Subhash K Jha reviews Hiccups & Hookups

Hiccups & Hookups(Lionsgate Play,8 Episodes)

Starring Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar, Shinnova, Meera Chopra, Meiyang Chang

Directed by Kunal Kohli

Rating: * ½

An inebriated uncle blabbers to Prateik Babbar about his fractured marriage. “I’m in a threesome with God.”

Such cringeworthy attempts at being bold brassy and,yes, cool , carpet this corny series about breakups, makeups , making out and freaking out…in no particular order. Adapting an American tv series Casual, Hookups & Hiccups thinks constant references to casual s*x and drug consumption is cool.

Well, here is the thing: s*x drugs and rock ‘n’ roll(or Bhangra-Pop if you prefer) stopped being cool ever since the NBC fell into disrepute. Or maybe even before.

The original series featured Valerie( Michaela Watkins) as a newly divorced single mother living with her brother Alex (Tommy Dewey) and her daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr).Much as Lara Dutta tries to look convincing as a 39-year old divorcee trying to hook-up with some help from her brother(who looks like he is need of serious help himself), the script flounders on almost every step, creating a roundabout ruckus and a dizzying din that take us nowhere except for a senseless spin through a world of casual dating and dialogues as inane as “Hot gay men are like art.You can only gaze at them. Cannot take them home.”

To this I may add wannabe hot serials are like deep-fried pakodas. The sizzle is gone the minute the fryingpan is cold.These are characters in desperate need of a reason to feel happy about themselves and their lives. Instead the poor scripting leaves little room for the characters to breathe let alone rejoice.

Not inexplicably, Lara Dutta looks bewildered throughout in a what-am-I-doing-here kind of way. In the first episode she dates a 24-year old and then does her maths on how old she must have been when he was 15, etc.Such moments are great for detumescence.

Someone somewhere would find these characters and their amorous antics funny cute even cool. To the less lenient viewership this is just a ream of self-indulgent recycled fantasy masquerading as the voice and vision of contemporary India where boys and girls are “into serious chemicals” .Forget substance abuse , Hiccups & Hookups abuses our patience.

While Lara Dutta is bearable when not dating, Prateik Babbar is insufferable in almost every frame. Newcomer Shinnova, playing Ms Dutta’s daughter,probably has potential.We will only know when she is given something sensible to do. Meera Chopra and Meiyang Chang are wasted. Like our time.

About The Author
Subhash K Jha

Subhash K. Jha is a veteran Indian film critic, journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He is currently film critic with leading daily The Times of India, Firstpost, Deccan chronicle and DNA News, besides TV channels Zee News and News18 India.