Updated: September 11, 2021 9:51:28 am
The forever-distressed Pragyas and Preetas, and emotionally overworked Anupamaas may rule the roost on Indian television, but thanks to digital platforms, there’s also a dose of some relatable, fresh, and well-done family dramas. We still remember the old-school charm of Yeh Meri Family (TVF). We love the classic parents vs children divide in Dice Media’s What The Folks and we adore the heartwarming bickering of the Mishras in Gullak (SonyLIV). And, now SonyLIV has given another family drama-comedy, Potluck, which deals with dynamics of a modern family without getting bogged down by tropes or sidelined by melodrama.
In Potluck, director Rajshree Ojha presents a take on changing dynamics of an Indian family during the time of crisis. After a few hiccups in the initial episodes, the 8-episode series has you invested in the journey of the Shastri family despite its somewhat predictable arc.
There’s the patriarch Govind Shastri (Jatin Sial) who believes ‘a family that eats together, stays together’. His dad jokes, obsession with technology, and crazy ideas about renovating while sitting in one place remind you of your father. The first ‘victim’ of his ‘craziness’ is his wife Pramila Shastri (Kitu Gidwani) who is sandwiched between him and their three children, played by Cyrus Sahukar, Harman Singha and Shikha Talsania. Ira Dubey and Saloni Khanna play the bahus who are a far cry from scheming or exploited daughters-in-law of Ekta Kapoor’s ‘K’ series. They are strongly opinionated, working women, who hate coming together for family potlucks every weekend, but hold nothing against their in-laws.
This family drama is far from any old-school Balaji soap opera. The characters look, feel and talk like they actually belong to a family, thus coming out as relatable. It celebrates the ordinary rhythms of family life, the joys of loving and being frustrated by your parents.
Writers Ashwin Lakshmi Narayan, Bharat Misra, and Gaurav Lulla have presented an engaging and relatable show that keep you invested even without a cliffhanger ending to episodes. When Mrs. Shastri overhears her children taking a dig at her overbearing nature, she starts behaving all lovey-dovey to prove them wrong, and you can’t help but smile. What works for Potluck perhaps is that we respond best to dramas when they tell tales rooted in our specific experiences.
However, the only time Potluck loses its footing is when the scenes are stretched: like when the Shastri children reveal the origin of their family potlucks. Also, it would have been better to have some depth to the characters instead of only getting to know when they come together for the potluck.
Mostly all the performances are up to the mark. Jatin Sial and Kitu Gidwani fit right into the role of parents. Cyrus Sahukar and Ira Dubey exude the same chemistry as they did in their 2010 film Aisha. Harman Singha and Saloni Khanna make for a good on-screen couple. Shikha Talsania puts her experience in films to good use and inhabits her character quite naturally.
Verdict: After getting tired of all the political, criminal, detective thrillers, Potluck, with its eight short episodes, is easy enough to breeze through. It is a perfect watch during your family time on the weekend.
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