While the rest of the world welcomed the new year with some amount of woke and sensitivity, ALTBalaji seems to be regressing and how. The latest installment of their “bold” and controversial web series ‘Gandii Baat’ sets the clock ticking backwards with its attitude towards women and sexuality.
‘Gandii Baat’ Season 2 has four short stories of about 50 minutes each, and it attempts to give us a glimpse of the sexual taboos faced by women in villages.
Keeping in mind the buzz around the first season of this erotic web series, I decided to binge-watch its second season even though the first wasn't that great. My expectations were at level zero and guess what, it turned out to be worse than what I expected.
As with Season 1, we are served crude ‘soft porn’ in the guise of women empowerment and sexual liberation. The only difference: this season is a lot less tolerable than the previous. The tagline ‘Naya Saal Naya Maal’ says it all.
The four episodes of Season 2 are dominated by the same elements of misogyny, nudity, and crude language.
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Introducing – An Unlikely Lesbian Affair
A fresh element in Season 2 of ‘Gandii Baat’ is that the show explores homosexuality in its first two episodes. Titled ‘Bai Sexual ‘and ‘Judai Mahal’, the episodes feature a budding romance between two women. But instead of showcasing a progressive story line, the homosexuality thread seems to be forced into the script.
Let's talk about the first episode.
Vaibhav, one of the protagonists, has sexual relations with his wife Neeta and domestic help Sajili. Then he has a child with both of them. By the way, the children are named Karan and Arjun, because what's an Ekta Kapoor series without some old Bollywood references, right?
Eventually, Neeta comes to know about her husband’s affair and confronts Sajili about it. This is where the narrative sheds all logic and emotions. Instead of fighting or arguing, Neeta and Sajili start making out, because that’s what people normally do, right?
‘Gandii Baat’ Season 2: Misogyny Level 2.0
The Bollywood references don’t just end with the Karan-Arjun duo. Throughout the season, there are several item songs playing in the background, from Maiya Maiya from ‘the film Guru’ to Laila Tujhe Lut Legi from ‘Shootout at Wadala’.
From its first minute, the series merely objectifies women. Whether it's through dialogues, camera shots or an almost non-existent plot line, sexism can be found everywhere and at all times. An extremely problematic aspect of the season is the way the camera focuses only on women's bodies. It’s almost as if the entire narrative is built around that – be it an erotic scene or a simple conversation.
To top it all, there is an entire episode ‘Gibraltor’, which only revolves around the problems a woman has to face because of her “small” breasts.
If we cut out such scenes from the show, the entire season of ‘Gandii Baat’ would be over in less than two hours.
A Swayamwar With A Twist
As though a woman claiming to produce the eggs of a snake in Season 1 wasn't bizarre enough, welcome to the year 2019. The show’s imagination goes a step further, and now, women choose who they want to sleep with by picking up a comb from an earthen pot!
Yes, you heard it right. *A COMB*
The final episode of the season ‘Love, Sex and Betrayal’ introduces us to a rather unique ritual at a village. Here, the sarpanch gives unmarried women a chance to sleep with another man for two days to check their sexual chemistry. The woman chooses by picking up a comb of his name from an earthen pot. At the end of the time given, if the woman is sexually satisfied, the two get married.
In this case, women’s consent is understood by the act of wearing a flower given to her by her partner. Umm, in which Indian village exactly does this bizarre ritual take place?
One might argue that this indicates sexual liberation, but the basic premise is so far from reality and impossible to believe that the story just loses its relatability.
(Reminder: These stories are supposed to be the 'rumoured truths' of Indian villages.)
Worth a Watch?
I would suggest that you choose a better series to binge-watch because ‘Gandii Baat’ Season 2 simply falls like a pack of cards.
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