When the Bard of Avon wrote with much flourish the adage, ‘Much ado about nothing’, he bestowed upon mankind the most succinct way of saying – dude, cut the crap. It’s just a storm in a teacup, or better still, a big fuss over fluff.
Shakespeare’s words are also the most succinct way of describing the second season of Humorously Yours – it seriously is much ado about nothing. Out of the four episodes of the show, all but the last end anti-climactically, leading one to wonder at the pointlessness of the entire exercise.
Season 2 simply fails to keep us invested in the personal and professional high jinks in the life of popular stand-up comedian, Vipul Goyal, the way Season 1 did. Season 1 of the TVF show had a lot going for it, which, sadly, Season 2 does not.
For those not in the know, the Humorously Yours franchise is engineer-turned-stand-up comedianVipulGoyal’ssupposedly semi-autobiographical treatise on his foray and eventual success in the world of stand-up comedy. Season 2 of the TVF show has been directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra. Amit Golani, Anant Singh and VipulGoyal share writing credits.
The first two episodes deal with VipulGoyal’s travails over his lack of a reliable manager. Interspersed with that is his precarious relationship with Kavya (Rasika Dugal), his wife of three years. Ranjit Walia, VipulGoyal’s alter-ego and make-believe manager, is made to die a natural death in the first episode of the series. Unable to manage the day-to-day affairs of being a comedian and his manager, all rolled into one person, Goyal decides to do away with Ranjit Walia.
Next is to hire a manager, a real one this time, who is trust-worthy enough. He finds his Man Friday in Puneet Lamba (Sahil Verma), a smart cookie who was once his junior in college. So Lamba becomes his manager, while Bhushi, Vipul’sbestie, (Abhishek Banerjee) takes up from where he left off in the first season – being his accountant, critic and sounding board.
Lamba delivers a dud in the first gig that he schedules for Vipul – not in Delhi, not in Bangalore, but in Lucknow, of all places. He does manage to save face in the end, but honestly, the episode is a drag. The entire sequence, though humorous in parts, fizzles out like a faulty firecracker towards the end of the second episode.
Eventually, it all seems like much ado about nothing.
Likewise is Kavya’s whining about Vipul taking up out-of-town gigs over weekends. When he asks her apologetically, what she plans to do when he’s away, she gives an epic reply, bordering on the bizarre – read a book, stare at the ceiling, open the fridge to check whether all’s good, repeat. And would you believe it – that’s exactly what she does the entire time Vipul’s away!
Now, how about a reality check? There are scores of women whose husbands are in the defence forces, merchant navy or playing various sports tourneys for the country. The dudes are away for months together. So, what do the wives do? Elementary, my dear Watson! They live it up by going on jaunty lunches and movie dates and shopping sprees with their besties or office gang. They do anything but whine – that’s for sure.
And to think that just in the previous episode, Kavya goes off on a merry lunch with friends, even when Vipul’s home and available. How contrary, if we must say.
Eventually, Kavya’s petty whining seems like much ado about nothing.
The series then hints at the #MeToo storm that has hit the beleaguered stand-up comedy business of late. However, rather than taking the bull by the horns and addressing the issue head-on by delving deeper into the rot within the industry, it just skims the surface and then quickly steers clear of the whole sordid mess.
Horrifyingly enough, it seems to suggest that the fault lies with the fame that accompanies being a successful celeb. Girls throw themselves all the time at the much-adored stand-up stars. Some give in to the temptation, while some, like our protagonist here, rush back home to their wives as quickly as if the devil were at their heels.
We, however, are left holding the feeling that all said and done, it was much ado about nothing.
The final episode is the one where Goyal, and his band…err, duo, of merry men, somewhat come into their own. Vipul accepts an underpaid gig at a non-descript engineering college on the dusty outskirts of Indore. And it’s all because of Chintu, his wife’s cousin, and a student of the college. Once at the college, nostalgia hits the three real bad and they indulge in some out-of-bound antics within the hostel premises. The measly transgression threatens to snowball into a major PR disaster on social media.
Taking a leaf out of Tanmay Bhatt’s recent publicly-rendered apology, or should we say, mimicking the real-world in his make-believe one, VipulGoyal renders a heartfelt YouTube apology, where he invokes his fans to stand by him, coz they are the ones that matter in the end. And Goyal comes out of the entire escapade smelling like roses. Can the same apply to the real world? Only time, and the resurrection of AIB, if at all that happens, will tell.
But if it does happen, we will be the first to say that it, in the end, it was all much ado about nothing.
VipulGoyal is the heart and soul of the show. His earnestness and sincerity toward his craft shine through at every turn the show takes. Rasika Dugal lacks the spark and spunk of the first season. Other than several snarky sarcasms she throws at Vipul which elicit laughter, her performance in the show is as flat as stale beer. She simply appears to be going through the motions of performing, while her spirit seems miles away.
Abhishek Banerjee is simply superb as Bhushi. His stock’s risen exponentially after his brilliant outing in Stree. Sahil Verma is also eminently watchable in the character of Puneet Lamba. These two steal the show each time they appear on screen.
Finally, Humorously Yours Season 2 is studded with great cameos by Rajendra Chawla, Jeetendra Kumar and AnupriyaGoenka. Jeetendra Kumar lights up the screen as Mastikhor Mishra, RJ of a Lucknow radio station. And AnupriyaGoenka is ethereal as Devika, Vipul’s one-time crush in college, and now his ardent fan.
Nevertheless, Humorously Yours Season 2 is not a patch on the first season. In fact, it is a distinctly underwhelming offering from the TVF stables, especially as it comes on the heels of the seminal Kota Factory. Watch it only if you are a die-hard VipulGoyal fan. The series is available for binge-watch on TVF Play and MX Player.
2.5/5 is our rating for Humorously Yours, Season 2.