Masaba Masaba starred the mother-daughter team of Neena and Masaba Gupta, playing fictionalized versions of themselves, and giving the show a likeable reality show vibe. Now Season 2 (Netflix) is streaming, in which the two have retained just their names and relationship, and created a fresh story line.
Directed by Sonam Nair (written by Nair, Nandini Gupta, Punya Arora and Anisha Raisurana) it is more amusing than the first season, more because the two Guptas are not afraid of taking digs at themselves. In the very first episode, they face the ageism and fear of redundancy that is the bane of every woman over 30. Neena handles age-shaming trolls with defiance, Masaba is flummoxed when people start walking out of her show. “A 22-year-old influencer is stealing my audience,” she exclaims, only to gently be told that everybody’s time comes to an end.
The upstart is Qayanaat (Kareema Barry), who snidely tells Masaba she has been watching her since she was in her “literal chaddies” and has the nerve to tell the senior designer not to repeat herself!
Meanwhile, Masaba fears she is pregnant and has a weird nightmare about it. She also has a heart-to-heart with her mother in the washroom– the rebel of her time, now telling her daughter not to fool around with so many boys!
Her investor and admirer Dhairya (Neil Bhoopalam) is waiting in the friend zone, while Masaba is attracted to Fateh (Armaan Khera), who is a rich hunk, engaged to be married to her client, the heiress (Barkha Singh).
The smart, talented and career-driven Masaba is reduced for most part to romcom ditzy babe by the script, and gamely pulls off the silliness. She also comes across as self-centred, leaning on her friend Gia (Rytasha Rathore) when she is down, but not being there for her when Gia has mental health issues. Thankfully, she recovers her poise and purpose by the end.
Neena Gupta plans to revive her show, Fursat, and goes through the grind there; an old flame walks into her life, and she is let down again. Pity that there is less of her and more of Masaba, who stands in for the urban millennial constantly struggling between career ambition and love, dangling between real emotions and Insta-ready pouts.
The show is breezy, but also tackles many situations urban women have to go through in the near-impossible pursuit of having it all. Worth watching just for the stylish, eye-candy outfits that are not only for tall, young, stick-thin models. If Neena Gupta can rock in shorts, so can everybody else.
(This piece first appeared in seniorstoday.com)