The fabulous Bollywood wives with their fabulous lives are back. The Netflix show returns with the second season, and we are all Maheep with her binoculars. It doesn’t matter if articles on ‘trash TV’ keep flowing in, the undeniable hunger to know more about the personal and lavish lives of Bollywood wives will keep drawing more viewers. Thankfully, the Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives does disappoint.
It is one big spectacle of glitz, glamour and what we like to call ‘first-world’ problems. There is drama, which may seem too frivolous, but that is the point of the show–it is, after all, the ‘fabulous’ lives. The eight-episode season does not try to be anything but that.
Maheep, Bhavana, Seema and Neelam are back with their lives, and the lives of their husbands, minus one. One big change is Seema dropping the ‘Khan’ from her name, and trying to move ahead.
The drama points
Karan Johar is as an important figure, and as with his talk show Koffee With Karan, here too he pokes the sleeping bear, asking Maheep to figure things out with Bhavana.
Of course, speculations about whether the show is scripted won’t go away, no matter what the showrunners claim. But scripted or not, the selling point this season around which jokes, banter, and even fights implode is Bhavana and Chunky renewing their vows.
The show is unabashedly about the four women and their lives, parties, lunches, desert safaris et al. Their 25-year-long friendship has survived everything, and is likely to survive some more.
Allergies, ageing, menopause, failed business ventures, and past lives, no subject is off-bounds for the fabulous wives. There is also ultimately a lot of high-end brand and ‘experience’ placement depending on what the women are doing. But these aren’t the usual brand placements–they will burn a hole through your wallet. So, stay off them.
There is also a sombre moment when the talk veers towards the death of someone, but that does not last. Ultimately, this is no Luck By Chance, attempting to satirise privilege or nepotism. The fluff is deliberate, and any hope for the contrary is fruitless.
Guests of honour
There are Gauri Khan and Karan Johar, but Netflix has done quite the job of using intertextuality in its India content, especially the uber glam ones. This season has more of that with a big gallery of people, the usual and the unusual gracing the fabulous lives of the divas.
The best surprise is definitely reserved for the last episode, both for the four women and the audience. There is a definite build up, but it still manages to keep the X-factor intact.
There are moments when the show slows down a bit, and you wish there were lesser episodes. So the editing could definitely have been tighter.
Love it or hate it, the Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives is the desi version of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. And while you might crib, binge-watching the show is probably going to be this week’s guilty pleasure for many. Let the Netflix ratings give the final verdict by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, pour yourself the beverage of your choice and as Arjun Kapoor in the first season proclaimed, “Stop taking yourself so seriously and go with the flow.”