Starring: Ratna Pathak Shah, Raj Babbar, Atul Kulkarni, Ayesha Jhulka, Sanah Kapur, Raunak Kamdar
Directors: JD Majethia & Aatish Kapadia
'Happy Family, Conditions Apply' has the wholesome family comedy of 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai', the energy of 'Dekh Bhai Dekh' and all the goodness of the old-school television soaps blended into a modernised new India. And then the Prime Video series goes beyond mere comedy and packs a punch with subtle social satire that must be respected and heard.
The series boasts a powerhouse cast delivering strong performances throughout the show. Kapadia's signature style of 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' or 'Khichdi' is evident in almost all the scenes. The writing is well-crafted, with a sharp and witty script that balances drama and humour in equal measure. It is essential to note here Pathak Shah's character bears no resemblance to Maya Sarabhai; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Both the writer and the actor have aged like fine wine and have not hesitated to pour all their experiences into this show. Kulkarni and Babbar are adorable in their respective characters, and Jhulka shines through.
MORE LIKE THIS…
One of the strengths of 'Happy Family, Conditions Apply' is its ability to capture the nuances and humour of the Gujarati community while respecting the traditions and culture. The storyline follows the four generations of the Dholakia family living under one roof, who lives and breathes everything Gujarati. The subtle clash of globalised Gujaratis and age-old Gujarati traditions in the form of generation gaps makes for an entertaining watch. The drama begins with the youngest generation announcing their new apartment and declaring to go nuclear (family, not war!).
The web series explores themes such as homosexuality, infidelity, mental health, societal pressures, work cultures and more, and does so in a way that doesn't feel preachy at all. Each episode of this show catches Indian hypocrisies by the horns in a most palatable manner. Eye-opening lessons get imparted in a blink of an eye, followed by spontaneous laughter. It is so refreshing because it doesn't run away from exploring taboo topics and reminds the viewers how modern India today actually is.
MORE LIKE THIS…
Overall, ‘Happy Family, Conditions Apply’ is a well-executed family drama series that will appeal to one and all. A worthy watch for those looking for quality content, this is the show needed yesterday to detox Indian TV from the continuous toxic streaming of saas-bahu nonsense. And now that it's here let us embrace the brilliance of Indian culture and traditions in all its glory and comedy.