Jee Karda, the brand-new Prime Video original by Arunima Sharma, Hussain Dalal, and Abbas Dalal, might have had its flaws, but it got the vibe of a large friend group being there for each other right. There are tensions, awkwardness, brutal honesty, and love that are shared in abundance between the eight of them, and one feels content to watch the makers effortlessly present their chemistry. We have had many shows in the past that paved the way for this genre called friendship/romance drama, and here is a comparative list of why these shows need to be watched on a lazy weekend to just put a smile on your face.
Little Things (2016)
Little Things, which began as a YouTube Original in the year 2016 and was later picked up as a Netflix Original, is about a couple in a long-term relationship trudging through life, love, career, financial struggles, and insecurities. What makes this show good is the realistic approach to the life every couple in love leads. As compared to Jee Karda, one can see how Little Things normalized women earning more than men and revolutionized the way women are represented. We had Kavya in Little Things, earning a lot more than Dhruv, and Lavanya as well in Jee Karda, who has a steady job as a senior architect while Rishabh is working on his business in the hopes that it will pick up.
Just like Dhruv in Little Things, Rishabh in Jee Karda is secure about his partner bringing in more money than he does, and it is a non-issue for them. It is high time cinema showcased such emotionally available men who stand by their partner’s career choices. This balance needed to be shown on screen, for everyone knows that cinema as a medium is highly impressionable. It is refreshing to watch female characters written with such nuance, even though we might have ladies around us who do earn more than their spouses, and it is completely okay to have that dynamic. Kavya and Lavanya are representations of such women, and it is high time we accept them and consider them as spouses earning to run the household.
Made In Heaven (2019)
This Zoya Akhtar-Reema Kagti 2019 Prime Video Original had everything going on simultaneously and seamlessly. Marriage, constant infidelity, female friendships, families, gay relationships, and of course, the drama around the wedding planned by the leads of the show. What stood out in this show was how accurately the makers showcased a flawed woman, and this is what makes Jee Karda also a show where they let the audience know that women can be flawed as well.
Tara and Fazia have done many questionable things in the name of relationships and love, and it is okay to admit that women do make mistakes. Meanwhile, Lavanya and Preet do make blunders of their own and are living with them because the narrative of placing women on pedestals and idolizing them as paragons would never work. It is important to represent such issues and normalize them so that there is no pressure on the female gender to be perfect all the time.
Karan Mehra in Made in Heaven comes out as an openly gay man to his family and the world to kill the stigma. Jee Karda went a mile ahead with Melroy and Yavar’s relationship to let the viewers know homosexual relationships can be as toxic and abusive as any heterosexual partnership. The telling of stories from the LGBTQ+ community, diversifying the topics, and presenting complexities related to their romantic relationships are what make both shows highly watchable.
Four More Shots Please (2019-2022)
One of Prime Video’s flagship shows led the audience into the world of four single women and the lives they lead in the high-cost city of Mumbai. The representation of a working woman in that city was a bit too stretched, but what stands out is how there is finally a show that represents a percentage of women who choose to stay single by choice, are working towards enhancing their careers, and are not seeking relationships. Lavanya and Rishabh and Sheetal and Sameer in Jee Karda are hardly a representation of a perfect couple, but they try to make their relationship work and lead a healthy professional life. Preet, in the same show, never loses hope of finding the perfect partner for herself, but she does not sacrifice her career or her personal life for it.
In Four More Shots Please, we have Damini Roy and Anjana Menon who face heartbreaks but internalize them rather than make their lives about it. These two shows accurately present friendship and the dynamics each person has with the others in the entire group. Arjun in Jee Karda, just like the women in Four More Shots Please, is a flawed friend, but he learns his lessons from the mistakes. This amalgamation makes both shows worth binging.
This 2020 Netflix Original had plenty of issues on the story level, but the rush of first love, first relationship, the race to make money, and students from privileged families is put across subtly, and it works. Jee Karda too took the viewers through the stories of the group when they were school-going kids and how they stood up for each other even when they were in their teens.
What works for Mismatched is how the youth of this generation do not understand the many aspects the generation before them have grown up on, and they try to get a grip to understand if old-school methods still work or not. The confusion is aptly presented. Meanwhile, Jee Karda will not cater to the audience of the current generation, for it takes them through the 90s when there were bare minimum ways to connect with your friends and the only way to communicate was to express it through talking or letters. Both shows cannot be compared because they cater to two different sets of audiences but try to remain true to the milieu they are targeting.
What The Folks (2017)
Another 2017 YouTube original focused more on the two sets of parents, that of each spouse, and their relationship. This show might have sugar-coated the relationship dynamics with parents, unlike Jee Karda, which was on point about how toxic parents and adult figures can be for children and young adults who are financially stable but mentally are not in the right place.
In comparison, Nikhil and Ankita’s parents do come across as people with high levels of thinking who understand what their children want from their lives and do not interfere. But that is not the reality, unfortunately, which has been touched upon by the makers of Jee Karda. Melroy’s stepfather sexually abused him as a kid, and Shahid was a victim of physical abuse by his father as well, not to mention Rishabh’s parents putting pressure on him to make his wedding an event and relying on society’s perception of them. This is why Rishabh treated Arjun’s mother as a maternal figure who understood him. This changed their perception of what parents are, and they hope not to become like them if they ever have kids. What the folks and Jee Karda got many aspects of parents and parenthood right.
This is a list of my favorite shows that talk about family dynamics, friendship, realistic romance, and the drama around them. Readers can recommend their favorite shows from this genre in the comment section, which they think cuts the clutter.