Four Mores Shots Please (Amazon Video)
Starring Kirti Kulhari, Maanvi Gagroo, Bani J, Sayani Gupta
Directed by Anu Menon, Nupur Asthana
In a series sparkling with chic quips and sparkling one-liners, there is not one happy protagonist at the end. Season 2, one of the best streaming series in India, concludes with a major twist!
Don’t look at me. Life itself serves up such a supreme spoiler for those who care to lunge forward in pursuit of self-satisfaction. Four More Shots Please says it’s okay to be selfish, that being a woman doesn’t mean you have to be constantly caring, giving, sacrificing, etc. Not surprisingly there are many talented women involved with this smart sassy series. And they ensure a life of unfettered pleasure pursuit, a lot of it in bed, for our ladies.
So in case you haven’t already met them, meet the four female heroes of this glamorous good-looking series with plenty of balls and brio. Anjana (Kirti Kulhari) is still a single mother, still half in love with her ex-husband (Neil Bhoopalam, a stand-out male character in a series unabashedly celebrating womanhood), still beautiful.
Damini (Sayani Gupta) is still a feisty and over-emotional writer lusting after two men , one old enough to be the other’s father. Damini’s story also brings out the series’ most crucial debate: the freedom of the press. Kalam calamity,so to say.
My favourite Siddhi (Maanvi Gagroo) is still Gujarati, still overweight. What has changed in Season 2 for Siddhi is her newly found sense of self-worth as she finds her bearing as a stand-up artiste (and Gagroo should really do stand-up, she’s THAT good at it) and there’s no dearth of male attention specially from a fellow-standup played nicely by Prabal Panjabi, all of which Siddhi rejects. Maybe she’s a closet lesbian. Season 3, perhaps? Siddhi is the only one of the four protagonists who has evolved. May the growth continue.
Umang (Bani J) is stuck in her gay tangle with the big film star Lisa Ray. This strand in the well-written plot is the least interesting as it just goes round and round saying only one thing: it’s not easy being gay in this country.
Got it. Next? I’d say Season 2 of Four More Shots Please is far more well-informed and shapely than Season 1. The performances even the men, are uniformly likeable even when the characters are doing unlikeable things, like cheating on their wives and showering way too much attention on their girlfriend. This is what poor Arjun Nair (Ankur Rathee) ends up doing with Anjana. She shows him the door. Perfection is boring.
Warning to potential spouses and mates: too much attention is even more dangerous too little, Life’s lessons are served up not in bold italics but insinuated into situations and plot movements which never undermine the sheer screen presence of the characters. Nobody here is going to back off just because it’s the right thing to do. Four More Shots celebrates life in all its ugly uncomfortable messy glory. It’s a really good-looking series with some exquisite locations where the characters just shit, puke and pee on the idyll. From guys who come too soon to girls who never reach on time, Season 2 sweeps across the tempestuous spectrum of the man-woman axis, laying deliberate stress on what women want but ensuring that the men have a voice too.
It’s been a while since I watched every episode of an OTT series. No, not binge-watched. That would be doing no justice to the dialogues that just flow with a sardonic wisdom. I watched it a little at a time savouring the incidental details. There is a word-play on the word ‘crack’ between Anjali and her married lover that will crack you up. Provided you aren’t a prude who thinks women who use four-letter words or talk about parts of the body, are not nice. In that case, you are in the wrong place.