Director, Gurinder Chadha brings us a ‘real-life’ drama chronicling the lives of young British Asians in West London. You’re probably wondering why I’ve said ‘real life’ and not real life, and that’s because the whole episode just seemed to be so scripted. I thought the first episode started off really slow and I really was expecting a lot more, and so was everyone else from what I could see on my Twitter feed.
We get to meet Shreena who is preparing for her wedding to Prakash, and get to know their thoughts and feelings before the wedding. It was also nice to see what their parent’s felt, how Prakash’s mum feels they will get along, now with two women living together, of different generations. And this couldn’t be any truer for many young Asian women who have got recently got married and moved in with the in-laws! Not only does the newly married woman need to adjust, so does the MiL (mother-in-law), especially now as there will be another woman in her son’s life. I personally think that wedding should have been aired as a season finale rather than the first episode of the show. The whole wedding scene, personally, in my opinion, dragged a little and I felt like I was watching someone’s video wedding. I would have loved to seen a bit more of the behind the scenes of an Indian wedding. For the non-Asian viewers, it would have been great to show the events and festivities that take place during the lead up to a wedding, e.g. mendhi night. The wedding venue did look absolutely stunning and I would be really grateful if anyone could tell me where it was, lol!
Two things that I really enjoyed about the show which I am so glad Gurinder Chadha did is 1) cast a gay Asian man and 2) have two inter-racial couples. These are two things that are kept hidden in the Asian community, and normally frowned upon. Only recently we heard about the young Muslim Doctor who jumped to his death because he was gay and his mum was so ashamed of him, she asked him “to seek a cure”. Being gay isn’t openly spoken about at all within the Asian community and I’m glad within the first half hour we meet Naman, a gay Asian man.
We also meet Jo and Celia Shah, and Rennick and Vaneeta. In my personal opinion, inter-racial couples aren’t frowned upon in the Asian Community, but it definitely will get the aunties talking when they find out you’re not with an Indian boy/girl! For a lot of the older generation aunties and uncles, being with a non-indian is a big deal, and you can guarantee your name will come up at any social gathering.
I was just a little disappointed with the first episode, but I don’t think I was the only one. I am keen to see how the show will progress, and get to meet the other characters. And, it will be really interesting to see how Shreena starts to settle in at her husband’s house, or should I say, her mother-in-laws’ house!
What were your thoughts on the first episode? Would love to know!