Take a look at the general terrain of contemporary Indian television... Wait, with the kind of rehashed, repetitive TV shows that sit at the top of the 'charts,' we'd rather not. Over the years, Indian television has astutely refused to address the change in the younger generation's thought process. In this case, the launch of TVF's Permanent Roommates could not have been timed more perfectly.
Since goofy Mikesh and headstrong Tanya moved in together two years ago (*gasps dramatically*), Permanent Roommates not only came to be known as one of the best web series in India but also managed to address current life issues realistically. Here are 9 moments from Permanent Roommates that show why it is the most progressive Indian series ever:
1. When Tanya and Mikesh are role-playing in the bar, which was as realistic as it was hilarious.
For all those who shuddered at the Fifty Shades of Grey parallel, don't. This scene probably had young adventurous couples shaking their heads and smirking sheepishly because it showed exactly how awkward it is to carry out a role-play fantasy. All those who won't be deterred, though, go figure.
2. When becoming a mother was not one of Tanya's priorities.
Women empowerment may have come a long way, but that hasn't spared us the questionable looks we get if we prioritize our careers, or are single and over 30. So, when Tanya admits to working hard to be a Brand Manager and not a mother, I think all women just went 'Hallelujah' in their minds. Take that, patriarchy.
3. When the interaction between Tanya and her future mother-in-law is equal parts relatable and realistic.
While Indian television has rehashed the concept of the evil sassu-maa to the death, Permanent Roommates provided us all with a much more relatable picture of what saas-bahu interactions are actually like. I bet all the ladies found familiar comfort when Mikesh's mother tells Tanya that there is nothing more relaxing than unclasping your bra after a long day.
4. When Mikesh wanted to marry Tanya because she was ready, and not just because she was pregnant.
Most of us had predicted that Mikesh and Tanya's parents would try to thrust marriage upon them when news of her pregnancy broke. What won our hearts over, though, was the conviction with which Mikesh refused to marry Tanya just because she was pregnant. The way Mikesh understood Tanya's stress of being pregnant, and possibly not being ready for married life was a refreshing change from the very obvious upper hand men often have in cinematic relationships.
5. When Mikesh's definition of the Post-Modern Man was spot on.
At this point, we can safely say that TVF introduced a new brand of masculinity in Mikesh. From his goofy, childlike humor in the first season to his progressive mindset and leap to maturity in the second one, Mikesh is what every modern Indian guy should be. He doesn't shy away from emotions, is not afraid to shed a few tears when needed, and treats Tanya as his equal. Yes, he occasionally gets on her nerves (and ours too), but well, we can't have it all, right?
6. When Mikesh has the perfect plan for his own and his future father-in-law's wedding: "Dutch maar lenge."
Probably one of the best scenes of this season, Mikesh's acceptance of his father-in-law's desires to marry again proves how progressive the younger generation of India has become. Not only does he suggest pulling a 'Dutch' during his wedding, but also makes for a pretty smooth wingman despite being in the middle of his own problems. Double thumbs up!
7. When Tanya's father made us realize that our parents have their own lives too.
While parents on Indian television have been set up as the very picture of tradition and self-sacrifice, the truth is that they are humans who feel and dream just as strongly as we do. So, when Tanya's father admits to his desires of living his own life and 'having fun' after years of holding back, we witness a new, humanized portrayal of a person finally letting go.
8. When Lleo gave us all some much-needed wisdom.
Of all the quirky and hilarious moments that we have had with Lleo on the show, this was probably one of the best. While Tanya is having a major meltdown over her wedding plans going out of control, Lleo gives Mikesh the most important piece of advice: it's not the size or the grandeur of a gesture that matters, it's the act itself that carries meaning.
9. When Tanya fired her wedding planner because she wanted to have her wedding her way.
You know those moments when guests at a wedding substitute the term 'family' with 'the entire clan and their neighbours'? Or when your mother treats your wedding as a chance to compete with her friends? So, weren't we all grateful when Tanya actually fires her wedding planner rather than go with her extravagant plans because it was HER freaking wedding?
With its brilliant writing and understated humor, TVF's Permanent Roommates is what the progressive Indian audience is looking for. Watch the first episode of Season 2 below and catch the entire season on TVF Play.