The first season of “Masaba Masaba” received a lukewarm response from the critics as well as the audience. A Netflix original, following the lives of Masaba Gupta, a celebrated fashion designer, and her veteran actress mother through a fictional setup of their lives. Inspired by stories from their real lives, “Masaba Masaba” is meta in the genre per se, where both Masaba and Neena Gupta play a fictional version of themselves and allow the audience to get a sneak peek into the fictional versions of themselves.
Season 1 of “Masaba Masaba” ends with Masaba realizing her periods are late, and season 2 aptly begins with Masaba dreaming of her being in labor and the doctor being Dr. K. (watch the show to know who that is). She is rattled not just by her delayed periods but also by her younger competitor, who is gaining a lot of traction on social media. On the other hand, Neena Gupta, fondly known as Neena Ji, during the shoot of an interview, accidentally makes a statement about the revival of her yesteryear television show. Realizing this might just be a good idea, she starts working on the script but is skeptical about recasting the same actor she was paired with. Shekhar Mirza, played the dashing Ram Kapoor, steps in. Shekhar and Neena were in a relationship in the past, which derailed as Shekhar walked out of the show. Shekhar, on meeting Neena, starts flirting with her but understands her boundaries.
Meanwhile, Dhairya (Neil Bhoopalan) conveys to Masaba his intentions of dating her. Finding him uninteresting initially, Masaba ignores his advances and concentrates on launching her line of wedding collection, House of Shaadi. To promote her line, Masaba hires a new PR person, aka Nicole, played by the fabulous Kusha Kapila. The team House of Shaadi soon lands an uber-rich bride and groom who are about to get married, but trouble brews when Masaba finds herself getting attracted to the hot groom. Now, does the groom reciprocate her feelings? Does the House of Shaadi find traction? Is Neenaji successful in getting the Fursat reboot? All of these form the crux of the second season.
Season 2 of “Masaba Masaba” is essentially a brilliant extension of Season 1. The story and plotlines in season 2 are far more structured, a lot of fun elements land accurately, and the drama is just enough without making it overbearing. Writer-director Sonam Nair, this time around, has gotten a grip on the narrative. Season 1 was kind of all over the place, and that’s the reason it wasn’t a hit, but season 2 makes a good comeback in the form of a good narrative, which includes the pacing as well. The screenplay, as well as season 2, had a shape and form, which went with the flow without being derailed by unnecessary plotlines. The screenplay this time is neat.
The stunning part of the story and the screenplay by Sonam Nair is telling stories of women. The struggles, the societal gaze, and the willingness to overlook a lot of distractions to concentrate only and only on their respective careers. Whether it is Neena Ji trying to find her foothold in her show, flirtatious behavior from her co-actors, or Masaba not willing to give up on her dream collection, House of Shaadi, for some obvious attraction shown by the groom. The story and screenplay focused on female friendships, the need to pull each other up from the dumpsters; the loss of a friend; grief; relationship dynamics; and many more. This show is inspired by all the prototype Hollywood romantic comedies. The lead actress, swamped with work, confused between two desirable men, an overbearing, overachieving, concerned mother, and more are covered by Sonam Nair. These points have been covered convincingly, if not brilliantly. Even though the writing is extremely predictable, somehow, it keeps the narrative engaging, making you want to know how the show will end.
The direction by Sonam Nair is good as well. It blended well with the screenplay, mainly because Sonam is the writer of the show as well. The direction surely helped in taking the predictable narrative forward, making it interesting. The show has some beautiful clothes (well, duh, it is about the life of a fashion designer), worn by beautiful people who are slightly torn, sad, or upset but willing to work past it and have a good life. Casting is genius in this season with so many amazing cameos, including getting on board two well-known social media influencers.
There’s Milind Soman, Kartik Aryan, Sakshi Sindwani, Neelam Kothari, Maria Goretti, Kanwaljit Singh, the legendary Bappi Lahiri, and Kareema Barry. None of their scenes seemed forced upon the narration, and all of their characters blended well. In the supporting cast, there is the dashing flirt Ram Kapoor, the flamboyant Kusha Kapila, and the snotty rich kid bride Barkha Singh. All of them do justice to the roles they portray, and kudos to Sonam Nair for writing such quirky characters. Masaba Gupta and Neena Gupta seem to be enjoying playing another version of themselves on screen. It is such a joy to watch Neena Gupta own the second stage of her life by playing such roles with utmost ease and comfort. Who knew Masaba’s got the acting chops? She is effective in emotional scenes. Even though she is playing a version of herself, Masaba seems to be in control of what she should reveal and what she should not. Two thumbs up to Masaba Gupta. Neil Bhoopalan plays the typical good guy, Dhairya Rana. The actor plays the role with finesse because he is Neil Bhoopalan. His love for Masaba is so obvious that it is difficult to wonder why Masaba can’t see this. Or do we women deliberately avoid falling for the good guy just to attract the bad guy? Who knows?
“Masaba Masaba” isn’t a breakthrough show, but somehow season 2 works because it refused to head down the cheesy, cringe-worthy road. It stuck to a lane and experimented around it, which worked. Season 2 of “Masaba Masaba” is not a must-watch, but it isn’t a bad watch either. You can binge the show in one sitting with wine in one hand and pasta in the other.
“Masaba Masaba” is a Netflix original, streaming on the platform with subtitles.