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Netflix's original series, Mismatched season 2, explores beautifully an array of issues that genZ struggle to deal with.
Mismatched season 1 aired in November 2020, and Mismatched season 2, aired last month. Season 1 was sweet romcom that may have been too cheesy at times. It received a fairly average review from top news stations – calling it merely as a “light teenage drama to be binged on a weekend”.
But it seems like the writers have finally taken the plunge that was felt hesitating in the pilot. With the release of Mismatched season 2, all the depth that season 1 was accused to have been lacking, was made up for.
It paved the way for the series to deal with grave issues that are very real to the population of young adults in the country.
Let’s speak about how the series explored them.
To be very honest, media and pop-culture still has not really learnt the way inclusivity works, let alone portraying them. Hence, the inclusion of people of different sexual orientations, or specially-abled, feels extremely forced, and for sake’s.
That shouldn’t be the case, right?
But this series explores inclusivity as a flow. Not just by including a lesbian relationship, but also, providing enough space to Anmol, beautifully portrayed by Taaruk Raina, who is restricted to wheel-chair. This representation of the disabled is never demeaning, and gives a deep insight on the problems that the specially-abled people of our nation face on a daily basis, including the right to a clean, hygienic washroom designed for them. Currently, even if there is none.
While, Namrata (played by Devyani Shorey) has her own struggles, as an outed lesbian, to deal with, the writers have brought in the exploration of one’s sexuality of someone in their middle 20s- Celina (Muskkaan Jaferi). To be sure of one’s sexuality from a young age is something different, but to discover that it might something different from what you have always known it to be brings in their own trials and tribulations.
Namrata was aware of her homosexuality since when she liked getting her dolls married to one another. Hence, she has more power and belief over her actions. However, Celina has always been proud and loud straight. For her to feel jealousy over the growing closeness between Namrata and Ayesha (played by Priya Banerjee) was something new, and confusing.
Despite having tried running away from it, denying it, the entire process from her realization to her confession was given its own due time. It showed that it is normal to be confused, angry, or even feel lost when something as important as your sexual orientation is changing.
Whatever happens, happens for good. Right?
We talk about how talks surrounding mental health and therapy is still a taboo, while we miss how it is a comic element in popular media. Instance, Masaba Masaba, or Never Have I Ever to some extent. Usually the creators tend to keep any serious therapeutic process short, or limited, due to multiple factors. Time, being one of them, I believe.
But Gazal Dhaliwal, the prolific screen-writer, gave enough time to Anmol to deal with his anger issues. There was no hastening in the process, and with the character, we embarked on a therapeutic journey that was real, disturbing, unsettling, and healing. It explored the distinct phases of resistance, hesitance, trust-building, catharsis, acknowledgement, and acceptance of his problems, and their source. The covering of the one-on-one sessions, as well as the group therapy sessions, felt genuine.
Also, worth mentioning is his course instructor, Siddharth (played by Rannvijay Singhania), who identified his need for counselling sessions. With having come across judgemental teachers throughout our lives, this professor is nothing short of a dream. And the therapist, Dr. Suri (by the director Akarsh Khurana) is really what therapists are, people.
As a psychology kid, I should know.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder; but how faulty can this get?
When the idea of your beauty depends on someone else, you tend to get hard on yourself. Simran (played by Kritika Bharadwaj) is an online influencer who is desperate to live up to his boyfriend’s notion of a perfect girlfriend. But her body insecurities limit her from getting intimate with him. She starves herself, tries all sorts of hacks, and tricks to bring her size down to zero.
Her social media presence is all about exhibiting the perfect life, especially her relationship with Krish (by Abhinav Sharma), that she has, and ridiculing the ones who do not match her shimmer.
A typical trending influencer, isn’t it?
However, all that glitters is not gold. And a single 24 hours without her phone, turned her life upside down due to a heartbreaking discovery. Her character revealed that sometimes that someone special, for whom we put in so many efforts, can be the worst disappointment of our lives.
And that onus is not on us.
Be it the lyrics of the original tracks, or the dialogues that convey the exact emotions – the words used in the season 2 of Mismatched were not mismatched at all. For once, there was no scene created just for the sake of the song. Just as the scenes floated from one to another, so did the lyrics.
The director, Akarsh Khurana, had the exact people in his mind to create the magic that they are. Right from using rising indie names like Zaeden, Danish Sood, to someone like Rekha Bharadwaj, and not to forget our dear own Anmol, who composed and sang the trending song Kho Gaye, the album is extremely soothing.
He uses his imagination to rightfully follow the process of using music to the advantage of the ethos of the scene.
Just as well with the dialogues, Gazal Dhaliwal does a marvellous job in giving her characters the power to emote, and with the right choice of words, or sometimes even silences.
They are endearing, yet extremely relatable in terms of the chaos- miscommunications and misunderstandings, the mistakes they commit, and the consequences that they bring upon themselves. They are real, sincere, and genuine, making everyone feel seen, heard, and believed.
At other times, when words fail, it’s the silence that speaks. And no one told us that better than the humans of Mismatched- Kucch logo ke saath sirf waqt beetaney se hi sab thik ho jata hai.
The OTT platforms are the new favourite of the Indian audience. Not only is it preferable to the viewers in terms of the venue or the time, but also in terms of the content- well-founded, grounded, daring, and refreshing.
It has opened avenues to not merely the big names like Johar, who recently shifted his glamorous talk-show Koffee With Karan to Disney+Hotstar, but also provided opportunities to unknown names who are willing to work with fresh talent.
It includes series like such, and more to come.
Image source: Still from trailer of Mismatched season 2, edited on CanvaPro
The author is a Gen-Z kid who resorts to writing to vent out about the problematic ways of the world. Having majored in Theatre, English, and Psychology, I take a guilty pleasure in complex read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
She was sure she was dying of cancer the first time her periods came. Why did her mother not explain anything? Why did no one say anything?
Sneha still remembers the time when she had her first period.
She was returning home from school in a cycle-rickshaw in which four girls used to commute to school. When she found something sticky on the place where she was sitting, she wanted to hide it, but she would be the first girl to get down and others were bound to notice it. She was a nervous wreck.
As expected, everyone had a hearty laugh seeing her condition. She wondered what the rickshaw-wallah thought of her. Running towards her home, she told her mother about it. And then, she saw. There was blood all over. Was she suffering from some sickness? Cancer? Her maternal uncle had died of blood cancer!
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