tv & movies

Metro Park Season 2 review: A light-hearted web series

Ajayan Venugopalan and Aby Verghese know their subject, so there are no false steps. The tone is determinedly middling, though.

As befits a second season, Metro Park, is more of the same, plus one. Plus three, actually. A new born baby, a loving mummy, and a dishy childhood crush. The 12 part series chugs along, giving us slight, good-natured encounters with this Patel family in America, the seniors still clinging to their Gujarati accents and thrifty ways, the juniors learning what it is to be teenagers in a strictly-monitored household. These Patels are also in the process of assimilating, and that’s what makes them a little more interesting.

Kalpesh Patel (Ranvir Shorey) is busy buffing up his convenience store, Pay&Run, with an eye on getting into the insurance business. Payal (Purbi Joshi) has her beauty parlour, but she wants to also turn into a YouTube influencer. The kids (‘keeds’) are your standard teenage brown Americans, getting lectured by their anxious parents on the perils of pre-marital sex. Payal’s pregnant sister Kinjal (Tamotia) has delivered, and her South Indian husband Kannan (Omi Vaidya) is busy hovering around, giving her tips on how to be a good mommy, while he smilingly ducks daddy duties.

Ajayan Venugopalan and Aby Verghese know their subject, so there are no false steps. The tone is determinedly middling, though. So no sharp edges in these 20-minute vignettes of contemporary Gujjus in suburban America, where the mayor wants the desi community to bat for him, and an occasional white lady pops up at the parlour for a free blowout. The omni-present Mummy (Sarita Joshi) is actually not present at all, all because of a visa problem, but ‘desis’ are nothing if not innovative. Wifi and face time zindabad, and presto, mummy is in the house.

Shorey and Joshi make a nice, lived-in couple. So do Vaidya and Tomatia. The travails of brand-new parents, with no live-in help (see, that’s where a visa-bearing mummyji would have come in), the fond daddy’s love for all things organic, the young mommy learning the ropes, lead to smiles. But a couple of threads become repetitive, even in brisk run-times: Joshi’s screen-time, for example, becomes a bit dull after a point.

What perks things up is the appearance of Milind Soman, as a hot dentist. Pitobash Tripathy, as the store assistant, is solid right through. There’s a girl back home, and he wants to tell her he loves her but doesn’t know how: Tripathy’s sweet cluelessness is on point. As is Shorey’s Kalpesh, always looking to make a buck, stacking the cans which are close to their sell-by date in front, but with a soft spot for the genuinely needy. The ‘dhokla-dandiya-dhando’ is in place. So is the ‘dil’: money is to be made, but with heart.

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