Show Title: Ishqbaaaz
Channel: Star Plus
Timing: Monday to Friday 10 pm
I have become such a Korean Drama addict that I kind of felt bad for ignoring Indian television shows completely. In fact, the last Indian television show I watched was Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon. After that, I have never really followed any television show. Why? Because they were (probably still are) all the same. It would start with the girl and guy hating each other, then they would marry, fall in love and then the same freaking family drama with the saas and sasur and devar and jethani and all the possible relatives in the world. I did not like the fact that I have started dissing Indian TV shows which is why I have decided to start reviewing newly launched Indian dramas and see if any of them are interesting enough to have me hooked on. So, here is my first review of an Indian television drama.
The first episode introduced all the central characters of the story and also gave a glimpse of the dynamics of the household. The Oberoi family is headed by the old dadi (grandmother) who is introducing the family in the episode. Her husband passed away 30 years ago and has left his business to his two sons. The elder son Tej is a shrewd and arrogant businessman while the younger son Shakti is more interested in doing charity work (They didn’t tell what he does for a living. I suppose he also manages the family business or something like that). The brothers do not get along and neither do their wives. The two women are shown to be slinging mud at each other which shows how much they dislike one another. Moving on, Shakti’s eldest son Shivaay is also the eldest amongst all cousins. He is shown to be extremely bigheaded and brash. On his way home he meets and insults a girl named Anika at a temple who apparently gives a fitting reply (yeah right!!) to his insult. Tej’s only son, Omkara is an artist and dislikes his dad to the extent that he addresses him as Mr. Oberoi instead od ‘Dad’. Shakti’s second son, Rudra is some sort of a Lothario and is shown to be popular among women. Tej and Shakti, along with their wives, are waiting for their respective sons to arrive first because the one doing the arati will be seen as the successor to the family business. But the three boys arrive together in a luxurious boat (don’t ask me how). Despite their parents’ rivalry, the three brothers love each other dearly and seem to be united.
First Episode First Impression
Fifteen minutes into the show and all I kept repeating was, ‘Are they seriously showing this’. For instance, there was this one scene in the show where the younger daughter-in-law, Pinky orders her maid to jump into the water to get her flowers. The maid is a dusky female with fake buck teeth. OK. Did they add the fake teeth as a comic element? Really? You find that funny? What’s with you guys?
I know the women in the show are supposed to be stinking rich but why the over-the-top makeup? Is loud makeup a symbol of status? Bright bindis, heavy eye makeup, and flashy clothes are really an eye sore. But then there is a thriving market for such accessories and clothes that are always in demand which means that these flashy things are here to stay. So I have no option but to overlook that.
Another point that irked me to no end was that when Shivay enters the temple he is surrounded by bodyguards but when the Anika smashes his car’s windscreen and slaps him in the face with a bundle of currency notes the bodyguards are nowhere to be seen. Guys! Your boss is alone an Anika who then walks in slow motion (yeah right!!) in front of him. Where in the world do such things happen?
If the overly dramatized entry of each character wasn’t enough then the heroine Anika was shown dancing in painfully almost torturously slow pace near the temple. (Ugh!! I cringed so hard at that scene.) Why? Just why do they have to show the heroine like that? Couldn’t they find a better way of introducing her? Anika and Shivay now obviously hate each other following the bad first impressions they have had so it’s going to be the typical love-hate relationship. The pre-cap shows Omkara and Rudra admiring the girl i.e. Anika in a video who stood up to Shivay and surprisingly she happens to bump into Shivay at that very moment in front of them. So I guess there are full chances of a love triangle here with two or even all three brothers falling in love with the same girl and then fighting over her. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen as there will be nothing new about the story then, not that there is anything new now but still, they can try and surprise the audience by not adding the most clichéd and predictable love triangle here.
I had planned to watch the first three episodes and then write a review but honestly, the pre-cap (Omkara, dadi, and Rudra seeing an online video of Shivay getting slapped) just ticked me off. I am fine with clichés, in fact, I even enjoy certain repetitive scenarios like a couple getting lost in a jungle or a heroine falling directly into the arms of the hero, but this is just too much to take. The makers of the show clearly take the audiences for granted and have made no attempts at making the show (or at least the first episode) realistic or even remotely plausible. I can prove this claim with one example. When Tej and Shakti’s wife contact their respective sons asking them to come soon for the function, all three boys are shown to be in different locations. Shivay at the temple, Omkara at some deserted place and Rudra at a discotheque. But then suddenly, they manage to arrive at the venue in the same boat at the same time. Omkara has even managed to change his look. The makers of the show really think that the audience is dumb and can show any kind of crap on television.
I do not mean to bash this show based on its first episode but you know first impression is also the last impression at least in such matters. If the makers failed to give the show an epic start, I can imagine what is to follow. I regret wasting half an hour on such a show. I could have rather watched three episodes of a YouTube series that make more sense than most of our television shows.
Being a prime time show, it has the budget and the cast to make it different and interesting. If only the scriptwriters and the director work towards making it a unique show.
PS: The three boys in the show are decent looking. Omkara especially has a very mysterious air about him so if you enjoy watching shows with cool guys then do go for this one. Going by the first episode and also the show’s title, each of them will have a love story which may hopefully be interesting to watch.
You can watch the show on Star Plus at 10 pm or catch the episodes here.