Masaba Masaba season 2 review: Charming and naturally great, Masaba Gupta proves herself Neena Ji of the new gen

Published on Jul 30, 2022 07:00 PM IST

Masaba Masaba season 2 review: It's Masaba Gupta's turn to shine in Netflix's frothiest desi show.  

Masaba Masaba season 2 review: Masaba Gupta in a still from the show.
Masaba Masaba season 2 review: Masaba Gupta in a still from the show.

Masaba Gupta and her show Masaba Masaba have grown up quite a lot in the second season. She, as an actor, and the show, in the themes it picks up. Despite considerably less dose of the ever-welcome Neena Gupta, Masaba Masaba season 2 doesn't feel lacking warmth, fun and believable, beautiful central performance, all thanks to the veteran's equally talented daughter (now proven).

To be honest, Masaba Gupta has made a special place in my heart since she starred in Dhruv Sehgal's great Modern Love India episode, I Love Thane. She was the Everygirl from Mumbai, searching for love online and finally finding it in Thane. The role, or Masaba's approach to it wasn't too different from the woman she plays in Masaba Masaba, which is also only the slightly more fictionalised version of her real self. Perhaps that is what makes her so easy to watch, digest and love in Masaba Masaba. No one can play you better than you. Just like her mother, Masaba has aced playing to her strengths. She is and plays the urban, independent woman of the 2020s, who is looking for too many things all at once, just like her mother was and played the urban, independent woman of the 1980s looking for acceptance. Neena played similar roles to her, like Saans, to perfection and the same can be said for Masaba.

This year, the writing department also shines bright in how they overlap Masaba's real life with the one she lives on the show. In an excellent meeting of the two worlds, similar to Neena Gupta finally landing a pregnant woman's role in a film in season 1, Masaba must come to terms with her mentor's death. Wendell Rodricks, one of 1990s most famous Indian designer, was Masaba's biggest godfathers in the industry. His sudden death in 2020 and Masaba's very human reaction to it--beyond the Instagram post--is shown with kind sensitivity. There are more warm moments this season than gossipy, snarky ones and I for one, am thankful for the change. I'd much rather watch Masaba give pep talks to insecure teenagers than have Dr Kartik Aaryan deliver her baby.

But Wendell's tribute or insecure teens, as worthy an addition as they were to the series, were not the main plot. That, was reserved for the classic girl-has-to-choose-between-two-hot-men conundrum, that is still not getting old since the years of Darcy vs Wickham to Paxton vs Ben. In Masaba's life, there is Neil Bhoopalam's a bit too simple Dhairya, being challenged by a rich f***boy, because let's just call him what he is. Though never too exciting to drive home anything about, the love triangle plot does lead us to the very scenic trip to Kashmir and a very fun smackdown of the aforementioned f**kboy in a hotel lobby. At no point does Masaba make silly choices that get you pulling your hair out, as many a heroines (read Lara Jean or Bridgette Jones) have made. So that's one point for the non-lazy writing.

Masaba Gupta and Neena Gupta on the show
Masaba Gupta and Neena Gupta on the show

Neena Gupta, however, suffers quite a bit in the second season. She, who largely overshadowed her daughter in the first season with her triumphant story of a return to the races, gets a washed-out plot about an old show's revival and not being taken seriously at work. Ram Kapoor plays a flirty ex-flame and colleague who is annoying to say the least. With her own storyline so lacklustre, she still steals a few moments of cute in how she tells her daughter's friend ‘tu bhi karale' when discussing egg-freezing or doling out advice on wearing condoms: ‘badnaami se nahi toh beemari se toh daro Masaba.’

Overall, the new season also tries to get more stylish with better music, slicker, glossier visuals and even better costumes than before. Next time, maybe more focus can be given to making the ‘funny’ dialogues actually funny. An entire spoof on India's Next Top Model was too cringey to sit through and in the year of our lord 2022, simply bashing an influencer for being one is not high comedy. And one more hot tip: Maybe if you really feel strongly about mental health and depression, enough to include it in your show, maybe don't leave it so half-baked, cured within a couple episodes.

Masaba Masaba 2 is far from perfect but it still offers hours of Masaba's very excellent performance. Watch it for her. I mean it's in the title itself.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Soumya Srivastava is Entertainment Editor at Hindustan Times. She writes about movies and TV because what else is there to life anyway.

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