What it’s about
Directed by Sahil Sangha, the Amazon Original hinges on a mildly dysfunctional family helmed by Rishabh Malhotra (Cyrus Sahukar) and his wife Shefali (Mini Mathur). Their three kids, Jia (Anandita Pagnis), Dia (Nikki Sharma) and Yohan (Jason D’Souza), Rishabh’s mother (Sushmita Mukherjee) and their cook Zoru (Rahul Mehra) make up the rest of the household.
Jolted to reflect on their marriage by the all divorces taking place around them, Rishabh and Shefali visit a therapist, Gulfam Rastogi (Denzil Smith). Based on the Israeli series La Famiglia, the show will remind a lot of viewers of Modern Family, the best example of the dysfunctional family trope.
While Sahukar is funny, the show sags beneath the weight of a ham-handed script and poorly written characters. There’s much fodder to be mined in family interactions that are normal yet hilarious when you observe them. To be sure, there are a handful of keen observations, like Shefali and Rishabh planning and discarding an entire vacation while sitting on their couch; but these are too few. Then there are the annoying repetitions in the narrative: what annoys Shefali about Rishabh, how they spend their free time and so on. Even the scenes in which the Malhotras are chatting with Gulfam, which could have been comedic, are stilted.
It doesn’t help that the characters are sketchy. For instance, we only find out in episode five that Dia is an over-questioning nerd. Jia is the cliched airhead with a rotating cast of boyfriends. The son, Yohan, is a weird kid, frequently dismissed by his folks. But who really are these people? We never get to know them.
Surprisingly, the setting is strangely artificial. The house and other spots where the story plays out look like sets. There are music cues to suggest humour and alarm, and jarring jump cuts.
In a ranking of shows about dysfunctional families, Mind the Malhotras would be rock bottom.
Mind the Malhotras (9 episodes plus one bonus) is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.