Yeh Meri Family is a fresh offering from Indian digital platform The Viral Fever that has been cashing in on the ever growing demand for content oriented web series with a mass appeal. In a day and time when digital media has been ruling media and the entertainment industry, Yeh Meri Family captures the ’90s spirit in essence as it dishes out a fun new viewing experience.
Set in a remarkably peaceful Jaipur of 1998, Yeh Meri Family plays on nostalgia, drawing upon every possible reference of the times gone by. A middle class family of five going on about their life while dealing with the emotions and sentiment of the ‘era’ strives to keep you hooked to the screens, as you recount several identical instances that mimic the days of yore.
Starring Vishesh Bansal, Ahan Nirban, Mona Singh, Akarsh Khurana, Prasad Reddy, Ruhi Khan as the characters, TVF’s latest show is actually scripted to make you taste a slice of life. Nostalgia runs predominantly throughout the series, and maybe even rules over the very narrative in certain instances.
Director Sameer Saxena and writer Saurabh Khanna comes up with a show that will tickle your senses with virtually every reference of the past that remains very much imbued in memory. There are numerous references, but the notion of summer being a festival is an emotion so typically ingrained in the spirit of the ’90s that you can’t help but smile as you recount your own days of celebrating such occasions.
Indeed, summer is all about smiles and color, and 13 year old Harshu gets it right in every tone and imagination of the same. But there are other striking details as well. The concoction of Rooh Afza and milk, Phantom cigarettes, WWF cards(ooh the collection!), gobbling up a spoonful of Bournvita powder and many more will particularly strike viewers with their originality and ‘innocence’.
Even then, Yeh Meri Family is not just a celebration of the wonders, it’s also a hard hitting tale of reality that permeates your life even as you bask in its seeming glory. Akarsh Khurana as the father will particularly strike you with his somewhat nonchalant take on life. As a consistently doting dad who doesn’t like to overburden his wards with regard for the simplicity of times, Khurana undoubtedly reminds us of someone for whom life is more than just a rat race.
However, all the innocence not withstanding, Yeh Meri Family also prepares you for the ground reality of existence- that of pushing your limits in keeping with demands of an increasingly competitive world. In being succumbent to the ‘notion’ of Kota or simply dealing with pressure exerted by the impending Boards, the show inevitably gives way to the ‘modern’ life of the times.
And while the makers have consciously attempted to keep the feel as real as possible by not overtly resorting to drama, Harshu remains the star of Yeh Meri Family. From being all of us as he accuses his mother of favoritism towards his elder brother to finally realising what life without any member of the family would likely be, the show is also a tour through the twists and turns of life.
Mona Singh as the mother too does not go overboard with her show of emotions. As the mom who goes from stern to caring as the situation demands, the lady in the Gupta family is the exact replica of the woman who has moulded our life and living.
Yeh Meri Family would have been incomplete without Shanky, Harshu’s go to friend for every situation and every nagging. Shanky does not disappoint but with his characteristic maturity and innate understanding, however, seems a bit too expressive. Maybe, it’s how the makers had conceived themselves as they grew up in a similar setup, stereotypical and commonplace.
Yeh Hai Family is necessarily your detour to the simple life experience of the ’90s. Humor, drama, emotion all embedded even in the subtlety of sarcasm imbibed in fondness makes this web series one of the most ‘Indian’ ever!