It’s almost 2021, and we are still hearing dialogues like “shaadi ki thi, mazaa nahin aaya,” and these are not just stray dialogues, but are written in a way to be the punch lines for laugh-out-loud jokes. The sitcom, or rather the attempted sitcom in question is Sandwiched Forever, which is currently streaming on SonyLIV. The show is confused, and we are sure so are the makers — given that at times it oscillates between being a social comedy, involving parents and urban life, then there are the political wisecracks, and not to forget, the sexual puns and innuendos. When does this end? Only after 15 episodes that are 30 minutes long. And in this unbearably long duration, the canned laughter, which plays in every minute, might just train you in a Pavlovian way to slap yourself out of the coma that you might slip into while watching this cringefest, disguised as a comedy.
Sandwiched Forever is about a young urban couple Naina and Sameer, who end up living in an apartment on the same floor as their respective parents. On one side is the strict father of the bride (Atul Kulkarni), and a aura-reading mother (Lubna Salim). The father of the bride obviously doesn’t approve of the groom, played by Aditya Roy Kapoor. On the other side are the groom’s parents, supposedly simple small-town folks, the Shastris from Kanpur, and in between are the ‘Sandwiched couple’ Sameer and Naina. Sameer is a game designer, and Naina is a ‘national level badminton player’. We never know what level, or what tournaments she has played in.
One is reminded of the sitcom Indebted, which only aired for one season on NBC. The show had an elderly couple move in with their son and his family. The original didn’t work, and well neither does the ‘inspired version’.
Nothing, and we stress on the nothing, is funny about the sitcom. We see garish loud colours, over the top eye rolls, and actors who don’t really need to prove their worth, but instead are found hamming. Ahana Kumra, Atul Kulkarni and Aditya Roy Kapoor have proven that they are decent actors, if only they have a working script. But this attempt at an urban comedy falls flat on it’s face, and leaves us bewildered, with the feeling that maybe we are in a time wrap, and have transported ourselves to the slapstick 90s, where a wife joke and a marriage punchline were the only things trending in local mushairas and Kavi sammelans.
Mumbai apartments and their lack of space is now what we can term a ‘geographical indicator’. The lack of intimacy and the resultant situations have been documented since the time of Basu Chatterjee, and believe us Sandwiched Forever adds nothing to the discussion. Oh and it doesn’t just end here. The show also attempts to crack a slick political jibe, with a crack at the CAA-NRC and such things, but they just make you shake your head in disbelief. Adding another layer of disgust are the lines which are sexual innuendoes, but ‘sex’o’ clock, and ‘lust-go’ are one-liners that even the ageing millennials have stopped using. A gag about using a condom to shut off a leaking tap, makes you want to poke your eyes out.
A special mention of the sets. They are so loud that you might need sunglasses to shield yourself from such garishness. The three apartments, designed to reflect the three different families living in them, look like a ‘gandi copy’ — thank you Diet Sabya for the reference — of Pinterest boards of home decor.
This is our Christmas present to you – we watched Sandwiched Forever, so you don’t have to. If you are craving a dose of Hindi comedy watch reruns of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, or if you can find, Dekh Bhai Dekh.
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