Remember when you would wait a whole week for one carefully crafted 30-minute episode of your favorite Indian drama? That was the ’90s. The perfect ’90s. The ’90s of common sense and limited resources. The ’90s of imperfect relationships and perfect memories. Sometime back after the outrage of Pehredaar Piya Ki, I had written about an attempt at retracing our steps to wholesome Indian Television content. It is apparent that there is only one way to get great Indian television content back on track – the online media. This week, I bumped into the perfect answer to my wishes – an absolutely rib-cracking, soulful nostalgia trip to my favorite ’90s, now available on Netflix – Yeh Meri Family! This is our Yeh Meri Family Review for you.
About the Series
This TVF gem, a comic representation of a ’90s middle-class family in Jaipur, found its way to the Netflix family recently. It is directed by Sameer Saxena, best known for his other super successful series, Permanent Roommates. Akarsh Khurana, known for his directorial ventures, Karwaan, and High Jack, plays a very relatable father to three children and husband to an anxious wife, played by Mona Singh. The first season takes us through the highs and lows of the summer vacation of the naughty middle-child of the family, Harshal, played by the adorable Vishesh Bansal. The boy, at the threshold of teenage, deals with life’s shenanigans, as puberty, sibling rivalry, embarrassing parental moments and other such life-shattering issues plague his happiness. Vishesh breaks the fourth wall by relaying
Unlike what most Indian television programs would have you believe, a story doesn’t need to shock you to be beautiful. We don’t need dark magic and poison-wielding aunties to keep a story moving. Yeh Meri Family is a fine example of brilliant story-telling where the narrative keeps moving even in the relatively uneventful household. It is the simplicity of the story that is the hook, the relatability that makes each mini-event so poignant. Of course, the writer, Saurabh Khanna, uses nostalgia well, inundating pop culture references to teleport us to our favorite bygone era.
The children steal the show in Yeh Meri Family. Vishesh is outstanding, of course. Elder brother Dabbu (Ahan Nirbaan), love interest Vidhya (Revathi Pillai) are equally convincing in their roles. Akarsh Khurana, the self-declared reluctant actor is an absolute treat to watch, fitting into the role of the clueless father without much effort. But my favorite remains Harshal’s eccentric, wiser-than-his-years best friend, Shanky (Prasad Reddy) who mouths dialogues of conscience and provocation with equal ease.
Where Relationships Shine
The relationships are the ‘hero’ in Yeh Meri family, as was the norm in the dramas of the ’90s. No, they are not adarsh people – there is no perfect parent, child, sibling or friend in this drama. They are all real people who judge, ridicule, envy, cheat, provoke and even manipulate those they love the most. But, the ups and downs in these relationships are so subtle that the only thing that lingers in your mind once the series is over, is their love for each other. You remember how Harshal took the fall for his brother’s pornographic magazines, how his sister Chitthi forced a reunion of the quarreling parents, how Harshal’s best friend reminded him of his mother’s role in his life –
Tujhe lagta hai ki Manja patang ko neeche kheech raha hai, .. Manja toh sirf support provide kar raha hai”.
So, yes, this series is all about the family. But, not in a Joharesque way. It is about the family you and I were brought up in. About the network of love and support that made life’s difficult problems seem easier to live with.
Tune in to Yeh Meri Family on TVFPlay or Netflix today!
Our Rating: 5/5
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