Web Series Review: What The Folks Season 1

What The Folks is a web series that is released on Dice Media channel. The series is divided in small seasons of 4 or 5 episodes. Each episode is about 25 minutes long.

The first season consists of 5 episodes. The premise is set around Nikhil’s stay at his in-law’s house.

From the YouTube channel

‘What The Folks’ is a journey of how modern families are breaking stereotypes, overcoming generation gaps, and growing to love one another, despite having starkly different world views. The show encapsulates the familial struggles of Nikhil, a young man who is forced to live with his in-laws for a few weeks.

Cast and Characters

Veer Rajwant Singh as Nikhil Solanki

Eisha Chopra as Anita Sharma / Anita Solanki

Anita is Nikhil’s wife. She’s a working woman. Nikhil and Anita have been in a live-in relationship before marriage.

Vipin Sharma as Prakash Sharma

Anita’s father, Nikhil’s father-in-law. He has a wacky sense of humour. As society’s chairman, he reminds everyone of the rules.

Deepika Deshpande Amin as Mrs Sudha Prakash Sharma

Anita’s mother, Nikhil’s mother-in-law. Her world revolves around making Nikhil happy. She’s feirce otherwise, when she talks to Prakash and her daughters.

Anula Navlekar as Akshata Sharma

Nikhil’s sister-in-law

Dhruv Sehgal as Dhruv

Nikhil’s Business Partner and his confidante, occasionally sprinkles salt on Nikhil’s wounds

Baldev Trehan as Rehman

The elderly Electrician who has been serving the family for 22 years, not 20, mind you.

Harsh Vyas as Pintu

The caretaker of their car. He’s nosy and is treated like a family.

Hitesh Chauhan

S01E01 – Arranged Family

Nikhil has to visit Mumbai for some work..instead of staying in a hotel, Anita, his wife insists that he stays at her house, with Nikhil’s in laws.

His flight was late and everyone is worried.

The moments he arrives in Mumbai, things aren’t going well, whether it Mumbai and it’s style or his in laws. His sleeping style, his eating choices are different. They insist of treating him like the demigod, giving him the protocol that Indian son in law supposedly deserves. From feeding him oily food to taking care of everything for him to teaching him things like using right hand to eat, not eating non veg on Tuesday; they drive him crazy.

Prakash has a wacky sense of humour. Akshata is the only respite he gets as she understands him.

Prakash insists that Nikhil takes his car to work. And it gets bumped.

Epigamia ads felt forced, so forced, I can’t even.

S01E02 – The Mad House

Prakash is infuriated at the accident. They simply deny that it was Nikhil’s doing. Prakash and Sudha fight about everything from buying the car to lending it to Nikhil, to Prakash’s refusal for visiting Sudha cousin Tanuja. Prakash doesn’t want Nikhil to pay for the repairs. How do they do that? Simple, they blame it on the kids playing in the society.

Almost everything in their house is broken from microwave to mixer grinder. When Nikhil gets some time alone in the house, he decides to spend his time cleaning and fixing things.

Nikhil has exchanged the old electronic stuff for a new microwave and mixer grinder. He brings a new electrician to fit things. Prakash brings Rahman, their old trusted electrician. Again, Prakash and Sudha fight and blame each other. Amongst the chaos, the new electrician and Rahman bicker with each other. The Day ends as Prakash agrees to go to Tanuja’s house so Nikhil can stay home, just because he called him papa. Awnnn!

This episode was hilarious.

Zoom car ad was nicely incorporated. But I know product placement when I see one.

S01E03 – Conditions Apply

Anita visits Mumbai for Prakash and Sudha’s 30th anniversary. Akshata is planning to move out to Bangalore, but nobody knows, yet.

The family talks about relatives and Nikhil feels a bit left out. At least that’s what I felt.

They drink, play cards and just have a good time.

Zoomcar and Epigamia ads, again, and again. Alright, I will ignore it now.

S01E04 – Stuck in the middle

The party is over and Anita is back to Delhi. Sudha had casually mentioned that Nikhil is older than Anita, though he is two years younger than Anita. Anita flips out unnecessarily. Prakash and Sudha try hard to explain but she isn’t listening. It then moves on to Nikhil’s first impression, why he wears shorts and whatnot. Anita blurts about Akshata’s moving to Bangalore.

Anita and her parents stop talking to each other. However, they become extra nice to him from making tea to cooking eggs for breakfast, from ordering all HD channels to stocking the fridge with epigamia, from wearing crocs and funky pajamas to waiting for dinner until he arrives. Rohan and Nikhil interview a guy Rajat in Pune. Rohan finally realizes that Nikhil would be perfect for him.

S01E05 – Home

Nikhil comes back from Pune and Prakash is unconscious. He freaks out and takes Prakash to a hospital. The conversation in the car between the two men is oh-so-hilarious. Even in pain, Prakash doesn’t stop from his antiques. Nikhil confronts them that they shouldn’t treat him any different than Akshata and Anita. They do realize their mistake. Things finally settle.

The series ends as Anita and Nikhil decide to move back to Mumbai.

Parting Thoughts

Family” as a topic can never go wrong. One can use it in comedy and it is bound to be relatable and uncomfortably funny. Family can be a base for drama, melodrama, tragedy and it would work every time. It is one of the most relatable topics. Indian parents, it seems, do not vary much when it comes to treating their kids. The same can be said for the younger generation, who would undoubtedly have problems with their parents irrespective of the space they get.

The drama goes several notches higher if the subject line is family of in laws. I found the Sharmas so atrociously annoying that gritted my teeth. The scene in episode 4 when Nikhil brings new electronic stuff and a newbie electrician, Sudha and Prakash continue to bicker with each other. Nikhil repeatedly tries to jump in the conversation to resolve the matters but in vain.

I cannot say that the web series was perfect. There were times that I felt things were happening too fast without giving much time to process the transition from one scene to other.

Also, Mumbai doesn’t come out as a character since most of the scenes are indoors. I would have loved to see the accident scene on screen.

The series is intriguing enough and I have decided to watch the next season as well. This family is quirky and Nikhil is cute. Let’s hope the second season is just as interesting.

Shabana Mukhtar