MTV has built quite a reputation in the recent years. A reputation of making absolutely crappy shows which apparently are ‘youth centric’. I really want to chipkao a few names here, but sadly I have been so turned off by these shows even while channel surfing that I never bothered to remember their names. Unfortunately, Indian television has been living in a world of two extremes, as far as the young urban audience is concerned. On one extreme is the extreme drama and unbearableness of soaps on the Stars and Sonys. The other extreme has the obviously scripted loyalty tests and other unnecessarily slang laden shows. If any big honcho at one of these channels is reading this, whatever image of the Indian youth you have in your mind is embarrassing, man.
‘Bring On The Night’ (BOTN) is a small ray of hope in these times. A show on Mtv and sponsored by Eristoff, this one is about 4 friends trying to run an underground party location in Mumbai. They call themselves ‘the wolf pack’. The show revolves around their lives, problems and this underground venue called ‘the den’ which is actually a 200 year old bungalow. The man behind this show, Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy is more popularly known for his vocal keedas as the lead of hardcore band ‘Scribe’. He also directed the extremely successful first season of ‘The Dewarists’. So, how does this show look on his resume?
Quite obviously, it’s a show with no competition whatsoever. This show is so fresh , it makes me want to send over a thank you note to the director and producer. In a time when Mumbai’s nightlife is increasingly getting strangled by the law, this show makes immediate sense. The characters seem real and represent us for real. Their lingo, dressing, problems, everything has been carefully kept real and it works from the first episode itself as one starts relating to the characters. The online episodes are uncensored, which makes it an even better way to watch this series.
The direction is slick. You can see Vishwesh’s ad world experience coming into play as he wastes little time to go ahead with the story at all times. The script comes in handy for such direction, and this one has plenty to offer at all times in the form of new twists, characters and even objects that change the entire course. The acting is decent, at least that of the lead characters. Hussain Dalal as Devang and Danesh Irani as Xerxes shine through.
One of the strong points of this show, expectedly, is the music. I felt really proud to notice episode after episode showcasing so many indie bands and using their songs in a way that would make them proud. Sky Rabbit’s ‘Beep Off’ as the title track fits perfectly. Some brilliant tracks by Karsh Kale, Dualist Inquiry, Something Relevant, Menwhopause amongst several others lend a lot of swag to the show. One can notice the sly use of Scribe’s songs at multiple instances. Good Plugging.
Let’s start with the biggest marketing fail of the year. These people, with the intention of making their ad/trailer for the show go viral on the internet, created a new fake YouTube account and uploaded the ad. The description was the cleverest ever, “I stumbled across this video on a random dropbox account and had to share it with the world”. The world, not being made of complete idiots, saw right through the bullshit and called it out in the comments. Before we could take their case here or anywhere else, they had deleted the account.
Back to the review - The biggest letdown of the show is its humour. The whole Bawa plot gets too loud and unnecessary at times. The morning acting classes sub-plot doesn’t even make you smile, forget laughing. There are many more such sub-plots and scenes where you can sense how hard the humour is being tried to shove down your throat and you feel like letting out a scream saying “Listen, that’s not funny, man!”. This is not to say that the show’s humour fails every single time. There are times when scenes get slightly funny but one expects much more from a team of writers that boasts of some popular stand up comedians.
The second downer is the sound. Some of the dialogues aren’t audible at times and sometimes the sync sound is just a bad idea altogether with the traffic and other sounds in the background. The editor has tried to save their asses by some smart injection of songs, but that’s about as much saving as it does.
Eristoff as a sponsor gets enough visibility in the intro of the show and a their label is plastered at the bottom of the screen at all times. Why then would they push for more visibility in the show is beyond me. It starts getting into the zone of not-so-subtle advertising. But it’s still bearable.
Overall, this show is definitely worth a watch. The first season is about to get over. By the looks of it seems like dark times are looming upon the characters with cops and politicians getting more screen time in recent episodes. Hopefully the show will maintain its chill vibe and balance it out somehow with the serious twists. Because watching such a show getting sucky would hurt.