Netflix’s Bhaag Beanie Bhaag is poorly written, knit up with loopholes and makes an unsuccessful attempt at seeming woke and inclusive.
Set in present day Mumbai, Bhaag Beanie Bhaag entails the journey of Bindiya Bhatnagar aka Beanie. She is on her way to getting married when her passion calls out to her.
From being an MBA graduate with a job to being a stand up comedian, the series shows how her identities come in her way. Being a woman from a middle class household and being on the edge of early 30s are some of them.
The title signifies her constant shift of goals despite her one true love for comedy. She is required to fit into roles created by society and her parents.
While the premise does seem coming of age and promising, it barely meets expectations. The plot gets funny because its bad and not because it was intended.
One area where the series looked most promising was its ensemble. Swara Bhaskar plays Beanie and Dolly Singh her friend Kapi. Several comedians like Rahul Subramanian and Kaneez Surka also make appearances as themselves.
But none of them manage to even barely seem convincing. However, Girish Kulkarni and Mona Ambegaonkar are a breath of fresh air. As Beanie’s parents they are the closest thing to being ‘relatable’ in an otherwise unrealistic plot that runs on extremes.
Swara Bhaskar is partly to blame. Her portrayal of Beanie seems artificial and forced because of how her character is written. Jokes like “Women shouldn’t do MBA because they’re good at management by birth”, is what initially represents her character in the series.
Dolly Singh as Kapi is forgettable and too shallow for her own good. Her social media presence is not at all reflected in her portrayal.
By the second episode, the show gains momentum. There are some convincing sequences too, where the chemistry between Beanie and Ravi Patel makes for a good watch.
Close to real depictions of stand up comics repeating the same jokes at different gigs, analyzing audience’s reactions etc make for a pleasant watch.
Unlike what might have been a common understanding with Swara Bhaskar in the lead, there are no political jokes or satires. The show either tries to play safe or stay wary of common stereotypes.
Bhaag Beanie Bhaag soon becomes a love triangle from being a quest for Beanie’s passion. It is true that stand up is not well-received as a career among family. But if that is what the show tried to focus on, why was it necessary for the protagonist to also be caught up between two potential lovers?
It is not difficult to notice how fake laughter is forced into the narrative. There comes a point where the supporting cast seems like a tool for generating laughs.
The punches are poorly written and despite the show being an attempt at singling stand-up out as a profession, it digresses to several unnecessary sub-plots and often.
If one really wants to understand stand-up through a fictionalized plot, Bhaag Beanie Bhaag should really not be the choice. But if you’re looking for some fun watch this weekend, the show could be a decent one-time venture.
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