Whodunits are a desi TV staple. Colors’ show, Dev, which earlier aired on weekends, had an added flavor of a very khadoos lead (Ashish Chowdhry). Most stories also centered on crimes against women (appeals to your core TG- women). Yet, it never really rated huge.
Since the channel and PH (Peninsula Pictures and IMRC Entertainment) had faith in the concept of 2 stories, one continuously running linear, and the other, a fresh story every other episode, they decided to give it one more lease of life, albeit, now as a daily. The logic seems to be that viewers forget to tune in on weekends. However, this dictum flies in the face of the stupendous success of Naagin.
Season 1 ended on a high, with Dev being betrayed by his wife, Mahek (Pooja). However, Season2 seems to have started with a disjoint– till now, we have no idea how Dev escaped the Chakravyuh designed by his all-powerful father and executed by Mahek. He also has no clue about his mother’s whereabouts.
Dev is now doing court-mandated community service by assisting the cops. In the last season, we had wondered how come all of Dev’s cases happen only in Inspector Narvekar’s (Amit Dolawat) jurisdiction. Should he not be hauled over the coals for not controlling rising crime? Again, in Season 2, of all the police stations in Mumbai, Dev is again attached to Narveker’s thana.
Their first joint case is a free-thinking, dating-app-crazy gal, Dhwani (Jigyasa Singh), who is stalked by someone (steals her teeny-weeny nighties). We just don’t get one thing– how come the cops don’t bother to check out the girl’s house for bugs? A common sense call would have solved the case in a jiffy.
Always-shorts-wearing Dhwani then railroads herself as Dev’s assistant in an attempt to learn crime busting; her joke about knowing that Kajol was the murderer in Gupt was fun. This role is quite different from Jigyasa’s previous Thhapki Pyaar Ki avatar, so a feather in her cap.
We then have one more story of a gal forced into the flesh trade. Interestingly, Narvekar is her client as well. Dev helps her to wriggle out of the police station; she had landed up in the cops’ net, trying to break away from the above sin business. Like most girls, she also can’t tell her parents the real story, for they will say, you brought it upon yourself. Dev also gives the same sermon to Dhwani’s rich father. Hope all parents pay heed.
Dhwani’s stalker then breaks into her empty house at night, forcing her to take refuge in the underground water tank. Dev comes to her rescue; he must have flown, for you can’t survive more than a few minutes underwater. It would be fun to see how Dev nabs the bad tech wizard.
Mahek, on the other hand, is trying her best to win her hubby back, even telling him that she is expecting his child. Pooja is doing a swell job of a woman in love who has a lot to hide.
One major plus point of Season 1 was Zohraappa (Jayshree Arora) and her motherly love for Dev, but that is absent here. Family elements help shore up female audiences. Can Dhwani be the other woman, Meera’s (Sumona Chakravarti) replacement, who was killed at the end of Season 1? Mahek might even harm Dhwani, thinking she is coming too close to her man.
Notwithstanding the above faux pas, which happens in most shows, we have liked Dev so far. He is getting more and more obnoxious. Life has served him melons and he does not care a fig. This angle separates Dev from the other leads, making you comeback for more. Ashish is doing a superb job as Dev. You just want to slap him, saying, dude, chillax.
Further, his love-hate relationship with Narveker, who had loved Meera, is another plus point. He tells him to stay away from Dhwani, not wanting her to face Meera’s fate. Amit is impressive again as a cop with a heart.
Hope the tautness of the story continues, and the what and why of the Chakravyuh open up. We understand that for the pace and speed to be maintained, all angles can’t be unveiled at one go.
The success or otherwise of Dev will set the template for more seasonal shows going ahead. As opposed to other seasonal fiction outings, there is no leap here; the story just continues from where it ended in Season 1. So if Dev works, then channels will be encouraged to take a break and work on the story lines, rather than continuing with bizarre leaps.
It deserves 2.5 stars for overall effort.