I was a Vocal Critic of Indian TV Series
In all possibility, I never imagined I would be writing a review of an Indian TV series. To start with, I am not really a fan of Indian entertainment industry for its over use of stereotypes, illogical dramas and the story lines that seem to be headed no where. No offence to the Industry, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I guess the only series I watched was Scam 1992, and that too was since it was related to Stock Market.
But the fact that trailers of “Family Man 2” was making so much of noise in the social media, be it for its perceived racial prejudice or for other reasons, intrigued me. I had not seen the season 1, so had to start there to play catch up before the Season 2 came out.
Couple of episodes, and man, I was hooked. Again, with the Title like “Family Man” I knew I had to sit through some family dramas to get to the gripping “Espionage” Storyline, the reviews had promised. But surprisingly, what got me pressing Play on the next episode, was the timely comedy between JK and Shri. The Chemistry between those too, the Comedic timing, dialogue delivery, is upto the mark with some of the best sitcoms in the industry. The Production values too are Very impressive.
The Writers are sensible enough, to not diverge off in one direction and play the mix & match card with different frontiers of the story line. Atleast for me, this is something which was missing in Indian TV Series. Overall Suspense factor was quite good, although there were occasions where the plot line was quite predictable (or may be I have just gotten used to watching so many Jack Rayns 😉 )
A big salute to the casting team, all the actors are well suited for the roles. New faces, One timers, washed up former stars, or the one guy who always plays supporting characters, all falls into place perfectly. I liked the dialogue delivery of Srikant Thiwari, well I guess no one can use Indian sware words that efficiently.
So, after the fast paced 10 episodes and a cliff hanger (I wont spoil it for those who haven’t watched Season 1), I was now ready for Season 2.
I had lost all my inhibitions with season 1, and was really looking forward for season 2.
For a moment when I played the Episode 1, I presumed Amazon has again messed my default language and switched it to Tamil. Only after a few minutes I understood the brilliance of the producers to let the story give a hint of authenticity to the characters. I was egarly waiting for the recap/recall on what happened in the end of season 1, but they kept it on hold till mid of the episode. But no complaints! Its not as if they forgot it completely (like the “what the hell happened in Lonwalla” storyline)
Again, the chemistry between the actors are quite great. The weird boss, who was trying to emulate McConaughey of “Wolf of Wall-Street”, The physco -therapist, The growing bond between JK and Shri, and JK many more expedition for getting out of single life, the typical Indian story of a dysfunctional family. Yet again the perfect Dialogue delivery of Srikanth, fast paced story line and amazing production values (just that one continuously shot scene at beginning is enough to make a point). And to address the elephant in the room. Samatha!! A famous South Indian actor trying her luck in Bollywood, that’s not new. But her transformation to act in such a demanding(may be a little controversial? I will come to it later) and delivering a powerful performance, now that’s something refreshing.
Coming to the plot line, it was really brave of the team to tackle such a taboo subject. But I guess they have done a fairly good job. As the line goes “All South Indians are not Madrasis” the clever dialogues tries to show the diversity of India. Usually In Bollywood movies, they tend to label people based on the ethnicity. Gujrathi has to be a businessmen, Bengalurian has to be a techie, Bengali has to be a Babu and so on and so forth. I feel the show tried to break those line. It was funny enough, for those who understood the reference, with the moves of the PM. As per my disclaimer, I am not gonna touch the topics of a strained marriage, teenage kids, corporate jobs, etc, which too is played well into the storyline.
The most impactful aspect in season 2 is how they try to highlight the fact that in todays world, how good and bad is not as clear as black and white (no, its not a mistake, I switched the colors deliberately). We live in a grey world, where a hero or a villain is all based on which side of the line you are standing.
And there is also a hint of Season 3!!
PS: Any ideas for Similar Shows?