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The men of Four More Shots, Please come across as annoying to say the least. But they are much worse than that! Here’s my opinion on the men of the series!
So last night, after a lot of convincing and coaxing myself, I finished watching the second season of ‘Four More Shots, Please.’ And while, I went on a full-fledged rant on Facebook, I realised it lacked something.
That’s probably when it struck me that no one, who’s written about the whole thing, ever mentions the problematic men of the series. They’re shown as these fierce feminist men who will stand by ‘their’ women, no matter what!
But… they aren’t! These are men with fragile egos, self-centred and just eye-candies to some extent. Personally, it felt like they lacked a certain depth that they tried to show.
So here’s a rundown of what I felt about each of the men of Four More Shots, Please.
Let me be honest here, I am a big Prateik Babbar fan. That man has had me sighing and going heart-eye emoji-ed for quite a while. But throughout the series, he lacks a number of things- sense being one of them. Granted, he is wary of a lot of things thanks to his ex. But does that really give him the right to be such a righteous prick to Damini?
In no way, am I supporting cheating of any sort here, no. However, what I am saying is that when Damini was with Amir, she wasn’t dating Jeh, was she? He doesn’t really get to judge whom she (or anyone else) sleeps with!
Jeh sees the world in black and white, in right or wrong, but with Damini, he’s confused and he loves it. And isn’t that all we are looking for when we look for love? A lot of confusion, tinged with some subtle slut shaming and a hint of righteousness!
In their defence, the writers do seem to have tried to give him and his character some depth. But it just ends up looking so fake! He, honestly, comes across as an overgrown man-child. I am sure he was the kid who would not let anyone play with his toys or even play with his siblings’ old toys because they were ‘used.’ And he does pretty much the same with Damini too before casually walking back into her life and making her feel like he owes him to take him back.
If we talk about Damini, it is kind of criminal to not talk about Dr. Aamir Warsi, the stuff that dreams are made of! Again, I think, Milind Soman, too, was brought in for his good looks and not much else.
I’ve actually gone from fan-girling over Milind Soman to crushing and respecting him for his choices to finally getting somewhat bored of him. Again, not denying that he’s a fine looking man who’s done a great deal towards his health and getting a number of people to follow the same. But frankly, I am tired of him being put in the same role over and over. Why is he always the hot guy! Granted, Four More Shots has him be a sapiosexual but hot doctor but he still lacks the depth you’d expect a man like that to have.
And that isn’t the only problem with him. He seems to be okay with polyamory and we do see a number of his exes at a party. But, the moment Damini decides to be with Jeh, Aamir goes cold. He starts behaving like a possessive idiot! Don’t even get me started on the entire Singapore nonsense. He decides for her simply because ‘he is the father of the baby.’ Umm… Hello? Where are we, in the 19th century!
Which brings me to the ‘fight’ between Aamir and Jeh over Damini like she’s some thing. It brought some comic relief to the episode, yes. But once I got over the borderline comedy of it, it reminded of the boys in school who’d fight like that!
And school time fights only remind me of Amit. I mean, what WAS that character! If Jeh was an overgrown man-child, Amit was simply an infant! He makes his appearance as a wannabe stand-up comedian and in the first scene we see him, he manages to annoy you!
When Siddhi walks into the bar after her friends’ definition of her skills annoys, he sees her and shamelessly fat shames her. He. Fat. Shames. Her. While she does give him some brilliant answers, it bothered me to no end. But I decided to give him a fair chance. Honestly, his jokes weren’t that funny, either. But, I hoped for some character development. I’d love to say I wasn’t disappointed but that’d be lies.
After their first successful show, he kisses Siddhi without her consent. Then asks her to ‘forget it and let’s get a drink’ because it is that easy to forget a non-consensual kiss. Yes, she kisses him back and yes, they do begin something but when did we stop asking for consent!
Then he proceeds to call her his girlfriend in one of his sets and despite her obvious discomfort, basically humiliates her further. Like a lovelorn person, he shows up at her doorstep and when she rejects him, he gets nasty and calls her a ‘user’! Just because she is a woman, she has no choice, is it?
If I have to talk of women and choices and childishness, how dare I forget the sweet, naive and annoying Varun! Neil Bhoopalam does a wonderful job of the oh-so-annoying ass of a husband. He is that guy we all know and have probably dated at one point of time– the first love, the one who makes us feel young and in love! But let’s switch back to reality?
Varun is a terrible husband to Anjana- he doesn’t care that the marriage is on the rocks, that Anjana is handling it all on her own. He is carefree as long as he gets his ‘me’ time and guys nights. All else, to his entitled little mind, doesn’t matter.
In season one, he grated on my nerves but by season two, I’d begun hating him. What kind of a person leaves their pregnant wife alone for a night of drinking! Who, in their right mind, will take someone like the sweet Kavya for granted? He seemed to have evolved a little but went back to his horrible ways. Anjana tries to set things right between them and when he sees her being nice to him, guess what does he do? Bingo! He kisses her! Because why else will a woman, who is your ‘first love,’ be nice to you, unless she wants to get in your pants!
At the same time, the guilt he is laden with, makes him extra nice to Kavya, who definitely deserves better. He seems to be all caring and ‘evolved’ thanks to the guilt. Varun’s entire character in both the seasons was just bothersome on every different level. He is one of the original men of Four More Shots, Please yet you really don’t see his character arching in any way at all. He is still the same irritating man-child.
The suave, oh-so-intelligent and good looking Shashank Bose and Anjana’s opposing lawyer in a case! Played by the gorgeous Sameer Kochhar, Shashank starts off as slightly likeable, slightly sexy and very very sly person. You know in your gut that this isn’t going to end well.
But Anjana is going with the flow and so do you. They fight a court battle, that she wins and then, he offers her a job in his company, because it is THAT easy. And in the same breath, he reiterates his earlier offer of her sleeping with him, because they have the ‘spark,’ you see!
Mind you, Shashank is already married to Shibani Dandekar’s character Sushmita Sengupta and has no issues lying through his teeth. He very, calmly, tells Anjana that theirs is an open marriage, so she need not worry about Sushmita. And Anjana believes him.
Thus, begins Anjana and Shashank’s great adventure! They discuss where they stand and it’s pretty cool, at that moment. But wait, what is life without a twist! During Umang’s wedding, Shashank is constantly trying to get Anjana to hook up but she refuses.
She is uncomfortable hooking up with a married man, and she’s firm on her ground about breaking things off. But he obviously doesn’t take the break easily. Then when Sushmita sees Shashank attempting to kiss Anjana and gives him a piece of her mind, he blames her. He says that she is the reason behind him cheating.
Calmly, he also blames Anjana and asks her if she would’ve stopped had she known. So easy to push the blame on women, isn’t it? Shashank is proof of how entitled and mind-numbingly infuriating men can be.
From all the men of Four More Shots, Please, Shashank was the one I had no hopes from. I knew he’d be an arse and disappoint, he did not!
Anjana’s new misogynistic boss. He is every WhatsApp forward, every entitled, irritating subtly misogynist man. Vinil subtly makes jokes about women not being as smart as men, gives the firm’s bigger cases to men, because women can’t give in longer hours. He genuinely seems to believe that men are superior to women, plain and simple.
Vinil manages to piss you off in the first five minutes of his entry and by the time Anjana resigns, you’re seething with anger but glad that she quit. He is every entitled male ever, the one who definitely believes that women belong in the kitchen.
Like I said, infuriating.
Well, these were the men who simply annoyed me while I watched the series. But that isn’t to say, there were no good men. For one, Siddhi’s dad, who is angry at her in the beginning has been a dad you can love. He is fiercely protective of her daughter and even when he is pissed at her, you can see he loves her. Props to him.
Arjun is yet another guy who is decent- if that is the level we aspire to like. He is sweet and understanding and just wants to spend time with the woman he loves. His heart is broken when they break up, but he doesn’t lash out, he simply walks away. Are we surrounded by such horrible men that a slight act of decency makes us happy?
And finally Mihir is the third nice, and wholesome guy. Siddhi’s childhood friend, he is in love with her. But it’s not the annoying icky love, it is the warm sweet kind that makes you smile. Yes, he does try to be her knight in shining armour but when she rejects his advances, he walks away gracefully without a backward glance. Again, why do small acts of decency make us like men more!
Think about this and do let me know if you agree in the comments!
Picture credits: Stills from the series
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Reader, writer and currently an Associate Editor at Women's Web, I survive on coffee
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