Hiccups and Hookups review: Swipe right on Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar’s light-hearted fam-jam
- Hiccups and Hookups review: The most endearing element in the show is the sibling bond that Lara Dutta and Prateik Babbar share.
Hiccups and Hookups is a light-hearted, colourful series which is not just about everything sex. Yes, there is a lot of making-out involved but Lionsgate Play’s first original Indian production is also, essentially, a family drama. Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar and newcomer Shinnova are the three protagonists who navigate a world of unexpected hiccups and complicated hook-ups.
The trio form a dysfunctional family. Lara plays 39-year-old working mother Vasudha, recently separated from her unfaithful husband. Prateik is her therapy-seeking, commitment phobic brother Akhil, who is the co-founder of a dating app. And Shinnova plays Vasudha’s 18-year-old daughter Kavanya, who doesn’t bat an eyelid to call a spade a spade. Now, put the three together under the same roof and add a bunch of life problems to the mix, such as toxic workplace, heartbreaks, unsuccessful dating life and a building with water shortage.
The most endearing element in Hiccups and Hookups is the sibling bond that Lara and Prateik share. They are practically best friends, who have guided each other in life for as long as they can remember. The brother-sister duo’s rapport is especially fuelled by their overbearing set of parents, who occasionally video-call to pass judgements.
Lara Dutta, who starts off with a tinge of overacting, gets comfortable into the skin of Vasudha over just a few episodes. Much like her character actually, who makes the journey from being ‘frigid’ in the first episode to meeting prospective hook-up buddies at a bar or a yoga class or even at her teenage daughter’s school, in the subsequent episodes. But Vasudha is not all about filling the void in her life with mindless sex – she also attempts to explore a new career option while debating whether she should opt for a divorce or reconcile with her husband. After offending her brother and being shut out by her daughter for days, Vasudha does find some clarity in the climactic episode. Her powerful moments are those in which she has meltdowns accompanied by animated monologues.
Prateik Babbar, a lazy, algorithm-savvy techie named Akhil, juggles between dual personalities – one gets him right swipes on his dating app, while the other, which is his real self, brings no matches. Prateik shines in the moments in which he shares screen space with Lara. However, ever so often, his acting prowess seems to dwindle away to nothing. And needless to say, he is assigned a few customary shirtless scenes.
Let’s have a round of applause for Shinnova as the sassy and academically inclined Kavanya, who doesn’t need a therapist's help to set the record straight: “There are some solid problems in the three of us. There is something. We are not normal.” She is undoubtedly the best actor of the lot – her onscreen presence only highlights the glaring mediocrity of others. Shinnova, in just the right measures, blends the rebel mentality of a school kid and the maturity of dealing with estranged parents.
Hiccups and Hookups comes with a bunch of supporting actors, who sometimes outshine the lead trio. One of them is Vasudha’s best friend Fatty, played by Meera Chopra. On the flipside, the show also includes a few unbearable characters such as Kavanya’s expressionless boyfriend and Vasudha’s sexist boss.
Hiccups and Hookups is an easy-breezy watch of eight episodes. Once you are entwined in Vasudha, Akhil and Kavanya’s lives, you will make it to the end with little bit of squirming every now and then. Hiccups and Hookups, which is a remake of the Hulu series Casual, is definitely a right swipe for those who can enjoy watching a single mom’s adventures on a dating app without being judgemental.
Hiccups and Hookups
Director: Kunal Kohli
Cast: Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar, Shinnova, Meera Chopra, Meiyang Chang