live for in this show is Jay’s grumpiness and straight-to-the-point manner and Gloria’s desi aunty-ness. Little Jay is shaping up to be hilarious. Manny’s been enlightened since he was born, I’m guessing. My favourite moments on the show:

gloria
Where is this world Gloria lives in and how do I get in?
jay understand
Me too, Jay. Me. Too.

And don’t forget… it brought us this little nugget:

dreamers and realists

The show is on its ninth season now and that makes sense, the core idea breeds longevity.

2 Broke Girls

2 broke girls

IMDB description: Two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash.

Oh, I can’t believe this show is over. Honestly, in terms of female friendships on TV, this was one of the best. The humour is pretty vulgar, and I LOVE THAT. If you want some adult humour then this show is for you. Max is a stone-cold realist who comes ready with witty and biting remarks and Caroline is the idea-generating optimist which makes for a perfect recipe for a business partnership. Another thing I love about the show is that the cast is diverse, fully diverse.

max black twomax black

Impractical Jokers

impractical jokers

IMDB description: Q, Sal, Joe and Murr are real-life best friends who love challenging each other to the most outrageous dares and stunts ever caught on hidden camera.

Okay, so I remember seeing around way over 75 episodes recorded on our Sky box and I thought my siblings were complete losers. I decided to see what the fuss is about, watched one episode and got OBSESSED. And I mean crazy obsessed because I then proceeded to watch every single episode from the first season to the last. This is one of the few shows, no wait ONLY show, that actually has me laughing to the point of tears, absolute incoherence and slapping my thighs at almost every episode. P.s my favourite episode has to be from the latest season where they go to Hawaii.

I’d say the funniest joker is Sal, simply because you can see how devastated he is at having to break social conventions by saying and doing outrageous things. You can literally see the torture plastered on his face. I’m not going to lie, I have the biggest crush on Q, or shall I call him Qtie-pie (Sophia, stop). Murray has no limits and will do the dares barely flinching. And Joe is crazy, I mean have you seen his eyes? Those are serial killer eyes. I hear he’s a nice guy, though.

Another favourite moment I have to add is Murray’s Presentation!

The Inbetweeners

the inbetweeners

IMDB description: Follows four friends and their antics during their final years of school.

Oh my God, is that a non-American show? Yes! If one British show is going to make it into this list, it’s this legend of a show. If you’re unfamiliar with this show, think British Howard (Jay) Raj (Neil), Sheldon (Will), Leonard (Simon) without the science and they’re students and there’s zero filter. Their student status is the show’s weakness meaning it only contains three seasons (major thumbs down for that) but it does have two films out. I think Neil is by far my favourite character, dude is so spaced out and happy and naïve.

New Girl

new girl

IMDB description: After a bad break-up, Jess, an offbeat young woman, moves into an apartment loft with three single men. Although they find her behavior very unusual, the men support her – most of the time.

Ohhhh to think I hated this show when it first started because I absolutely could not stand Jess. I’m kind of okay with her now. No, actually, not really. She has a habit of making everything about her. Now, I’m dreading the fact that there’s only one season remaining with a time jump by four years. I, especially, cannot wait to see what Nick is doing. I find him So. Damn. Relatable. One thing I did not like is that they waited so long to utilise Winston who’s my favourite character and now, we only have one more season of Winnie – the Mother of Cats, slow puzzler but loves puzzles anyway – Bish, I will miss this show so much. Favourite episodes: ‘Girl Fight,’ ‘Background Check,’ ‘Clean Break,’ and ‘All In.’

winston color blindwinston jesuswinston schmidt

The Office

the office

IMDB description: A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

I recently started watching the show (can’t believe it took me so long!). I’m only on season 3 but I am loving it so far. I want to hate Michael because dude is so unbelievably politically incorrect but I just can’t for some reason. Michael Scott is delightfully bonkers and no way would the show be what it is without him. Dwight, on the hand, that square can do one unless he’s joining in on Michael’s antics. Angela reminds me of my 8-year-old cousin, I even have a picture of my cousin not enjoying parties and looking miserable when our other cousin was blowing the candles out. Angela speaks to her soul (or will when she watches the show when she’s grown up). I absolutely love Jim and Pam (I’m not loving Karen simply because of Pam even though she’s perfectly lovely) and I hope to see more of Stanley because he may actually be one of the funniest on the show.

Favourite episodes: ‘Booze Cruise’ and ‘Diwali.’

michael dementorsmichael sentencestanley

The Big Bang Theory

the big bang theory

IMDB description: A woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but socially awkward physicists shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory.

I don’t really need to explain this show much, you’ve probably watched it or heard of it. I agree with most that the show is not what it used to be. I know some hate the introduction of Bernadette and Amy and peg them as the reasons for the show’s decline. I’m not crazy about Bernadette but I absolutely love Amy and I loved it when Amy and Sheldon performed social experiments, those were one of my most favourite parts. Also, Amy is one hell of a woman. Almost everyone loves Sheldon but I’ve been a Howard fan from the start. It’s a shame the show’s kind of neutered him since he actually had the best sense of humour. I’d say Penny has the best sense of humour now, she’s gotten a lot more sarcastic and together with Leonard they have the better lines in recent seasons.

My favourite episode is ‘The Romance Resonance’ (Howard writes and performs a song for Bernadette and it was a real tear-jerker), ‘The Opening Night Excitation’ and ‘The Rothman Disintegration’ (Sheldon and Kripke play basketball!).


And that concludes the list. Who knows, in a few years I might have some more shows to add to the list. I think this may just have been one of my top two longest posts. Let me know what your favourite shows are in the comments section!

-Sophia Ismaa.

You can find me on instagram: @sophismaax