With family planning thankfully catching up especially in urban and educated India, we are fortunately seeing most married couples with one or two children.
Nevertheless, some of us may like to visualise what it is like to have big families. Disney Channel’s Best of Luck Nikki (The Company) takes us on a delightful fictional journey on both the pros and cons of a family with many children through the medium of comedy.
The very fact that the third season of the show has been launched proves that it is being enjoyed by the audience who would like to see more of the hilarious incidents going on in the household of the imaginary Singh family. The story is set in a Sikh family which is noteworthy as it is nice that religious minorities are being depicted on Indian television.
This family oriented serial can be enjoyed by all age groups. Though it’s a pleasure to see serials set in joint families on Indian television, Best of Nikki for a change is set in a nuclear family. Variation is always welcome. The close knit nuclear family in the series may also help to communicate to the Indian viewers that nuclear families aren’t necessarily comprised of selfish family members who are breaking down the Indian value system. Unfortunately many TV viewers in our country have a very opinionated notion about nuclear families, which may be a reason as to why most of our soaps are set in joint families.
Best of Luck Nikki has the feel of a foreign sitcom albeit with Indian characters who live the metropolitan Indian life. This show is after all the Indian adaptation of the American show Good Luck Charlie. The shows premise, promos and title sequence are similar to that of its U S counterpart. The Indian characters have parallels to the American characters of Good Luck Charlie too.
Kids of all ages will enjoy this show as the Singh family has kids of various ages and both genders. The expecting mother Hemani Singh (Gurdeep Kohli) wished that her fifth child turns out to be a daughter- this is praiseworthy as it is pro girl child which is important in a country like India where female infanticide is rampant.
The college sequences involving the teenaged Dolly Singh (Sheena Bajaj) and her boyfriend Ayaan are very endearing. Their campus life is bereft of the ‘not-too-palatable’ nuances that many youth serials have. The kids seem to have the ‘right’ blend of Western and Indian values which may seem acceptable to most urban Indian viewers.
This serial is ideal for family viewing on Sunday mornings as it entertains through laughter. A situation like family members having differences on whether or not to shift to another house, may have been dealt through long melodramatic monologues and dialogues accompanied by sobbing and cat fights on tear jerker saas bahu soaps. The same was dealt through crisp and humorous dialogues on Best of Luck Nikki. The emotional aspect of the issue wasn’t tainted at all in the process.
The home video being made by Dolly is very realistic. Her epilogue is spontaneous as it is unplanned. The closure of the main plot of the serial is creatively conveyed by Dolly covering the lens of her video camera with her palm.
The home and college attire of the characters were pleasing. The attire that Ayaan who was playing Romeo and the girl who was playing Juliet wore in the college play Romeo and Juliet could have been better though.
The art director has etched out a very colourful home of the Singh family. The college campus has been done well too. The home moving scenes with packing in the process were executed realistically. We noted a cardboard box with ‘crockery- fragile’ written which added to verisimilitude.
All the actors have performed quite well but the character who steals the show is the angelic infant who plays Nikki. After all, the serial is named after her. This small wonder of Indian television is amazing in her expressions and clear dialogue delivery. She doesn’t say much on the show but her cute one liners are very sweet.
On the downside of the serial why does Gurdeep who is playing the mother Hemani have to hold her heavily pregnant tummy most of the time? Also, some very gullible viewers may think that having a huge family is fun on viewing this show. Let us remember here that the disadvantages of having many kids are highlighted repeatedly in the serial. But what baffles us is as to why the Singhs who are getting exhausted as more members are being added to the family, don’t actually try out birth control which will definitely work?
Food for thought!!!