Series: Hiccups and Hookups (Streaming on Lionsgate Play). Duration:32-38 minutes per episode (seven episodes in all).
Director: Kunal Kohli. Cast: Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar, Shinnova, Divya Seth, Nassar Abdullah, Khalid Siddiqui, Meiyang Chang, Meera Chopra and Ayn Zoya.
IANS Rating: ***1/2
If you're bored with the atrocious plotting and scheming of Saas, Bahu and Sajish dramas, here is a heart-warming and cuddly, yet bold and provocative modern-day drama.
Lionsgate Play's first-ever Hindi original series starring Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar and Shinnova and helmed by Kunal Kohli, is a tale about a recently separated single mother, who lives with her teenage daughter and younger brother.
Right off the bat, the characters are well-written and played by brilliant actors. Though the relatability of the characters might be limiting, as the story is set in a metro, and revolves around modern-day issues such break-ups, separation, single motherhood and one-night stands, but despite the different landscape, the underlying current is the same as any dysfunctional family.
Lara Dutta plays Vasudha Rao, a single mother trying to come to terms with the fact that her husband cheated on her with his assistant, and she needs to find a way to lead her life with a teenage daughter, who's nothing but attitude and trouble. Her grip on the character is remarkable.
Prateik Babbar as Akhil Rao, a modern-day metropolitan coder, is just outstanding; he is hilarious, sensible and at times behaves like a foolish teenager. Only Prateik could have probably played such a character.
Newbie Shinova as Kavanya Khattar, a teenage girl who likes to party, gets into trouble, wants the most handsome dude as her boyfriend, and is still coming to terms with her parents' separation, is praiseworthy.
Kunal Kholi has dropped a heavy-duty emotional drama, but kept the narrative simple, practical and sensible, which is something refreshing and fun to watch. There is a freshness to the series that appeals to the viewer.
The heart-warming comedy around dating and modern-day relationships across two generations, or perhaps three, is absolutely well-made and worth your time. There's plenty of heart and sass in the narrative and the characters are written, portrayed and established well in the first episode itself, making the entire show easy to follow.
The show premieres on Friday, November 26, and will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.