Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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    Weekend Binge-watch – Romi & Jugal, His Storyy, and other digital shows that dealt with same-sex relationships with much panache.

    Gone are the days when storytellers would mock characters from the LGBT community. With the changing days and the politically woke culture seeping in, makers have started taking the LGBT community more sensitively. Storytellers are not only giving space to these characters but also writing gripping narratives involving these characters. Today we have matured characters from the LGBT community, and these characters also have interesting love stories. For this weekend, we have picked some really important shows that dealt with same-sex relationships with much sensitivity and maturity, unlike <Maa Da Ladla plays in the head…>, well, let us focus on the good today. Have a dekko…

    The Married Woman – ALTBalaji

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W-a0j-3paA&t=25s 

    The series adapted from Manju Kapur’s novel, ‘A Married Woman’ addresses various other social issues and taboos that people don’t see fit for day-to-day conversation. It is present in subtle forms in almost all sections of society, making it an essential series to find solutions to all kinds of discrimination. The Married Woman revolves around a married woman Astha and her search for individuality. ‘The Married Woman’ is an urban relationship drama about women and their conditioning levied by society and her search to find herself.

    Starring in the series is Monica Dogra and Ridhi Dogra. Along with these two incredible women, there is Suhaas Ahuja, Imaad Shah, and various others.

    Made in Heaven – Amazon Prime Video 

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0UkDQaR5KQ 

    Amazon Prime’s Made in Heaven was one of their early originals that released in 2019. Despite being made in the early days of digital booming, Made in Heaven dealt with same-sex relationships, traumas, and struggles in the classiest way. Arjun Mathur, as Karan Mehra played a gay man in the show, and through his character, we get to go through the struggle, prejudices, and homophobia that gay men go through in our country. However, by the end of the day when he meets his childhood love, Nawab, played by Vikrant Massey in a guest appearance, even the homophobes would not have been able to stop themselves from going aww. 

    Starring in the series is Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora, and Shivani Raghuvanshi.

    His Storyy – ALTBalaji

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u09raS8rjiw 

    ALTBalaji’s latest Urban relationship drama His Storyy released in 2021, and it dealt with homosexuality and infidelity. What sets His Storyy different from others is that it deals with it subtly and doesn’t get preachy anywhere. Satyadeep Misra, as the closeted Kunal and Mrinal Dutt as the free bird Preet, have done a commendable job. And when they come together on screen it gets difficult to comprehend that both these actors are heterosexual in real life. His Storyy is based on Kunal and Sakshi’s successful marriage for 20 years with two beautiful children. Sakshi’s world tears apart when she learns the truth about Kunal cheating on her with another man, Preet. This eventually leads to their marriage hitting the rocks. His Storyy is a journey of two people, Kunal and Sakshi, trying to rediscover their ties to each other in the face of a crushing revelation. 

    Actors Satyadeep Misra, Priyamani Raj, Mrinal Dutt, Nitin Bhatia, Parinitaa Seth, Rajiv Kumar, Charu Shankar, and Mikhail Gandhi play the primary characters in the show. 

    Mismatched – Netflix 

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYmwNNkix-k 

    Based on Sandhya Menon’s 2017 novel When Dimple Met Rishi, Netflix India’s original Mismatched was a rom-com that was released in 2020 during the lockdown. Although the central plot revolved around a heterosexual couple, one of the subplots was about two female best friends figuring out that they have feelings for one another. Namrata and Celina gave goosebumps to many. Although they didn’t have a happy ending, viewers can expect some in the upcoming season.

    Mismatched starred Prajakta Koli, Rohit Saraf, Rannvijay Singha, and Vidya Malavade in prominent roles.

    Ajeeb Daastaans – Netflix 

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EImTzMiVdzo 

    Netflix India’s anthology Ajeeb Daastaans has not one but two stories that revolve around the same-sex relationship. While we can talk about one, talking about the other one will be sort of a spoiler for our readers. In Neeraj Ghyawan’s Geel Pucchi, there is tension between Bharti Mandal and Priya Sharma played by Konkana Sen Sharma and Aditi Rao Hydari. Their camaraderie is something, everyone, roots for. However, when Bharti starts having unrequited feelings for Priya the story becomes interesting. The director known for his tonality has set the right tone for this story as well.

    The anthology had Fatima Sana Shaikh, Jaideep Ahlawat, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Abhishek Banerjee, Aditi Rao Hydari, Konkana Sen Sharma, Shefali Shah, and Manav Kaul in primary roles.

    Romil & Jugal – ALTBalaji 

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NNXnCf9nwQ 

    It won’t be hyperbole to say that ALTBalaji has been the pioneer to portray gay characters without stereotypes on Indian screens. When ALTBalaji was born in 2017, their first lineup of shows included a gay romance – Romil & Jugal. Based on Romeo and Juliet’s iconic Shakespearean drama, giving it the gay twist, the makers did quite a justice to the show. It was a run-of-a-mill romantic drama that in no way tried being preachy. Rajeev Siddhartha and Manraj Singh romancing each other on-screen completely filmy style is something ALTBalaji made it cool for the first time on Indian OTT celluloid least.

    Along with Rajeev Siddhartha as Romil and Manraj Singh as Jugal, the show starred, Mandira Bedi, Hariman Dhanjal, Shrishti Ganguly Rindani, Manini Mishra, and Suchitra Pillai.

    Four More Shots Please – Amazon Prime Video 

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7NCW8gMtVs 

    While the first season of Four More Shots Please revolved around the four friends, the second dealt more with a lesbian relationship. Anu Menon and Nupur Asthana curated the series that streamed on Amazon Prime Video. Often tagged as the Desi Sex and The City, the second season showcased Umang played by Bani J dating Samara, played by Lisa Ray. The complications, the love, and the romance all of it, well portrayed on the screens.

    The series stars Sayani Gupta, Bani J, Kirti Kulhari, and Maanvi Gagroo.

    This weekend, it is time you recap these shows or if you haven’t watched them yet, watch them for the first time on their respective streaming apps.

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