Three Shades of Brown is a funky new mini-series written and produced by Shai Hussain. Starring Muzz Khan (Nas), Omar Khan (Ravi) and Navinder Bhatti (Harry), the show explores the relationship between three twenty-something men who are all Asian, yet have conflicting personalities. BollySpice presents to you our review of Season One of Three Shades of Brown, where we discuss all eight episodes. Enjoy!
Episode 1 – Live in a Penthouse
So the pilot episode kicks off with Nas, who plays the rude boy. He’s seen acting like a DJ and imagining as if he’s in a nightclub, when he’s actually doing all this in his bedroom. You’re then introduced to the other two key characters. There’s Harry, who plays the coconut and moves in with Nas, and Ravi, who plays the freshie who is too desi. This 5 minute episode is largely designed to introduce us to the key characters and what they are about, before the story delves deeper.
Episode 2 – You Trust me to write the Contract?
With Episode 2, you start to see more of the personalities of the three key characters. Ravi is torn because his girlfriend Shalini has broken up with him via Facebook. Whereas with Harry and Nas, you see them already bickering before Harry has even moved into the flat, because Nas is threatening him with a trial run to see whether or not he’s a good roommate. Both agree that a contract should be drawn up in order to resolve the issue. Whilst watching this particular episode, I found myself relating with Harry’s character. Though Harry’s way of speaking the English language can begin to irritate you, he manages to demonstrate some class which Asians who live in metropolitan areas may be able to connect with.
Episode 3 – This is the News at Ten
This one was probably more fun to watch, in contrast to the previous two episodes. Ravi is still upset about his break-up with Shalini. Harry tells him to stop sending her obsessive messages pleading to get back with her. Ravi is up all night, trying to resist the temptation of sending her a text but eventually does so. Meanwhile, Harry is woken up by Nas’s music where he is erratically DJ-ing at four in the morning. Both get into a heated argument, with Ravi trying to play the hero by bringing things down to a calm level. During this, Ravi gets a text from Shalini asking him to meet for coffee. This one was more intriguing to watch due to the fact that we get to see the plot build up and the characters begin to blossom more.
Episode 4 – I am my own man, I don’t give no s***
In this episode, Nas tells Ravi that he needs to stand up to Shalini. Nas feels that Ravi is just doing everything and anything based on her orders and tells him to stick up for himself and be a man. When meeting Shalini, Ravi pleads with her for them to get back together but Shalini feels that it would be ideal if they have a break to think things through. Refusing this idea, Ravi threatens Shalini by asking her to make a decision now on whether or not they should still be together. The episode ends on a cliff-hanger and you are left wondering what will happen next. This had some interesting elements to it and I did enjoy seeing Nas encouraging Ravi to man up, as there are many Asian men who are indeed very sensitive and needy. Yet I still very much enjoyed Episode 3 more compared to this one, which was a little bland in places.
Episode 5 – That’s so 90s!
With Episode 5, you see the three friends discussing Ravi and Shalini’s relationship and the fact that they are on a break. Ravi begs Nas to let him move in with him and Harry temporarily until he wins back Shalini. Nas says no to the idea, with Harry criticising just what a true friend Nas really is to not help out Ravi during his time of need. This then leads to both Nas and Harry asking Ravi who the better friend is. You will have to watch this one to find out who Ravi goes with but it eventually leads to build up of bitter tension. This episode is quite short but nevertheless has one or two funny moments that are worth watching.
Episode 6 – Say Hi to Danni for me
I think from all the episodes I’ve seen so far, this one was definitely the shortest and dullest of the lot. You basically just see Nas thinking about whether he should let Ravi move in with him, with Harry proposing to move out so he can stay. Nas is then seen writing a Facebook message to his ex-roommate Jamie about what’s been happening with him, as well as with Ravi and Harry. I didn’t enjoy this one and frankly, the main reason was because it was deprived from any comedic moments.
Episode 7 – Two Completely Different Ladders
The episode opens with Ravi reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Nas walks in and makes homosexual remarks towards him for reading such a girly novel. Nas is still upset with Ravi for saying that Harry is the better friend compared to him. Yet Ravi reassures him that both of them mean a lot to him and that he shouldn’t be forced to choose as they are both completely ‘different ladders.’ The episode ends with Harry announcing that he’s found a place to stay in Barking and will be moving out soon, with Nas telling Ravi that he can stay with him for as long as he needs to. This one was enjoyable to watch and the jokes Nas makes towards Ravi are quite funny that it’s worth checking out.
Episode 8 – I’m Paying you Rent?
In the final episode of season one, Nas is seen talking to his mum (guest appearance by Poonam Joshi), who tells him that she and his father can no longer support him financially. He needs to get a job and start growing up. Becoming desperate with regards to who will pay his rent and bills, Nas begs Ravi for money but says he can only pay a small amount towards the household costs. Nas needs someone who has a lucrative job who will be able to cover the bills until he gets a job himself and guess who he thinks of? Bingo! It’s none other than Harry, the lawyer who he cannot stand. Just as he is about to set off to Barking, Nas and Ravi chase after Harry and beg him to stay. Now in a position of advantage, Harry makes many demands and offers to write up a roommate contract, which annoys Nas. Yet helpless and in need of support, Nas agrees to the terms and the episode ends with the three officially living together. I consider this one to be my favourite from the series and you are left wondering how the three young men will be able to put up with each other in one flat, given their totally different personalities.
Overall I found series one of Three Shades of Brown to be fun and engaging in many places and would recommend it to all (especially to British Asian boys). The characters are unique, hilarious and manage to exude qualities which many can connect with in this modern age. Writer and director Shai Hussain deserves praise for being brave enough to come forward to make this bold and interesting mini-series which acts as great time pass. Therefore, do check out Three Shades of Brown as it’s cool, funky and full of Asian jokes and innuendos that you will enjoy!