Remember how your cousins from some other country would visit your home, every year during summer holidays? And how, year after year, they'd bring with them those delicious chocolates that weren't available in India? The taste of those yummy treats coupled with the anticipation of waiting for an entire year would make it an experience to cherish, forever and ever!
Imagine getting that candy, all over again, after many years. Just that this time it comes with the same branding, same ingredients and same packaging and the promise of something even better. What's missing however is that delicious taste. Won't it ruin your entire childhood memory?
Frankly, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Take 2, the revival of the loved, cult show, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai was just that. A bitter tasting version of a candy we madly loved. And instead of making new memories in our mind, for some, it just ruined all that we loved about the show.
For anyone who grew up in the early 2000s and then, religiously lived with the characters one rerun after another would know the magic of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai.
It was a show unlike any other. The wit, repartee and characterization was unlike anything we'd ever seen. From Maya's sass to Monisha's middle-class antics, Indravadhan's playful pranks to Rosesh's awfully hilarious poems, it was a show you could watch over and over again and never for once get bored. Hell, even Madhusudan's "hain?" never felt too much!
No longer a secret, the show's original run was quite a dampener. Back when the saas-bahu sagas had first exploded on Indian television, no one had the time or interest for a comedy show that didn't have forced humour or slapstick shenanigans. As the ratings just didn't rise, the show was pulled off air, only to be rerun for many years to come.
And it was in those reruns that the show got discovered and amassed the cult fan following. Suddenly, there were Sarabhai fan clubs, Maya retorts, Monisha memes and Rosesh poems flooding the internet.
Soon, as it happens with most things trending on the internet, fans started demanding a season two. The wait was long but the fans didn't give up. And finally, when the revival was announced, this time as a web series, every one jumped with excitement!
There was heavy anticipation for the return of the most loved family in Indian television.
We were dying to hear Maya chide Monisha for being too middle class. We wanted to see what would Rosesh recite next. We were keen to see Indu and Sahil's camaraderie all over again. Dushyant, Madhusudan, Kachcha Kela, we wanted them all back.
Unfortunately, even though they all came back, it was nothing like what we expected! Right from the first episode, the show could never live up to our expectations. The humour seemed forced, the jokes weren't funny and the characters lacked punch.
The show was crumbling under the massive expectations.
We wanted to laugh, yes, but somehow, just couldn't. Some were too dissapointed to even bother watching the series after the disastrous first episode. But some persisted. Maybe because they weren't ready to accept that their favourite show could be so, so bad!
Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Take 2 was meant to be a 12-episode web series to air on Hotstar. Sadly, even the most ardent Sarabhai fans couldn't bear to watch the entire series.
I'm a fanatic of the show and yet, I found myself blankly staring at the computer screen as episode after episode, the show failed to make me laugh.
It was sad, it was unfortunate. And it made me realise that sometimes, the first time is good enough. Why did the show come back if the makers couldn't make it good? We asked for it and the makers couldn't resist the massive demand to bring it back.
As the show marked the end of season 2 a couple of days ago, with no apparent sight of any other season in the future, it made me really, really sad.
The Sarabhai family deserved better. We deserved better. Maybe, just maybe, it's good to leave some shows alone and not bring them back? Try as hard as you may, just because it was great once, doesn't mean it shall be great again!