Yeh Meri Family – Summer of ’98

Binge watch alert!

If you are a 80s kid like me and have a fetish for engaging storytelling this is it. This is IT!

A TV series released just about a month and a half ago with only seven episodes out so far this one won my heart. Every minute of the 30-ish minute episode is a treat and one that I would watch over and over again.

This is the story of a middle class family in Jaipur (my other hometown!) with a father, mother, two sons and a daughter. The story is narrated through the middle child  Harshu’s voice and the beauty of the art is that he breaks through the fourth wall by directly talking to the viewer as he narrates the happenings in his family life. Harshu is the rebel in the family, sandwiched between a studious and obedient elder brother and a little, playful baby sister. His father is a loving family man who is an investment broker with a bank and his mother is the ever-doting torn into a million directions housewife always looking out for her family. Harshu also has a wiser-than-his-age friend, Shanky, who is Harshu’s advisor for every life situation.

Each episode is a marvel of little emotional chunks of entertainment. Through the eyes of a 12-year-old you’ll see what he thinks about each of this family members, the love-hate relationship he has with them and what his hopes and desires are. At the end of each episode he comes to the realization that his family is what makes him tick.

This family is just so endearing that I feel like jumping through the TV and giving them a big group hug.

Hats of to Saurabh Khanna and Sameer Saxena for catching minute details of the 1998 setting, beautifully penning it down and then flawlessly bringing it to life on screen. From picking boy names in a cricket roster representative of late 90s fashion names to making the overweight father sit in two plastic lawn chairs, to the prints of the mother’s saris, to every single detail in the late 90’s Indian household – this is a masterpiece frozen in time!

For those of you with a penchant for personal finance you will love hearing the father’s analogies for mutual fund investing smartly woven into his everyday conversations. Love this educational angle by the writer.

In a day and age where TV serials are full of saas bahu politics, vengeance, snake ladies and black magic this is the best thing that happened to Indian television since Dekh Bhai Dekh and Hum Paanch. (10/10)

YMF

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Kapoor & Sons

First of all, how is it legal to have so many hot actors in one movie? Rajat Kapoor, Fawad-drool-Khan, Sidharth Malhotra…abh bas bhi  karo! Not only is this movie an assembly of some of the best looking actors in Bollywood they also represent some of the best acting talent in B-town. Add the cherry on top, Ratna Pathak, and you got your delicious Sundae (Sunday) funday. Some sprinkles to finish it off in the shape of Rishi Kapoor and Alia Bhatt and you are on your way to guilt-free movie snacking. Kudos to whoever did the casting!

Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak portray a couple that will make you question how long they practiced being married off-screen. If you can get past Fawad & Sidharth’s out-of-the-big-screen radiating hotness you’ll think they were actually meant to be brothers…so much love-hate-care. A tharki yet endearing dadu Rishi and an Alia, who tried too hard to show a cleavage she doesn’t have, make you laugh from the belly.

An absolutely honest portrayal of the inner workings of a family along so many dimensions. It takes skill to seamlessly showcase so many different angles of relationships in a movie that’s just a little over two hours. Yet it doesn’t leave you bereft of comedy, romance, thrill , tragedy and great songs that don’t seem to be intrusive.

If the mountains of Coonoor give birth to such gorgeousness (minus Boobly) it’s time to visit. 🙂 (10/10)

KS