“Wait, you’re watching a show on TV?” That’s the reaction you get when you admit you’re into a TV series airing on television and not a streaming platform. However, occasionally, there comes along a TV series that gives you hope for Indian television – like Sony’s ‘Mere Dad Ki Dulhan’, starring Varun Badola and Shweta Tiwari.
The show is a fun romance between two middle-aged people (Badola and Tiwari) who fall in love, warts et al. But, instead of the ‘pehli nazar’ route, they take the dating app path – in anonymity. (Yes, this is indeed a 2020 romance.)
What’s the Show About?
The show’s plot and much of its heart centres around the relationship between Amber Sharma (played by Badola) – a perennially grumpy single father, and Niya (played by Anjali Tatrari), his daughter, who wants Amber to find love again.
While Amber’s quest for love is underway, a stubborn Punjabi woman, Guneet Sikka (played by Tiwari) enters their life as a tenant. Now, Amber cannot stand Guneet as his tenant but is the woman he falls in love with over a dating app. The ensuing conflict and romance is what’s attracted fans of the show.
Okay, But Why Should I Watch it?
Since we live in a TL;DR world, here are some reasons to do so, in a bullet-point report.
- For a realistic and entertaining love story – without dramatic sound effects and icchadari naagins. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that romance becomes increasingly tricky as one gets older, with more rigid likes and dislikes, and the show tackles this aspect of romance with sensitivity and humour.
- Varun Badola. Scroogesque characters can quickly become caricatures, but Badola embraces the prickliness of being a middle-aged widower and makes the audience empathise with him – even if it’s accompanied by a dose of annoyance.
- Sensitive portrayal of a single woman’s experience in India. ‘Mere Dad ki Dulhan’ is pivoted on the love story of a forty-year-old single woman, and it does not flinch from addressing the loneliness and the prejudice which comes with it. We all know ‘that spinster aunty’ stereotype all too well. Thanks to Tiwari’s natural performance and the empathetic way in which her character is handled, we root for Guneet to find love again.
- To know what India’s young people are up to. Say “youth” in India and you’re fed stereotypes ranging from “rave” to “bigdi hui aulaad”. ‘Mere Dad ki Dulhan’ depicts the youth and their ambitions in a pragmatic way through Niya. She works at a start-up that makes dating apps, is confident about the way she chooses to live her life, and puts her father’s well-being (and tantrums) over much else in life.
- For the lived-in Delhi. How many times have you seen a TV show or a film that’s set in Delhi and struggled to recognise the city? (Looking at you ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’.) But the show’s Delhi feels lived in – right from Ghaziabad where the drama is set and explicitly referred to, to Noida, where Niya works in one of the many high-rises that dot the landscape. Like in any good show about Delhi, there are plenty of traffic jokes too. If anything, the house where the Sharmas live seems too good to be true.
Watch it – at least until the TRP Gods allow us to feast on a well-written TV series in India.
. Read more on TV by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsWatch or Not? ‘Mere Dad ki Dulhan’ Is the Indian TV Romcom We Need . Read more on TV by The Quint.