Seinfeld, Friends, How I Met Your Mother… hugely successful series, albeit western, which have become our regular fodder during our travel to work, lunch breaks or a constant companion during our weekend slothfulness. Basic premises being similar, these series have a cult following due to their connect with the younger audience over the years and have transcended generations with their lucid writing and relatable characters.
TVF Inmates is an attempt at making an Indian version of the superhit buddies living together formula and I apologize in advance for bringing up Seinfeld and Friends into the review, as any comparison with such cult classics is preposterous after going through the first two episode of Inmates. Inmates is an idea which got lost during execution. A delicious set up, totally undercooked by the writers. A premise seemingly infallible, let down by gimmicks and dissociating sequences which do not do much other than just fill up the minutes.
TVF has been India’s most trusted web content developer with highly rated shows like Permanent Roommates Season 1 & 2, Pitchers, Tripling. These series have received widespread acclaim and a following of mostly young, internet savvy audience. The connect was evident with each series, as each tackled issues concerning the youth and sprinkled humor into it making it easy on the eyes. Sumeet Vyas, Aakanksha Thakur (who plays Richa in Inmates), Nidhi Singh have become stars in the internet domain. We have also seen the growth of the content team from a bunch of IIT pass outs with a penchant for writing and acting to a funded start up with brands clamoring for associations. Inmates is presented by Spraymint and the brand placement is on your face, yet not distracting. But that may also be because, throughout the run time of the first two episodes, you keep thinking about the could have beens. Five young 20 somethings with individual struggles and issues are a great set up for something absolutely riveting with binge value. As a viewer and reviewer I was left wondering what must have been the driving force behind selection of storyline, like the story of a missing cockroach which forms episode 2. An entire episode dedicated to a cockroach! While we still don’t know much about Fooga’s (Brilliant Kashyap Kapoor) long lost father, which had more promise as a plot. His introduction shot was intriguing as he was shown investigating the mysterious disappearance of his father. This plot was left at that. Same is the case with Madhav (Ashish Verma) who struggles for companionship but other than smiling at his antics we don’t connect with his misfortunes.
Only three more episodes are left for the series to be done for season 1. I still hope the brilliant writers at TVF can salvage the show. But for that, they have to make us care for the characters first, instead of putting them in situations or showing them crib about who sleeps in which room. The one thing which gives me hope though, is the casting. Kashyap is the writer as well as the character Fooga and he is shown to be laid back initially, but emotionally disintegrates, once his cockroach goes missing. Madhav seems like the Ted Mosby (from How I Met Your Mother) kind but sleazy and cliched. We rooted for Ted as he was a genuinely nice guy trying to find love in the city but failing every time due to some or the other issues. Here, Madhav is just a caricature who stalks and makes cheap comments to win over Fooga’s half-sister Kay (Mukti Mohan). On one hand, the shows tries to show progressiveness by showing a lesbian scene and a gay encounter, while on the other, it makes Madhav jump in front of Kay looking like a desperate creep.
Episode 3 comes out on 27th October on the TVF Play app. Do let us know your thoughts on this series.
Gobblpoint—we just hope the first two episodes were just a warm up for something brilliant coming our way