The internet space, over time has indeed provided opportunity to many to showcase their talent, especially the ones who have the gift of the gab coupled with some creative instinct.
One such name is Abish Mathew, the rib tickler aka commentator aka your host & dost. Abish belongs to the ‘Indian digital star club’ who has found a niche of his own and of course, a loyal audience base. His Youtube channel has close to 500k subscribers, which is indeed laudable.
Abish is back with season 3 of his popular chat show Son of Abish and the latest attempt certainly draws more finesse and execution prowess over his last two attempts. The growth trajectory is indeed upwards.
Having said that, we would like to share a bit of observation. We feel that the internet space, though democratic, suffers from the same ills what ails our parliamentary system of governance .i.e elitism. We watched the first episode and certain jokes seemed lame for barring the host and the guests (staple AIB faces, these guys seem to stay in their circle of comfort), none got a chuckle.
It’s strange that each medium has its demi gods who define the tonality of the content being doled out. If we blame saas bahu kitchen politics TV shows for targeting the lowest common denominator, web based shows only speak to (sarcastically put) notional intellectually evolved classes (so called south Mumbai crowd). There is no middle ground. The skit on how web shopping has become all pervasive, is what you call web’s own OTT version.
Rohan and Ashish as guests made more a banal watch, been there, done that, watched that feeling. Abish needs to widen his scope of conversations, which did happen in episode 2 with Balan and company joining in. Traditional Bollywood glam with a touch of digital bravura and exuberance raises anticipation.
We hope the next episodes won’t have the usual Gills and the Bhatts and the ‘digital pizza together eater boy gang’. To use the cliché, variety is the spice of life and Abish must look through the prism of largesse and get individuals from different fields of interest. Often the oil & water mix makes for a colorful view.
The talk show format has its own limitations and you can’t really do much about it. Abish’s dig at his Malayali roots (about not getting hitched) is funny… self deprecating humour always clicks with the watchers (a la SRK). On the positive side, the opening song was quite peppy. They also made fun of the system (banning of crackers in Delhi and the need to have a debate to legalize weed). The news about how WWE wrestler Kavita Devi beats patriarchy to get where she is, was another plus for us.
Overall, the show looks interesting, however, Abish at times tries too hard to entertain. He needs to loosen the collar and go easy a bit. He seems to be under pressure to prove a point or get the coveted million views mark per episode. We feel it’s all about making the show all pervasive ensuring that newer audience joins in, widening his reach and connect. End of the day, it’s about entertainment and a viewer having a good time.
In this end, we feel one other major issue is time. 40 minutes for a web show is a tad too much, ideally this should have been capped at 20 minutes tops. IndianWikiMedia would rate this effort 3 out of 5 stars. Watch it for Abish and his effort to make it interesting.