Karan Johar’s ‘Fabulous Lives’premiers On Netflix

Filmmaker Karan Johar’s Netflix series ‘Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives’ streamed on November 27, 2020. Shortly after the release of the first eight episodes on Netflix, Twitter was flooded with reviews, with some liking it while others bashing it down.

Several users called the show cringe-worthy and ridiculed it for being insensitive. While a few still jumped to its defence saying that it truly is a good show highlighting the problems the celebrity families face and even claimed that the show is good for entertainment.

The ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,’ actor marked the premiere day of the show by posting a picture of himself with the four-star wives that have been featured in the show. The picture features Johar with actors Sohail Khan’s wife Seema Khan, Sanjay Kapoor’s wife Maheep Kapoor, Chunky Pandey’s wife Bhavana Pandey, and Samir Soni’s wife Neelam Kothari.

He then went on to pen down an emotional note on the “friendship” that he shares with the four-star wives and their husbands and expressed his excitement for the show.

“A friendship spanning over two decades….we have loved and lived through frivolous fights, emotional breakdowns, party times, morale lows and also so much happiness,” the 48-year-old filmmaker wrote. “The fact that the four of them are on a @netflix_in show makes me so excited and exhilarated for them! Love us! Troll us! But we know you won’t ignore us! Here we are #fabulouslives of these gals,” he added.

Madhur Bhandarkar recently shared that the title of upcoming reality TV series Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives is similar to what his project is named. He requested makers Karan Johar and Apurva Mehta to change their Netflix show’s name.

The director wrote that Johar and Mehta had requested him to use the title Bollywood Wives for a web show. After Bhandarkar refused, they went ahead with their project with a modified title, Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives. “Please do not dent my project. I humbly request u to change the title,” Bhandarkar wrote in the tweet while requesting a title change.

The new Netflix based show is a reality series that will give a glimpse of the “fabulous lives,” that the four-star “Bollywood wives,” have been living. The light-hearted show began streaming on Netflix on November 27.

Netflix show on Indian matchmaker stokes debate on wedding culture

A new Netflix show about an Indian matchmaker catering to the high demands of potential brides and grooms, and their parents, has stoked an online debate about arranged marriages in the country.

The eight-part series “Indian Matchmaking” premiered on Netflix on Thursday and is currently among its top ranked India shows. It features Sima Taparia, a real-life matchmaker from Mumbai, who offers her services to families within India and abroad.

Arranged marriages in India see parents leading efforts to find a suitable match for their children. The show has become a subject of memes and jokes, and criticism, on how individuals and their parents are picky and have a long list of demands that centre around factors like caste, height or skin colour.

The show “makes very clear how regressive Indian communities can be. Where sexism, casteism, and classism are a prevalent part of the process of finding a life partner,” wrote Twitter user Maunika Gowardhan.

Thousands of Twitter and Instagram posts echo that view. “The show is simply holding a mirror to the ugly society we are a part of,” Vishaka George, another Twitter user, wrote.

Created by Oscar-nominated director Smriti Mundhra, the show focuses on matchmaker Taparia’s visits to the homes of families who need her assistance. After hearing their demands, she presents résumés of prospective matches and then arranges for meetings.

“The two families have their reputation and many millions of dollars at stake. So the parents guide their children,” Taparia says at one point in the show, referring to some of her wealthier clients.

In the first episode titled “Slim, Trim and Educated”, an Indian mother tells Taparia her son is getting a lot of marriage proposals but in most cases the prospective bride’s education or height was not ideal.

Just as Taparia says: “So you want a smart, outgoing, height …” the mother interjects, “I won’t even consider (a girl) below 5 feet 3 inches.”

Some have praised the show for its honesty and treating its subjects respectfully.
“The hate against it is, frankly, baffling … Indian Matchmaking is well on its way to becoming a cultural phenomenon,” a column in the Mint newspaper said.
(Photo Credit: Reuters)

Netflix sets new record with 160 Emmy nominations

Streaming giant Netflix broke the record for most nominations that any network, studio or streaming platform has ever earned, with 160 Emmy nominations this year. The streaming platform smashed the record set by the cable network HBO last year, with 137 nominations. This year, HBO is second with 107 nominations.

This is the second time that Netflix has bested HBO. In 2018, the streamer ended HBO’s 17-year Emmy nomination domination by landing 112 nods to HBO’s 108.

This year, Netflix has been nominated in 10 of the 11 major categories that were unveiled during the TV Academy’s live-stream announcement, including three nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, four nominations for Outstanding Television Movie and five nominations for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded).

The streamer leads the race with shows including “Ozark”, “The Crown”, “Dead To Me”, “The Politician” and “Stranger Things”. HBO’s “Watchmen” scored the most nominations overall with 26 for the graphic novel adaptation, reports deadline.com.

Netflix’s “Ozark” and HBO’s “Succession” scored 18 nominations each, and are up against each other in the Best Drama Series category, alongside Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Stranger Things”, besides “Better Call Saul”, “Killing Eve”, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Mandalorian”.

In the comedy category, while Netflix “The Kominsky Method” and “Dead To Me”, HBO is up in contention with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Insecure”. These shows vie for honours with “The Good Place”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Schitt’s Creek” and “What We Do In The Shadows”.

Besides “Ozark”, the streaming giants key nominees include: “The Crown” (13 nods), “Hollywood” (12), “Stranger Things” (eight), “Unorthodox” (eight), and “Cheer” (six).As for other leading studios, NBC has 47 nods, ABC has 36, FX Networks has 33, and Amazon has 31. Disney+ has 19 nods. The Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on September 20, 2020. The show will air in India on Star World.

Mindy Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever” Gets Second Season On Netflix

Indian American Teen comedy Never Have I Ever, featuring a breakout performance from Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, is coming back for a second season on Netflix. Mindy Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever” a coming-of-age comedy featuring an Indian-American teenager played by Indo-Canadian Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, is going to have another season, a testament to its popularity.

Ramakrishnan will reprise her lead role as high school student Devi Vishwakumar alongside returning cast including Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Jaren Lewison, Darren Barnet, Lee Rodriguez and Ramona Young.

The show follows the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl, dealing with issues of family, sexuality and high school. Ramakrishnan’s Vishwakumar is a 15-year old from Sherman Oaks, CA, who wants to change her social status after a horrible year that included losing her father and being confined to a wheelchair for three months.

Though the first season was released just two months ago, in bagging a second season Kaling displays how her knack for capturing cultural complexity with empathy and humor, appeals to a broad range of viewers.

Mindy Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever” Gets Second Season On Netflix“Never Have I Ever” contains some of Kaling’s own growing-up angst, is portrayed by the main character Devi Vishwakumar (played by Ramakrishnan), her mother Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar (Poorna Jagannathan), her cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani), her high-school frenemy Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison, her high-school crush Paxton Hall-Yoshia (Darren Barnet), and her bosom buddies played by Romona Young and Lee Rodriguez.

Photo that Mindy Kaling tweeted on her site March 19, saying, “My friend Julia Powell found this pic of me from high school! I think we were rehearsing the musical Rags, where I played a rag picker. What a time.” (Photo: Kaling Twitter @mindykaling)

Kaling has the ability to flesh out complex characters and plots that take unexpected turns. At the risk of divulging the plot for the first season for those who haven’t yet seen it, Devi loses her father early we find out; her mother’s somewhat high-handed handling of a boisterous daughter has a story behind it; Devi’s best friend finds out she is gay; her high-school crush has a very special sister with a heart of gold; and her cousin Kamala is a master at navigating Indian and Western mores to get what she wants.

It was not for nothing that Kaling picked a newcomer to the screen out of 15,000 applicants because Ramakrishnan has a freshness-cum-awkwardness with the acting genre that actually ends up working in her favor.

In a July 1, 2020 interview with Variety magazine, Ramakrishnan said she had seen so many young people saying ‘Oh my God, I can relate to this so much.’ Like her character on the show, Ramakrishnan comes out as the perky youth she is.

“I’m livin’ and chillin’,” Ramakrishnan told Variety about being quarantined with her parents and grandparents and dog Melody. “I’ve seen a lot of messages about ‘I’ve already seen Season 1 … where is Season 2’, Ramakrishnan said fans were messaging. “I think I’ll always be the girl from Mississauga,” Canada, she also said. Being a South Asian lead, Ramakrishnan said, “we’re so used to being sidekicks, we’re so used to comic relief …” and while there was nothing wrong with that, “It isn’t okay when its offensive and when that’s all you get.”

As with the first season, it is almost certain Kaling will find ways to keep it as engaging. Her interwoven plot, sometimes sad, sometimes heartfelt, peppered with more than the usual interesting and thought-provoking incidents, will keep fans of the path-breaking Indian-American creator, watching.

The show, which launched in April, has been applauded for its s accurate depiction of high school as well as its inclusivity and breaking South Asian stereotypes.

“I think it’s great that we have a story like Never Have I Ever but it’s depressing that this is happening in 2020 and even though we can applaud breaking stereotypes but we can’t forget that we still have so much work to do,” Ramakrishnan told Deadline last month. “Devi is only one story. Hopefully as much as this show inspires other minorities around the world, it will also inspire directors, producers, creators, writers to start bringing that natural inclusion into their shows.”